Scope and Content Note

The William E. Simon Papers (1972-1977) document Simon's public service as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Administrator of the Federal Energy Office, and Secretary of the Treasury. As such they contain a wealth of information about the development and pursuit of national economic and energy policies during the period covered. The papers (136 cubic feet--55 file drawers, 13 shelves) are organized into ten series: general correspondence, internal memoranda, subject files, briefing books, speeches and writings, audio-visual materials, photographs, scrapbooks and clippings, memorabilia, and miscellaneous materials. (Detailed descriptions of each of these series are included in this guide.)

Series I and II, the general correspondence and internal memoranda series, reveal the wide range of Simon's responsibilities at the Treasury Department and the Federal Energy Office. Series I contains a complete set of Simon's outgoing letters. These letters relate to all aspects of Treasury business and to the energy crisis of 1973-1974. The internal memoranda in Series II document the concerns of senior Treasury Department officials in their specific areas of responsibility.

The details of Simon's involvement with energy and the economy are brought out most clearly in Series III. These are the subject files and they constitute the largest series in the collection. The energy crisis is the primary focus of the Deputy Secretary subseries of the subject files. Here are located extensive files on the Oil Policy Committee and the Federal Energy Office. These files reveal the importance of oil in the making and breaking of the crisis. The files in the Secretary subseries document yet another crisis--the recession of 1974. Simon's role in dealing with the inflation and high unemployment of this period is well covered, especially in the voluminous files of the Economic Policy Board. Other matters relating to the domestic economy are covered as well, among them the New York City fiscal crisis of 1975 and the major tax reform efforts of 1975-1976. This subseries also reveals Simon's activities on behalf of international economic affairs, including trade negotiations, visits to foreign countries, and involvement with international financial institutions. Other files show his continued interest in energy policy.

Series IV-X document Simon's innumerable public appearances from a variety of perspectives. Series IV (briefing books) contains the materials that were compiled for him for appearances before congressional committees, special meetings, travels abroad, press conferences, and 1976 campaign appearances. Series V (speeches and writings) provides the texts of Simon's congressional testimonies, speeches, and interviews. Also in Series V are Simon's writings, including nearly one thousand pages of transcripts of interviews conducted in 1976 in preparation for his book A Time for Truth. These pages contain Simon's very candid reminiscences on the energy crisis, Watergate, and other events of his days in Washington. Series VI (audio-visual materials) includes the tape recordings of these interviews as well as of a variety of other Simon interviews, television appearances, and press conferences. Photographs (Series VII), scrapbooks and clippings (Series VIII), and memorabilia (Series IX) provide a visible and tangible record of Simon's travels, ceremonial duties, and awards and honors. Series X (miscellaneous materials), with its files of invitations and autograph requests, also documents aspects of his ceremonial activities.

Lafayette College holds additional papers of William E. Simon. A few materials predate the papers described in this guide. Most, however, date from February 1977. These materials are also open to researchers. Information about them is available upon request.

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August 1995