Irving Fisher to American Association for the Advancement of Science, April 22, 1908

Committee Of One Hundred
460 Prospect Street, New Haven, Conn.
22 April 1908

Dear Sir: —

I am writing to you as a member of the Legislative Council of the Committee of One Hundred in reference to the conference of the State and Territorial Boards of Health which General Wyman, the Surgeon General of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, has called for April 27th. In case you are yourself connected with your State Board of Health, you may be interested in the enclosed data expressing the general opinions, as gathered by our Legislative Committee on important bills, concerning General Wyman's bureau, now before committees in the House and Senate. If you do not expect to go to the conference yourself I would suggest that you hand the data to the delegate whom your State Board of Health is to send, or else transmit this letter to the State Board of Health for them to give to the proper person, at the same time stating your interest in the work of the Committee of One Hundred.

I wrote to General Wyman under date of April 7th on behalf of the Committee of One Hundred, and at the request of the Executive Committee and the Legislative Committee of the Committee of One Hundred, asking if he could call a conference of the health officers in order that they might discuss the above mentioned bills, namely, Senate bills S. 6101 and S.6102 or their equivalent in the House, H.R. 18792 and H.R. 18794, of which I would suggest that you get copies. General Wyman writes me under date of April 19th that he has called this conference by wire and that it is expected to discuss the bills.

The Committee of One Hundred desires to cooperate with General Wyman in securing such legislation as will best serve the interest of the public health. Our sub-committee on legislation consists of the following men:

Hon. George Shiras, Ill, Chairman, Washington

Dr. George M. Kober, Washington [page 2]

Dr. John S. Fulton, Washington

Dr. Jos. N. McCormack, Bowling Green, Ky.

Mr. Austen G. Fox, New York City

Mr. Adna F. Weber, Albany, N.Y.

Prof. Jeremiah W. Jenks, Ithaca, N.Y.

Hon. Charles J. Faulkner, Washington

Hon. Ben. B. Lindsey, Denver

Dr. G. Lloyd Magruder, Washington

Dr. William Creighton Woodward, Washington

Dr. Alexander Lambert, New York

Dr. Z. T. Sowers, Washington

This sub-committee has reported on several bills now before Congress, including the two bills above mentioned. They voted to withhold approval on these two bills until a conference of state health officers should be called to discuss these bills. General Wyman, to our great satisfaction, has called such a conference for the 27th. While the Committee of One Hundred has no desire to determine the proceedings of this conference, of which it does not form a part, it has been suggested that the members of our legislative council would be desirous of knowing the attitude of the Committee of One Hundred and the criticisms and suggestions which have been secured through the activity of our sub-committee on legislation.

[I] therefore enclose on another sheet a brief resume of these criticisms and suggestions.

The Committee of One Hundred, through its sub-committee, has [reached] the very definite conclusion that the efficiency of the federal health work will be best subserved if the existing health bureaus of the government are concentrated in one department, such as the Department of the Interior, instead of being scattered as they are now in the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, etc., where they have no proper place. The great movement which the Committee of One Hundred represents ought to be able, when the transfers are effected, to secure for the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service, as for the other bureaus, additional appropriations and powers, but a concentration of these bureaus in a single department is a prerequisite of such expansion.

You will be interested to know that the acceptances to membership [in] the American Health League of the Committee of One Hundred are coming in [at] the rate of about sixty-five a day. The membership already numbers [about] 8,000.

Very Sincerely yours,
Irving Fisher [signed]