LONDON, July 20, 1909 (UP) - Several hundred suffragettes yelled through megaphones from the housetops for votes for women, while Premier Asquith, the particular object of attack, was speaking Tuesday at the unveiling of the statue of Sir William Lawson on the Thames embankment guardens.
Then they charged through the crowd to the base of the monument, each one bearing a petition for suffrage, which each one tried to force into the hands of the premier. At the same time a large balloon, bearing suffragettes, arose over the crowd and the women deluged those below with the handbills calling for votes for women.
At the same time, 10 other suffragettes were starving themselves in a "hunger strike" in Holloway prison, because they were being treated like common lawbreakers instead of like political prisoners. Their jailers feared they would die.
The suffragettes especially desired to bring their pleas to the notice of Premier Asquith, whom they have followed like a collector does a bankrupt who has fallen heir to a million. Asquith dodged them until Tuesday, when he ventured forth to be the principal speaker at the unveiling.
The suffragettes seized upon the occasion to let the premier know their wishes in the matter of voting. When Asquith arose to speak, the suffragettes posted themselves on the tops of all the adjoining houses, armed with megaphones. Every time the premier reached on eof those wonderful oratorical climaxes for which he is so noted, the lady suffragettes screamed, "We want votes for women!" They screamed so loudly and in such discord that the effect of the well-rounded sentences of the premier was totally lost.
Then they charged the premier. Gathering their skirts about them, those suffragettes who weren't engaged in the housetop concert dashed through the crowd at the base of the monument, each bearing aloft a petition for women's right to vote.
Simultaneously a monster balloon, in the basket of which were a number of suffragettes, each armed with thousands of circulars bearing the words, "Votes for women," was unleashed from a neighboring park and floated directly over the monument. From it the suffragettes poured out their wrath and their handbills on the head of the premier and the assembled guests.
The police were summoned and dashed through the crowd in the gardens, making a cordon about the premier and preventing the suffragettes from reaching him with their petitions.
But the police, being without a dirigible balloon or a handy aeroplane, couldn't touch the aerial squad of the suffragettes, who continued to hurl down thousands of posters, and at the same time to shout encouragement to their warring sisters on the ground below.
The premier was rattled so badly he could hardly conclude his speech, and the ceremonies were cut short. Asquith, gathering his long coat about him and holding tight to his high hat, fled to shelter.
The officials of Holloway jail, where the suffragettes sentenced following the recent riots were confined, were confronted Tuesday by a serious situation, after the release Monday night of Florence Cook and Gladys Roberts, two of the suffragettes, to prevent them from starving themselves to death.
The jailers were in fear that deaths will result from the "hunger strike" which was still continued by 10 of the remaining prisoners. Several have eaten nothing for several days, and their physical condition has become alarming.
The released suffragettes, Misses Roberts and Cooke, Tuesday were being hailed by their comrades as martyrs. Both were in a dangerous condition.