Subfonds - Bernard R. Bell files

Identity area

Reference code



Bernard R. Bell files


  • 1964 - 1977 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3.40 linear feet of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Bernard R. Bell first worked for the IBRD 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. In 1964 and 1965 he directed a major Bank study of the Indian economy, and in December 1965 he joined the regular staff of the Bank. In August 1968 Bell went to Djakarta, Indonesia, as Director, Resident Staff Indonesia. Following the reorganizationof the Bank in October 1972, he returned to headquarters to become the Vice President, Eastern Africa Region, and then became Regional Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region, in July 1974. He retired in January 1977.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The records consist of three series. One series is on India's Fourth Five Year Plan, which Bell studied as a consultant to the Bank in 1964-1965 and as a staff member during 1966-67; another is on the oil industry in Indonesia, which concerned Bell as director of the Bank's Indonesian office; and third is copies of policy and research papers he collected as Regional Vice President, east Asia and Pacific Region. Also included in the India files is a report, written by Bell's consulting firm in 1963, on statistics of Korea.

The series on India's Fourth five year plan includes correspondence; memos; records of meetings of the India Consortium, a group of countries concerned with India's development efforts; a copy of Bell's fourteen volume report in 1965; the 1967 Bank report on the Fourth FiveYear Plan; copies of other Bank reports and official documents from the government of India; and publications from external sources.

Bell's 1964-1965 mission to India significantly influenced Bank policies toward Indian development. At that time, India was the main debtor of IBRD and was heavily indebted to other development agencies and governments throughout the world. Bank President George D. Woods named Andre de Lattre as his personal representative to the Indian government, and after Bell joined the Bank, Woods requested that he become de Lattre's economic adviser. Bell was responsible for the Bank's analysis of the Indian government's Fourth FiveYear Plan, and his study was published in the 1967 Bank report entitled Indian Economic Policy and the Fourth Five Year Plan. The series contains Bell's copies of correspondence with Woods and de Lattre, correspondence with the government of India and documents from the U.S. government on India, and a file on Woods' meeting with Ashok Mehta, the Indian Minister of Planning. Also included are subject files on the Fourth Plan, containing correspondence and background materials.

The files on the Indonesian oil sector were created while Bell was director of the Bank's resident staff in Djakarta. The series includes a draft of a paper on the historical development of the oil sector in Indonesia, including notes on Indonesian oil companies. Correspondence and notes concerning Bank economic missions reviewing the oil sector are included, as well as notes of interviews with Indonesian government officials and oil company personnel. The series contains copies of articles on Indonesian oil, copies of Indonesian laws regulating the oil sector, and statistics on the financial status of P.N. Pertamina, the Indonesian National Oil and Natural Gas Mining State Enterprise.

The series of research papers include a World Health Organization-UNICEF study on health needs in developing countries in 1975, internal Bank memoranda and records relating to energy and the oil crisis from 1973-1974, two Bank papers on the economic evaluation of public utilities projects 1974-1975, and Bank papers on topics of interest to Bell, ranging from rural roads to procedures for project documentation.

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 Robert W. Oliver collection on George D. Woods -- interview with Bernard Bell (WB IBRD/IDA WOODS-02).

  • Also see Records of the Office of the Historian -- Records of the World Bank History Project -- Interviews (WB IBRD/IDA HIST-01-10), for interview with Bernard Bell.

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Description control area

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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




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