Josephine Butler to Mrs Hinde Smith

Scope and Content

Written from c/o M Aimé Humbert, Neuchâtel. She is sorry that their party is so hotly divided about the Bill [See Note]. Her own views may be found in the no. of the 'Shield' with her letter in it written in Switzerland. She is hard at work where she is. Begs Mrs HS and her husband to come to the Hague Congress [17-22 Sep]

Administrative / Biographical History

20 Aug [no date but reference to Hague Congress means 1883].

Mrs Hinde Smith was a sister of HJ Wilson and lived at Manchester. She was a worker in the Cause (see letter from Mrs Hinde Smith to HJ Wilson, 26 Dec 1872). Letter devoted to a critical opinion of the Bills before Parliament: 'I do not so much fear Lord Hartington's Bill in itself.' There were two Bills introduced: 28 Jun 1883: Lord Hartington moved Bill to amend CD Acts and to authorise detention in hospital. (Bill withdrawn) (RR 451) 5 Jul: Lord Hartington moved 'Detention in Hospital (no.2) Bill' (withdrawn on 26 Jul). (RR 452) By clause 5 'any woman in the subjected areas sent to prison for less than 6 months, if 'found' at the end of her term of imprisonment to be suffering from VD could be sent off to a certified hospital ... and detained there till discharged by the M.O.' By clause 12 of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill introduced into the House of Lords by Lord Rosebery, the mere act of soliciting was made an offence, and no proof that it had caused annoyance was required. That is why JB says in her letter: 'It is the combination of that Bill [Lord Hartington's] with the Lord's Bill which forms so complete a trap. The devil is so clever!' (An account of these two Bills given in 'James Stansfeld' by JL and Barbara Hammond, p.235-9). 'If you want to know my view, write to Mr Banks ... and ask him for the number of the 'Shield' with my letter in it written from Switzerland.' This was in the 'Shield', 4 Aug 1883, p.212. '... It is her settled opinion that nothing more dangerous could be presented to us than this combination of measures.' 'The Hague Congress.' In 1883 the International Conference of the Federation met at the Hague, 17-22 Sep. Mr Stansfeld being unable to go, the office of President was taken over by M. Emile de Lavaleye. He addressed a letter to M. de Lavaleye on the Parliamentary situation in Great Britain. (An account of this in 'Life of George Butler' by JB p 383.) Biog: Mrs Hinde Smith; Mr Banks; Lord Hartington.