Charles H. McGuire Papers
The Papers of Charles H. McGuire consist mainly of correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, speeches, press releases, and transcripts pertaining to his work as Director of the National Shipping Authority.
Size: 10 linear inches (about 1600 pages).
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The papers of Charles H. McGuire mainly consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, and speeches, but also include cables, handwritten notes, itineraries, schedules, legal documents, memorabilia, press releases, and transcripts that cover McGuire’s tenure in public office as Director of the National Shipping Authority, a division of the United States Maritime Administration. These materials touch on the importance of foreign trade, the role and future of the Authority, government cooperation with private industry, and safety on the high seas.
Most of the collection consists of correspondence regarding public events at which McGuire delivered speeches on many of the aforementioned topics. Draft and reading copies of McGuire’s speeches accompany correspondence between McGuire and various non-governmental and governmental organizations. From the date of his appointment and well into his tenure as Director of the National Shipping Authority, McGuire’s speeches address the inception, activities, future, and doctrine of the National Shipping Authority, with specific emphasis on coordinating defense needs with the economic needs of private industry and expanding United States foreign trade competitiveness with a technologically advanced fleet.
While visiting such cities as San Francisco, Boston, and Galveston, McGuire emphasized the need for port development in his speeches. In addition to correspondence and speeches, various itineraries, schedules, and memorabilia document McGuire’s travels.
The collection contains newspaper clippings that substantiate McGuire’s public work. These articles vary from critiques of McGuire and the National Shipping Authority to pieces McGuire authored analyzing significant shipping issues such as foreign trade quotas, the needs of Western Europe and their implications, evolving market conditions, hostilities in Korea, public cooperation with private industry, the National Shipping Authority’s and the United States Maritime Association’s vessel operating activities, and the value of ship safety.
Criticism against McGuire stemmed from actions regarding the SS Cornhusker Mariner, which ran aground in Pusan Harbor in Korea on July 7, 1953. The ship was part of the fleet that McGuire had advocated as an essential tool for future United States foreign trade competitiveness. The Director found himself immersed in controversy after commenting on the United States Navy’s handling of the situation. Hearing transcripts, correspondence between McGuire and his colleagues, and newspaper clippings record the span of time from the incident in Pusan Harbor through the hearings before the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, which investigated the matter.
After his resignation from the National Shipping Authority, McGuire received a copy of a manuscript written by Robert G. Albion, which covered the birth and early history of the National Shipping Authority. A copy of the manuscript is included in the collection, along with correspondence between Albion and McGuire, and between McGuire and his colleagues, discussing the potential implications of the manuscript’s publication.
Related collections at the Truman Library include the Records of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Merchant Marine (Record Group 220).