Appendices (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)

Appendices : (a) Extracts from the Laws and Objects
Of The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, 1844
(b): Statement on the Co-operative Identity - ICA
(c): Co-operative Laws and Nos. of Articles (1997)

Source: Co-operative Laws in Asia and the Pacific
by G.K. Sharma (pp.209-224)

Extracts from the Laws and Objects of the Rochdale Society of
Equitable Pioneers, 1844*
1. The objects and plans of this society are to form arrangements
for the pecuniary benefit , and the improvement of the social and
domestic condition of its members, by raising a sufficient amount
of capital in shares of one pound each, to bring into operation the
following plans and arrangements.

The establishment of a store for the sale of provisions and clothing,
etc. The building, purchasing or erecting a number of houses, in
which those members desiring to assist each other in their domestic
and social condition may reside.

To commence the manufacture of such articles as the society
may determine upon, for the employment of such members as may
be without employment, or who may be suffering in consequence
of repeated reductions in their wages.

As a further benefit and security to the members of this society, the
society shall purchase or rent an estate or estates of land, which shall
be cultivated by the members who may be out of employment, or
whose labour may be badly remunerated.

That as soon as practicable, this society shall proceed to arrange the
powers of production, distribution, education and government, or in
other words to establish a self-supporting home colony of united
interests, or assist other societies in establishing such colonies.

That for the promotion of sobriety, a Temperance Hotel be opened in
one of the society's houses as soon as convenient.

2. That the government of the society shall be vested in a
President, Treasurer and Secretary, three trustees and five directors,
President, Secretary, Treasurer and Trustees to be elected at the
general meeting held in January, the directors to be elected at the
July general meeting, any of them being eligible for re-election.

3. That two auditors be appointed...They shall audit the accounts
of the society, see that they are correctly kept and balanced quarterly,
and report the same to each quarterly meeting or be fined.

4. That the officers and board of directors shall meet every
Thursday evening, at eight O'clock, in the Committee Room,
Weavers' Arms, Yorkshire Street, Rochdale, for the transaction
of the society's business.

5. That general meetings of the members shall be holden on the
first Monday in the months of January, April, July and October, at
eight O'clock p.m., at which meetings the officers of this society
shall make their quarterly financial report, in which report shall be
specified the amount of funds, and value of stock possessed by
the society.

6. That an annual general meeting be holden on the "First
Market Tuesday" on which occasion a dinner shall be provided
at a Charge of one shilling each person, and one week's notice.

7. The President shall act as Chairman at all meetings of this
society, and should he not be present at any of the society's
meetings, the officers or members present shall elect one from
amongst themselves to act as chairman on that occasion.

The president or chairman acting in his absence, shall sign the
minutes of the proceedings at each of the society's meetings.

8. The secretary shall attend all meetings of this society,
Record the names of officers present or absent, take minutes of
The proceedings at each meeting, keep all accounts, documents,
papers, books, etc., in such form, manner, or place as the society
may appoint, and summon all general meetings.

9. The treasurer shall be responsible for such sums of money
As shall from time to time be placed in his hands by any of the
society's officers, on account of the society, and for the investment
and application of the same under the authority of the officers of
this society.

10. The property of this society shall be vested in the trustees,
And the said trustees shall hold such property for the benefit of this
society, and in the names of the trustees for the time being shall
be made and taken all grants, conveyances, and assurances of property
in favour of this society, and all instruments and assurances for the
security of this society; they shall transact all businesses unless all
three are present.

11. They shall jointly and severally be responsible for all funds,
deeds, effects, or assignments placed in their hands, for the use and
benefit of this society; and should they at any time either unitedly
or individually misapply the property placed in their hands, upon
due proof thereof, the president and directors shall give such trustee
or trustees so misapplying the property, fourteen days' notice to give
up possession belonging to the society, and should he or they refuse
to do so, then the officers shall compel him or them to give up the
property, and transfer the same pursuant to the 10th Geo.IV, c.56,
sec.14. The trustees are to attend all weekly meetings, or be fined.

	That all securities, investments, and purchases which shall be
Taken or made by, or in the name of, the trustees of this society, and
all monies thereby or therein invested, or accruing therefrom, shall be
under the control of the officers and directors touching the management
of, or dealing with, the said securities, investments or purchases,
shall be obligatory on and observed by the trustees of this society, and
be a justification to them, and their indemnification in acting in obedience
to the same order, and all such trustees shall when required by a majority
of the officers and directors, sign, seal, and execute such declaration of
trust, of the estates, securities, moneys, and effects vested in them on
behalf of this society, as the majority of the officers and directors shall

12. That any person who may be appointed to any office in anywise
touching or concerning the receipt, management, or expenditure
of money collected for the purpose of the society, shall, if required to
do so, before entering upon the duties of such office give such security
as may be thought sufficient, by a majority of the members present
at a general meeting. 10 Geo.IV c.56, sec.11. 

13. Any person desirous of becoming a member of this society shall
be proposed and seconded by two members at a meeting of the officers
and directors, and if approved by a majority of those present shall be
eligible for election at the next weekly meeting.  Each candidate shall
pay the sum of one shilling as entrance money on being admitted to
membership; shares may be paid by instalments of three pence per
week on each share.

	Any member neglecting to pay such instalments for three
Months shall, except in cases of sickness or want of employment,
be fined in the sum of six pence.

Any member neglecting to pay such instalment for six months shall
be expelled, his or her share or shares be sold, and the remainder
after paying all necessary expenses, returned to such expelled member.
No member to have more than fifty shares.

14. That should the officers and members of this society find the
conduct of any of its members to be injurious to the interests of the
society, the president is hereby called upon to remonstrate with such
member, and should any member after such remonstrance still pursue
the same offensive line of conduct, such member shall receive one
month's notice of exclusion from this society, at the expiration of
which time the offending member shall be expelled without further

15. That should any member wish to withdraw from this society
such member shall give one month's notice of such intention to
the officers at the expiration of which time the member shall be at
liberty to withdraw from the society, such liberty to continue in force
until the next meeting of the board, but no longer.

16. That in all cases of exclusion or withdrawal from this society,
previous to receiving the balance remaining (after paying all necessary
expenses) for shares sold, the excluded or withdrawing party shall sign
his or her name in a book kept by the society for that purpose, after
which he or she shall have no further claim upon this society, nor shall
this society have any further claim upon him or her.

17. (Provided that a member withdrawing could retain possession
of his shares "until they can be disposed of advantageously" for a
period of twelve months, during which time no interest would be paid
on them.  It may be noted that shares were not withdrawable from the

18. That this society shall not be responsible for the debts of any of
its members except to the amount of the share or shares held by a member.

19. That in the case of a dispute between this society and any of
its members, or members or persons claiming on account of a member
finding himself aggrieved, or having any complaint against any member
or officer, may apply to the officers or directors for redress, but should
the party not receive satisfaction, appeal may be final and binding, except
reference be made to arbitration.

20.	(dealt with appointment and duties of arbitrators).

20. That no person shall be allowed to purchase anything on behalf
of this society except those who are regularly appointed by the officers
or members, and the officers of this society shall not in any case, nor on
any pretence, purchase any articles except for ready money, neither shall
they be allowed to sell any article or articles except for ready money.
Any officer acting contrary to this law shall be fined in the sum of ten
shillings, and be disqualified from performing the duties of such office.

21. That at each quarterly general meeting the officers in their
financial statement shall publish the amount of profits realised by
the society during the preceding quarter, which shall be divided thus; 
Interest at the rate of 3.1/2 per cent per annum shall be paid upon all
shares paid up previous to the quarter's commencement; the remaining
profits shall be paid to each member in proportion to the amount of
money expended at the store.

23.	(dealt with disposal of shares on death of a member).

24. That this society shall not be dissolved so long as the intents
and purposes thereof, or any of them, remain to be carried into effect,
without obtaining the votes of five-sixths of the then existing members
of this society.

Management of the Store
25. That the store be opened to the public on the evenings of Mondays
and Saturdays; on Monday from seven till nine; on Saturdays from six
till eleven.

26.	That all purchases be paid on delivery.

26. That a cashier and salesman be appointed to conduct the business
of the store, each to serve six months alternatively and be eligible for

27. The salesman shall weigh, measure and sell such articles and
commodities as are to be disposed of at the store, but shall not receive
payment for any goods sold.

28. The cashier shall receive payment for all goods purchased at
the store; he shall give a receipt to each purchaser for the amount
received, and keep a check of such receipt in a book provided for
that purpose, he shall pay over to the secretary at the weekly meetings
of the board, as a check on the cashier.

29. The purchasers be furnished with printed forms containing
the names of such articles as are on sale at the store, these forms to
be filled up by the purchaser and handed to the salesman when goods
are required; the salesman shall hand in all such orders to the secretary
at the weekly meetings of the board as a check on the cashier.

30. That the amount of money expended by each member during
each quarter to be determined by the check receipts produced by each

31. That the cashier or salesman be fined one shilling for
non-attendance at the proper time, unless 48 hours' notice be given
to the president and secretary of inability to perform the duties of his
or her office.

32. That the president and secretary be empowered to appoint
a member to perform the duty of any officer not attending to his duty
but that the board have power to alter such appointment should it be
thought expedient to do so.

34.	That the store be opened at the proper time by the president.

Miles Ashworth, President
John Holt, Treasurer
Charles Howarth
James Standring
James Daly, Secretary

Supplement of Amended Laws of the First Department of the
Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, Held in Toad Lane, in
The Parish of Rochdale, in the County of Lancaster**
Addition for the first law
That for the establishment of the store department a capital of
one thousand pounds be raised in shares of one point each, by not
more than two hundred and fifty members. Each person on his or
her admission to membership shall take out four shares in the capital,
but should one thousand pounds be found not sufficient to carry out
the business...It shall be lawful to augment the shares from four to
five...(remainder of a long rule is intended to bring about equality of
share holdings).

A new law to be placed or read between the 4th and 5th laws
That general meetings of the members be holden on the first and
third Monday evenings in each month, the business to commence at
eight O'clock, the four general quarterly meetings to be included.
The business of these meetings to consist in the explanation of the
principles, objects and laws of the society, to discuss the affairs and
suggest any improvement for the consideration of the officers and
board of directors...Members present at all general, quarterly and
annual meetings to have each, one vote, and no more, in the decision
of all questions.

Amendment of the 8th law
That on the general meeting held on the first Monday in October, it
shall be decided whether a dinner or tea or either be provided, on the
following "First Market Tuesday," to celebrate the anniversary and that
if it be decided by a majority then present that one be provided, the whole of the members shall pay for the same whether they attend or not...No
part of the expenses to come out of the funds.

Eleventh Law
The eleventh law was repealed, and one substituted to deal with
liabilities of officers.

Amendment of the 13th law
Any person desirous of becoming a member of this society, shall
be proposed and seconded by two members at a general meeting of
the members, and if approved of at the next general meeting by a
majority then present shall be admitted to membership...Each person
on the night of his admission, shall appear personally in the meeting
room and state his willingness to take out four shares of one pound
each, and to pay a deposit of not less than one shilling or three pence
per share, and to pay not less than three pence per week after, and to
allow all interests and profits that may be due to him to remain in the
funds until he have four shares in the capital.

Amendment of the 22nd law
That the rate of interest be five pounds per cent per annum, instead
of three and a half.

Amendment of the 24th law
This society shall not be dissolved so long as the intents and purposes
or any of them remain to be carried into effect, without obtaining the
votes of five-sixths in value of the then existing members of this
society, and the consent of all members who may be under any
responsibility on account of the society.

Laws repealed
That the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd and 34th laws
be repealed, and the management of the store left in the hands of
the officers and board of directors.

That the sale of all shares of persons leaving the society be by ticket.

Benjamin Rudman
Charles Howarth
James Tweedale
James Daly, Secretary
Certified August 7th, 1845.

*	P.511, British Co-operation by Arnold Bonner
**	Co-operative Principles for the 21st Century by Ian MacPherson

The ICA Statement on the Co-operative Identity

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily
to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations
through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility,
democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their
founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of
honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others.

The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put
their values into practice.

1st Principle : Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able
To use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of
membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious

2nd Principle : Democratic Member Control
Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their
members, who actively participate in setting their policies and
making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives
are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members
have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at
other levels are organised in a democratic manner.

3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitable to, and democratically control, the
capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually
common property of the co-operative. They usually receive limited
compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of
membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the
following purposes: developing the co-operative, possibly by
setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible;
benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the
co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the

4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence
Co-operatives are autonomous, self help organisations controlled by
their members. if they enter into agreements with other organisations,
including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do
so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and
maintain their co-operative autonomy.

5th Principle: Education, Training and Information
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected
representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute
effectively to the development of their co-operatives.

They inform the general public - particularly young people and
opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen
the co-operative movement by working together through local,
national, regional and international structures.

7th Principle: Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, co-operatives work for the
sustainable development of their communities through policies
accepted by their members.

Co-operative Laws and Number of Articles
Afghanistan	Co-operative Act, 1992 - Arts. 51
Australia	New South Wales Co-operative Act, 1924/1992,
Bangladesh	Co-operative Societies Ordinance, 1984, Arts.140
Fiji		Co-operative Act, 1947/1996, Arts. 64/122
India		Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 1984, Arts.110
Indonesia	Co-operative Act, 1967/1992, Arts. 58/65
Iran		Co-operative Societies Law, 1971/1992, Arts.149/71
Japan		Agricultural Co-operative Societies Law, 1948/1992,
Japan		Fisheries Co-operative Association Law, 1948, Arts.131
Japan		Forestry Owners Co-operative Law, 1951, Art.35
Japan		Consumers Livelihood Co-operative Societies Law,
1964, Arts.101
Japan		Central Co-operative Bank for Agriculture and Forestry
Law, 1943
Japan		Laborers Credit Co-operative Law, 1953, Arts.102
Japan		Credit Bank Law, 1951, Art. 92
Republic of Korea	Agricultural Co-operative Law, 1961/1991,
Arts. 176
Republic of Korea 	Credit Union Co-operative Law, 1972/1988,
Arts. 97
Republic of Korea 	Community Credit Co-operative Law, 1996,
Arts. 75
Republic of Korea 	Forestry Co-operative Law, 1993, Arts.77.
Republic of Korea 	Livestock Co-operative Law, 198, Arts. 147.
Kuwait		Ordinance on Co-op Societies, 1962/1979, Arts. 58.
Malaysian	Co-operative Act, 1922/1993, Arts. 96
Myanmar	Co-operative Societies Law, 1992, Arts. 39.
Nepal		Co-operative Societies Act, 1992, Arts. 49
Pakistan	Co-operative Societies Act, 1925, Arts. 73
Pakistan	Multi-Unit Co-operative Societies Act, 1942, Arts. 6
Philippines	Co-operative Code, 1989, Arts.1 30
Singapore	Co-operative Societies Act, 1979, Arts. 102
Sri Lanka	Co-operative Societies Law, 1972/1975, Arts. 75
Taiwan		Co-operative Law, 1934, Arts. 77
Thailand	Co-operative Societies Act, 1966, Arts. 119
Tonga		Co-operative Societies Act, 1968, Arts. 67.
Vietnam	Law on Co-operatives, 1996, Arts. 56