Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC]

(Record Group 180)
1886-1975 (bulk 1921-74)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 180.1 Administrative History
  • 180.2 Records of the Commodity Exchange Administration and its Predecessors 1921-42
  • 180.3 Records of the Commodity Exchange Authority and its Predecessors 1886-1974 (bulk 1921-74)
  • 180.4 Sound Recordings (General) 1975

180.1 Administrative History

Established: As an independent agency, by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act (88 Stat. 1414), October 23, 1974.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • Grain Futures Commission (1922-36)
  • Commodity Exchange Commission (1936-74)
In the Department of Agriculture:
  • Administration of the Grain Futures Trading Act (1921-22)
  • Grain Futures Administration (1922-36)
  • Commodity Exchange Administration (1936-42)
  • Commodity Exchange Branch, Agricultural Marketing Administration (1942)
  • Compliance Branch, Food Distribution Administration (FDA, 1942-43)
  • Compliance Branch, FDA, Administration of Food Production (1943)
  • Compliance Branch, FDA, War Food Administration (WFA, 1943-44)
  • Compliance Branch, Office of Distribution, WFA (1944)
  • Compliance Branch, Office of Marketing Services, WFA (1945)
  • Commodity Exchange Supervision Division (CESD), Office of Investigatory Services, WFA (1945)
  • CESD, Office of Investigatory Services, Office of the Secretary of Agriculture (1945)
  • Compliance and Investigation Branch, Production and Marketing Administration (1945-47)
  • Commodity Exchange Authority (1947-74)

Functions: Regulates trading on U.S. futures exchanges. Regulates activities of commodity exchange members, public brokerage houses (futures commission merchants), and registered futures industry representatives.

Finding Aids: Stanley W. Brown and Virgil E. Baugh, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Commodity Exchange Authority, PI 112 (1959).

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180.2 Records of the Commodity Exchange Administration and its

History: Administration of the Grain Futures Trading Act established by the Secretary of Agriculture, August 21, 1921, to execute departmental responsibilities under the Grain Futures Trading Act (42 Stat. 187), August 24, 1921. Terminated August 1922, following the U.S. Supreme Court decision of May 15, 1922, declaring the law unconstitutional.

Grain Futures Administration (Department of Agriculture) and independent Grain Futures Commission established by the Grain Futures Act (42 Stat. 998), September 21, 1922. Grain Futures Administration reported grain futures transactions and investigated dissemination of misleading information likely to affect grain prices. Grain Futures Commission regulated the grain futures exchanges.

Grain Futures Administration superseded by the Commodity Exchange Administration, effective July 1, 1936, by order of the Secretary of Agriculture. Commodity Exchange Administration became the Commodity Exchange Branch of the newly established Agricultural Marketing Administration under provisions of EO 9069, February 23, 1942. See 180.3.

Grain Futures Commission renamed Commodity Exchange Commission pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act (49 Stat. 1491), June 15, 1936. Commodity Exchange Commission merged with the Commodity Exchange Authority, a successor to the Grain Futures Administration, to form the CFTC, 1974. See 180.1.

Note: There are no records of the Grain Futures Commission or the Commodity Exchange Commission in the National Archives.

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1921-42 (222 ft.), with name and subject indexes, 1930-39, and copies of letters sent, 1940-42. Correspondence and office files of J.W.T. Duvel, chief of the Commodity Exchange Administration and its predecessor, 1925-39. Correspondence with field offices, 1924-39. Correspondence of the chief of the Division of Violations and Complaints, 1937-39, and the chief of the Division of Designations and Registrations, 1921-39. Case files of the Grain Futures Administration, 1922-36, and the Commodity Exchange Administration, 1936-42. Arbitration proceedings, 1926-27. Progress reports of the Chicago office, 1931-39, and monthly reports of trading in grain futures on the Chicago market, 1934- 35.

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180.3 Records of the Commodity Exchange Authority and its
1886-1974 (bulk 1921-74)

History: Commodity Exchange Administration (SEE 180.2) became the Commodity Exchange Branch of the Agricultural Marketing Administration, February 23, 1942. Agricultural Marketing Administration made part of the Food Distribution Administration by EO 9280, December 5, 1942, with Commodity Exchange Branch redesignated the Compliance Branch.

FDA consolidated with Food Production Administration, Commodity Credit Corporation, and Extension Service of the Department of Agriculture, by EO 9322, March 26, 1943, to form Administration of Food Production, renamed War Food Administration by EO 9334, April 19, 1943. FDA renamed the Office of Distribution, January 21, 1944. Office of Distribution abolished by WFA, January 1, 1945, with Compliance Branch reassigned to Office of Marketing Services. Compliance Branch redesignated Commodity Exchange Supervision Division and assigned by WFA to newly established Office of Investigatory Services, March 23, 1945.

CESD and other organizational units and functions of WFA transferred to immediate Office of the Secretary of Agriculture upon abolishment of WFA by EO 9577, June 29, 1945. CESD incorporated into Compliance and Investigation Branch of the Production and Marketing Administration by Secretary's order, August 20, 1945. Responsibility for monitoring commodities transferred from Production and Marketing Administration to Commodity Exchange Authority by Secretary's memorandum 1185, January 21, 1947. Commodity Exchange Authority and Commodity Exchange Commission consolidated to form CFTC, 1974. See 180.1.

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180.3.1 General records

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1945-52. Monthly statistical reports of commodity futures transactions, 1921-74 (55 ft.). Summary statistical data for corn, oat, and soybean transactions, 1886-1974 (bulk 1921-74). Reference collection of exchange trading rules, charters, and by-laws, 1921-74.

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180.3.2 Regional records

Textual Records: Records of the New York regional office, consisting of program correspondence, 1937-65; and precedent enforcement case files, 1961-64 (in New York). Contract market designations, Kansas City regional office, 1960-70 (in Kansas City).

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180.4 Sound Recordings (General)

Swearing-in ceremony of the first four CFTC Commissioners, April 15, 1975 (1 item).

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.

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