Suffragette Tax Resister Kate Harvey

The Vote

From the issue of The Vote:

Mrs. [Kate] Harvey’s Tax Resistance.

Mrs. Harvey sends through The Vote the following message of thanks to all who were present at her sale. Our readers will be interested in the sequel:—

To the Editor of The Vote.

Dear Madam, — As it was impossible for me personally to speak to everyone who came to my sale on , will you allow me to express my heartfelt thanks to them through the medium of your paper?

I have, after due consideration, sent the following letter to the Surveyor of Taxes. This time I have allowed the authorities to score “partial success” their next attempt will be “dead failure.” — Yours faithfully.

K. Harvey.

To the Surveyor of Taxes, Bromley.

Sir, — With reference to the sale of my goods here on , in consequence of distraint for non-payment of Inhabited House Duty: there is a question as to the legality of the sale, but I have to-day told the tax-collector that the buyer shall be allowed to remove his purchase. I wish you clearly to understand that, although I can give no definite reason at the moment, I still feel grave doubts concerning the sale and shall make it my business to obtain clear knowledge upon this point and also to learn why my house was broken into and my property destroyed with such unnecessary violence.

I believe the tax-collector has to bear all losses, and I think he has suffered enough for this time. — I am, yours truly,

K. Harvey.

A Message with a Meaning.

Mrs. Harvey writes further on :— “I have just received the first demand note for this year’s taxes. I have torn it up, put it in the envelope in which it came, and re-posted it to the Tax Collector. I suppose it is now reposing in his rubbish basket.”

Protest by London Graduates.

We publish with pleasure the following letter of protest against Mrs. Harvey’s treatment in prison, and warmly thank the seventy signatories for the practical step they have taken:—

4, Brandon House, Mortimer-street, W.

To the Editor of The Vote.

Madam, — I beg to forward for publication the following extracts from a letter addressed to the Home Secretary, relating to the imprisonment in Holloway, in , of Mrs. Katherine Harvey, the well-known suffragists of Brackenhill, Bromley, Kent, who was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment by the Bromley magistrates for resistance of the license and insurance of her manservant, David Asquith. The cell in which Mrs. Harvey was confined was maintained in so damp a condition that her health was seriously affected.

The letter is signed by more than seventy graduates of the University of London, and is accompanied by an affidavit made by Mrs. Harvey and a certificate from her medical man.

Among the signatories are the following:— Dr. L. Garrett Anderson, Professor W.M. Bayliss, F.R.S., Dr. F.F. Blackman, F.R.S., Sir Edward Busk, Lady Busk, Dr. R.W. Chambers, Dr. Alice M. Corthorn, Mr. Gerald Gould, Professor W.D. Halliburton, F.R.S., Mr. P.J. Hartog, Sir Victor Horsley, F.R.S., Mrs. Scharlieb, M.D., Rev. J.H. Shakespeare Dr. Barbara Tchaykovsky, Dr. Florence Willey. — I am, yours faithfully,

Frances Wood.

Extracts from the Letter to the Right Hon. Reginald McKenna, M.P.

We submit to you that to maintain a cell in so permanently wet a condition that the prisoner contracts rheumatism and gastric catarrh is to inflict additional suffering not contemplated by law. The case is one for prompt and impartial inquiry, and we trust that you will order such inquiry to be made and the results of that inquiry to be made public.

Our plea is made not only on behalf of Mrs. Harvey but of all prisoners alike, in the name of common humanity and justice.

Also from the same issue:

Women’s Tax Resistance League.

Drawing-room meetings were held on , the hostesses being Mrs. Webb, of West-hill, Sydenham, and Miss K. Balfour, Victoria-road, Kensington, and Mrs. [Margaret] Kineton Parkes spoke on both occasions. On Mrs. Kineton Parkes spoke at Southampton, under the auspices of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies. On also the monthly meeting was held at the League’s Offices. Miss Winifred Holiday presided, and members gave their experiences of tax evasion.