Letter: Secret within the law

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The Independent Online
Sir: Stephen Friar (Letters, 23 July) asks if the provision of the 1799 Unlawful Societies Act requiring Masonic lodges to send an annual return of members to the Clerk of the Peace has been repealed. It was, as part of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1967.

Such was the publicity given to the event that Grand Lodge itself was not aware of it until 1969, when a number of Clerks of the Peace wrote in to ask Grand Lodge to stop sending in their returns as they were no longer required.

Yours faithfully,


Librarian and Curator

Library and Museum of the United Grand Lodge of England

London, WC2

23 July