Subfonds - Bernard R. Bell files

Bernard R. Bell Files: India General - Correspondence Bernard R. Bell Files: OECD Meeting, Indian Food and Agriculture - Correspondence Bernard R. Bell Files: India Family Planning - Correspondence Bernard R. Bell Files: Fourth Plan -  Food and Agriculture Situation - Correspondence Bernard R. Bell Files: Fourth Plan - Foreign Debt - Correspondence Bernard R. Bell Files: India Consortium - Correspondence 01 Bernard R. Bell Files: India Consortium - Correspondence 02 Bernard R. Bell Files - India Consortium - Correspondence - Volume 3 Bernard R. Bell Files - India Consortium 1967 - Correspondence - Volume 4 Bernard R. Bell Files - India Consortium 1968 - Correspondence - Volume 5 Bernard R Bell Files - Research and Sector Papers - Correspondence - Volume 3 Research and sector papers 02 Bernard R Bell Files - Research and Sector Papers - Volume 1 Bernard Bell Files - economic Evaluation of Public Utilities Projects - Policy Review Committee P... Bernard R. Bell files: WHO/UNICEF joint study on health needs in developing countries - Joint stu... Bernard R Bell Files - Energy and Oil Crisis - Memorandum and Reports

Identity area

Reference code



Bernard R. Bell files


  • 1950, 1963 - 1976 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

4.23 linear feet of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Bernard Raymond Bell was born in Philadelphia on January 9, 1912 and was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Paris. Bell began his career as an economist with the Department of Agriculture in 1935 and served as chief economist of the Export-Import Bank in the U.S. He was employed by various consulting firms from 1953 to 1965.

He first joined the World Bank in 1962 when he was engaged as a consultant to serve as a transportation adviser on a mission to Colombia. At that time, he was associated with a consulting firm, Surveys and Research Corporation, of Washington, D.C. From September 1964 through 1965 he directed a major Bank mission to India, at the request of President George D. Woods, to conduct a comprehensive study of the Indian economy and advise the Bank and its partnering aid group, the India Consortium, on India's economic challenges. During this period, India was the Bank's largest debtor and was also heavily indebted to several other development agencies and governments around the world. The report titled Report to the President on India?s Economic Development Effort, also known as the Bell Mission report, was issued on October 1, 1965. The report significantly influenced Bank policies toward development in India, recommending the introduction of intensified agricultural production and the devaluation of the Indian currency. The mission report also supported India's request for additional development assistance, especially for quicker project disbursements.

In December 1965, Bell joined the regular staff of the Bank as Assistant Director, Economics, Project Department and became Deputy Director of the Projects Department in 1967. Bell continued to be involved with India when he was appointed economic advisor to President Woods' resident representative to India, Andre de Lattre, who was handling financial negotiations between the government of India and the India Consortium. Bell was responsible for the Bank's analysis of the Indian government?s Fourth Five-Year Plan. His study was published in the subsequent 1967 Bank report titled ?Indian Economic Policy and the Fourth Five Year Plan".

In August 1968 Bell went to Djakarta, Indonesia as Director, Resident Staff Indonesia. Following the reorganization of the Bank in October 1972, he returned to headquarters to become the Vice President, Eastern Africa Region (AFRVP), and then became Regional Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region (EAPVP), in July 1974. He retired from the World Bank in January 1977.

Bell later served as a consulting economist for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as well as for the Bank and was a director of the Housing Development Corporation in Bombay until 1989.

He died on March 29, 1994 at his home in Washington, D.C.

Archival history

The files relating to the India reports were transferred to the Archives from the Office of the President in 1994. The Indonesian oil sector files presumably originated from the Office of the Vice President of East Asia and Pacific Region (EAPVP) and were accessioned into Archives' custody in 1995. The research files were transferred by EAPVP in 2000 in accordance with approved records retention schedules.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Subfonds consists of records created by Bernard R. Bell primarily when he was the economic advisor to the representative resident in India during which time he examined Indian economic policy and the proposed Fourth Five-Year Plan during 1966 to 1967. Subfonds also contains subject files and correspondence kept while he served as director of resident staff, Indonesia and regional vice president, East Asia and Pacific Region.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Records are arranged in three series:

  • India Fourth Five-Year Plan

  • Indonesian oil sector files

  • Policy and research papers

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are subject to the World Bank Policy on Access to Information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Physical file unit list for India Fourth Five-Year Plan is available.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

  • See Oral history of Bernard R. Bell for all interview transcripts, including interviews with both Woods' biographer and Brookings Institute authors.

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Internal World Bank Group Archives rules based on ISAD(G).

Disclosure status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

28 May 2004




Accession area