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The Rushden Echo, 3rd September, 1911, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Suffragette Meeting at Rushden
Women and the Vote
Mr. Chiozza Money’s Support Called for
Last night a meeting in support of “votes for women householders in 1912” was held in the Public Hall, Rushden. Miss Crocker, of Wellington, presided over a fair attendance and she was supported by Miss Pettitt.

Miss Crocker moved “That this meeting calls upon Mr. Chiozza Money to support the Conciliation Bill, and to vote against widening amendments which, in the opinion of the Conciliation Committee, will endanger its passage into law.”

She said their object was to explain the Conciliation Bill and to advocate the franchise for women householders. The Consiliation Bill was the largest measure of justice to women which had a chance of passing through the House of Commons. It was

Not an Undemocratic Bill,

and she asked them to call upon Mr. Money to support the Bill exactly as it stood.

Miss Pettitt said they were not agitating for the vote entirely because of their grievances. At present, although woman took such a great part in national life, all the laws were made by men, women not being consulted. The situation was altered from what it was 30 years ago, and woman had the right to take her part in national legislation. The point she wanted to emphasise was the protection which the vote would give women, once they had got it. That protection was needed, because nearly every day there was some Bill or suggestion to curtail or control the

Labour of the Women

which made them undesirable in the eyes of the employers, and which made it harder for them to get work. If women had the vote they would be consulted about legislation, and they would be asked beforehand whether it would be to their advantage or detriment. Women needed the vote, too, for their education. Candidates and canvassers would not take the trouble to educate the woman until she had the vote, but the moment she got the vote the representatives would be trying to win her over to their side by educating her. This did away with the contention that woman should not have the vote because she was politically uneducated. When farm labourers got the vote there were plenty ready to educate them, but before then their ignorance mattered to no one. Women needed the vote because they wanted to

Help in the Reforms

of the world, and because of the matter of self-respect. Women had been regarded as inferior politically and unfitted to be citizens. That was very bad for the nation. Their demand was very moderate – they only asked for the vote for women householders. If they asked for any more they would get no support from members in the House, but they were concentrating their efforts upon a Bill which had got support from every Party in the House. She appealed to those women who were party women especially to come out and join the women’s movement, which was an entirely new one and a new idea altogether. (Applause)

Questions were asked and answered, and the resolution was carried unanimously.

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