Jane Addams to Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs, January 10, 1919


International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace

The Section for the United States of America
The Woman's Peace Party
Office: 116 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

January 10th, 1919.

Dear Dr. Jacobs:

I am sending you in this letter the vote received here from the members of the International Executive Committee, although doubtless you have the same record at the International Office. As you know, a cable was sent on December tenth to each member, asking for a vote as to her judgment in regard to the time and place of our International Congress, to be sent by cable to you at the International Office as well as to me in America. I have received cable replies from six members of the Committee with the vote as follows:

Holland 2 votes Hague, May
England 1 vote Hague, May
Norway 1 [vote] Hague, February
Sweden 1 [vote] Paris, February
Denmark 1 [vote] Paris, February

This leaves the six votes equally divided as to time with the preponderant vote for The Hague as to place. One country has not been heard from, the vote from the United States is for The Hague in May; the final vote of the seven voters of the Executive Committee (the Chairman not voting) is four for May versus three for February, with five for The Hague versus two for Paris.

A cable was sent January tenth to the members of the International Executive Committee as follows: "Majority vote Executive Committee Hague May." In the meantime the Section for Australia has cabled its vote for May. We were happy to get into communication with them as we feared that they might start according to the first arrangement, although, of course, their vote can only be counted among the National Sections as there is no member of the Board in Australia. Another cable has been received from one of the National Sections in reply to the letter; these votes will be [page 2] codified and sent you as soon as a number of the 20 National Sections have replied to the letter.

It is needless to say that we have found much relief in the fact that it was possible to get into communication by cable with the members of the International Committee.

In the meantime as the proceedings of the Official Peace Conference at Paris have been somewhat delayed, it is possible that our Congress held in May might still be concurrent with the sessions of that Conference. There is also to be said in favor of the change of place that The Hague throughout the war and during the period of armistice has maintained its prestige as a center of publicity with well-conducted news agencies.

While it is thus clear that our International Congress will be held at The Hague, the members of the Section from the United States hope very much that it will be possible for groups of women from the Allied and neutral countries to meet in Paris as early as possible and to remain there during the period of negotiations.

Several of the delegates from the United States, two of whom are already in France, plan to be in Paris very soon. It is most desirable that this small group of women representing our point of view, should be reinforced by groups from other National Sections and that all such groups upon their arrival in Paris should communicate promptly with the office of the French Section.

These groups might find opportunity to influence public opinion and also to confer with the officials and advisors of the various National Commissions. Such a gathering of women, modified to meet the changed conditions, would in no wise take the place of the International Congress of Women we first planned, which will now be held in May. It might, however, carry out something of our first intention.

Hoping for the cooperation of the National Sections for this plan and that I will hear soon from you concerning its feasibility, and with all best wishes for the New Year to the strategic group at the International office, I am, dear Dr. Jacobs,

Faithfully yours,

Jane Addams [signed]