Belle Case La Follette to Elizabeth Thacher Kent, January 26, 1915

3320 16th. St., Washington, D.C.
Tuesday January 26, 1915.

My dear Elizabeth,--

The more I think about your proposition the more convinced I am that it is the right way to proceed. When we saw Bryan with a view to getting him to speak for us, he read the platform; he objected to the first plank because the so-called neutral nations of Europe were all more or less biased one way or another by their environment or their previous relations, and so the warring nations were distrustful of such a conference lest it give one side or the other the advantage.

At the time I protested in a mild way by asking if the average judgment could not be depended on to be fairly just and spoke of the good results that came of the much questioned A.B.C. mediation.

My mind has often reverted to this point especially as it seems such a rational thing to call a conference of neutral nations and the idea appeals so quickly to the general run of people; but I have thought myself, probably the President and the diplomatists sense the great obstacles that make it impracticable for this country to initiate the call.

When your letter came I had been studying quite carefully the appeal written by Dr. Frank Crane for the Christian Herald, which is apparently being sent out with a view to arousing the churches. By the way his address is given in Who's Who as 305 W. 55th. St. New York. You might reach him there. He does a great deal of syndicate work and I have been told that he has an enormous following among his readers. His ideas are much along the same lines as the platform we adopted and he might help us greatly and we could possibly work out a plan of [cooperation] with the churches, through him. [page 2]

I talked with Miss Lathrop about your idea when I saw her yesterday for a few moments. She seemed favorably impressed and said she would write Miss Addams. I have mailed her a copy of your letter this morning, so she can have a clearer understanding of the matter. She is so close to Miss Addams that I feel we can get almost as good knowledge of Miss Addams' point of view through Miss Lathrop as though we reached her directly.

I also talked with Bob a little on the subject. He thinks the possibility of securing action remote, but sees no reason why it is not a good move for propaganda.

I wish indeed you were a host of women instead of only one. It needs just your kind of ability, enthusiasm and temperament to take hold of this work of organization. I feel so absolutely inadequate and the little I have tried to do has put me so behind with everything else, I feel I should do, that I am quite swamped.

Sorry you must go back to Boston. Susan is coming to stay for few days, wish you could be here at same time.

Must mail this. Love,