Statement on International Women's Peace Conference, January 1, 1919



The international committee of women on permanent peace, of which Miss Jane Addams is the president, is making an effort to get before the European peace committee the idea of the women of the [world] as to the essentials of an enduring peace, had hoped to convene in Paris a congress of women of all nations, including enemy countries, during the sessions of the peace conference at Versailles. This was finally deemed impractical and it looks now as if The Hague would be the meeting place of the women. A definite decision will not be made, however, until after the meeting of the executive committee to be held in Boston, and until the members in other countries are communicated with.

In speaking of the plans of the women, Miss Addams said: “We are entirely law abiding. We do not wish to do anything contrary to the wishes of this government nor to embarrass in any way the negotiations at the peace conference.

“But the women have well defined ideas as to some of the principles that should be incorporated in the final agreement among the nations of the world in order to secure a permanent peace, and we would like the opportunity of presenting them to the world for whatever effect they may have on the deliberations of the plenipotentiaries at Paris. It is not the purpose of the women to meddle or embarrass, but only to sound public opinion and present their views.”

Miss Addams saw Secretary Lansing, having previously seen Secretary Baker, to learn if there were any objections to the holding of the women’s meeting while the peace conference was in session. She was informed, it was understood, that officials of the government would interpose no obstacles to the meeting, although it probably is true that in some quarters the proposed convention is being looked upon with some misgivings, due to the attitude some of the women in the organization took toward participation by the United States in the war.