Plan for turning "La voix de I'Humanité" -- "Die Menschheit"
Into a Daily Paper, August 22, 1919

Plan for turning "La voix de l'Humanité" -- "Die Menschheit" into a daily paper
to be published at the seat of the League of Nations.

I. The need for such a paper.

Owing to the changes the war has brought about in many of the international and social conditions numerous new "questions" have arisen of the greatest importance to the vital interests of countless millions, and which do not concern one single country only. It may therefore be assumed that many men and women in all countries will feel the desire of being kept well-posted in these matters. At present, however, no complete, systematic, sifted and well-ordered information of this sort is to be had in any daily. Much less is there a daily containing such information in connection with clear and unifying comments calculated to be generally understood.

By compiling, and adequately commenting upon, this kind of news from day to day, "La Voix de l'Humanité" -- "Die Menschheit" would satisfy a burning and wide-spread want felt by large intelligent circles. It is, further, highly probable that the league of nations authorities in Geneva, as well as the various international unions which are going to be transferred there from Berne and elsewhere, will from the very outset require daily information of a higher kind of what is being done, within the area of the League, in the sphere of international progress and social reform. If published in Geneva, the new daily should have a large circulation in these circles, and this class of readers would doubtless look at the worlds situation partly through the medium of the information and views of "Die Menschheit" and "La Voix de l'Humanité." Thus this daily paper (containing French, German and occasionally, if required, also English articles) might go far towards influencing the said authorities and unions, and might become instrumental in advancing the cause of all-round justice with regard to suppressed nationalities and classes. It ought, therefore, to be to the own interest of the League and international unions to vigorously support such a journal.

II. Technical details.

In a publication of this sort there is no need whatever for a "local" section. The inclusion of such a section would mean an unnecessary increase of the expense of paper, printing and editing, as well as superfluous ballast to the foreign reader. It can be dispensed with the more as "Die Menschheit" -- "La Voix de l'Humanité" is by no means intended to compete with the customary political and local press; on the contrary, it is meant as its complement. It is to supplement, not to supersede it. Numerous educated or intelligent persons in Switzerland, France, England, America, Germany and Austria, many even in Poland, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Hungary, will be glad to permanently remain in touch with the great problems of the world by reading "Die Menschheit" -- "La Voix de l'Humanité" beside their indispensable local dailies.

A well-edited international section dealing with commercial, industrial and financial affairs ought to appeal to the corresponding class of readers, more particularly by enabling them to verify the very often narrow-minded economic policy of their local press by consulting the international news and comments, absolutely impartial, of "Die Menschheit" -- "La Voix de l'Humanité."

The program outlined here could be carried out in a daily of four three-column pages, as follows:

1. Editorial article on the most burning question of the day -- Swiss politics, or an international problem, or a timely subject of social reform

1 col. [page 2]

2. Short Leaders , by experts from various countries, on topics of the day . . . . .

3 col.

3. News section, subdivided from organic points of view. Commenting only on the more important events, while merely [summarizing] the minor ones

4 col.

(Besides the agency and private telegrams, and the letters of special correspondents, the news section is intended to chronicle the social movements and cultural currents rife throughout the world. Thus this part of the paper would offer much more to the social-minded reader than any other existing daily.)

4. Literary section ("feuilleton"). A survey of current literature, science, art, ethics etc. etc.

1 col.

5. "City" section (see above) . . . . .

2 col.

6. Advertisements, to be restricted to goods and articles calculated to be of a particular interest to a class of intellectually-minded readers . . . . .

1 col.

Total 12 col.

III. Propaganda.

Aims: -- Acquisition of 12,000 new subscribers, viz: 3000 in Switzerland, 9000 abroad; among them, 2000 by general propaganda, and 10,000 by distributing specimen copies. There should be added the present 3000 subscribers to "La Voix de l'Humanité," "Die Menschheit" and "Versöhnung." Total 15,000.

Method: Experience showing that general propaganda does not, as a rule, yield splendid results, greater stress should be laid on the acquisition of subscribers by way of sending the paper gratuitously for one month to 40,000 addresses in Switzerland, and to 100,000 abroad.

According to our own experience, covering four periodicals and a time of 12 years, with regard to an international circle of "intellectuals," we may expect 10% of the Swiss, and 15% of the foreign gratis recipients to become paying subscribers. If, however, we are reducing these figures, for safety's sake, to 5% and 8% respectively, there should be obtained 2000 Swiss and 8000 foreign fresh subscribers.

The requisite 140,000 addresses are going to be compiled from among the following groups: Peacemakers, freemasons, professors, members of free-thought societies, ethical societies, social reform unions, motherhood protection unions, and similar bodies, as well as associations of democrats, liberals and the various shades of social-democracy, and members of other suitable political parties.

Estimate of cost of propaganda.

The propaganda edition of the paper ought to be 20,000 daily during the first 4 months, and 10,000 during the 8 months following: i.e. 13,000 on an average, 5000 of which could be taken from the "general" Edition which will not, in the beginning, be wholly required for subscribers. The remainder (8000) would cost about fr. 65,000 for paper, printing and publishing according to the prices we had to pay for "Die Versöhnung" . . . . .   Fr. 65,000
Postage for the 8000 extra copies (at ¾ centimes per copy; 312 nos.) about  [Fr.] 19,000
20,000 Swiss and 50,000 foreign "reimbursements" at 13 and 30 centimes respectively, about . . . . . [Fr.] 17,600
(Judging from experience, the other half of the gratuitous recipients will refuse the paper without awaiting a "reimbursement.")
"General" propaganda (ads, posters etc.)
[Fr.] 20,000
Thus an expense of Fr.  121,600
would yield 15,000 subscribers in the first year.

IV. General estimate.

Cost of a "general" edition of 15,000 copies.

Setting up, printing, paper, postage.  Fr. 630*)
Payments to contributors & correspondents . . . . . [Fr.] 90
Fr. 720
i.e. per annum (312 no.) 224,600
Subscription to agencies telegrams. [Fr.] 5,000
Editorial staff per month:
Head and foreign editor . . . . . Fr. 750
City . . . . .  [Fr.] 650
Swiss (half day) . . . . . [Fr.] 400
Editing of telegrams and literary section . . . . .  [Fr.] 350
Editor of [labor] section . . . . .  [Fr.] 300
2 Typists . . . . .  [Fr.] 600
 Monthly total Fr. 3150
Total per annum  [Fr.] 37,800
Office rent and expenses . . . . [Fr.] 5,000
Salaries and expenses of publishing [Fr.] 25,000
Postage and telegrams . . . . . [Fr.] 20,000
Current advertising . . . . . [Fr.] 15,000
Sum carried over Fr. 332,400
[page 3]
Sum carried over Fr. 332,400
Annual repayment of promoting expenses to the present proprietors. [Fr.] 6,000
Unforeseen expenses . . . . . [Fr.] 25,000
Total expenses per annum Fr. 363,400
To be added for the first 3 years, one third each of the first cost of introducing the paper (see above) i.e annually . . . . . [Fr.] 40,000
Grand total about Fr. 400,000
5000 Swiss subscribers at frs. 24 p. a. Fr. 120,000
10,000 foreign subscribers at frs. 24 p. a. [Fr.] 240,000
Donations ("press-fund") . . . . . [Fr.] 20,000
Street and stall sale of single copies . . . . . 10,000
Advertisements, at the very least . . . . . 50,000
Total Fr. 440,000
Net profit Fr. 40,000

V. Financial suggestions.

The first year's receipts will chiefly come in gradually as the expenses fall due. This means that a fund of Fr. 50,000 would suffice for keeping the paper "going" currently. Leaving (for safety's sake) the assumed net profit of Fr. 40,000 out of consideration but taking into account the above introductory expenses of about Fr. 120,000 (less 40,000 already included in the first year's budget, i.e.  Fr. 80,000) and the advisability of a reserve fund of Fr. 120,000 there ought to be a share capital of Fr. 250,000 i.e. 2500 shares at Fr. 100. The signed promoters are willing to take 100 shares, the remaining 2400 to be subscribed for by friends of the ideas at the bottom of "Die Menschheit" -- "La Voix de l'Humanité;" e.g.: The Basle promotes of the Swiss league of nations committee who subsided "Die Versöhnung" liberally; several American friends of our ideals; a group of 55 societies who are to discuss, at their September meeting, a motion submitted by members in [favor] of supporting "Die Menschheit;" the P. group of "mental workers;" lastly any other persons or associations abroad interested in the principles of humanitarianism, brotherhood, true democracy, social justice, free-trade, free-movement, the transformation of the Paris Covenant into a genuine league of nations, etc., and in creating an international central organ for the different progressive movements aiming at the [realization] of these ends.

It being intended to make Geneva the seat of the new daily for the reasons adduced in part I of this exposé, a separate French edition might be issued by and by, so as to make our ideas more accessible to the French-speaking world; here the list of subscribers to our old French periodical Les documents du progrés might be of use in the acquisition of subscribers.

The League for the Defence of Humanity, which has enjoyed, during the war, the moral support of leading men from among both groups of belligerent Powers, begs to propose herewith that its present organ "Die Menschheit" -- "La Voix de l'Humanité," should be transformed into a daily and that the requisite joint stock company be created. The undersigned herewith invite all persons and societies sympathizing with our ideas to take over as many shares as their means might allow. Our statutes will provide that each shareholder will receive a free copy of the paper for 5 years. Please apply to the Secretariat, "League for the Defence of Humanity," 33, Lerchenweg, Berne, or 3, Jumelles, Lausanne, stating the number of shares you are willing to acquire.

League for the Defence of Humanity.

(Decision of the committee taken on August 9th, 1919)

Committee of the League:

Dr. A. Forel, Yvorne; Dr. Moser, B. Bertoni, B. Garbani-Nerini, O. Weber, A. Widmer, members of the Swiss Parliament; Dr. R. Broda; Dr. A. Suter, ex-president of the municipal council of Lausanne; Jean Longuet, member of the French Parliament; G. Hubbard, ex-member of the same body; Ramsay MacDonald, member of the British Parliament; Sir Robert Stout, Lord Chief Justice, Wellington; Ed. Bernstein, of the German Reichstag; Lino Ferriani, former procuratore del re, Como etc.

*) The use of the rotary press and the forthcoming fall in the price of printing paper are likely to reduce this item by 30 to 80 francs.