Offence: Damage to Property > other
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation; Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Imprisonment > no_subcategory; Miscellaneous > no_subcategory
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PANKHURST, Emmeline, LAWRENCE, Frederick William Pethick (40, barrister), and LAWRENCE, Emmeline Pethick (43, editor), were tried upon an indictment charging them with conspiring together and with one Christabel Pankhurst to unlawfully and maliciously damage and inciting others to unlawfully and maliciously damage certain property, to wit, glass windows, the property of the liege subjects of our Lord the King. The 54 counts of the indictment are referred to in the legal argument on May 21.
The Attorney-General (Sir Rufus Isaacs, K.C.V.O., K.C., M.P.), Mr. Bodkin, Mr. Rowlatt, and Mr. Graham-Campbell prosecuted; Mr. T.M. Healy, K.C., M.P., Mr. Muir and Mr. Blanco White defended E. P. Lawrence.
Detective-sergeant FREDERICK EVEREST , Special Branch, New Scotland Yard. I was present at a meeting of the Women's Social and Political Union at Steinway Hall on October 26. Among the speakers were Miss Christabel Pankhurst and Miss Evelyn Sharp. I took longhand notes of the speeches and on the same night made up, from my recollection assisted by the rough notes, a report of the speeches. One extract from Miss Christabel's speech is as follows: "The answer Mr. Lloyd George gave to the deputation of the Men's League was quite easy to understand. Mr. Lloyd George wanted to make the Conciliation Bill so expansive that many who now supported it would drop it."
Cross-examined by F.W.P. Lawrence. I have very little recollection of the meeting beyond my note. I understood Miss Pankhurst to say that "militancy" was not going on at that time, but she said, "If Mr. Lloyd George forced his wrecking amendment militancy would be again started." She explained that Mr. Lloyd George intended to alter the whole character of the Conciliation Bill when it went into Committee and that he proposed to move an amendment to make the Bill a very wide one, enfranchising seven million women. It was because she thought Mr. Lloyd George's proposal would make it an unworkable Bill and that it was not in her opinion likely to get through the House of Commons that she was watching Mr. Lloyd George's action; and so long as he refrained from taking steps which she considered would wreck or injure the chances of the Bill she would advise the members of the Union to remain peaceful—in other words, there would be no militancy if what she regarded as fair political tactics were continued.
Sergeant ARTHUR RANDELL , New Scotland Yard, said that he was present and took longhand notes at a meeting of the W.S.P.U. at Steinway Hall on November 9, at which the speakers were Miss Pankhurst, Lady Constance Lytton, and Mrs. Drummond. Miss Pankhurst made a very ardent appeal to those present to join in a deputation to the Prime. Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
on November 21. The report of this meeting in "Votes for Women" of November 17, 1911, was correct, though greatly abbreviated.
To F.W.P. Lawrence. In my opinion the principal part of Miss Pankhurst's speech was her appeal for volunteers; I mean the principal part from my notion of its legal effect. One great point she made was that up to the previous Tuesday the women had relied upon the promise of members of the Cabinet that full opportunity would be given in the House of Commons for the discussion of the Conciliation Bill; that on the Tuesday the Prime Minister had put forward a proposal to enfranchise the whole manhood of the country, a proposal which rendered a non-party solution of the Woman Suffrage question impossible; in other words, that the Conciliation Bill had been ruined by the Prime Minister's action In "Votes for Women" of November 17 is an article headed, "The only terms of Peace"; this is an extract: "This decision to establish Manhood Suffrage, a decision due in no small measure, so we understand, to the inspiration of Mr. Lloyd George, finally disposes of the hope of carrying Woman Suffrage as a non-party measure. The introduction of a Bill abolishing all franchise restrictions means that the question of Woman Suffrage now becomes entangled with that of Universal Suffrage. As a result those who believe that franchise restrictions should be maintained are alienated from the women's cause, while those who support Manhood Suffrage only are not won over to it. The agreement brought about by the Conciliation Committee, and afterwards rudely shaken by Lloyd George, is now put to death by the Government's threat of Manhood Suffrage. Are we not justified in saying that 'an enemy hath done this thing'? The Government, to state the matter in the most charitable terms, have made Woman Suffrage a party question. Therefore they are in honour bound now to make it a party measure. We demand that they shall do this. So long at there was a prospect of success for the Conciliation Bill, and so long as the effect of that measure would have been to give women virtual equality with men and a guarantee of equality under future franchise laws, the Women's Social and Political Union observed a truce with the Government. But now that the Government have destroyed these two conditions, the truce can be observed no longer, unless they consent to give certain reasonable undertakings. These undertakings, these terms of peace, are as follows: That the Government abandon the Manhood Suffrage Bill and introduce in its stead a measure giving precisely equal franchise rights to men and women. That the measure be carried through next Session, in order that the protection of the Parliament Act shall be secured. That the Government stake their existence upon the Bill as a whole, and undertake to stand or fall as much by the provisions for Votes for Women as by the provision for Votes for Men. We cannot with safety, we dare not, accept any pledge less full and less explicit than this." (Other extracts from "Votes for Women" were read.) It appears from this paper of November 17 that about 60 meetings were being arranged by the W.S.P.U. in that week in London and
40 or 50 in the provinces, making a total of something like 100 meetings held in a particular week throughout the country, presumably of an educational kind, on the votes for women question.
Re-examined. In the same paper there is a paragraph headed,"Be prepared for action." Also a paragraph, "A Call to Arms! On Tuesday next, at 7.30p.m., the Caxton Hall will be crowded with women who will assemble for the purpose of resolving upon such action—whether militant or otherwise—as the Prime Minister's statement may render necessary." Following that in big type was an intimation that it was most important that those who wished to participate should write without delay to the headquarters of the W.S.P.U.
RICHARD MELHUISH , of Melhuish, Limited, tool merchants, Fetter Lane. On February 22 or 23, a lady called and asked for some hammers similar to a pattern hammer which she brought; she was supplied with three dozen at about 1s. each; she took them away with her. (Witness identified a number of the hammers, presently proved, as being part of the lot sold by him.)
Police-constable SURMAN , 124 B. I attended a meeting of the W.S.P.U. at the Albert Hall on November 16. Mr. Pethick Lawrence presided, and other speakers were Miss Pankhurst, Miss Vida Goldstein, and Miss Annie Kenney. (Witness's shorthand reports of these speeches were read.)
Cross-examined by E. Pankhurst. This meeting was a very large one; about 9,000 people attended, every seat being paid for; the audience consisted of very well-to-do ladies and gentlemen; they were very enthusiastic, and there was only one dissentient to the resolution at the finish.
Mr. Healy submitted that this evidence was not admissible. The prosecution could not present evidence of individual acts before they had proved conspiracy linking those acts with these defendants.
Mr. Graham-Campbell said the' conspiracy charged was between these defendants and certain other persons, amongst whom was Sarah Bennett. In Archbold, 24th Edition, p. 1423, several cases were cited for the proposition that "The prosecutor may go into general evidence of the nature of the conspiracy, before he gives evidence to connect the defendant with it."
Mr. Justice Coleridge held that, in the speeches so far proved, there was no direct evidence that any of the defendants had incited Sarah Bennett.
GEORGE EATON HART , manager St. Clement's Press, Portugal Street, W.C. My firm has printed "Votes for Women" by contract with Mr. Pethick Lawrence. He paid for the work by cheque. About 30,000 copies were printed weekly and were delivered at the offices of the Women's Social and Political Union, 4, Clement's Inn. I do not know Mrs. Pethick Lawrence. Beneath the title of the paper was printed the information that it was edited by "Frederick and Emmeline Pethick Lawrence." I recollect that on March 4 last a proof reader called my attention to a certain article. Upon that I wrote to the prisoner, F.W.P. Lawrence.
Mr. Healy objected to the reading of this letter. Witness had not yet stated that he printed the paper by the authority of Mrs. Pethick Lawrence.
Mr. Justice Coleridge said that the letter was evidence against F.W.P. Lawrence, but at present it would not be evidence against E. P. Lawrence.
The letter was then read. In it witness objected to print certain matter. Witness continued: The number was issued with several blanks. In December, 1911, I printed 20,000 copies of an article, and in March last the matter was re-set as a circular. I saw the proof and objected to print it. The matter I declined to print appears in "Votes for Women" of December 1, 1911, under the heading, "Broken Windows." Exhibit 39 is a proof of an article set up by us for the March number, and which we declined to print, with the result that the space for the article was left blank in the paper.
To F.W.P. Lawrence. I am not prepared to say that all cheques in payment of our accounts bore your signature. After "copy" is set up a proof is sent. The proof is corrected and in many cases the matter is substantially altered. In some cases the matter is still further altered on a revised proof, so that only a final proof can he said to represent the considered opinions of the writer. The leaflet headed "Broken Windows" was first published as an article in "Votes for Women" of December 1, and subsequently as a leaflet in December. I refused to re-publish the same article in March because, in consequence of what had happened one of my directors came to see me, and after a consultation we decided not to print it.
To Mr. Healy. I also declined to print the following: "I lay down this proposition—democracy has never been a menace to property. I will tell you what has been a menace to property. When power was withheld, from the democracy, when they had no voice in the Government, when they were oppressed, and when they had no means of securing redress except by violence—then property has many times been swept away.—(Mr. Lloyd George at Bath, November 24)."
Re-examined. In the number of December there is also printed: "The Next Protest.—Names of volunteers for active service continue to come in; they include those of many who took part in the demonstration of Tuesday, November 21, while others are of women who have not yet taken militant action. The following are typical letters: 'As I was discharged at Bow, Street last Thursday, I am ready for the next. Please enter my name upon the militant list, for I have not "learnt better," as Mr. Muskett advised me! You may count on me till the crack of doom! If it is a mere question of the more the merrier I don't think I could stay away. In the future, when we have reached our goal, I can imagine what a mean cur I should feel at having watched other people doing the dirty work without having raised a finger to help.' Names should be sent to Miss Christabel Pankhurst, 4, Clement's Inn, W.C."
(Thursday, May 16.)
THOMAS RALPH , clerk, Westminster City Council, proved, from the rate-book of St. Clement's Dane, that certain rooms in 3, 4, 5, and 6, Clement's Inn, were rated in the names of the Women's Social and Political Union, others in the name of E.P. Lawrence, two in that of F.W. P. Lawrence.
To F.W.P. Lawrence. I have no means of distinguishing rooms occupied as offices and rooms occupied as private flats.
ARCHIBALD ERNEST CHRISTY , surveyor, agent to the owners of 3, 4, 5, and 6, Clement's Inn, produced the agreements under which the two Lawrences took the rooms. E.P. Lawrence held "rooms or offices" at the aggregate rental of £925; F.W.P. Lawrence held "residential flats "at the aggregate rental of £270.
THOMAS SHORT GRAHAM , manager, Temple Bar Branch of Barclay's Bank. The Women's Social and Political Union has had an account at my bank for many years past. The account was operated upon by four signatures, F.W.P. Lawrence, E.P. Lawrence, Mrs. Mabel Tuke, and Miss Christabel Pankhurst; one of any two signatures must be that of E.P. Lawrence or F.W.P. Lawrence. On July 1, 1911, the account showed a credit balance of £9,306, on December 31 the balance was £10,628, on March 1, 1912, £7,362. On March 6 there is a debit entry of £7,000, by a cheque dated March 1, payable to Mrs. Ayrton, signed by E.P. Lawrence and C.H. Pankhurst. ("Witness was taken through a number of entries, showing that payments were made for the hiring of halls and the printing of "Votes for Women," with some payments to the "Women's Press.") F.W.P. Lawrence had also a personal account with us. One of the cheques upon that account is dated February 29, 1912, for £1,000, payable to Mrs. Beatrice Sanders, who is, I believe, one of the officials connected with the Union.
To E. Pankhurst. We have no accounts with the local unions; all that passes through our hands is exclusively the money of the National Union. I should describe the account as an active one; it has been a growing account; since it started, I dare say about £100,000 has passed through the account. I cannot say whether the amounts paid in and out in respect of meetings show a profit upon that part of the work. I should agree that this organisation is one which is increasing in popularity and strength, so far as finance can give evidence.
FRANK GLENISTER , manager of the London Pavilion, said that during 1911 and the early part of this year the theatre was used for meetings of the Union, and produced the agreements under which the place was let. These included undertakings by the Union that the premises should be left in good order after the meetings, that nothing should be done or permitted contrary to the terms of the theatre licence, and that the proprietors should be re-imbursed for any damage resulting from the meetings.
To E. Pankhurst. The meetings were very well attended, and quite orderly. We found the Union satisfactory tenants in every way.
To Mr. Healy. It never occurred to me that we were letting the Pavilion as part of the machinery of a great conspiracy.
Inspector CHARLES CROCKER . On November 21, 1911, I was on duty at Cannon Row Police Station, and attended to the bailing out of women who had been arrested that night. About 180 were brought in, and 175 were bailed out. Fifty of the women gave their addresses as 4, Clement's Inn. F.W.P. Lawrence arrived at the station at 11 o'clock and said he wanted the women to promise him, as he had given an undertaking on their behalf, that they would not offend again before they had been taken before the Court. I heard the undertaking given. He had a list of the names, and his signature appears in the bailing-out book (produced) 175 times as being surety for that number of women. (Witness gave the names of some of the women who were bailed out.) I was again on duty at Cannon Bow on March 1, when 10 women were charged. F.W.P. Lawrence did not become bail on that day for anybody. I was also on duty on March 4, when about 50 women were charged, and I attended to the bailing-out of 47 of them. Some of them gave the Clement's Inn address. About 11 o'clock Mr. and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence came to the station. F.W. P. Lawrence again gave an undertaking that the women would not offend until they had been before the police court the following morning. The women gave the promise to him collectively. (Witness produced the bailing-out book, which showed that F.W.P. Lawrence bailed out 23 and E.P. Lawrence 24 women.)
Inspector GEORGE HAMMOND gave evidence as to attending to the bailing-out of women at Marlborough Street Police Station on March 1. Twenty-six women were charged, and F.W.P. Lawrence came at eleven o'clock and bailed the whole of them out.
Detective ALBERT CANNING , New Scotland Yard, produced a file of "Votes for Women" from November, 1911, to March, 1912, and a number of extracts were read upon which the prosecution relied. These included a report of a speech by E. Pankhurst at the Savoy Theatre on February 15, in which she said that, "Great as had been the need on previous occasions, the need now was greater still. No matter how obscure any woman thought herself she could rise to the level of the highest. The people of China won freedom at the price of blood, but the women of England would win freedom only at the price of a few panes of glass. I have come to the conclusion,' said Mrs. Pankhurst, 'that if I had broken a pane of glass with other women when younger than my daughter, women would have had the vote long ago. Since we cannot get our freedom by women's ways, then I am going out to throw my stone with the rest of you." (E. Pankhurst asked that the whole of her speech should be read. This was done.) A further extract was, "She would only refer to the political situation to say that the proposal, as the Union understood it,
was that Mr. Asquith meant to introduce a Bill to extend the franchise to men to the exclusion of women. This treatment after fifty years of constitutional agitation and six years of a passionate agitation of an unconstitutional kind, showed the status of woman in this country, and there was no excuse for those who had not revolted at the injustice of these proposals." In an article in the same number occurred the passage, "In the later stages of the militant campaign some members of the public have found that they do not altogether escape the uncomfortable consequences of the warfare between women and the Government. When this happens on a sufficiently extended scale, and the public at large feel that they are directly concerned to secure the capitulation of the Government and the concession of women's claim to the vote, then victory will be ours. We also shall secure an Act of Parliament for the abolition of our grievances. The position has got to be carried by storm. The militant woman must create a crisis—a difficulty from which all concerned are eager to escape. Then, and then only, will women become politically free. "This issue also contained the invitation to men and women to go to Parliament Square for the March 4 demonstration, but there was no reference to anything that was going to happen on March 1.
To F.W.P. Lawrence. In each issue of the paper there are about two pages devoted to what is called "The Campaign Throughout the Country "-in London and in the provinces; roughly, fifty or sixty meetings were being held in London and the same number in the provinces each week, that is over a hundred meetings of the Women's Social and Political Union each week. There is in each issue from half to a whole column of names of contributors to what was called he £250,000 Fund, and there are special paragraphs relating to protests from time to time; these did not form a large feature of the paper. (Witness, at the request of F.W.P. Lawrence, read a number of extracts from "Votes for Women"—reproducing, under the heading of "The record of postponement and evasion," letters and, speeches by Mr. Gladstone, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Lloyd George, and others.)
Mr. Justice Coleridge, interposing while F.W.P. Lawrence was continuing the reading of these extracts, reminded prisoner that the allegation of the prosecution was that he and his co-defendants entered into a conspiracy to incite certain persons to commit breaches of the law. Anything that had any bearing on that issue the Court would listen to at any length, but how the mis-deeds of the Government, if they were mis-deeds, or the changes of policy of this or that Minister could have any bearing on the issue now being tried it was difficult to see. What Mr. Lloyd George or Mr. Asquith had said or done had no bearing on the case, unless it had some bearing on whether these accused persons incited any persons to conspiracy.
Mr. Healy submitted that, the file having been put in, it was open to the defendants to read anything from the papers.
Mr. Justice Coleridge said he did not exclude anything. Mr. Healy. It is part of the defence that these, occurrences arose not because of the incitements in these papers but because of the
breaches of faith of the Ministers who are attacked in these columns, We say, and we are entitled to say, that what gave rise to these manifestations is not the result of the action of the prisoners primarily, but is due to the antecedent breach of faith from which the general body of those who claim the vote suffer, be that view right or be it wrong.
Mr. Justice Coleridge. I follow that, but what we have got to decide now is whether the accused had any part or not in the incitement.
Mr. Healy. According to our contention, the real criminals, if criminals there be, are not the persons in the dock. The persons who caused these demonstrations are the persons who are guilty of this breach of faith—the Ministers of the Crown.
Mr. Justice Coleridge. We may all assume that the few persons who acted in the manner described had, or thought they had, a grievance. The question is whether these quotations are relevant as to these persons having, or having not, incited others to commit breaches of the law. Accusations against this or that Minister do not seem to me to have any bearing on the issue. The file of the paper is in evidence; in addressing the jury the defendants can read any portions they please.
F.W.P. Lawrence said he would be strictly reasonable, and only read what was absolutely material. He proceeded to read a number of further extracts, the principal of which was from an article by Mrs. E.P. Lawrence in the number of February 23, entitled, "Inciting to violence"—"In the Colston Hall, in Bristol, the Right Hon. C.E.H. Hobhouse, at an Anti-Suffrage meeting, said (vide report in the Press) 'that in the case of the suffrage demand there had not been the kind of popular sentimental uprising which accounted for Nottingham Castle in 1832 or the Hyde Park railings in 1867. There had been no great ebullition of popular feeling.' We have often said that members of the Government do not understand the language of reason or of argument, nor the appeal to justice, and that the only argument that carries any weight with them is the argument of militancy. Mr. Hobhouse on Friday last bore irrefutable evidence to the truth of that statement. He altogether ignored the constitutional agitation for Woman Suffrage, which is the greatest agitation which has ever been carried out in this country for franchise reform... We challenge any student of political history to furnish us with facts showing that franchise agitations in the past were carried out on a constitutional scale comparable to the Woman Suffrage agitation in this country during the past six years. The only way in which the Woman's Suffrage agitation was outdone by the franchise movements of men in the past was in violence and destruction of property and of human life. It is this fact which, the Right Hon. C.E.H. Hobhouse selects with which to taunt the Woman Suffrage Movement with futility and failure. It is well that women should take this lesson to heart, and that they should go back to the history of the agitation in 1832 in order to glean from it reasons for the conduct of their own campaign. By holding up to women the example of men in 1832 and in 1867, when the Hyde Park
railings were pulled down, Mr. Hobhouse takes the very grave responsibility of inciting them to serious forms of violence, in comparison with which Mrs. Pankhurst's exhortation is mildness itself. It is undeniably true that the history of the Women's Movement shows nothing in any way comparable with the violence and destruction wrought in Nottingham and Bristol. Neither do we believe that it will ever be necessary for women to resort to these extreme measures Women to-day are less emotional, less hysterical, and more politically minded than were the men of the country in 1832. They are prepared to go just as far in their demonstrations of public uprising as is necessary in order to convey the fact that they are determined to win their freedom and no further. They make up in individual self-sacrifice, and in readiness to accept the consequences of their action, what is lacking in destructive violence."
To Mr. Healy. I selected these passages as, in my opinion, inciting to violence, and as being calls by the leaders to take part in the demonstrations.
Mr. Healy put to the witness the following passage: "The days are past for rioting, and we do not need to have recourse to bloodshed or violence to carry on our schemes of progress and reform, because we have a fairly good franchise, which is an assurance that the will of the people, in these democratic days, must prevail. Formerly, when the great mass of the people were voteless, they had to do something violent in order to show what they felt; to-day the elector's bullet is his ballot. Let no one be deceived, therefore, because in the present struggle everything is peaceful and orderly, in contrast to the disorderliness of other great struggles in the past," and asked whether that was an incitement to violence. Witness declined to express an opinion. (The extract is from a speech by Sir Rufus Isaacs.)
JESSIE MACPHERSON , stillroom maid at the Gardenia Restaurant, said that on the morning of March 5 she found the two stones (produced) and a dozen smaller ones in the fireplace of a room; upon one of the stones there was in ink or indelible pencil, "Votes for Women." Chief-inspector John McCarthy, Special Branch, New Scotland Yard. On March 5, about 9.30 p.m., I went to 3 and 4, Clement's Inn with other officers and arrested F.W.P. Lawrence and E.P. Lawrence on a warrant. I subsequently proceeded to search the premises. F.W.P. Lawrence asked, "Have you a search warrant?"; I told him that the warrant I had was sufficient; he formally protested. Christabel Pankhurst is named in the warrant; we have made diligent search for her but have been unable to find any trace of her. Witness produced a great mass of documents found on the premises. They included a book giving the real and assumed names of persons charged, date of the charge, sentence, date of release, time served, and remarks; the book contained nearly 200 names. Among manuscripts also found at the offices was one of a speech made by Christabel
Pankhurst, in Which she said, "They say we are going to get heavy sentences. All I can say is, we might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Let them give us seven years' penal servitude, if they like, but they shan't give it us for nothing. We stall do our bit, even if it is burning down a palace. Then we shall go into prison, and leave the others to join us, one by one, after they have done their bit. We mean to be militant throughout this session; there shall be no peace for us or anyone until this matter is settled. Some people tell us that we ought to have chosen a different moment for the protest because the coal strike is in progress. The miners are fighting for something that is important, no doubt. They are fighting for bread and butter. Votes for Women means bread and butter too. But it means something infinitely more. I dare say it is an embarrassment to the Government that the miners and the suffragettes should be fighting at one and the same time, but if either of these fighting armies is to give way to the other, we say let the miners wait until Votes for Women is settled, for we shall wait for nobody."
F.W.P. LAWRENCE, cross-examining, put to witness the following passage: "Parliament has never been hearty for reform or for any good measure. It hated the Reform Bill of 1831-1832. It does not like the Franchise Bill now upon the table. What should be done, and what must be done, in these circumstances? You know what your fathers did 34 years ago, and you know the result. Men who in every speech they made insulted the working men, describing them as a multitude given over to vice, will be the first to yield when the popular will is loudly and resolutely expressed. If Parliament Square, from Charing Cross to the venerable Abbey, were filled with men seeking the Reform Bill, these slanderers of their countrymen would learn to be civil, if they did not learn to love freedom." Witness declined to express an opinion as to whether this would be evidence of inciting people to take illegal action. (The extract is from a speech of John Bright in 1866.)
To Mr. Healy. Mrs. Pankhurst has already served a term of imprisonment for her own action on March 4; Mrs. Lawrence has also been in prison for an offence in November. The number of women who have been imprisoned in connection with this movement would run to several hundreds.
(Friday, May 17.)
A number of witnesses were called to prove damage to windows by stones and hammers by the persons named in the counts, alleging that prisoners aided and abetted in the committing of unlawful and malicious damage.
Inspector THOMAS MCNAMARA , Criminal Investigation Department. I was present at the Savoy Theatre at a meeting of the Union on November 23, and took notes of the speeches in longhand on the margin of a copy of "Votes for Women" which I bought in the theatre. I made my report, based on these notes, next morning. The speakers were Miss Christabel Pankhurst (presiding), Mr. Pethick
Lawrence, Mrs. Cameron Swan, and Miss Evelyn Sharp. My report was made from my notes and with additions. The facts were fresh in my memory when I made it, and it is an accurate note.
Mr. Justice Coleridge. You cannot rely upon the witness's recollection for verbal accuracy.
Mr. Graham-Campbell submitted that "the witness will be allowed to refresh his memory from any book or paper made by himself or seen and examined by him shortly after the fact occurred to which it relates, if he can afterwards swear to the fact from his recollection." (Arch-bold, 24th Ed., p. 487.)
Mr. Justice Coleridge. One cannot help knowing that a man who is taking longhand notes of a speech which is rapidly delivered is not in the best position to recall what was said that he has not taken down, because his attention has been directed to what he has taken down, and therefore his memory is not so good as that of a man who takes nothing but relies on his memory alone. If you are relying upon verbal accuracy of phrasing and so forth, which I presume you are, then it is merely discretionary on the part of the Court to admit it or not.
Witness's report of the speeches was then read. Miss Christabel Pankhurst said, "They all felt the deepest gratitude to those magnificent women who had so nobly responded to the call on Tuesday night. Their heroism was all the greater because of the memory they retained of 'Black Friday,' and also because the great bulk of those women took a new departure in militancy which meant still more stringency and more violence from the police.
The Government did not come to the women with false promises until the women were in a position of power. When asked if he objected to violence. John Bright said, 'Not if it rests on a moral basis,' and, concluded Miss Pankhurst, in words that rang solemnly, with a warning note, 'Let them beware how they incite us to do worse.' " Mr. F.W.P. Lawrence said, "Tuesday's demonstration was a great victory, because it had shown the world that the members of the movement were determined, and was also the triumph of the indomitable spirit of the women themselves. His wife sent this message from Holloway Gaol—Be ready."
To F.W.P. Lawrence. This was a crowded meeting, and, judging by the size of the collection, and the promises made, the audience was composed of people of position and standing. It was an enthusiastic and approving audience. It has been my duty to attend a good many meetings with a view of ascertaining if anything was said that transcended the proper limits of public speech. (The following passage was put to witness: "Violence is always deplorable, so is loodshed, yet violence and bloodshed in Ulster would be an incomparably smaller misfortune than cowardly acquiescence in a revolution, which, if consummated, would assuredly plunge the whole country into civil war.") I should regard that as a serious statement, and if it had been made at a meeting at which I was instructed to be present I should have noted it down. (The extract is from a recent speech of the Right Hon. F.E. Smith, K.C., M.P.).
To E. Pankhurst. I have heard a good many speeches by you and other prominent members of the Union. I may have heard these speakers say that if women had the constitutional means of redressing their grievances that men possess there would be no militancy, no violence. I have heard some of the speakers express concern as to the future and the hope that the Government would take this question seriously and deal with it before the women got out of the hands of their leaders.
To Mr. Healy. After I had made my report from the notes I took I threw away the newspaper on the margin of which they were written.
Detective JAMES MCLEAN , Criminal Investigation Department, Bow Street. I attended a meeting of the Union at the Savoy Theatre on December 23; Miss Christabel Pankhurst was in the chair, and speeches were made by F.W.P. Lawrence. I took a verbatim shorthand note, and the same night I made, not a transcript, but a condensed report—a synopsis. (It appearing that witness had not kept his original shorthand notes, his evidence as to this meeting was not taken.) On February 15 I attended a meeting of the Union at the Savoy Theatre; I have here the original shorthand notes that I took. (Witness's notes of speeches were read.)
To F.W.P. Lawrence. I was not at a meeting at Croydon recently when a speech was made by the Right Hon. Sir Edward Carson, K.C., M.P., in which he said, "There is a point at which resentment becomes so acute—that we are entitled to adopt any method of preventing liberty of discussion being taken away, and we tell Mr. Asquith that he had better count the cost." I do not know as a fact that men are now being drilled in different parts of Ulster.
To E. Pankhurst. Before I joined the Force I have, as a newspaper reporter, attended many meetings of the Union. Until recently I do not consider that the speeches have been violent, but it always seemed to me that they hinted at some possibility, some force behind the movement, some hidden weapon. I have heard speakers say that it was necessary to find some way of bringing pressure to bear on those people who had power to give us the vote to women and refused to do so. I have heard you say that men had won their freedom at the price of blood, and that you wished the women would imitate them. I do not recollect hearing you say that you wished to win reform without going to the lengths that men had to.
Detective-sergeant THOMAS COX , New Scotland Yard. On November 27 I attended a meeting of the Union at the London Pavilion; the speakers were Miss Christabel Pankhurst (in the chair), F.W.P. Lawrence, Miss Annie Kenney, and Miss E. Robins. The report produced' made up from my longhand notes is correct; the meeting ended at five o'clock and I sent this report to my inspector before six. (Eventually the witness's report was disregarded, and extracts from the speeches made at this meeting were read from the report in "Votes for Women.")
ead. Witness continued: On March 4 I was on duty outside 4, Clement's Inn from 11 a.m. I saw about fifty women in and out there during the day; they came in two's and three's, some on foot, some in taxis, some having luggage. I saw the two prisoners Lawrence, also Miss Christabel Pankhurst; she left about three in the afternoon with E. P. Lawrence and I think Dr. Ethel Smyth, and they returned about 5.35.
To E. Pankhurst. I have been to 4, Clement's Inn, before this, but I do not remember the dates. Clement's Inn is a very large place, and there are many tenants besides the union; there are a number of residential flats; taxis are constantly in and out there every day. On March 4 there were more visitors than on an ordinary day.
To Mr. Healy. I was first instructed to take notes at Suffragette meetings about two months before November 11; I cannot say whether it was not before a member of the Cabinet had been interrupted at a meeting.
Police-constable ALBERT G. HALL , 408 C. In January and February I attended several meetings of the union and took accurate shorthand notes of the speeches, transcripts of which I produce. (A number of extracts were read.)
To F.W.P. Lawrence. The transcripts are correct according to my notes; they are not verbatim. I hold a certificate for writing shorthand at 110 words a minute. I do not agree that what I have put down is a series of extracts joined together by me to make complete sentences; what I have got down are whole continuous sentences. (Witness was taken very closely through a number of speeches, and various instances of omissions and inaccuracies were pointed out to him: he confessed that he did not regard himself as a verbatim shorthand writer.)
To E. Pankhurst. I have a knowledge of "familiar quotations"; 1 do not know very well the phrase, "Who would be free himself must strike the blow." (In one speech of Mrs. Pankhurst's, as reported by witness, the words represented to have been used by her were, "Who would be free herself must strike the first blow.")
Several other witnesses were called to complete the evidence as to damage to windows on November 21 and March 1. One of the women, when charged with malicious damage, said, "I have accepted Mr. Hobhouse's challenge"; another said, "What I did was done on my own entire responsibility"; another, "I am here by my own deliberate act"; another, "This attack was entirely due to the speech of Mr. Hobhouse at Bristol.
Inspector FRANCIS POWELL , New Scotland Yard. In November I was engaged in connection with meetings of the W.S.P.U. I attended at Cannon Row and Bow Street in connection with the events of November 21. I also attended the meeting of the union held in the Pavilion on the afternoon of March 4; the reports of the speeches that have been read are to the best of my memory correct. About 900 attended the meeting at which there was considerable interrupt on. After the meeting I went to the vicinity of the Gardenia restaurant. I saw from 150 to 200 women entering, many of them well-known to me
My name was called, and I went into a smaller room, where there as having been previously charged. The members of the union are in the habit of wearing distinctive badges or symbols; they were not worn on this occasion. In the early evening the women left the Gardenia in small groups; several officers were instructed to follow. I followed two, who went to Whitehall and there broke two windows at the War Office.
To F.W.P. Lawrence. I am acquainted generally with the history of the agitation of the W.S.P.U. It has undoubtedly organised many demonstrations of a peaceful and orderly character; its meetings have been well attended, well conducted, and enthusiastic. (Witness was asked whether, if these demonstrations had been made by men, he would not have expected that the reasonable demands of the demonstrators would have been conceded. Mr. Justice Coleridge said that this was matter of argument rather than evidence. The issue was whether these disorders were due to the incitement of the defenders.)
(Monday, May 20.)
LILIAN BALL , dressmaker, Tooting. I am a member of the Balham branch of the W.S.P.U. I was one of a deputation to the House of Commons in October, 1910; on that day I got my foot hurt and was taken in a taxi to Caxton Hall. In November, 1911, I received a typewritten message inviting me to go to the Women's Press, in Charing Cross Road. I went into a room upstairs, having given up a card which had been sent to me. In the room were a number of ladies. were two or three ladies. A lady asked me if I had a pocket in my skirt, and I said no. The lady then gave me a bag of stones, which was tied around my waist, under my coat. I said it was too heavy, and some of the stones were taken out. We were told to try to get to the back of the House of Commons and break the windows. With two other young ladies, similarly equipped, I went to the House of Commons. I remained walking about there from 8 to 9. There were a lot of policemen about. I went home without having used the stones, but I kept these in a bag. In February this year (having in the meantime served a term of imprisonment) I received a circular addressed to members of the union asking those who were willing to take part in a fighting policy to send in their names and saying, "Militancy alone can bring pressure to bear upon the Cabinet"; this is signed by E. Pankhurst. I sent in my name. I received other communications, including one which enclosed a card of admission to the Gardenia restaurant on the evening of March 4, and a paper reading, "Instructions to volunteers. When arrested and taken to Cannon Row or other police station you will, after an interval, be bailed out; then return to your home or hostess. In the morning you should surrender at the time mentioned on your charge sheet at the police court, bringing with you a bag with everything you are likely to need during your imprisonment. (Signed) E. Pankhurst." At this time I was working for Mrs. Fagent, at Clapham Common; I think
I left the paper on Mrs. Fagent's table. On March 4 at 6 p.m. I went to the Gardenia, and on showing my card was admitted. There were many women there. A lady asked me if I was prepared for a long or short sentence. I said a short sentence—not more than seven days, because I could not remain longer away from home. I was then told to go to the United Service Museum in Whitehall, because there were small panes there and I could not possibly get more than seven days. I was given a hammer, on which was a motto in writing, "Better broken windows than broken promises." I was advised to put the hammer up my cleeve. I did so, and went off with two other ladies. We were told to do it before nine o'clock. I broke a window of the United Service Museum. I was arrested and taken to Cannon Row Police Station and was afterwards bailed out by Mr. Pethick Lawrence. Next morning I went to Bow Street, bringing things with me. I was sentenced to two months' hard labour and have served that sentence. When I went to the Women's Press in November, 1911, I, acting on written instructions, did not wear any badge or colours. I had the same instructions on March 4. None of the ladies wore them on those occasions.
To F.W.P. Lawrence. On the occasion of the deputation in October, 1910, I was wearing a badge. We were set upon by a mob and scattered in all directions, and my foot was injured; it was not the result of an accident; the onset was intentional. After that experience, I agree that it was advisable afterwards not to wear a distinctive badge.
To Mr. Healy. As to why the police selected me to give evidence while 1 was in Hulloway I signed a petition to the Home Secretary; this petition was at my home when the officers called about my bag of stones, and I suppose they got my name from that. I know of no reason why I should have been picked out.
Inspector FRANCIS POWELL , recalled, was asked by E. Pankhurst his reasons for haying made inquiries at the Inns of Court Hotel as to payments made by her while staying at that hotel He explained that the object was to ascertain whether the accounts were being paid by her personally or by the union. (Mrs. Pankhurst asked whether the inquiries had anything to do with a statement made recently by Mr. Lloyd George, when some women interrupted a meeting of his, that such interruption "was a poor way of earning a day's pay." Mr. Justice Coleridge said that any statement by Mr. Lloyd George had absolutely nothing to do with the issue here.)
ROV. WILLIAM F. COBB , Rector of S Ethelburga, Bishopsgate. (To F.W.P. Lawrence.) I have known the work of the W.S.P.U. for three or four years. I have attended several meetings and have heard speeches by Mrs. Lawrence and Mrs. Pankhurst.
Mr. Lawrence asked, "What was the general tenor of those speeches?"
Mr. Justice Coleridge said that he could only admit questions
directed to particular speeches. If the defendants were accused of being members of an illegal association, it might be then material to inquire into a hundred thousand meetings; but the association to which they belonged was a perfectly lawful association.
Mr. Healy pointed out that the prosecution had alleged, as conspiracy, a number of acts of a supposed criminal character; he submitted that the defence was entitled to bring before the jury that there were a great many spheres of legitimate activity connected with this movement.
Mr. Justice Coleridge said the sole question for the jury was whether the defendants incited by speech or by conduct on certain definite occasions the commission of certain definite acts.
E. Pankhunst. Not being a lawyer, I cannot say whether this is legal evidence, but I submit that there is a higher law. We stand here in this dock defending ourselves Against a charge which not only may mean long terms of imprisonment but may reduce us to the level of the lowest in the land. I appeal to you to allow this evidence to be given as to the motive, as to the need, and as to the urgency of the case.
Mr. Justice Coleridge. My ruling is that you must confine your evidence to the material matter which is before us, and that is whether or not you did or did not commit the acts complained of in the indictment.
Mrs. Esmond, generally known as Miss Eva Moore, an actress, vice-president of the Actresses Franchise League. (To F.W.P. Lawrence.) I have been acquainted with the work of the W.S.P.U. for several years. I was present at the Albert Hall meeting on November 10 and heard speeches of Mrs. Lawrence and Miss Christabel Pankhurst. It did not seem to me that the speeches partook of the nature of an incitement to violence; their general trend was that work was needed from all of us to further our cause.
Cross-examined by the Attorney-General. I did not understand that what was advocated was that the militant campaign must go forward more than ever. As to the passage in Mrs. Lawrence's speech, "If we don't get what we want tomorrow the militant campaign goes forward with more vigour than ever." I have no suggestion to make as to what was meant. I do not remember attending meetings at which people were asked to come forward in the campaign of window breaking. I have not myself taken part in window breaking. I concluded that "militancy" meant deputations to Parliament.
To E. Pankhunst. I have heard of "The Church militant." Militancy, I suppose means being very determined to work in every possible way for something that one thinks right.
Sir Edward Busk, M.A., LL.B. (To F.W.P. Lawrence.) I have been acquainted with the W.S.P.U. from its initiation. I was present on February 16 at a dinner given to women recently released from prison, Mrs. Pankhurst being in the chair. From the speeches of the women I derived the impression that they were persons of considerable cultivation, of great strength of mind, and of high character; I was convinced that they had all adopted the course they had adopted by
their own deliberate intention; they did not seem weak-minded people likely to be influenced by others.
To E. Pankhurst. I have heard several speeches of yours; the speech on this occasion was, I think, the most violent I have heard you make.
To the Attorney-General. I recognise that it was a serious speech to make. I gathered that one of its objects was that other persons should imitate the excellent example of those who had been sent to prison for throwing stones. That is a part, but a very small part, of the work carried on in this movement. I admit that I would not myself have made that part of the speech; I think it was a very dangerous form of speech; but, politically, you and I have gained our votes by the same kind of argument. I suggest that we, who have possessed the franchise all our lives, cannot judge the position of these women who do not possess it, and I decline to judge them.
Re-examined by F.W.P. Lawrence. I have heard Mrs. Pankhurst say that it was only because women had not the vote that they took this method. I have heard her quote Lord Haldane as asking "why the women had devoted themselves to a policy of pin-pricks," and Sir Edward Grey as saying "he objected to violence, particularly to petty violence."
•Mrs. Morgan Dockrell, president of the London County Council Women Teachers' Union, said that she received the circular giving the invitation to join in the "great militant protest" of March 4. She took it as merely an invitation to go to the House of Commons to petition them on the subject of woman suffrage, and did not understand that there would be any stone or hammer-throwing.
To E. Pankhurst. I have never heard you speak. The demonstrations of the W.S.P.U. have always been called "militant" from the first, before there was any breaking of glass.
Miss Jessie Murray, M.B.Sc. (To F.W.P. Lawrence.) I knew in advance that the demonstrations of November and March were to be held. Several women had told me.
F.W.P. Lawrence was proceeding to question the witness about incidents in November, 1910, when.
The Attorney-General said there was no case mentioned by the prosecution until the end of 1911.
Mr. Pethick Lawrence said that Lilian Ball had given evidence as to what took place in November, 1910.
The Attorney-General said the only reference to 1910 had been to connect the defendants with the incitements of 1911 and 1912.
Mr. Justice Coleridge said that if he had been appealed to at the time as to the importance or relevance of statements made in evidence with reference to a deputation to the Prime Minister in 1910 he might have ruled that they had no bearing whatever on the issue. The inquiry here was as to the events of November 21, 1911, and March 4, 1912. If any lady was prepared to come and swear that nothing said or done by the defendants had induced her to commit the act she did commit on November 21 or March 4, that might be relevant evidence. E. Pankhurst. The present witness is a medical woman, and we
thought she might replace those women, many of whom have been in prison for a long time, and have been forcibly fed, and are not in a fit state of health to subject themselves to the further ordeal of examination in this court.
F.W.P. Lawrence said that in view of his lordship's ruling he would not waste the time of the Court by calling the other ladies and gentlemen who had come prepared to give evidence. In these circumstances his closed his case.
The Judge. Are you, Mrs. Pankhurst, calling any witnesses?
Mrs. Pankhurst. I am not able to call the only witnesses I should desire to call. They are the Right Hon. Mr. Hobhouse and the last two Home Secretaries and the present-Home Secretary.
(Tuesday, May 21.)
Miss ETHEL SMYTH , doctor of music. I am a member of the W.S.P.U. (To E. Pankhurst.) I was present at the meeting at the Pavilion Theatre on February 26 and heard your speech. I was not incited by anything you said to take the part I subsequently took. I did not wish to take any part in your militant agitation, because I was too busy. Then came the refusal of the Home Office to permit the inquiry into the conduct of the police on Black Friday. I know what these women had been through. I then wrote straight away to Mrs. Lawrence to say that I intended to take part in the next protest. I went so far as to say that I hoped whatever the protest might be, it would not be such a protest as the one on Black Friday, because I did not think that any women should subject themselves to that sort of usage again. If that letter has disappeared I am rather glad of it, because I think that it might possibly be cited as a case of inciting my leaders to violence. Before I heard your speech I had made up my mind to take part in some form of protest; that was in November; I was unfortunately prevented by illness from doing what I had volunteered to do. I was asked to take part in the protest of March 4; I declined, as I wanted to get on with my work. Then, when I was in a sanatorium at Cardiff, came Mr. Hobhouse's Bristol speech, and I wrote and said, "I am coming." I did not see how any self-respecting woman, after that, could stay at home, I took part in the protest, broke a window, and was sentenced to two months' hard labour, which term I served.
This concluded the evidence.
Mr. Healy submitted that the indictment was bad. In fifty odd counts the frame of the charge was "soliciting and inciting," and alternatively "committing." The offence described in the Act (24 and 25 Vic, c. 97, a. 56) was "aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring" the commission of the misdemeanour. This being a purely artificial and technical offence and the creation of a statute, the words of the statute itself should be used in the indictment. Secondly, to constitute the offence it was necessary that, the mind of the person solicited should be reached. (R. v. Krause, 66 J. P., 121.) Thirdly, there was no evidence of "committing" within the words of section 51; the count for "committing" could only be supported by reference to section 56; therefore, if the first objection were upheld, the "committing" count must go.
Mr. Muir was heard to support the submissions. Taking count 4 as an illustration, there was no evidence to show that, assuming an incitement to have been uttered, it ever reached Sarah Bennett. There was proof that some persons were incited by language and acts of public men, apart from anything said by the defendants, and it was merely a possibility that Bennett may have been incited by the defendants; there was no evidence that incitement by the defendants ever reached her mind; such evidence was clearly necessary according to R. v. Krause (ante) and also R. v. Banks (12 Cox, 393). The Attorney-General pointed out that inciting and soliciting persons to commit a misdemeanour was in itself a common law misdemeanour. Secondly, in R. v. Krause Lord Alverstone expressly said "I am clearly of opinion that it is not necessary to show that the mind of a man had been effected. So to hold would be contrary to R. v. Most." In the latter case (1881, 7 Q.B.D., 244) Coleridge (L.C.J.) said, "An endeavour to persuade or an encouragement is none the less an endeavour to persuade or an encouragement because the person who so encourages or endeavours to persuade does not in the particular act of encouragement or persuasion personally address the number of people, the one or more persons, whom the address which contains the encouragement or the endeavour to persuade reaches."
Mr. Healy: In Most's case there was a charge of encouraging and endeavouring to persuade to murder "certain persons whose names to the jurors were unknown." Here the indictment is for inciting named persons.
Mr. Justice Coleridge held that there was evidence to go to the jury on all the counts.
The Attorney-General said that with regard to Mrs. Pankhurst, she was in America last December, and therefore, the charges against her relating to that period were withdrawn. Of course, this did not affect the conspiracy charge.
The defendants E. Pankhurst and F.W.P. Lawrence addressed the jury; Mr. Healy followed for E.P. Lawrence; the Attorney-General replied.
(Wednesday, May 22.)
Verdict, E. Pankhurst, Guilty on all counts except. 3 to 19; F.W.P. Lawrence and E.P. Lawrence, Guilty on all counts. "The jury unanimously desire to express the hope that, taking into consideration the undoubtedly pure motives that underlay the agitation which has led to these troubles, you will be pleased to exercise the utmost clemency in dealing with the case."
'Sentence (each prisoner): Nine months' imprisonment, second division; E. Pankhurst and F.W.P. Lawrence, jointly, and severally, to pay the costs of the prosecution.
CASES POSTPONED: YEATMAN, John, F. P.; MOORE, Hildebert; ELLIS, Albert E.; BERNSTEIN, Alexander; MARSHALL, Frederick; ALABASTER, Maurice C.; PRICE, Henry H.; COHEN, Arthur; BENNS, Walter B.; JOHNSON, Arthur; WARD, William. BILLS IGNORED: LYLE, Charles; GOWAN, John.