Selected Papers of Homer Cummings, Attorney General of the United States, 1933-1939

By Carl Brent Swisher; Homer S. Cummings | Go to book overview

4. Organization for Federal Justice

[The present organization of the Department of Justice is the product of many decades of slow development. Only to a limited degree is it governed by statute. The Act of June 22, 1870, pursuant to which the Department was established, provided that the Attorney General was "empowered to make all necessary rules and regulations for the government of said Department of Justice, and for the management and distribution of its business." Aside from the limitations of appropriation acts, statutes creating the positions of the principal officers, and the act creating the Bureau of Prisons, the Attorney General is given a free hand in the organization of the Department. Changes from year to year and from Attorney General to Attorney General vary in terms of the problems of the time and the staff and organization needed for handling them. The following materials indicate the nature of the establishment as reorganized late in 1933. Additional materials with reference to personnel and related topics will be found in Part Six of this volume. Ed.]


From an address in the National Radio Forum, April 24, 1933:

IN TIMES of great prosperity, when things appear to run themselves, our people are inclined to take their government for granted. When trouble develops we appreciate more acutely the extent to which our welfare is dependent upon the proper functioning and economical administration of the various departments of the government. Such periods result in a sharp awakening of public interest. We are passing through such a period at the present time. Clearly there should be a thorough overhauling of every department of our government. This is a process which cannot be accomplished by a wave of the hand. It is going to require persistent, intelligent, and unrelenting efforts over a very considerable period of time.


From Order No. 2507 of December 30, 1933:

In order more effectively and expeditiously to carry on the work of the Department of Justice, it is hereby ordered:

The Department of Justice shall consist of the following

-13-

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