Avenol, Joseph Louis, 1921-1956 (Sub-Fonds)

Archive plan context

Information on identification

Title:Avenol, Joseph Louis
Creation date(s):1921 - 1956

Information on context

Name of the creator / provenance:Avenol, Joseph Louis
Administration history:Avenol, Joseph Louis Ann was born on 9 June 1879, in Melle, France. He died on 2 September 1952 in Duillier, Switzerland.
French diplomat. He was the second Secretary-General of the League of Nations (1933-1940).

- 1905-1923 French Ministry of Finance;
- 1916-1923 Financial delegate to the French Ambassy in London;
- 1919 Member of the Economic Higher Council;
- Financial expert to the London, San Remo, Hythe, Spa, Boulogne, Cannes and
Genova conferences;
- 1920 Delegate at the International Financial Conference, Brussels;
- 1923-1933 League of Nations Deputy Secretary-General;
- 1933-1940 League of Nations Secretary-General.

Joseph Louis Avenol studied law at La Rochelle (France). Trained in economics and finance, he served in various capacities with the French Treasury from 1905 to 1923.

Avenol's first association with the League of Nations came in 1923, when he was named Deputy Secretary-General succeeding his French compatriot Jean Monnet. As Deputy Secretary-General, Avenol was responsible for the coordination of postwar financial reconstruction. His talents were eminently suited to this task.

When Eric Drummond, the first League of Nations' Secretary-General resigned, Joseph Louis Avenol was unanimously appointed to replace him. This decision was ratified by the Assembly on 9 December 1932.

Joseph Louis Avenol became Secretary-General on 1 July 1933. But suspected of being in sympathy with the Axis Powers at the beginning of the Second World War, he was obliged to resign on 31 August 1940 . He was replaced by Seán Lester, who held the position of Acting Secretary-General until 1946.

Information on content and structure

Contains also:The greater part of Joseph Avenol's papers (Deputy Secretary-General 1923-1933, Secretary-General, 1933-40) are kept by the Archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The seventeen files kept here (two of which consist of photostats) are of varied provenance and content. Among the papers are, for example, an interview with Avenol conducted by Stephen Schwebel (author of "The Secretary-General of the United Nations", 1952) and letters written about Avenol after his death.


Entries:  Avenol, Joseph (Persons\)

Related units of description

Related units of description:see also:
Pel/Pp191-207/1-44 Pelt, Adrianus, 1920-1970 (Sub-Fonds)


End of term of protection:12/31/2016
Permission required:None
Physical Usability:Without limits

URL for this unit of description