Search using this query type:

Search only these record types:


Advanced Search (Items only)

Edith How-Martyn to Margaret Sanger, October 18, 1932

Dublin Core


Edith How-Martyn to Margaret Sanger, October 18, 1932


How-Martyn, Edith
Haire, Norman
Popprová-Molínková, Karla
Palmer, Florence
Guy, Gerda Sebbelov
Mehta, Jivraj N.
Voge, Cecil B.
Dearmer, Percy
World League for Sexual Reform Congress, Brno (1933)
Czechoslovakia Ministry of Health
Společnost pro Plánování Rodiny a Sexuální Výchovu (Czechoslovakian Birth Control Society)
Capetown Birth Control Clinic


How-Martyn writes about the issues facing birth control in India as well as a potential international conference, a new birth control clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, and the progress of birth control in Czechoslovakia.


How-Martyn, Edith


Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress (Microfilm)




Filion, Laura (metadata and 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 15:339-41


London, England
Capetown, South Africa
Brno, Czechoslovakia
Prague, Czechoslovakia

Text Item Type Metadata


18th. October 1932.

Dearest Margaret,

I should like to have your direction about the "Birth Control Review". We had a request from the Editor for a report of the Brno Conference, and we have referred her to Dr. Haire. We could have sent her a report compiled from Mme. Popprova's letters and also a copy of the paper we sent, but I have not done this, as I should very definitely like to have your opinion and instruction on the matter of supplying copy to the "Birth Control Review".

The copy of your book that we sent to Mrs. Palmer (Florence) has arrived safely, and she has sent me a very nice letter of thanks. She says :- "It's a remarkable human document, one which I shall take pride in lending to my friends far and near, now that I have made its contents my own. What a wonderful little person she really is and against what terrific odds she had to work, specifically in our own United States." As she also expressed interest in own Appeal and Dearmer leaflets, which we slipped into the parcel, we have sent her further information about our international work in the hope that she may be moved to become a member or put us on to other people who might be interested.

Dr. Haire, from whom we heard the other day, asks us to send you his kind regards.

We are enclosing a cutting from Durrant's which contains a reference to "The New Motherhood".

We were all delighted to hear from Gerda that you got home all right and that you are feeling so much fitter, and we hope that you will keep so.

We had another visit from the Indian Rani on Monday, and this time she brought with her a Mr. Mehta, an Indian Civil Service Official, who gave us a lot of interesting information about birth control propaganda in India. He himself has been running five birth control clinics of sort, and he is most keen to find some effective, cheap methods of contraception. He impressed upon us that the methods in use in Europe and America are far too expensive - quite out of reach - for the Indian peasant, whose average wage is about 10/- a month, on which he has to keep a wife and perhaps three or four children. He told us that he had found that he could get from Japan pessaries of paper, much cheaper than the rubber pessaries, and not affected by the heat like them. But he is out after something cheaper still, if it can be got. He is also most anxious that we should hold an international b.c. conference in India, and is full of plans for it, if it can be arranged. We agreed that it would be an excellent thing, and that if funds were forthcoming we would gladly do the organising.

Since we wrote you last week, we have received cuttings from two South African newspapers (Cape Times and Cape Argus) containing a full account of the report of the Cape Town Charities Commission appointed by the Administration to look into the working of the Cape Town Charities and their financial position. The report, which appeared last month, is most interesting. Among other things, it points out that the large families of the very poor are a potent cause of the destitution in the municipal areas, and recommends the teaching of birth control to the poor. The two papers gave, on the same page as the report of the Commission, a good paragraph about the newly established Cape Town Birth Control Clinic. Considering that birth control has only just begun to be openly talked about on South Africa, and that the Clinic was only opened in February, this is really wonderful.

Czechoslovakia has taken fire on birth control - according to Mme. Popoprova. The new Birth Control Society has been sanctioned by the authorities, although I believe it is not yet registered. Mme. Popprova says she will insist on this (though non-registration will make no difference to its legality), and in the meantime the Society has sent a deputation to the Minister of Heath, which was received very sympathetically when he understood that they were out for birth control and not for abortion. Now she writes that she has had a most successful meeting in Praha, and has secured the support of almost all the women's organisations - always excepting the Roman Catholics. *letter yesterday from Mme. Popprova says they have got your pamphlet ready for publication but are waiting to know about the financial help you promised them.

The R.C's seem to be adopting more aggressive tactics, for yesterday a letter from the friend who sent us the South African papers enclosed press cuttings of a protest by a prominent Cape Town priest, and a reply from out friend's wide, pointing out that a celibate priest is the least qualified person to pronounce on matters connected with birth control, and that the question concerned the women, who were not going to acquiesce in the production of families which made their lives an intolerable burden and which they could not bring up properly.

Let us have a few words from you now and then just to be sure you are keeping well. Willow Lake ought to be lovely in the winter.

Much love from Edith.

All here send love

P.S. Since this letter was written we have received a note from Dr. Voge telling us that a Museum of contraceptives is being formed in London on the lines of the one recently organised in Edinburgh. He has sent us copies of the circular letter to pass on to friends, and and we are enclosing one herewith. We know he will be grateful for any help in the way of specimens.

Original Format

Typed letter, signed. Written on letterhead of the BCIIC.