Franklin D. Roosevelt

Message to Congress Recommending Creation of the Federal Communications Commission.

February 26, 1934

To the Congress:

I have long felt that for the sake of clarity and effectiveness the relationship of the Federal Government to certain services known as utilities should be divided into three fields—transportation, power and communications. The problems of transportation are vested in the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the problems of power, its development, transmission and distribution, in the Federal Power Commission.

In the field of communications, however, there is today no single Government agency charged with broad authority.

The Congress has vested certain authority over certain forms of communications in the Interstate Commerce Commission and there is in addition the agency known as the Federal Radio Commission.

I recommend that the Congress create a new agency to be known as the Federal Communications Commission, such agency to be vested with the authority now lying in the Federal Radio Commission and with such authority over communications as now lies with the Interstate Commerce Commission—the services affected to be all of those which rely on wires, cables or radio as a medium of transmission.

It is my thought that a new Commission such as I suggest might well be organized this year by transferring the present authority of the Radio Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission for the control of communications. The new body should, in addition, be given full power to investigate and study the business of existing companies and make recommendations to the Congress for additional legislation at the next session.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress Recommending Creation of the Federal Communications Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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