Aims and Relationships of the Craft
In August 1938 the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland
and Scotland each agreed upon and issued a statement identical in
terms except that the name of the issuing Grand Lodge appeared throughout.
This statement, which was entitled "Aims and Relationships of
the Craft", was in the following terms:-
1. From time to time the Grand Lodge of Scotland has deemed it desirable
to set forth in precise form the aims of Freemasonry as consistently
practised under its jurisdiction since it came into being as an organised
body in 1736, and also to define the principles governing its relations
with those other Grand Lodges with which it is in fraternal accord.
2. In view of representations which have been received and of statements
recently issued which have distorted or obscured the true objects
of Freemasonry, it is once again considered necessary to emphasise
certain fundamental principles of the Order.
3. The first condition of admission into, and membership of, the Order
is a belief in the Supreme Being. This is essential and admits of
4. The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the Sacred
Law, is always open in the Lodges. Every candidate is required to
take his obligation on that Book, or on the Volume which is held by
his particular Creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken
5. Everyone who enters Freemasonry is, at the outset, strictly forbidden
to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace
and good order of society, he must pay due obedience to the law of
any state in which he resides or which may afford him protection,
and he must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the Sovereign
of his native land.
6. While Scottish Freemasonry thus inculcates in each of its members
the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it reserves to the individual
the right to hold his own opinion with regard to public affairs. But
neither in any Lodge nor at any time in his capacity as a Freemason
is he permitted to discuss or to advance his views on theological
or political questions.
7. The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to express any
opinion on questions of foreign or domestic state policy either at
home or abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with
any action, however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes
its unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting
the relations between one Government and another, or between political
parties, or questions as to rival theories of Government.
8. The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist bodies styling themselves
Freemasons, which do not adhere to these principles, and while that
attitude exists the Grand Lodge of Scotland refuses absolutely to
have any relations with such bodies or to regard them as Freemasons.
9. The Grand Lodge of Scotland is a sovereign and independent body
practising Freemasonry only within the three Degrees and only within
the limits defined in its Constitution. It does not recognise or admit
the existence of any superior Masonic authority however styled.
10. On more than one occasion the Grand Lodge has refused, and it
will continue to refuse, to participate in conferences with so-called
International Assocations claiming to represent Freemasonry, which
admit to membership bodies failing to conform strictly to the principles
upon which the Grand Lodge of Scotland is founded. The Grand Lodge
does not admit any such claim, nor can its views be represented by
any such Association.
11. There is no secret with regard to any basic principles of Freemasonry,
some of which have been stated above. The Grand Lodge will always
consider the recognition of those Grand Lodges which profess and practise,
and can show that they have consistently professed and practised,
those establised and unaltered principles, but in no circumstances
will it enter into discussion with a view to any new or varied interpretation
of them. They must be accepted and practised wholeheartedly and in
their entity by those who desire to be recognised as Freemasons by
the Grand Lodge of Scotland.