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Mary Lasker and the Growth of the National Institutes of Health
I am sure that you will be happy to know that telegrams from the sponsoring list of the National Heart Committee have been
sent to all members of the committees in the Senate and House that are considering our legislation. These telegrams went out
today in time to reach the Health Committee of the Senate which was holding a meeting this afternoon. This was a prearranged
plan of action projected with the help and advice of Senator Pepper, Anna Rosenberg and Emerson Foote.
We are at this moment trying to force a statement from Senator Smith of New Jersey concerning hearings. We should like the
statement, if possible, to be predicated upon the receipt of our telegram. This is our aim. If we cannot get Senator Smith
to issue a statement, we will then try and get the four Senators who introduced the legislation to issue a statement themselves.
As concerns the above, what I failed to mention is that we are also trying to get Senator Smith to make a joint statement
with Representative Wolverton. This would tie both legislative bodies together on the heart question.
I shall speak with Mrs. Rosenberg this afternoon in reference to her contacting Matt Connelly in Washington for names of Missouri
Republicans that may be of use to us in dealing with Representative Donnell. I am trying, at this time, to follow
through on this matter, by locating some picture men from that section of the country that could suggest people that may be
of assistance to us.
The list that was sent you yesterday concerning our sponsoring group may have
slight inaccuracies. Please replace that list with one that will be forthcoming almost immediately. With the addition of
the following three names that accepted today, our sponsor list totals 70. (Hugh Martin, Merrill Meigs, George W. Weber, Jr.)
I am sorry that the release that was sent out got so little play in the papers.
However, we haven't as yet heard from the clipping service, so don't know what the situation is over the rest of the
country. Just as soon as we do get clippings, they shall be sent along to you. Lowell Thomas, Cecil Brown, NBC and Mutual
News, and the early morning husband-and-wife teams were among some of the radio coverage that we got. I was able to cover
those mentioned above.
There seems to be an extreme amount of optimism for hearings, which Senator
Pepper and Senator Bridges both think will take place the first week of April in the House, and about the middle of April
in the Senate. Mr. Bridges happened to be in New York yesterday, and was seen by Dr. Simms, to whom he told the above. Dr.
Simms, on the telephone, told me that he had suggested changes in the legislation to Mr. Bridges, and Bridges seemed very
much interested in them. I asked Dr. Simms if he would be kind enough to send me a copy of the letter that he will send to
Mr. Bridges concerning these changes so that we may be abreast of what he has in mind. Some of these doctors, by the way,
are not too much in favor of any heart legislation by the government, especially where it concerns the Public Health Service.
Dr. Levy is one who has not as yet committed himself to a furtherance of our aims.
I have not as yet heard from Bob Hope, and wonder if there is anything that you
can do on this matter. He has received our telegram and our follow-up letter, and, despite the fact that he is on the air
each weak, and I know he is alive, there still is the question of why he does not answer correspondence, if it is even to
As for your telegram with the names suggested by Judge Robert N. Gorman of
Cincinnati, it is most difficult for us to determine just what the business affiliations are of Paul Walter, George Weber
Jr., and Hugh Martin. I wonder if you can clear this up for me. We are returning the telegram herewith as per your request.
I heard from your office concerning the fact that you thought it might be wise
for me to go down to Washington and see various people. I shall check up on this with Anna Rosenberg as soon as I can contact
I think I have just about written myself dry and shall call you at LaQuinta 11:00 a.m. your time on Monday, March 22.
Thank you very very much for keeping me as informed as I am, and I hope both
you and Mr. Lasker are enjoying yourselves.
P.S. The reason why the last letter to you did not go airmail was due to the fact that we were experiencing an extremely heavy
snow and ice storm, and we didn't know just how soon it would clear up. Be assured I would like these letters on their
way to you just as fast as the plane can carry them.