Pauley, Edwin W. Papers

Dates: 1928-1996

Personal Representative of the President on the Allied Commission on Reparations with the rank of Ambassador, 1945-1947; Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on Reparations and Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, 1947-1948

The papers of Edwin W. Pauley include correspondence, printed materials, photographs, memorabilia, an autobiography, and other items relating to Pauley’s government service as Reparations Ambassador, his nomination as Under Secretary of the Navy, business career, personal affairs, and association with Harry S. Truman.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 16 linear feet, 2 linear inches (about 29,600 pages).
Access: Open, with the exception of documents that are closed for reasons of national security.
Copyright: The donor gave to the United States his copyrights in these papers, and in any other collection of papers at the Truman Library. Documents prepared by U.S. government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyrights in other documents presumably belong to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Raymond Geselbracht, Randy Sowell, Tammy Kelly, Janice Davis, and Sharie Simon (2007).


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1903 (January 7)

 

Born, Indianapolis, Indiana

1922

 

B.S., University of California

c. 1922-1940

 

Independent oil producer, President of Petrol Corporation

1937 (October 23)

 

Married Barbara Jean McHenry

1941

 

Special Representative of the Petroleum Coordinator for National Defense; traveled to Great Britain and the Soviet Union to coordinate Lend-Lease oil supplies

1942

 

Became Democratic Party Treasurer

1944

 

As Manager of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, helped bring about the nomination of Senator Harry S. Truman for Vice President

1944-1948

 

Member of the Democratic National Committee from California

1945-1947

 

Personal Representative of the President on the Allied Commission on Reparations, with the rank of Ambassador

1946

 

Nominated by President Truman to serve as Under Secretary of the Navy, but his nomination was withdrawn at his request in the face of widespread political opposition

1947-1948

 

Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on Reparations; Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army

1955 (November)

 

As Vice President of the Harry S. Truman Library, Inc., organized a major fundraising dinner for the Truman Library in California

1956-1981

 

Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of California

1981 (July 28)

 

Died, Beverly Hills, California

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Edwin W. Pauley mostly pertain to his association with President Harry S. Truman and his service in the Truman administration. Pauley was the President’s Personal Representative on the Allied Commission on Reparations from April 1945 to March 1947. Later, he served as a Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on Reparations and as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The papers document Pauley’s work in these positions, as well as the controversy surrounding his unsuccessful nomination to the post of Under Secretary of the Navy in 1946. Also included in the collection is information concerning Pauley’s personal affairs, business activities, and fundraising efforts in behalf of the Democratic Party and the Harry S. Truman Library.

The papers are arranged in five series: a Subject File; an Allied Commission on Reparations File; an Under Secretary of the Navy File; a Printed Materials File; and a Photographs File.

The Subject File contains letters, memoranda, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, financial records, transcripts, lists of names, legal documents, speech drafts, reports, press releases, and other items, including an unpublished autobiography by Pauley entitled “Washington and the World,” which deals with his career in government during the 1940s. The materials in this series mostly relate to various aspects of Pauley’s work as a public official, businessman, and fundraiser. Included is information concerning Pauley’s service as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army in 1947-48; allegations by Harold Stassen that he had used his government position to profit in commodities speculation; Pauley’s activities as president of the Petrol Corporation and as owner of the Los Angeles Rams football team; his friendship with President Truman and the Truman family; and his work as treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and as a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. Also included is correspondence relating to Pauley’s service as vice president of the Harry S. Truman Library, Inc., and his involvement in a major fundraising dinner for the Truman Library that was held in California in November 1955. This correspondence reflects Pauley’s extensive and important contacts in the business community, the political world, and the entertainment industry. Other items document Pauley’s proposal that the Truman Library be built on the UCLA campus. Pauley’s personal correspondence with Mr. Truman attests to their close relationship and includes references to a 1953 visit by the former President, Mrs. Truman, and their daughter Margaret to the Pauley vacation home on Coconut Island in Hawaii. Reports from Pauley’s public relations counsel, Sessions and Caminita, reflect his interest in press coverage of the political controversies that swirled around him during the period from 1946 to 1948.

The Allied Commission on Reparations File contains letters, memoranda, reports, newspaper clippings, and other items concerning Pauley’s service as Ambassador for German and Japanese reparations following World War II. The materials in this series document Pauley’s travels to Germany, Japan, Korea, and Manchuria; his presence at the Potsdam Conference and at the war crimes trials in Nuremberg and Tokyo; his negotiations with representatives of the Soviet Union and other members of the Allied Commission on Reparations; and press coverage of his activities in this field. Included is a report from Pauley to the Secretary of State on German reparations; letters of congratulation he received from friends and prominent persons following his appointment; and memoranda prepared by and for his various reparations missions. Of particular interest is a diary in which Pauley recorded his impressions of his visit to Soviet-occupied North Korea in 1946.

The Under Secretary of the Navy File contains materials documenting the political furor that erupted when President Truman nominated Pauley to serve as Under Secretary of the Navy. Included are transcripts of testimony at Pauley’s confirmation hearings before the Committee on Naval Affairs of the U.S. Senate from January to March, 1946, featuring Pauley, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, and other witnesses, and dealing with charges that it would be a conflict of interest for an oil producer to hold a high position in the Navy Department. Letters, memoranda, newspaper clippings, financial records, handwritten notes, and other items in the series relate to Ickes’s allegations that Pauley had engaged in improper lobbying on the issue of tidelands oil reserves while raising funds for the Democratic Party. Among the materials is a transcript of the press conference held by Ickes after he resigned from the Cabinet in protest against Pauley’s nomination; drafts of statements prepared by Pauley in his defense, with related memoranda; letters of support he received from friends during the controversy; derogatory information compiled by Pauley on Ickes and other opponents of his nomination; and Pauley’s message to the President asking that his nomination be withdrawn (after the Senate Committee had absolved him of wrongdoing.) Also included in this series are related materials pertaining to Pauley’s career in the oil business; his work as Special Representative of the Petroleum Coordinator for National Defense in 1941; his fundraising activities in behalf of the Democratic Party; his involvement in Democratic politics in California; and his active support for the California Oil and Gas Control Act—popularly known as the “Atkinson Bill”—which was defeated in a 1939 referendum following a heated campaign.

The Printed Materials File consists mostly of newspaper clippings and other published items relating to various aspects of Pauley’s life and career in government. Many of the press clippings pertain to Pauley’s work on German and Japanese reparations, his nomination as Under Secretary of the Navy in 1946, and his testimony before Congress on the Korean situation following the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. The clippings also contain information on Pauley’s business activities, his social affairs, and his service as Democratic National Committeeman from California. Some of the articles deal with the President and Mrs. Truman. Also in this series are transcripts of Congressional hearings, government reports, and U.S. Supreme Court briefs relating to such topics as universal military training, German war resources, and the tidelands oil controversy.

The Photographs File contains copies of photographs showing Pauley with President Truman and other well-known individuals, and with friends and members of his family. Included with these materials are copies of autographed photos that were given to Pauley by notables such as Ambassador Averell Harriman, General Mark Clark, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and film mogul Darryl F. Zanuck. The series also features the contents of photo albums documenting Pauley’s reparations missions to Europe and the Far East, and photos of the Truman family’s visit to Hawaii in 1953. The original photographs from this series were transferred to the Truman Library’s audiovisual collection.

More information about Edwin W. Pauley can be found at the Truman Library in the papers of Harry S. Truman (Official File 383; President's Personal File 2475; President’s Secretary’s Files: General File; and Post-Presidential Files: Name File), and in the papers of Robert E. Hannegan and Charles G. Ross. The transcript of a 1971 oral history interview with Edwin W. Pauley is available on the Library’s web site. Another large collection of Pauley papers is located at the Young Research Library at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

1-15

  SUBJECT FILE, 1940-1996
An autobiography, correspondence, printed materials, press releases, transcripts, reports, financial records, and other items relating to Pauley’s government service, association with President Truman, personal life, and business career. Arranged alphabetically.

15-19

  ALLIED COMMISSION ON REPARATIONS FILE, 1932-1971
Correspondence, reports, printed materials, and other items relating to Pauley’s service as President Truman’s Reparations Ambassador. Arranged alphabetically.

20-29

  UNDER SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FILE, 1928-1949
Correspondence, transcripts of testimony, printed materials, financial records, and other items relating to Pauley’s unsuccessful nomination to serve as Under Secretary of the Navy. Arranged alphabetically.

30-35

  PRINTED MATERIALS FILE, 1928-1982
Newspaper clippings, publications, and other items relating to various aspects of Pauley’s life and career. Arranged alphabetically.

36-37

  PHOTOGRAPHS FILE, 1945-1969
Copies of photographs and the contents of photo albums relating to Pauley’s life and career. Arranged alphabetically.
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FOLDER TITLE LIST

SUBJECT FILE, 1940-1996

Box 1

  • Alemàn, Miguel, 1947
  • Autobiography of Edwin W. Pauley (Photocopy Only, Copy 1) [1 of 3]
  • Autobiography of Edwin W. Pauley (Photocopy Only, Copy 1) [2 of 3