The League of Nations Union (LNU) branches were supplemented by ‘corporate affiliates,’ one category being ‘corporate members.’ These organisations, as Helen McCarthy describes it, ‘paid a single subscription of £1 and undertook to enrol their followers as individual subscribers in exchange for which they received LNU literature and were entitled to representation on local branches… ’ (1) There were few ‘corporate affiliates’ nationally until 1925 but by 1931 there were 4439. In Lancaster, the first mention of ‘corporate members’ was in 1926, when there were two. By 1932 there were 17, the majority of which were nonconformist organisations, a characteristic noted by McCarthy.
The first two ‘corporate members’ co-opted onto the Lancaster LNU Committee were the Congregational Pleasant Sunday Afternoon (PSA) Brotherhood and the Free Church Council, both nonconformist. In 1928, 13 ‘co-opted members’ had joined. They came from 10 nonconformist organisations: 5 Methodist churches, 3 Congregational, the ‘Ministers Fraternal’ and the Free Church Council, along with three ‘Districts’ (Bowerham, Greaves, Moorlands). In 1931, St. Anne’s Parochial Council joined, the first Church of England church to do so. By 1932, the number of co-opted members had risen to 17, 7 of them different from 1928. While nonconformist churches were still the largest group, three lay organisations – Toc H , the Women’s Co-operative Guild and the Trades and Labour Council – were represented, the first time any society with political bias had joined. By contrast, at Carnforth in 1925 the Postal Workers’ Union and the Locomotive Engineers’ Society plus two women’s organisations were represented on the branch’s Committee.
(1) H. McCarthy, 2011. The British People and the League of Nations. Manchester: Manchester University Press, p.4.
Lancaster Guardian, 3 Apr 1926, 18 Mar 1932, 21 Apr 1928, 2 Apr 1931, 18 Mar 1932 & 14 Mar 1925.