Emily Greene Balch to Helena Lucy Maria Sickert Swanwick, August 7, 1922

Mrs. Swanwick,
26 Law Crescent,
Kew Gardens, Surrey.

August 7, 1922.

Dear Mrs. Swanwick,

Cordial thanks for your letter of August 3, and the [preceding] letter of August 1.

Problems accumulate.

In Primis: Varese. The situation is so tense there with practically civil war or something very like it -- "blood in Varese every day" -- that we have decided that it is impossible to meet there. I think you would concur. There was not time to consult the Executive Committee. Mlle. Rolland, Mrs. Eliakim, who came up from Milan, Mrs. Elgie, Mlle. Gobat and I conferred but the responsibility for the decision is finally mine. We are arranging to meet in Lugano instead. We can have all the rooms we want at Hotel Meister. The tickets we have issued for Varese will be valid for Lugano. We shall have a deficit, but I shall find an American friend of the League who will meet all or most of it. We now have plenty of single rooms and can accept new applications if any occur.

Second: [Organizer] for Congress: I have suspected that Mrs. Robinson would like to be asked to do [this] but she wrote me that she was engaged to go to America to lecture there. Now comes the letter of which I enclose a copy. Please give me your judgment. I had imagined we should try to get Miss Daugaard but I don't know whether she would undertake it or not.

Third: Geneva Office:

a) During my absence at Fribourg (left ↑Sept.↓ 6-13) for the Executive Meeting.

Miss Amy Woods of Boston (U.S.A.) whom I are proposing to our American Section as a possible National Secretary will be with us [the] through -- [page 2] September so that if we have her and Miss Booth (see below) and Mrs. Elgie I think things will by no means stagnate during the week I am away at Freiburg and that we had better not go to the expense of bringing Miss Rinder over. Miss Booth would have to her living expenses paid however.

B After the Assembly is over.

"Brother ass" lay down a day or two last week and said his hay disagreed with him. A very sensible little doctor says that I (here I drop my fable) can go on through the Summer School, Ex. Com. and Assembly "since that is not to be avoided" but that I ought to take a real rest of some months afterwards, she spoke even of six. And though I hate to admit it I do believe she is right. If I once got rested I could not only go on longer but amount to a great deal more and this running a few steps and the [sitting] down to get breath is a disastrous way of managing one's life. Of course the disappointing thing is that I did not get a rest out of my four months leave in America, but the fact remains that I did not or only very imperfectly. It is no use crying over spilt milk and trying to judge how far it was inevitable, how far a lack of judgment and decision on my part. I spoke for the League, I had constant correspondence and worked hard especially over the question of Austrian credits. -- Well now to look ahead.

Mrs. Elgie will stay on if her health permits till her year is up in April. If she cannot stay Mrs. Ramondt's friend Miss Raven is glad to come.

Vilma Glücklich comes after the Ex. Com. Meeting or directly after the Summer School to take Mlle. Gobat's place for 2 or 3 months. My own feeling is it will be longer. The draw back is that I fear she is nervously exhausted. We will see. Miss Blakeney Booth is free and would come if her living expenses here were paid, to work in the office for some months. She is as you know young, enthusiastic and very nice looking, with personal touch in various quarters politically. For instance her uncle, I forget his name, is an advisor to the Reparations Commission and is a man who shares the views of Keynes. I think she is wholly in the right tradition and awake on international questions. There is a very nice young Chicago girl, modest, trained for secretarial work and most eager to be of service (and quite rich) who may come and give her services for the winter, but while that would give us a helper whose mother-tongue is English she would not be experienced enough to take responsibility. [page 3]

What should you think of getting Madame Jouve to come in my place for 6 months if she would consider doing so? Mlle. Rolland with whom I was talking yesterday thinks it not impossible. She would have to earn enough to support her family I suppose.

Another person I have thought of is Madame Ramondt-Hirschmann. Of course I don't know if she could come but it is possible that she might do so. She would not be first class but is active and interested.

Miss Addams suggested Gertrud Baer as my successor. Others think she is not at all fitted to conduct an office but perhaps Vilma Glücklich would be doing that ↑part↓. I do not know whether it would be fair to invite her as our Munich friends may feel that they need her too much. Also she is tired out I fear. 

Finally what about Miss Sheepshanks? Could she, should she, would she do it and would it be desirable to get her if we could? What salary in this case?

On our present budget we have available my salary of 1000 and Mlle. Gobat's of 300 for half time (not really half time as she comes mornings from 9-12). If Miss Glücklich were on half time at the same salary as Mlle. Gobat we should have 1000 for a person taking my place; or it might be better to try to have two full-time people, (say each 700, which increases our expenses 100 a month).

For our financial status see page ↑14 of Aug. Bulletin↓ herewith.

Such is the field so far as I see it, such our budget. It is a problem with many [X's] in it. I shall be most grateful for any counsel from you and [Catherine] Marshall to whom you will perhaps submit this letter.

I want to have something definite to propose to the Ex. Com.

Always yours as you know,