Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1910-1946 National Labor Relations Board

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:

Special Committee to Investigate the National Labor Relations Board (1939-1940)

Select Committee to:VolumeCongress (dates)
Investigate the National Labor Relations Board91 feet76th (1939-40)

22.98 The National Labor Relations Act, enacted on July 5, 1935, established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with authority to conduct plant elections and issue restraining orders against unfair practices. In 1939, criticisms of the Board were voiced at congressional hearings held before the House Committee on Labor and the Senate Committee on Education and Labor. Industrialists, who from the beginning had resisted the NLRB, were pressing for repeal; in addition, certain union leaders took issue with some of the actions of the Board and accused it of maladministration. These criticisms led to the establishment of the Special Committee to Investigate the National Labor Relations Board on July 20, 1939 (76A-F.45.1).

22.99 The committee mailed 60,000 questionnaires to persons mentioned in the case dockets of the NLRB and received 10,000 responses. Another questionnaire mailed to every police chief in the country elicited 600 replies. Letters sent to every law professor whose expertise related to the subject solicited their opinions on the Board's administration and invited comment on the National Labor Relations Act. The committee conducted hundreds of interviews and received thousands of letters. It conducted searches of NLRB files in Washington and nine regional offices, obtaining photostatic copies of case notes, minutes, instructions, and decisions. Extensive committee hearings resulted in the publication of 1,600 printed pages of transcripts and exhibits.

22.100 Records of the committee are voluminous and consist largely of responses to the committee questionnaires, materials obtained from the offices of the NLRB, correspondence, and exhibits entered into the record of the committee hearings. There are also records relating to committee finances and personnel, as well as card indexes relating to the work 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.