In the field of statistics, formal international meetings have been held at frequent intervals over a longer period than in the case of any other subject of international co- operation. In 1853 the first statistical congress was held in Brussels, and by 1876 eight other similar meetings had been arranged. While these statistical congresses generally met on the invitation of the government of the country in which the meeting was held, they had no power to bind the governments represented.
In 1885, on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Statistical Society of London, there was organized the Institut international de statistique. This organization had no organic relation to any government, although most of its members were officers in the statistical administrations of various countries. It met regularly every two years up to the outbreak of the war. Its by-laws provided for the publication of a quarterly bulletin, an international statistical annual, special works on international statistics, and the proceedings of the sessions.1
Prior to the establishment of the Permanent Office in 1913, the lack of a permanent staff and of funds prevented the consummation of the publication program outlined in the by-laws. The bulletin was the only publication issued; it apparently did not appear quarterly, and by 1913 it had become a biennial publication containing the proceedings of meetings and the text of papers presented.____________________