22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 2

Reorganisation at Geneva

Much too little attention has been paid to the approval by the Assembly of the League of Nations at its meeting last week of what is known as the Bruce Report, on the reorganisation and expansion of the League's work in the fields of economic, finance, health and social services. It has to be recognised that in existing circumstances the League's political activities must be severely curtailed, though their value even today is clearly shown by the handling of the Finnish appeal. But the technical work in which the League has always been notably successful in the past can and must go on. Its role in the era of post-war recon- struction may be of supreme importance. With that in view the committee presided over by Mr. S. M. Bruce has pro- posed, and the Council and Assembly have with marked cordiality approved, the creation of a new semi-autonomous organisation, with much the same status as the International Labour Office, called at present rather vaguely the Central Committee, determining its own procedure and framing its own budget for submission to the Assembly, to supervise the work of the Financial, Economic, Health and other technical committees. Of considerable significance is the provision by which States not members of the League may (as in the case of the I.L.O., of which the United States is a member) join the Central Committee without associating themselves in any way with the political activities of the League. That may ultimately have important results.