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FG 21 (Department of Commerce)

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Scope and Content Note

The records of the Department of Commerce, subject file FG 21, are a subseries of the category FG, Federal Government - Organizations. FG 21 consists of approximately three cubic feet of draft and original memoranda and correspondence, carbon and photostatic copies, handwritten notes, press releases, typed or printed reports, routing slips, forms, lists and schedules. Subject matter covered in this collection include Commerce Department policies and programs of concern to the Administration including international trade relations, the domestic business climate, business regulation and consumer affairs, science and technology, congressional relations, staffing and personnel questions, budgetary issues, and community outreach activities.

Personalities prominent in FG 21 include the President and Executive Office staff members John D. Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman, Peter M. Flanigan, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, John C. Whitaker, Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, Charles Colson, Robert Finch, Ken Cole and David Parker. Important Commerce Department correspondents include Secretaries of Commerce Maurice Stans, Harry Dent, Peter Peterson and James T. Lynn; Undersecretary Rocco Siciliano; Assistant Secretaries Robert Podesta, Harold C. Passer, Andrew Gibson, Myron Tribius, and Betsy Ancker-Johnson; Special Assistants George Pantos, Sol Mosher and Andrew Gibson; and Office heads Robert Blackwell and Andrew Gibson (Maritime Affairs), Robert M. White (Environmental Science Services), Lewis M. Branscomb (National Bureau of Standards), Robert Gottschalk (Patent Office), Abraham Venable (Minority Business Enterprise) and Sam Wyly (The Advisory Committee on Minority Business Enterprise). Other correspondents include U.S. Senators Hugh Scott, Robert C. Byrd, Jesse Helms, John Tower, Sam Ervin, Mark Hatfield, and Charles Mathias; Congressmen Gerald R. Ford, Steve Syms, Barry Goldwater, Jr.; Governors Daniel Evans, Ronald Reagan, Patrick Lucy; Secretary of the Treasury John Connally; Secretaries of the Interior Walter Hickel and Rogers C.B. Morton; industrialists Peter Ueberroth, Donald Kendall, Joseph W. Coors, W.R. Grace, Harold S. Geneen, Bert Cross and Armand Hammer; former Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens; and journalists Vermont Royster and Joseph Alsop.

FG 21 is divided in 23 subdivisions reflecting the organizational structure of the Department of Commerce. Each subdivision is organized chronologically and is further divided into "Executive" and "General" designations. Items in the Executive folders include correspondence between the President and his staff, Cabinet members and other Administration figures, Senators and Congressmen, judges and Supreme Court Justices, foreign officials and other foreign or domestic leaders and are usually related to the official policies and programs of the U.S. government. The General classification includes, but is not limited to, correspondence between the President or other Administration figures and private individuals or their elected representatives and are often related to private or particular issues or interests. Folders with the designation ".../A" deal with recess appointments, nominations, confirmations, swearings-in, firings, resignations, and retirements of Commerce Department officials.

Some documents in FG 21 were withdrawn into parallel file units, originally, into Central Files' "Confidential Files" and later by a unit set up by the Nixon Administration, originally referred to as "Document Control", later the "White House Special Files." While the Confidential File maintained by White House Central Files has been reincorporated into the subject files, the White House Special Files: Central Files remains a separate collection containing FG 21 documents drawn from this file. Large numbers of items dated 1969 to 1972 were withdrawn from the Subject File subseries FG 21 and may be found in the Subject Files, 1969-1974 section of WHSF: WHCF. Other withdrawn items were originally taken from WHCF: Confidential Files and may be found in WHSF: WHCF under Subject Files: Confidential Files, 1969-1974.

NOTE: Where the White House form "Memorandum of Information for the File" occurs, the documents in question were withdrawn by White House Central Files into a parallel "Confidential File." Though where possible these documents have been reincorporated into the parent file, sizable portions of the Confidential Files were later transferred to the "White House Special Files". Where the "Memorandum of Information" occurs without an attached document, the document may usually be found in Special Files: Central Files. The White House Central Files cross references may also have been removed.

The following are the subdivisions of FG 21 from the White House Filing Manual:

FG 21 THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

FG 21, as a subgrouping, concerns the Administration's interaction with the Commerce Department as a whole and with the Secretary and his staff, often concerning administrative issues (staffing and budgetary questions) and general, rather than specific policy questions. A large portion of these documents include requests for speaking commitments by Department officials by the White House's "Executive Speakers Bureau". A number of documents withdrawn from the folders from 1969 to 1972 were included in the Subject Files, 1969-1974 portion of White House Special Files: Central Files.

FG 21-1 SECRETARY (AND STAFF OFFICIALS)
FG 21-2 DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARIES
FG 21-3 ASSISTANT SECRETARIES

The White House Filing Manual for 1971-1974 deletes FG 21-2 and FG 21-3 and redesignates FG 21-1 "Secretary and Staff Officials" for those years.

FG 21-4 BUREAU OF DOMESTIC COMMERCE

FG 21-4 contains transmittal letters for year end reports; memoranda on the Director's testimony before Congressional committees; correspondence on bicentennial activities; and "Executive Speaker's Bureau" requests.

FG 21-5 OFFICE OF BUSINESS ECONOMICS

The records of the Office of Business Economics include a projection of business plant and equipment expenditures for 1971.

FG 21-6 BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

Documents include discussion of privacy issues, various demographic projections drawn from the 1970 census data and consideration of the political timing of the release of certain sensitive demographic data.

FG 21-7 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

FG 21-7 documents concern public works programs, grantsmanship, regional development commissions and the political role of revenue sharing versus block grants in disbursing federal development assistance.

FG 21-8 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES SERVICES ADMINISTRATION [ABOLISHED, 10/3/1970]

The ESSA was a precursor to the Environmental Protection Agency; FG 21-8's documents discuss the Executive Reorganization Plans #3 and 4 (which abolished ESSA in favor of the EPA), the "Greenhouse Effect", and weather predictions.

FG 21-9 OFFICE OF FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS

FG 21-10 BUREAU OF INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE

FG 21-10 documents concern the problems of encouraging export expansion and limiting the negative effects of textile trade agreements.

FG 21-11 MARITIME ADMINISTRATION

The records of the Maritime Commission include discussions of a Maritime Bill (calling for a shipbuilding expansion program for the Merchant Marine and reduction of government support for the Maritime Union), the Antideficiency Act, port modernization, development of LNG (liquid natural gas) and oil tankers, waterway user and vessel fuel oil taxes, and oil pollution from ship discharges at sea.

FG 21-12 NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS

FG 21-12 concerns National Bureau of Standards programs such as building design standards and codes, metric conversion and energy efficiency requirements for buildings and appliances.

FG 21-13 NATIONAL EXPORT EXPANSION COUNCIL

Superseded by FG 21-22 The President's Export Council.

FG 21-14 PATENT OFFICE

FG 21-15 OFFICE OF STATE TECHNICAL SERVICES

FG 21-16 UNITED STATES TRAVEL SERVICE

FG 21-17 OFFICE OF MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

FG 21-17 concerns Administration efforts to promote black capitalism. Subjects treated include the role of Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Corporations in promoting access to private capital for minority entrepreneurs, plans for minority preference for federal procurement programs, the formation of the President's Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise, and "Executive Speaker's Bureau" requests.

FG 21-17-1 ADVISORY COUNCIL ON MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

FG 21-18 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

FG 21-18 documents discuss the Executive Reorganization Plans (which originally proposed transferring NOAA to the Department of the Interior), the effects of budget cuts in limiting NOAA's planned assumption of a role as a "wet NASA", and NOAA's weather forecasting activities.

FG 21-18-1 NATIONAL OCEAN SURVEY

FG 21-18-2 COMMISSIONED OFFICER CORPS (NOAA)

FG 21-19 NATIONAL BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS

FG 21-20 COMMITTEE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TEXTILE AGREEMENTS

FG 21-21 FEDERAL FIRE COUNCIL

FG 21-22 PRESIDENT'S EXPORT COUNCIL

The President's Export Council replaced the National Export Expansion Council (FG 21-13) for 1973-1974.

FG 21-23 DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

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