Merchants of Peace: Twenty Years of Business Diplomacy through the International Chamber of Commerce, 1919-1938

Merchants of Peace: Twenty Years of Business Diplomacy through the International Chamber of Commerce, 1919-1938

Merchants of Peace: Twenty Years of Business Diplomacy through the International Chamber of Commerce, 1919-1938

Merchants of Peace: Twenty Years of Business Diplomacy through the International Chamber of Commerce, 1919-1938

Excerpt

International economic relations have assumed a new and puzzling complexity in the postwar period. Any attempt to describe them or even any part of them calls for an examination of a maze of influences, all of which have affected the formation of policy. With this in mind, in telling the story of the efforts of the International Chamber of Commerce to remove the barriers to international trade and lessen the impediments to national understanding, I have sought to describe organized business opinion as a part of a larger whole. The story touches themes of varied national interests in which politics is bound to enter, and deals with technical problems of experimentation in ways and means to the desired end. And yet, in the description of world reconstruction and technical coöperation, I have of necessity focused attention upon the discussions of business men and upon the evolution of the conception of international economic coöperation in business minds. I regret that the limitations of space have made it necessary to neglect many of the technical activities of the International Chamber of Commerce. In the section on the "Diplomacy of Technics" I have, however, endeavored to present a cross section of the great volume of technical work carried on through the International Chamber of Commerce.

The source material, in addition to League of Nations documents and publications of the International Chamber of Commerce, consists in large part of unpublished documents and private papers made available through the courtesy of those who have had them at first hand. I have also had access to minutes of the Economic Committee of the League of Nations and to certain material at the Bank for International Settlements which has proved a useful commentary on the main theme of research. Among the general works on postwar political and economic history which I consulted I wish especially to mention the Survey of International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs) and that most useful and comprehensive volume on postwar inter-

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