[From Brown's Directory, 1881/2]

[Historical Chapter]

[Port Erin Loan and its Consequences - pt 2]

The new year (1877) opened with an unusual but well-deserved bestowal of royal favour upon two distinguished Manxmen—the conferral of knighthood upon Deemster Drinkwater and Mr. Attorney-General Gell. In January, 1877, the Governor published a second Minute, in which, after referring to certain statements made by the deputation to Mr. Smith, and comparing them with official documents, he said that the deputation had confined themselves to disproving the responsibility of the Insular Government, and that the result had been to revert the question to the status quo ante. Contending that this position was injurious to Insular interests ; he next argued that the proposals of the Imperial Government ought now to be considered, since, as he believed, they were essential to the material improvement of the Island. On the 6th February, 1877, the committee formally reported the result of their interview with Mr. Smith ; and Mr. Clucas moved that the Treasury be requested to give their assent to the proposed guarantee of the Northern railway. Deemster Drinkwater seconded the motion, which was agreed to nem. con.

On the 15th November, 1878, the second and final stage of this irritating dispute was inaugurated by the Governor issuing a long and elaborately prepared Minute, in which he informed the Tynwald Court that the harbour works then in course of construction would be completed early in the ensuing year, and also that their effect upon the trade of the Island, even in their unfinished state, had been markedly beneficial. In view of these results he was led to conclude that the time had now arrived for commencing certain new works, and also for enlarging certain exist-lug works, with regard to which he proposed shortly to lay plans and estimates before the Court. The works he proposed for immediate commencement were—an addition of 300 feet to the Queen Victoria Pier, at an estimated cost of £40,000; the construction of a road to connect the Red and Queen Victoria Piers, at a cost of £4,50Q; certain improvements in Peel harbour, at a cost of £21,700 ; and the construction of a work to provide increased shelter for the fishing fleet at Port St. Mary, at a cost of £13,500. In addition to these works, which he considered of immediate importance, he stated that it would be necessary shortly to consider the advisability of extending the works in Ramsey Bay, at a cost of from £15,000 to £16,000. The money to provide these works, amounting to about £80,000, he proposed to borrow, as before, from the Loan Commissioners. But this the Island was precluded from doing except upon one condition—the satisfactory settlement of the Port Erin Loan question; and to this desirable end he now wished to direct the attention of the Tynwald Court. He then reviewed in a very favourable light the several conditions offered by the Treasury as an equivalent for the adoption by the Island of the Port Erin Loan, the annual charge of which he estimated at £2,600 for a period of 45 to 50 years ; and concluded by saying that the acceptance of those proposals would be advantageous to the Island in themselves, while the collateral advantages, such as a daily mail and the power to borrow at a low rate, greatly enhanced their value. He also suggested that the time had arrived when it would be desirable to impose dues upon vessels entering Manx harbours, and also to levy a toll upon all persons using the Queen Victoria pier from June to September in each year. Accompanying this Minute was an explanatory report from the Harbour Board, signed by the Receiver-General. In connection with the publication of this Government Minute a public meeting was held in Douglas, on the 28th November, at which resolutions in favour of a daily mail were unanimously passed On the 4th December, after an explanatory statement by the Governor, R. Harrison, Esq., Receiver-General, laid plans and estimates of the proposed works on the table of the Court, and moved that a committee be appointed to consider the works named in the Governor’s Memorandum — That to enable these works to be carried into execution it is necessary that all out-standing financial differences with the Imperial Government he settled. And that his Excellency the Lieut.-Governor be requested to ascertain the terms upon which the Imperial Government would agree to a settlement of these questions on the basis of—(1). A daily mail service being provided. (2). The Insular revenue being credited with the amount of duty paid on English duty paid articles imported into the Island. (3). Crown lands being rated for rateable purposes. (4). The power of borrowing from the Public Work Loan Commissioners at a minimum rate of interest.

Seconded by Mr. Jeffcott. Deemster Drinkwater opposed the motion on the grounds of the defective nature of the statements laid before the Court by the Governor, of the unnecessary character of most of the pro. posed works, and of the inability of the Insular revenue to bear the additional annual burden of £5,000 without an increase of taxation, which it would be unwise and inopportune to impose. The proposals of the Treasury he strongly condemned as equivalents, and maintained that they were all matters belonging to the Island of right, which could be obtained by proper management without incurring the burden of the Port Erin Loan. The Vicar-General agreed with Deemster Drinkwater, and claimed, as a matter of right and justice, that they were entitled to the duties paid in England and to the other things set forth in the Governor’s Memorandum. It was an iniquity from beginning to end to say that the Island should not have its rights unless it paid for them, and he hoped that the Court would never consent to offer a bribe in order to get that which they had a just right to. Mr Dumbell deprecated these appeals to abstract rights, and maintained that the Imperial Government had been induced to undertake the Port Erin work for the benefit of the fishing interests of the Island. He also supported as necessary to the progress of the country the works proposed in the Memorandum, and concluded by calling the attention of the Court to the meeting in Victoria Hall as showing the feeling in Douglas respecting the advantages of a daily mail. Archdeacon Moore owned, with the member for Douglas, that whatever might be the abstract merits of the case, the Court had led the Imperial Government into the expenditure at Port Erin. He did not see what better arrangement could be made than that proposed in the Governor’s Memorandum, and he would therefore like to see that arrangement come to as soon as possible. Mr. W. Farrant said that nothing could be more distasteful to him than to criticise unfavourably proposals emanating from the Governor, of whose zeal for the interests of the Island and untiring industry in promoting them he was so well assured, but, after going thoroughly into the entire subject, he felt it to be his absolute duty to oppose the greater part of the scheme proposed in the Memorandum. From a searching examination of his Excellency’s own figures he came to the conclusion that the works proposed, added to the burden of the Port Erin Loan, would be more than the revenue could bear ; and when to this he put the statement of the Governor to the deputation from Ramsey respecting the effect of the guarantee to the Northern railway, the gravity of the case was still further increased. The proposal to spend £40,000 in lengthening Victoria Pier caused him profound astonishment, for during the greater part of the year it was almost left in solitude, and only during a few months in summer was it anything like crowded. Of the connecting road between the two piers he strongly approved ; and, as its cost would be very small, he hoped it would be carried out. Of the proposed works at Peel too he heartily approved, but that at Port St. Mary he would postpone for the present. Tracing the story of the Port Erin Breakwater, he showed that no responsibility for it attached to the Court, a fact which had been explicitly acknowledged by Mr. Smith ; and with regard to the debarment of the Island from borrowing from the Loan Commissioners, he showed that the various harbour authorities throughout England had obtained nineteen-twentieths of their loans from private sources, and he asked was not the same resource open to them. As to the idea that the Imperial Government could coerce them into accepting its terms, it was too absurd to be seriously considered for a moment. No English ministry of the present day would descend to such a proceeding. There was, therefore, no necessity for submitting to the terms of a bargain which he must characterise as the most improvident and unwise they could be asked to sanction. The hon. member concluded by moving the following amendment

Resolved,—That the Tynwald Court having given ‘an attentive consideration to the proposals contained in the Lieut. -Governor’s Memorandum of the 1st instant, do appoint a committee to consider the above proposals, and to report—(i). Whether it be expedient in the existing financial condition of the Island, that the construction of any, and if any, which of the harbour works mentioned in his Excellency’s Memorandum at present be undertaken. (2). Whether it be advisable to effect an arrangement with the Imperial Government for the settlement of the Port Erin question, in consideration of the conces sions enumerated in the Lieut.-Governor’s Memorandum. (3). Whether it might not be practicable, by an Insular fiscal re-arrangement, to render it the interest of the importers of tobacco to pay the duties on the said tobacco in the Island. (4). Whether, in the opinion of the committee, the despatch of a deputation from this Court to confer with the Treasury authorities, would afford the promise of an early and amicable settlement of the questions to which his Excellency’s Memorandum refers in connection with the Port Erin Loans. (5). What the probable effect would be on the commerce and prosperity of the Island of the imposition of harbour dues at Douglas. (6). To report generally upon the position, expenditure, and distribution of the Insular revenue derived from all sources.

At this point his Excellency adjourned the debate to Tuesday, the 10th of the same month.

In the interval of the adjournment a number of Mr. Farrant’s consti tuents, dissatisfied with his opposition to the proposed arrangement of the Port Erin loan, which they supposed would again endanger the prospect of a daily mail, held a second meeting in the Victoria Hall on the 2th, at which motions in favour of a daily mail, and condemning Mr Farrant’s views, were passed almost unanimously. On the 10th, the debate was resumed by Mr Christian seconding the amendment. He pointed out that the conditions upon which it was again proposed that they should take up the Port Erin loan were exactly the same as those which the Court had condemned before. What real advantage was there offered to them P In England the Crown lands were rated, and if the Court persisted in its application, he had no doubt but that they would get the same here. Therefore, so far as that item was concerned, it was no real recompense for their taking upon them this debt of £2,600 a year for the Port Erin loan. So, too, with the offer of 2s. 6d. per hundred letters, which was exactly what was given in other places — neither more nor less. With regard to the return of the amount of the duties paid in England, which his Excellency bad put down at £2,300, that sum was a mere guess. Altogether, though he would be delighted to have the Port Erin question cleared up, he thought it would be highly inexpedient to adopt the loan upon these conditions. He did not believe that the Treasury had spoken its last word in the matter; and he saw no reason to think that, if a Committee were appointed to go into the matter, they could not obtain better terms than those set down in the Memorandum. Mr. R. J. Moore supported the resolution, as did Mr Jeffcott. Mr. E. C. Farrant and other members continued the de bate, and on a division the amendment was carried in the Keys but rejected in the Council. A further amendment was then moved by Mr. E. C. Farrant, with a like result. The original motion as their put and carried in the Council, but lost in the Keys—the same members voting the same way in each division. The two branches of the Legislature were thus resolutely opposed upon this question, and it was, consequently, in technical phrase, " hung up." The Court then adjourned to Friday, the 20th ; but on that day, in consequence of the indisposition of the Governor, the Court was further adjourned to the 30th.

On the 17th, a third Government Memorandum on the Port Erin loan was issued by the Governor. In this paper he said that, after carefully considering the effect of the votes of the Court on the 10th, he was of opinion that they practically negatived the suggestions contained in his former Memorandum. Feeling, however, that this might, possibly, not have been the intention of the Court, and the questions involved being very important, he wished to give the Court an opportunity of further considering them. The two main points, he said, were— ". Whether the Court will consent to an arrangement of the Port Erin difficulty on equit able terms, and if so, that the terms upon which the Imperial Government will come to a settlement may be ascertained ; and 2. To decide as to whether the whole of the works, or what portion of them named in the Minute should be carried out. With regard to the first question, the Governor considered himself to be the proper medium of communication with the Government ; and with regard to the second, he considered that a committee ought to be appointed to take evidence. Should the Imperial Government be inclined to re-open the question, he would then re quest the Court to nominate three or more of its members to confer confidentially with him. The Minute concluded by stating that, unless the Port Erin difficulty were satisfactorily removed, it would be impracticable for years to carry out the projected works at Peel and elsewhere, that the question of the imposition of harbour dues need not come before the Court immediately, and that by accepting the Minute to be submitted to them on the 20th, the members of the Court would not lose their freedom of final decision. lie proceedings of the Tynwald Court upon this important subject excited general and intense interest throughout the country. Many applauded what they considered the patriotic resistance of the Legislature, and in all parts of the Island the utmost determination was freely expressed to resist to the last the tyrannical demands of the Imperial Government. In this determination they were greatly encouraged by their partial success in the first stage of the proceedings, and they confidently believed that a persistence in their resistance would, in the end, bring them a complete and absolute triumph. The excitement of the country was still further increased by the apparent readiness with which the Governor appeared to yield to the demands of the Treasury, and accept as advantageous equivalents offers which every one else rejected as ridiculously insufficient—a readiness the more extraordinary from his well-known shrewd and resolute character; together with his persistence in bringing forward, again and again, the same identical proposals, notwithstanding their repeated and decisive rejection by the Legislature and the uncompromising attitude of the country, and urging them with all the force of his rhetoric and with all the influence of his authority. The last Governmental move of incorporating the settlement of the Port Erin question with a skilfully devised scheme of harbour improvements, by which almost every section of the country would receive a considerable instalment of long-desired improvements, almost achieved success. Unable to resist the baits so temptingly placed before them, several districts, including Douglas, Ramsey, and Port St. Mary, pronounced in favour of the new proposals ; and the coalition against the Government, thus weakened by the defection of some of its members, who, thus allured by the prospect of local gain, abandoned or partially abandoned their opposition to the proposed settlement, were unable in the last debate to carry their views with the same decisive result as before ; but enough still remained faithful to prevent the success of the Government scheme. Foiled, but not daunted, the G Governor now proposed a new scheme, in which he held out a compromise by means of which he hoped to arrive at a settlement of the difficulty, and, at the same time, retain the lead in its settlement.

On the 30th December, the debate was resumed upon the Governor’s Memorandum of the 17th inst. The Attorney-General argued for a settlement of the question on account of its injurious effect upon the prosperity of the Island. He did not know whether the Imperial Government would consent to re-open the question, but it was worth trying. He moved—.

That the Court is of opinion that the Port Erin question should be settled upon equit. able terms, and that the Governor be requested to ascertain whether the Treasury would accept, as a basis of settlement, the terms named in the Governor’s Memorandum of the 1st instant.

Mr R. J. Moore seconded the motion. The Governor then made an explanatory statement respecting an assertion by Mr. Sherwood in the public prints that the Imperial Government had offered, in May, 1876, the proposed concession towards a daily mail, apart from the question of the Port Erin loan. This assertion he characterised, by a reference to the official correspondence, as erroneous. Mr. Sherwood replied that the correspondence cited by his Excellency confirmed his assertion. On re ferring to that correspondence he found that his Excellency, on the 15th October, 1875, proposed several items to the Treasury on which to negotiate for adopting Port Erin. Dividing these proposals into two classes, the first class consisted of three items—a daily mail subsidy ; 2, the duty on duty-paid goods ; and 3, the rating of Crown lands. These were all items to which the people of this Island were fairly entitled, without any consideration. The second class consisted of four items —1, liberty to borrow from the Loan Commissioners ; 2, the transfer of the ownership of the harbours ; 3, the free right to take stone for Manx public works ; 4, and the transfer of the foreshores of the Island. These were matters of value, and formed a valuable consideration, which the Crown was not bound to concede without value. These matters being considered by the Crown, the first three were disposed of in the Treasury letters of the 6th and 7th of December, in which they are " regarded as distinct questions," upon which " a separate communication shall be addressed to you." In this " separate communication," dated December 6th, the Treasury say that they are ready to assist towards a daily mail, so that the subsidy does not exceed the revenue. As to the duty-paid goods, they refer to their own pledge given in 1865, that the Island should get credit for these duties if it required it. And as to the rating of the Crown lands, they said they were ready to give to the Island what they had recently given to England. There was not one word of Port Erin in the whole letter. In conclusion, he complained that in the bargain proposed to be made all the matters which would have been of some value to us are held back, and only those to which we are entitled as a right are offered to us for accepting what would be to us a gigantic burden. Deemster Drinkwater addressed the Court at great length in opposition to the Attorney-General’s motion, and proposed, as an amendment----

That a Committee of the Court be appointed to co-operate with the Governor to obtain the consent of the Treasury to —1. An increased postal subsidy ; 2. The rating of Crown lands ; 3. The return of the duty on duty-paying goods imported into the Island. And that the Governor be respectfully requested to communicate the wishes of the Tynwald Court on these subjects to the Treasury.

Mr. T. C. S. Moore seconded the Deemster’s amendment. The Vicar-. General continued to offer his most determined opposition to the most unrighteous demand which had been made upon the Island to take over the Port Erin loan. Mr. Dumbell supported the motion. Mr. LaMothe said that the amendment meant a vote of want of confidence in the Governor, and on that ground he supported the motion. Mr. W. Farrant denied this, and denounced the proposed arrangement. Mr. Christian also ridiculed the assertion that the amendment implied a censure upon the Governor. Mr. R. Teare supported the amendment. The Governor again made a lengthy statement, and asked the Court to support the motion. Mr. E. C. Farrant and Mr. Sherwood argued in favour of the amendment. Mr. Clucas would support the motion if the bases of nego. tiation with the Government were left open. The Governor objected to this ; and, after some time had been spent in fruitlessly endeavouring to effect a compromise upon this point, the Court divided upon the amendment, with the result that it was lost in the Council and carried in the Keys. The original motion was then put, with the result that it was carried in the Council, but lost in the Keys by a majority of 11 to 8, or, rectifying Mr. Clucas’s vote—who voted for the motion by mistake—of 12 to 7.

The difficulty being thus, as yet, insoluble in the Legislature, an active outdoor campaign immediately commenced, in which both parties la boured to vindicate their action in the eyes of the people. This appeal to the ultimate judgment of the people is noteworthy as the first example of a practice common in England, but new in the Island ; and it was one of the most hopeful signs of the growth of that spirit of responsibility among the public men of the Island which had been slowly and uncer tainly, but surely, growing up since the introduction of an elected Legislature. On other occasions, when the public had ventured to censure or to direct the action of their representatives, public interference had been indignantly rejected, and the inculpated legislators had claimed as their right an independent, unbiassed vote ; but now of themselves they came before their constituents, to give an account of their stewardship. Another hopeful sign made manifest by this appeal to the people was the revival and steady growth of a spirit among the people which could overleap the barriers of local prejudice and local interest, and look first to the general good. During the long ages of oppression and isolation through which the Manx had passed, the national spirit had almost died out, and a parochial spirit had taken its place. This fact had long been recognised and acted upon by the Governors of Man, and for long it had been a chief maxim in the government of the Island to rule by playing off these local prejudices and interests against each other. This, we are told with naive frankness by the Great Earl, was his policy with the Manx ; and this, as we have seen again and again, was the policy of the equally shrewd and resolute Governor Loch. Was any scheme of general advantage to be considered, and was it likely to arouse strong opposition, because it involved new burdens and shocked old prejudices ? Couple it with as much local advantage as possible; pit one district against another and one interest against another, and the opposition would usually crumble to pieces like a rope of sand. This time-honoured policy had been tried in the Legislature, and had signally failed of its expected effect. It was now tried with the people, and once more it failed. District after district, the north, the centre, and the west, were appealed to for their verdict upon the Port Erin question, and the opposed action of the Government and the majority of the Keys with regard to it; and, however anxious each district might be to secure that public assistance which was so essential to the development of their resources, each, one after the other, induced to accept that coveted assistance, if it were given as the price of their consenting to the Government proposals. The sight was a grand one, a sight long unfamiliar in Manx story.

On the 15th January, 1879, an important meeting of the Northern electors was held in the Central School, Maughold, under the presidency of Mr. Christian, H K. The the members for the sheading—Mssrs LaMothe, Rowe, and Kayll—were present, and addressed the meeting; and resolutions expressing satisfaction with the action of the majority of the Keys were passed unanimously. On the 28th, an address was pre sented to Mr. W. Farrant, signed by about 500 of the electors of Dou glas, approving of his views on the Port Erin question, as expressed in the Tynwald Court. On the 29th, a second meeting of the Northern electors was held in Ramsey, at which Messrs E. C. Farrant, Sherwood, II. Teare, A. Kayll, and others, spoke in condemnation of the settlement of the Port Erin question on the terms proposed by the Governor. On the 12th February, a meeting of the electors of Glaafaba sheading was held in the School-room at St. John’s, at which Messrs T. C. S. Moore, B. Corrin, Joughin, and Sherwood spoke, and resolutions approving the conduct of the members for the sheading, and thanking Deemster Drinkwater and Vicar- G neral Jebb for their support of the majority of the Keys, were passed unanimously. On the 4th March, a meeting of the electors of Peel was held in the Christian’s Endowed School, at which the High-Bailiff (Mr. H. J. Moore, Sec. HK.), and Messrs Joughin and Laughton ( of Douglas), spoke in support of the Governor’s scheme for arranging the Port Erin difficulty. A resolution, moved by Mr. Joughin, affirming the claims of Peel to increased harbour accommodation, was carried unanimously. But at this point the harmony of the meeting ceased ; for when, after a long partisan speech, Mr Laughton proposed—That, in. the opinion of the meeting, the Port Erin difficulty should be settled on the basis proposed by the Governor—great dissatisfaction was expressed with the Governor’s proposals by the meeting. One elector asked—Could not the Island obtain better terms? Another said energetically that Mr. Laughton’s motion was not worth seconding. And a third said that they all objected to taking over Port Erin. Mr. Laughton again and again, with lawyer-like skill, endeavoured to remove these objections ; and again and again the chairman said, Would any one second Mr. Laughton's motion P But in vain; no one would touch his motion. Mr. Laughton then altered the form of his motion, and made it run—That it was desirable to settle the Port Erin difficulty, as far as practicable, on the terms set forth in the Governor’s Memorandum. But still no response from the meeting. Again he modified it ; and at last, " to make some progress," a half-hearted seconder was found, and the motion, as amended, declared carried—certainly in a way not calculated to encourage the supporters of an " equitable settlement."

From the commencement of this provincial campaign, the opposing parties had vigorously assailed each other’s position in the local press; but after the decided failure of the Government party at Peel, the contest was confined to this species of warfare.

All attempts to break down the opposition to the proposed bases of ar rangement having decisively failed, the Governor was obliged reluctantly to recognize the necessity of effecting a compromise with the opposition; and in order to accomplish this, he yielded the point of a deputation , and at the same time abated his own pretensions, so as to leave the deputation the free and unfettered exercise of their judgment in the conduct of the negotiation. On the 1st April, 1879, he submitted the following resolution to the Tynwald Court :— The Governor having informed the Tynwald Court that an opportunity has arisen for communicating with the Treasury with reference to a settlement of all outstanding questions at present at issue between the Imperial Government and the Tynwald Court:

Resolved, that a Committee he appointed to proceed to London, with the full authority of this Court, to negotiate and determine all such questions. It is further resolved, that the Governor be respectfully requested to confer with and accompany such Committee.

This resolution was moved by the Receiver-General, seconded by Mr. Joughin, and agreed to without any discussion. he following resolution appointing the Committee was also adopted

Resolved, that the Committee shall consist of the following members, any five of whom shall be a quorum —The Attorney-General, Deemster Drinkwater, Mr. Christian, Mr. Sherwood, Mr. Dalrymple, Mr. W. Farrant, and Mr. R. J. Moore.

This deputation assembled in London on the 13th May, 1879, and on the 14th, in company with his Excellency the Governor, had an interview with Sir M. S. Ibbetson, the Financial Secretary of the Treasury ; and on the 21st they had a further interview with Sir Chas. DuCane, First Commissioner of Custon s. On the 24th, they returned to the Island. On the 11th July, the result was communicated to the Governor, and by him laid before the Tynwald Court, together with the report of the deputation, on the 18th July. The Treasury Minute stated that, after communications with the various departments concerned, " My Lords " were in a position to state what they were willing to do, in regard to the questions discussed with the deputation. Those questions were five in number, viz. :—

1. The establishment of a daily mail service to the Island (Sundays excepted).

2. The giving credit to the Insular revenues for the duty on all goods which go into consumption in the Island.

3. The contributing in respect of Crown property to local rates levied in the Island.

4. The giving power to the Insular Government to raise money by debentures.

5. The fixing a sum to be paid by the Island as a composition of the debt due to the Public Works Loan Commissioners, as in respect of the advances of £58,200 for Port Erin.—

1. The Mail Service : The Postmaster-General has received an offer from the Isle of Man Steampacket Company to carry out a service between Liverpool and Douglas six days a week throughout the year, which their Lordships are prepared to authorize him to accept.

2 The Customs Duties : The Board of Customs having made an approximate calculation of the amount of the loss to the Insular revenues during the last three years, by reason of the importation into the Island of duty. paid goods, which they put at £2,000 a year. My Lords, looking at the pledge given on this subject in December, 1865, are willing to direct the Commissioners of Customs to give the Island credit for this amount, and to deduct it from the payment of £10,000 to the Exchequer—this amount not to be a fixed sum, but to vary from year to year, as the actual sum may from time to time be ascertained.

3. Rates on Crown Property: My Lords have intimated to the Commissioners of Woods their wish that the same concession as has been made in this country, in respect to the rating of Crown property, should be made in the Isle of Man.

4. Borrowing on Debentures : My Lords are ready to consider such proposals as you may wish to bring before them in regard to the borrowing of money on debentures.

5. Port Erin Loans : My Lords are ready to apply to Parliament for authority to accept a payment of £20,000 before the 31st August next, in full discharge of all liabilities of the Insular Government in connection with the Port Erin loans of £58,200, secured only on the dues of the harbour, which dues would be set free, and become part of the Insular revenues.—

The report of the deputation, after referring to these particulars, expressed a hope that they would meet with the full approval of the Tynwald Court ; and also acknowledged the services ren dered to the Committee by the Governor. Upon the receipt of the Treasury letter, the Governor immediately replied, stating that the deputation was empowered by the Tynwald Court to conclude an arrangement with the Treasury, and that he felt justified in accepting the conditions named, on behalf of the Insular Government and Legislature.

In laying this report before the Court, his Excellency expressed the great pleasure which he felt, in being able to congratulate the Court and the Island on so satisfactory a settlement of the question. Mr. Dumbell also expressed his great satisfaction, and moved a vote authorising the payment of the £20,000 in settlement of the Port Erin claim. The vote was seconded by Mr. LaMothe, and carried amid a general expression of satisfaction. Thus happily ended this affair, which embroiled the Government and the Legislature of the Island in a most unpleasant dispute ; and which, at one time, threatened to terminate in a serious conflict between the Imperial and Insular Governments. As it was, such a conflict was only avoided by the timely withdrawal of the Imperial Government from a false position, and the spirit of mutual compromise which grew out of that act.


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