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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

June 24, 1963 -- Amenia, New York -- Interview 19


Lasker:

Well, as I've said, I organized the National Mental Health Committee in 1946 and '47. This was really the start of it.

Q:

This was because you couldn't get anywhere with the other setup, with Mr. duPont.

Lasker:

That's right.

Now, although the Institute had no funds for the first year of its existence, from fiscal '46 to '47, by fiscal '53 we had gotten the funds up to 10 million 518 thousand dollars. I felt it was much easier to support and increase these federal funds than to raise funds with the lack of talent of the newlymerged voluntary organization, the National Association for Mental Health. Consequently, I invited Charlie Shclaefer, who had also been on the board of the Association, to form the committee with me, and invited all the governors of every state to be honorary chairmen. All but about six accepted. Among those who did not accept were Governor Dewey of New York and Governor James Bynnes of South Carolina.

Q:

What role did you envision for these governors?

Lasker:

Well, I wanted to interest them in what their states could do in their state mental hospitals and make them realize that they needed to appropriate research and training funds and



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