During the last half of the nineteenth century several international conferences on public health were held at various times and places. Some of these conferences resulted merely in an interchange of views, but at others there were formulated international conventions which were ratified by the governments represented. By 1903 several such conventions were in force, and the Italian government proposed a new conference for the purpose of bringing all the conventions into a single text.1
This conference of 1903 resulted in an International Sanitary Convention (35 Stat. L. 1770), in which (Article 181) it was provided that the French government should, when it judged it opportune, submit proposals for an international health office to the signatory governments. As a result the International Office of Public Health was created by an arrangement signed at Rome on December 9, 1907 (35 Stat. L. 2061).
The organic by-laws which were annexed to the arrangement provide that the main object of the Office "is to collect and bring to the knowledge of the participating states facts and documents of a general character concerning public health and especially regarding infectious diseases, notably the cholera, plague and yellow fever, as well as the measures taken to check these diseases." The by-laws particularly provide that the Office "can not in any way meddle in the administration of the several states."____________________