[From 1911 MacDonnell Inquiry]
58. In. the preceding six sections of this Report, we have dealt with all the
to Constitutional, Financial, and Administrative Reform which were put forward by
Tynvald in the Petition of February, 1907, and in the representations which were
subsequently made to us, or which arose out of our inquiry.
In this section we shall discuss the following matters :-
A. - The claim made by Tynwald to
(a) the refund of Revenues collected in the Island between the years
1767 and 1866, and not expended in the Island ;
(b) a reduction in the amount of contribution to the Imperial Exchequer
(10,0001.) fixed by the Act of 1866 ; and
(c) the payment to the Island Treasury of the net income which the
Woods and Forests derive from the Crown Property in the Island with
arrears since 1866.
(d) The appropriation to the Isle of Man of the net revenues (if any)
from the Postal Department in the Island.
B. - The abolition of the Chaplaincies of Castletown and St. John's.
C. - Municipal Administration.
D. - Education.
F. - The Agricultural and Industrial condition of the Island.
59. It will be remembered that by the Revestment Act the Lordship of the Island
passed to the British Crown in 1765). Two years afterwards an Act (7 Geo. III.
cap. 45) was passed to provide a revenue for the purposes of Government by imposing
Customs duties. The preamble declared that besides providing the costs of
administration the Act also aimed at " encouraging, improving, and regulating the
trade and manufactures of the Island, and the fisheries in the coast thereof." But
the operative section ran as follows :----
" And (except the necessary charges of raising collecting, levying, recovering,
answering, paying, and accounting for the same) the said rates and duties
shall from time to time be brought and paid into the receipt of His Majesty's
Exchequer, distinctly and apart from all other branches of the public revenue;
and such part thereof as shall remain, after the necessary expenses attending the
Government of the said Isle of Man, and the administration of justice there, are
from time to time defrayed, shall be reserved for the disposition of Parliament."
60.----(a) The Tynwald Court now maintains that after the expenses of the
Insular Government :had been met from the Revenue raised under the Act of 1767,
the balance of such Revenue should have been spent on the objects mentioned in the
Preamble of that Act; and they allege that this was not done, citing, apparently, in
support of that allegation, the fact (as reported by the Select Committee of the
House of Commons in 1805) that there was in 1805 not less than 20,0001. to the
credit of the Surplus Revenue. Fund. But, as we read the Act of 1767, it did not
promise that all the surplus revenue should be spent on the Island, in the way
indicated in the Preamble to that Act. What it did promise was that certain
specified bounties should be paid in the manner specified in the 17th section of the
Act in support of the fishing, weaving, and other Insular industries. The Tynwald
Court offers us no proof that these bounties were not paid during the period between
the enactments of the Acts of 1767 and 1805 : and in the absence of such proof we
are compelled to presume that the requirements of the Act of 1767 were fulfilled.
This presumption appears to us to borrow support from the terms of the Act of
1805 (45 Geo. III. cap. 29), vrhich, while directing the payment of the Insular
Surplus revenues into the Consolidated Fund, expressly excluded from that direction
the bounties sets forth in the 17th section of the Act of 1767.
With the passing of the Act of 1805 Tynwald's legal claim to the surplus revenues
ceased to exist, as they merged, by virtue of that Act, in the Consolidated Fund. But
permanent grants to the Island were made from them under Acts of 1844 and 1853,
whereby a sum of 2,3001. and one-ninth of the Customs receipts, were annually made
available for Insular purposes. Still the dissatisfaction of the Islanders continued,
and was not removed until their long-standing claim to dispose of the surpluses was
admitted by the Act of 1866 (subject to a contribution of 10,0001. to the Imperial
The Act of 1866, while providing for Tynwald a measure of control over future
surpluses, made no concession in regard to surpluses which may have already accrued ;
and it is, we understand, in respect of such surpluses that Tynwald makes its present
application. That application, however, involves the reconsideration of the policy of
His Majesty's Government as embodied in the Acts of 1805 and 1866, and for such a
serious undertaking we have neither the materials nor the necessary opportunities.
(b) The second claim of Tynwald is for a reduction in the contribution
(10,000l.) which the Island makes to the Imperial Exchequer. Under the head of
Finance we pointed out that the Isle of Man enjoys immunity from various kinds
of taxation in force in Great Britain ; and that the taxation per head in the Island
is much less than the average in Great Britain. Through her connection with
the United Kingdom the Island unquestionably enjoys a national protection, and
she. participates in manifold national advantages, for which she makes no monetary
contribution beyond this sum of 10,000l. per annum. That precise amount was,
we believe, fixed with regard to the amount of the surplus revenue derived from the
Insular Customs after discharging the cost of administration, and also to the claim
of the United Kingdom to interest on the capital invested in buying out the interests
of the Atholl family in the Island. Whatever claim the Island may have on the
benevolence of the Government in circumstances of financial or industrial difficulties,
we think that it cannot successfully plead that the contribution to the Exchequer
required by the Act of 1866 was fixed at an immoderate figure; and we cannot
recommend its permanent reduction.
(c) Tynwald's third claim affects the Crown property managed by the Departments
of Woods and Forests. These Revenues, when purchased from the Duke of
Atholl in 1828, were treated as part of the hereditary revenues of the Crown. They
are now placed like other Crown Revenues at the disposal of Parliament on
each succession to the Throne (Parliament making other provision for the King) and
they naturally fall under the control of the Department of Woods and Forests. To
this scheme of management and financial control, common to all Crown property in
the United Kingdom, we cannot recommend that the Crown property in the Isle of Man
should be an exception.
But if that be our view on the main question we are of opinion that the
Island may fairly claim from the Department of Woods and Forests more liberal
treatment in respect of grants to local educational and charitable institutions
than it has received. We have been furnished with information touching the
income over a long series of years of the Manx Crown Property; and we
gather that since 1883 beyond which year the figures supplied us do not go,
the Department has drawn an average annual net income from the Island of
nearly 4,000l., the present net income, excluding interest on the sale proceeds of
property sold, being 2,2241. The Department, wo understand, as owner of the
impropriate tithes maintains the fabric of the chancel of certain churches, and pays
26l. 17s. 2d,. towards the stipends of certain clergymen; but for secular purposes its
contribution to Insular Institutions is at present 10l. The Department holds the view,
we believe, that it is not its duty to search out objects for its benevolence ; but if we
are correct in assuming that the administration of this property should follow, in
regard to charitable and educational institutions, the practice of good landlords, then
we feel that the Island might have reasonably expected more liberal treatment front
the Department. On this point our colleague Mr. Wilkins does not entirely share the
view of the Committee holding, as he does, that it was no part of the Department's
duty to search out objects for its benevolence.
(d) In regard to income from the Post Office we do not find from the latest
Insular Financial Statement that the Island Revenues make any contribution to the
upkeep and expenditure of the Postal Department, apart from the 10,000l. contributed
to the General Imperial Exchequer. But leaving that consideration on one side we
learn from the Postal Authorities that their net income front the Island is inconsider-
able, and that they object to any localisation of Post Office Revenues.
In a later part of this Report we shall consider whether the circumstances of the
Isle of Man justify any financial concession to it in addition to those we have already
61.--(a) The Chaplaincy of Castletown has become a sinecure. While the Lieutenant-Governor
of the Island lived at Castletown, or while troops were quartered in
Castle Rushen, there was an ostensible reason for the Chaplaincy. But the Lieutenant-
Governor has not lived at Castletown since 1860; the troops have for years been
withdrawn from the old Norse fortress of Castle Rushen ; and there is no likelihood
that the former state of things will ever be re-established.
So far back as Sir Spencer Walpole's time the abolition of the Chaplaincy
and the transfer to the Ecclesiastical Authorities of the proprietary right in the
Church at Castletown had been made the subject of negotiation with the Bishop
of Sodor and Man; and the lines on which the transaction might be completed to
the mutual satisfaction of the Government and the Ecclesiastical Authorities had been
suggested. We think that the matter should be again taken up and pushed to a
conclusion. It is now a more matter of terms which seem to us to lie within narrow
limits ; but we regret that the materials before us do not enable us to make a
suggestion. All we can say is, that we do not advise a close bargain. in such a
(b) The Chaplaincy of St. John's stands on a somewhat different footing. The
Church is the Tynwald Court Church in which a religious service is held on those days
when laws are promulgated in Tynwald Hill, which is adjacent to St. John's Church.
The settlement with the Ecclesiastical Authorities in this case too should be on the
same lines as in the Castletown case, with this addition : that an annual allowance
should be made to the Bishop in consideration of the services which the Incumbent
of St. John's must perform on Tynwald days. To a settlement on these broad lines
the Bishop of Sodor and Man agrees.
62. The following tabular statement shows the towns in the Island with their
population, rateable value, and indebtedness :-
Ratable value per head.
Debt per head.
£ s. d.
£ s. d.
7 14 6
30 4 4
5 1 1
13 15 5
2 16 5
3 5 10
3 15 11
1 3 0
It seems to us that the indebtedness of Douglas and Ramsey calls for the attention
of the Insular Government. The English Public Health Act of 1875 (section 234(2) )
prescribes that the indebtedness of any municipal town incurred under that Act
shall not exceed twice the assessable value of that town. The debts of Douglas and
Ramsey, incurred for similar sanitary purposes, appear to be three times the assessable
value of those towns respectively. The debt of Douglas incurred for all purposes
is nearly four times the assessable value. It is true that in the Isle of Man there
is no such statutory limitation on the borrowing powers of municipalities, each
application to borrow being considered by Tynwald and sanctioned or rejected
on its merits. This seems to us to accentuate the need for caution. The debt of
Douglas, which has rapidly increased of late years, has been incurred chiefly on
account of waterworks, tramways, and other conveniences, such as abattoirs, markets,
artizans' dwellings, &c., all of which are no doubt legitimate objects of municipal
expenditure. But the rateable value of Douglas is not free from a fictitious inflation
imparted by the rates on numerous lodging-houses which are occupied for only part
of the year, and whose capacity to pay such rates depends on conditions which are to
some extent precarious. Moreover, of these undertakings constructed with borrowed
money not one seems to pay its way except the tramways, which give an insignificant
margin of profit. We recognise to the full the desirability of making Douglas an
attractive place for visitors and we admit that money must be spent if this object
is to be achieved. Still we cannot help feeling that the municipal borrowing in
Douglas has for the present reached the limits of prudence.
The same observations, though in a mitigated degree, apply to Ramsey ; but
have no criticism to make on the indebtedness of the other towns.
63. We also note that the evidence discloses an unsatisfactory
state of things with
regard to the Poor Law in the Island. It would appear that a rate for the relief of
the poor is not universally levied throughout the Island, but that in some parishes,
including the town of Peel and the flourishing and important parish of Onchan, a
suburb of Douglas, the only relief given is the dispensing of local charities by the
vicar and churchwardens, supplemented by voluntary gifts. It is obvious that this
cannot secure either the proper evidence of the need of relief, or its impartial and
adequate distribution. It places, moreover, the Ecclesiastical Authorities in an
We recommend that a Central Authority for the administration of the Poor Law
Acts should be created for the Island, and its operation brought under the administrative control of Tynwald.
64. We desire to call attention to a curious survival of the corvëe which
in the Island. Farmers have the privilege of furnishing labour for road repairs instead
of paying the Highway rate. The labour is not always efficient nor always furnished
at the time it is wanted most. We think this practice should be abolished, and the
Highway rate made of universal application.
65. The administrative organisation of the Island for Educational purposes
(1.) of 21 School Boards, each board having an average of six members; (2) of four
" Higher Education Boards," recruited from the School Boards and having each
an average of 16 inembers ; and (3) of the " Council of Education " -which is
a Committee of Tynwald composed of five members, one of whom, the Clerk of
the Rolls, is Chairman. In addition, but outside the official organisation, there are
four bodies of managers or trustees controlling four private Grammar Schools.
66.-(1) Elementary Education.-The minute division of the Island
into 21 School
Board Areas is the most striking defect in this organization. The defect manifests
itself in excessive parochialism in the management of the schools, in the inferior character
of the education given in then, and in the inadequate housing and equipment of
them. We understand that these defects were so far realized by the Tynwald Court
in 1905 that it was then, though fruitlessly, proposed to legislate for the
amalgamation of all the School Boards into one Board, and subsequently Mr. Cyril Jackson,
late Chief Inspector of the Board of Education, Whitehall, who examined into the
condition of Secondary Education in 1906, pointed to the amalgamation as the
most urgent reform in the Educational administration of the Island. We do not
believe that any real progress can be made with Elementary Education in the Isle of
Man until this reform is carried out. Agreeing with Mr. Cyril Jackson, we think
that a single School Board for the Island, composed of not less than 12 nor more
than 20 members, wordd be the best arrangement : but if the creation of a single
Board is repugnant to Insular feeling, then we recommend that the 21 Boards be
grouped into two Boards of 15 members each, one Board for the northern districts
of the Island and one for the southern. Such art amalgamation cannot fail to
produce not only a substantial saving in cost of administration but a great innprove-
inent in the schools. Moreover it would bring the town and country schools under
one direction, which in itself would be no small advantage ; for experience has shown
that it is a mistake to separate town and country in School Administration.
(2) We consider that the four Higher Education Boards shottlcl be abolished
their educational work which (outside the eastern district) is almost rtowinal, should
be transferred to the Council of Education. The only important work which these
Higher Education Boards now do (outside Douglas) is to strike the educational rate
which each School Board district pays. The work is not at present done to the
satisfaction of the administration and the reason is that each Higher Educational
Board as now constituted is above all things anxious to beep down the rate.
(3) We think the educational rate. should be struck by a more independent body,
and if Tynwald cannot or will not take the work upon itself we think it should be
done by a committee of the School Board, or, if there are two School Boards, by a joint
committee of not less than seven nor more than 10 members.
(4) The course of teaching in the Elementary Schools is, we fear, often unsatisfactory.
For an indication of our views is what the teaching should be, we desire
to quota the follownt g passages from Mr Cyril Jackson's Report on Secondary
Education in the Isle of Man to which we have already alluded. :-
The mass of the community will not pass through the Secondary Schools mud the Primary Schools
must give them a real training. Premature specialization no longer finds favour in Education ; aptitude,
Trot knowledge of a, few facts, is required ; the commercial man demands from his employees intelligence,
not a smattering of theoretical bookkeeping ; the result accrued from a manual training is handiness
combined with a grasp of constructive principles, not the knowledge of a few carpenters joints ; science
teaching is directed towards the acquisition of a scientific spirit, not a store of chemical formula;
In a community where so much depend, on comfortable housing arrangements for visitors it is surprising
that so little has been clone for training girls in practical housewifery. In the Isle of Man this subject
deserves very special attention, for well cleaned rooms, good cooking, all attractively laid table, and deft
waiting would be most valuable assets.
In the more agricultural parts of the Island the lessons of the school should tend as elsewhere to
a training in general capacity. It is hopeless to teach children the theory of agriculture-a text-book
which loads immature minds, with formula of the chemistry of soils is wholly useless. Country children
need to observe closely the phenomena of nature around thorn. They must grow up healthy and handy
and they mast have sufficient love of books to enable them later, not only to take an intelligent interest
in country topics and experiments in agricultural progres, but to furnish themselves with a delightful
pastime in long winter evenings when there are none of the attractions of the towns to relieve them from
On general lines both boys and girls require the same training in their early years. In supplementary
classes and in Secondary Schools they can deepen and broaden their preliminary education, and begin to
take up subjects which they can develop later in life.
(5) In this connexion we desire further to call attention to the vast importance
of the proper training of teachers and to the employment only of those teachers who
have been properly trained. We regret to say that the provision made for the
training of teachers (except perhaps in Douglas) is at present, so far as we can
learn, very inadequate throughout the Island.
67. Secondary Education.----'There is only one Secondary School in the Island
present-that at Douglas. We think that another school should be established
at Ramsey. The requirements of Peel and Castletown and the villages in their
neighbourhood will, we think, be met by supplementary classes.
We think that sufficient money is not, at present, directed
to Secondary Education
in the Island, and we recommend that the entire question of educational expenditure
be reviewed by Tynwald with a view to the provision of more funds. In this
connection Ave think that some portion of the accumulated surplus (estimated at
over 78,000l.) might, with great advantage, be invested for the establishment of
scholarships or other permanent educational purposes.
68. If more funds were thus made available--whether by additional grants or
by economies-such funds might be turned to good account in the following order
of preference :--
(a) Training of Elementary School Teachers.
(b) Grants in Aid to Elementary Schools.
(c) Establishment of a Secondary School at Ramsey ; and supplementary classes
at Peel and Castletown.
(d) Bursaries in Secondary Schools for selected Primary Scholars, and in King
William College, for selected Secondary Scholars.
(e) Improvement in Female education.
(f) Assistance from public funds to private Secondary Schools which submit to
Public Inspection and are declared efficient. (We think. an inquiry by
the Insular Government into the resources and condition of these schools
should be undertaken.)
69. Technical Education.-No provision is made in the Island for Technical Education
but, while recognising the advantages which a technical school would confer on the
Island, we hesitate to urge the immediate establishment of one in view of the financial
needs of Elementary and Secondary Schools as indicated above. These have a prior
claim on the Insular funds. In this connection we point out the advantage of
creating bursaries in English or Scotch Technical or Agricultural. schools or colleges,
for so long as a suitable technical school or college is not established on the Island.
In conclusion we desire to state that in Mr. Cyril Jackson's Report the Insular
Government have an excellent guide to the needs of the Island in all matters connected
with Secondary Education and also with Elementary Education, although the latter
subject was not directly under the Chief Inspector's consideration.
70. We made it our business to visit not only the four towns but also the more
important villages of the Island, and travelling through the intervening country
districts we had opportunities of seeing the agrarian condition of the Island. We
were all impressed with the air of comfort and well-being which prevailed. The
farmers' homesteads are well built, and present the appearance of prosperity ; the
fields are well fenced., the cultivation is clean and good, and the cattle we saw
was in fair condition. The roads which we traversed were mostly excellent, and
throughout our tours we observed no signs of, poverty, and none of intemperance. The
people we met were well-dressed and well set up, and seemed to enjoy themselves in
a quiet rational way. All this confirmed the evidence given to us that the agriculture
of the Island is in a prosperous condition. Some complaints were, indeed, made,
that in former days there was a larger agricultural population, that a hardy race
of crofters, part fishermen, part cultivators, had added to the strength of the rural
community, and that their disappearance and the incorporation of their holdings
in larger farms have not only deprived the Island of a valuable element in its
population, but diminished the gross agricultural production. The diminution of the
crofter community is, we believe, largely due, first to the depression in the fishing
industry (most crofters being also fishermen), and next to the difficulty of making
a living out of small or uneconomic holdings. Depression in the fishing industry
followed the migration of fish from the fishing grounds adjacent to the Manx coast,
and to the large employment of steam in fishing vessels. Irish fisheries on the
East and South East coasts of Ireland are passing through a similar depression due
to similar causes, and Irish small farmers, who in the coast districts are also fisher-
men, are encountering similar difficulties in connection with the land. But in
Ireland, unlike the Isle of Man in this respect, the agrarian legislation of recent
years has come to the assistance of the Irish crofter. For the Manx crofter it is too
late to propose such palliatives even if the circumstances of the Island justified
them, about which we have our doubts.
71. We do: not concur with those who say that the agricultural
production has grown
less since small holdings disappeared frorn the agrarian economy of the Island. On
the contrary, the evidence we have recorded satisfies us that it has increased, and
that agriculture. as a whole is on a more stable footing than before. We were
told that there was much agricultural indebtedness, and that the land of the Island
was largely mortgaged. This, to some extent, is probably true, but as we are assured
on the authority of the Clerk of the Rolls that " Agricultural land is readily disposed
of at reasonable prices " it would seem that there is no such depreciation in rural
land values as heavy indebtedness usually produces. In most countries agriculture
is conducted more or less on borrowed capital.
72. But, while we consider the agrarian situation in the Island to be fair
whole, we think there is room for land reclamation, especially in the tract called
the " Curragh " in the north of the Island, where great advantage would probably
accrue from well considered schemes of arterial drainage on a small scale. We also
believe that much further progress can be made in the direction of intensive
cultivation, and especially of market gardening to supply the great influx of visitors
in the summer season and for export to England. Moreover, we are satisfied that
the Island has much to learn from Denmark and even from Ireland, in respect of
co-operation for agricultural and dairying purposes. But even in these subjects the
seed has been sown, and with reasonable attention it should bear fruit. In this
connection we strongly recommend that the Finance and General Purposes
Connmittee of Tynwald (whose creation we have recommended; should make
agricultural encouragement and co-operation a particular subject of their attention..
73. On the industrial aspects of the Island's economy our information is less
encouraging. Such statistics as have been supplied to us show that, compared with
the industrial situation as it was before the failure of Dumbell's Bank in 1900, the
existing situation is one of stagnation if not, indeed, of some retrogression. Duying
the nine years ending 1899 there was an annual investment in industrial enterprise
of some 65,0001. For the last five years the average annual in-vestment has not
exceeded 30,0001., while there has been a withdrawal of invested funds to the extent
of over 200,000l. The published accounts of the Isle of Man Bank also indicate that
in recent years there has been no particular expansion of business or accumulation
of capital. The most that can be said in this connection is that the Island, having
suffered heavy reverses 10 years ago, is barely holding its own. The Island has
scant mineral resources. Coal has not been found; and lead and zinc-mining,
which were once promising - undertakings, are now languishing and will probably
soon. cease. A brine well has been tapped on the north of the Island, and salt
to the value of some 5,000l., was produced last year. There are no longer cottage
industries to speak of ; and the once great fleet of Manx fishing boats is now reduced
to about 250 boats giving employment to less than a thousand men and boys. There
is a strong feeling in the Island that the Government should do something to revive
and stimulate this industry, utilizing for the purpose some of the large balance now
lying in the Accumulated Fund. While we think the matter is deserving of the
consideration of the Insular Government we point out that sailing boats of the
best build now find it difficult to compete with steam drifters in sea fishing.
But whatever may be done to stimulate the Island's decadent industries, the
prosperity of the Island will depend on its agriculture, and its success as a health
and pleasure resort on visitors from the North of England. The stability of
both should be the cardinal objects of the Insular Administration.
74. Other matters of various kinds were brought to our notice during the course
of the inquiries in the Island: such as unemployment, the relation of the Island to
the Imperial Schemes for Old Age Pensions and Invalidity Insurance, the selection
of subjects for local taxation, &c. But we thought that these and such like matters
are essentially for Tynwald to discuss and make up its mind on, and then to
address the Imperial Government. They are all matters of administration with
which our Commission is not concerned.
75. In paragraph 60 above we promised to consider whether any concession,
temporary or otherwise, in aid of the Insular Finances was required by the circumstances
of the Island. The 'Tynwald Court, in support of its claim for such a
concession, makes the following statement :-
" There can be no doubt that if the Manx people are to have the benefit of social legislation at
present enjoyed by and proposed for the inhabitants of the United Kingdom the revenue inust be increased.
If the resources and industries of the Island are to be further developed, increased expenditure is
" Satisfactory advance along these lines appears to us impossible, relying alone upon the financial
resources nt present under our control, unless (1) the Imperial Government consents to the accuonnhaed
surplus revenues in their hands being placed at our disposal ; (2) the Manx Crown, revenues are expended
for the purpose of the Island ; and (3) a rearrangement is made of our annual contribution to the Imperial
On that statement we make the following comments: ---In an earlier paragraph
of this Report we have rejected Tynwald's claims to revenues which had accrued
before the Act of 1866. Dealing with the Surplus Revenue Fund which has
accumulated since that year, we point out that if our recommendations under
Head VI., Finance, of this Report are accepted there will be as full compliance
with Tynwald's claim under point (1 .) of the above quotation as can now be effected.
Practically speaking, the considerable sum of 60,0001. accumulated surplus revenue
(over and above a reserve of 20,000l.), will be made available for expenditure in
the manner that Tynwald, in its wisdom, may determine.
We consider, for the reasons already given, that Tynwald has failed to establish
its claims for a modification of the Settlements of 1828 and 1866. But notwithstanding
this we admit that the long continued discontent of the Manx community,
even if unsusceptible of full justification, is, of itself, a fact which should not be
ignored ; and when this discontent coincides with a certain decadence in the Island's
prosperity, we think it right and proper to inquire whether, over and. above the concessions
which we have already recommended, there is in reality any need for State
assistance, and whether the Island does not possess within itself all the resources it needs.
In an important paper (printed in the Appendix) with which the Clerk of the
Rolls has favoured us, the additional income claimed for the Island is put at from
20,000l. to 30,000l. per annum. Without such an addition it is said, Tynwald will
be unable to embark on schemes of social legislation, Old Age Pensions, Invalidity
Insurance, Relief of Unemployment, and so forth, designed to bring the Island abreast
of the United Kingdom in social betterment. The Clerk of the Rolls believes on
reasonable grounds that not more than 10,0001. can be raised by additional taxation
in the Island; and Tynwald asks, in order to make up the balance, that " the
" Manx Crown Revenues should be expended for the purposes of the Island and a
" re-arrangement made of their annual contribution to the Imperial Exchequer."
We consider that Tynwald's more pressing necessities of a non-recurrent character
can be met from a portion of the accumulated surplus fund which, according to
our recommendations, will now be placed at its disposal. Some even of its recurrent
necessities (e.g., bursaries for schools) can be satisfied by investing another portion
of that surplus. A prudent use of the surplus should therefore enable Tynwald to
remedy many of the administrative defects of which complaint is now made.
Again, the removal, which we recommend, of the embargo laid in practice on
budgetting for the year's expenditure up to the level. of the year's revenue, will place
at Tynwald's disposal an additional sum of at least 6,0001. a year which for many
years has lain idle in the Accumulated Fund. This will be a very substantial addition
to Tynwald's available resources.
Nevertheless, we agree with Tynwald in thinking that if it is to embark on
scheme of social legislation some further permanent addition to its income will be
necessary. We approve of its intention to give to the Island the benefits of Old Age
Pensions, Invalidity Insurance, and relief for unemployment (so far as this latter
difficulty arises within the Island) ; but in these connections we very strongly
deprecate the importation of English legislative methods, cut and dried. The Island
cannot afford social legislation on the English scale ; it must cut its coat according
to its cloth ; and if it enjoys the advantages of self-government, it must not forget
that thrift and economy are, for poor countries, the necessary concomitants of Home
Rule. For such a country as the Isle of Man no scheme of Old Age Pensions which
is not contributory appears to us to be suitable" (Our colleague Sir Ryland Adkins is unable to subscribe to this definite expression of opinion.); and the benefits of Invalidity
Insurance. should, in like manner, be squared with the ability of the people to pay,
in reasonable measure, towards the advantages they receive.
We assume (with the Clerk of the Rolls) that the Island at
present possesses a
taxable, margin, calculated to yield an additional annual revenue of, say, 10,0001., and
we gather that in some eight years from now, a saving of 5,000l. per annum in the
service of the Insular debt will accrue. We believe that these sums, added to the
income already available, should suffice to meet the requisite expenditure on all
necessary schemes of administrative innprovement, and social betterment; and for
that and the other reasons we have given, we are unable to support Tynwald's
representation for special State assistance,
76. It has been suggested to us that the Island does not at present fill its
proper part in the scheme of Empire. With an expert, though small, seafaring
population, it does not contribute to the Naval reserve ; and with a large adult
population having spare time, in its hands, the Insular Volunteer Corps is small. We
have hope that by bringing these facts to the notice of the re-constituted. Tynwald,
we shall have paved the way to the gradual establishment of improved conditions on
We think that all our suggestions may be carried into effect either by administrative
order or by the local legislature, excepting those mentioned in paragraph 33 (5)
under " Criminal Law," in paragraph 3 3 (2) under " Civil Law;" and in paragraph 34.
In conclusion, we desire to record our appreciation of the ability and patriotism
of the gentlemen who have brought before us the claims of their country to
fuller self-government and better financial treatment. We consider the House of
Keys as now constituted eminently capable of co-operating with the Insular
Government in administrating the affairs of the Island to the best advantage, and
we hope and trust that the infusion of a popular element into the Council will
supply what. was needed to render that Chamber a fully efficient instrument of
We desire to bring to your favourable notice the services of Mr. Frank Elliott,
the Secretary of our Committee. Mr. Elliott has given us valuable assistance, and his
conciliatory relations with the witnesses and the general public have much contributed
to the performance of the duty entrusted to us.
We have the honour to be,
Your most obedient Servants,
W. RYLAND D. ADKINSJ
W. P. BYRNE.
31st August, 1911.