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Records of the Office of the President
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Correspondence of Economic Advisor Hollis Chenery

Hollis Chenery served as the Economic Adviser to the President from 1970 until 1972. Reporting directly to the President, he commented on virtually all the significant economic issues that confronted the Bank. The series consists of one file of Chenery's memoranda and correspondence and two files on the Development Research Center of the World Bank.

The correspondence file includes a memorandum by Chenery on research prospects in Latin America in April 1972; a proposal to the Bank on generation of employment in Mexico and a draft study with comments on planning in Mexico; and a draft study on Ethiopia. The correspondence ends in May 1972; an invitation dating from 1973 is also included.

The two files on the Development Research Center primarily drafts of economic studies. The study topics include evaluations of various economic models, Mexican agriculture, and substitution of labor for equipment in road construction.

Memoranda for the record

The Memoranda for the record series contains a set of minutes of McNamara's meetings with Bank staff, US representatives, and other visitors from outside the Bank. The memoranda generally were prepared by the Personal Assistant to McNamara, but there are also some memoranda of conversations drafted by McNamara and reports prepared by members of other departments in the Bank; some of the minutes are copies of minutes of the President's Council or the Policy Review Committee meetings. Background material, including notes and figures in McNamara's handwriting, sometimes accompanies the memoranda.

Meetings with Bank staff involve Vice-Presidents and Senior Vice-Presidents, the General Counsel and his Associate, the Secretary, Advisors and Special Assistants, Department Directors and the Executive Secretary of the Development Committee. Memoranda of meetings with the Staff Association are also included. Topics discussed with staff include the Bank's lending programs and budget, financial operations, organization and procedures, work programs and special studies. Among the latter are papers on capital markets; lending rate; financial policy; preference in procurement; agricultural research; commodities; the mining, urbanization and health sectors; agricultural credit; urban, nuclear power and aviation policies; river blindness; nutrition; population; employment; land reform; IDA policies and world development issues. The meetings also included discussions of McNamara's annual speech to the Governors and other speeches and statements, the preparation of Board meetings and other meetings, questions submitted by journalists, McNamara's trips to East and West Africa, and particular issues such as the increase of IBRD capital, the Development Committee, and the establishment of the Third Window.

Personalities meeting with McNamara from outside the Bank are U.S. Treasury Secretaries and other government officials, U.S. Congressmen, heads of international organizations, bankers, businessmen, economists, health specialists and journalists. These conversations concern the IDA and bond issues, marketing legislation, specific lending issues, and development cooperation.

Chronological file (personal)

The personal chronological file contains material drafted by McNamara or his secretaries between 1968 and 1972. It includes outgoing correspondence, short memoranda to the senior staff and memoranda recording conversations, notes on special issues and notes to himself.

The correspondence consists of acceptances or declinations to speak, comment, serve on committees, join boards, lunch and dine; thank-you notes; congratulations and condolences; recommendations; the President's requests for meetings or support; letters on Bank activities and letters on private matters. Addressees include heads of States and government officials, U.S. Senators and Congressmen, bankers, scholars, publishers, journalists, art dealers and old friends. There are letters and cables to Hubert Humphrey, Edward Kennedy, David Rockefeller, John Kenneth Galbraith, Arthur Schlesinger, Pierre Salinger, Henry Kissinger, Walt W. Rostow, Edward Heath, Lord Mountbatten, and Harlan Cleveland.

The memoranda to the staff are short notes to the Vice-Presidents, the Economic Advisor, the General Counsel, and the Directors of the Development Services, External Affairs and Administration offices on particular issues of concern to their sector or department. Memoranda of conversations record discussions with members of the Board, Bank staff and government officials, including Henry Fowler, John Connally, Dean Rusk, Walt W. Rostow, Daniel Ellsberg and Maurice Strong.

Interfiled with outgoing letters and memoranda are lists of projects President McNamara drafted for himself in May 1968, April and August 1969, January 1971 and December 1972. There also are points for meetings and for the press, outlines of the Bank President's annual speech and notes and figures on the Bank's capital increase, the IDA policies and third replenishment, the budget, the Bank's organization, staff compensation, population growth, the gap between poor and rich nations and nuclear force issues.

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