DS&S demand greater representation

At a general meeting of the Luton branch of the National Federation of Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers on March 9th, 1919, President Mr H. Booth and Mr Dimond (Chairman of the Beds & Herts Divisional Council of the DS&S) raised the necessity for demanding greater representation on local civic bodies, special reference being made to the inadequate representation of discharged men on the War Pensions Committee for a town of Luton's proportions.

The Luton News (Thursday, March 13th) reported that it was decided, Mr M. Ball seconding, that a mass meeting be arranged to publicly demand greater representation, and a resolution was passed calling for that recognition in view of the fact that the branch represented 1,000 ex-servicemen.

The resolution was to be sent to the War Pensions Committee, the Ministry of Pensions and the Federation headquarters.

Other items on the agenda included the appointment of Chairman Mr W. Clay and Mr Aylott as delegates to the annual national conference to be held on Whit Sunday and Monday at Manchester. [This was the meeting which would agree that the DS&S branches nationally should not participate in Peace celebrations until unemployment issues had been resolved. Luton branch went along with the decision and took no official part in Peace Day celebrations in the town.]

The Luton branch HQ - the Ivy Leaf Club in Park Street – was to become the permanent headquarters of the Divisional Council, of which Mr Clay had been voted Vice-Chairman.

The club building itself had seen considerable renovations carried out, with a billiards room arranged upstairs.

But the Chairman and Secretary, backed by the Executive Council, lodged emphatic protests against any tendency towards irregular conduct in the club. After considerable discussion, it was decided that strong action would be taken, if necessary.