HC Deb 19 February 1920 vol 125 cc1087-8W

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether he is aware of the strong desire in the Isle of Man for more responsible government; if he will take steps to have the Act of 1866 amended with a view to meeting the present-day requirements of the island; whether he can give an early decision to the petition from the House of Keys dated 2nd June, 1914; and if he will instruct His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor that no increases in the Civil Service of the Isle of Man are to take effect until approved by the House of Keys in Tynwald;

(2) Whether he has been notified of the discontent in the Isle of man owing to the rights and privileges of the House of Keys having been usurped by the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor; whether he is aware that increases in the Civil Servants' salaries totalling over £20,000 (equal to one-fourth the total revenue of the Government before the war) have been added to the official cost of government without the knowledge or consent of the elected representatives of the taxpayers; and whether he is aware that, in consequence of this action, the members of the House of Keys decline to meet for the transaction of public business until their former rights to control the public purse have been restored?


The information of the honourable and gallant Member is not quite accurate The House of Keys has taken exception to certain expenditure which has been sanctioned by His Majesty's Government, and have refused for the present to meet with the other House in Tynwald. The expenditure was mostly for the purpose of giving the Island Police the rates of pay already adopted for all police forces in the rest of the Kingdom, and of extending to the employés of the Island Government the War bonus awarded to Government servants in the United Kingdom; and sanction was given on the recommendations of the Governor, who in most cases was the late, not the present, Governor. There has been no usurpation of the rights and privileges of the House of Keys and the action of His Majesty's Government has been perfectly constitutional. I shall be quite prepared to consider any representations that may be submitted to me from the House of Keys; none have so far been received at the Home Office.

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