[From 1911 MacDonnell Inquiry]
27. Of the two points raised under this head in the Petition of 27th February,
1907, we have already dealt with one - the control. of the Police. The other point
that Tynwald's consent should be made necessary to any alteration in official salaries
or to any imposition of new charges for the Government of the Island or the administration
of justice-will be more conveniently disposed of under the head of Finance.
But we may here observe, anticipating what we shall say later, that we consider this
prayer of the petition to be reasonable and deserving of approval.
28. The proposal for joint sittings and joint voting which we have discussed
under the last head of our subject has also been urged on us as a means of over-
coming differences of opinion between the two Houses sitting in Tynwald. As each
House sitting in Tynwald votes separately, a conflict of opinion may, and occasionally
does, occur with unsatisfactory results.(see Q.2531-10) But for the same reasons as we have
already given, we are unwilling to recommend any radical charge in the procedure
of Tynwald in this connection, more especially as we think that a change in the
Standing Orders of the Council would obviate the deadlock -which Mr. Crennell's
29. We have stated in an early paragraph of this Report that the Executive
tions of Tynwald are delegated to Boards formed out of its members. We have been
struck (Q. 2045-62) with the small degree of supervision which Tynwald exercises
over these Boards, and with the want of opportunity for members interested in their
work to get information regarding it. We recommend, therefore, that each Tynwald
Board be required to submit periodical reports of progress, and that notice of the
receipt of those reports (with their recommendations, of they contain any) should be
entered upon the Agenda Paper of the next meeting of Tynwald. The reports
will thus be brought under the notice of the Court.
30. We have already intimated our intention of recommending the creation of
a Standing Committee of Tynwald to be designated " The Finance and General
Purposes Committee." When claiming for Tynwald larger powers of financial
control, and when questioned as to how such larger powers should be exercised,
Mr. Kerruish suggested the creation of a Finance Board for the purpose. We regard
the suggestion as not only valuable and practical in itself, but susceptible of
development for even wider purposes than Mr. Kerruish contemplated.
Undoubtedly it is desirable that questions of finance should be considered
purely business spirit, uninfluenced by the exaggerations inseparable from public
discussions. Although it cannot be said there are political parties in Tynwald, still
discussions in it are frequently influenced by local prepossessions, and the consideration
by " the whole House " of financial issues is, therefore, liable to become unbusinesslike.
This kind of difficulty will be avoided, and greater success attained, if financial
questions are in the first place referred to a Standing Finance Committee "'for
consideration and Report " ; discussion in Tynwald will then be effective and useful.
We think the same procedure should be followed before a Bill is introduced into
either Chamber authorising either new expenditure or the imposition of new taxes. (see memo p.30)
But the Finance Committee, which should be small, consisting
of, we suggest;
not more than five, or, at the outside seven, of the most competent members, may
also be utilised for other work, We contemplate that in the future complaints against
any public department or against any departmental. or other Insular officer will, in the
first place, be addressed to the head of the department or the superior of the officer
complained against. If inquiry does not follow, we assume that a petition will
be addressed, either to the Lieutenant-Governor or to Tynwald. All such petitions
addressed to Tynwald should, we consider, stand referred to the Finance and General
Purposes Committee (the name being expanded to indicate the Committee's extended
functions) ; and it would be open to the Lieutenant-Governor, instead of dealing with
a petition hirxiself, also to refer it, through Tynwald, to the Committee for report if
he thought it right to do so.
In this way it seems to us that Tynwald's ability to deal with financial questions
will be largely increased, while the general public will acquire no less security
that their representations will be considered by the Insular Government than could
be furnished by the creation of an Advisory Committee, even if it worked well.