Jane Addams to Emily Greene Balch, October 26, 1920



International Office: Geneva
19, Bd Georges-Favon

October 26, 1920

My dear Emily Balch:

I am ashamed of my long silence, but immediately upon my return from Estes Park, a succession of English visitors begun, with Mrs Barnett of Toynbee Hall, ending with Mrs Pethick Lawrence who has just gone. But nobody was altogether more delightful than Frau Hertzka, and I almost feel as if I had attended a meeting of the International Committee. She made a very good impression in Chicago. The local League gave a very successful dinner to Mrs Pethick Lawrence and herself, and it all made towards a larger good will and understanding. I think she is quite clear that the Congress must be held in Vienna, and I inferred from the English [questionnaire] about the ↑summer↓ school that the date settled upon was the first two weeks in August, bringing the Congress itself, the last week in July. Am I correct in this? I of course expect to come over, by way of Geneva I hope, but I should be glad if I did not need to start until the end or middle of June. My friend Mary Smith hopes to go with me, and I shall be desolated if Alice Hamilton cannot come as well. Three of our residents are now working with the Quakers in Vienna, and we will have quite a Hull-House group ↑there in July.↓ [page 2]

You have probably had the minutes from Mrs Cothren in regard to the action taken by the National on the change of statement of the "objects". There was a very spirited discussion and while I do not feel so strongly on the matter the emphasis has certainly been tremendously shifted and it is I suppose a question as to whether a committee was empowered to make so radical a change as the first statement implies. It was the very last one of our resolutions and then merely said that we would "urge" it … Of course it is impossible not to give indirect support to war in war time and that is the pity of it all. It will be all right I suppose if I continue to use the original statement at the top of my paper and if ↑we↓ consider the other as provisional until the next congress, certainly nothing is to be gained by discussing it by correspondence, and the objectors could easily use the old form.

The school is still a little vague to me but I am replying to the English ↑section↓ that I think both ↑of the suggested↓ subjects should be considered and of course we want to do [everything] possible for it here but should have a more definite ↑program↓ as soon as possible. We discussed it with Mrs Pethick-Lawrence and Frau Hertzka and worked out one or two suggestions, the town itself must be perfectly charming. I was unable to make out from your letter the hitch with Dr Arnesen, but I hope that it isn't serious. Dr Rotten from Berlin who planned that very successful school on the Rhine in the fall of 1919 should be full of suggestions as well as the Bilthoven group ↑Paul Jones went over in Sept from the Fellowship here & is full of [illegible]↓. [page 3]

In regard to the five dollar fee for one year or two, the international members were all told that they would receive the report and much other material. I am sending in another envelope a copy of a letter I sent to each one who joined. As the material was [necessarily] delayed and as they came in so irregular a fashion I should hate to press them for renewal at once, but perhaps that will take care of itself and we can ask for renewals as the time of the congress approaches.

We are having a great time with our Mexican branch which got into trouble almost as soon as it was born largely because the most prominent member was a birth-control and communist advocate, shocking the correct Spanish ladies within an inch of their lives. Our duty to Mexico however is quite clear in this country and there is need for much education and good will ↑happily↓ the Federation of Churches is quite stirred, [largely] by Mrs Mathes, one of our members.

The new house is perfectly charming and I quite long to actually see it. I hope that it doesn't mean a lot of care for you and worry about coal and such matters. Wouldn't it be fine if we had the Nobel prize to endow it with!

I have only last night accepted a position on the Irish Commission evolved by The Nation. I quite realize that it ↑is↓ jumping into boiling oil as it were, but it may be useful and even afford a chance for our old idea of continuous mediation, at any rate I am off for Washington day after tomorrow. This is a hasty letter after all and sounds abrupt for that [page 4] reason I suspect, but you must know with what affection and admiration I follow what you are doing and that I respect ↑realize↓ how hard many of the situations are. I hope to see your sister when I go to Boston later, and that she will give me a good account of your health. Frau H. was full of praise of the kindness of Miss Cheever's family and friends. I miss her very ↑keenly↓ even [although] she was here so short a time.

With love to Miss Marshall and to Miss Cheever, and to you dearest and best of international secretaries

I am always devotedly yours.

Jane Addams [signed]

October 26th 1920

↑Will you send me fifty [pictures] of the massive international trade union [congress?].↓