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Letter from Mrs. G. K. Sparber to Senator Harry Truman, October 6, 1943

After hearing Senator Harry Truman of Missouri announce that a major aeronautical manufacturer was instituting more stringent quality control, the mother of a pilot wrote to thank the Truman Committee for its work. Truman’s leadership of the committee made him nationally known and widely respected, leading to his nomination as a vice-presidential candidate in 1944.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Letter from Mrs. G. K. Sparber to Senator Harry Truman, October 6, 1943 Letter from Mrs. G. K. Sparber to Senator Harry Truman, October 6, 1943 (with excerpt highlighted)

The Defense Industry

Anticipating the nation’s possible entry into World War II, Congress appropriated $10.5 billion for defense contracts in 1940. To observe how those funds were used, Senator Harry Truman of Missouri toured military bases and plants and then pressed Congress to investigate the defense industry. The Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, created in 1941 with Truman as chairman, saved taxpayer dollars—and soldiers’ lives—by reducing corruption, waste, and inefficiency. In 1948 the Senate created a Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to continue the Truman Committee’s oversight mission.

I consider public funds to be sacred funds, and I think they ought to have every safeguard possible to prevent their being misused and mishandled.

Senator Harry Truman of Missouri, Speech to the Senate, February 10, 1941