WOMEN DEMAND PEACE
Their Party, Devoted to It, Holds Mass Meeting at Theater.
MISS JANE ADDAMS PLEADS
Mrs. Benedict, Mrs. Ames Mead, Mrs. Andrews, Miss Laura Clay, Miss Mason
and Other Speakers There Tell How to End War — Call of Neutral Nations
The education of youth in the ideals of peace, the limitation of armaments in all civilized countries and the organization of an international commission to promote and enforce universal peace were urged by speakers at a mass meeting held yesterday afternoon at Poli’s Theater under the auspices of the Woman’s Peace party, which opened its first annual meeting at the Willard Saturday night. Miss Jane Addams, of Chicago, chairman of the peace party, presided.
The meaning of the eleven plank in the party platform, which, among other things, provided for the immediate calling of a convention of neutral nations in the interest of an early peace, limitation and nationalization of armament manufacture, organized opposition to militarism in the United States and the removal of the economic causes of war, was explained by the following speakers: Mrs. Crystal Eastman Benedict, Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead, Mrs. Fannie Fern Andrews, Miss Laura Clay, Miss C. E. Mason, Miss Marion Tilden Burritt, Miss Zona Gale, Miss Janet Richards and Miss Julia C. Lathrop.
Nations Willing to Unite
The theater was crowded with delegates and prominent women peace advocates of Washington.
In discussing the recent woman’s peace conference at The Hague, Miss Addams said that neary every country in Europe was willing to join in a peace movement, provided the United States would take the initial step by calling a conference of the neutral nations.
"Even at this time," said Miss Addams, "a conference of neutral nations would be well received by the belligerent nations in Europe."
The speaker said that although the Woman’s Peace party had nothing to do with the sailing of Henry Ford’s peace ship, "we are very grateful to Mr. Ford for the effort he is making to restore peace to the world."
Miss Addams said that the most important step to take now was to find a means of expression for the peace sentiment which exists in Europe among not only the officials, but also among the men in the trenches."
People Must Exchange Ideas
"The people of England must know what the people in Germany are thinking and the people in Germany must know what the people in England are thinking, and this can only be done by expressing the sentiment of both countries in the newspapers and magazines."
Miss Andrews, in speaking on "The education of Youth in the Ideals of Peace," referred to the spirit of pan-Americanism, "which must ultimately control the economical, commercial and political relations of the world."
"It is incumbent upon each individual to help create a new order of international peace relations founded upon tradition and precedent, and to establish this order of things we must begin with the children. The child’s mind must be taught the spirit of cooperation and good will, the two great factors in international comity," she said.
Miss Andrews criticized the histories that were used in the public schools, and said that they placed too much emphasis upon the political and military side of the world’s development.
Born with Spirit of War
In discussing the "Psychology of Peace Education," Miss C. E. Mason said that every child was born with the spirit of war lodged in his brain, and that in order to overcome this tendency the mothers of the country should be organized and trained to teach their children the utter uselessness of war.
"Ezekiel was the first leader of the advocates of preparedness and "Theodore of the big stick" their present day guide," declared Mrs. Benedict in discussing the "Limitations of Armaments."
"The road of war is paved with preparedness," should be the motto of this society, because the whole campaign for preparedness in this country is founded upon a lie and thousands of men in Europe today are dying to prove that it is a lie." said Mrs. Benedict.
"Every time a soldier is killed in the trenches on the blood-stained fields of Europe a millionaire back in his own country is adding to his "bank roll." Before the present Congress passes the army and navy bills it should tell the people where the $200,000,000 that has already been spent for armament has gone," she concluded.
Preparations of a Kind
Miss Lucia Ames Mead said, in part:
"Let us welcome the advent of scientific experts to make more efficient and less costly the armaments that we now have. They ought greatly to lessen the preposterous expense which has made our war budgets out of all proportion to results.
"The power of the submarine and the prospective power of still less costly sea weapons give us promise of complete security from invasion if we multiply them with the large sums hitherto devoted to battleships. Before the war we were spending 67 per cent of our Federal income on war, past and future, while Germany spent 55 per cent; Japan, 45, and France and England, 35 per cent.
"Nickola Tesla prophesies that in the future we shall have adequate defense by wireless control of crewless vessels.
"Let us peace workers encourage the development of this type of defense for the hypothetic foe whose ghost is scaring our American public."
Ways to Prevent War
Miss Richards said in part:
"Of the numerous measures proposed as deterrents of war, the simplest and most effective would be what is known as ‘economic pressure.’ This is a term the value of which all should understand. It simply means that, without the arming of a man of the firing of a gun, war would be rendered impossible by means of an industrial boycott against a would be belligerent.
"Imagine, if you can, the helplessness of a nation against which all others had united to paralyze trade and industry. First, all transportation would cease. Not an international steamship or railway train would enter the country. All mail exchange would automatically cease. Telephone, wireless and cable messages would be taboo. Worse still, international credit and monetary exchange would be at a standstill. Imagine the howl of importers and exporters, of bankers and creditor, in a word, of all great mercantile interests, were such a boycott to go into effect. The result would be that the country which had the temerity to declare war would at once become a pariah among the nations — a political and commercial outcast. No nation could endure such a position, because its citizens would not tolerate it."
Nearly $10,000 is cash was pledged for the support of the part the coming year. Among the large subscribers were William Kent, who gave $5,000; Mrs. G. Evans, of Boston, $600, and two persons who refused to give their names, $2,000 apiece.
Three sessions will be held today at which time reports of committee will be read and other important business transacted.