Interview About the League of Nations, September 30, 1921



Reaffirms Faith That It's Sole Champion of Suffering Millions.



(In an interview with Milton Bronner Times-Democrat Staff)

LONDON, Sept. 30. -- If the women of America knew the condition of shell-shocked Europe they would greatly care.

And, if they cared, they would undoubtedly use their very great personal and political influence to bring about a swifter amelioration of conditions.

I know, of course, the wonderful work American people and American dollars and American food have been doing over here. But I know, too, that American are beginning to be just a bit weary of the constant appeals that are made to them.

They are mainly worried because they don't know the immense and pressing necessities that prompt the appeals. They main job is to inform them.

Millions in Distress

I was over here last in 1919. In the two years that have elapsed there have, of course, been improvements in conditions in some of the countries, but I can't say that the sum total of optimism about the future has very greatly increased. How could it?

There are widows and orphans everywhere. There are blinded and mutilated men. There are the millions of strong young men who will never more come back.

I have seen rickety children and half-famished children and consumptive people until my heart is sick.

Plea for Succor.

I think America, in conjunction with the nations of Europe that have succeeded fairly well in getting back in their feet, should help Austria.

I think, too, we should feed the starving in Russia without making so many "ifs" and "ands" about it.

You can be as savagely anti-Bolshevik as you please, but you can't be or shouldn't be anti-human. Save the lives of these suffering people now and think about their political and economic beliefs later.

Need for League.

And that brings me to the subject of the League of Nations.

I come back to come back to America from Europe a re-convert.

When the League was formed, I was for it. I campaigned for it.

Later I had reactions. I began to wonder, to doubt.

But after a fresh contact with Europe, I [no] longer doubt.

I once more believe strongly in the League of Nations and heartily wish our country might associate itself with the work the league alone can do.

What Substitute?

Put it to yourself this way: if you abolish the league, or if it dies, what is there to take its place? There is no answer.

I have been president of the Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom since its foundation in 1915, and have just been [reelected] at our meeting in Vienna.

At this meeting I came into contact with the women of 30 different nations. I not only heard of the troubles of shell-shocked Europe through these representative women, but I learned their faith and hope in the League of Nations.

There was a universal feeling among the women that it was their job to see that no more wars are made possible.

They came to Vienna full of belief in their ability, because today women, through the franchise, have a power they have never had before in the world's history.

League's Broader Duty.

The one reservation I make with regard to the League of Nations is that possibly up to now it has concerned itself too much with the political phases of world problems.

I think the time has come now when it must deal with economic problems and, still more, with human problems.

It must concern itself with such things as the famine in Russia and the want in Austria.

It must help protect the weak, [whether] they be the under-dogs in industrial situations or racial minorities submerged by national majorities.