The following Rules passed at the Conference held in London, in November, 1866, were the result of careful and earnest deliberation, and are so plain that any preliminary observations may appear superfluous; a brief summary of their import, with a few remarks on the nature of the Society itself, may not, however, be out of place. 

The Society had its origin at New Cross in September, 1865, and after extending to the London Districts, was fully organised and commenced its labours in December, 1865, at which, time I was appointed Secretary. Since then , 60 Branches , including over ten thousand Members have been open ed, and are in full operation, and there is a prospect of Branches being shortly opened in Scotland. The original rules sufficed to iv govern the Society, until the meeting of the Conference, when it was resolved to introduce such amendments as would meet future wants, and place the Society on a firm footing. The object of the Society is clearly not to oppose the employer, or deny his authority, but rather to create confidence between the employer and the employed. In many circurmstances a servant fears or hesitates to approach an employer, to remonstrate or state a grievance , and often in consequence, puts up with a wrong in silence, or cares little to attend to his duties. The idea of the Society then is, to countenance only good and faithful servants, and give them that moral support when in difficulty, which is so often required. On the other hand, it is determined that the Members of the Society in case of any dispute, shall be allowed to appeal to the proper authorities, expecting from them a fair hearing. It is recommended therefore, that where this cannot be gained from Superintendents, appeal should be made to the Board of Directors. Past experience dictates this recommendation, because it is believed the Directors are little acquainted with the way some of their oldest and steadiest servants are treated. 

As to the Rules, it will be observed by Rule 3, that in future the entrance fee for Drivers will be 2s. 6d. , and for Firemen , 1s. Rule 4 grants powers to Branch Societies to frame their own bye-laws, and are subject to their local Committees so long as the laws made, and system adopted are in accordance with the General Rules. Rules 6 to 7 show the powers vested in the Central Committee, and the necessity for the Members of the Branch Committees to supply them with the fullest and earliest information, to guide their deliberations. Every important topic will receive their most careful attention, and as their time is very limited, it is to be hoped that important questions only will be brought under their notice. Respecting Rule 12,it should be thoroughly understood that it is the duty of each Branch Society, through its Committee, to apply to the Superintendent, on any line where a grievance, or difference arises, if possible, so effect a settlement, and to save the labour of the Central Committee as far as possible. Rule 13 is sufficiently explicit, and should any member unfortunately be compelled to avail himself of it, I recommend that he should give notice to his Branch immediately. An accident happens as it often occurs where there is delay, advantage is taken to the dis vi advantage of the servant, and his defence will not be complete. Rules 16 and 17 show the importance of every Member being clear on the Books at the end of six months; it will avoid trouble to the Branch Secretaries and annoyance to the member. Rule 21 must be strictly attended to ; delays are dangerous. I bring my remarks to a close ; they have been brief, but may be of service to some members, and tend to promote the objects of the Society,—thanking the members for their kind assistance and co-operation in the part which I regard as the best pledge of a suc cessful future. 


General Secretary. 

31 , Brydges Street, 


January 1st, 1867. 


1. That this Society shall be designated “ The Engine Drivers and Firemen's United Society.” 

2. That the objects of this Society shall be to promote a good and fair understanding between the employers and the employed ; to protect its members against the oppression and injustice of intermediate Officials; to afford , a ready means, by arbitration or otherwise, for the settlement of every dispute, and for granting such assistance as the Central Committee may think fit. 

3. That this Society shall be open to the membership of all Engine Drivers and Firemen on every Railway in the United Kingdom , on payment of two shillings and 8 sixpence entrance fee for Engine Drivers, one shilling for Firemen, and a subscription of two-pence per week. Firemen to be eligible when considered so by their Branch Committee. Both Drivers and Firemen wishing to be enrolled must be duly pro posed and seconded by two Members, and passed at the same time. 

4. That branch societies shall be formed in different districts, subject to the control of their Local Committees, and to any bye laws they may enact, provided always that they are in accordance with and subject to the Rules of the Society. 

5. That the business of this Society shall be managed by an assembly of Delegates, one from each branch, such Delegate to be summoned by the Central Committee, at such times as may be deemed necessary in consistence with the interests of the Society. 

6. That the Central Committee shall consist of two Delegates, duly elected and returned by each of the London Branch Societies. 

7. That the ordinary Monthly business of the Society shall be conducted by such 9 Delegates in Committee, and a Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, and three Trustees. 

8. That the Chairman shall be elected annually by the Central Committee. His duty shall be to preside at all meetings; to maintain order, and in every division, in case of equality, to have the casting vote, and shall receive such remuneration for his services as the Committee may from time to time think fit. 

9. That the Treasurer be elected by the Central Committee annually ; that he shall receive all moneys paid into the Committee by the Branch Societies, or otherwise, and lodge the same in the Post-office Savings Bank, within twenty-four hours after, to the account of the Trustees; have the custody of the pass book, and present it at every meeting of the Central Committee, and shall receive such remuneration for his services as the Committee from time to time may think fit. 

10. That the Secretary shall be elected annually by the Central Committee, and his duties shall be to attend all meetings of the said Committee, keep Minutes and a record of its proceedings, conduct its correspondence, keep books of accounts, prepare an annual balance -sheet, to be circulated amongst all the members, and generally be subject to the directions and instructions of the Chairman for the time being, and shall receive such remuneration for his services as the Committee from time to time think fit. 

11. That three Trustees be appointed by the Central Committee, in whose names all moneys shall be lodged at the Bank, and two of whom must sign every cheque to be countersigned by the Secretary. 

12. That should any member or members be suffering from oppression, at any time, or should any of them be improperly discharged from work, the case should be submitted to the Branch Committee, who after investigation and pending any inquiry which the said Committee may institute, the person or persons shall receive out of the funds of the Society their ordinary wages till the matter in dispute be settled, provided that they have paid six months' subscription to the Society. 

13. If any Member be prosecuted for any offence alleged to have been committed 11 by him while in the discharge of his duty, he shall send a statement of the charge against him to the Branch Committee, who shall refer it to the Central Committee, and if it appear to them that such member has a reasonable defence to such charge, and that the offence was not occasioned through, or originated by the drunkeness or culpable negligence of such member, the Committee shall take all requisite measures for properly defending such member against the charge preferred against him. The whole expenses of such defence to be paid by the Society. 

14. That any Member out of employment for any cause not coming within the cognizance of this society, may send a statement to his branch society of the nature of his occupation, where and how long employed, and for what cause he has left it, such statement to be sent to the Central Committee, who will endeavour to keep a record of vacancies and forward information respecting it to those Members to whom it may be useful. 

15. That in case at any time the entrance fees and ordinary contributions of members should not be sufficient to meet the legitimate 12 claims upon the Society, the Central Committee are empowered to make a levy upon each member, sufficient to defray the deficiency; and in case at any time the funds should accumulate beyond the ordinary or probable expenses of the Society, the Central Committee shall call a delegate Meeting, and the meeting shall decide what additional benefits or special grants shall be made for special purposes out of the funds of the Society 

16. That every member of this Society shall be clear upon the books at the close of the half -year ; failing to do so after due notice of the same, shall be considered no longer members, and their names forwarded to the Central Committee. 

17. That any member who through not being clear on the books at the Half-yearly Meeting, shall be expelled from the Society, may re- enter as a new member. 

18. That in case of any dispute arising between any members and the Society, the case in dispute will be determined by the Central Committee; but if the Member or Members feel aggrieved by their decision, 13 the case shall be referred to two Arbitrators, one chosen by each party. In case of the aforesaid Arbitrators not agreeing, the Central Committee shall elect, by ballot, an umpire, whose decision shall be final. 

19. That three Auditors shall in turn, according to the number of their branch, and one by the Central Committee, be appointed annually, to audit and examine the accounts previous to their being passed ; and shall have access to all books and papers of the Society for that purpose. 

20. That any person claiming the protection of the Society shall report the matter to the Chairman or Secretary of their Branch Society within three days of the occurrence that requires investigation ; failing to do so , he will be liable to forfeit the benefit of the Society until such time as he reports his case, 

21. That any Member wishing to be transferred from one branch to another shall have a note from the Secretary of the Branch to which he belongs, specifying that he is clear on the books, which he shall submit to the 14 Branch he wishes to join ; and from that time shall become a member of such Branch . 

22. That these Rules may be altered , amended, or added to, by the consent of three-fourths of the whole body of Delegates specially convened for that purpose.


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