Commission on Intergovernmental Relations

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The Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (popularly known as the Kestnbaum Commission) was created by an act of the United States Congress on July 10, 1953, to make recommendations for the solution of problems involving federal and state governments. Its final report was issued on June 28, 1955.

At the time he made appointments to the Commission, President Eisenhower described it as "an historic undertaking: the elimination of frictions, duplications and waste from Federal-state relations; the clear definition of lines of Governmental authority in our nation; the increase in efficiency in a multitude of Governmental programs vital to the welfare of all Americans."[1]


The original chairman, Clarence Manion, was asked to resign in February 1954 by the White House, apparently over his advocacy of the Bricker Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He had also been criticized for frequent absences, and lecture tours attacking the Tennessee Valley Authority.[2] Meyer Kestnbaum was appointed to replace him in April.[3]

Dudley White, Ohio newspaper publisher, who had been appointed executive director for the commission,[4] resigned in protest over Manion's ouster; Noah M. Mason also resigned from the Commission.[5]

Commission members

The commission had twenty-five members. Fifteen were appointed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, five by the Speaker of the House, and five by the President of the Senate.

Presidential appointees:

U.S. Senate:

U.S. House:


  1. "Eisenhower Names 14 for Survey Unit: Completes Panel That Will Study Governmental Relations -- Leaves for Capitol Today," New York Times, September 19, 1953
  2. "Manion Ousted by White House As Head of Governmental Survey", New York Times, February 18, 1954
  3. "Chicagoan Named to Head U.S. Board", New York Times, April 22, 1954
  4. "Publisher Is Appointed to Eisenhower Board", New York Times, November 14, 1953
  5. "2 Quit in Protest of Manion Ouster," New York Times, February 19, 1954

Other sources

  • "10 Senators Join Panels: Nixon Names Them to Review Economic and Tax Policies," New York Times, August 8, 1953
  • John Marshall Butler, The Commission on Intergovernmental Relations: A Report to the President for Transmittal to the Congress, Washington, DC., 1955.

External links