D O C U M E N T 9 A P R I L 1 9 2 3 1 3
your letter of 30 May, you felt unfortunately compelled to decline this honor; you
affirmed besides that your full sympathy with the efforts pursued by the League of
Nations toward improving international relations remained intact.
This letter, so inexplicit, greatly concerned us in Geneva. Because mutual
friends of ours had given me occasion to make your acquaintance, the secretary
approved that I travel to Berlin to visit you there. In that city we had, on
27 and 28 July, two discussions, the recollection of which has remained unforget-
table to me.
I informed you then that your sudden and unmotivated resignation could cause
serious prejudice against the Committee on Intellectual Cooperation because the
public might misinterpret your sudden decision to withdraw your collaboration
With great sincerity and in every confidence you let me know at that time the
particularly grave reasons that led you to contemplate your resignation.
I was very shaken by them. We were completely unaware of these circumstanc-
es. I declared to you that the problems of your personal situation in Germany ap-
peared so considerable that the Council members of the League of Nations would,
in my opinion, certainly not have dared to nominate you, if they could have sus-
pected that this designation could make your situation in Berlin even more perilous.
At that moment, we examined together, in complete good faith, whether under
these conditions—new to me—it would be proper to uphold your resignation. Al-
though I wanted to assure your collaboration on the Committee on Intellectual Co-
operation, I believe I did not excessively insist then at all to urge you to return to
us. I understood too well that the Committee could not assume lightly the respon-
sibility of disrupting the work of a man like you, by causing him serious personal
All the same, before my departure from Berlin and with a vigor that I sincerely
admired, you announced to me that you would abandon all plans to resign. The
work of the League of Nations, you then told me, was too close to your heart, that
you were ready to accept certain risks for it rather than to compromise the Com-
mittee’s mission by an unexplained resignation. At a certain moment of our inter-
view, I recall that in this regard you made allusion to the eventuality of a change of
your place of residence, upon your return from Japan, to assure your peace and se-
curity at work.
Following these conversations, you wrote, once again, on 29 July to the secretary
Your preparations for departure to Japan were impeding you from at-
tending the first meeting of the Committee for Intellectual Cooperation. You de-
clared that upon your return your collaboration would be all the more zealous than