Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 22: 1910-1946 Water Power

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 on Water Power (1918-21)

Select Committee on:VolumeCongress (dates)
Water Power4 inches65th-66th (1918-21)

22.67 The Special Committee on Water Power was established on January 11, 1918, and assigned jurisdiction over all bills and resolutions involving development or utilization of water power within the United States. For several years previously, Congress had failed in its attempts to pass legislation authorizing the building of dams on navigable streams. In consequence, the Secretaries of War, Interior, and Agriculture, all of whom had authority over some aspect of the issue, cooperated in drafting a water power bill. In the House, the jurisdiction was split: the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce had jurisdiction over bills regarding construction of bridges and dams over navigable waters within the States, the Committee on Public Lands had jurisdiction over dams on public lands, and the Agriculture Committee had jurisdiction over those on forest reserves. To prevent the Secretaries' bill from being fragmented among committees, the special committee was created, drawing its members from the three standing committees. The committee was renewed in the 66th Congress (1919-21).

22.68 Records of the committee (65A-F31, 66A-D33, 66A-H23.2) include petitions and memorials from clubs and individuals protesting a water power bill that was passed in 1920 and supporting H.R. 14469 (66th Cong.) to exclude the national parks and monuments from the operation of the act. Four bill files relating to committee activities consist of bills, reports, memorandums, letters from Federal agencies, and a resolution of the Montana Legislative Assembly. Minutes of the committee appear in two bound volumes; there is also a docket book.

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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.