Oscar S. Straus to Jane Addams, December 5, 1908


December 5, 1908.

Dear Miss Addams:

I received in due course your letter of November 12th, which should have been replied to before, in respect to the program for the Conference of Charities and Correction.

I was not aware that I had been appointed a member of the Committee on Immigrants. I have invariably refused to accept these appointments in connection with societies, for the reason that I desired to be entirely free to take such action in reference to matters coming within the scope of this Department as my judgment as its head might make necessary. With that object in view I resigned from a number of organizations in which I had worked prior to my qualifying as Secretary of Commerce and Labor. I must therefore inform you that I am unable to accept the appointment as a member of the Committee on Immigrants.

I am sending you under separate cover my annual report as Secretary of Commerce and Labor, and desire to call your [page 2] special attention to page 23, "Division of Information," and to the subdivision on said page entitled "Problem of the Unemployed," with special reference to the subject of a practical method of distribution, so as to remedy, if not entirely, certainly to a large extent, this great problem, which becomes acute in times of depression.

It so often happens that the unemployed become objects of charity, and therefore anything that can be devised to lesson the number of unemployed will to that extent remedy a condition which, if allowed to continue, will add materially to the problems which the Conference of charities proposes to alleviate.

I shall be glad, if the subject as presented meets with your approval, that it receive such consideration in your Conference as may appear advisable.

Very truly tours,

Oscar S Strauss [signed]

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull-House, 335 South Halsted Street,
Chicago, Illinois.