Virginia Barton Swan Dales to Jane Addams, February 5, 1918

1629 Newton St., N.W.,
Washington, D.C.

My dear Miss Addams:

Since there is not so much, as an organization, which we may take up I have ventured on a bit of work myself that I hope will meet with your approval, and that you will be willing to lend your very potent influence to accomplish.

As you know, there is pending an amendment to the "Draft Law" of May 18th, 1917 (I believe that was the date) providing for the registration of youths who have reached the age of twenty one since June 5th 1917. I believe that the measures are similar in House and Senate. They have not yet been discussed but it seems likely that they will reach a vote within a month. I am enclosing two provisions which I would very much like to see made before the measure comes to a final vote. I understand that there will be some opposition to the entire amendment but that no fear is entertained for its "safety".

I took my two provisions to Meyer London for advice. He said at once that they were ["meritorious"]; that he had been thinking about such a measure for some time and would introduce the first, especially, since it is a provision made for some time ↑part↓ in old Militarisms, if once may be allowed a mongrel word. He, of course, as a Jew looks upon it as a man's inalienable right to posterity. I wonder if Mr. Kahn of California regards ↑it↓ the same way! But Mr. London believes that if some one, other than himself, would introduce it the measure would have a much better chance.

I consulted Mr. Hallinan of the old Anti-Militarism committee. He is now Mr. La Follette's clerk. He said,

"You have a piece of legislation there!" and proceeded to give me a few good points of advice.

Then I went over to the Senate Com. on Military affairs and after strengthening my endurance was able to talk with Senator Chamberlain about it. He was very kind about the first provision. "OBLIGATORY service for [page 2] LAST or ONLY children", but that the second they had discussed in committee and had decided against it. He said he would take up the first provision with the committee. Therefore, Miss Addams, if you are willing to help secure this "half loaf" of war bread I believe we will do something to relieve the miseries of mankind, -- and especially womankind.

If you will permit me to make a suggestion, I believe the first and most effective way would be to reach the President or Secretary Baker with the Appeal. This of course I have tried to do and am convinced that neither one of them saw the communication and that they were turned over by clerks to Gen. Crowder's office. If, Miss Addams, you would write a letter to Secretary Baker and entrust it to be delivered by Mrs. Louis Post in person to Mr. Baker, I feel sure that it would gain consideration.

Besides this, if you would reach Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Dent (who is chairman of the House Military affairs com.) of course it would effective.

Indeed, anything that you are willing to set your hand to might easily bring success. I hope it is not too much to ask. For your guidance I enclose a list of those on two committees.

Cordially Yours,

Virginia S. Dales Cor. Sec [signed]
↑Wash Branch -- Woman's Peace Party↓

If you could win over Julius Kahn, minority leader, the battle would be at least half won. I take the Democrats a little more for granted, though, I'm sure, I don't know why I should -- exactly.