Trenton, . —
Having said in the press and elsewhere that he would not pay the dollar
yearly poll tax, Louis Josephson, a Socialist agitator, was arrested
by Delinquent Tax Collector J.
Edwin Fell and put in jail. With costs, the claim of the city against
Josephson is $2.04, but he refuses to pay it. He says the tax is
I haven’t been able to find out much more about Josephson. There’s a mention
of him being banned by the authorities from speaking at a labor strike in
, but that’s about it.
The public examination of Dr.
Patch (Women’s Freedom League) in the bankruptcy proceedings against her by
the Inland Revenue Department brought together a large crowd of suffragists
belonging to all suffrage societies at Bankruptcy Buildings last Tuesday
morning. The officials were astonished to see women bringing in extra benches
and overflowing into the solicitors’ seats and the Press pen.
The usual first item on the programme is the swearing of the alleged
bankrupt. Dr. Patch was
therefore invited to take the oath, but replied that that was impossible, as
she could not bow to the authority of that Court; a suggestion that she
should affirm instead of swearing received the same answer. The Court, being
thus up against an insurmountable obstacle, waited a moment and thought it
Dr. Patch refused to answer
any questions, “not recognising that the Court had any authority over her,”
and the only information that the Court could secure was that she was
determined not to pay the tax demanded, and that nothing they could do would
maker her. Asked whether she quite understood the fearful consequences of
assured the Court that she was prepared for anything that might come.
Further progress seemed difficult, and the solicitor to the Commissioners of
Inland Revenue suggested that the proceedings should be adjourned
sine die, but the Court preferred to adjourn the case for
three weeks, making the cryptic remark that three weeks would be “quite
The next gathering, therefore, will be on
at Bankruptcy Buildings,
Carey-street. is the date of
the official “Women’s Day,” and very appropriate for the next state of this
Meeting at the Women’s Freedom League Headquarters.
There was a splendid gathering at the meeting at Headquarters to support the
protest of Dr. Patch, and keen
appreciation was expressed of her courageous stand at this time on behalf of
unenfranchised women. Dr.
[Elizabeth] Knight presided, and pointed out that if the Government would
enfranchise women much time would be saved that is now spent in endeavours to
discover facts about tax-resisters, and the country would be better
Dr. Patch’s statement of her
experiences as a tax-resister and of the steps which led to the proceedings
of , aroused special interest.
She declared that her action was not prompted by unpatriotic motives, as she
was ready to give her utmost to the country — but of her own free will; her
protest was against taxation without representation.
Mr. Pethick Laurence said that, as far as he knew, he and
Dr. Patch were the only
suffragists who had gone through the inconvenient form of protest of
bankruptcy proceedings. It was a form which caused inconvenience to the
authorities, and brought home to the public the meaning of the suffrage
agitation. In an interesting survey of the situation to-day he discussed the
Report of the Electoral Conference, and insisted that no franchise would be
satisfactory which did not achieve equality for men and women. Even in the
most remote and unlikely possibility of the votes of all men being cast on one
side and of all women on the other in an important issue, it would only mean
the majority rule on which the administration of the country is based.
Mrs. [Charlotte] Despard, a veteran tax-resister, said she had offered to
give voluntarily the amount demanded of her by the Revenue authorities to
any war charity, but her offer had not been accepted, and spoke strongly on
the importance of resisting the possible conscription of voteless women. The
League meant to live up to its title, and women would only be free when they
stood shoulder to shoulder as equals with men in the service of humanity.
Miss [Kate] Raleigh, another tax-resister, showed how the very universe works
by the power of resistance, and urged the need for continuous resistance to
fictitious ideas, including man’s domination of woman. If conscription of
voteless women should be attempted, sex oppression will follow.
Miss [Florence A.] Underwood, in paying tribute to
Dr. Patch, as did all the
speakers, made a stirring appeal to women suffragists to rally round the
Flag and show Parliament, the public, and the Press that they were alive
and active and meant to win their victory — the vote on equal terms with men.