20 AUGUST 1948, Page 5

A SPECTATOR 'S NOTEBOOK N EWS of an international organisation in

which Russia is co- operating with some cordiality is particularly welcome. And that is happening, I am told, in the case of the World Health Organisation —a subsidiary of the United Nations—which after a quite successful provisional existence becomes a duly constituted body, with head- quarters in the Palais des Nations at Geneva, on Sept. 1st. Every European State is included, among them Portugal and Switzer- land, which are not members of U.N.O., with the single excep- tion of Spain ; that country for political reasons is shut out of an organisation in which universality is an essential condition of full success. Russia, I gather, is displaying special interest in an exchange of medical literature, with some hope of an exchange of personnel to follow, and in research into maternity and child welfare and the treatment of venereal disease, two of the subjects on which the W.H.O. is primarily concentrating. While the United Nations is encountering heavy weather in many fields it is of singularly good omen that bodies like the World Health Organisa- tion and the Food and Agricultural Organisation are demonstrating the possibility of effective co-operation in practical matters. Progress registered here may in time clear other obstacles away.

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