November 2017 marks the 130th anniversary of Tynwald’s Hansard.
The first Hansard reports collated in bound volumes were of sittings held on Thursday November 24 1887 when the Legislative Council met to discuss the Poor Relief Bill and the House of Keys debated the Abolition of the Bona Fide Traveller Clause contained within the Licensing Bill.
Tynwald’s head of Hansard Ellen Callister said: ‘Hansard’s 130th anniversary is a significant milestone in the reporting of proceedings in Tynwald and an opportunity to recognise the work of our predecessors who compiled the Official Report.
‘Since this October we have been in the process of upgrading our systems and are now communicating with a wider audience online so that we can deliver an enhanced service that better responds to 21st century users’ expectations.
‘We continue to work closely with other parliaments, including Gibraltar, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark, providing various levels of assistance in producing their Hansard reports. In addition, with funding from the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, we have supported Hansard teams in Sierra Leone and The Gambia. We are also greatly encouraged that other parliaments are expressing interest in our services.’
The President of Tynwald Steve Rodan MLC said: ‘The 130th anniversary of Hansard is a remarkable achievement. Hansard is a cornerstone of parliamentary democracy: a vital resource not only for the present day but also for future generations. It is a working document as well as a legal and historical record, the latter remarked upon in 1949 by the Liberal politician Lord Samuel who said: “Hansard is history’s ear, already listening”.’
In 2017 Tynwald also celebrated the 600th anniversary of the passing of the Customary Laws Act in 1417, the first written Act of Tynwald.
For more information visit tynwald.org.im where Manx secondary legislation from 1912 is now also available.
To mark the 130th anniversary of Hansard it is proposed to stage an exhibition in 2018, details of which will follow at a later date.