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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Commission on Freedom of the Press Records 1944-1946

© 2007 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Commission on Freedom of the Press. Records

Dates:

1944-1946

Size:

4.5 linear ft. (9 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Commission on Freedom of the Press was appointed in 1944 to investigate the freedom, function, and responsibilities of the major agencies of mass communication operative at the time. The Records include copies of all Committee memoranda, reports, and minutes. These materials were distributed to its members during the tenure of the Commission as individually numbered "documents." After publication of the Commission's final report, Robert Redfield and Charles Merriam presented their copies of these unpublished papers to the University of Chicago Library.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Commission on Freedom of the Press. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Commission on Freedom of the Press was appointed in 1944 to investigate the freedom, function, and responsibilities of the major agencies of mass communication operative at the time. Funded by grants from Time, Inc., and Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., the Commission was chaired by Robert M. Hutchins, who appointed the vice-chairman Zechariah Chafee, Jr., and the remaining members. They included John M. Clark, John Dickinson, William E. Hocking, Harold D. Lasswell, Archibald Mac-Leish, Charles E. Merriam, Reinhold Niebuhr, Robert Redfield, Beardsley Ruml, Arthur M. Schlesinger, and George N. Schuster. John Grierson, Hu Shih, Jacques Maritain, and Kurt Riezler served as foreign advisors. The general report of the Commission, A Free and Responsible Press was published by the University of Chicago Press in April, 1947.

Scope Note

The Commission on Freedom of the Press Records include copies of all Committee memoranda, reports, and minutes. These materials were distributed to its members during the tenure of the Commission as individually numbered "documents." After publication of the Commission's final report, Robert Redfield and Charles Merriam presented their copies of these unpublished papers to the University of Chicago Library.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

  • William E. Hocking. Definition and Scope of the General Problems Before the Group
  • Charles E. Merriam. Memorandum on Inquiry into Freedom of Speech
  • Harold D. Lasswell. Memorandum on Problems and Procedures.
Box 1   Folder 2

  • Synopsis of the Commission Meeting of February 2, 1944, University Club, New York City, Chairman Hutchins presiding.
  • Conference on Freedom of the Press, with Henry Luce, Eric Hodgins and Sanford Cooper of Time, Inc., with members of the Commission on Freedom of the Press, Commissioner MacLeish presiding
  • Harold D. Lasswell. Required List of Books
  • John Grierson. Memorandum on Problems and Procedures
  • George N. Schuster. Memorandum on Freedom of the Media
  • Statement of the Executive Committee on a Free Society
  • Harold D. Lasswell. Statement on Research Possibilities
Box 1   Folder 3

  • Charles E. Merriam. Command Performance
  • Harold D. Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan. Abstract, Propositions from Milton's Areopagitiua
  • Harold D. Lasswell and Abraham Kaplan. Abstract, Propositions from Mill's "Essay on Liberty."
  • Synopsis of Commission Meeting of March 21, 1944, Carlyle Hotel, New York City, Chairman Hutchins presiding
Box 1   Folder 4

  • Report of Meeting of March 22, 1944, Carlyle Hotel, New York City, Chairman Hutchins presiding
  • Statement of Importance of the Commission's Work
  • Supplement A, Chafee, Clark, Lasswell, Maritain, Niebuhr, Riezler, Schlesinger.Supplement B, Archibald MacLeish
  • Supplement C, Charles E. Merriam
Box 1   Folder 5

Synopsis of Commission Meeting, May 8th and 9th, 1944, Carlyle Hotel, New York City, Chairman Hutchins presiding

Box 1   Folder 6

Chafee's note on discussion of the Commission meeting, May 8 and 9

  • Memorandum to members of subcommittee on relations between law and government. Memorandum on talk by Huntington Cairns, May 8
Box 1   Folder 7

Meeting of the Commission of June 19-20, 1944, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, Chairman Hutchins presiding

Box 1   Folder 8

  • Jacques Maritain. Statement Regarding General Principles of Freedom and Democracy
  • Letter from Mr. Curtice Hitchcock of Reynal and Hitchcock, publishers of Strange Fruit, to George Schuster
Box 1   Folder 8

Parts I, II, and III of First Draft of the Report

Box 1   Folder 9

Summary of Discussion and Action, Commission Meeting September 18, 19, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, Commissioner MacLeish presiding

Box 1   Folder 10

By-Laws of the Commission on Freedom of the Press

  • First Report of the Subcommittee on the Relations of Government
  • to Mass Communications. (Chafee Committee)
Box 1   Folder 11

Ruth A. Inglis. The Hays Office Control of Motion Picture Content Including Appendix, "Code to Govern the Making of Motion and Talking Pictures." Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, June 13, 1944

Box 1   Folder 12

List of Possible Witnesses and Consultants. Freedom of Mass Communications

Box 1   Folder 13

  • Minutes and Summary of Discussion of the Meeting of the Commission, November 20, 21, 1944, Shoreland Hotel, Chicago. Chairman Hutchins presiding.
  • Articles by Zechariah Chafee, Jr., and Frederick Siebert, "In the Matter of the U.S. vs. the AP," and the Decision of Judge Learned Hand, before the U.S. District Court, New York, Oct. 6, 1943
Box 1   Folder 14

  • Report of the Subcommittee on Law and Government
  • Llewellyn White, "What Will We Tell the World?"
Box 1   Folder 15

Report on International Communication

Box 1   Folder 16

Minutes and Summary of Discussion, Meeting of January 22, 23, 1945, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, Commissioners Redfield and Chafee presiding

Box 2   Folder 1

Report of the Subcommittee on Law and Government (continued).

Box 2   Folder 2

World Freedom of the Press and Mr. Cooper's Proposals; Letter from Mr. S.; Letters from Leigh and Riezler

Box 2   Folder 3

Leighton

Box 2   Folder 4

Draft Report. Chapters 1-3

Box 2   Folder 5

Draft Report. Chapters 4-6

Box 2   Folder 6

Draft Report. Chapters 7-11

Box 2   Folder 7

Report of the Subcommittee on Law and Government (continued).

Box 2   Folder 8

Minutes and Summary of Discussion of the Meeting of February 16-17, 1945, Biltmore Hotel, New York City. Commissioner Chafee presiding

Box 2   Folder 9

Outline and Memoranda re Major Areas of Discussion, Commission Meeting of February 26-27, 1945

  • A. Schuster Memorandum
  • B. Niebuhr Memorandum
  • C. Merriam Memorandum
  • D. Clark Memorandum
  • E. Grierson Memorandum
  • F. Riezler Memorandum (Stereotypes)
  • G. Riezler Memorandum (The Mass of Mass Communication)
  • H. Schlesinger Memorandum
  • I. Riezler Memorandum (Freedom of Communication in a "Governmentalized" Society)
  • J. Clark Memorandum
  • K. Riezler Memorandum (Our Emerging International Role)
  • L. Grierson Memorandum
Box 2   Folder 7

Hutchins Memorandum (Conclusions and Recommendations. Codes

  • A. Code of the National Association of Broadcasters
  • B. American Association of Newspaper Editors
  • Brackett Memorandum
Box 2   Folder 8

  • Leigh and White. Proposed Standards for Mass Communications Agencies in a Free Society (a first attempt)
  • William E. Hocking. Tentative Proposals for a Chapter on Principles
  • Revised Outline, Report on International Communications
  • Report on International Communications (revised). Summary of Recommendations (revised)
  • Summary of Recommendations
  • Robert Hutchins. Memorandum
  • Questions for Witnesses
  • Witnesses for Questions
Box 2   Folder 9

Minutes and Summary of Discussion, Meeting, April 16-17, 1945, Biltmore Hotel, New York City, Chairman Hutchins presiding.

Box 2   Folder 10

  • Reinhold Niebuhr. General Propositions Deduced from the Investigation of the Freedom of the Press Commission
  • Report of the Subcommittee on Relations of Government to Mass Communications (continued)
  • Zechariah Chafee. "Where Do We Go From Here?"
  • William E. Hocking. Memorandum and Unfinished Business Regarding the Frame of Reference
Box 2   Folder 11

Robert Leigh and Llewellyn White. Peoples Speaking to Peoples (A Report on International Mass Communication. Second Revision) Note on Sources. (Report on International Mass Communications - Document No. 53)

Box 2   Folder 12

  • Report of Committee on Relations of Government to Mass Communication (continued). Preliminary Abstract of Special Topics
  • Minutes of the Meeting, June 5th and 6th, 1945, Biltmore Hotel, New York City, Commissioner Chafee presiding
  • Interview with Leo Rosten, May 9, 1945
  • Interview with Lyman Bryson, December 21, 1944
  • Meeting with Robert Riskin; notes by Ruth Inglis
  • Notes by Chafee and Schlesinger on a dinner meeting with the Nieman Fellows of Harvard University, May 11, 1945. Appendix, Statement by David Botter, Nieman Fellow
  • Interview with James Allen, staff executive with Warner Brothers, June 8, 1945
  • More on Kennedy of AP. Llewellyn White. Memorandum
Box 2   Folder 13

Robert Leigh and Llewellyn White. Peoples Speaking to Peoples (A Report on International Mass Communication). Third Revision

Box 3   Folder 1

Robert Leigh and Llewellyn White. Certain pages of Peoples Speaking to Peoples. Fourth revision.

Box 3   Folder 2

  • The Decision of the Court of Appeals in the Esquire case.
  • Edition of Editor and Publisher containing the report of the three newspaper executives on their world tour in the interest of freedom of news
  • The New York Times printing of the opinions of the AP case
Box 3   Folder 3

  • Summary of Discussion of the Meeting, June 5th and 6th, 1945, Biltmore Hotel, New York City, Commissioner Chafee presiding
  • Addendum to Summary of Kent Cooper Statement Document 66, pp. 37-38, Based on Notes Made by Zechariah Chafee, Jr
Box 3   Folder 4

Report of the Committee on Relations of Government to Mass Communications

  • Freedom of Communications by James Lawrence Fly
Box 3   Folder 5

Ralph Casey Interviews

  • I. Wiggins
  • II. Seymour Brothers
  • III. Basil L. "Stuffy" Walters
  • IV. Geo. Ferguson-Winnipeg Free Press
  • V. John Bird-Editor, Tribune
  • VI. John D. Ferguson, Milwaukee Journal, Will Conrad, Waldo Arnold
Box 3   Folder 6

  • Harold D. Lasswell. Memorandum: Standards for Mass Communication
  • Report of Subcommittee on Relations of Government to Mass Communications (continued)
Box 3   Folder 7

Self-Regulation of the Movies, pp. 1-101.

Box 3   Folder 8

Self-Regulation of the Movies,. pp. 102-185

Box 3   Folder 9

  • General Report Outline (Revised)
  • Peoples Speaking to Peoples
Box 3   Folder 10

Minutes, Meeting of the Commission, Chicago, September, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1945

Box 4   Folder 1

  • Hocking, Report of "Committee on Untruth."
  • Interview with Keaton
  • Chafee on Group Libel
  • Memo for Commission on Continuing Citizens' Agency
  • Memo for Commission: Summary of Commission Discussion and Documents
  • Comments by Charles E. Merriam with footnote by R. D. Leigh on Continuing Citizens' Agency
  • Interview with Bosley Crowther
  • Comments on Newspaper Guild
  • Memorandum from W. E. Bade
  • Memo on Motion Picture Censorship. Z. Chafee, Jr.
  • Memo on Motion Picture Censorship. Ruth Inglis
Box 4   Folder 2

  • General Report Draft. Chapters I, II, III
  • General Report Draft. Chapter IV
Box 4   Folder 3

Report of Subcommittee on Relations of Government to Mass Communication-Chafee

Box 4   Folder 4

Report of Subcommittee on Relations of Government to Mass Communication-Chafee

Box 4   Folder 5

Report of Subcommittee on Relations of Government to Mass Communication-Chafee

Box 4   Folder 6

  • Statement of Principle by William E. Hocking
  • The Sir Frederick Morgan Case-Margaret-Dunn
  • The Sir Frederick Morgan Case-Margaret-Dunn. Sequel
Box 4   Folder 7

  • Review of Material in Commission Documents
  • Secret Letter to R. Hutchins from Geo. Schuster
Box 4   Folder 8

General Report (MacLeish-revised draft)

Box 4   Folder 9

Minutes-January Commission Meeting, Hotel Carlyle. Pp. 1-82

Box 4   Folder 10

Minutes-January Commission Meeting, Hotel Carlyle. Pp. 83-155

Box 4   Folder 11

Doc. 90a, Summary of Discussion-Commission Meeting, Hotel Carlyle

Box 5   Folder 1

MacLeish. Comments and Suggestions on Document 89, The General Report

Box 5   Folder 2

  • Redfield. Comments and Suggestions on Document 89, The General Report
  • Dickinson. Comments and Suggestions on Document 89, The General Report. Ruml. Comments and Suggestions on Document 89, The General Report
  • Hocking. Comments and Suggestions on Document 89, The General Report. Clark Report. Lasswell. Report
  • Zechariah Chafee, Jr. Anti-Trust Laws
Box 5   Folder 3

R. D. Leigh. Press in Revolution (Sketch for a General Report).

Box 5   Folder 4

Minutes of Chicago Commission Meeting, March 31 to April 2, 1946, Hotel Shoreland

Box 5   Folder 5

Llewellyn White. The American Radio (draft)

Box 5   Folder 6

William E. Hocking. The Framework of Principle

Box 5   Folder 7

Leigh. General Report (5th Revision).Grierson. Suggested Revisions of Doc. 97

Box 6   Folder 1

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. Section I

Box 6   Folder 2

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. Section II

Box 6   Folder 3

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. Section III

Box 6   Folder 4

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. Section III (cont'd.)

Box 6   Folder 5

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications Section IV

Box 6   Folder 6

Clark. Comments on Chafee's Government and Mass Communications

Box 6   Folder 6

Clark. Comments on Hocking's Outline of Principles

Box 6   Folder 7

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. (Section V; Part II, cont'd.)

Box 6   Folder 8

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. (Section IV; Part II concluded, Part III)

Box 7   Folder 1

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. (cont'd.)

Box 7   Folder 2

Chafee. Government and Mass Communications. Part IV. Proposed Commission Statement for the Chafee Report

Box 7   Folder 3

Summary of Discussion on Chapter VI

Box 7   Folder 4

Minutes. Commission Meeting, Del Prado Hotel, May 7-9, 1946.

Box 7   Folder 5

  • Hocking. An Outline of Principle (revised).Clark. Comments on An Outline of Principles
  • Niebuhr, Schuster, Riezler, Schlesinger. Comments on An Outline of Principles
  • Doc. 100c, Hutchins. Comments on An Outline of Principles
  • Hocking. Revision of Document 100, An Outline of Principles
  • Hocking. Revision of Document 100, An Outline of Principles
Box 7   Folder 6

  • Inglis. Freedom for the Movies
  • Inglis. Comments on Freedom for the Movies
Box 7   Folder 7

Inglis. Changes in Freedom for the Movies

Box 7   Folder 8

  • Hocking. Freedom of the Press-Framework of Principle
  • Clark. Comments on Freedom of the Press
Box 8    Folder 1

  • Consent decree in the Communications Industry
  • Leigh. General Report (6th Revision)
  • Llewellyn White. The American Radio (Revision)
Box 8    Folder 2

Grierson. The Voice of the State. Not Circulated or Included in Documents

Box 8    Folder 3

  • Milton Stewart. Report to the Commission
  • Minutes of New York meeting, July 7-9. 1946
  • Summary of Discussion I, July 7-9, 1946
Box 8    Folder 4

Summary of Discussion II, July 7-9, 1946

Box 8    Folder 5

  • Doc. 108c, Summary of Discussion III, July 7-9, 1946
  • Summary of Discussion IV, July 7-9, 1946
Box 8    Folder 6

  • R. M. Hutchins. General Report (7th revision)
  • Responsibilities of Monopoly Newspapers in New England Towns and Cities
Box 8    Folder 7

  • R. M. Hutchins. General Report (8th revision)
  • Chafee, MacLeish, and Leigh. Comments on General Report (7th Revision)
  • Niebuhr. Comments on Hutchins Draft
  • Merriam. Comments on Hutchins Draft
  • Schuster. Comments on Hutchins Draft
  • Clark. Comments on Hutchins Draft
  • Classification of Comments on Hutchins draft
  • Inglis. Comments on Hutchins Draft
Box 8    Folder 8

  • Clark and MacLeish. Comments on Hocking Revision of Document 100, An Outline of Principles (100f)
  • Grierson-Crandall. Afterthoughts of a Newspaperman
  • Hocking. Summary of Principles-Revision of 100f
  • Points at Issue in Outline of Principles (114)
  • Hocking. Additional Revisions of An Outline of Principles (100f)
  • Hocking. Revision of 114, Outline of Principles
  • Draft for Commission Statement on White's Radio Report
  • Draft for Commission Statement on Inglis' Movie Report
  • Suggested Footnote of Dissent for Document 102
  • Classification of Commission Recommendations
Box 8    Folder 9

Summary of Discussion, Commission Meeting in Chicago, Sept. 15-17, 1946

Box 9   Folder 1

Hutchins. Ninth Revision of the General Report

Box 9   Folder 2

This consists of some revised pages of 120

Box 9   Folder 3

  • Hocking. Final Revision of Freedom of the Press, A Framework of Principle
  • (Not numbered on cover) A New Chapter for Hocking, Freedom of the Press, A Framework of Principle
Box 9   Folder 4

White. Final Revision-The American Radio

Box 9   Folder 5

Miscellany

Box 9   Folder 6

Miscellany

Box 9   Folder 7

Miscellany

Box 9   Folder 8

Miscellany

Box 9   Folder 9

Miscellany