Anna Garlin Spencer to Emily Greene Balch, June 11, 1924


My dear Miss Balch:

I am sorry for delay in receiving your note of the 6th with enclosures in re: statement for Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. It has just reached me in Providence, R.I. where I am in attendance upon my sister. She had a "shock" ten days ago, is paralyzed on right side and quite helpless. Mind clear and no pain to speak of but it has been most difficult to get right Sanitarium care. She is now placed with satisfaction and I am plunged in deferred task of pledged "chapter" for new edition of a book. I have read carefully your statement. I approve of the publication of some statement in rebuttal of the "Spider-Web" and other calumnies. I would print in one sheet, cheaply, Alice Blackwell's excellent statement or else Mrs. Botts editorial in recent Woman Citizen in some subject to show that all Women's organizations have been slandered. I would add one two page pamphlet (not longer) to go with it to show that Women's International League for Peace and Freedom has been especially misrepresented. I think the briefer and more positive we make such statement the more likely it will be to get it read and its substance in the Press. I think the statement you kindly sent me is excellent. It should appear I think as an article in some paper or magazine. Would not the New York World print it in a Sunday edition? But for a "broadside," from very large distribution to all our members and to a list of members of other organizations, would not a shorter statement be more useful?

The three points you cover are fine --

1. The untruths

2. The confusion of false and true statements

3. The misunderstandings and misconceptions. [page 2] Also you bring in clearly that at bottom the opposition is based on the feeling that we have no right to be pacifists and should be dealt with as treasonable. I feel that a more condensed reply on those four points would be better.

Moreover, I am a bit uncertain as to wisdom of sending in the statement now. I learn that the central point of policy and debate at the recent General Federation of Clubs Meetings has been and is still in clubs, the question of pacifism and the opposition of it and the resulting "Spider-web" and kindred attacks on women's organizations in general. I am wondering if your statement and Alice Blackwell's could not be got into some syndicate of newspapers, without expense to us, and start the defense. And then in the fall, after the General Federation of Clubs and the League of Women Voters' Annual Reports of their big Meetings are in print we use some of their material in quotations if that seemed wise, and make our special plea for the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom on a basis which could include a broader treatment of women's relations to peace movements.

Mrs. Ida Clyde Clarke has been in attendance at both meetings I think and her report would be of use.

I have an appointment to see her on her return to New York for the purpose of getting such report. If I can I shall go home for a few days some where between the 20th and 27th of June. I shall have to return her to Providence and my summer plans are all upset by my sister's condition. But I would gladly try to write a pamphlet of "testimonies" short, not more than two pages which would show from quotations of the M. E. [page 3] Resolutions and the Baptist and other religious bodies that we are not alone in our fundamental pacifism. I think a brief defense yourselves and a brief showing of that good company we are now in ([although] be stood more solitary while the war was raged) might be better than to concentrate so much attention on ourselves, and such a pledge might possibly do more good later when the Presidential campaign was not so fiercely in hand.

Please do not let these [queries] of mine have too much weight. I am sure the statement as it stands is wise and good and would be useful. I am only questioning remembering our poverty if we could not serve better a little later and with that added testimonies of other bodies?

Excuse a very tired hand, with much love

Anna Garlin Spencer

June 11, 1924

133 Brown 82
Providence, R.I.