Vilma Glücklich to Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch, October 8, 1924



6, rue du Vieux-Collège

October 8, 1924.

Secretary's opinion on the joint proposal of Miss Addams and Miss Balch on financial matters and book-keeping, dated August [1st?], 1924.

Dear Friends,

Forgive me for answering your proposal so late, on account of the busiest part of the year we have just gone through, when it was entirely impossible for me to find the quiet time absolutely needed for it. I was thinking over the matter all the time and have discussed it with Mme. Duchêne when she was here in September.

It is quite natural, of course, that there is no reason for keeping up the accounts at The Hague and suffer a double expense of changing American money into Dutch and Dutch into Swiss. At The Hague, it was for the purpose of leaving the money where it was -- so I understood -- that this arrangement was made.

I agree with taking out of our accounts at the end of this year all the American deposits; but this can only be done if we get an exact report of the Chicago Bank for the 31st December. Will you kindly provide for this or are we to ask them for it? We shall then keep on record only the names of people whom the Washington office reports as having paid their International fees and the date of their contribution, but not the amount they are sending. Only, as it will always happen that some of them send us a [check], I am afraid it will be rather complicated to send it back each time to you, but of course it can be done. Members passing through usually pay their fee here, which would be another complication, unless we agree on not accepting it, which would seem rather queer to them, I think.

As to the budget, may I be allowed to make the following remarks: [page 2]

I. Resources. Associate memberships of old members yearly Fr. 15.000 agreed, even in the second year, hoping that for old members falling off will be replaced by new ones. (Erratum: 10% being Fr. 1500. --  would be 13.500 for the second year).

Return from Maison Internationale yearly Fr. 800 agreed.

Gifts and sales, contributions of sections yearly Fr. 1000 each, agreed.

New Associate Members yearly Fr. 7500 most unlikely, as we have not even reached the first hundred since the Congress, including the American adhesions received until now.

II. Expenses. Salaries: The members present at the Financial meeting after the Congress will remember that I had proposed Fr. 600 monthly salary for Mme. Tunas and that -- after a long discussion -- only Fr. 550 was decided. I am only too glad if I am allowed to grant her 600, but this mistake puts me in a very embarrassing position and might make her believe that I wanted to reduce what the Financial Committee was ready to pay her. I must remind the members of the Committee also of a discussion on the expenses of auditing when Fr. 25 or 30 monthly were considered; therefore I am surprised to find yearly Fr. 120 in the budget.

I feel obliged to raise the salary of the book-keeper in October, because she had to pass much more time than we had agreed upon with the visits of the expert who was staying until 10 o'clock in the evening; it was not her fault that she had taken over the accounts after Mme. Métral and the slight changes the expert suggested show that nothing better could be done with the material she had found. Should the Financial Committee or the Board not agree with this, I am ready to cover it out of my own salary.

Printing: the amount of Fr. 1000 yearly cannot be enough if the number of Associate Members increases as we hope; it corresponds to the expenditure in the second half of 1922 when practically all our propaganda has been done at The Hague.

Frais généraux, postage, rent, library agreed.

For meetings of the Executive Committee, [traveling] and Summer Schools we have to put in all that we can spare. Executive Meetings are really useful only if they bring together representatives of all sections, and it is almost always the question of expense which [page 3] prevents most of them to come. Of course this means a most cheerful consideration of our financial status and a vote of the Executive Members taken by letter.

Staff. I have done the office work with Mme. Tunas and the young assistant girl from October 1922 to Febr. 1st 1923, when Mrs. Karsten came for three months. I did it with the assistant girl alone when Mme. Tunas fell ill, always having done a great deal of work ↑done↓ out of the house of course.

I cannot promise to do it now at all, because I am firmly decided not to follow the generous example of Miss Balch and not to break down by overwork myself nor allow my fellow-workers to do so. It is not mere selfishness which induces me to this; it is partly the fame of our League which got into a bad shape at Geneva, all her devoted workers on the spot having given out. I was quite grateful to Miss Friedlander when she first took charge of her job with us and got measles, because people could at least not say: "Oh yes, everybody falls ill in the service of the League."

Besides, although you are indulgent enough to accept my English and -- being well informed about the matters I am writing on -- understand it perfectly, I must have somebody whose language is English to read over my letters to outsiders and what I am writing for publication. Geneva is the tower of Babel and I am more apt to make mistakes of confusion with other languages which ↑now than↓ I ever made before.

I shall do my best to carry out your intentions and I can assure you that I worry about every franc of which I think that it could have been saved. Within a very short time, you will get the accounts of the first half year of 1924 and tell me your remarks; I shall send you the monthly accounts from July. Should you find that they are not corresponding to your intentions, or should you find somebody more business-like than I am and could ever get, please tell me so sincerely. I never looked at my job as at a life insurance and shall always be ready to leave if it is useful to our League.

For the moment I do not see any immediate difficulties. But I see how hard it gets for the U.S. to make up for all our poverty in Europe; let us hope that our spirit having become the official atmosphere of the British government and having touched through MacDonald and Mrs. Swanwick even the Assembly of the League of Nations, our task will become an easier one and we shall be able to put the European Sections on their own feet. At the time being, the French Section still gets the small contribution voted for her at [page 4] Dresden and needs it badly to be able to profit of the improvement in the political situation and make propaganda as largely as possible. They feel very badly about having to accept a subvention, but they could not do anything without it. They ask me whether the cost of a French Congress Report could be covered by Washington or Geneva, otherwise they would be obliged to give it up. The German Section is in an equally precarious position, but too proud to speak of it. And still, it is in those two countries we have the most important work to do. I wish a clever business-woman would sit in my place and get some money from all the idle passers-by who do not think of anything but their own pleasure.

If you will kindly go over my remarks and tell me yours quite sincerely, I shall not remain very far behind your plans perhaps; a circular letter which Miss Heymann sent to the European Sections might wake them up and encourage them to try and raise money where it is possible at all. The quieter time here might give us a good idea for doing something in Geneva itself, although poor Mr. Spiller, when he tried to get some money for his scheme of "A seven years campaign against War" got the answer that it could be raised much easier at the Cecil Hotel in London or the La Plaza in New York. People really imagine that our American ↑and British↓ members are the visitors of those expensive places!

I shall send copies of this letter to Miss Balch, Mrs. Ramondt and Mme. Duchêne as members of the Financial Committee after the Congress. I hope each of them will be kind enough to answer it without keeping me waiting as long as I did, quite against my habit and against my will.

With kindest regards to all of you

very sincerely yours

Vilma Glücklich [signed]