At the League of Nation Union’s (LNU) headquarters, officials were concerned about poorly informed volunteer speakers. (1) One way in which the Lancaster LNU combatted this problem was for its leading members to update their own knowledge by attending LNU conferences in this country and visiting Geneva for sessions of the League of Nations so they could speak informatively to members and the public. A number of examples have been found.
J. H. Dalton of Thurnham Hall, a Vice-President of the Lancaster LNU in 1921/2 had attended early sessions of the League of Nations in Geneva, and gave a talk on them at a ‘Garden meeting’ in Lancaster in July 1922. Malcolm Smith, the Editor of the ‘Lancaster Guardian’, and Chairman of the LNU travelled to Geneva in 1927/8 to the League of Nations and reported on various sections of its work, The Branch Secretary had attended a conferences at Manchester, on the limitation of armaments in 1921/2. In 1927, Mrs Dowbiggin, by then the Lancaster LNU Secretary (no doubt accompanied by her husband, Ernest) and LNU speaker, attended the organisation’s AGM at Harrogate to hear its Chairman, Professor Gilbert Murray, give a review of the League of Nations’ successes and setbacks in the past year in, as she described it, ‘a candid and dispassionate review of world affairs.’ She was given an entire column in the ‘Lancaster Guardian’ to inform its readership of the proceedings. It may be that Mrs Dowbiggin attended other LNU conferences.
(1) D. S. Birn, 1981. The League of Nations Union 1918-1945. Oxford: Clarendon Press, p.131.
Lancaster Guardian, 22 Jul 1922, 21 Apr 1928 & 20 Aug 1927.