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USBN #114 Feb 1938, p1

Concerning the problem of increasing the number of delegates at the Annual Bahá’í Convention; the Guardian wishes me to reaffirm the message he cabled to the X. S. A. a few days ago stressing the necessity of revising the basis of the national elections at this and subsequent conventions. He is convinced that the expansion of the American Baha’i Community, involving the increase in the number of its Assemblies and other administrative institutions, necessitates a similar increase in the size of the electoral body responsible for the election of the N.S. A. It is obviously unfair and mathematically impossible to apportion ninety-five delegates among the seventy or more Assemblies already instituted. The principle of proportional representation governing the election of Convention delegates therefore can no longer operate, and unless a definite increase in the number of representatives is made the election of the N. S. A. itself would cease to rest on a secure foundation.

The advantage which such an increase presents is to broaden the basis of the N. S. A. by making it a truly representative body, and thus heighten the confidence of the believers in its authority. The National Assembly, being the highest administrative body within a country, is in absolute need of the full trust of the believers, who have the right as well as the obligation to see that the body under whose jurisdiction they serve should be a truly representative body.

In view of these considerations the Guardian feels that the time has come to revise the basis of the present representation at the Convention, by raising the number of the delegates from 95 to 171, which number represents nine times nineteen.

The question of the added expense and strain which this increase in the number of delegates entails can be solved by having those delegates who cannot afford to pay the expenses of the trip send their votes by mail. Aside from that, no financial consideration is of any importance when compared to so vital an issue as that of Convention representation which admittedly affects the very welfare and future growth of the Cause . . .

The Guardian wishes me to convey to your Assembly his deep appreciation of their gift of the Temple model which, he hopes, will reach him in good condition, and which he plans to fit in a place that would be accessible to both the Baha'is and non-Baha’i visitors.—

November 25, 1937.

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