Josephine Butler to Stanley Butler

Scope and Content

Photocopy letter. Written from Lausanne

'I will ask her [Miss Forsaith] to send a copy to you of my rather long report to lay before our next King Street Committee'

(See copy of letter from Josephine Butler to the British Committee dated 26 Jan 1897.) She wrote report from information obtained from an International Federation Committee meeting held in the Hotel she is staying in Lausanne. M. de Morsier came especially from Paris to tell them what was going on there.

'Congress held in Paris on the subject of the Depopulation of France'

Opinion of doctors and scientists there: 'That at the present rate of population, in a few years, France will not be able to put an army on the field, sufficient to meet the humblest attack.' The cause of this: 'The habit of resorting to Maisons Tolerees in place of marriage, and drink'. Josephine Butler thought that these opinions should be published in England to show British Regulationists what happens 'when Governments make of that vice a recognised institution, regulated by the state'.

Snow there for six days without stopping, but she keeps warm with splendid fires due to a wonderful little porter who keeps her wood basket well filled and supplies all her small shopping needs.

'The notice or reply of Lord George Hamilton, to which you draw my attention, is most important and significant'

Administrative / Biographical History

Paris Congress on depopulation of France

Hundreds of doctors and scientists attended and they found that the two chief causes of depopulation were: prostitution; drink. It aroused great alarm in France largely because of its military significance (See also Report of 26 Jan 1897 on this subject)

Lord George Hamilton was Secretary for India when the Conservatives were in power (1895-1907) and had to deal with the growing agitation for the re-imposition of the Contagious Diseases Acts repealed in 1886.

Not certain to which notice this refers; but there are several items in 'Rough Record' which are relevant.

9 Sep 1896 no 762 'Mr Stuart's correspondence with Mr Balfour and Lord George Hamilton commenced 12 Aug and continued to 9 Sep. The last letter enclosing an important 'memorandum' which is printed in 'Re-enactment Threatened in India' 4 p'

9 Nov no 773 'Lord George appointed a Departmental Committee to examine the official returns of venereal disease among British troops in India, and to report what change, if any, have taken place during recent years ... Report but without any of the evidence published on 19 Mar 1897.

Biog: Lord George Hamilton, Mr de Morsier