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Establishment of Endowment Fund for Weizmann Institute is Urged

Only the establishment of a general endowment fund will give the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovoth a financial stability commensurate with its function as the leading scientific force in Israel, Meyer Weisgal, chairman of the Institute’s executive council, today told the opening session of a meeting of the Institute’s board of governors here.

The three-day session, presided over by Dewey D. Stone, board chairman and head of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute, has brought together members of the board from Israel, United States, Britain and many other countries in Europe and Latin America, as well as representatives of groups functioning in various countries in behalf of the Institute. Four Nobel Prize winners will participate in the sessions: Prof P.M.B. Blackett of London; Prof. Ernest B. Chain of Rome; Dr. H.A. Krebs of Oxford, and Sir Robert Robinson of London.

Mr. Weisgal, who outlined the financial situation of the Institute, said that it had stumbled from one crisis to another and that the only way to free it from a “hand-to-mouth” existence was to establish a general endowment fund. A “modest beginning” had been made two years ago when the Institute’s American committee started an investment fund, he said.

The Institute’s program for the next four years, Mr. Weisgal disclosed, committed it to expenditures of 25,000,000 Israeli pounds. Its foreseeable income until 1960 amounts to 16,000,000 pounds. To cover this deficit, he recommended that the Institute renegotiate financial agreements with the Israel Government and the Jewish Agency to bring in an additional 2,800,000 pounds and that the American committee be asked to underwrite the sum of $1,000,000 toward meeting the deficit and retiring the Institute’s debts in Israel and the Unite States.

The Israel Government should be asked to increase its present token grant of 220,000 pounds annually to 1,000,000 pounds–in proportion to subsidies given the Hebrew University and Technion–he suggested. The British committee for the institute should be urged to increase its annual income by 50,000 pounds sterling. To these funds, Mr. Weisgal continued, would be added royalties, windfalls and fees from special projects–to bring the total to some 10,000,000 pounds.

On the administrative side, Mr. Weisgal also proposed an overhaul. He recommended the establishment of an administrative force of a president; three vice-presidents in charge, respectively, of scientific direction, administration and staff, and finances; and a secretary general to act as liaison among the top executives. Mr. Weisgal further recommended that the present executive council be merged with the board of governors which would meet twice a year to review results and formulate policy.

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