Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1910-1946 Acts of Executive Agencies Beyond the Scope of Their Authority
Chapter 22. Records of the Select Committees of the House of Representatives
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:
- House Select Committees (1789-1847)
- House Select Committees (1847-1909)
- House Select Committees (1910-1946)
- House Select Committees (1947-1968)
- House Select Committees (1969-1987)
Select Committee to Investigate Acts of Executive Agencies Beyond the Scope of Their Authority (1943-46)
|Select Committee to:||Volume||Congress (dates)|
|Investigate Acts of Executive Agencies beyond|
the Scope of their Authority
|37 feet||78th-79th (1943-46)|
22.111 Both the Depression and World War II witnessed the creation of numerous additional executive agencies; some, such as those in charge of the rationing programs, had considerable power. On February 11, 1943, the House created the Select Committee to Investigate Acts of Executive Agencies Beyond the Scope of Their Authority in response to the general perception that Congress had relinquished its authority. The committee was to serve as a board of review over administrative procedures by conducting investigations of Federal department or agency actions and regulations if the committee received complaints that a particular Federal agency was exceeding its authority, invading constitutional rights, or imposing penalties without providing citizens a fair tribunal to present their defense. Howard W. Smith of Virginia served as chairman.
22.112 Within one month after the creation of the committee, it had received over 4,000 complaints from businesses and private citizens against Federal agencies, most notably the Office of Price Administration, the War Production Board, and the National War Labor Board. The committee held hearings intermittently from April 1943 to June 1946, receiving testimony from complainants and Federal officials. A series of reports to the House conveyed the committee findings and its recommendations for legislation or administrative measures to remedy problems.
22.113 Records of the committee consist mainly of correspondence and accompanying documents regarding complaints, as well as evidence received during committee hearings. Most of the correspondence is with complainants, but Federal agencies, Members of Congress, and members of the general public are also represented. There are transcripts of hearings, copies of committee reports, staff memorandums and reports, legal documents, and some administrative records of the committee.
22.114 The records are arranged by the Department or agency against whom a complaint was made. Included are the President's Fair Employment Practice Committee, National War Labor Board, Office of Price Administration, Federal Home Loan Bank Administration, War Production Board, and many other agencies.
22.115 There is a finding aid to the records of the committee.
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.