Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1947-1968 Federal Communications Commission

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 the Federal Communications Commission (1948)

Select Committee to:VolumeCongress (dates)
Investigate the Federal
Communications Commission
8 feet80th (1948)

22.151 The Select Committee To Investigate the Federal Communications Commission was created on June 19, 1948, to determine if the FCC was acting in accord with the law and public interest, particularly (but not exclusively) in its licensing and license renewal activities; whether the FCC was engaged in regulating radio-program content; whether the FCC licensed any station owned or controlled by persons associated with subversive or Communist front organizations; and whether there existed a concerted movement to limit the issuance of radio station licenses to a select few instead of distributing them equitably according to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Forest A. Harness of Indiana was appointed chairman.

22.152 The committee focused its attention on the quasi-judicial nature of FCC functions and studied several cases involving possible conflict between the ideals of free speech and the public interest. Its findings and reports were presented in its final report on December 31, 1948.

22.153 Records include minutes, investigative reports, and memorandums, as well as correspondence with the FCC, radio stations, networks, and others. Among the records are documents obtained from the files of the FCC, such as the photostatic copies of personnel records of the Legal Division, and reports received from the Committee on Un-American Activities regarding the backgrounds of certain FCC employees. There are also copies of committee reports and printed hearings, press releases, reference materials, and a ledger book and other materials regarding committee expenses.

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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.