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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

Information for the use of branches; issued by authority of the General Committee, December, 1884

Front Cover

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Imperial Federation League.

Offices: 43, St. Margaret's Offices, Victoria Street, London, S.W.

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This Pamphlet is issued by the General Committee of the League for the information of persons desirous of founding Branches in any part of the Empire. It contains a summary of the objects and constitution of the League, as laid down at the Conference held on Nov. 18th, 1834, and also brief suggestions as to the formation and organisation of Branches, drawn up in conformity with the resolutions then passed.

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Imperial Federation League.

Nature and Objects of the League.

At a Conference on Imperial Federation, held in London on Tuesday, 29th July, 1884, the Right Hon. W. E. Forster, M. P., in the chair, it was unanimously resolved—
1.That in order to secure the permanent unity of the Empire, some form of Federation is essential.
2.That for the purpose of influencing public opinion, both in the United Kingdom and the Colonies, by showing the incalculable advantages which will accrue to the whole Empire from the adoption of such a system of organisation, a Society be firmed of men of all parties, to advocate and support the principle of Federation.
3.That this Conference refers to a Provisional Committee all details connected with the establishment and organisation of such a Society, for a report thereon to be submitted for the consideration and approval of an adjourned Conference, to be held at a suitable period in the coming Autumn.
At the Adjourned Conference, held on Tuesday, 18th November, 1884, the following resolutions were unanimously passed:— page iv
1.That a Society be now formed, to be called "The Imperial Federation League."
2.That the object of the league be to secure by Federation the permanent unity of the Empire.
3.That no scheme of Federation should interfere with the existing rights of Local Parliaments as regards local affairs.
4.That any scheme of Imperial. Federation should combine on an equitable basis the resources of the Empire for the maintenance of common interests, and adequately provide for an organised defence of common rights.
5.That the League use every constitutional means to bring about the object for which it is formed, and invite the support of men of all political parties.
6.That the Membership of the League be open to any British subject who accepts the principles of the League, and pays a yearly registration fee of one shilling.
7.That donations and subscriptions be invited for providing means for conducting the business of the League.
8.That British subjects throughout the Empire be invited to become members, and to form and organise branches of the League.
9.That an Annual General Meeting of the League be held in London.
10.That the affairs of the League until its next General Meeting be conducted by a General Committee.
11.That the General Committee be now appointed, with power to add to its number.
12.That the Branches of the League be empowered to appoint representatives to act on the General Committee.
13.That the General Committee shall furnish a report to the next Meeting of the League.
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Formation of Branches, and Enrolment of Members.

No. 6. "That the Membership of the League be open to any British subject who accepts the principles of the League, and pays a yearly registration fee of one shilling."

No. 8. "That British subjects throughout the Empire be invited to become members, and to form and organise Branches of the League."

British subjects forming any Association to promote the objects of the Imperial Federation League, and desiring to have such Association affiliated as a Branch of the League, are requested to be good enough to communicate, through their Chairman, or other duly appointed officer, with

The Secretary,
Imperial federation League,
43, St. Margaret's Offices,
Victoria Street,
London, S.W.
For the information and assistance of all such Associations so formed, and desirous of being affiliated and enrolled as Branches of the League, the following provisional arrangements have been made:—
1.A Branch of the League shall consist of not less than 20 enrolled members.
2.Applications from any Association wishing to be page 6 affiliated and enrolled as a Branch of the League must be accompanied by:—

A copy of the resolution of the Association expressing a desire to that effect, and specifying the name by which it wishes to be designated as a distinctive Branch of the Imperial Federation League.


A copy of the rules, if any, by which the Association is governed.

N.B. Time and correspondence will be saved if it appears clearly by the rules, or by the terms of the application for affiliation, that the Association invites the support of men of all political parties in the locality in which the Association is formed.


The names and addresses of the members of the Association.


A remittance of not less than one shilling for each member of the Association, such being the amount of the "yearly registration fee."

3.On receipt of this necessary information and the remittance, a notice of the enrolment of the Association as a "Branch of the Imperial Federation League" will be forwarded, provided it appears that the Association is in harmony with the objects and general constitution of the League.
4.The General Committee submits for the consideration of Branches established in any Dominion or Colony, the great practical advantages which would accrue should it be found convenient for them to combine with each other; with a view to forming central organisations representing the League in any Dominion or Colony, or in the provinces thereof.
5.It would be advantageous to the general conduct of the business of the League if Branches established in the page 7 United Kingdom combine with each other, and thus, as far as may be convenient, form groups of Branches.

N. B. Such central organisations, if formed, Would be the mediums of communication with the General Committee in London.

6.Counterfoil books containing certificates of individual membership have been provided, in order to facilitate the entry of the names of all members upon the central register. Such books or sample sheets can be had on application. Their use will be found convenient to Branches, and the general adoption of a uniform system would greatly assist the conduct of the business of the League.
7.Branches will be entitled to receive copies of all ordinary publications of the League, and additional copies in proportion to the number of members in the Branch.
8.Individual members may be supplied with all publications of the League on special terms, on application to the Secretary.
9.The General Committee hopes to be furnished with all published reports of meetings and other proceedings of Branches; or any publications issued by Branches, or contributed by individual members, with a view to giving them as wide a circulation as possible throughout the Empire.
10.It is extremely important that Branches in the Colonies should furnish the General Committee with all facts and information of such a nature as may tend to enlighten public opinion in the Mother Country, on all matters of imperial importance.
11.By the aid of the organisation of the League information can thus be readily obtained and diffused throughout the Empire, and by such means the precise nature of the "common interests" it is necessary to maintain, and the "common rights" it is essential to defend, by the page 8 united action of all parts of the Empire, will be better understood, while the necessity for some form of Imperial Federation will become more generally appreciated.
12.It is most desirable by all and every means to encourage the formation of sound public opinion on so important a question. This may be done, for example, by organising public meetings, by lectures, and by discussions in parliament and in the press, etc., etc. The General Committee will, on application, be happy to assist as far as possible any efforts in these directions made by Branches. When the League is fully organised, and sufficient funds, properly available for the purpose, are at the disposal of the General Committee, arrangements will be made for public meetings when and where desirable, and for securing the services of properly qualified persons to deliver lectures when required.
13.The annual registration fees of members will be payable on the 1st of January in each year.

Annual registration fees paid before the 1st of January, 1885, will be considered as paid for the whole year 1885.

N.B.—It is to be observed by all members of the League, and by all sympathisers with the movement, that the "annual registration fee" has been fixed at the small sum of one shilling, so as to admit of all classes of the community joining the League.

The Imperial Federation League, therefore, relies on voluntary aid. Although the General Committee only require the "annual registration fees" to be sent from Branches, still, considering the heavy expenditure which will have to be incurred in carrying out the objects of the League, they will thankfully receive contributions from the Branches as well as from private individuals.