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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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status of the bill and keep in touch with Dr. Stevenson and me about it. Dr. Stevenson was then the Executive Director of the National Committee for Mental Hygiene.

I had asked Dr. Stevenson to suggestto the Public Health Service in early '45 that a National Mental Health Institute similar to the National Cancer Institute would be a very good idea. The Public Health Service had started to work on such a bill as a result of Stevenson's suggest on.

I then got some figures together showing the small number of psychiatrists trained to take care of the Mentally ill and gave them to Dr. Kubie, who gave them to Tom Stokes for his column in a newspaper, I think the Post or the World-Telegram. Representative Percy Priest read the Stokes column, which was syndicated, and had been interested in the sad situation in the mental health hospitals he had seen. He, in turn, asked the Public Health Service to give him a bill to introduce. They gave him the Mental Health Institute Bill, which was similar to the National Cancer Institute bill, which Dr. Stevenson had suggested they prepare as a result of my suggestion to him. Percy Priest got the bill through the House, but it probably would have died in the Senate without out help.

We urged Pepper on, who got it through the Senate, in June, 1946. In other words, it was from tinkers to errors to chance that this got gone. We did have the help of Eugene Meyer, who was the owner of the Washington Post, who did testify in behalf of the bill, and who was not dynamic about it but whose sympathy could be considered very helpful.

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