Charles Henry Dennis to Jane Addams, October 24, 1923


October 24, 1923.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
800 South Halsted Street,
Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Miss Addams:

At the request of the policy committee of the American Peace Award, which, as you know, has charge of the work involved in the bestowing of the $100,000 prize offered by Edward W. Bok for a "practicable plan" whereby the United States may [cooperate] with other nations looking toward the prevention of war, The Daily News has begun a peace prize competition and is requesting its readers to send in suggestions similar to those invited by the American Peace Award. The purpose of the prize offer is, in the words of Esther Everett Lape, "to [cooperate] to set in motion, in respect to our international relations, an informed current of popular opinion, which is the only firm basis for reasoned and stable national policies." In other words, it is the opinion of the American Peace Award that such subsidiary offers of prizes will assist in preparing public opinion to urge the acceptance of a practicable plan of working for world peace when such a plan is clearly outlined to it.

In order that there shall be real benefit from such a discussion as The Daily News is trying to bring about, it is necessary that intelligent and well conceived plans shall be presented. We are receiving many suggestions, but, of course, an overwhelming proportion of them are of no value, being offered by persons who have given no intelligent thought to the subject. If you think, as do the members of the American Peace Award, that such a discussion will assist in arousing the popular mind to the need for proper [cooperation] that they write to The Daily News, briefly giving their views on this subject. If you will kindly provide me with a list of persons who have thought on this subject, I will write to them direct. Whether they care to compete for the prizes or not, their plans, briefly stated, will be infinitely more likely to arouse interest than anything I can get through a general appeal.

Mrs. Lape, for the American Peace Award, writes that digests of plans offered for the Bok prize may be offered in The Daily News contest and be printed without invalidating their claim to the Bok prize, provided the names of the authors are not printed, since one of the conditions of the submission of plans in competition for the Bok prize is that the manuscripts shall be submitted anonymously. She says further: "Local printing of digests of such plans as you might want to accept, without the names, would on the one hand, not disqualify writers from competing for our award and would, on the other hand, crystallize in a healthy and vivid way the existing popular interest in the question as to what the relation of the United States to the rest of the world shall be."

Thanking you for any assistant you can give me in this important matter, I remain,

Very truly yours,