Research Guides

League of Nations: Disarmament

Materials from the League of Nations Archives on Disarmament.

Propaganda Before the Conference

Private Papers of Thanassis Aghnides: Notes, Confidential Letters and Records of Conversations

Thanassis Aghnides (1889-1984) began working in the Disarmament Section in the first years of its establishment (1919-1923), becoming Director of the Disarmament Section in 1930. In 1932-1933 he assumed the role of Secretary of the Disarmament Conference. The selection of scans below contains some of his notes, confidential letters and records of conversations, January 1932 to April 1935.

Opening Speech by Arthur Henderson, President of the Disarmament Conference

"The world wants disarmament. The world needs disarmament. We have it in our power to help fashion the pattern of future of history. Behind all the technical complexities regarding man-power, gun-power, tonnage, categories, and the like, is the well-being of mankind, the future of our developing civilisation. Mankind is looking to this Conference, with its unrivalled experience and knowledge, its unchallengeable representative authority and power, its massed wisdom and capacity, to bestow the gift of freedom from the menace to peace and security that the maintenance of huge national armaments must ever be. If we succeed, we shall have made, I confidently predict, a decisive contribution to strengthening the bulwarks we have been patiently building against war."

(From A. Henderson's opening speech, 2 February 1932)

Preliminary Report on the Work of the Conference (1936)