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Guide to the Records of the U.S. Senate at the National Archives (Record Group 46)


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Chapter 7. Records of the Committee on Commerce and Related Committees, 1816-1968


Records of Committees Relating to Commerce, 1816-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States


Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committees on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 1947-61 and Commerce, 1961-68

7.78 One provision of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 was the reduction of standing committees through the consolidation of committee jurisdiction. Under Senate Rule XXV, as defined in the act, the new Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce inherited the responsibilities of four former committees--Commerce, Interoceanic Canals, Interstate Commerce, and Manufactures--except for a few jurisdictional areas that were assigned to other committees, such as flood control and improvement of rivers and harbors, which were assigned to the Committee on Public Works. The Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee's jurisdiction included the following: Interstate and foreign commerce generally; regulation of interstate railroads, buses, trucks, and pipe lines; communication by telephone, telegraph, radio, and television; civil aeronautics; merchant marine generally; registering and licensing of vessels and small boats; navigation and related laws, including pilotage; rules and international arrangements to prevent collisions at sea; merchant marine officers and seamen; measures relating to the regulation of common carriers by water, their inspection, and their safety and lifesaving equipment; the Coast and Geodetic Survey; the Coast Guard, including the life-saving service, lighthouses, lightships, and ocean derelicts; the United States Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Academies; the Weather Bureau; nonmilitary matters relating to the Panama Canal and interoceanic canals generally; fisheries and wildlife; and the National Bureau of Standards, including the standardization of weights and measures and the metric system.

7.79 In 1961, the Senate approved S. Res. 117, 87th Cong., to rename the committee the Committee on Commerce, which it remained until the 1977 reorganization of the Senate committees, pursuant to S. Res. 4, 95th Cong. The 1977 reorganization expanded the jurisdiction of the committee to include nonmilitary aeronautical and space science; coastal zone management; highway safety; regulation of many consumer products and services; science, engineering and technology research and development and policy; and sports. To reflect its expanded jurisdiction, the committee was renamed the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

7.80 There are 851 ft. of records of the full committee, its subcommittees, and its staff for the period 1947-68.

Records of the Full Committee

7.81 There are several series of records of the full committee but for the most part the records consist of legislative case files and subject files. Records for 1947-54 (80th-83d Congresses) are organized in a less structured way than those of the 1955-68 period, when Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington, chaired the committee. Since the late 1940's, records of subcommittees have constituted a important part of the committee's records as a supplement to the full committee's records. However, during Magnuson's chairmanship, 1955-1978 and especially after 1960, the full committee records are also supplemented by records maintained by individual professional staff members. Another feature of the committee's records during Magnuson's chairmanship is the absence of detailed executive session documentation, such as verbatim minutes or transcripts. Magnuson's long-time assistant, W. Featherstone Reid, verified in an interview that such records were not kept. According to Reid, summary minutes were kept during this period, but the records are not in National Archives.

7.82 Legislative case files, 1947-68 (306 ft.), are the primary series of full committee records. The records are arranged by Congress, thereunder by type of bill, and thereunder numerically by bill number. They include original copies of printed bills, amendments, committee reports, printed hearings, official correspondence, public correspondence, clippings from the Congressional Record and newspapers, and related reference matter pertaining to bills and resolutions that were referred to the committee. Several of the case files measure more than 1 linear foot of papers. These larger files are usually for bills that inspired a substantial volume of public correspondence. Examples of such files include S. 265, 80th Cong. (2 ft.), S. 3294, 83d Cong (5 ft.), and S. 923, 84th Cong. (6 ft.), relating to restrictions on liquor advertising; S. 1197, relating to ICC ratemaking (16 ft.); and S. 559, 89th Cong., relating to cigarette labeling (3 ft.). One of the most significant bills considered by the committee was S. 1732, 88th Cong., to eliminate discrimination in public accommodations affecting interstate commerce (8 ft.). Many of the key provisions of this bill were included in H.R. 7152, which was enacted as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-352).

7.83 The legislative case files also include records relating to certain investigations authorized by simple resolutions of the Senate. For example, in the 80th Congress, pursuant to S. Res. 44 and 47, the committee investigated the adequacy of the supply of railroad boxcars in West Virginia and the shortage of boxcars generally (1 ft.). In the 81st Congress, pursuant to S. Res. 230, the committee investigated the operations of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, the export control program, and the fall of China to the Communists (1 ft.). In isolated instances, the records of special subcommittees are in this series; for example, records of the Special Subcommittee on Merchant Marine Training and Education (S. Res. 35, 84th Cong., 8 in.).

7.84 Other series of records referred to the committee are Presidential messages and executive communications, 1947-68 (30 ft.), and petitions, memorials, and resolutions of State legislatures, 1947-68 (25 ft.). Few Presidential messages were referred to the committee and consequently most of the records are executive communications, consisting of periodic and special reports and legislative proposals from executive agencies. Most of the petitions and memorials were referred to the committee between 1947 and 1952 and urged the Senate to enact legislation to regulate the advertising of alcoholic beverages.

7.85 The committee maintained subject files ("general correspondence"), 1947-68 (86 ft.), for each Congress. For the 80th-83d Congresses, the records have no particular arrangement; for the 84th-90th Congresses, the records for each Congress are arranged alphabetically by subject. The files for the 88th-90th Congresses (1963-68) are more voluminous, measuring 52 ft. The records may include administrative records and transcripts of hearings, in addition to correspondence, reports, staff memorandums, and related reference material on virtually all matters coming before the full committee. Related records of subcommittees are described below. Supplementing this series is the committee's reading file, 1949-68 with gaps (10 ft.).

7.86 A few transcripts of hearings, 1947-64 (3 ft.), are maintained separately. The most significant are unprinted or executive session transcripts of hearings for the following: The Subcommittee on Aviation, relating to aviation policy and an investigation of air crashes, 80th Cong. (5 in.); the Subcommittee on Trade Policy, 80th Cong. (1 in.); and the full committee, relating to the Panama Canal and to fisheries on the continental shelf, 88th Cong. (1 in.). The remainder consist of printer's copies of transcripts. Transcripts of hearings are found in several other series, including the subject, legislative case, and nomination files of the committee.

7.87 The committee also maintained a series of so-called special studies, 1959-66 (3 ft.), which were either done by consultants to the committee, such as Leslie Rudy's study of military cargo movements through Pacific Coast port areas, 87th Congress, or prepared by consultants to executive agencies such as Booz, Allen, Hamilton, which produced an organizational and procedural survey of the Interstate Commerce Commission, 87th Congress; press releases, 1961-68 (9 in.), issued by the committee and Senator Magnuson personally; and administrative records, 1947-56 (3 ft.), including job applications, financial records, committee notices, and one transcript of an executive session on the coordination of subcommittee activities, January 23, 1947.

7.88 While most studies undertaken by the committee were actually carried out by one of its subcommittees, the full committee did conduct its own studies. In the 84th Congress, the committee studied problems related to Alaska and Pacific Coast fisheries and to West Coast transportation. The records of the Alaska investigations, 1955-56 (3 ft.), include subject files, printer's copies of hearings and committee reports, and a transcript of an executive session of the Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. In the 84th and 85th Congresses, the committee conducted a study of television network regulation and UHF problems. Records relating to the television inquiry, 1954-58 (17 ft.), are arranged alphabetically by subject and include questionnaires completed by network affiliates. The questionnaires are arranged alphabetically by station call letters. There are also printed and original transcripts of hearings and committee reports and prints. In the 86th Congress, the committee undertook a major study of national transportation policy, a study mandated by the Transportation Act of 1958. Records relating to the transportation policy study, 1959-61 (21 ft.), document the preparation of S. Rpt. 445, 87th Cong., 1st sess. (Serial 12330), which is entitled "National Transportation Policy." The study, which was highly critical of the Federal Government's approach to transportation, was authorized by S. Res. 29, 86th Cong. and directed by Maj. Gen. John P. Doyle. The records include correspondence, reports, staff memorandums, other items cited in the final report, and an index; the arrangement of the records corresponds to the organization of the report, except for some miscellaneous correspondence and duplicate printed material.

A 1965 Presidential nomination message
Message of President Lyndon B. Johnson nominating John T. Connor of New Jersey to be Secretary of Commerce, January 6, 1965 (Anson McCook Collection of Presidential Signatures, 1789-1975), from NARA's Online Catalog  

7.89 Nomination files, 1947-68 (22 ft.), include correspondence from Senators, organizations, and the general public; unprinted transcripts of hearings (80th-83d Congresses only) and printer's copies of transcripts of printed hearings; nomination reference and report forms; biographical sketches of nominees; and staff memorandums relating to nominations referred to the committee for its advice and consent. Included among the positions requiring committee approval are the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Transportation (since 1967), and their top-level assistants; commissioners, board members, or chief administrators of various regulatory agencies, including the Civil Aeronautics Board, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Power Commission, Interstate Commerce Commission, and U.S. Maritime Commission, among others; and routine nominations of commissioned officers in the Coast Guard. Most of the larger files date from the 1950's, such as the file on the nomination of Lewis Strauss to be Secretary of Commerce (86th Cong., 3 ft.). Other prominent nominees include W. Averill Harriman (Secretary of Commerce, 80th Cong.); Leland Olds (Federal Power Commission, 81st Cong.); Thomas C. Blaisdell, Jr. (Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 80th Cong.), who was tangentially involved in the William Remington loyalty case; former Congressman Robert Franklin Jones (Federal Communications Commission, 80th Cong.); and former Senator Chan Gurney (Civil Aeronautics Board, 82d Cong.).

Records of Subcommittees

7.90 The records of subcommittees of the Committees on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (1947-61) and Commerce (1961-68) are voluminous and rich. Prior to 1947, both the Committee on Commerce and Committee on Interstate Commerce had their own standing subcommittees and as required appointed special subcommittees, usually to investigate specific situations or events. As indicated previously and excluding the Subcommittee To Investigate Interstate Railroads, relatively few records of those subcommittees have been preserved.

7.91 The records of both the standing and special subcommittees established after 1946 are more abundant and complete, and they are supplemented by records of staff members who often worked with a single subcommittee. In the 80th Congress, there were subcommittees on merchant marine, on oil and gas shortages, and on trade policies. Other subcommittees studied communications, and investigated the Nashua, NH, mills and the operations of Textron, Inc. The committee also contributed to the Congressional Aviation Policy Board, a joint committee of Congress. The 81st Congress saw a change in committee leadership. During his tenure (1949-52), the new chairman, Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado, obtained authorization for several investigations. In particular, he proposed four areas of study and investigation in four separate Senate resolutions. One called for an investigation of various problems relating to interstate commerce including aviation issues; the others specifically authorized studies of the United States merchant marine, domestic land and water transportation, and radio, telegraph and telephone communications (S. Res. 50, 45, 62, 63, 81st Cong., respectively). The Committee on Rules and Administration determined that a single resolution authorizing all of the studies would permit the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce not only to establish a pool of employees rather than four separate staffs to perform the necessary work in connection with the investigations, but also to create one payroll, an important consideration. These investigations continued through the 83d Congress (1953-54) at which time Committee Chair John Bricker of Ohio institutionalized them by appointing standing subcommittees on Aviation, Communications, Surface Transportation, and Water Transportation.

7.92 Beginning with the 84th Congress, the committee, under the chairmanship of Senator Magnuson, had four standing subcommittees--Aviation, Communications, Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and Surface Transportation. Following the precedent set in 1949 with S. Res. 50, 81st Cong., the committee continued to use a single resolution to obtain authorization and funding for the investigations and studies done by these subcommittees. In a few instances, special subcommittees or studies by the full committee were authorized and funded separately, but in general practice the authority to conduct and the money to pay for most subcommittee investigations stemmed from a single resolution that was reintroduced when the former resolution expired.

7.93 The next several paragraphs of this chapter describe the records of the major standing subcommittees--Aviation, Communications, Consumer (since 1966), Merchant Marine and Fisheries (and its predecessor), and Surface Transportation (and its predecessors). Following the description of these standing subcommittees and their records is a description of other subcommittees appointed for particular studies or investigations. Some of these are titled "special subcommittees," but others are not. For some subcommittees no records are identified, but researchers may locate the records for a particular subcommittee in the legislative case file for the authorizing resolution, if applicable.

Subcommittee on Aviation and Related Investigatory Groups

7.94 In the 80th Congress (1947-48), Owen Brewster of Maine chaired a subcommittee and led its investigation of domestic and foreign aviation problems. Some transcripts of executive session hearings of this subcommittee are filed with the records of the full committee. As authorized by S. Res. 50, 81st Cong., the full committee initiated investigations into a variety of aviation issues. From April 1949 through March 1950, the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce held hearings on the financial status and efficiency of the airline industry. During the 82d Congress, the committee conducted an investigation of mileage and traffic on international airlines from 1947 to 1949, and hired two private engineering firms to study the separation of airmail pay from subsidy. In 1954, the committee created a Subcommittee on Aviation, with Dwight Griswold of Nebraska as chair, to carry on its aviation investigations on a more formal basis. From 1955 to 1968, A. S. (Mike) Monroney of Oklahoma chaired the subcommittee.

7.95 The records, 1949-68 (43 ft.), of the committee's aviation investigations and other business are arranged by Congress, thereunder alphabetically by subject or correspondent. The records include correspondence, original and collected reports, and a few transcripts of executive sessions and public hearings. After 1954, the subcommittee accumulated substantial information on specific airlines that were included in the studies and investigations.

Subcommittee on Communications

7.96 On June 19, 1948, the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce appointed a Subcommittee to Study Communications, chaired by Charles W. Tobey of New Hampshire, to investigate matters relating to the Federal Communications Commission, radio and wire communications fraud, clear channels and superpower in AM radio, frequency allocation in FM radio, censorship of radio programs, and domestic and international common carriers. The next year, pursuant to S. Res. 50, 81st Cong., the new chairman, Senator Edwin C. Johnson appointed Ernest W. McFarland of Arizona as chair of the Subcommittee to Study and Investigate Radio, Telegraph, and Telephone Communications to continue this work. A review of the Communications Act of 1934 and a study of the Western Union Company's proposal for a single national telegraph system were the subcommittee's chief priorities. In 1955, a standing Committee on Communications was established, chaired by John O. Pastore of Rhode Island.

7.97 The widespread popularity of television in the 1950's generated an increasing number of communications issues, and although the subcommittee continued to consider problems presented by radio, telephone, and telegraph communications, television-related questions attracted the attention of the subcommittee. Between 1958 and 1968 the bulk of the records of the Subcommittee on Communications relate to such issues as color television programming, sports broadcasting, subscription or pay television, political broadcasting, allocation of television channel frequencies, liquor and cigarette advertising on TV, crime and violence on TV, educational television programming and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and the Community Antenna Television System (CATV).

7.98 The subject files, 1949-68 (76 ft.), of the subcommittee consist primarily of correspondence and collected materials relating to communications. The records are arranged by Congress and thereunder alphabetically by general subject or correspondent, or chronologically by date of letter sent. The TV-radio files for the 90th Congress (1967-1968), for example, contain reports, press releases, and public relations information solicited from television and radio stations from 1953 to 1968. Filed separately but similar in subject matter are the records of Nicholas Zapple, which consist of correspondence and collected information acquired by Zapple as the staff counsel of the subcommittee from its beginning until 1968. For additional records of the three indepth investigations relating to television, see the records of the Special Subcommittee on Freedom of Communications and records relating to the television inquiry, 1954-58 and the Fairness Doctrine study, 1965-68.

7.99 In 1965, pursuant to S. Res. 76, 89th Cong., the Subcommittee on Communications began an investigation of the section of the Communications Act of 1959 requiring that all television and radio stations provide "reasonable opportunity" for the broadcast of contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. By reviewing all complaints regarding political bias received by the FCC in 1965 and 1966, and by surveying all television and radio stations in the country, the subcommittee sought to assess the efficacy and level of enforcement of the policy known as the "fairness doctrine."

7.100 The records relating to the Fairness Doctrine Study, 1965-68 (20 ft.), include copies of decisions, orders, and notices of the FCC; petitions against the fairness doctrine; questionnaires and letters sent to and received from television and radio stations throughout the United States; subject files relating to a variety of television and radio shows; tape recordings of the broadcasts of the conservative, religious radio programs of Dr. Stuart McBirnie and Carl McIntire; and printout copies of the extensive computer analysis undertaken by the subcommittee. Depending on the type of document, the arrangement of the records varies, from unarranged to alphabetical by subject and chronological. A finding aid briefly describing the contents of each box and listing folder titles is filed in the first box of the subcommittee's records of the investigation. These records may contain proprietary business information.

Subcommittee on the Consumer

7.101 The Subcommittee on the Consumer was not established until the 89th Congress (1965-66), and for this reason, there are few pre-1969 records. The records, 1966-68 (2 ft.), consist chiefly of reference material with related correspondence. The records of Michael Pertschuk and legislative case files for various consumer bills on cigarette labeling, truth-in-packaging, and others, contain fuller documentation of the consumer-oriented activities of the committee for these years.

Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries and Predecessor Subcommittees

7.102 In 1947, Committee Chairman Wallace H. White, Jr., of Maine placed himself in charge of a Subcommittee on Merchant Marine, but there is no separate series of records of the subcommittee. On April 13, 1949, Edwin Johnson of Colorado, chair of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce during the 81st and 82d Congresses, appointed a Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters, with Warren Magnuson of Washington as chair. Magnuson chaired this subcommittee and its successor throughout his tenure on the committee, except for the 83d Congress (1953-54).

7.103 Initially the Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters Subcommittee concentrated on the need for ships and personnel for trade and defense, world shipping and its relationship to the merchant marine, foreign and domestic policies affecting shipping, the status of coastal and intercoastal services, and the legislative, legal, and administrative assistance necessary to provide the best fleet. The subcommittee interviewed experts and held hearings from June 21, 1949 through April 28, 1950, in order to formulate recommendations regarding the appropriate role of government aid to shipping. During the 82d Congress, the subcommittee held hearings on "The Safety of Life and Property at Sea," and on other subjects. The subcommittee sponsored an amendment to H.R. 5895 (S. 2388), 82d Cong., to guarantee American flag vessels at least 50 percent of cargoes to be shipped as military assistance.

7.104 The records of the Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters, 1949-54 (10 ft.), include correspondence, unpublished hearing transcripts, both published and unpublished copies of the interim and final reports of the subcommittee, and reference material relating to a variety of maritime issues including Greek shipping, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the North American Shipping and Trading Co. The records for each Congress are arranged alphabetically by subject or correspondent. See also records of the Special Subcommittee to Study the Maritime Subsidy Program (paras. 7.118-120).

7.105 In the 84th Congress, the standing Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries was formed, and while there are no separate records per se for the subcommittee during the 84th Congress, the subcommittee met in executive session on the matter of Alaska and Pacific Coast fisheries (see para. 7.88). The general subject file for the full committee also contains material on maritime matters.

7.106 Beginning with the 85th Congress, there is a subject file, 1957-68 (28 ft.), for the subcommittee. The records for each Congress are arranged into two categories--merchant marine (18 ft.) and fisheries (10 ft.)--and thereunder alphabetically by subject. The records include correspondence, reports, at least one unprinted transcript of a hearing in the 89th Congress, and related reference material.

Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Predecessor Subcommittees

7.107 In May 1949, Edwin Johnson appointed Francis J. Myers of Pennsylvania to chair a Subcommittee on Domestic Land and Water Transportation, to compile basic data and make a comprehensive study of all domestic land and water transportation facilities in the United States, including steam and electric railroads, motor carriers of passengers and freight, the Railway Express agency, the Pullman Company, railroad holding companies, freight forwarders, inland water carriers, and pipelines. The new subcommittee was particularly interested in the effect of public expenditures upon transportation charges and impact of transportation rates on the costs of goods and services to consumers. It also examined wages and working conditions in the transportation industry, the effectiveness of Federal transportation policy, and the adequacy of the transportation system to meet the Nation's expanding economic and defense needs. To prevent duplication of effort with the Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters, the subcommittees agreed to a division of the work. The Subcommittee on Water Transportation was responsible for problems relating to navigation on inland waterways and the Great Lakes, and for coastal issues as they related to the Interstate Commerce Commission Act; all other matters pertaining to the shipping industry would be the responsibility of the Subcommittee on the Merchant Marine and Maritime Matters. During the 82d Congress, the Subcommittee on Domestic Land and Water Transportation gathered facts on each area of transportation, and held hearings in June and July 1950.

7.108 The records of the Subcommittee on Domestic Land and Water Transportation, 1949-52 (5 ft.), contain correspondence, collected reports, and transcripts of the hearings. The records of the 81st Congress are arranged alphabetically by subject. The records of the next Congress consist of correspondence (arranged alphabetically or chronologically), and an alphabetical subject file regarding railroads, highways, and the Interstate Commerce Commission.

7.109 When the authorization for the Subcommittee on Domestic Land and Water Transportation expired during the 83d Congress, Committee Chairman John Bricker divided its tasks in half and appointed Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas to chair the new Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and John Marshall Butler of Maryland to chair the Subcommittee on Water Transportation. For the 83d Congress, there are subject files of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, 1953-54 (2 ft.), but no separate records of the Water Transportation Subcommittee.

7.110 At the beginning of the 84th Congress, Bricker's successor, Chairman Magnuson, appointed a standing Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, chaired by George A. Smathers of Florida. The subcommittee maintained subject files, 1958-68 (24 ft.), which focus heavily on railroad matters (such as the 1958 study on the problems of the railroads) and activities of the ICC. There are no separate files for the subcommittee in the 84th Congress.

Subcommittee on Oil and Coal Shortages

7.111 Chaired by Charles W. Tobey of New Hampshire, this subcommittee investigated and held hearings on oil and coal shortages, particularly as they affected New England. The records, 1947-48 (2 ft.), include correspondence; reports from oil refiners, State advisory committees, and State fuel coordinators; transcripts of executive session hearings; committee prints; and reference material. The Special Committee to Study the Problems of American Small Business, pursuant to S. Res. 20, 80th Cong., also studied the problem of postwar fuel shortages.

Subcommittee on Trade Policy

7.112 This subcommittee was authorized following the issuance of certain Supreme Court decisions that upheld the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) determination that concerted maintenance of the basing point delivered price system was an unfair method of competition. S. Res. 241, 80th Cong., called for an investigation of the impact of these decisions on consumers and business and the resulting discontinuance of the delivered price system and freight absorption practices. Chaired by Homer Capehart of Indiana, the subcommittee held numerous hearings. The records, 1948-49 (8 ft.), consist of subject files and copies of original hearing transcripts and printed hearings. Closely related to these records are the personal papers of John Blair, an FTC economist and specialist on the basing point system (see Record Group 200, National Archives Gift Collection).

Watchdog Subcommittee on Freight Absorption and Pricing Practices

7.113 Following up the work of the Subcommittee on Trade Policy, Committee Chairman Edwin C. Johnson formed what he named a "watchdog subcommittee" to oversee the Federal Trade Commission's handling of freight absorption and pricing practices during the 81st-82d Congresses. The records, 1949-52 (7 in.), include transcripts of executive sessions, a confidential committee print, and correspondence with the FTC.

Special Subcommittee on Export Controls and Policies

7.114 The subcommittee was established December 21, 1950, following approval of S. Res. 365, 81st Cong., and was continued by S. Res. 56, 82d Cong., to investigate the effectiveness of export controls on East-West trade, especially in relation to Communist China. Herbert R. O'Conor of Maryland chaired the subcommittee, which held both public and executive session hearings. The records, 1950-51 (4 ft.), consist of transcripts of hearings held in executive session, printer's copies of public hearings, and an alphabetically arranged subject file. Some records may require declassification.

Subcommittee on New England Transportation

7.115 This subcommittee, chaired by J. O'Brien (Brien) McMahon of Connecticut, investigated the operation of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. The records, 1951-52 (6 in.), include an unprinted transcript of a hearing held July 2, 1951, a research and reference file comprising material supplied by the Interstate Commerce Committee (ICC), and staff memorandums.

Special Investigating Subcommittee (Subcommittee Investigating Waterfront Racketeering and Port Security)

7.116 On January 30, 1953, the Senate passed S. Res. 41, 83d Cong., authorizing the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce to conduct investigations into several areas of criminal activities plaguing interstate commerce including "maritime matters generally, and particularly port security...." The next day, Committee Chairman Charles W. Tobey of New Hampshire appointed a subcommittee to investigate "waterfront racketeering," continuing the work of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce headed by Estes Kefauver, which had disbanded in 1951. The new investigating subcommittee conducted interviews, held hearings in New York, New Jersey, and New Orleans, and produced a summary report of its findings and recommendations. The work of the subcommittee resulted in S. 2383, enacted as Public Law 83-252, which established a New York-New Jersey compact creating a commission to rid the New York-area waterfront of crime. The subcommittee was discontinued when its authority expired on January 31, 1954.

7.117 The records, 1953-54 (8 ft.), of the Investigating Subcommittee are arranged by an alpha-numeric classification scheme. The administrative files (AD 1-14) consist of personnel and facilities information, and staff memoranda. The public relations files (PR 1-10) contain newspaper clippings, press releases, speeches, and correspondence. The bulk of the records of the subcommittee, chiefly meeting minutes, transcripts of hearings (including some of the Special Committee that preceded it), and collected information relating to a variety of crime problems including gambling, rackets, illegal liquor traffic, and mail fraud, are filed in the crime general files (CR 1-29). An unpublished list of folder titles accompanies the records. Access to these records may be restricted under S. Res. 474, 9th Cong., due to their source and subject matter.

Special Subcommittee to Study the Maritime Subsidy Program

7.118 When Charles Tobey became chair of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce at the start of the 83d Congress, he continued the work of the Subcommittee on Merchant Marine and Maritime matters by appointing a Special Subcommittee to Study the Maritime Subsidy Program, pursuant to S. Res. 41, 83d Cong. Tobey suggested that the new chair, Charles Potter of Michigan, confine the subcommittee's activities to a study and analysis of construction differential and operating differential subsidies in the maritime field.

7.119 Potter's subcommittee conducted a review of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, addressing the size, composition, and quality of the merchant marine, as well as the effectiveness of the existing laws regarding the maintenance and development of an adequate and efficient fleet. Hearings were held in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco between May 1953 and May 1954, and subcommittee member John Marshall Butler visited and investigated western European shipping and shipbuilding centers in the fall of 1953. The work of the subcommittee was superseded when Committee Chairman Bricker appointed the new Subcommittee on Water Transportation in February 1954.

7.120 The records, 1953-54 (3 ft.), are arranged alphabetically by subject, and contain original records of the hearings, correspondence, and reference material.

Special Subcommittee on Automobile Marketing Practices

7.121 The subcommittee was established pursuant to S. Res. 13, 84th Congress, approved February 4, 1955, and continued by several other resolutions to investigate certain practices in the automobile industry relating to financing, insurance, and dealers' relations with manufacturers. Chaired by A. S. (Mike) Monroney of Oklahoma, the subcommittee held hearings and solicited more than 19,000 questionnaires from auto dealers. The records, 1956-58 (32 ft.), consist largely of the completed questionnaires (27 ft.), arranged numerically, but containing information identifying the respondent. They also include an alphabetically arranged subject file, general correspondence, and printer's copies of hearing transcripts.

Special Subcommittee on the Military Air Transportation Service (MATS) and the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS)

7.122 Under the broad investigative authority given the committee by S. Res. 224, 85th Cong. and S. Res. 27, 86th Cong., a special subcommittee to study the operations of the MATS and MSTS, composed of members of the Aviation and Merchant Marine and Fisheries Subcommittees, was established to determine the impact the services and private shipping companies had on each other and whether or not the services were operating beyond the scope intended by Congress. Senator A. S. (Mike) Monroney chaired the subcommittee. The records, 1957-58 (1 ft.), consist of working papers of staff member Albert Luckey and may require declassification review.

Special Subcommittee on the Textile Industry

7.123 Pursuant to S. Res. 287, 85th Cong. and continued by S. Res. 50, 86th Cong., this subcommittee investigated the causes of the decline in the U.S. textile industry, the resultant loss of jobs, the effect on the industry of U.S. Government policies, and the impact of commercial policies of foreign countries. John Pastore chaired the subcommittee. The records, 1958-64 (2 ft.), date mostly from 1958-59 and are in the records of the 86th Congress; others date from 1963-64 (88th Cong.). They consist of correspondence, hearings exhibits, original and printed hearings, and related reference material.

Special Committee to Study Foreign Commerce

7.124 Under Senator Magnuson's direction, this special subcommittee was established under the broad investigative mandate of S. Res. 27, 86th Cong., and other resolutions. The records, 1959-61 (5 ft.), consist of administrative and substantive subject files, and include correspondence and other records on legislation referred to the committee. One such bill, S. 3102, to create on Office of Travel and Tourism in the Department of Commerce, died during the 86th Congress, but passed early in the 87th Congress as the International Travel Act of 1961.

Special Subcommittee on Freedom of Communications

7.125 In September 1959, the Senate Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce established a Special Subcommittee on Freedom of Communications as a
watchdog" committee to "insure freedom, fairness, and impartiality" in network news presentations despite the suspension of Section 315 of the Federal Communications Act of 1934, the "equal-time" provision. In February 1960, the new subcommittee was reappointed as a subcommittee of the Subcommittee on Communications. Four months later the Senate adopted S. Res. 305, 86th Cong., authorizing the subcommittee to examine Federal policy in the uses of Government-licensed media.

7.126 The Subcommittee on Freedom of Communications, chaired by Ralph Yarborough of Texas, collected copies of letters to the major television networks and to the Federal Communications Commission complaining of political bias, solicited transcripts of 15-minute radio and television network newscasts from September 26 to November 7, 1960, held hearings on the 50 most representative complaints of political bias, and collected copies of study papers and transcripts of all speeches, remarks, press conferences, and interviews with John Kennedy and Richard Nixon from their presidential campaigns of 1960. In 1962, the Subcommittee published its six-volume final report.

7.127 The records, 1959-62 (3 ft.), of the subcommittee consist of correspondence, including the collected letters of complaint to the Federal Communications Commission and the television networks, as well as the administrative correspondence of the clerk of the subcommittee. The records are arranged alphabetically by correspondent or by subject. An unpublished list of folder titles accompanies the records.

Special Subcommittee to Study the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway

7.128 Another special subcommittee established under the broad investigative authority of the Commerce Committee, S. Res. 29, 88th Cong., examined the apparent imbalance in freight rates and the heavy reliance on Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports to the detriment of the seaway. A number of Senators on the full committee represented States in the Great Lakes region and sought to increase shipping traffic on the seaway. Frank J. Lausche of Ohio chaired the subcommittee, but the records, 1963-64 (3 ft.), indicate that Philip A. Hart of Michigan was the principal Senator on the subcommittee. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Records of the Staff

7.129 Perhaps more than any other records, the records of the Committee on Commerce document the activities of a Senate committee professional staff. These records include subject files, legislative files, and chronologically arranged reading or "chron" files that were maintained for or by individual staff members who served in such positions as chief counsel, staff counsel, professional staff member, committee clerk, researcher, and secretary. Some of these series cover more than one Congress and may include material from both the open and closed periods as specified by S. Res. 474, 96th Cong.

7.130 Records of Gerald Grinstein, 1959-60 (1 ft.), are located in the records of the 86th Congress. Grinstein was at that time one of the committee's staff counsels, and later served as chief counsel (1963-66). His files are arranged by subject and focus on merchant marine and transportation issues. Copies of some of his outgoing correspondence are in Sylvia Cikins' reading file for the 89th Congress.

7.131 Records of Michael Pertschuk, 1963-68 (13 ft.), are located in the committee's records for the 88th-90th Congresses. Pertschuk served as one of the staff counsels and succeeded Gerald Grinstein as chief counsel in 1967. His records consist of subject files, 1963-68, and legislative files, 1965-68, and document his participation in consumer and other issues.

7.132 Records of Nicholas Zapple, 1951-70 (7 ft.), were transferred to the National Archives as part of the committee's files for the 91st Congress. Zapple was a long-time staff counsel specializing in the communications field. Zapple's files are arranged by subject. Copies of his outgoing letters and memorandums, 1961-66, are located in the staff reading files, and are a separate series for 1959-60 (86th Cong., 2 in.).

7.133 Records of Daniel Markel, 1937-70 (20 ft.), are located in the committee's records for the 87th-91st Congresses. Markel was a professional staff member whose records reflect his interest and involvement in legislation relating to oceanography and other scientific fields. The bulk of his records are alphabetically arranged subject files, arranged in seven overlapping chronological segments or "groups": Group 1 (1954-66); group 2 (1948-68); group 3 (1950-68); group 4 (1951-70); group 5 (1937-70); group 6 (1959-70); and group 7 (1959-70). Despite these dates, most of the records date from the late 1950's to 1970; the reason for the grouping is unclear, although most of the groups include material on oceanography and group 7, in particular, contains material on the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission of UNESCO. Other records of Markel's include a reference file on space science, 1961-62 (87th Cong., 3 in.), a subject file, 1963-64 (88th Cong., 2 ft.), and copies of outgoing letters and memos or "chron file," 1961-68, that are in the staff reading file (except 1965-66, which is in group 1).

7.134 Records of Harry C. Huse, 1960-68 (5 ft.), a professional staff member, consist of legislative files and subject files relating to maritime affairs, primarily for the 89th and 90th Congresses. Copies of his outgoing letters are in the staff reading file.

7.135 Records of Edward Jarrett, 1965-68 (2 ft.), consist mainly of administrative correspondence, principally for the 89th Congress. Jarrett was the chief clerk of the committee.

7.136 Outgoing letters and memorandums of the above persons and other staff members are in the staff reading files, 1961-68 (3 ft.). In addition to Zapple, Markel, and Huse, the staff members whose letters were retained in this file include Stan Barer (1963-64), William C. Foster (1963-66), Joseph R. Fogarty (1965-66), Marli Schenk (1965-66), Stanton P. Sender (1965-68), and Sylvia Cikins (1965-66). Each staff member's files are maintained separately. These individuals were either staff counsels or professional staff members, except for Cikins, who was secretary to the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Subcommittee.

7.137 Although not records of the staff, a valuable resource on the history of the committee and Senator Magnuson from a staff member's perspective is the transcript of an oral history interview with W. Featherstone Reid, assistant to Senator Magnuson. The transcript of the interview, prepared by the Senate Historical Office, is on deposit with the National Archives.

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.
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