Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1947-1968 Commodity Transactions

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 to Investigate Commodity Transactions (1947-48)

Select Committee to:VolumeCongress (dates)
Investigate Commodity Transactions12 feet80th (1947-48)

22.147 On December 18, 1947, the House responded to charges that Government employees had used inside information to profit from speculation in commodity futures by creating the Select Committee To Investigate Commodity Transactions. The committee was authorized to investigate the purchase and sale of commodities, the activities of Federal departments or agencies affecting such purchase and sale, and the involvement of any Government personnel with the purchase or sale of commodities. August H. Andresen of Minnesota was appointed chairman.

22.148 Public hearings took place between March 1 and June 16, 1948. The committee also used circular letters to brokerage firms to elicit complete information regarding certain commodity transactions and obtained additional information from certain Federal agencies. The committee presented four reports to the House on its findings and recommendations.

22.149 Most records are arranged by investigative subject, including commodity trading activities of Government employees, the effect of Government commodity purchases on the cost of food, the commodity futures trading activities of aliens, speculation in fats and oils futures, and the severe drop in commodity prices on February 4, 1948. Among the records are correspondence with brokerage firms, copies of trading accounts received under subpoena from brokerage firms, abstracts of data from the replies to committee inquiries, and documents (such as lists of employees or traders and statistical tables and charts) supplied to the committee by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of War. There are also transcripts of testimony, and copies of subpoenas issued by the committee.

22.150 There is a finding aid to the records of the committee.

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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.