The First Director-General of UNESCO

  • W. H. G. Armytage
Part of the Studies in Biology, Economy and Society book series (SBES)


Huxley’s own account (Huxley, 1973) of his appointment as secretary to the committee drafting a constitution for the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation reads like the précis of a ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ script (Lynn and Jay, 1986). For he was ‘casually asked’ in the spring of 1945 by the Permanent Secretary of the newly established Ministry of Education, Sir John Maud, on the steps of Lancaster House, where the preparatory commission for drafting the charter and outlining the scope of UNESCO had been taking place. For the existing secretary, Sir Alfred Zimmern, had fallen ill and a severe operation would incapacitate him for too long a time for the post to be left vacant. Huxley promised to think it over, but Maud acted very quickly indeed to twist his arm, arranging for him to dine with the newly appointed Minister that very evening and later to meet a majority of the preparatory committee (Huxley, 1973).


American Legion Preparatory Committee Final Annual Report Preparatory Commission Severe Operation 
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Copyright information

© The Eugenics Society 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. H. G. Armytage

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