From Liberal to Labour with Women's Suffrage: The Story of Catherine Marshall

By Jo Vellacott | Go to book overview

15 All Parties Consider Boarding
the Bandwagon, and the
Election That Never Came,
April to August 1914

However much encouragement Catherine felt at the affirmation she had been given by the NU council at the end of April 1914, she was overwhelmed by the work confronting her after the council. Millicent Fawcett, Alice Clark, Maude Royden, and Kathleen Courtney were all going abroad for a month. Catherine was desperate enough to send H.N. Brailsford "a piteous cry for help," as she called it.

I shall be left to cope single-handed with any crises that may arise and to take partial responsibility for the running of the Common Cause. My courage fails me at the prospect. It was quite bad enough when they were all away at B[uda] P[est] last year for only a fortnight. I do not want any of the four to know how much I dread them all going out of reach, because 3 of them at any rate need a holiday very badly. But I have been casting round in my mind to think whom I can turn to for help if things go wrong, or if any very important decisions have to be made; and I can think of no one who could in any sense replace the absentees except yourself. May I appeal to you at need to come and discuss things? . . . it would be an immense relief to my mind if I knew you could and would help with advice in an emergency. 1

Specifically, Catherine mentioned "a legacy of trouble from the events which necessitated the calling of our Special Council," a possible serious quarrel with the Scottish federation, "federal schemes" (referring to Scottish, Welsh, and Irish Home Rule) which were developing apace, and a "very interesting, but very difficult, question"

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