Free Trade in Females

 The Mormons are busy in our midst.

 The Christian henchmen of the capitalists are busy in their midst.

 At Birkenhead, where the meek ministers of the “gentle Jesus” are always fighting over something, there has been an anti-Mormon riot.

 The American Latter Day Saints want women for the Salt Lake market. The English Latter Day Saints want women for the home market. Now, polygamy is a horrible thing, against which the Christian raves. Promiscuity is a mere incident, regrettable but unavoidable.

 You remember how angry the Church was with that clergyman who married a Frenchwoman while his English wife still lived, undivorced from him. You can hardly have forgotten how indignant the Church was with one of its curates, the Rev. Smythe-Piggott, for living at the Abode of Love with several spiritually-spliced darlings. And you must have noticed how shocked the Church was with that vicar whose Lax conduct created so much scandal and with those other holy clerks who recently figured in divorce and affiliation cases.

But the Mormons are a great danger.

 They evidently offer certain sinister inducements to our women, for the latter are willing, nay eager, to go with them. And what are the counter-inducements to stay home?

Let us note some of them.

 At the Easter conference of Telephone employees, a delegate described the conditions under which telephone girls work:

       “They are slaves. They sit at the (operator’s) board and are driven as if they were slaves. These girls stand from nine to one and then from two to six. It is ruining the health of our girls. Large numbers of them are constantly off sick. Nervous prostration is what they suffer from. At one exchange in Manchester girls are taken downstairs in hysterics. Those girls will be the mothers of the future generation, and they are having their nerves absolutely torn away.”

 The Women’s Trade Union League has just exposed the conditions under which waitresses work:

       “Many are at work sixteen hours a day, and the general rule in almost all establishments is twelve hours a day on duty. Wages are very low — starvation wages. The girls in some places live in constant danger of the traps and pitfalls laid in their way by unscrupulous men.”

 Can it be that those base. unprincipled Mormons offer English women an existence in Utah which is not body-wearing, nerve racking, and soul-degrading, and that English women have so far forgotten the lessons of the Church as to prefer a polygamous marriage there to a life of sweating or prostitution here?

 If so, the thing must be stopped. We have only 80,000 acknowledged unfortunates, not including future peeresses, on London’s streets, and pro rata elsewhere. To relieve this market, ere it be quite congested, is a crime in the eyes of honest, virtuous Christian capitalism.

A. Hoskyns

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