My dear Madam:
It is doubtless known to you that, partly owing to the difficulties of travel and communication in time of war and partly owing to my illness, our International Committee which should have been held in the late winter or early spring was indefinitely postponed.
In May 1916 the members of the Committees of the three Scandinavian countries took advantage of the chance presence of members of the "National Committee of Five" from Hungary, Switzerland, Finland and the United States to call together an unofficial conference of committee members. This took place on May 13th and 14th in Copenhagen. There were present seventeen committee members from seven countries as follows: --
The secretary of the meeting wrote: --
This group unanimously decided that the prompt calling of the deferred Committee meeting was desirable and communications were sent to both Dr. Jacobs and myself urging the immediate calling of such a meeting. Dr. Jacobs replied to the letter, and again under date of June 9th in answer to a second letter, to the effect that she considered it unadvisable to call the meeting as requested owing to the improbability of securing adequate representation in the difficult state of communication and travel. She also cabled to me "Not one officer can get passport. Members of one side only can be present." I, therefore, regretfully decided that it was inexpedient for me to call the meeting at that time [page 2] much as I should have liked to conform to the wishes of the seventeen Committee members who met in Copenhagen.
Meanwhile, as Miss Balch was returning from Stockholm to America on business connected with the Neutral Conference, she was commissioned to discuss the whole matter with me and to request me, in case the calling of the committee still seemed unwise, to take a referendum vote as follows: --
These proposals were unanimously [endorsed] by the seventeen committee members at the Copenhagen meeting.
Will you, therefore, secure as soon as possible the votes of the members of your "National Committee of Five" on the following points, as printed in the enclosed ballot? Copies of this ballot should be forwarded promptly to the Assistant Secretary, Rosa Manus, at Headquarters, 467 [Keizersgracht], Amsterdam, Holland. As the mails are now very uncertain, kindly send a duplicate ballot to Thora Daugaard, 49 Studiestraede, Copenhagen, Denmark, and to Jane Addams, Hull House, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.
1. Name your choice for second Vice-Chairman: --*
Lida Gustava Heymann Germany
*Note: As one of the officers comes from the side of the Entente, it is necessary that this officer should be drawn from the side of the Central Powers.
With regard to the office of Treasurer, as I have received no notice of the official resignation of our Treasurer, Jeanne [H]. Van Lanschot-Hubrecht, who has been ill, and as Rosa Manus has kindly added to her duties as Assistant Secretary those of Treasurer pro tem, there seems no necessity for electing a Treasurer at this time.
2. Vote "yes" or "no" on the addition of a seventh member to the Board of Officers.
3. If "yes," name your choice for this office: --*
Emily Balch United States
*Note: To preserve the balance of the Board, this officer should be drawn from a neutral country. [page 3]
4. Vote "yes" or "no" on the proposals to authorize the addition of three alternates at large, members of neutral countries, to serve in the Board at Headquarters, in the absence of the regular members.
5. If "yes," name your choice for three such officers.
Martha Larsen Norway
6. In response to [many] requests, as International Chairman, I am calling a committee meeting composed of the "National Committees of Five" from all the countries represented in the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace. Those invited to attend are the five members from each country who compose the International Committee organized at the Hague meeting (See page 42 of the Official Report of the International Congress of Women at The Hague). In case any member is unable to attend a proxy may be appointed by her to act in her stead. Such a proxy must be drawn from the twenty delegates or the ten alternates already appointed by her national organization for the Congress After the War.
The natural place to hold this meeting would be in our Headquarters at Amsterdam, but owing to the request made at Copenhagen that the next Committee meeting be held there, and also owing to the fact that Copenhagen might be more accessible, a referendum vote is taken both as to the time and place of the Committee meeting: --*
*Note: This committee meeting is to take place irrespective of the end of the war and of our Congress to be held then.
May I take this opportunity to remind our membership of the plans, formed at The Hague, in regard to holding a Congress at the time and place of the meeting of the Governmental Peace Conference. The arrangements there agreed upon will be found on pp 42 and 275-6 of the Official Proceedings of the Hague Congress.
It should be understood that these twenty delegates and ten alternates from each national organization are in addition to the membership of the "National Committees of Five," making thirty-five in all, from each country represented in our International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace. [page 4]
To carry out this plan it was decided at The Hague, that when the time and the place of the Governmental Peace Conference are determined upon by the Governments concerned, our "National Committees of Five" from the nations represented in our organizations shall upon their own motion, and without waiting for a summons (for which the cables and wires are likely to be too congested) proceed at once to the place of meeting, registering at their respective consulates in the city in which the Governmental Peace Conference is held. In case of unforeseen difficulties, instructions will be sent to the members through the offices of their respective consulates. Each "National Committee of Five" will, therefore, kindly keep its consulate supplied with an address for forwarding.
The Membership of the "National Committees of Five" from each country, upon their arrival in the city in which the Governmental Peace Conference is sitting, will proceed at once to make plans for the Congress After the War of the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace, which is to be held during the fifth week of the Governmental Peace Conference. The twenty delegates from each country and their ten alternates who are to attend our Congress are expected to arrive during the fifth week of the Governmental Peace Conference without waiting for further notification, as communication may still be difficult. The twenty delegates and the ten alternates should also register their addresses with their respective consulates in the city in which the Governmental Peace Conference is held.
The unofficial meeting of seventeen Committee members at Copenhagen made several tentative proposals in regard to the Congress After the War, such as the engagement of an expert adviser on international relations to give his services during the Congress. It was also suggested that arrangements be made for a daily publication for the discussion of Peace proposals during the period of the Governmental Peace Conference; that the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace [cooperate] with other unofficial conferences in maintaining such a publication; and that a special committee to collect and codify suggestions be appointed by the Chairman of the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace, such committee to report to the next meeting of the International Committee. Acting on this latter suggestion, your Chairman nominates as such a Committee Thora Daugaard (who acted as Chairman of the Copenhagen meeting), Anna Kleman of Sweden, and Emily Balch of [page 5] the United States who is planning to return to Europe.
The members of each "National Committee of Five" are asked to send in suggestions for the Congress After the War to Headquarters, 467 Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, Holland, and also duplicates of these suggestions to Thora Daugaard, 49 Studiestraede, Copenhagen, and to Jane Addams, Hull House, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.
I realize that these arrangements sound complicated, but it is impossible to simplify them further when the very time and place of our Congress After the War is necessarily unknown. May I express my admiration for the courage and devotion of our membership extended through twenty-one nations, during these troublous years.
With cordial greetings,
(Signed) Jane Addams,