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Records of the Office of the President
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IPA chronological file (outgoing)

This series is composed of letters and memoranda drafted for McNamara by the Department of Information and Public Affairs (IPA) between January 1969 and July 1981. Letters consist of thank-you notes, mostly regrets, for invitations to participate or speak at meetings or luncheons, deliver interviews and appear on television, thanks for gifts, books, articles, comments, views, support, staff work, and responses to requests for material, statements and articles.

The addressees are private citizens, scholars, journalists, heads of organizations and congregations, diplomats, and government officials. Thank-you letters range from a note to President Leopold Sedar Senghor thanking him for a volume of poetry, to letters to the U.S. President, senators and congressmen thanking them for assuring the passage of foreign assistance legislation. Responses to inquiries include a letter informing President Sekou Toure of the progress of the Konkoure project, a letter attempting to answer William Safire's etymological inquiry about the phrase bargaining chip, and notes declining requests for comments on defense policy and the Vietnam War.

Travel briefings of staff assistants to the President

The series consists of the travel briefing files of three staff assistants for three trips during the McNamara Presidency. The first are the files of Sven Burmester, Special Assistant to the President, for the Middle East trip (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) of March 5-16, 1975. The second are the files of Caio Koch-Weser, Personal Assistant to the President, for the West Africa trip (Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, The Gambia, and Senegal) of November 1-15, 1977. The last are the files of Oliver Lafourcade, Personal Assistant to the President, for the trip to India and Pakistan, March 28-April 1, 1981. All of these trips also have briefing files in the President's travel briefs series.

Personnel Management Committee files

The President's Personnel Committee was established by President McNamara on 9 August 1979 together with the Finance Committee. Both Committees operated as sub-committees of the President's Council. The purpose of the Personnel Committee was to deal with such issues as staff compensation and benefits, staff development, recruitment, management and manpower planning, Staff Association relationships and senior level appointments and transfers. The membership consisted of the President as chair, the SeniorVice President, the Vice President for Administration who served as vice chair, the Vice President for Operations, the Vice President for Finance, and one rotating member.

The series contains the minutes of the Committee as well as discussion papers distributed to the members of the Committee.

General correspondence

This series contains letters and copies of letters addressed to President McNamara by heads of States, international organizations and regional development banks, government officials, U.S. Senators and Congressmen, economists and lawyers. It also contains internal memoranda addressed to the President by the Executive Directors or the staff. Incoming letters and memoranda are often annotated or accompanied by notes by McNamara or minutes of his responses. Although generally incoming items, the series also contains a small quantity of outgoing letters and memoranda. Correspondents include heads of State Indira Gandhi, Yahya Khan, and Gamel Abdel Nasser; U.S. Treasury Secretaries Henry Fowler, John Connally, William Simon, W. Michael Blumenthal and G. William Miller; UN Secretary Generals U Thant and Kurt Waldheim; various directors of WHO, FAO, the UN Environment Programme and World Food Council; and public figures such as Barbara Ward. The correspondence deals with the general issue of development, development programs of other agencies, relations with the U.S. government and Congress, and governments of other member countries, in particular India and Pakistan. The internal memoranda addressed to the President mostly concern the IDA replenishments and the situation in India and Pakistan, but there are also some exchanges on joint financing, World Bank borrowing, relations with OPEC countries, energy, the World Development Report of 1978, and a number of memoranda regarding the U.S. Congress' committee investigation on the Bank's effectiveness in reaching the poor (1977). McNamara's minutes and notes include his letter to Lester B. Pearson asking him to organize a committee to study development in the next decade (1968); letters to various U.S. Treasury Secretaries and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the IDA replenishments and the Foreign Assistance Appropriation Bill, the Bank and the OPEC countries; memoranda of conversations with Executive Directors and notes on the IDA, the India-Pakistan war, and Bangladesh; and an annotated draft of the World Development Program proposal (1977). The series also includes two photographs of Robert McNamara with U.S. President Richard Nixon in the White House at the signing ceremony on 10 March 1972 of the bill authorizing the United States' contribution to International Development Association (IDA).

Statements, speeches and interviews

This series contains the official statements issued by Robert S. McNamara as President of the World Bank. The material consists of drafts by the President (some handwritten) and drafts prepared by staff (some heavily annotated)' press releases' and occasional background documents. Statements include remarks at the signing of Bank loans' statements at press conferences' airport statements' statements at Annual Meetings and Board meetings' toasts at official dinners including some toasts to McNamara given by Presidents' messages to be delivered at conferences' remarks to the U.S. Congress and messages to staff.

The set also contains transcripts of interviews and newspaper articles. The former include interviews for the NBC Today Show and Meet the Press (1974)' Segment Three (1978)' Bill Moyer's Journal on WNET (1975)' a CBS interview with Peter Jay (1977)' the ABC presentation of A Day in Shrishnagar (1980)' and appearances on the BBC (1978-1980) and on Norwegian' Japanese' German' and French television. There are also interviews for the London Times and Europa (1975)' the New York Times (1978)' Newsweek (1979)' and the Sunday Times (1980).

Board [of Executive Directors] Actions files

President McNamara's memoranda to the Board of Executive Directors constitute this series. They are divided into the following subjects:

  • I. Lending rate

  • II. Profit transfer

  • III. Budget proposals

  • IV. Compensation

  • V. Structural adjustment lending

  • VI. Miscellaneous

  • VII. International Development Association

  • VIII. International Finance Corporation

  • IX. Financial policy

  • BC. Brandt Commission Pearson Commission Role of the Bank.

The first file of the series consists of 2 finding aids prepared in the President's office. The first finding aid is an annotated list of the President's memoranda to the Executive Directors from 1 April 1968 - July 10, 1980, listing the subjects discussed, the background papers distributed on the subject, the date of the discussion, and remarks. The annotations indicate the file (I through X and BC) containing the documents on the subject. The second finding aid is titled Board Actions Books I-X. It lists all documents filed within the ten numbered subject files plus the Brandt Commission file. Copies of these lists are filed in the subject files, and the lists in the subject files are annotated to show which documents have been removed from that file or have been filed in other files.

The memoranda dealing with lending rate contain the President's recommendations to the Board with regard to the Bank's interest rate policy and its annual and quarterly review. They include background material dating from 1947 and some handwritten notes by McNamara of the Executive Directors' discussions on lending rate policy (1968, 1969 and 1979).

The memoranda on profit transfer deal with the Bank's annual transfer to IDA of part of the year's income. They include some handwritten notes by McNamara of the Executive Directors' discussion on the allocation of net income for FY69. The budget proposals and related memoranda presented to the Executive Directors for review and approval are occasionally annotated by McNamara. The 1973 Review of IBRD/IDA program, FY74-78, is accompanied by the President's handwritten notes of his meetings with H. Kaufman, E. Patberg and L. Parker of Salomon Brothers, the First Boston Corporation and Morgan Stanley respectively.

The memoranda on compensation are concerned with salary policies and procedures, salary reviews, staff retirement and tax liabilities. They include McNamara's proposals of a general salary increase with his notes of the discussions of the Board, drafts and comparative figures (1968-1970), and recommendations with regard to the conclusions of the McKinsey study on staff compensation (1972) and the Report of the Joint Bank-Fund Committee on Staff Compensation Issues (Kafka Committee 1979). There are also notes taken by the President of discussions on tax liabilities (1979).

The miscellaneous memoranda deal with Board procedures, IBRD borrowing, lending policies, procurement practices, operations evaluation, work arrangements with other agencies, the Bank research program, international agricultural research, and office space. They contain McNamara's handwritten notes on the Executive Directors' discussions of his recommendations regarding subscriptions to the capital stock of the Bank (1969, 1970), Board procedures (1971), and the financing of tea (1973). The memoranda relating to IBRD borrowing and bonds issues are heavily annotated by the President (1978-1980), as is a memorandum on development policy for countries dependent on exports of primary products (1973).

The memoranda regarding IDA concern IDA policies, financing and international agricultural research. They bear no annotations by the President.

The memoranda regarding IFC contain some notes by McNamara of the discussion by the Executive Directors of papers on operating policies (1973), as well as personal comments by R. L. Knight regarding IFC policies (1973).

The memoranda on financial policy contain McNamara's papers to the Board on the Bank's borrowing program, financial policies and capital increase, and the establishment of the Third Window. They include the President's drafts of statements and closing remarks for the Executive Directors' discussions of memoranda on the scale of financial operations FY74-78 (1972) and IBRD financial policies (1973) and notes accompanying his 1976 memorandum on IBRD capital increase.

The memoranda on the recommendations of the Pearson and Brandt Commissions relating to the Bank bear some annotations by McNamara.

A set of documents concerning the discussions of memoranda to the Board on the future role of the Bank and its associated capital requirements was put together by President McNamara. It contains summaries of informal meetings with the Directors, technical notes, memoranda and handwritten notes of the discussions, and correspondence. An index to the documents in the file Role of the Bank, both in McNamara's handwriting and in typescript, is included in the file.

Records of President Barber B. Conable

Barber B. Conable's term as President was noted for the major reorganization of the Bank he directed in 1987 and the emphasis on poverty reduction as a central mission of the Bank. He identified environmental protection as an important goal, culminating in the Bank joining with the UN Development Program and the UN Environment Program to establish the Global Environment Facility in 1991. Conable supported an increased role for women in development and he appointed a woman, Marianne Haug, to his senior staff. Broad political changes occurred in Eastern Europe during his tenure, and he maintained extensive liaisons with international organizations including the increasingly influential NGO community. Conable also authorized the project to write a history of the Bank; Brookings Institution was given the contract for the study which resulted in the two volume The World Bank: Its First Half Century. Conable gave the authors access to his Presidential files, and the use of some of the files by the Brookings team is noted in the series descriptions.

The records of President and his staff are extensive. The minutes of his President's Council reveal the mechanisms of Bank management. The usual Annual Meeting files are supplemented by his country files and the records of his travels around the globe. The two series of liaison files show his political skills with varied constituencies.

The records of the Office of the President also include separate series of records of the Executive Counselor to the President, J. William Stanton; the Executive Assistant, Marianne Haug; and the Special Assistant, Anapum Khanna. The file of Conable's Executive Assistant, Jennifer A. Volk, on the lunches between Conable and Michel Camdessus, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, is a separate series, while within the President's files on travel and Annual Meetings are other files that Volk maintained.

Working files - Conable/Camdessus lunches

This series contains records of President Conable's meetings with Michel Camdessus, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, between June 1989 and July 1991. The records consist of meeting agendas, briefing notes, talking points, and minutes of the meetings. The topics include Bank and Fund collaboration and operations involving debt reduction, country matters, environmental issues, and preparations for Annual Meetings issues, among others.

The file was maintained by Jennifer Volk, an Executive Assistant to the President. The official file on the lunches is missing from the Liaison files - Non-governmental and international agencies; consequently the working file provides the existing information on the meetings of these two executives.

Records of President Lewis T. Preston

Lewis T. Preston became President of the World Bank on 1 September 1991 and resigned on 4 May 1995. Relatively few records from his term exist. One of Preston's first decisions was to suspend the President's Council, and as a result there are no formal records of the interaction of the highest levels of management. Furthermore, Preston was in ill health and retired before finishing his term. He continued to make speeches and undertook some business travel, but the files on those activities are noticeably fuller in the early years of his tenure. No subject files exist, nor do files on his liaison activities with United Nations organizations, non-government institutions, and international banks. The few files on liaison with the U.S. Government are thin, but there is additional information on this relationship in the records of the Counselor to the President, Matthew F. McHugh.

The most complete files are those on Member countries. These include information on Bank projects in the countries, reports of discussions with country representatives, agendas for meetings, and other representational matters. The files on the Annual Meetings have some unusually interesting briefings for Preston's meetings with financial and other institutions.

The important records of the Portfolio Management Task Force (Wapenhans Report) and the follow-up to it are part of the records of the Special Adviser to the President, Visvanathan Rajagopalan.

Note that a small portion of the Chronological File series contains correspondence and executive memoranda records from the period when Ernest Stern served as acting President. These date from February 1 to May 31 of 1995.

Annual Meetings

This series consists of President Preston's files for the Annual Meetings and the records of the logistical arrangements made by his office staff. The general organization of the Annual Meeting is the responsibility of the Corporate Secretary, so the records in this series are those of the President himself and the arrangements made by and for his immediate office.

The records consist of agendas, background material, briefings, speeches, correspondence, and related records regarding the Annual Meetings. The 1993 and 1994 files include briefings on commercial banks and financial institutions and the 1993 files include a Reference book. Market that has briefings on the Bank's FY94 funding plan, official borrowings, and country briefs. The briefings provided to the President for these meetings give a useful snapshot of the state of the particular country or institution as of the date of the meeting.

World Bank 50th Anniversary

This is the only series in the President's office records that covers the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Bank. The files document the anniversary activities, and one file relates to the Commission on the Future of the Bretton Woods Institutions, a commission established by the private Bretton Woods Committee. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Bretton Woods Conference, the commission issued a report with recommendations on state of the international monetary system, development finance, and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and this file provides the Bank's view of the work of the commission.

Senior personnel files

This series contains correspondence, memoranda, reports and other material related to personnel issues generally and senior management personnel issues specifically. The files include descriptions of positions, a 1983 attitude survey, a grade and salary structure design, management succession and development plans for senior positions and vice presidents, data on vice presidents and directors (1983 - 1985), and similar materials.

Speeches

This series consists of a chronological collection of President A. W. Clausen's speeches delivered at seminars, meetings, and conferences to a wide variety of audiences. It is closely related to the Speech background file; sometimes there is a file unit in both series on the same event, but neither series appears to have files on all the Clausen speeches.

Photographs

This series contains photographic prints and negatives documenting some of President Clausen's trips abroad, taken by governments or businesses where he visited. Most photographs are of the activities of President and Mrs. Clausen, but a few are photographs of World Bank projects. Some photographs are labeled, but the majority have no identification other than country and date. One album contains only photographic postcards. The photographs, mostly in presentation albums, are in color and black and white. Included are photos from the trips to Kenya, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Senegal, Ghana, China, Sudan, Morocco, Yemen, Mexico, Malawi, Uganda, Brazil, Colombia, and Mali. The series also includes photos of Clausen with the World Bank Executive Directors and a copy of United States Banker Magazine, December 1980 issue, with Clausen on the cover.

Country files

This series contains records of President Conable's meetings with representatives, delegates, and heads of the member countries; briefing notes for meetings with country leaders; general background information on countries and governments; press releases; correspondence with government leaders; memoranda of advice from staff members; and congratulatory and thank you letters. Topics covered in the records include external debt; Bank lending operations and criteria, and environmental concerns. Three files cover regions in Africa - Eastern, Southern, and Sub-Saharan - rather than an individual country, in addition to individual files on most countries in those regions. No files on the United States are included.

The files on the USSR are significant, as the period of the Conable presidency covers the late twentieth century political changes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Of particular interest are the files on a joint study that the 1990 economic summit in Houston, Texas, asked the Bank and the IMF toundertake. The study, completed between July 1990 and May 1991, surveyed the Soviet economy, made recommendations for its reform, and established criteria for Western economic assistance to support reform.

Many of the files contain records dating from the Clausen presidency, some as early as 1984; apparently Conable used the Clausen country records as building blocks for his information on the countries. Similarly, the files on the USSR contain some records that post-date the Conable administration by several months (until December 1991), as the incoming Preston administration continued to use them.

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