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A REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES SECTION OF THE
INTERNATIONAL HIGH COMMISSION ON THE FIRST
GENERAL MEETING OF THE COMMISSION, HELD AT

BUENOS AIRES, APRIL 3-12, 1916

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DECEMBER 20, 1916.-Referred to the Committee on Printing

and ordered to be printed

WASHINGTON GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

1916

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.

To the SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES :

I transmit herewith, for the information of the Congress, the report of the United States section of the International High Commission on the first general meeting of the commission held at Buenos Aires, April 3–12, 1916.

WOODROW WILSON. THE WHITE HOUSE,

December 20, 1916. 2

FEB 2 6 1917

CONTENTS.

Page.

5

APPENDICES.

REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES SECTION OF THE INTERNA

TIONAL HIGH COMMISSION TO THE PRESIDENT.

Sir: By the First Pan American Financial Conference, which was held at Washington in May, 1915, with a view to bring about closer financial and commercial relations between the American Republics and to that end to foster uniformity of law and procedure in such matters, it was recommended that, in order to carry out these great objects, there should be created an International High Commission, a section of which should be established in each country, This recommendation was promptly carried into effect in the coun. tries concerned; and by the act of Congress of February 7, 1915, the United States section was endowed with a legal status. Each section consists of nine members, and is composed of jurists, financiers, and technical administrators.

During the past quarter of a century a great good has been accomplished by means of conferences between the independent countries of America, such as the four international American conferences (Washington, 1889–90; Mexico, 1901–2; Rio de Janeiro, 1906; Buenos Aires, 1910), the Conference on the Coffee Trade (New York, 1902), the Customs Congress (New York, 1903), and the series of sanitary conferences, the fifth of which was held in Washington in 1905. But in spite of all that had been attained there was a general sense of the need of direct, continuous, sustained effort to improve the financial and economic relations between the Americas and to remove the obstacles which existed to their satisfactory development. To meet this want is the prime object of the International High Commission and its respective national sections.

Students of the history of international cooperation agree that there are three fundamental factors in a successful international union—(1) periodical conferences, (2) an international organ or bureau, (3) an effective means of carrying out the measures adopted. In the relations of the American Republics during the last 25 years the first two elements have not been lacking. The American Governments have repeatedly manifested their willingness to enter into the discussion of their common problems; and in the Pan American Union they have an organ which has, under the wise guidance of the diplomatic representatives of the American Republics at Washington, contributed and will continue richly to contribute to the harmony and prosperity of the American nations.

What has been wanting is a persistent and organized effort to carry out the recommendations of the conferences. In contrast with the readiness to sign conventions on technical matters there has been 1 Proceedings, Washington, 1915.

% See Appendix A.

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