Rosa Manus to International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace National Sections, January 8, 1919


International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace


January 8th, 1919.

Circular Letter No. 35.

To the Secretaries of the National Branches of the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace.

Dear Madam,

The following letter was sent to Miss Jane Addams on January 7th 1919:

Yours sincerely,

Rosa Manus,
Secretary and Treasurer pro tem.

"Dear Miss Addams,

At this moment, the 7th of January, the answers we received from the different members of the Board upon your cable are so contradictory, that we do not know what to do. Dr. Jacobs and Rosa Manus voted for May, Holland; Miss Macmillan voted on December 16th Hague, May; but sent us on January 6th another cable: Switzerland, February. Thora Daugaard did not wire us, but by a letter from Kristiania we learn, that Miss Daugaard wishes February, Hague; Mme. Duchêne, who has been elected as a member of the Board, wired: Paris, February; and Vilma Glücklich has not answered at all. We do not know your vote and that of Miss Balch. The Swiss Section has up till now not yet given the name of their representative in the board and we now received a wire from the Swiss Section to urge us to call a Congress at the beginning of February in Geneva.

It seems to us under the present circumstances in Europe absolutely impossible to call an International Congress in February, as in most countries passports cannot be obtained at present. Moreover it seems to us, that an International Congress of any importance ought to be prepared carefully and that we two acting officers, belonging to a neutral country cannot take the responsibility of the entire preparation of such an important Congress. We strongly feel, that such a Congress of the women of the world must not be held unless we feel can be sure that it can be a success and we doubt very much that a [hastily] called Congress can be of any value to the cause for which we all are working.

We draw your attention upon the fact, that in France (and we believe in all the belligerent countries) our Congress cannot be held because it will be impossible for the women of the Central countries to attend it if it is not held in a neutral country. Some of our newspapers are of opinion, that even the journalists of the Centrals will not be allowed to attend the international meetings in the allied countries.

We felt, that we ought to have told you this before you take your decision as President and we hope that if you are of opinion, that the Congress cannot be held before May, that you or one of your special representatives can come to Headquarters to [organize] with us the preparatory work. We also suggest that you should cable to the different officers of the Board to go to Headquarters as soon as possible. [page 2]

Yesterday we received a letter from the British Section, urging us to call a Congress in Switzerland as early as possible. Their reason was, that the Labour Party is asking for an International Congress in January, probably in Switzerland and the British Section thought that if we would hold a Congress in the same place and at the same time as theirs, they could better press for passports etc. We however think that we have no right to do that only on the demand of one country.

Lida Gustava Heymann sent us the following letter:

'Sehr geehrter Vorstand!

Der Deutsche Frauenausschuss für dauernden Frieden fordert den Internationalen Ausschuss in Amsterdam auf, alle Schritte zu unternehmen, dass je eine Frau der 24 Frauen-Ausschüsse für dauernden Frieden mit beratender and [beschließender] Stimme zu der Friedenskonferenz der Mächte zugezogen wird.


Lida Gustava Heymann.'

We draw your attention to the fact that the time and the place of our Congress ought now to be fixed at once, because suitable localities for the meetings are in no country at the last moment obtainable, and for the great number of women who will certainly come over to attend the Congress comfortable lodgings must be assured. Therefore we most anxiously await your decisive answer.

We kindly ask you to acknowledge the receipt of this letter by cable.

With kind greetings,

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Aletta H. Jacobs.
Rosa Manus.

Note: This letter is also being sent to the Officers of the Board and to Secretaries of Provisional Committees."

Lida Gustava Heymann sent us the following letter:

“Dear Board of Directors!

The German Women’s Committee for Lasting Peace calls upon the International Committee in Amsterdam to take all steps to ensure that one woman from each of the 24 Women’s Committees for Lasting Peace is included in the Peace Conference of the Powers with an advisory and a decision-making vote.

Respectfully yours,

Lida Gustava Heymann.