Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Union of Democratic Control Collected Records, 1915-1966

Collection: CDG-B Great Britain

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator)
Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu (Curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for these records.
Union of Democratic Control
Union of Democratic Control Collected Records
Inclusive Dates
Call Number
CDG-B Great Britain

Language of Materials
Materials in English
15 linear inches [papers only]
Founded in 1914 in London, England by an alliance of radical Liberal Party and Independent Labour Party members to protest Britain's decision to enter World War I, the Union of Democratic Control lobbied for democratic control over British foreign policy, the abolition of industrial and military armaments and conscription, the promotion of free trade, the self-determination of peoples, and the development of the League of Nations. It became a well-respected and internationally known research organization, publishing many pamphlets about British national and colonial affairs. It was disbanded in 1966.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Processing Information
Processed by SCPC staff; checklist prepared by Anne Yoder, May 1998; this finding aid created by Eleanor Fulvio, August 2010
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Union of Democratic Control Collected Records (CDG-B Great Britain), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record

Related Collections
E.D. Morel Collected Papers (CDG-B Great Britain)
Norman Angell Collected Papers (CDG-B Great Britain)
Ponsonby, Arthur Ponsonby, Baron Collected Papers (CDG-B Great Britain)
Helena Maria Swanwick Collected Papers (CDG-B Great Britain)
J. Ramsay MacDonald Collected Papers (CDG-B Great Britain)

Records of the Union of Democratic Control (Hull History Centre, Great Britain) (copy of box list available in Box 3)

Historical Background
The Union of Democratic Control, an allliance of radical liberals and members of the Independent Labour Party in Great Britain, held its first formal meeting and drew up its constitution in November 1914. E.D. Morel, Norman Angell, J. Ramsay MacDonald and Charles Trevelyan were its founding members. Their early goals were 1/ to secure real parliamentary control over foreign policy; 2/ to open, after the war, negotiations with democratic parties in Europe so as to form an international understanding not dependent on political parties; and 3/ to ensure that the war did not so humiliate the defeated nation or rearrange its borders that it would engender future wars. The UDC soon became an effective and courageous radical pressure group that lobbied for democratic control over foreign policy, the abolition of industrial and military armaments and conscription; the promotion of free trade; the self-determination of peoples; and the development of the League of Nations. The UDC was the leading force for some years in making sure that foreign policy was discussed in Parliament (in fact, a number of Members of Parliament were also members of the UDC). It developed into a well-respected, and internationally known research organization, which published many pamphlets about national and colonial affairs.

In its early years, during the first world war, the UDC endured much vilification for its campaign for an early negotiated peace settlement and other of its stances. Its meetings were systematically broken up, and many of its 100 branches had to meet in secret. The Anti-German League made the UDC one of its prime targets, accusing leaders of the UDC of being financed by German gold. E.D. Morel, the leader of the UDC until his death in 1924, was imprisoned with common felons for six months for asking one of his friends to convey a pamphlet to Romain Rolland. Rolland had been living in France but was now in Switzerland, unbeknownst to Morel; it had been made an offense to transmit printed matter to Switzerland two weeks before this incident. Morel was convicted of "inciting" his friend to commit a breach of the regulations and it was for this that he was sent to prison. During this time his study was raided and private papers removed and never returned, and he was denied bail several times.

The UDC had its offices in London throughout all the years of its existence. The UDC disbanded in 1966, mostly for financial reasons.

Collection Overview
This collection includes correspondence (5 letters, 1915-1941); program work, including minutes of meetings (1915-1966); pamphlets; newsletters; and one folder of writings by and about E.D. Morel.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
History and goals
Correspondence, 1915-1941 [5 letters]
Program work [includes meeting minutes], 1915-1966

Box 2
-Writings by and about E.D. Morel
-Leaflet Series 1-16, 21b-47b [missing 22b, 24b, 35b, 45b, 46b], ca. 1915-1922: includes writings by
-- E.D. Morel
-- Ponsonby, Arthur Ponsonby, Baron
-- Charles Trevelyan
-- and others
-Pamphlet Series 1-45a [missing 23a and 35a], ca. 1915-1922: includes writings of
-- Bertrand Russell
-- Helena Swanwick
-- E.D. Morel
-- Ponsonby, Arthur Ponsonby, Baron
-- Norman Angell, J.A. Hobson
-- J. Ramsay MacDonald
-- and others
-Pamphlets, 1915-1934: includes writings by
--Vernon Lee
--Helena Swanwick
--and others

Box 3
-Pamphlets, 1935-1963: includes writings by
-- Basil Davidson
-- Cheddi Jagan
-- Peter Townsend
-- Michael Scott
-- William Warbey
-- Konni Zilliacus
-- Dorothy Woodman
-- Gerald de Cruz
-- Ben Parkin
-- Clive Jenkins
-- Frank Allaun
-- Ella Winter
-- J. Letsoaba
-- Fenner Brockway
-- Kenneth Kaunda
-- Audrey Jupp
-- Harold Davies
-- and others
-UDC Documents Series, ca. 1949-1950
-Newsletter "The U.D.C.," scattered issues from 1915, 1916 and 1919
-Newsletter "Bulletin," scattered issues from 1958-1962; and newsletter "The UDC News Letter," no. 4 (December 19, 1939) and 5 (January 1, 1940)
Copy of finding aid for Records of the Union of Democratic Control at the Hull History Centre, Hull, Great Britain

This file was last updated on August 21, 2015