HC Deb 27 November 1893 vol 18 cc1794-5
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Nottingham, Mansfield)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home De- partment whether he is aware that, while from one-half to two-thirds of the inhabitants of the Isle of Man are Nonconformists, out of 40 Magistrates in the Island not more than two or three are Nonconformists, the remainder being Churchmen and Conservatives; whether. in making Magisterial appointments, it has been the practice to exclude persons engaged in trade or commerce, with the result that the Magisterial Bench fails to represent commercial interests; and whether, as the appointments are made by the Lieutenant Governor of the Island, the Government will, in appointing a new Governor, take such steps as will ensure the redress of the grievance complained of?


I am informed by the late Governor of the Isle of Man that during the earlier years of his administration he abstained from inquiring into the religious or political opinions of those whom he appointed Justices of the Peace; but a few years ago his attention being called to the point raised by my hon. Friend, he has done all in his power to redress the grievance, and will inform his successor of his intentions and practice. He also informs me that it has not been his practice to exclude persons engaged in trade and commerce; on the contrary, among the appointments which he made are those of several gentlemen connected with business and trade. The new Governor will be instructed to continue to act on the lines laid down and followed by his predecessor.