500.C115/1417: Telegram

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

76. Your 98, June 23, noon. Please deliver the following message to Mr. Winant:

“I was glad to receive your message and I have discussed it with the President. I wish to assure you categorically that our decision with respect to the proposed transfer of part of the staff of the International Labor Office to the United States was in no sense a reflection upon the Office or upon your administration of it. We feel, however, that the Office is a part of an Organization which by its international character and the nature of its constitution must have an independent and autonomous status which could not be assured to it here without a thorough understanding of the situation by the Congress. I am sure that you will realize that we could not request such agreement at this time.

The transfer of the Office is a matter which is quite independent of the question of our membership. We recognize that recent developments have raised fundamental problems for the Organization and as a member we are prepared, in conjunction with the Department of Labor, to give them our careful consideration. In view of the fact, however, that over half of the members of the Governing Body are nationals of belligerent states or states that are under the domination of Germany, it would seem impossible to attempt any determination of the future role of the Organization at this time.

I know that you will appreciate the urgency and gravity of the issues which now confront us and that you will understand that all other problems must be subordinated to them.”