Emily Greene Balch to Jane Addams, October 26, 1919



19, Bd Georges-Favon

Sunday, October 26, 1919.

Dear Miss Addams,

I dare say you will be rather relieved to hear that I have given up my proposed trip to London and Paris. I can get no positive assurance that I should be allowed to return and in view of everything it seems more prudent to sit tight. I am awfully disappointed but on the other hand very glad to save the time for the Proceedings and the News Sheet say nothing of the expense. One thing that made the decision seem more necessary was that the Swiss government refuses to let Miss Moore come. We hope however to get this decision reversed.

We had quite a "bee" here yesterday afternoon getting off our last circular letter. I am not at all proud, I must say of our office "form". It is of course largely my own fault but one does work against difficulties because all standards are so different here. Take the point of speed. If you subscribe to the (nationalized) telephone in March your number is entered on the list that closes the following January, is made up in February and printed early the following July ↑[i.e.?] 16 months later!↓ I put some money in [page 2] the savings bank thinking it would be nice to have a little sum handy. I then found the rules permitted its withdrawal ↑at the end of 12 months↓ if notice were given three months beforehand, otherwise another year period was automatically entered on. (To be honest, there are exceptions to this severity). Nothing is promised for soon and above all nothing is ever done at anything like the time for which it is promised. By the way the fire ↑men↓ run to fires on foot! I think our correspondence paper is not of good enough quality; our furnisher good [humoredly] trudged over here from the other end of town three times to show me samples. By that time I too I was ready to take what he offered me to save further delay. Moreover I remember German members thought the Internationaal was printed on too good paper and that the money ought to have gone for more necessary expenses. One has to bear in mind the different standards and wishes about all sorts of things.

All this is no reason why I should send out a number of papers in one sending without numbering them! The fact that they turned out of different sizes was something I could not foresee. What happened was that we had some things ready to shoot out when more came in and I sent that out to be copied to without reflecting that it ought to be paged with the other. Our English friends have such high standards about all these things that I hate to fail them in these and so much else, as I must. I am going to have some more suitable envelopes for such sendings as those of yesterday prepared. For myself I should have sent those out sealed with letter postage but this so shocked all my [coworkers], to whom tying them up with a bit of thread seemed just the thing, that I yielded. It is partly because I am more or less homesick for disappointment at not getting [page 3] to London and having the good comforting helpful talks with our friends there on which I had counted that I am bothering you with this trivial letter in which, quite obviously, qui s'excuse, s'accuse.

I don't yet typewrite well but don't you think I am less amateurish than I was?

All of this is the outcome of a more or less idling Sunday afternoon and I am now as always, as you know,

Devotedly yours,

Emily Balch [signed]