Each branch of the League of Nations Union had an Executive Committee made up of members elected at the AGMs or subsequently co-opted. The size varied. At the Lancaster branch, 40 people were appointed in the first year, in addition to the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer , (1) whereas at Burton-in-Lonsdale the Executive on its formation in 1935 consisted of the officials and three members. Two women and another man were added later (2). Business ranged from drawing up formal resolutions to domestic issues. At a Lancaster Committee meeting in April 1921, topics included sending the Government a resolution on the League of Nations settling German reparations peacefully, the forthcoming visit through Lancaster of the (abortive) ‘Peacemakers’ Pilgrimage’ and recruitment to the branch aided by a sub-committee (3).
A snapshot of the Lancaster Branch can be made from the names of the 40 Lancaster committee members in 1921, consisting mainly of middle-class people. Of the 32 men, 11 were clergyman from Anglican, Catholic, and nonconformist churches and at least 16 were either professionals, or owners, partners or managers of local businesses. Three were councillors. Of the remainder, only one, an oilcloth firm employee, has been identified. At least four of the women were from well-to-do homes. Only two likely Labour supporters have been noted so far. In 1924, the Committee had slimmed down to 17, with 12 men and five women. In 1929, there were still 17, with six women. 10 had been on the Committee for five or more years. Some change occurred through job relocation, ill-health or death.
(1) Lancaster Guardian, 19 Mar 1921.
(2) Burton-in-Lonsdale LNU Minute Book, kindly lent us by Dr G. Price from his late father’s LNU papers, which he owns.
Lancaster Guardian, 19 Mar 1921, Apr 1921, 22 Mar 1924 & 23 Mar 1929 (AGM reports).
T. Bulmer & Co, 1913. Bulmer’s History & Directory of Lancaster & District, 1912. Preston: Snape for Bulmer
Ancestry . Census Returns.
Kelly’s Lancashire Directory 1924.