Mrs. [Ethel] Ayres Purdie Victimised.
“Pay Up and Shut Up.”
Deplorable evidence of the panic from which many men are now suffering, owing to the recent outbreak of militancy, has come to our notice; the victim in this case is our good friend and helper, Mrs. Ayres Purdie. Her many clients will have noticed the sign prominently exhibited in her office window in Craven House, Kingsway, bearing the harmless legend,
“Women Tax-Payers’ Agency.”
Her landlords and fellow-tenants — men only — combined in a demand that she should delete the word “women” from her sign, as this word — necessary to the continuance of life — was considered “offensive and objectionable.” They went on to inform her that “they did not want women shouting that they paid taxes; women would do well to keep quiet!” Mrs. Purdie’s retort was to remove herself and her sign from Craven House across the road to the appropriately-named Hampden House, where the sign will be as prominent as before. The sequel to this may be an action in the County Court against Mrs. Purdie to recover damages for breach of contract. If so, it should prove a very interesting case, showing that though the word “woman” may be “offensive and objectionable,” woman’s money is worth having.
Political and Militant Work.
Many people are fully prepared to admit that women who pay rates and taxes ought to have the vote, although they will not go further and admit a woman’s right to full equality; tax resistance, therefore, is generally felt to be an entirely logical and almost constitutional method of protest. The Woman’s Freedom League would like all members and sympathisers who pay taxes which might be resisted, to put themselves into communication with Headquarters. Inhabited house duty, income tax, armorial bearings, dog licenses, and carriage taxes offer excellent opportunities for making local protests in all parts of the country. One of our members has taken a house jointly with her husband, and each time the tax for inhabited house duty falls due, one half is paid and the other half is withheld as a protest against the disfranchisement of the other fully qualified householder. Other methods will suggest themselves to our members; at present we have five or six protests coming on and in all cases Mrs. Ayres Purdie will give expert advice through the Political and Militant Department.