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Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to the Women’s Social and Political Union, with a postscript to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

Holloway Prison.—Is encouraged by news of their fund-raising and by the progress of the paper (Votes for Women). Urges them to make a success of the Albert Hall Demonstration and to wear the Union’s colours at all times.

(Written on a printed form. A piece of paper has been pasted over the postscript. Cf. 7/166.)

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Transcript

Holloway Prison. March 26th 1909.

My dear Friends, & Fellow Members of our beloved Union.

I send you greeting & love. I am with you constantly in thought & spirit & desire. Very soon I shall be with you in the flesh. I have felt & I still feel the support of your thoughts & good wishes. You must know that I have not seen a newspaper since I came here. I am very ignorant as to how the world is wagging. In Holloway “nobody knows nothing” so it would be quite useless to ask questions. Knowing nothing can be carried to a fine art. But across the night of oblivion glorious flashes of good tidings have come to me. One was the Report sent for my signature. Great was my satisfaction to know that we had raised the whole £20,000 during the year. That we should be very near to our mark, I felt sure, before I came here, but “Oh the little more, & how much it is; The little less, & what worlds away.” {1} In our Union we pride ourselves on attaining our standards! Another great joy to the heart of your Treasurer was to hear the sum raised in donations & promises during Self Denial Week. Eight thousand pounds is a good start at the beginning of the new financial year towards the fifty thousands we mean to realize unless we get the vote before the end of next February. I seem to hear some of you gasp “Fifty thousand pounds”! I will tell you how it is to be raised. We have proved, have we not, that we ourselves are good for £20,000? We gave our utmost last year, we shall go on giving our utmost. The remaining £30,000 has to come from a public not yet touched. And what we have to do without a moments delay, every one of us, is to go about everywhere preaching the gospel of Votes for Women & bringing as many people as we can into the Movement. Especially must new people be brought by all our members to our great Meetings. And now I come to the main point of this letter which I write to you from my prison cell. I have a great great wish. And if I tell it to you, I know that you will fulfil it. I want the Albert Hall Demonstration on April 29th to be the greatest success, the most magnificent triumph that our Agitation has ever yet achieved. I beg every member in London to make the success of this Meeting her individual responsibility & to concentrate from now all her energies upon it. Take the tickets & sell them to friends. Let each one be responsible for a certain number & for their value in cash. If you cannot sell them all in the usual way, persuade some wealthy friend to purchase tickets which can be given to those who cannot afford to buy for themselves. But make up your mind that you will dispose of 6, 10, 20 or 50 tickets, as the case may be. The occasion is a particularly significant one. Women suffragists from every civilized country in the world wil be representing their respective organizations, at the International Suffragist Congress in London. And this Albert Hall Meeting is to give them welcome in the name of the Women’s Social & Political Union. They have most cordially accepted our invitation to be present, & a certain number of seats have been reserved for them. It is also a Demonstration, in honour of all our members who have suffered imprisonment for the sake of women’s emancipation. They will come from the North & the South, the East & the West to the centre of reunion in the Albert Hall. They will wear their prison dress. Seats immediately behind the speakers will be reserved for them. Many interesting developments will be revealed as time goes on. It is to be a field day of the Militant Movement. I am allowed only one sheet of paper for this my one monthly letter. I would say more about this matter, but space forbids. Will you, dear women in this Union[,] read into my brief words all that my heart could wish.

I want to tell you how delighted I am that the Paper—our Paper {2}—is developing so rapidly. I hear it has reached 21,000 already. I hope it will reach 25,000 before I come back. That will be another joy. My Three Wishes! How splendidly they have been carried out. With all my heart I thank you all.

Oh to see our flag again! To salute the colours! My eyes yearn for them. I comfort myself with the thought that my prison dress is green, my prison cap is white. Would that my apron were purple. My library card is faintly purplish! But one lives on small things in Holloway. And how ones perceptions & appreciations are intensified. How one learns the meanings & the values of the ordinary blessings & beauties of life which one is so apt to take for granted. Colour, music, sun & stars & above all human friendship & social intercourse. Wear the colours always, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of those who are in prison. I am convinced that wearing the colours is one of the best ways of attracting strangers to this Movement. Curiosity & interest once stimulated, you know how quickly the rest follows. A large number of the deputation who went to prison with me, were quite recent converts, who a few short weeks ago would have scouted the possibility of going to prison. Ours is such a wonderful Movement. Nothing seems too much to hope, too great to believe & expect. I must say Goodbye to you. When you read this letter of mine, there will be only two more weeks to pass before the joy of reunion is ours. Meanwhile, as I sit here in my prison cell, I know that in the world outside, it is Spring time. Life is pushing its way through the clods. Life is rising like a tide through stem & branch, soon to overflow & bring a flood of beauty over the face of the world. Yes & there is a stirring of new life in the heart of the human race & especially in the heart of the world’s womanhood. I feel it in our Movement, I see the blossoming of new hope, new faith, new love, new courage, new energy. I know that in the cycle of the world’s life, a new Spring is coming[,] has indeed come. This knowledge is my great joy. It is the joy which we all share & which none can take from us. We will give body & soul & all that we have to minister to this new life. We will accomplish the purpose to which we have been called. Yours in the strong bond of fellowship which unites us all in this Movement.

Emmeline Pethick Lawrence.

[A piece of paper has been pasted over the following postscript, the text of which was copied out onto another sheet (PETH 7/166):]

Dear Husband. Truly there is some great power of love working for us. Dear Marie’s visit was quite wonderful. For the first time I really felt a bit strained today. The sight of Marie broke the tension & I am quite right now. I almost felt as though the dear dear Daddy {3} sent her. He said his spirit would be with me. Can we doubt that all will be well always? Can Chris as well as Freda ride with me on the 17th. I should love to have them both. Marie tells me how Chris has felt it. Give my love to all my dear circle of relations & friends. My heart’s love to you dearest.

E. P. L.

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The letter is written on a printed form. The details entered by hand include, besides what is printed above, the prisoner’s number (2141) and name, and a reference number. There are a few later annotations, which were evidently made in the process of preparing the text for printing.

{1} A quotation from Browning’s poem ‘By the Fire-Side’, varied slightly.

{2} Votes for Women, launched in February 1907.

{3} Mark Guy Pearse.

Biographical note on Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Transcript

Biography of Mrs Pethick Lawrence

Mrs Pethick Lawrence realised when quite a child the very deplorable position of unprotected women in this country[,] especially those who belong to the working class. Upon the completion of her education she offered her services to the West London Mission then controlled by the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes and became one of the “sisters of the people”. She helped to found and organise the Esperance Club for working girls which has since established a reputation all over the country for its revival of folk dance and song.

Incidentally she had to do with many sad and difficult cases of human misery and she was often appealed to by the police on behalf of unfortunate women. In connection with these cases she attended Police Courts and became responsible to the magistrate for the woman prisoner in the dock.

After five years work in the West London Mission she went to live in a block of artisan buildings and tried the experiment of how much a working girl could live upon. She decided that the minimum was 15/– a week, whereupon she started with her friend Miss Mary Neal a co-operative dress-making establishment which paid its workers a miminim† wage of 15/– a week for an eight hour’s day. Several other schemes have been launched with her co-operation, including a holiday hotel for working girls at Littlehampton. Her marriage in 1901 did not put an end to any of these interests and the last twenty-two years of her life have been devoted to the social service of the community.

But every attempt at social and economic reform only drove more deeply home her conviction that so long as women were politically outside the pale of citizenship, the necessary leverage to life {1} working women and girls out of the morass was lacking.

In 1906 she became the first National Treasurer of the Women’s Social and Political Union. In the October of that year she suffered imprisonment for taking part in a protest in the lobby of the House of Commons. In 1909 she was arrested for leading a deputation for the purpose of presenting a Petition to the Prime Minister. In 1911 she was again imprisoned for a repetition of this offence. In 1912 she was arrested on a charge of Conspiracy and sentenced to imprisonment. On this occasion she adopted the Hunger Strike as a protest against the prison treatment and was forcibly fed. In the October of that year she was requested by Mrs Pankhurst to resign from the W.S.P.U. as Mrs Pankhurst had decided upon a development of the militant policy and did not want to be hampered by a Committee.

Great pressure was put upon Mrs Pethick Lawrence to found another Suffrage Organisation. To this she responded by forming the “Votes for Women” Fellowship—not a Suffrage Society, but an association of co-workers and Fellows to further a common enterprise, namely the establishment of the paper “Votes for Women” as the expression of the Suffrage Movement in its wide catholicity of ideal and purpose.

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Carbon copy of a typed original. ‘About 1912’ has been added at the top of the first sheet by hand, as well as the file number ‘2069’.

{1} A slip for ‘lift’.

† Sic.

Letter from Hertha Ayrton to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

41 Norfolk Square, Hyde Park, W.—If the papers she sent were seized by the Government she will send others. Hopes the Pethick-Lawrences are recovering from their imprisonment, and refers to suggestions in the press that the WSPU should adopt Mrs Fawcett as its leader and abandon militancy.

Typed copy of a letter from Emmeline Pankhurst to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Transcript

COPY.

Boulogne sur Mer.
September 8th, 1912.

My dear Mrs Lawrence:—

It is during a breathing space such as we have had that one is able to quietly take stock of the situation and see things in their true perspective and this I have been doing. No doubt you and Mr Lawrence have also been thinking much about the Union and its work. We, Mrs Tuke, Annie, Christabel and I have met here and had a long talk and as a result I write you this letter which embodies our views. I want you to regard it as a business letter and to realise that in all our hearts are feelings which are very deep and real but which it would be out of place to express here.

First let me tell you how matters stand.

1. Of course you have been kept informed of the Government’s proceedings to recover the costs of the prosecution and how after much effort the sale at Holmwood has been for a time postponed.

2. I enclose a letter claiming compensation which has been answered to the effect that we are travelling abroad. This claim is likely to be followed by others.

3. The new premises are nearing completion. Mrs Tuke and I return to London next week to superintend furnishing and removal. Before going to Evian-les-Bains for our cure we deposited with the solicitor, Mr Blount, a sum of money to cover the rent for three years so that the guarantors are now entirely protected against possible loss.

4. Christabel leaves Boulogne next week to establish herself in Paris. It is commonly known who she is and where she is and so we have decided that it is better she should be in Paris the seat of French Government, where she will be in touch with the representatives of the English Press and also that the moment has come for her to resume her own name and live quite openly. She will now sign her articles and letters.

Now as to the situation as it seems to us to affect you and Mr Lawrence, and your position in the Union as Treasurer.

It is quite evident that the authorities and also the Insurance Companies and property owners mean to take full advantage of the fact that they can attack Mr Lawrence with profit and through Mr Lawrence weaken the Movement. So long as Mr Lawrence can be connected with militant acts involving damage to property, they wil make him pay. Nothing but the cessation of militancy, (which of course is unthunkable† {1} before the vote is assured) or his complete ruin will stop this action on their part. They see in Mr Lawrence a potent weapon against the militant movement and they mean to use it. This weapon is a powerful one. By its use they can not only ruin Mr Lawrence, but they also intend, if they can, to divert our funds. If suffragists, feeling strongly as they do, the injustice of one having to suffer for the acts of otheres, raised a fund to recoup Mr Lawrence, it would mean that our members[’] money would go finally into the coffers of the enemy and the fighting fund would be depleted or ended. It would also reduce militancy to a farce for the damage we did with one hand would be repaired with the other. It is well to see things at their very worst especially when the very worst is not only possible but highly probable. In one night, by one militant act, hundreds of thousands of pounds might be involved and the only individuals in the Movement who would be affected apart from imprisonment of those responsible would be you two. So long as you are a responsible official of this Union this will be so. Then there is the Albert Hall Meeting. What we say at that meeting is of vital importance. I know that it will be my duty as Chairman to make a militant speech, a speech that will lead to further acts of reprisal on the part of the Government if it is followed, as it will be, by a fresh outbreak of militancy. No doubt there will be another prosecution for conspiracy in which those who share responsibility with me will be involved. The Gov. can only take me when they proceed against me and that will do them more harm than good but in taking you they repeat the money getting process. I know you will understand me when I say that if to ruin Mr Lawrence would help the Woman’s Cause I should think it worth while for what is the individual as compared with the Cause? When however far from helping it is a source of weakness, a positive injury, then the case is different! What is to be done?

This is what we suggest after long and anxious thought. It is a way of retaining your active participation in a great Imperial Movement which is just beginning and at the same time of preventing the Government from striking at the militant Movement in England through you. The Union has paved the way by my two visits to Canada, by the establishment of the first W.S.P.U. there, by the presence of scattered members and by the deputation to Borden. Will you for a time lead the Imperial Suffrage Movement in Canada? It is a great mission and a great role. The Government would get a huge rebuff. Like all their previous acts of tyranny this latest one would recoil on their own heads and they would find that instead of crushing the Movement in England by attacking you they had actually helped to spread it throughout the Empire. We have often felt in this Movement that we were guided in a mysterious way. Perhaps the events and trials of the past few months have been preparing us for greater developments. You can do this work. For me to undertake it would not change the situation here for the difficulties and dangers would still remain.

Following on the deputation to Borden we are sending Miss Wylie (whose brother is a Canadian M.P.) to organise our scattered members. We are endeavouring to get together a special Canadian Fund to launch the Campaign. The growing importance of Canada makes a W.S.P.U. Movement there imperative even if you do not agree to control and guide it.

Of course you might decide to carry out the project of foreign travel of which you have so often talked. All that I have written is with the full approval and concurrence of our friends who share my anxieties and hopes. Please show my letter to Mr Lawrence and discuss it with him and believe that I have left unwritten many expressions of affection and appreciation which we all feel very deeply. I hope your holiday has been a pleasant one. It must have been a great joy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I send this letter to New York in the hope that you may get it before sailing.

Very affectionately yours,
(Signed) E. Pankhurst.

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A typed transcript.

{1} Followed by a superfluous closing bracket.

Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Lady Constance Lytton

11 Avenue de la Grande Armée, Paris.—The WSPU will review and sell Lady Constance’s book (Prison and Prisoners). Emphasises the need for the WSPU to remain independent and points out the tendency of other organisations to draw on the energies of its supporters.

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Transcript

11 av de la Grande Armée | Paris.
2nd Feby 1914

My dearest Con,

Many thanks for your letter.

We will indeed have a notice of the book {1}—That is all arranged! Also of course we shall sell sell it at L.I.H. {2} & in the various WSPU shops here and there.

How glad you will be when the book is really out!

I wonder if you noticed in the Suffragette an article on Inner Policy. That gives you the key to much tht you may have heard and seen.

The Union has passed through difficult seas during the past two years and more and more difficult will our course become.

Your pilot may puzzle you often, but there is a chart believe me and we work & steer by that.

In one’s personal life there is I am sure you have felt an essential something to be guarded against the World’s assaults and endeavours to make one other than oneself. So it is with a Union. The WSPU if it is to complete the work it has begun must conserve its character & independence & peculiar virtue. Politically it must remain uninfluenced in the slightest degree by the Govt & the Liberal Party. The people who have guided it must guide it to the end using their best & therefore free judgment—so many people are ready to advise & “control” even at a certain point!!

These principles dictate our actions always.

Another point—there is too great a tendency upon the part of other organisations new & old to draw upon the energies of W.S.P.U. supporters. Concentration is the watchword for us! There are other women in plenty for the other organisations. The W.S.P.U. people shd not divide their energies.

All these sayings lead me to this point tht it is better for Mrs M’Leod who is a pillar of the V for W Fellowship to serve tht individedly.

I feel this particularly strongly in this case, because she was one who at the time of the separation had not faith and was really difficult. She will be I am sure more contented in the long run if she concentrates on her own society.

This letter is for your eye alone.

They will be seeing Mrs M’Leod & arranging matters.

How I should like a talk with you! In the meantime I may assure you that the inner policy as it is called has behind it all the conviction & prompting tht were & now are behind the militant policy itself!

We have come to a point at which a Union otherwise conducted wd succumb to the influence & indirect attack of the enemy. It is the hardest time for us who bear the responsibility for sometimes we have to seem unkind to former friends. That is worse than having to fight the Govt! With love

Yrs ever
Christabel Pankhurst

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The word ‘that’ is abbreviated four times as ‘tht’. Full stops have been supplied at the end of two sentences.

{1} Lady Constance Lytton’s Prison and Prisoners.

{2} Lincoln’s Inn House, the headquarters of the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Lady Constance Lytton

Transcript

11 av de la Grande Armée | Paris.
14th May 1914

My dearest Con,

Lord Lytton was kind enough to write to me about the debate and his impressions of it. You may be interested to see a copy of my reply.

More & more & more one sees that the way to win is to get the Govt wedged between militancy & the impossibility of punishing militancy—in short—to create the Ulster situation over again.

Now there is no help that is any use from the practical point of view that does not fit into that scheme. It is all very well to rejoice over the sympathy & understandg shown in the Lords, but the House of Commons was sympathising & understand[in]g in the year 1870!

Sympathy & understand[in]g are a snare unless they are pounded into something more definite in the shape of an Act of Parliament.

You know, anti-militancy does affect the reasoning faculty adversely. People who are most rational & logical & enlightened when other political movements are at stake suddenly lose their bearings when the question of how to get votes for women comes uppermost.

You will see how the General {1} & Mrs Dacre Fox have been throwing the search-light upon the contrast between the Govt’s treatment of themselves & Carson & Lansdowne.

The W.S.P.U. leaves them all far behind doesn’t it.

The anti-militant ladies simply don’t come into anybody’s calculations these days. Why can’t they see & become a force by adopting a sane policy?

I am sure that you feel proud and happy when you read of our fighters’ exploits.

You and I, the Exiles, have a very joyful life in that sense have we not!

So very sorry I am dearest Con, to hear you have been ill again. I hope it has passed now.

You wrote of my dog the other day. She is indeed a little beauty, full of intelligence & affection. It is years since I could have a dog and to have this one is a joy.

As for my home here, it is to me just like a room in Lincoln’s Inn House. Outside I feel is not the Avenue de la Grande Armee, but Kingsway[.] In the next rooms are the organisers.

And yet it is Paris too—the beloved Paris that I really will & must come back to from time to time.

Imagine how one loves a place—delightful in any case—which has been one’s haven!

I am immeasurably happy in being here and in the thought of being some day—perhaps soon—back in London.

Back in London will be when the vote is won—not before. That might be so very soon if everybody wd do their best[.]

The barriers are so slight—the opposition so weak.

It is the weakness of pro Suffragists that is the enemy now.

But fighting is victory so it is well whatever happens.

When I go home one of the very early things I shall do is go & see you!

My love to you
Christabel Pankhurst

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{1} Flora Drummond.

Letter from Christabel Pankhurst to Lady Constance Lytton

Transcript

11 avenue de la Grande Armée | Paris.
7th May 1914

My dearest Con,

The really important thing in the Lords Debate is the recognition that the WSPU & Carson & Bonar Law—Militant Ulster in fact—stand in the same boat!

That was the one thing for good that really counted in a practical sense.

On the other hand there is the Liberal cry that one knew would be raised tht “the rejection of Lord Selborne’s Bill by the House of Lords illustrates the profound anti-feminism of the Unionist Party”[.] See leading article from “Daily Chronicle” enclosed.

It seems to me tht the matter having been brought to the present point, it cannot rest there. What next do Suffragists in the House of Lords intend to do! The Archbishop of Canterbury[,] the Bishop of London & Lord Lytton could get us the vote now if they cared to do it. But of course Lord Lytton does not agree with the Bishop of London about Ulster & ourselves.

How can they as suffragists—as men—allow the coercion & persecution of women to go on while concession is being made to Ulster men whose militancy means bloodshed & the death of hundreds if not thousands of human beings.

Have you heard that Mrs Drummond and Mrs Dacre Fox have both been summoned to appear at Bow St on account of “inciting” speeches?

This means illness & suffering—sheer torture for both of them. And there are Carson & Bonar Law & all the rest, free & unharmed!

Mrs Dacre Fox is expected at Bow Street on 14th May—a Thursday. The General threw her summons away & so we don’t know the date named in it.

The Government are trying to silence our powerful speakers. They will probably arrest several organisers—But there are always people ready to step into the breach[;] surely the last two Raids have taught them that.

We laugh at their Raids except for the pain & danger they mean to the ones taken.

Let us hold fast to tht admission tht women’s militancy & Ulster militancy are in their truth & essence one & the same & shd be dealt with in the same way! What are these men going to do!

Thank goodness we can win without them anyhow—by the sheer fact of being able to create an intolerable situation! Women winning their own freedom. Glorious thought!

My very best love to you.
Christabel Pankhurst

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The word ‘that’ is abbreviated a few times as ‘tht’.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

Women’s Cosmopolitan Club, 133 East 40th Street (New York).—Has given a speech at Miss Wald’s settlement and prepared her speech for Friday. Christabel Pankhurst’s meeting was not a success. Discusses plans for her tour.

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Transcript

Women’s Cosmopolitan Club, 133 East 40th Street
Oct 29 {1}

Dearest. I’ll begin a letter now, as it will have to be posted tomorrow to go by the Saturday Mail. I shall send you a week-end letter by cable after the Meeting: so you will have that news before you get this letter. I have made a very rapid recovery & everybody has been angelic[.] I havent missed anything important[.] I was bundled out of bed into my clothes & into a taxi to attend a Dinner & Reception afterwards at Miss Wald’s Settlement on Tuesday night—put on a bed in a dark room between the events—made my speech with which everybody expressed themselves delighted & bundled back into a taxi before the people left their chairs. Yesterday Mrs Blatch’s Dinner in my honour was postponed till next week—& I had a quiet day in my room to save my throat for Friday. My temp: was still nearly 100 yesterday. This morning I felt much better & got up & went downstairs to breakfast. For I must harden up a bit for Friday. My temperature is now normal & I feel I need fresh air & exercise. I have been so frightfully much drugged with aspirin & pyramidon to bring down temperature, that I feel dazed & numbed—& I must get back to more normal conditions[.] I have written out my speech & a typist is making 20 copies of it—& I shall send you one. If you like to abridge it or publish it as it stands, you can (but I dont see any occasion)[.] “Votes” is too small now for the reproduction of speeches—& for a pamphlet we have no audience unless one develops in the meanwhile. The Harbens might like to see it—and some of my friends including Mary Neal & Doctor Chapman & Elizabeth Robins. I have not at present had any new light upon the war from the American Papers. All the opinion I have read, or encountered is on the side of the Allies. If there is any German sympathy it is lying low[.] Nothing illuminating! But remember all I have seen of New York is three days inside my bedroom.

The weather has been perfectly lovely the whole time—clear & blue with brightest sunshine.

My friends here are very warmly reminiscent of you. Miss Wald (the Jane Addams of New York) in introducing me on Tuesday night spoke your name saying you were honoured & admired over here with deepest recognition of the stand you have taken & the work you have done.

I hear on all sides of disappointment in C.P.’s meeting on Saturday. Alice Wright didnt go—the Lewisohns came out in the middle. Mrs Blatch says the tickets were pressed upon people, she was given a box & entreated to come—& all her friends who were there tell her the same story. The Hall was only half full. The only thing that saved C.P. from acknowledged failure ws the mercy of the reporters whom she captivated. They all described her as a lovely young girl of twenty three!—a marvel for her age!

Have just been out for a short walk up along 5th Avenue to Broadway & back. The Club gives on Lexington Avenue on one side, the entrance being in East 40th St. Its the nicest place, (barring Clements Inn & The Mascot) in which I have ever stayed. Both S. & I have a bathroom & dressing room as well as a bed-sitting room to ourselves—& the appointments, & facilities are absolutely perfect.

I am booked up with a delightful programme ahead—though a very easy one. But I will tell you of these events as they come off. I am not able to tell you of any fixtures outside New York yet—there have been many “nibbles”—but I think things are hanging fire until after Friday. Everybody of course wants to get me for nothing & our previous correspondence in connection with our tour is rather embarrassing. People write & say “you said you would be willing to help a Suffrage Society”[.] November is a frightfully awkward month as I told you—& C.P. & A.K are a complication because they are ready to go anywhere for their expenses & hospitality. Feakins still thinks if I could give him time, he could get me a fine tour—but he is being cut into every way by the present concatenation of circumstances—& I have not promised him December. I do want to know if you would be very grieved if I did send you a cable later, to say I should like to stay on over Christmas. I may never feel the least inclined to do it but you cant say anything in a cable when you do send it—that is why I want to know before the possibility crops up, what your feelings on the matter are. Its much too early to form any judgment yet—but if my speech does catch on—& I think you will consider it a speech that might catch on—opportunity might occur to go further & further West—possibly to the Coast even. Friends & hospitality I should find everywhere[.] People are overwhelmingly hospitable & warm. Dont say anything about this to anybody else please[,] as the suggestion might not crop up at all.

If you want to know what I feel—well—frankly I should like it immensely. I find that you need not work any harder than you choose[—]you have only to say what you want & what you dont want. Its “play” to me after the W.S.P.U & compared to Emergency Corps. And I want to know much more of the people who interest me enormously.

There is nothing to bring me back to England except you. So if you will either join me or be happy & content without me, I shall feel free if it ever comes to a choice!

Susan had her letters brought on in the Franconia by arranging with the Purser, she hasnt got them yet, & I dont think the boat has arrived. I have not yet received any English mail. Love to all friends. A hug for my old Sweetheart. Ever your own

Patz

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{1} This day was a Thursday.

Letter from Louisa Garrett Anderson to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

Paul End, Penn, Bucks.—Comments on his letters from the United States. Asks him to help find work for Miss Kerr and to provide introductions for Mrs Duffus, who is going to America to raise money for the London School of Medicine for Women. Recalls his contribution to the suffrage movement.

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Transcript

Paul End, Penn, Bucks.
28 Dec. 25.

Dear Mr Lawrence

How good of you to find time to write to me—also to send me a copy of yr v. interesting “letters” from U.S.A. I read them with {1} great interest as I had travelled over a large part of yr route—& especially the conclusion interested me. How are we to bridge the mental gap between ourselves & the American people?

They think us effete.

We find them extraordinarily youthful—crude—conservative etc. etc. all the things that the young are.

Yet civilization demands that America & England shd understand one another—hold together & lead the advance. How is it to be done? It is difficult to bridge a gap of years in individuals—& in peoples the difficulty is far greater.

I wonder if you & Mrs Lawrence have kept in touch with {1} Miss Kerr or if she has seen you lately. If so please forgive me for butting in. You will remember her in the General Office in the great days of the Union. Afterwards she lived in Cornwall with {1} her friend, Mrs May, who now has died[.]

Together, they managed with Mrs Mays small income—but with her death, it is imperative that Miss Kerr shd. obtain paid work. Before she joined the Union she had a typerwriters office in the city. She is an educated woman[,] an excellent organizer & a good secretary but no longer young.

Her temporary address is Miss Harriet R Kerr at 21 Osnaburga Street London WC.2. If you or Mrs Lawrence shd. be able to help her to find a post it wd be v. nice.

Then there is another point—the London School of Medicine for Women celebrated its jubilee last year & collected enough money to endow one chair, Physiology, I think. It badly needs endowment for two others i.e. another £40.000 or thereabouts as scientific work ever becomes more costly & it is not possible for the students to meet the expense.

The council of the School is going to send Mrs Duffus to America in February or March of this next year. She is a very agreeable person & is genuinely keen about women’s status & education etc. She is in need of introductions to suitable people—i.e. those who might themselves give her donations or might pass her on to others who could.

She is not going to hold meetings or to appeal for small sums, but she wants to try & find people like Miss Doty who could & would give on a big scale if they really cared.

The chair for which she is appealing is to be Named after the first Medical Woman, Elizabeth Blackwell, an American[.]

Again can you or Mrs Pethick Lawrence help us with introductions.

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I rejoice that you shd be in the H. of C. & that you shd find it so interesting & well worth while. As you do it, I am sure it is.

In the days of struggle, you & the few other men who sacrificed with both hands to help, helped more than any women were able to, for your comradeship wiped out the sense of bitterness that must have come in if the struggle had been “women against men”. Luckily it never was allowed to be that.

I shall remember to the end of my life, & with deepest gratitude, all that you personally did & were during those very active years.

Please forgive this long letter[.]

With my greeting

Yrs sincerely
L G Anderson

My affectionate remembrances to Mrs Lawrence please
L.G.A.

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{1} This word is represented in the MS by a shorthand symbol (ć).

Biographical note on Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, to accompany an article by her published in South Africa

(Carbon copy.)

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Transcript

Mrs. Pethick Lawrence. Biographical notes.

Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence[,] writer of the following article, recently made a tour in South Africa and was brought in touch with many of the leaders of public opinion in this country. She was known in advance by many South Africans as a prominent leader of the Women’s Movement in Great Britain. She was a colleague of Mrs. Pankhurst in the Women’s Social and Political Union, and is the President of the Women’s Freedom League. Her husband is in the present British Government and holds the office of Financial secretary to the Treasury.

Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence is one of the founders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom which she mentions in this article. This League has its headquarters in Geneva and has national branches in twenty-six countries and correspondence centres in a further sixteen countries where branches are not yet formed. All her life she has been deeply impressed with the wast[e]fulness of war and irrationality of war. In her opinion war never settles any question, on the contrary it unsettles everything. During the Boer War, her husband was Secretary of the Conciliation Committee.

Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence was an intimate friend of Miss Emily Hobhouse, and while in this country she renewed her old friendship with women like Mrs. Ex-President Steyn who worked with Miss Hobhouse to mitigate some of the horrible conditions brought about by the Boer War

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‘? 1930’ has been added by hand at the top of the first sheet, together with the file number ‘2069’.

Biographical note on Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, by F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, for a broadcast in Australia

(Carbon copy, with handwritten corrections.)

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Transcript

Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence is well known all the world over as an ardent champion of liberty and as an opponent of war and all other antagonisms of race, class, or sex which threaten the freedom of the human spirit.

One of her earliest recollections is of the great fight which her father put up in Weston-super-Mare for the right of free speech over a Salvation Army case; and his ultimate victory [in the Beatty v Gilbanks judgment] {1} establishing an important tradition of liberty made her very proud to be his daughter.

When she was only eight years old she fought her own first battle for democracy. At her school a barbarous and antiquated rule forbade the pupils to speak to the domestic servants in the house. Emmeline Pethick broke this rule and was “sent to Coventry” for a whole week as a punishment. On another occasion, when one of the head mistresses was relating to the girls with great approval an assault made with rotten eggs upon the late Henry Bradlaugh, she horrified the school by protesting in the presence of the lady and before them all that Bradlaugh’s atheism was preferable to the kind of Christianity that resorted to such cowardly persecution.

In her teens her spirit was fired to a sense of injustice by the reading of many books such as “Adam Bede”, Goethe’s “Faust[”], and “The Story of a South African Farm”.—Later in life Olive Schreiner the author of the latter was to become one of her intimate friends.

Determined to do her part she enlisted as a “Sister” in Mrs. Prior Hughes’ West London Mission. In these {2} days the working girls of London had no holiday at all during the year except Sundays and bank holidays. “Sister Emmeline” personally visited a number of employers and persuaded them not to sack their girls if they absented themselves for a week in the summer. Of course they got no wages but Sister Emmeline herself took them away into the country.

Later she and another sister founded the Espérance Working Girls Club which became famous through introducing the old Morris Dances into every county of England.

It was during a performance by the Esperance Club that she first met her future husband, and their common Cornish heritage at once drew them together. The guests at the wedding included the old women of St. Pancras Workhouse, the members of the Canning Town Men’s Club, and Mr. Lloyd George then known mainly as an opponent of the Boer War. After marriage they decided to unite their two surnames of Pethick and Lawrence and for a time their interests were absorbed in the London Evening paper of which Mr. Lawrence was the editor.

But it was not long before the militant suffrage movement with its insistent challenge to Authority was to claim all their attention. The name of Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence coupled with those of Mrs. Pankhurst and “Christabel” was on everybody’s lips. Six times she faced arrest and imprisonment, once going through the hunger strike and being forcibly fed. As Treasurer of the W.S.P.U. (Women’s Social and Political Union) her speeches at the Royal Albert Hall, London, were famous and her success was demonstrated by the gathering of no less than a quarter of a million pounds for the movement.

She and her husband edited the weekly newspaper “Votes for Women” which rapidly attained a large circulation. It chronicled at one time two hundred meetings a week on behalf of the organisation & reported that at a demonstration in Hyde Park the audience had been estimated by the Times newspaper in the neighbourhood of half a million.

On one occasion when Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence was announced to take the chair at a meeting from which it was intended that women should start a march to the House of Commons, a body of students broke into the hall for the express purpose of preventing the meeting. Mrs. Lawrence came in and mounted the platform and addressed the students. She told them that as men who had already secure[d] the rights that women were struggling for she was confident that their sense of fair play would not allow them to stand between women and their freedom, and she called upon them one by one to withdraw. So great was the power of her personality that they went out row by row and the meeting took place as originally arranged.

On another occasion addressing the jury in a law court she explained and defended the militant methods of the suffragettes in the following words:—“This great movement is, as you heard counsel for the plaintiff say, gathering momentum every day like a great flood. Now, when a tide is dammed back it overflows, and inevitable destruction is wrought. But men do not argue with a flood; they do not put the responsibility on the flood; they put the responsibility upon, and they argue with, those who have dammed back the stream and prevented it from flowing in its ordinary channel.”

“The Story of the progress of the human race is the story of the birth of great moral ideas, new ideas that have pushed their way into the common life, either by the process of evolution or by the process of revolution. Evolution is the natural and the right process, but there have been occasions in history, as you know very well, where the process of evolution has been obstructed by those who held the sceptre or rule. That is the position at the present moment.” Mr. Justice Darling who tried the case said at the opening of his summing up that hers was the “most eloquent speech he had ever heard in that Court”.

During the years of the great war Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence used all her powers as a speaker and writer to urge upon her countryment the need for securing a Peace by negotiation and reconciliation rather than one dictated by victories on the field of battle.

Summoned to the U.S.A. in the Autumn of 1914 to address a vast suffrage meeting in the Carnegie Hall (inaugurating the campaign which two years later led to the adoption of the women’s vote throughout the whole of the United States), she made a tour of that country speaking both on questions of peace and of women’s disabilities. Largely as a result of her campaign the American section of the Women’s International League was formed with Jane Addams as its President; and the two women sailed with fifty American delegates to take part in the International Conference of Women held at the Hague in April, 1915.

Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence strongly disapproved and protested against the terms of the Versailles treaty which she clearly foresaw contained the germs of future trouble in Europe. After the war was over she travelled over the Continent and was the first English person to address meetings in the principal cities of Austria. She also spoke in the Reichstag in an international conference.

Many parts of the British Empire have secured visits from her. In Canada, India, and South Africa she has held many public meetings. On more than one occasion she has hoped to come to Australia to return the visit of Miss Vida Goldstein, but so far circumstances have always intervened to prevent her.

During recent years she has continued to urge the claims of peace and disarmament and to champion the right of the married women to the choice of her own nationality and the character of her employment. In all her activities Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence has had the active support of her husband who was Financial Secretary to the Treasury in the late Government in England.

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At the top of the first sheet is written the file number ‘2069’ and the following note: ‘Compiled by F.W.P.L August 1934 & sent to Mrs Littlejohn in Australia for a Broadcast in Sydney.’

{1} The square brackets were added in pencil.

{2} i.e. ‘those’.