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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

Lasker:

Well, believe it or not, the President is willing for it and the people in the White House are willing, but Celebrese doesn't take kindly to this idea and the Surgeon General isn't enthusiastic about it, and actually it will just have to be ordered by the President or Celebrese may gradually get to be sympathetic about it. He's the one, who, when the White House said there was to be such a conference, objected.

Q:

On what basis?

Lasker:

He just said he wouldn't testify in behalf of it. I don't think he understood what their intention was; it was really only to have a panel, such as they've had on mental retardation, make a report to the President in order to give visibility to the problems. But Celebrese isn't very knowledgeable in the health field, and the Surgeon General--I suppose the idea didn't initiate with him, it initiated in the White House, and so they blocked it.

Q:

So a personal point of view seems to stand in the way of something constructive.

Lasker:

Oh, it seems absolutely ordinary horse-sense, doesn't it? It's perfectly simple, isn't it?

Q:

If the President were free enough to devote some attention to it, he could achieve it.



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