Your keynote address at the Polio Conference was excellent;
was inspiring to the participants; and gave me a lot of very
useful statistics. The piece de resistance of course was your
extemporaneous commitment to a "magna carta" for disabled
I thought also that your Blessing of dinner was wonderful
and encompassed the inspiring aspects of the handicapped people
there and Allen's great dedication to this cause.
I am sure you must realize my enthusiasm at the thought
of having a Surgeon General who has a concern for disabled
people. As I indicated, I feel that there has been a terrible
void in leadership at the Federal level in relation to the
problems of the disabled; and it is evident that you will
fill that void. I know that it is debated as to whether the
Federal Government or it should be the States managing the
affairs of the disabled. Organizationally and administratively
I understand the validity to the debate, but I can't help but
think that a national "presence" at least in respect to policy
is not an important goal to achieve.
As I told you, I have felt chagrin to see so much of
Mary Switzer's momentum diminished. Of course I am very
subjective about this since I am so personally involved with
the cause of the handicapped. But even as a citizen, I have
felt it was unfortunate to slowly make impotent the little
agency that really was one of the most effective particularly
in relation to its size and budget. Considering that there
are so many wasteful and even monstrous bureaucratic efforts
in Washington, it has seemed a terrible irony that the one
that was assuredly cost-effective and even penurious should
be relatively extinguished.
I hope our paths will cross again soon; and of course
I wish you tremendous success and the realization of great
fufillment in your new job.