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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

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

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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