Jane Addams to Kathleen D'Olier Courtney, December 6, 1924


December 6, 1924

My dear Miss Courtney:

I am very grateful for your letter of November 20th, and I quite agree with what you say in regard to the new wording making difficulties in the various parts of the world where the work of reconciliation is most needed. Personally, I always use the old one. As you see by the enclosed folder, the statement used by the United States section is also very general.

I have very much regretted the more extreme form of statement, but you know of course, the situation we always have in our national [congress] between the absolutists and the others. The Executive Committee in Swarthmore with the consultative members [appointed?] the [subcommittee] to [restate] the objects, and the Executive Committee accepted the report, and although there was a discussion in Swarthmore, still there was none in Washington.

I should be very glad indeed to have the British Section make the point that no↑ new↓ matter should have been introduced in the statement of the objects unless the Sections had been consulted, and I should be very glad to sustain that point as Chairman. It was not raised at the time, and I am so accustomed to think of the Congresses being paramount that it did not occur to me as a "Parliamentary Point of Order," although I think it right well have been made.

It is partly an [aftermath] of war, I suppose, that people who have suffered so much, especially those in the disarmed countries, feel that they must express themselves in no uncertain sound and that war as an institution must be absolutely denounced and uprooted. Many of our members feel that unless we take this extreme stand, we have no need to exist as a great many other societies are promoting the Protocol and similar matters; and such a position is always stated by the extremist and sometimes put very well.

I had already heard of the situation in Constantinople from Mr. ↑Updike↓, whom I met after his return. His version was however, that Miss ↑[Youssouff]↓ was urging the pledge, and when he insisted no pledge had been adopted at Washington, she assured him he was mistaken, as she had been there herself. Emily Balch leaves the United States in February for a journey in the near east, and is planning to go to Constantinople, and I hope very much she will be able to look into the situation and straighten it out. and I should be very grateful for some addresses ↑[over here?]↓. Perhaps we can still start an organization, and certainly we would all be at liberty to use the former statement ↑there↓ if we choose. [page 2]

I am anticipating with much eagerness the pamphlet which Miss Evans is preparing which will give a digest of the propositions put before the Congress by the British Section as well as Mrs. Swanwick's statement of her experiences in Geneva. Would it be possible for the British Section to make a statement about the new "objects" in connection with that pamphlet, raising the point that as new matter was not submitted to the Sections, they therefore, were using the former one, or, to simply use the former one with a statement that the situation will be brought up at the next Congress.

I am sure you know that I have no Chairman's pride and should be very happy to have the point made in regard to ↑my lack of↓ ruling if it is possible to put it through in that way. I suspect, however, that the new wording met with the approbation of the majority of the voting members at the International Congress, although it never would have passed by majority vote of members of the American Section which met the next day.

I am sending a copy of this letter to Emily Balch and hope very much she will have an opportunity to see you en route for Constantinople.

With every possible good wish for Christmas and the New Year, I am,

Affectionately yours,