26 Facts About Truman Committee


Truman Committee, formally known as the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, was a United States Congressional investigative body, headed by Senator Harry S Truman.

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The Truman Committee proved to be one of the most successful investigative efforts ever mounted by the US government: an initial budget of $15,000 was expanded over three years to $360,000 to save an estimated in military spending and thousands of lives of US servicemen.

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Chairing the committee helped Truman make a name for himself beyond his political machine origins and was a major factor in the decision to nominate him as vice president, which would propel him to the presidency after the death of Franklin D Roosevelt.

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In 1940, Truman was reelected to the Senate as a Democratic politician who was not endorsed by and did not endorse Democratic President Franklin D Roosevelt.

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Truman Committee heard about needless waste and profiteering from the construction of Fort Leonard Wood in his home state of Missouri, and he determined to see for himself what was going on.

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Truman Committee traveled in his personal car not only to Missouri but to various military installations from Florida through the Midwest driving approximately 10,000 miles.

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Truman Committee saw that too many contracts were held by a small number of contractors based in the East rather than distributed fairly around the nation.

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Truman Committee was seen by Roosevelt as less ideological and accusatory and more practical.

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On February 10,1941, Truman spoke to the Senate about the problems he had seen on his long drive, and he put forward the idea to have a special oversight committee on military contracts.

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Truman Committee was advised that a swift-acting oversight committee would be a great benefit to the nation's war production.

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The committee was instead formed of a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans, pragmatic men who Truman selected for their honesty, practicality, and steady work ethic.

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Truman Committee knew that an investigation of waste and inefficiency in military housing projects would save a great deal of money and would serve as good publicity for the Committee.

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Truman invited any interested senators to attend the hearings, which were held in the Senate Office Building in Room 449, where the Committee was based or, for larger hearings, in the Senate Caucus Room.

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Unlike in other congressional hearings, witnesses were generally treated with respect by the Truman Committee and were neither rushed nor subjected to insulting or accusatory language.

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The Truman Committee directed its attention on these "alphabet soup" organizations after hearing complaints of inefficiency.

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The Truman Committee issued a report to the Senate on January 15,1942, detailing its achievements to date and its ongoing investigations.

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Truman Committee had begun in August 1941 to assess Roosevelt's ungainly Office of Production Management, and by January 1942, the conclusion was ready for publication.

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Diplomatically, Truman Committee made certain that Roosevelt had access to an advance copy of the report.

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The Truman Committee generally followed a pattern of sifting through the great quantity of received mail and other messages from whistleblowers to determine the largest problems facing the US military war effort.

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Reputation of the Truman Committee grew so strong that fear of an investigation was sometimes enough of a deterrent to stop underhanded dealings.

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In March 1944, Truman attempted to probe the expensive Manhattan Project but was persuaded by Secretary of War Henry L Stimson to discontinue with the investigation.

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Truman Committee became vice president, and upon the death of Roosevelt in April 1945, he immediately became president.

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Truman Committee is known for indirectly helping Truman become president.

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Truman Committee was named; he was the only member of Congress on the list.

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Truman's broad experience with industrial, economic, and military issues gained by three years of investigative work with the Committee served to make him one of the most well-informed men in US government and gave him a reputation for fair dealing.

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Largely apolitical Truman Committee is known for setting a high standard of practicality and neutrality in congressional investigative committees.

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