The Italian Embassy to the Department of State79

The International Organization of Labor, setting to carry out its broad program, has taken into consideration also the problem of emigration. An International Commission was appointed for the study of these questions which were to be submitted to and deliberated upon by the International Conference of Labor; but the Commission was dissolved after a few meetings and the International [Page 116] Organization does not seem disposed to earnestly undertake the study of the emigration problem.

Without casting a reflection upon the efforts of the International Organization of Labor, and without discussing the possibility that it may eventually succeed in promoting an international control of emigration, one must admit that its action in this field will necessarily be very slow.

The emigration and immigration phenomenon affects, it is true, all nations, but it does so in a different degree. For some countries—on account of demographic, geographic and social conditions,—the problem of emigration or immigration has a fundamental importance. Those which are mostly concerned, see clearly the necessity of a common effort which may lead either to direct agreements and to a coordination of action with regard to emigration and immigration.

It is therefore evident that a Conference among the Governments of the nations distinctly interested in either emigration or immigration would be the best means to reach a practical solution of these problems and to bring forth suggestions which may prove most valuable in leading to an efficient international regulation of this complex question.

The emigration and immigration Conference should, however, be strictly technical. The various problems should be examined under their technical aspects in view of elaborating a cooperation of the different countries which would give mutual satisfaction and meet the emigration and immigration needs of all.

Such a Conference which, as said before, should be a technical, not in any way a diplomatic one, should not have for purpose the conclusion of a general convention, but should limit itself to formulate some of the leading principles which may serve later as a basis for general or particular international conventions to be stipulated, or of administrative agreements which the various Governments could enter into for the respective services.

The Conference could, for the sake of order, be carried out by sections as customary in similar international conventions; each section would study certain questions incident to a particular feature of the problems.

For instance there could be the following sections:

Transportation of emigrants;
Hygiene and sanitary services;
Co-operation among emigration and immigration services of the various countries;
Assistance to emigrants at the port of embarkation, of immigrants upon their landing and of the emigrated on the part of private institutions.
Means to adapt immigration to the labor demand (labor information service, employment agencies, colonizations);
Development of cooperation and mutuality among emigrants;
General principles that should govern emigration treaties.

The Governments of the Countries invited to take part to the Conference should have the right to propose, within certain limits of time to be established, the particular questions they wish to have examined.

The Conference in its general assembly would, upon the proposal of a specially appointed Committee, decide which of the questions presented by the various countries should be submitted to the discussion of the various sections.

  1. Notation on margin of original memorandum reads: “Left with the Secretary by the Italian Ambassador April 9, 1923.”