Mr Edward Backhouse to Mr Wilson

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 3JBL/13/57
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 3812; 482
  • Dates of Creation
      24 Nov 1875
  • Physical Description
      1 item

Scope and Content

Written from Ashburne, Sunderland. Sending Memorandum sent by Mr Pease MP for his opinion. 'It gives the main points of Mr Childers's proposed Bill which I believe will not be gone on with if he and Mr Pease cannot have the hearty support of repealers'. He asked permission to consult 2 or 3 of his friends (granted) and is sending Memorandum to Mr Edmondson, M Stansfeld and Mr Wilson may forward it to Mr and Mrs Butler.

Notes: Reference to 'Mr Childers's proposed Bill'.

In the debate on the introduction of Harcourt Johnstone's Repeal Bill on 23 Jun 1875 when it was thrown out, Childers had made the important announcement that he was now opposed to periodical examination and registration. He did not however wish for entire Repeal, but would leave the existing hospitals with their existing powers of compulsory detention, though entrance should be voluntary. He further suggested that there should be penalties for public solicitation and for the wilful communication of disease, and a system to be administered by the police, of more severe punishment for harbouring prostitutes. After a conference of Repeal Associations on 26 Oct 1875, a manifesto was issued in the name of all the Associations, containing uncompromising criticism of Childers's suggestions and including a condemnation of special hospitals, or special subsidies for venereal disease. Free treatment could only be sanctioned if provided for other diseases also. (See 'James Stansfeld' by JL Hammond and Barbara Hammond, pp 199-205 where the views of Childers, Stansfeld, the official body of Repealers on the questions of hospital treatment and accommodation for venereal diseases cases is given in detail.) As Mr Childers did not get 'the hearty support of repealers, the proposed Bill was not proceeded with. A criticism of the proposed Bill were made by Rev George and Mrs Butler in their letter of 26 Nov 1875 Rev George to Henry Wilson.

Administrative / Biographical History

Biog: Mr Childers MP; Mr Pease MP; Mr Edmondson; Mr Backhouse.