This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Dr. Terry, Surgeon General, is supposed to talk about a trip to the Soviet Union and public health there, but the question and answer session tends more towards smoking prevention and health risks instead.
Jim Sheldon introduces Dr. Terry. Before the talk, there is a light-hearted reference to the number of smokers in the room, including the doctor himself, and perhaps the he would like to talk about that issue?
After a brief talk, a question and answer period. Any comments on cigarette buying skyrocketing since the new report was published? "Skyrocketing" isn't quite accurate; it's disappointing nonetheless. The problem of smoking cigarettes is not going to be conquered by converting smokers; it's going to depend on success of appealing to the youth. Concern about the printing of a warning on packaging? Disappointed in the lack of support from Congress on this. President's proposal for an amendment to increase educational campaign was defeated in Congress. Informational educational approaches are more effective than regulation and laws. How effective would labeling even be?
What are the Soviets doing on this same matter? He's not aware of anything being done by them.
Comment on the report by the Tobacco Institute? In complete contrast to all of the scientific reports which have been issued in this country and abroad.
Effects of air pollution on public health? This issue is not being ignored by public health efforts. Clean Air Act, air sampling network stations, research on type and nature of air pollution on people. Committee clearly indicated that it studied all research in relation to air pollution and still felt that lung cancer is principally caused by smoking.
In Soviet Union, any marked contrasts to US practice? No. Different approaches, but relative similarity of problems and approaches.
Major problems facing the Soviet Union in the field of urban health? Similar to the US. Population expansion, growth of cities, urban health facilities, sewage disposal.
Are detergents used in the Soviet Union? Yes. Sources of pollution are the same as ours. Lack of automobiles reduces air pollution, sure.
Value of the scientific exchange program between the US and Soviet Union? (the speaker has changed)
Foreign aid from the Soviet Union? It was not inquired in to. Well known that there is a great deal of support in the field of health to many less well developed countries from the Soviet Union. Significant proportion of health personnel is sent to work in other countries.
Free medical care companies contribute to the solution of the USSR health problem? There is no free medical care: there are many ways of paying for it. No more successful system than that of the US.
Appropriations for national cancer institute, leukemia? Certain types of cancers may be caused by viruses. Isolation of viruses in patients with cancer.
Where was the leukemia virus isolated? He doesn't know. There were 20 - 30 laboratories.
Pollution control methods in the USSR? (Mr. Pond answers)
Host invites Dr. Terry to fill the last two minutes, but this audio is not available here.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70388
Municipal archives id: T548
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
They mean Telamon on my left. Leg bar member of the Overseas Press Club chairman of the information from. Dr Carol has the senior vice president. Research and American Cancer Society. Assistant Surgeon General Allen on. G.M.C. Eleanor a member of the Board of Governors of the Overseas Press Club and the man who will be who will introduce all round yes with Sheldon. Will skip the general for a minute and go to his charming wife Mrs loser Kerry. And Mr J. Stewart Hunter the director of public relations. Public Health Service. At least government. I would like to make an announcement here for. August twenty fifth Tuesday or we're having a liberation in the celebration of the liberation of Paris. Tuesday night. And that's the only. Other information except that. We have a number of guests a bill for street here and they're all here but the bill for for the night. And now I'm Mr Sheldon and you make no. Thank you well. We'll run this meeting on I sort of clockwork schedule without formality as you know all of our press luncheons are so conducted where extremely happy to have here with us as our guest today the surgeon general of the United States Dr Luther L. Carey. Dr Terry joined the Public Health Service and one hundred forty two and one hundred sixty he was the assistant director of the National Health Institute of the late President John F. Kennedy reached out his arm and plucked Doc carry away from and that job and made him surgeon general and he has been at it ever since he is just back late last night from my tour of the Soviet Union where he went as the chairman of a group of six American medical scientists and public health scientists including respond here for the purpose of studying public health and hospital methods in the Soviet Union this was an exchange under the Lysenko Thompson agreement a similar group of Soviet scientists will come here within a few months to repair and invest particular visit and docks Terry and left the group in the Soviet Union a few days before the end of its entire trip most Pran taking over as chairman then Dr Terry want on for Rachel visits in West Berlin Sweden Norway Denmark England and Ireland. Where experience was happy that he is with us today and I know that he has extremely important things to say to us I noticed. Terry that drowned her and I just pawned and yourself and I are all smoking pipes today and this lady's maid to say that if you have exhausted the subject of the Soviet Union there is another park in which the surgeon general was concerned on which you may also want to ask him some questions I give you now with much pleasure our distinguished guests oh just a moment Well the waiters please keep out of range of Lee television cameras here and leave the dessert plate for clearing until after this is all over this is after all a press luncheon and and you'll just have to be quietly I give you now the surgeon general Dr Perry. Thank you Dr Shelton and members of the overseas press and yes I can assure you that it is a particular privilege for me to have the opportunity of appearing before you. I must admit that my wife and I having been away for almost a month are a bit anxious to get back home and see the children and many of our friends but it same time it's a real opportunity for us to stop here for a few hours and have an opportunity to speak to you. The brevity of your introduction Mr Sheldon maybe and I flatter myself hoping that it wasn't just because of shortage of time it was very pleasing to me because. Sometimes you know when you get out speaking and the person who's an Urdu saying you have to get up and speak for fifteen minutes explaining who you are you wonder why in the dickens you have a limp there in the first place. And thank you sir for your courtesy. As best as Dr Shelton mentioned to you. Our delegation. Left the United States on July twenty second a delegation the official exchange between the Soviet Union and United States and this particular one was on urban planning consisted of six members. Including a politician if you want to call him that the president of the Common Council of Detroit Mr Edward Connor a city county health officer Dr dumpy from Allegheny County and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Missed the oldest actor and the Economist and sociologist from the board foundation. Missed the pond who is assistant surgeon general in my office are planning. Our regional sanitary engineer and office in San Francisco California Mr Kant and myself in addition we were fortunate enough to have along some very pleasing an attractive individual such as my wife and their our sister and one of two other ladies. We arrived in the Soviet Union and our mission as you might gather from the title of this particular exchange was to try to find out how the. Government individuals and responsible public officials in the Soviet Union faced the problem of urban health plan they like we face a problem in our cities are getting larger that so many people are moving as we get mechanization our agriculture and rural developments that more people are moving to our cities and the more people we get together the more problems that we have and air pollution and water pollution and housing and sanitation facilities and medical care installations and all those sort of thing was very interesting in this respect that though we sent to the original Lacey's Aruban arrangement OUR DREAM Act in one thousand nine hundred seventy I believe it was we literally have dozens of exchanges with the Soviet Union but most of them may have been very sharply pinpointing such as heart disease or Poliomyelitis or cancer or something of this nature. And I think you can you may be able to appreciate the confusion. That existed in terms of here this particular delegation moving into the Soviet Union trying to meet our counterparts there and trying to get all of the information that we we wanted and which I'm convinced that they in general are quite anxious to provide. But it was hard for them to understand for instance why we wanted to see an urban renewal area why we wanted to see some buildings that were being torn down our why we wanted to do this and that and not go to a hospital or a polyclinic our research institute are something of this nature nevertheless we did get into this. We visited quite a few cities there during the time I was with the delegation we were at Moscow Leningrad that Lisi and Sochi. With regard to the latter two down in Georgia I think you might be interested as to why we were anxious to go there well it was a question a seeing some of the resort but still it is some of the convalescent facilities and some of those. Types of institutions which have been developed on the in the general Georgian and Black Sea area I had a very delightful visit there we were visual guests of the Ministry of Health and at the time I left Mr Pond took over the chairmanship of the delegation and they spent another little over two weeks there. Seeing other areas in the Soviet Union on down in the chromate Crimea and then back up to Minsk and so. After I left the Soviet Union I came to Stockholm we spent a few days in Stockholm and West Berlin and Copenhagen London and Arlen visiting the health authorities and the ministers of health there and just arrived home last evening. All in all though it was tiresome in many respects as I think you can appreciate where we were literally on the run all day long and in many instances half the night to me as an American it was gratifying to see the wonderful hospitality and reception which we see in all of these areas and in all of these countries. Insofar as our visit to the Soviet Union is a concern. And I think I can say this to you that one of the things that was impressive to me is the fact that. Much more of their planning for health and health care and health facilities is done on a centralized national basis then it's true in our country it is true that in certain of the Republics a great deal of our a certain amount of discreet and I should say is left to the Ministry of Health in that particular public with regards to the development of help sanitation facilities but it same time one is impressed by much more on the overall planning at the national level. And authority and certain respects than we have in this country naturally a a delegation of this sort was very heavily invested in what we refer to as environmental health water pollution air pollution housing occupational health and all of this sort of thing I think I can assure you and this was reassuring I think to me in terms of our rising problems and its relation in the United States that into every country which we visited in every country which we visited once a very clear recognition of the rising importance and complicated aspects of water pollution are chemicals and then environment with their pollution or whatever I promised your. Program chairman here that I would not. Speak to long before I gave the group an opportunity and I realize Jenna did ask questions and I realize that you have a. Deadline And with regards to the duration of these meetings so that without going any further at the present time I would like you may to stop and. To give you an opportunity to ask any questions that you would like up me with regards to what I've talked about or anything else which is of interest or concern to you. I'll repeat our recognize the working press first and repeat the questions for the benefit of the several radio networks here I hear we go on another subject since you are out we have a report that figure out by by has skyrocketed Have you any comment. In the first place from all of the information and I can obtain I don't think the term skyrocketing is quite appropriate saying I realize that there has been sense all along in March or early April an increase in the sale of cigarettes per capita in the United States following the very sharp drop that occurred after our report appeared on January eleventh. I think that this is a thing that we reasonably expected to occur in the United States but frankly I'm disappointed or disappointed that it has occurred to the degree with which it did occur some of you may recall questions that were asked of me along in January and ask if we expected Don't count of the same thing that the United Kingdom and other areas had encountered after similar reports had been issued and I said confidently at that time that yes we did expect something of that sort of reaction but that I was quite confident that the American people would not react. As completely in that direction as they did I must admit that I'm disappointed in that respect because they have there are a great number of people that have ceased smoking and have automatically are eventually gone back to it and in this direction I would like to take the opportunity of saying in this respect that I think it teaches us one thing and that is quite a clear lesson and that is that the problem of smoking cigarettes is not going to be conquered by appealing to the persons who have been smoking for in fifteen twenty twenty five or thirty years that actually After all if we are to be successful in this country and program against smoking of cigarettes it is going to depend upon our success in appealing to the youth of this country either not are not to begin smoking or to appeal to them that. This is a thing which is not necessary it isn't even smart and therefore that he if you have started that while it is so easy to do so next question. Are you concerned with the delay and the warning or printing of a warning on cigarette packages. Without trying good of a jury question. I frankly am much more disappointed with the lack of support willingness on the part of our Congress to support increased educational and research programs in this direction I think one of the real blows that we have received recently was the president's proposal to the Congress for an approach an amendment R S a supplemental appropriation. Roughly two million dollars to the public health service to increase our educational informational campaign during the coming year and this has been defeated in the cons this I think is the most disappointing actually we in the public health service and I'm still not trying to avoid your question we in the Public Health Service have felt that it's much more important to resort to informational educational approaches and to increase stand redirected research than it is to clamp on the laws or regulations for control that doesn't mean I do not mean to say by that that I disapprove. The question of labeling of cigarettes I think labeling with a health hazard warning I think the real question and I haven't missed direction is how effective it would be even if it occurred Therefore I would go back to what I said earlier that I think our real approach to this is an informational educational. Program coupled with an increased and redirected research effort rather than trying to pass specific laws though in certain instances I can appreciate that labeling are other types of activity might have some significant effect X. question what are they saw the ads doing on the same. The question was not quite that as I understand it because I was misquoted. She said she said that I remarked that the Soviet government was as aware as the United States government I did not say that the thing that I said was many of the Soviet or even most of the Soviet scientists with whom I taught were in concurrence where a way around I've been where in concurrence with the substance of our advisory committee report Insofar as I'm aware the Soviet government per se has not taken any specific acknowledgment our stand on the subject beyond the question of the cognizance and the recognition and in general concurrence of the scientists with whom I taught I was not aware of anything specifically being done by the Soviet government towards the curbing of cigarette smoking. Would you care to comment on the recent report by the Tobacco Institute I would not only care to I would welcome the opportunity. And the first place I would point out to you as has been pointed out by many of our responsible organizations like the American Cancer Society that this report is in complete contrast to all of the scientific reports of any magnitude which have been issued in this country or abroad. Beyond that I can only say that I think that most of the scientific reports that we have hat have been based on a at least a less potentially prejudiced view point. No Dr Kerry that I remember our calling and several of the officers of the American Cancer Society are at that table which are right there in America her Olivia little. Next this is Nathan our club expert on railways and. Inquired how it happened that instead of taking up the black film that appears the dust bellman the air po