HC Deb 23 February 1883 vol 276 cc708-9

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Whether the contributions of members of Friendly Societies are recoverable in the County Court; and, whether his attention has been called to a circular issued by the Independent Mutual Brethren Friendly Society, threatening members in default that, by section 31, sub-section 2, of "the Friendly Societies Act, 1875," they are liable to be sued in the County Court for the amount due?


Sir, the contributions of members of friendly societies are not recoverable in the County Court, being defined by statute as voluntary. My attention was some time ago called to the extraordinary conduct of the Independent Mutual Brethren Society in attempting to extort money by the threat of a section which, in express terms, is confined to a class of societies quite different from their own, and the Treasury took legal advice on the subject; but as the misleading circular was subsequently altered or withdrawn, it did not appear advisable to take legal action.