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Cmd. 2576). The preparatory work required for the conference had been most efficiently performed by a committee, consisting not of representatives of Governments or organisations, but of persons chosen as experts (see "Miscellaneous No. 2 (1926)," Cmd. 2594, and "Miscellaneous No. 1 (1927)," Cmd. 2799).
93. The report of the conference was divided into three parts: Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, and contained recommendations on liberty of trading, customs tariffs, commercial policy and treaties, indirect means of protecting national trade and national navigation, rationalisation in industry, international industrial agreements, collection of industrial information, agricultural co-operation and agricultural credit.
94. After the rapporteur (German delegate) had read his report to the Council commenting on the work of the conference, the Netherlands delegate stated that his Government would thoroughly study the recommendations of the conference and the necessary measures for their execution. In spite of increasing difficulties, the Netherlands Government had hitherto been continuously inspired by the principles which formed the basis of the recommendations of the conference. The unanimous approval which had been given to these principles justified the hope that the period of theoretical discussion would be followed by a period of practical realisation.
95. In his report to the Council, the German delegate had proposed that the changes which might prove desirable in the Economic Organisation of the League, in view of the results of the conference, should be reserved for examination at the Council's next session. The Italian delegate (Senator Scialoja) observed that this passage in Dr. Stresemann's report appeared to contemplate an economic reorganisation of the League and it therefore puzzled him. Consequently, he wished to draw the attention of the Council to the fact. that the Economic Organisation of the League could not be deprived of its fundamental basis, which consisted in its being a group of representatives of Governments to which the representatives of the most important economic organisations of the world might be attached.
96. The Belgian delegate (M. Vandervelde) informed the Council that his Government had laid before their Parliament the resolutions adopted by the conference and had declared that they fully adhered thereto and would do all in their power to ensure that the recommendations of the conference were embodied in the legislation of all countries.
97. The Czechoslovak delegate (M. Benes) stated that his Government gave, in principle, their complete adherence to the resolutions adopted by the conference and intended to develop their policy in conformity with the principles embodied therein.
The German delegate (Dr. Stresemann) informed the Council that his Government had just taken the following decision:
"The Government of the Reich approves the general report of the World Economic Conference, and concurs in its conclusions.
"It is ready to co-operate energetically in giving effect to the recommendations and suggestions of the World Economic Conference.
"The Government of the Reich considers that the guiding principles for customs and commercial policy enunciated by the Economic Conference provide a practical means of ensuring greater freedom in international, and more especially European, economic relations; and it agrees with the conference that this is one of the essential conditions of the economic restoration of Europe, the progress of civilisation and the maintenance of peace.
It therefore considers it highly desirable that the work required of the League of Nations to give effect to the conference resolutions should at once be taken in hand and carried through."
99. In his report to the Council the German delegate had proposed that the Council should invite all countries and Governments to give their close attention to the principles and recommendations contained in the report of the conference and the active support necessary to facilitate their adoption and application. In referring to this proposal in Dr. Stresemann's report, the British delegate said that his Government had been favourably impressed by a first but rather hasty study of the conclusions of the conference, and he thought he could say that probably they were in agreement with by far the greater number of them, if not with all. However, the work of the conference and its report had covered an immense ground, and the report embodied a very large number of recommendations. Some of these recommendations were of a general character and of great importance; others dealt with matters of comparative detail but requiring, in the opinion of his Government at least, careful study before it would be safe for a country which did not wish to pledge its word and afterwards to qualify it to give an unqualified assent to everything which a further examination might show to be embodied in the report. Sir Austen Chamberlain did not think that the proposal in question contained in Dr. Stresemann's report could be accepted by any member of the Council who was not already authorised to pledge his Government to accept without qualification every recommendation great or small, whatever its character might be, which was to be found in any part of the report. This seemed to him to be going too far at a very early stage and, at any rate, it was further than he was entitled to pledge his Government. He therefore asked Dr. Stresemann whether he would not be prepared to amend this proposal to the effect that the Council commended the valuable report of the Economic Conference, and the important recommendations contained therein, to the favourable consideration of all Governments. Sir Austen Chamberlain added that he did not wish to detract in any way from the tributes paid to the work of the conference or to diminish the hopes which had been expressed as to the fruitful results to be derived therefrom, yet he thought that
his text perhaps expressed more exactly what each member of the Council really meant to say.
100. The rapporteur agreed to the amendment suggested by the British delegate and concurred in the observations made by the Italian representative that all the organs and committees to be instituted by the League to carry out the recommendations of the conference must be composed both of representatives of Governments and of private organisations. The Roumanian, Japanese, Polish, Chilean and French delegates also spoke expressing their gratification at the results of the conference, and, on the proposal of the rapporteur, the Council adopted the following resolution :
"The Council takes note of the Report of the World Economic Conference;
"(1.) Tenders its most cordial thanks to the president, M. Theunis, to all members and experts present at the conference, as well as to all organisations and individuals who have assisted in its preparation;
"(2.) Considers that the conference has fully carried out its task of setting forth the principles and recommendations best fitted to contribute to an improvement of the economic situation of the world and in particular to that of Europe, thus contributing at the same time to the strengthening of peaceful relations among nations;
(3.) Commends this valuable report and these important recommendations to the favourable consideration of all Governments;
"(4.) Reserves for examination at its next session the changes that might prove desirable in the economic organisation of the League of Nations in view of the results of the conference, and invites the Economic Committee in the meantime to meet in extraordinary session in order to begin at an early date a preparatory study of the resolutions of the Economic Conference as regards customs tariffs, and more particularly as regards the unification of tariff nomenclature."
IX.-CONDITIONS OF WORK IN THE SECRETARIAT OF THE LEAGUE. 101. At a previous session the Council had, on the suggestion of the British delegate, requested the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the conditions of work in the Secretariat. The SecretaryGeneral now submitted this report to the Council and stated that he wished to emphasise the fact that the administrative and secretarial work falling on the Secretariat had increased in a far greater proportion than the staff itself. The Secretariat had been able to cope with the work as the result of the increased experience which had been acquired, but a limit would be reached and Sir Eric Drummond said that he would be grateful if the Council would forward his report to the Assembly so that the delegations would have full knowledge of the work done by the Secretariat as he felt
bound to ask for a slight increase in staff in order to cope with the increase of work. While in 1926 the number of meetings had been far greater than for any other year, in 1927 that number would be far surpassed.
102. On the proposal of the British delegate, the Council decided that the Secretary-General's report, together with the observations which he had just made, should be communicated to the members of the Assembly.
London, July 25, 1927.
Miscellaneous No. 4 (1927)
League of Nations
Preparatory Committee for the Disarmament Conference
Geneva, March 21 to April 26, 1927
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