Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Sir Robert G.A. Jackson papers, 1945-1983, bulk 1945-1947

Summary Information

Abstract

This collection documents the work of Sir Robert G.A. Jackson, a UN administrator and development expert, as senior deputy director-general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) from 1945 to 1947.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0659
Bib ID 4078515 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Jackson, Robert G. A, Sir (Robert Gillman Allen), 1911-1991
Title Sir Robert G.A. Jackson papers, 1945-1983, bulk 1945-1947
Physical Description 1.5 linear feet (3 document boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into two series.

Description

Scope and Content

The collection consists of two boxes of material pertaining primarily to Sir Robert G.A. Jackson's role as senior deputy director-general of UNRRA, 1945-1947. It includes information on UNRRA's organization and finances, displaced persons, rehabilitation efforts in Greece, and Russian involvement in UNRRA. It also contains interviews with Jackson that covers many other aspects of his life and career. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, reports, and maps. The collection contains photocopies only; the originals remained in the possession of Sir Robert G.A. Jackson.

  • Series I: General, 1945-1983

    Series I consists primarily of correspondence, memos, reports, and meeting minutes, most of which concern the organization and administration of UNNRA as a whole, and involve discussions of staffing, efficiency, priorities, shipping, supplies, and finances. It also includes Jackson's final report on the "life and death of UNRRA" which gives his summary of the organization's creation, successes, and flaws.

  • Series II: Oral Histories, 1978-1983

    Series II contains transcripts of two oral history interviews with Jackson, one from 1978 and one from 1986. He discusses many aspects of his career and work with refugees, including the creation of UNRRA and UNICEF, the Jackson report, and his efforts to provide aid to Kampuchea.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Sir Robert G.A. Jackson papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Archival Materials

Herbert H. Lehman papers, Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Reproduction Note

Type of reproduction--Photocopies

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Correspondence, memoranda, documents: Source of acquisition--Jackson, Sir Robert G. A. Date of acquisition--1976.

Gift of Sir Robert G.A. Jackson, October 1976.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Correspondence, memoranda, documents Surveyed Julie Miller 05/--/87.

Papers processed Carolyn Smith Elena Locascio 2011.

Finding aid written Carolyn Smith 2013.

Revision Description

2013-06-04 xml document instance created by Carolyn Smith

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Gale, Humphrey Myddleton, 1890-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hasler, William J Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Herbert H. Lehman Collections (Columbia University) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
International relief Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Jackson, R. G. A (Robert Gillman Allen) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
La Guardia, Fiorello H (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lehman, Herbert H (Herbert Henry), 1878-1963 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mikoi͡an, A. I (Anastas Ivanovich), 1895-1978 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Morgan, Frederick, 1894-1967 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Noel-Baker, Philip, 1889-1982 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Refugees Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
UNICEF Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Robert Gillman Allen Jackson was born in Melbourne, Australia on November 8, 1911. His father, Archibald Jackson, was one of the founders of Mentone Grammar School, which Jackson attended until he joined the Royal Australian Navy at age 18. Jackson transferred to the Royal Navy in 1937 and served in World War II in Malta. In 1940, he was chief staff officer to the governor and commander in chief of Malta, and created defense, rearmament, and supply schemes.

In 1941, Jackson was appointed adviser to Oliver Lyttleton, Minister of State in Cairo. There he worked with the Middle East Relief and Refugees Administration (MERRA), which was tasked with aiding 100,000 Polish refugees who had fled to Egypt, Pakistan, and Kenya. Jackson would take a special interest in refugee issues for the rest of his life. As director-general of the Middle East Supply Centre, he worked to encourage local agriculture in a large number of countries from 1942 to1945. During this time he also worked on the development of a supply route to bring aid to Russia and established an anti-locust campaign. He worked with Allied Forces Headquarters for Special Duties in Greece from 1944-1945 and at the British treasury in 1945.

From 1945 to 1947, Jackson served as senior deputy director-general of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). UNRRA was responsible for overseeing post-war relief projects across Europe, Africa, and Asia, including the care of 8,500,000 displaced persons in Europe alone, providing aid to concentration camp survivors, reuniting children with families, and providing relief supplies to many countries.

After UNRRA was disbanded, Jackson supervised the transfer of its functions to other branches of the UN, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He also assisted in the establishment of the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). In 1947, he became assistant to first secretary-general of the United Nations, Trygve Lie.

Jackson was considered one of the world's foremost experts on multiple purpose river development schemes - systems of dams and equipment that provide both power and other benefits, such as flood control or irrigation. From 1950 to 1953, he was permanent secretary for the Ministry of National Development in Australia and worked on the Snowy Mountain Scheme, a large hydroelectricity and irrigation complex. From 1953-1956, Jackson was chairman of the Preparatory Commission for Volta River Multipurpose Project in Ghana, which led to the construction of the Akosombo Dam, from and wrote a book about the experience, The Volta River Project (1956). He was also chairman of the Development Commission in Ghana, 1956-1961, and organized Royal Tours there in 1959 and 1961. He remained a consultant to the Volta River Authority, Ghana and a member of its board in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1962, Jackson worked as consultant to Paul Hoffman, first administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). By the time he retried from the program in 1971, he had worked with UNDP projects in 60 countries. From 1968 to 1971, Jackson served as commissioner in charge of the survey of the UN Development System. With Margaret Anstee and other UN administrators, he wrote A Study of the Capacity of the United Nations Development System in 1969. The "Jackson Report" argued that UN should operate as a unitary system, providing information and resources from a central location but allowing UN projects to be tailored to each country's individual needs by local people who know the situation best.

In 1972 and 1975, Jackson was under secretary-general in charge of the UN Relief Operation in Bangladesh, and he worked to bring aid to Kampuchean refugees in Thailand between 1979 and 1984.

Jackson's advice, particularly on development, was sought after worldwide; he was advisor to the President of Liberia (1962-1980s), to the government of India (1952, 1957; 1962-1963) and to government of Pakistan (1952), and offered assistance to Zambia (1973-1980s), Indo-China (1975-1980s) and the Cape Verde Islands (1975-1980s). He served on the advisory board of the Mekong Project, S.E. Asia (1962).

Jackson 's awards and honors included the Knight Commander of the Victorian Order (1962); Knight Bachelor (1956); Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (1944); Order of the British Empire (1941); and Companion of the Order of Australia (1986). Historian James Gibson wrote a biography Jackson, entitled Jacko, Where Are You Now? A life of Robert Jackson: Master of humanitarian relief, the man who saved Malta (Parsons, London 2006).

Jackson married Barbara Ward in 1950, and the couple had a son, Robert, Jr. Robert G.A. Jackson died in 1991.

External users and Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site at RBML. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only Columbia affiliates may view materials on-site at Avery, Starr, and Burke. After clicking 'Submit Request', users will login with their UNI and password (Columbia affiliates) or their special collections account (external users). Appointments are required and will be arranged according to each individual repository's policy.


Series I: General, 1945-1983

Series I consists primarily of correspondence, memos, reports, and meeting minutes, most of which concern the organization and administration of UNNRA as a whole, and involve discussions of staffing, efficiency, priorities, shipping, supplies, and finances. It also includes Jackson's final report on the "life and death of UNRRA" which gives his summary of the organization's creation, successes, and flaws.



Box 1 Folder 1 Jackson Reorganization Meeting--Memos, 1945 May, 1945


Box 1 Folder 2 Memorandum of Telephone Conversation with A. D. Marris, 1945 May 5, 1945


Box 1 Folder 3 Jackson to Richard K. Law, Foreign Office--Present State of UNRRA, 1945 May 15, 1945


Box 1 Folder 4 H. C. N. Wemyss to Sir George Rendel, Foreign Office, 1945 May 25, 1945


Box 1 Folder 5 Jackson to Herbert H. Lehman--Present State of European Region Office, 1945 May 25, 1945


Box 1 Folder 6 Memorandum of Treasury Meeting with Jackson Notations, 1945 May 28, 1945


Box 1 Folder 7 Covering Letters for John G. Winant, U.S. Ambassador in London, with W. Mabane, Foreign Office, undated


Box 1 Folder 8 UNRRA Needs--Memo, May 29, 1945


Box 1 Folder 9 Chancellor of Exchequer's Meeting--Memo for British Secretary of State, 1945 May 30, 1945


Box 1 Folder 10 Personnel--Memos, 1945 May 30, 1945


Box 1 Folder 11 Personnel--Memos with Notations, 1945 May 30, 1945


Box 1 Folder 12 Summary Report of Chancellor of Exchequer's Meeting, 1945 June 1, 1945


Box 1 Folder 13 Jackson to Sir James Grigg--Personnel, 1945 June 8, 1945


Box 1 Folder 14 Jackson to Sir Edward Bridges--Personnel, 1945 July 4, 1945


Box 1 Folder 15 Jackson to Sir Edward Jackson--State of UNRRA, 1945 July 13, 1945


Box 1 Folder 16 Jackson Notes and Guide for Sir Humfrey Gale--European Regional Office, 1945 August 31, 1945


Box 1 Folder 17 W. J. Hasler, British Foreign Service and UNRRA--Notes on a Visit to Greece, 1945 October -November, 1945


Box 1 Folder 18 Jackson to Sir Reginald Leeper, British Ambassador in Athens, 1945 November 20, 1945


Box 1 Folder 19 Hasler Memorandum on Ingredients and the Food Rations, 1945 November 24, 1945


Box 1 Folder 20 Hasler Memorandum on Assistance in the Rehabilitation of Greece, 1945 November 25, 1945


Box 1 Folder 21 Jackson "Top Secret and Personal"--Report on Problems of UNRRA as of this Date, with Copy of Lehman Statement on the Urgency of Second 1% Contribution, 1945 November 25, 1945


Box 1 Folder 22 Gale to Jackson, 1945 December 3, 1945


Box 1 Folder 23 Jackson to Gale, 1945 December 11, 1945


Box 1 Folder 24 H.E. Caustin--Note of Meeting between Director-General and Senior Deputy Direction-General, 1945 December 13, 1945


Box 1 Folder 25 Jackson to P.J. Noel-Baker--Expansion of Report, 1945 December 17, 1945


Box 1 Folder 26 Memorandum of Jackson Meeting with Rabbi S. S. Wise and Henry Monsky--General Morgan Case, 1946 January 9, 1946


Box 1 Folder 27 Teletype Hasler to Jackson--Morgan Case, 1946 January 12, 1946


Box 1 Folder 28 Teletype Hasler to Jackson--Re: Morgan Case, 1946 January 17, 1946


Box 1 Folder 29 Jackson to Noel-Baker--Expansion of Report of 1945 December 17-January 22, 1946, 1945, December 17-January 22, 1946


Box 1 Folder 30 Teletype Hasler to Jackson--Morgan Case, 1946 January 23, 1946


Box 1 Folder 31 Jackson Aide--Memo with Notation, 1946 March7, 1946


Box 1 Folder 32 Council Meeting--Excerpts from Transcripts of 8th Meeting of Special Subcommittee on Resolution 71, 1946 March17, 1946


Box 1 Folder 33 Humorous Agenda of a Supposed Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Council, 1946 April 1, 1946


Box 1 Folder 34 Hasler to Jackson--Supplies, 1946 April 6, 1946


Box 1 Folder 35 Jackson to Hasler--Supplies and Administration, 1946 April 7, 1946


Box 1 Folder 36 Jackson to Sir Edward Jackson--State of UNRRA, 1946 April 9, 1946


Box 1 Folder 37 Hasler to Jackson--Supplies, 1946 April 22, 1946


Box 1 Folder 38 Jackson "Targets of Work"--Report for F.H. LaGuardia, 1946 April 26, 1946


Box 1 Folder 39 Jackson to Max Nicholson, Lord President's Office--Middle East, 1946 July 19, 1946


Box 1 Folder 40 Jackson Aide--Memoir of Stalin-LaGuardia Meeting, 1946 August 30, 1946


Box 1 Folder 41 Radio Address by Dean Acheson--Relief Supplies, 1946 December 7, 1946


Box 1 Folder 42 Jackson to A.I. Mikoyan--UNRRA and the Continuation of International Assistance with Draft of Letter, 1946 December 9, 1946


Box 1 Folder 43 "A Modern Ballet about UNRRA"--Humorous Ballet with Chart, 1947 April, 1947


Box 1 Folder 44 "UNRRA's Ghost"--Humorous Poem by Undell M. Lewis, 1947 April 7, 1947


Box 1 Folder 45 Memorandum from Grace R. Fox to Jackson--Including Preliminary Draft of "UNRRA and the Struggle for the Continuation of International Relief," by Thomas J. May cock, 1947 June 26, 1947


Box 1 Folder 46 Address of Minister of Labor Rusinek at the Dedication of the Plaque on the UNRRA Office Building, Warsaw, 1947 June 27, 1947


Box 1 Folder 47 Messages Received by the Director-General on the Closing of UNRRA Missions in Europe from Officials of the Following Countries, 1947 July 15, 1947


Box 1 Folder 48 Memorandum on Conversation between the Director-General, the Senior Deputy Director-General, and the Controller--Future Organization of the Controller's Office, 1947 July 18, 1947


Box 1 Folder 49 Jackson to Director-General--Controller's Department, 1947 July 23, 1947


Box 1 Folder 50 Jackson to Minister of State--Final Report of "Life and Death of the UNRRA,", August 25, 1947


Box 1 Folder 51 Notes on Chief Executive's Office Staff Meeting, 1947 October 3, 1947


Box 1 Folder 52 Draft of Statement for Ending UNRRA with Marginal Notes, 1947


Box 1 Folder 53 R. G. Lewis to Lehman--Appreciation of Mrs. Hutchinson of European Regional Office, 1948 March30, 1948


Box 1 Folder 54 George Woodbridge to Jackson--UNRRA History, 1948 August 9, 1948


Box 1 Folder 55 Jackson to Woodbridge--UNRRA History, 1948 September 22, 1948


Box 1 Folder 56 Jackson to William V. Shannon--UNRRA and Lehman, with Attachments, 1954 August 31, 1954


Box 1 Folder 57 Map of Yellow River and Grand Canal Areas of China, Outlining Supply Depots, Dyke Areas, Grand Canal, Railroads and Truck Routes, undated

Series II: Oral Histories, 1978-1983

Series II contains transcripts of two oral history interviews with Jackson, one from 1978 and one from 1986. He discusses many aspects of his career and work with refugees, including the creation of UNRRA and UNICEF, the Jackson report, and his efforts to provide aid to Kampuchea.



Box 2 Folder 1-4 Robert G.A. Jackson Interview conducted by William B. Liebmann, 1978, (4 folders)



Box 1 Folder 58 Robert G. A. Jackson Interview with Jonathan Power, 1983