Jane Addams to Bainbridge Colby, May 18, 1920


May 18th, 1920

Hon. Bainbridge Colby
Secretary of State
Washington, D.C.

My dear Mr. Secretary:

In accordance with the suggestion you made at our interview in the Blackstone Hotel, I am writing you with reference to relief for women and children in Russia.

We have, of course, known of the terrible suffering in Russia for many months but for several reasons an immediate organized effort to get relief to them has become imperative:

Firstly. A very touching appeal signed by the Patriarch of Russia in Behalf of the [intelligentsia] which has recently been received -- please find a copy enclosed.

Secondly. The growing unrest among our immigrant peoples who come from Russia, which doubtless results in a large measure from the fact that they believe their parents, wives and children are starving. Although willing and able to help they are denied all communication with them.

Thirdly. Some relief is being sent from England by "The Save-the-Children Fund" -- [leaflet] enclosed -- and the English Society of Friends. In spite of the greater resources of America and a large Russian population, we are as yet unable to do this.

Even if it remains impossible to resume commercial relations we hope it may be arranged to allow relief -- particularly medical supplies and milk for children -- to be sent. If the U.S. government cannot give clearance papers for this purpose we shall be obliged to send it [through] the English Friends. We are loathe to do this because we feel it puts the U.S. [page 2] in the position of being less humanitarian than England.

I therefore hope very much that you may be able to make it possible for us to send directly [through] the Service Committee of the American Friends in Philadelphia.

With appreciation of your courtesy in granting us the interview, I am

Yours sincerely,