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Classification 121: Loyalty of Government Employees (Obsolete)

This classification was established in 1947 for investigations under Executive Order (EO) 9835 of March 22, 1947. The EO required investigations of loyalty for all federal employees and all future applicants. The program established a Loyalty Review Board to make final determinations but the Bureau was assigned the task of conducting the initial investigations.

The Bureau retained jurisdiction over all civilian agencies, while the military investigated its civilian employees. The Bureau's instructions from Headquarters to the Field stressed a businesslike approach that recognized "there is a distinction between Liberalism and Communism." However, in changing instructions the Bureau at different times directed its agents to report not only on criminal activities but also on "loose morals." Full field investigations were conducted only if the preliminary investigations found derogatory information.

In response to considerable criticism of the loyalty program, Director Hoover argued that the Bureau made no recommendations but only reported the facts to the employing agency. The Bureau insisted that only the agencies and the Loyalty Review Board made decisions on people's loyalty.

In 1953 the Federal Employees Loyalty Act broadened the loyalty program and investigations under the new program became part of Classification 140: Security of Government Employees.

NARA online catalog descriptions of holdings for Classification 121: Loyalty of Government Employees (Obsolete)

Record GroupNARA IdentifierSeries Title
65567887Classification 121 (Loyalty Of Government Employees) Released Under The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts

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