Anna Garlin Spencer to Jane Addams October 28, 1920

7 High St White Plains N.Y. Oct 28, 1920

Dear Miss Addams,

I have felt troubled in regard to Frau Hertzka. It is a serious handicap to anything she wishes to accomplish in regard to repatriation of prisoners that she is so attached to the group now concentrating on immediate disarmament. Aside from the futility of either a conquered nation ↑like Austria↓ or one, like America, outside of the established forces of reconstruction calling for immediate disarmament, there is a distinct conflict between the [psychology] of appeal for pity that can be made so well for the prisoners and the initiation of a frictional subject of debate. I do not know that anything can be done but perhaps if you felt it as I do you might make a suggestion to Frau Hertzka that would lead her to hold her main purpose, which as I understand the women of Austria have sent her to work for, quite free from the group work of Mrs Villards Society and the atmosphere of contention that always introduces.

Another thing I feel I must write about and that is the place of meeting of the next Biennial of the W.I.L.P.F. It seems to be assumed that Vienna will be that place. Do you not think it far better that the Biennial be held at the seat of our International Headquarters? I certainly do. Or if not there, at The Hague? One of the other of those places will be the center in Europe of actual work toward peace, If the Court is at The Hague, as recommended, that will be the center of legal effort; and if as seems now ↑certain↓ since the purchase of Headquarters the Council and Assembly of the League have their League business all at Geneva there would seem to be the place that all peace organizations should work from and in which annual and biennial meetings should be held. Also the fact that the International Suffragists, and probably in combination with the International Womens' Council ↑are to↓ have a local International Secretary at Geneva to report upon all the doings of an international [page 2] nature of special interest to women would give our meeting at that place the benefit of much collateral interest. [Although] this International Sec. is I understand from Mrs. Catt to be in no sense a propagandist she will all the more be in condition to give valuable information to those actively working toward peace. Also again, the physical and political conditions in Austria cannot be good for attendance from any but the nearest countries and those should be balanced, for good judgment as well as [injustice] to the inclusive character of the W.I.L.P.F., by many from States less torn by dissension of old broken-up or new struggling nationalities.

I do hope that you will feel it right to negative the suggestion for Vienna and substitute that of Geneva. I am sure that your wish in the matter would find instant concurrence from abroad.

I hope that your blooming summer health holds after the pressure of fall and winter work comes upon you and that all will go well with you and yours.

↑Yours most cordially↓

Ana Garlin Spencer. [signed]