Alice Thacher Post to Lucia Ames Mead, June 13, 1917


June 13, 1917.

Dear Mrs. Mead:

I have received from Miss Addams a copy of the progress of the Congress after the War, submitted by you, with the request that I send it to you with suggestions, if I have any to make. I am glad to make a few [comments], but with no idea that they are of especial value. I will send carbons of this letter to Miss Addams, Mrs. Spencer, and Mrs. Karsten for the office.

I had supposed that the program as submitted by you in New York, and that I thought excellent as an outline, was to be expanded somewhat as to form. For example: "No conquests" seems to me too brief. I think where there [is no] reason against it, it would be well to follow the phraseology of the Resolutions passed at The Hague, where we are offering the substance of those Resolutions.


1. "and the lessening of tariff barriers." -- How would "elimination" do in place of "lessening"? If you wish to retain the idea of diminishment but not abrogation, how would "reduction" do? But "elimination" is not stronger than the implications of The Hague Resolutions, which said, "in all countries there shall be liberty of commerce," that is, it urged that.

[2.] How about urging an International System of Ethics for Schools, instead of a Universal System?

3. Would it not be well to say, "at the Third Hague Peace Conference, which it is urged should be held immediately after the War," for the sake of clarity. Many will [read] these propositions beside the instructed Delegates, and they might suppose that the general Peace Conference for the close of the War is meant. For the same reason, at the close of the sentence, there might be added, after "Permanent International Conference," the words, "which it is hoped the Third Hague Peace Conference will establish."

4. In place of the words, "for international action," the phrase, "for the promotion of internationalism," might better convey the establishment of principles in international affairs. International action might cover unprincipled activities.

I am not sure that number 10 under the head of INTERNATIONAL does not belong wholly or in part here. If it really belongs in the INTERNATIONAL group I think it is under the work of the Permanent International Committee (4 of that group).

INTERNATIONAL. "War Settlement" does not cover all this group, though it appears as a subhead at the top.

I would think it might be well to rearrange these 10 propositions in a different order. First might come all the general principles which relate to making of the peace, and to making it permanent; secondly might come all the machineries of the [now] hoped for internationalism. Perhaps the propositions might go something like this: 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 3 with 5 as a part of it, 4, 7. 10 would go in with 4 of the other group, or 4 of this group, or with both. [page 2]

INTERNATIONAL. (Continued.) Now for a few comments on the separate propositions.

1. I think I would like "people" better than "nationality or nation." This also would bring it into line with The Hague Resolutions.

2. After "A Concert of Nations open to all," I would add "sovereign states."

3. It seems to me that b, c, and d, of this proposition are not [coordinate] with a., but describe the machinery proposed in a., namely, that of a Permanent International Conference. But I should think that the World Court proposed in number 5, of this group might be made [coordinate] with a. in this proposition.

4. Perhaps this might be rearranged. It might be suggested that the Permanent International Conference should be represented ad interim by the Permanent Standing Committee, the duties of which should include, etc. Number 10 might come in here.

5. Might be slightly expanded for sake of clarity, with an explanation that courts of arbitration had already been established by the previous Hague Conferences.

6. I like better the phrasing as in Resolution 7, of The Hague.

7. [I like better the phrasing as in Resolution] 11, [of The Hague.]

8. [I like better the phrasing as in Resolution] 13, [of The Hague], and I would like to add b. of same Reso.

9. I don't like to lose the last half of Resolution 12., on Disarmament, relating to the nationalization of the manufacture of armament.

Now, dear Mrs. Mead, don't let these suggestions worry you. They may not have any value. I have just had to set them down.

Faithfully yours,