Emily Greene Balch to Alice Locke Park, September 28, 1920


Sept. 28, 1920.

Mrs. Alice Park,
611 Gilman Street,
Palo Alto, Calif.

Dear Mrs. Park,

I have your letter of Sept. 6 and am always pleased to feel myself in recent touch with you. Will you thank your new local Secretary for undertaking to send copies of communications to Mrs. Cothren as well as to me. When you have anything of interest that you want to get before people you may like to send it to the Secretaries of all our National Sections as well as to this Office. I enclose a list with the most recent addresses. Many thanks for the $3. -- completing your payment as an Associate member. A receipt is enclosed herewith. I need not say how please we are to have you.

As to the inquiry in regard to the pledge not to take part in was as partial answer I enclose a copy of a letter to Mrs. Henry Villard. The situation is not a perfectly satisfactory one. Frau Hertzka who was most active in pressing the idea of a pledge now feels that it is not a very useful thing to undertake, that people who promise will fall away when the time comes and I would add that I believe that thousands of people who will never sign a pledge beforehand will find when the time comes that something has happened within them that they had not themselves [realized] and that all participation in war has unexpectedly become to them quite impossible. I think the advisability of circulating such a pledge depends entirely on local circumstances and the character of the group. I have not yet received a single signed copy of your Palo Alto pledge. A point in [favor] of circulating such a document is that it makes people think and decide something in their own minds, on the other hand I think it certainly puts off many people.

I call your attention to the new wording of the statement of our objects at the head of this paper. You will notice that this in itself implies a personal pledge, but [page 2] says nothing of an [organized] strike. The latter does not seem to me to be ↑a↓ practicable conception for any such [organization] as ours.#

We are already beginning to plan for our meetings for next summer. We shall have a week of the Congress and plan to give half of the time to questions of education. This will be followed by a Summer School, lasting two weeks. The English Section has been asked to take the initiative in [organizing] this. The Summer School will be at Salzburg, a most lovely place. The Congress will be in some Austrian town, perhaps Vienna, perhaps Salzburg. I hope our California friends may be present. It is perhaps not too early to begin to plan for it. In Australia a considerable number of women, none of them with large means (many are working women) clubbed together and accumulated enough money to send two delegates all the long way from Melbourne to Zürich.

Always very cordially yours,

#At the same time we have the vote still standing in our Zürich resolutions and therefore in our [program] as follows. It is Resolution 37 on page 262 of the Congress Report:

"This International Congress of Women, [recognizing] that a strike a of women against war of all kinds can only be effective if taken up internationally, urges the National Sections to work for an international agreement between women to refuse their support of war in money, work or propaganda."