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Page 9 of Addresses delivered at the Grand annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky : held at the Masonic Temple in the city of Louisville, October 18th, A.D. 1869, A.L. 5869 / Elisha S. Fitch.

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ELISHA S. FITcnH. some instances more than Jouble the amount was received by the represen- tative than was paid in by his Lodge. It will become apparent to every brother. who will take the pains to examine our Grand Lodge returns for the last few years, that this annually increasing systematic depletion is be- coming more and more oppressive, and calls loudly for some measure of relief. After a patient investigation of this delicate subject in all its various bearings, I would respectfully suggest, as an amendment to the Constitu- tion, that when any subordinate Lodge in this jurisdiction has had an ex- istence of flve or more years, her representative shall not be allowed to draw a larger amount, in mileage and per diem, than is actually paid into the Grand Treasury by the Lodge he represents, as her dues to this Grand Lodge. The policy thus indicated would seem to be only just to tile (Grand Lodge, while it would also be generous toward her subordinates. Its object is not to create any distinction between Lodges in the estimution of this Grand Body, or to establish any favoritism whatever. It only requires all her subordinates to defray the expenses of their respective representatives, less the amount of their annual dues to the Grand Lodze, unless said dues should be in excess of said expenses, in which event the excess would be payable to the Grand Lodge. Justice to this Grand Lodge, as well as to Ler self-sustaining subordinates, demands some corrective of the evil conm- plained of, and surely, if we desire to appropriate the 'jewel of consisten- cy," we should take some step in this direction. For many years past this Body has been legislating to rid the Lodges in her jurisdiction of the incu- bus of individual drones so thickly scattered throughout our Masonic com- munity ; and yet, during all this tinme, she has herself borne patiently with whole hives of drones, which have annually been taking away from her treasury more than they have contributed, and, while "having a name to live," have been, for all practical and equitable co-operation, Masonically "dead." Such a policy, we think, cannot be sustained either by justice or expediency. It is mv deliberate judgment that if, after a probation of five years, a Ma- sonic Lodge is unable to stand alone and work successfully in this jurisdic- tion, it might as well surrender its charter at once; but if not disposed to do this, it ought at least, after that period, cease to be a charge upon the Grand Treasury, and be willing, if necessary, to dispense with a representative, rather than withdraw from the conmmon fund for his attendance, inore than it has been taxed to contribute in common with her sister Lodgles. It is bv no means the purpose of the proposed amendment to deprive the feeblest Lodge of its right of representation in this GTrand Body-certainly not. That right should be indefeasible, and preserved intact. I would be quite as much opposed to the principle ot "taxation without representa- 9