Letters from MC Martineau to an unidentified correspondent, Letchworth, c14 Feb 1914-1918-c16 Nov 1916

Scope and Content

This file contains three letters probably to Miss Hughes. On the second Miss Hughes has written "One of fathers workers in S London/over 80" and on the third "covenants can keep these till I come" in red ink. The first, c14 Feb 1914-1918, regards opinions on warfare and justification from a Christian point of view and how one event sparks of another. Martineau seems to regard German jealousy and government secrecy. The letter is incomplete. The second, 28 Sep c1916-1917, regards the debate of whether Letchworth [Garden City, founded 1903] should have a pub or not [pubs were banned until 1958, although a non-alcoholic pub opened in 1907] but Martineau does not believe one will be established "in democratic Letchworth .when many people are away at the front, so would be unable to vote". Martineau refers to the Citizen for a source of what people think generally about drink and says he/she is disgusted with Mr McKenna for taxing everything except alcohol. He/she asks "Are you not dismayed and disgusted to think of [David] Lloyd George [Prime Minister 1916-1922] going in for conscription?" as it is contrary to British freedom and conscience. Martineau then refers to Surrey Lodge and Lilian Baylis [Surrey Lodge, Lambeth Road, London was a housing project, possibly co-operative, established by Emma Cons, see THL/5/3 and Cons and Baylis lived in two of the cottages.]. Martineau then refers to the issue of prostitutes and the army, saying his niece is distressed that so much is being done for the "unmarried wives" who soldiers were not allowed to marry but he/she does not think prostitution should be licensed for the army despite a suggestion from Plymouth [council] that it should. Martineau then discusses "our friend" Joseph Wickstead's trip to America and Sweden in hopes of inducing the neutral to act as mediators for peace, he did not see the President [Woodrow Wilson] due to bans on private meetings with belligents, but his daughter and thinks public opinion is with England. The third, 16 Nov c1914-1916, regards [Herbert Henry] Asquith's [Prime Minister 1908-1916] position on pub opening times and Martineau's efforts to secure earlier closing. He/she laments the British armies giving out rum in the face of Russia's good example [Prohibition in Russia/Soviet Union 1914-1925]. He/she then refers to the fact that Plymouth council want to renew the Contagious Diseases Acts [1864-1886, highly controversial legislation that allowed the arrest of prostitutes in ports and army towns and bring them in to have compulsory checks for venereal disease] but comments that the time is past for such legislation. He/she then refers to taking shares in Mrs Barratt's Girls' Dining Centers Co[mpany/-operative]. Martineau then refers to pamphlets from the Society of Democratic Control about peace terms, that the object should not be to "crush Germany...inevitably lead to future trouble". See also THL/4/1/4.