Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, January 11, 1916 (fragment)

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H. R. 8235 ↑6921↓ ↑and H J Res 32↓


↑Miss Jane Addams and others↓


JANUARY 12 ↑11↓, 1916

1916 ↑over↓ [page 2]

↑Commission for enduring peace↓

[typed in left margin] ↑Francisco Cyl. 1 E. J. M.↓

Committee on Foreign Affairs.

House of Representative.

Washington, D.C., Tuesday,

January 11, 1916.

The Committee met at 10.45 o'clock a.m., Honorable Henry D. Flood, (Chairman) presiding.

The Chairman. The Committee will be in order, and the audience will please be in order.

The Committee is here, primarily, to hear Miss Addams on the peace question, and I understood from Mrs. Odell, who made the arrangements, that Miss Addams would incidentally allude to some of the bills on this subject that are now pending before the Foreign Affairs Committee.

We will be glad to hear from Miss Addams, and to see what arrangement she wishes to make in reference to the discussion here this morning.

Miss Jane Addams. Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee

Miss Addams

The Chairman. Miss Addams. [page 3]

Miss Addams. The [Woman's] Peace Party has been meeting in Washington for several days and we realize very strongly that our relations with other countries are, of course, changing very rapidly under the present condition of affairs, but we also feel that this is an opportunity to meet those changing conditions through such committees as you gentlemen represent -- through the committees that have in charge our foreign affairs -- rather than to depart from the American tradition and to increase the army and naval preparations. We are anxious, therefore, to present to you what seems to us the outline of the program which would forestall any necessity for such a phenomenal increase in our armament, and most of these things are embodied in bills which are before your honorable committee, but one or two of them are suggestions which we hope may later be embodied in bills to be presented by someone in the House. I would like very much to present our plan for a conference of neutral nations, in which our party has been interested for a long time, and, before that, if I may, I should like to present one or two of our members and to have them indulge in a short discussion and short presentation of several plans that we have in mind, most of which as I said, are embodied in bills now before you, and one or two of which we hope to have presented later in the House. If that suggestion meets with the approval of you gentlemen --

The Chairman. Very well Miss Addams, you may proceed.

Miss Addams. I will first present Mrs. Mead, of Boston.

Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead: Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee on Foreign Relations. [page 4]

Mrs. Mead.

The Chairman. Mrs. Mead.

Mrs. Mead. I speak to the House Joint Resolution No.32. Gentlemen, if you had begun on the day when Christ was born, to throw a silver dollar into the ocean every single minute of every hour of the day, and every day of the month, and every month of the year for nineteen hundred years, day and night, every minute, you would have thrown away what Europe is throwing away today every fifteen days, in carrying on this way ↑war↓. At the end of this war we are going to see nations approaching bankruptcy. We are going to see them with millstones tied about their necks, and unable to pay probably even the interest on their debts. There is no possibility of those nations recuperating themselves and becoming our customers in the way they were before this war, unless they can relieve themselves from the fearful incubus of the preparation for war which has brought about this actual war; and, therefore, this whole plan of bringing about this proposition for world organization is essentially linked up with the necessity of lessening the old futile methods of preparing of ↑for↓ what John Hay calls the most futile [page 5] and ferocious of methods, which is war. There has been an illogical inversion; you have put disarmament first, which, of course, is illogical, and should come afterwards; there can be no disarmament until after there are substitutes for armament, and to carry out such propositions as we have all been familiar with for many years; there is nothing essentially new in reference to the proposed conference. This whole idea of world organization goes back to [Immanuel] Kant; most of these propositions in this bill go back to the time of men of wisdom of other ages; all of these things were advocated sixty or seventy years ago. The world is now beginning to see the futility of the old doctrine of force; that you can not get ahead of your neighbor ↑without↓ provoking that neighbor to rivalry, and finally to bring about such intolerable pressure and such an accumulation in the flow of munitions, that there is bound to be an explosion and a conflagration. [typed in left margin] ↑cyl 2↓ [page 6]

In regard to these different propositions, -- I wish to speak of several -- it seems to me the one which the world is going to need most is new law. We have already an arbitration court. We have gone a long way to get a court for judicial decisions; the only difficulty has been, as you know, in getting the requisite number of judges appointed, so that they would satisfy the smaller and other nations, but that is really a detail. The world has accepted already at the Second Hague Conference, the idea of a court of judicial decision. What we have not yet provided for is that there shall be a world legislature or conference, which shall create new law. That is imperatively demanded today. In addition to that, we have provided for no sanctions. What you have mentioned is an international police to enforce the decisions of this court. Justice Brewer, of the Supreme Court of the United States, said The Hague court would never require an army or a navy behind it to enforce its decisions. Our own supreme court has never needed the exercise of an army or a navy to enforce its decisions. I believe in an international police, although I believe the idea is somewhat misunderstood. [illegible] They will be useful in carrying help to sufferers from such calamities as the Messina disaster, at the time of the earthquake, or [illegible] the military force will be useful in policing, as they did at San Francisco, at the time of the great fire, but it will not require great armor plate or 16 inch guns when we have an international police. [page 7] When we have no armies left, it will necessarily be a small body and I do not believe it will be a body that it will be difficult to coerce nations into obeying the decisions of the courts. No nation which has ever gone into an arbitration has ever gone back on its word, and gone to war. In some cases there have been delays and retrials, but in no case has a nation gone into an arbitration court and then broken its word afterward, and gone to war. I believe, therefore, that the functions of our international police will be largely those of our city police, and we shall need their helpful protection at times; but, gentlemen, there is another sanction which I hope you will introduce as an amendment to this bill before it is passed. There have ↑has↓ come to our attention in the last few years, with the rapid connection of nations now -- even by the wireless -- the opportunity to coerce a nation in a far more powerful way than by bombarding its great cities. It is the coercion of non-intercourse. If such coercion, in the form of concerned drastic non-intercourse be carried out, to the extent of cutting off all passports, copyrights, and patents, and cutting off all railroad and shipping connections, cutting off absolutely the telegraph and coastal ↑postal↓ connections, it will be effective, in that it will leave that nation absolutely alone, and no nation has yet stood absolutely alone. [typed in left margin] ↑Francisco Cyl. 3↓ [page 8]

Even the central nations of Europe, which are cut off to some extent today, have been receiving enormous supplies from the smaller nations of Switzerland and Denmark and Sweden and Holland, and up to last night, May, through Italy; but if this coercion can be carried out, we will see these advantages: In the first place, we have been paying $250,000,000 for the army and navy; we are asked now to so increase it that we shall pay in the next five years an increase forty times as great as the naval increase that was made in Germany in the five years previous to this war. Now, if we can have an equally effective coercion, a coercion which will be felt in the farthest hamlet, where anyone who wants to send a telegram or a letter, will not be allowed to send it, we are going to get every man and woman in that country opposed to its government, if that government be not fighting in self defense, but merely fighting stubbornly because it wants to break its pledge to other nations. We are now seeing every nation in Europe fighting desperately because each one believes it is fighting absolutely for its self defense, but you can not get people to lay down their lives to support their government, when it is simply breaking its pledge. 

The Chairman. We have not the bill before us that you are discussing. 

Mrs. Mead. I thought you had all of these bills. This is House Joint Resolution No. 32. [page 9]

The Chairman. Who is the patron of it?

Mrs. Mead. It was presented by Mr. Curry. Will you take this copy {offering paper}?

The Chairman. No. I just wanted to know which bill it was.

Mrs. Mead. I am speaking directly to this bill which is intended to empower the President to call a conference which shall consider the question of establishing a world organization, and that is [illegible] ↑inextricably↓ bound up with these propositions I have been presenting to you. I hope when you consider this, [illegible] you will add this new and most effective power of coercion. When the Chinese, unofficially, a few of them, boycotted our cotton merchants, it made such a commotion that President Roosevelt was bound to telegraph to San Francisco, and remove the exclusion laws. Even now the Japanese are feeling the effect of a very serious boycott by the Chinese, purely unofficial, by a weak nation that has no navy, and yet the Japanese are suffering from it. If we can make this absolutely concerted coercion, we are sure you will find it effective. If we can get the nations to unite and put themselves on record as favoring an international law which shall have for a penalty this coercion, we shall certainly never need an international navy for punishing a nation for breaking its pledge. All these propositions which you have here are embodied essentially by the league to enforce peace, except this last, of coercion, and these have been presented to 702 chambers of commerce throughout the country. [page 10]

Mr. Filene, [illegible] of Boston, has presented them, and you have read them in the newspapers. They have all balked at the idea of our going into any agreement which would oblige us to use our army and navy. They have put their emphasis on the power of this coercion through non-intercourse. 

Now, with regard to a matter of detail, in calling such a conference as this, which is essentially equivalent to calling a Third Hague Conference, I hope you will specifically provide that those who are sent as representatives shall be civilians. The Hon. Andrew D. White has stated that he was distinctly handicapped because of the military and naval men with him, who frustrated his purposes. These military experts, which it was proper to have as expert advisers, had, however, a vote which counted as much as that of our ambassador to Berlin, Hon. Andrew D. White. What we should have in this conference is what President Butler, of Columbia, calls the “international mind”. There should be people of great international experience, but they should not necessarily be people who are simply bound by precedent, people trained only in diplomatic intercourse. We need captains of industry with large international experience; we need representative people from our communities, because this is for the people, and not merely for the government. Therefore, all the elements of the people should be represented. [page 11]

[typed in left margin] ↑Cyl. 4↓

In closing, may I say that I have here certain pamphlets which will give you more fully a constructive program which will embody, to some extent, what is already in this bill, and which will show how it is possible by legislative methods to create a preparedness which will cost nothing, but which will be vastly more efficient than this preparedness which is being proposed, and which is bound to create an equal preparedness so far as other nations can make it, and which will simply lead to a calamity worse than this European war; it will be a world war. I have the pleasure of presenting to you a book written by the women of the peace party, and you will find in the appendices enclosed a good deal of valuable information which will give you the statements made by the men who met at The Hague last April and formed the League for World Peace. It will give the program of the League for ↑to↓ Enforce Peace, and of the Union of Democratic Control, of Great Britain, and various others. You will find that these able men all over the world, of different nationalities, who are now carefully considering this reconstruction of the world, and making it possible for Europe to recoup itself, all recognize the futility of great armament, and I believe you will find a great many suggestions that will be of value. I have the honor to present this book to your honorable Committee. [page 12]

I am ready to answer any questions which any of you gentlemen may care to ask.

The Chairman. Does any member of the Committee care to ask Mrs. Mead. any questions? (No response)

Miss Addams. When I was abroad last summer, so many times we heard people in England, and even in Germany and Italy, say that if there had not been so much secret diplomacy, and if the people could have known what was brewing between the nations, possibly the war could have been averted; and we feel that we have a tremendous advantage here in America, because our treaties are all open and we have such committees as yours, which, in its deliberations, turns an attentive ear to such appeals as this which we made, and on that basis, we will present the next speaker, who has some suggestions to make which are not provided in the bills, and while we realize that it may seem impertinent to present such suggestions, we hope you will give them due consideration; and the next speaker is Mrs. Benedict, of New York.

The Chairman. We shall be very glad to hear her.

[Mrs.] Benedict. Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

The Chairman. Mrs. Benedict.

Mrs. Benedict. It seems to me a particularly fortunate coincidence that this Committee on Foreign Relations happens to be meeting this morning in the committee room of the Ways and Means Committee. [page 13]

My idea of the whole situation before the United States today is this: That if the Ways and Means Committee can hold up this preparedness campaign long enough for you gentlemen of the Foreign Relations Committee to think over our foreign relations, to get your minds really concentrated on what serious dangers there are facing this country, that we may save the nation after all; and so it seems to me that we have every reason to come before you with these two proposals, even though they are not yet embodied in bills. I thought of them along with a great many other people towards the end of last summer, and I consider it a great oversight on my part that they are not already embodied in bills; it is because we have been busy doing a great many other things.

My proposals are these; that as an offset to greatly increased armament, -- for military preparedness -- as an offset to that, that this country should undertake two unique new foreign policies; they have been suggested before; they are not altogether new, but we are suggesting them this morning in a new light, as a direct offset for preparedness; and may I, before stating what these bills are, say a few words about preparedness, to explain why we think it is important to propose something else besides increased military preparations in the present situation of the United States.

You know, I think an analogy helps clear thinking as much as anything else, if it be a true analogy; if it, be a false analogy, it confuses the public mind more than anything else. [page 14]

[typed in left margin] ↑Francisco 5↓

Now, the preparedness advocates use as an illustration for their arguments, insurance -- fire insurance. They say we must insure our country. “You believe in fire insurance and prevention; we must insure our country in the same way.” I just want to say a word or two as to the falseness of that analogy. If you train the boys in one school in a fire drill, you do not, by that training, inspire in them a desire to go and start a fire in another boys’ school, so as to see how well the other boys drill; but in this idea of military training there is that danger; we all know it; we all admit it. Now if a man is building a fire escape on the front of his house, it does not make his neighbor think that the very fact that he is building that fire escape on the front of his house means that he is going to come over and start a fire in his neighbor’s house; but this military fire prevention scheme, -- these armament fire escapes -- do not look the same [illegible] to the other fellow that they look to us. It seems to me those two examples take the truth out of this fire insurance analogy; and, at the risk of getting myself into trouble -- because anybody can attack an analogy -- I am going to suggest what seems to me the truest picture that we can make -- the truest analogy that we can make for this preparedness situation. I think that the advocating of big armaments in the present situation of this country is like advocating an emergency measure in the case of a person who is very sick, or suffering from some trouble; sometimes a foolish doctor, a doctor who gets scared and all excited, comes along and says “We can not let her suffer any more; we can not let this go on; she is getting hysterical, getting nervous; we must use an emergency measure; no matter what the results of it are.” [page 15]

Say a woman is suffering from sleeplessness, and there is one doctor -- a wise doctor, with lots of experience, who is not excited or nervous, who says, “We want to cure this woman; get at the real trouble and cause of this, and cure it, if we can”, and another doctor is called in, say who is younger, very much less experienced, more nervous, and more excitable, and he comes in to treat the sleepless patient and he says “We must give her a powder; we must remove this hysteria, this excitement, this nervousness; we must do it, even though it will make the disease worse; we must take this emergency measure, we know it will get her into more trouble afterwards, but we must take this measure.” Now, I look upon this committee as the wise, experienced doctor, perhaps, and I look upon the Military Affairs Committee as, perhaps, this young, inexperienced, nervous, excitable doctor, who believes in quick action in emergencies, regardless of future consequences or what the real cause may be. You will say to him, “Now, look here, Doctor so and so; I have been in this business longer than you have; this patient is not so bad after all. I have seen her worse.” And you will bid him give you the chance to cure this woman, give you a few years to get at the real root and cause of this situation before you take an emergency measure, which is going to make it infinitely harder for us to get [illegible] at the root and real cause of the situation. I am saying all this because I want to interest you [illegible] in the ↑two↓ propositions which I would suggest you put up as an offset for preparedness. The advocates of preparedness tell us that a big two-power navy and a great continental army will insure to this country the blessings of peace, labor, and prosperity. We know that that is a lie. All of Europe is proving it today; that is a lie; thousands of men are dying to prove it. We know that it is not true. [page 16]

The answer of Japan in the papers a few days ago for ↑to↓ the recent world advertising of the fact that the United States is going to double its navy -- what is the answer of Japan? Japan is going to double its navy. Now, ↑if↓ the arguments of the militarists are sound, what are they going to say in this situation? Preparedness is a relative thing, is it not? So they say “Our [illegible] navy bears this relation to the navy of Japan, therefore, we must double it, or we must spend [$400,000,000] in place of $200,000,000.” And now comes the answer of Japan. “All right; we will propose a double armament too.” Now, if our militarists are honest, if our preparedness advocates are honest, and if their original argument was good, it means this: “All right, then; if we need a navy this big, and Japan has one this big (demonstrating), if Japan increases, then we must be this big (demonstrating)," and then, again, Japan, with the same kind of national psychology as we have, will answer again, and we will answer again, and the end [illegible] is war. All those people know in their hearts that they are providing us not for peace, but for war, and they believe that war is coming, and is bound to come, and that we want to have a good fight, and want the United States to be in it with flying colors, and take a good part. That is all they are really preparing us for -- a good fight. This is the truth, then, I think, about preparedness, that it is an emergency measure, and if we must take it -- if it is an emergency, all right, but it seems to me it is up to you gentlemen of the Foreign Relations Committee and those of us who can devise methods [of] foreign policy to propose them in place of this measure. [page 17]

[typed in left margin] ↑Cy. 6.↓

What are our enemies? That is a proper question for this committee to consider. The situation of ↑with↓ Japan, which is supposed to be one of the chief reasons why we need this great program in military preparedness. If that ↑there↓ is an immediate danger of invasion, then, perhaps, we must succumb; but the preparedness advocates themselves say it is ten years before we need expect this invasion. Now, our proposal is that this Congress of the United States take action for establishing a joint commission of experts, representing Japan and China and the United States, to investigate and study all the varied difficult and complex and dangerous questions at issue between these two great nations, great ↑both↓ of them necessary to the world; that that commission report, after its thorough investigation of all the questions involved, -- local questions, national questions, international questions, racial questions, economic questions, -- that it then report its findings and recommendations to the countries involved; that we make that effort to solve this danger, rather than immediately running for ships and guns. So much for the Japanese problem. We believe that if we have ten years time, that it is worth trying that method, and we suggest an immediate appropriation that would make that possible. [page 18]

The other great foreign question facing us, as I understand it, is the Monroe Doctrine. It is said as long as we have the Monroe Doctrine, and believe in it, that we must have a navy and an army, and that ↑all↓ the military possibilities necessary to enforce it. Again I submit, that that does [not] mean an immediate danger to this country; a future danger if we keep to it, undoubtedly; it has the elements of danger in it, but not immediately. When a strong European nation is going to challenge the Monroe Doctrine -- and all the strong nations are busy -- we must recognize that -- that gives us, again time to think. It seems to me it gives us time for this committee to consider the Monroe Doctrine, and what it means, rather than to turn the whole question over to those who believe in military preparedness as the only method of handling foreign policies, and since we have time to think, we would suggest that we propose this year, as a direct offset to a program [of] military preparedness, to bring about this Pan [page 19] American Union that everybody is talking about, -- a real political federation of the republics of the western hemisphere, dedicated to democracy, to peace, and to their mutual good will and friendship. Many advocates of military preparedness also see hope in the Pan American Union. Our bringing forward of this proposition is a little different. We see in it a step towards unnationalism -- the first and most possible example of federation of nations, [not] primarily by defense, not with emphasis on the military side of it, but with emphasis on good will, on cooperation, on agreement to arbitrate all their [illegible] difficulties, -- we see in these two new unique foreign policies a chance to put off the desperate emergency measure of greatly increased armament, and we hope to have before you, before many weeks, for your consideration, well drawn, practical bills, calling for action in this line. 

Are there any questions, gentlemen? [page 20]

The Chairman. Does any member [desire] to ask Mrs. Benedict any questions?

(no response)

Miss Jane Addams. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee, I [illegible] find myself a little embarrassed, because we seem to be instructing you; that is not what we intended to do at all. Miss [Breckinridge], of Kentucky, whose name, I am sure, is familiar to every man on this Committee, wishes to present another suggestion which might forestall any necessity for military preparedness. She is also a member of the faculty of the University of Chicago, Miss Breckenridge.

Miss Breckenridge: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, we women come to you with these proposals for world organization as though they were simple things, and as though we thought they were simple matters for your deliberation. Perhaps I might say just a word upon the state of mind of many women in this country on this subject. Mrs. Mead said the plan she put up was a plan that would not cost anything, but of course she meant it was a plan that would not cost dollars and cents and human labor. It costs, perhaps, the thing that is perhaps most rare and most precious, -- a thing that we feel perhaps is possessed by your honorable committee, which I might call “good gray matter”. After all, it is so much easier to spend dollars and cents than to put our brains upon these problems. [page 21]

[typed in margin] ↓Fran. Cyl. 7.↓

With reference to the support your committee would have throughout the country in taking steps toward this world organization, you would have an unexpected and intelligent support on the part of the great body of club women. They have been studying in this last decade in their courses in civics the fundamentals of governmental organization, and one of the things they are familiar with is what Montesquieu said, when he said our government was to be a government of laws, and not of men; meaning it was to be a government of liberty and universal application and freedom, under just treatment, and not a [government] of caprice or a government of force; so they have familiarized themselves with the principles of our government, which was organized on that basis of laws, and not men, with a separation of powers -- the judicial, legislative and the executive; all the women in the country know about that. Therefore, if you would start upon a program of world organization, you will find that these women [illegible] can not quite see why you could not apply the very same line of reasoning and justice to some of the other nations of the earth, which we applied in our own difficult situation 135 years ago. [page 22]

I wish, therefore, to assure you that among the women of the country you would find a very unexpected intelligent and cordial support in this direction. Mrs. Mead spoke of or used the illustration, going back to the time of Christ, about throwing a dollar in the ocean, but I would like to suggest another possibility; if some eight hundred years ago, instead of at the time of the birth of Christ, you had been [illegible] a party to the government which was then developing in England, you would have seen taking shape very much the same thing that we want to take shape today. It is almost an entirely incomprehensible fact how vital a part peace has played in the organization of the English government, by the idea of the "King's Peace". The "King's Peace" was that great idea which gave justice and protection to those who traveled on the king's highway, and all those places which were under the protection of the law, as distinguished from the idea of force. If I might just say this, for example; I believe in the early days of England it was not force that conquered; force only got the territory on which they stood; it was the law as embodied in the establishment of the courts which conquered the people of England, and finally welded them into one; so I am persuaded to think we are right in looking to the Committee on Foreign Relations as the voice and the brains and the principal of this nation in framing principles by which we may lead through our power, our wealth, our love of liberty, and our experience in developing this great nation in the last 150 years. [page 23]

[We?] recognize perfectly that it is very slow and difficult to devise the process; it took England some 250 years to substitute their legal and peaceful processes for the early chaotic and forceful methods. By the substitution of the writ for the appeal, and the substitution of the grand jury for the accusation before the coroner, by those substitutions we have acquired those early principles of common law, which is [illegible] ↑our↓ most valuable inheritance from English civilization. And, notwithstanding that, we have sections in our own country still, which are in the primary stage of legal and social development -- in parts of my own state where feuds still exist, we have not been able to perfect an organization of obedience to the law and social order, but that does not mean we do not accept those great principles; so realizing that, we still believe that you have every reason to count on most intelligent and cordial support in starting on a policy leading in that direction, and if a thing like that could be done ↑in↓ two centuries in the early days by the king and his counsellors, why could it not be done in two or three decades in the twentieth century, with all our knowledge? That point I wanted to make in behalf of the women, because we do speak in behalf of a group of women who can not quite understand why these undertakings should be impossible. If I should use a domestic analogy, you would think it ↑a↓ perfectly suitable thing for me to do. If I may quote in using that domestic analogy, Ex-President Taft, I think you will feel it has application, not because I am a woman, but because it is fundamentally true; and in his speech before the American Bar Association in 1914, Ex-President Taft recommended one of the measures which I want to call to your attention, and which will be submitted to you. President Taft at that time urged that we should take those steps which would result in setting our own house in order. [page 24]

[typed in margin] ↑Cyl. 8↓

Mrs. Mead has spoken to you of the methods which she would recommend -- drastic non-intercourse -- as a substitute, perhaps, or at any rate, preliminary to the use of a joint police. Now, I believe that before we use drastic non-intercourse, or an international police, we should use the great power of our own experience in organization, and that we should [illegible] ↑set↓ the nations of the world an example, and that we should likewise propose to them the possibility of such an organization. In setting our house in order, one of the steps, and that step to which President Taft referred, is [illegible] action with reference to the treatment of our unnaturalized citizens, or, rather, residents of this country. We know that [illegible] one source of ferment is the treatment by the local jurisdictions of the unnaturalized residents who are in the community, but not of the community. And the measure to which President Taft referred, and [illegible] which was recommended by the Committee on International Relations of the American Bar Association was that a bill, which Mr. Taft said would not have to be more than twelve lines long, should be drafted and enacted, which would give to the federal government control and power to protect the aliens prior to naturalization. If we were to do that, we should do what was done in the earlier years in English history, and our women are going to call to your attention later something of the kind if it has not already been taken up by your committee, or by another member of the house. [page 25]

The other matter I want to call to your attention is not an easy matter, but one of which I would like to have you think. It is with reference to the identity of interests of all the peoples of the world to which Mrs. Mead has referred. I believe that all the interests of all peoples are alike. I myself am by no means averse to a fight; I only want to choose my enemy, and the enemies that I prefer to encounter are those which stand between me and that which I think is my highest good, which I believe to be the highest good of all other human biddings ↑beings,↓ namely, poverty and ignorance, and injustice, and while I believe that the identity of all the peoples' interests, I recognize that there are groups in each community whose interests seem to be hostile to the interests of others. I would like to call your attention to the fact that a student of our economic conditions has stated that probably over 40% of our wage earners and their families enjoy an income of less than $600 a year, and 20% an income of less than $500 a year. That means, [illegible] of course, that our great employers of labor [page 26] in a large number of instances pay wages which are less than living wages; it [illegible] means that out of the underpaid labor, the underpaid time of their [employees], they have a large surplus for which they seek investment; it [means] they seek investment and concessions to give them economic advantages, preferably among backward people; it means they sometimes call upon our government to use its military and naval forces to support a grievance which would not stand the scrutiny of the least intelligent court in this country, and I would be glad if out of this could come a determination by this Committee and this Congress that no citizen seeking such concessions among backward people could claim the protection of the military and naval forces of this country, risking the lives of our young men, and involving the expenditure of many dollars of taxes from those poor underpaid workers, unless the agreement made in that country can stand such scrutiny as is given to an agreement enforced through our courts of equity, into which everyone must come with clean hands. The declaration of this principle would do away with some of the most fruitful sources of friction among nations. If, during this Congress, we could have these two great principles recognized, our own house would be more in order at the end of the session than it is at the present time, and we should have begun to set for other nations that example of peace within our own borders, and they would gradually join with us in a program looking toward world organization. [page 27]

Miss Addams. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Committee, we have just ten minutes, and then we will close on the hour, because we are anxious to show you that we can keep within our time, and I should like to speak for the ten minutes.

The Chairman. We can give you a little more time Miss Addams.

Miss Addams. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

[typed in left margin] ↑Fran. 9.↓

Mr. London has introduced a bill into the House recommending that the House urge the President to take steps towards calling a conference of neutral nations, to see what might be done through their influence to end the war, and our woman's peace party has been very much interested in some such enterprise ever since the war began, and some of us were abroad last summer interviewing the Prime Ministers and the Ministers of foreign affairs in the belligerent as well as the neutral countries, to see how they would take such a proposition, and I would like to speak to that, and also as to the fact that something of the sort in a very informal way is being opened up by The Hague. We felt there were two points to settle through secret diplomacy, with no chance to discuss what had happened, and with the whole thing settled behind closed doors. We found in every single country people who were very anxious that, however the war should end -- they all believe they are going to win -- but however it should end, that the people should have some share in the discussion of the terms, and in England, where they think so much of free speech, they all felt the people were not going to have a chance for such a discussion, because every time a new nation went into the war, a lot of new treaties were made. [page 28]

We are told that Italy made 19 new treaties before she went in, and we know that the Balkan States are continually making treaties among themselves; so we thought very strongly that a conference of neutrals, even if unofficial, could do two things. One was that there could be a public forum where these peace measures could be discussed -- even though never carried out, they could be discussed -- and further it would bring the moral pressure of the neutral nations, who are not in the war, and who are still clinging to the principles of righteousness and justice -- that it would bring them together, and give them a chance to discuss it and exchange their views, and their influence might at least shorten the process of warfare. After we had seen fourteen different governments and were very well received everywhere -- possibly because they were willing to talk to women because they thought we were not of much account -- we found in five neutral nations -- Holland and Switzerland and the three Scandinavian Countries, that they were willing to come in, provided the United States came in, and two of them were willing to call such a conference, provided the United States came in, but [page 29] they thought they ought to proceed very cautiously, and did not want to take ↑do↓ it unless the United States would come in. We understood from what Mr. Bryan had said to us, who was Secretary of State before we left, that there were certain difficulties in the way of the United States calling such a conference. One of them was that the United States would have to recognize the neutral nations in this hemisphere, and that it would make the conference very large and unwieldy. We came home very happy to report that two of the European nations were willing to call it, and to invite whatever nations they pleased; but the administration felt -- and doubtless very wisely -- that the time had not yet come for any such move, but we hope very much that we can spread our experience in regard to this proposition, and of course, this is the committee before whom it would be most [worthwhile]. If I may have your attention for just a moment to what has happened in [illegible] connection with Mr. Ford's ship -- [page 30]

Mr. Cooper. Would it violate any confidence if you would tell us whether either of the two foreign nations which expressed a willingness to hold this peace conference, if we would enter, thought that to call it now would be premature? Did they think the time had arrived when it could be safely called?

Miss Jane Addams. They thought the time had arrived when it might be called for discussion; they thought the longer the war went on, the more complicated it would become. This was in June, and Italy had just declared war against Austria. Up to that time, there had been no Russian drive; the Constantinople campaign was still in flux, and they felt that as the war went on it would be more complicated to settle.

Mr. Cooper. I thought it quite important to bring out the fact, if it were a fact, that those two neutral nations, close to the actual fighting, and much more familiar with conditions, possibly, than we could be, thought that the time had [illegible] arrived when it would be helpful to have this international conference called. [page 31]

Miss Addams: I think people get confused about the functions of this conference of nations. It is not that they intend to get together to make terms of peace; nobody but the nations who are fighting can make the terms, but they [illegible] ↑felt↓ that ↑a↓ conference of neutrals would have coming to it all sorts of propositions for peace, and they would clear the ground, so to speak. I think no one knows how hard it is for the people in the warring countries to believe that some other method besides war is possible, and no one knows how hard it is for them to express their opinions. For instance, in England there is a very large party, to which some of the leading members of Parliament belong, called "The Union of Democratic Control" which suggests that the war must be discontinued and peace composed. They [illegible] ↑were↓ putting out a splendid program, but they can not any longer print it in England because they are afraid of lessening enthusiasm for the war. [illegible] [page 32]

[typed in left margin] ↑Fran. 10↓

The people in England are fighting desperately, and they do not like reference to terms of peace, because it lessens the enthusiasm, but if those terms of peace could be sent to Holland, or to any other neutral country, and published, and let the Germans know what the people of England are thinking, and let the English people know what the Germans are thinking, it would surely help to clear the situation. We found in Germany a very large and strong body of men, of which [Dernburg] is a member, calling themselves the "Anti Annexation League" which feels that Germany should retain no territory as a result of conquest. That is a powerful party in Germany, and this other is a powerful body in England; but the English papers try to make everybody think that the Germans want to fight to the bitter end, and the German papers try to make the people believe that the English want to fight to the bitter end, and so they go on fighting, and so the element that is not for war at any cost has no method of expression in the other countries. We were told by two of the Prime Ministers that they should be very glad to have some method of ascertaining what was the sentiment within their own countries, because they could not ascertain it so long as the war went on.

Mr. Cooper. The prime ministers of belligerent countries? [page 33]

Miss Addams. Yes, Prime Ministers of belligerent countries. One of them was Hungary. He was a Hungarian, but Prime Minister of Austria-Hungary. He said we do not know because it is the business, so long as the fighting goes on, to keep enthusiasm at a high pitch, and the people are afraid to talk about peace for fear of lessening the enthusiasm. A conference that had facilities for receiving and translating and publishing and disseminating propositions from the various countries would do a lot of good. The "Times" in London is a very powerful and patriotic paper, but they were unwilling to publish certain things that had been put through by the Union of Democratic Control, although signed by a member of Parliament, but when some of these same things were said in our little women's Hague conference, they put them in as news items in the Times, although they were not willing to publish them when uttered by an Englishman. They are willing to say that in a certain neutral country such and such terms have been proposed. We believe if there were a conference where such things could be proposed and discussed, although we might not bring an end to the war, it would certainly establish some sort of international opinion, and it would certainly give the various peoples within the various nations a chance to enter into communication with each other. I was surprised to find how much similarity of sentiment there was among the people in the various nations, which is finding no expression today. If a government is in a war, it can not do anything except go on. We were told that over and over again. Over and over again we were told that if [illegible] they could save their faces -- could consider [illegible] ↑peace↓ terms without being in the position of seeming to want peace, -- although they do want peace -- they would then be glad to consider them. That is human nature. If you get into a bad position, you have got to go on to the end, unless somebody puts in a hand and gets you out. [page 34]

Now, it seems to me that the United States in this turmoil of the world, [illegible] being more outside than the other nations, would be safe to act without compromising itself, and without in the least saying what the terms of peace shall be; simply say, "Here we are to serve you, and let you climb down, so to speak, with as much dignity as possible." Mr. Henry Ford, of Detroit, became interested in this conference of neutral nations, and came to President Wilson and told him that he was willing to back such an undertaking, and, as I understand, President Wilson was willing it should be done, feeling that if it were unofficial, it could in no wise embarrass the situation. The newspapers became so much interested in the peace ship and the party and the marriage on deck that they thought very little about the conference of neutrals, but the conference of neutrals is resulting every day. At this moment in The Hague, there is a group of men from America, from Norway, from Sweden, from Copenhagen, and from Holland, and a group starting also from Switzerland, so there will be six nations, and it is hoped that Spain will also send a representative, and with Mr. Ford's resources, there is no doubt they will do much publishing and disseminating of the views and interchanging of the ideas, and we hope that private enterprise [page 35] may break the way for something which the government will later care to undertake. A governmental congress ↑conference↓ of neutrals would be much more powerful and useful than a [nongovernmental] conference, but the [nongovernmental] forces can feel out the situation, and then later the government can come in. Personally, I am not afraid of failure in anything of this sort, because if you simply blaze the way, and you lie down, your bones are there and will tell other men which way you went. Then, perhaps you will be of some use. Mr. Ford faced the ridicule, and did it with great singlemindedness and great high heartedness, and we believe that out of this beginning which is now taking place -- that out of this situation there may be a beginning towards a conference of neutrals, which some of us hope for very abundantly.

I shall be very glad to answer any questions which I can with regard to our experiences in Europe. We were received very graciously. [page 36]

Mr. Cooper. It was said repeatedly in the papers here -- in some of the papers -- that your delegation was received by representatives of belligerent countries -- well, almost with ridicule; in fact that you were not received at all, except --

[typed in left margin] ↑Fran 11↓

Miss Addams. (interposing), I know people have said that. I can not understand why they do. They say two things, first, that we were received very lightly, and second, that we were received politely because we were ladies, and bowed in and out, and pleasant things were said to us on [page 37] that account. Von Bethmann-[Hollweg], the Imperial Chancellor of Germany, had lost his son a few weeks before, in the trenches. He was a solemn, sad, overwhelmed man, and to say that he received us lightly, or in a merely polite way as you bow ladies in and out, is perfectly absurd. If people only knew how the men in those countries feel! This war is no light matter, and the men who are responsible for the government are not handing out compliments to anybody. They are not doing anything lightly; they are doing everything in the shadow of death and destruction. They indict the war and say "Thank goodness, somebody has come who does not ask for more war or more money. Go back and see what you can do." The Pope, for instance, in Rome, said he did not see why women had kept quiet so long. He said "For Heaven's sake, why do not [illegible] women express [illegible] themselves; it is woman's business to oppose war." I do not mean that is the Pope's exact language; he does not use such informal language, but that is practically what he said, and that is what was said in substance, everywhere we went.

The Chairman. Miss Addams we have heard you with a great deal of pleasure, and I am sure that the suggestions you have made will be considered by the Committee.

Miss Addams. I thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee.

(Whereupon, at 11.50 o'clock a.m., the Committee adjourned.)

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