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Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pankhurst

Transcript

The Waldorf-Astoria, New York
Sept 22 1912.

Dear Mrs Pankhurst

We found your letter awaiting us on our arrival here. We have read it carefully & thoughtfully. We quite understand that it is a purely business letter, endorsing the views of our responsible colleagues with regard to the present situation & its effect upon us—& we reply in the same spirit of deliberation.

Perhaps you are not aware that the present position does not take my husband or me by surprise. Before putting our hand to the plough we were bound of course to consider every aspect of the matter & the Government’s policy of attacking us financially was discussed between us. We have therefore faced the situation already. But we appreciate the fact that you have faced it on our behalf during the past weeks, & that you are anxious to find a way out for us in order to spare us further sacrifice.

Our answer today is the same as it has been since we entered the struggle. You will realize directly we state it that there is only one answer possible. It is the answer which you yourself would give if asked to choose between the Movement (which you & we have in so large a measure jointly built up) and any other possession in life however dear & precious. You would not hesitate for a moment. Neither do we. Our answer is that we shall continue to be jointly responsible with you in the future as we have been in the past, and that the more we are menaced the harder we will fight until victory is won.

So far as the Union is concerned, the difficulty you allude to can be met. We can refuse if we choose to allow any members of the Union to share personally incurred liability.

With regard to Militancy—we have never for a single instance allowed our individual interests to stand in the way of any necessary action or policy to be pursued by the Union, and we never shall. At the present moment, hard fighting & harder than ever is essential. The harder the battle, the more need for every one of the generals & soldiers.

Yours very sincerely
Emmeline Pethick Lawrence

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{1} PETH 9/31.

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 Charlotte Despard to Emmeline or F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

2 Currie Street, Nine Elms, S.W.—Accepts an invitation to tea.

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Transcript

2 Currie St | Nine Elms | S.W
28th Novr 1913

Dear Mrs {1} Pethick Lawrence

I shall be very glad to take tea with you between 4 & 5 p.m on Thursday 4th Decr.

As regards the dinner I thank you cordially for the invitation; but I am going to ask you to excuse me. A dinner, however pleasant, is always a bit of a trial to me, and just now, life has been so strenuous with us, that I am feeling a little run down.

With kindest regards
Yours sincerely
C. Despard

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The address printed at the head (Hillcrest, Mayfield, Sussex) has been struck through.

{1} The title resembles ‘Mr’, but is perhaps more likely to be ‘Mrs’.

Letter from Jessie Kenney to Lady Constance Lytton

Transcript

Hotel du Golfe | La Guimorais | St Coulomb | Ille-et-Villaine | France.
Sept 13. 1921.

Dearest Lady Conny,

I am writing to ask if you will very kindly do something for me.

I am to be admitted to the Wireless College at Colwyn Bay where I am going to train as a Wireless Operator and at the same time to study for my London Matric. I have already applied to the Principal and he has accepted me.

But each student is required to supply the following:—

(a) Certificate of birth

(b) Particulars filled up on enclosed form

(c) Letters from two persons of British parentage, and of standing, signifying that the applicant is the person described on the birth certificate—that the particulars on attached form are correct—and that the applicant and his† parents are of good character.

I am enclosing my birth certificate and the form referred to above which I have filled up—so that you can see all is in order. Both my father and mother are dead as I think you know.

There are two people I should like to have as sponsors for my entry into the wireless world. One is yourself and the other is Professor Bickerton (President of the Royal Astronomical Society) who was a good old supporter of ours in our good old fighting days and he has been more than encouraging to me in my new quest.

I should be therefore so glad, dear Lady Conny, if you would send me a letter which I can forward on to the Principal with the enclosed form and birth certificate.

I have decided after all not to go to Australia as things seem very unsettled out there. Also I find that before I can do anything in wireless it will be necessary for me to take a degree and I am working to this object. And if one is to take a degree in Science it is better to take it in this country of course. Colwyn Bay has an excellent and mild climate, and so one can work and study there without detriment to one’s health. My two good and generous sisters in New York are helping me financially for my first year’s training.

Women are not being trained as Wireless Operators and special facilities are being given to me because of my enthusiasm in the matter and my keenness to go ahead in the cause of scientific work. The Prime Minister has sent me a little note wishing me success, and if it had not been for this I doubt if I should have been accepted. So you can gather from this that I am helping to blaze another trail for women and I hope to prove worthy of all the confidence and faith that has been put in me. One thing I feel so strongly about in this affair is that one is never too old to start anything. It seems to have astonished quite a few people that I should wish to go in for scientific work at the age of 34 and begin studying for a degree in science now. But I feel just as I did when I began work in the Suffrage Movement, and one is as young as one feels—isn’t one?

I wonder how you are keeping. I saw the notice in the Press and the leading article about your dear mother’s birthday {1}. How devoted you must all be to her and how proud she must be of all of you. I do wish you could have met my mother. You would have loved her. She was a wonderful and good woman. Whenever any of us are in doubt or trouble we always feel her presence and influence near. In life she always specially watched over the weak one and the one needing help and she seems to do this still.

You will be pleased to hear that Annie’s little baby boy {2} is perfectly lovely and is so happy and good.

I am enclosing a stamped addressed envelope. I am staying at the above address for a little holiday—It is a little hotel in an out of way spot in Brittany, and one that has been visited by many Suffragettes.

With love & all good wishes

Ever yours,
Jessie Kenney.

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{1} Edith, Countess of Lytton, celebrated her eightieth birthday this year.

{2} Annie Kenney’s son Warwick.

† Sic. 

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 Charlotte Despard to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Brackenhill, Highland Road, Bromley, Kent.—Has transferred her platform ticket for Wednesday to Miss Underwood, as she is busy looking after Mrs Harvey.

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Transcript

Brackenhill, Highland Road, Bromley, Kent
14th Octr 1913

Dear Mrs Pethick Lawrence.

I thank you very heartily for the platform-ticket for Wednesday {1} which followed me to Harrogate.

I waited until my return home to see our people. I am sorry to say that I cannot be present. I am giving every moment of spare time to Mrs Harvey, who is still in bed. I have to go to Edinburgh on Friday.

But our Miss Underwood will greatly enjoy being present, so I hand the ticket to her.

With all my heart I wish you success.

It was so good of you to be with us on Tuesday. I greatly enjoyed your speech.

Yours affec[tion]ately
C. Despard

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{1} 15th. The meeting referred to has not been identified.

Letter from Charlotte Despard to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

2 Currie Street, Nine Elms.—2 Currie Street, Nine Elms.—Asks to be on the platform of the rally at Hyde Park (concluding the Great Pilgrimage of suffragists), and comments on the action of Miss Davison.

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Transcript

2 Currie St | Nine Elms
7th July 1913

My dear Mrs Pethick Lawce†,

I see that you are holding your meeting in Hyde Park on Sunday {1} at 5. p.m.

I am going to Kingston in the evening, so I can only be with you for a short time; but I should like to be on your platform if you will have me, for a few minutes.

I do feel so keenly the injustice of the Government, and your husband’s courage in fighting it out.

Poor Miss Davison! What a wonderful action! Alas! that women should be sacrificed in this terrible way.

I hope you are keeping well[.] My love to you

Yours affectionately
C. Despard

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{1} 26th. The reference is to the rally which concluded the Great Pilgrimage of suffragists.

† Sic.

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 Christabel Pankhurst to Lady Constance Lytton

Transcript

11, Avenue de la Grande Armee, | Paris.
1st May. 1914.

Dearest Con

I am so very glad to have your letter this morning.

You will see that in the Suffragette I have written something about Lord Selborne’s Bill. All the reasons which we have urged against the introduction of the Bill I need not repeat here. It has been introduced and the debate is to take place next Tuesday and there it is.

The important thing now seems to be to take the opportunity afforded by this debate to remind the Government and all anti-Suffragists in every Party that women’s enfranchisement is inevitable. The utmost the anti-Suffragists can do is to delay it; prevent it they cannot. The question for them to consider is whether they gain anything by delay. In my opinion, they lose, and not only do avowed anti-Suffragists lose, but men as a whole lose very seriously by the maintenance of the Suffrage agitation.

The change in women’s attitude towards men that has taken place in the last twelve months is amazing. It means in itself a revolution. The women whom the politicians know are perhaps the same as ever, or pretend to be so, where their opinion of men is concerned. But these women are, in a sense, a class apart. They do not represent the main body of their sex—the great mass of women of all classes who are far removed from the not very elevating influences of the political game as it is played by men politicians at the present time.

Men used to have a great prestige with women. That prestige is disappearing now. More and more, women are regarding men not as equals, but as inferiors. In the past women were very much in ignorance concerning men’s moral standards and the suffering caused to themselves as the result of those moral standards being so deplorably low. I will not say that the denial of the vote is producing a sex war because there always has been a sex war. But what is happening is this, that whereas the sex war was waged on one side only, ie. by men, women are now learning to defend themselves. In their humility, Suffragists themselves used to realise that women had been weakened by the result of subjection and needed the training that freedom gives, but now they are also realising that the men have suffered far more as a result of the subjection of women, and have been utterly degraded and demoralised by it. A contempt for men, as men are today, is becoming very, very prevalent amongst women.

Generally speaking, men, if they are not immoral are weak. That this is so is shown by the fact that although there are multitudes of men who believe in women’s enfranchisement, they do nothing effective to win it, and are most timid and half-hearted in their criticism of the hideous exploitation of women by men that is going on every day. It ought to be clearly understood by Suffragist men, as well as by anti-Suffragist men, that opposition to votes for women and faint-hearted support of votes for women are regarded by thinking Suffragists as being rooted in immorality. A man who gets up and opposes the enfranchisement of women is regarded as being an immoral man. No doubt there will be an outcry at this statement, but that is what women think and they are not given now to making any secret of their thoughts. Some of the men may try to cite cases of clean living men who believe that women should not have the vote. They will find it very hard to do so, and if they succeed they will be doing nothing more than producing the exceptions that prove the rule.

The responsiblity of Suffragist men is really as great as that of the anti-Suffragist men. They must consider whether they want the sex war to go on or whether they do not, because if it goes on it will certainly get keener, and will in future involve women who are not involved today. What do the men Suffragists who counsel patience and non-militancy imagine women think when they read the remarks about “blackmail” made by Members of the Government in the House of Lords when the Bishop of London’s Bill for raising the age of consent was being discussed the other day? It is very obvious that this Bill proposing to protect girls until they are eighteen is hated by a great many men, and that the Government mean to do their best to water down if not to defeat the Bill in question.

What every W.S.P.U. member is saying now is “Thank God we did not get the vote when militancy began, because the campaign of the last few years has been such an education to us.” “If men are like this” they say, “then it is dangerous for us not to know it.” We have lived in a fool’s paradise but have escaped from it now. The fight we are making against the apathy of some men and the opposition of others are strengthening us. We are ready to go on with the present fight for an indefinite period of time. We are just getting into our stride. We are just beginning to reach new bodies of women. If we get the vote tomorrow we shall of course rejoice with all our might, but we realise that if we do not get it for a long time, the years that will be spent in fighting will be some of the most fruitful in the history of the woman’s movement. And the wonderful thing is that every year as it goes by is greater in its achievement and more full of educational experience than any year that has gone before. Realising what has been gained by militancy, we are positively sorry for the women in other countries who have got the vote without fighting for it. We want, when the vote comes, to be able to say that we got it ourselves—not that men gave it to us, the reason for that being that men need the lesson that our victory on those terms will give them. Think, too, how much more the women of future generations will appreciate the vote when they realise that it has been fought for and won by women, and not merely handed over as a gift by men.

I am glad to say that it is being more and more realised how scandalous it is for Carson and his friends to be allowed to commit “grave and unprecedented outrages” (to use the words of the Prime Minister) while mother and all the other active militants are persecuted. The argument that the cases are not parallel is not taken seriously by the general public. People realise that Ulster militancy and Suffragist militancy are essentially one and the same thing whatever superficial difference there may be.

I do hope that you will get better and stronger now.

With love
Christabel Pankhurst

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.

Draft of a letter from Lady Constance Lytton to Millicent Garrett Fawcett

(Place of writing not indicated.)—Questions her public expression of confidence in Lloyd George with regard to a referendum on women’s suffrage. Objects strongly to remarks by Arthur Henderson indicating that his consent to the conference resolution is conditional on the abstinence of women from violence.

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Transcript

Dec 3. 1912.

Dear Mrs. Fawcett,

Many thanks for several letters. I have been ill—incapacitated in bed—or would have answd you sooner. Baby nephew {1} is happily out of danger. Brother Vic was due home about Feb 14 but I hope may come before that.

I gather from your public utterances of renewed confidence in Mr Lloyd George that you have silenced his recent suggestion that the H. of Commons should be put up to move that no W. Suff. measure should be passed without a referendum, that the Govt should then refuse the referendum but accept the proposal as regards W Suff. thus clearing a way for the Ref. Bill to go thro’ without V. for W. I understood this from the acct you read me of interviews with Mr Lloyd George. I understood from your comments that this suggestion, coming direct from Mr Lloyd George[,] had shaken your confidence in him. It seems strange to me that you should be counselling your audiences to a reliance you no longer share.

Thankyou for passing on the remarks of Mr Arthur Henderson. (You do not mention his name but I gather the letter you quote was from him).

My first impression was—What a pity if his consent to the resolution was conditional, that he did not say so at the conference. If he had added a rider “provided there is absence of violence on the part of women themselves.” It would have sounded so consistent, so reasonable, so generous. Does he think it would have been greeted with a round of cheers by those representatives of labour men who, in spite of their votes, in spite of their party[,] hold {2} off to stand for their interests in Parlt, in spite of their financial resources—so much greater than those of women—& the power that always accrues to these (power of combination, of education, of social & pol. influence) yet have recourse to violence at every election, at every strike, on every occasion when their interests are seriously frustrated, & this violence is injurious both to property & human beings in a way never attempted by women.

And what did Labour men do to ensure fair play for women in 1832, 1867 & 1884, through all the long drawn struggle of over 40 years during which there was no question of “violence” of any kind on the part of the women. When “militancy” began in 1906–1909 when again there was no violence from women what did the Labour party (as a party) do to secure V. for W. should be made a Govt measure {3} [,] that women’s deputations should be recd, that they should not be imprisoned, that if imprisoned they should be treated as pol. offenders.

When women hunger strikers (surely that is not “violence”?) {4} were fed by force, with barbaric cruelty, during weeks & months of imprisonment, what did the Labour party men do then to prevent this barbarity—on the bodies of women who had fought for the very liberties the Labour Party excite {5} to uphold? I have been told they passed a resolution of thanks to Jane Warton {6} because being disguised as a workg woman I showed up class injustice. Why could they not stand out themselves for their helpless women comrades? Only a thousand men in Dundee who gathered together outside the prison where the first hunger strikers were in Scotland & proclaimed their determination that this horrible thing should not be done in their town,—that was enough to prevent forcible feeding through the whole of Scotland.

When after the last Genl Election when the Labour members held the Govt. in the hollow of their hand—when the women fighters cried a truce—what did the Labour party do to secure either a Govt. measure or the passing of a private Bill for women—When Mr. Henderson as a Member of the Adult dep. to Mr Asquith in the autumn was greeted with the information that the Ref. Bill wd contain no Votes for W. only more votes for men—how did he repudiate that. If he & his party had acted with loyalty to the women then (No Votes for Women[,] no Home Rule, no Budget, no W. disestablishment is all they need have said) there wd. have been no need for any more fighting on the part of women.

And these good gentlemen—some of them—venture upon this afterthought of a condition to their present good will. I only hope they will say it not only to you in a private letter—But at their public meetings.

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{1} Probably Alexander Edward John Bulwer-Lytton, Viscount Knebworth.

{2} This word is indistinct.

{3} These two words are indistinct.

{4} The brackets round these five words, which occupy a whole line in the MS, have been supplied.

{5} This is the apparent reading.

{6} Lady Constance Lytton’s pseudonym.

Letter from Lady Pethick-Lawrence to Agnes Harben

Fourways, Gomshall, Surrey.—Thanks her for the gift of some freesias. Is delighted to be remembered by one of the most lovely women she has known.

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Transcript

Fourways, | Gomshall, | Surrey.
15th. December, 53.

My dear Agnes,

How very dear of you to think of me now a poor old cripple who cannot put a foot to the ground and has to be entirely dependent upon other people!

I was delighted with the lovely freesias and to be remembered by you who are always in my thoughts and memories as one of the most lovely women I have ever known, which is saying a great deal. {1}

With love,
Ever yours,
Emmeline

Mrs. Harben,
6, Park Side,
Knightsbridge,
London, S.W.7.

—————

Letter-head of 11 Old Square, Lincoln’s Inn, W.C.2. Typed, except the signature.

{1} This paragraph has been marked with a line in the margin, and at the foot of the letter is written, ‘Ans[were]d Keep for ref!!!’

Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to Naomi Lutyens

Fourways, Gomshall.—Is delighted by her decision to devote herself to social reform, and has communicated on her behalf with representatives of a Club.

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Transcript

Fourways. Gomshall.
Dec. 10. 1942

My very dear Naomi.

Many thanks for your lovely letter. I was particularly glad to get it, as I have been thinking of you much & often, since you brought the light of your dear countenance last Monday {1}. I wanted to send you a line, but did not know where to address you.

Oh yes indeed—you made it quite clear to me—for it needed no words of explanation,—that your heart was full of love for others & that you needed to find the rightest & best way of expressing it in Service. It is a very great delight to me to have you come & talk to me—bringing your gifts of charm & vitality & youth, & giving me the sense of continuity, now that my little day is almost done.

I wrote the next day to Mr Holloway and to Beth Macara. I want you to know the people who could give you the fullest opportunity for knowing all about the Club, so that you can make your decision.

I am so glad that you see what is the heart & essence of any social reform & are not satisfied with mere tinkering & palliating. It takes “a brain” to grasp that idea!

I have the greatest confidence in your ability. You see I know you not from a few conversations only. I knew your parents in their youth—& you as an infant raconteuse! So I have a background!

Also I know something of the difficulties & tests you have had to meet, & your courage & gaiety & unbreakable spirit win sincerest tribute fom me. It is not only brain but character as well as every other qualification—all are needed in this great fight against greed & aggression in High Places.

In fact, dear Naomi, you are just the colleague I should choose to have—if I had any choice in the matter.

My love to you. Yours. {2}

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

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The letter has been marked at the head in red biro, ‘From Lady Pethick Lawrence’.

{1} 7th.

{2} The passage from ‘& gaiety’ to the end is marked in the margin with a line in red biro.

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