Statesmen, Politicians, Journalists and Students Flock to Geneva for Assembly and Study

Excerpts are printed below from an article written for the New Student by Corliss Lamont '24, who is now studying at New College, Oxford.

"'At Geneva,' writes a French author, one can, in less than two hours and at relatively slight expense, accomplish the tour of the world.' For this it is only necessary to be present at a session of the Assembly of Nations.' To anyone who has not been at Geneva during the last few years such a statement seems a gross exaggeration. It is none the less true. For Geneva is not what it was before the War. It is a great deal more. Prior to 1920 Geneva and vicinity were favorite haunts of American travellers. The beautiful lake, the clear, crisp air, the surrounding hills, Mont Blanc in the pink glow of sunset, and certain historical connections,--all these conspired to bring pilgrims to Geneva in the past. All these attributes are still there. But something has been added: The League of Nations has taken up its abode in this famous city.

Most Important Spot in World

"We cannot stop to consider all the consequences of this momentous fact, to examine the average increase in income of the Geneva tradesmen since the League came to town, or to note in what proportions the tourist trade at nearby Chamonix has swelled. What we do know is that Geneva, for at least one month in the year, presumably September, has become the most important spot in the world, or at any rate important enough to warrant the strict attention of all civilized mankind, including both supporters and opponents of the League. To this ancient town every fall flock from all parts of the the globe statesmen, politicians who are not statesmen, journalists, authors, students, and sight-seers. As a spectacle alone this varied gathering is well worth looking at. But for anyone who is something more than a gaping tourist Geneva in September is far more than just another great sight. It offers a broad and fascinating experience to all who possess any interest in international affairs, be their special field politics, economics, medicine, education, manners and customs, or what-not. It offers opportunity as well as experience. And no group which comes to Geneva has as fine a chance for development along these many different lines as that composing the students of college age from near and far.

"First of all, there is the League itself. The Assembly, in which our French friend makes the tour of the world within twice sixty minutes (in comparison with the famous sixty days of Jules Verne), is exceptionally interesting, but after all it is only a small part of the League. Heavier work is done in the Council meetings, and the heaviest work of all in the sessions of the special committees. In addition the student of the League will find much to keep him occupied in investigating the activities of the Secretariat, in nosing about its immense library on international affairs, and in acquainting himself with the world-wide exertions of the International Labour Bureau.


"It remains now to tell of the relations of the students who come to Geneva among themselves, of how young men and women from many lands meet and mingle in friendship and mutual understanding. Surely the value of such contacts, both in broadening the outlook of the students themselves and in establishing the foundations of future international peace need not be argued here."