Harriet Park Thomas to Woman's Peace Party, February 9, 1917


An Emergency Peace Committee was organized here yesterday on the initiative of Miss Balch and Dr. Kirchwey. Mrs. Burch is acting as temporary Chairman. At a meeting called by her in my office this morning, it was voted to organize a bureau of information here with Mrs. Allender as Secretary, her services being the contribution of the Woman's Peace Party to this work. As the work of our Legislative Committee is all in abeyance now, I thought it advisable to utilize Mrs. Allender in connection with the emergency work, and she was perfectly willing to be shifted.

The Washington Branch of the American Peace Society represented on the Emergency Committee by the President, Mr. Ramsay, contributed the rent of an office adjoining mine where the Emergency work is to be carried on.

It was agreed that the constituencies of the peace organizations represented on the committee, i.e., the American Union Against Militarism, the Woman's Peace Party (National and Washington Branch), the American Peace Society (National and Washington Branch), should be kept constantly aware of the importance of public opinion in this crisis, and should be asked to involve as many people as possible in a campaign of writing and telegraphing to their Senators and Congressmen, recommending a referendum vote, and a conference of neutrals to define the shipping rights of neutrals.

It was further agreed by the committee that close watch should be kept upon the action of Congress and upon speeches made upon the floor of the House, and that information covering these points should be furnished to the constituencies of our several societies with possible suggestions as to pressure which might be brought to bear upon members of Congress.