Suffragists Rally at Tax Auction of Gertrude Eaton’s Property

The Vote

From the issue of The Vote:

Tax Resistance.

On , the last item on the catalogue of Messrs. Whiteley’s weekly sale in Westbourne-grove was household silver seized in distraint for King’s taxes from Miss Gertrude Eaton, of Kensington. Miss Eaton is a lady very well known in the musical world and interested in social reforms, and hon. secretary of the Prison Reform Committee. Miss Eaton said a few dignified words of protest in the auction room, and Mrs. [Anne] Cobden Saunderson explained to the large crowd of bidders the reason why tax-paying women, believing as they do that taxation without representation is tyranny, feel that they cannot, by remaining inactive, any longer subscribe to it. A procession then formed up and a protest meeting was held at Bradley’s-corner, where speeches were made from a carriage by Mrs. Cobden Saunderson, Mrs. [Margaret] Kineton Parkes, Mrs. Florence Hamilton, Mrs. Clarkson Swann, and Miss Gertrude Eaton. The resolution was carried unanimously.

At the offices of the collector of Government taxes, Westborough, on a silver cream jug and sugar basin were sold. These were the property of Dr. Marion McKenzie, who had refused payment of taxes to support her claim on behalf of women’s suffrage. A party of suffragettes marched to the collector’s office, which proved far too small to accommodate them all. Mr. Parnell said he regretted personally having the duty to perform. He believed that ultimately the women would get the vote. They had the municipal vote and he maintained that women who paid rates and taxes should be allowed to vote. (Applause.) But that was his own personal view. He would have been delighted not to have had that process, but he had endeavoured to keep the costs down. Dr. Marion McKenzie thanked Mr. Parnell for the courtesy shown them. A protest meeting was afterwards held on St. Nicholas Cliff.

A very successful tour has been made by our Caravan in Bucks., under the charge of Miss Muriel Matters and Miss Violet Tillard. Meetings were held in Great Missenden, Wendover, Aylesbury, Chesham, and Stoke Mandeville. During the office will be open to receive letters and telephone messages for a couple of hours each morning.