General Federation of Women's Clubs
March 6, 1915.
My Dear Miss Addams: --
I am taking you at your word in your promise to help me. First, I want to know if you will be in Portland at the time of the Council meeting. If so, will you speak at least ten of the thirty minutes allotted to us on our program, taking as a subject The Humanitarian Value of Civil Service, or Civil Service Pensions. I should like your judgment also with regard to the advisability of the department of Civil Service pushing the subject of Civil Pensions, state, municipal and federal. In a recent number of the Saturday Evening Post, Ex-President Taft, I see, advocates a federal pension, and I remember that you spoke in Chicago at their mass meeting. Personally, I am much interested in the pension system as a solution or partial solution at least, of one of our serious governmental problems, and have tried to get a reply from Mr. Dana with regard to the action of the Council of the National C.S.R. League on the resolution on the subject which was referred to them at the time of the Chicago meeting.
Within a few days I have had a long letter from Mr. Dana in which he tells me that Mrs. Dana has been very ill, has had a transfusion of blood from Mr. Dana which seemed to help for a [page 2] little time but it was finally necessary for her to undergo a major operation about two weeks ago, from which she is, they hope, slowly improving. Mrs. Dana is still in a hospital in Boston, and Mr. Dana spends the greater part of his days at the hospital with her. Naturally he has not been able to keep in close touch with the work of the Council. Mr. Jenks, Chairman of Council, has never (Mr. Dana says) fully recovered from an operation which he underwent a year or so ago, and so it has probably been more difficult to obtain information than it would have been under other circumstances. At all events, I have no information with regard to the resolution, and will therefore, appreciate your judgment with regard to our undertaking the work. In many cases, among the women's clubs of the Railway Mail Service particularly, I am being asked to take up this subject. They in the main, believe in the [Hamill] bill, which, as you know is non-contributory. If you have given the matter any thought, what is your conclusion as to the relative merits of the contributory and non-contributory plan, and would you, were you Chairman of this Department, recommend the club women to study into this subject and have programs on the same.
Thanking you in advance for an early reply, I am,
Mrs F. H. Emma Pierce Cole [signed]