Women’s Tax Resistance League Troubles British Government

This report comes from the Toronto World:

Woman — lovely woman — has devised a new method of harassing the British Liberal Cabinet, which at least on the question of her right to the suffrage is a house divided against itself, and therefore, on the best authority, in a parlous condition. Many members belonging to the two militant societies and many more belonging to organizations that eschew violent methods, have bonded themselves together in a “Women’s Tax Resistance League,” imitating thereby the device employed by the Nonconformist opponents of Mr. Balfour’s famous — or infamous, as it may please — Education Bill. In this new move the ladies are more logical than they have been in some of their schemes to draw public attention to their grievance and to achieve its redress.

Taxation without representation is abhorrent to the free man — why not to the free woman? What men have been constrained to resist as unconstitutional and been therein justified by the verdict of history, cannot be blamed when they are offered the flattery of imitation. Nor are women without appeal to the very recently expressed opinions of noble lords and other indignant resenters of the government’s policies. One of them wrote down words to the effect that if the Unionist party was really in earnest in resisting the unconstitutional and revolutionary methods of the government, why should they not organize a refusal to pay taxes until a referendum be introduced? Sir John Lansdale, M.P., also declared in a speech that “they disregard the authority of our Irish Parliament and would refuse to pay its taxes.”

However, whether mankind is inclined to resent or not this further assertion of the claim to complete equality and adoption of the role of tax resister, this new movement is certain to be generally supported. Among the arguments offered in its favor is that women who are property owners and payers of taxes and therefore count as a force in the community, owe a special duty at the present time to women who do not count. Tax resistance, it is contended, provides in the locality where it is employed, a valuable object lesson in support of the cause which women have at heart. The claim is also made that tax resistance forms a common bond of action for suffragists of all shades of opinion; and it may be added will probably be much more generally effective and certainly far more dignified than struggles with constables and wanton destruction of property.