The Center for Legislative Archives

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


Table of Contents

Chapter 13. Records of the Committee on the Judiciary and Related Committees, 1816-1968


Records of the Committee on the Judiciary and Related Committees, 1816-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States


Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committee on the Judiciary, 1947-68

13.72 The records of the Committee on the Judiciary, 1947-68 (1,990 ft.), are significantly different from those of previous years because the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 had a major impact on its duties and jurisdiction. The act authorized each committee to hire four permanent professional staff; this authority set the precedent for hiring, under separate authority, additional attorneys, investigators, economists, and legislative specialists to conduct various investigations. Another provision of the act reduced the number of committees; the standing Committee on Patents, the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, and the Committee on Claims were eliminated and their jurisdictions were assigned to the Judiciary Committee. The act also removed several matters from the purview of the committee, including those relating to executive branch reorganization (assigned to the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments), convict labor (assigned to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare), and the American National Red Cross (assigned to the Committee on Foreign Relations).

13.73 The act also defined committee jurisdictions in writing for the first time. According to Senate Rule XXV as modified by the 1946 act, the Judiciary Committee had jurisdiction over civil and criminal judicial proceedings; constitutional amendments; Federal courts and judges; local courts in territories and possessions; national penitentiaries; protection of trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies; holidays and celebrations; bankruptcy, mutiny, espionage, and counterfeiting; State and territorial boundaries; meetings of Congress, attendance of Members, and their acceptance of incompatible offices; civil liberties; patents, copyrights, and trademarks; the Patent Office; immigration and naturalization; apportionment of Representatives; measures relating to claims against the United States; and interstate compacts. (The 1977 changes in Rule XXV affecting the Judiciary Committee transferred jurisdiction over meetings of Congress, attendance of Members, and acceptance of incompatible offices to the Committee on Rules and Administration, and gave the Judiciary Committee shared jurisdiction with the Committee on Government Affairs over Government information.)

13.74 Other post-1946 changes in the records include the presence of case files on nominees to the Federal courts and legal officers of the Government (Attorney General, Solicitor General, U.S. attorneys, etc.); a separate series of legislative case files on bills and resolutions referred to the committee, formerly part of the series papers relating to specific bills and resolutions; and extensive documentation of many, but not all, subcommittees. The result of these changes is a huge growth in the volume of records.

Records of the Full Committee

13.75 The principal series documenting the legislative activities of the committee are legislative case files ("accompanying papers"), 1947-68 (421 ft.). For each bill and resolution referred to the committee during a Congress, there is a file that may contain any or all of the following types of records: printed copies of bills, amendments, reports, hearings, and committee prints; transcripts of printed and unprinted hearings; correspondence, both official evaluations and recommendations on the bills and general correspondence from interested organizations, groups, and individuals; staff memorandums analyzing bills; and related reference matter.

13.76 The contents of private claim and immigration bill files are somewhat different. Private claims have detailed descriptions of the basis of the claim, the itemization of the award, and the circumstances requiring that the bill be introduced. Immigration bills typically contain reports from the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Department of State and affidavits from or about individuals threatened with deportation because they entered the United States illegally.

13.77 For the 80th-83d Congresses (1947-54), the legislative case files also document certain investigations pursuant to simple resolutions; for example, the committee's antitrust investigation of the high cost of eyeglasses under S. Res. 204, 81st Cong., is included in this series. The records include unprinted transcripts of hearings, correspondence, staff memorandums and notes, and related printed matter. Among other, more significant investigations documented in this series is the 1952 inquiry, pursuant to S. Res. 306, 83d Cong., into the legal authority of the President to seize and operate certain steel plants and facilities instigated by President Truman's takeover of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, and the 1954 investigation, pursuant to S. Res. 174, 83d Cong., of certain activities of charitable and private welfare organizations. The series is arranged by Congress, thereunder by type of bill or resolution, and within each category by bill or resolution number.

13.78 Closely related to the legislative case files are legislative proposals, 1955-66 (3 ft.). This series contains agency proposals for legislation and some draft bills, accompanied by comment forms used by the committee staff. The records are arranged by Congress and thereunder by comment form number roughly in chronological order. There are no such records for the 85th Congress (1957-58). Apparently, most, if not all, of these proposals were never introduced.

13.79 Also referred to the committee are Presidential messages and executive communications ("messages, communications, and reports"), 1947-68 (80 ft.). These records consist of reports of Federal agencies regarding their compliance with the Federal Torts Claims Act of 1948, annual financial reports of Federally-chartered organizations, and reports of the Federal Judicial Conference and the Department of Justice. In addition, there are reports and related records concerning torts claims against the Post Office Department, 1947-59; special, so-called Attorney General reports on certain classes of immigrants, 1951-56, and on claims of Japanese-Americans evacuated under Executive Order 9066, 1953-58; dockets of the Motor Carrier Claims Commission, 1952-56; summaries of tort claims settled by the Post Office Department and the military services, 1948-60; and records relating to claims against the Army for the Texas City disaster of 1947, 1955-62. This series is arranged by Congress, thereunder by date referred, except for the above-mentioned special files, which have various arrangements or are unarranged.

13.80 Petitions, memorials, and resolutions of State legislatures and other bodies, 1947-68 (8 ft.), consist largely of resolutions of State legislatures; however, for the 83d Congress these include letters, mostly from Puerto Rican school children, concerning the shooting incident in the House of Representatives by Puerto Rican nationalists. There are separate files for records relating to Presidential disability and succession in the 89th and 90th Congresses (1965-68). The largest file contains an estimated 50,000 signatures supporting a John Birch Society-sponsored resolution relating to cutting off "aid and comfort to our Communist enemies." The series is arranged by Congress and thereunder chronologically by date of referral, except for the above-mentioned separate files.

13.81 Unpublished transcripts of either executive or public hearings for the full committee are generally found in the legislative case file or nomination file to which they relate or in subcommittee records. A few unprinted transcripts of hearings, 1947-54 (1 ft.), for the 80th, 82d, and 83d Congresses have been maintained separately; most of the hearings were held by various subcommittees and some were held in executive session.

13.82 Records of committee meetings are contained in executive session minutes and other records relating to committee meetings, 1947-68 (10 ft.), and include original minutes or transcripts of committee meetings (beginning in 1965), agenda, staff notes, and attendance records. A second set composed of duplicate copies, 1955-66, also contains occassionally minutes of subcommittee meetings.

13.83 The committee reviews all nominations of judges to the Federal courts, the Attorney General, the Solicitor General, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. attorneys, and U.S. marshals. A special nominations subcommittee makes a preliminary review of the nominee's qualifications, except for nominees for the U.S. Court of Customs and Patents Appeals, which are reviewed by the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights. Records relating to nominations, 1947-68 (81 ft.), may consist of transcripts of nomination hearings, some of which were held in executive session; correspondence with the American Bar Association and State bar associations concerning the qualifications of the nominee; correspondence with the general public; biographical sketches; notices; nomination reference and report forms; and for more controversial nominees, investigative records. In general, there is less documentation relating to nominees for U.S. attorney and U.S. marshal positions. Among the larger, more extensive or more notable files are those relating to Solicitor General nominee Philip Perlman (80th Cong.); Attorney General nominee James P. McGranery (82d Cong.); U.S. District Court nominees Willis W. Ritter (Utah, 81st Cong.), Freida Hennock (New York, 82d Cong.), and Miles Lord (Minnesota, 89th Cong.); Court of Appeals nominees Warren E. Burger and Simon E. Sobeloff (84th Cong.), John M. Wisdom (85th Cong.), Thurgood Marshall (87th Cong.), and Collins J. Seitz (89th Cong.); and Supreme Court Justice and Chief Justice nominees Earl Warren (83d Cong.), John Marshall Harlan (84th Cong.), William J. Brennan (85th Cong.), and Abe Fortas (89th and 90th Congresses).

13.84 Three correspondence files have been transferred by the committee. The first, the correspondence of Patrick (Pat) McCarran, 1947-48 (7 in.), is arranged alphabetically by name of subcommittee and consists of correspondence and printed material relating to claims, constitutional amendments, export control, immigration and naturalization, improvement of judicial machinery, nominations, and the tidelands controversy. A more comprehensive series, general correspondence, 1955-62 (22 ft.), consists of four subseries: Correspondence arranged by subject (15 ft.); alphabetical reading file (3 ft.); correspondence with committee members (1 ft.); and correspondence with subcommittees, 1955-60 (3 ft.), arranged alphabetically by name of subcommittee. For the 88th-90th Congress, there is a small amount of miscellaneous correspondence, 1963-68 (11 in.), which is both fragmentary and routine.

13.85 Other records of the committee include papers relating to a study of interstate compacts, 1950-70 (4 ft.), and copies of reports and other records, maintained by Walter Sheridan, relating to radiation and public health, c. 1960-64 (4 ft.). Sheridan was a political associate of the Kennedy brothers, and served as an investigator for the Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee (1977-78) and as a professional staff member of the full committee (1979-80). It is unclear how Sheridan's files are connected to the work of the committee.

Records of Subcommittees

13.86 Since 1947, the Committee on the Judiciary has made extensive use of subcommittees to accomplish its legislative, investigative, and oversight functions. Between 1947 and 1977, when the committee system was reformed and the number of subcommittees limited, the committee had as many as 15 standing and special subcommittees during a particular Congress. While some subcommittees have had limited functions, small or no staffs, and have transferred no records of their own, others, particularly those with active investigations, have had large staffs of lawyers, investigators, and other professional staff members and generated large volumes of records. A few have even produced or collected more records in less than 30 years than most of the full standing committees through their entire existence. The following pages describe those subcommittees for which pre-1969 records have been retired to the National Archives. In most instances, the descriptions of records will be confined to those created prior to 1969, although under the filing practices of several of the subcommittees, these records may be interspersed with records created as recently as 1977. Researchers should consult the correspondence and the unprinted transcripts of hearings maintained by the full committee, which also contain records related to subcommittees; for some subcommittees, these two full committee series contain the only known manuscript records.

13.87 Two subcommittees that were established in 1947 to take the place of standing committees that were terminated by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 are the Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization and the Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights.

Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization

13.88 The records, 1947-66 (54 ft.), of the subcommittee consist of transcripts of executive sessions, 1947-51; correspondence, 1948-51, 1953-60, and 1965-66, concerning revisions of the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952, especially S. 1206, 84th Cong., the Joint Committee on Immigration and Naturalization Policy, 1953-54; and other matters relating both generally to refugee relief, deportation and suspension of alien seamen, displaced persons, and adoption of children, and to specific cases; copies of outgoing letters and memorandums, 1953-56 and 1965-66; and suspension of deportation case files, 1947-52. Additional transcripts of executive sessions, 1948-51, are in the records of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. The chairmen of the subcommittee during these years were Chapman Revercomb of West Virginia (1947-48), Patrick McCarran of Nevada (1949-52), Arthur V. Watkins of Utah (1953-54), Harley Kilgore of West Virginia (1955-56), and James O. Eastland of Mississippi (1956-1968).

Subcommittee on Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

13.89 The records, 1955-76 (34 ft.), of the subcommittee document studies made by or for the subcommittee and legislation it considered during the chairmanships of Joseph C. O'Mahoney of Wyoming (1955-60) and John McClellan of Arkansas (1961-68). The Patents Subcommittee was a standing subcommittee, but its earliest records date from the approval of S. Res. 92, 84th Cong. (1955), which provided funds for an examination and review of the administration of the Patent Office and the statutes relating to patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Records of this subcommittee include information sent by various companies to the subcommittee for its 1956 study of compulsory patent licensing relief in antitrust final judgments. Other records include reports on various aspects of patent law and Patent Office administration produced pursuant to S. Res. 55, 85th Cong., and related staff memorandums and correspondence, 1957-63; staff memorandums, correspondence, and reports of various Government agencies concerning Government patent law policy with respect to patents awarded to contractors of the U.S. Government, 1961-68; legislative files for bills introduced in the 89th-90th Congresses, 1965-68; alphabetically arranged outgoing letters, 1955-65; subcommittee budget, personnel, and administrative records, 1955-76; records relating to the President's Commission on the Patent System, 1965-68; transcript of executive session testimony of Admiral Hyman Rickover, June 2, 1961, on the national patent policy; and miscellaneous subject files, correspondence, and printed material.

Senate Internal Security Subcommittee

13.90 Among the largest subcommittee holdings are the records of the Special Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, 1951-77 (547 ft.). More commonly known as the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), it was authorized under S. Res. 366, 81st Cong., approved December 21, 1950, to study and investigate (1) the administration, operation, and enforcement of the Internal Security Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-831, also known as the McCarran Act) and other laws relating to espionage, sabotage, and the protection of the internal security of the United States and (2) the extent, nature, and effects of subversive activities in the United States "including, but not limited to, espionage, sabotage, and infiltration of persons who are or may be under the domination of the foreign government or organization controlling the world Communist movement or any movement seeking to overthrow the Government of the United States by force and violence." The resolution also authorized the subcommittee to subpoena witnesses and require the production of documents. Because of the nature of its investigations, the subcommittee is considered by some to be the Senate equivalent to the older House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

13.91 The chairman of the subcommittee in the 82d Congress was Patrick (Pat) McCarran of Nevada (1950-53). William Jenner of Indiana took over during the 83d Congress after the Republicans gained control of the Senate in the 1952 election. When the Democrats regained control in the 84th Congress (1955-56), James O. Eastland of Mississippi became chairman, a position he held until the subcommittee was abolished in 1977.

13.92 The subjects of its investigations during the 1950's include the formulation of U. S. foreign policy in the Far East; the scope of Soviet activity in the United States; subversion in the Federal Government, particularly in the Departments of States and Defense; immigration; the United Nations; youth organizations; the television, radio, and entertainment industry; the telegraph industry; the defense industry; labor unions; and educational organizations. In the 1960's, the investigations were expanded to include civil rights and racial issues, campus disorders, and drug trafficking. The subcommittee published over 400 volumes of hearings and numerous reports, documents, and committee prints.

13.93 The major classes of records of the subcommittee are the investigative and administrative records, and the special collections. There are also several smaller files. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigations, the investigative files were not maintained either by year or Congress; instead, individual files may contain information accumulated over a period of 20 or more years. It is impractical, therefore, to limit a description of the records of the subcommittee to those through 1968. And although the files were begun in 1951, some contain data that precedes the creation of the subcommittee.

13.94 The investigative records include transcripts of executive session hearings, 1951-75 (31 ft.); records of the investigation of the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR), c. 1935-52 (13 ft.); personal name files, c. 1951-77, arranged in four subseries (118 ft.); central investigative subject files, c. 1951-77 (143 ft.); country files, c. 1941-77 (27 ft.); miscellaneous investigative subject files, c. 1950-58 (9 ft.); and subcommittee publications, 1951-77 (10 ft.). The personal name files are arranged in four subseries, one of which consists of loose papers rather than dossiers. The individual files often consist of newspaper and magazine clippings only, but many files, especially from the 1950's, contain correspondence, investigative reports, and copies of Government and other documents. The miscellaneous subject files are miscellaneous only because they have not been incorporated into the central subject file.

13.95 The investigation of the Institute of Pacific Relations was the first major investigation initiated by the subcommittee. The IPR was established in 1925 to provide a forum for discussion of Asian problems and relations between Asia and the West. To promote greater knowledge of the Far East, the IPR established a large research program, which was supported financially by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and other major corporations. While the IPR leadership maintained it was a nonpartisan body, others, including some former members, accused it of supporting the Communist line with respect to its analysis of political developments in the Far East. Some people accused the IPR leadership of spying for the Soviet Union. Owen Lattimore, editor of the IPR journal Pacific Affairs, was especially singled out for criticism.

13.96 To investigate these charges, the SISS took possession of the older files of the IPR, which had been stored at the Lee, Massachusetts farm of E. C. Carter, an IPR trustee. The subcommittee's investigators studied these records for 5 months, then held hearings for nearly 1 year (July 25, 1951-June 20, 1952). The final report of the subcommittee was issued in July 1952 (S. Rpt. 2050, 82d Cong., 2d sess., Serial 11574). The records of the IPR investigation, c. 1935-52 (13 ft.), consist chiefly of an "evaluation of documents file" containing summaries of IPR documents prepared by SISS investigators, arranged for the most part alphabetically by subject. The records also include a witness file consisting of correspondence, statements, and printed matter, and biographical files and summary reports. All of these files are arranged alphabetically by subject name.

13.97 The special collections include the Ralph Van Deman Papers, 1929-52 (62 ft.); the Amerasia Papers, c. 1940-45 (8 ft.); papers relating to the Morgenthau Diary Study, 1953-65 (12 ft.); so-called subversive publications, 1948-70 (34 ft.); and government-issued civil rights publications, 1944-64 (3 ft.).

13.98 Maj. Gen. Ralph H. Van Deman was a former U.S. Army surgeon who became involved in intelligence work while stationed in the Philippines in 1908. During World War I, he headed U.S. Army military intelligence in Washington and was instrumental in organizing volunteer units of civilians such as the American Protective League that watched and reported signs of disloyalty. In 1929 he retired from military service but, with the assistance of the U.S. Army, began the development of a private intelligence service, which collected classified domestic intelligence reports from the U.S. Army and Navy and the FBI, as well as from numerous police departments. He also maintained an extensive network of unnamed informers who infiltrated groups or attended meetings. He regularly reported to the FBI, military intelligence agencies, HUAC, and the un-American activities committee of the California Legislature.

13.99 After Van Deman's death in 1952, his files were split into two collections. The larger of the two was taken over by the U.S. Army for use by Federal agencies for security checks. The smaller collection was given to a private library in San Diego, CA, and used, until 1962, to screen California State job applicants. The records in Army custody were sent to Ft. Holabird, MD, where they were integrated into the U.S. Army Investigative Records Depository, but in 1968, they were removed from this file; the index was reportedly lost or destroyed. The U.S. Army transferred the records to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee in 1971, during a Judiciary Committee investigation of Army surveillance of civilians.

13.100 The records in the National Archives consist of "R-files," a serially numbered document file (24 ft.) that contains intelligence data from the sources described above but is virtually unusable without the index; miscellaneous investigative files (6 ft.); and a collection (32 ft.) of Communist and Socialist newspapers and tabloids, such as the Western Worker.

13.101 Also relating to the subcommittee's interest in Communist takeover of China are the Amerasia Papers. The Amerasia Papers consist of documents seized by FBI agents on June 6, 1945, in connection with the arrests of six persons, including U.S. Government employees, on espionage charges related to possession of classified Government documents. Amerasia was a journal on Far Eastern affairs, edited by Phillip J. Jaffe and Kate L. Mitchell. Classified documents concerning U.S. policy in China were found in the possession of several defendants. Because the OSS burglarized the office of Amerasia and the homes of several individuals, the evidence was deemed tainted and charges were reduced or dropped.

13.102 Congressional interest in the case continued however. In 1946, a House Judiciary subcommittee chaired by Rep. Samuel F. Hobbs and, in 1950, the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Investigation of Loyalty of State Department Employees investigated the Amerasia case. In 1955, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee asked the Justice Department to deliver the Amerasia materials to them. The records were declassified and in 1956 and 1957, the Justice Department delivered 1,260 documents to the subcommittee. The records are arranged by alphanumeric designations that indicate which agency or agencies were required to declassify the 923 Government documents turned over; the remaining 337 are marked "P" for personal source. The committee print The Amerasia Papers: A Clue to the Catastrophe of China (2 vols., 1970), summarizes the case and reproduces 315 of the documents.

13.103 Another special collection that focuses on China is the subcommittee's collection of files relating to the so-called diaries of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of the Treasury, 1934-45. The records of the Morgenthau Diary Study, 1953-65 (12 ft.), consist largely of copies of portions of memorandums, correspondence, transcripts of meetings, and other records preserved by Secretary Morgenthau in order to document his tenure. The original records are in the custody of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, NY. In 1965, the SISS issued a two volume committee print entitled Morgenthau Diary (China), containing entries from the records at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library selected to illustrate the implementation of Roosevelt administration policy in China. According to the editor of the publication, the subcommittee wanted to produce a documentary history on the subject and "also indicate the serious problem of unauthorized, uncontrolled and often dangerous power exercised by nonelected officials," specifically Harry Dexter White. White was a major figure in Senator William Jenner's investigation of interlocking subversion in Government departments in 1953. The records also include subject files accumulated by the editors of the volume and copies of subcommittee publications produced as a result of or accumulated during the study.

13.104 The administrative records of the SISS include general correspondence, 1951-68 (25 ft.); legislative case files, 1951-76 (8 ft.); legal precedent and reference file, 1951-76 (5 ft. ); records relating to subpoenas, 1949-75 (2 ft.); personnel records, 1951-76 (2 ft.); and subcommittee financial records, 1951-77 (3 ft.).

13.105 Also found among the SISS files are transcripts of executive session hearings of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization and the Joint Committee on Immigration and Nationality Policy, 1948-51 (1 ft.), newsclipping scrapbooks and clipping files on certain subjects, 1952-65 (7 ft.), and some material of undetermined origin.

Special Subcommittee on the Trading with the Enemy Act

13.106 Pursuant to S. Res. 245, 82d Cong., approved January 10, 1952, the Judiciary Committee was authorized to study the administration since December 18, 1941, of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, as amended (40 Stat. 415). The Trading with the Enemy Act empowered the United States to confiscate and sell enemy property. The records, 1952-66 (6 ft.), consist of legislative case files, mainly for amendments to the act that were proposed during the 85th and 86th Congresses; a subject file, largely consisting of publications of or about the Office of the Alien Property Custodian and concerning the legislative history of the act; and administrative records.

Special Subcommittee on the Emigration of Refugees and Escapees

13.107 Also in the 82d Congress, pursuant to S. Res. 326, approved June 21, 1952, a special subcommittee was established to study all matters pertaining "to problems in certain European countries created by the flow of escapees and refugees from Communist tyranny," chiefly Hungarians. Later resolutions extended the subcommittee's mandate to include Palestinian Arab, Chinese, Korean, and Armenian refugees also. The subcommittee chair was William Langer of North Dakota, who died November 8, 1959; his successor was John L. McClellan of Arkansas. The records, 1953-60 (7 ft.), consist of "general" files that include correspondence on private relief bills, adoption, refugee, and visa cases; and records relating to the 1955 clash between Edward Corsi, the assistant to the Secretary of State's special advisor on refugee matters, and Scott McLeod, Administrator of the refugee relief program of the State Department. Also included is an unprinted transcript of a hearing, April 1, 1959, on European and Arab refugees. The committee administrative files include travel reports of committee counsel Eleanor C. Guthridge, in addition to subcommittee personnel and other administrative records.

Special Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency

13.108 The Special Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency was established on April 27, 1953, with the approval of S. Res. 89, 83d Cong., to investigate the causes of what appeared to be an increased amount of criminal activity by teenagers and to determine what steps the Federal Government might take to combat this trend. The subcommittee was directed to focus on the adequacy of existing laws in dealing with youthful offenders of Federal law, to examine sentences and other correctional actions taken by the Federal courts, and to determine the extent to which juveniles were violating Federal narcotics laws. What began as a specific inquiry for a fixed time period grew during the 83d Congress and succeeding Congresses into a far-reaching investigation extended numerous times by other Senate resolutions. Subjects of the subcommittee's investigations include the relationship between juvenile violence and crime and such media as television and comic books; the effectiveness of the juvenile court system, youth institutions, juvenile community control programs of Government agencies and social welfare organizations, and youth employment programs; juvenile crime and narcotics and nonnarcotic dangerous drugs; exploitation of youth by black market adoption, prostitution, and confidence game rackets; juvenile access to weapons, such as switchblade knives and mail-order firearms, and to pornographic magazines and books; delinquency among American Indians; particular youth-oriented crimes such as auto theft; and the interstate shipment of fireworks, among others.

13.109 The original subcommittee membership included Chairman Robert C. Hendrickson of New Jersey, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, and William Langer of North Dakota. Shortly thereafter, Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., of Missouri was appointed to the subcommittee. Senator Hendrickson chaired the subcommittee during the 83d Congress (1953-55), Senator Kefauver during the 84th Congress (1955-57), and Senator Hennings during the 85th-86th Congresses (1957-1960). Thomas J. Dodd of Connecticut chaired the subcommittee during the 87th-91st Congresses (1961-71).

13.110 No major legislation was enacted as a direct result of the subcommittee's investigations, although a major effort to regulate the mail-order sales of firearms, S. 1975, 88th Cong., passed the Senate in 1964. The major piece of legislation concerning juvenile delinquency, the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Act of 1961 (Public Law 87-274), was sponsored by members of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.

13.111 The records, 1953-70 (296 ft.), of the subcommittee consist of public and executive hearing transcripts and hearing exhibits; tape recordings of a few hearings; correspondence and subject files; completed questionnaires sent to juvenile court judges, probation officers, police chiefs, and social workers on a variety of subjects; newspaper clippings; investigative files, some containing police and other confidential reports; subcommittee administrative records; and reference files. Among the last are collections of comic books, especially those thought to be particularly gruesome, violent, or otherwise provocative in subject matter. These include most of the first 12 issues of MAD, edited by William F. Gaines, a witness at the 1954 hearings on comic books. In connection with 1964 hearings on violence and crime on television and their effects on young people, the subcommittee acquired numerous television scripts, particularly from the series, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Untouchables, advertising brochures on upcoming shows, and correspondence, memorandums, and reports of the major networks and independent producers. One particularly detailed file concerned the production of a series entitled Klondike Fever, documenting casting, promotion, advertising, editorial, and technical decisions. Most of the television material dates from 1957 to 1964. There are also extensive reference files of firearms magazines and tabloids.

13.112 The records of the subcommittee are somewhat difficult to use. In the subcommittee's early years, the records were arranged by a subject-numeric files classification system but, apparently as chairmen and staff directors changed, this system was abandoned. While the records on some subjects have been maintained together, many have not. The records are accessible through finding aids made by the National Archives.

Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly

13.113 Another subcommittee for which a substantial volume of records has been retained is the standing Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly. The subcommittee was established in 1951 at the beginning of the 82d Congress as a standing Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly Legislation, first chaired by Herbert R. O'Conor of Maryland (1951-52). During this Congress, the subcommittee did not play a major role in the Senate investigation of economic concentration then being undertaken by the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. In the 83d Congress, however, the subcommittee made a place for itself by pursuing two matters concerning publicly owned electric power. In the 83d Congress, the subcommittee, now chaired by William Langer of North Dakota (1953-54), examined the Department of the Interior's "new power policy"; the hearing concluded with a recommendation to conduct in the next Congress a broader study of the entire power industry. The second matter was the emerging controversy over the so-called Dixon-Yates contract to permit a private utility company to construct a generating plant to supply electricity to Atomic Energy Commission facilities in the Tennessee Valley.

13.114 On March 18, 1955, the Senate approved S. Res. 61, 84th Cong., which authorized money to conduct a full scale inquiry into antitrust policies and monopoly. The general subjects of the study were "bigness" of industry, the economic effects of and current trends toward mergers; and the present laws and their enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. But instead of targeting the power industry as recommended, the investigators concentrated on business practices in the automobile industry, especially those of the General Motors Corporation; the economic effects of the Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, which prohibited discrimination in manufacturer's prices; and application of antitrust laws to foreign trade and industry. While the full subcommittee investigated these subjects, a three-member panel of the subcommittee, composed of Senators Kefauver, O'Mahoney, and Langer, continued hearings and issued, as a committee print, a highly critical "interim" report on the Dixon-Yates contract.

13.115 These investigations set the tone for Antitrust and Monopoly Subcommittee activities during the next 25 years. Under its chairmen from 1955-68, Harley M. Kilgore of West Virginia (1955-56), Joseph C. O'Mahoney of Wyoming (acting chairman following Senator Kilgore's death, 1956), Estes Kefauver of Tennessee (1957-1963), and Philip A. Hart of Michigan (1963-76), the subcommittee investigated pricing practices and mergers in the meat-packing industry; so-called administered prices (those over which a selling industry has some degree of control, as opposed to market-driven prices), particularly in the steel, automobile, insurance, and drug industries; alleged price fixing and bid rigging in the electrical equipment industry; ownership of pharmaceutical businesses, pharmacies, and medical appliance stores by doctors; diet pills and doctors specializing in the treatment of obesity; American drug company operations in Latin America; sales of hearing aids; monopolistic business practices in foreign countries; packaging and labeling practices affecting consumers; control and ownership of space communications satellites; the funeral industry; franchising; the oil shale industry; joint operating agreements for newspapers and "failing newspaper" legislation; antitrust exemptions for professional sports; and other subjects concerning anticompetitive business practices and consumer interests.

13.116 The pre-1969 records (approximately 325 ft.) comprise many series, some of which overlap into the later period. While a substantial part of the records for the 1955-63 period (95 ft.), such as those documenting investigation of administered prices in various industries, are arranged alphabetically by type of record (mainly hearing correspondence, hearing transcripts, and investigative files on specific industries), most later records are less organized. For the 1955-63 period, the most extensively documented industries are the automotive (especially the General Motors Corporation), oil, meat-packing, electrical power (including the Dixon-Yates contract and the proposed merger of the Puget Sound Power and Light Co. and the Washington Water Power Co.), drug, and aviation insurance industries. An unpublished file plan for these records is available.

13.117 The records also include a small number of unprinted transcripts of hearings, 1953-54 and 1957, (2 ft.), on various subjects; copies of bids for parts and materials in an investigation of certain Tennessee Valley Authority contracts, 1956-59 (5 ft.); subject files, correspondence, and other records relating to truth-in-packaging legislation, 1959-66 (19 ft.); and subject files relating to the insurance investigation, c. 1958-60 (10 ft.).

13.118 Records of the general counsel and staff directors S. Jerry Cohen and Howard "Buck" O'Leary, assistant staff director Horace Flurry, and several associate counsels of the subcommittee are included in the records. Most of these files begin approximately 1965 and continue into the mid-1970's. Each associate counsel concentrated on certain investigations; for example, files of Dorothy D. Goodwin, 1961-71 (31 ft.), which have been inventoried, reflect her responsibility for investigations of anticompetitive business practices in the drug and medical fields. Records of the subcommittee chief minority counsel, Peter N. Chumbris, 1957-81 (34 ft.), consist of subject and legislative case files, but contain little pre-1969 material and are poorly organized; the lack of organization is compensated for by a folder title list and two indexes. Chumbris' files contain correspondence with many of the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, and document his association with Roman Hruska of Nebraska. Also related directly to records of the subcommittee staff are the personal papers of John M. Blair, subcommittee chief economist from 1957 to 1970 (48 ft.). Blair's files, which also document his career as chief economist for the Federal Trade Commission prior to his service with the subcommittee, are largely reference files assembled for administered prices and economic concentration investigations, but also include correspondence with many economists.

Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights

13.119 The Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights was established by a resolution of the Senate Judiciary Committee, approved January 20, 1955, to survey the "extent to which the Constitutional rights of the people of the United States were being respected and enforced." Funds to conduct hearings and investigate this subject were authorized by S. Res. 94, 84th Cong., and continued by later resolutions. The subcommittee concentrated on rights guaranteed, recognized, safeguarded, or protected under the Constitution.

13.120 From its beginning, subcommittee policy precluded its involvement in matters still before the courts or with individual cases that did not appear to relate to some policy or rule that might infringe on some constitutional right. It did, however, invite the public to bring to its attention violations that raised issues of general application. Consequently, as the subcommittee's activities became known, it received thousands of complaints, inquiries, and requests for information and assistance from a variety of sources.

13.121 The chairmen of the subcommittee were Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., of Missouri (1955-60); Joseph C. O'Mahoney of Wyoming (September-December 1960, following Senator Hennings' death); Sam J. Ervin of North Carolina (1961-1974); and John W. Tunney of California (1975-76). Following Senator Ervin's retirement at the end of the 93d Congress, Senator Tunney's Subcommittee on Representation of Citizens' Interests was merged into the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights. When the subcommittee convened at the beginning of the 95th Congress (1977), it had no permanent chairman because Senator Tunney failed to be reelected. Because the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1977 (S. Res. 4, 95th Cong.) placed limits on the number and membership of subcommittees, the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights was assigned to the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, chaired at that time by Birch E. Bayh of Indiana.

13.122 The records, 1955-76 (59 ft.), consist primarily of correspondence of the chairman and professional staff members, arranged by subject and thereunder chronologically by date of receipt, and general correspondence, arranged chronologically. The records also include research files, staff memorandums, and newspaper clippings. Much of the correspondence relates to individual cases of alleged abuse of constitutional rights. The pre-1969 subjects include civil rights and the loyalty-security program, restriction of travel abroad by U.S. citizens through denial of passports, confessions and police detention, freedom of the press as it relates to fair trials and freedom of information, rights of the mentally ill, rights of American Indians, military justice, rights of civil servants, and rights to bail and speedy trials. Among the miscellaneous records of the subcommittee are files on the efforts of Helen Sobell, wife of convicted spy Martin Sobell (a defendant in the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg espionage case), and others, to obtain the subcommittee's assistance in freeing her husband from Federal prison, and on the proposed deportation of Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino ("Tokyo Rose") in 1956. The records are more fully described in an unpublished finding aid prepared by National Archives staff.

Special Subcommittee on Improvement of the Federal Criminal Code

13.123 The purpose of the vaguely named Special Subcommittee on Improvement of the Federal Criminal Code was to find ways and means of "improving the Federal Criminal Code and other laws and enforcement procedures dealing with the possession, sale, and transportation of narcotics, marihuana, and similar drugs." Pursuant to S. Res. 67, 84th Cong., approved March 8, 1955, the subcommittee, under chairman Price Daniel of Texas (1955-57) and later, Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming (1957-58), held 38 open and 18 executive hearings, where they heard testimony from Government officials, medical experts, and drug addicts and smugglers on the causes, treatment, and rehabilitation of addicts, on the narcotics smuggling from Mexico, and on control of dangerous drugs in the District of Columbia. One of the witnesses was the horror film actor Bela Lugosi, who had been treated for drug addiction. The records, 1955-58 (19 ft.), are arranged under primary subject or record type headings. Over half of the records concern narcotics and include questionnaires completed by law enforcement officials, U.S. attorneys, and State attorneys general. There are also files on witnesses such as Lugosi, and legislative proposals, such as the bill, H.R. 11619, 84th Cong., which became the Narcotic Control Act of 1956 (Public Law 84-728). Another concern of the subcommittee was the establishment of procedures for the production of Government records in criminal cases in United States courts, as a result of the Supreme Court decision in the case Clifton E. Jencks v. United States. Jencks was a labor union official, whose perjury conviction was thrown out because Federal prosecutors had refused to make available to his attorney the statements made against him by paid FBI informants. As a result of this case, the Senate passed a bill, S. 2377, 85th Cong., enacted as the so-called Jencks Act (71 Stat. 595), which sharply restricted the Court's decision.

Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure

13.124 Records, 1963-64 (3 ft.), of this subcommittee consist of a legislative case file on S. 1663, which proposed the 1963 amendments to the Administrative Procedures Act of 1946 (60 Stat. 237). The file includes staff notes, agency and public comments, and a section-by-section analysis of the bill.

Subcommittee on Criminal Laws and Procedures

13.125 Records, 1966-67 (1 in.), of this subcommittee consist of minutes of subcommittee meetings, such as the markup on the Johnson administration's crime control bill (S. 917, 90th Cong.), and related records.

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.
The Center for Legislative Archives >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.