The agenda for all meetings of the Conference will be settled by the Governing
Body, who shall consider any suggestion as to the agenda that may be made by the
Government of any of the Members or by any representative organisation recognised
for the purpose of Article 389.
The Director shall act as the Secretary of the Conference, and shall transmit the
agenda so as to reach the Members four months before the meeting of the
Conference, and, through them, the non-Government Delegates when appointed.
Any of the Governments of the Members may formally object to the inclusion of any
item or items in the agenda. The grounds for such objection shall be set forth in
a reasoned statement addressed to the Director, who shall circulate it to all the
Members of the Permanent Organisation.
Items to which such objection has been made shall not, however, be excluded from
the agenda, if at the Conference a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast by
the Delegates present is in favour of considering them.
If the Conference decides (otherwise than under the preceding paragraph) by
two-thirds of the votes cast by the Delegates present that any subject shall be
considered by the Conference, that subject shall be included in the agenda for
the following meeting.
The Conference shall regulate its own procedure, shall elect its own President,
and may appoint committees to consider and report on any matter.
Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Part of the present Treaty, all
matters shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast by the Delegates
The voting is void unless the total number of votes cast is equal to half the
number of the Delegates attending the Conference.
The Conference may add to any committees which it appoints technical experts, who
shall be assessors without power to vote.
When the Conference has decided on the adoption of proposals with regard to an
item in the agenda, it will rest with the Conference to determine whether these
proposals should take the form: (a) of a recommendation to be submitted to the
Members for consideration with a view to effect being given to it by national
legislation or otherwise, or (b) of a draft international convention for
ratification by the Members.
In either case a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast by the Delegates
present shall be necessary on the final vote for the adoption of the
recommendation or draft convention, as the case may be, by the Conference.
In framing any recommendation or draft convention of general application the
Conference shall have due regard to those countries in which climatic conditions,
the imperfect development of industrial organisation or other special
circumstances make the industrial conditions substantially different and shall
suggest the modifications, if any, which it considers may be required to meet the
case of such countries.
A copy of the recommendation or draft convention shall be authenticated by the
signature of the President of the Conference and of the Director and shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the League of Nations. The
Secretary-General will communicate a certified copy of the recommendation or
draft convention to each of the members.
Each of the Members undertakes that it will, within the period of one year at
most from the closing of the session of the Conference, or if it is impossible
owing to exceptional circumstances to do so within the period of one year, then
at the earliest practicable moment and in no case later than eighteen months from
the closing of the session of the Conference, bring the recommendation or draft
convention before the authority or authorities within whose competence the matter
lies, for the enactment of legislation or other action.
In the case of a recommendation, the Members will inform the Secretary-General of
the action taken.
In the case of a draft convention, the Member will, if it obtains the consent of
the authority or authorities within whose competence the matter lies, communicate
the formal ratification of the convention to the Secretary-General and will take
such action as may be necessary to make effective the provisions of such
If on a recommendation no legislative or other action is taken to make a
recommendation effective, or if the draft convention fails to obtain the consent
of the authority or authorities within whose competence the matter lies, no
further obligation shall rest upon the Member.
In the case of a federal State, the power of which to enter into conventions on
labour matters is subject to limitations, it shall be in the discretion of that
Government to treat a draft convention to which such limitations apply as a
recommendation only, and the provisions of this Article with respect to
recommendations shall apply in such case.
The above Article shall be interpreted in accordance with the following
In no case shall any Member be asked or required, as a result of the adoption of
any recommendation or draft convention by the Conference, to lessen the
protection afforded by its existing legislation to the workers concerned.
Any convention so ratified shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the
League of Nations, but shall only be binding upon the Members which ratify it.
If any convention coming before the Conference for final consideration fails to
secure the support of two-thirds of the votes cast by the Delegates present, it
shall nevertheless be within the right of any of the Members of the Permanent
Organisation to agree to such convention among themselves.
Any convention so agreed to shall be communicated by the Governments concerned to
the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall register it.
Each of the Members agrees to make an annual report to the International Labour
Office on the measures which it has taken to give effect to the provisions of
conventions to which it is a party. These reports shall be made in such form and
shall contain such particulars as the Governing Body may request. The Director
shall lay a summary of these reports before the next meeting of the Conference.
In the event of any representation being made to the International Labour Office
by an industrial association of employers or of workers that any of the members
has failed to secure in any respect the effective observance within its
jurisdiction of any convention to which it is a party, the Governing Body may
communicate this representation to the Government against which it is made and
may invite that Government to make such statement on the subject as it may think
If no statement is received within a reasonable time from the Government in
question, or if the statement when received is not deemed to be satisfactory by
the Governing Body, the latter shall have the right to publish the representation
and the statement, if any, made in reply to it.
Any of the Members shall have the right to file a complaint with the
International Labour Office if it is not satisfied that any other Member is
securing the effective observance of any convention which both have ratified in
accordance with the foregoing Articles.
The Governing Body may, if it thinks fit, before referring such a complaint to a
Commission of Enquiry, as hereinafter provided for, communicate with the
Government in question in the manner described in Article 409.
If the Governing Body does not think it necessary to communicate the complaint to
the Government in question, or if, when they have made such communication, no
statement in reply has been received within a reasonable time which the Governing
Body considers to be satisfactory, the Governing Body may apply for the
appointment of a Commission of Enquiry to consider the complaint and to report
The Governing Body may adopt the same procedure either of its own motion or on
receipt of a complaint from a Delegate to the Conference.
When any matter arising out of Articles 410 or 411 is being considered by the
Governing Body, the Government in question shall, if not already represented
thereon, be entitled to send a representative to take part in the proceedings of
the Governing Body while the matter is under consideration. Adequate notice of
the date on which the matter will be considered shall be given to the Government
The Commission of Enquiry shall be constituted in accordance with the following
Each of the Members agrees to nominate within six months of the date on which the
present Treaty comes into force three persons of industrial experience, of whom
one shall be a representative of employers, one a representative of workers, and
one a person of independent standing, who shall together form a panel from which
the Members of the Commission of Enquiry shall be drawn.
The qualifications of the persons so nominated shall be subject to scrutiny by
the Governing Body, which may be two-thirds of the votes cast by the
representatives present refuse to accept the nomination of any person whose
qualifications do not in its Opinion comply with the requirements of the present
Upon the application of the Governing Body, the Secretary-General of the League
of Nations shall nominate three persons one from each section of this panel, to
constitute the Commission of Enquiry, and shall designate one of them as the
President of the Commission. None of these three persons shall be a person
nominated to the panel by any Member directly concerned in the complaint.
The Members agree that, in the event of the reference of a complaint to a
Commission of Enquiry under Article 411, they will each, whether directly
concerned in the complaint or not, place at the disposal of the Commission all
the information in their possession which bears upon the subject-matter of the
When the Commission of Enquiry has fully considered the complaint, it shall
prepare a report embodying its findings on all questions of fact relevant to
determining the issue between the parties and containing such recommendations as
it may think proper as to the steps which should be taken to meet the complaint
and the time within which they should be taken.
It shall also indicate in this report the measures, if any, of an economic
character against a defaulting Government which it considers to be appropriate,
and which it considers other Governments would be justified in adopting.
The Secretary-General of the League of Nations shall communicate the report of
the Commission of Enquiry to each of the Governments concerned in the complaint,
and shall cause it to be published.
Each of these Governments shall within one month inform the Secretary-General of
the League of Nations whether or not it accepts the recommendations contained in
the report of the Commission- and if not, whether it proposes to refer the
complaint to the Permanent Court of International Justice of the League of
In the event of any Member failing to take the action required by Article 405,
with regard to a recommendation or draft Convention, any other Member shall be
entitled to refer the matter to the Permanent Court of International Justice.
The decision of the Permanent Court of International Justice in regard to a
complaint or matter which has been referred to it in pursuance of Article 415 or
Article 416 shall be final.
The Permanent Court of International Justice may affirm, vary or reverse any of
the findings or recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry, if any, and shall
in its decision indicate the measures, if any, of an economic character which it
considers to be appropriate, and which other Governments would be justified in
adopting against a defaulting Government.
In the event of any Member failing to carry out within the time specified the
recommendations, if any, contained in the report of the Commission of Enquiry, or
in the decision of the Permanent Court of International Justice, as the case may
be, any other Member may take against that Member the measures of an economic
character indicated in the report of the Commission or in the decision of the
Court as appropriate to the case.
The defaulting Government may at any time inform the Governing Body that it has
taken the steps necessary to comply with the recommendations of the Commission of
Enquiry or with those in the decision of the Permanent Court of International
Justice, as the case may be, and may request it to apply to the Secretary-General
of the League to constitute a Commission of Enquiry to verify its contention. In
this case the provisions of Articles 412, 413, 414, 415, 417 and 418 shall apply,
and if the report of the Commission of Enquiry or the decision of the Permanent
Court of International Justice is in favour of the defaulting Government, the
other Governments shall forthwith discontinue the measures of an economic
character that they have taken against the defaulting Government.
The Members engage to apply conventions which they have ratified in accordance
with the provisions of this Part of the present Treaty to their colonies,
protectorates and possessions which are not fully self-governing:
(1) Except where owing to the local conditions the convention is inapplicable, or
(2) Subject to such modifications as may be necessary to adapt the convention to
And each of the Members shall notify to the International Labour Office the
action taken in respect of each of its colonies, protectorates and possessions
which are not fully self-governing.
Amendments to this Part of the present Treaty which are adopted by the Conference
by a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast by the Delegates present shall take
effect when ratified by the States whose representatives compose the Council of
the League of Nations and by three-fourths of the Members.
Any question or dispute relating to the interpretation of this Part of the
present Treaty or of any subsequent convention concluded by the Members in
pursuance of the provisions of this Part of the present Treaty shall be referred
for decision to the Permanent Court of International Justice.
The first meeting of the Conference shall take place in October, 1919. The place
and agenda for this meeting shall be as specified in the Annex hereto.
Arrangements for the convening and the organisation of the first meeting of the
Conference will be made by the Government designated for the purpose in the said
Annex. That Government shall be assisted in the preparation of the documents for
submission to the Conference by an International Committee constituted as
provided in the said Annex.
The expenses of the first meeting and of all subsequent meetings held before the
League of Nations has been able to establish a general fund, other than the
expenses of Delegates and their advisers, will be borne by the Members in
accordance with the apportionment of the expenses of the International Bureau of
the Universal Postal Union.
Until the League of Nations has been constituted all communications which under
the provisions of the foregoing Articles should be addressed to the
Secretary-General of the League will be preserved by the Director of the
International Labour Office, who will transmit them to the Secretary-General of
Pending the creation of a Permanent Court of International Justice disputes which
in accordance with this Part of the present Treaty would be submitted to it for
decision will be referred to a tribunal of three persons appointed by the Council
of the League of Nations.
FIRST MEETING OF ANNUAL LABOUR CONFERENCE, 1919.
The place of meeting will be Washington.
The Government of the United States of America is requested to convene the
The International Organising Committee will consist of seven Members, appointed
by the United States of America, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Belgium and
Switzerland. The Committee may, if it thinks necessary, invite other Members to
(1) Application of principle of the 8-hours day or of the 48-hours week.
(2) Question of preventing or providing against unemployment.
(3) Women's employment:
(a) Before and after child-birth, including the question of maternity benefit;
(b) During the night;
(c) In unhealthy processes.
(4) Employment of children:
(a) Minimum age of employment;
(b) During the night;
(c) In unhealthy processes.
(5) Extension and application of the International Conventions adopted at Berne
in 1906 on the prohibition of night work for women employed in industry and the
prohibition of the use of white phosphorus in the manufacture of matches.
The High Contracting Parties, recognising that the well-being, physical, moral
and intellectual, of industrial wage-earners is of supreme international
importance, have framed, in order to further this great end, the permanent
machinery provided for in Section l and associated with that of the League of
They recognise that differences of climate, habits, and customs, of economic
opportunity and industrial tradition, make strict uniformity in the conditions of
labour difficult of immediate attainment. But, holding as they do, that labour
should not be regarded merely as an article of commerce, they think that there
are methods and principles for regulating labour conditions which all industrial
communities should endeavour to apply, so far as their special circumstances will
Among these methods and principles, the following seem to the High Contracting
Parties to be of special and urgent importance:
First.The guiding principle above enunciated that labour should not be regarded
merely as a commodity or article of commerce.
Second.The right of association for all lawful purposes by the employed as well
as by the employers.
Third.The payment to the employed of a wage adequate to maintain a reasonable
standard of life as this is understood in their time and country.
Fourth.The adoption of an eight hours day or a forty-eight hours week as the
standard to be aimed at where it has not already been attained.
Fifth.The adoption of a weekly rest of at least twenty-four hours, which should
include Sunday wherever practicable.
Sixth.The abolition of child labour and the imposition of such limitations on
the labour of young persons as shall permit the continuation of their education
and assure their proper physical development.
Seventh.The principle that men and women should receive equal remuneration for
work of equal value.
Eighth.The standard set by law in each country with respect to the conditions of
labour should have due regard to the equitable economic treatment of all workers
lawfully resident therein.
Ninth.Each State should make provision for a system of inspection in which women
should take part, in order to ensure the enforcement of the laws and regulations
for the protection of the employed.
Without claiming that these methods and principles are either complete or final,
the High Contracting Parties are of opinion that they are well fitted to guide
the policy of the League of Nations; and that, if adopted by the industrial
communities who are members of the League, and safeguarded in practice by an
adequate system of such inspection, they will confer lasting benefits upon the
wage-earners of the world.