November 6, 1912, To the Editor of The Daily Herald “Women’s Page”
The “Samuels” Davison refers to here seems to have been a “terrorist” in the 1890s when he advocated smashing and burning as a means of protest. Davison is leery of his attempts to influence the working women of the East End and objects to his not focusing on what she sees as primary goal of all organizations, social, economic, or political, the vote. Her reference to Sylvia Pankhurst underscores the separation between Sylvia’s dedication to Labour politics and to working women, her focus on economic justice above all. Davison seems a bit leery of Samuels’ influence and contemptuous of his advice.
Sir, — In your columns appears a letter from the indefatigable Mr. H.B. Samuels, which truly points the moral to adorn the tale, and fully confirms Miss Sylvia Pankhurst’s view of the usefulness of the appearance of the worthy gentleman on the scene to the cause of Woman Suffrage. We might almost suspect him of being a rabid Suffragist in disguise, for nothing is so likely to rouse the women of the East-End so completely as to hear the elegant platitudes of Mr. H.B. Samuel on their sex.
Suffragists also cannot fail to appreciate the irony of the fact that Mr. H. B. Samuels is striving to make the East-Enders see ‘the importance of organization and agitation,’ whilst almost in the same breath he adjures them to despise and reject the only effective means to make the organisation and agitation successful, i.e., political power. Mr. H.B. Samuels is not wise to show so clearly his contempt for the sagacity of working women, if he thinks that they will not have the ordinary common-sense to see that they can ‘inspire’ and ‘encourage’ their fathers and husbands to far more purpose if they are able to bring to their support that which is the only thing for which politicians have a respect—votes. Yours, etc.
EMILY WILDING DAVISON