Truman Loyalty Oath, 1947
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 3 -- The President 1943-1948
Compilation or 3 CFR, 1943-1948 Comp
PRESCRIBING PROCEDURES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF
AN EMPLOYEES LOYALTY PROGRAM
IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF THE GOVERNMENT
Whereas each employee of the Government of the United States is endowed
with a measure of trusteeship over the democratic processes which are
the heart and sinew of the United States; and
Whereas it is of vital importance that persons employed in the Federal
service be of complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States; and
Whereas, although the loyalty of by far the overwhelming majority of all
Government employees is beyond question, the presence within the
Government service of any disloyal or subversive person constitutes a
threat to our democratic processes; and
Whereas maximum protection must be afforded the United States against
infiltration of disloyal persons into the ranks of its employees, and
equal protection from unfounded accusations of disloyalty must be
afforded the loyal employees of the Government:
Now, Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and statutes of the United States, including the Civil
Service Act of 1883 (22 Stat. 403), as amended, and section 9A of the
act approved August 2, 1939 (18 U.S.C. 61i), and as President and Chief
Executive of the United States, it is hereby, in the interest of the
internal management of the Government, ordered as follows:
PART I, -- INVESTIGATION OF APPLICANTS
- There shall be a loyalty investigation of every person entering the
civilian employment of any department or agency of the executive branch
of the Federal Government.
- Investigations of persons entering the competitive service shall be
conducted by the Civil Service Commission, except in such cases as are
covered by a special agreement between the Commission and any given
department or agency.
- Investigations of persons other than those entering the competitive
service shall be conducted by the employing department or agency.
Departments and agencies without investigative organizations shall
utilize the investigative facilities of the Civil Service Commission.
- The investigations of persons entering the employ of the executive
branch may be conducted after any such person enters upon actual
employment therein, but in any such case the appointment of such person
shall be conditioned upon a favorable determination with respect to his
- Investigations of persons entering the competitive service shall be
conducted as expeditiously as possible; provided, however, that if any
such investigation is not completed within 18 months from the date on
which a person enters actual employment, the condition that his
employment is subject to investigation shall expire, except in a case in
which the Civil Service Commission has made an initial adjudication of
disloyalty and the case continues to be active by reason of an appeal,
and it shall then be the responsibility of the employing department or
agency to conclude such investigation and make a final determination
concerning the loyalty of such person.
- An investigation shall be made of all applicants at all available
pertinent sources of information and shall include reference to:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation files.
- Civil Service Commission files.
- Military and naval intelligence files.
- The files of any other appropriate government investigative or
- House Committee on un-American Activities files.
- Local law-enforcement files at the place of residence and employment
of the applicant, including municipal, county, and State law-enforcement
- Schools and colleges attended by applicant.
- Former employers of applicant.
- References given by applicant.
- Any other appropriate source.
- Whenever derogatory information with respect to loyalty of an
applicant is revealed a full investigation shall be conducted. A full
field investigation shall also be conducted of those applicants, or of
applicants for particular positions, as may be designated by the head of
the employing department or agency, such designations to be based on the
determination by any such head of the best interests of national
PART II -- INVESTIGATION OF EMPLOYEES
- The head of each department and agency in the executive branch of
the Government shall be personally responsible for an effective program
to assure that disloyal civilian officers or employees are not retained
in employment in his department or agency.
- He shall be responsible for prescribing and supervising the loyalty
determination procedures of his department or agency, in accordance with
the provisions of this order, which shall be considered as providing
- The head of a department or agency which does not have an
investigative organization shall utilize the investigative facilities of
the Civil Service Commission.
- The head of each department and agency shall appoint one or more
loyalty boards, each composed of not less than three representatives of
the department or agency concerned, for the purpose of hearing loyalty
cases arising within such department or agency and making
recommendations with respect to the removal of any officer or employee
of such department or agency on grounds relating to loyalty, and he
shall prescribe regulations for the conduct of the proceedings before
- An officer or employee who is charged with being disloyal shall have
a right to an administrative hearing before a loyalty board in the
employing department or agency. He may appear before such board
personally, accompanied by counsel or representative of his own
choosing, and present evidence on his own behalf, through witnesses or
- The officer or employee shall be served with a written notice of
such hearing in sufficient time, and shall be informed therein of the
nature of the charges against him in sufficient detail, so that he will
be enabled to prepare his defense. The charges shall be stated as
specifically and completely as, in the discretion of the employing
department or agency, security considerations permit, and the officer or
employee shall be informed in the notice (1) of his right to reply to
such charges in writing within a specified reasonable period of time,
(2) of his right to an administrative hearing on such charges before a
loyalty board, and (3) of his right to appear before such board
personally, to be accompanied by counsel or representative of his own
choosing, and to present evidence on his behalf, through witness or by
- A recommendation of removal by a loyalty board shall be subject to
appeal by the officer or employee affected, prior to his removal, to the
head of the employing department or agency or to such person or persons
as may be designated by such head, under such regulations as may be
prescribed by him, and the decision of the department or agency
concerned shall be subject to appeal to the Civil Service Commission's
Loyalty Review Board, hereinafter provided for, for an advisory
- The rights of hearing, notice thereof, and appeal therefrom shall be
accorded to every officer or employee prior to his removal on grounds of
disloyalty, irrespective of tenure, or of manner, method, or nature of
appointment, but the head of the employing department or agency may
suspend any officer or employee at any time pending a determination with
respect to loyalty.
- The loyalty boards of the various departments and agencies shall
furnish to the Loyalty Review Board, hereinafter provided for, such
reports as may be requested concerning the operation of the loyalty
program in any such department or agency.
PART III -- RESPONSIBILITIES OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
- There shall be established in the Civil Service Commission a Loyalty
Review Board of not less than three impartial persons, the members of
which shall be officers or employees of the Commission.
- The Board shall have authority to review cases involving persons
recommended for dismissal on grounds relating to loyalty by the loyalty
board of any department or agency and to make advisory recommendations
thereon to the head of the employing department or agency. Such cases
may be referred to the Board either by the employing department or
agency, or by the officer or employee concerned.
- The Board shall make rules and regulations, not inconsistent with
the provisions of this order, deemed necessary to implement statutes and
Executive orders relating to employee loyalty.
- The Loyalty Review Board shall also:
(1) Advise all departments and agencies on all problems relating to
(2) Disseminate information pertinent to employee loyalty programs.
(3) Coordinate the employee loyalty policies and procedures of the
several departments and agencies.
(4) Make reports and submit recommendations to the Civil Service
Commission for transmission to the President from time to time as may be
necessary to the maintenance of the employee loyalty program.
2. There shall also be established and maintained in the Civil Service
Commission a central master index covering all persons on whom loyalty
investigations have been made by any department or agency since
September 1, 1939. Such master index shall contain the name of each
person investigated, adequate identifying information concerning each
such person, and a reference to each department and agency which has
conducted a loyalty investigation concerning the person involved.
- All executive departments and agencies are directed to furnish to
the Civil Service Commission all information appropriate for the
establishment and maintenance of the central master index.
- The reports and other investigative material and information
developed by the investigating department or agency shall be retained by
such department or agency in each case.
- The loyalty Review Board shall currently be furnished by the
Department of Justice the name of each foreign or domestic organization,
association, movement, group or combination of persons which the
Attorney General, after appropriate investigation and determination,
designates as totalitarian, fascist, communist or subversive, or as
having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of
acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the
Constitution of the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of
government of the United States by unconstitutional means.
- The Loyalty Review Board shall disseminate such information to all
departments and agencies.
PART IV -- SECURITY MEASURES IN INVESTIGATIONS
- At the request of the head of any department or agency of the
executive branch an investigative agency shall make available to such
head, personally, all investigative material and information collected
by the investigative agency concerning any employee or prospective
employee of the requesting department or agency, or shall make such
material and information available to any officer or officers designated
by such head and approved by the investigative agency.
- Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement, however, the
investigative agency may refuse to disclose the names of confidential
informants, provided it furnishes sufficient information about such
informants on the basis of which the requesting department or agency can
make an adequate evaluation of the information furnished by them, and
provided it advises the requesting department or agency in writing that
it is essential to the protection of the informants or to the
investigation of other cases that the identity of the informants not be
revealed. Investigative agencies shall not use this discretion to
decline to reveal sources of information where such action is not
- Each department and agency of the executive branch should develop
and maintain, for the collection and analysis of information relating to
the loyalty of its employees and prospective employees, a staff
specially trained in security techniques, and an effective security
control system for protecting such information generally and for
protecting confidential sources of such information particularly.
PART V -- STANDARDS
- The standard for the refusal of employment or the removal from
employment in an executive department or agency on grounds relating to
loyalty shall be that, on all the evidence, reasonable grounds exist for
belief that the person involved is disloyal to the Government of the
- Activities and associations of an applicant or employee which may be
considered in connection with the determination of disloyalty may
include one or more of the following:
- Sabotage, espionage, or attempts or preparations therefor, or
knowingly associating with spies or saboteurs;
- Treason or sedition or advocacy thereof;
- Advocacy of revolution or force or violence to alter the
constitutional form of government of the United States;
- Intentional, unauthorized disclosure to any person, under
circumstances which may indicate disloyalty to the United States, of
documents or information of a confidential or non-public character
obtained by the person making the disclosure as a result of his
employment by the Government of the United States;
- Performing or attempting to perform his duties, or otherwise acting,
so as to serve the interests of another government in preference to the
interests of the United States.
- Membership in, affiliation with or sympathetic association with any
foreign or domestic organization, association, movement, group or
combination of persons, designated by the Attorney General as
totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive, or as having adopted a
policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or
violence to deny other persons their rights under the Constitution of
the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of government of the
United States by unconstitutional means.
PART VI -- MISCELLANEOUS
- Each department and agency of the executive branch, to the extent
that it has not already done so, shall submit, to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation of the Department of Justice, either directly or through
the Civil Service Commission, the names (and such other necessary
identifying material as the Federal Bureau of Investigation may require)
of all of its incumbent employees.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation shall check such names against
its records of persons concerning whom there is substantial evidence of
being within the purview of paragraph 2 of Part V hereof, and shall
notify each department and agency of such information.
- Upon receipt of the above-mentioned information from the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, each department and agency shall make, or cause
to be made by the Civil Service Commission, such investigation of those
employees as the head of the department or agency shall deem advisable.
- The Security Advisory Board of the State-War-Navy Coordinating
Committee shall draft rules applicable to the handling and transmission
of confidential documents and other documents and information which
should not be publicly disclosed, and upon approval by the President
such rules shall constitute the minimum standards for the handling and
transmission of such documents and information, and shall be applicable
to all departments and agencies of the executive branch.
- The provisions of this order shall not be applicable to persons
summarily removed under the provisions of section 3 of the act of
December 17, 1942, 56 Stat. 1053, of the act of July 5, 1946, 60 Stat.
453, or of any other statute conferring the power of summary removal.
- The Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy, and the
Secretary of the Treasury with respect to the Coast Guard, are hereby
directed to continue to enforce and maintain the highest standards of
loyalty within the armed services, pursuant to the applicable statutes,
the Articles of War, and the Articles for the Government of the Navy.
- This order shall be effective immediately, but compliance with such
of its provisions as require the expenditure of funds shall be deferred
pending the appropriation of such funds.
- Executive Order No. 9300 of February 5, 1943, is hereby revoked.
Harry S. \cf2 Truman\cf0
The White House,
March 21, 1947.