Emily Greene Balch to Jane Addams, July 6, 1922



6, rue du Vieux-Collège

July 6th. 1922

Miss Jane Addams,

Dear Miss Addams: --

It is high time that the date and place of the meeting of the Executive Committee were fixed and Agenda prepared.


It seems clear that the best time is as soon as possible after the Varese School which closes September 2nd.

I propose September 6-13 inclusive for the Executive Committee Meeting.


There are two proposals: Geneva and Freiburg in Baden (proposed by Fräulein Heymann, and supported by other German members on grounds of expense). I think that if we decide to meet in Geneva the League must offer to pay living expenses, and railway fares from the Swiss frontiers, for members of the Executive Committee (but not for Consultative members). As Miss Addams cannot come and I am here this might mean a total of about 70.00 francs for eight people, besides a relatively small sum for R.R. fares. Several could be received in the Maison Internationale which would [lessen] the expense somewhat.

(a) Arguments in [favor] of meeting in Geneva.

The files and library would be accessible for consultation during the meetings which would be a great advantage. Members would have an opportunity to get a first hand acquaintance with the work of Headquarters, to see the Maison Internationale [page 2] and to get a personal impression of the Assembly of the League of Nations (which comes together Sept. 4.). We could arrange a public meeting to be addressed by our best speakers which I am sure would be useful. Furthermore there are disadvantages about my being [away] from Geneva while the Assembly is meeting.

(b) In [favor] of Freiburg:

It would doubtless be much cheaper even allowing for taxes on foreigners and rise of prices. If the expenses were the equivalent of 2 or 3 francs a day instead of 8 or 10 the difference to our Consultative members must be considered, as well as the saving of our funds if we do not have the cost of hospitality in Geneva to meet. We should be freer from interruptions and concentration would be easier than at Geneva in Assembly time. It is to be hoped that a number of our members could make a stay at Geneva after the meeting of the Executive Committee and in that case we might be able to arrange the suggested public meeting here then.

I shall vote for Freiburg.

Of course the final decision will depend on the voting. You shall receive prompt notification of the result.


I suppose the main questions would be:

Our next Congress,
The Financing of the League,
The nomination of a Secretary Treasurer to submit to the next Congress,
Our [program] of work for 1922-3,
Reports of Committees appointed at Vienna.


Do you think that we should also discuss any amendments to the Constitution, to be proposed by the Executive Committee to the next Congress?

At Vienna the Executive Committee considered the question whether it was possible to admit two societies from one country and it was decided to ask the Congress to allow the Executive Committee to change the basis of membership for National Sections if necessary. (See p. 15 of minutes). For lack of time the question was not presented to the Congress however. Another question is in regard to allowing other societies to affiliate with us. The Swedish Section also made certain proposals (Annex III of Minutes). [page 3]

I have a horror of debates on constitutional texts in big assemblies, which are apt to lead to such a waste of valuable time. Our Constitution is obviously very incomplete but it works as it is.


There is no proviso in the Constitution as to proxies in case of necessary absence but it has been our custom to accept such when properly requested to do so.

Reply requested at once.

Please fill out and return the enclosed voting slip (Executive Committee Members) or questionnaire (Consultative members) within two days. If you cannot reply definitely please return the card now in any case, with such reply as you can make now, and write to complete the reply.

Please let me hear from you in regard to the Agenda also as soon as possible.

Very sincerely yours,

Emily G Balch [signed]