Document 16: Report from Board of Officers of the International Committee of Women For Permanent Peace, 4 October 1915, New York Public Library, Schwimmer-Lloyd Collection, General Correspondence (Jane Addams Papers microfilm, reel 9, #176-177).
The Board of Officers of the International Committee of Women For Permanent Peace released the following internal document to assess the outcome of the women's peace mission. The document briefly described the envoys' meetings during the tour and detailed their discussions with the President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. The memo also contained plans for future action.
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
MEETING OF FOUR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF OFFICERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF WOMEN FOR PERMANENT PEACE[A]: MISS JANE ADDAMS, DR. ALETTA JACOBS, MME. ROSIKA SCHWIMMER AND CHRYSTAL MACMILLAN, ON OCTOBER 4TH, 1915 IN NEW YORK.
REPORTS OF THE ENVOYS.
It was reported that the Envoys from the International Congress of Women had visited the governments in London, the Hague, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Berne, Rome, Paris, the Havre, Copenhagen, Christiania, Stockholm and Petrograd.
After these visits Dr. Jacobs, R. Schwimmer, E. Balch, Mrs. Ramondt and C. Macmillan met in Amsterdam and exchanged reports. They went together to revisit the Government at the Hague and as immediate action was a factor in the situation decided to revisit the Governments of London, Berlin and Stockholm with a view to getting further information and conveying some of the information already received. Dr. Jacobs dissented from the decision to revisit London, Berlin, and Stockholm.
On her return to the United States Miss Addams, as immediacy was a factor in the situation, had seen the President and in addition to the report she had told him that the full delegation included women from belligerent countries of both sides, to which the President had replied that he would not receive any people from belligerent nations.
On Miss Balch's return she had also gone to visit the President and reported to him the work of the delegation which visited Scandinavia and Russia and the second visits to the Governments at the Hague (Prime Minister and Foreign Minister) and London (Lord Crewe and Sir Edward Grey).
On the Second visits to the different countries, C. Macmillan and E. Balch had seen Lord Crewe while he was acting Foreign Secretary in London and Mrs. Ramondt had seen Foreign Minister Jagow in Berlin and had also visited while in Germany the Duchess of Baden who is said to have great influence with the Kaiser. In Stockholm Mme. Schwimmer and C. Macmillan had each had interviews with the Foreign Minister and Mme. Schwimmer had also seen the Foreign ministers in Christiania and Copenhagen. In Sweden they had seen Prince Eugene, the brother of the King, who is known as a man of enlightened ideas.
Mrs. Ramondt on her return to the Hague saw again the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister there and C. Macmillan on her return visited these two Ministers in company of Dr. Jacobs.
DR. JACOBS, MME. SCHWIMMER AND C. MACMILLAN IN U.S.A.
Dr. Jacobs reported that she had come to the United States not as an envoy to the Congress but as an unofficial envoy of her Government. C. MacMillan reported that she had also been present at the interviews which Dr. Jacobs had had with the Dutch Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and had understood that Dr. Jacob's journey was of the same nature as other journeys undertaken by the envoys, when they had unofficially conveyed information from one government to another when they had intimated that such information would be useful.
Mme. Schwimmer and C. Macmillan reported that they had come to the United States as Envoys to the President. Miss Addams, in a letter to Mme. Schwimmer before leaving Europe, had written that she would see the President immediately upon her return but that if it were decided that the larger delegation should come to America she would hope to go again with these women, should they come to the United States. They had had no further information from Miss Addams on the subject because a cable which she had sent to Mme. Schwimmer stating that the President was unwilling to see belligerents had not been received.
R. Schwimmer and C. Macmillan voted in favor of ratifying all actions taken by the Envoys as Envoys, in particular their action in paying subsequent visits to the governments at the Hague, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Christiania and Stockholm and the action of Miss Addams and Miss Balch in seeing the President of the United States. On request Miss Addams, who was in the Chair stated that she approved of such ratification but hoped that we might have more care about voting hereafter. Dr. Jacobs assented to the above votes of ratification except that she did not approve of the last visits to London, Berlin, Copenhagen Christiania, and Stockholm.
It was decided that, in view of the fact that Miss Addams and Miss Balch had been received by the President of the United States as Envoys from the International Congress of Women and that he had stated that he was unwilling to receive belligerents, that no application should be made to him to receive the full delegation of envoys including Miss Addams, R. Schwimmer, E. Balch and C. Macmillan as the four Envoys in the United States.
CONVENING OF A MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF WOMEN FOR PERMANENT [PEACE].
It was reported that a cable had been received from the British Committee of the I.C.W.P.P. advocating that a meeting of the Committee should be called to receive the Reports of the Envoys and to decide on further action and constitutionally to appoint the Officers of the Committee.
On the motion of Dr. Jacobs, it was unanimously decided that a meeting of the International Committee for Permanent Peace be called in December to receive the Report of the Envoys and to decide on further action toward peace.
It was decided that the agenda of the meeting should also include the following items:-
Report from each country of what they have done.
Report of the Officers, including the Financial Report.
Arrangements for the Conference after the war. Rules for the Committee.
Question of adding additional members to the Board.
It was further decided that as a number of members of the Committee would be attending the International Peace Conference to be held at Berne from December 14th to 18th, that the meeting should be held in Berne on December 11th, 12th, and 13th.
AFFILIATION OF THE WOMEN'S PEACE PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES.
It was agreed that should the Women's Peace Party of the United States apply for affiliation it should be accepted, as Miss Addams made the application and reported that its Members were required to support Woman Suffrage and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means and the rest of the programme was in general sympathy with the resolutions of the Hague Congress.
ORGANISATION IN CANADA.
C. Macmillan reported that she thought of going to Canada with a view of organising a Committee there as she happened to be so near. She had met a Canadian woman in Chicago who had undertaken to help to organise a Committee and who would call together a meeting of representative women to meet her. (Name Mrs. Clara C. Skinner, 30 Hawthorne Avenue, Toronto).
ADVERTISING THE REPORT IN U.S.A.
C. Macmillan reported that she had seen Miss Breckenridge[B] who was willing to undertake to insert the proper type of advertisement in the two important library papers of which she had previously written as soon as she got particulars. It was agreed that the particulars should be sent to her and that Miss B. should be authorized to put in the type of advertisement suitable for the particular public of these papers and arrange for getting inserted in them press notices. Miss Addams ordered from Dr. Jacobs 200 copies of the Report.
CONFERENCE AFTER THE WAR
A draft of a proposed circular on arrangements for the conference after the war was submitted by C. MacMillan. The Section entitled CM "Conditions of Membership", "Selection of the twenty delegates and ten Alternates from each country" in attached statement were agreed to. It was also agreed to incorporate in the draft a statement that the I.C.W.P.P. should be expected to sit for as long as possible during the time of the meetings of the Conference of the Powers and send it up to that Conference every day suggestions.
A. The International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace was formed as a result of the meeting of the International Congress of Women at The Hague to promote the cause of peace globally.
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B. Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge (1866-1948) was a professor, social activist, and writer. She was part of the Hull House circle and lived there for over a decade. Breckinridge assisted in the organization and was the secretary of the Woman's Peace Party.
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