After the Savannah Conference

The "founding fathers" of the IMF and the World Bank: Assistant Secretary, U.S. Treasury, Harry Dexter White (left) and John Maynard Keynes, honorary advisor to the U.K. Treasury at the inaugural meeting of the International Monetary Fund's Board of Governors in Savannah, Georgia, U.S., March 8, 1946.

FOR the past five years this Government has advocated international economic coöperation to restore world trade and to free it from the restrictions that isolate countries and divide them into conflicting blocs. The responsibility for dealing with these problems does not rest in any one country. The problems are international and they can be dealt with only through international coöperation. We have not been content with securing agreement on abstract principles. International economic problems must be dealt with in concrete terms. We have proposed that the United Nations provide the means for continuing cooperation through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund and an international trade organization.

This policy recognizes frankly that the breakdown in world economic relations in the 1930's was an important factor in prolonging and intensifying the great depression and that the economic warfare of the 1930's was part of a master plan for aggression by Germany and Japan. Conquest began by isolating the intended victim from the world economy through bilateral agreements which put the weaker nation at the mercy of the stronger. These practices must be outlawed by coöperative international action on world currency and trade practices.

Until industrial and agricultural production has revived in all countries, world trade cannot be restored to the high level necessary for a balanced world economy. The World Bank is intended to facilitate reconstruction and development, so that countries can again use their own resources for production. The Bank will help provide the supplementary capital necessary for sound and productive projects on terms fair to both the lender and the borrower. The capital of the Bank, to which 38 countries have now subscribed, will be used primarily as a surety fund. The loans made or guaranteed by the Bank will be financed almost entirely by private investors. But all countries will share in the risks of these loans in proportion to their subscriptions.

The urgency of reconstruction has been so great that it could

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