New York Times


Their Congressional Union Is Nationalized in a Meeting at Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont's


Twenty-four States Represented in Their Conclave Repudiate Shafroth-Palmer Party.

With representatives from twenty-four States present and an all day meeting, beginning with luncheon at the Peg Woffington Coffee House yesterday, and afternoon and evening sessions at the house of Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, 447 Madison Avenue, the Advisory Council of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage became a national organization, adopted a constitution and started a campaign.

It was one of the most important meetings held in New York in a long time. It means a new national organization which will take from the old national organization much of its young blood and enthusiastic, radical workers.

The work of the new organization is to forward the Bristow-Mondell Federal Suffrage amendment, known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, which gives the vote to the women directly by act of Congress and opposes the Shafroth-Palmer Federal amendment, which makes State as well as Federal action necessary. The national organization of long standing is supporting the latter bill.

The Parent Repudiated.

The National American Woman Suffrage Association some time ago repudiated the Congressional Union and called it an unruly child for its work against Democratic Congressmen in different States.

Yesterday the new Nation Association repudiated the parent association and advised all of its members to cease their membership in and to give up their support of the National American Association as long as it continued to favor the Shafroth-Palmer amendment. This was the answer given by Miss Lucy Burns, Vice Chairman of the Congressional, yesterday afternoon, when the question of the relation of the new National to the old was put to her. It was given without personal animus, she said, and as a matter of political policy.

The important work of the day was the adoption of a constitution  and the mapping out of a programme of work for the next nine months preceding the meeting of the Congress next December. It was the consensus that the work of the Washington office of the union should be supplanted in every State in the Union and that even Congressional districts of the nation should have expert organizers and speakers to appeal directly to the people.

The Constitution provided that the organization should not be partisan and that membership should be open to all women, and there should be an initiation fee of 25 cents. There was an interesting discussion on the admission of men to the organization, and this was definitely downed.

The Men Kept Out.

Rheta Childe Dorr mad a strong plea against the admission of men to the union, saying that the men would use the organization for political purposes, and by means of it could turn an election.

"We have been working for sixty years without men, why should we admit them now?" asked Mrs. Belmont.

"Shouldn't we allow them to use their indirect influence?" asked a woman in the audience, admist much laughter.

"Let them use their direct or their indirect influence if they like," returned Mrs. Belmont, "but don't admit them to the union."

"Ladies, we find ourselves in the unique position of disfranchising men," said Mrs. Donald Hooker of Baltimore.

Men were definitely excluded by the constitution, but there were a number of the at the evening session, and some of them made considerable contributions for the work. Among these was Marsden J. Perry of Providence, R. I., who was present with Mrs. Perry.

Mrs. Annie G. Porritt of Connecticut, who presided at the evening meeting, told of Susan B. Anthony's work for the Bristow-Mondell amendment and how she urged the women to work for suffrage, saying: "Do not turn aside to other reforms until you get the greater reform."

"The National Association," said Mrs. Porritt, "Has turned largely from national to State work. If Miss Anthony had been able to hold the association to it, possibly we nee not have been here today.

Tells of Great Pageant

Miss Hazel MacKaye spoke of the proposed Susan B. Anthony Pageant to be given in Washington just before the opening of the ext Congress, which is the biggest thing of the kind ever undertaken by woemn. It is to appeal to the people and particularly to the members of Congress through art. "It will have from 400 to 500 people in the cast and will cost at least $3,000, and if there were $6,000," said Mis Mackaye, as she suggested means of raising money, "something worth while, something that would be appreciated, could be given."

Miss Alice Paul, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Union, was one of the speakers and among the other speakers and workers were Mrs. William L. Colt, Mrs Frank Cothren, Mrs. Inez Milholland Boissevian, Mrs. Maris Jenny Howe, Sophie Irene Loeb, Mrs. W. T. Burch, Mrs. Florence Kelly, who explained the amendments, Mrs. Donald V. Hooker, Miss Anna Constable, and Mrs. Joseph Griswold Deane.

Miss Doris Stevens, in charge of the work in New York, was a speaker and was commended for the great advance she had made in this city. Mrs. Belmont made an address of welcome. Mrs. John Rogers, Jr., presided in the afternoon.




Mrs. McCormick Also Doubts Wisdom of Meeting in New New York.

A statement was issued by the National American Woman Suffrage Association in regard to the Congressional Union Conference yesterday by Mrs. Stanley McCormick, Vice President, acting in the absence of the Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. She said:

The officers of the National American Woman Suffrage Association agree with Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt and Mrs. Harriet Stanton Blatch that this is not the time nor is New York the place for a reopening of the discussion as to the best way to bring about a Federal amendment for suffrage.

It would have show more imagination, more consideration from the women in New York, had the conference, with its appeal for funds and help, been held in some other State, but perhaps that is asking too much of an organization which is interested only in Federal suffrage. We see, usually, only what we are interested in.

But I do want to say, in all generosity, that the Congressional Union is to be heartily congratulated on giving up its policy of attaching the Democratic Party as the sole obstacle to suffrage. This was a short-sighted policy which we all deplored. It was based upon a romantic desire to imitate English tactics rather than upon a realization of the political situation in this country. We are glad to learn that the union has abandoned it, and we only wish that this step had been taken before the union's policy had misled and antagonized thousands of Democratic voters last Fall in Nebraska, Ohio, Missouri, and the two Dakotas.

Many workers for the franchise in New York State have said that they felt that the union was making their task more difficult by complicating matters with Federal and State interests.


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