Deserted Wives

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Deserted Wives is an article published in the Daily Mail on 16 april 1920, including a part of a speech by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Deserted Wives

Daily Mail (16 april 1920, p. 8)


Much public interest has been aroused by the defeat in the House of Commons on Wednesday night of the motion to give effect to the "easier divorce" recommendations of the Royal Commission.

The following views on the vote were given to this journal last night.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, president of the Divore Law Reform Union: "I think the whole thing is deplorable. We shall stiffen our backs and redouble our efforts to achieve success. I cannot believe that Lady Astor's views represent those of the women of this country, and I am shocked by what she said, since she was not a member of the Commission like Lady Frances Balfour and Miss Tennent, who found what the popular feeling was like. We shall have another chance later on."

Lady Askwith, the well-known social worker: "I do not quite like the three years' desertion clause in the Buckmaster Bill, for I think it a little too short a time, but I agree generally with the remainder of the measure. I am somewhat doubtful, however, of the wisdom of making adultery the same for both sexes, because the consequences are much more serious in regard to women."

Mrs. M. L. Seaton-Tiedeman, hon. secretary of the Divorce Law Reform Union, writes: "Women will go on being deserted without the remotest possibility of being able, in a vast number of cases, either to trace the man or prove adultery — desertion which may cover long periods of years, with immense suffering to them, and which keeps them for ever tied to a husband who has gone out of their lives, leaving them often with his children to support. And yet relief for desertion was the clause most vigorously attacked in the House of Commons."