Scope and Content of Collection
Additional collection guides
Title: President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization (Ash Council), White House Central Files, 1969-1971
Collection Number: 6217266
United States. President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization
Extent: 7 linear feet, 10 linear inches; 18 boxes
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: The President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization (PACEO) is commonly referred to as the Ash Council. It was established
to conduct a review of the organization of the executive branch and to recommend changes which would alleviate problems arising
from overlapping jurisdictions and improve the effectiveness of the government departments in carrying out the administration’s
Language of Material: English
Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release
established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.
Most government records are in the public domain; however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings,
that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.
President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization (Ash Council), White House Central Files, 1969-1971. Richard Nixon
Presidential Library and Museum
These materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of
the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations.
Scope and Content of Collection
The President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization (PACEO) was appointed by the President on April 15, 1969. Its mission
was to conduct a review of the organization of the executive branch and to recommend changes which would alleviate problems
arising from overlapping jurisdictions and improve the effectiveness of the government departments in carrying out the administration's
domestic programs. The Council's first five members, also appointed on April 5, 1969, were the Chairman Roy L. Ash, John B.
Connally, Frederick R. Kappel, Richard M. Paget, and George Baker; they were later joined by Walter Thayer, appointed June
2, 1969, who also held the post of Special Consultant to the President with the responsibility to assist in establishing the
Council. Murray Comarow was the Council's first executive director, and Andrew Rouse his deputy and later successor. The Council
first convened on April 10, 1969. It met formally one or two full days a month, conducted 1500 interviews, met with the President
five times, and prepared for him fourteen memoranda between July 19, 1969 and November 19, 1970, as follows:
Advising the President of the Council's Upcoming Agenda (July 19, 1969), The Executive Office of the President (August 20,
1969), Proposed Organization of the Executive Office of the President (October 17, 1969), Oceanography and Atmospheric Programs
Organization (January 16, 1970), Proposed Reorganization of the Federal Organized Crime Strike Force Program (January 16,
1970), Overseas Organization of the Federal Government to Deal with Traffic in Narcotics (January 16, 1970), Report on Selected
Activities in the Executive Office of the President (January 20, 1970), Federal Organization for Environmental Protection
(April 29, 1970), The Establishment of a Department of Natural Resources (May 12, 1970), Federal Organization to Control Drug
Abuse (June 25, 1970), The Independent Regulatory Agencies (July 10, 1970), Organization for Foreign Economic Affairs (August
17, 1970), The Executive Office of the President--An Overview (October 26, 1970), Organization for Social and Economic Programs
(November 19, 1970).
Three of these reports were eventually made public: "The Establishment of a Department of Natural Resources" and "Organization
for Social and Economic Programs" (published together, Government Printing Office, February 1971); and "The Independent Regulatory
Framework, Report on Selected Independent Regulatory Agencies" (Government Printing Office, January 1971). In addition, the
Council published "President's Departmental Reorganization--A Reference Compilation" (Government Printing Office, March 1971).
Despite discussion among administration members that the Council should prepare and perhaps publish a "Final Report," such
a report was apparently never in fact prepared.
President Nixon accepted the resignation of the Council on May 7, 1971.
The Council's files are arranged in seven series. Three of these series, Memoranda for the President, Meetings Files, and
Subject Categories--which three together comprise about 60% of the file group's volume and are its core--follow the strict
arrangement scheme imposed on them by the Council's records officers. The Memoranda for the President series, which holds
the Council's final, finished products, together with drafts, reports and staff comments, and the Meetings Files series, which
holds such things as agendas, minutes of meetings, and lists of attendees, are arranged chronologically. The Subject Categories
series is comprised of six subseries, holding the records of the six Council study groups. Arrangement within each subseries
follows a numerical scheme which divided materials into types, beginning with the memoranda for the President and including
correspondence, transcripts of interviews, and background reports and memoranda.
Two other series, Chronological and Administrative Files and Andrew M. Rouse Files, do not follow the same arrangement scheme.
The Chronological and Administrative File, which is arranged partly chronologically, partly by subject, covers administrative
details of the Council's work, such as acquiring staff and equipment, responding to offers of assistance and advice, arranging
meetings, and caring for Council financial and legal matters. The Andrew M. Rouse Files are the office files of the Council's
deputy director and, in its late phase, director. It is arranged in two subseries. First is a Meetings File, which duplicates
some of the material in the main Meetings File, described above, and a Subject File, which covers primarily the work of the
two study groups with which Rouse worked most closely--those for the Executive Office of the President and Natural Resources.
The subseries is arranged in an approximate alphabetical order which keeps the materials covering these two study groups each
respectively together. The subseries also contains four folders of office files of Dwight Ink, an official of the Bureau of
the Budget who worked with the Council.
The last two series, Reference File and Printed Material, contain background materials on reorganization proposals, past and
present, and on government programs.
Materials related to the Council's records are located in the Subject Files of the White House Central Files (FG 250, The
President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization), and in the staff member and office files, in both the White House
Central Files and the White House Special Files, of administration figures such as H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Peter Flanigan,
Kenneth Cole, Egil Krogh, Ray Price, and John Whitaker, who participated in the Council's work. In addition, Roy Ash has a
small staff member file in the White House Central Files.
Andrew M. Rouse
Additional collection guides