Excellent Talks on Preparedness, December 16, 1915



Mrs. Mary Reid Cory and Dr. C. F. Adams Tell of Grave Dangers That Beset Us.

The meeting of the Woman's Club yesterday afternoon for the purpose of hearing both sides of the very pressing question as to whether or not we shall arm the nation for [defense], was worthy of an audience of greater number. The club was fortunate in being able to secure two well-equipped informants on the question -- Mrs. Mary Reid Cory, a member of our own club, who was delegate from New Jersey at the Peace Conference held at The [Hague] last spring, and Dr. Charles F. Adams, president of the Hackensack branch of the National Security League, who were introduced by the president, Mrs. C. F. Adams.

Mrs. Cory, after speaking delightfully of her contact with Miss Jane Addams and Miss Elizabeth Allen, chairman of the New Jersey division of the conference, opened with the statement that the Women's Peace Party believes in preparedness -- not in the building of $7,000,000 battleships, but in the laying of mines for coast [defense], together with a sufficient number of air-craft and submarines. The advised plan, beyond this protection, is the formation of a world conference made up of chief executives and leading women of all nations for the purpose of arbitration. This policy is known as constructive peace. Also the curtailing of the votes of immigrants. An American boy of 16 is better able to cast an intelligent vote than the average naturalized citizen, yet he may not have the right until 6 years later. When asked her idea of Mr. Ford's peace expedition, Mrs. Cory said that Mr. Ford is at least a man who does things, who gives a square deal to his men, and to prisoners whom he employs, and he is the first man to give so largely to any enterprise in which women are interested. Perhaps no immediate good can come, but it can do no harm.

Dr. Adams told of the grave danger in the egotism of the [American] people, which is leading us to think that Uncle Sam can whip all the other nations and do it with a pitch-fork. Our navy is not second in the world, but a bad fourth, and if Congress does not wake up soon, she will be a bad fifth. If all our [page 2] army is called together, which is scattered from Alaska to the Gulf we only have 4-5 of a soldier to each 1,000 inhabitants. Children should be taught military drill in the public schools to give them some respect for authority which the present-day American sadly needs. Training and an adequate [defense] would have prevented several of our former wars, whose loss of men and money were because of lack of these. Our men were in better condition at the end of the Civil War to fight battles than at the beginning, because of the training they had had in the meantime.

In closing his address Dr. Adams made this quotation from a recent address by President Wilson:

"Here is the nation God has builded by our hands. What shall we do with it? Who is there who does not stand ready at all times to act in her behalf in a spirit disinterested patriotism?"

It was gratifying to see how many High school pupils and teachers from our schools, as well as other non-club members, responded to the invitation so cordially extended by the Woman's Club. This organization of devoted women has again manifested its interest in public welfare through yesterday's opportunity to hear discussion upon this vital question.