[Appendix B(55) 1792 Report of Commissioners of Inquiry]

APPENDIX (B.) N° 55.


The EXAMINATION of CHARLES SMALL, the Collector of the Port of Douglas, in the ISLE of MAN, taken at Douglas the 4th and 19th October 1791

THlS Examinant saith, That he is Collector of the Port of Douglas, and has been so since the first of January 1790. Upon his first appointment, he took the oath of office before the Deputy Receiver General. The Deputy Receiver General at that time demanded of him a bond for five hundred pounds, with two sureties for his good conduct in office. This bond has not been given, on account, as he apprehends, of the proper forms never having been transmitted by the Receiver General’s Agent in London.

He was never in the service of the Customs before, and was not put under instructions previous to his appointment, nor had he any written instructions given him to acquaint him with the nature of the duties of his office.

He considers his duty to be that of collecting the duties in the Port of Douglas, seeing that they are brought fairly to account, and paying them quarterly or as often as called for, to the Receiver General, or his Deputy.

He does not consider himself as having any general superintendance over the Officers of the Port; such superintendance resting, as he apprehends, with the Receiver General, or his Deputy. If he perceives any misconduct in any Officer in the Port, he apprehends he is bound to make the same known to the Receiver General, or his Deputy.

The only duties collected at the Port of Douglas, are on imports. There are no duties on exportation or carriage coastwise. Upon the arrival of a vessel in the Port, the Master comes to the Custom-house, and makes his report on oath before the Collector and Comptroller, specifying the several circumstances required by a printed form touching the vessel and her cargo.

The Merchant next comes and makes his entry of his goods, pays the duties, and signs the entry. The Collector and Comptroller compute the duties, and grant a warrant directed to the Searcher, allowing the goods contained in such entry to he landed. This warrant is signed by himself and the Comptroller, and is an exact copy of the entry. He does not interfere in the landing of the goods, which rests wholly with the Searcher. Blue books sealed and signed by the Collector and Comptroller have been in some cases delivered, one to the Searcher, and one to the Tidewaiter ; and the blue books so given returned to the Collector and Comptroller.

He is unable to render any complete account of the duties of his office, and the nature of the Custom-house business, from the short time he has been in office, and the want of proper instructions for his guidance ; but he has endeavoured, to the best of his capacity and information, to confider the trade and revenue of the Island, and has jointly with the Comptroller of this Port, submitted what observations have occurred to him respecting those subjects.

He has a salary of one hundred pounds a year as Collector, and forty pounds for a Clerk; which sum is paid to his Clerk.

He has fees such as have been usual in the Port, which amounted, in the year 1790, to seven pounds eight shillings and four-pence. No gratuities are taken by him. ,


Jno Spranger.
Wm Osgoode.
Willm Roe.
David Reid.



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