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every country in the world which is at present involved in war, whether they are our allies or whether they are our enemies.
Even before war was declared-and now I am speaking of the suffragists of our own association-the women of the National American Woman Suffrage Association met in convention in this city and were the first organized national body of women who gathered together to formulate a definite plan of action and to present to the President of the United States and the Government of the United States a formulated plan of conduct which would be followed by the more than 2,000,000 women of our association, provided hostilities went so far that war should be declared. The President accepted our services, and not only did he accept them, but the general impression of the devotion of the suffragists of this country to the welfare of the country was so uniformly accepted that when the Government decided upon war and upon the necessity of the organization of the woman power of the Nation they called upon the women who are leaders in the woman suffrage association and appointed them on a committee for coordinating the war work of women throughout the United States. Can we for a moment suppose that the gentlemen in whose charge the great interests of our Nation rested would have called upon women who were not thoroughly endowed with patriotic devotion and loyalty to their country for such a service at such a time?
The horrors of war have been forced upon the women of the world, horrors so awful that men are not able to understand them or comprehend the depth of the agony and suffering to which war exposes the women; and because of that horror, because of the agony which overcomes women at the very thought of war, is it any wonder that every woman is devoting every moment of her time, every bit of her strength, and all she possesses toward saving our own country from the horrors which have befallen the women of other parts of the world?
But in the midst of it all you have testimony in regard to the services women have rendered their countries. From every nation at war and from every part of the world comes the testimony of the men who are not pacifists, who are not seeking to destroy their country, but who are the great leaders of men in every nation at war to-day. They testify to the loyalty and to the devotion of women, and they echo the words of the Earl of Derby, who said, "Because of the services of the women they have become part and parcel of our great army. Without them it would be impossible for progress to be made, but with them I believe that victory can be assured."
The same has been said by the great leaders of France and the same has been said by the leaders of every nation which is now at war.
If it is the nature of women to oppose all war to such an extent that they are ready to sacrifice their country, why have we no testimony from the nations where they are in the very midst of war that women are the great force seeking to overthrow their country? We have no such testimony from a single one of them. The nature of women is the same in Great Britain, the same in France, the same in Italy, and the same in Belgium as it is here, and if in our nature we are a dangerous group to our country, why are not the women a dangerous group in the other countries now at war? On the contrary, we have the testimony of the men of those countries that the
women have been the great power in their redemption and salvation during these times. Not only is that true of the countries across the sea, where the horrors of war confront them, but it is true of our own country, and we here have not found any hesitation on the part of the women to serve our country.
Every Government at war, except Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria, has introduced a bill for the enfranchisement of women, either for immediate passage or for passage at the conclusion of the war. even the King of Belgium, or that little fringe of that much-suffering nation, has declared that one of the first acts of Belgium when it is restored to power as a nation will be to enfranchise the Belgian women. Now, with such testimony before us can we American men and women be blinded by the statement that the women of this country will not stand loyally by the men if they have political power; that they will desert their own sons, fathers, and brothers in a time of distress such as this? When such a man as Mr. Asquith, because of the loyalty of women, has been won from his opposition to their enfranchisement; when the man who has saved Great Britain, Mr. Lloyd-George, declares so emphatically in its favor; when Gen. French, that mighty leader of the British Army, has declared that woman suffrage is absolutely essential not only to the salvation of the nation during the war, but to its reconstruction after the war is over, and when Gen. Joffre, the man whom we all love, has declared that woman suffrage is absolutely necessary to the Republic of France-when such men as these make such statements, who among us, save those who are fit to enter immediately-and remain therein schools for feeble intellects, can be deceived by the cry of proGermanism among those who believe in woman suffrage?
These men not only declare that women have served their country but they declare that they have been the salvation of it. And what women have done there so will they do here. In the New Year's message received from Gen. Pershing to the women of this country, through the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, he said: "Our incomparable women, than whom there are no more noble." If that is true, if there are no women more noble than the women of these United States, what the women have done in Great Britain, in France, and in other nations which have stood between us and the disasters which have overcome them, will be done here and so will we stand off those disasters from reaching our shores. There can be no question as to that. Not only did Gen. Pershing make that statement with regard to the women of these United States, but Her Majesty, Queen Mary or England, in her message to the women of our country, said, "The horrors of the war have bound the English-speaking women of the world together in bonds of sympathy and lovalty in this struggle for freedom and for civiliation, and I pray that God's richest blessings may rest upon us in our help to our soldiers and our sailors that we may be victorious."
Coming from all these quarters, where people know what has been going on amongst the women where the war wages to-day, why should we hesitate because some poor man fears that the peaceloving sympathies of women will overturn our Government, our men being so weak that they can be so easily overturned. [Laughter and applause.] Not only is that true, but let us go to Canada, where we
have a very near neighbor, and we do not need to cross the sea. When the present Union Government of Canada wanted to maintain its power and to continue the war and prevent an undesirable peace, what was done? They extended the vote to the women of Canada who had relatives in the war. Now, if women want to deprive men of loyalty and honor; if they want them to disgracefully yield to the enemy, would the Premier of Canada have put the power in the hands of Canadian women to have ended the war as far as Canada is concerned if he had believed that and if he had not known that he had no stancher supports in Canada than the women who were related to the men in the field? And knowing that, the ballot was put in the hands of the very women suffering the most in order that they might support and sustain the Government in its continuance of the war, thereby making it possible to enact a conscription act which would enable Canada to renew its army, and to continue the war to its finish. That act was carried by the votes of the women of Canada and by the votes of the soldiers in the field, and without the women's vote it could not have been carried.
So that every argument, every fact, and every bit of the knowledge of the word to-day is opposed to any statement that women are pacifists in the sense that they are willing to destroy their Government for the sake of peace. Then Mr. Elihu Root, who is not very. favorable to woman suffrage, made this declaration only a few weeks ago, in addressing a number of people in regard to the loyalty, the devotion, and splendid courage of the men of Australia. He said, "It is an honor to have for our ally a country which can produce such men. The men of Australia, who have borne so large a share of the real services of the war, are the sons of women who voted at the time they were born and who have trained, educated, and brought them up with a love of country, with a love of honor, and with a love of manly courage. And the women of Australia have stood by their men during the war." We have this testimony, both from our friends and from our opponents, and every bit of it is all on our side of this question.
Now, as far as this contention is concerned, when we come to our own States, how do they stand? When volunteers were called by the Government and the quota of each State was given, the first State to fill its quota of volunteers was one of the States where women vote. Ten out of the 11 Western States where women vote filled their quota of volunteers for the Regular Army before any Eastern State, where women do not vote, filled its quota. That does not prove that women are weaklings or that men who live with women who vote are weaklings, or that they are disloyal to their Government and refuse to stand by it in the time of its need. Not only is that true in regard to the States where women vote, as far as the volunteer army is concerned, but they have come up to every call of their country in every other line of service.
We are told that the Federal amendment asked for, gentlemen, is a pro-German move in order to end the war. If that is so, the proGermans were remarkable in their foresight in that they introduced this bill nearly a half century ago, because the bill which it is now claimed is intended to end this war is the same bill which has been introduced into every Congress since 1878. It is very strange that
in their wisdom-and I concede to Germany a vast amount of wisdom-they should have prepared a bill on this particular line so far back in history as to have had it introduced in 1878 and to have brought it before Congress at every session from that time to the present, because it is the same bill, word for word, introduced by such pro-Germans as Julia Ward Howe, who wrote our Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Mary A. Livermore, at the head of the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and Susan B. Anthony, the noblest Roman of them all, loyal and devoted to her country, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, one of America's great stateswomen, and Lucretia Mott, the whole of that body of pro-German women who have gone to their pro-German reward. [Applause.]
It is exceedingly amusing to consider the ignorance of the opponents of this measure in making an argument of this sort and assuming for one single moment that there is a gentleman in this house anywhere who can be camouflaged or anything else by a statement like that. Then we have some men who are not particularly proGerman in their activities. President Wilson, who is very eager to see the women of the United States enfranchised, would hardly be called pro-German. [Applause.] Secretary McAdoo is hardly proGerman; the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy are hardly pro-German, and so I might go on enumerating the statesmen of this country, both in Congress and out of it, who are most loyal and devoted to the cause of woman suffrage who can hardly be called pro-German. It is astounding that a charge of this sort can be made in the face of the high character and position of the men and women who are favorable to our measures.
I want to say in closing, gentlemen, that we are not asking for the Federal amendment for women because we are not loyal to our country, because we are not willing to do war work, and because we are not willing to sacrifice and to suffer, but because we want this measure passed for two reasons: One is that to fail to ask for it at this time would be treason to the fundamental cause for which we as a nation have entered the war. [Applause.] President Wilson declared that we are at war because of that which is dearest to our hearts, democracy, that those who submit to authority shall have a voice in their government. [Applause.] If that is the basic reason for entering the war, then those of us who have striven for this amendment and for our freedom and democracy in this country to yield to-day, to withdraw from the battle, would be to desert the men in the trenches and leave them to fight across the sea for not only democracy for the world but for democracy for our own country. We believe in that fundamental principle because we believe in the ideals of democracy. Because we are loyal to the men in the trenches, because we are loyal to ourselves, because we believe the word of the President of the United States, we are to-day, gentlemen, pleading for democracy, that those who submit to authority shall have a voice in their government. The war is not going to last forever. God pity us, it is lasting too long.
The time of reconstruction will come, and when that time comes many women in this country will have to be both father and mother to fatherless children, and these women and their children will have no representatives in this Government, unless they are repre
sented through the mothers who have given everything that the Government might be saved and democracy might be secured.
Do we need to appeal, is it necessary to appeal, to the men from the South, the sons of women who by their loyalty, their courage, their devotion to the men of the South, who laid down their lives for that for which the South fought and fought so gallantly; have we to plead to the sons of such women, who, because of their loyalty, because of their courage, sacrificed everything for the thing for which they stood, and through whom the traditions of the Southland still exist; must we plead to the sons of such men to prove that women are not disloyal to men, that women will not betray the principles for which they stand, that women are courageous, that women have a reserve power which is needed when the reconstruction of conditions are demanded after the war is over? No men better than the men of the South know what the South owes to the southern women, and shall those men stand in the way of the freedom of the women who gave everything to retain to our country the very best of southern traditions-shall we plead in vain for the freedom of their daughters? What is true of the women of the South is true of the women of the North. I was young, but I know what the women of the North did. I know the sacrifices they made. I know how loyally they stood back of their men, and I know, as a pioneer girl, what the pioneer women suffered for the sake of the thing which they believed to be right, and as the women of the South and the women of the North stood loyally by their men in the field and retained and held together all that was best of the Nation's life so that they might have something to which to return when they. came home, those who did come home, broken, discouraged, and disheartened. We are to-day a united people with one flag and one country, because the women of this land, gentlemen, are worthy of their men, and, therefore, we plead not because we are mere makeshifts in human creation a by-product of human life, but because we are a part of the people, a part of the Government which claims to be a democracy, in order that this country may stand cleanhanded before the nations of the world, and that when they go out to make the world safe for democracy they may make it safe for democracy at home. I thank you, gentlemen. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Shaw, I should like to ask you a question.
The CHAIRMAN. Your association has given a great deal of time to this amendment. What have you to say as to placing in the proposed resolution a proviso that if it is not adopted within a certain number of years it should not be effective? Please just make a clear statement of your views on that question in order that there may be no doubt in the minds of the members of this committee and of the House.
Dr. SHAW. Since until the present year no such clause has ever been added to a constitutional amendment we can not understand why it should be added at this time, unless it is with the hope that it may defeat the amendment, because conditions in the States will be such that it will be impossible to carry the amendment if a limited time is given to the opponents to defeat it. That is to say, it appears to us that since this is a democratic measure it should come before