Jane Addams to Ella Boynton, April 8, 1924



6, rue du Vieux-Coll├Ęge
Hull-House, Chicago
April 8, 1924

Dear Ella Boynton:

I am very happy to reply to your request for a statement in regard to any "oath" taken by our Women's International League. The subject of a pledge against action in time of war was brought up at the International Congress held in Vienna in June, 1921 and was fully discussed from the floor. The motion was lost, partly because many of our members are Quakers who refuse to take a pledge of any sort, and partly because of wide divergence of opinion. It was then felt that a clearer and shorter statement of our principles was needed and a committee was at once appointed whose report was officially adopted by the Congress:

OBJECTS OF THE LEAGUE: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom 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.

The matter of an anti-war pledge also came up before the Section for the U.S.A. in Washington at an annual meeting in April 1922. The motion was again defeated and the object was [reaffirmed] as follows:

The object of the Section for the United States is to promote that peace between nations, races, and classes which is based on justice and [goodwill], to outlaw war, to substitute law for war, and to [cooperate] with women from other countries who are working for the same ends. The membership consists of all women who support the object and pay the prescribed dues.

There is therefore no possible basis for the assertion that the members of the Women's International League are committed to an oath or pledge of any sort. Several communications making this statement of fact, to my personal knowledge, have been sent in to The Chicago Tribune but unfortunately none of them have been published.

Faithfully yours,

Jane Addams [signed]