June 13th, 1899

Meeting of Council,  June 13th 1899

9 Albert Square

Present Miss Bulley, Miss Cox, Miss Higginson, Miss Crompton, Miss Wilson, Mr. J. Harker, Mr. F. Entwistle, Mrs Redford, Mrs. Weiss, Canon Hicks, Mrs. Sidgwick, Mr. Brocklehurst

Apologies were received from Mr. Dickson, Mrs. Schwann, Rev. C. Peach, Miss Dodd, Miss Cooke, Mr. & Mrs. Hobhouse & Miss Ashton.

The minutes of the last meeting were read & passed.

The minutes of two Executive Committee meetings held on April 11th & May 2nd were also read to the Council.

It was reported that a further interview with  Messrs. Bradshaw & Blacklock  on March 20th  had resulted in an advance of  wages of 1s per week by  which thirty three additional workers would benefit.  The number of workers who had received an advance of one shilling per week through the instrumentality of the union was now seventy three.

Mrs. Dickenson then stated that the Linotype girls had resolved to take no further steps for the present in regard to securing an advance in the minimum rate of wages from 8s to 10s as none of the girls were now being put on the 8s wages.

It was further stated that a deputation had been received from the London Cigar Makers Union who were proposing to organise the women cigar makers of Manchester, & asked for the help of the Council.

Miss Bulley then said that Mrs. Schwann had received the resignation of Mrs. W.  J.  Arnold from the Council on account of her departure from Manchester.  It was a matter of great regret to Mrs. Arnold to resign from the Council in whose work she was greatly interested.  Miss Bulley moved & Mr. Entwistle seconded a cordial vote of thanks to Mrs. Arnold for the valuable  work which she had done for the Council, coupled with regret.  Carried unanimously.

Canon Hicks moved and Miss. Crompton seconded that Mrs. Arnold be asked to become a Vice-President of the Council.  Carried unanimously.

It was then stated that the Women's Industrial Council had invited the Council (M. S. &D.) to send representatives to an informal conference which would be held on June 23rd, to discuss without passing any resolutions, and without reporting to the press,

a.  the promotion of Home Work regulations

b. desirable lines & methods of investigation

The Council resolved that if any member of  the Executive Committee could attend the conference they should be appointed to do so.  Miss Ashwell was instructed to make enquiries.

Miss Ashwell then read a letter from the Secretary of the Women's Trade Union League drawing attention to the proposals of the select Committee on Old Age Pensions.  The Select Committee seemed to be in favour of granting pensions to persons of 65 years of age, subject to certain thrift  tests such as the membership of a friendly society, or the possession of an annuity.  It was pointed out (in the letter) that as in the vast majority of cases the wages of women who work are not sufficient to permit of a proper standard of living apart from any suggestion of saving, such contributory schemes are among other reasons undeserving of support on the grounds of their injustice to women.

Miss Cox moved and Mr. Entwistle seconded: that no scheme of Old Age Pensions would be either just or expedient which demanded prior contributions from women, their wages being in general too low to admit of savings being made.  Carried.

Miss Ashwell was instructed to forward the resolution to the President of the Local Government Board.  Whitehall.

Miss Ashwell & Mrs. Dickenson then withdrew & left the Council to discuss a question of arrangements.  Miss Bulley said that Miss Ashwell desired to have a holiday of three months during the summer, and that she was expecting to be married later in the year.  She also wished to know whether the Council were likely to be willing for her to continue in office as Secretary after marriage.

After consideration it was moved by Miss Wilson, and seconded by Mrs. Redford, and carried unanimously:-“that the recommendation of the Executive Committee with regard to Miss Ashwell’s holiday be confirmed (a holiday of about three months to be granted) and that in view of the value of her services in the past the Council is glad to learn that they may be continued after her approaching marriage.”

A.W. Flux