Paul Underwood Kellogg to Stephen Samuel Wise, March 8, 1916


March 8, 1916.

Dear Dr. Wise:

Mrs. Kellogg and I were thoroughly interested and stirred by your anniversary dinner last night and the speaking which followed.

I am enclosing a copy of a letter I wrote to Miss Wald some days ago as to constructive things our committee could take up and have under way as we passed from the negative to the affirmative stages of the agitation. It bears on the question of influencing the political conventions for one thing. With Mayor Baker in the War Department it seems to me very opportune to feel that however there may be differences among us as to the exact status we stand for with respect to our army and navy units -- and there will continue great need to fight the alarmists and extremists -- we can well feel that we have friends at court in movements to socialize the military establishment, to develop a force for conservation and sluice much of this preparedness agitation into a constructive social program toward building up the physical stamina of the working people of America, their largeness of life and sureness of health and fitness. For example, I have on my desk two manuscripts, one from Mr. Devine and one from W. O. Thompson, Counsel for the Industrial Relations Commission. While they would stand with Wilson -- and I imagine Baker -- on a program for increasing the army and navy, I think they would stand with us on a revolutionary program for industrial reform which would apply to our internal affairs the lessons which Germany and England before and since the war have revealed both by their efficiencies and their failures. I imagine these two men represent a pretty large group of people who would like to see something done. I have not seen anything from the Anti-Preparedness group in Congress that would indicate we can look to leadership from them; and it seems to me we ought to make this field of proposals distinctly our own. To let it be captured by the preparedness people, and to let them turn the great obligation and opportunity to set our economic house in order into a stupid up-building of our military force would seem to me well-nigh criminal.