Thursday, 6 April 2017

MP’s Support for Women’s Suffrage

Women’s Social and Political Union Poster 1909 [Wikimedia]

Friday 6th April 1917: Mr. Lionel de Rothschild, the Member of Parliament for Aylesbury whose Buckinghamshire constituency includes the town of Linslade, has voted in favour of a resolution to bring forward legislation which would grant women the right to vote. In the following letter he explains that he has changed his mind on the issue of women’s suffrage as a result of the participation of so many women in the war effort:
“As in my election address I stated that I was totally opposed to the extension of the franchise to women I think it only right to inform all my friends in Buckinghamshire that I am one of those who have changed their views since War began. I feel most strongly that the many millions of women workers who are now in existence in this country working for the State, giving their time, their liberty, and their health to the attainment of the ideals which this country has set up, should be entitled to a part in the decision of the great questions which must shortly come before the British Parliament. I agree that perhaps it may not be advisable to grant the franchise to women on exactly similar lines to that given to men at the present time, but for various reasons I feel convinced that some measure of Woman Franchise is urgent just now.”
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 10th April 1917

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