500.C115/1417: Telegram

The Consul General at Geneva (Tittmann) to the Secretary of State

98. The following personal message for the Secretary from Winant:

“I was given your message and understand difficulties but I want you to understand the situation here as I see it. The International Labor Organization is an agency of democracy. The United States is its most powerful member and both the chairman of the governing body and the director are citizens of the United States. Since I [Page 319]accepted office the organization has not only supported the democratic principles upon which it was founded but without deviation has also supported the international policies you have advocated. Progress has not been easy in the present world. The totalitarian states withdrew from the Organization and the personnel from these countries is no longer on the office staff. The International Labor Organization was created in response to the demands of labor to further social justice at the end of the last war. This humanitarian effort was only possible because of the sacrifices for democracy then made. The present administration accepted membership for the United States. Three-fourths of the governments of the world are still members. I ask for your help and that of the United States in continuing the Organization and conserving the specialized personnel who have been devotedly loyal to the principles and practices of democracy and who are authorities in national and international social legislation and procedure. The over-all number for carrying on work elsewhere could be reduced to some 60 persons, excluding citizens of the Americas. You will recognize that practical continuance here is impossible. There is real work to do and an increasing obligation to do it. I believe it can be best accomplished in North America. I would appreciate your discussing this message with the President, as I accepted office here under your joint approval. John G. Winant.”

Tittmann