This article first appeared in the 'Shetland News' on 23 March
The image has been provided courtesy of Shetland Museum and
The reason for the outburst of militant suffragists, now that
the Conciliation Bill is being gone on with, is that Mr Lloyd
George has said that this Bill, which all Suffragists united in
supporting, has been 'torpedoed' by the Reform Bill proposals. They
therefore consider it a sham, and are fighting for its withdrawal.
It rests with the Liberal party to show whether they are wrong.
Their outburst, which has led shallow supporters to say the
cause is ruined, only makes constitutional Suffragists stand more
firmly to their guns.
Lord Haldane in an able speech has shown the feebleness and
incompetence of the position and arguments of anti-Suffragists, the
strength and expansion given by education to all the powers and
energies of women, the obligation on Suffragists to abide by their
convictions, and to maintain a great and just cause all the more
firmly because it has been made unpopular for the time. 'This great
cause, this tremendous cause, rests on justice and reason, on a
solid conviction, and on a desire to look at things from the point
of view of the very highest interests of the State'.
Mr Agg-Gardner has shown that to withdraw the Conciliation Bill
would be to disappoint hundreds of thousands of law-abiding women,
who worked by methods of peaceful persuasion, and to gratify the
Mrs Fawcett has shown that the National Union, the Liberal
Federation, The Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise League,
the Welsh Women's Liberal Federation, The Independent Labour Party,
the Fabian Society, the People's Suffrage Federation, the National
British Women's Temperance Association, The Scottish Union, The
National Union of Women Workers, The International Council of
Women, the Association of Head Mistresses, The Association of
University Women Teachers, The Incorporated Assistant Mistresses,
The Society of Registered Nurses, the Women's Co-operated Guild
(married women), and scores of other bodies peacefully advocate and
petition for Suffrage.
Resolutions and declarations in favour have been made by - 143
Town and Local Councils, 49 Trade and Labour Councils, 38 Trade
Unions and Federations.
Parliament has voted on the question with 167 majority in
At the 22 bye-elections during the past year, 31 candidates were
The organised opinion of the county is in favour of the
Conciliation Bill, now before Parliament for the third time. It has
been successively introduced by a Labour, a Liberal, and a
Lord Cromer has resigned the presidency of the Anti-Suffrage
These facts should weigh in well-balanced minds against the
actions of scarcely 200 women, driven to violence by the methods of
politicians, to whom the blame of their conduct really