A continuing problem for both Headquarters and branches of the League of Nations Union (LNU) was limited funds. Surviving LNU account books in the area show that branches had to raise their own income, as they were seen as independent by Headquarters in terms of financial support, but were required to pay a ‘quota’ to London as well as promotional literature, costs of meetings etc. (1) Headquarters looked for innovative ways to raise funds for its overheads, as well as to reawaken interest in the League of Nations. In 1939 they came up with the idea of ‘commemorative stamps’, to celebrate the LNU’s 21st birthday. (2) Branches were sent the ‘stamps’ with the suggestion that they could be used seals on envelopes together with a stamp album. Each of the five ‘stamps’ had been designed by a well-known designer, including Eric Gill. The local committees were asked to organise a team of voluntary workers to sell the ‘stamps’ house-to-house. Talking to people in this way might increase membership, as well as funds both for the branch and Headquarters, who shared the funds raised.
(1) Croston LNU Branch Account Book. Archive ref: PR/3128/14/13, Lancashire Archives.
(2) Burton-in-Lonsdale LNU Branch papers, 1935-39. We are most grateful to Dr Glyn Price for showing us these stamps, correspondence and accounts, etc. and allowing us to use them. He inherited them from his late father, who was the Burton-in-Lonsdale Branch Secretary in 1939.