Eno Transportation Weekly

Pre-1960s Attempts to Create a U.S. Department of Transportation – Part 1: Defining “Transportation” 1923-1942

April 3, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its creation. At the time, the Eno Center for Transportation assembled a documentary history of the creation of USDOT, from the original Johnson White House task force proposal in 1965, through the proposal and Congressional consideration of legislation in 1966, to the formal opening of the Department on April 1, 1967.

As part of the research for that documentary record, I discovered that while it was Lyndon Johnson who finally made a formal proposal for creation a USDOT and pushed it through, his predecessors Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower each came tantalizingly close to creating a Department of Transportation, or some equivalent organization, as far back as 1946. This story has never before been told.

In order to figure out how the federal government should best perform its transportation role, first policymakers had to define what transportation was. In particular, they had two big questions that they had to answer:

1)   When the federal government builds a road, bridge, or airport, is that more closely akin to the federal government building a hydropower dam, sewer, hospital, or courthouse (lumping all public works together), or is the construction of public works to be used for transportation more closely akin to the federal government performing its role as a regulator of transportation safety and commerce and as the provider of transportation services in the air and in the water?

2)   When the federal government builds something directly, is that functionally the same as making a grant to a state or local government to build such a thing? Or are all federal grant programs to states and localities, whatever the end object of the grant (infrastructure, health care, law enforcement, etc.), basically the same?

The story of how the federal government eventually answered these questions revolves, at least at first, around two men. One is a household name (probably for many of the wrong reasons), the other a behind-the-scenes player. They were Herbert Hoover and Ernie Williams. The first part of the story, below, discusses the “what is transportation” debate over the 20-year period from 1923 to 1942.

Herbert Hoover, the world’s greatest organizer.

Herbert Hoover will never be able to escape his one-sentence nutshell biography (however unfair) as a “one-term President upon whose watch the Great Depression started and who couldn’t figure out how to fix it.” But was elected President largely because of his well-earned reputation as one of the greatest organizational geniuses in U.S. history. A member of Stanford University’s first-ever graduating class (1895), Hoover managed gold mines successfully in Australia and China (organizing the defense of the Western garrison at Tientsin during the Boxer Rebellion in 1902) and, as a mining consultant thereafter, made himself extremely wealthy at a very young age.[1]

He came to global prominence by organizing the charitable relief effort to feed the country of Belgium after it was occupied by Germany early in World War I. His leadership was credited with saving millions of lives, and so when the U.S. entered the war, President Wilson called him back to organize the entire U.S. agricultural sector and put it on a war footing as head of the U.S. Food Administration.

Hoover then decided to stay in public administration, taking the job of Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Harding and Coolidge starting in 1921.

Hoover took what had been a Cabinet backwater, and made it something more through force of will (taking over gray areas between Cabinet jurisdictions or outright stealing issues from other departments) and through an overriding belief in the power of an efficient, well-organized federal government to make the country itself more efficient. The classic example is that, prior to Hoover, U.S. bed manufacturers made 78 different sizes of mattresses and box springs. Secretary Hoover summoned all the manufacturers to Washington and browbeat them into taking 78 sizes down to 4, with immense efficiencies in the bedframe and linen areas. Hoover did the same standardization routine with bricks, with screws and nuts and bolts, and milk bottles.[2]

His tenure as Commerce Secretary was very active in the transportation field. In 1924, he convened the first National Conference on Street and Highway Safety. (William Eno, our founder, was a member of the Conference’s Committee on Traffic Control.) The Conference urged adoption of the first motor vehicle safety standards (standardized placement of the gas and brake pedals), standardized road signage, and (after the second conference in 1926), the adoption of the Uniform Vehicle Code by states.[3]

Hoover also helped enact, and was in charge of implementing, the Air Commerce Act of 1926 (44 Stat. 568) that created the first federal role in aviation (outside the awarding of Postal Office Air Mail contracts). Hoover appointed the first Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics, and they issued the first aviation safety regulations in 1926 and issued the first pilot’s licenses and aircraft type certifications in 1927.[4]

Commerce Sec. Hoover (second from left) in front of a U.S. Air Mail plane.

Secretary Hoover meets government reorganization.

It was as Commerce Secretary that Hoover first became involved in government reorganization proposals. During World War I, President Wilson used wartime emergency authority granted by Congress to rearrange governmental responsibilities temporarily, but they automatically snapped back to their pre-war structure when the war ended. At the very end of Wilson’s term, Congress passed a law (41 Stat. 1083) creating a new Joint Committee on Reorganization to look at “departmental regrouping…so that each executive department shall embrace only services having close working relation with each other and ministering directly to the primary purpose for which the same are maintained and operated.”

The Joint Committee was supposed to report its recommendations to the House and Senate by December 1922, but this was extended (42 Stat. 1562) until July 1, 1924. By January of that year, the Joint Committee had assembled an ambitious plan for reform and began holding hearings. Their original plan was, in many ways, ahead of its time – it called for combining the Army and Navy Departments into a new Department of Defense (eventually created in 1947), as well as the creation of a new Department of Education and Welfare (eventually created in 1953).

The plan was premised on the assumption that transportation and public works were fundamentally different things. The original plan (based to some extent on a proposal submitted by President Harding in February 1923) called for the creation of a new Division of Public Works within the Interior Department, to which would be transferred the Bureau of Public Roads (from Agriculture) and the civil works construction program of the Corps of Engineers (from the Army). The original plan also called for most maritime functions of government to be consolidated under Commerce, and also discussed consolidating some transportation functions in Commerce as well.

Hoover testified at one of the hearings that:

Secretary HOOVER. …There is suggested on the chart of a bureau of transportation. I am not sure that the time has come for the development of such a bureau. I believe that great values could be obtained for the public if we had an objective study of the economics and practical application of transportation as distinguished from the aspect of regulation. For instance, at the present time one of the great problems before the country are city freight terminals. The Government has no branch equipped for the study of that problem solely from a public point of view. The Interstate Commerce Commission necessarily approached the problem from the point of view of regulation, and its economic relationships are not under investigation.

We likewise have a problem of the development of the road system of the country, and that problem should be studied from the view of its effect on commerce and the movement of goods, etc.

Representative MOORE. That problem is becoming more urgent with the growth of cities and the increasing value of land that might be available to the Government.

Secretary HOOVER. I think it would be most helpful in the way of assistance to Congress in legislation if we had a bureau given not to regulation of these problems, not to construction of roads, but given to the objective study of the development of transportation and economic relationship of transportation to the communities as a whole, the relationship of waterways to railways and the railways to overseas transportation, etc. At the present moment we are very much unadvised on all these questions.[5]

In urging that road construction be kept separate from transportation, Hoover was echoing the testimony of Bureau of Public Roads chief Thomas MacDonald, who had testified previously that BPR should stay where it was, in Agriculture.[6] But Hoover also proposed something that went far beyond the specific proposals of the Joint Committee:

New functions and new activities are constantly under creation by Congress to meet the tides of necessity. I would, therefore, like to make a suggestion as to the method by which this matter could be handled with more certainty of success and assurance of accuracy not only at the present moment but for the future. This suggestion is that Congress should give authority to the President to make such changes within the limits of certain defined principles as may be recommended to him by an independent commission to be created by Congress and clothed with these authorities. The broad principle of grouping by major purpose could be laid down by legislation and the major purposes of the departments could likewise defined. The groups according to major purpose could be enumerated in legislation and the groups assigned to departments. Then the details of transfer of individual bureaus and functions to meet these principles could be left to the President, upon the recommendation of such commission.

With these principles defined and the grouping decided, then I believe that reorganization could not only take place quickly and on sound lines, but also such continuing body could make any changes that develop as necessary and take cognizance of new legislation in its relationship to administrative organization.[7]

The Joint Committee issued its report on June 3, 1924.[8] The final plan dropped the Department of Defense proposal and renamed the other new Department as Education and Relief. And while it did propose moving Public Roads into a new Division of Public Works at Interior (along with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Alaska Railroad), the Joint Committee backed off of the plan to move Corps of Engineers water resources functions out of the Army Department, bowing to stakeholder pressure.

But the plan did create a new Bureau of Transportation within the Commerce Department to oversee the Inland Waterways Service (transferred from the Corps of Engineers) and the new National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. The committee report said:

The Department of Commerce has never had opportunity to develop the function of promoting the interests of transportation. Such studies as are made by the Government of the needs of the country for trunk highways and motor-truck trade routes are made by the Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agriculture, whose duty it is to provide the proper coordination of State highway construction. The Post Office Department is the only Federal agency which is promoting commercial aviation, its efforts, as a matter of fact, being devoted more particularly to the improvement of the aerial mail service. In the matter of developing transportation by inland waterways and in the investigation of terminal facilities at the seaboard some steps have been taken by the Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service and the Corps of Engineers, of the War Department. It is believed that all these functions should be given to the Department of Commerce. as obviously was contemplated by its organic law, and that the department should have exclusive cognizance of the problem of promoting the interests of transportation.[9]

(Plans to put the Coast Guard at Commerce fell out because Treasury successfully argued that they needed to keep it in order to enforce Prohibition.)

The Second Session of the 68thCongress adjourned on June 7 without taking up the Joint Committee’s bill (S. 3445). During the Third Session, Joint Committee chairman Reed Smoot (R-UT) moved to proceed to S. 3445 on the Senate floor, but he was outnumbered by, as he said, “some people who do not want any change at all in the present structure of the Government departments.” His motion failed on a vote of 25 yeas and 41 nays, and the bill died.[10]

President Hoover tries his own government reorganization.

While the Joint Committee’s proposal was forgotten by many, Herbert Hoover was not among them. As President, he successfully lobbied Congress for a provision in the Economy Act of 1932 (47 Stat. 382 starting at page 413) that gave him the power to transfer government functions and offices between departments and agencies by executive order – subject to a “legislative veto” by either House of Congress.

Hoover submitted ten proposed executive orders to Congress, many of them based on the Joint Committee’s work or President Harding’s original plan.[11] Executive Order 5964 would have created the Division of Public Works within Interior, to include not just Public Roads and the Bureau of Reclamation but also the Corps of Engineers civil works program, all public buildings activities, and the still-under-construction Mount Rushmore.[12] A summary document prepared by the Budget Bureau made the case that: “At the present time Federal activities relating to the planning and prosecution of public works, the maintenance and operation of buildings, and the purchase and supply of materials used by the Federal Government are scattered among a number of departments and independent boards or commissions. These activities are all closely related and should be grouped under a single control to achieve coordinated effort.”[13]

Executive Order 5965 proposed a Maritime Division within Commerce, but Hoover did not propose significant consolidation of non-maritime transportation functions at Commerce. Instead, Executive Order 5960 only proposed that the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics go to Commerce (along with the Weather Bureau, which was intimately involved in aviation and marine transportation at the time). The explanatory document did state that “From the standpoint of major purpose or function, the subject of civil aviation falls in the field of promotion of commerce and industry…”[14]

However, the law giving Hoover the reorganization authority was not enacted into law until June 3, 1932, and it had some requirements that Congress be in session for a set number of days before the orders could take effect. Congress adjourned the Second Session of the 72ndCongress sine die on July 16, before Hoover could submit anything. The Third Session convened on December 5, and Hoover submitted his reorganization plans four days later. But between the Second and Third Sessions, there had been an intervening event – Hoover lost his bid for re-election in a landslide to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Democratic majority in the House seemed to think it was a bad idea to impose a just-defeated President’s version of executive branch reorganization upon an incoming President. On January 19, 1933, the House took up H. Res. 334 (72ndCongress), which disapproved all ten reorganization executive orders en bloc. After several hours of boisterous debate, the Republican minority moved that the resolution be split up into ten separate disapproval resolutions, but that motion was defeated by a roll call vote of 176 yeas, 202 nays. The resolution then passed the House by voice vote, and all of Hoover’s reorganization plans were dead.[15]

Reorganization under Roosevelt.

To his credit, Hoover believed that his bitter opponent and successor Roosevelt should also have the ability to reshape the unwieldy government, and on his penultimate day in office he signed a law (47 Stat. 1489, starting on p. 1517) giving Roosevelt, for the next two years, much stronger reorganization authority than Hoover had been given (no legislative veto – any plan would take effect in 60 days unless Congress passed a law, presumably over Roosevelt’s veto, canceling it).

Having a lot on his plate in 1933-1934, Roosevelt mostly used his reorganization authority for New Deal relief purposes. His only attempt at comprehensive reorganization came in Executive Order 6166 on June 10, 1933, which (among other things) moved some maritime issues to Commerce.[16] Roosevelt’s statutory authority to reorganize the government then lapsed early in 1935.

Both Congress and the President then went back to the drawing board – more study. On February 24, 1936, the Senate passed S. Res . 217 (74thCongress) to investigate the organization of the executive branch of government to determine if “any of such agencies should be coordinated with other agencies or abolished” in the interests of government efficiency. One month later, Roosevelt sent a letter to Congress announcing that he was also appointing his own committee to study government reorganization, chaired by Louis Brownlow.[17] Both committees were to release their recommendations early in 1937 so they could be considered fully by the 75thCongress.

The “Brownlow Committee” – from left, Louis Brownlow (head of the Public Administration Clearing House at the University of Chicago), Luther Gulick (head of the Columbia University Institute of Public Administration), and Charles Merriam (chairman of the political science department at the University of Chicago).

The President’s “Brownlow Committee” issued its report in January 1937. Aside from general executive branch management reforms, it recommended keeping the existing 10 Cabinet departments and adding two more: a Department of Social Welfare and a Department of Public Works (echoing the 1924 Senate committee recommendations). The Department of Public Works would be assigned “To design, construct, and maintain large-scale public works which are not incidental to the normal work of other departments, except as their agent on request; to administer Federal grants, if any, to State or local governments or other agencies for construction purposes; and to gather information with regard to public works standards throughout the Nation.”[18]

Public works were still considered by the Brownlow Committee to be distinct from the activities to be carried out using those public works – the Commerce Department was still to be given the charge to “carry on research, collect statistics, establish standards and practices, and enforce laws with regard to manufacture, merchandising, communication, and transportation.”[19] But the Brownlow report was very short and did not go into details as to which existing agencies and functions would be transferred to which department.

Brookings takes the opposite view.

The Senate committee outsourced its work to a think tank (the Brookings Institution, which may have been the only think tank in existence at the time). Unlike the Brownlow report, the Brookings study was voluminous, reported in 14 separate volumes covering different topics. Report number 12 covered transportation and number 14 covered public works and water resources.

Brookings came to the complete opposite conclusion of Brownlow (and Brownlow echoed the approach of the 1924 Senate Committee and the Harding-Coolidge-Hoover Administrations) – Brookings said that not all public works are the same, and that federal agencies carrying out public works should not be grouped together. Their summary deserves to be quoted at length (underlined emphasis added):

The creation of a central public-works organization to undertake all construction for the Federal Government does not appear to offer any advantages either in economy or efficiency. The engineering activities of the Government fall into distinctive fields; for example, building construction, highways, and hydraulics, each calling for specialized professional training and experience. A public-works agency would have to be subdivided on the basis of these fields, so that no actual savings could be realized through combination or interchange of personnel. In addition, not only would the administrative subdivision corresponding to the various types of construction work being undertaken have to be maintained in the central administrative agency, but the regional organization in which the greater portion of public-works activity takes place would have to be adapted as it is at present to the varying geographical requirements of different construction activities. For example, a regional organization designed to meet the requirements of the Lighthouse Service obviously would not be adapted to the regional requirements for the supervision of Federal-aid highway work ; independent regional organizations would have to be maintained for each activity approximately as they are today.

Moreover, since the greater part of the Government’s construction work is done on private contract, there would be little opportunity for economy through the pooling of equipment. Even if actual construction work were done directly by the Government rather than by contract operations, there would still be little possibility for the interchanging of equipment; first, because each type of activity requires specialized equipment; and, second, heavy construction equipment cannot be moved economically except for relatively short distances.

In any event, neither the ascertainment of the need for new construction nor the operation of completed structures includes functions which could properly be exercised by a public-works construction agency. To vest these duties in a construction organization would interfere seriously with the normal administrative work of the operating departments…It should be kept in mind that engineering service is not in itself an objective of government; it is merely one of the means to be utilized in the attainment of larger purposes, such as irrigation, improvement of navigation, or provision of necessary building space. Engineering is an auxiliary service, in the same category as legal advice or accounting, so that the distribution of engineering units among agencies requiring their assistance does not necessarily constitute undesirable duplication.[20]

With regards to specific modes, Brookings said that the major function of the Bureau of Public Roads “is to supervise and administer Federal grants to the states for highway purposes. Its objective is the provision of transportation facilities, and it should be classified as a Federal transportation agency.”[21] They also said that the river and harbor improvement program of the Army Corps of Engineers was also “primarily transportation” and that “the Corps of Engineers of the War Department should be relieved of its nonmilitary responsibilities.”[22]

The Brookings recommendations in the field of transportation were also sharply different than what had come before. They noted that none of the agencies involved in promotion of transportation scattered throughout the government (Bureau of Public Roads, Bureau of Air Commerce, Bureau of Air Mail, Corps of Engineers, Inland Waterways Corporation, Lighthouse Service, Maritime Commission) worked together or were required to examine the effects of their projects and policies on other modes of transportation or on transportation in general. And there was no coordination of transportation regulatory policy with transportation promotion policy.

Accordingly, Brookings made two main proposals: “(1) Consolidation in a single agency — either a newly created Department of Transportation, headed by a Secretary of Transportation with Cabinet rank, or a Division of Transportation in the Department of Commerce —of all promotional work of the Federal Government (including direct operation of transportation business) which is carried on primarily in the interest of transportation development ; and (2) reallocation of regulatory functions, calling in most cases for the concentration of regulatory activity in the Interstate Commerce Commission.”[23]

The new Department (or Division) was to contain at least the following:

1.Bureau of Public Roads from Department of Agriculture.

2. Functions now performed by Corps of Engineers in the promotion of navigation facilities, from War Department.

3. Promotional functions now exercised by Bureau of Air Commerce of Department of Commerce together with research functions of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (independent).

4. Lighthouse Service, from Department of Commerce.

5. Inland Waterways Corporation, from War Department.

6. Promotional, operational, and investigatory functions of Maritime Commission.

7. Division of Transportation from Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce at Department of Commerce.[24]

On the regulatory side, Brookings recommended that the regulatory functions of the Maritime Commission (all that would be left after all non-regulatory activity was transferred to the new Department/Division) be transferred to the Interstate Commerce Commission. And they also recommended that the aviation regulation authority be given to the ICC.

At the start of the 75thCongress, both chambers acted to create a Joint Committee on Government Organization to examine the recommendations of the Brownlow Committee and the Senate committee. It held hearings at which the members of the Brownlow Committee and the head of Brookings testified. President Roosevelt also requested that Congress re-enact presidential reorganization authority. His proposed legislation gave him plenary power to abolish and create departments, move any constituent parts around, with no prior notice to Congress and no legislative veto. His bill would also have immediately created a Department of Social Welfare – and a Department of Public Works along the lines of that proposed by the Brownlow Committee.[25]

However, a Congressional Research Service report notes that Roosevelt’s proposal to let him reshape the government at will got caught up in the controversy around another one of his 1937 proposals, to pack the Supreme Court. While the Senate passed a bill in 1938 giving the President reorganization authority once again, the House never brought the bill up for a final vote.[26]

More reorganization in 1939-1940.

In the 1938 midterm elections, Democrats lost 72 seats in the House of Representatives and 7 seats in the Senate. (However, their previous majority had been so lopsided that as of the start of the 76thCongress in January 1939, Democrats still held 256 of 435 House seats and 69 of 96 Senate seats.) Roosevelt was able to negotiate a much more limited Reorganization Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 561) early in the new Congress to give him two more years of reorganization authority.

The new law prevented Roosevelt from abolishing or creating Cabinet-level departments or functions of government and gave a long list of entities that could not be touched by any reorganization plan, including the Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers, ICC, and Maritime Commission. On the other hand, while it did have a legislative veto provision, this time it was a two-house veto, meaning that neither chamber could kill a reorganization plan on its own. During the 76thCongress, Roosevelt proposed five reorganization plans, all of which Congress let take effect.

Even though Roosevelt could not create new Cabinet agencies under the new law, he could create very large non-Cabinet entities. His Reorganization Plan No. I of April 25, 1939 (53 Stat. 1423) followed the Brownlow plan to some extent and created a new Federal Works Agency under which were moved the Bureau of Public Roads, the various public building agencies, the U.S. Housing Authority, and various New Deal public works agencies (PWA and WPA). The new Agency was Brownlow’s Department of Public Works in all but name.

Transportation functions distinct from public works were also addressed. Reorganization Plan No. II of May 9, 1939 (53 Stat. 1431) made the Lighthouse Service a part of the Coast Guard. Reorganization Plan No. IV of April 11, 1940 (54 Stat. 1234) broke up the Civil Aeronautics Authority, moving the CAA itself into the Commerce Department but making the Civil Aeronautics Board and its commerce and safety regulatory functions independent and combining them with the Air Safety Board which had investigated accidents. It also moved the Weather Bureau from Agriculture to Commerce because of its responsibility for aviation weather forecasts.

The aviation provisions of Plan No. IV drew significant opposition in Congress. After extensive debate, the House voted, 252 to 183, to reject Plan No. IV.[27] But because the 1939 Act required a two-house veto instead of a one-house veto, the Senate let the plan take effect by defeating the disapproval resolution by a vote of 34 yeas, 46 nays on May 14.[28]

More studies.

Earlier, this article said that two men played outsized roles in the definition of the federal role in transportation – Herbert Hoover and Ernie Williams. It is here that Ernest W. Williams, Jr. enters the tale. Williams had just received his master’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1939 when he got a job with the National Resources Planning Board (NRPB), the only national-level organization looking at planning.[29]

Just as the Senate had outsourced its reorganization study to the Brookings Institution, President Roosevelt then decided to outsource a major study of transportation to his Uncle Fred – Frederic A. Delano, the head of the NRPB who was also a railroad executive and the original head of the NYC-area Regional Plan Association. On January 24, 1940, President Roosevelt wrote to his uncle asking the NRPB to write a comprehensive report on national transportation policy.

Their report (which was not issued until May 1942, by which time World War II had pushed all domestic policy concerns to the side) was largely written by Williams (and by Wilfred Owen, who would then go on to run transportation policy at Brookings for most of the next four decades) and was a 500-page tome covering all aspects of transportation. But when it came to coordination, the report recommended:

…a permanent agency of government, apart from the Interstate Commerce Commission, should be established (a) to make continuous studies of the transport problem, (b) to keep the President and Congress informed about the progress and problems in transportation, and (c) to take appropriate action when necessary with a view of promoting the public interest.

These duties might be lodged in a revived Office of Federal Coordinator or in a Transportation Authority similar to the one suggested by the Committee of Three. Perhaps a more useful procedure would be to set up a Department of Transportation because of its greater responsibility to the Chief Executive and its greater prestige with the public. The direction of the work would be more concentrated and the responsibility for success or failure could accordingly be more easily fixed. The quasi-judicial functions of the regulatory commission should be left in independent hands, so that questions of rates and discriminations would be passed upon as objectively and impartially as possible. This would leave in executive hands the research, promotion, and planning functions relative to taxes, subsidies, carrier economy and efficiency, public construction of new facilities, expansion of services, and cooperation among the modes of transport.[30]

Williams would pursue this goal as a Bureau of the Budget staffer under the Truman Administration, only to be thwarted by Herbert Hoover (brought out of retirement to take charge of government reorganization by Truman), as part two of this article will detail.

Part two (the Federal Transportation Agency of 1946) is here.

[1]General facts of Hoover’s life are taken from Whyte, Kenneth. Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times.New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2017.

[2]Busch, Lawrence. “Herbert Hoover and the Construction of Modernity.” Journal of Innovation Economics and Management, 2017/1, p. 29.

[3]Weingroff, Richard. “President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Federal Role in Highway Safety – Chapter 4: The Federal Role in Highway Safety.” Updated 6/27/2017. Retrieved 4/1/2019 at

[4]Federal Aviation Administration. “Origins of the FAA.” Retrieved 4/1/2019 at

[5]Reorganization of the Executive Departments. Hearings before the Joint Committee on the Reorganization of the Administrative Branch of the Government. 68thCong. 1stSess. p. 340. (1924)

[6]Ibid pp. 280-287.

[7]Ibid p. 353.

[8]Senate Document 128 of the 68thCongress. More easily found in Congressional Record (bound edition), June 3, 1924, pp. 10248-10271.

[9]Congressional Record (bound edition), June 3, 1924, pp. 10257.

[10]Congressional Record (bound edition), January 30, 1925, p. 2706.

[11]Public Papers of the Presidents. Herbert Hoover: 1932-1933: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, January 1, 1932 to March 4, 1933. Washington: Government Printing Office. Message beginning on p. 882.

[12]Public Papers of the Presidents. Herbert Hoover: Proclamations and Executive Orders, March 4, 1929 to March 4, 1933 (Book 2).Washington: Government Printing Office p. 1360. All the Executive Orders for reorganization are contained in pp. 1350-1372.

[13]Paper reprinted in Congressional Record (bound edition), December 9, 1932 p. 236.

[14]Ibid p. 245.

[15]Congressional Record (bound edition), January 19, 1933 pp. 1933-2127 (the roll call vote starts on p. 2125).

[16]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Volume Two, The Year of Crisis, 1933: With a Special Introduction and Explanatory Notes by President Roosevelt. [Book 1]. New York: Random House 1938.. p. 223.

[17]The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Volume Five, The People Approve, 1936: With a Special Introduction and Explanatory Notes by President Roosevelt. [Book 1]. New York: Random House 1938. Letter is p. 145 and White House press release is p. 144.

[18]President’s Committee on Administrative Management. Administrative Management in the Government of the United States. Washington: Government Printing Office 1937. p. 33.

[19]Ibid p. 32.

[20]U.S. Senate. Select Committee on Investigation of Executive Agencies of the Government.Investigation of Executive Agencies of the Government, Report No. 14 – Report on the Government Activities in the Field of Public Works and Water Resources. Prepared by the Brookings Institution. 75thCongress, 1stSession. Washington: Government Printing Office 1937. pp. 45-46.

[21]Ibid p. 46.

[22]Ibid p. 51.

[23]U.S. Senate. Select Committee on Investigation of Executive Agencies of the Government. Investigation of Executive Agencies of the Government, Report No. 12 – Report on the Government Activities in the Field of Transportation. Prepared by the Brookings Institution. 75thCongress, 1stSession. Washington: Government Printing Office 1937 p. 88.

[24]Ibid pp. 88-89.

[25]Roosevelt’s draft bill was printed in the Congressional Record (bound edition), March 30, 1938 pp. 4376-4383.

[26]Hogue, Henry B. Presidential Reorganization Authority: History, Recent Initiatives, and Options for Congress.Washington: Congressional Research Service 2012 pp. 11-12.

[27]Congressional Record (bound edition) – debate was on May 7, 1940, pp. 5676-5700, and the vote was on May 8, 1940 on pp. 5755-5756.

[28]Congressional Record (bound edition), May 14, 1940 p. 6069.

[29]The source for all the biographical information on Ernie Williams is his obituary in the Stamford Advocate on September 17, 2005, retrieved on March 31, 2019 on at

[30]U.S. National Resources Planning Board. Transportation and National Policy. Washington: Government Printing Office 1942 p. 158.

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