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NTU Digital Taiwan-Related Arhives Project

During the earlier time Taiwan received US foreign aid, Taiwan needed to increase its foodstuff productivity-- not only to feed its own people but also to process food for export. During his study at university, de Beausset had majored in chemistry which enabled him to get the opportunity to have his first job as a planner for a fertilizer factory in India. After being hired by J.G. White Engineering Corporation and coming to Taiwan, he exerted considerable effort in projects that were related with construction of chemicals plants. Some of the most significant projects among those were the establishment of fertilizer manufacturing plants deeply needed by the agricultural industries. At the time, planning for fertilizer plants was made for Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Taiwan. De Beausset placed great emphasis on the development of Taiwan’s agricultural productivity. He believed that when assisting developing countries, the first consideration was feeding the people. To achieve this aim, the first thing was to improve agricultural productivity (Video). During an interview, he directly pointed out that when people were free from starvation, there would be no opening for communism to seep into (Video). His comment of such showed his intent to protect Taiwan as a democratic society.

During his initial period as planning manager at J. G. White, in 1951 de Beausset put forward his first 4-year plan for Taiwan’s economic development, “Industrial Development of Taiwan (Formosa) FY1952-FY1955”. It was a report of the past and future direction of development of Taiwan’s industries. This document presented concrete plans for and strategies of various industrial developments and construction works for the island of Taiwan. The major content of this document include details on the major single industries, their production figures, value of past and present investments, and future plans for each industry. De Beausset left Taiwan in Aug. 1957. During that year, de Beausset wrote a paper entitled “Chemicals in the Industrial Development of Taiwan” that described how Taiwan went from being an undeveloped country, to develop its chemicals industry and achieve fast economic growth through the use of US aid. De Beausset’s paper provides us with an understanding of de Beausset’s concepts used in the plans for US aid in Taiwan, and provides a comparison to “Industrial Development of Taiwan (Formosa) FY1952-FY1955” for the study of the initial plan and learning about to what extent have the initial chemical industry plans been implemented.


De Beausset spent his life participating in the planning and guidance of the construction of infrastructure in developing countries but did not take the time to write down and formally publish his concepts regarding his assistance to developing countries. The paper “Chemicals in the Industrial Development of Taiwan” is a very important piece of work from de Beausset. The National Taiwan University Library’s “de Beausset Collections” possesses an original handwritten copy of this work.

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