Resolutions, Association of Collegiate Alumnae, April 1918



At the annual Council meeting of the Association held in Chicago on April 12th and 13th, 1918, the Committee on Resolutions presented the following group of resolutions proposed by the War Service Committee. These resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Council and the following action was taken in regard to them:

RESOLVED, that the resolutions proposed by the War Service Committee be presented for ratification to all the national organizations of women which hold annual conventions or board meetings before the first of June and that they then be presented in person to the President of the United States by a duly appointed representative of each of the organizations which have ratified them; further that they be submitted to the Woman's Committee, Council of National Defense, with a request that the Woman's Committee appear with the petitioners when the resolutions are presented and finally that if these resolutions be ratified by the organizations concerned they be prefaced by the following preamble:


We, the undersigned, on behalf of our respective organizations, representing 10,000,000 women citizens of the United States, respectfully present the following resolutions duly passed by our organizations in convention assembled or through their constitutionally authorized bodies:

WHEREAS, we believe that we can fulfil our obligations as women citizens of the United States to do our utmost to win the war only if we are given the opportunity to serve in such direct cooperation with the Government, as has made possible the magnificent war work of British women, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that we respectfully urge upon the President and Congress of the United States their immediate consideration of the following requests: [page 2]

First, That on all Government Boards and commissions controlling the work of women or affecting their interests, one or more adequately equipped women shall be associated with the central direction and administration in positions of authority and responsibility.

Second, that wherever great bodies of women are employed in war work, the conditions under which they work and live shall be under the immediate supervision and control of women officials with adequate authority.

Third, that in order to secure the highest efficiency at the present time, we respectfully urge that women be appointed to the following positions:

a. Assistant Federal Food Administrator (attention is called to the fact that the British Ministry of Food has two women co-directors).

b. Assistant Director of Housing who shall deal with the housing of women workers.

c. Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor who shall deal with all questions of the employment, work and living conditions of women in war industries and women on the land.

d. Member of the war council of the American Red Cross and also Deputy Commissioner in the Red Cross Work abroad.

Fourth, that as we believe that the time has now come when only specially trained women of proved executive ability should be appointed to Government positions of authority, we request that the organizations of women represented in this petition acting through the undersigned or other representatives duly appointed by their respective organizations be permitted in cooperation with the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense to make recommendations for the above and other positions.

Further, Whereas, as women we are profoundly concerned with all questions touching the care and welfare of men, women and children at home and abroad and in particular the health of our own men at the front or in training camps and of our own children and families at home, therefore be it


Fifth, that the women physicians of the United States who are able and eager to serve their country be utilized for military service as soon as they are needed and that in preparation therefor immediate executive orders be issued, or, if necessary, immediate congressional action be taken to make it possible without further delay wherever desired: [page 3]

a. To enlist women physicians in the Medical Reserve Corps of the United States Army under the same conditions of pay, retirement, insurance, and military rank as are now in operation for men physicians;

b. To use such women physicians when enlisted to the utmost extent of their power to serve, the greater number of them being unmarried and thus peculiarly fitted for service as a mobile medical corps to be sent wherever needed;

c. To make use of women physicians in the contract service of the United States Army, in the training camps or at the front, wherever they are individually qualified or desired for special service, for example, as psychologists, alienists, dietitians, bacteriologists, [anesthetists], secretaries, or in any other position for which medical training or experience is necessary.

Sixth, that a nurses' corps of the medical department of the United States Army be established to be known as the Army Nurses' Corps, consisting of women nurses whose military services shall be recognized by appropriate military rank, promotion, retirement, etc., as provided for in the bill (H.R. 11,246) now before Congress, thus according our American nurses the same honorable position that is given to the nurses of Great Britain and Canada.

Seventh, that a distinction be made between the service of professional and non-professional women to the end that the restrictions be removed which now present the use at the front of women physicians, nurses and other highly trained women whose fathers, sons, or brothers are serving in the armed forces of the United States or in the Red Cross abroad, and in special cases of women physicians of unusual qualifications whose husbands are engaged in such service.

Eighth, that in view of the invaluable service now being rendered by over 60,000 voluntary nurses' [aides] in the British hospitals, immediate provision be made for the establishment of women's Health Aid and Assistant Health Aid Corps, and for the training of the same in designated hospitals by intensive nurses' training courses of six months' duration, or in the case of assistants of three months' duration; and that the certified graduates of these courses be used to supplement and assist and wherever possible replace nurses, thus freeing the latter for the vitally important military service which will shortly be demanded of them.

Ninth, that if a new department of the executive branch of the Government be created to be known as the department of public health, a woman shall be appointed as one of the assistant secretaries in order to utilize to the fullest extent the valuable service that can be rendered by women in connection with the health of the community. [page 4]

We beg to submit that in making these requests we are actuated by the earnest desire to serve our country to the utmost extent of our power; that we are confident that if the Government of the United States grants us the same tools for work which have been so generously placed in the hands of women by the Governments of Great Britain and of its Dominions, we can pledge ourselves and the women whom we represent to put effectively behind the Government the full power which we possess; that we are prepared to make every sacrifice that women can make to enable our country to carry on this great war to the victorious end that shall lay the foundations of a permanent and enforced international peace.