Emily Greene Balch to Women's International League for Peace and Freedom National Sections and Secretaries, August 31, 1921

Geneva, 6 rue du vieux collège

Circular letter to Secretaries of National Sections (B)

Geneva, August 31, 1921.

Copies of the Resolutions as passed at Vienna (English text only) and of the reports of National Sections are being sent you from Vienna with an inquiring about orders for further copies.

Vienna Congress. I hope that you have already heard that the Congress was a great success with delegates from 18 National Sections (that is all except Canada, [Finland] and [New Zealand]) and Fraternal Delegates, Delegates at Large ("Delegates ad hoc"), or Visitors, taking part in the Congress, from Belgium, Brazil, China, Croatia, [Czechoslovakia], Japan, Mexico, [Romania] and Spain.

National Sections. The Polish Delegation was recognized as constituting a continuation of the Polish representation which took part in our Hague Congress and as representing a Polish National Section. The Greek Section ([already] provisionally accepted by vote of the Executive Committee) was formally admitted by the Congress as a Greek National Section. A Ukrainian Section was also formally accepted. -- Movements looking to the formation of National Sections are in progress in [Yugoslavia] and [Czechoslovakia], [Romania] and Mexico.

We now have 21 National Sections as follows: sections in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States of America.

Addresses of New Sections.

Madame Olga Bellini, Secretary of Greek Section, c/o Madame Parren, 44 rue Epire, Athens.

Madame Dr. Daszyńska-Golińska, Secretary of Polish Section, Wspelna 79/7, Warsaw.

Mademoiselle Nadia [Surovcova], Secretary of Ukrainian Section, Chimanistrasse 29/4, Vienna XIX.

Constitutions ("[Statutes]") of National Sections. Please send us for our "archives" in Geneva a copy (or, if [convenient], several copies) of the constitution of your Section. We want to have permanently on file a full set of these and we also receive requests, especially from new Sections, for copies of such.

Consultative Members. Will all Sections please notify the Geneva office as soon as possible of the names and addresses of the two consultative members to which they are entitled. If the former consultative members are still to serve, please state this.

Executive Committee. The Executive Committee was elected as follows:

President: Jane Addams (U.S.)

Vice-Presidents: L. G. Heymann (Germany)

Catherine E. Marshall (England)

Secretary-Treasurer: Emily G. Balch (U.S.)

Gertrud Baer (Germany)

Thora Daugaard (Denmark)

Lucie Déjardin (Belgium)

Gabrielle Duchêne (France)

Yella Hertzka (Austria)

Cor. Ramondt-Hirschmann (Netherlands)

The old Executive-Committee held meetings before and during the Congress and the new Executive Committee held two Sessions after the [page 2] Congress. Appointments of Standing-Committees and of "Referents" (to use the German term) to deal with various matters will be found printed with the Resolutions.

Statement of Object. The Executive Committee at its Meeting on July 19 voted to recommend the following wording for the statement of Object of our League:


The W.I.L.P.F. aims at binding together women in every country who oppose all war, and who desire to promote the following objects:

1) The creation of international relations of mutual cooperation and goodwill in which all wars shall be impossible

2) The establishment of political, social and moral equality between men and women.

3) The introduction of these principles into all systems of education."

Will National Sections kindly vote before November 1 on this recommendation. Please vote: "Agree to accept proposed wording of Object", or "Do not agree to accept proposed wording of object and suggest instead the following wording":

The complete Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting will shortly be mailed to all National Sections as well as to Members of the Executive Committee and Consultative Members.

Headquarters Staff: The Secretary-Treasurer asked for a four months' leave of absence (to visit her home and attend to necessary business in America), this absence to be without salary except for the usual month's holiday. The request was granted (two months' salary was offered, but not accepted). It was agreed to try to get Dr. [Elisabeth] Rotten (left free by the closing of the Educational work of the German Liga für Völkerbund) as head of our International Committee on Education during the Secretaries absence. Unfortunately she cannot accept. Vilma Glücklich is instead coming to us from Budapest to strengthen the hands of Marguerite Gobat and the office staff during those months. -- Catherine Marshall is giving her valuable services at Geneva during the meeting of the Assembly of the League of Nations. It is very encouraging to find how much interest men of international affairs take in our resolutions and program.

Russian Relief: Our president Jane Addams and Catherine Marshall have been invited to take part as official delegates of our League in the International Conference convened by the International Red Cross and the League of Red Cross Societies in Geneva August 15 to arrange the bases of international action on behalf of famine-stricken Russia and Catherine Marshall was able to do so.

Newsletter from Headquarters. The Congress recommended that the Geneva Office should send out every month a news-letter to the Sections and that the Sections should have these duplicated and circulated.

Please do all you can through the press or otherwise to make use of any of this matter that may help to make our ideas better known and to further our aims.

The Geneva office will try to have the news-letter out on the 15 October and of alternate months thereafter. [page 3]

Financial Support. The full financial accounts will be supplied later. It looks now as though after paying for the Congress and the Congress report we shall need to carry us through to July 1, 1923, a sum of 24,000 Swiss francs. This is on the basis of our present rate of expenditure of almost 40,000 francs a year and supposing that we continue to receive about 5,000 francs a year from Associate Members (mainly at present American memberships).

The Congress Committee on Finance and [Organization] gave much consideration to the pressing question of how the very considerable expense of an international work is to be met. Hitherto this has been largely supported by comparatively few large contributions in the Unites States, but this is obviously an unsound situation. Moreover it is the case that these American contributions cannot be counted on hereafter.

The Congress Committee made the following suggestions:

(1) Each Section should give one-tenth of the annual subscription paid by each member to Geneva Headquarters.

(2) Each Section should make one effort each year to raise money for Headquarters, this effort to be made on April 28, the anniversary of our first meeting at The Hague.

(3) Each Section should [endeavor] to secure a number of headquarter Associate Members who pay an annual subscription to Geneva.

The Danish Section proposes an international peace day as a means of raising money with which they have been extraordinarily successful.

Frida Perlen suggests that our members and friends tax themselves one day's income.

Miss Balch suggests that each National Section should establish a special standing Committee on International Financing, and that this Committee should put itself into direct touch with the Geneva Office.

All of the above are suggestions only and are submitted, as such for the consideration of the Sections.

Each Section is asked to realize its responsibility. The work cannot be continued unless the Sections can maintain it. Each must do its part. At present some of the smaller sections do fully their share, but most of our Sections have either been unable or have not realized the necessity to themselves carry anything like a proportionate share of the burden. Happily we are not in immediate want, for some of our friends and especially those in America have been very generous, the United States alone having contributed 50,000 Swiss francs. But if we continue our work on approximately its present footing and receive no further funds we shall be facing an empty cash box about 8 months before our next congress (in case that is set for July 1, 1923) and at that time we shall want to be free to gather the funds for the ensuing period 1923-5. I therefore earnestly hope we can raise at least 24,000 francs within the next twelve months.

Salzburg School. The International Summer School which met at Salzburg the first two weeks of August as planned was universally felt to have been a great success and to have given a real stimulus to our work. Countries were represented approximately as follows: -- Austria 63, Bulgaria 1, China 2, [Czechoslovakia] 5, Denmark 7, France 5, Germany 42, Great Britain 85, Greece 3, India 1, Japan 3, [Yugoslavia] 5, Mexico 1, Norway 1, [Romania] 1, Sweden 9, Switzerland 20, Ukraine 2, United States 24; Total 280.

The lectures were many of them very provocative of thought and discussion; the young people were constantly arranging special extra meetings, and many lectures not on the [program] were fitted in at other hours. A public meeting was arranged especially for Salzburg people. Miss Addams, Mrs Swanwick, Gertrud Baer, Countess Wilamowitz-[Moellendorff] of Sweden, Mlle. Pfenninger of Switzerland, Miss [Yung] (China), Miss [Wada] (Japan), Miss [Landázuri] (Mexico), and Miss Chundbari (India), all spoke and there was an extraordinary beauty about the whole occasion. [page 4]

Future Summer Schools. All the officers of the League who were present, together with some others, met to discuss plans for further summer schools and it was agreed that it was desirable to try to hold two smaller international vacation-schools in 1922, one in France, perhaps at Easter time, and one in Germany perhaps in the course of the summer, and in 1923 to hold a larger summer school in connection with the Congress, if one is held that year as we hope. Officers of the League and National Sections are asked to send on to the Geneva Office as promptly as possible their vote on this plan -- approval, disapproval, or counter propositions.

Cuttings. If possible please send us for our Geneva archives cuttings of notices in your press of the Vienna Congress and Salzburg Summer School.

Lending Library and Literature. The Geneva Library has received valuable additions. You are reminded that books are lent by post, for expenses of sending out and back.

I should like to call attention to three interesting books that recently appeared in English, and to ask members to inform Headquarters of books they may wish to recommend.

Will Irwin: The Next War. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York.

Vernon Lee: Satan the Waster. London

H. G. Wells: Salvaging of Civilization. Macmillan Co., New York.

Disarmament. The following interesting letter explains itself. Will National Secretaries please correspond direct with Mrs. Haines.

"July 19th 1921.

"My dear Miss Balch,

"I am asking Miss Wold, who is Chairman of our Women's World Disarmament Committee, to get in touch with you in regard to work which we are engaged in now. We are asking President Harding in various ways to appoint women upon this disarmament commission. We would like to see women of other countries make the same plea. Any suggestion from you would be of especial value. If you could put us in touch with women in other countries represented at this conference I would be very glad. I personally would like to send them from time to time publicity matter which we get out in the Searchlight. This would give them current information in regard to any action Congress might take in the matter.

"We are, wherever possible, making connections with people in other countries, giving them what information we can and asking that it be reciprocal.

I await with great interest a report from the Vienna Conference.

"Most cordially

"(Sgd.) Dora B. Haines

"c/o The Searchlight, Woodward Building, Washington D.C., U.S.A."

Attention is also called to the very important and encouraging symptoms of working men's unwillingness to aid war by manufacturing munitions. Please send to the Geneva office any trustworthy information you can get on this and related movements, and on "Passive resistance".

In closing I wish to thank you all from my heart for your comradeship, your generous [cooperation], your constant moral support, which alone have enabled me to do anything. I hope to be back in the Geneva office fitter and more useful after the rest and change which lie before me and which at present I am really in need of.

(Signed) Emily G. Balch.
Secretary Treasurer.

August, 1921.

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