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IMMEDIATE RELEASE, OCTOBER 18, 1961
OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY

THE WHITE HOUSE
REMARKS OF THE PRESIDENT
TO
TO MEMBERS OF THE PANEL ON MENTAL RETARDATION
ROSE GARDEN

I want to express my appreciation to the members of this Panel who have agreed to serve on a most important subject. I am especially glad that—as the Doctor said—this is not merely a national effort but will attempt to coordinate our research and information and results with those of other countries who have been working on this problem for some years.

This is a matter which I think should be brought out into the sunlight and given a full national commitment, and I want to express my thanks to all the members of this Panel who have been willing to serve, because I think that we can make easier the lives of many, many thousands of people and their families. It is high time that the country gives its time and attention to this.

I want to express my thanks to all the doctors on the Panel, and to the Secretary of HEW and to Secretary Goldberg, who is in a related field, and to the members of the institutes of health who have shown what can be done by a concentrated national commitment. So that we want to do the same in this area, which is one of the most heartrending tragedies of life, and we want to do something about it.

We are all much in your debt.

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