WOMEN CENSURE HECKLING
WILSON BY SUFFRAGISTS
National Association Charges Union's Methods Hurt the Cause
The Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage continued to come in for the lion's share of criticism at the closing session of the National American Woman Suffrage association's conference yesterday. Especially the so-called "militant" tactics of the union were dealt with severely.
As the crowning expression of the association's condemnation of the union's methods a resolution was adopted deploring the recent heckling of President Wilson by suffragists when he is burdened with the nation's war troubles. This resolution was sponsored by Mrs. James W. Morrison of the Chicago Equal Suffrage association and was considered of utmost importance to the suffrage cause.
All Alike to Public
"The methods of the Congressional Union are ascribed to all suffragists," said Mrs. Morrison. "The public does not differentiate between our methods and those of the Congressional Union and it is time that a distinction is made. The rural districts and even cities do not understand this thing. We are either suffragists or antis to the public. Even THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE in an editorial advised suffragists to "put the cause on ice" if President Wilson should be heckled at times when he was burdened with international duties. If THE TRIBUNE, which has always been friendly to the cause and is so well informed in suffrage matters, can be misled by the militancy of the Congressional Union then what can be expected of the public ?"
Resolution Raps Union
Mrs. Morrison then read this resolution:
"Whereas, the recent attempt of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage to force an interview with the president of the United States at a most inopportune time has brought condemnation upon all suffragists; and
"Whereas, this organization is in no way connected with the great body of suffragists represented by the National American Woman Suffrage association, but is a new organization with methods and policies diametrically opposite to those of the National Association;
"Be it resolved, that this conference of members of the National American Woman Suffrage association, assembled in Chicago, Ill., on this eighth day of June, 1915, do hereby deprecate this action and disclaim any responsibility for or sympathy with the same;
"And be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the president of the United States."
Miss Blackwell Opposes It
Miss Alice Stone Blackwell of Boston opposed the resolution for the reason that it would emphasize the more the methods of the union. Mrs. Medill McCormick contended that explanations of the "militancy" of the union had not been widely published in western papers and the differentiation between the two organizations should be made. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw emphasized the importance of taking action.
"A great deal more was done than was ever heard of when two English militants sent by Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont and Miss Alice Paul of the Congressional Union for American Suffrage forced their way past secret service men, climbed on a sofa, and shouted 'Votes for Women' at President Wilson," said Dr. Shaw. "Women should take a stand on militancy imported from England by Mrs. Belmont and Miss Paul so we can assist our organizers in the campaign states. The advocates of militancy assert that their methods will be continued wherever President Wilson travels and may be found."
Next Blow at Union Misses
The resolution was then adopted, but one offered by Mrs. Margaret Topliff of New York, asking that members of the Congressional Union be not officially recognized in the Nation American Woman Suffrage association, failed.
"To pass such a restriction on the members would require an amendment to the constitution," said Miss Blackwell. "And even if it could be passed it would not be a wise thing to do."
Mrs. Henry M. Youmans of Wisconsin asked that the motion be tabled, and that action was taken. Mrs. Grace Wilbur Trout, president of the Illinois Equal Suffrage association, and many prominent suffragists who are members of the union would have had to resign from the national association had the motion passed.
Mrs. Alden H. Potter of Minneapolis, chairman of the Congressional Union of Minnesota considered the defeat of the motion significant, as was also the vote for the Shafroth amendment.
The fact that there were 21 votes againstcontinuing work for the Shafroth amendment to 57 for it shows that there is some difference of opinion," said Mrs. Potter.
"It is jealousy," said Mrs. Julius F. Stone of Columbus, O. "The brightest young women are in the Congressional Union's work, so the leaders are disturbed.
Stepping suddenly from hostility to peace, Miss Laura Clay of Kentucky, grandniece of Henry Clay, arose with several motions for consideration. She offered three peace resolutions and one on the manufacture of goods in suffrage states.
First, she asked the suffragists to recognize the effort of President Wilson to keep the country neutral while the whole world is at war. Then she urged that they declare themselves against the "continued destruction of civilization and urge the president to call an extra session of congress to deal with the present grave emergency."
The first motion, as was one approved by Representative Richmond P. Hobson requesting women to write letters to their congressmen, was tabled. But the suffragists had no objection to going on record as opposed to war as war, whether it was for "home or foreign consumption," and the second motion carried.
Take Up Manufactures.
Miss Clay then offered a resolution, sent by Miss Kate M. Gordon of Louisiana, asking the women to patronize only manufacturers in suffrage states. The trade mark, "Made in a suffrage state " would thus be glorified and bring votes for women, according to the theory of Miss Gordon. It was not adopted.
"I am in spirit with this resolution," said Mrs. Antoinette Funk, "but I think that it would be unfair to attack manufacturers without the consent of women running the state suffrage campaigns."
Mrs. Henry Wade Rogers of Connecticut, national treasurer, pleaded for the renewal of pledges to fill the treasury. At the convention in Nashville, she said, $24,000 had been promised, but so far only $14,000 had been received.
Mrs. Medill McCormick spoke of finances also. The suffrage motion picture play, "Your Girl and Mine," brought 30 per cent of its receipts in leading cities into the suffrage funds, she said.
The session closed with a meeting of the executive board council at which Mrs. Stanley McCormick spoke on subjects for the welfare of the association.'
Professor in Plain Talk
Prof. William I. Thomas of the University of Chicago talked in such terms there was no chance of being misunderstood by a single suffragist at the Chicago Equal Suffrage association dinner at the Hotel La Salle last night. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw even mentioned her pleasure that the time had come when a man could speak the truth to a woman plainly. Prof. Thomas spoke on "Reform and Revolution."
There are two great original and fundamental principles, according to Prof. Thomas, governing the universe. These are food and reproduction. Without food the individual perishes and without reproduction the race dies, he said.
"A girl is the most attractive thing in the world," said Prof. Thomas. "The church considered if she were not fit for marriage, she was not fit for anything, in the eighteenth century. Because of traditions of this kind man gets more of purity than he bargained for. The making of virginity the supreme test was defined by religion and mock modesty. The idea of progress goes back to the application of knowledge to morality.
Says Birth Makes Legitimate.
"There are other things deluding us besides war and other evils. Some women are almost insane to be mothers who should be under no obligation to kill their child. The child by the act of birth is legitimized. Women have a right to choose when they are ready for the maternal sacrifice. Women are more prepared than men to accept this attitude. Women are relatively the only free members of society."
Miss Alice Stone Blackwell paused in her review of the campaign methods in Massachusetts to say that if she were entitled to be a mother she considered that she was also entitled to a husband and a home, despite the revolution which Prof. Thomas described.
Mrs. James W. Morrison was toastmistress. Mrs. George A. Soden, vice president of the Illinois Equal Suffrage association welcomed the delegates to Illinois.