International Organizations in Which the United States Participates

By Laurence F. Schmeckebier | Go to book overview

THE INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION1

While the International Labor Organization was created by the Treaty of Versailles, it is to a certain extent the successor of the International Association for Labor Legislation founded at Paris in 1900. That Association organized an International Labor Office which had its headquarters at Basel, and which was supported in part by the United States.2 The International Office at Basel was discontinued after the creation of the International Labor Organization and its archives and library were turned over to the new unit.

At the first plenary session of the Peace Conference of 1919, provision was made for a Commission on International Labor Legislation to make recommendations relating to the labor provisions of the treaty. The work of this Commission resulted in Part XIII (Articles 387- 427) of the Treaty of Versailles, the preamble of that portion of the treaty reading as follows:

Whereas the League of Nations has for its object the establishment of universal peace, and such a peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice;

And whereas conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgent-

____________________
1
This chapter is to a great extent condensed from the several articles on the International Labor Organization in Vol. 166 of The Animals, March 1933. After this chapter was prepared there was published The Origins of the International Labor Organization, edited by James T. Shotwell , 2 vols. Vol. 1 of that work contains a history by several collaborators; Vol. 2 contains the documents.
2
Contributions by the United States were $200 a year from 1903 to 1909, and $ 1,000 a year from 1910 to 1920.

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