Everyone who does not ignore facts knows that Women Suffrage is a hopeless cause. The Ipswich by-election puts another nail in its coffin. Here was a fairly normal constituency invited to elect a candidate well-known to be an enthusiastic supporter of Women Suffrage. The result is instructive, and it shows that there is no demand for so revolutionary a change.
The victor, Mr Ganzoni, received 6,406 votes. In answer to the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies, he said that he could give no pledge to support a Women Suffrage Bill if returned. Mr Masterson, the cabinet minister, received 5,874, and the ‘Common Cause’ (the organ of the National Union) for May 22, 1914, says of him that he only voted for Women Suffrage “when such support was not likely to lead to any practical result”. Mr Scurr’s votes are the only ones that can be considered favourable to Women Suffrage, and he only received 395 out of a total 12,675, or just about three per cent.
How anyone can support Women Suffrage at all while the advance guard of the woman politicals, or the militant Suffragettes, continue their unwomanly actions and acts of tragic futility, surpasses belief.
All this insurgent hysteria is not merely an incident. It proves that the most active of the Women Suffragists - the women who would count when the country is foolish enough to concede their demand - are simply incapable of behaving like rational beings. A cause that is promoted by such methods is discredited in advance. The fiercer the hysterics, the madder the acts, the more brutal the blackguardism, the less inclined will the country be to consider the pros and cons of Women Suffrage.
Mr Laurence Houseman, a man who combines poetry with the promotion of Suffragism, argues that militants have every right. He talks with childlike simplicity. The militants have suddenly thought of constitutionalism, when they have outraged it for years.
The National League for Opposing Women Suffrage have passed a resolution which says that discussion of the franchise for women for possible federal parliaments is at present both premature and academic.
The reasonableness of this view hardly needs argument, but two matters may be mentioned. The Home Rule Bill does not include a clause providing for Women Suffrage. The Scottish Home Rule Bill did not include such a cause, but it is worthy of note that Mr W Young MP, who seconded the motion in favour of the second reading of the bill, took objection to the Women Suffrage clause.
All of which goes to show that, assuming a federal constitution is set up eventually, the different federal parliaments must have the responsibilty of deciding whether Women Suffrage if desirable.