New York Times


National Organization Flatly Repudiates Policies of the Congressional Union


Wisconsin Delegate Charges "Steam Roller" Tactics —Against Interference in State Campaigns


Special to the New York Times

CHICAGO, JUNE 7.--- The mid-year conference of the National American Women Suffrage Association had a stormy session today. The long-standing controversy between the Congressional Union , the militant American body, and the National Association came to the front as soon as Dr. Anna Howard Shaw called the delegates to order. The association, led by Mrs. Medill McCormick and Mrs. Antoinette Funk, finally passed resolutions deploring the anti-democratic policy of the Union, but only after a bitter debate.

Miss Alice Paul, President of the Congressional Union, attended the morning session in the Hotel La Salle, and during the day member of her organization circulated freely among the delegates of the rival organization. As the chances of victory waned Miss Paul left the hotel and departed at noon for the East.

The controversy was begun by Mrs. Henry M. Youmans, President of the Wisconsin Suffrage Association, Mrs Youmans interrupted Mrs. Medill McCormick, Chairman of the Congressional Committee, to introduce a resolution calling for an Arbitration Committee, on which the Congressional Union should have fair representation, to consider matters bearing on the differences between the two organizations. A motion to table by Mrs. Stanley McCormick of New York was carried, 49 to 24, above the protests of Mrs. Youmans, who said:

"I wish to enter my solemn protest against tactics which shut off discussion of the most important subject."

Mrs. Upton of Ohio sought to smooth matters by explaining that the tabling of the resolution was not due to opposition to the subject matter in it, but to the necessity of straightening out and separating distinctly the various problems before the conference and to proceed to their discussion in an orderly manner.

"Precisely so," remarked Dr. Shaw, who had been accuses by Mrs. Youmans of flattening her out with a "steam roller."

"There was more discussion which led to a caucus of the leaders, and at the afternoon session the whole matter was thrown open to debate. The question was in substance: Shall the National Conference approve the policy of heckling President Wilson and fighting Democratic Senators and Representatives because of the failure of Congress to pass a suffrage amendment?"

Dr. Shaw, Mrs. Medill McCormick, Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw of New York, Mrs. Antoinette Funk, Mrs. Nellie Nugent Sommerville of Mississippi, and Miss Laura Clay of Kentucky opposed such a policy. The Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois delegations approved the tactics of the Congressional Union.

Late in the afternoon Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton of Ohio introduced a resolution which put the conference on record against militant methods. It was in part as follows:

"It is the sense of this conference that the policy of opposing the Democratic Party because of the non-passage of the Federal suffrage amendment is ineffectual in the suffrage States, and redounds with deadly effect in the non-suffrage States."

The resolution was adopted unanimously. Then Mrs. James Morrison of Chicago offered a resolution which said:

"We are unalterably opposed to any action interfering with the campaigns in separate States."

This resolution passed without dissent.

The conference this afternoon listened to speeches from a number of the national leaders. Mrs. Medill McCormick reviewed the activities of the Congressional Committee.

"That suffrage has a place on the political map and a national place of considerable prominence," she said, "was demonstrated not only by a vote in Congress upon the Susan B. Anthony amendment, and the size of that vote, but by the action of the Rules Committee in refusing to report our measure until safely after the election. The vote itself, however, is the significant and instructive thing for us.

"The argument which defeated our amendment was the State's rights argument. Yet compare it with the vote on the prohibition amendment, three weeks before, and we find that seventy-two men who voted against us voted for the prohibition restriction of the so-called sovereign rights of the States.

"They voted for the prohibition amendment because their States or districts made organizaed demands that they do so. A little later forty-three anti-suffrage Congressmen voted against a child labor bill —because the mill owners of their districts demanded that their property interests be protected against ruthless humanitarians who would insure to little children the rights of their childhood.

"We have believe in organized congressional district campaigns ever since our committee began its work, and the vote in Congress last Winter proved the value of our plan. It also proved that we must have more of the same sort of thing —vigourous congressional district campaigns and close co-operation between the State and Federal suffrage workers."

There was a discussion of the legislative plans at tonight's session.


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