When, after the Second World War, people looked back on the history of the League and tried to form a judgment about it, one conclusion often reached was that its work for the maintenance of peace -- that is, the collective security system -- had failed, but that its contribution to international economic and social co-operation had been outstandingly successful. This success was not visible in any very specific form: men and women the world over were no doubt more comfortably off in 1939 than they were in 1919, but it was difficult to attribute much responsibility for this to the League. However, whereas the League's political history was studded with momentous failures, such as Manchuria and Abyssinia, its record in non-political co-operation was no worse than patchy. One of its major non-political organs, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), survived the war and still flourishes. All the economic and social activities of the League -- from the liberalisation of world trade to the campaign against opium and the prostitution of women and children -- have been taken over by the United Nations and received recognition in the form of a principal organ of the UN, the Economic and Social Council.
Moreover, whereas the idea of the collective enforcement of peace was new in 1919 and it remained to be seen whether or not it would succeed, social and economic co-operation between the different states was an established practice long before the League existed. It was so inherent in the modern world that it would be carried on if and when the League ceased to exist. What the League did was to bring together under one roof 0 or most of the innumerable public and private bodies at work in this field. Article 24 of the Covenant established the League as the universal