The League of Nations Visit to Aberystwyth

Between 20 June and 29 July 2016 a display will be mounted in the Hugh Owen Library, Aberystwyth University, to commemorate the visit of the International Federation of League of Nations Societies to Aberystwyth 90 years ago. Dresden was to have been the venue as part of the celebrations to mark Germany’s admission as a member of the League of Nations. This had been agreed at Locarno in October 1925, but at a special meeting in March 1926 to confirm Germany’s position, objectioLeague of Nationsns were raised that resulted in delaying the decision. This made it difficult for the Federation to meet at Dresden and there was the real possibility that the congress would not be held at all that year.

One of the leaders, and main financial backer, of the League of Nations Societies in Wales and Great Britain was David Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, grandson of the famous David Davies, Llandinam, and brother of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, Gregynog. As well as being a businessman and philanthropist, he was also President of Aberystwyth University, and in order to save the 1926 congress he offered Aberystwyth as an alternative venue. His offer was accepted, and following three months of preparations by Aberystwyth Corporation, University officials and the ready cooperation of the residents of Aberystwyth and surrounding areas, a successful congress was held between 29 June and 3 July 1926.

The list of places that the Federation visited before and after 1926 shows that Aberystwyth – and Wales – was in very good company: 1919 Paris. 1919 London. 1919 Brussels. 1920 Milan. 1920 Geneva. 1922 Prague. 1923 Vienna. 1924 Lyon. 1925 Warsaw. 1926 Aberystwyth. 1927 Berlin. 1928 The Hague. 1928 Prague. 1929 Madrid. 1934 Brussels. 1936 Geneva.

The Hugh Owen Library is open between 8.30 and 5.30 Monday to Friday during the vacation.

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