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Guide to the J.B. Condliffe Papers, [ca. 1910-1960]
BANC MSS C-B 901  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Biography

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: J.B. Condliffe Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1910-1960]
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 901
    Creator: Condliffe, J. B. (John Bell), 1891-1981
    Extent: 44 boxes, 37 cartons
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence and related papers reflecting his career as professor, University of California, and as economist with the League of Nations, Carnegie Endowment and other institutions; manuscripts of books, articles and lectures; a few personal papers and diaries.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], J.B. Condliffe papers, BANC MSS C-B 901, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Title: J. B. (John Bell) Condliffe Papers: Additions,
    Date: 1919-1981,
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 69/33 c

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Portraits transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library. (Other photographs also transferred, and shelved as BANC PIC 1992.050--A)

    Scope and Content

    Professor Condliffe gave his papers to the Bancroft Library in December 1963. They included correspondence, ca. 1921-1960, reflecting his career as professor and economist; manuscripts of books, articles, book reviews and lectures; subject files dealing with the University of California, the Carnegie Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the League of Nations, the International Studies Conferences, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the World Affairs Council of Northern California, the Teaching Institute of Economics and many others; a few personal papers and diaries of trips; clippings; correspondence and papers, 1941-1952, of Robert Lee Gulick, lecturer in Economics at the University of California, relating to his work with the Committee on International Economic Policy and with the Teaching Institute of Economics in Berkeley; manuscripts of books and reprints of articles written by Condliffe's associates and students; and miscellaneous printed items. Professor Condliffe in addition has given pamphlet material and books to the Bureau of International Relations on this campus.


    John Bell Condliffe, internationally famed economist and professor of the University of California, was born on Dec. 23, 1891, in Melbourne, Australia. Educated in New Zealand, he received his B. A. degree in 1914 and his M. A. in 1915 from Canterbury College. During this period he also worked in the Customs Department and later as statistician in the government Statistician's office. In 1916 he became lecturer in economics at Canterbury College. After serving in World War I with the New Zealand Division, he attended Cambridge University as a Sir Thomas Gresham Research student. Upon his return to New Zealand in 1920 he became professor of economics at Canterbury College, serving until 1926. In 1925 he attended the Institute of Pacific Relations' first conference, held in Honolulu, as a delegate from New Zealand. He presented his doctoral dissertation, "Industrial Revolution in the Far East", in 1927 and obtained his D. Sc. (Economics) in 1928.
    Professor Condliffe accepted the position of research secretary with the Institute of Pacific Relations in 1927. In this capacity he traveled extensively in China, Japan, Europe and America, and was responsible for the organization of the Institute's research work. He also wrote reports on the conference held in Honolulu (1927) and in Kyoto (1929). Although he left the Institute in 1931, he attended later conferences in 1939, 1940 and 1943, and was chairman of the International Research Committee from 1943 until 1945.
    From 1931 to 1937 Professor Condliffe was associated with the League of Nations. During this period he compiled annual World Economic Surveys (for which he received the Henry E. Howland Memorial prize from Yale in 1939), helped prepare reports on the economic aspects of the Manchurian dispute (1931), drafted part of the agenda and final report of the Monetary and Economic Conference held in London (1933) and was a member of the committee studying the economic sanctions imposed on Italy in connection with the Ethiopian war (1936).
    While filling an appointment as professor of commerce at the University of London from 1937 through 1939, he collaborated with the International Chamber of Commerce in preparing for its meeting at Copenhagen in June 1939. He served as Rapporteur-General of the Meeting and made the keynote address. He also reported on the International Studies Conferences of these two years. At the same time Professor Condliffe, aided by a Rockefeller Foundation grant, directed an international research project relating to trade regulations. The results of the studies were published in his book "The Reconstruction of World Trade" in 1940.
    In 1940 Professor Condliffe came to the University of California to teach in the Department of Economics. During leaves of absence and summer months he accepted many positions: research associate of the Institute of International Studies of Yale University (1943-1944); associate director of the Division of Economics and History of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1942-1947), which published the papers, "Studies in World Trade and Employment"; assistant in the organization of UNRRA; chairman, 1949, of an international committee of experts in the preparation of a "Report on World Commodity Problems" for the Food and Agricultural Organization of the U. N.; member of a team to establish programs in the Near and Middle East for the Ford Foundation in 1952; consultant to the Ford Foundation in 1953; vice-president and chairman of Section K of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1954.
    While at the University of California, Professor Condliffe, in 1946, with financial assistance from the Alfred Sloan Foundation, created the Teaching Institute of Economics, which participated in many conferences, seminars and activities in the Bay Area. Professor Condliffe was a member of several university committees, with a particular interest in international relations and Asiatic studies. He was a member of the Foreign Commerce Committee of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Trade Association of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, taking an active part in its annual conferences at Asilomar for many years. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of Pacifica Foundation (KPFA). He published numerous articles and books throughout his academic career, and gave many lectures and speeches.
    In 1958 Professor Condliffe retired from teaching to take up consultant work in India as adviser to the Indian National Council of Economic Research with the Stanford Research Institute for two years.
    He died in 1981.