Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs and Rosa Manus to Jane Addams, December 21, 1916


December 21st. 1916.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House, Chicago.
Ill. U.S.A.

Dear Miss Addams,

We were very much surprised to receive a copy of a letter you have sent to the secretaries of the different national branches of the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace, signed by you as President of the international body.

We are of opinion that when a meeting is wished by the president of a committee the board of officers is first consulted by the president and when that has come to an agreement, the secretary of that Board is charged to send out the call.

Where you look upon the question of peace from an American point of view, we from an European one, it is impossible to work longer together in a same board, when you are acting upon your own, without consulting Miss Macmillan nor us.

You will understand that we cannot longer carry the responsibility of this work, which is so important nowadays, when you are going on acting as if you were the whole board, especially where you told me (Dr. Jacobs) to act as the first vice-president and acting president in Europe.

You do not know, that of every act taken by our I.C.W.P.P. the criticism never speaks of you, but always of us here, who are responsible for the work done by the committee.

If we had not acted in the past year, as we have done, had we followed the advice of Miss Macmillan and Rosika Schwimmer, our International Committee would not have the standing it has now.

As you perhaps believe that there is no important work done by our Bureau, we can assure you that we have done a lot of work and have taken as much action as we thought advisable in the past year. I hope [page 2] you will speak with Prof. Benjamin Battin of [Swarthmore], who is now in the U.S.A. and who has been in constant contact with us, who can give you the latest information.

You have acted solely upon the information you got from Miss Balch, who did not take the trouble to communicate with us and had all her informations from a group of Scandinavian women.

We can assure you that [it] was absolutely impossible to hold a satisfactory international committee-meeting in June last year, and that, if circumstances do not change, it will also be impossible, to hold a satisfactory international meeting in the spring of next year. Do not forget that passports cannot be obtained for those purposes in Europe.

We have received your cable referring to the German peace-propositions in answer to ours and we feel sorry your advice is to take no action at present. We, in the contrary, are of opinion that whenever, it was now the moment to bring our national branches in action. We believe it was our duty to arrange large meetings in each country, to rouse the people now to influence the different governments to begin [peace-negotiations]. But after having received your cable, we shall follow your advice and take no action.

With kind greetings and wishing you good health and a happy New Year,

Yours cordially,

A J. [initialed] 1st. Vice-President.
R M. [initialed] Ass. Secretary.
Of this letter we are sending a copy to Miss Macmillan and to all the secretaries of the different branches of the I.C.W.P.P. within reach.