Chrystal Macmillan to Emily Arnesen, Anna Sofia Kleman, and Clara Sophie Sarauw Tybjerg, December 7, 1915



Dec. 7th. 1915.

As inquiries have been <received> as to our attitude towards Mr. Ford's peace ship and his peace plans we think we ought to let you know that we have no information about his ship, his party or his plan, except what we have seen in the newspapers. We can therefore form no opinion about his plan etc. till we have some good first hand information on the subject and we therefore advise you to be careful to make clear that Mr. Ford's campaign has nothing to do with our Committee.

We consider however that the members of the Committees in the three Scandinavian countries ought to know the following facts.

On November 27th. Dr. Jacobs received a cable from Rosika Schwimmer as follows:

<1)> "Mr. Henry Ford agreed [today] to give me two hundred thousand dollars for the work of the International Committee of Women. I will send you twenty thousand immediately and will discuss later how to spend the other part of the money in the most effective way. Acknowledge this wire."

Of course there has not been time for the 20.000 dollars to have reached Amsterdam at the date of writing.

The officers at headquarters cabled to Mrs. Schwimmer as follows:

<2)> "Your cable received. We are very happy. Meeting has been changed to Amsterdam begins ninth December. Expect you".

And to Miss Addams as follows:

<3)> "Congratulations on Henry Ford's gift to International Committee. Cable which details we may publish in Press. Urge you come preside meeting Amsterdam ninth December so much depends on your presence. Could postpone meeting few days if necessary."

On the [5th.] they received a cable from Mrs. Schwimmer as follows:

<4)> "Unable to attend Committee meeting now,"

and one from Miss Addams as follows: [page 2]


<5)> "If you postpone the meeting until the middle of January I could be present not earlier".

We at once decided to postpone the meeting till the middle of January and cabled as follows:

To Jane Addams:

<6)> "Meeting postponed till middle January because you will then be present. Please cable definite date for meeting and whether we can now begin spending Fords donation for extending our work. Please also write full details."

and to Mrs. Schwimmer:

<7)> "Meeting postponed till middle January because Addams will then send be present. Please send full details of donation to Addams as we have cabled asking her opinion on spending it."

We have had no further letters or cables from either, but we quite [realize] that in the present state of the cable service some of their cables or some of ours may have gone [missing]. We have decided that we can only accept or spend the prospective donation when we have received definite information that it is given unconditionally or on such conditions as the Committee can accept.

When we were in the United States Mr. Ford was only known as an automobile manufacturer of whom the papers said that he was [willing] to spend 5.000.000 dollars for peace. He was at that time never reported to have any plan of his own. Miss Addams approached him through a friend asking whether he would be willing to see her. He replied saying he would, if she did not ask him for money.

Dr. Jacobs had also thought of approaching him with a view to a possible contribution to our funds but time did not permit.

A public meeting [organized] by Miss Shelly, one of the United States members of the Congress, was to be held in Detroit, Mr. Ford's home City on November 5th. Miss Shelly had intended Rosika Schwimmer and Chrystal Macmillan to be the speakers and had hoped to arrange that Mr. Ford should be present and that they should have an interview with him afterwards.

C. Macmillan however left before that date and we had had no further information on the subjects of Mr. Ford till Rosika Schwimmer's wire was received.

For the above reasons we have not communicated anything about the prospective donation to the press or to the National Members of the Committee.

You will be the first Europeans who come in contact with Mr. Ford's party and as the first who can get full information about his party and his plan you must judge on your own responsibility.

It is obvious that, however good Mr. Ford's plan might turn out to be, our Committee's work is quite independent of and distinct from his.

With friendly greetings,

Yours sincerely,

C M [initialed]

NOTE: This letter is being sent only to Dr. Emily Arnesen, Fru Anna Kleman and [Fru Tyjberg]. <We have just heard definitely that Rosika is on the ship.>