The League of Nations Health Organisation 1921-1946
I. The Rise
Phase 1: Planning Article 24 of the League of Nations Covenant stipulated that there should “be placed under the direction of the League the international bureaux already estab lished by general treaties if the parties to such treaties consent.”1 The legally most plausible strategy to organize international health work would have been to incor porate the OIHP into Leagues structures and, in accordance with article 25, to co operate with Red Cross agencies for further health work. But nothing specified how such an arrangement should come about, and chances were that nothing at all would happen until some party was sufficiently interested to take the initiative. This party turned out to be the British government. In June 1919, British delegates achieved the informal but unanimous OIHP approval for their suggestion to place the OIHP “under the direction of the League of Nations in accordance with Article XXIV of the Covenant.”2 During the following months, British officials systemati cally worked towards that goal. One person, in particular, seized the opportunity of being at the right place at the right time. Dr. Edward John Steegmann, born 1867, had graduated in medicine and surgery and had acted as port medical officer of health at Newcastle and as house surgeon in several hospitals. Following his keen interest in public health he taught hygiene and served as secretary to the Royal Commission on Human and Animal Tuberculosis. For ten years, this Commission conducted large-scale government- supported investigations. Much to Steegmann’s disappointment, its work...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.