May 25, 1916
My dear Miss Addams:
My observation during my recent Eastern trip, from which I have just returned, leads me to believe that the work of the Chicago Peace Society might be considerably broadened. I met a number of people who feel that the organization of the work among the Chicago churches should not be abandoned. There seems to have existed considerable misunderstanding between the representatives of the eastern office of the Church Peace Union and the members of our Executive Committee. The World's Alliance of Churches offers a platform upon which I am confident that all the members of our Society would gladly see us [cooperate]. If we could work out a feasible plan not only would we be pursuing extremely desirable work, but we should also be relieving ourselves of a difficult executive situation in connection with our office arrangements. Dr. Lynch also intimated that the subvention heretofore granted to the Chicago branch of the Church Peace Union might, at least in some measure, be given to the Chicago Peace Society if we could secure a local organization in harmony with the spirit of the World's Alliance of Churches.
On the other hand, there are a great many people in the East who, like the New York Peace Society, believe that the work of The League to Enforce Peace is, at the present time, the most immediately profitable for the peace workers. There is not yet any local organization of the League in the West. My thought is that in a limited way we might well [cooperate] with it. Of course I do not know that the persons in control of the League would welcome or not our assistance, but nevertheless the suggestion might well be worth while, and I am confident that if the arrangement could be made we would be granted ample financial support either from the East or from those in Chicago who are interested in promoting the League's program.
Let me then suggest the feasibility on the part of the Chicago Peace Society to take up both these branches of work. My thought is that the Executive Committee might well appoint in each instance a special committee to [page 2] consider the practicability of the organization of a department with a committee of the Peace Society in charge to manage each of these projects. I feel that the multiplication of organizations is a serious embarrassment in our work, and were it possible to maintain more or less control over both the local work of the World's Alliance and that of The League to Enforce Peace, or at least to associate ourselves with them, the results would be exceedingly beneficial to all three movements.
Mr. Townsend and I will also have to report shortly upon the new form of Constitution of the American Peace Society recently adopted, which may involve some changes in our local organization, and more particularly gives us a form for other local societies in the state of Illinois and for a state federation.
My purpose in writing this letter to the members of our Executive Committee at this time is to give each of you opportunity to consider the suggestions herein made, which I hope to be able briefly to formulate into a recommendation to be presented at the next meeting of our Committee shortly to be held. I feel sure that in the broader interest every member of the Committee will be disposed thoroughly to weigh and consider any suggestion for broadening our field. We may not agree upon all the details of any one program, but, waiving such discussion, the fundamental principles at stake are, I believe, sufficient to warrant us in lending our [cooperation] to every cause sincerely working for the achievement of international peace.
Trusting that you will be able to attend the meeting of the Committee when these matters are presented for discussion, and of which you will of course receive formal notice in due season.
Yours very sincerely,