Swarthmore College Peace Collection

National Council Against Conscription Records, 1944-1960

Collection: DG 052


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


Descriptive Summary
Repository
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Creator
National Council Against Conscription
Title
National Council Against Conscription Records
Inclusive Dates
1944-1960
Call Number
DG 052

Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
4.5 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
The National Council Against Conscription had its first official meeting on December 13, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nation Council Against Conscription worked to defeat various legislative measures which promoted universal military training and peacetime conscription, by lobbying Congress, public speaking, publishing detailed analyses of proposed legislation, corresponding with magazine and newspaper editors about their coverage of Universal Military Training, and producing literature on the subject.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of National Council Against Conscription, 1960
Processing Information
Collection re-processed and checklist revised by Anne Yoder, September 2002; This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, August 2009
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the National Council Against Conscription Records (DG 052), 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


Historical Background
The National Council Against Conscription (NCAC), an outgrowth of the National Council Against Peacetime Conscription Now (which was founded in 1945 and merged into the Nation Council Against Conscription), had its first official meeting on December 13, 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mordecai Johnson was elected as the first chairman pro tem, and Walter Sikes as secretary. In February 1946, Carlyle Adams was approved as Director and Sikes as Associate Director, with headquarters in the Witherspoon Building in Philadelphia. In April 1946, Adams resigned, and Sikes was appointed Interim Director. In June 1946, Sikes resigned; in December 1946, John Swomley Jr. became the Acting Director, and was appointed the Director in October 1947 and stayed in that position until the Nation Council Against Conscription disbanded in December 1959. Members of the Administrative Committee (i.e., Board of Directors) included Alonzo Myers, George Buttrick, Francis McGuire, Elsie Elfenbein, Ray Newton, Mildred Scott Olmsted, Denis Cardinal Dougherty, and Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick.

Swomley was the editor of Conscription News, which was begun in November 1944 while he was still working for the Fellowship of Reconciliation; when he became the director of the Nation Council Against Conscription in 1947, it took over the sponsorship of the newsletter. The newsletter ceased being published in December 1959 when the Nation Council Against Conscription disbanded.

The Nation Council Against Conscription worked to defeat various legislative measures which promoted universal military training and peacetime conscription, by lobbying Congress, public speaking, publishing detailed analyses of proposed legislation, corresponding with magazine and newspaper editors about their coverage of Universal Military Training, and producing literature on the subject. It also worked on related issues such as international cooperation, disarmament, conscription, militarism, disarmament, racism, the United Nations, and prevention of war.

Correspondents include Frank Aydelotte, Bruce Barton, Charles F. Boss Jr., Louis Bromfield, Henry J. Cadbury, Roscoe S. Conkling, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Harry Emerson Fosdick, John Haynes Holmes, Ray Newton, Richard W. Reuter, Eleanor Roosevelt, John M. Swomley, and E. Paul Weaver.


Collection Overview
This collection includes meeting minutes, correspondence, publicity material, literature and reference material.

Items removed:
Some material that came from John Swomley and reflects his work before joining the Nation Council Against Conscription, was removed to his personal collection (CDGA: Swomley) in September 2002.
Three filmstrips and three phonodiscs were removed to the Audiovisual Collection:

1/ "Way of Life" ["How to Defend a Way of Life"]
2/ "Good for Your Boy?" ["Would UMT Be Good For Your Boy?"]
3/ "Security?" ["Would UMT Bring Security?"]
Phonodiscs (33 and 1/3 RPM) from Series "Must Your Son Be A Soldier?":
1/ "How to Defend a Way of Life"
2/ "Would UMT Be Good For Your Boy?"
3/ "Would UMT Bring Security?"


Arrangement of Collection
The records of the National Council Against Conscription are organized into the following series: Series A. general adimistrative records; Series B. correspondence; Series C. outreach; Series D. program work; and Series E. reference material





Detailed Description of the Collection

Series A. General
Box 1
History & purpose
Meeting minutes, 1945-1955 [incomplete set?]
Financial records
Officers / Executive Group / Members / Sponsors lists
Directors' reports
National Council Against Conscription Youth Division, 1948-1953

Series B. Correspondence
Correspondence re: suggestions for people to serve on National Committee, 1944
Correspondence re: suggestions for people to serve on National Committee, 1945, no date
Correspondence with Sponsors / Members, 1945-1947
Correspondence with Sponsors / Members, 1948-1950
Correspondence with Sponsors / Members, 1951-1959
Correspondence with Members, 1945
Correspondence with Members, 1946
Correspondence with Members, 1947-1959, no date

Box 2
Correspondence with Executive Group / Committee
Correspondence with/about General Herbert C. Holdridge
Correspondence: general, 1944 (November) - 1945 (October)
Correspondence: general, 1945 (November)
Correspondence: general, 1945 (December)
Correspondence: general, 1946
Correspondence: general, 1947
Correspondence: general, 1948
Correspondence: general, 1949
Correspondence: general, 1950

Box 3
Correspondence: general, 1951
Correspondence: general, 1952-1953
Correspondence: general, 1954
Correspondence: general, 1955
Correspondence: general, 1957-1959 [1956 missing]
Correspondence with Congress, 1945-1947
Correspondence with Congress, 1948-1951
Correspondence with Congress, 1952-1959
Correspondence with magazine / newspaper editors, 1945-1946
Correspondence with magazine / newspaper editors, 1947-1949

Box 4

Correspondence with magazine / newspaper editors, 1950-1955
Correspondence etc. re: charges against National Council Against Conscription of being communist, 1947-1948
Correspondence etc. re: charges against National Council Against Conscription of being communist, 1949-1950
Correspondence etc. re: charges against National Council Against Conscription of being communist, 1951
Correspondence etc. re: charges against National Council Against Conscription of being communist, 1952-1959
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: California
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Colorado
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Connecticut; District of Columbia
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Illinois
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Indiana; Iowa
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Kentucky; Massachusetts
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: New Hampshire; New Jersey
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: New York
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania
Correspondence with and material about state and local anti-Universal Military Training groups: Washington; Wisconsin

Series C. Outreach
Box 5
Publicity: press releases, 1946 - 1948 (March)
Publicity: press releases, 1948 (April) - 1949
Publicity: press releases, 1950-1959, no date
Media coverage
Form letters to "Friend," 1945-1947
Form letters to "Friend," 1948 - 1960 (January), no date
Form letters to Group / Committee / Members
Form letters to "Sponsors"
Form letters to miscellaneous groups

Box 5a (1/2 box)
Calls to action / issue statements, 1945-1949
Calls to action / issue statements, 1950-1955
Calls to action / issue statements, no date

Box 6

Calls to action, etc. [by the National Council Against Conscription?]
Published literature, 1945-1949
Published literature, 1950
Published literature, 1951
Published literature, 1952-1959
Published literature, no date
Published literature: leaflet series "Questions for Congressmen" #1-8, circa 1954
Published literature: pamphlet series "Conscription Factfolder" #1-12, circa 1954-1959
Published literature: pamphlet series "Facts About -- " [unnumbered], no date
Published literature: pamphlet series on disarmament #1-4, circa 1950-1951
Literature lists
Index to Conscription News #1-150
Congressional testimony

Series D. Program Work
Strategy discussions re: Universal Military Training, 1947-1949
Strategty discussions re: Universal Military Training, 1950-1959
Questionnaire on policy program of the National Council Against Conscription [filled out]
Petition by religious leaders [signed by 652 clergymen], started by Allen Knight Chalmers, 1947
Commendations of Swomley's work and of Conscription News

Box 7
Program work: miscellaneous
Work re: opposition to communism, 1945-1946
Work with labor groups, 1946-1949
Work with religious groups and denominations, 1946-1949
Work re: radio broadcasts and Universal Military Training [includes Swomley's appearances], 1946-1955
Work with farm groups, 1946-1955
Work re: opposition to communism, 1947
Work re: President's Advisory Commission on Military Training, 1947
Work re: race relations and Universal Military Training, 1947-1948
Work re: race relations and Universal Military Training: involvement with Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service and Training, 1947-1949
Work re: American Legion and Universal Military Training, 1947-1951
Work with educators re: Universal Military Training, 1947-1959

Box 8
Work re: opposition to communism, 1948
Work re: opposition to communism, 1950-1956
Work re: evaluation of newspaper coverage of Universal Military Training, 1946-1952
Work re: army's illegal use of funds to promote Universal Military Training, 1947 [includes Harness Investigative Committee]
Work re: army's illegal use of funds to promote Universal Military Training, 1947: letters of constituents to/from Congress
Work re: army's Universal Military Training Experimental Unit at Ft. Knox (Kentucky), 1947
Work re: Universal Military Training Week, 1947-1948
Work re: pamphlets on militarization [and collection of signatures], 1947-1949
Work re: opinion polls on Universal Military Training, 1947-1955
Work re: cost of army reserves, 1947-1955
Work re: magazine coverage of Universal Military Training, 1947-1955
Work re: militarism in education, 1950-1955
Work with labor groups, 1950-1959

Box 9
Work with religious groups and denominations, 1950-1959
Work re: the drafting of 18-year-olds, 1951
Work re: Coronet films on Universal Military Training, 1951-1952
Work re: pamphlet on conscription of women, 1951-1952
Work re: production of anti-Universal Military Training filmstrips, 1951-1954
Work re: conference on Universal Military Training for religious leaders [sponsored by Pentagon], January 1952
Work re: armed forces' textbook promoting military service, 1955-1956
Work re: pamphlet on conscription, 1958


Series E. Reference Material
Peacetime conscription / Universal Military Training: miscellaneous
Peacetime conscription / Universal Military Training: [includes National Youth Assembly Against Universal Military Training]
Peacetime conscription / Universal Military Training: government sources
Armed forces' textbook promoting military service, 1955
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: American Legion

Box 10
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: American Legion (continued)
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: Citizens Committee for a National Service Act
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: Citizens Committee for Military Training of Young Men Incorporated
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: Citizens Committee for Universal Military Training
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: Citizens Emergency Committee for Universal Military Training
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: National Security Committee
Pro-Universal Military Training groups: Women's National Committee for the Universal Training of Young Men
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Break With Conscription Committee (New York)
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Chicago Committee to Oppose Conscription (Illinois)
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Colorado Council Against Conscription
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Committee to Oppose Peacetime Conscription (California)
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Greater Philadelphia Committee Against Peacetime Conscription (Pennsylvania)
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Minnesota Committee to Oppose Peace-Time Military Conscription
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: New Haven Committee of One Hundred to Oppose the Wartime Adoption of Peacetime Conscription (Connecticut)
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: New York Committee Against Peacetime Conscription
Anti-Universal Military Training groups: Philadelphia Youth Council to Oppose Conscription (Pennsylvania)
Opposition to Universal Military Training prior to establishment of the National Council Against Conscription
Anti-conscription and anti-Universal Military Training resolutions by miscellaneous groups, 1947-
Statements of religious bodies re: Universal Military Training
Labor groups and
Universal Military Training
Doctors' draft, 1950-1955
Biographical information about and writings of General Herbert C. Holdridge

Box 11
Newsclippings of letters to the editor and articles re: Universal Military Training and peacetime conscription (pro and con), 1944-1953, no date
Excerpts of letters to the editor and articles re: Universal Military Training and peacetime conscription (pro and con)



This file was last updated on August 24, 2009.