Emily Greene Balch to Vilma Glücklich, November 8, 1923



6, rue du Vieux-Collège
↑Hull House
Nov 8/23↓

Dear Miss Gluecklich, ↑Dear Miss Glucklich,↓

You will have already received our cable telling you of what we feel is a bold decision, to invite our next Congress to meet here in May if the Executive Committee still are of the same mind as to this being best.

Our plan now is to have part of the meetings in Washington and part in Philadelphia. We hope to get hospitality here ↑during the Congress↓ for all our foreign guests and to help our Sections to get a delegate or delegates over and back. We will find out what way of coming is most advantageous and whether we can get reductions. It will probably best to take passage direct to Philadelphia on a one-class boat. We will send particulars as soon as we can and meanwhile delegates had better not make any binding arrangements for themselves.

We should like Gertrud Baer to come over and first rest and build up and then help [organize] the Congress. A letter to her will soon follow. Everything in Europe looks so uncertain that it seems best to write here in you care.

We are setting out to raise [illegible] ten thousand dollars as a special fund for [traveling] expenses of delegates from a distance but it would be premature to announce this. One idea was to offer perhaps four hundred dollars to each [organized] Section and leave to them the choice of how to use this to best advantage to enable them to send a delegate or delegates. Another suggestion is that the Ex. Com. should arrange the [page 2] allocation of the whole sum. To avoid the expense of transferring money back and forth it will probably be best for America to send over only the money for the [voyag] journey to America and hold here the money for the return journey and expenses in this country.

We have also to think about the considerable number of countries which have [organized] groups and wish to be admitted by the coming Congress a ↑as↓ National Sections. I suppose there are [so] ↑or↓ may be, such in India, China, Japan, ↑Egypt↓ Belgium, Czecho-Slovakia, ↑Latvia, Spain↓ Mexico, Spain, Egypt, Latvia. It seems especially important that these groups should be represented. In some cases they might wish to authorize persons already in this country to represent them and the same thing may occur in regard to delegates for ↑from↓ our regular Sections but in general we should, I imagine all agree that this is not the most satisfactory plan ↑for all delegates. Some must come from home.↓

In regard to [program] I suppose the Executive Committee will at once begin to formulate the Agenda bearing in mind as far as possible the plan voted on in Vienna (see pages 264 and 265 of the Vienna Congress report) [illegible] keeping in touch with us about it. 

As it has been our custom for the local committee (That is the National Section where the Congress meets) to take the responsibility and have a free hand for arranging the public evening meetings we will undertake this here if the Executive Committee approves and after we know whom to expect.

I suppose we should have as usual brief reports from National Sections as to their activity since the last Congress.

If only we can avoid too wide and miscellaneous and scattered a range of topics, too much discussion of verbal and parliamentary points of minor importance! ↑I↓ am afraid a good deal of time may have to go in discussing [illegible] proposed amendments to the Constitution. [page 3]

Of course it is of the greatest importance what are the [central] subjects of the Congress. We here feel the importance of a constructive discussion of the problems of reparations and interallied debts but it might easily be so handled as to do harm, [rather] than good. Amateurish and ill-formed ↑informed↓ discussion would not help our cause. Perhaps it could be brought out to advantage (without being vague or sentimental) that it is the larger and human aspects of the miserable tangle that we are most concerned with.

It is possible that the award of the Bok peace prize or the march of events may have clarified and [centralized] the issue between now and then and ↑May and have↓ given us a proposal that we can unite in supporting, but we cannot count on any such happy contingency.

I think that the plan of the last meeting at The Hague was much more conducive to clearness and more instructive than our usual Congress procedure but of course at a Congress we must have motions ↑that are↓ brought forward by delegates discussed and generally do our League business. But perhaps this time we might, without overdoing it and filling up our time, appoint a few speakers beforehand to really get up a subject thoroughly well and give a [worthwhile] exposition and argument ↑as to↑ it. Don't you think that hitherto there has been too little preparation, ↓too much improvising?↑

I seem to imagine that [illegible words] Ex. Committee with [illegible words] the Agenda.

I wonder what you over there would think of the advisability of ↑the United States↓ undertaking a Summer school to follow the Congress later. It would probably have to be considerably later as our colleges do not close till late in June (and by that time [illegible] liable to be [illegible words]).

We are much pressed as you may imagine and to save time I am [writing] in this informal way in consultation with Miss Addams Louis ↑[Mrs. Lewis]↓ and Miss Woods.