Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, United States Section, Bulletin, October 1921

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Temporary Office
62 Washington Square
New York City


This Bulletin announces the beginning of a most important year in the life of the W.I.L.P.F. Headquarters are to be moved to Washington (at least during the Conference) and this Washington office will act as information bureau. Facts and suggestions will come from there and from time to time each member will, by means of Bulletins, receive direct word as to what the League can do. It is, however, the individual members and the groups throughout the country who will do the real work.

Only by united effort can the W.I.L. be effective at this time; we must work as we never worked before; give as the U.S. section has given always, to the limit; and stand firm by the faith that is in us.

Mabel Hyde Kittredge, Acting Chairman.



As the result of a meeting of various groups favoring reduction of armament, there was formed on September 8th a federation: the plan of organization adopted was:

1. This body shall be known as the National Council on Limitations of Armaments.

2. It shall be composed of one representative of each national organization favoring limitation of armaments.

3. It shall have an Executive Board and such officers as the Council may deem necessary, to be chosen at the first regular meeting. This Board shall be empowered to employ an [Executive] Secretary, who under the supervision of the board shall have administration of the affairs of the Council.


The purpose of this Council shall be to unite and make articulate through the member-organizations the overwhelming sentiment of the people of the United States in favor of reduction of armaments. [page 2]

Specifically its functions are:

1. To suggest ways and means by which the work of the member organizations shall be [coordinated], duplication prevented, and unreached territory covered.

2. To [cooperate] with its constituent organizations and other agencies in maintaining an information service.

3. To maintain [cooperative] relations with organizations in other countries having a similar purpose.

4. To suggest to its member-organizations possible lines of action based upon the findings of its Executive Board.

5. To organize and maintain an advisory board of experts in the field of labor, economics, agriculture, government, international law and human welfare.

At the meeting of the Executive Board of the W.I.L. held in New York September 29, the motion was passed that the W.I.L.P.F. be one of the participating organizations in the National Council: that M. H. Kittredge be our representative: Mrs. George Odell, alternate.

To date the participating organizations are the following:

American Farm Bureau Federation.

National Board of Farm Organizations.

National Milk Producers Federation.

National Grange.

International Association of Machinists.

National Women's Trade Union League.

National League of Women Voters.

Women's Committee for World Disarmament.

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

National Congress of Mothers and Parent Teachers' Associations.

Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Friends' Disarmament Council.

International Lyceum and Chautauqua Association.

Foreign Policy Association.

National Education Association.

American Union Against Militarism.

World Friendship Information Bureau.

Association to Abolish War.

D.C. Women's Council for Limitation of Armaments.

Church Peace Union.

American School Citizenship League.


General Federation of Women's Clubs.

[Intercollegiate] Liberal League.

National Consumers League.

Council of Women for Home Missions.

The International Council has a home; a well located house at the corner of 17th and F Streets, near the Pan-American Building where the International Conference meets. Frederick J. Libby, Executive Secretary.

The W.I.L. will in all probability have a room at the headquarters of the National Council and this will be the address of the U.S. section of the W.I.L. until April. Notice of this will be sent you.


In taking up this new work in Washington it is not the purpose of the Executive Board of the W.I.L. to lay aside any of its existing activities. We believe every member will be moved to increase her [page 3] energy and generosity that the League may be fully equipped to do its full share of the important work in connection with the Washington Conference.

Miss Kittredge, on account of other work, offered her resignation as chairman of the United States Section of the W.I.L., to take effect on the appointment and acceptance of her successor. Mrs. George Odell, 1623 H Street, Washington, D.C., has accepted the chairmanship.

By vote of the Executive Board the W.I.L. will have a paid secretary in Washington as long as the Conference is in session.


The following resolutions were adopted relating to the International Conference on limitation of armament which assembles in Washington, November 11th.

Resolved that we, the Executive Board of the United States section of the International League for peace and freedom,

1. Believing that the common people of the world are expecting disarmament under the leadership of the United States, urge that the coming International Conference have for its first object such a reduction of existing military establishments as will ensure to the overburdened and war-sick nations of the world the same degree of disarmament as that granted to Germany by the treaty of Versailles which action is now conceded to afford tremendous future advantage.

2. Believing that the confidence of the people in the good faith of the Conference is of utmost importance to its success, we urge that its proceedings be kept free from the suspicion of secrecy and that all discussion and agreements be made matters of public record as are the proceedings of the U.S. Congress and other parliamentary bodies.

3. Believing the army and navy appropriation of more than a billion and a half dollars for the present year imposes an indefensible tax burden upon the people of the United States and is cause for alarm to other nations, and believing President Harding's recommendations for next year's army and navy appropriations in his forthcoming message to Congress which meets the first Monday in December, together with the debate and final action of Congress on this issue will have great influence on the International Conference,

We urge all organizations and individuals who desire disarmament, to act promptly and request President Harding by telegrams, letters and petitions to recommend radical reduction in army and navy appropriations for the next fiscal year, and we urge that in like manner senators and representatives in Congress be kept informed of the intense interest of their constituents in the reduction of next year's army and navy appropriations and in all votes relating to such appropriations. [page 4]

4. We urge special attention to the proposal by Japan that fortifications on the Pacific Ocean be removed. If this were done by all nations it would greatly reduce expense and fear and would be a powerful object lesson to the world as the unfortified Canadian boundary has been for over a century. Let us not be content to ask for disarmament in general terms, but urge consideration of the neutralization of waterways.


1. Double the membership. It numbers now 1860. It can be done -- If you and every member of the W.I.L. who reads this Bulletin will give time and thought enough to find ONE friend who will sign the blank below. More members mean added strength, enthusiasm and money. Don't delay! Get your member this month.

2. GIVE. In December, membership dollars are due. Send in your dollar now for 1922 and add something if possible.

The W.I.L.P.F. has had a big part in arousing public opinion to this desire for disarmament. Let us stay in the front ranks. Give all you can. It will make our work in Washington possible. It will make the work over the country efficient through good organizations.



Date ....................

I hereby enclose one dollar for membership in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom for the year 1922.

Name ..................................................

Address ........................................



I enclose one dollar for renewal of membership in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom for the year 1922, and extra contribution $ ..........

Name ..................................................

Address ........................................


Please make checks to
Agnes Brown Leach, Treas.
170 East 64th St., New York [page 5]


The September first number of "The Survey" contains an interesting article on the work of the Third Congress of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, written by Mrs. Florence Kelley, one of the delegates. We advise every member to read it in full. Copies can be had from the "Survey" office, 112 East 19th St., New York, at 25 cents each (stamps taken). Space permits of our printing only a few extracts.

Mrs. [Kelley] explains why Vienna was chosen for the Congress:

"Vienna is accessible for members from the new nations who must be enlisted if the league is to consist of groups pledged to peace and freedom in all countries; many people from the impoverished nations could travel to Vienna and live throughout the congress because of the fabulous decline in the Austrian rate of Exchange; and finally, and of great importance, the Austrian section pressed their invitation with a fervent plea that delegates from all the world should come and see how art and culture may survive not only prolonged war but a deadly peace. These three things make it a suitable place for an International Peace.

"This wise decision brought people from twenty-eight countries as delegates, fraternal delegates, delegates at large, and visitors, according to the political conditions in the nations whence they came. …

"From Holland, Dr. Aletta [Jacobs], one of the original organizers of the league, presented a resolution which binds the league to make revision of the Treaties its principal aim. …

"Inextricably interrelated with the Holland resolution is the plan recommended jointly by the American and British sections, under which a cable message carried congratulations to President Harding on calling an International Conference for Disarmament. All sections were urged to devote the week preceding that conference to demonstrations on a national scale in favor of immediate world-wide disarmament. Those sections whose governments were invited to take part were recommended to stimulate them by deputations and in all other feasible ways. The international interchange of speakers was especially emphasized. …

"The congress recommended to the sections the appointment of committees to examine school texts, to strive to eliminate passages which tend toward war, and to promote the use of material adapted to stimulate respect for and understanding of the other nations. …

"An extraordinarily illuminating divergence developed from the conflicting experience of Germany and Austria. Speakers from Germany attributed the World War largely to their own state monopoly of education which had, for fifty years, consistently fostered militarism. The Austrian women on the contrary, in whose country one of the most precious gains of the revolution is the transfer of the schools from ecclesiastical domination to the secularized state and [page 6] the city, overflowed with untried confidence in their newly acquired power as citizens. The crux of the matter was stated by Madame Duchêne, of Paris, in her question: 'If the self-governing nations cannot control their schools, in the interest of the people, and of the future peace of the world, what is the basis of our hope that we can control any part of our governments?'

"The president of the congress said, at a public reception held in what is doubtless the most beautiful room in any city hall in the world, that she had attended a suffrage meeting presided over by the mother of the president of the Austrian Republic in 1913 when the Austrian women were prohibited by law from belonging to any organization having a political aim. She returned eight years later to find suffrage extended to all women over 21 years of age, with eleven women sitting in the lower House of Parliament, four in the upper House, and twenty-three as members of the City Council of Vienna. In the face of these rapid changes, who would venture to say that Permanent Peace or any other unpopular cause was hopeless?

"Seen in retrospect the characteristics of the congress were vitality, growth and determination. More delegations and larger ones, the [reappearance] of important members of The Hague and Zurich meetings, even the overcrowding of the program with unforeseen matters too important to be ignored or delayed, all demonstrated vigorous life and the will to continued effort.

"Seen in prospect, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom will continue its work with the League of Nations, striving for changes in the Treaties. It will back to the limit of its power President Harding's Disarmament Conference."

Florence [Kelley].


TELEGRAM FROM MISS ADDAMS (For insertion in Bulletin)

"The International League at its meeting in Vienna issued a manifesto to be presented by its National Sections to the delegates of their respective nations at the Washington Conference. Such action is but the beginning of concerted movement to be taken by the women of thirty countries concerning pressing question of Disarmament. They are constantly sending to the Geneva office valuable information about the current movement for Disarmament, which is happily world wide."

Jane Addams.



Elected -- Vienna, July, 1921, International President: Jane Addams; Vice-President: L. G. Heymann (Germany); Secretary-Treasurer: Emily G. Balch (U.S.).

Note: -- Miss Emily Balch is taking a four-months' vacation in this country. Her address is 130 Prince Street, Jamaica Plain, Mass.

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