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Records of the Office of the President
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Records of the Office of the President

  • WB IBRD/IDA EXC
  • Archief
  • 1947 - 1995
  • 1947 - 1995

The records of cover the entire span of administrative and substantive activities of the Bank. Particularly useful is the documentation of public relations activities by the presidents and coordination efforts with outside partners. Briefing books for country visits and for meetings at the Bank's annual meeting often provide good overviews of issues as well as reports on the economic and political situation in a country. Unique materials on major Bank studies and commissions, such as the Pearson and Brandt Commissions and the Task Force on Portfolio Management (Wapenhans Report), are also found in the records of the president's office.

The McNamara, Conable and Preston records include both the records of the president and the records of his immediate staff. Some staff members had specific mandates and their files are key sources for those activities, while other presidential assistants played a more general role in handling topics for the president.

Office of the President

Records of President John J. McCloy

The records of President McCloy consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence between President McCloy, the U.S. Executive Director of the Bank, U.S. political leaders, U.S. public officials, and prominent business leaders. The correspondence address topics of Bank operations and lending.

Correspondence

This series contains fragments of John J. McCloy's correspondence with political leaders and prominent businessmen during his time as President of the World Bank from March 1947 to May 1949. The most substantial bodies of correspondence are with Emilio G. Collado, U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank, 1946-1947; Russell C. Leffingwell, Chairman of the Executive Committee of J.P. Morgan and Co. Inc.; and Bernard H. Baruch, American financier and stock investor.

The correspondence with Emilio Collado consists of letters and memoranda to McCloy regarding World Bank activities, including excerpts from memoranda Collado prepared for U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and a document entitled "Note Relating to a Debt Limit" dated May 1947. McCloy's correspondence with Russell C. Leffingwell includes substantive comments on topics related to the Bank and its operations, such as money stabilization, sterling devaluation, the Bank's lending philosophy, and the prospects for European recovery under the MarshallPlan. Letters to and from Bernard H. Baruch include: a letter related to an Export Import Bank loan to England; a letter sent by Baruch to John Snyder, U.S. Treasury Secretary, on how to stimulate production in the world; and a copy of McCloy's memoranda to Snyder on lending.

Also included are McCloy's answers to questions from U.S. House of Representatives member Howard Buffet and U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall. Finally, a letter from Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder forwarding an August 1947 memoranda by U.S. President Harry Truman is also included. It concerns U.S. Ambassador to Chile Claude Bowers' complaint about Wall Street control over the operations of the Bank.

Records of President Eugene R. Black

This series contains the records of Eugene R. Black as U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank, 1947-1949, and President, 1949-1962. They are arranged in five file categories: general correspondence, congratulatory correspondence, honorary degrees, speeches, and travel.

The general correspondence file contains exchanges with U.S. and foreign government officials (especially U.K. officials), private bankers, lawyers, foundation officials and friends, arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent. Among the notable correspondents are U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, U.S. Senators J.W. Fulbright and Hubert Humphrey, British Prime Minister Harold McMillan, and U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold. The alphabetical correspondence file is followed by one file marked personal action covering the period from September through December 1960; it contains letters congratulating Black on the publication of his book, The Diplomacy of Economic Development, and wishing him recovery from surgery.

The congratulatory correspondence concerns Black's appointment as Executive Director and subsequent appointment and reappointments as President of the World Bank.

A single file contains correspondence on honorary degrees awarded to Black.

The speech file contains letters of invitation and appreciation and, in some cases, the texts of the speeches. Speeches given include commencement addresses, lectures to professional associations and private organizations, and addresses to the UN Economic and Social Council.

Thetravel file contains correspondence relating to tours Black took as U.S. Executive Director and as Bank President to familiarize himself with present and future member countries' economic and political situations and to meet national leaders. It includes letters of invitation, itineraries, thank you notes, as well as letters and memoranda on the purposes and results of particular trips. Two files contain the records of Black's 1948 trip to Indonesia (then the Netherlands East Indies) shortly before it obtained independence, including background material on Indonesia's economy and recent political developments, newspaper articles, UN documents, photographs, and letters from government officials, business executives and Black evaluating the situation in Indonesia. Other travel files contain information on the Bank's role in the settlement of the Suez Canal dispute (1958-1959).

Records of President George D. Woods

The records of the Presidency of George D. Woods (January 1963 until April 1968) primarily concern international relations, including both briefings and travel. The correspondence file, while small, has several unusually revealing items, as do the retained copies of outgoing letters and memoranda. The background papers on each country that are found in the annual meeting briefing files provide useful snapshots of the situation of that country at that time.

Correspondence

This series contains a fragment of President George D. Woods' correspondence, both private and official. Notable among the official correspondence is a letter to Hector Prud'homme, University of Hartford, Connecticut, on education projects; an exchange of letters with the President of Pakistan, Marshall Ayub Khan, on the political situation for Pakistan in July 1965; a letter to Antonio Montero, a banker from the Bahamas, on external financing of local currency components of public projects; and a report from World Bank Vice President J. Burke Knapp on his talks with the President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, on the situation in Rhodesia in December 1965.

Chronological [outgoing] files

This series consists of copies of the outgoing letters and memoranda of George D. Woods and correspondence handled for President Woods by his personal assistants George C. Wishart and Rainer B. Steckhan. It includes correspondence sent on substantive issues of development assistance, memoranda to files, internal memoranda of the Bank and social and public relations messages.

Letters to foreign heads of state, government officials, banks, development institutions and academics regarding particular loans and projects, missions, technical assistance, bond issues and other sources of financing, and development policy issues are found in the series. Memoranda to files, usually written by Wishart, make a record of Woods' meetings with high-level government and business executives, focusing on important remarks and outcomes. Occasional Bank-internal memoranda, usually addressed to Vice Presidents and other high-level managers, concern such issues as staffing of the Economic Development Institute (EDI), defining the competencies of the technical operations and regional departments of the Bank with regard to project preparation, and procedures for establishing consultative groups.

The social and public relations letters express appreciation for invitations, hospitality, and for letters, publications and gifts received; express regret regarding invitations; offer congratulations; discuss arrangements for meetings and itineraries for travel; and provide letters of introduction.

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