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WOMEN'S FRANCHISE.

MEETING AT TUAM STREET HALL. A meeting of thanksgiving for the female suffrage, and for the purpose of the enrolment of women was held last night at the Tuam street Hall, whi-h had been leut by the Mayor for the occasion. Tho very wet weather militated against a large attendance, and there were not more thau 350 persons present. Mrs Sheppard presided, and among those on the platform wore Mesdames Newton, Richardson, Smith, Wilson, W. F. Reeves, Robison, Pettifer (from Victoria), Miss Gordon, Revs. H. R. Dewsbury, P. R. Munro, F. M. Isitt, Messrs Sheppard, W. C. Smith, and G. J. Smith. The meeting was opened with devotional exercises. Tho President explained the purpose for which the meeting had been called, and said that already a number of women's names had been enrolled. She regretted the change iv the weather to wet, as otherwise there would doubtless have been a very large attendance. She was, however, pleased to see that so many had braved the storm, and on their account it had been decided by the Committee to carry through the arranged programme. In order that those who were not fully acquainted with the history of the movement for female suffrage, she glanced back to 1879, when the proposal first made its appearance in Parliament, and then she mentioned the different periods at which it had been again taken np 'and rejected or dropped, until it had at last become an established fact. She gave especial credit to Sir John Hall for his efforts, mentioned that the Women's Christian Temperance Union siuce its formation had strenuously fought for it, and denied che assertion that it had not been before the constituencies. She emphatically stated that women were in earnest over the matter, and concluded by saying that a woman should vote for the following reasons:—Her right to do so was logically involved in the constitutional right of a woman to occupy the British throne ; the acknowledgment of her right had been secured by men who believed hi her intelligence and good sense andfitnessto vote, and sheoughtnottodisappoint the confidence shown in her; her single vote might decide whether the better or the worse candidate should go to Parliament. The supporters of the drink traffic t which was the greatest source of domestic misery, had most violently resisted her right to **ote, and her vote was urgently needed to resist the baneful power of this traffic. Men who wanted to see better laws, better parliaments and happier homes, asked for her help to secure these good ends, and she ought not to withhold her vote. If she had to obey the laws she had a right to help to decide who should make them. Some social wrongs which women suffer would not be altered until women used their voting power. If she neglected to vote she made some one's vote on the other side count double. She was responsible for any public evils she did nob do her share to remove. God's command to ''remove the heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke," could sometimes be obeyed only at the ballot box. Her vote was most distrusted by those who had wrong purposes to serve, and therefore should be exercised as a terror to evil doers, and now that she had an acknowledged right to vote she would fail in her duty to her country if she did not use" it. (Applause.) Mr G. J. Smith said they had met to celebrate by a meeting of thanksgiving the granting of what women had claimed to be their right, and the women were to be congratulated upon having achieved it. The exercise of it would, he felt sure, be both for the moral and social prosperity of New Zealand, and there need be no apprehension as to any other result happening from it. The women would act just as wisely and as conscientiously as men, and perhaps better, and now it behoved every woman to have her name enrolled if she would wield her power. It was also necessary for her to see that her name appeared on the roll, as it wai rumoured that canvassers were abroad soliciting enrolment, and if the ladies were on the other Bide their forms were destroyed. Over and above their thankfulness to Parliameutand its members they were thankful to the Divine ruler of the universe who had guided the events which had brought about this result, and he was sure that the women would • recognise their responsibilities, and join with the men of the colony in striving to bring down legislation as would benefit the people morally, socially, and intellectually. (Loud applause). The Rev. H. R. Dewsbury moved— .*' That this meeting regards the enfranchisement of women as calling for an expression of gratitude to the Divine Ruler of events, and recognises that the suffrage is a sacred trust, to be prayerfully exercised for the advancement of every righteous cause." He spoke shortly in support of the motion, and mentioned that he had it on Sir Robert Stout's authority that.it was - probable the women would only 'have about- a week during which to enroll. Under such circumstances it behoved them to do so immediately. : < - - ■ - .-.■•-, The Rev. P. R. Munro seconded the resolution and complimented the ladies on the way they had managed the meeting, which was a denial of the woeful prognostication that when the women got the franchise their meetings would be sorry affairs managed in a seeming hysterical style. He waa grateful that right had triumphed over might, and asserted that the women approached the matter in an earnest and serious spirit, not at all in a captious or frivolous one. The motion was carried unanimously. Mrs Wilson (Hon. Secretary of the ! ! Women's Institute) moved—"That this I meeting accords to Sir John Hall, Mr Alfred Saunders, the Hons. R. Olliver, I Downie Stewart, Dr Pollen, and the other j sincere workers for the enfranchisement of j. women its appreciation of their valued I services, andhei.tily congratulates Sir John j Hall on having seen this reform carried before his retirement from political life." (Applause.) j She spoke upon the duties of woman in her [ ordinary life, and said those duties were j underrated. Through the low estimate of them misunderstandings arose which in time j would now doubtless be cleared away, and women's work in the rearing aud education I of her family and in other ways fully and 1 properly appreciated. She was quite conj vinced that women would exercise their right concientiou-ly for the advancement of all. In conclusion she desired to mention the earnest work of Mrs Sheppard, who3o name she would have liked to see included in the resolution. (Applause.) Mr Newton seconded the resolution, ! which was carried unanimously. On the motion ot the Rev. Mr Dewsbury and Mrs Willis votes of thanks were accorded to both Mrs Sheppard and Mrs Newton. A collection towards the expenses of the movement was then taken up, after which Mr Sheppard announced that during the afternoon and evening 600 names had been enrolled, and that it was proposed to inaugurate a political economy class in connection with the Canterbury Women's Institute. Mrs Pettifer, on behalf of the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Victoria, congratulated the women of New Zealand on tbe success they had achieved, and trusted it would not belong before Victoria followed the good example which had been set. The meeting closed by all present singing a verse of the National Anthem. [press association telegrams.) AUCKLAND, September 25. Women's franchise was referred to yesterday in most of the pulpits of the city. The Bishop of Auckland spoke eulogistically of the movement. Fifteen hundred women have been enrolled in the city. NEW PLYMOUTH, September 25. A large number of registration forms were issued by the Registrar of' Electors, to-day, for the purpose of registering women. A meeting of women has been convened for Thursday to • form a. Committee for registering every woman in the district. WOODVILLE, September 25. The women here have formed a Committee to canvass the district and place the names of their sex on the electoral roll. DUNEDIN, September 25. The enfranchisement of women was referred to in most of the city churches yesterday, the bulk of the clergy favouring the reform. Over 2000 claims have been lodged in the city. NELSON, September 25. A monster meeting of women was held at the Theatre Royal to-night. The gallery was crowded with men, aad the "test of tne

building waa crowded with woman. The Rev. ti. Bond (Wesleyan) was in the chair, and the speakers were Mra A, S. Atkinson, "Misa Crump, Mrs Tulloch, Mra Barker, Reva. Chattertou (Anglican), and T. Bray (Baptist). Tho meeting was moat orderly and enthusiastic, tho speeches being remarkably able. Mra Atkinson said their gratitude was duo to Sir J. Hall, Mr J« Ballance, Sir J. Vogel, Bir Harry Atkinson, Mr A. Saundors, Hon* Mr. Oliver, and mauy others. She hoped that women would so use their privilege and responsibility as to justify the action of the Legislature. Not many women knew tva much of politice aa men, but they could support morality and honesty, and she thought they could do good by raising tho general tone of the commuuity and make men see it waa not sory to be mean and sordid, but rather to thtuk of the good of tho whole country. They would iexpect upright, honest men, remembering that they could not expect* grapes from thistles. She urged that going t<l i the poll wa3 no more masculine than the sending of a telegram. The bout of th# I other speeches was that tho right to vote 1 entailed a great responsibility, and that Ik I should be directed to moral, social, and I religious advancement. Mr Chatterton said I that the objectors to women's franchise i asserted that women would bo influenced by i fads, faces, and feeliugs, aud urged that women should show that those who imagined this were wrong. Votes of thanks were accorded to those who had aided to secure women's franchise, and after singing the National Anthem many remained to sign claims for registration. During the meetiug a telegram offering congratulations was received from the Christchnrch meetiug. GAMAUU, September 25. A public meeting was held to-night, principally for the purpose of enrolling women. There was a good attendance, notwithstanding that the night was inclement. Speeches were delivered, and over 120 woman enrolled. A complete canvass of the district is to be made.

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Bibliographic details

WOMEN'S FRANCHISE., Press, Volume L, Issue 8597, 26 September 1893

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1,759

WOMEN'S FRANCHISE. Press, Volume L, Issue 8597, 26 September 1893

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