Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

President Truman and Former President Herbert Hoover at the White House



Prepared by Dennis Bilger and Randy Sowell, October 2001

[ Truman Papers | Other Personal Papers | Federal Records | Oral Histories]

This material covers various aspects of the work of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, popularly known as the Hoover Commission. Established under the chairmanship of former President Herbert Hoover in 1947, the Commission delivered its reports and recommendations to President Harry S. Truman and Congress in 1949. The proposals of the Hoover Commission resulted in an extensive reorganization of the executive branch of the federal government. (A second Hoover Commission continued work on government reorganization during the Eisenhower administration.) The Hoover Commission was an effort to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government, a goal shared by Presidents Hoover and Truman, despite their many political differences. For Truman, government reorganization was based upon his experiences as a county administrator during the Great Depression and as chairman of a Senate committee investigating the national defense program during World War II. Truman believed in an activist government, but one with minimal waste and bureaucratic infighting. In addition to common interests in this area and others, Hoover and Truman shared a mutual regard that grew into friendship as they forged a working relationship during the Truman administration.

The page numbers in brackets represent estimates as to the amount of relevant material to be found in each collection. It should be noted that other collections at the Truman Library, in addition to the ones listed here, may contain additional information relating to the Hoover Commission.

[ Truman Papers | Other Personal Papers | Federal Records | Oral Histories]


PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY'S FILES-Material on government reorganization, particularly in the District of Columbia. [150 pages]

WHITE HOUSE CENTRAL FILES-Relevant material in such files as Official File (OF) 285 (Government Departments), 285A (Reorganization of Government Departments), 285E (Hoover Commission), 285H (President's Advisory Committee on Management Improvement), and 419B (The President's Messages and Legislative Recommendations to Congress). Additional material in the General File (Hoover Commission), the Confidential File (Reorganization), and Public Opinion Mail (Hoover Commission). [5,600 pages] First Meeting of the Hoover Commission

STAFF MEMBER AND OFFICE FILES-Material on the Hoover Commission and government reorganization in the files of Clark M. Clifford, Martin L. Friedman, Ken Hechler, Charles S. Murphy, Philleo Nash, George J. Schoeneman, and Raymond Zimmerman. [500 pages]

POST-PRESIDENTIAL PAPERS-Documents relating to the Hoover Commission in the Secretary's Office File and in the Memoirs File. [25 pages]

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DEAN ACHESON PAPERS-Material relating to Acheson's service as Vice Chairman of the Hoover Commission. [12,800 pages]

CLINTON P. ANDERSON PAPERS-Material concerning reorganization of the Production and Marketing Administration (PMA) in the Department of Agriculture. [50 pages]

EBEN AYERS PAPERS-Some material on reorganization of the government. [10 pages]

FRANCIS P. BRASSOR PAPERS- Material relating to Brassor's service as Executive Secretary to both the first and the second Hoover Commissions. [2,400 pages]

GEORGE M. ELSEY PAPERS-Memoranda and other documents on reorganization of the executive branch. [100 pages].

JOHN W. GIBSON PAPERS-Material relating to reorganization in the Department of Labor during Gibson's tenure as Assistant Secretary of Labor, 1946-1950. [200 pages]

FREDERICK J. LAWTON PAPERS-Documents pertaining to reorganization of the Department of Labor and the work of the President's Advisory Committee on Management Improvement during Lawton's tenure as Director of the Bureau of the Budget, 1950-1953. [800 pages]

J. HOWARD MC GRATH PAPERS-Material dating from McGrath's years as a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, 1947-1949, concerning proposed legislation related to the Hoover Commission. [200 pages]

FRANK PACE, JR. PAPERS-Speech drafts and other material relating to the President's Advisory Committee on Management Improvement and Pace's service as Director of the Bureau of the Budget, 1949-1950. [100 pages]

SAMUEL I. ROSENMAN PAPERS-Material on the reorganization of government departments. [2 pages]

HAROLD D. SMITH PAPERS-Entries from the diary kept by Smith while serving as Director of the Bureau of the Budget under President Truman. [500 pages]

JOHN W. SNYDER PAPERS-Material relating to the Hoover Commission and reorganization plans involving the Internal Revenue Bureau during Snyder's tenure as Secretary of the Treasury, 1946-1953. [500 pages]

STEPHEN J. SPINGARN PAPERS-Material concerning reorganization legislation and reorganization plans. [150 pages]

JAMES E. WEBB PAPERS-Documents relating to the Hoover Commission and government reorganization during Webb's tenure as Director of the Bureau of the Budget. [4,100 pages]

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RECORD GROUP 51: RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET-Recommendations from the agency then known as the Bureau of the Budget, and from other agencies and departments, regarding the Reorganization Act of 1945 (H.R. 4129, signed by the President on December 20, 1945) and the Reorganization Act of 1949 (H.R. 2361, signed by the President on June 20, 1949). [50 pages]

RECORD GROUP 220: RECORDS OF THE PRESIDENT'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENT-Documents relating to attempted improvements in the management of government operations, as recommended by the Hoover Commission. [2,400 pages]

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DAVID E. BELL (OH 115)-Special Assistant in the White House Office, 1947-1948; Administrative Assistant to the President, 1951-1953. (p. 197)

GEORGE M. ELSEY (OH 128)-Special Assistant in the White House Office, 1947-1949; Administrative Assistant to the President, 1949-1951; Assistant to the Director, Mutual Security Agency, 1951-1953. (p. 454)

ROBERT B. LANDRY (OH 479)-U.S. Army and Air Force Officer, 1932-1963; Air Aide to the President, 1948-1953. (pp. 266, 267)

JESS LARSON (OH 435)-Administrator, War Assets Administration, 1947-1949; Administrator, General Services Administration, 1949-1953. (pp. 26, 29, 40)

FREDERICK J. LAWTON (OH 10)-Director, Bureau of the Budget, 1950-1953. (pp. 36, 37, 60, 61)

MAX LOWENTHAL (OH 45)-Counsel to the Senate Interstate Commerce Committee, 1935-1941. (pp. 87-89)

DILLON S. MYER (OH 123)-Director, War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946; Commissioner, Federal Public Housing Administration, 1946-1947; President, Institute of Inter-American Affairs, 1947-1950; Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1950-1953. (p. 357)

JOHN H. OHLY (OH 379)-Special Assistant to the Secretary of War, 1946; Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, 1947-1949; Deputy Director, Mutual Defense Assistance Program, Department of State, 1949-1950; Assistant Director, Office of International Security Affairs, Department of State, 1951; Special Assistant for Mutual Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of State, 1951-1952. (p. 117)

FRANK PACE, JR. (OH 130)-Director, Bureau of the Budget, 1949-1950; Secretary of the Army, 1950-1953. (pp. 19, 20)

RUSSELL L. RILEY (OH 161)-Assistant Chief, Division of Libraries and Institutes, Department of State, 1949-1950; Director of Personnel, Economic Stabilization Agency, 1951; Deputy Director, Office of Educational Exchange, Department of State, 1951-1952; Assistant Administrator, International Information Administration, 1952-1953. (p. 45)

HAROLD D. SEIDMAN (OH 62)-Staff Member, Bureau of the Budget, 1943-1968. (pp. 32, 33)

JOHN R. STEELMAN (OH 7)-Assistant to the President, 1946-1953. (pp. 40-42)

DAVID H. STOWE (OH 405)-Administrative Assistant to the President, 1949-1953. (p. 31)

ANNA LORD STRAUSS (OH 183)-President, League of Women Voters, 1944-1950. (p. 33)

TRUMAN WHITE HOUSE: CHARLES S. MURPHY, RICHARD NEUSTADT, DAVID STOWE, AND JAMES E. WEBB (OH 385)-Members of President Truman's White House staff. (pp. 42-45)