8 Women Law. J. 1 (1918-1919)

handle is hein.journals/wolj8 and id is 1 raw text is: WOMEN LAWYE R' JOURNAL
Entered as Second Class Matter October 1, 1917, at the Post o.41e at Jamaica, N. Y., under the Act of March 3, 1879.
VOL. 8. No. 1.         NEW  YORK CITY, OCTOBER, 1918.  15 Cents a Cony: $1.00 a Year
President Wilson's Address to the Senate of the United States,
Asking for the Passage of the Federal Woman Suffrage

Gentlemen of the Senate:
The unusual circumstances of a world
war in which we stand and are judged in
the view not only of our own people and
our own consciences, but also in the view
of all nations and peoples will, I hope,
1justify in your thought, as it does in mine,
the message I have come to bring you.
I regard the concurrence of the Senate
in the constitutional amendment proposing
,the extension of the suffrage to women as
vitally essential to the successful prosecu-
tion of the great war of hiumanity in which
we are engaged. I ihave come to urge
upon you the considerations which have
led me to that conclusion. It is not only
my privilege, it is also my duty to apprise
you of every circumstance and element in-
volved in this momentous struggle which
seems to me to affect its very processes and
its outcome. It is my duty to win the  war
and to ask you to remove every obstacle
that stands in the way of winning it.
I had assumed that the Senate wou'h
concur in the amendment because no dis-
putable principle is involved, but only a
question of the method by which the suf-
frage is -to be extended to women. There
is and can be no party issue involved in it.
Both of our great national parties are
pledged, explicity pledged, to equality of
suffrage for the women of the country.
Neither party, therefore, it seems to
me, can justify hesitation as 'to the method
of obtaining it, can rightfully hesitate to
substitute federal initiative for state in-
itiative, if the early adoption of this meas-
ure to the successful prosecution of the
war and if the method of state action pro-
posed in the party platforms of 1916 is im-
practicable, within any reasonable length
of time, if practical at all.
And its adoption is, in my judgment,
clearly necessary to the successful prosecu-
tion of the war and the successful realiza-
tion of the objects from which the war is
being fought.
That judgment I take the liberty :)f
urging upon you, with solemn earnest for
reasons which I shall state very frankly
and which I shall hope will seem as con-
elusive to you as they seem to me.
This is a people's war and the people's
thinking constitutes its atmosphere and
morale, not the predilections of the draw-
ing room or the political considerations of
the caucus. If we be indeed Democrats
and wish to lead the world to democracy,
we can ask other peoples to accept in proof
of our sincerity and our ability to lead
them whither they wish to be led nothing
less persuasive and convincing than our
Our professions will not suffice. Verifi-
cation must be forthcoming when verifica-
tion is asked for, and in this case certifica-
tion is asked for-asked for In this partic-
ular imatter.  You ask by whom?      Not

through diplomatic channels. Not by for-
eign ministers. Not by the intimations of
parliaments. It is asked for by the anx-
ious, expectant, suffering peoples with
whom we are dealing and who are willing
to put their destinies in some measure
in our hands, if they are sure that we wish
,the same things that they do.
I do not speak by conjecture. It is not
alone the voices of statesmen and of news-
papers that reach me, and the voices of
foolish and intemperate agitators do not
reach me at all. Through many, many
channels I have been made aware what
the plain, struggling workaday folk are
thinking upon whom the chief terror and
suffering of this tragedy falls.
They are looking to the great, power-
ful, -famous democracy of the west to lead
them to the new day for which they have
so long waited; and they think, in their
logical simplicity, that democracy means
that women shall play their part in affairs
alongside men and upon an equal footing
with them.
If we reject measures like this in ig-
norant defiance of what a new age has
brought forth, of what they have seen but
we have not, they will cease to believe in
us, they will cease to follow or to trust us.
They have seen their own governments
accept this interpretation of democracy-
seen old governments like that of Great
Britain, which did not profess 'to be demo-
cratic, promise readily and, as of course,
this justice to women, though they had be-
fore refused it; the strange revelations of
this war having made many things new
and plain to governments as  well as to
Are we alone to refuse to learn the les-
son?  Are we alone to ask and take the
utmost that our women can give    sacri-
fice and sacrifice of every kind-and still
say we do not see what title that gives
them to stand by our sides in the guidance
of the affairs of their nation and ours?
We have made partners of the women
in this war. Shall we admit them only to
a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and
toil and not to a partnership of privilege
and right?
This war could not have been fought,
either by the other nations engaged or by
America, if it had not been for the ser-
vices of the women--service rendered in
every sphere-not merely in the fields of
efforts in which we have been accustomed
to see them work, but wherever men have
worked and upon the very skirts and edges
of the battle itself.
We shall not only be distrusted, but
shall deserve to be distrusted, if we do not
enfranchise them with the fullest possible
enfranchisement, as it is now certain that
the other great free nations will enfran-
chise them. We cannot isolate our thought

and action in such a matter from    the
thought of the rest of the world. We must
either conform or deliberately reject what
they propose and resign the leadership of
liberal minds to others.
The women of America are too noble
and intelligent and too devoted to be slack-
ers whether you give or withhold this
thing that is mere justice. But I know
the magic it will work in their thoughts
and spirits if you give it to them.
I propose it as I would propose to ad-
mit soldiers to the suffrage, the men fight-
ing in the field for our liberties and the
liberties of the world were they excluded.
The tasks of the women lie at the very
heart of the war, and I know how much
stronger that heart will beat if you do
this just thing and show our women that
you trust them as much as you in fact and
of necessity depend upon then.
Have I said that the passage of this
aundmonient is a vitally neces.ary war meas-
ure, and do you need further proof?  Do
you sta,.d in need of the trust of other
peoples and of the trust of our own women?
Is that ,trust an asset, or is it not?
I tell you plainly, as the commander-
in-chief of our armies and of the gallant
men in our fleets, as the present spokesman
of this people in our dealings with the
men and women throughout the world who
are now our partners, as the responsible
head of a great government which stands
and is questioned day by day as to its
purposes, its principles, its hopes, whether
they be serviceable to men everywhere or
only to itself, and who must himself answer
these questions, or be shamed as the guide
and director of forces caught in the grip of
,war and by 'the same token in need of ev-
ery material and spiritual resource this
great nation possesses-I tell you plainly
that this measure which I urge upon you
is vital to the winning of the war and to
the energies alike of preparation and of
And not to the winning of the war
only. It is vital to the right solution of
the great problems which we must settle,
and settle immediately, when the war Fs
over. We shall need them in our vision of
affairs, as we have never needed them be-
fore, the sympathy and insight and clear
moral instinct of the women of the world.
The problems of that time will strike at
the roots of many things that we have not
hitherto questioned, and I for one believe
that our safety in those questioning days
as well as our comprehension of matters
that touch society to the quick will de-
pend upon the direct and authoritative
participation of women in our counsels.
We shall need their moral sense to
preserve what is right and fine and worthy
in our system or life as well as to discover
just what it is that o'mght to be purified

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