James P. Cannon

Letter to Rose Pastor Stokes in Hinsdale, MA

Written: 28 August 1924, in Chicago
Source:A document in the Comintern Archive, RGASPI, f. 515, op. 1, d. 362, l. 28.
Transcription\HTML Markup: T. Davenport

Chicago, Ill.,
Aug. 28, 1924.
Rose Pastor Stokes,
Camp Lenore,
Hinsdale, Mass.

Dear Comrade Stokes:

This is in answer to your letter of August 13th [1924].

I was very glad to get your views on women’s organization.

I agree that we must go slowly and carefully in order not to disrupt what has been built by faithful and energetic work, but the more I think of the question the more I become convinced that a separate women’s organization for political work is not what we want. Political work must be done by the Workers Party directly.

If it is necessary and possible to create a broader women’s organization, it should be on the basis of economic functions and not political functions.

There was a time which we all remember when we could not work in our own name at all, and were obliged to conduct our activities in the various fields through other organizations, some of them real, some of them camouflage organizations.

I think we are all influenced still to a certain extent by the experiences of that period. I feel quite sure that an objective consideration of the question will bring us all to the same conclusion in regard to the women’s work. There will be a decision about it soon.

We are so crowded with various activities and so many members of the CEC are obliged to be out of town so much of the time that many questions have been waiting for decisions.

I was talking the other day with Comrade [Joseph] Manley about routing speakers. So far, there is quite a state of apathy in the party and no tours except those of Gitlow and Foster have been arranged and no further decisions have been made in regard to touring speakers, but Comrade Manley is to prepare and submit a complete plan in regard to this, including a list of speakers for a later period in the campaign. Whether the list will include you I cannot say, of course, but I am inclined to think it should.

With best wishes, I am

Fraternally yours,

J.P. Cannon,Assistant Executive Secretary.