Carrie Chapman Catt

International Radio Address for Tenth Conference on the Cause and Cure of War - Jan. 24, 1935

Carrie Chapman Catt
January 24, 1935— Washington, D.C.
Print friendly

The Conference on the Cause and Cure of War is now sitting in its tenth anniversary session. It is the unanimous opinion of the delegates that modern wars do not pay.

Napoleon, who knew all there was to be known about war, said many, many years ago, that "Wars settle nothing." He was right. Wars bring no good to any land; they distribute evil influences everywhere.

The World War will not be paid for, if at all, by the end of a century after its close. The demoralizing effects of that war upon the human race will certainly not be overcome in a hundred years. No nation can afford the waste of money a war costs. Most nations are now in a condition of virtual bankruptcy as a result of the World War. The population of the entire world would assuredly unite in saying that the World War did not pay.

No nation can afford the waste of human life in war. One man in every four of the two gigantic armies in the World War died in service. Nor can nations normally endure the depression that is the inevitable outcome of war; nor can they endure the increase of crime, insanity, immorality, and suicide. Nor can the war generation patiently carry the staggering load of war taxation.

Worse than all else is the fact that the human race is checked in its normal evolutionary climb upward. After a war, it runs downhill instead of keeping to the upgrade.

Once a favorite school problem was this: if a frog at the bottom of a well 125 feet deep leaps upward three feet at a time and falls backward two feet at each leap, how long will it take him to reach the top?

We may now put a similar question to educated adults. If the human race climbs steadily upwards for a century, but falls backward ninety-nine years as a result of wars, when will it reach real civilization?

It is time the nations made an end of war. Can war actually be abolished? Of course, the greatest of generals have said so. It will disappear when the people of the chief nations declare its continuance to be no longer bearable.

Many thousands of men and women in this country are determined that war shall end - end because it is uncivilized, barbarous, and wrong. We would like the air audience all the world around to join in our acclaim. Make an end of the outworn, brutal business of war. How? Educate, educate, educate. Face squarely the facts of war. Join hands and voices the world around and make known your wish. NO MORE WAR.

Catt, C. C. (1935). Carrie Chapman Catt Papers: Speech and Article File, 1892-1946; Speeches; Untitled; 1928 to 1944. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,