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The New Deal Era: Documents Available from the Boston Public Library: Temporary National Economic Committee

This is a guide to New Deal agency publications digitized by the BPL.


The Temporary National Economic Committee was established by a joint resolution of Congress (52 Stat. 705) to study monopolies and concentration of economic power.  A joint committee of Congress chaired by Joseph C. O'Mahoney, it worked from 1938 to 1941.

Concerned about the concentration of economic power and its effect on declining business competition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a monopoly message to Congress on April 20, 1938, calling for an investigation of antitrust enforcement. Congress formed the Temporary National Economic Committee (TNEC), which held hearings between December 1, 1938, and March 11, 1941, and analyzed the concentration of power in every major industry in the economy. Although the TNEC provided the most thorough analysis to date of the problem of monopoly and trade restrictions in the economy, little came of its work. The TNEC staff produced forty-three technical research monographs of interest to historians, but most of these were quickly buried, and the outbreak of war in Europe in 1940 diverted all attention. World War II ended domestic concerns about monopoly. Massive government spending and a cooperative spirit between government and business ended public interest in the antitrust question.

[Greenwood]  Copyright © 2015 James S. Olson and Abraham O. Mendoza

from American Economic History: A Dictionary and Chronology, available in the Credo Reference database. 

Senator John C. O'Mahoney