Women Urge Ban on Secret Treaties, April 29, 1915



Congress at The Hague Also Goes on Record in Favor of World Arbitration.


Jane Addams Says Spirit of the Conference Demonstrates the Solidarity of Women.


Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES

THE HAGUE. April 29. -- The adoption of a ringing resolution urging that moral, social, and economic pressure be brought to bear upon nations failing to refer their disagreements to arbitration, marked the opening of the second day of the International Congress of Women. That all secret treaties shall be void was the further conviction of the Congress expressed in resolution form. Mrs. Glendower Evans of Boston, and Mrs. Louis F. Post of Washington addressing the Congress in support of this plank.

Mrs. Evans in behalf of the American delegation at first urged the immediate publication by each nation of all its existing treaties and conventions, but was glad to accept the more drastic statement proposed by a Dutch delegate and supported by the German delegates. Much discussion, not critical but by way of elucidation, ensued over a resolution affirming that there should be no transference of territory without the consent of the men and women residing therein.

It was introduced by Professor Emily Greene Balch of Wellesley College in a speech pointing out that it was just as unjust for a population arbitrarily to be transferred to another political unit as it was in the time of religious warfare for a Prince to determine the religion of his subjects. Her remarks brought forth stirring illustrations of the wrongs committed by such arbitrary transference from Belgian, Polish, and Italian delegates. Emily [Napieralski] of Chicago, representing [200,000] Polish-American women, moved the congress by her plea for the restoration of a united Poland. The resolution prevailed unanimously.

The evening sessions are taken up with addresses of a popular nature. Florence Holbrook of Chicago last night pointed out the desirability of rewriting the school histories with a view to making them less distorted in favor of the military, and of introducing peace education in the schools. Tonight's session was devoted to the topic of suffrage and war. Miss Alice Carpenter of New York was one of the speakers.

While at times the business of the convention must needs progress slowly because of the difficulty of handling the languages, and while at times slight misunderstandings occur, due to the extreme caution with which the representatives of the warring nations and of the nations nearest the [theater] of war must necessarily express themselves, yet the prevailing spirit is an excellent one, and the gathering demonstrates that the solidarity of women has held firmly in the midst of the present cataclysm.