Cultural Artefact: Constitution of 1964



On 25 September 1964, the Privy Council approved a new Constitution to replace that of 1960. The British Parliament passed the British Solomon Islands Order on 4 November 1964, and on that day Section 31 relating to the forthcoming elections came into force. The remainder was first promulgated on 1 February 1965. A 1963 White Paper outlined a new procedure, which was adopted. As the next stage in constitutional development for the Protectorate, eight out of the ten unofficial members of the Legislative Council were elected, with Malaita District represented by three, Central District by two, one each for the Eastern and Western districts, and one for Honiara. The Honiara member was elected in a secret ballot based on universal adult suffrage and a common roll. The remaining members were elected indirectly by an electoral college composed of elected members of the Local Government Councils. The size of the Electoral College was based on one member for every five hundred people. Where the number of members of a Local Government Council exceeded this proportion, the Council itself could by secret ballot elect the required number of representatives to the Electoral College from its own membership. Where more than two candidates were nominated, a simple majority decided voting in the Electoral College. A preliminary ballot was used to eliminate the candidate receiving the lowest number of votes, until only two remained. An Electoral College could elect one of its own members to the Legislative Council.

At the end of 1965, under the 1964 Constitution, the Executive Council (q.v.) consisted of three ex-officio members, two other senior official members and five unofficial members, including three Solomon Islanders, all of whom were also members of the Legislative Council. (NS May 1961, 31 Oct. 1963, 14 Nov. 1964; AR 1965, 3)

Constitution of 1967

After the circulation of a White Paper, revision of the Constitution was created by an Order in Council of the Privy Council on 23 December 1966. It allowed for three ex-officio members, no more than twelve public service members and an increase in the unofficial members to fourteen. The latter were all elected according to universal adult franchise, although they were still outnumbered by official members. This change divided the Protectorate into fourteen constituencies, each containing roughly ten thousand people. Western District representation was increased to two, and the number of members from other districts was adjusted accordingly. (NS 22 Dec. 1966, 21 Oct. 1966; AR 1970, 109)

Related Corporate Bodies

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