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Edith How-Martyn to Margaret Sanger, January 29, 1932

Dublin Core


Edith How-Martyn to Margaret Sanger, January 29, 1932


International Birth Control Conference (7th)
Stutzin, Katharina
How-Martyn, Edith
Dearmer, Percy
Guy, Gerda Sebbelov
Johnson, Olive M.
Osservatore Romano (journal)
Martin, Marjorie
Buckmaster, Stanley Owen
McCardie, Henry
Royden, Maude
Millard, Killick


How-Martyn summarizes efforts to combat Catholic opposition to birth control in England, the reception of the proceedings of the Seventh International Birth Control Conference, evaluates the work on Katharina Stutzin, and discusses organizing conferences in London, Greece and Switzerland.


How-Martyn, Edith


Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress (Microfilm)




Hajo, Cathy Moran (metadata)
Collens, Jackie (transcription)


A good faith effort was made to identify the rights holder. Please contact the BCI if you have any information on the rights holder.








MSP, LC 15:189


London, England
Berlin, Germany

Text Item Type Metadata


Mrs. Margaret Sanger Slee,
2424, Wyoming Avenue,
Washington, D.C.

29th. January 1932.

Dearest Margaret,

In addition to this letter I am sending a little personal one in reply to your most interesting letter. I cannot help hoping that the result of your winter in Washington will be to set you free for devoting more of your time to the International movement. India, China and Japan are the places where we ought to be at work.

I do hope you will be able to get to Russia and if you were traveling 3rd. Class, I might be able to raise the money to come with you. Of course, on your way back you will come to England, and both Gerda and I want to prepare something really worth while to push the movement on while you are.

The Roman Catholic situation here is annoying, but not so serious as it appears to be with you. Recently the Bishop of Birmingham and Dr. Percy Dearmer, Canon of Westminster, have preached sermons in favour of birth control. To both of them I have sent copies of your “Motherhood in Bondage”. Canon Dearmer was really coached by Olive Johnson and a medical doctor friend of the Information Centre. Since then he has been attacked by the Vatican organ, “Osservatore Romano”. He is fully alive to the nuisance of Roman Catholicism and says in his last letter to us:--“It is of urgent importance at this moment that we should make everyone understand the way in which the Press is being muzzled and used for very subtle Roman Catholic propaganda.” In confidence I may tell you that he told us that although he had expected to receive a flood of letters protesting against his sermon, he received only one—from a Roman Catholic lady—which is remarkably significant of the change in public opinion during these last few years.

We are delighted to hear that the Zurich Proceedings are going very well. We have sent a copy for review to the medical press and to the Eugenics Review, but have only sold one copy. I do not think anyone would at all mind the non-medical part being cut out and it is obviously so much better for the movement to have got it issued by a medical publishing firm.

The Conference at Athens has been postponed on account of the economic difficulties in so many countries. The Women’s International League is having a Conference at Vevey, Switzerland in May and I am hoping that Marjorie Martin will be able to go, but if we can raise the money—about $45, I shall go.

I am very interested in what you say about Kate Stutzin, but I do not think of her as a leader in the way you do. I read your letter to Gerda without any comment, to see what she would say, and in her downright fashion she said:--“I don’t agree with Margaret. Kate Stutzin is too engrossed in the part she is doing personally to have a balanced view of the whole movement.”

The most important thing we have got on hand is the Confidential Conference at the American Women’s Club on March 17th. to which we hope to get Lord Buckmaster and possibly Justice McCardie. We also have Dr. Maude Royden and Dr. Killick Millard, and we are inviting representatives from the Embassies and Legations in London. Gerda got an introduction to see Count Bernsdorff, the German Ambassador, who told her in confidence that she need not try to convert him, as he was already in favour. He has promised to come if he possibly can, and to give her introductions to other Ambassadors. Do please, as our President, send a message, which I will read to the Conference.

Greetings from all here,

E. H.-M. dictated this to me with the intention of signing it herself. But she is so up to her eyes with work, in connection with disposing of the business of which she told you some time ago, and with her mother ill at Cheltenham for the past month and not expected to live, that she has had to run off. She goes down to Cheltenham again early tomorrow morning for the weekend. She is very cheerful, however, in spite of it all.

With best wishes,
Olive Johnson

Original Format

Typed letter, signed by secretary