Speech to the Waterloo Business Women's Club, January 16, 1922 (summary)


Jane Addams Is Guest Waterloo Business Women

Gives Address on Problems Now Affecting European Nations and Peoples.

Outstanding among Miss Jane Addams' pictures of Europe in 1921, as she flashed them upon a crowd of mental screens at the Walnut Street Baptist Church last night, was her belief that this country's [cooperation] in the League of Nations would help in Europe's resuscitation. But this country is doing a "Ghandi" by being non-cooperationist in the league and, according to Miss Addams, there are some dreary landscapes in parts of Europe as a result.

About a month of Miss Addams' stay in Europe was spent in Austria, now a comparatively small principality with population something like 7,000,000, with over a third of it crowded into Vienna. Because Austrian territory consists now of nothing more than rough, mountainous country there is little food grown there and the problem of feeding the people has become a serious one. Furthermore the country's credit is so low that it is unable to go outside to buy raw materials with which to give its industries something to do in the way of manufacturing. As a result Austria faces the future with despair.

Plan to Help Austria Failed.

The League of Nations evolved a plan that would put Austria on its feet it was believed, but because the United States would not subscribe to it, it was never worked out. It provided for the lending of a certain sum to Austria and the nations signatory to the league agreed that that sum would not be touched by them in attempts to collect on money owed them by Austria. Austria, however, owed a small sum to this country and this country would not agree to leave the proposed loan alone. Therefore the league of nations feared to give Austria the money for fear it would never be used to help put the nation on its feet.

That was only one out of eight reasons that Miss Addams says have been advanced to show why this country should belong to the League of Nations. She went on to point out that those officials of the league who are executing its work in Geneva are trying to see things from an international point of view in order to be fully informed in adjusting the relations of those nations in the league. In other words, the league is working but, in the opinion of Miss Addams, it is not going ahead with the efficiency that it would if the United States was a member of it.

Suffrage is Progressing.

While in Europe last fall Miss Addams also had occasion to visit [Czechoslovakia], where she was conducted [through] the legislative halls of that country by the son of the president of that country created by the league. Inasmuch as Miss Addams was speaking under the auspices of the Business and Professional Women's League of this city she thought it well to point out some of the things that are being accomplished in securing suffrage for women in the countries of central Europe.

In the beginnings of the attempt to secure woman suffrage, Miss Addams pointed out that it was the Anglo-Saxon women who led in the fight while European women were largely passive factors in the move. Today, however, she declared the women of Europe are profiting from the ends gained and there are even women representatives in the legislative halls of Central European parliaments. Many of the women representatives, she declared, continue to wear quaint native costumes in the upper and lower houses of the legislatures or parliaments.

Referring to Hungary Miss Addams declared that that country is under a dictatorship that places practically absolute control in the hands of Admiral Horthy, who is supposed to be holding his position until a regent can be selected. In her travels in central European countries Miss Addams also gleaned some knowledge of the situation in Russia as it exists today.

In the Famine Valley.

She declared the valley of the Volga, where the great famine prevails, is an area about the size of New England, New York and New Jersey combined. This region, she said, is subject to periodical droughts, one of which struck the Volga valley last year. The winter wheat which had been planted the fall before came up the next spring, grew a few inches and then wilted for lack of moisture. Rain failed to come, the soviet government had already taken from the farmers the surplus wheat that they ordinarily held with the result that in the emergency the inhabitants of the region were left foodless. With starvation came disease and chaos has reigned.

Now the American relief administration, under the supervision of Herbert Hoover, is able to relieve the situation somewhat. Corn is being shipped into the afflicted regions and the Red Cross is attempting to relieve the distress occasioned by typhus and other diseases. Nations bordering on Russia such as Poland have established clinics along their borders to care for the Russians coming for medical aid.

Reception for Miss Addams.

After making her talk Miss Addams answered questions from the audience. An informal reception followed the talk, when those who wished met Miss Addams. Violin and quartet numbers preceded Miss Addams' talk.

Miss Addams' visit here was of particular interest to Mrs. J. H. Crippen, 727 Park Avenue West, who was a childhood friend of Miss Addams, when she lived on a farm near Cedarville, Ill. Miss Addams presented 100 American Beauty roses to Mrs. Crippen's grandmother, Mrs. Josiah Clingman, upon her hundredth birthday. The Clingman and Addams farms adjoined at that time. Mrs. Clingman lived to be 107 years old.