The Secretary of State to the Secretary General of the League of Nations ( Avenol )3

The Secretary of State of the United States of America refers to a communication from the Secretary General of the League of Nations, dated October 17, 1938, informing the United States Government of the adoption by the Assembly of the League of Nations on September 30, 1938, of a resolution concerning collaboration between the League and non-Member States.

By that resolution the Assembly,

[Here follows the text of the resolution, with omission of the first paragraph, quoted in the letter of the Secretary General, supra.]

The United States Government notes with interest the Assembly’s reaffirmation of the policy of the League to invite the collaboration of non-Member States in its technical and non-political activities. It shares the Assembly’s satisfaction that such collaboration has steadily increased and the Assembly’s belief that it is in the universal interest that such collaboration be continued and further developed.

The growing complexity of the modern world has for many years made increasingly clear the need for intelligent co-ordination of various activities, and the pooling of information and experience in many fields. The International Postal Union, the International Institute of Agriculture, the International Office of Public Health, and other international organizations, were created to meet this need in specific fields before the creation of the League and continue to carry out their tasks. The League, however, has been responsible for the development of mutual exchange and discussion of ideas and methods to a greater extent and in more fields of humanitarian and scientific endeavor than any other organization in history. The United States Government is keenly aware of the value of this type of general interchange and desires to see it extended.

Encouraging as has been the progress already made, much remains to be done for the promotion of human welfare in health, social, economic and financial fields. This Government regards each sound step forward in these fields as a step toward the establishment of that national and international order which it believes is essential to real peace.

The United States Government looks forward to the development and expansion of the League’s machinery for dealing with the problems in those fields and to the participation by all nations in active [Page 54] efforts to solve them. It would not be appropriate for it to make specific suggestions for the development of the League’s activities, but it will follow with interest the League’s efforts to meet more adequately problems relating to the health, humanitarian, and economic phases of human activities. It will continue to collaborate in those activities and will consider in a sympathetic spirit means of making its collaboration more effective.

  1. Sent to the Minister in Switzerland for transmission to the Secretary General in the Department’s instruction No. 607, February 2, 1939.