Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 16: Post Office and Civil Service

Chapter 16. Records of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee and Its Predecessors

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Records of the Post Office and Civil Service Committee and Its Predecessors from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committee on the Post Office and Civil Service, 1947-1968

History and Jurisdiction

16.44 The Post Office and Civil Service Committee was established on January 2, 1947 as part of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. It combined the jurisdictions of the former committees on Post Offices and Post Roads, Civil Service, and Census. The jurisdiction over the National Archives, formerly under the Library Committee, was also included. The formal jurisdiction of the committee included matters relating to:

    a) Census and the collection of statistics generally. b) Federal Civil Service generally. c) National Archives. d) Postal-savings banks. e) Postal service generally, including the railway mail service, and measures relating to ocean mail and pneumatic-tube service; but excluding post roads. f) Status of officers and employees of the United States, including their compensation, classification, and retirement.1

Records of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, 80th-90th Congresses (1947-1968)

Record TypeVolumeCongress (dates)
Petitions & Memorials1 in.81st (1949-50), 90th (1967-68)
Committee Papers15 ft.80th-90th (1947-68)
Bill Files80 ft.80th-90th (1947-68)
TOTAL:95 ft. 
Committee Records Summary Table

16.45 Very few records of this committee are preserved at the National Archives. Almost half of the records shown on the table above consist of multiple copies of printed bills and resolutions (46 ft.).

16.46 Petitions and memorials have been preserved from only two Congresses during this period. The records from 1949-50 include a resolution from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts asking Congress to authorize the issue of a stamp commemorating the birth of George Peabody, the first great American philanthropist; a memorial from the American Legion of Oak Ridge, TN, protesting that veteran's preference rights had been ignored in the hiring for the Atomic Energy Commission facility at Oak Ridge; and numerous memorials protesting against an April 1950 order from the Postmaster General that would reduce mail delivery to two times per day for businesses and one daily delivery for residential areas (81A-H9.1). As postal services were reduced, some groups of citizens were affected more than others. The rural citizens of Jerusalem, AR, protested that the reductions would be a hardship on them:

    We are greatly opposed to bills S. 1103 and H.R. 2945 lowering the weight of parcel post. We being rural people could not get along without the present parcel post services, as we are 22 miles from the railroad, and have very little transportation out our way (81A-H9.1).

16.47 The 1967-68 records contain petitions requesting the issue of various commemorative stamps; memorials from the City of Elizabeth, NJ, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts proposing that the passage of legislation to allow postage free packages to be sent to servicemen and women serving in Vietnam; and a resolution from the Commander of the Vermont Disabled American Veterans proposing that disabled veterans employed in the civil service be granted administrative leave to attend physical examinations offered by the Veterans Administration.

16.48 The committee papers consist chiefly of copies of the committee calendar for each Congress, and the executive communications and Presidential messages that were referred to the committee. A majority of the executive communications referred to the committee for this period are Federal agency reviews of certain supergrade positions as required under section 1310 (d) of Public Law 82-253.

16.49 There are two series of "bill files" for this committee. A series that was retired along with the records of the individual Congresses consists only of copies of printed bills. Another, more complete series retired at a later time, contains the correspondence and other documents related to specific pieces of legislation.

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1 U.S. Congress, House, Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States, Ninetieth Congress, H. Doc. 529, 89th Cong., 2d sess., 1967, p. 350.

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.