Contents: Correspondence, memoranda.
Arrangement: The series is aranged alphabetically by executive departments and agencies, with subfiles of specific topics also alphabetically arranged. Under each topcial subfile, annual folders are filed in reverse chronological order. The order of the Executive Correspondence Files parallels the arrangement of the JJW:ERL and the Legislative Correspondence Series.
Description: A significant amount of correspondence with executive departments and agencies was created in the course of Senator Williams's investigations and to meet his own information needs. But the bulk of the Executive Correspondence series was created in response to the concerns of constituents.
Senator Williams and his staff served as the liaison between Delawareans and the federal government with respect to constituent problems with federal programs, rules, and decisions. Typical requests for the Senator's help were to recover a lost social security check, to appeal a disability claim, or to obtain a hardship discharge from the military. It was the responsibility of the Senator's staff to determine which appropriate department or agency might resolve problems, to contact effectively resourceful department or agency staff, to pursue all information exchanges as the cases developed, and to translate the impersonal bureaucratic responses into timely and personal answers for the constituents.
The contents of the files reflect some concerns specific to Delawareans, such as issues relating to the poultry industry and contracts at the Dover Air Force Base; other files reflect broader issues of the times, such as postwar displaced persons cases or immigration appeals in the 1950s.
Staff filed cases according to agency or departmental jurisdiction: inquiries about legal assistance for veterans are found under Veterans Administration, suggestions for presidential nominations under Office of the President, and complaints about mail delivery services are found under Post Office. Searches for specific topics may be complicated by cross jurisdiction for issues, the history of departmental or agency name changes, and/or quirks of the staff filing practices. For example, correspondence concerning regulations of air travel may be found under Civil Aeronautics Board, Federal Aviation Administration, or Transportation Department. Poultry is a topic covered under Agriculture Department, Delaware Miscellaneous, Economic Stabilization Agency, and Office of the President--Trade Negotiations.
The arrangement of the Executive Correspondence series parallels JWW:ERL Subject Files and Legislative Correspondence series and related material may be found in these files. The contents of the three series complement and supplement each other.
The original extent of the Executive Correspondence series was significantly reduced because of either the strictly routine or the confidential nature of the requests. Sequences of routinely direct referrals to departments such as requests for passports (3 inches) and visas (9 inches) referred to the State Department were discarded. Veterans' claims and Defense personnel files were not retained due to respect for privacy rights of the constituents. Cases from veterans and military servicemen generally detailed personal difficulties to which the Senator's staff could only give help by referring the constituent to the Veterans Administration or military service with the appropriate jurisdiction. Defense personnel files (28 inches) were not kept because the Senator simply had no influence with requests for military transfers, discipline for AWOL cases, deferral of active duty, excuses from training camps, or obtaining security clearances.