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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleMoyes, Helen
Ref No8SUF/B/054
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 12
Date19 Aug 1975
Extent125:00 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biography for Helen Moyes
DescriptionInterview took place at 264 The Boulevarde, Miranda, Sydney, Australia. (Born Helen Fraser). Also see interviews 8SUF/B/055 and 8SUF/B/058.

Interview summary:

0:00 mins:
Her family: mother a supporter of the suffrage movement; father encouraged workers to join unions - Mannie Shinwell spoke in favour of him in a meeting. Progressive political ethos of the family: political debates over dinner; her brother George was President of the Dialectic at Glasgow University and later became town Clerk of Aberdeen; her brother Norman died during the First World War. Knew Gilchrist. Through him met George Barnes and the Labour men. Ethel Snowdon. Father religious: ran Sunday school. Fraser sisters prominent in community. Sister Anne died of cancer - she was an actress and suffragist. Family supported women's suffrage. Literary family.

15:00 mins:
Read George Meredith. Friends with the Buckland family. Rode in hansom carriages. Enjoyed dancing. Baby-visiting in poorer districts in Glasgow. 'Boots for the Bairns' campaign. Gave her whole life to the suffrage campaign. Spent alot of time away from home. Spent time with Lewis's in Cardiff. Heard Teresa Billington speak and this inspired her to join the suffrage campaign. Mrs. Pankhurst at the City Hall [Glasgow ?]. First public speaking. Domestic duties and looking after children. Didn't join Women's Freedom League over issues of stone-throwing and violence. Millicent Fawcett asked her to join the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), which she did. Moyes's reputation as a suffragist in Scotland and England. Respect for Millicent Fawcett.

30:00 mins:
Wrote article in 'Daily Record' denouncing violence. Christabel Pankhurst pushed to the front of the movement. Annie Kenney. Artists and musicians in the Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU). Different running of the WSPU and NUWSS. Margaret Corbett-Ashby. NUWSS better organised at a grassroots level. Pankhurst anti-state. Moyes organised by-election for the NUWSS at Hexham and elsewhere. Role as an 'organisers.' Travelled the country giving lectures. Knew about Scottish law. Speech giving. Influence of father on public speaking style.

45:00 mins:
Moyes's education. Praise for Scottish education system. Mother's working and organisational skills. No ill-feeling from WSPU for leaving. Difference between English and Scottish audiences when lecturing. Quality of Scotland, particularly Aberdeen. Trips to London. Worked in Wales, built up organisation in Cardiff. NUWSS Pilgrimage in 1913. Trouble in Camborne, Cornwall. Caravan tours in Scotland. Leila Stewart.

60:00 mins:
Pilgrimage to London with South Wales contingent, including Aneurin Williams. Friendly atmosphere of pilgrimage. Criticism of militant tactics in delaying getting the vote. Mutual respect within suffrage movement despite tactical differences. Worked for the Ministry of Food in the First World War and received equal pay. Influence of suffrage work on later career. Criticism of First World War in the NUWSS. Worked in America, France and returned to America, 1918. Lord Reading. Asked to stand for Parliament at Armistice time. Position as commissioner on National Savings. Earned money from freelance writing.

75:00 mins:
Work for Kensington Council for seven years. Women's professions: in government, law and care. Political views shifted to right. Liberals asked her to stand for Kelbridge Road but declined. Loyalty to Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Views on the split in the NUWSS over family allowances. National savings work. Standing as Liberal candidate at Govan. Friend of Lloyd George. Mitrinovitch and his influence on culture and his good company.

90:00 mins:
Her religious beliefs. John Severn. Percy Knight. Friendship with Robert Hall. 'Real Christianity.' Interest in theosophy. Launching 'Books Across the Sea' from Australia. Influence of First World War on her political career. Active in international political scene. Representations of the First Wave women's movement. Post-war difficulties in the women's movement: factionalisation and role of church in breakdown of the movement.

105:00 mins:
Pickton-Turberville. Partisan breakdown of the women's movement. Resentment at the way the Labour Party treated her when standing at Hamilton. Lady Astor. Moyes's networking. George Bernard Shaw. Her ambivalent relationship to the birth control movement and refusal to include it in speeches. Her move to Australia. Did not want to marry and have children young. Desire to be independent. Her view of the correct political strategy for National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship (NUSEC). Omission of Australian experience from her autobiography. 'Women and War Work' book, comprised from her speeches. Book admired by members of the women's movement in Germany.
Related Record8SUF/B/055
Access StatusOpen
Former Reference NumberTape 16
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