Document 8: Emily Greene Balch to the Kaskia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 10 July 1924, Jane Addams Papers, Correspondence, Swarthmore College Peace Collection (Jane Addams Papers Microfilm, reel 16, #956-957).

Introduction

      Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961), Vice-Chairman for the US Section of WILPF, had been with the organization since the formation of the WPP in 1915. Balch suffered as result of her pacifism when Wellesley College administrators refused to renew her appointment as Professor of Economics in 1918. Following her dismissal from Wellesley, she served as Secretary General of the international WILPF from 1919 to 1922 and again from 1934 to 1935.

        In this letter, Balch responded to the Chicago DAR chapter's statement on disarmament, attempting to set the record straight on the aims of WILPF. Despite continuing attacks on their organization, the women of WILPF never launched a counter-attack of their own.

        Balch offered a different view on "national defense" than the one professed by the DAR. She explained that safe frontiers could only be maintained through international cooperation. The strong military advocated by DAR members would only promote a culture of violence and distrust.

July 10, 1924

To the Secretary of the Kaskia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution:

Dear Madam,

        Miss Jane Addams forwarded to me some little time ago a statement relating to disarmament sent to her over the signatures of various chapters of the D.A.R. of Chicago and vicinity.

        The position of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, of which Miss Addams is International President, on this important question may interest you, especially as it has been misrepresented in some quarters. It will be found on page three of a statement which has been prepared for the use of some of our friends who have been puzzled or misled by recent attacks on various women's organizations including the W.I.L.P.F., in which preposterous falsehoods are often mixed with sheer misunderstanding.

        Of course there is an honest difference of opinion between pacifists and militarists - to use the current terms - as to how a country is best defended. We believe that the only safe frontier by sea or land is the frontier that has friendly people on either side and that any people can be made friendly if dealt with in the right way; and that on the other hand, preparedness does far more to create ill-will and distrust that it can do to protect against the dangers of war -- to put the question only on the ground of expediency and safety and not on the ground of morality, Christianity, and principle.

        In any case, pacifists and militarists alike, when honest and right-minded, have surely the same goal - an orderly world where constructive cooperation shall replace destructive conflict. While differing as to the means leading to this goal and working each according to their own convictions they can respect one another's sincere efforts to serve their country and as far as practicable all countries of the world, whose destiny is so closely linked in one.

Yours very truly,
(Emily Greene Balch)
Member International Board of the W.I.L.P.F.
Vice-Chairman of the Section for the United States W.I.L.P.F.

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