It is for me a pleasure to welcome you to France and to tell you that we consider you not alone as a friend, but as an example from whom we are seeking inspirations in our efforts for our Social Settlements.
You are the founder of Hull House in Chicago. I have heard you are a pacifist. Should not all women be pacifists in their hearts? I add that there is no civilized man who does not desire peace and hates war. But France was obliged to endure war because that war was forced upon us by Germany. ↑But as much as I am a lover of peace, I know that sometimes force is indispensable to bring about peace.↓
I hope that it will not in any way be disagreeable to you that the expression of our regard and of our sympathy be brought by an old General born in Alsace.
After forty years of service in the hope to see my country once more free, it is a joy for me to devote my life to the maintenance of peace.
I abandoned my uniform to put on the gown of Senator and permit me to tell you, Miss [Addams], that this action has been symbolic of the character of my compatriots who are falsely accused of being militarists and who have no dearer ambition than to work in peace at home and to keep friendly relations with their [neighbors]. [page 2]
We are a people essentially pacific; we have, more than in any other country, small land attached to owners and our working classes are attached to land ↑home↓ and their institutions and have the sentiment of family life and economy [developed] in them. We constitute [today], in the midst of an agitated Europe, an example often misunderstood of unknown social order.
It is our duty to recompense the admirable spirit of our laboring classes in bringing to them all that progress can procure to ameliorate their condition and to direct them in the ways of progress. Our duty should be inspired by the [marvelous] example you, and other social workers, have given on the other side of the Atlantic, and it is thus that we shall be able to work in the most intelligent way for social peace.
The work of preservation and education of children is one of the most admirable works to which we can consecrate our efforts. But it is not all. The social settlement works are more complete because they touch the family on all points; they look after the mothers before the birth of the children until their majority and they try to bring order and happiness into the families less fortunate.
Your name Miss Jane [Addams] is associated with the establishment of these Social Settlements and you have for that the right to the gratitude of humanity.
The Social Settlements have realized wonders in your country. Your unwearied activity is generously spent and [page 3] has everywhere carried [its] results. In Chicago, in Boston, in New York, everywhere you have organized settlements which are models. And we beg you, Miss [Addams], to accept [today] the compliments of our respectful gratitude, we, who, in Paris, in our most populous quarters, are trying to organize settlements conceived as your American establishments. You bring us your good advice, we will continue to extend our work. If we can not be yet equal to the American Social Settlements, at least we will do our best in our country, where the birth rate and preservation of children is of vital importance to make up for the vacancies in our ranks, through ↑caused by↓ a million and a half deaths caused by ↑[through]↓ the war.