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As a means of introducing political reforms, proposed by the West India Royal Commission, the Government in May 1941 appointed a Franchise Commission of 23 persons to determine the qualifications of electors and members of the Legislative Council. The Commission was also asked to make recommendations as to whether or not there should be any changes to the boundaries of the existing electoral districts.

Up to then, the 1928 constitution was still in effect. Under this constitution, the Legislative Council was made up of the Governor, as President, 10 official members, five nominated members, and 14 elected members. The Executive Committee consisted of 12 official, nominated and elected members.

The Popular Party led by Nelson Cannon and A. R. F. Webber had made inroads by winning seats in elections before 1928. This alarmed the British Government which feared that legislative powers could pass into the hands of Guyanese nationalists. This was one of the main reasons why the 1928 constitution was imposed. It introduced a Crown Colony system which kept away legislative power from the elected representatives.

The representatives of the Popular Party who won seats in the 1935 elections, continued to protest against the terms of the constitution which denied power to the elected members of the Legislative Council. But it was not until March 1943 that new constitutional changes were introduced in Guyana. The intention of the British authorities was to give some satisfaction to those who were clamouring for reform. It was also aimed at correcting "the balance of representation" in the Legislative Council.

The constitutional amendment reduced the number of official members in both the Legislative and Executive Councils. In the "new" Executive Council, the official members were now the Governor, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney General and the Colonial Treasurer, while the other members were three elected and two nominated members of the Legislative Council.

The "new" Legislative Council comprised the four official members of the Executive Council. It also continued to have 14 elected members, but the nominated members were increased to seven. The Governor nominated Ayube Edun and Hubert Critchlow to fill the two new nominated positions in the Legislative Council as the representatives of workers.

This change in the composition of the Legislative Council placed the elected members in the majority. However, since the elected members subscribed to varied interests, and in rare cases ever representing the interests of the poor majority of the population, the Government faced no fear of defeat for its legislative program in the Legislative Council. Both the Executive and Legislative Councils continued to be dominated by individuals and groups which were opposed to labour unions and strongly pro-colonialist.

It was not until 29 February 1944 that the Franchise Commission issued its report. Regarding the qualifications for members of the Legislative Council, it recommended that:

1. Women were to be eligible on equal terms with men.

2. Ministers of religion were no longer disqualified from being members of the Legislative Council if they possessed the other qualifications, including earnings and property.

3. The financial qualification for a member of the Legislative Council was to be reduced from an income of $2,400 annually to $1,200 or over annually. The member must also possess property valued more than $1,000. (Previously, a member had to own property valued more than $5,000).

4. All members of the Legislative Council must pass a literacy test in English, and must have residence of one continuous year before nomination.

The Commission recommended that to qualify to vote, a person must have one of the following:

1. Ownership, occupation or tenancy of at least 3 acres of land. (This was reduced from 6 acres).

2. Ownership of land to the value of $150. (The previous value required was $350).

3. Rental of property to the value of $48 per year. (This was reduced from $96). In addition, the voter must pass a literacy test in any language, and show proof of possession of an annual income of $120. (This was reduced from $300).

In general, these recommendations were accepted by the Government for the 1947 elections, which brought an end to the "Long Parliament" which existed since 1935.

Many organisations were also concerned over the manner in which the Governor exercised his power in nominating persons to the Legislative Council. This issue was on the agenda of the newly organised Labour Party which contested the 1947 elections. The party sent a resolution in December 1947 to the Secretary of State for the Colonies asking that "no person who had presented himself for election and had been defeated at the polls should be selected for nomination to the Legislative Council." This appeal was made after the Governor, Sir Charles Woolley, decided to nominate S. J. Seaford, an executive of the Sugar Producers' Association (SPA) to the Executive and Legislative Council even though he was defeated in the elections. The Labour Party's position was supported by the TUC and the East Indian Association. The Governor stated that he was re-nominating Seaford because he believed that the SPA executive was the person best qualified to represent the sugar industry, and also that he had considerable experience in "certain specialised subjects."