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On August 17th
Mr. J. TALBOT asked the Postmaster-General whether it was to be inferred from his recent answer on the subject of the Savings Bank Department, that the existing male staff would be gradually replaced by a female establishment; and whether he could give an assurance that further changes in this direction would be made with greater regard than heretofore to the vested interests of the male officers, whose reasonable prospects of promotion were thereby jeopardized.
Mr. Fawcett: In reply to the hon, member, I may state that I altogether deny that the vested interests of the male officers of the Post Office Savings Banks have been interfered with. So far from the superior appointments in the male branch having been diminished in number, they have been increased. But, even if this had not been the case, the Government is bound, if it becomes necessary to increase the numbers in any department in the Civil Service, to make the addition in the manner which most conduces to the public advantage. The addition to the staff, which has recently become necessary in the Savings Bank, in consequence of the rapid growth of business, has been to a considerable extent supplied by the appointment of female clerks. In my opinion, the course thus adopted has been very beneficial. With regard to the future, I can give no other promise than that, if it again becomes necessary to make an addition to the force, that addition will be made in such a manner as will, I believe, most promote the public interests.
THE Twenty-Sixth Annual Report of the Civil Service Commissioners upon Examinations states that the first open competition for female clerkships in the London offices took place in September, 1881, in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. The candidates competed in the following subjects :- Arithmetic, spelling, English composition, geography, and English history; having been previously tested in the simpler parts of arithmetic, as well as in spelling and handwriting, at a preliminary examination held in various towns. Out of 747 candidates, 525 failed to satisfy the preliminary test, 5, after passing it, declined to proceed further, and 217 competed for 76 appointments, being the number estimated as likely to become racant within the following six months. For the situation of male telegraph learner, four open competitions have been held in London, and 934 candidates offered themselves for 345 appointments. For the situation of female telegraph learner, one competition took place in London in June last, at which 448 candidates offered themselves for 40 appointments.
September 15th, 1882
WORKSHOP INSPECTION BY WOMEN. THE last number of the Women's Union Journal gives the history of what has been done towards carrying out the resolutions passed at the Conference, held by the League last April, on the subject of Factory and Workshop Inspection by Women. The Earl of Shaftesbury, who presided, undertook to ask the Home Secretary to receive a deputation, which Sir William Harcourt consented to do on June 19th. The members of the deputation (Secretaries of the Women's Union who could speak from actual experience as to the requirements of workwomen) were duly appointed, but on the morning of the 19th a letter was received from the Home Office stating, that with much regret, Sir William Harcourt was obliged to postpone the reception in consequence of a Cabinet Council. Another application was made to the Home Secretary at the end of July, and the answer received was that he is unable at present to fix a time for the deputation,” but a hope is held out that the reception will take place when Parliament reassembles in October.
On June 16th, Sir William Harcourt had found time to receive a deputation from the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades' Union Congress and from various Trades' Unions, for the purpose of urging the Government to increase the staff of Factory and Workshop Inspectors. We observe that time usually is found for receiving deputations from men who are presumably voters. The Journal thus comments upon the printed report of the interview:
We observe that the Memorial recommends the Home Secretary to “double the present staff, by appointing as sub-inspectors 50 persons having a practical knowledge of manufacturing processes, each of the sub-inspectors to be under the supervision of the inspector of the district to which he is appointed." The two words we have given in italics very much surprise us. Our readers may remember that the Trades Union Congress, from which the Parliamentary Committee receives, or is supposed to receive, its instructions, resolved almost unanimously, at their meeting last September, and for the fourth time, to recommend the appointment of working men and women as sub-inspectors, the word “persons,” first proposed, being rejected. Why the frainers of the Memorial have so completely disregarded the distinct wish of the Congress we cannot understand, and we hope this question will be asked at the Congress to be held in Manchester next month. In the last debate it was
urged that the word "persons” was meant to include women as well as men, but if the framers of the Memorial also intended this, they have quite contradicted it by using the word “he ” almost immediately after. Mr. Broadhurst, too, in introducing the deputation, said he believed that “a commencing salary of £100 per annum, with prospects of advance, would attract many superior working men as candidates for the office of sub-inspector.” We recommend these facts to the consideration of the Congress, in which, fortunately, a number of working men are to be found who are superior” in the sense of liking justice and fair play.
JUSTICE TO WOMEN. How much longer are a woman's safety and life to be of almost no account in the eyes of magistrates ? We do not ask for a law of vengeance, but for an exercise of authority that shall be a deterrent to unprovoked and br al assaults by men on women,
Another instance of the farcical penalties imposed in the name of law occurred the other day. A servant girl was sitting on a style at the entrance to Highgate Wocd from Wood-lane, when seven men came up and asked if she were going nutting. On her answering in the negative, one of the men pulled her down, dragged her into the brushwood under the tree, and that he might the better work his vile purpose, one of the others knelt on the girl's chest. Her cries brought the keepers and two of the party were taken in charge. The Bench fined the first ruffian, who was also charged with stealing the girl's hat, 15s. and costs, and the man who aided him by keeping his knees on his victim's chest, 58. without costs. This, then, is the way nineteenth century justice protects the weak and helpless when they are Englishwomen !- Westminster Gazette.
A WRITER on Temperance in the St. James's Gazette recently observes: The more prominent part taken by women in public affairs helps on the movement; and if women had votes the suppression of publicans would fill as large a place for some sessions as the suppression of Irish landlords has filled in the two last sessions.
CONFERENCE OF LIBRARIANS.—At the late Meeting in Cambridge, Mr. Nicholson, of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, urged the further employment of women in Libraries. He said he could not see why, for the reason only that they were women, when they could do the work as well as men, that they should not be employed and paid at the same rate as men.
HOSPITAL SATURDAY.—Saturday, September 2nd, was appointed for the ninth annual collection throughout the metropolis on behalf of “The Hospital Saturday Fund.” Instead of as previously between four or five hundred, the number of persons who on Saturday volunteered to take charge of collecting boxes exceeded one thousand. The large proportion of these volunteers were ladies. At Hyde Park Corner a member of the Norfolk family, Lady Catherine Howard, had charge of a station with the chair, table, and other appliances supplied from Apsley House by direction of the Duke of Wellington. Ladies of title were also to be found seated outside Marlborough and Clarence Houses, St. James's, supplied with the furniture and fittings from the Royal Household. In the city the Hon. Mrs. Clay took her seat in front of the Mansion House, whilst the wives of several city merchants, and even bankers, were not above doing duty in aid of the charitable object. It was not until dusk that the ladies relinquished their position; and then, under escort of the various district stewards, they and their boxes were conveyed in cabs to the Cyprus Restaurant in Cheapside, where refreshments were provided.
LADIES AT THE WELSH NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD.
WE mentioned last month that, contrary to the usual custom, ladies were going to take part in this venerable and national meeting. It took place this year at Denbigh. At one of the Section Meetings in the Town Hall, Mrs. Rhys (wife of Professor Rhys) presided, and read a paper on female education. She made an earnest appeal for the higher education of girls, and was supported by Mrs. Hoggan, M.D., London, Mrs. Ayrton (wife of Professor Ayrton), and others.
In the same Section, Mr. Lewis Morris presiding, a paper by Miss Dillys Davies on Middle Schools for Girls was read by her father.
At the Gorsedd ceremony in the morning, Mrs. Key Blunt, an American lady of Welsh descent, was formally admitted to the Order of Bards of the Isle of Britain, under the title of “Mairmadox." She ascended the throne, and read a poem she had composed for the occasion, which was well received,
At the Meeting of August 25th, Mrs. Gladstone presided as the representative of her husband, who was prevented from attending. Sir Robert Cunliffe, who represented Mrs. Gladstone in the practical business of chairmanship, expressed the gratitude of the audience to Mrs. Gladstone for attending at great personal inconvenience. Mrs. Gladstone, on rising to respond, said: Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you with all my heart for the extremely kind reception you have given me. I know full well who it is really for-my husband. At the same time I may perhaps take a little merit here as being a Welsh woman.
Miss Jones, of Swansea took the prize for the contralto solo. The prize for a violin solo was won by Miss Smith, Beechwood House, Chester.
EDINBURGH MUNICIPAL VOTERS' ROLL.—The municipal roll of voters for the city of Edinburgh, with qualified women householders for the first time included, has now been made up. It contains a list of 36,477 voters, including 7,599 women. The new roll of Parliamentary voters contains 28,878 names.
THE SERIOUS ILLNESS OF MR. HUGH MASON is causing very great anxiety among all the friends of Women's Snffrage, who have had reason during the past session to appreciate the unflagging patience and courage of their leader. The sincerest wishes are expressed for his recovery.
OBITUARY. MRS. INWOOD JONES.—On August 22nd died this lady, the niece of the late Lady Morgan, the celebrated Irish writer, whose literary friendships she inherited. Mrs. Inwood Jones had reached an advanced age, and of late there had been signs of declining powers. Mrs. Jones, so long as she was able to receive visitors, brought together men eminent in politics, science, art, and letters, of different generations. Her singularly kind and simple nature endeared her to all who knew her even slightly. Her departure breaks a link with