intention to contract with the NRC for two types of services. At one level, the Veterans Administration desired help from the National Research Council with the direction of its extramural research, expecting the NRC to convene a supervisory committee for the research program and to issue contracts to the institutions carrying out the resulting research. The Veterans Administration also sought a follow-up program for which the NRC would provide "a statistical service to investigate military records and help in the development of research problems."
Pleased with this interest, DeBakey, Beebe, and the committee still saw the need for "broad financial participation" on the part of "all the interested federal medical agencies." They hoped that, at the least, the new entity would be headed by a "first-class medical executive'' and would attract "medical analysts of the highest caliber.'' They wanted the new agency to be assured of five years of funding. Writing at a time when federal support for medical research through the National Institutes of Health had not yet become routine, they believed that this required access to nonfederal funds either as grants or "as guarantees against the failure of federal funds."11
The bottom-line recommendation was that the surgeons general and the VA's chief medical director should take steps that would enable the NRC's Division of Medical Sciences to establish "a continuing committee on clinical research and follow-up, with provision for administrative officers, professional and secretarial assistance ... as well as funds for the support of a broadly conceived research program."12 Beebe and DeBakey estimated that it would cost at least $200,000 to start the effort. As studies began, the annual amount needed would rise to $500,000. The report concluded with examples of the studies the new entity might undertake. These ranged from studies of infectious hepatitis to examinations of the personalities of military heroes.13
DeBakey and Beebe's draft report gained quick approval from the Committee on Veterans Medical Problems. Dr. Roy McClure of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit expressed positive "delight" with the proposed program, which he called "very sound." Advising the group not to change a word of the report, Dr. Paul Magnuson of the Veterans Administration said that "experience would indicate the necessary changes in due time." The priority was to get the program up and running. Toward this end, the committee endorsed the report with only minor modifications. 14