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Federal Reserve Policy "with Respect to the
Proposed International Monetary Fund and Bank
for Reconstruction and Development.
Statement by Chairman Eccless
Before I was designated as a member of the American Delegation
the Board of Governors had taken no position with respect to the tentative
plans which were then in the course of being drafted as a basis for establishment of the proposed International Monetary Fund and International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development* Members of the staff, however, had
informally given their assistance and advice to the members of the Treasury
staff who were engaged in this work and had kept the Board informed. In
addition, the proposed plans had been the subject of a considerable amount
of discussion, both inside and outside the Federal Reserve System, and it
was recognized that there had been differences of opinion among the officers
and directors of the Federal Reserve Banks . From time to time the Board
received communications from the Federal Reserve Banks on the subject and
the Board1s conference with representatives of the Presidents1 and Chairmen's conferences and others on June 6, 1944* brought out very clearly
some of these different views* Following this conference, the Board invited such further advice as the officers and directors of the Banks might
wish to submit*
Towards the last of May I was advised informally by the Secretary of the Treasury that the President wished me to serve as a member of
the American Delegation, which would attend and participate in the United
Nations Monetary and Financial Conference to be held at Bretton Woods,
beginning July 1, for the purpose of considering the proposed plans* It
was made clear, as I would naturally assume anyhow, that the President's
request was addressed to me in my official capacity as Chairman of the
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in recognition of the
Board's responsibility as an agency of Congress in the field of national
credit and monetary policy. Therefore, I took the matter up with the
Board and it was pointed out in the discussion that the only reason I
could present for not accepting the appointment would be a position on
the part of the Board that it was opposed to the plan and did not want
to be represented at the conference. It was felt, however, that this
would be very difficult to explain and that it would indicate a fundamental cleavage between the System and the Treasury* Moreover, it would very
likely result in the complete exclusion of the Board thereafter from any
participation in the development of the plan or in its workings if it were
put into effect. After careful consideration, the Board expressed the
opinion that the adoption of a plan within the framework of the joint
statement would be desirable and that I should attend the conference as
a representative of the Board of Governors. At the conclusion of the discussion the Board approved my attendance at the international conference
at Bretton Woods as a member of the American Delegation representing the




-2Board of Governors. Accordingly, I accepted the invitation and subsequently received from the Secretary of State formal advice of the President1 s approval, together with a copy of the President's instructions to
Secretary Morgenthau, as Chairman of the Delegation, which contained,
among other things, the following statement:
responsibility which you and the other delegates of the American Delegation will undertake is the
responsibility of demonstrating to the world that international postwar cooperation is possible, I am confident
that you will do your best to accomplish the purposes of
the conference. *
*
In these circumstances, additions were made to the members of
the Board1s staff who had been assisting the Treasury and they participated
in the drafting work that was done at Atlantic City in preparation for the
conference, together with several officers of the Federal Reserve Banks,
and a substantial number of the members of the Board1s staff and officers
of the Federal Reserve Banks participated as technicians in the work of
the conference at Bretton Woods. Governor Szymczak accompanied me to the
conference and I participated in the deliberations of the American Delegation which, together with the delegations representing all the other nations
at the conference, unanimously approved the plans as finally evolved for
the International Monetary Fund and International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development.
At the conclusion of the conference the President of the United
States sent a message to the representatives of the 44 nations conveying
congratulations on the successful completion of their difficult task and
containing the following statement:
*They have prepared two further foundation stones
for the structure of lasting peace and security* They
have shown that the people of the United Nations can
work together to plan the peace as well as fight the war*11
In the light of these circumstances it seems clear to me that the
Board is committed to the principle involved in these plans and to cooperate
in helping to carry them out. Moreover, it is evident that if they should
be put into effect, the Federal Reserve Banks, as the central banking system
of the country, would be called upon to play some part. I may add that in
a letter under date of August 5> 1944, which was received from Secretary
Morgenthau, the following statement appears:




still have before us the task of bringing to the
attention of the people and of Congress the importance of

-3the work done at Bretton Woods and the necessity of
participation by the United States in the International
Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
^There is still much to be done before the Conference
will have achieved its ultimate purpose* We need the help
of every member of the United States delegation in carrying the program of the Conference to a successful conclusion,11
For these reasons it seems to me that the Board has accepted a
responsibility as the Governmental agency at the head of the Federal Reserve System for cooperating in the further development of this program
and "while the exchange of views and information among the Banks and the
Board should continue so that they may be fully advised, the public expression of an adverse attitude, if any, on the part of any of the Federal Reserve Banks would be likely to impair the usefulness of the System in its
relations to the problems growing out of the conference*