"DEMOBILIZATION AND RESETTLEMENT. - No labour problem of greater difficulty has ever had to be faced than that of national demobilization, whether military or civilian, after the World War, because of the dimensions to which the calling-up of national man-power had attained. An account of. post-war demobilization and resettlement in industry, in the United Kingdom, from the civilian point of view, divides itself into three clearly marked periods: (A.), the preparations during the pre Armistice period; (B.), the action taken immediately after the Armistice; and (C.), during the first two years of resettlement. (For the Army demobilization, see Army.) (A.) Pre-Armistice Period There were two lines upon which British Government preparations proceeded during the pre-Armistice period in respect of civilian workers: (a) The bringing of workers demobilized from munitions work and war work as quickly and as conveniently as possible to peace work.
(b) The rapid turnover from war to peace so that employment might be available for the largest number at the earliest moment. For the provision for unemployment, see the article Unemploy Ment.
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In making plans for the demobilization of civilians account had to be taken of the possibly simultaneous demobilization of the armed forces. The ideal would have been to have fitted civilian workers into their places before the forces had been demobilized so that there should be no confusion as between the two masses of demobilized persons. In point of fact it was recognized from the outset that it would be impossible to complete one process before the other began, first because industry could not in many places be started up again without the return of numbers of pivotal men with the forces, and secondly because large numbers of men with the forces had either a statutory right or a promise to return to a particular employment. It was accordingly necessary to frame a scheme for civilian work- ers which could work conveniently side by side with the scheme devised for the demobilization of the forces. The demobilization of the forces took into account throughout the necessity of approaching the matter, subject to paramount strategic considerations, upon an industrial basis. From the first report on military demobilization, signed in Dec. 1914 by Sir H. Llewellyn Smith and Sir R. H. Brade (as secretaries of the Board of Trade and War Office respectively), right through to the second interim report of the Ministry of Reconstruction Committee on the demobilization of the army, in Oct. 1917, this aspect of the question was steadily faced. It was recognized that demobilization must be so arranged as to render the transition from war to peace as easy as possible, which meant arranging it so far as possible to fall in with the immediate needs of the post-war industrial situation.
The principles upon which the recommendations as to military demobilization proceeded must be briefly explained, in order that the way in which these were related to those laid down for civilian workers may be appreciated.
The objects aimed at were to reduce unemployment to the lowest possible point, but at the same time to make adequate provision for such unemployment as was inevitable. In order to meet the first point it was recommended that demobilization should, subject to military exigencies, be carried out according to the requirements of trade and industry, which meant disbanding first men for whom employment was ascertained to be available or men in trades specified in a priority list drawn up with reference to the relative urgency of the industrial requirements of the country. To meet the second object the committee recommended the provision of a free unemployment insurance policy to be given on demobilization.
The object of the army scheme, which was to get men to the place where they could be employed as rapidly as possible, formed also the first part of the civilian demobilization scheme. The questions of civilian demobilization were considered from this point of view partly by the Civil War Workers' Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Reconstruction, which issued five reports during 1918, partly by the Ministry of Labour, and partly by the Labour Resettlement Committee set up by the Ministry of Labour. The recommendations of these various bodies are arranged not in the order in which they were actually made, but in relation to the order of the events with which they dealt.
The first point to be considered was the order of discharge.from munitions works, just as the first point to be considered in army demobilization was the order in which men should be released from the colours. On this it was recommended by the Ministry of Labour - and the recommendation was accepted by the Cabinet - that the order of discharge should be as follows :- (a) That adequate notice of discharge should be given to each individual worker.
(b) That adequate notice of the discharge ought to be given to the local employment exchange so that the exchange might be able to find employment for the worker.
(c) That the order of discharge should be: first, workers not dependent on industrial employment for a livelihood; second, workers brought from a distance; third, workers who could be readily absorbed in their previous occupation or in one of the staple industries of the district.
It was regarded as of paramount importance that the previous industrial experience of the workpeople who were to be dismissed, and the demand for workpeople of their experience elsewhere, should be adequately considered by factory managements in consultation with the officials of the Ministry of Labour before the selection of the individuals to be discharged was made.
In order that persons discharged should be able to travel to their homes at the earliest possible moment, or to their new places of employment, it was recommended in the fifth report of the Civil War Workers' Committee that free railway passes should be issued to those persons who had changed their place of residence for the purpose of taking up work on munitions or on naval or army contracts, and who might be displaced from such employment owing to the cessation of hostilities. In such cases the worker should have the option of having his or her fare paid either to the usual place of residence, or to some other place at which work is available.
After the question of the order of discharge there was the question to be considered of the actual machinery for bringing workers into touch with possible employers. On this the following recommendations were made by a committee of the Civil War Workers' Committee: (a) Steps should be taken by the Government, through the machinery of the employment exchanges, to assist war workers to return to their former employment. In addition joint industrial councils and similar joint bodies for individual industries should be taken into consultation. (b) Steps should be taken as soon as there was a reasonable prospect of peace to ascertain where war workers would be required. (c) Workers should be encouraged to register their requirements. Proposals were also made as to limiting the flow of juvenile entrants into the rank of wage earners by means of prolonging the school age, and further schemes were proposed for watching the placing of young persons in industry.
Action on these recommendations was possible during the preArmistice period only in so far as it would not disturb the munitions output by giving workers the impression that peace was in sight before the facts justified this belief. It was therefore not possible until immediately before the Armistice to take full advantage of the proposals for bringing employers and workpeople into touch.
It was universally agreed that the machinery for demobilization must be found in the employment exchange system. It was, however, suggested that the employment exchange machine might break down under the heavy strain imposed upon it unless it were supplemented. The Minister of Labour had appreciated this aspect of the problem and in 1917 had appointed a series of local employment committees to advise and assist exchanges. These committees (see Unemployment) consisted of equal numbers of employers and employed presided over by a chairman nominated by the Minister of Labour. A committee was attached to each principal exchange area and its duties were generally to advise upon the work of the exchange and particularly to help in the task of the demobilization of civilian workers. The various schemes prepared by the Ministry of Labour were circulated to these committees, so that when the period of actual demobilization came they were fully prepared to handle them. In addition a central committee known as the Labour Resettlement Committee was set up by the Minister of Labour to advise the Ministry nationally, just as the exchanges were advised locally.
In the next place the actual machinery necessary to effect the rapid demobilization and transfer of workers was elaborated in detail by a Departmental Committee set up by the Minister of Labour. This committee divided its report into four parts: - (i) registration of workpeople under notice of discharge; (ii) distribution of completed forms of registration to exchanges or other local offices; (iii) negotiations with the previous or other employers of the workpeople in order that there may be no avoidable interval of unemployment after discharge from war employment; (iv) placing of workpeople in employment after their discharge.
Under these four heads the committee worked out in detail the registration forms and cards which would be necessary for an effective indexing of the workers. They worked out the system of interchange between the exchange at which a worker was discharged and the exchange at which he was to be reemployed. They suggested a method by which, upon interchange of the forms, the exchange in the neighbourhood where the man sought employment put itself into touch with the employer, and notified the result of this communication to the exchange of discharge. Finally, they made proposals by which a worker previously engaged upon war work, seeking employment, could be traced so that he could be fitted into the general scheme.
Apart from these preparations for action to be taken upon the cessation of hostilities, certain action was being taken in respect of men returning, disabled or unfit, from the colours. This work was undertaken as a result of the recommendation of the Resettlement of Officers Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Reginald Brade, which recommended that "an Appointments Board for officers and men of like standing should be established under the control of the Ministry of Labour to operate v ith the existing University Appointments Boards or other approved bodies." There had been two departments dealing from different points of view with this problem. In 1915 a special department of the Ministry of Labour had been set up, known as the Professional and Business Register, whose work consisted in finding appointments for persons of the classes covered by its title. During the earlier years of the war its duties principally consisted in finding war employment for persons of the professional classes who were either unable to pursue their pre-war occupation owing to war conditions or who wished to be used upon national service. In addition there v as established early in July at the Ministry of Munitions an organization known as the Officers' University and Technical Training C lasses. These provided the means by which unfit officers and professional and business men in the ranks could attend universities, technical institutions and other centres of instruction during their period of convalescence. Candidates so trained, if still unfit for active service, were utilized to meet the immediate demands of Government departments.
Following upon the report of the Brade Committee it was considered convenient to combine these two departments under one control, and the Appointments Department of the Ministry of Labour was established in April 1918. Previous to the cessation of hostilities the department performed two functions: (i) the training of the convalescent serving off cer, and (ii) the placing in employment of officers, v hether trained or untrained, as well as of professional men. The training of the convalescent serving officer was in operation for more than 12 months previous to the Armistice. Some 4,000 cases passed through the training scheme. The officers received training for practically every professional and higher commercial appointment. At this stage, while demands still far outran supply, no considerable difficulties in placing the trained men arose.
These proposals affected officers. The placing of workpeople remained with the exchanges, but the question of the training of disabled members of the forces was also receiving attention. Joint committees were formed by the Ministry of Labour for dealing with this problem for a number of trades. These committees were generally on a national basis and devoted themselves to laying down conditions upon which trainees could be admitted into industry. Both as regards officers and men these two schemes, which formed the foundation of the large schemes, were operated after the Armistice by the Appointments and Training Departments respectively.
The proposals on this head may be considered under two aspects: (a) Proposals as to the way in which the Government should treat its contracts with a view to reducing the dislocation consequent on the change from war to peace to the lowest possible point.
(b) Proposals for development of industries in peace with special reference to the lessons learned during the war.
So far as munitions contracts were concerned there had to be considered (i) termination of contracts for the supply of munitions, (ii) disposal of stores, stock and material, machinery, etc., in the possession of the Government, and (iii) the arrangements for the disposal or post-war use of national factories with their plant and equipment.
With regard to contracts it was plain that to continue manufacture of munitions for a moment longer than the military situation required was in the highest degree uneconomic. At the same time regard had to be had to the fact that a sudden cessation of all contracts would lead to unemployment on a hitherto unexampled scale, and would, moreover, with regard to such munitions as guns and tanks, lead to the abandonment of manufacture at an advanced stage in the process. It was recommended by the Ministry of Munitions, and accepted by the Cabinet, that the manufacture of munitions should be terminated at the earliest possible moment, subject to discretion both as regards creating excessive unemployment and with regard to the waste that would be engendered by the sudden cessation of the manufacture of expensive articles nearly completed.
With regard to the disposal of stores, the Surplus Stores Department of the Ministry of Munitions had been proceeding for some time with the day-to-day disposal of obsolete munitions, scrap, surplus machinery and other movable property no longer required by the Ministry. Owing to the enormous field covered by the Ministry this was a considerable operation, but one almost negligible as compared with the gigantic business which would have to be undertaken in respect of the accumulation of war stores on the cessation of hostilities. It was pointed out that large quantities of materials had been delivered to contractors to enable them to carry out their contracts, and plant and machinery had in many cases been installed in the works of manufacturers on terms which formed part of the contracts themselves. The Ministry of Munitions were made responsible for the disposal of these stores, and it was at that time considered not improbable that on the completion of this work the Ministry of Munitions would be converted into a permanent Ministry of Supply combining in itself the supply departments of the Admiralty, War Office, Air Force and even of the Stationery Office, and Office of Works.
The question of the post-war use of national factories was discussed as one of general policy. In labour quarters the view was strongly held that these factories should be put into commission immediately upon the cessation of hostilities to provide employment during the transition period, and thereafter should be operated by the Government in competition with private enterprise. These proposals were rejected. In the first place it was pointed out that for the immediate period of transition the factories would be useless. To convert a shell-producing factory into a factory for commercial purposes would take anywhere from six months to a year, and at the end of the year it was hoped that the worst period of dislocation would be over. Apart from this, on general grounds, it was felt that the Government by entering into competition with the private trader would to a great extent decrease rather than increase employment. The Minister of Munitions was therefore authorized to make arrangements for the disposal of national factories.
In fact, all the national factories, with the exception of a small number retained in connexion with the work of the Training Department to the Ministry of Labour, were disposed of. In addition to the cessation of contracts the Government's obligation in respect of placing further contracts in regard to peace requirements was also considered. It had long been maintained by labour opinion that the placing of Government contracts with special regard to possible unemployment would to a certain extent help to reduce unemployment. When, however, the volume of peace-time contracts is compared with the general volume of trade, it becomes apparent that the most careful placing of such contracts can do little to mitigate a situation in which unemployment is really serious: While this is so, in so far as Government contracts and contracts placed by public bodies can alleviate the situation, it was recommended that Government departments and public or semi-public bodies should be urged to place contracts for their peace requirements at the earliest possible moment. In point of fact this recommendation failed of its effect because public bodies (like private employers), being utterly unable to foresee the course of prices during the transition period, were not disposed to run the grave financial risks involved.
Proposals were further made with a view to the development of industry immediately upon the cessation of hostilities. These proposals took two forms: (a) proposals for obtaining new markets and the materials necessary for post-war manufacture, and (b) the actual developmentof the various industries.
Under the first head it was contemplated that the reconstruction of the devastated areas of Belgium and France would necessarily bring large orders to the British manufacturers. It was accordingly proposed that an International Commission should be appointed to investigate the question of reconstructional work in the devastated areas of Belgium and northern France and to prepare schedules of contracts. Proposals were further made with a view to stimulating those industries, such as dyes and glass, which had during the war taken over processes previously carried on by the Germans.
With regard to materials, the early history of munitions supply had indicated that in the handling of raw materials lay the key to the control of industry. Metal and ore during the war had been controlled by the Priority Department of the Ministry of Munitions, wool and textiles (except cotton) by the War Office, and cotton by the Board of Trade. Two steps were taken to apply similar principles to the period of reconstruction. In the first place a Priorities Committee of Cabinet Ministers was set up as the ultimate authority for the allocation of raw materials. In the second a standing council was established consisting of leading representatives of commerce, industry, labour and the departments concerned to advise the Cabinet Committee. Ancillary to these bodies control departments for building were established under the general direction of the Ministry of Reconstruction. Under these general authorities special committees were set up for various trades to consider the nature and amount of supplies of materials and foodstuffs which, in their opinion, would be required by the United Kingdom during the period which might elapse between the termination of the World War and the restoration of a normal condition of trade With regard to the development of industry, the future of engineering, agriculture and electric power were held to be the burning problems of the moment. So far as the employment of women was concerned attention was directed to their rights as competitors with men and the means by which they could be encouraged to revert to domestic service.
The first engineering committee was appointed by the Board of Trade under the chairmanship of Sir Clarendon Hyde and made certain recommendations dealing with essential industries, the amalgamation and joint working of existing firms, apprentices, technical education, trade combination, trade marks and patents. In particular it recommended that 'every effort should be made to develop and encourage the medium and light engineering trades; whether already existing in this country or not, thereby making use of the workshop motive power and equipment-installed for war purposes, and finding suitable employment for the large body of semi-skilled and female labour recently created." This last recommendation was accepted by the Government, and the Minister of Reconstruction appointed a further committee, known as the Engineering Trades (New Industries) Committee, under the chairmanship of the Hon. H. D. McLaren: " To compile a list of the articles suitable for manufacture by those with engineering trade experience or plant, which were either not made in the United Kingdom before the war, but were imported, or were made in the United Kingdom in small or insufficient quantities and for which there is likely to be a considerable demand after the war, classified as to whether they are capable of being made by (I) women, (2) men and women, (3) skilled men, and setting out the industries to which such new manufactures would most suitably be attached; and to make recommendations " (a) On the establishment and development of such industries by the transfer of labour, machines and otherwise; " (b) As to how such a transfer could be made, and what organization would be requisite for the purpose, with due regard to securing the cooperation of labour." This committee appointed sub-committees to deal with the various branches of engineering.' Agriculture. - So far as agriculture - was concerned, in 1915 the Prime Minister appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Selborne. Their first report resulted in the setting up of the Agricultural Wages Boards which have regulated the wages of agricultural workers. The final report, presented in Jan. 1918,2 dealt with the problems of small holdings, land reclamation and drainage, credit facilities for land settlers, village reconstruction, and rural transport.
Two committees were set up to deal with electric power supply. The first, appointed by the Board of Trade, under the chairmanship of Sir Archibald Williamson reported 3 (a) that a highly important element in reducing manufacturing costs will be the general extension of the use of electric power supplied at the lowest possible price; (b) that the present system under which a supply of electricity is provided in a large number of small areas by separate authorities is incompatible with anything that can now be accepted as a technically sound system; (c) that a comprehensive system for the generation of electricity, and, where necessary, reorganizing its supply, should be established as soon as possible.
The problem was further considered by the committee of chairmen on electric power supply. 4 They reported (a) that the development of electricity should take place on a national scale and under the control of the State; (b) that an Electricity Board should be set up to advise upon and control the carrying out of the national scheme, assisted by an operating executive; and (c) that the first duty of the Board would be to plan out a comprehensive scheme for the whole country, and then by degrees to secure the development of electrical power over the whole of the United Kingdom by such methods as they might find suitable to the requirements of different areas.
In this way the committee of chairmen reduced the general principles enunciated by Sir Archibald Vl illiamson's committee to practical proposals, though proposals still on a universal scale. The electricity commissioners under the Ministry of Transport were the tangible result of these recommendations.
(B.) Immediate Post-Armistice Period On Nov. i 1 1918 the Ministry of Munitions issued to contractors, sub-contractors and workpeople engaged on work for the Department, a notice indicating the line of action to be followed. The instruction proceeded on the following lines: I. There should, as far as possible, be no immediate general discharge of munition workers.
2. All workers, however, who desire to withdraw from industry or to leave for any reason, and all workers who can be absorbed elsewhere, should at once be released. Production on contracts for guns Engineering Trades (New Industries) Committee Report (Cd. 9,226).
2 Agricultural Policy Sub-Committee Report (Cd. 9,079). ' Cd. 9,062.
4 Cd. 93.
and gun munition, machine-guns, small arms and small-arms munition, trench mortars, bombs and stores, pyrotechnic stores, aerial bombs, or accessories of the above stores, aircraft and air engines, and the manufacture of explosives, should be reduced in the following ways: (a) all overtime should be immediately abolished; (b) systems of payment by results may be temporarily suspended; (c) where reduced hours are worked upon a time-work basis, the number of hours worked must not be less than one-half of the hours in the present normal working week. If the earnings of workpeople fall below certain figures they will be made up to them by the State.
3. The adoption of half-time may cause discharges, but these should be spread out for as long a period as possible.
4. Free railway facilities will be provided for workpeople from the place of employment to their homes or to places where they have new employment.
At the same time, the first announcement was made of the institution of a temporary non-contributory scheme for unemployment which would remain in force pending the introduction of a general contributory scheme, the main provisions of which were that unemployed men were to receive 24s. per week and women 20S. (later increased to 30s. and 25s.), with additional allowances for dependants. Almost immediately afterwards instructions were issued in respect of war munition volunteers, war work volunteers, national service and war agriculture volunteers indicating that the schemes would be terminated at Dec. 14 1918. A notice was issued at the end of Nov. dealing with soldiers released from the colours, and army reserve munition workers.
These instructions indicated the methods by which the employment of these men under war conditions would be terminated. They followed to a large extent the lines of the recommendations prepared by the committees mentioned above; but it was felt by the Government that it was necessary to constitute a special department for dealing with problems of civil demobilization. Accordingly, at the end of Nov. a ControllerGeneral of Civil Demobilization and Resettlement was appointed and his department was attached to the Ministry of Labour. This department was made responsible for: (a) the actual machinery of the return both of the men from the forces and civilian workers to their previous occupations through the employment exchanges; (b) attempting to remove from the labour point of view obstacles to the restarting of industry; and (c) the administration of the Appointments Department which dealt, on a rapidly increasing scale as demobilization proceeded, with the training and placing of ex-officers and men of similar educational qualifications. To these functions were added later the responsibility for the Civil Liabilities Resettlement Scheme.
The first few months were a time of great difficulty and strain. On the one hand the machinery devised for demobilization of the forces was found to be too slow to meet the situation and a new scheme was introduced which enormously expedited the procedure. This led to a position when very large numbers of both ex-civilian workers and ex-service men were out of work at the same time. Immediately, therefore, protests were made, against the rapid closing down of factories engaged upon war work. Deputations were constantly received both by the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Munitions protesting against the closing of factories engaged upon war work, and during the end of 1918 and the early months of 1919 it was found necessary to keep certain factories engaged on munitions at work even though their products were not likely to be required. Every effort was made by the newly created Civil Demobilization and Resettlement Department to make the transition from war to peace work as easy and as rapid as possible. For this purpose at the end of 1918 it was decided to set up for each of the areas covered by the Ministry of Labour Employment Exchanges a divisional council, elected from members of the local employment committees to which reference has already been made. The business of these councils, which operated till the later months of 1919, was to coordinate the work of the local employment committee and particularly to help in the transition from war to peace. In order to assist the councils in their work a number of officers known as Resettlement Officers were appointed by the Minister, whose business was to travel round the country and investigate the causes which impeded the turnover from war to peace. Such conditions as a temporary shortage of materials, shortage of rolling stock, inability to recover premises required for business purposes commandeered by the Government, housing difficulties, and many other matters of this type were investigated and dealt with by these officers under the directions of the Minister and of the divisional councils. At the end of the year, the Government set up a minister in general charge of reconstruction problems, with a council designed to review the position generally and give instructions to the various departments concerned in the work. This council terminated its functions upon the formation of the Lloyd George Government at the beginning of 1919.
(C.) THE First Two Years Of Resettlement The success of the preparations which had been made, and of the method in which the machinery was worked, is indicated by the figures of re-absorption of men demobilized. For six months after the Armistice there was a steady increase in the number of ex-service men unemployed, and at the beginning of May 1919, when about 3,300,000 men had been discharged, over 400,000 were recorded as drawing out-of-work donation. From that date, although the numbers discharged continued to rise, there was an almost uninterrupted fall in the number unemployed, until, at the end of July 1920, when demobilization was practically complete and over 5,000,000 men had been discharged, less than 150,000, or only 3%, were registered as unemployed.
These figures relate only to ex-service men, and in order to discover how far the ex-civilian workers had been reabsorbed, it is necessary to look at the unemployment figures for the same period. After the Armistice the number of civilian workpeople unemployed rose continuously until the beginning of March 1919, when nearly 800,000 were recorded as receiving out-of-work donation. After that date, however, there was a rapid improvement, and by the end of Sept. the number had fallen to about ioo,000. Owing to changes in administration and in some cases to the exhaustion of benefit, the figures, no doubt, overstate the extent of the improvement, but, even when due allowance is made for these factors, it is clear that there was a remarkable recovery after March 1919. The evidence so furnished is confirmed by the statistics of unemployment among the members of certain trade unions which make regular returns to the Ministry of Labour. In these unions (mainly composed of skilled workmen) the proportion unemployed, which was 0.4% at the end of Oct. 1918, rose month by month after the Armistice until it reached 2.9% at the end of March 1919. From that date, however, it fell, and at the end of Sept. 1919 it was only 1.6%. There was a further rise in the winter of 1919-20, due to the strikes in the railway service and in the iron foundries; but the percentage fell again in the spring of 1920, and from March to June of that year, when demobilization was almost completed, it varied between 0.9 and 1.2%, much below the figure for any month in 1913, which was itself a year of good employment.
The consideration of these figures indicates that the turnover from war to peace had been effected with surprising speed and with remarkable lack of trouble. But while in the first 18 months after the Armistice trade would have rapidly recovered, provision was urgently required for certain large classes of ex-service men which may be grouped as follows: (a) the disabled who, although in receipt of pensions, required training to enable them to enter upon some occupation; (b) youths whose apprenticeships had been interrupted; (c) women thrown out of work by the turnover from war to peace; (d) the ex-officer who, as a result of the war, was either unable or, for adequate causes, unwilling to resume his old occupation; and (e) the large number of men who had had some small business or undertaking which had been seriously affected by the war. So far as the first class was concerned two steps were taken - the first to place men in immediate employment, the second to train them for employment later.
Placing of Disabled Men. - During 1917 a scheme had been proposed by Mr. Rothband, of Manchester, for absorbing a proportion of disabled men in each industry. This scheme was fully canvassed during the later years of the World War, and finally, in Aug. 1919, was adopted by the Government. In that month the King's National Roll for disabled men was inaugurated by Royal Proclamation, and the scheme itself was actually launched on Sept. 15. The basis of the scheme was to ask each industry to take disabled men into its ranks to a proportion of 5 A of the total employees. Individual employers who agreed to come into the scheme were given a certificate to that effect, and were entitled to use a special seal saying that they were inscribed upon the National Roll. Industries, of course, vary considerably in their power to absorb disabled men, and the 5% was not rigidly enforced, but they were invited to take as large a percentage as the nature of the work permitted. The scheme worked with considerable success. At Feb. 19 1921 the number of employers on the roll was 24,278. The total staffs covered by them was 4,167,171; the number of disabled ex-service men employed was 270,552.
The Roll was headed by the King and Queen Alexandra. H. M. Treasury were entered upon the Roll in respect of Government departments and Government industrial establishments, and the Roll included the staff of the Houses of Lords and Commons and of the Law Courts. Special efforts were made to include local authorities upon the Roll, and at the date mentioned above there were 751 upon the Roll in England and Wales, and 68 upon the Roll in Scotland. In addition arrangements were made by which preference was given in allocating Government contracts to employers whose names were upon the Roll. It may be noted in this connexion that when the scheme was launched in Sept, 1919 the number of disabled ex-service men who had registered themselves as unemployed was 41,616. There is no doubt that in addition to the men registered there was a considerable number, perhaps as many as 20,000, who had not reported themselves - a fact which is proved by additional registrations which followed upon the inauguration of the scheme. As a result of the scheme the figure fell to 14,849 in Sept. 1920. Of these a considerable number were in Ireland, where the National Roll, for various reasons, could not operate.
Training dealt with three main classes: The disabled ex-service man who could not, owing to his disability, return to his pre-war occupation; the man whose apprenticeship had been interrupted by war service and could not be renewed without assistance from the State; and the woman who, by entering munitions work at an early age, had failed to acquire a woman's trade. In addition to these classes there was the fit ex-service man whose enlistment in the army or navy at an early age had prevented him from acquiring a skilled trade. For industrial reasons it was soon found that little could be done unless he had commenced an apprenticeship before the war.
On Aug. 1 1919,. when the industrial training of disabled ex-service men was taken over by the Ministry of Labour from the Ministry of Pensions, about 10,000 men had already been trained, about 12,000 were under training, and some 75,000 more were estimated to be awaiting training. In dealing with this problem the policy of the Training Department was to associate the administration of industrial training with local education authorities, to retain and increase the cooperation already established in training matters with the trades and industries concerned, and to repair the shortage of training facilities by the establishment of Government instructional factories. The organization set up was based on the division of the country into 17 administrative areas, each under a divisional director.
The cooperation of the employers and workpeople of the industries and trades in which men were being trained had already been secured after protracted negotiations with the leading British industries, which were conducted in 1916 and 1917 by the late Mr. St. George Heath of the Ministry of Labour. These negotiations resulted in a series of agreements to which representatives of employers' organizations, trade unions and the State were contracting parties, providing for the precise length of the training courses, the regulation by each trade of the number of men admitted to training in it, and the proportion of the men's pay respectively contributable by the employer and the State. The training schemes were drawn up by the National Trade Advisory Committees, composed of equal numbers of representatives of employers and workpeople, and their supervision was carried out by Local Technical Advisory Committees, similarly constituted, without whose consent no man was to be placed into training.
The policy of concentrating training in the Government instructional factory, based on the closest possible imitation of the management, discipline, machinery and productive work of the ordinary factory, but differing from the latter in that its primary function is the output of trained men instead of finished goods, was the outcome of the great and growing demand during the war for semiskilled workers, capable of setting free the skilled man for more complicated operations. The impossibility of obtaining a rapid supply of such workers through the ordinary workshop, which was too intent upon production to occupy itself with the scientific upgrading of unskilled labour, or through the existing machinery of the technical schools, which were out of touch with the requirements of modern large-scale manufacture, compelled the Government to set up institutions of its own. In these was evolved a system of intensive training capable of teaching in two or three months, to a woman hitherto accustomed only to house work, one or two of the simple operations involved in specialized repetition work and of turning her, for example, into a competent capstan hand. The considerations which led to the adoption of this system for the purpose of dilution applied even more strongly to the case of the disabled man.
Up to Jan. 1921 some 50,000 men had been trained or were in training under the Ministry of Labour in addition to the io,000 already trained when they took over from the Ministry of Pensions. Fifty Government instructional factories had been set up with accommodation for 20,000 men, providing training in most skilled trades in the country and engaged on productive work ranging from the building of houses to the repairing of watches and clocks.
The chief trades in which training was given were mechanical and electrical engineering, building in all its branches, furnituremaking and wood-working, hootand shoe-making and repairing (hand and machine), tailoring (wholesale and retail), watchand clock-making and repairing, brush-making, basket-making, motor mechanics and commercial work, besides a great number of smaller trades, or trades, such as textiles and pottery, in which the amount of training given has been more limited. A considerable number of men were trained entirely in employers' workshops, but in the majority of cases a preliminary period in an institution, either a technical school or preferably an instructional factory, was given before placing a man for the completion of his training with an employer. The experience acquired during the war, in connexion with semi-skilled workers, that instruction controlled and directed on scientific principles results in a surprisingly high rate of progress on the part of the learner, was amply confirmed when applied to training for skilled occupations.
Prior to the Armistice a special committee, appointed by the Ministry of Reconstruction, considered this problem, and, in consultation with the Labour and Resettlement Committee, prepared a scheme to enable those involved to complete their apprenticeship. It was recognized that each industry had its own problems and that no uniform scheme could be adopted. The Committee, therefore, contented themselves with laying down certain general principles which should be observed if State assistance was to be obtained. It was left to each industry, through an organization representative of employers and operatives, to prepare a detailed scheme adapted to the needs of the industry concerned and embodying these general principles, which may be summarized as follows: (i) Men in the last year of their apprenticeship on enlistment should be regarded as journeymen.
(ii) The unexpired period of apprenticeship should be reduced by not less than one-third of the time lost by service in H. M. forces.
(iii) The time, it any, during which a man worked at his trade while in H. M. forces should be counted as part of the original apprenticeship.
(iv) After reaching the age when his original apprenticeship would have terminated, or the age of 21, whichever was the earlier, the man should be paid not less than three-quarters of the journeyman's rate for the first half of the resumed apprenticeship and not less than five-sixths for the remainder. Towards such wages the State would pay a grant equal to one-third of the journeyman's rate.
(v) Provision should be made in the scheme for allowing the training in the employer's establishment to be supplemented by training in a technical institute, the State agreeing to pay fees and a maintenance allowance.
(vi) An agreement should be entered into by employer and apprentice under which the employer undertook to train the apprentice as a skilled workman, and the apprentice to complete his training with the employer.
Forty distinct industries, covering about Boo different trades, prepared schemes in accordance with the principles laid down above. These schemes varied in many details, especially as regards the wages payable and the rate of deduction to be made from the unexpired period of apprenticeship in respect of the time served in H. M. forces. An additional scheme was prepared by the Ministry of Labour to cover unorganized trades and trades where the small number of apprentices did not justify a special scheme.
The number of apprentices brought under the scheme was, at the end of Jan. 1921, 43,500. These figures do not indicate the total number of persons who, whether directly or indirectly, had benefited as a result of the scheme. A large number of important firms, including the majority of the railway companies, took back their ex-service apprentices under conditions as good as, or better than, those laid down in the scheme, but preferred not to ask for State assistance. Government departments, such as the Admiralty, the Ministry of Munitions and the Post Office, adopted a similar course. Persons in their last year of apprenticeship on enlistment were treated as journeymen but did not receive State assistance.
It has been estimated that the number of persons who in this way indirectly benefited under the scheme was at least as large as the number of those who were formally brought within its provisions. On Jan. I 1921 the number of apprentices who had applied and were eligible, but for whom employers had not been found willing to enable them to complete their apprenticeship, was 300. It will be seen, therefore, that practically the whole of those desiring to complete their apprenticeship were enabled to do so.
One of the conditions attached to payment of State assistance was an undertaking on the part of the employer that he would give to the apprentice the training necessary to make of him a skilled workman. It became, therefore, the duty of the Ministry of Labour to take steps to insure that this undertaking was carried out. Employers might otherwise draw State assistance and exploit the labour of the apprentices by keeping them on " repetition " work. A small staff of specially qualified officers was accordingly appointed to visit the firms having apprentices under the scheme, and satisfy themselves that the training given was satisfactory.
The training given to these apprentices was modelled on the training given to boys. Where such was the case it was not possible to take exception to what was in fact the methods customary to industry. But in investigating the training of the ex-service men, the officers were, in effect, making a survey of the methods of training customary in the skilled trades in the case of boy apprentices. No such survey had ever been attempted before.
As stated earlier, each scheme for an industry was prepared by some organization representative of employers and operatives in that industry. Much thought was given by the industry to the preparation of these schemes, and the methods and facilities for training, whether in the workshop or technical institute, were fully discussed. A scheme when finally adopted represented, therefore, a considered agreement within the industry. In connexion with the administration of the various schemes, many difficult questions of interpretation arose. The Ministry of Labour made no attempt to give an interpretation, but referred the question to the trade organization who had prepared the scheme, and accepted their interpretation; acting on the assumption that the only body fitted to give a decision was the organization responsible for the scheme. Where disputes arose between an individual employer and apprentice, it was provided in the agreement between the two that such dispute should be referred to the Trade Panel of the Local Employment Committee and that the decision of the panel should be final.
It will be seen, therefore, that the policy underlying the scheme was one of administration under the advice and direction of the various industries. This policy was adopted after careful consideration. It was felt that, in view of the widespread dislike of Government interference, any attempt to impose a scheme on industry was bound to fail, and that success could be looked for only if the cooperation of industry was sought and secured. This policy has been justified by its results. The Ministry of Labour, throughout, was able to count on receiving the fullest assistance, both from employers' associations and trade unions.
The first women's training course was opened at the end of May 1919. This was a course of training for domestic service, and 16 young women passed through the 13 weeks' course and obtained good situations at its close. Altogether 84 centres for training in domestic service were established, and just over 2,000 women trained. The experiment proved successful and encouraging. The courses were held in widely differing conditions and localities, but under the excellent teachers the interest of the women was aroused and the majority went straight into service from the schools. These classes were held in various parts of London and the suburbs and in 42 towns throughout Great Britain.
Apart from domestic service, some 7,000 women were trained for industry. The department's training was from the first restricted by the terms of the Treasury grant " to normal women's industries which were women's trades or processes before the war," and to these, notwithstanding much pressure from women's organizations, the women's training branch rigorously confined its activities. Three other conditions limited the sphere of its industrial training, viz. a reasonable prospect of absorption in the industry after training, good working conditions, coupled with fair wages, in the trade, and the consent of the trade unions and the employers concerned to training being given. Exhaustive enquiry and constant watchfulness were necessary in these connexions.
The greatest demand for training, combined with the best prospect of absorption and most favourable conditions, was found in the two chief women's trades - dressmaking and tailoring; and 77 courses were provided, affording accommodation for 3,362 women.
The majority of these training courses came to an end on June 30 1920, though a limited number were continued for varying periods in order that the standard course might in each case be completed, viz. six months for an industrial and three months for a domestic course. From Jul y onwards but few new schemes (and those solely of a domestic type) were started, but by this time the trade slump had begun, and it was useless to train women for industries in which the chance of employment was of the slenderest.
The training referred to above is that of women who were thrown out of employment by the termination of the war. The Women's Training Branch, however, was entrusted with the training of two other classes of women directly affected by the war, viz. soldiers' widows and disabled nurses. The powers of the State to give such training to these women as would enable them to supplement their pensions by employment were first vested in the Ministry of Pensions by Royal Warrant, but were transferred to the Ministry of Labour by Order in Council in the autumn of 1919.
Over 4,000 applications from widows were dealt with, and training found for over 1,200 of those who applied. During the training, which was in all cases free, an allowance was made to the widow in addition to her pension to enable her to meet any extra expense to which she might be put. A large number of widows were trained as practising midwives. Having a home and a pension they were able, as few women were, to accept the precarious livelihood which this calling offers in a rural district. As all had to pass the examination of the Central Midwives' Board, women of good general education only were selected for this particular branch. Another large group of the widows in training were those learning tailoring and dressmaking, home dressmaking being especially popular, possibly because the department was empowered to make a grant of a sewing machine on the completion of the course and also because the work could be carried out without interference with normal domestic ties and duties. Training in cookery, ladies' hair-dressing, confectionery, photographic studio work, and secretarial work was also given.
Applications received from disabled nurses were relatively few in number, as was to be expected, because those only were eligible who were in receipt of a disability pension under the Royal Warrant, and were not entirely disabled but physically unfit to practise as nurses. After the powers of the Ministry of Pensions were transferred to the Ministry of Labour in the autumn of 1919, 140 disabled nurses had by March 1921 been placed in training, out of 394 applicants. Some very sad cases were brought to light, many of the women proving physically unfit for the training desired, and for such application for assistance was made to the " Officers' Friend." Those remaining under training in March 1921 represented a great variety of occupations, including dispensing, massage and electrical treatment, public health appointments, secretaries and chauffeuses to doctors, poultry farming, etc.
The Appointments Department came into being during the war. Upon the Armistice its work developed very considerably both as regards training and placing in employment. In the first place, so far as training was concerned, under the decision of the War Cabinet given in Dec. 1918, funds were made available for higher educational training in universities, technical colleges, agricultural colleges, farms, professional firms, business houses, etc. The Board of Education, the Board of Agriculture and the Ministry of Pensions with the Ministry of Labour were made responsible for the administration of the scheme. The Appointments Department, by reason of its experience and provincial organization, operated as the machinery by which all the departments obtained information as to applicants, while the training for agriculture and higher educational training remained respectively with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Board of Education. The professional business and workshop training was transferred from the Ministry of Pensions to the Appointments Department. Under this scheme 17,311 ex-officers and men of similar educational qualifications had been placed by the Appointments Department in training at the end of Jan. 1921, while there were 1,864 waiting.
In connexion with the scheme selection committees were set up throughout the countr y, composed of prominent professional and business men in each district. The functions of these committees were to interview candidates who applied for grants, and to make recommendations to a bod y known as the Grants Committee at headquarters. The final decision in such recommendations rested with the London Grants Committee.
These committees worked in turn in conjunction with what were known as Interviewing Boards, whose functions were (a) to decide what applicants properly came within the purview of the Appoint-. ments Department; (b) to advise applicants as to their prospects of obtaining employment, and (c) to select applicants as candidates for the vacancies on the books.
So far as placing was concerned, upon demobilization the department undertook the work of acting as official agent between employers and their former employees, who were either officers or men of other ranks of similar educational qualifications. In this capacity the department facilitated the return to their pre-war employment of 169,321 men up to March 26 1919. In addition to this the department undertook special activities with a view to finding new appointments for ex-officers, and up to the end of Jan. 1921 it found employment for 48,860 men, with 10,720 men remaining unemployed.
In May 1916 the Military Service (Civil Liabilities) Department came into being to help the wives of serving soldiers where military service imposed serious hardship. The scheme was limited to men who had joined the forces since Aug. 4 1914. The general items in respect of which assistance was granted included rent, mortgage interest, payment in instalments of contracts such as the purchase of premises, business or furniture, rates and taxes, insurance premiums and school fees. The maximum amount granted was not to exceed £104 per annum. Up to the conclusion of this scheme on July 31 1920, 475,271 applications had been received and 312,810 grants had been made to a total value of £ 6,239,670. In Feb. 1919 the Government decided to extend the principle of this scheme with a view to resettling men in their previous businesses when they were, as a result of military service, suffering serious financial hardship. The scheme as amended took two forms: current assistance could still be given in respect of liabilities such as those mentioned above, or alternatively, a lump sum grant towards the restarting of a business might be given.
So far as the second class of case was concerned, the Civil Liabilities Department was not empowered to pay resettlement grants for new businesses except in the case of disabled men. In that case alone the disabiiity was in itself treated as serious financial hardship, and powers were given to make grants for those men in respect of new businesses. Under this scheme up to the end of Jan. 1921, 251,259 applications were received; 95,651 grants were made at a total expenditure of £2,675,665. In addition there was a special scheme for providing tools for workmen who had to return to their pre-war occupations. Under this scheme £21,562 was paid out.
(H. WF.) United States.- United States troops continued to embark for Europe until the signing of the Armistice Nov. II 1918. At that time, according to the final report of Gen. Pershing, 2,071,- 463 officers and men had sailed to serve with the A.E.F. and only some 15,000 had returned to the United States. According to figures compiled by the War Department, the total number of officers and men encamped in the United States on that date was 1, 6 34,499 and more than 300,000 additional men had been ordered to be in camp before Nov. 30 1918. All draft calls were at once cancelled. On Nov. 26 orders were issued for immediate demobilization of the Students' Army Training Corps, which had been introduced Oct. I in about 50o colleges and universities throughout the country. This led to the discharge of some 150,000 students during December.
The question of general demobilization presented serious difficulties, and precedent offered slight help toward their solution. It was recognized that with peace would come a drastic curtailment of production in many industries, and it was feared that this curtailment and the sudden release of large numbers of soldiers would result in wide-spread unemployment and suffering. On the other hand the retention of a large army no longer needed would impose an unjustifiable financial burden upon the country. It was decided to discharge all emergency troops as rapidly as they could be dispensed with; but at the same time the Department of Labor was requested to watch carefully the labour situation, so that if desirable the rate of discharge might be reduced locally or as a whole.
The method of demobilization finally adopted differed from that employed by the European Allies. The plan of release by military " classes " based on age and length of service, natural in France and Italy, could not be applied in a country where the system of universal military service was unknown. It would have caused needless delay to attempt demobilization of the A.E.F. before beginning the release of men encamped in the United States. Neither was it feasible to follow England's system of " industrial demobilization." Profiting by the early mistakes of her Allies, America had not drafted indiscriminately into immediate service " key or pivotal men " from essential industries, but had placed them under deferred classification. Any attempt to demobilize by different occupations would have caused useless delay and might have impaired seriously military units overseas. It was therefore decided to demobilize by complete military units. In this way men returned to America under their own officers in orderly fashion. From the beginning, however, attention was given to individual requests for discharge, especially from American camps, if it appeared that men were needed by their families or their service required for industries. Speed of return from overseas was governed solely by transport facilities. About one-half of the American troops had been carried across in British vessels, which now were needed for home and colonial service. At the time of the Armistice transports belonging to the U.S. Government had a capacity of only about r io,000 a month. This was now rapidly increased by the release of battleships and cruisers. Use was made also of German passenger ships, and arrangements were made for the use of Italian, French, Dutch, and Spanish vessels. On June 30 1919, 173 vessels were in use as transports. After the Armistice embarkation camps were organized at Bordeaux, Brest, and St. Nazaire, and later at Havre and Marseilles. Le Mans was selected as a centre of distribution for the ports, and accommodations were ordered there for 230,000 men. There was considerable complaint of congestion and inadequate care of troops, especially at Brest, where there were normal accommodations for only 55,000 men, although that port alone was available for the largest transports. In America, Boston, Charleston, Newport News, and New York City were chosen as ports of debarkation.
Troops began to land in America in large numbers Dec. 2 1918, when the " Mauretania " reached New York with 4.000.
By June 3 1919 there remained in France only 694,745 officers and men. The A.E.F. headquarters were closed in Europe in Sept. on the departure of Gen. Pershing. Practically the last remnant of the A.E.F. in France embarked with Brig.-Gen. Connor in Jan. 1920. There remained in Europe, besides the Graves Registration Service and special commissions, only the Army of Occupation in Germany. By June 30 1920 troops in Europe had been reduced to below 17,000.
Camps and cantonments in the United States formerly used for mobilization were converted into centres of demobilization, and to these were sent troops from overseas as well as those at home. Efforts were made to send each man to the demobilization centre nearest to his home or place of enlistment. Each man was given a rigid physical examination. and those suffering from contagious disease were detained until there was no longer danger of infection. Discharge papers were prepared, accounts carefully settled, and an allowance of five cents a mile made each man from camp to his home. To encourage immediate return a reduced railway fare of two cents a mile was conceded those who departed within 24 hours after discharge. During the first three months of demobilization discharge required from four to seven days, but this was soon reduced to an average of two days. Gradually it was possible to reduce the number of centres, and beginning Nov. 25 1919 troops in America were discharged where stationed. Only two large centres were retained, Camp Dix, N.J., and the Presidio in San Francisco, for the use of troops returning from overseas, and even these were dispensed with after March 15 1920.
The following table prepared by the War Department shows the rapidity of general demobilization, month by month and cumulatively during the first year.
Nov. 11 -30. .
Dec.. .. .
37, 0 43
11 ,4 7 9
1 5 36000 000.
Aug.. .. .
16 9, 0 9 2
Oct.. .. .
The cost per man of demobilization varied from month to month because the uncertainty of the number of men to be handled required the keeping up of all the demobilization machinery; for March 1919 it was $69.95 but for June only $20.07.
At each demobilization centre were stationed representatives of the U.S. Employment Service, and if the discharged man had no prospective job he was registered and a card given him for the local service representative nearest his own home. The Employment Service atten pted to coordinate and cooperate with various local organizations, such as chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and patriotic and welfare societies. In Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, and some ether large cities, large bureaus were created for securing work for returned soldiers, sailors and marines. It is impossible to estin ate the number of places secured through these agencies, as few kept accurate records. But the Employment Service alone, during the 10 months from Dec. I 1918 to Sept. 27 1919, registered 758,474 m en and secured employment for 474,085. It was seriously handicapped, however, by lack of adequate appropriations in 1919 and its operations were practically suspended after October. Although there were some industrial centres which, immediately after the Armistice, experienced a degree of depression, business as a whole was prosperous with the result that the great mass of the returning soldiers, many of whom returned to their old jobs, had little difficulty in finding employment. There was, of course, a certain percentage of discharged men who found it difficult or irksome to adjust themselves again to the conditions of civilian life; these were inclined to drift to the large cities, even though the opportunity for getting employment there was often less favourable than elsewhere. The surprising thing was not that a comparatively small number was unable to get work, but that so large a number could be absorbed without at any time causing an acute unemployment problem. One method early proposed for helping discharged men was that of awarding a soldiers' bonus. The Federal House of Representatives passed a Bonus Bill May 29 1921 by a vote of 289 to 92. The bill carried an appropriation of $1,600,000,000. Protest,. however, arose throughout the country, largely due to the prospect of a great increase in taxation, and the Senate took no action. At its national conventions held in 1920 and 192T the American Legion was almost unanimous for a bonus for all who had served. Several states have acted on their own initiative and voted on the question of granting a bonus to their citizens who served. According to statistics gathered for The American Legion Weekly, up to the middle of May 1921 some form of bonus had been granted in 13 states, namely, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (later declared unconstitutional), North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. The payment provided varied. In several states a lump sum of $roo was awarded. In most cases the veteran received a fixed amount for each month of service (usuall y $io or $15) up to a maximum (varying from $120 to $600). Bonus bills had been defeated in II states, namely, California, Colorado, Connecticut (relief fund provided, the interest of which is to be used for needy men), Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Nebraska (relict fund provided, interest to be used for relief). No legislation was contemplated in 14 states, namely, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ne da, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, Virgi, and Wyoming. In the other states preparations were being made to act upon the question.
While the World War was still in progress there arose spontaneously among the American soldiers a wide-spread desire that with the coming of peace there should be created a permanent organization for perpetuating their feeling of comradeship and its ideals. Active steps toward this end were first taken at a caucus held by a number of service men in Paris March 15-17 1919. This was followed by another caucus held in St. Louis May 8-10 1919, when preliminary organization was effected and the name " The American Legion " adopted. Incorporation was secured by an Act of Congress Sept. 16 1919. The first annual convention was held at Minneapolis Nov. 1919. The purpose of the Legion, according to its constitution, is: " To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order; to foster and perpetuate a one hundred per cent Americanism; to preserve the memories and incidents of our association in the Great War; to inculcate a. sense of individual obligation to the community, state, and nation; to combat autocracy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master of might; to promote peace and good -will on earth; to safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy; to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness." The organization is non-sectarian and non-partisan. Any man or woman is eligible to membership who was in the military or naval service of the United States between the dates April 6 1917. and Nov. 11 1918 inclusive; also " all persons who served in the military or naval services of any of the Governments associated with the United States during the World War, provided they were citizens at the time of their enlistment and are again citizens at the time of their application." Exception is made of persons dishonourably discharged from service, as well as persons who refused to perform military duty " on the ground of conscientious or political obligation." At the head of the Legion are a national commander and five national vice-commanders, elected by the national convention. The active director at headquarters is the national adjutantgeneral. Each state also is organized under a state commander and other officers. The local unit is called a post. On Sept. 30 1921 the number of posts was 10,795, located in every state of the Union and in the District of Columbia, the Philippines, Panama, Cuba and many other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and France. The total membership at the same date was about 785,000.
The Legion strongly endorsed the proposed Federal bonus for all ex-service men; and, especially through its National Legislative Committee, was influential in giving publicity to the needs of disabled soldiers and in securing legislation in their behalf. To its efforts, in part at least, were due the enactment of the Sweet bill, providing for the Veterans' Bureau; the Veterans' Hospital bill, appropriating $18,600,000 for building or improving hospitals for ex-service men; the publication of lists of draft evaders in the Congressional Record; the bringing to the United States of the body of an " Unknown Soldier " for burial in Arlington National Cemetery; the bestowal of the Congressional Medal of Honor upon the British " Unknown Soldier " buried in Westminster Abbey, and upon the French " Unknown Soldier " buried under the Arc de Triomphe. The official publication is The American Legion Weekly. The Women's Auxiliary had a paid-up membership of 107,345 on Sept. i 1921. At the national convention of the Legion in 1921 distinct organization was effected, and separate officers and headquarters were chosen.
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