[From Atholl Papers - AP 42B-13]
We have received your Grace's letter of the 20th of August in answer to that we wrote to you on the 25th of July in which we informed your Grace that in pursuance of the powers vested in us by the 12th George 1st we were willing to treat with you for the purchase of the Isle of Man, and to receive from you a proposal for that purpose; your Grace acquaints us that uninformed as you are at present from the short possession you have had of this Island, it is impossible for you to fix upon what you should think an adequate price for it, that you cannot therefore at present make any proposal but that you shall always be ready to receive such as shall come to you from us.
Your Grace must be sensible, that this objection which you allege against making a proposal on your part, must operate much more strongly to prevent our making any to you, and that we, who have not even an opportunity of informing ourselves of the value of this possession, cannot possibly fix upon a price ; which as trustees to the public we should think ourselves authorized to propose ; but as your Grace informs us that when the purchase of this Island was on former occasions under consideration, the late Duke of Athol gave to Mr Pelham and the Duke of Newcastle a true and precise state of the nature of this possession, and of the revenue arising from it ; We think it proper to desire that, if your Grace now intends to treat with us, you would in like manner transmit to us, an exact and accurate rental of the said revenue, specifying the several kinds of which it consists, the annual amount of each, and with respect to any customs or impost duties which you may receive, the several species of goods on which they are levied, the rates at which they are paid, and the annual amount of the duties arising from each species respectively. We must know the nature as well as value of every branch of the revenue of this Island, before we can form any judgement of the price which ought to be paid for it, or can determine what part of your Grace's possessions in this Island, it will be necessary or expedient to purchase, in order to obtain the benefit, for which such purchase is intended ; and this is what we meant by the proposal we made in our former letter, of purchasing only a part of your Grace's property and rights in the said Island.
As it is highly probable that Parliament will expect to be informed in the ensuing session, what measures have been taken for carrying their intentions into execution, and what has passed upon the subject, we are the more desirous to obtain from your Grace the information abovementioned in the most full and accurate manner that the Parliament may thereby be enabled to judge what terms it may be proper to allow: They will then take under their consideration the objections mentioned by your Grace arising from the proximity of that Island, and from its present constitution, laws, and administration of justice ; as well as its interior trade and commerce ; and as they have frequently made laws respecting this Island, they will enact such other laws and make such further provisions, for preventing the illicit trade carried on by means thereof as in their wisdom and justice they shall think proper
your Grace's most humble servants
Thos Orby Hunter
Whitehall Treasury Chambers
12th September 1764