mercoledì 1 settembre 2010



IMF Archives: Finding Aids
Bretton Woods Conference Collection:
Bretton Woods Conference Files
Date(s): 1940-1947
Level of description: Series
Extent and medium: 7 linear feet of textual records


Creator: Bretton Woods Conference

Administrative/Biographical history: During World War II, some governments were preparing post-war monetary plans — primarily through the efforts of the United Kingdom and the United States. The British Plan made public by Lord Keynes in early 1943, called for an "International Stabilization Fund" to help international economies. Harry Dexter White, deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury, was called upon to formulate an American response to the British plan.

By March 1943, White was able to report to President Roosevelt on the progress on a "Stabilization Fund for the United and Associated Nations and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development", a Treasury joint effort with the Department of State, the Board of Economic Warfare and the Export-Import Bank. By then, a draft had been prepared by representatives of the United States and United Kingdom and shared with technical experts from Russia and China. In June1943, White hosted a "Technical Experts Meeting" to discuss the Stabilization Plan. The meeting, attended by representatives of twelve nations — Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the United States , brought about the underlying plans for the Bretton Woods Conference, which would convene a year later, in July 1944. By the spring of 1944, the "Joint Statement of Experts on the International Monetary Fund" was published simultaneously in eight consulting countries, reporting the views of experts for a more detailed plan.

The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference opened on July 1, 1944 in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Forty-four governments accepted the invitation of President Roosevelt to come together for the purposes of promoting international economic stability. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau was elected president of the Conference. Three commissions were established to conduct the work of the Conference: Commission I was charged with formulating the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund, Commission II assumed the same responsibility with respect to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Commission III was to consider other means on international financial cooperation. The commissions were chaired respectively by Harry D. White (United States), Lord Keynes (United Kingdom) and Dr. Eduardo Suarez (Mexico). In addition, several subcommittees were created to handle more technical and controversial problems. By the end of the Conference, the Articles of Agreement of the IMF and the Articles of Agreement of the IBRD were ready for ratification by member governments. The Articles of Agreement for both organizations entered into force on December 27, 1945. The Inaugural Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the Fund and the Bank took place on Wilmington Island, Georgia, near Savannah, in March 1946. Many of the same individuals who had been involved in the planning and formation of the Fund and the Bank, who now held positions in the Fund and the Bank, or served as Governors for their respective countries attended this meeting.

Content and structure

Major Jordan's Diaries Ch. 12 at

snip: The immediate superior of Mr. Bell and Mr. Hall was a relative newcomer to the Treasury Department named Harry Dexter White. Revealing testimony about Mr. White has been made by Whittaker Chambers in his recent book, Witness:
In the persons of Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, the Soviet military intelligence sat close to the heart of the United States Government. It was not yet in the cabinet room, but it was not far outside the door…
Harry Dexter White had become Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. In a situation with few parallels in history, the agents of an enemy power were able to do much more than purloin documents.

They were in a position to influence the nation’s foreign policy in the interests of the nation’s chief enemy, and not only on exceptional occasions like Yalta (where Hiss’ role, while presumably important, is still ill-defined), or through the Morgenthau Plan for the destruction of Germany (which is generally credited to White), but in what must have been the staggering sum of day-to-day decisions. [10]

With this clue in hand, the day-to-day progress of the decision on the engraving plates makes fascinating reading. Mr. Bell again conferred with Harry Dexter White.

He pointed out that the plates which had been engraved for the Treasury Department were, in fact, the property of the Forbes Company in Boston and if we insisted that they should make duplicate sets available to the Russians, it is possible that the Forbes Company would simply refuse to print any further currency for us, on the grounds that security control had been removed and they could not be responsible for anything that might happen to the printing of the currency from that time on. [11]

He added that not only could the U.S. print all the currency the Russians could possibly desire, but

“we could have the first shipment ready for them before the Russians could start manufacturing currency from plates that we might make available to them.”What did Henry Dexter White think of all this?

White said that he

…had read with considerable interest the memorandum of March 3 from Mr. Hall to Mr. Bell on this subject, but he was somewhat troubled with the views expressed therein, which indicated that we could not make these plates available to the Russians…

Mr. White reiterated that he was loath to turn the Russian request down without further review of the matter. He called attention to the fact that in this instance we were not printing American currency, but Allied currency and that Russia was one of those allies who must be trusted to the same degree and to the same extent as the other allies. [12]

Never, of course, had any other ally asked for engraving plates nor had we supplied them. We had printed other occupation currency for use in Italy and Japan, and our other allies were perfectly satisfied with this arrangement, but Mr. White made no reference to this.

Mr. White then records his meeting with Ambassador Gromyko at the Soviet Embassy in Washington on the evening of March 22. He relates that Gromyko

“kept coming back with a question which he asked a number of times, namely, why the Forbes Company should object to giving a duplicate set of plates to his Government. He said that after all the Soviet Government was not a private corporation or an irresponsible government. I explained to him how both the Forbes Company and the American Banknote Company felt but I am afraid he remained unimpressed with the reasons I offered.” [13]

At no point did Mr. White say that our Government, for which he was in this instance the spokesman, objected to providing duplicate plates because this would make accountability impossible. There was only the integrity of two American business firms with which to meet Russian demands and protect the interests of the United States.

The State Department also heard from Mr. Harriman in Moscow that

“the Russians could not accept the explanation of a private printing company interfering with the program under consideration. The Russians asked that they be told whether the plates would or would not be made available to them. In the event the plates were not made available, they were prepared to proceed with the printing of their own variety of mark currency.” [14]

This threat had the desired effect.

When Senator Bridges asked Assistant Secretary Petersen at the closed hearing, “Who in the United States made the decision to turn over, to the Russians, United States engraved printing plates for producing currency?”, Petersen answered: “The record as I have seen it in the War Department indicates that the decision was made by the State and Treasury Departments…” [15]

The decision was made on April 14, 1944. It was recorded by James Clement Dunn of the State Department in the following memorandum of his conversation with Secretary Morgenthau. The paragraph next to last, referring to the difficulties raised by the Forbes Company, indicates that the Treasury Department was ready and willing to assume, under the President’s War Powers, the responsibility which the business firms would not undertake. Here is Mr. Dunn’s memo in full:


Memorandum of


Date: April 14, 1944.

Subject: Duplicate plates to be furnished to the Soviet Government.
Participants: Mr. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the treasury; Mr. Dunn,

Copies to: SEE – Mr. Bohlen.

Mr. Morgenthau telephoned me this morning to say that he was informing the Soviet Ambassador this afternoon that the duplicate plates for the printing of the Allied military mark to be used in the invasion of Germany would be furnished to the Soviet Government in response to that Government’s request. He asked whether the Department of State was in favor of this action.

I replied that it was the opinion of this Department from the political point of view, aside from any military considerations or any technical questions or difficulties, that if possible it was highly advisable to have the duplicate plates furnished to the Soviet Government in order that the three Governments and the three Armies entering Germany would be using the same identical currency.

The Soviet Government had informed us that if the plates were not furnished to it, that Government would proceed to produce a different currency for use in Germany. It was our opinion that it would be a pity to lose the great advantage of having one currency used by the three Armies, which itself would indicate a degree of solidarity which was much to be desired not only for the situation in Germany but for its effect on the relations in may other aspects between the Soviet, British, and United States Governments.

Mr. Morgenthau said he was very glad to have this expression of the Department’s views on this question as there might be some technical difficulties arise which would require the Treasury to take over, under the President’s War Powers, the plant which is now using the original plates for the production of these marks.

This question has been up between the United States and Soviet Governments since last November, and it has become perfectly clear to us as a result of the exchanges of correspondence on the subject that the Soviet Government is not ready to join in the common use of the same currency unless it receives the duplicate plates from us.

In order to convince the Soviet Government of our sincerity in the desire to have the closest collaboration in these military operations against Germany, it becomes essential that we make every effort within our possibility to furnish the plates to that Government.


On the same day Secretary Morgenthau sent a memo to Soviet Ambassador Gromyko saying,

“There will be shipped from Washington on Tuesday, April 8, glass negatives and positives of all plates used for printing M-marks. The designs are in negative and positive forms since it is not known which is preferred by the Soviet Government.”
He ended by saying,

“The U.S. Treasury is desirous to cooperate with the Soviet Government in this matter in every possible way.” [17]

It was not until May 13 that the first shipment actually left the Washington airport. There was a comedy of errors on the second shipment, which was supposed to leave by plane at 6 A.M. on Tuesday, May 23. Mr. Hall reported to Mr. Bell as follows:

The material was loaded on the trucks yesterday, and a crew of men brought in to work at 5 A.M. today (May 23), and delivery was made to the Airport before 6 A.M…. I called Colonel Frank H. Collins (of the ATC) to ascertain whether the planes had left, and he informed me that the crews of the five planes were standing by waiting for the representatives of the (Soviet) Embassy. He further stated that the crews were becoming impatient as they wanted to land at Great Falls, Montana, before sundown. [18]

The trouble was that the Soviet Embassy had arranged for their couriers to board he planes on May 24! The five airplanes were therefore held overnight with “a guard in each plane, and a guard around the area where the planes were parked.”

They left early on Wednesday, May 24, after each courier arrived with an additional box weighing over 200 pounds. Colonel Collins said he “thought the extra boxes contained American canned goods and American liquor.” [19]

As for the third shipment, said Mr. Hall,

“it is now necessary to uncrate all of the material and rearrange the whole shipment. You will remember when we talked to the Ambassador (Gromyko), he insisted upon complying strictly with instructions he received from his government, and now that his government had reversed itself, we have to do the job all over again.
This has been a pretty trying assignment for all associated with it.” [20]

Was there anything else that Russia could possibly ask from the Treasury? Yes, it could ask us to repeat one of the planeloads. That is exactly what Gromyko asked on June first, in a note to Morgenthau which stated briefly that “all the materials… perished in connection with a crash of the plane which carried them.” [21] Gromyko said absolutely nothing about when the crash occurred, or where.

Did we ask for proof of the crash, or direct any questions whatever to Gromyko about the alleged accident? On the contrary, Secretary Morgenthau promptly answered:

“I am pleased to inform you that the seven items representing replacement of the materials lost in the plane crash will be ready for shipment on Wednesday, June 7… I trust that this arrangement meets with your approval.” [22]

Why was Russia so insistent on printing German occupation currency without accountability? The answer is quite simple. They knew that the U.S. Army would convert such currency into dollars. (Russia, of course, refused to redeem the same currency with roubles.) As a result, every Russian-made mark that fell into the hands of an American soldier or accredited civilian became a potential charge against the Treasury of the United States.

Russia could pay its occupation army in marks, and in fact did so, adding a two-year bonus for good measure. If the Red Army could get anything out of the German economy with these marks, all well and good. If they could get anything out of America, even better.

In any event, these marks cost the Russian economy nothing whatever. With the materials provided from Washington, they took over a former Nazi printing plant in Leipzig, deep in the Russian zone, at a safe distance from American inspection, and started the presses rolling.

Any GI could buy a pack of cigarettes for 8 cents at a U.S. Army Post exchange. For this the Russian and German black-markets would offer him 100 marks from the Leipzig mint. To realize a profit of almost $10 on an 8-cent package of cigarettes, the American had only to take his 100 Leipzig marks to an Army Post Office, purchase a $10 money order and mail it to the United States.

It was revealed that the standard offer for a five-cent candy bar was 50 marks, or $5; $18 for one pound of Crisco; $20 for one K-ration; $25 for a pound of coffee, and $2,500 for a wrist watch costing $17.

By December 1946, the U.S. Military Government found itself $250,000,000 or more in the red. It had redeemed in dollars at least $2,500,000,000 marks in excess of the total marks issued b its Finance Office! The deficit could have had no other origin than the Russian plant in Leipzig.

Let us read once again the War Department’s testimony at the hearing in 1947:

Chairman Bridges: Was there any action taken by the War Department to restrict the number of notes issued by the Russians?
Mr. Petersen: The answer of the War Department is “No.”

Chairman Bridges: And, as far as you know, was there any action taken by the State or the Treasury Department to restrict Russia in the number of notes she would issue?

Mr. Petersen: To my knowledge, none.

Chairman Bridges: My next question is, does Russia still have the plates, so far as you know?

Mr. Petersen: As far as I know, they still have the plates.

Chairman Bridges: And as far as you know, are they still printing the currency?

Mr. Petersen: As far as I know, they are still printing the currency.

Chairman Bridges: And has there been any protest from this Government endeavoring to stop them?

Mr. Petersen: There have been strenuous efforts from the Allied Control Council in Berlin to obtain an accounting from the Russians as to the amount of Allied military marks which they have issued. Those efforts have been unsuccessful. [23]

To everyone’s surprise, the Russians at one point agreed to submit quarterly statements of the volume of money they were putting into circulation. Their statements were so palpably rigged, however, that American officers called them “unbelievable.” In that case, smiled the Russians, it would be useless to make further reports.

It took 18 months before Russia’s siphon into the American Treasury was severed. The Army’s payroll in Germany was shifted from Allied marks to U.S. Military Certificates, which were non-convertible.

In addition to the $250,000,000, there was a further loss, which through small was mortifying. A charge of $18,102,84 was rendered to the Soviet Embassy, covering the expense of the engraving plates and the materials in the three 1944 deliveries. The bill was ignored and is still unpaid. The Russians, as Mr. Petersen indicated, still have the plates and undoubtedly a good deal of knowledge regarding U.S. currency manufacture techniques.

As for Harry Dexter White, his ascent was steady. Five months after the duplicate plates fiasco, there was a conference of the Secretaries of State, War and the Treasury at the Hopkins office in the White House. White read a prospectus for the doom of Germany: It’s people were to become a pastoral horde; their entire industrial plant would be removed or destroyed; all equipment was to be torn from the Ruhr mines, and it’s coal deposits would be “thoroughly wrecked.”

Secretary Stimson was struck with horror – an emotion which Secretary Hull shared. They learned with consternation two weeks afterward that the “Morgenthau Plan” had been initiated by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at the Quebec Conference of Sept. 11, 1944. To Mr. Roosevelt’s face, Secretary Hull charged that Churchill’s signature was procured by Morgenthau with an offer of $6,500,000,000 of postwar Lend-Lease for Britain. [24]

From Assistant to the Secretary, Mr. White moved up to Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in 1945. During February 1946, he was appointed by President Truman, and confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Director of the International Monetary Fund, with a tax exemption salary of $17,500.

The name of Harry White became so important in the record of the Senate committee that finally Senator Bridges suggested calling him as a witness. But White was absent from the capital on vacation. It was announced that Morgenthau and White would be placed on the stand at a future section, but this was never called.

Mr. White submitted his resignation from the International Monetary Fund on June 19, 1947, the day after the committee recessed. When the economist was put on oath the following year, he denounced the Chambers accusations as “unqualifiedly false.” He was not and never had been a Communist, White affirmed, and had committed no disloyal act. But two weeks later his funeral was held at Temple Israel in Boston: he had died of a heart attack.

In November of that year Whittaker Chambers produced five rolls of microfilmed documents. Among them were eight pages of script divulging U.S. military secrets. Found in possession of an acknowledged Communist courier, the handwriting was identified as that of Harry Dexter White. end snip] article continues .

WHEN THE INK was not yet dry on the Breton Woods Agreement-IMF-GATT prepared by the KEYSNIANS and presented in 1945..signed and agreed to in 1947 in Haiti.

This "Breton Woods-IMF-GATT" agreement set up the World Bank (Bank Act No. One) was to insure "Equal Parity" and "Non Interference with Sovereignties of Nations"...states same in the first 4 sections. It was designed to rebuild War Torn Europe..and go no further. It was not designed to become the 'global terrorist' it has become, nor was it designed to destroy the Government of the united States of We the People.

IMF Archives: Finding Aids
Bretton Woods Conference Collection:
Ansel F. Luxford Papers

Date(s): 1940-1947
Level of description: Series
Extent and medium : 12.5 linear feet of textual records.

Creator: Luxford, Ansel F.

Administrative/Biographical history: Ansel F. Luxford was the U.S. Treasury Assistant General Counsel and Chief Legal Advisor to the U.S. delegation at the Bretton Woods Conference. Luxford also served as Technical Advisor to the U.S. delegation at the Inaugural Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IMF. He later served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury (1944-1946). Luxford joined the Bank in 1947, where he was Assistant General Counsel and later General Counsel of the Bank.

Content and structure

Scope and content: The series (boxes 7-25) contains files maintained by Ansel F. Luxford while at U.S. Treasury, then as a technical advisor to the U.S. delegation at the Bretton Woods Conference and later at the Bank. Materials consists of correspondence, memoranda, notes, drafts, Conference and Bank / IMF issuances and printed material. Some of the material was re-arranged during Luxford's tenure as Assistant General Counsel of the Bank in well organized and indexed sets. When transferred to the IMF, the files were in a loose alphabetical order by subject. Generally, files contain: documents regarding the development of the initial proposal for an International Stabilization Fund (in files: International Stabilization Fund, International Stabilization Fund Memoranda and Correspondence/ Preliminary Draft Outline/ Questions and Answers); correspondence, memoranda and drafts of the Joint Statement by Experts on the Establishment of an International Monetary Fund of the United and Associated Nations (in files: Reports -International Monetary Fund [Joint] Statement, International Stabilization Fund, Joint Statement /Legal Memoranda); drafts and minutes of meetings of the Conference at Atlantic City (in files: Bank Atlantic City and Fund Pre-Atlantic City); memoranda regarding the organization of the Conference, the drafting and the interpretation of the Articles of Agreement as well as Conference Documents, and printed copies (in files: Bank, IMF, Bretton Woods, Articles of Agreement, Comparisons, Reports, Preliminary Draft, Working Draft:); and correspondence with Department of State, Federal Reserve, Congressmen, bankers regarding the U.S. enabling legislation (in files: Bank Legal Memoranda, Bankers, Legislation, Congressional Records). There is also material regarding the Inaugural Meeting of the Board of Governors in Savannah (in files: Board of Governors) and the drafting of the IMF Rules and Regulations (in files: Rules and Regulations), as well as a fairly large collection of press clippings.

File 7/74
Anglo-American Financial Agreement. — 1946
Scope and content: File contains U.S. Congress printed material concerning the Anglo-American Financial Agreement of December 1945.

File 7/75
Articles of Agreement. — 1944
Scope and content: File contains published copies of the Articles of Agreement for the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, adopted at the Bretton Woods Conference.

File 7/76
Articles of Agreement (Annotations). — June 1944
Scope and content: File contains typescript copy of "Annotations of the Articles of Agreement".

File 7/77
Articles of Agreement (By-Laws). — 1945-1946
Scope and content: File contains 1946 memo regarding proposed amendments to the by-laws of the Bank; copy of June 1945 "Second Report of the Federation of British Industries on the Final Act of the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference".

File 7/78
Articles of Agreement (Comparisons). — 1945
Scope and content: File contains large charts explaining the genus of the Articles of Agreement from earlier proposals through the Final Act.

File 7/79
Articles of Agreement (U.K. Drafts). — June 11-26, 1944
Scope and content: File contains "Report by the United Kingdom Delegation on the Preliminary Conversations with other delegates and suggestions for the amendment of the agreed statement of principles"; also contains a copy of the fourth draft of the proposed Final Act.

File 7/80
[Bank] Atlantic City Conference, Drafts of Agreement. — 1942-1944
Scope and content: File contains set of preliminary drafts of articles of agreement, notes and excerpts.

File 7/81
[Bank] Atlantic City Conference, Minutes of Meetings. — June 24-30, 1944
Scope and content: File contains typed minutes of meetings held by United States and United Kingdom delegations on to discuss the U.K. suggestions.

File 7/82
[Bank] Atlantic City Conference, U.S. Document, Preamble Purposes. — July 22, 1944
Scope and content: File contains excerpt from documents distributed to the delegations at the Atlantic City meeting on the preamble and purposes of the Bank.

File 7/83
[Bank] Bretton Woods Conference, Final Act. — 1944
Scope and content: File contains the official document outlining the Articles of Agreement for both the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Monetary Fund (GD-48).

File 7/84
[Bank] Bretton Woods Conference, Final Committee Report. — 1944
Scope and content: File contains annotated copy of "Report of all Committees to Commission II, July 20, 1944" outlining the Articles of Agreement for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (CII/RP1).

File 7/85
[Bank] Bretton Woods Conference, Memoranda. — 1944
Scope and content: File contains June-July 1944 memoranda on guarantee issues.

File 7/86
[Bank] Bretton Woods Conference, Organization. — April-July 1944
Scope and content: File contains a set of documents from the planning of the Bretton Woods Conference (Committee structure, regulations, U.S. Delegation, terms, drafts for official statements, etc.).

File 7/87
[Bank] Bretton Woods Conference, Lord Keynes Closing Speech. — 1944
Scope and content: File contains verbatim minutes of the closing plenary session of the Bretton Woods Conference, including keynote address by Lord Keynes.


[Bank] Comparative Collection of Alternatives, Articles of Agreement. — July 22, 1944
Scope and content: Files contain two folders of typewritten copies of "Comparison of alternative proposals for Articles of Agreement of the IBRD".


[Bank] Legal Memoranda. — 1944-1945
Scope and content: Files contain two folders of memoranda, mostly drafted by Richard Brenner, on the legal issues surrounding the creation of the IMF and the Bank from a U.S. perspective.

File 8/92
Bankers (Independent). — February-March 1945
Scope and content: File contains correspondence, memoranda, and publicity material on position of the Independent Bankers Association.

File 8/93
Bankers (NYS). — 1944-1945
Scope and content: File contains memoranda, questions for meeting with New York State Bankers Association.

File 8/94
Bankers, Position of. — May 1945
Scope and content: File contains correspondence, memoranda, and publicity material, including press conferences by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, on bankers position on the Bretton Woods Agreements Act.

File 8/95
Bretton Woods Bibliography. — 1943-1946
Scope and content: File contains bibliography of official documents, articles, and other publications on the Bretton Woods Agreements prepared by the Office of the General Counsel, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

File 8/96
Bretton Woods Conference - Draft Articles of Agreement. — 1944
Scope and content: File contains Conference Documents and July 6, 1944 draft of the Articles of Agreement of the Bank.

File 8/97
Bretton Woods Speeches. — 1944-1945
Scope and content: File contains set of speeches on Bretton Woods by "Top Men in the United States Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System".

File 8/98
British Loan Agreement. — 1945-1946
Scope and content: File contains background material, U.S. House of Representatives and Senate vote tally sheets on prospective votes on the loan agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.

File 8/99
British Loan - House Speeches. — 1946
Scope and content: File contains vote tally sheets on position of U.S. House members on U.K. Loan as indicated by their public statements.

File 8/100
British Loan - Speeches. — 1945-1946
Scope and content: File contains U.S. Department of State publication, "Proposals for Expansion of World Trade and Employment" and U.S. Senate Resolution on the British Loan Agreement.

File 9/101
Boards of Governors - Savannah Meeting Documents. — 1946
Scope and content: File contains Bank Documents issued for the Inaugural Meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, held in Savannah, Georgia in March 1946 (B1-B29).

File 9/102

No. 18/1957:


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