Josephine Butler to Mrs Watson

Scope and Content

Written from Winchester. Refers to a leaflet about the Paris Municipality as 'misleading'. The Municipal council has for the last four years protested against the system and refused the funds (It is not s State but a Municipal pressure in France). Unfortunately this has not put an end to the system, as the Prefect still exists and he derives his power direct from the Government and gets the money for running the racket from Parliament. A month ago the Municipal council voted the 'abolition of the examinations and registration' so that it can be said with truth that the people of Paris have voted the abolition of the system'.

Administrative / Biographical History

27 Feb [1883] Year dated from move to Winchester. 'Mrs Watson.' Mrs Elizabeth Watson wife of Mr R. Spence Watson, both of them warm friends of JB who often stayed with them on her way north. Several of JB's letters are addressed personally to her or her husband. The struggle between the Municipal Council of Paris and the Prefect representing the powers of the Government are clearly outlined by JB. The Federation were kept supplied with accurate information by M. Guyot. A Report from him concerning the 'Police des Moeurs' and the Municipal Council of Paris was read to the International Conference of the Federation held in London, Jun 1881. The situation in 1883 was that the Municipal Council refused the funds but the Prefect got the funds to carry on the work of the police from the Government. 'Gambetta supported the system strongly ... Perhaps his death may remove an obstacle.' Gambetta died 31 Dec 1882. 'The struggle is of deep interest as between the two principles of free Municipal Government (self Government) and Police Government, see my little book on the subject.' This would be 'Government by Police' Dyer Bros. 1879 Biog: Mrs Elizabeth Watson; M. Guyot; Gambetta; Sir Ed. Henderson.