512.4 A 1a/222½

The French Chargé ( De Laboulaye ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: By a note dated May 12, 1921, Your Excellency was pleased to inform the Embassy that propositions from the Assembly of the League of Nations looking to the placing of the International Office of Public Hygiene under that institution were not acceptable either to the President or the Senate of the United States.

As a result of the action of several Governments which belong to the Office in objecting to the proposition of the League of Nations and for the purpose of lessening the objections that are found to the co-existence of two international agencies handling hygiene questions, namely, the International Office of Public Hygiene and the Permanent Committee of Hygiene of the League of Nations, a mixed commission met in Paris to consider the organization of a collaboration between the sanitary services of the League of Nations and the International Office.

As Your Excellency will see from a perusal of the draft, of which a copy is enclosed in this note,78 the solution considered in this respect by the mixed commission would entirely safeguard the independence and autonomy of the Office, which would only take with the League of Nations, if the last named institution should see fit, the part of a general advising board of hygiene.

Under the circumstances the Government of the Republic fails, in so far as it is concerned, to see any objection to the Office being allowed to perform those duties which as it seems could only increase the prestige enjoyed by that international agency throughout the world. Furthermore, there seems to be no doubt that the Governments represented in the Office will share that view. I am, therefore, instructed by my Government to ask Your Excellency kindly to let me know in an answer to this note, whether the Government of the United States will agree to let the International Office of Public Hygiene discharge the duties described in the enclosed draft which will in all likelihood be assigned to it by the League of Nations and if so, kindly instruct accordingly its representative at the International Office of Public Hygiene, so that the American delegate may know what are the intentions of the Federal Government when the next October session opens.

Be pleased [etc.]

André de Laboulaye
  1. Enclosure not printed; it is summarized in letter to President Coolidge, infra.