Under the sponsorship of the United Nations, representatives of 51 countries gathered in Geneva's ornate Palais des Nations to deal with a problem which presumably was settled in the 19th century. The idea was to adopt a new international convention against "slavery, the slave trade and institutions and practices similar to slavery," but this week as the conference drew to a close, it proved impossible for nations of the world to cooperate effectively to abolish the most primitive form of human bondage.

Britain and France wanted the carrying of slaves by sea to be labeled "an act of piracy"1—a move...

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