Jane Addams to Emily Greene Balch, March 20, 1920


My dear dear Emily Balch

It is a perfect disgrace the way I postpone answering your letters. I think of all sorts of things that I am going to say and wait for a long clear morning to say them in. Of course such an uninterrupted time never comes so at last I am going at it, at the end of the day with no stenographer available so whatever mistakes there are in this letter, all of them will be mine. In the first place do let me explain that I have been speaking on behalf of the starving children literally all up and down the land. I am sure that it is the most useful thing that can be done just now and does modify public feeling. The young are fine in [their] response; I had an audience of four thousand at Ann Arbor who were really touching in [their] desire to see righteousness: in the State Universities of Wis. of Ohio, of Indiana, at Oberlin and so on I found myself much warmed and cheered! I spoke thirty times in January and while I have slowed down since then, I am coming back to my old thesis that the fresh start ↑of the world if it makes one,↓ will have to be made on the primitive line.

All this is partly by way of apology for my silence but you must know how cheered we have all been by your letters and the consciousness that the central office was filling a real mission.

Now I am going back over the correspondence file and answer the queries to the very best of my ability and if you will forgive this time I promise never again to act in this way. Neglecting you is a little like neglecting ones family, you are sure that it must be all right between "youse all" and push it off for exigent people, who will not understand. Do please give my love to Miss Cheever, I am so glad that she is in Geneva. [page 2]


I debated a long time as to possibility of coming over this summer and finally regretfully concluded that it was impossible. I do hope that the Executive Committee will meet and that ought to possible in connection either with the International Suffrage [Alliance] in Geneva in June or in connection with the Summer School you are planning. It would probably be easier with the former but that of course can best be determined by you. The Scandinavian women have always come in large numbers to the Suffrage meetings. I had a very nice talk with Mrs Catt and I do hope that we can be well represented.

I should think that you ought to be authorized to make the appointment unless it is possible for the Executive Committee to meet first and thus make its own representation. The matter of expense I imagine could also be cared for by vote of the Committee, I give my vote for a reasonable expenditure for our fraternal delegates.

Second ---- Miss MacMillan's resignation.

It is not usual for an Executive Committee to fill vacancies during the time between meetings. I should be in favor of waiting until the committee in the summer. I am awfully sorry that Miss MacMillan felt that she must resign. Could she not be persuaded to reconsider, if she comes to Geneva for the Suffrage meeting you might have a chance to try before the Committee meets. Would Miss Courtney, Miss Marshall, or Mde Duchene consider it?

Third -- Ex.Com.1920--1

I see no objection to the proposals for new work being submitted to the National Sections as mere suggestions, [although] there is no doubt the proposals calling for the cooperation of the National Sections in a new undertaking of [page 3] of the International ought to be carefully considered. The suggestion of two Vice Presidents ↑giving their approval↓ in addition to the Executive Officer seems a good one. There is always an advantage in keeping the Sections in touch with each other and a suggestion for new work is often very revealing and stimulating.

Fourth -- The Possible Summer School.

The plan you outlined to Miss Royds seemed very interesting [although] it seems to me that our general funds ought not to contribute more than the general office expenses of [preparation] and promotion. Switzerland seems the natural place but of that you know better than any of us and the Austrian Tyrol or some such near by spot might be much more feasible. If the English Section wants it and takes hold of it, I am sure that it would go. I am afraid that few or none would come from the U.S.A. but we will bring the matter up at our annual meeting which we are going to hold in Chicago the last of April.

I was very sorry to telegraph against Frau Hertzka's coming to the U.S.A. on behalf of the Siberian prisoners. We consulted together about it and decided that the difficulties of securing a hearing were too great. As soon as the treaty question is out of the way in Washington we hope to make a determined effort for Congressional action on the matter and in the meantime are doing what we can with the American Red Cross who ought to act in the matter ↑preliminary↓ at once.

I suppose we were influenced by the [experience] of a very charming Austrian lady who came over to do some food speaking for Mr Hoover and who has not had the easiest time, [although] Austrian children are becoming comparatively popular. I will write more fully about this when I come back from Washington. [page 4]

I want to congratulate you on Pax et Libertas, it is very suggestive and I scatter all my copies with a right good will. I hope we can soon do more for subscribers and that will be taken up with more vigor at the April Convention. I know that we seem tame in our efforts but the mere urging relief for Germany takes more overcoming of opposition than seems possible.

The revision of the treaty movement is making some headway, [Keynes] book is being read even by the congressmen and is constantly quoted on the floor. I had a nice visit with the League of Free Nations People in New York. They are the best we have I think, [although] more favorable to the existing covenant than I can easily understand. I will send you some of [their] latest material.

I do hope that the winter hasn't seemed awfully long and cold and that the warmer weather in and of itself will make living conditions better

I think you have been wonderful in your courage and good spirits. I was so sorry to hear of Frau Kulka's death. She was so kind to us when we were in Austria and it was such a pleasure to see her again in Zurich. I am to Frau Miser. By the way my list of addresses of all the delegates to the Zurich Congress was lost in the mail when I sent it home by post. Do send me another some time. Please do not publish any of this letter, it is too scrappy and badly written. I will take my pen in hand for Pax soon. We had a very good meeting of the Fellowship in a Quaker College in Iowa the other day. Bishop Jones asked for you and was much for our future.

Always Devotedly Yours

Jane Addams [signed]

March 20" 1920

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