Legislative Branch

Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 11 1947-1952

Table of Contents

Chapter 11. Records of the Committee on Governmental Affairs and Related Committees, 1842-1968


Records of the Committee on Governmental Affairs and Related Committees, 1842-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Committee records discussed in this chapter:

Records of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments, 1947-52

11.7 The jurisdiction of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments, as defined in the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (Public Law 79-601), was comparatively simple. All proposed legislation, Presidential messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to budget and accounting measures, other than appropriations, and the reorganization of the executive branch of the Government, were to be referred to the committee. In addition, the committee was authorized to receive and examine reports of the Comptroller General of the United States and to make recommendations to the Senate in connection with these reports, study the operation of Government activities with a view to determining their economy and efficiency, evaluate effects of laws enacted to reorganize the executive and legislative branches of the Government, and study the intergovernmental relationships between the United States and municipalities and international organizations of which the United States is a part.

11.8 The records of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (47 ft.) are rather limited. Although the committee was established in 1921, no separate series of its records before the 80th Congress (1947-48) have been transferred to the National Archives. The committee was not totally inactive before 1947 as it did hold and print hearings as early as the 74th Congress (1935-37). Any bills or resolutions referred to the committee before 1947 may be documented in the series of papers supporting specific bills and resolutions.

11.9 Many records of the Investigations Subcommittee of the committee are included in and described with the records of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), Committee on Government Operations.

Records of the Full Committee

11.10 The records of the full Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (22 ft.) include a record set of staff memorandums, 1947-52 (9 in.), which contain a description and analysis of many bills and resolutions referred to the committee and provide policy guidance to staff members about the bills and resolutions as well as other matters considered by the committee. The memorandums are numbered and arranged by Congress, thereunder by session, and thereunder sequentially by date of issuance. The series continues under the Committee on Government Operations until 1968.

11.11 Few bills and resolutions were referred to the committee, and, as a result, there are only a small number of legislative case files, 1947-52 (6 ft.). Furthermore, the records that have been retained are of little value, being chiefly transcripts, printer's copies, and galleys of hearings that were printed.

11.12 Presidential messages and executive communications, 1947-52 (9 ft.), include original messages relating to Truman administration reorganization plans, particularly those proposed by the Commission on Reorganization of the Executive Branch of the Government (the first Hoover Commission), 1947-49. A substantial part of this series consists of the reports of that commission (81st Cong.) and numerous reports of the Comptroller General about aspects of executive agency management or programs. Also referred to the committee were petitions, memorials, and resolutions of State legislatures and other bodies, 1947-52 (3 in.).

11.13 Records of hearings held by the committee on matters other than bills consist of transcripts of public hearings, 1947-52 (6 ft.), which were printed. Additional hearing transcripts are found among subcommittee records. Filed among the hearing transcripts of the full committee are staff memorandums relating to the investigation of activities of the Mississippi Democratic Party, 1951-52 (1 in.), particularly that part of the investigation concerned with the selling of post office jobs. The investigation was undertaken by the Investigations Subcommittee.

Records of Subcommittees

Subcommittee on Investigations

11.14 Investigative case files, executive session transcripts, newsclippings, and administrative records of the Subcommittee on Investigations have been incorporated into and described in this guide with the records of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI). The only records of the subcommittee that have not been incorporated are transcripts of hearings, 1947-52 (12 ft.). Like most of the transcripts retained by the committee, these consist largely of transcripts of hearings that were printed and related exhibits, printer's copies of the transcript, and galley proofs. Additionally, some copies indicate corrections of the transcript by witnesses, and for certain hearings held during the 81st Congress there are also transcripts of unprinted hearings. The records are arranged for each Congress by subject and thereunder by date of hearing. A useful supplement to the records, prepared by the Senate Historical Office and available at the National Archives, is a transcript of an oral history intervview with Ruth Young Watt, chief clerk of the subcommittee.

Subcommittee to Investigate Surplus Property

11.15 The records, 1947-48 (13 ft.), document an investigation that continued one begun during World War II, pursuant to S. Res. 198, 78th Cong., by the Committee on Military Affairs, to determine if surplus property was being disposed of in accordance with the Surplus Property Act of 1944. Under particular scrutiny were the activities of the War Assets Administration, which had responsibility for implementing the law. T he subcommittee also held some hearings jointly with the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. The records of the subcommittee include subject files, for which there is a detailed index; staff memorandums; correspondence; reference material from various agencies; and printed Senate and related House hearings and hearing transcripts.

Table of Contents

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-42). By Robert W. Coren, Mary Rephlo, David Kepley, and Charles South. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.