"Suffrage Women Clash Part 1," Oregonian, March 06, 1912, 4.







Exception Is Taken to Manner of Forming Advisory Committee of Societies.

Taking exception to the manner in which the equal suffrage advisory committee, nominally composed of the five principal equal suffrage societies in the city, was formed last Saturday, intimating that the obvious purpose was to break away from the old state organization and its head, Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, speakers yesterday afternoon, at a meeting of the National College Equal Suffrage Association recently formed here, urged that the association decline for the present to affiliate with the league and after a spirited debate carried their point. The meeting was held in the Y.W.C.A.

The friction came after Mrs. Henry Waldo Coe, president of the association, who had attended the conference at which the joint committee was formed, had announced to the meeting the action taken, and asked the association to ratify it. She explained that the joint committee was formed merely for the purpose of conference. The purpose was to have delegations of three from each of the five societies involved, that they might meet and compare notes, and work with greater unity. None of the members of the committee, she said, would have any executive or legislative power and were to report to their respective organizations after each conference. Mrs. Coe said that she felt the purpose was one with which no suffrage worker could be out of harmony, and asked the association to name its delegates to the committee and ratify its formation.

This was immediately objected to by Dr. Marie D. Equi, who said that while she favored its intents and objects she did not approve of the manner in which the equal suffrage advisory committee was formed. “The call,” she said, “did not come from the proper source. The forum of the Woman’s Club, from which it emanated, is not even an organization. The invitation should properly have come from Mrs. Duniway on behalf of the State Equal Suffrage league, and with that as the hub and center we should have rallied around it. And yet the forum workers had the audacity to come out and attempt to form an organization that would practically leave out Mrs. Duniway and trick her into the bargain. It would be just Teddy Roosevelt trying to cut Taft out. It we are going to get into a central committee let us get into the right one.”

Mrs. A. C. Newell, who represented Mrs. Duniway at the conference Saturday, was present at the meeting yesterday, and while she agreed that Mrs. Duniway believed the call for the central committee had come from the wrong quarter, she was satisfied with the result and had agreed to appoint the delegation of three to represent the state league in the committee. Despite statements from others that any ill judgment in issuing the call should be overlooked and the plan ratified, Dr. Equi insisted that the Committees should not be recognized, “If Mrs. Duniway agreed, she agreed under stress,” she said, “and it isn’t the right thing to do.”

Mrs. M. L. T. Hidden, president of the State Women’s Press Club, argued for recognition of the committee. “Consider that you, as organizations, have the right to act,” she said, “You are exercising your own independent rights, and would do so whether the call had come from the old state organization or the forum, so don’t let us wrangle over that little point. After all there is no necessity for the call to have come from Mrs. Duniway or from any other quarter so long as it was issued.”

After the motion was made to send a delegation to represent the association on the committee, it was decided to send a committee of three to represent the association at the conference meeting next Saturday only, that the committee might not be altogether ignored, pending further action. Dr. Equi, Miss Emma Wold and Mrs. C. Edward Grelle were appointed for this purpose.

1912 March Permalink
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