Public Morality Council

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The Public Morality Council (PMC) was a quasi-official municipal authority. Formed in 1899 to combat vice and indecency in London, its members included representatives of all the major religions as well as leaders in education and medicine. The council continued until 1969 concentrating latterly on opposition to sexual immorality and pornography particularly with regards to theatre, cinema, radio and television.

The PMC's original area of concern was female prostitution, but in 1930 they had a special request to monitor 25 gay pubs in the West End of London. They reported 11 for "irregular conduct" and special measures by the Met police resulted in a large number of male prostitutes being arrested. In 1933 two donors gave the PMC £100 each to further fund this campaign. Prosecution was brought against the Caravan, dance halls in Baker Street and Archer Street and a ballroom in Holland Park Avenue, before the PMC returned to the plight of female prostitutes.

Records of the PMC comprise of the larger series of records held at the London Metropolitan Archives.


Matt Houlbrook, Queer London