Nolan Inquiry into Freemasonry within the Police and Judiciary 1996

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Dear Committee on Standards in Public Life,

I believe that Lord Nolan was appointed by John Major in 1994 to chair an Inquiry into Freemasonry within the Poilce and Judiciary and that he produced a report in 1996.

Under the Freedom of Information Acts please could you send me a copy of that report?

Yours faithfully,

Phil Collyer

Public Enquiries - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

1 Attachment

Dear Phil Collyer

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 4 October 2013 requesting a copy of Lord Nolan’s report into Freemasonry. Your request is being treated as a routine request as the information you require is already available to you through the Committee’s publications.

After conducting a search of the Committee’s records and publications, I can confirm that the Committee has not conducted an Inquiry into Freemasonry but their work has included discussion of whether members of specific organisations should declare their membership in a register of interest.

• During the first Committee public hearing into standards of conduct in the House of Commons in 2002, Iain MacWhirter referred in his evidence on the issue of declaring membership to certain organisations including the freemasons. Please see the attached evidence for further details.
• The Committee examined a range of Codes on Conduct in Scotland, Wales and England in its Tenth Inquiry in January 2004. The Committee considered the declaration of membership to organisations including Freemasons on registers of interests. The Report says:
“The issue for one society in particular, Freemasons, has been resolved in England as membership now constitutes that of a charitable organisation and is therefore an interest that should be registered [Sir Anthony Holland 18.05.04 567]. The general registration rules will be covered as part of the Standards Board’s review of the Code of Conduct.”

You can access the full report here:
http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/doc...

More generally, the Nolan principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. This includes all those who are elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally, and all people appointed to work in the civil service, local government, the police, courts and probation services, NDPBs, and in the health, education, social and care services.
The description of the principle of Integrity states that:
Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
On the issue of declaring membership, the Committee has in the past, and continues to place considerable importance on publicly accessible registers of interests. Such registers may vary in detail, but the purpose of the register is to make members of the public and public office holders aware of interests held which are likely to give rise to conflicts of interest.

I hope that this information is useful to you.

Yours sincerely
Laurie Mousah

Laurie Mousah
Policy adviser, Committee on Standards in Public Life
0207 271 6642

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Dear Laurie Public Enquiries - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

Thank you for your reply, information and link.

I have done further research and realise now that the committee that published this report was in fact the Home Affairs Committee not the Committee on Standards in public life. Sorry for my confusion.

However I still cannot find the report so if you have a link to it I would be grateful.

Further what I want to know is the present state of the need to declare freemasonry in all areas of public life. Is there any one place I can go to find this out simply?

This brings me on to the issue that you mentioned of the disclosure of membership of freemasonry due to the Grand Charity.
Is this still the case with the demise of the Standards Board for England?
How does the Localism Bill affect this?
Would this be the case whatever a local authority said in its specific code of conduct?

I thank you for your time

Kind regards,

Phil Collyer

Public Enquiries - Cabinet Office [Restricted],

Dear Phil Collyer

Thank you for your reply to my letter dated 24 October, I apologise for the delayed response.

After completing a thorough internet search, I have been able to find the Home Affairs Committee first report into Freemasonry entitled 3rd report, session 1996-97: freemasonry in the police and the judiciary Vol. 1: Report, together with the proceedings of the Committee on the Stationery Office’s website here:
http://www.tsoshop.co.uk/bookstore.asp?F...

I have also found a link to the Home Affairs Committee’s second report into freemasonry here:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

Neither of these reports are the work of our Committee. As previously referred to, the Standards Board clarified the position of declaring Freemasonry membership by requiring all Freemasons to declare membership if their membership includes membership of the charitable arm, i.e. the Grand Charity, unless they have opted out. With the demise of the Standards Board, it is the responsibility of each local authority to put in place a code of conduct and it is the duty of every holder of public office to ensure that they comply with it. I am not aware of any one place where all this information would be grouped together; however, the Department for Communities and Local Government may be able to assist you further. Their contact details are below:

Department for Communities and Local Government Eland House Bressenden Place London SW1E 5DU
Email: [email address]

I hope this information is useful to you.

Yours sincerely
Laurie Mousah

Laurie Mousah
Policy adviser, Committee on Standards in Public Life
0207 271 6642

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