Executive Order 8757

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Signed by President  Franklin D. Roosevelt  Tuesday, May 20, 1941 Federal Register  page & date: FR 2517, Thursday, May 22, 1941
See the Notes section for a listing of Executive Orders affected by or related to the issuance of this Executive Order.

By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes, and in order to define further the functions and duties of the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President in respect to the national emergency as declared by the President on September 8, 1939, to assure effective coordination of Federal relations with State and local governments engaged in defense activities, to provide for necessary cooperation with States and local governments in respect to measures for adequate protection of the civilian population in emergency periods, to facilitate constructive civilian participation in the defense program, and to sustain national morale, it is hereby ordered as follows:


  1. There is established within the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President the Office of Civilian Defense, at the head of which shall be a Director appointed by the President. The Director shall discharge and perform his responsibilities and duties under the direction and supervision of the President. The Director shall receive no salary or other remuneration for his services, but shall be entitled to actual and necessary transportation, subsistence, and other expenses incidental to the performance of his duties.

  2. Subject to such policies, directions, and regulations as the President may from time to time prescribe, and with such advice and assistance as may be necessary from the other departments and agencies of the Federal Government, and utilizing the operating services and facilities of such departments and agencies as far as possible, the Director shall perform and discharge the following described duties and responsibilities:

    1. Serve as the center for the coordination of Federal civilian defense activities which involve relationships between the Federal Government and State and local governments, territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia (as hereinafter used in this Order the term "State and local" shall include territories, insular possessions, and the District of Columbia); establish and maintain contact with State and local governments and their defense agencies; and facilitate relationships between such units of government and the agencies of the Federal Government in respect to defense problems.

    2. Keep informed of problems which arise from the impact of the industrial and military defense effort upon local communities, and take necessary steps to secure the cooperation of appropriate Federal departments and agencies in dealing with such problems and in meeting the emergency needs of such communities.

    3. Assist State and local governments in the establishment of State and local defense councils or other agencies designed to coordinate civilian defense activities.

    4. With the assistance of the Board for Civilian Protection, described in paragraph 4 of this Order, study and plan measures designed to afford adequate protection of life and property in the event of emergency; and sponsor and carry out such civil defense programs, including the recruitment and training of civilian auxiliaries, and disseminate to appropriate officials of the Federal Government and State and local governments such information concerning civil defense measures as may be necessary to meet emergency needs.

    5. With the assistance of the Volunteer Participation Committee, described in paragraph 5 of this Order, consider proposals, suggest plans, and promote activities designed to sustain the national morale and to provide opportunities for constructive civilian participation in the defense program; review and approve all civilian defense programs of Federal departments and agencies involving the use of volunteer services in order to assure unity and balance in the application of such programs; and assist State and local defense councils or other agencies in the organization of volunteer service units and in the development of their activities.

    6. Maintain a clearing house of information on State and local defense activities in cooperation with appropriate Federal departments and agencies.

    7. Review existing or proposed measures relating to or affecting State and local defense activities, and recommend such additional measures as may be necessary or desirable to assure adequate civilian defense.

    8. Perform such other duties relating to participation in the defense program by State and local agencies as the President may from time to time prescribe.

  3. The Director may provide for the internal organization and management of the Office of Civilian Defense. He shall obtain the President's approval for the establishment of the principal subdivisions of the Office and the appointment of the heads thereof.

  4. There shall be in the Office of Civilian Defense a Board for Civilian Protection (hereinafter referred to as the Board) to be composed of the Director as Chairman and a representative of each of the following departments and agencies of the Federal Government to be designated by the heads thereof: Department of War, Department of the Navy, Department of Justice, Federal Security Agency, and such others as the President may from time to time determine. In addition, each of the following organizations shall be invited to designate a representative to serve as a member of the Board:

    1. The Council of State Governments

    2. The American Municipal Association

    3. The United States Conference of Mayors

    The Board shall advise and assist in the formulation of civil defense programs and measures, appropriate to the varying needs of each part of the Nation, designed to afford adequate protection of life and property in the event of emergency. The members of this Board shall serve as such without compensation, but shall be entitled to actual and necessary transportation, subsistence, and other expenses incidental to the performance of their duties.

  5. There shall be in the Office of Civilian Defense a Volunteer Participation Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) consisting of the Director as Chairman and not more than twenty members, representative of the various regions and interests of the Nation, to be appointed by the President. The Committee shall serve as an advisory and planning body in considering proposals and developing programs designed to sustain national morale and to provide opportunities for constructive civilian participation in the defense effort. The members of the Committee shall serve as such without compensation, but shall be entitled to actual and necessary transportation, subsistence, and other expenses incidental to the performance of their duties.

  6. The Director is authorized, with the approval of the President, to appoint such additional advisory committees and subcommittees, with respect to State and local cooperation, national morale, civil defense planning, civilian participation, and related defense activities, as he may find necessary or desirable to assist him in the performance of his duties. Such advisory committees may include representatives from Federal departments and agencies, State and local governments, private organizations, and the public at large. The members of advisory committees shall serve as such without compensation, but shall be entitled to actual and necessary transportation, subsistence, and other expenses incidental to the performance of their duties.

  7. Within the limitation of such funds as may be appropriated to the Office of Civilian Defense, or as may be allocated to it by the President through the Bureau of the Budget, the Director may employ necessary personnel and make provision for the necessary supplies, facilities, and services. However, the Office of Civilian Defense shall use such statistical, informational, fiscal, personnel, and other general business services and facilities as may be made available to it through the Office for Emergency Management or other agencies of the Government.


Signature of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt 
The White House,
May 20, 1941.

Notes[edit]

Amended by
See Related


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).