Speech to British Suffragists, May 12, 1915 (excerpt)



Says Resort to Arms Would Neutralize U.S. Power for Good.


LONDON, May 12. -- “Whatever might be the wisest thing to do, going to war would be the most fatal,” was the comment of Miss Jane Addams of Chicago on the position of the United States with regard to the Lusitania case today. She said this at a reception given her today by some of the foremost women of England.

“The action to be taken is a question for the wise men of the nation. I have unlimited faith in President Wilson. He is absolutely safe,” Miss Addams proceeded. “Of course, it is abominable horrible, if one realizes the feelings of all concerned, however remotely. As psychologists state, grief and strain are akin to irritation, and the present outburst of feeling is only to be expected.

“At the same time while I appreciate their feelings and absolute horror of the incident, I affirm that war would neutralize our power for good.”

Peace Congress Success.

Asked about the peace congress, Miss Addams said:

“I think it was an entire success. I confess I went somewhat timorously, wondering how matters would turn out, but after the first meeting, which was somewhat cold because those present did not seem to realize their footing, the entire proceedings went with wonderful harmony and verve. The relations between the women of the various nations was excellent.

“Considering there were 1,375 present, the smoothness with which everything was conducted was remarkable. Of course we had to give a good deal to the Swedish and Danish women, being particularly anxious to avoid hurting any susceptibilities. We had to alter the wording of several resolutions.

Attitude of Dutch Changes.

“The change of attitude of the Dutch people toward us was itself remarkable. On the first day they laughed at the congress, asking if we would really appreciate another peace palace; but by the end of the second day they were discussing seriously our meetings, and toward the end our resolutions were weighed by them with the utmost gravity.”