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English Servant Girl Would Em?l?teXady Astor
Jessie Stephens Has Announced
Her Candidacy for a Seat in
the House of Commons
By Ralph Courtney
s 1-^ T OW I'm ?U out for poli
^^j tics, and I'm hoping
for a seat at Westmin?
ster before very long
0 the lal or vote."
Thus the British servant girl poli?
tician Jessie Stephens announces
her plans for the future. Four short
years brought Jessie from the ob
Ei irity of the back parlor into the
limelight of world politics. Now,
she moves among the great on? ? of
the earth. Lloyd George has winced
ui der her stinging words at labor
: et ngs, and the great Albert Hall,
1 . ' thousand persons has
filled by popular demonstra
r tns in which Miss Stephens played
t! ?- '.-_d!r.g part.
A tall, slight girl, her face alive
?-. th ir.telliigence and framed with
t irk dark hair, Miss Jessie Ste
? ena !*! a personality not easily for
_'??-?.. When she speaks her deep
?'*. her earnest manner lighted
by flashes of humor, make it a pleas
i.:-e to listen to what she has to say.
?reive years ago Jessie Stephens
? tere | n r domestic career at
.- of work," she
?ays, "and ( .-??- i could earn
.-. service were needed to keep the
For seven years s d a3 a
- ai ?. She b< g -. kitchen
: through all the sta
... ,., . -,ag
I," then "general,"
. general," a :. finall;
;. ?' into "od<
n the war broke out uhe be
ga tot ' f ne?? | "sibil i ties
- ? ? 'ter in a
c warehouse and irove a
threi ton lorry in Glasgow, her na?
? : ? f t h i s ti me she wa s
endeavoring 1 . er fellow
-v- .;?? rs. The :i < ci urred to her
e;.. v her career that a trade
.: y for ti e prof.ee
? ? ? :' . ?estic servants. Condi
i v *e i ? tl same before the
war . , and doi lest ic servants
were not the independent individu?
als they are to-day.
Knows by Experience
Miss Stephens, herself, suffered
no less than others.
"The rir^t bedroom in which I
sien*, in service," she says, "had a
tar-macadam floor like the pave?
ment, paper peeling off from damp,
I i nt going mouldy, and hardly any
"I- another place the bed was
in n cupboard off the kitchen where
there was no ventilation and no
room for anything but the bed.
"I had a friend in the house of
a tuberculosis specialist. He had
four maids who all slept in one
room downstairs, under the level of
the pavement. The room was also
fested with rats."
Miss Stephens's departure from
her profession, however, was not
entirely voluntary. Domestic serv?
ice finally became too hot for her.
Her employers got wind of her
cctivities and at first treated them
'-1 ith amused leniency until they dis?
covered that the young woman
(> LENN L. MARTIN, airplane
y manufacturer and president
of the Glenn L. Martin Com?
pany of Cleveland, believes it will
be several years before a regular
air service is maintained between
Europe and America with heavier
'han air machines.
"If a single^airplane can dash
across the Atlantic ocean, a trans?
continental service, with 'planes cov?
er ng the route in relays, may be re?
lied upon absolutely," he said. "The
dirigible balloon of 2,000,000 cubic
feet, ?f gas may be relied upon for
commercial transatlantic service at
"I am convinced that the ordinary
?irplane can be used successfully to
maintain a thirty hour service be?
tween New York and San rranc'sco.
One ton of freight could be trans?
ported daily and with the same cer?
tainty that has.attended the trans
n ssion of mail between Cleveland
U..U < il.CUL'O." 1
! really meant business, and then they
1 discharged her. But she had mean
I while come in contact with the Do
1 mestic Servants' Trade Union, and,
after the war, she entered it as a
full fledged "professional agitator."
She is now their organizing secre?
tary, in addition to which she
is the local organizing secre?
tary of the National Federation of
Worn":*. Workers in Bermondsey.
So successful was she in her reform
work in Bermondsey that she was
made a poor law guardian last
I April. Last month lier popularity
carried her into the Borough
Council whereto she was elected
third on a list of six. Mow that her
? ?i career is turning so favor
ably there ia' every likelihood that
she will climb to Parliament at the
1 Is Getting Ready
"When I have had some more ad
i ministrative experience on the
' Borough Council." she tells hei
[ friends, "I shall be ready for West?
Asked her views on the servant
question, Miss Stephens said:
"I ' ?nsider that the condition o:
d ?mestic service in England needs t?
be altered. Putting aside thos
which prevail in exceptional situa
tiens, the hours are too long and no
enough free time is allowed. Man;
girls may not crave for time t
tu? ;.". but they do desire free tim
o enable them to have some life oui
I h ir work. It is right tha
? ?; should have it. and wise froi
the employer's point of view thi
"I have met mistresses who er
couraged their maids to read, drav
paint, learn some musical instrv
ment; who regarded the girl first s
a human being and secondly as a sei
?ant But there are many wh
ft m unconsciously, can see nothir
in the servant but a sen-ant?a kit*
of flesh, and blood vacuum cleane
Often mistresses are merely though
less, not intentionally unkind, bt
the result, ia the same.
Train the Mistress. Too
"I feel very deeply that the d
mestic worker should be trained f
her profession and that the employ
should also be trained for hers.
"A girl marries; ehe is young ai
has led the sheltered life of a well-t
i do young woman. She has no re
' knowledge of life; she does not kne
how to be authoritative without giv?
ing offense; she cannot understand
the difficulties, the temptations of
tha life of a working girl: and,
. further, more often than not, sha
-, does not everf understand the duties
i of a housewife. She tries to teach
For Ten-Hour Day
Miss Stephens, who was a mem?
ber of the committee appointed by
the Ministry of Reconstruction to
consider the domestic service prob?
lem, reported that the day .' the
i domestic should consist of ten hours'
?work and two hours for meals S ie
? should also have two hours for rec?
reation, and during those two hours
she should be really free. SI ?
lieves, nevertheless, that domestic
employment cannot be organized in
the same way as industrial work.
There cannot be hard and fast rules,
although there must be "a derrite
: groundwork on which employer and
. employee can build."
i She is in favor of a fixed scale of
: minimum wages regulated according
to the length of training and skill of
the worker; she also considers that
, there should be some central organ?
ization with branch organizations
? for the benefit of the domestic
? worker, and that these institutions
would also prove a benefit to the em?
"At the root of the servant prob?
lem." explains Miss Stephens, "there
lies a distorted idea in the minds of
the employer as to the value of vari?
ous services to the community. If it
were true that we prized our homes
so highly, we should not feel that
untrained and ill-paid women were
fit to work in them."
One of the servant reforms that
Miss Stephens is agitating most
strongly is a rule that girls are not
to go out to work before sixteen
years of age. She says:
"However good a mistress is, a
girl needs her mother before that
I age. I was nearly sixteen myself
: when I went to service, but I was
Miss Stephens looks forward to
! the time when she will have secured
i state aid for schools to train young
girls between the ages of fourteen
Would Train Girls
"If a girl leaves school at four?
teen, she is too young to go into
service. She is taken away from her
i mother's care just when she needs it
most. Such a girl, if trained for
; two years, would at sixteen enter
service stronger mentally and physi?
cally, and with a good working
knowledge of the duties she will br
expected to perform. Under presen'
conditions working parents canno
afford to keep their girls so Ion;
financially unproductive. Sucl
1 training would in the end prove a
national economy. The work of a
good servant is of value to the
I nation, and later on when that aerv
| pnt married her training would be
i invaluable to her a3 housewife and
I mother. I cansider, too, that dur
| ing the training period unsuitable
? girls, whose conduct appears likely
! to bring discredit on the profession,
! should be refused further instruc
! tion, and thereby the status of the
I service would be improved."
Miss Stephens is full of ideas
j which she is now on the way to
accomplish. As a specialist on one
? of the most baffling national prob
; lems she has already gone far toward
| fame, and when from further con
I tact with political life her outlook
| broadens, she may develop into one
j of the political forces of the coun
! try. If her meteoric career con
I tinues as fast as it ' as begun she
will not have to wait long for wide
[ recognition** and may develop he
Left. Miss Jessie Stephens, tiir English servant who
has announced ?ter candidacy for the House of Com?
mons; below, Viscountess Rhondda, who has been de?
nied admission, to the House of Lords, and her hus?
band. Sir Humphrey Macktcorth
the first lady minister if a labor
government comes into power in
THE BIRD OF PASSAGE-A French War Story
Translated by William L. McPherson
(Copyright, 1919, New York Tribune Inc.)
Here is a war ?tory written tm'h distinction of style and a fine imaginative restraint.
WHEN the ocean rages against
the cliffs the great bird of
the sea appears. The spread
of his wings seems doubled in the
teeth of the hurricane which sus?
tains them. All admire this van?
quisher of the tempes*, th?3
herald of the sailors. So these hon?
est people admired Lieutenant Le
? brun, a Legionary who had retired
I from the legion to become com?
mander of the 1st Company of the
!0th Infantry Regiment. That was
the company in which the son of
the family fought.
Lebrun had no relatives and on
each leave he came to see his little
i Breton soldier's father, mother and
- sister. With a smile on his bronzed
face he said to them:
"Don't worry. I have been through
many dangers. Twenty-five years
of service, six campaigns, four
wounds- but am I not still
He tapped his chest, on which his
! many medals were strung, and
Marie, the peasant girl, who wept
i each night when she thought of the
war, opened wide her little Breton
eyes. She poured out cider so that
tho hero would go on talking. So
long as he talked she had no fears
for her brother.
"I will bring him back to you. On
the faith of Lebrun, he will march
under the Arc de Triomphe."
But the little brother didn't
i march under the Arc de Triomphe.
t?ia first wound was fatal.
[ ". )on't cry, little girl. When he
was about to die ha said to me:
'Lieutenant, you must care for my
little sister, who is waiting for me
down there.' I loved him like a
child. And I love you, mademoi?
? ? ?
The armistice was signed. The
battles were ended. The great sea
bird had folded his wings.
"Don't call me Lebrun. At
Biskra my legionaries said: 'Old
Philibert is in a goo?l humor to-day.'
Don't you want me to be in a good
humor to-day? In six months I
shall have my pension. With my
cross that is something to go on.
And I don't balk at work.''
They were on the beach, and
Marie held on with both hands to
her cap, buffeted by the wind.
"Little maiden, say yes. Your
mamma and papa treat me like a
son and your grandmamma spoils
me. They will be happy if you ?ml
that little hand in this big paw ol
She couldn't put her little hare
in his big paw because she was hold
ing on to her cap.
"I don't say no. You must asl
them this evening, Monsieur Le
Then he pought to encircle he
with his arm. But she was mor
; elusive than the wind. She escapei
him and ran to the villnge. Follow
ing her, Lebrun envied the repos?
fulness of the little houses grouped
;u the shadow of the rocks.
"Knd up here!" he said to him?
self. "It is high time, my good fel?
low. '? You have saved your skin so
far. Make sure of the rest of your
He smoothed out his coat, straight?
ened his cap and twisted his mus?
tache. Correct, impeccable, he en?
tered the hall where the grand?
mother, the mother and the father
"Here I am. Lebrun, lieutenant,
twenty-five years in the service,
twenty years in the Legion, six cam?
paigns, four wounds; the military
medal in 1912, the Legion of Honor
in 1917, the Croix de Guerre, with
seven palms and three stars. Such
as I am. I ask you for the hand of
But the grandmother, the mother
and the father all shrugged their
"Docs that mean that you say
no? The boy died in my arms, re?
There was a heavy silence.
"You can ask my chiefs. If I am
sometimes stubborn and wilful, my
heart is there. It is a good heart.
Do you want to see my papers? Not
.--.ngle punishment for which a
brave man should blush. You have
nothing to say? Listen, papa. I
haven't had a happy life. I haven't
saved up thousands or hundreds.
But you can search my record.
. i here is but une word written in
the pages of that book: 'Duty.''
Doesn't that satisfy you?"
"I don't say no," murmured the
: old man.
"But you don't say yes. Listen,
mamma. I have traveled the world.
Wherever there was fighting I was
there. When the little girl will be
left alone I shall be here."
"I don't say no," the mother an?
"But you don't say yes. Listen,
grandmamma. I wasn't born when
your husband went away to fight.
But since 1870, while you were talk?
ing against the Germans, I was
working for the country. Isn't that
' worth considering?"
"I don't say no," murmured the
"But you don't say yes."
Thumping on his chest, he con?
"You don't care to have me settle
down with you! That worries you.
It's true that I haven't a cent."
"It isn't that." said the grand?
"I understand that I am a good
for-nothing?that I am only fit to
"We don't say that," murmured
the mother. "We are afraid."
"Afraid of what?"
"Here one must take things as
"Take things as they are? I'm
not accustomed to that."
"Thai's the point. We work hard
here every day. You haven't the
habit of working."
Lebrun bent his head.
"So, it's no? But I have on my
side lier brother, who intrusted her
The old man stiffened up.
"You mustn't speak of the dead.
What one says at moments like that
and what he really thinks are two
different things. You aren't of our
sort, lieutenant. You would . be
bored here?you who have spent
your life in Africa. And the little
one would be unhappy."
"It is true that she likes you,"
said the grandmother. "But she is
afraid? she, too."
? . *
Lebrun seized the back of his
(hair. Was he going to smash it?
He put it down again. Then, sit?
ting on it, with his elbows on his
knees, he exclaimed :
"It's hard on me."
The old people looked at him fur?
tively, almost tenderly. They re?
membered that their boy had died
in his arms.
"That's why we don't like war,"
said the old man.
"I have made ?t all my life,'
growied Lebrun. "I shall continue
to make it. There are still coun?
tries where they are fighting."
"P_o_I_ o-Biitn't to be made un
happy," muttered the grandmother.
"It's better to keep apart when you
aren't of the same sort."
"All the same, we'll drink a glass
of cider," said the old man.
"All the same, certainly," an
When they were grouped around
the table Mari?? entered, bringing
the cider pitcher.
"Mademoiselle Marie, I'm going
f.way. I'm going to take Service in
She turned pale.
"It isn't my fault."
"To your health, Mademoiselle
Marie. Your parents are right.
Every one must go his own way.
To your happiness, Mademoiselle
She left the room. The door
'lammed. The wind roared about
"May Cod keep you!" said
He departed, struggling against
the gale. As he reached the beach
Marie joined him.
"I ask "your pardon."
He drew her toward him.
"C'ome along with me."
"I dare not."
"In spite of all," he said, "my
life is beautiful."
She cried out, "Let me go," and
He ?hrugged his shoulders. Again
he faced the tempest. But sud?
denly the little village appeared
humdrum to him. He smelt the
battle afar. So he went toward hi;
.._,-,....?.. '..hiatlir.tr. as was his -An.-*
In the Mean Time, Viscountess
Rhondda Is Hammering at the
Door of the House of Lords
a peeress in her own right,
has been prevented by her
fellow barons from sitting
with them in the British House of
Lords. She is entitled to do so
under every heading except for the
fact that she is a woman. Smarting
under her rejection, she is deter?
mined to have her revenge. When
the Lords refused to adir.it her
among their number she declared
to The Tribune correspondent:
"I now regard it as my mission in
iife to get into the House of Lords."
The Lord3 took their decision to
keep their august assembly petti
coatless on the eve of Lady Aster's
election to the House of Commons.
Those in the know were already pre?
dicting a 5,000 majority f -r Lady
Astor. The Lords refused to take
this lead, and now it is to be a fight
to a finish between them and Lady
The British House of Commons is
less conservative on the woman
question. A bill dealing with the
disability of women was passed
through their body with compara?
tive case. Many positions in the
legal profession and the civil service
were thereby thrown open to women,
and a clause was inserted enabling a
woman to sit in the upper house.
Venerable peers held up their
hands in horror at such a rev
ary prospect and took immediate ac?
tion when the bill came to them in
"Women may hold any posts they
like," said the Lord -, in substance,
"so long as they do not inva ?
Si the Lords assenf ? '. to the whole
of tt:e bill with tho exception ?-;' the
one offending clause. Visco
i' la t hu* lost the first roui : ?:'
he- fight for a position in the most
deeply intrenched stronghold of Brit?
But they arc not likely to suci e< I
in keening women out for long.
England's super-woman seldpm
threatens what she cannot perform.
But she will have an uphill strug?
gle. Little help will come frc . the
Commons at present, for they have
decided not to fight the Lords on
the question of the rejected oro
vision. Their excuse was that tie
long projected "reform" of the
House of Lords might materialize
at any time now and that the qu-\s
iion could wait until then.
Lady Rhondda places little faith
in the "Lords' reform" and is re?
signed to fighting her own battle.
"About ten years ago," she told
The Tribune, "during the great con?
troversy between the two Houses
when the powers of the Lords were
curtailed, there was a strong feel?
ing that the upper house could not
continue as constituted at present.
I have the impression, however,
that this question is no longer the
burning one that it was and that
: the proposed reforms may take
some time. I do not propose to wait
so long if I can help it.
| "I have been convinced by bitter
experience that it is imperative to
have ladies in the House of Lords.
The woman's point of view must b *
put by a woman. Nothing short of
. this can be satisfactory. It is all
, very well to say that men can deal
equally well with questions affect?
ing women. They can't. The pres?
ent methods of getting anything
done in Parliament for women are
slow and cumber-'"
The Present Process
"For instance, if I want to brine
before Parliament a question in
: which women are interested I have,
first of all, to find a peer ? nember
? ho ia suffi ? fcly amiabl to un
dertaki I ? d > 'r. This 1 time
Then the next five weeks or more
i are taken up in coaching him on a
j question in which perhaps he is not
j specially interested. Even so, dur
, ing the whole period of the debates
: you are in a continual state of
j anxiety for fear the whole question
j may be prejudiced through some
slip due to lack of knowledge.* With
women in the national legislature
> all this trouble can be a
? - .- d for her opinion concern?
ing Lady Astor' led j, Lad;
Rl V i a .
"She 1 ? : - t help. 1 am
[elightC'l to -'"? tier So ?
.vould hav? ? mo
the I ?mn i - I an - - : she is a
great favorite with e1 ? y one.''
N'ot far fr the House of Lords,
w] eh she has vowed to enter, Lady
Ri h ? la has her s ;:'?? of offi?
She has hosen the ' ? I r of ;?
buildii g over mo of 1 on
don! V : . ? , and
. room, more 1 :?? .i ?tud
an office, possessing
'.?.-? V as " V"'.-. s
probably is the lighte ' office in
London. Dr? ssed : a black
off ii ? -.i- ess, Lady I ond i ts in
the fa r corner of 1 la .
i desk of modest
' ; tie a large open '1 c burr s in < he
crate. From here she directs the
n any pies into which sh? is been
:.-. ted to place her fi ... Sh has
just completed arra t en -
ter the board of dir ??.? ors of
"Lysagts," one of Britain - century
old iron companies.
Asked whether n a ij otl r Eng
women \ ?v ing her ex?
ample hi I tak ig ' i fu unce in a
large v aj. Lady Rl i I la --?. I :
"Yes. t;:. rc are a gi eat many.
You don't hear niu of t n, but.
I can assure you t a i imber of
women have entered upo ? large
Lady Rhondda says she has re?
turned fron v erica with many
pleasant recollections. Shed dined
to state her views on l senate's
rejection of the peace treaty, but
'believes that the league of nations
is the greatest ideal of the present
"It is probably the greatest ideal
! that this generation will see."
While in America Lady Rhondda
studied the labor question there
j and came away with the opinion
| that on the whole, the lal or "roubles
? were greater in America ?han in
| England. "But we tak* ours more
j seriously, I think, than you do
I yours," she commented. "In my
opinion, broadly speaking, *he renf
' edy for all labor as well as of
?all international differences lies in
i the two sides becoming better
Reverting to politics. Lady Rhond?
da declared in answer to a further
question that if offered the op?
portunity of contesting a seat in
the House of Commons at the next
general election, she would prob?
"I prefer to stick to my mission
of entering the House of Lord-'."
A n im a Is Pre ten ding
IN MILITARY stables horses are
known to have pretended to be
lame in order to avoid going to
a military exercise. A chimpanzee
had been fed on cake when sick.
After his recovery he often feigned
coughing in order to procure dain?
The cuckoo, as is well known, lays
its eggs in another bird's nest, and,
to make the deception surer, ?t
takes away one of the other b.rd's
eggs. Animals are conscious of
their deceit, as is shown by the fact
that they try to act secretly and
noiselessly; they show a sense of
guilt if detected; they take precau?
tions in advance to avoid discovery:
in some cases they manifest regret
and repentance. Thus,
steal hesitate often beforfe and after
thai* explojf*, as if they feared