Legislative Branch

Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 18 1946-1968

Table of Contents

Chapter 18. Records of Senate Select Committees, 1789-1988

Records of Senate Select and Special Committees, 1789-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of Select Committees, 1946-68 (80th-90th Congresses)

18.120 During consideration of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (S. 2177, 79th Cong.), the practice of establishing select committees to investigate specific issues of particular concern met with strong opposition. The original Senate-passed version of the bill stated, in section 126: "No bill or resolution, and no amendment to any bill or resolution, to establish or to continue a special or select committee, including a joint committee, shall be received or considered in either the Senate or the House of Representatives." If the jurisdictional boundaries of the various standing committees were properly delineated in the Senate rules, there would be little likelihood, it was argued, that an issue of critical concern would not fit clearly within the jurisdiction of a standing committee. Clear and comprehensive jurisdictional assignments could cover every conceivable subject of legislative concern and provide continual oversight of Federal agencies by the standing committees rather than sporadic monitoring by the select committees. The result would be less duplication of effort and a generally more efficient Congress.

18.121 The House of Representatives, on the other hand, was not ready to relinquish the practice of establishing select committees, so their version of the Legislative Reorganization Act did not include the section prohibiting select and special committees. When the act was signed as Public Law 79-601, the House version had prevailed. As a result, in the 80th Congress, the Senate rules for the first time defined the jurisdictions of the standing committees; the rules did not, however, prohibit select committees.

18.122 As the 80th Congress began, therefore, the Senate's attitude toward select or special committees was clearly unfavorable. The standing committees carefully guarded their newly delineated jurisdictional prerogatives. Although the Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program and the Special Committee to Study Problems of American Small Business were allowed to continue for the moment, proposals to establish new select committees usually encountered formidable resistance. The relatively few select committees that were established sometimes owed their existence to jurisdictional conflicts between standing committees. In many such cases, compromises resulted in the establishment of select committees composed of members from two or more designated standing committees.

18.123 In this section, as in the previous one, the records of each select or special committee are described separately and arranged in order of the date of establishment of the committee.

Select Committee on Small Business (February 20, 1950)

18.124 On February 20, 1950, the Senate passed S. Res. 58, which created the Select Committee on Small Business "to be appointed by the President of the Senate as soon as practicable after the date of adoption of this resolution and at the commencement of each Congress" to study and survey all problems of American small business. The resolution specified that the committee would not consider proposed legislation, or report by bill, or otherwise have legislative jurisdiction. This was in accord with the usual practice that had developed during the preceding era of select investigative committees.

18.125 The Select Committee on Small Business was the first of the "permanent" select committees, and its creation was the subject of considerable controversy. The Special Committee to Study Problems of American Small Business, a select committee, had been established in 1940. When the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 did not provide a standing committee on small business in the Senate, the select committee was allowed to continue. Nevertheless, the Committee on Banking and Currency established a Subcommittee on Small Business in January 1947. The select committee and the subcommittee existed simultaneously until January 31, 1949, when the select committee was terminated because the Senate did not renew its authorization.

18.126 Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska and James Murray of Montana, the former chairmen of the defunct select committee, pressed for establishment of a full standing committee to deal with small business issues. Wherry argued that the subcommittee of the Committee on Banking and Currency could not consider all the needs of small business without usurping jurisdiction from other committees. The Senate agreed and responded by limiting the subcommittee's jurisdiction. Wherry's call for a regular standing committee on small business threatened, however, to curtail the jurisdiction of a number of established standing committees, such as Commerce, Banking and Currency, and Finance. Therefore, in order to avoid jurisdictional conflicts but still provide a regular Senate forum where American small businessmen could be assured a hearing, the Senate created the Select Committee on Small Business without legislative jurisdiction but with a certainty of continuation in future Congresses.4

18.127 John Sparkman of Alabama was appointed chairman and served in that capacity until 1967, except for the 83rd Congress (1953-54) when the Republicans controlled the Senate. The committee pursued its unique mandate through various activities. One of the most important, in terms of impact and effort, was individual case work. In the last half of 1950, for example, the committee sought to aid 2,100 businessmen who had been referred by Senators and advised 6,700 more who asked for help by mail. Occasionally, the committee conducted clinics or seminars for small businessmen, such as the clinics held throughout the country in 1950 to acquaint small businessmen with the routine methods of securing Government contracts and the 1966 seminar on the application of automatic data processing to small business. The committee also held many hearings and studied a variety of issues of concern to small business. Between 1950 and 1966, the Senate published 81 reports of the select committee and issued many transcripts of hearings and committee prints. These publications covered a wide range of topics, including procurement practices of certain Government agencies, tax depreciation allowances, the impact of imports on American small business, food marketing, and the emergence of shopping centers.

18.128 Because of the continuing nature of the select committee, its records (215 ft.) have been sent to the National Archives in several lots. The first group of records (81A-F16) of the Select Committee on Small Business bears particular mention because it consists chiefly of records of the committee's predecessors, though not generally labelled as such. Included are the records of the Special Committee to Study Problems of American Small Business that was chaired by Murray and Wherry, as well as records of the Banking and Currency Committee's Subcommittee on Small Business. Other lots generally cover certain time spans of the later select committee's existence.

18.129 The records contain correspondence with Government agencies, small businessmen, business associations, and others. There are staff memorandums and reports, committee bulletins and newsletters, studies, notes, plans for upcoming committee activities, data regarding issues of interest to the committee, drafts of committee reports and prints, Government publications, and administrative materials, such as payroll lists, personnel applications, and r‚sum‚s of staff members. Among the many documents received by the committee are printed promotional materials from the business community, company prospectuses, corporation annual reports, industry reports, and, occasionally, legal documents relating to particular cases. Other materials include committee vote tallies, witness lists, prepared questions, witness statements, statements of Senators, transcripts of a variety of meetings and hearings, press releases, and news clippings.

18.130 The records reflect both the complexity of American small business and changes over time. Records from the earlier special committee, for example, pertain to the impact of the war on small business and legislative responses to it. Many records concern the assistance the small business committees provided to small firms vying for Government loans and contracts, attempting to obtain materials in short supply due to the war, registering complaints against the Government, or seeking redress of grievances. Other records relate to committee hearings and studies, legislative proposals, and Federal agency activities affecting small business.

18.131 Subjects addressed in the records include Government procurement policies and procedures, the availability of credit, tax problems of small business, Government competition with private enterprise, the impact of imports on American small business, and technology and the effect of technological developments. Other topics include export controls, discount stores, price wars, monopolies and cartels, concentration in banking, motion picture distribution, battery additive AD-X2, food marketing, and radio broadcast hours. Many documents relate to problems of specific types of small businesses, such as Ford tractor distributors, tire dealers, or newspaper publishers.

18.132 Folder title lists are available for approximately one-fourth of the total volume of the records.

Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce (May 3, 1950)

18.133 In late 1949, a spate of articles in newspapers and magazines warned that a national crime syndicate was gaining control of many American cities by corrupting local government officials. Crime commissions in Chicago and California also reported official corruption under the influence of syndicated crime. Though Federal law enforcement statutes provided few weapons against this criminal activity, voices arose calling for Federal action. Requests for Federal assistance came from the mayors of Los Angeles, New Orleans, Portland, and other cities. The American Municipal Association asked the Federal government to investigate efforts of organized national racketeers to gain control of municipal law-enforcement agencies.

Photograph of Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee leaving the White House after a meeting with President Harry Truman, January 15, 1952 ((73)3767), Harry S. Truman Library.  
18.134 On January 5, 1950, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee introduced a resolution authorizing the Committee on the Judiciary to investigate interstate racketeering activities and the use of the facilities of interstate commerce for purposes of organized crime. The resolution led to a jurisdictional conflict between the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. A compromise worked out in the Democratic Policy Committee called for a special investigative committee of five Senators to be drawn from the membership of both standing committees. During Senate debate the compromise ran into objections that it violated the spirit of the Legislative Reorganization Act, was politically motivated, and left unstated which of the two standing committees would furnish the majority. Nevertheless, the compromise resolution was accepted with Vice President Alben Barkley casting the tie-breaking vote on May 3, 1950.

18.135 The Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce was directed to study and investigate "whether organized crime utilizes the facilities of interstate commerce or otherwise operates in interstate commerce in furtherance of any transactions which are in violation of the law . . .and, if so, the manner and extent to which, and the identity of the persons, firms, or corporations by which such utilization is being made . . . ." (S. Res. 202, 81st Cong.). The resolution specifically prohibited the committee from interfering in any way with the rights of the States to regulate gambling within their border. Kefauver served as chairman, and the committee was sometimes referred to as the Kefauver Committee. For chief counsel and chief investigator, he relied on men who had served in those same positions for the Truman Committee. On May 1, 1951, Herbert R. O'Conor of Maryland assumed the chairmanship and occupied that position for the final few months until the committee ended on September 1, 1951.

18.136 The committee's work generated considerable public interest, due to the subject matter and to the fact that it was the first committee to hold televised hearings. The committee held hearings in Washington and in cities throughout the country, questioning governors, mayors, sheriffs, policemen, and reputed underworld figures. The committee's work led to many citations for contempt of the Senate and a number of local indictments for criminal activities. The committee issued four reports, concluding that nationwide organized crime syndicates did exist and that they depended on the support or tolerance of public officials. The committee suggested various legislative remedies, though only one passed the Senate.

18.137 The records (90 ft.) are arranged under six headings: Records relating to the administration of the committee and its personnel, records relating to crime in general, records relating to investigative files directly within the committee's jurisdiction, records relating to all phases of public relations, records relating to all phases of hearings, and records relating to the preparation of committee reports. The administration, crime, and public relations records are filed according to a subject-numerical scheme.

18.138 The records relating to the administration of the committee and its personnel include correspondence, memorandums, daily reports, staff summaries, and worksheets, as well as financial and personnel records. Substantive matters regarding the committee's investigation are addressed in the records, as well as the committee's policies and procedures, staff, applicants, office space, equipment, and travel.

18.139 Filed under records relating to crime in general are correspondence, memorandums, investigative files, minutes of executive and public hearings, documents providing tax information, lists of telephone calls furnished to the committee by the phone company, and various other types of documents. There are replies to committee inquiries from public attorneys; police departments; Federal agencies; and stevedore, steamship, and other companies. Various printed materials are among the files, such as copies of committee publications, bills and resolutions, State statutes or legislative proposals regarding organized crime, and press clippings about gamblers and racketeers. Subjects appearing in the records include the committee's investigative program and plans, prostitution, narcotics, gambling, racketeering, homicides, juvenile delinquency, distribution of alcoholic beverages, New York waterfront activities, and alien criminals residing in the United States.

18.140 Records relating to investigative files directly within the committee's jurisdiction comprise almost 40 percent of the volume of the committee records and are organized in two series: The name files, and the geographical State files. These series contain correspondence, memorandums, reports, work papers, copies of criminal records or reports furnished by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or local police, subpoenas, testimony, sworn statements, exhibits, cross-reference slips, and news clippings and other informational material. There are responses from State attorneys general, mayors, newspaper editors, and others regarding organized crime. The records deal with the activities of known criminals, gamblers, narcotics peddlers, public officials, and law enforcement officers previously implicated in organized crime or corruption. Some documents from the public provide information or leads for the committee investigators.

18.141 Among the records relating to all phases of public relations are correspondence from the public expressing favorable or unfavorable views of the committee, press releases, speeches of Senator Kefauver and other Government officials, invitations for public speaking engagements, news clippings, correspondence regarding broadcasts of committee hearings and other committee publicity, and mailing lists used by the committee to contact officials for information.

18.142 Records relating to all phases of hearings consist mainly of transcripts of all executive session hearings, of some committee meetings held in executive session and of public hearings, along with the related exhibits. Also included are digests of hearings, subpoenas, and related documents, materials regarding contempt citations and warrants for arrest, correspondence, memorandums, schedules of witnesses, prepared questions, and proposed agendas.

18.143 Records relating to the preparation of the committee reports include drafts, galley proofs, and printed copies of the four committee reports, together with related correspondence, memorandums, and work papers. There are also reports and background material of field investigations, requests for reports and records, and replies from State and local officials to a committee form letter regarding steps taken either as a direct or indirect result of the committee's work. Other records filed under this heading relate to committee investigations during O'Conor's tenure as chairman.

18.144 An untitled draft preliminary inventory, which includes a list of folder headings for the alphabetical name segment of the investigative files, is available for the records of this special committee. There is also a list of committee hearings, giving date, place, and names of persons giving testimony.

Special Committee on Investigation of Cover on Mail of Senators (December 1, 1954)

18.145 In 1951, William Benton of Connecticut introduced a resolution requesting an investigation to determine whether Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin should be expelled from the Senate. The Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Committee on Rules and Administration decided to hold hearings on the resolution beginning September 28, 1951. Within a few months, McCarthy introduced a resolution for an investigation into Benton's conduct as a Senator, and a dual investigation was underway.

18.146 Two years later, on December 1, 1954, Joseph McCarthy charged that, as part of the earlier investigations, the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections had illegally requested the post office to furnish names and addresses of addressers, names of addressees, and postmarks of all mail received at McCarthy's home address and at the addresses of certain of his staff members. Such activity is referred to as a mail cover. A committee of two members, Homer Ferguson of Michigan and Walter F. George of Georgia, was appointed to determine whether a cover on the mail of Senator McCarthy or any other Senator had been maintained and, if so, to ascertain the details regarding this activity.

18.147 The committee held hearings on December 2 and submitted its report the next day. It concluded that mail covers had been maintained during various periods on four different addresses, that none of the subcommittee members or the chairman of the full committee had authorized the mail cover, and that chief counsel Paul J. Cotter was responsible. The report condemned the use of mail covers during Senate investigations.

18.148 The records (less than 1 in.) contain documents obtained from the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections, including the correspondence requesting the cover on mail and lists of mail received by certain persons. There is also a list of names and background information on employees of the subcommittee from September 1952 to January 1953 who worked on the Benton-McCarthy investigation conducted pursuant to S. Res. 187, as well as a memorandum detailing the chronology of appointments to the subcommittee during 1952.

Select Committee on Contribution Investigation (February 7, 1956)

18.149 On February 3, 1956, as Senate debate on the bill to amend the Natural Gas Act drew to a close, Francis Case of South Dakota rose to deliver a speech that would result in the creation of two select committees and lead to a Presidential veto. Case explained in his speech that he would vote against the bill because of a $2,500 contribution made to his campaign by a person who had contacted him regarding support for the pending natural gas bill to exempt natural gas producers from regulation by the Federal Power Commission.

18.150 Four days later, on February 7, the Senate established a select committee to investigate the circumstances involving the alleged attempt to influence Senator Case's vote on the natural gas bill. The four-member committee included two Senators from each political party. Walter F. George of Georgia served as chairman and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire as secretary. The committee held hearings at which 22 witnesses testified.

18.151 The records (2 ft.) include summaries of investigative interviews, subpoenas, lists of questions to be asked of certain witnesses (sometimes including indications of expected answers), digests of the testimony of various persons, and exhibits. There are also certified copies of the statements of contributions received that were submitted to the secretary of state of South Dakota by political party State central committees from 1940 through 1954, a memorandum from the Senate legislative counsel regarding the various statutory provisions pertinent to the special committee's inquiry, and copies of relevant congressional publications, including the committee report.

Special Committee to Investigate Political Activities, Lobbying, and Campaign Contributions (February 22, 1956)

18.152 The Act to Amend the Natural Gas Act passed Congress despite the speech delivered by Francis Case in the closing days of the Senate's consideration of the bill (see Select Committee on Contribution Investigation, above). President Dwight D. Eisenhower favored the legislation but chose to veto the bill. His veto message noted that, as both Congress and the Department of Justice were investigating allegations of inappropriate activity on the part of certain private citizens who supported the bill, it would be a disservice to the Nation and to Congress to approve the legislation while the investigations were pending.

18.153 In this context and even before the Select Committee on Contribution Investigation had reported its findings, the Senate adopted a resolution to establish the Special Committee to Investigate Political Activities, Lobbying, and Campaign Contributions. The bipartisan eight-member committee was directed to investigate attempts to influence improperly any Senator or employee of the executive branch. The committee elected John L. McClellan of Arkansas as chairman and Styles Bridges of New Hampshire as vice-chairman. In its report (S. Rept. 395, 85th Cong., 1st sess.) submitted on May 31, 1957, the committee offered its recommendations for remedial legislation.

18.154 The committee began by investigating the lobbying activities concerning the natural gas bill, hearing witnesses who had supported or opposed the bill. The committee also considered the lobbying pertaining to the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 and the 1956 amendments to the Sugar Act of 1948, investigated certain trade associations, and studied and investigated activities relating to Federal election laws and campaign finances.

18.155 The records (18 ft.) are filed according to a numerical classification scheme. Included are applications for committee employment, staff personnel files, reports to the Secretary of the Senate, and vouchers. There are replies to questionnaires to gas and oil companies regarding lobbying activities, replies to questionnaires to former Members of Congress and political scientists regarding recommendations to improve Federal statutes relating to political campaigns, and copies of the 1956 general election financial reports filed with the Secretary of the Senate by candidates and political committees. Memorandums reporting on investigations, discussing certain organizations, summarizing testimony, or tracking committee work also are among the records. Other documents include correspondence, committee minutes, minutes of staff meetings, transcripts of public and executive sessions, exhibits, subpoenas, news clippings, and informational materials. There is an alphabetical name and subject card index to individual documents among the records.

18.156 The oil and gas lobby, airline industry lobbying, efforts to influence Congress regarding the sugar bill, tax aspects of lobbying and campaign finances, and State laws on lobbying and political campaigns are subjects appearing among the documents. A variety of other topics are addressed, such as committee housekeeping functions, committee procedures and agenda, expenses for the special congressional election in New Mexico in April 1957, charges against Sen. Milton R. Young of North Dakota, British political practices, and organized labor's role in political campaigns.

18.157 There is a finding aid to the records of this committee. Included are appendixes giving folder titles for the various series among the records.

Special Committee to Study the Foreign Aid Program (July 11, 1956)

18.158 Between 1945 and 1956, the United States extended grants and loans totaling $50 billion to foreign countries. The aid program, which had its beginning in the highly successful Marshall Plan for postwar Europe, had become very complex. Military assistance to Western European countries had increased markedly in light of the cold war, and U.S. economic and military assistance to other parts of the world had also expanded.

18.159 The foreign assistance program was, however, no longer as popular as the Marshall Plan had been; nearly one-third of the Senate voted against it in 1956. The objectives of the program were no longer clearly defined, it was charged, and S. Res. 285 was introduced calling for a study to "clarify the relationship of the purposes, scope, and methods of the economic, military, and technical aid programs of this Government to our foreign policy and to our national interest."

18.160 On July 11, 1956, the Senate established the Special Committee to Study the Foreign Aid Program. Its membership included all members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, as well as the chairman and ranking minority members of both the Appropriations and Armed Services Committees. The chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee served as chairman of the special committee.

18.161 The committee was directed to undertake exhaustive studies of the goals and effects of foreign assistance vis-a-vis the national interest. Among the points to be considered were the proper objectives of the aid program and how to measure the level of accomplishment, the Nation's capacity to extend aid, other countries' needs and willingness to receive aid, their ability to use it, the various kinds of foreign aid and conditions attached to it, and actions required to enable the foreign aid program to accomplish its objectives. The committee was directed to consult a variety of experts in the course of its study, including private organizations, institutions, and individuals, as well as Federal agencies. The Senate wanted to have the final report available by the time the Mutual Security Act of 1957 was to be considered by the Senate in mid-1957.

18.162 Walter F. George of Georgia served as chairman of the special committee during the 84th Congress and Theodore Francis Green of Rhode Island during the 85th. At an organizational meeting held on July 20, the committee agreed to certain rules and goals, including one stipulating that the chairman might designate several members to act on behalf of the committee during adjournment. Faced with a 6-month Senate adjournment, George appointed a six-member executive committee, with Green as chairman, for the purpose of obtaining all the information necessary for the full committee to carry on its work when it reconvened. This executive committee performed the leadership role for the special committee, determining requirements, overseeing contracts, and analyzing reports.

18.163 The committee relied on a variety of sources and methods to fulfill its mandate. It entered into contracts with various domestic research organizations and institutions for 11 studies of specific aspects of the issue. Prominent individuals were recruited to conduct surveys of foreign aid programs in different geographic regions of the world. Employees of 50 private American business firms, religious institutions, and news organizations with substantial overseas activities received a committee questionnaire concerning foreign aid programs. The committee also invited all Senators to submit their own views and suggestions or any received by them. Finally, the committee held public hearings in March and April 1957.

18.164 The records (3 ft.) include substantial information on committee policies, procedures, plans, and programs. There are agendas, memorandums, notes, and press releases, as well as correspondence with members of the committee, other Senators, Federal agencies, persons doing work for the committee, and the public. Many documents relate to the contracts or reports that the committee authorized. These include correspondence, research proposals, lists of organizations or notable individuals whose services might be useful, and lists of projects and contractors. The actual studies or reports, are printed (S. Doc. 52, 85th Cong., 1st sess.) and are not included. There are also lists of previous studies done by consultants under contract to Federal agencies. Among the documents relating to the committee hearings are background information reports on witnesses, prepared questions, witness statements, and stenographic transcripts. There are also a few completed questionnaires, as well as congressional publications, articles and clippings, and a variety of informational materials.

Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (January 30, 1957)

18.165 During its Government procurement investigations, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Government Operations uncovered evidence that racketeers had invaded the business of supplying uniforms to the U.S. Government and that certain local unions were cooperating with the racketeers. The subcommittee subsequently discovered that the reports to Federal agencies filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America were not accurate.

18.166 Subcommittee chairman John L. McClellan of Arkansas believed a full-scale investigation of improper activities in the whole field of labor or management was needed but that such an investigation was not within the jurisdiction of the permanent subcommittee. Consequently, he introduced a resolution for additional authority to conduct such an investigation. Meanwhile, a resolution was pending that would direct a subcommittee of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare to conduct such an investigation. In a compromise, the Senate created the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field whose bipartisan membership was derived from the two standing committees. McClellan was named chairman, with Irving Ives of New York as vice chairman.

18.167 The select committee was directed to study the extent of criminal or other improper practices in the field of labor-management relations or in groups of employees or employers. It was also to suggest any changes in the laws of the United States that would provide protection against such practices or activities.

18.168 The committee pursued its investigation for 3 years. During that time, it conducted 253 active investigations, served 8,000 subpoenas for witnesses and documents, held 270 days of hearings with 1,526 witnesses (343 of whom invoked the Fifth Amendment), compiled almost 150,000 pages of testimony, and issued various interim reports. At its peak of activity in 1958, 104 persons were engaged in the work of the committee, including 34 deployed on field investigations and approximately 40 accountants and investigators from the Government Accounting Office. Robert F. Kennedy served as chief counsel.

18.169 The committee's investigations covered a wide range of labor unions and corporations in the United States, such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the United Automobile Workers, Anheuser-Busch, Sears, and Occidental Life Insurance. The committee established contacts with the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Narcotics Bureau, Department of Labor, and other Federal agencies, as well as with the New York district attorney, police commissioner, and with the Waterfront Commission and other local and State offices and officials involved in law enforcement. Prosecutorial activity increased throughout the country, and a rash of grand jury indictments resulted. On the legislative front, the select committee's influence was reflected in the enactment of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Public Law 86-257) on September 14, 1959.

18.170 The final report of the committee was issued on March 31, 1960. At that time, the authority granted by the Senate to the select committee was transferred to the Committee on Government Operations.

18.171 The records (488 ft.) contain correspondence, interview reports, investigative memorandums, memorandums regarding committee policies and procedures, transcripts of hearings, subpoenas, contempt citations, proposed legislation, r‚sum‚s, press releases, and news clippings. There are also many documents gathered by the committee in the course of its investigations, such as hotel records, telephone toll tickets, contracts, tax returns, receipts, invoices, and documents regarding bank and brokerage accounts.

Select Committee on National Water Resources (April 20, 1959)

18.172 On April 20, 1959, the Senate established the Select Committee on National Water Resources, authorizing it to study water resources activities in the United States and their relationship to the national interest. The select committee was also directed to analyze activities necessary to provide adequate water for use by population, agriculture, and industry through 1980, including recreational, fish, and wildlife needs. The committee consisted of 17 members, including 3 each from the committees on Interior and Insular Affairs, Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Agriculture and Forestry, and Public Works. Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma served as chairman and Thomas H. Kuchel of California as vice chairman. The committee issued its final report on January 30, 1961.

18.173 During its existence, the select committee had 90 studies made covering all aspects of water resources activities in the United States. These studies were undertaken primarily by Federal agencies, though some were by State agencies or private groups. Included are general background studies, projections of future demands, and reports on new techniques and means for meeting demands. All are published in a series of 32 committee prints; a brief summary of each of the studies appears in the final report (S. Rept. 29, 87th Cong., 1st sess.).

18.174 The committee also solicited the States for their views on water resources issues and held extensive hearings throughout the country, from Montana to Florida and from Maine to California. In all, 3,920 pages of testimony were given by 972 witnesses. The transcripts are printed in 23 parts.

18.175 The records (12 ft.) include the committee report and its draft, the preliminary staff report presented to the committee in May 1960, printed hearings, and committee prints. There are also unpublished transcripts of committee proceedings, State reports and reports from Federal agencies regarding water problems, digests of testimony, memorandums, charts, correspondence, and press releases. Additional documents include schedules, attendance lists, and outlines of the work plans of the committee. The records address various administrative matters, such as committee finances, personnel, and printing, as well as water resources, water requirements projections, pollution, flood control, and techniques for meeting water demands.

18.176 An unpublished list of folder titles is available for the records of this committee.

Select Committee on Standards and Conduct (July 24, 1964)

18.177 On October 7, 1963, Secretary for the Senate Majority Robert G. "Bobby" Baker resigned his post in the face of conflict-of-interest charges and questions about his financial dealings. In the midst of the ensuing investigation by the Rules and Administration Committee, the Senate, on July 24, 1964, authorized the creation of a six-member, bipartisan permanent Select Committee on Standards and Conduct. The committee was directed to receive and investigate complaints of unethical and illegal conduct by a Senator or employee of the Senate, to recommend disciplinary action if necessary, and to suggest reforms to ensure ethical conduct. Appointment of the members of this watchdog committee was delayed for many months; the first meeting of the committee occurred 15 months after authorization. John C. Stennis of Mississippi served as chairman and Wallace F. Bennett of Utah as vice chairman.

18.178 In its first investigation, the select committee considered charges that Thomas J. Dodd of Connecticut had used money raised at political dinners to pay personal bills, had purposely billed both the Senate and private organizations for seven trips, and had improperly exchanged favors with a public relations representative of West German interests. For more than a year, the committee probed the allegations through interviews, reviews of bank account records and other financial documents, correspondence with those who received disbursements from Dodd's accounts, and committee hearings.

18.179 The resulting committee report recommended censure of Dodd for the expenditure of political funds and double-billing. The Senate rejected the recommendation of censure regarding double-billing. On June 23, 1967, the Senate did, however, vote to censure Dodd for using political funds for his personal benefit. Dodd was the seventh Senator ever to be officially censured.

18.180 One month after the committee issued its report on the Dodd investigation, Life magazine carried an article by William Lambert charging that Edward V. Long of Missouri had used his position as chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure to aid James R. Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The article asserted that a key motive for the subcommittee's 2-year investigation of alleged invasion of privacy by Federal agencies was to give Hoffa an opportunity to have his March 1964 conviction thrown out. Furthermore, it charged that Long had accepted $48,000 in legal fees from a close friend who was Hoffa's lawyer in the trials that led to his imprisonment on March 7, 1967.

18.181 The select committee investigated these charges and held 14 executive sessions on the matter. In its report to the Senate, the committee indicated it found no basis for holding public hearings.

18.182 The records (17 ft.) relate to the investigations of Dodd and Long. There are personnel files, notes, memorandums, correspondence, interview reports, subpoenas, depositions, witness statements and digests, and exhibits. Transcripts of committee meetings, hearings, and press conferences are also included, as well as copies of committee reports, press clippings, bank documents, election reports, telephone bills, vouchers, and income tax returns.

18.183 Unpublished folder title lists are available for the records of both the Dodd and Long investigations.

Table of Contents


4 In 1955 the requirement for biennial appointment of the committee's members by the President of the Senate was dropped, and the committee was officially given permanent status. this had the effect of removing the hiatus at the beginning of each Congress during which the President of the Senate selected the members of the committee. After this, the committee was also treated in the same way as the standing committees with regard to using funds and receiving appropriations.

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.