Biography and History

William Wirt Lockwood was considered a leading authority in the field of Far Eastern affairs. He was born in Shanghai on February 24, 1906, where his father served as General Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in 1927, received his doctorate from Harvard and went on to teach at Bowdoin College from 1929 to 1930. In the late 1930s, he was a lecturer in economics at the University of Michigan's summer sessions.

From 1935 until 1940, Lockwood was the Research Secretary of the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations, and between 1941 and 1943 he served as Executive Secretary. The Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) was founded in Honolulu in 1925 at a conference of religious leaders, scholars and businessmen from various countries of the Pacific area. The organization grew out of the need for greater knowledge and candid discussion of the problems of Asia and East-West relations. The IPR consisted of national councils in ten countries, with each council being autonomous and responsible for its own work. Together the councils cooperated in programs of research, publication and conferences. The IPR's research program received generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, enabling the institute to disseminate information about Asia in the United States and in other countries.

Lockwood was involved in a number of government investigations during his tenure with the IPR. From 1937 until 1943 he served on the editorial board of Amerasia, a foreign relations magazine that grew out of the initial IPR conference. Although not an official IPR publication, Amerasia shared office space with the IPR, and many of its editors and contributors were IPR members. In 1945, six people, including Philip Jaffe, Amerasia's editor at the time, were arrested on charges of theft of government documents. Lockwood was questioned about his role at Amerasia, although he had resigned from the board when the magazine changed its focus from foreign relations to what Lockwood called a “different” slant. In 1951, Senator Joseph McCarthy resurrected the case when Senator Pat McCarran seized IPR files stored in a barn in Massachusetts. Included in the files was a letter Lockwood wrote in 1942, while Executive Secretary of the IPR. In the letter, Lockwood stated that Alger Hiss, an IPR board member, recommended Adlai Stevenson as a delegate to the IPR's Mont Tremblant Conference. McCarthy claimed that this letter implicated Stevenson with Hiss. In March of 1952, William Lockwood testified before McCarran's Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security in defense of the IPR.

As a result of the Senate charges that the IPR was a Communist front organization attempting to influence government policy, tax commissioner T. Coleman Andrews revoked the IPR's tax-exempt status in 1955. The IPR took the case to court in 1959, claiming that the security of all educational, religious and charitable organizations needed to be maintained, and in 1960 the court ruled in its favor and reinstated the tax-exempt status. Throughout the investigations, the IPR maintained that its purpose was to serve as an educational organization, engaged in scholarship and publishing in regard to the Far East, and in no way was it attempting to influence government policy. Although the IPR admitted that certain members of the organization may have been Communists, the organization itself did not condone Communism. Although vindicated in the tax case, the IPR was scarred by McCarthy's and McCarran's relentless accusations and investigations. As a result, its membership dwindled and its contributors and sponsors fled.

From 1943 until 1945, Lockwood served as an officer with the U.S. Army. He was in charge of research and analysis for the Office of Strategic Services unit attached to General Claire L. Chennault's 14th Air Force in Kunming, China, and eventually achieved the rank of major. After World War II, Lockwood spent a year in Washington with the State Department as the assistant chief of the Division of Japanese and Korean Economic Affairs. In 1946 he came to Princeton as the assistant director of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Promoted to Associate Professor in 1949 and full Professor in 1955, Lockwood focused on the political and economic development of Asia. Lockwood's courses included “Modern Asia: Political and Social Change” and a graduate seminar on “Political Development and U.S. Foreign Aid in Asia.” He retired in 1971 after 25 years as a member of the Princeton faculty.

William Lockwood was a frequent contributor to scholarly journals, and author of a number of studies and reports on economic and political developments in the Far East. For ten years he was the Director of the Japan Society, and was also the Director of the Association for Asian Studies, serving as President during 1963-64. In the 1960s he served briefly as Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Princeton University Press and was Vice-President of Princeton-in-Asia, Inc. In 1953 he toured Asia as a consultant for the Ford Foundation and again in 1956-57 and 1962 on Ford and Fulbright research appointments. Named a McCosh Faculty Fellow in 1965, he returned to Japan once more to continue his studies of Asian politics and economic development. At the time of his death in December,1978, he was at work on a book about the development of democracy in Asia.

Source: From the finding aid for MC086