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The Mary Lasker Papers

Letter from Mike Gorman to Mary Lasker pdf (218,085 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Mike Gorman to Mary Lasker
Number of Image Pages:
3 (218,085 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
29 May [1951?]
[Gorman, Mike]
Lasker, Mary
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Categories:
From Bench to Bedside: Mary Lasker and the Drive for "Payoff" from Medical Research
From Journalist to Crusader: Exposing the "Snake Pits" in Oklahoma and Beyond, 1946-1953
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Series I
SubSeries: Topical Files
Folder: Gorman, Mr. Mike, 1951-1987
Tuesday - May 29.
Dear Mary,
Just a quick line to answer yours of the 24th. I presume that by now you have received my letter, air mail-specialed from here May 23rd.
1 - I agree with you as to some of the difficulties to be encountered in setting up an Association, but I still think one is necessary if we are to pull the Deans fully into active work. However, I don't think we can thrash out the difficulties until you return from Europe. Besides, Reidy and I are up to our neck in the Senate push for S.377 - we haven't time now to set up an Association.
2- Senator Russell is the key guy in the Senate, but it is practically impossible to get to him. He is running the McArthur hearings, and he is inaccessible. Reidy left for Georgia last night to talk to Dean Wood at Emory and get some material to show that the Russell amendment - $100 for each existing student and $2,000 for each new one - wouldn't help Emory at all. I have called Russell's administrative assistant seven times in the past three days, but still can't get an appointment with Russell. That is why I didn't go to Georgia to talk to Dean Kelly at U. of Georgia Medical - I couldn't get out of the pocket here while sweating out an appointment with Russell.
Of course, Florence Mahoney is the key, in a way, to Russell, and Reidy and I are quite annoyed about her lack of "savvy" on the whole issue. She could really set it up so that I could see Russell socially at her home and really get some good licks in. She never sets this kind of thing up. Since October, I have been invited to her house once - for hamburgers with a bunch of dull teen-agers whom I was supposed to entertain with stories of my 100 hours of analysis. She meets an awful lot of Congressmen on a social basis. For example, recently she had Rep. Jack Kennedy over - he is Joe Kennedy's son and he wants to be a Senator from Mass. some day. The day after she has him over, Florence suggests I send him some material on Health. That's not really the way to "work" a Congressman. You see, I don't care about the social end of the thing, but I do think we are missing the boat scads of times on seeing Congressmen socially. This whole Russell mess could have been cleared up if it had been worked in this way, Naturally, I can't broach this directly to Florence, without being rather awkward about it. I am awfully fond of Florence, but I think sometimes she gets awfully mixed up about what she is trying to get a Congressman to do. It is wonderful to have these fine contacts, but it is criminal to dissipate them through confusion and lack of a concerted plan. Please forgive me for bringing up so personal a thing, but it has been gnawing away in the back of my mind for several months.
3 - The American Legion is very much on the ball. I enclose a copy of a recent letter from their legislative director to Reidy. The article in the Satevepost which he refers to isn't too terrific from our point of view, but it does proclaim the need for more doctors and vitiates somewhat the rotten job by Paul DeKruif in the June "Reader's Digest". I wrote a short speech for Pastore, and he used it when he inserted the Post piece in the record. We are getting the reprints for the Legion. We have to be very nice to the Legion - they delivered Joe McCarthy for S. 337, and that's something. They are not scaring the Hell out of Ecton, Case, Mundt, etc.
4 - Lester Grant and Dean Berry of Harvard are working like Hell, I enclose a copy of the latest letter from Grant to Reidy. General Simmons is somewhat of a disappointment - he is rather slow on the uptake. I tried to get him to dig up some stuff on the Commission on Financing Higher Education - he knows Wriston, Buck and the other key guys on it. He came through with practically nothing. He is a sweet guy, but he is kind of out of touch with things. Hinsey has been out on the West Coast, so hasn't been helpful. He promised us he'd call Wood at Emory and get Wood to work on Russell, but he didn't do it. Very annoying.
5 - Because of the Reader's Digest article and the report of the Commission on Financing Higher Education, I had to throw our big 40-minute speech out of the window and start all over again. I have completed the revision - it is in Pastore's hands.
I spent three days scouring up material to knock the props out from under the Commission on Financing Higher Education, I enclose a 10-minute speech on the subject - the problem now is to get someone good to deliver it. We have no one with any real zip on our side. We'll probably have to give it to Humphrey, and we don't want to. Humphrey is going around in circles these days - he got himself in an awful box with some premature announcements on the V.A. medical fracas. His fellow members on Labor and Public Welfare are really down on him - what Lister Hill says about him is unprintable.
6- The Women's Division of the DNC is doing a fine job on distributing the little pamphlet on S.337. They got 5,000 out a few weeks ago, and then Miss Frusher came to me and said she's like 3,000 more, but had no budget for it and couldn't do anything with Mrs. Edwards away. I talked to Reidy, and we both agreed it was important to get the pamphlets out before the Senate fight. I enclose the bill from Miss Frusher. You can deduct the amount from our expense allowance for S.337.
7- Senate Appropriations is marking up the Institutes today. Had breakfast this morning with Adam and Schlaifer - Schlaifer here for Mental Health Advisory Council. We talked over plans to raise funds for coming year for National Mental Health Committee.
I talked over with Schlaifer yesterday a little idea I had to get the members of the Mental Health Advisory Council who were willing to call up their Senators before they left town and push for more money in the mark-up. He said it was a good idea, and that I might bring it up at the buffet supper Mrs. Mahoney was giving for people interested in mental health Monday night. However, I was not invited. Very annoying.
Adams thinks we may have to have a floor fight if we don t get the House cuts back, and, much as I dread it, I agree. However, it must not be like last year's. Mental health should go it alone, and it should have someone of real stature - not a Magnuson - leading the fight. Preferably a middle-roader to whom they'll listen - a Thye or a Kerr. We will talk more about this after we hear about the mark-up.
Trust you are enjoying your trip. Rope you can get to see Sen. Murray. Charles Murray back on the job - he was acquitted. He is seemingly alright. Nothing new from Stowe or Boyle.
Most cordial regards to Mr. Lasker.
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