Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 9

Records of the Committees on Education and Labor

Committees discussed in this chapter:

History & Jurisdiction

9.1. The powers granted to Congress under the Constitution did not include the regulation of either education or labor, and during its first hundred years Congress passed little legislation in these areas. Since then legislation affecting these areas has generally been based on the common defense, general welfare, or commerce clauses of Article I.

9.2. The first standing Committee on Education and Labor was established just after the Civil War. In 1867 Representative Jehu Baker of Illinois submitted a resolution instructing the Select Committee on Rules to inquire into the expediency of establishing a committee on labor, because, he said, "...in view of the greater liberty and larger recognition of manhood which have followed the suppression of the rebellion, it is eminently fitting that the Government should be placed, if possible, in a better relation to the working people of the country."1   The Select Committee on Rules considered the resolution and submitted a rule establishing a committee on education and labor, citing the recent establishment of a federal office of education as justification for adding the educational jurisdiction to that originally proposed. The following rule was adopted, thereby creating the Committee on Education and Labor:

  • Rule—There shall be appointed at each Congress a Committee on Education and Labor, to consist of nine members, to whom shall be referred all petitions, bills, reports, and resolutions on those subjects, and who shall from time to time report thereon.2

9.3. At the opening of the 48th Congress in 1883, the Rules Committee proposed to amend the House rules by dropping "and Labor" from the name of the Committee on Education and Labor (thereby leaving a committee on education), and creating a new committee on labor. During the floor debate over the proposal, Representative Albert Willis, a member of the Education and Labor Committee, argued that labor and education were closely related, education being the primary source of improvement for the industrial classes, so the committee should be left intact.3   Representative John O'Neill of Missouri argued for splitting the committee so as to create a separate committee to consider matters affecting the working classes, "a committee in this House to which the representatives of the laboring element can submit their claims." He said, "There must be a vent through which the feelings of that element can reach the law-making power. You do not want this terrible rumbling and uneasiness to culminate as it did formerly in the celebrated railroad strike... Give them then the right to be heard."4   The rules were subsequently changed to provide for the Committee on Education and the Committee on Labor, both of which functioned from 1883 until 1946.

9.4. By the end of World War II there were 48 standing committees in the House; in order to reduce the number of committees and increase the efficiency of operation, the jurisdictions of many of the committees were consolidated under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Under that act, which reduced the total number of standing committees to 18, the Committees on Education and on Labor were combined to form the Committee on Education and Labor. Although the combination of jurisdictions in this committee has persisted through the 100th Congress, the debate over the combination has not ended. Testimony before the 93rd Congress Select Committee on Committees (1973-74) suggested that recent increases in education-oriented legislation had again raised the question of whether the committee should be split into an education committee and a labor committee.

This chapter provides description of the records of House committees from 1789 through 1968.

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Records of the Committee on Education and Labor, 40th-48th Congresses (1867-1883)

History and Jurisdiction

9.5. The Committee on Education and Labor was created in 1867 and functioned until 1883, when its jurisdiction was split between a committee on education and a committee on labor.

9.6. The committee's jurisdiction included all legislation concerning education and labor. The committee considered legislation concerning educational institutions, such as agricultural colleges; the education of certain classes of citizens, such as freedmen and orphans; special educational needs in regions and areas of the country; other educational issues at the national level; the conditions of labor in the United States; labor organizations; competition in the labor market; and other labor-related topics. Many activities of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's Bureau) fell under its jurisdiction.

Records of the Committee on Education and Labor, 40th-48th Congresses (1867-1883)

Record Type Volume Dates (Congresses)
Minute Books 2 volumes 1869-73 (41st-42d)
Docket Books 1 volume 1869-71 (41st)
Petitions and Memorials 19 inches 1867-69 (40th), 1877-83 (45th-47th), 1871-75 (42d-43d), 1877-83 (45th-47th)
Committee Papers 2 inches 1871-75 (42d-43d),
1877-81 (45th-46th)
Total volume 1 foot 9 inches and 3 vols. (3 in.)  

9.7. The records of this committee are sparse and were preserved only sporadically. There is a minute book that contains the minutes of most of the committee meetings during the 41st and 42d Congresses. The minutes from part of the 2d session of the 41st Congress (Apr. 7 through June 29, 1870) are bound separately and consist of the proceedings of the committee during the investigation of charges against Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard, Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen's Bureau). The docket book from the 41st Congress lists all the bills, resolutions, petitions and memorials, and other documents that were referred to the committee and contains several lists of national and international workmen's organizations, their officers, and newspapers published by these organizations.

9.8. Petitions and memorials (19 in.) make up the bulk of the unpublished records of the committee that have been preserved. The records demonstrate the interest of the public in both major jurisdictional areas of the committee and include a wide range of suggestions for policy improvements.

9.9. On educational matters, the petitions suggest a variety of ways that the Federal Government could support the educational needs of the nation: the establishment of a school for war orphans in East Tennessee (40A-H5.1), the use of unclaimed refunds from a cotton tax for educational purposes (45A-H8.11), aid to the education of the blind (45A-H8.2), the use of part of "colored" soldiers' bounties for the improvement of "colored" schools (46A-H8.1), the creation of a national commission on spelling reform (46A-H8.1), and Federal aid to States and territories on a basis of literacy (47A-H7.1). The largest number of education-related petitions were received during the Congress of 1877-79 from an organized petition drive that suggested the proceeds from the sale of public lands be distributed for use in educational purposes (45A-H8.6, 7 in.).

9.10. Petitions and memorials relating to labor include demands for the establishment of a labor statistics bureau (46A-H8.1), the incorporation of the Iron Workers of America (45A-H8.7), and the prohibition of Chinese immigration (45A-H8.9, 46A-H8.1). The largest collection of labor-related petitions from this committee were from an organized petition drive between 1877 and 1881 demanding extension of the 8-hour workday law, which applied only to certain government laborers (45A-H8.8, 46A- H8.1, 11 in. total).

9.11. Committee papers contain copies of bills and resolutions referred to the committee as well as correspondence and documents relating to the subjects in its jurisdiction. The records include resolutions adopted by the National Educational Association in 1874: Favoring local control of education; supporting both the idea of a federal department of education to gather and distribute information and the use of revenues from the sale of public lands for educational purposes; and suggesting that Federal aid be provided for education in the District of Columbia (43A-F9.2). There are also an 1877 report prepared by the American Social Science Association on the need for special schools, referred to as "developing schools," to teach the trades (45A-F9.1); the Report on Capital and Labor published in Philadelphia in 1873 by the Committee on Industrial Interests and Labor (42A-F8.2); and letters and documents received from other organizations and individuals. The committee papers from the 42d Congress (1871-73) include a file on the subject of granting aid to the American Printing House and the University for the Blind (42A-F8.1, 1 in.); the file contains petitions, memorials, correspondence, a draft of a bill (H.R. 2558) that was prepared by what would today be called a lobbyist, and comprehensive briefs prepared by advocates and opponents of the bill.

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Records of the Committee on Education, 48th-79th Congresses (1883-1946)

History and Jurisdiction

9.12. When the Committee on Education and Labor was separated into two committees in 1883, the jurisdiction of the new Committee on Education included all legislation and documents relating to the subject of education. This included proposed legislation providing aid from the Federal Government to common schools, aid to the education of deprived or handicapped persons, the establishment of colleges for the benefit of agricultural and mechanical education, and efforts to deal with illiteracy at the national level. The committee functioned until 1946 when it was reunited with the Committee on Labor under the Legislative Reorganization Act to form the new Committee on Education and Labor.

Records of the Committee on Education, 48th-79th Congresses (1883-1946)

Record Type Volume Dates (Congresses)
Minute Books 8 volumes 1891-99 (52d-55th), 1901-03 (57th), 1937-38 (75th), 1943-46 (78th-79th)
Docket Books 6 volumes 1891-1903 (52d-57th), 1919-21 (65th)
Petitions and Memorials 5 feet 1883-89 (48th-50th), 1891-1903 (52d-57th), 1909-21 (61st-65th), 1923-25 (68th), 1929-31 (71st), 1939-41 (76th-77th), 1945-46 (79th)
Committee Papers 3 feet 1885-87 (49th), 1891-1903 (52d-57th), 1911-15 (62d-63d), 1917-21 (65th-66th), 1923-27 (68th-69th), 1929-31 (71st), 1937-46 (75th-79th)
Bill Files 4 feet 1909-11 (61st), 1917-25 (65th-68th), 1927-31 (70th-71st), 1933-46 (73d-79th)
Total volume 12 feet and
14 vols.

9.13. It can be seen in the table above that there are many gaps in the records of this committee. Minute books and docket books are both very incomplete. There are no unpublished records for 1923-27 and 1929-31.

9.14. The petitions and memorials, 1883-1946, provide evidence of a continuing demand for federal aid to education in general and for federal aid to a variety of special educational projects. An 1884 petition with the names of over 5,000 readers of The Continent Magazine asked for aid to education (48A-H8.1). Federal aid to public schools was the subject of a petition campaign that produced over 5 inches of petitions between 1887 and 1889 (50A-H7.1). An organized campaign in 1929-30 produced over 3 inches of petitions supporting the Robinson-Capper free public school bill (71A-H2.1). Petitions for general aid to education also appear through the World War II years (76A- H5.1, 77A-H5.2, 79A-H4.1).

9.15. Other petitions appealed for more specialized educational aid. For instance, an 1883 petition from the National Educational Association demanded that the Federal Government make some provision for educational facilities in Alaska because it would be embarrassing to the United States if the educational resources that had been provided by Russia before U.S. purchase were not continued by its new owners (48A-H8.1). There are petitions from an 1885-87 organized drive for Federal support of temperance education (49A-H8.1, 3 ft.), and petitions suggesting spelling reform (52A-H6.1, 53A- H7.1), the establishment of a national university (54A-H8.1), aid to education for the blind (57A- H5.1), the establishment of a children's bureau (62A-H6.1), censorship of motion pictures (63A-H5.2, 64A-H5.1), vocational education (64A-H5.4), and education for handicapped children (77A-H5.1).

9.16. The committee papers, 1885-1946, generally contain copies of bills and resolutions referred to the committee, copies of reports and printed hearings produced by the committee, and various documents submitted to the committee.

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House Resolution 7689. Committee Papers of the Committee on Education from the 53rd Congress. RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives.

9.17. There are, for instance, correspondence and reports on adult illiteracy (65A- F5.1), vocational education (65A-F5.3), and a kindergarten division in the Bureau of Education (65A- F5.2) in the records of the 1917-19 period. The records from the 76th-79th Congresses (1939-46) contain correspondence files that document interest in such war-related subjects as the deferment of medical students from the draft (76A-F9.2, 77A-F9.1, 78A-F8.1) and the effect of wartime activities on colleges and universities (79A-F8.1). The committee papers also include a report on disbursements under the Agricultural College Act (54A-F8).

9.18. The records show evidence of the eagerness of American intellectuals and inventors to persuade Congress to appropriate funds for the testing and dissemination of new educational methods and tools. A statement from the Citizens Committee of the District of Columbia for Scientific Temperance Education explained the origin of the concept of scientific temperance education and supported a bill before the House to provide for such instruction (49A-F9.2). A file of material supporting passage of H.R. 303, a bill "To test and try the science of spelling," contains a long letter to the committee written by Charles A. Story, the inventor of the science of spelling, supportive letters from dozens of citizens from Illinois, copies of H.R. 303, and copies of several books published by Story, including Story's Blending and Spelling Book and Complete Word-Builder for All Nations and The Last Three Pages of the Music of the Spelling Book (49A-F9.1, 2 in.). The committee papers from 1892 contain a letter and flyer from L. S. Benson, the inventor of a geometric method for the trisection of an angle, which claim to provide a proof of his geometry and support his protests against the appropriation of Federal funds for the teaching of geometry at the military academies at West Point and Annapolis because this constitutes the teaching of false knowledge (52A-F8.2).

9.19. The bill files also contain records from and about the work of scientists and inventors. The bill file on H.R. 6490, a bill to require the Commissioner of Education to devise a plan to eliminate illiteracy in the United States, includes a letter from the inventor of the groove impression method of teaching beginners the fundamentals of writing, offering her assistance to the committee (65A-D4). The files for 1913-14 contain a transcript of a hearing on H. Res. 408, a resolution to establish the priority of the discovery of the North Pole (63A-F6).

9.20. The bill files from this committee consist almost entirely of printed copies of bills and the related printed hearings and reports. The records in the 65th and 75th through 79th Congresses do, however, contain unpublished documentation and provide insight into public opinion related to the legislation that was referred to the committee. For example, the records from 1917 through 1919 (65A-D4, 1 ft.) contain substantial files on H.R. 244, a bill to create a bureau for the deaf and dumb; H.R. 6445, a bill to establish a national conservatory of music and art; S. 3805 and H.R. 9686, bills to establish engineering experiment stations to measure various aspects of military and naval preparedness; H.R. 6490, a bill to require that methods and plans for the elimination of illiteracy be developed; H.R. 11367, a bill to provide for vocational rehabilitation for veterans; H.R. 15400, a bill to create a department of education.

9.21. The bill files from the 76th through 79th Congresses (1939-46) contain substantial documentation on such subjects as vocational education for disabled veterans (78A-D7, 79A-D10), child care for the children of mothers employed in the war industries of the United States (78A-D7), aviator education (76A-D10, 78A-D7), and Federal aid to physical health education for national defense purposes (76A-D10). The bills that elicited the largest amount of mail from citizens were the so-called Hinshaw bills from the 77th Congress (1941-42)—bills that proposed to eliminate the teaching of foreign languages in schools during wartime. The files on two of the Hinshaw bills, H.R. 6820 and H.R. 7422, contain postcards from hundreds of citizens protesting the unconstitutionality and inappropriateness of the proposed legislation (77A-D9).

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Records of the Committee on Labor, 48th-79th Congresses (1883-1946)

History and Jurisdiction

9.22. The committee was created in 1883, when its jurisdiction was removed from the old Education and Labor Committee and two separate committees were created. Despite the establishment of a committee devoted entirely to labor issues, little significant labor legislation was passed before the depression of the 1930s.

9.23. The committee's jurisdiction included the wages and hours of labor; the arbitration of labor difficulties; the use of convict labor, alien labor, contract labor, and military labor in competition with "honest labor"; and the conditions of laborers employed in Government service. The committee considered methods of directing the work of Federal employees, including the use of the Taylor System of shop management and problems relating to child and woman labor; it also investigated such labor-related subjects as conditions in city slums and conditions of blacks in America and of saleswomen in the District of Columbia.

Records of the Committee on Labor, 48th-79th Congresses (1883-1946)

Record Type Volume Dates (Congresses)
Minute Books 17 volumes 1883-1913 (48th-62d), 1915-17 (64th), 1945-46 (79th)
Docket Books 17 volumes 1883-97 (48th-54th), 1899-1917 (56th-64th)
Petitions and Memorials 12 feet 1883-89 (48th-50th), 1891-1905 (52d-58th), 1907-11 (60th-61st), 1913-15 (63d), 1919-25 (66th-68th), 1927-29 (70th), 1931-46 (72d-79th)
Committee Papers 3 feet 1883-87 (48th-49th), 1891-1911 (52d-61st), 1913-19 (63d-65th), 1921-23 (67th), 1925-27 (69th),
1929-33 (71st-72d), 1935-46 (74th-79th)
Bill Files 8 feet 1903-13 (58th-62d), 1917-46 (65th-79th)
Total volume 23 feet and 34 volumes  

9.24. The activities of the committee during its early years (1883-1917) are documented in minute books and docket books, but these types of records are missing almost entirely after 1917.

9.25. Petitions and memorials referred to the committee reflect the variety of subjects included in its jurisdiction. There are several categories of petitions intended to protect American laborers from what they saw as unfair competition: demands for legislation limiting immigration in order to protect American labor, especially Chinese exclusion (52A-H12.1, 57A-H15.1); protection of free labor from competition from convict labor and prison-made goods (53A-H17.1, 54A- H17.3, 55A-H13.4, 63A-H16.3, 72A-H9.2); the prohibition of the importation of alien contract labor (48A-H13.2, 54A-H17.1); and protection of private enterprise from unfair competition from government competition (72A-H9.5, 75A-H9.2).

9.26. Another topic that appeared repeatedly arose from the 8-hour work law passed in 1868 affecting government laborers. Workers sought its extension to private industry (48A-F13.1, 49A- H12.4, 52A-H12.3, 55A-H13.5, 58A-H13.1, 61A-H17.2, 63A-H16.4, 66A-H12.1, 75A-H9.5). The largest group of petitions in this committee's records involve the application of the 8-hour work law to the textile industry (75A-H9.5, 2 ft.).

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Letter from National Child Labor Committee Regarding Child Labor Reform sent on August 21, 1914 (HR63A-H16.2). RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives.

9.27. Throughout the period there are petitions and memorials indicating social and industrial problems that adversely affected American life and demanding that these problems be investigated and solutions proposed. There are petitions demanding the investigation of living conditions in U.S. city slums (52A-H12.6, 6 in.); the "investigation of acts of unlawful violence alleged to have been inflicted on account of crime" (53A-H17.2, 4 in.); the appointment of commissions to investigate the problems of labor and capital (54A-H17.2, 55A-H13.2) and to inquire into the condition of blacks in the United States (57A-H15.3); and an investigation of the causes of the strikes in the copper mines in Colorado and Michigan (63A-H16.10). Petitions were submitted from time to time about child labor (60A-H20.1, 63A-H16.2, 75A-H9.1, 79A-H10.5), the establishment of a children's bureau (61A-H17.1), and the working conditions of women (49A-H12.1, 79A-H10.5).

9.28. Also present are petitions demanding legislation to deal with labor/management disputes. The proposed solutions change over time; for instance, there are petitions denouncing the employment of private police in labor disputes (52A-H12.4), and petitions favoring industrial arbitration and an industrial commission to investigate labor problems (54A-H17.2), arbitration of railroad strikes (55A-H13.3), anti-injunction legislation (58A-H13.1), open shops (66A-H12.4), and the right to strike (66A-H12.5, 77A-H10.1). Other petitions and memorials documented sentiment on specific pieces of legislation, such as, the Wagner labor relations bill (74A-H9.4), the Fair Labor Standards Act (76A-H14), the Murray-Patman full-employment bill (79A-H10), and old-age and unemployment insurance (74A-H9).

9.29. The committee papers include copies of bills and resolutions that were referred to the committee, correspondence on various subjects within its jurisdiction, and printed reports and hearings generated by the committee.

9.30. The committee papers of the 53d Congress (1893-95) reflect the depression that had just overtaken the country. There are transcripts from an 1894 hearing that include the testimony of James S. Coxey on the financial and labor conditions in the country and, particularly, on a proposal to appoint a committee to devise a means to achieve the reemployment of jobless men (53A-F23.3), and correspondence and hearings transcripts on several bills introduced to create a national board to arbitrate employer/employee differences (53A-F23.4). Correspondence and reports from various State governments describe the extent to which they employ convict labor—an unfair source of competition for unemployed laboring men (53A-F23.4). Among the miscellaneous letters received during that Congress is one from the Superintendent of Charities for the District of Columbia describing a visit to his office on the morning of July 26, 1894, by two men who described themselves as members of "Kelly's Industrial Army" and asked for financial assistance to make a journey west in search of employment. The superintendent noted that under the laws of the District of Columbia he could do nothing to help them, but he had promised to forward their inquiry to the appropriate authority—the House Labor Committee (53A-F23.5).

9.31. A large number of transcripts of testimony given at hearings, some of which are unpublished, are found in both the committee papers and the bill file series. They include an 1892 hearing on the 8-hour law and convict labor in the same cover (52A-F23.2). Transcripts and related records from two subcommittee hearings on child and woman labor (59A-F22.3) include a copy of a March 1906 note from Theodore Roosevelt that expresses the President's interest in the pending bill to investigate the conditions of child and woman labor in the United States.

9.32. Other records include correspondence regarding the 8-hour law (56A-F20) and reports and messages from the President, such as a Presidential message entitled "Help For Those Who Toil" (75A-F23).

refer to caption

H.R. 8234, A Bill to Prevent Interstate Commerce in the Products of Child Labor. RG 233, U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives.

9.33. The bill files from the 58th through 71st Congresses (1903-31) are uneven and generally incomplete. While the bill files for several of the Congresses consist of very thin files on only a few bills or of copies of printed hearings and reports, the files of other Congresses contain valuable correspondence and hearing files. The files from the 58th Congress (1903-5), for instance, contain records from five hearings, including a hearing transcript on convict labor that was probably not printed (58A-D15). The bill files from the 62d Congress (1911-13) contain records of 11 pieces of legislation, including H. Res. 90, a resolution to investigate the Taylor System of shop management; H.R. 4694, a bill to establish a children's bureau in the Department of Commerce and Labor; H.R. 21094, a bill to create a commission on industrial relations; and H.R. 9061, a bill to limit the hours of laborers and mechanics on public works for the United States or the District of Columbia.

9.34. After the 72d Congress (1931-33), more records are present, but in most cases a large part of the files is made up of copies of printed hearings and reports. The bill files from the 75th Congress (1937-38) provide examples of the subjects found in bill files for other Congresses: S. 2475, a fair labor standards bill (5 in.); H.R. 6180, a bill proposing a civilian conservation corps; and H.R. 238, a bill to rehabilitate and stabilize labor conditions in the textile industry, prevent unemployment, provide minimum wages and maximum hours, and promote the general welfare. The public response to H.R. 238 is documented in over 2 feet of petitions received (75A-H9.4) and testimony contained in a nine-part printed hearing (75A-D21). The bill file on H.R. 4908, a bill to provide for the mediation of labor disputes, contains the original veto message from President Harry S. Truman (75A-D21).

Related Records 9.35. There are related records from the Select Committee to Investigate the National Labor Relations Board (76A-F45.1, 84 ft.). The NLRB was created in 1935, and by 1939 it was the center of a nationwide storm of criticism largely due to "the overzealousness of the Board in its conduct and its interpretation of the law."5 Hearings on proposed amendments to the National Labor Relations Act were held before the Senate Education and Labor Committee and the House Labor Committee in 1939, and, as a result of findings in these hearings, the select committee was formed in July of that year (see chapter 22).

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Records of the Committee on Education and Labor, 80th-90th Congresses (1947-1968)

History and Jurisdiction

9.36. Under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, the Committees on Education and on Labor were combined to form this committee. Its jurisdiction included:

  • (a) Measures relating to education and labor generally, (b) Child labor, (c) Columbia Institute for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind; Howard University; Freedmen's Hospital; and Saint Elizabeths Hospital, (d) Convict labor and the entry of goods made by convicts into interstate commerce, (e) Labor standards, (f) Labor statistics, (g) Mediation and arbitration of labor disputes, (h) Regulation or prevention of importation of foreign laborers under contract, (i) School-lunch program, (j) United States Employees' Compensation Commission, (k) Vocational rehabilitation, (l) Wages and hours of labor, and (m) Welfare of miners.

Records of the Committee on Education and Labor, 80th-90th Congresses (1947-1968)

Record Type Volume Dates (Congresses)
Minutes 2 feet 1947-48 (80th), 1953-68 (83d-90th)
Petitions and Memorials 1 foot 1947-52 (80th-82d), 1955-58 (84th-85th), 1963-68 (88th-90th)
Committee Papers 70 feet 1947-68 (80th-90th)
Bill Files 47 feet 1947-68 (80th-90th)
Total volume 120 feet  

9.37 The unpublished records of the committee provide less insight into its workings than is desirable. The records shown on the table above consist mainly of copies of printed documents.

9.38. Detailed minutes of committee meetings were kept in loose leaf binders and are filed with the committee papers for each Congress. The minutes vary in detail and completeness. The minutes from 1961-62 (87A-F4.3, 4 in.) include those of subcommittee meetings as well as full committee meetings. The minutes for 1967-68 (90A-F4, 6 in.) include vote tallies. The minutes from 1955-60 were on loan to the committee and not examined for description in this guide.

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The Powell Amendment from Papers Accompanying Bills and Resolutions from the Committee on Education and Labor from the 84th Congress (HR84A-D5). RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives.

9.39 Petitions and memorials include appeals for federal aid to education (80A- H3.1, 81A-H3.2, 82A-H4.1, 85A-H4.1), fair employment practices (80A-H3.2, 81A-H3.1), the minimum wage law (84A-H4, 89A-H4), repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act (81A-H3.3), concern for safety in workplaces (82A-H4.1), and other subjects.

9.40. Over half of the committee papers consist of printer's copies and page proofs of published hearings that were preserved with the records of the 80th Congress. For most Congresses the committee papers contain copies of all committee published hearings, prints, legislative calendars, and selected reports. Although the committee published most of the hearings it held, there are unprinted transcripts of hearings from 1959-68 on subjects such as labor/management relations reform (86A-F5.4), juvenile delinquency (88A-F4), and Vocational Rehabilitation Act amendments (89A-F4).

9.41. The committee papers generally contain part or all of the executive communications that were referred to the committee. These usually consist of annual reports and special reports from the Commissioner of Education; the National Labor Relations Board; the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; St. Elizabeth's Hospital; and other organizations under the committee`s jurisdiction. Another type of communication from executive departments are the drafts of proposed legislation prepared by these and other executive departments. Some messages of the President that were referred to the committee are also retained in the files of the committee; for example, Truman's 1950 message regarding the federal takeover of the coal mines (81A-F5.4) and Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1954 message on labor relations legislation (83A-F5.6).

9.42. The volume of the bill files (47 ft.) is deceptive because it consists primarily of printed copies of the bills and accompanying reports and only occasionally the written comments of the federal agencies affected by the legislation. The sheer volume of the bill files, however, reflects the increase in legislation referred to the committee. The 80th-83d Congresses averaged 290 bills referred and 12 bills reported per Congress, while the 87th-90th congresses averaged over 820 bills referred and 38 bills reported per Congress.

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1. Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 1st sess., Mar. 20, 1867, p. 225. [Back to text]

2. Congressional Globe, 40th Cong., 1st sess., Mar. 21, 1867, p. 264. [Back to text]

3. Congressional Record, 48th Cong., 1st sess., p. 194, Dec. 19, 1883. [Back to text]

4. Congressional Record, 48th Cong., 1st sess., p. 195, Dec. 19, 1883. [Back to text]

5. U.S. Congress, House, Intermediate Report of the Select Committee to Investigate the National Labor Relations Board, H. Rept. 1902, 76th Cong., 3d sess., 1940, p. 2. [Back to text]

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1989.

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