Emily Greene Balch to Jane Addams, January 17, 1922


Dearest J. A.

I hope you will not have thought me pig headed and silly that I did come away as planned on the [Touraine] (Jan 7) landing today (Jan. 17) at Havre in excellent shape. It seemed the wisest decision to me and I hope time will justify it.

In re my health

At dear Helens residence I was still more thoroughly examined before I left and no physical ailment discovered, though a little suspicion of thyroid trouble developed. The doctor said that if there was such symptoms would [develop] and it would then be time enough [page 2] to see about it. He did not tell me what symptoms so I can't begin to imagine them! Meanwhile Dr. Smith Petersen thought my back & "posture" accounted for everything then put me into surgical corsets & [gave?] me exercises. Another theory is -- results of poison of the 5 [abscessed] teeth that were removed soon after I got home. What has rather "fazed' me is the fact that from the time I got home from Washington and N.Y. I felt worse every day though I stayed in bed till noon I felt like a sick woman but apparently it was only nerves. I think I can only tell my [page 3] rest condition when I get to work under normal conditions. No doctor urged me to make a break -- the plan of working but on a moderate regimen lying down at noon and eating [balanced?] meals was what seemed to recommend itself. So this is what I am going to try, and then if necessary to I will do and then act as seems to be indicated. I have made the voyage & complete rest cure, sleeping a great part of the time. [page 4]


Have you heard that at the last moment I had passport difficulties which Grace Abbott -- bless her -- and her friends straightened out just in time. It seems I was on a "refusal list." It is curious but if so I have not had any hint of difficulty previously.

Immediate plans

Madame Duchêne asked me some time ago to speak in France on my return. I have written her several times but have had no word [page 5] from her. I asked to see her in Paris tomorrow & then go in to Geneva (Wed. night). I want to talk Summer School with her & M'lle Roland.

Austrian Credit

I was busy over this up to the last minute.

The two persons now chiefly carrying on this matter are

(for us) Mrs. Helen Hoy Greeley

717 Woodward Bdg

for Mr. Filene

Mr. Wm. H. Short
5 Park ↑Square↓ Boston

It appears to be the case that although there was good authority [page 6] for stating that the U.S. was responsible for the delay that is strictly accurate, that some other creditor states [have] not asked and that after the long delay it is now uncertain whether the under the changed conditions the plan will ↑would↓ be carried through war if the U.S. agreed to postpone. Mrs. G is working with some Senators to get special [legislation] on the shape of a rider dealing with the Austrian situation alone but with the present state of feeling I fear this will [be] hard to put through. [page 7] I hope the opposition to over coming in to the Geneva meeting with [Gy & R.?] will not prove serious but is a bad symptom.

Poor old Gompers!

In re Wash. meeting

I do trust the unpleasantness about the parade and the quite shameless misrepresentation of our acts and animus has ceased [to] be a cause of present annoyance. I feel to blame that I did succeed in helping the situation more. I felt perfectly powerless partly I think because I felt physically so lifeless. [page 8] In re proposal to transfer our work to Vienna for the present -- as suggested in letter from Geneva just received in landing. The advantages & disadvantages of the plan are obvious. [illegible] We must reckon too with the good and bad of Yella Hertzka's influence of [illegible] in Vienna -- her initiative and idea-fullness and her lack of balance & [willfulness] on the other hand. I think our English group will feel the Geneva connections very important, which to our German friends those mean less than [page 9] nothing. The more I think of our financial situation the graver I feel. Do you think we should simply consider what we now have in hand and cut down to a point when our present friends will carry us through to July 1923. I sometimes feel that this is what we ought to perhaps to do. The last accounts with an [illegible] of 4000 not 3000 a month (with no salary to me) make me feel rather sober. I will study all this when I get to Geneva. [page 10]

I wish I did not have to add to your cares.

You know how lovingly and [grately?] I am always yours

Emily G Balch