Dear Madam President,
Miss Balch wished me to read over her enclosed letter to you and it gave me the opportunity for long meditations.
When I came here in September, I was in despair for the nervous breakdown of poor Miss Balch; I do not know how she worked other times, but it was frightful to see the haste with which she settled all matters and the [unrest?] which made her charge herself with tasks that were not hers at all. You know that even after her departure she continued to work, having carried with her a lot of business-matters without telling me and sending me one bundle of ready-drafted letters after the other, instead of short instructions. I was awfully sorry about it. I hope the great distance and the climate and the presence of her friend will induce her to really rest in Egypt.
It seems to me that it is a waste of the most precious energy to let her do office-work and that Miss Marshall is right when she says she would like [page 2] her to go to the [Balkans] and try to make propaganda for the WILPF there; she is really wonderful in getting people interested and confident in our work.
But there remains the question of the Geneva office that has still to do very much to get Swiss people interested and aware of their own lack in our work. I am not the person of prestige to influence them very much and I find that my French language is not good enough for them. Of course if Miss Marshall could come for the greater part of the year, it would be splendid; but is it right to have her settle down here, instead of visiting different countries and use her gift for influencing politicians? I am not sure at all.
As Miss Balch has invited Miss Holmes as head of the Maison Internationale ↑for April↓, I think we cannot choose an American as leader of the office as well; but perhaps the British Section could recommend somebody who is not so very much needed for political work; Miss Rinder did not seem the right person to me: she has a kind of unrest and undecidedness that does not fit her very much for this place where the Swiss people themselves are always doubtful and undecided. Neither was she inclined to accept a salary of Fr. 650 -- a month.
Concerning salary, I think it quite impossible to lower the salary of Miss Balch; she is so chivalrous in inviting people ↑in the interest of the League↓ and prenumerating papers etc. that she [page 3] must have a first class salary; and then she has such an amount of knowledge and understanding good in all the sciences and matters that concern our League that her cooperation in all our principle matters is inappreciable. To put her into the awkward situation to be obliged to economize in order to spend less would mean an obstacle in the use of her remarkable capacities.
I enclose her letter to Miss Marshall, her statement on the case of Mlle. Pottescher-Arnould and the letter she drafted for some ladies in Hawaii, all testimonies of her never resting brains.
I had a telegram this morning from Miss Marshall, saying: "Posting long letter [tomorrow]" which prevents me from suggesting anything concerning the Agenda. If I can, I shall forward the final draft of it to you after -- [tomorrow]; should it not be possible, I shall bring it to The Hague with me -- tomorrow ↑the 4th December.↓ Unfortunately the printing of our Bulletin is stopped by a strike since a week; if it cannot be taken up tomorrow, it cannot anymore serve the propaganda of the Conference, so that I think I have to postpone it until after it.
May I ask you now a great [favor]? Please, [page 4] do come to Geneva after the Conference, possibly with a little group of international friends! There is a great need of [rousing?] people here to think independently, and not only through the French papers, of the consequences of the so-called Peace. The few truly interested people are awfully timid and anxious and need an encouragement very badly.
Now a word about Mlle. Gobat whom I succeeded to persuade to come to The Hague; she is a very devoted promoter of our cause, much overtired too and somewhat offended: she feels as if Miss Balch had not appreciated her work enough, although she is a fine intellect and a beloved person all over Geneva. I should not have been able to do even the little propaganda I did without her and Mme Claparède. Mlle. Gobat helped me to arrange a very interesting meeting, a sale of books suggested by Miss Balch, an intimate gathering in the Near East question; translated a lot of articles for the Bulletin into first class French etc. She is now living at the Fellowship School, Gland, but she comes to town as often as I need her. I always pay her expenses and invite her to live in the Maison Internationale and have promised her the usual payment of [liras] for the translations, because I know she cannot afford to do it as voluntary work. (Her income consisted of the salary in our office and the interest of some Italian state-obligations which do not pay now almost anything). [page 5] I am telling you all this because I am sure that a kind word of you will give back to her all the enthusiasm so very necessary for our work here.
I am looking forward very much to the Conference and hope fervently it will be a full success. Only the thought of having to give a report on the psychic consequences of the Treaties gives me a lot of suggestion.
Hoping to see you again next week
Vilma Glücklich [signed]