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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Non-Free Members

Non-Free Members.

Bury Branch.—Resolved—

"That this branch wishes to draw the attention of the E.C. to their reply to the Birmingham 2nd Branch in the Monthly Report for October, 1877, and to Rule 8, clause 5, and to reconcile the same."

Reply.—Previous to 1866, non-free members were exempt from all levies, but at the Manchester Delegate Meeting the rule as amended took the form which it still retains in Rule 8, clause 5, namely:—"Non-free members shall be subject to all fines and levies to which free members are liable, except during sickness or want of employment." This rule was in force for six years before local levies were adopted in our society, and the four members of the E.C. who recorded their votes in favonr of the decision referred to, did so in the belief that they were providing for a contingency not contemplated by the framers of the rule. They knew that many newly admitted members have heavy entrances to pay, and that if they were also required to pay local levies as soon as they were admitted, the effect would be that candidates would be deterred from joining our ranks during the period when a local levy is being enforced. They therefore considered that the society's interests would be best served by deciding that the payment of local levies is not compulsory on members admitted after the levy comes into operation.