The Union of Democratic Control (UDC), as its name implies, was primarily concerned about the lack of democratic accountability in the making of British foreign policy. Its prime target was what was seen as the processes of 'secret diplomacy' which had drawn Britain into the war. Beginning with the publication of its manifesto in 1914, it campaigned throughout the war and continued to press its case during the inter-war years and beyond. It developed an extensive local organisation, with at least 100 UDC branches across Britain and, by 1917, had more than 10,000 members. Its credibility was further reinforced by the presence on its Executive Committee of men and women who were at the heart of national politics - Charles Trevelyan MP, Arthur Ponsonby MP, Ramsay MacDonald MP, Philip Snowden MP, Helen M. Swanwick, Norman Angel and campaigning journalist E. D. Morel who was its first Secretary.