National Geographic : 1937 Dec
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE A WISE MAN FROM THE EAST PRESIDES AT A LEAGUE SESSION One of the world's richest men is the Aga Khan (center), a direct descendant of Mohammed, religious head of three Moslem sects, and a delegate from India, who was elected president of the 1937 session of the League of Nations Assembly at Geneva. In India, on certain occasions, he is presented with his literal "weight in gold" by loyal followers. He likes race horses and owns some of the fastest in Europe. This picture was taken when the League Assembly was meeting in temporary quarters before moving into its new palace. ing a long ladder on his shoulder; another with a huge floral wreath; a girl balanc ing an enormous basket of laundry on the handle bars; a man carrying a chair. But most amazing of all was a hunter in full regalia, steering his bicycle with one hand, balancing his shotgun on his shoulder with the other, and leading on a leash his hunt ing dog, which trotted alongside! The luxurious new white palace of the League of Nations, with its library given by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., is nearing com pletion in a green park overlooking Geneva and the lake. Peacocks strut about its sloping lawns, and huge gatekeepers, re splendent in blue uniforms, white belts, and "Napoleon" hats, guard its doors. VIEWING A WORLD CONGRESS After much scrutiny of my passport and other credentials, I gained entrance to the League Assembly. An interpreter was repeating in rapid French the speech just made in English by a South American delegate, but many of the audience paid scant attention. Some delegates were reading newspapers; others stood in groups in the aisles, whispering; still others walked in and out, or leaned over to shake hands with colleagues. "It reminds me of the United States Congress," said another American sitting next to me. The Aga Khan arose to announce sadly in English the death, in Praha, of former President Masaryk, of Czechoslovakia. As soon as he was seated the interpreter at his left jumped up to repeat his words in French. The Assembly stood with bowed heads for one minute in silent tribute. Outside, a large concert orchestra played in a pavilion at the lake side. Ice cream venders set up little tables around their stands. Bathers swarmed about the munic ipal bathing pier in the harbor. White sails of yachts flashed far out on the blue lake. As night fell, strings of colored lights sparkled in the lake-front parks, and flood lights made the harbor fountain a slender plume of fire.