Catherine Elizabeth Marshall to Vilma Glücklich, May 2 and 7, 1923

Hawes End
May 2.

Dear Fräulein Glücklich,

At last I am up & about again -- though within very strict limits [and not as yet to] [illegible] -- after over a month on my back, most of the time in much pain. It has been dreadful being helpless & useless when there was so much urgent work waiting to be done. I could not do [anything], however, but be patient, & manage as best I could with no one to do [it?] for me & being forbidden to move my legs! ↑& unable to turn over in bed because of my back!↓ I arrived home at Easter in an agony of pain, & have not even been able to unpack my papers, etc. brought away from the house we have given up at Golder's Green.

Now that I can begin to do things again a little there is a vast mass of correspondence to be tackled. This is just a preliminary letter to you, in haste, to deal with the most urgent of the matters that need immediate attention. (1) I am thankful to hear Mme Ramondt is with you; [Did] only sorry Mrs Karsten has had to go already. I think you & Mme R. & anyone else who has been helping you ↑& whom you like to consult↓ should decide at once about the future arrangements of work at headquarters. I have been expecting to hear from Mme R. in answer to a [page 2] rather hurried note I sent her just before Easter asking if she knew when & how to catch Miss Addams now, & [telling] her Miss Sheepshanks had not finally [refused] to come to Geneva, but would be [willing] to if

(a) we could afford to pay her £400 a year (she had made a careful calculation, & found that for health-reasons & others she could not afford to live in Geneva for less.)

(b) we could give the appointment if we made it, up till next Congress. She could not give up her house in London, store her furniture etc. for a short temporary engagement.

I [thought] Mme Ramondt was going to Geneva then -- at the end of March. Did she not go? Is this visit now instead?

We ought to let Miss Sheepshanks know at once. I don't know this Ex. Comtee were very anxious to have her services, but -- is the money forthcoming? Could we get it, I wonder, by a special appeal for this particular purpose? I am writing to someone who might possibly give us help (£50) of the additional expense it wd involve. Can you send me a statement of just what was agreed at The Hague about our budget for the next 2 years? I was absent from the financial session. [page 3]

(2) Your "confidential" letter just came. Yes, you are quite right about Miss B. the Ex. Comtee was quite clear that she ought not again to undertake the office work. In any case it would have been a mistake for her to come back to Geneva for a week now -- the worst possible arrangement, for her, for the work, & for you. The fact that she could think it would be really useful to come in just for a week like that looks as [though] her judgments were [illegible] what still needing a rest: it would have meant the maximum strain for her, trying to get hold of all the threads again, would have set her mind working on a number of details, unnecessary, & if you had tried in the middle of it all to give her a coherent report of all that has happened since she went away you wd both have sat up all night & every night & been worn out!

But if Miss B's health is sufficiently restored, the work you suggest of her to undertake wd be excellent -- just what the Ex. Comtee hoped she would be able to do us, [illegible] and quite one of the most important bits of our work to do next. But -- again, is the necessary money forthcoming? I believe I could perhaps get £25 or so for it. [page 4]

May 7th (continuing May 2nd)

Alas! I have had to go back to bed again. Went for a drive in the pony cart as a trial trip, to see if this leg would let me go to London for some important business this week, but it was no good.

To continue where I left off: I am drafting a letter (I began it already before I was ill, immediately after the ambassadors' Conference) to both our Polish & our Ukrainian Sections, in my capacity as "Referent" for minority & nationality questions. Am waiting to receive [a copy of the proposal?] [illegible] certain papers before completing it. Neither the letter of the Polish Section, nor that of the Ukrainian Section which you have sent on contribute anything very hopeful towards an effort of conciliation! I feel it is most important someone should go out there to see them both. I ought of course to go myself, but this illness makes it out of the question at present. In any case I could not have afforded, I am afraid, to pay my own expenses, as the Envoy work with the extra visit I paid to Paris in continuation of it, has left me having to live very economically for a while. Also I cannot leave my mother for long at a time -- she is in a critical state of health & whilst we are up here ↑away here in the country↓ I must stay [page 5] with her. I shall also have to be with her during September & October, when we shall be winding up here (for the second time!) & moving into the little house we are building on the outskirts of London. Therefore:

(1) I cannot possibly got to Poland & E. Europe just now before the Summer School, but I think if Miss Balch is well enough, & if the money is forthcoming it would be excellent if she could go. She would really be much better as "God Mother" of these eastern European Sections than I. It is work she would like, I believe; they all love her in that part of the world; it is at the moment the most important district in which to develop the W.I.L.P.F. (I am sure Poland is going to be the pivot of European policy in the next decade or so; there are great chances ↑both↓ for good & for evil, according to how matters develop there).

(I will of course send you a copy of my letters to the Polish & Ukrainian Sections; hope to get it to you whilst you are in Rome).

Is there not some money left over from what was raised 2 years ago from Miss Balch's Balkan tour? Will you let me have a statement of any money that was sent to Geneva (in addition to [page 6] what Mme Ramondt received) for Envoy work? I suppose, though, that ought to be kept for following up that particular work, i.e. sending Envoys to governments to promote the calling of a World Conference for a New Peace. Has the Peace Mission Comtee (Mme Widegren's) any money in hand? That might [illegible] be used for sending Miss Balch to Eastern Europe? Miss Balch would, I presume, need a salary as well as the payment of her expenses?

I think you & Mme Ramondt & any other members of the Executive & Consultative Committees who are in Rome should [illegible] all these points & not if we can’t wait to consult the whole Comtee. Besides It was generally agreed at The Hague [illegible]

(1) that this was exactly the kind of work we hoped Miss Balch wd be able to come back & do for the League.

(2) that I should if possible visit Poland [etc.] this spring. We did not discuss the finances of this, but I presume the Comtee meant to sanction the raising of the necessary money for this purpose if it could be done.

Therefore, as the need to go to Poland is redoubled since the ambassador's decision, & [page 7] as I cannot go, & Miss Balch perhaps can, I think you can go ahead & arrange for Miss Balch to go if we can obtain the necessary money, & if she is fit for it. I have hopes, as I said, of being able to get £ 25 for this purpose. Will let you know as soon as I can --[probably] in ten days or a fortnight. It is the Boeke Trust I am trying. I saw their Secy in Birmingham a little while ago, & am to go & meet the whole Committee next month.

Executive Comtee. meeting.

As I said on my p.c. I think the first consideration in fixing this should be whether there is any chance that we could catch Miss Addams for it, i.e. if she returns from the East through Europe as she hoped.

If there is no chance of that then we must think of the best [illegible] of time & money. I suggested having the S.C. meeting at Poděbrady the week before the Summer School meets there. I could come, I think, in August -- if all goes well here. I could not attend a Comtee (wherever it was held) in Sept. or October. Therefore incidentally I shall, alas, be unable to attend the L. N. Assembly in Geneva this year, unless I [can] call at Geneva -- if it seemed worthwhile -- just for a few days at the beginning of Sept. But that is problematical. It wd depend when exactly our [page 8] house is ready to move into. We did not budget, did we, for the expenses of someone -- myself or another -- going to Geneva during the Assembly? If Miss Sheepshanks were there with you you could manage the L. of N. work between you, I expect, without someone coming specially. There will be Commissions sitting from early in August, some of which will be important.

To return to the appointment of Miss Sheepshanks: I hear from Mrs Swanwick that you have written to her (Miss S.) that you do not wish to return to Geneva after Rome? Is that a fact? It is the first I have heard of the idea. Anyhow, I expect you will tell me about this & everything else when you & Mme Ramondt write to say what you think shd be done about the future work. ↑(I am v. glad you have got Mlle Gobat to take charge at Geneva during your absence)↓

I feel I have left you very unhelped. If I had not been ill at this time I would have made another try to get to Geneva. But I thought Mme Ramondt had been there with you before Easter & that she [illegible] & Mrs Karsten would have agreed on the plans for future work.

We must let Miss Sheepshanks know at once, so I hope you have had a fruitful discussion & arrived at an agreed decision.

Affectionate greetings to all friends in Rome from

Catherine E. Marshall.