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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History

Scope and Contents of the Records

Organization of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Hearing testimony, 1935-1936,

Exhibits, 1934-1937, bulk 1935-1936,

Reports, 1935-1936,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Special Committee to Investigate the Hot Oil Situation:

An Inventory of House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the Hot Oil Situation Records at the Texas State Archives, 1934-1937, bulk 1935-1936



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation."
Title: House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" records
Dates: 1934-1937
Dates: bulk 1935-1936
Abstract: The Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" was created to gather information concerning the production of petroleum in Texas in excess of government-imposed quotas and to report its findings and recommendations to the House. Records of the committee consist of hearing testimony, exhibits and reports dating 1934-1937, bulk dating 1935-1936.
Quantity: 1.35 cubic ft.
Language: These materials are written in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" was created by House Simple Resolution 126, introduced on April 12, 1935 (44th Texas Legislature, Regular Session). The resolution was amended on April 23, and a committee of five representatives was appointed on May 11. Hearings were held at Austin, Longview, Kilgore, Dallas and Houston from May 21, 1935 through March 19, 1936. A preliminary report and testimony to date was filed with the House on September 26, 1935. A final report, augmenting the earlier one, was issued October 22, 1936 during the 3rd Called Session of the 44th Legislature.

"Hot oil," as it was commonly known, was petroleum produced in excess of government-imposed quotas. Production of hot oil was a serious problem during the 1930s as attempts were made by state and federal governments to stem over-production and the consequent price decline following the development of the vast East Texas oil field. Adoption of proration laws caused a frantic surge in drilling and further increased the excess oil on the market. Flow of hot oil peaked in late 1934 and early 1935. Illegal production from the East Texas oil fields alone was estimated at 55,000 to 150,000 barrels a day. The glut of excess oil on the market sparked price wars, martial law and a Congressional investigation. A new interstate compact was drawn up in Dallas in February 1935 and achieved the required ratification by the legislatures of all oil-producing states. Additionally, the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935, authored by U.S. Senator Thomas Connally of Texas, was passed by Congress on February 22, 1935 to prohibit the domestic and foreign shipment of hot oil in order to help stabilize the oil market and to conserve U.S. oil reserves. The legislation, originally set to expire in 1937, continues as a permanent law.

(Sources include: the guide survey completed for this material; Gard, Wayne, "Hot Oil" and Jasinski, Laurie E., "Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935" from the Handbook of Texas Online; and V.T.C.A., Natural Resources Code, Section 90.001 et seq.; all accessed October 17, 2013.)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

The Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" was created to gather information concerning the production of petroleum in Texas in excess of government-imposed quotas and to report its findings and recommendations to the House. Records of the committee consist of hearing testimony, exhibits and reports dating 1934-1937, bulk dating 1935-1936.

Hearing testimony taken from 1935 to 1936 gathered evidence for the committee's investigation into illegal practices in the state oil industry, specifically the production of oil in violation of state or federal regulations or in excess of quotas, known as "hot oil." Committee hearings were held in the cities of Kilgore and Longview, both in the East Texas oil field, and in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Many of those testifying were employees of the Kilgore office of the Oil and Gas Division of the Railroad Commission or other current and former commission employees. Also testifying were refinery employees, representatives from professional transportation and oil associations and the Federal Tender Board, staff of the Attorney General and Comptroller Departments and the State Auditor. The hearings uncovered numerous inadequacies in the system which regulated oil production, including inefficiencies at the Railroad Commission, lack of coordination and sharing of information between the commission and the Attorney General and Comptroller Departments, and the ineffective administration of the tender system, which was meant to prevent the production of illegal oil.

Exhibits presented by the committee as they reported their findings to the House of Representatives supplement their reports and hearing testimony and date 1934-1937, with the bulk dating 1935-1936. The exhibits provide figures for oil production, employment details of Railroad Commission Oil and Gas Division staff, a list of court cases brought by the state against illegal oil producers, tender system documentation, correspondence, legislation which authorized the committee and a statement by Railroad Commissioner Ernest O. Thompson.

Reports submitted by the House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" to the House of Representatives, dating 1935-1936, present the committee's findings after studying testimony given by witnesses at its hearings, compiling background information, and consulting with staff at the Railroad Commission of Texas, Attorney General's Office and Comptroller's Office.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

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Organization of the Records

The records are organized into three series:
Hearing testimony, 1935-1936, 1.15 cubic ft.
Exhibits, 1934-1937, bulk 1935-1936, 0.15 cubic ft.
Reports, 1935-1936, 0.05 cubic ft.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Interstate Oil Compact Commission.
Subjects:
Petroleum industry and trade--Texas, East.
Petroleum--Texas, East--Transportation.
Places:
Texas, East--Petroleum industry and trade.
Document Types:
Proceedings--Texas, East--Governmental investigations--1935.
Reports--Texas, East--Governmental investigations--1935.
Testimony--Texas, East--Governmental investigations--1935.
Functions:
Regulating the petroleum industry.

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Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Legislature, Senate, Investigation Committee Appointed by Virtue of Senate Simple Resolution No. 96, Records, 1935-1936, 0.3 cubic ft.
Railroad Commission of Texas, Railroad Commission records, 1836-1867, 1873-1885, 1890-2006, bulk 1891-1996, 1228.05 cubic ft., 398 microfilm rolls, 119 microfiche, processed; 89.15 cubic ft., 6 microfilm rolls, unprocessed [Restricted in part] [See particularly Oil and Gas Division records and Interstate Oil Compact Commission transcripts of proceedings.]
Texas Attorney-General's Office, Court cases and investigations, 1880-1987, 762.13 cubic ft. [Restricted]
Publications
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Journal of the House of Representatives of the state of Texas, 37th Legislature, Regular Session. Austin: Standard Office, 1935.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 1982/322

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Secretary of State on May 23, 1940.

Processing Information

Guide survey information compiled by Michael Green, July 1982

Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project by Rebecca Romanchuk, October 2013

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Detailed Description of the Records

 

Hearing testimony, 1935-1936,
1.15 cubic ft.

Hearing testimony taken by the Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" from 1935 to 1936 gathered evidence for the committee's investigation into illegal practices in the state oil industry, specifically the production of oil in violation of state or federal regulations or in excess of quotas, known as "hot oil." Committee hearings were held in the cities of Kilgore and Longview, both in the East Texas oil field, and in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Many of those testifying were employees of the Kilgore office of the Oil and Gas Division of the Railroad Commission or other current and former commission employees. Also testifying were refinery employees, representatives from professional transportation and oil associations and the Federal Tender Board, staff of the Attorney General and Comptroller Departments and the State Auditor. The hearings uncovered numerous inadequacies in the system which regulated oil production, including inefficiencies at the Railroad Commission, lack of coordination and sharing of information between the commission and the Attorney General and Comptroller Departments, and the ineffective administration of the tender system, which was meant to prevent the production of illegal oil.
The committee's final report to the House of Representatives refers to hearing testimony contained in several volumes within the set designated 1a through 11a. These references are made to spans of page numbers within a particular volume and not to the individuals who testified, or to the date or place of the hearing. For this reason the volume number for each hearing is included in the inventory. Volumes I through XIII are not referred to by either of the committee's reports, though all testimony taken prior to the preliminary report was submitted with it (this includes volumes I through X). While the preliminary report states that a hearing was held in Fort Worth, no testimony from that hearing is included in these records. Repeated volume numbers occur where one volume held testimony from more than one hearing. Some volume numbers are not consecutive with the hearing dates.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in chronological order by hearing date.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Hearing testimony, Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-10/843 44th Legislature, Regular Session and Interim, 1935
Austin, May 21, 1935
[volume I]
Austin, May 24, 1935
[volume X]
[Hearing held by the Railroad Commission of Texas and likely made available to the committee, filed with the Office of Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives on September 27, 1935.]
Longview, July 16, 1935
[volume I]
Kilgore, July 16, 1935
[volume I]
Longview, July 17, 1935
[volume I]
Kilgore, July 17, 1935
[volume I]
Kilgore, July 18, 1935
[volume I]
Kilgore, July 19, 1935
[volume I]
Longview, July 19, 1935
[volume 1a]
Longview, July 20, 1935
[volume I]
Austin, July 30-August 1, 1935
[volume II]
Kilgore, August 15, 1935
[volume III]
Houston, August 22, 1935
[volume IV]
Houston, August 23, 1935
[volume V]
Kilgore, August 30, 1935
[volume VI]
Box
2-10/844 Dallas, September 10, 1935
[volume VII]
44th Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1935
Austin, September 24, 1935
[volume 2a]
Austin, September 25, 1935
[volume VIII]
Austin, September 25, 1935
[volume IX]
Austin, September 25, 1935
[volume 3a]
Austin, September 30, 1935
[volume XII]
Austin, September 30, 1935
[volume 3a]
Possibly Kilgore or Longview, filed October 8, 1935
[volume XI]
44th Legislature, 2nd Called Session and Interim, 1935-1936
Austin, (a.m.) October 26, 1935
[volume XIII]
Austin, (p.m.) October 26, 1935
[volume 3a]
Kilgore, January 15, 1936
[volume 4a]
Longview, February 18, 1936
[volume 5a]
Longview, February 19, 1936
[volume 6a]
Longview, March 5, 1936
[volume 7a]
Austin, March 10, 1936
[volume 8a]
Austin, March 11, 1936
[volume 8a]
Longview, (a.m.) March 19, 1936
[volume 10a]
Box
2-10/845 Longview, (p.m.) March 19, 1936
[volume 9a]
Longview, (excerpts) March 19, 1936
[volume 11a]
Austin, March 30, 1936
[volume 8a]

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Exhibits, 1934-1937, bulk 1935-1936,
0.15 cubic ft.

Exhibits presented by the Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" as they reported their findings to the House of Representatives supplement their reports and hearing testimony and date 1934-1937, with the bulk dating 1935-1936. The exhibits provide figures for oil production, employment details of Railroad Commission Oil and Gas Division staff, a list of court cases brought by the state against illegal oil producers, tender system documentation, correspondence, legislation which authorized the committee and a statement by Railroad Commissioner Ernest O. Thompson. Exhibits A through G (there is no Exhibit F in these records) include documents that date after the committee's preliminary report that was submitted on September 26, 1935; while these exhibits may have accompanied the committee's final report, the text of that report does not mention them. Thompson's statement was filed with the House of Representatives on the same day as the committee's preliminary report and the hearing testimony taken by the Railroad Commission of Texas in Austin on May 24, 1935.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in alphabetical order by exhibit letter, followed by miscellaneous exhibits and a statement that were not assigned exhibit letters.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Exhibits, Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-10/845 Exhibit A, 1934-1936
[Figures for crude oil production (allowable and actual) and taxation, and for gasoline and other crude products overshipment.]
Exhibit B, 1934-1935
[Railroad Commission, Oil and Gas Division payroll.]
Exhibit C, 1934, 1936
[Comptroller's Office correspondence, list of court cases brought by the State for violation of proration orders, legal statement transferring ownership of oil-producing property.]
Exhibit D, 1935
[Crude and fuel oil tenders received spreadsheet, East Texas field production figures.]
Exhibit E, April-May 1936
[Report of operations - all East Texas refineries.]
[No Exhibit F]
Exhibit G, 1935
[Typescript copy of House Simple Resolutions 35 and 126, 44th Legislature, Regular Session; committee correspondence; survey of open storage pits in East Texas; receipts tendered, tenders issued and shipments for crude and injunction oil, Gladewater and Dallas; information on illegally produced gasoline and issuing of tenders.]
Miscellaneous exhibits, 1934-1935
[Telegram for tender approval; chart of excess or hot oil per month during December 1934 to May 1935; movement of gasoline via tank trucks; survey of earthen storage in East Texas oil field; list of confiscation suits pending sale; Office of the Attorney General cover letter for order of sale and notices to Smith County Sheriff.]
Statement by Ernest O. Thompson, filed with the Office of Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives, September 27, 1935

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Reports, 1935-1936,
0.05 cubic ft.

Reports submitted by the Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" to the House of Representatives, dating 1935-1936, present the committee's findings after studying testimony given by witnesses at its hearings and consulting with staff at the Railroad Commission of Texas, Attorney General's Office and Comptroller's Office. Background material used in compiling the reports consists of tabulations comparing tenders issued with actual oil shipment amounts and notes describing Railroad Commission functions and performance.
Arrangement
These records are arranged in chronological order.
Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Reports, Texas House of Representatives Special Committee to Investigate the "Hot Oil Situation" records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Box
2-10/845 Preliminary report to House of Representatives, 44th Legislature, 1st Called Session, September 26, 1935
[Original copy with signatures and second copy without signatures, filed with the House of Representatives on September 27, 1935.]
Final report to House of Representatives, 44th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, October 22, 1936
[Two original copies with signatures.]
Statement of amounts outstanding unused on tenders, January-June 1935
[Receipts, tenders issued and shipments for 28 refineries.]
Background study notes on Railroad Commission, 1935
[Lists deficient business and personnel practices by the Railroad Commission along with committee notes assessing situation.]

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