National Affairs: Conference

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A week's listening, a week's thinking, a week's speaking and the Conference on the Cause and Cure of War, held by nine women's organizations in Washington (TIME, Jan. 26), was over. Although there was much talk, the chief effort of the conference was to find expression-effective means of expressing in action a will to peace. First, by lecture and debate, the causes of war were considered. Next, the cures were considered. Finally came resolutions.

The more important events:

¶ Judge Florence Allen of the Ohio Supreme Court declared that mankind's conviction that war is necessary must be changed, that the maxim "the state can do no wrong" must be changed to "the state shall do no wrong."

¶ William S. Culbertson, of the U. S. Tariff Commission, proposed an international conference on the distribution of raw materials and the conservation of national resources. Prof. Warren Thompson of Miami University (Ohio) asserted that over-population is the chief cause for war, and that the only cure for it is birth control.

¶ Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, Chairman of the Conference, suggested that a new Cabinet post, "Secretary of Peace," be created. She declared that the Army and Navy must "continue to be honored and respected until a safe and sane substitute is found." Race and religious prejudices must be abandoned, she asserted, and concluded : "The white race must disgorge. The lands we stole from the yellow and black races at the point of the sword must be returned ere there can ever be peace on the earth."

¶ Prof. Manley O. Hudson of Harvard placed hope in the League of Nations.

¶ George W. Wickersham, one time Attorney General, faced the Conference, affirmed that some wars are righteous and that therefore all wars should not be outlawed—wars of defence, wars in which a country goes to the aid of a weaker nation oppressed by a strong one.

¶Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr. left the conference before its conclusion but sent a letter to Mrs. Catt which was read:

"Here is a question to which, as a mother, I crave the answer:

"How can one best build up in the hearts and minds of children a resistance to war that will carry them through war epidemics in the future? Do we not need to instill in them not only a horror of war as futile and cruel but a sense of justice and tolerance toward races and nations not their own, which will deepen their love of humanity to the point where they will be willing to make sacrifices for the common good? In this method I feel we must persist, even after we have joined the World Court and the league and codified the laws. Isn't it our only way of making them permanent? . . .

(Signed) "ABBY A. ROCKEFELLER/' ¶ In a closing speech, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt urged peace among the peacemakers. Let no one plan be singled out by each group but rather let them join in a common cause.