Mary Hall Ingham to Jane Addams, March 30, 1924

1634 Eye Street,
Washington, D.C.
March 30, 1924

My dear Miss Addams:

I came back to Washington to put the work for the Congress in such order that the International Executive Committee could carry it on. I find that this is impossible for the following reasons:

1. Publicity. The Board has accepted the resignation of Miss Edgar. Her report is enclosed. It is quite evident that such work must be in the hands of someone in touch with the complicated machinery of local, national and international publicity. I know of no one who could undertake that work now.

2. Hospitality and management of the arrangements for the Congress itself while the sessions are going on, May 1 to 7. Miss Edgar and Mrs. Jones had these matters in hand and know from experience know to make the wheels run smoothly. Mrs. Jones has resigned because she found it impossible to do the work under the conditions in the office. It will be very difficult to find persons to take the work now.

3. The regular office work. The three stenographers are unusually competent. They have all resigned on account of the difficulties of working for Miss Woods and the friction in the office. Mrs. Kuyper, the only person who has full knowledge of membership cards and lists, who translates the foreign correspondence, and does other invaluable work, resigned yesterday when the friction with the remaining member of the office force came to a climax.

Miss Dulles spent yesterday investigating matters which had been under discussion for a month past, and decided that this member of the office force must be discharged.

Therefore, on Monday, when the Chairman of the Congress Committee "automatically" passes over the work to the International Executive Committee, the office will be empty save for the National Secretary, Miss Woods, and Miss Dulles who is here for a week.

During the past month I have [learned] that Miss Woods is incapacitated from doing any executive work, on account of indecision, contradictory orders, and a habit of thinking that matters discussed were practically accomplished. For example, the arrangements for the Sunday "Youth Meeting" are entrusted to people who are not in any position to carry out her suggestions.

It is with great regret that I have to come to you again. When you told me that there was no further need for the Chairman of the Congress Committee, I was a little surprised but very thankful that I could leave Washington and go home. But when the above state of affairs penetrated to my mind, I remembered that, as a member of the Board and of the Executive Committee, I still had responsibility. [page 2]

Therefore I am asking you to see that Miss Woods leaves Washington at once; that someone is put in charge of the office who is able to work with the International Committee and also to pull the organization together and redeem mistakes and do the countless things that must be done in the next month.

Since the first of March I have met with the Chairman of the Executive Committee many times and with the Executive Committee as a whole three or four times. Each time, like Alice in the garden of Looking Glass House, I started straight for the desired solution but each time the "path shook itself" and brought me up at the same old starting place. So I have no confidence in the Executive Committee taking effective action.

I enclose the reports of the work and plan and a copy of my resignation which you may not have had time to consider.

I need not say that I have, as always, complete confidence in your [judgment] and absolute trust in you,

Yours sincerely,

Mary H. Ingham. [signed]

↑Enclosures under separate cover.↓