Cultural Artefact: Constitution of 1960



The British Solomon Islands (Constitution) Order in Council, 1960, proclaimed on 18 October 1960, was an important change to the method of producing legislation in the Protectorate. Prior to the Order, all legislation was by Queen's Regulation made by the High Commissioner for the Western Pacific, under the provisions of the original 1893 Pacific Order in Council. The 1960 Order provided for the first time for the establishment of a Legislative Council (q.v.) and an Executive Council, the latter consisting of the High Commissioner as President and eleven official and ten unofficial nominated members. The Advisory Council (q.v.) was abolished.

The Legislative Council normally consisted of three ex-officio members, not more than eight official members, and not more than ten unofficial members. The first appointments of unofficial members included six Solomon Islanders. The Executive Council consisted of three ex-officio members and such official and unofficial members as the High Commissioner felt necessary, but in the first instance it had four government and four unofficial members. Two of the unofficial members were Solomon Islanders. All Executive Council appointments were choices of the High Commissioner. Bills passed by the Legislative Council became law, unless the High Commissioner chose to reserve a bill in order to ascertain Her Majesty's pleasure. The High Commissioner could also enact legislation without the advice or consent of the Legislative Council, subject to restrictions contained in the Royal Instructions.

Legislative Council meetings began in 1961, in the hall of the British Solomons Training College. The first Solomon Islander members were Rev. Leonard Alufurai (q.v.), J. S. Sunaone (President, San Cristoval Council), Willie G. Paia (q.v.; President, Roviana Council), Jimuru (President, Marovo Council), Mariano Kelesi (q.v.; President, Malaita Council), and All Hallows' School, Pawa (q.v.), teacher Francis Bugotu (q.v.) from Guadalcanal. (NS Oct. 1960; AR 1970, 108-109)

Related Cultural Artefacts

Published resources


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate, British Solomon Islands Protectorate Annual Reports (AR), 1896-1973. Details