Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1947-1968 Tax_Exempt Foundatins and Comparable Organizations

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 Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations (1952-54)

Select Committee to Investigate:VolumeCongress (dates)
tax-Exempt Foundations and
Comparable Organizations
60 feet82d-83d (1952-54)

22.175 Concern that certain educational and philanthropic tax-exempt organizations were using their resources for un-American and subversive activities led the House to establish the Select Committee to Investigate Foundations and Other Organizations on April 4, 1952, after an extended debate that included discussion of whether the investigation might be better undertaken by one of the House standing committees. E.E. Cox of Georgia was appointed chairman.

22.176 The committee sent questionnaires to approximately 1,500 organizations, conducted personal interviews, corresponded with hundreds of additional individuals, held public hearings, received prepared statements, and studied various reference materials before January 1, 1953, when it submitted its final report lamenting that insufficient time had been allotted to accomplish its task (H. Rept. 2514, 82d. Cong., 2d Sess., Serial 11578).

22.177 Despite continuing opposition, the investigation of tax exempt foundations was reinstituted on July 27, 1953, under the chairmanship of B. Carroll Reece of Tennessee. The revived committee's mandate was expanded to include an investigation to determine whether the foundations and organizations were using their resources for political purposes, propaganda, or attempts to influence legislation. The committee assembled and studied pertinent material, held 16 public hearings, and received additional statements for inclusion in the hearings transcripts before completing its work with the presentation of its final report on December 16, 1954 (H. Rept. 2681, 83d Cong., 2d sess., Serial 11748).

22.178 Records of the select committee under Chairman Cox include replies and accompanying documents elicited by questionnaires sent to hundreds of foundations and other organizations. Also among the records are minutes of executive session meetings, correspondence, investigative reports and memorandums, press releases, witness statements, and informational materials relating to over one hundred foundations. Replies from the House Un-American Activities Committee to select committee inquiries concerning the loyalty of certain individuals and organizations are included. A large scrapbook of clippings from Chicago, New York, St. Louis, and Washington newspapers relates to the committee's activities. There are personnel records, including applications for employment with attachments, correspondence, and memorandums. A card index to certain records of the committee is also included.

22.179 Records of the select committee under Chairman Reece consist of replies from foundations to committee queries regarding operating expenses and foundation grants in 1953 and preceding years, along with supplemental documents. There are also replies to questionnaires sent to publishers of learned journals, institutions of higher learning, and university presses regarding financial support received from foundations and other matters. Other records include transcripts of committee meetings and hearings, minutes, correspondence, memorandums, work papers, informational materials, and newspaper clippings. Statements from foundations and individuals presented in hearings or prepared for inclusion in the record, a draft of the rules of procedures to govern the committee's investigation, press releases, and progress reports are also included. Administrative records include payroll records, applications for employment and other personnel records, and vouchers. A card index of names of individuals was prepared for the study of interlocks among foundations and is among the records.

22.180 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.