CROSS, STANLEY THOMAS 1907 - 1950 AWESOME ARCHIVE OF 35 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HANDWRITTEN BY AN INSIDER AT THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS, THE INTERNATIONAL COURTS AND THE UNITED NATIONS WORKING UNDER THE NOTED NORWEGIAN EDVARD HAMBRO
PURNODE BELGIUM THE HAGUE NETHERLANDS GENEVA 1907 Very Good
On offer is a sensational archive of historically significant original manuscript diaries of Stanley Thomas Cross an well placed employee of the BBC [British Broadcasting Company] acting as a 'switch-censor' at the League of Nations Permanent Court of International Justice and United Nations International Court of Justice at The Hague under Edvard Isak Hambro [b.1911 - d.1977; was a Norwegian politician; the 25th President of the United Nations General Assembly (1970 - 1971) and also served on the UN's International Law Commission from 1972 to 1977]. The historical significance of the diaries is inestimable as they provide primary information on the day-to-day inner workings of the Court of Justice, over a period of 25 years spanning the Second World War, as well as of the activities of a wartime BBC 'switch censor'. Cross does a super job of describing his employment at the League of Nations 'jet-setting' for the BBC between London, England; Geneva, Switzerland; The Hague, Holland and Purnode, Belgium plus other exotic locales. By diarizing his own life he also captures much of the work he does for Edvard Hambro providing an almost parallel `biography` of Hambro`s work. Over 35 volumes, from 1907 - 1950 [lacking 1914-1919, 1940, 1945, 1946) Cross over writes most days, misses some but collector's, researchers and historians of the era, International law and post-World War I Europe will find a treasure trove of insider details. The diaries are written by a cultured, educated individual in international affairs though he is not afraid to let his prejudices` show: on November 15th Cross is present at the first session of the General Assembly at its new headquarters in Geneva ('I wore the old tail coat got for H T Cs wedding, for the third time in my life'). On 12 May 1936: 'Council met 1700-1800 re Ethiopian affair. Ital delegation left Geneva!!' On 3 September 1924: 'Exciting day at Court. Election of President for 1925-7. Loder to be reelected & was exceedingly upset with result, & in my opinion behaved in a contemptible & undignified manner. Moore was the best candidate, but there were always 4 votes stoutly opposed to him, I suspect coming from the Jap & the 2 S. American Dagos. [...] To day, Thursday morning Loder (who had been talked to by Finlay) announced that he withdrew his candidature; Moore did the same that being the bargain between them. After several more ballots & another adjournment, Huber was elected President, much against his wishes.' He describes the effects on London of German bombing. On 11 May 1941: 'Left Bl[ac]kh[ea]th 1630 had to take several trams & buses to get to town because of results of Blitz. Crossed Lambeth Bridge on foot. Most of London Bridges closed. Ho of Commons Westmr Abbey Deanery & other buildings have been hit. Also Big Ben but it still functions.' 13 May 1941: 'Had to do a Belgian transmission 9am Then for a walk to see results of blitz. Ludgate hill lower part S. Side K. William Street, Gt Tower St, Gresham St & Newgate especially. Old Bailey & "Divisions" blitzed. Also Bartlett's Buildings.' BIO NOTES: Stanley Thomas Cross (c.1884 - 1950) was educated at Christ's Hospital, London, and Pembroke College, Oxford. After a period as a schoolmaster, and service in the Great War, he worked as a translator at the League of Nations Permanent Court of International Justice at The Hague. On the outbreak of the Second World War, he was employed at the BBC in London as a 'switch censor'; at the end of 1944. By 1947 he was back translating at The Hague, where he worked closely with Edvard Isak Hambro, later President of the U.N., by whom he was held in high regard. Thereafter he returned to the Hague, where he worked at the Registry of the United Nations International Court of Justice until his retirement in 1949. In August 1949 Cross retired to Purnode, where, beset with money worries, he died six months later. Loosely inserted in the last volume is a manuscript account (4to, 1 p) by Cross's wife Alice of his last day and death after an attack of angina. Mostly 12mo, the first six are uniform by W. Straker Ltd of Ludgate Hill; the rest 'Boot's Home Diary', in various colours, and slightly larger format from 1939. All in good condition: lightly-aged, and with a few preliminary leaves (not containing diary entries) torn out by Cross from the volumes for 1920 and 1921. Later volumes with accounts at end. Overall VG.