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Letter to President Hoover Regarding the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch

January 18, 1954

[ Released January 18, 1954. Dated January 16, 1954 ]

Dear Mr. President:

I appreciate very much your thoughtfulness in writing me relative to the progress that has been made by the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government.

The nation is faced with basic issues that must be resolved in every one of the areas that you have selected for study. You have enlisted the services of some of our most outstanding leaders for membership on the task forces that you have established to carry forward these studies. Please convey to them my personal appreciation of their willingness to serve in this manner.

As you know I have a very real interest in the outcome of the work of the Commission. We are determined to do everything we can to put into effect sound principles of management in the conduct of the affairs of government. I look forward to having the benefit of your recommendations.

The time, thought, and energy that you are putting into this program as Chairman of the Commission is a source of real inspiration to all of us. The country is to be congratulated that you have once again been willing to undertake leadership in this work.



Note: President Hoover's letter follows: My dear Mr. President:

We have made progress in the major setup of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government. The Commission was created by Public Law No. 108 of July 10, 1953. The membership of the Commission was completed in the latter part of August and the Commission held its first meeting on September 29, 1953.

The Presidential appointees to the Commission are: The Honorable Herbert Hoover, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., The Honorable James A. Farley, Director of Defense Mobilization Arthur S. Flemming.

The Vice President's appointees are: Senator Homer Ferguson, Senator John L. McClellan, Dean Solomon C. Hollister of the School of Engineering at Cornell University, Dean Robert G. Storey of the School of Law at Southern Methodist University.

The Speaker's appointees are: Congressman Clarence J. Brown, Congressman Chet Holifield, The Honorable Joseph P. Kennedy, Mr Sidney A. Mitchell.

The Honorable John B. Hollister is the Executive Director. Five of these members served on the Reorganization Commission of 1947-50.

As of the present we have created the following nine major Task Forces to undertake investigations and to make recommendations. They are:

The Business Organization of the Department of Defense, Chairman Charles R. Hook and more than 10 members. The various Task Forces already on work on fractions of these problems will be represented on this Committee and another such Task Force will be created on Procurement;

Water Resources Development and Power, Chairman Admiral Ben Moreell and 25 members;

Medical Services, Chairman Chauncey McCormick and 15 members;

Personnel and Civil Service, Chairman

President Harold W. Dodds and 9 members;

Legal Services and Procedure of the Executive Branch of the Government, Chairman Judge James M. Douglas and 15 members;

Use and Disposal of Surplus Property, Chairman General Robert E. Wood and 7 members;

Subsistence Management, Chairman Joseph P. Binns and 8 members; Budgeting and Accounting, Chairman J. Harold Stewart and 6 members; Lending Agencies, Chairman Paul Grady and 10 members.

In addition we are conducting staff investigations of certain other agencies as directed by the law. In all our work we have sought to avoid duplication with the work in progress for efficiency and economy by other Commissions, Committees of Congress and the Departments.

The members of the Task Forces are chosen solely because of their experience in different fields. I have considered it in the public interest not to include representatives of any particular group interest. The representatives of such groups will be given full hearings.

The problems to be solved require a determination of fact and the deduction of recommendations therefrom. For the purpose of amassing the facts, each Task Force has been given adequate research staff. The recommendations of the Task Forces and of our staff will be reviewed by the Commission.

Due to the large proportion of voluntary service, the cash expenditures and outstanding obligations from September 29 to December 31, 1953 are $152,035. Our paid staff comprises three persons, an Assistant to each Commissioner, together with research employees of the Task Forces. Such clerical help as we require is mostly secured on a reimbursable basis from the Executive Departments so as not to create a permanent staff.

Thus far, over 115 leading professional and administrative citizens have been enlisted upon our Task Forces. I will forward to you a list of them and of the other men and women associated in the work.

Yours faithfully,


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to President Hoover Regarding the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232038

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