Lucia Ames Mead to Jane Addams, August 4, 1917

Aug. 4 '17

My Dear Miss Addams.

Just after mailing my letter with the draft, came yours and also this enclosure from Miss Balch. I have not my revised tentative program with me, nor the Am. Institute's statement and therefore can not feel sure about some points. I am quite willing to leave all further alterations or additions to you and Miss [Breckinridge]. I think it inadvisable [page 2] to talk at this stage about building up The Hague Conference on any new basis. I think the changes must come gradually and we must not have any more things to settle than are absolutely necessary when the War Settlement Conference comes. There must be the sense that it, (The Hague Conference) is decreed that we have something definite and established to which the world owes allegiance. The delegates sent of course should be chosen from many interests and the rule of unanimity must go, but these two things can be assured without such [page 3] a wholesale modification as Miss Balch suggests. If we are too revolutionary before the world is prepared for change, we may end in [ineffectiveness] and such a situation internationally as we see in Russia as to her internal affairs. The world must feel that it has something definite to cling to and is not all adrift without a compass.

I hope that you will answer Mr. Dewey as I have not my Congressional programs here and a source from you would be sure to be published, whereas mine would not be assured a place or have such might.

The German iniquity seems [page 4] daily more evident. I await Gerard's revelations with interest [though] I have not much respect for the man, tho I am probably prejudiced however.

I hate to suggest your doing another thing and am sorry that all this matter about the Program could not be settled by unanimous consent, but Miss Balch's remarks are based on so much earnestness and original thought  that it has been worth while to delay sending the Program until all her suggestions were threshed out. I don't like to make the Program any longer than it is now. As to disarmament, of course I yearn for it but unless the world changes mightily it won't come until a vast number of constructive measures have been [written in margin on page 1] formed and tested -- certainly not until after the Third Hague Conference. The readjustments may take ten years Mr. Angell says. Meanwhile we may get a truce in armaments. I think no more.


Lucia A. Mead