The Papers of Harry S. Truman
The files of Richard E. Neustadt consist of materials relating to Neustadt's position as Special Assistant in the White House Office from 1950 to 1953. The collection deals mainly with immigration policy and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran-Walter Act. Included are multiple drafts of a proposed message on European immigration that President Truman sent to Congress in March, 1952, along with correspondence between Neustadt and other officials regarding the message. Also included are drafts of proposed legislation relating to immigration, and a report that Neustadt prepared in 1953 about the Truman White House staff.
Size: Less than one half of one linear foot, about 800 pages.
The files of Richard E. Neustadt consist of materials relating to Neustadt's position as Special Assistant in the White House Office from 1950 to 1953. The documents are dated from 1951 through 1963, but most of them are from 1952. The folders are arranged alphabetically by title in a single Subject File. The collection consists of less than one half of one linear foot of material (about 800 pages).
The collection deals mainly with U.S. immigration policy and the Immigration and Nationality Act (also known as the McCarran-Walter Act). It includes multiple copies of drafts of a proposed message to Congress on European immigration. Neustadt, who helped write the message sent drafts to various departments and agencies for feedback. The responses to these drafts are included in the collection. Specifically, there are some responses and suggestions from the Displaced Persons Commission, Bureau of the Budget, Department of Defense, and Federal Security Agency. President Truman sent the completed message to Congress on March 24, 1952, requesting aid for European refugees from Communism. Also included are congressional reports, two bills, and Senate reports, all dealing with immigration and overpopulation in Europe. There are several letters from religious groups, especially Catholic organizations voicing their opinions on the pending immigration legislation. Congress approved the McCarran-Walter Act, an immigration-reform measure that Truman found unacceptable. He vetoed this legislation in June, 1952, but Congress overrode his veto.
One individual whose name appears frequently in the files is Democratic Senator Herbert Lehman. The collection includes records of remarks and statements made by Lehman regarding immigration and freedom. Lehman stated that he wanted a bipartisan commission to review the immigration laws and policies. He believed the government needed to have a new approach to immigration.
Other materials in the collection cover a proposed act that would provide for the establishment of aliens in the regular Army as well as a budget draft for the Special Migration Act of 1952. Related to this issue of migration, there is another draft of a different proposed speech drafted by Neustadt that Truman was to give to Congress. The message requested Congress to authorize a special program of aid to refugees from behind the Iron Curtain. It also asked that a limited number of these people be admitted into the United States. There are letters from Neustadt requesting recommendations along with drafts of the speech that were sent out to officials. The returned copies of the drafts with their recommendations along with the letters from Neustadt are in the collection.
Another item of particular interest in the collection is an essay written by Neustadt in 1953 entitled "Notes on the White House Staff under Truman." Neustadt wrote the essay shortly after the Truman administration ended. In the essay, he describes the staff offices, the people working in them, the work they did and their relationships with one another. Included are general observations about the organization and a summary statement on the efforts made by Truman and his staff to ease the transition to the Eisenhower administration.