NEW WELCOME LODGE
Founding and history Wiki
The lodge was consecrated in 1929, shortly before the formation in 1929 of the second Labour Government. Its founding was reported in a number of national newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, and Sporting Life. It was created at the suggestion of the then Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VIII, who was concerned by the antagonism between Freemasonry and the British left, and the fact that a number of Labour MPs were blackballed when applying to join Masonic lodges. The New Welcome Lodge was intended to form a link between Freemasonry and the new governing party, and was open to Labour MPs and for employees of trade unions and the Labour party; its members included Labour’s deputy leader Arthur Greenwood. Hugh Dalton alleged that he had been approached to join the lodge, being told that the association was useful and that Greenwood (then deputy leader) was a member.
When the Parliamentary Labour Party was reduced in strength after its split at the 1929 general election over Ramsay MacDonald‘s formation of the National Government, numbers were reduced, and in 1934 membership was opened to all men working in the Palace of Westminster. Sir Walter Liddall was the first Conservative MP to be initiated in the lodge in 1937. By 1940, MPs from the three main parties were in the lodge and, since the Second World War, the membership of the lodge has been chiefly drawn from the staff of the Palace of Westminster.
Herbert Dunnico was Master of the New Welcome Lodge in 1931.
In 1989, the lodge was the subject of a House of Commons motion put down by the Labour member Max Madden, who stated that it was then meeting five times a year at Freemasons’ Hall in London. In 1992 it was mentioned in parliament by Chris Mullin, who claimed that the members included Tony Baldry and Sir Gerard Vaughan.
Alleged influence on 1935 Labour Party leadership elections
Herbert Morrison claimed that he was denied the leadership of the Labour Party in the 1935 election by the votes of Labour MPs who were members of New Welcome Lodge.Morrison’s backer Hugh Dalton made similar claims, and went further than Morrison by claiming to have been shown the summons for the meeting at which the voting was decided. Dalton believed that the members of New Welcome Lodge backed Arthur Greenwood, who was a member of the lodge, and then backed Clement Attlee in order to block Morrison.
Senior South Yorkshire police officers who were freemasons orchestrated a “masonic conspiracy” to shift the blame after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, the inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims have been told.
Maxwell Groome, a constable at the time, said that after the disaster at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s football ground, “the word” inside the force was that freemason officers held a meeting to blame superintendent Roger Marshall.
Groome said he heard that the meeting took place in portable cabins at South Yorkshire police’s area office, and was attended by Chief superintendent David Duckenfield, who had commanded the match.
Questioned by Michael Mansfield QC, representing 75 families whose relatives were killed at Hillsborough, Groome said he believed Duckenfield was “a grandmaster of a particularly influential lodge” – the Dore lodge in Sheffield.
Groome also told the inquest that senior officers pressured junior officers to change their statements after the disaster, because they were “terrified” of criticism of the force’s command. He said he was “duped” into agreeing to the changes, because he believed if he did not, he would never be called to give evidence to Lord Justice Taylor’s official inquiry or to the first inquest, and his statement would be “magicked away, dumped in a box, never to see the light of day again”.
Groome said a colleague, PC Brookes – whose first name was not given in court – called the inquiry team at West Midlands police to complain it was “a masonic conspiracy”.
Groome said Brookes told him West Midlands police asked if he could prove the conspiracy. Brookes told them he couldn’t, and Groome said they concluded it would not be investigated.
Asked why in earlier accounts about the events of the day he did not include the rumoured meeting of freemason officers, Groome replied: “Basically, I’d have been committing professional suicide.”
Marshall, who was in command outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles at Hillsborough, had requested a large exit gate to be opened, to alleviate a crush of Liverpool supporters outside the ground, and allow a large number in. The jury has heard that police did not close off a tunnel inside, which led to the Leppings Lane terrace’s crowded central “pens”, that many of the incoming fans headed down it, and the lethal crush happened in those pens.
Groome said he subsequently heard of the meeting between senior officers, said to have included Duckenfield, superintendents Roger Greenwood and Bernard Murray, Inspector Steven Sewell and Chief inspector David Beal.
“Being unable to prove it, I believe that most of them were masons,” he said.
The coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, sent out the jury of seven women and four men to allow legal discussions after Groome gave his evidence about the freemasons’ meeting. At the end of the day, the coroner referred the jury to “evidence of a meeting said by Mr Groome, on the basis of rumour, to have taken place on the morning of April 16”.
Goldring told them: “I should say this quite clearly to you: we have no other evidence than this rumour, said to emanate from the [South Yorkshire police] area office. It amounts to no more than what the witness described as ‘scuttlebutt’.’”
Groome, who on the day helped Liverpool supporters carry one of the 96 victims, Colin Wafer, 19, on an advertising hoarding being used as a makeshift stretcher, said the police operation as the disaster unfolded was “chaotic”. The inquest was shown Groome’s original statement – typed “recollections” made on plain paper after the event. He said officers were told not to write their accounts in their official police pocketbooks. Groome’s criticisms, which were removed in handwritten amendments after he submitted the statement, included a comment that “certain supervisory officers were conspicuous by their absence”.
Asked by Jonathan Hough, counsel for the coroner, to whom that comment was referring, Groome replied: “Duckenfield”.
Groome had also written: “The control room [where Duckenfield was in command] seemed to have been hit by some sort of paralysis.”
Other criticisms he made in his statement, which were also deleted, included the decision not to delay the match’s 3pm kick-off; reductions in police manpower; staffing of the control room; that “too many officers were sitting around in the gymnasium” and pointed to the removal from command at Hillsborough of the experienced officer, Chief superintendant Brian Mole. The jury has heard that Mole was replaced on 27 March 1989, 19 days before the semi-final which 54,000 people would attend, by Duckenfield, who had never commanded a match at Hillsborough before.
Groome subsequently signed a typed up version of his amended statement, he says, because he feared that it would not see the light of day otherwise.
The “main thrust” of the pressure to change his statement was, Groome said: “They were terrified of junior officers criticising senior officers and therefore, in their eyes, undermining the command structure of South Yorkshire police.”
The inquests continue.
I was amazed to find a lodge in almost every town cite and village everywhere you go in most parts of the world. It would be extremely naive to think they do not have an element of control.
Just a few masonic members
|Name||Constituency / Comments||Source of evidence / Member’s Masonic Lodge|
|Tony Baldry||Banbury (Conservative)||Hansard, 6 April 1989|
|Ed Balls||Morley & Outwood (Labour Co-op); Economic Secretary to the Treasury||Bilderberg participant (2001-03,2006-07)|
|John Baron||Basildon & Billericay (Conservative)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|William Wither Beach||Conservative MP for North Hampshire (1857-85); Andover (1885-1901)||Hampshire & IOW Masonry website|
|Anne Begg||Aberdeen South (Labour)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Stuart Bell||Middlesbrough (Labour)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Sir Frederic Bennett||Conservative MP for Torbay (1955-87)||Bilderberg participant (1963,1965-75,1977-80)|
|Brian Binley||Northampton South (Conservative)||Biography at Conservative Party website|
|Bob Blackman||Inept MP for Harrow East (Conservative)||Kenelm Lodge, No.8255|
|Tony Blair||Former Prime Minister; Labour MP for Sedgefield (1983-2007)||Internet forums suggest Studholme Lodge, No.1591; Bilderberg participant, 1993|
|Andrew Bridgen||NW Leicestershire (Conservative)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Gordon Brown||Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath (Labour)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums; Bilderberg participant (1991)|
|Vince Cable||Twickenham (Liberal Democrat)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Alun Cairns||Vale of Glamorgan (Conservative)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|David Cameron||Witney (Conservative)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Edward Hamer Carbutt||Tory MP for Monmouth||Book: “Secret Society of the Freemasons in Bradford”|
|David Chaytor||Labour MP for Bury North (1997-2010); jailed for 18 months after making false Parliamentary expenses claims||Claimed as Liberty Lodge, No.5573 in internet forums|
|Winston Churchill||Tory Prime Minister (1940-45 & 1951-55) [Note: The Churchill Society points out that he publicly resigned as a Mason in 1912]||Studholme Alliance Lodge No.1591; Rosemary Lodge No.2851|
|Kenneth Clarke||Rushcliffe (Conservative); Former Chancellor of the Exchequer (Conservative)||Bilderberg participant (1993,1998-00,2003-04,2006-08)|
|Clement Davies||Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire (1929-62); Former leader of the Liberal Party||Bilderberg participant (1954)|
|Geraint Davies||Swansea West (Labour Co-op)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Jim Devine||Labour MP for Livingston (2005-10) jailed for 16 months after making false Parliamentary expenses claims||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Sir Herbert Dunnico||Labour MP for Consett (1929-31)||Founder of New Welcome Lodge, No.5139|
|Sir Tony Durant||Tory MP for Reading North (1974-83); Reading West (1983-97)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Sir Peter Emery||Conservative MP for East Devon (1959-2001)||The Independent, 31 October 1995|
|William Forster||Conservative MP for Bradford (1861-1886)||Pentalpha Lodge, No.974; book: “Secret Society of the Freemasons in Bradford”|
|William Henry Foster||Conservative MP for Lancaster (1895-1900)||Book: “Secret Society of the Freemasons in Bradford”|
|Sir Anthony Gadie||Conservative MP for Bradford Central (1924-29)||Temple Lodge, No.4963|
|Phil Gallie||Conservative MP for Ayr (1992-97) (later MSP)||The Scotsman, 2 February 2002|
|Arthur Greenwood||Labour MP for Nelson & Colne (1922-31); Wakefield (1932-54)||Hugh Dalton makes the claim in his memoir “The Fateful Years”|
|William Hague||Richmond(Yorks) (Conservative)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums; Bilderberg participant (1998)|
|Keith Harding||Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife (1999-2003)||The Scotsman, 2 February 2002|
|Edward Heath||Conservative MP for Old Bexley & Sidcup (1950-2001)||Bilderberg participant (1963,1967,1969)|
|Joseph Hiley||Conservative MP for Pudsey (1959-74); involved in the Shire Oak scandal||Leeds Other Paper, 12 December 1986|
|Eric Illsley||Labour MP for Barnsley Central (1987-2011); jailed for 12 months after making false Parliamentary expenses claims||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Bernard Jenkin||Conservative MP for Harwich & North Essex||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|David Jones||Clwyd West (Conservative)||Welsh Assembly Register of Members interests|
|Gwilym Jones||Conservative MP for Cardiff North (1983-97)||Dinas Llandaff Lodge, No.8512|
|Ruth Kelly||Labour MP for Bolton West (1997-2010); Opus Dei member||The Scotsman, 21 January 2005|
|Sir Edwin Leather||Conservative MP for North Somerset (1950-64)||The Telegraph, 6 April 2005|
|Jack Lopresti||Filton & Bradley Stoke (Conservative)||Mr Lopresti is outed in a Bristol Indymedia podcast, 15 January 2012|
|Niall Macdermot||Labour MP for Derby North (1957-70)||The Independent, 31 October 1995|
|Sir John Major||Former Tory Prime Minister (1990-97)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Jamie McGrigor||MSP for the Highlands & Islands (Conservative)||The Scotsman, 2 February 2002|
|David McLetchie||Former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, who resigned after a taxi expenses scandal||The Telegraph, 7 February 2002|
|Reginald Maudling||Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet (1950-79)||Numerous sources list Mr Maudling as a Freemason|
|Brian Monteith||Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife (1999-2007)||The Scotsman, 2 February 2002|
|Elliot Morley||Labour MP for Scunthorpe (1987-2010); jailed for 16 months after making false Parliamentary expenses claims||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Robert Neill||Bromley & Chislehurst (Conservative)||New Statesman, 12 June 2006; Greater London Lodge, No.2603|
|Anthony Nelson||Conservative MP for Chichester (1974-97)||Martin Short claims that Mr Nelson told him that he was a Freemason|
|John James Oddy||Conservative MP for Pudsey (1908-10)||Book: “Secret Society of the Freemasons in Bradford”|
|George Osborne||Tatton (Conservative); Chancellor of the Exchequer||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums; Bilderberg attendee (2006-09,2011)|
|John Storey Penleaze||Liberal MP for Southampton (1833-5)||Hampshire & IOW Masonry website|
|Ian Paisley||North Antrim (Democratic Unionist)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Sir Ian Percival||Conservative MP for Southport (1959-87)||New Welcome Lodge, No.5139; Canada Lodge No.3527; County Palatine Lodge No.2505|
|Enoch Powell||Ulster Unionist Party MP for South Down (1950-87)||Bilderberg participant (1968)|
|Sir Malcolm Rifkind||Kensington (Conservative); Former Foreign Secretary||Bilderberg participant (1986,1996)|
|Sir George Robertson||Liberal MP for Bradford Central (1906-16)||Book: “Secret Society of the Freemasons in Bradford”|
|Peter Rost||Conservative MP for Erewash (1970-92)||Martin Short claims that Mr Rost told him that he was a Freemason|
|Michael Russell||Scottish National Party MSP for Argyll & Bute||Kyles of Bute Lodge, No.1120|
|John Smith||Labour MP for Monklands East (1970-94); Former Labour Party leader||Bilderberg participant (1986,1989,1991)|
|David Sumberg||Conservative MP for Bury South (1983-97); now an MEP dubbed “UK’s laziest MEP”||Smith Child Lodge, No.2064|
|Sir Charles S.Taylor||Conservative MP for Eastbourne (1935-74)||1985 Masonic Year Book|
|Stefan Terlezki||Conservative MP for Cardiff West (1983-97)||Dinas Llandaff Lodge, No.8512|
|Sir Neil Thorne||Conservative MP for Ilford South (1979-92)||Leyton Grange Park Lodge, No.5473|
|Sir David Trippier||Conservative MP for Rossendale & Darwen (1979-92)||Keystone Lodge, No.363|
|Sir Neville Trotter||Conservative MP for Tynemouth (1974-97)||Suggested as a Freemason in internet discussion forums|
|Sir Peter Vanneck||Conservative MEP for Cleveland & Yorkshire North||The Independent, 31 October 1995|
|Sir Gerard Vaughan||Conservative MP for Reading East (1983-97)||The Independent, 31 October 1995|
|Sir Alfred Cecil Walker||Democratic Unionist MP for Belfast North (1983-2001)||Martin Short claims that Cecil Walker told him that he was a Freemason|
|Gary Waller||Conservative MP for Keighley (1979-97)||Clifton Lodge, No.7112|
|Sir Francis Watson||Conservative MP for Pudsey & Otley (1923-29)||Book: “Secret Society of the Freemasons in Bradford”|
|Sir John Wells||Conservative MP for Maidstone (1959-87)||The Independent, 31 October 1995|