No. 76 NAI DFA 126/37
Geneva, 24 August 1937
Many thanks for the information contained in your semi-official note of the 19th August1. Glad to hear that the possibilities are good, although the probabilities may eventually fall short of them.
As regards a Chairmanship, or one of the other seats on the General Committee, it will as I indicated be difficult to get any idea about this until the Assembly actually meets, as the whole procedure is altered by the new Nominations Committee, which will be appointed only when the delegates are here. The difficulty is naturally increased by the uncertainty whether the Minister will attend or not. There is in fact no one here who would venture to commit himself in regard to any of the posts falling to be filled by the Nominations Committee. If the President were actually on the spot, or notified as coming, I would hope that something could be done when the nominations are being considered, but otherwise, as you will understand, it would be very difficult to get anything on which you could place any reliance. I will however keep the matter in mind. The Aga Khan has already long since been notified in the Press as heading the Indian Delegation, and he is probably in a position to prepare the ground with some individual Governments. So far here I have heard of no other candidate for the Presidency. The most interesting chairmanship for the President would be that of the Sixth Committee, but he had that only two years ago.
As regards the notes, I feel satisfied that it would be a great mistake from your own point of view to rely on notes supplied to you for a knowledge of the subjects on the agenda. It is the knowledge acquired from the reading, out of which the notes are prepared, which counts, not the notes themselves, which would naturally be somewhat superficial. Especially if the Minister is on the Delegation a detailed knowledge of each subject by the person or persons who will be always at his hand is essential. I found this, and so did Fred Boland, and I am certain that you will find it too. I can fill in all the local stuff as usual, but, especially if the Minister is there, you would be lost without a detailed knowledge of each question. What, for example, could Mr. Warnock know about the agenda unless he went into the questions himself and prepared his memoranda? I'm sorry of course about the leave difficulty, but after all the memoranda could be started in May or June, when the Agenda is circulated, and done gradually. Moreover, in regard to the bigger political questions you would have access to supplementary information which would not be so easily available here. We can talk about the matter when you come out.
I am delighted to hear that John also will be coming. I hope you are hurrying up that memorandum!
I am looking forward to seeing you.
[signed] F.T. CREMINS
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