Autograph letter signed
Category: Autograph Letters/Manuscripts
London, No Publisher. 1909.
Autograph letter signed on 'Votes for Women' National Women's Social & Political Union headed paper, 31st July 1911; 8vo 6 pages. Pankhurst writes to Noel Buxton Liberal M.P. for North Norfolk, asking him to give a speech in support of the Conciliation Bill. "We very much want you to speak if you will. You would be very fully reported in 'Votes fro Women' and so would reach a really large public...." Three Conciliation bills were put before the House of Commons, one each year in 1910, 1911 and in 1912 which would have extended the right of women to vote in the United Kingdom to around 1,000,500 wealthy, property-owning women. The 1910 vote failed. The Bill was debated again in May 1911 and was passed by a majority of 255 to 88 votes as a private member's bill and the Government of Asquith promised a week of government time to debate the Bill. However, in November Asquith announced that he was in favour of a manhood suffrage bill and that suffragists could suggest and propose an amendment that would allow some women to vote. The bill was consequently dropped. This letter was written at a time when the movement was preparing the ground for the third introduction of the Bill in 1912. In the second part of the letter Pankhurst asks Buxton about getting promises to ballot for the Conciliation Bill. "It seems very important to get promises at once because of the attempt that will be made to bring forward another and a different Woman's Suffrage Bill as a rival to the Conciliation Bill." As Christabel feared Asquith stated on 7 November 1911 that the government would introduce next session a Manhood Suffrage Bill that could be amended to include women, Christabel denounced his scheme as disreputable, and appealed for one thousand women to march to Westminster two weeks later. While the demonstration was taking place, however, a smaller group armed with bags of stones and hammers broke windows of government offices and businesses. Convinced that the government would not concede women's suffrage until they were forced to do so, the WSPU engaged in further window breaking, this time on a mass scale, in early March 1912. Noel Buxton, politician who served in various Cabinet posts in the National governments of the 1920s and 1930s. He was Secretary of State for Air during most of the 1920s. As Secretary of State for India in the early 1930s, he authored the Government of India Act 1935, which granted provincial-level self-government to India.