Executive Branch

The President of the United States

The President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt

Article II, section 1, of the Constitution provides that "the executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, . . . together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term. . . ." In addition to the powers set forth in the Constitution, the statues have conferred upon the President specific authority and responsibility covering a wide range of matters (United States Code Index).

The President is the administrative head of the Executive Branch of the Government, which includes numerous agencies, both temporary and permanent, as well as the 10 executive departments. The heads of the 10 executive departments form the Cabinet and serve in an advisory capacity to the President. They are the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of War, and Attorney General, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor. Upon invitation of the President, other Federal executives may attend Cabinet meetings.

Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the United States Army and Navy

Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy

Executive Office of the President

Under authority of the Reorganization Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 561; 3 U.S.C. 45a; U.S.C. 133-133r; 31 U.S.C. 2; 5 U.S.C. 133t (note), various agencies were transferred to the Executive Office of the President by the President's Reorganization Plans No. I and No. II, effective July 1, 1939. Executive Order 8248 of September 8, 1939, established the various divisions of the Executive Office and defined their functions. One of these, the Office of Government Reports, was transferred to and consolidated in the Office of War Information by Executive Order 9182 of June 13, 1942, which created the Office of War Information in the Office for Emergency Management.

The Executive Office of the President now includes:

The White House Office
Office for Emergency Management
Bureau of the Budget
War Refugee Board
Liaison Office for Personnel Management
[Council of National Defense]


The White House Office

Secretary to the President Stephen Early
Secretary to the President William D. Hassett
Secretary to the President Jonathan Daniels
Military Aide to the President Col. Richard Park, Jr.
Special Counsel to the President Samuel I. Rosenman
Personal Representative of the President Donald M. Nelson
Administrative Assistant William H. McReynolds
Administrative Assistant Lauchlin Currie
Administrative Assistant David K. Niles
Administrative Assistant James M. Barnes
Special Assistant to the President Harry L. Hopkins
Special Executive Assistant Eugene Casey<
Personal Secretary Grace G. Tully
Executive Clerk in charge of White House Executive Office Maurice C. Latta

This Office serves the President in the performance of the many detailed activities incident to his immediate office.

The Secretaries to the President facilitate and maintain communication with the Congress, the individual Members of the Congress, the heads of executive departments and agencies, the press, the radio, and the general public.

The Executive Clerk provides for the orderly handling of documents and correspondence and organizes and supervises all clerical services and procedures.

The Administrative Assistants to the President are personal aides and assist the President in such matters as he may direct.

Bureau of the Budget

Room 252, State Department Building
EXecutive 3300, Branch 140

Director Harold D. Smith
Assistant Director (Vacancy)
Assistant Director in Charge of Legislative Reference F.J. Bailey
Assistant Director in Charge of Estimates L.C. Martin
Assistant Director in Charge of Administrative Management Donald C. Stone
Assistant Director in Charge of Statistical Standards Stuart A. Rice
Assistant Director in Charge of Fiscal Division J. Weldon Jones
Chief of War Projects Unit E.W. Clark, Acting
Chief of the Field Service J. Otis Garber
General Counsel Edward G. Kemp
Administrative Assistant to the Director F.J. Lawton
Personnel Officer R.C. Sampson
Secretary to the Director Marie A. Johnston

Creation and Authority.--The act of Congress approved June 10, 1921 (42 Stat. 20; 31 U.S.C. 11-16), providing for a national budget system, places upon the President the duty of transmitting to the Congress the Annual Budget, together with his estimates of receipts,


expenditures, and other budgetary data. To aid the President in this duty, the same act created the Bureau of the Budget, placing it in the Treasury Department, but under the immediate direction of the President. Under Reorganization Plan I, carried out pursuant to the Reorganization Act of 1939, the Bureau was transferred from the Treasury Department to the Executive Office of the President. By the same authority the Central Statistical Board and the functions of the Central Statistical Committee were transferred to the Bureau of the Budget.

Under rules prescribed by the President, the Bureau prepares for him the Annual Budget and such supplemental and deficiency estimates as he may from time to time recommend to the Congress. The Bureau has authority under the act "to assemble, correlate, revise, reduce, or increase the estimates of the several departments and establishments." On direction of the President the Bureau studies and reports on the organization, activities, and methods of the departments and establishments.

Section 16 of Executive Order 6166, dated June 10, 1933, transferred to the Director of the Bureau of the Budget the function of making, waiving, and modifying apportionments of appropriations formerly vested in the heads of the departments and establishments under the act of February 27, 1906 (34 Stat. 48; 31 U.S.C. 665).

By resolution approved May 11, 1922 (42 Stat. 541; 44 U.S.C. 220), authority is conferred upon the Director to approve the use of printing and binding appropriations for the printing of journals, magazines, periodicals, and similar publications.

Under authority of Executive Order 9094 of March 10, 1942, the Bureau of the Budget performs functions formerly vested in the Federal Board of Surveys and Maps, which was abolished by the same order.

Executive Order 9235 of August 31, 1942, authorizes the Bureau of the Budget to establish control over the utilization of supplies and equipment by Government agencies.

By authority of the Federal Reports Act, approved December 24, 1942 (56 Stat. 1078; 5 U.S.C. 139 note), the Bureau of the Budget coordinates Federal reporting services to eliminate duplication and reduce the cost of such services and to minimize the burdens of furnishing information to Federal agencies.

Under authority of the War Overtime Pay Act of 1943, approved May 7, 1943 (57 Stat. 75; 50 App. U.S.C. 1401-15), the Director makes quarterly determinations of the number of employees required by the several departments and agencies for the efficient exercise of their functions.

Organization.--The Bureau is under the general supervision of the Director, who has as chief aides an assistant director, a general counsel, five assistant directors in charge of divisions, a chief of the field service, and an administrative assistant.

The head of each department and establishment is required by law to appoint a budget officer, whose duty it is to prepare, under his direction, the departmental estimates of appropriations and such supplemental or deficiency estimates as may be required. The budget officers are liaison officers between the departments and the Bureau of the Budget.


Purpose.--Executive Order 8248, of September 8, 1939, establishing the divisions of the Executive Office of the President and defining their functions, sets forth the functions of the Bureau of the Budget.
  1. To assist the President in the preparation of the Budget and the formulation of the fiscal program of the Government.

  2. To supervise and control the administration of the Budget.

  3. To conduct research in the development of improved plans of administrative management, and to advise the executive departments and agencies of the Government with respect to improved administrative organization and practice.

  4. To aid the President to bring about more efficient and economical conduct of Government service.

  5. To assist the President by clearing and coordinating departmental advice on proposed legislation and by making recommendations as to Presidential action on legislative enactments, in accordance with past practice.

  6. To assist in the consideration and clearance and, where necessary, in the preparation of proposed Executive orders and proclamations, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 7298 of February 18, 1936.

  7. To plan and promote the improvement, development, and coordination of Federal and other statistical services.

  8. To keep the President informed of the progress of activities by agencies of the Government with respect to work proposed, work actually initiated, and work completed, together with the relative timing of work between the several agencies of the Government; all to the end that the work programs of the several agencies of the executive branch of the Government may be coordinated and that the moneys appropriated by the Congress may be expended in the most economical manner possible with the least possible overlapping and duplication of effort.


While two or more of the divisions of the Bureau may be working together on the same program as occasion demands, activities are broadly divided among six sections.

Estimates Division.--Through the budget officers of departments and agencies, this Division collects, reviews, and holds hearings on annual Budget estimates, revising and preparing them for the President's consideration and his presentation to Congress in the Annual Budget; reviews supplementary and deficiency estimates; continuously studies and analyzes the operations and financial requirements of all agencies of the Federal Government; and reviews at quarterly intervals the apportionments of appropriations and allocations.

Division of Legislative Reference.--This Division reconciles and clears recommendations of the various departments and establishments with respect ot proposed legislation, enrolled bills, Executive orders, and other Executive documents.

Division of Administrative Management.--This Division advises and assists departments and agencies of the Federal Government no problems of organization, administrative procedure, and management.


Fiscal Division.--This Division examines and reviews for improvement the operation of Government systems of financial reporting; studies governmental fiscal programs in relation to economic and fiscal trends, gathering material for the use of the Executive Office; and supervises the preparation of the Annual Budget document.

Division of Statistical Standards.--Under the Federal Reports Act of 1942, this Division provides coordination and promotes improvements in the statistical services of the Federal Government by analyzing and clearing plans and report forms used by Federal agencies in obtaining information from the public and other agencies, and by other means described in the act.

Field Service.--The FIeld Service aids the Bureau in investigating Federal field operations, counsels with Federal agencies in order to improve coordination of field activities, consults with State and local officials with respect to Federal programs, examines and recommends improvements in the utilization of supplies and equipment in the field, and promotes economical, effective, and efficient administration in the field establishments of Federal agencies.

Special Activities.--The War Projects Unit examines and reports on war construction projects, production of war materials, and operation of facilities in particular fields, making recommendations toward increased efficiencies and economies. The Committee of Records of War Administration supervises the collection of current records relating to war administration. The Equipment and Supply Section surveys the supplies and equipment and their use in Government agencies, and assists in the redistribution among agencies of supplies determined to be surplus.

Federal Board of Hospitalization.--The Federal Board of Hospitalization was designated an advisory agency to the Bureau of the Budget in Budget Circular 419, of May 7, 1943. (See page 475)


Harold D. Smith

Liaison Office for Personnel Management

Room 230, State Department Building
NAtional 1414, Branch 85

Liaison Officer William H. McReynolds

This Office was established by Executive Order 8248, dated September 8, 1939, in accordance with the statement of purpose made in the President's Message to Congress of April 245, 1939, accompanying Reorganization Plan I. Provision was made for the appointment of one of the Administrative Assistants to the President as Liaison Officer for Personnel Management. The Liaison Officer assists in the execution of the duties imposed upon the President by the Constitution and by legislation with respect to personnel management. He also assists the President in maintaining closer contact with all Federal departments and agencies in their relation to personnel-management policies.


William H. McReynolds
Liaison Officer


War Refugee Board

Room 2426, Department of the Treasury Building
EXecutive 6400, Branches 629, 5371

Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson
Executive Director William O'Dwyer

Creation and Authority.--The War Refugee Board was established within the Executive Office of the President by Executive Order 9417 of January 22, 1944, to effectuate with all possible speed the rescue and relief of victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death, and otherwise to afford such victims all possible relief and assistant consistent with the successful prosecution of the war.

Activities.--The functions of the Board include the development, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, of plans and programs and the inauguration of effective measures for (a) the rescue, transportation, maintenance, and relief of victims of enemy oppression, and (b) the establishment of havens of temporary refuge for such victims. The Board, through appropriate channels, takes necessary steps to enlist the cooperation of foreign governments and obtain their participation in the execution of such plans and programs. The State, Treasury, and War Departments, within their respective spheres, execute at the request of the Board, the plans and programs so developed and the measures so inaugurated.


William O'Dwyer
Executive Director


Council of National Defense

Secretary of War Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of the Navy Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of the Interior Secretary of Labor

The Council of National Defense was created by act of Congress, approved August 29, 1916, but was not fully organized until March 3, 1917. Under the terms of the act, the Council was, among other things, charged with the "coordination of industries and resources for the national security and welfare" and with the "creation of relations which render possible in time of need the immediate concentration and utilization of the resources of the Nation." The act further provided that "the Council of National Defense shall nominate to the President, and the President shall appoint, an advisory commission, consisting of not more than seven persons, each of whom shall h ave special knowledge of some industry, public utility, or the development of some natural resource, or be otherwise specially qualified, in the opinion of the Council, for the performance of the duties hereinafter provided."

On May 29, 1940, the President approved the regulation of the Council that "the Advisory Commission provided for in section 2 of the Act of August 29, 1916 (39 Stat. 649), shall be composed of an Adviser on Industrial Production; and Adviser on Industrial Materials; an Adviser on Employment; an Adviser on Far Products; and Adviser on Price Stabilization; and Adviser on Transportation; and a Adviser on Consumer Protection." The advisers so designated became known as commissioners and their offices as divisions. The Division of Employment was popularly called "Labor" and the Division of Farm Products was known as "Agriculture."

This was the beginning of the National Defense Program. The realinement of relationships necessitated by the expansion of the Program decentralized the Advisory Commission as such by merging most of its divisions with other newly created national defense units. industrial Production, Industrial Materials, and Labor became integral parts of the Office of Production Management, now the War Production Board. Price Stabilization and Consumer Protection were combined in to the Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply, now the Office of Price Administration. The Division of Agriculture was succeeded by the Office of Agricultural Defense Relations, latter known as the Office for Agricultural War Relations, absorbed by the War Food Administration. The functions of the Transportation Division were absorbed by the Office of Defense Transportation. The agencies which evolved from the Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense, with the exception of the Office for Agricultural War Relations and the Office of Price Administration, are now units of the Office for Emergency Management.


Emergency War Agencies

(separate file--click on title above)


Table of Contents

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation