The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8
Australasia.—The condition of affairs in this jurisdiction, at present under the control of the Grand Lodges of Australia and New Zealand, is well understood by the G. L. of U. S., the Grand Officers having fully explained the situation in their reports to the Annual Sessions, and recommended for several years the appointment of a Special Commissioner to visit that important country at our expense, for the purpose of adjusting the complications there existing, deeming such action a desideratum worthy of the earnest consideration of this body. At the last session proper measures were presented to this end by the Committee on Foreign Relations, which ultimated in the following form:
First, The appointment of the M. W. Grand Sire John W. Stokes, as a suitable commissioner to Australia and New Zealand.
Second, The appropriation of one thousand dollars to pay the expenses of the mission.
Third, Authorizing the R. W. Deputy Grand Sire, John B. Harmon, in the event of the inability or refusal of the Grand Sire to perform said duty, to act in his stead.
In pursuance of this effective legislation, evincing the great interest of the Grand Lodge in the subject, and testifying also its adequate liberality, the M. W. Grand Sire took early steps to consummate the purpose. That worthy officer participating cordially in the object, so soon as he discovered his inability to leave his post of duty for so long a time, tendered the appointment to the R. W. Deputy Grand Sire as provided by law, who promptly accept-ed, and officially embarked for the seat of his labors on the 15th of April last, by steamer from San Francisco, California. Brother Harmon expressed his intention to visit Auckland and Dunedin in New Zealand, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, and such other points as time and convenience of travel would permit, returning in time to present his 'official" report at the next session.
The following correspondence between the Grand Sire, Deputy Grand Sire, and Grand Cor. and Rec. Secretary will present to the Grand Lodge an intelligent view of the action of the Grand Sire, including the commission issued, the general instructions to the Deputy Grand Sire, and the latter's deliberate views and opinions of his duties in the premises.