Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1910-1946 U. S. Air Services

Chapter 22. Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives

Table of Contents

Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives (1789-1988) from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committee records described in this chapter:

Select Committee of Inquiry into Operation of the United States Air Services (1924-25)

Select Committee on:VolumeCongress (dates)
Operation of the U.S. Air Services21 feet68th-69th (1924-25)

22.79 The Select Committee of Inquiry into Operation of the United States Air Services (68A-F41) was established on March 24, 1924, in response to allegations that conditions in the Government air services tended to place the air defense of the United States in peril. It was charged that Army and Navy contracting officers and members of the aircraft industry were guilty of corruption, that aircraft builders conspired among themselves and made excessive profits, and that certain aircraft builders were stealing the patents of inventors.

22.80 The select committee was authorized to investigate the operations of the United States Army Air Service, United States Naval Bureau of Aeronautics, and the United States Mail Air Service. In addition to the various charges, other topics considered by the committee included the state of the aircraft industry, the development of commercial flights, and the administration of the air services, particularly in relation to national defense. The committee held intermittent public hearings from October 4, 1924, to March 2, 1925, in Washington, DC; New York City; Pasadena; and San Diego at which more than 150 witnesses testified. In addition, the committee visited a number of air fields and other locations in order to gain better understanding of the issues. J. Frederick Richardson, chief consulting investigator of the committee, visited Europe on a factfinding mission for his analytical comparison of the air services of England, France, Italy, and the United States. The committee reported its finding and recommendations on December 14, 1925.

22.81 Records of the committee include correspondence, memorandums, committee minutes, subpoenas, informational materials maintained for reference purposes, and records regarding committee finances and personnel. The committee sent three successive questionnaires to the Navy, War, and Post Office Departments regarding such topics as procurement practices, personnel, facilities, operations, and air accidents. Replies, along with accompanying documents, are among the records. Exhibits, few of which were published with the hearings transcripts, are included, as well as an alphabetical subject index to most of the committee records and to related information in various publications by groups other than the committee.

22.82 There is a finding aid to the records of this committee.

Return to Select Committees List

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.