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Series Part I, I: Correspondence, 1942-1946

Call Number: MS 628, Series Part I, I

Scope and Contents

The correspondence series is arranged alphabetically by name of the correspondent. Correspondents with whom Bowles had significant exchanges in terms of quantity and/or quality have been individually listed in this register; the remaining correspondence has been placed in general letter folders. The correspondence between Bowles and OPA or OES officials is arranged in two ways. Routine correspondence is filed under "U.S. Government," in folders marked "OPA File" or "OES File." Correspondence with other OPA-OES personnel is filed by name, the individuals being identified in the folder listing as "OPA official" or "OPA consultant."

The James G. Rogers, Jr., folders are the best single source on OPA operations. Folders for Douglas J. Bennet, Sr., Robert R. R. Brooks, James Brownlee, Bice Clemow, Marcella Eastman, Richard H. Field, and Donald H. Wallace are also useful. OPA-OES matters are also discussed in Bowles' correspondence with Presidents Truman and Roosevelt, the White House staff, Congressmen, other government officials (James F. Byrnes, John Snyder) and private citizens (James Patton, Clarence Francis) and organizations (Committee on Economic Development). On the politics and day-to-day problems of OPA, the correspondence with Connecticut's Senator Francis Maloney, and Democratic National Chairman, Robert Hannegan, is especially rich. The J. Francis Smith correspondence traces an interesting case study of a Connecticut businessman alienated by OPA policies.

The Office of Economic Stabilization and OPA continued after July 1946, the termination date of Part I of the Bowles papers. Further correspondence on these agencies and on their post war problems and eventual demise will be found in Part II. See especially the Everett W. Reimer and Roderick Riley correspondence on OPA. The Robert R. R. Brooks correspondence, also in Part II, contains an interesting memorandum on the history of OPA. (Note: The researcher should also consult the James G. Rogers, Jr. Papers in Manuscripts and Archives for his correspondence concerning the recruitment of people from the advertising field to staff OPA.

Bowles' position, convictions, and aspirations encouraged him to range beyond price control issues. Deeply concerned with the expected problems of post-war conversion, Bowles suggested President Roosevelt's famous State of the Union address setting forth the "Economic Bill of Rights" and sought to commit Roosevelt, Truman and the Congress to a policy of government intervention in the economy to secure full employment and economic growth. Bowles' desire to prevent confrontation with Russia, to expand foreign trade, and to recognize the needs of the emerging colonial areas clearly foreshadowed his dissenting position on foreign policy in the 1950's and 1960's. The White House, Roosevelt, Samuel Rosenman and Truman folders shed light on Bowles' official contribution to policy on these issues. The Marcella Eastman, Beneta Cox, and especially the William Benton correspondence reflect the wide range of Bowles' political and professional interests and some aspects of his personal life. Other valuable personal commentary is expressed in correspondence with Alfred Bingham.

At the end of the series there are folders of form letters, mailing lists, correspondence relating to Bowles' travel and expense accounts, and correspondence of others. The researcher will notice occasional photocopies of letters from the National Archives in the files. These copies, were made by Bowles or a member of his staff for Bowles' use in writing his memoirs, Promises to Keep.


  • 1942-1946

Physical Description

(14 boxes)

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection: Boxes 220-223, which contain constituent correspondence, are restricted until 2035 Jan 1.

The transcript of the oral history interview with Douglas Bennet, Jr. in Box 399b is closed until the deed of gift is secured from Bennet.

Box 408, which contains restricted personal and financial papers is closed until 2025 Jan 1.

Box 409, which contains audio tapes of oral history interviews with Bowles's associates, is not open to researchers.

Original audiotapes, videotapes, and motion picture films, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies, or pay for the creation of a use copy, retained by the repository, if none exist.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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Sterling Memorial Library
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