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  • Opening Session of United Nations Monetary and Financial

    Conference at Bretton Woods, July 2, 1944

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  • A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

    ~e Bank is now six years old. Everyone of us, L i'rom those pioneers who joined the Bank in its i irst months, to the newest staff members, should take pride in its achievements. To have built the Bank from an idea to an institution of world-wide reputation in six years is a real accomplishment. In this time the Bank has aided twenty-seven coun­

    tries with loans and given other forms of assistance to nine more.

    This is a good time to thin k about the international character of the Bank. We know that the Bank belongs not to anyone country but to all fifty-one meIPber nations. We see around us a staff drawn from thirty-two nations. We are aware that the Bank has borrowed in the money markets of four coun tries and used the capital subscriptions of many others in its loan transactions. Perhaps it is not so obvious that to discharge properly our duties as members of this international staff we must develop a new objectivity toward the coun tries of the world. We must continue to cultivate a deeper understanding of the social, economic and religious differences among nations. We must think and act in terms of world progress.

    The Bank is unique in its purposes and its methods. We are trying to do something which has never been done before. We have been given no neatly plotted course to follow. The success of the Bank depends on the initiative, the imagination, and the judgment of its staff. While vte cannot afford to ignore the lessons of experience, we must be boldly original and experimental in our approach to new problems.

    Every member of the staff has an essential position on the team. We have many different duties, but they are all important. Let us enter the Bank's seventh year of operations with renewed enthusiasm for the challenging tasks ahead.

    Bretton Woods, Neff' Hampshire Birthplace of the Bank and Fund

  • REMINISCENCES ON A SIXTH BIRTHDAY

    by M. M. Mendels

    One can be proud of the accom­ plishments in six. years · of thIs unique institution - unique in that it is both a broad international organization and a bank. Planned at Bretton Woods in 1944, formally constituted by the end of 1945, organized further the following spring, the Bank officially opened its doors only on June 25, 1946.

    So - in m id-1946 - under general and rather original Articles of Agreement, the Bank faced its beginning of operations - without managerr.ent or staff, without organ­ ization, without programs or poli ­ cies, and certainly without its much publicized ten billion dollars of capital. Headquarters existed in name only, for "IBIB H" was still in the hands of the U. S. State Department, though Mr. McCorkle was making strenous efforts to dislodge them. It was to be nearly a year before the Bank made its first loan. In the first year Eugene Meyer, the Bank's first President, aided by the late Harold Smith, the Bank's first Vice President, appointed most of the department heads, and many other staff members were recruited.

    Perhaps the most important in­ fluence in the evolution of the Bank has been the impact of personalities. Early executive­ director arrivals on the scene

    included Messrs. Baranski, who n ow is head of the Ethiopian Development Bank; Beyen, who was for a time also. Acting Loan Director; and Hooker, who was at first temporary Secretary of the Bank. These were also the days of "Pete" Collado and Ansel Luxford of the United States, Sir James Grigg of the United Kingdom, Bob Bryce of Canada, Luis Machado of Cuba, Mendes­ France of France, Sundaresan of India, and Dr. Varvaressos of Greece, who is now, of course, Consultant to the Director of the Economic Depfl..Ctment.

    On the management and top staff side, I can remember in the early days Messrs. Meyer, Smith, Demuth, Riley, McLain, Doucet, Bengston, Broches, Howell, Ellsworth Clark, Nurick, Hoar, and Basch. Messrs. Crena de longh, Luxford, and Rist came to the staff after first serving as alternate executive directors for the ir countries. Messrs. Pineo, Dudley, Sommers, Rucinski, Rosen, Gil­ martin and Hill came in November 1946. In the following month Messrs. Lopez-Herrarte, Burland, Stephens, Lejeune,. R osenstein­ Rodan, Aldewereld and Fowler joined the staff.

    The resignation of Mr. Meyer in December 1946 and the death of Mr. Smith the next month created

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  • the well-known interregnum which lasted until March 17, 1947. Then ) ohit J. McCloy was appointed President, Mr. Garner became Vice President, and .Mr. Parker came to administer us. With management complete once more, the Bank was able to launch a program of ac­ tivity which has given it a pre­ eminent posItion among inter­ national organizations. On leaving to become United States High Commissioner for Germany in July 1949, Mr. McCloy was suc­ ceeded by our present President, Eugene R. Black, who had been United States Executive Director for more than two years previously.

    As time went on, leading

    was held in Paris. In 1950 Bank loans and borrowings mounted steadily, and its membership of nations continued to grow.

    In this short six years of prog­ ress over unchalted seas, the Bank has participated in reconstruction finance necessitated by the war, has worked out an effective pattern for developmental lending, has es­ tablished its credit in the United States and other money markets, and has made real headway in the giving of technical assistance to its member countries. The Bank is now known in most parts of the world and is regarded as a well-run and efficient organization.

    The Bank's infancy has been personalities shifted somewhat;, crowded with interesting and useful Mr. McLain left to accompany Mr. McCloy and was succeeded as General Counsel by Me. Sommers; Mr. Ayers became Public Rela­ tions Director and, on his death, Mr. Graves was appointed; Mr. Iliff, who had succeeded Mr. P ine(; as Loan Director, became As­ sistant to the President, and was succeeded as Loan Director by Mr. Hoar.

    In 1947, the first Bank loans were granted, the first bond issues were sold, the New York office was opened a.nd the first annual meeting Jlway from Washington Vtas held in London. In 1948 the Paris Office

    experience. Its executive directors have been statesmanlike; its capa­ ble management and operation have given it a distinguished place in the international field. The multi­ national staff has shown an admi­ rable tendency to exhibit non­ national outlooks. Most of all, it has kept its objectives always in mind and striven to attain them in the quickest and most efficient ways.

    The imaginative purposes for which the Bank exists and the benefits resulting throughout the world from its efforts to help raise the living conditions of large popu­ lations make every staff member's

    was opened, the pension plan job an important contribution. adopted, and the first Swiss Yes, on looking back over the issue of Bank bonds was sold. first six years, one can be proud In 1949 under a new President, to be in the Bank.... the Bank's annual cooference

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  • by Maria Wilhelm

    In May, 1946, the Rank was busily recruiting a staff in preparation for the official opening on June 25. Three young ladies who joined the Bank then are still with us.

    Marie-Louise Cathala, assistant to the Director of the Econorr.ic Department, is from France. After working for the Comite des Forges and International Business l-,·jachines in France, she was Mr. Rist's assistant when he was chief of the Finance Division in the Allied Control Commission for Austria, in Vienna. Lise has also achieved some fame as a writer of fairy tales. Since joining the Bank May 7, 1946, she has seen all but three of the forty-eight States.

    Despina Seal, secretary to Martin Rosen of the Economic De­ partmen't, had a foretaste of work at the Bank when, as a State C'epart­ ment emp loyee, she attended the San Francisco Conference in 1945. Dessy remembers flying back from the coast in the plane which carried the charter, carefully locked in a safe equipped with two parachutes and labe lled "If found, please return to State Department." (The passeng~rs wore neither parachutes nor labels.) Dessy also went to Greece for the State Department, as a secretary to the Grady Mission. She has remained Washington-bound since joining the Hank l-,1ay 17, 1946, but this is partly due to the arrival of Linda" age 4; Jack, 2; and Carol, 6 months.

    Margaret Russell, Mr. Garner's secretary, finds the Bank today a far cry from the early days when the entire staff was housed on the 10th floor, with room to spare. Her first work at the Bank was in the Legal office, but five years ago she went to her present job as secretary tothe Vice President. In February 1949 Peggie accompanied Mr. Garner on a survey trip to the middle east and still remembers the night she spent in a harem in Morocco. Prior to joining the Bank May 31, 1946, Peggie worked in the National Institute of Health of the Federal Security Agency a