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1726 1 of 3

DELAWARE STATE SURVEY COMMISSION

During the first year of WWI, there arose great concern in Delaware as to the preparedness of State government to cope with the demands that would be made upon it during a protracted conflict. Thus, in 1918, the State Council of Defense (RG 1673) arranged for a New York firm to do a detailed survey of state and county government structures and make recommendations to streamline them and make them more efficient. The state and county government surveys were begun in September 1918 and the findings published in December 1918, with field work in the City of Wilmington continuing through February 1919 and the filing of a final report in March 1919.

Fortunately, the war ended earlier than expected, in November 1918, but the General Assembly still felt the need to continue this restructuring and to do so they created the State Survey Commission in April 1919. The results of the previous surveys were turned over to the new five-member Commission. They were to make further investigations into government organization and procedures, make suggestions for improving efficiency and to oversee implementation of these recommendations.1

Although early recommendations were made suggesting a simple organization consisting of nine executive departments directly accountable to a governor, it was not until 1969-1970 that Delaware implemented this type of governmental organization.

In an article in “Delaware Magazine” in August 1919, Clarence C. Killen, Chairmen of the Commission indicates that the Commission would be in existence for two years after its inception, until the spring of 1921.

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BOARD OF IMMIGRATION

1 30 DL, ch. 264.

2 “Delaware Magazine,” August 1919, pp. 124-125.

jrf/April 23, 1988; May 2, 1988; December 1, 1988