Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Gerhard Colm Papers

Dates: 1944-1947

Principal fiscal analyst and Assistant Chief, Bureau of the Budget, Fiscal Division, 1940-46. Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, 1946-52.

The papers of Gerhard Colm primarily relate to his work in the Fiscal Division of the Bureau of the Budget and his service on the Council of Economic Advisers during the Truman Administration. The majority of the documents consist of correspondence between Colm and various colleagues. The collection also includes newspaper clippings, magazine articles, charts, graphs, reports to Congress and Colm's ideas on fiscal policy.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one linear foot.
Access: Open.
Copyright: Copyright in the unpublished writings of Gerhard Colm in this collection has been donated to the U.S. government. Documents prepared by U.S. government officials in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in documents which do not fall into this category are presumed to remain with the authors of the documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Philip D. Lagerquist (1966).
Revised by: Jeff Bontrager as part of the Truman Library Internship Program (2001).
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and Amy Williams.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1897 (June 30) Born in Hanover, Germany
1921-27 Economist at Federal Statistics Bureau, Berlin, Germany.
1933 Emigrated to United States
1933-39 Professor of Economics, New School of Social Research, New York City.
1939-40 Fiscal Expert at Department of Commerce, Washington D.C.
1940 Lecturer, George Washington University.
1940-46 Principal Fiscal Analyst and Assistant Chief, Bureau of the Budget, Fiscal Division.
1946-52 Economist, Council of Economic Advisers.
1952 Chief Economist, National Planning Association.
1953 Member of UNKRA mission to advise on economic stabilization in Korea.
1962 Member of Ad Hoc Committee for Appraisal of Chilean Development Program.
1968 (Dec. 25) Died in Chevy Chase, Maryland

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Most of the documents contained in the Gerhard Colm papers consist of correspondence and various memoranda between Colm and his colleagues at the Bureau of the Budget (1940-46) and the Council of Economic Advisers (1946-52). The Collection also contains newspaper clippings, magazine articles, charts, graphs, handwritten notes and reports. The papers are in one series, a Subject File, and are arranged chronologically.

The bulk of the Colm papers trace the development of the Employment Act of 1946. The memoranda and correspondence on this subject date from mid 1944, indicating that the Bureau of the Budget started work on peacetime transition long before the war was concluded. Along with memoranda, letters and handwritten notes, there are drafts of reports detailing every aspect of the plan. The messages between Colm and his colleagues illustrate their varied opinions on policy concerning the Employment Act. The memoranda and correspondence are great sources of information but some of the handwritten letters and notes are barely legible, although some have typed copies attached. Also valuable are various drafts of a report entitled "Postwar Employment", produced in October, 1944. This report contains the framework for the proposed full employment bills, S. 380 and H.R. 2202. S. 380 was introduced on the Senate floor on January 22, 1945 and H.R. 2202 was introduced onto the House floor on February 15, 1945. Copies of these bills, along with related correspondence, memoranda, reports, newspaper clippings, and other items, can be found in the folder entitled "Full Employment-Miscellaneous" and "A Program of Full Employment."

The Employment Act became law on February 20, 1946. Among other things, it created a Council of Economic Advisers to assist the President in the development of national economic policy. There is relatively little material in the collection documenting Colm's work as an economist for the Council of Economic Advisers.

The papers do include some information concerning Colm's work on the federal budget and wage policy; these materials are copied from original documents at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

Other materials at the Truman Library relating to the Employment Act and the Council of Economic Advisers include the papers of Edwin G. Nourse, Leon H. Keyserling, John D. Clark, Roy Blough; and the Library's oral history interviews with Nourse and Keyserling.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-2 SUBJECT FILE, 1944-1947
Correspondence, memoranda, charts, photos, newspaper clippings, magazine articles and reports relating to Colm's tenure as Principal Fiscal Analyst, Bureau of the Budget (1940-1946), and Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President (1946-52). Arranged chronologically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

    SUBJECT FILE, 1944-47
  • The Employment Act Symposium-Postwar Employment, 1944
  • Postwar Employment Program of Interagency Group [1944-45]
      [1 of 3]
      [2 of 3]
      [3 of 3]
  • Full Employment-Miscellaneous [1944-45]
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • A Program of Full Employment -(S. 380 and H.R. 2202) [1945-46]
      [1 of 5]
      [2 of 5]
      [3 of 5]

Box 2

      [4 of 5]
      [5 of 5]
  • Administration of the Employment Act
  • Budget Procedure File, 1946
  • Project on Annual Wage Study, 1947

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