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Illinois War Council (WW II) - RG 518 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Illinois War Council (WW II) - RG 518
Variant Name: State Council of Defense (WW II)

Historical Note: On April 17, 1941 the State Council of Defense was created. It was composed of the Governor as ex officio chairman, Lieutenant Governor, the president pro tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, the minority floor leader of the Senate, the majority and minority leaders of the House, the chairman of the Illinois Commission on Inter-Governmental Cooperation, and nine persons appointed by the Governor in regard to their special knowledge of subject matter relating to defense. Duties included cooperating with the Council of National Defense, similar federal agencies, and other similar state councils; organizing local defense committees to carry on the state program at the local level; and generally assisting in the coordination of state and local activities related to defense. The council had authority to adopt its own procedures and to conduct investigative hearings with subpoena powers. All officers, departments, institutions, and agencies of state government and all local and municipal officers were required to cooperate with it. The mayor of each city, the president of each village or incorporated town, and the president of each county board were authorized to establish councils of defense. Each local council had the same powers and duties within its respective jurisdiction as were vested in the State Council of Defense (L. 1941, p. 1265). The council changed its name to the Illinois War Council in 1943. It was abolished in 1945 (L. 1945, p. 242).

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