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(title page) The North Carolina Council of Defense Plan of Organization
The North Carolina Council of Defense
Raleigh, N. C.
Commercial Printing Company
Call number Cp970.9 N87cp c. 3 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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[Title Page Image]
When the United States entered the most colossal of wars, Congress felt the necessity of uniting and expediting all the measures for preparation and for continuance in the war. To this end it created a National Council of Defense and charged this body with manifold duties. This Council is composed of six members of the President's Cabinet, namely: Secretary Baker (War), President, Secretary Daniels (Navy), Secretary Houston (Agriculture), Secretary Lane (Interior), Secretary Redfield (Commerce), and Secretary Wilson (Labor).
The Council was directed by Congress to nominate to the President an Advisory Commission of seven members, "each of whom shall have special knowledge of some industry, public utility, or the development of some natural resource, or be otherwise especially qualified." These seven members of the Advisory Commission are Daniel Willard, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor; Howard E. Coffin, Vice-President Hudson Motor Company; Julius Rosenwald, President Sears, Roebuck & Co.; Bernard M. Baruch, Dr. Franklin
Martin, and Dr. Hollis Godfrey, President Drexel Institute.
The duties of this Council and Commission are thus defined by President Wilson:
"The Council of National Defense has been created because Congress has realized that the country is best prepared for war when thoroughly prepared for peace. From an economic point of view, there is very little difference between the machinery required for economical efficiency and that required for military purposes. The Council is organized for the creation of relations which will render possible in time of need the immediate concentration and utilization of the resources of the Nation."
The National Council of Defense says: "The State Councils of Defense should co-operate with each other and with the Federal Government in organizing and directing the resources of the State in men and materials, to make them available and effective for national use, and should recommend changes in the State laws which may become expedient."
Acting under authority of law the National Council of Defense asked the Governors of each of the States to form a State Council of Defense to accomplish the services mentioned. In compliance with this request the Governor of North Carolina appointed a State Council, of which the Governor and the Adjutant-General are ex officio members. The other members
are as follows: Mr. W. S. Lee, of Charlotte; Mr. C. C. Taylor, of Greensboro; Dr. Joseph Hyde Pratt, of Chapel Hill; Dr. James Sprunt, of Wilmington; Col. J. Bryan Grimes, of Raleigh; Mr. George W. Watts, of Durham; Mr. R. N. Page, of Biscoe; Mr. F. L. Seely, of Asheville; Dr. George Howe, of Chapel Hill; Mrs. J. E. Reilley, of Charlotte, and Dr. D. H. Hill, of Raleigh.
This Council met and organized in Raleigh on the 31st of May. The following officers were selected: Dr. D. H. Hill, Chairman; Mr. W. S. Wilson, Secretary, and Hon. B. R. Lacy, Treasurer. After a day of deliberation, it was decided that for the systematic and active prosecution of its duties, the work of the Council should for the present be grouped into the following divisions, with a chairman and six other members constituting each group.
First, Finance.--The Central Committee on Finance is composed of Mr. W. S. Lee, Mr. George W. Watts, and Mr. R. N. Page. In some of the States, the Legislatures, being in session, made ample appropriations for the use of the State Council. For the present this Committee will undertake to secure from generous citizens such sums as will be required. Hon. B. R. Lacy, State Treasurer, will receipt for any contributions that may be sent to the Council.
Second, Public Information.--This Committee will co-operate with the National Council in distributing information to the people, in helping to advertise and sell such securities as our Government may issue, in helping the other committees to present their work, and as a bureau of information for parents and friends of men in the service.
Third, Legal.--This Committee will guide the Council in its efforts to enforce national laws on exemptions, sanitation, home protection, food conservation and distribution, in keeping down speculation, and in general in all relations of citizens to State and general government.
Fourth, Co-ordination Work.--In order that all the different organizations engaged in various services may have a clearing-house, this Committee will endeavor to secure the utmost unity and harmony of effort so as to prevent all overlapping or repeated effort. It will endeavor to formulate plans for a welded organization.
Fifth, Sanitation.--In the absence of the large numbers of physicians who will be called into service every effort must be made by compliance with hygienic living to prevent sickness. This Committee will work in conjunction with city, county, State, and National Boards of Health in trying to secure cleanliness, in fighting diseases in their incipiency, and in all forms of preventive medicine. It will study the health laws of counties and towns and will communicate
practical suggestions and plans from one to the other. It will try to enlist all schools, social, fraternal, and religious orders to unite their energies for a sustained campaign for the preservation of health.
Sixth, Conservation of Resources.--In the long and probably desperate struggle that may be before our country, and in ministering to the wants of our exhausted allies, it behooves us to save materials of every kind, to prevent all waste, to utilize products not formerly considered as valuable, to make each acre of land do its full duty. The Committee charged with this most important task will counsel with like committees from other States, and with experts in special economic problems and suggest methods of simpler living, of nutritious rations, of savings on farms and in the homes and in the forests. Economic processes will be studied with a view to their general adoption in all families.
Seventh, Industrial Survey.--In case the Government needs any additions to the industrial survey made by the Naval Consulting Board this Committee will be prepared to co-operate in securing the information. It will also aid farmers in securing needed seed and act as a bureau of information for industrial articles.
Eighth, Historical Preservation.--The State wants to keep a complete record of all its volunteer and national soldiers and sailors, and also of its nurses, physicians, chaplains, and service-renderers
of every description. It wants to preserve the names of all North Carolinians serving with units from other States, and to keep a record of any heroic or distinguished performance by its sons and daughters.
Ninth, Labor.--In the absence of many laborers in the service this committee will by correspondence and reports from various sections of the State endeavor to transfer laborers where possible to meet exigencies, to report to farmers and manufacturers any available laborers, and try to help in cases of dissatisfaction or impending strikes.
Tenth, Military.--This Committee will act in concert with the military authorities in ministering so far as a State can to the necessities of North Carolina soldiers, and in devising ways and means for hospital comforts and necessities.
Eleventh, Home Defense.--The State will soon be swept bare of its militia. It will be necessary to organize a home guard for the safety of homes and property. This Committee will aid in presenting the necessity of an organized force and in formulating plans for its formation.
Twelfth, Transportation.--This Committee will unite its efforts with those of the Government in helping to have ready for speedy transportation any material needed from our State.
Thirteenth, Research.--The members of this Committee will hold themselves in readiness to conduct such technical investigations as the Government may desire made.
Fourteenth, Woman's Work.--The women of the State are engaged in many forms of patriotic service. The members of this Committee will be women, and they will endeavor to unify the manifold activities of the women.
Fifteenth, Soldiers' Business Aid Committee.--Many of our soldiers while away from home will need some experienced man to lend a hand in the management of their private business. This Committee, through a sub-committee in each county, will undertake free of all charge to aid soldiers and sailors in any legal or business matter entrusted to its members. It will, if desired, watch that a soldier's insurance policies do not lapse; that his taxes are paid; that any mortgage indebtedness is attended to, and that no legal or business advantage is taken of a soldier during his absence. The Committee will also seek ways to aid the family of any soldier, if such family, from accident or calamity, should need assistance, to train disabled men for remunerative work, and to aid returning soldiers in securing employment.
To secure for all the people an organized form of united service, County Councils are arranged for each county, and these, in turn, will organize the county into such small units as may be needed. Each County Council consists of a chairman and six other members. The Councils appoint such committees and perfect such plans as may suit the needs of their respective localities. It is desired, however, that each county should have an able, aggressive committee on Health and Sanitation; on Farming; on Food; on Home-Saving; on Families of Soldiers, and on Home Defense.
As our Nation, after a long period of peace, is just entering a war of unexampled magnitude, it is of course now impossible to forecast in full what duties and services may devolve on each State. We know, however, that if, as now seems likely, the war shall continue, there will be a full measure of calls for service, for sacrifice, for ministering to distress. Whether the war be long or short, our State wants to be organized and ready at a moment's notice to do its part gladly, generously and nobly.
We already know that our Nation's sons are being thrown into the most merciless war ever waged, and that our daughters are entering the service of their country in manifold capacities. We already know that their necessities will be
great. We are a strong and wealthy nation. We want to furnish our soldiers, sailors, nurses, doctors, hospitals, ships, with every protective device and sanitary improvement known to science. As these duty-called men and women serve for us, let us not fail to supply them with every necessity for battle and every comfort for camp. Let us surround them with every safeguard of body and soul. Let us assure them that their absence will not entail physical suffering in their homes. We can accomplish these things only by continuous and organized effort. The Council of Defense was devised by our Government as the best method of unifying and organizing the State's united activities. Service in the organization is a call to duty, and we are sure that no patriotic citizen will withhold his freest service.