The Isle of Man Constitution Amendment Act 1919 amended the
Isle of Man’s unwritten constitution, codifying some of its elements for the
first time. The Act received Royal Assent on 18th August 1919. It was passed by
Tynwald on 7th October 1919, commencing the same day.
The 1919 Act imposed an obligation upon the Governor to
convene meetings of Tynwald upon receipt of a request signed by a majority of
members of either Branch. Similarly, the Governor was obliged under the Act to
convene a meeting of either branch on receipt of a request signed by a majority
of the Branch in question.
The 1919 Act stripped the Archdeacon, the Vicar-General and
the Receiver-General of their seats on the Legislative Council. However, they
remained Justices of the Peace.
Under the Act, the Legislative Council would be composed of
the Bishop, the First and Second Deemsters, the Attorney General, four members
elected by and from the House of Keys, and two members appointed by the
Governor. The elected and appointed members were to serve four year terms. It
was stipulated that to be qualified for appointment or election to the
Legislative Council one must be a male of no less than 21 years of age and
resident of the Isle of Man, and, no appointed member could be in receipt of a
salary from either the Manx or British Government. Furthermore, bankruptcy,
insolvency, mental disorder, and long-run absenteeism from meetings were all
grounds for disqualification.
The 1919 Act also conferred a power upon the Governor to
authorise a member of the Council to speak, but not vote, in the House of Keys,
when a Government Bill passed by the Council was before the House for
The Act also empowered Tynwald to mandate statutory boards
or committees to submit periodical reports and any accompanying recommendations
for its consideration. This power was to have all the force as if it was
contained in the committee or boards’ enacting legislation. Furthermore,
Tynwald was empowered to vary the composition of any board or committee by resolution.