Marguerite Gobat to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Executive Committee and Consultative Members, January 6, 1922 Also known as: Marguerite Gobat to Jane Addams, January 6, 1922


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Genéva, 6 rue du vieux collége.

Circular letter to members of the Executive Committee and advisory members (A)

1922 series
A 1

Geneva 1922

January 6.

Ms. Yella Hartzka, member of the Executive Committee, to the members of the executive committee and to the advisory members.

29 / XII 21.

Proposal to transfer the International Office to Vienna.

As a result of maintaining the high value in swiss franc, all international institutions which have their headquarters in Switzerland find themselves in unfavorable financial conditions. There is talk of the transfer of the seat of the League of Nations and several personalities who have retired to Switzerland are forced to leave temporarily. The question would be considered for the International Women's League who! during the last Congress, he had relatively enough paine to raise the funds necessary for the maintenance and the work of the Office, how these funds can be most usefully employed.

A sum of approximately 72,000 [francs] is at our disposal, while the draft budget provides for 100,000 francs for the next two years. This budget does not include propaganda in countries which do not yet have sections, or whose sections are weak, which, according to a decision of the Executive Committee, should be undertaken by the Bureau. In recent months, the value of the exchange has fallen further with us, so that one Swiss franc is worth around 1000 Austrian crowns. For an annual budget of 50,000 francs or 50 million crowns. Of these conquering millions of crowns, at least two-thirds could be saved or employed in enterprises for which the League does not have the means today.

Allowing sufficient sums for salaries and office costs, here is the budget for the International Office in Vienna:

Salary of the secretary general, per month 150.00 crowns

Treatment of 2 assistant secretaries, [per month] 160,000 [crowns]

Rental of premises, lighting included [per month] 50,000 [crowns]

Wages of a servant [per month] 40,000 [crowns]

Heating (distributed throughout the year) [per month] 10,000 [crowns]

Desk costs, paper, office equipment [per month] 50,000 [crowns]

Miscellaneous [per month] 40,000 [crowns].

500,000 [crowns]

Per year 6,000,000 crowns.

Evaluated in Swiss francs, this would bring the budget to 6000 francs, which at the current rate would save a sum of 44,000 francs, which could be used for publications, propaganda trips, new international centers etc. [page 2]

Assuming that the price of the crown rises by 100% - which, according to Austrian financiers will not be the case in the near future, - the expenditure would rise from 6,000 to 12,000 francs, which would not constitute it. less a notable saving.

The International House as such would remain in Geneva with the Library and the reading room, which would allow members of the League traveling to Geneva to attend the Assembly of the League of Nations or on the occasion of other international meetings. to stay there. The House would be entrusted to the care of the Geneva group of the League, so that the costs are covered by the rental of the rooms.

The transfer of the International Bureau would not be final and could be modified according to the new conditions of the world situation.

The League, in whose maintenance countries of depreciated monetary value cannot participate because it is almost nil in Swiss currency, has no reason to have its office in the most expensive country in the world today. This makes it impossible for the members to collaborate in the Bureau itself because most of them do not have the means to stay in Geneva, and this will be proved by the meeting of the next Executive Committee, in case it takes place in Geneva. . It is even less possible for members of southern Europe, Polonia, Russians etc. to make the trip to Switzerland; even France feels the situation created by the exchange rate and it would therefore only be the countries of the North, Great Britain and America that would not be affected. Yet at all our meetings, the need to propagate the spirit [pacifist] among the peoples of central and southern Europe is discussed, while the League does not have the financial means to undertake propaganda in these countries, especially by printed.

Certainly no one will have the idea of ​​addressing the reproaches to the League, if, in the interest of this noble cause that it pursues, it seeks to earn money by transferring its headquarters to a country in exchange. depreciated. Of allueurs, considering the large number of foreigners who choose Austria today as a place of stay to be able to live better, this transfer would not be taken into account.

I propose to you danc, to transperate the main seat of the League, for as long as the monetary conditions remain as they are today, for the following two reasons: We can immediately put the premises at the disposal of the League. necessary and Austria is today so reduced that it is obliged to a strict neutrality; moreover, Vienna has become an international center.

Besides Vienna we could consider the choice of Prague or Budapest, but it is necessary to take into account the value of the exchange in the two countries in question to recover more quickly than in Austria.

I ask the Executive Committee and the Advisory members to answer the following questions as soon as possible: [page 3]

Do you agree that, for reasons of economy, the Geneva office be transferred for the duration of current conditions, to another pause?

Do you agree to keep the Maison Internationale in Geneva and cover the costs by renting rooms?

Do you agree to fix the seat in Vienna?

What other city would you suggest?

Would you please give your answers directly on this sheet and accept, dear Madam, at this beginning of the year, my best wishes and the assurance of my devoted feelings.

(sign.) Marguerite Gobat. Secretary.