HC Deb 05 April 1805 vol 4 cc220-2

A petition of John duke of Athol, was presented to the house, and read; setting forth "that the Isle of Man was granted in sovereignty by king Henry the Fourth to the petitioner's ancestors, and confirmed to, and made unalienable in, the petitioner's family by an act, passed in the 7th year of king James the First, and they continued proprietors thereof, with sovereign rights, until it was thought necessary by parliament, for purposes connected with the protection of the British and Irish revenues, to vest the same in his majesty, by an act passed in the 5th year of his reign; and that the petitioner is well satisfied that it was not intended in that transaction to deprive his family of the full benefit of the principle that has invariably governed the legislature in all cases in which the public safety has required that the rights and properties of individuals should be resigned or purchased for the protection of great national interests, namely, that of giving full compensation to those who are called upon to make such sacrifices; and that the compensation then given to the petitioner's family was estimated on an erroneous supposition, that the greater part of the revenue produced to him by the said island was derived from illegal sources, and from the introduction of articles which were afterwards smuggled into his majesty's dominions, to the great detriment of his majesty's revenues; and that, notwithstanding the lapse of time (a great part of which has been employed in investigating the nature of the interests of the petitioner's family in the said island, and in the improvement of the revenues derived by his Majesty from the same) the petitioner is able, by original documents and evidence, to prove that the revenue fairly arising to, his family from the fair duties at the rates payable in 1765, accruing on articles introduced into the island for the purposes of consumption only, independent of trade, would have produced an annual income, for which, together with the regalities that were attached to it, the sum given could not be deemed an adequate compensation; and that subsequent experience, founded on the system introduced after the revestment of the said island in his majesty, has fully confirmed that the compensation thus given was not adequate to the property taken from the petitioner for the public service, and has also proved, that if a plan, similar to that which is now pursued, for regulating the supply of articles for the use of the island, had been adopted in 1765, his majesty's revenue would have been protected, and the interests of the petitioner's family in the said island would have been secured, and their value increased instead of diminished; and that the revenue now raised in the said island greatly exceeds what parliament had in contemplation at the time of the purchase, and the petitioner, being satisfied that it was not the intention of government at that time to procure a benefit to the public by sacrifices made by his family, without giving full compensation, rests assured that the house will not deprive him of the full benefit that his family ought to have received for the resignation of their rights for the public service; and that the petitioner has observed, that there is a bill now before the house for encouraging the trade, and for the improvement of the revenues, and for prevention of smuggling to and from the Isle of Man; and that the petitioner was not able to obtain his majesty's recommendation to the object of his petition until the day appointed by the house for receiving private petitions had elapsed; and therefore praying, that leave May be given to present a petition for his relief."—Ordered, that, in consideration of the particular circumstances set forth the said petition, leave be given to present a petition as desired; then a petition of the said John-duke of Athol being offered to be presented to the house; the chancellor of the exchequer (by his majesty's command) acquainted the house, that his majesty, having been informed of the contents of the said petition, recommends it to the consideration of the house; then the said petition was brought up, and read; containing the same allegations as the preceding petition; and praying, that provision may be made in the said bill for giving relief to the petitioner.—Ordered that the said petition be referred to the consideration of a committee; and that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, as it shall appear to them to the house; and a committee was appointed accordingly; and they have power to send for persons, papers, and records. —Ordered, that the report of the commissioners of enquiry relative to the Isle of Man, made in the year 1792; and also all accounts respecting the revenues of the said Isle, which have been presented to the house in this session of parliament, be referred to the said Committee.—Resolved, that an humble address be presented to his majesty, that he will be graciously pleased to give directions that there be laid before this house, a copy of the report of the lords committee of his majesty's most honourable privy council, dated 21st July 1804, upon the petitions of the duke of Athol to his majesty.

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