Corporate entry: Governing Council


The new Constitution was officially instituted on 10 April 1970 by an Order of the Privy Council in London, which provided for a new Governing Council consisting of the High Commissioner, up to nine official members, and seventeen elected members, who for the first time outnumbered the official members. The new Governing Council was officially proclaimed after the 1970 election and replaced the Legislative Council (q.v.). The Governing Council met in public and private sessions of various committees. Representation was extended to areas of smaller population, such as Rennell and Bellona and Ontong Java (as Malaita Outer Islands). (NS 15 Apr. 1970)

The High Commissioner was obliged to consult with the Governing Council in the formation of policy and in the exercise of all powers conferred on him or of any other laws in force. However, he had complete discretionary power over defence, external affairs, internal security, the police, and appointment of the public service.

As of 31 December 1970, the Chairman of the Governing Council was His Excellency Tom Russell (q.v.; C.B.E.) (Acting High Commissioner, Western Pacific High Commission). The ex-officio members were R. Davies O.B.E. (Acting Chief Secretary); D. R. Davis (Attorney-General); and, J. H. Smith C.B.E. (Financial Secretary). The Public Service members were: Dr J. D. Macgregor O.B.E. (Director of Medical Services); W. A. Wood (Director of Public Works); F. M. Spenser (Director of Agriculture); A.G.H. House (Director of Education); J. B. Twomney (Commissioner of Lands and Surveys); and, B. C. Wilmot (Commissioner of Labour). The first elected members of the Governing Council were: Dr D. D. Taukalo (Eastern Outer Islands); S. Mamaloni (q.v.; Makira); P. Salaka (q.v.; Honiara); J. Bryan (E. Guadalcanal); G. W. Pugeva (q.v.; S. Guadalcanal); A. Maeke (q.v.; W. Guadalcanal); Rev. E. Kiva (q.v.; Nggela/Savo/Russells); W. Betu (q.v.; Santa Isabel); S. Kulu (New Georgia); G. Siama (q.v.; Vella Lavella and Kolombangara); R. J. Eresi (q.v.; Choiseul and Shortlands); Dr C. Ofai (q.v.; N. Malaita); M. Kelesi (q.v.; N.E. Malaita); Rev. P. K. Thompson (q.v.; N. Central Malaita); J. Fifi'i (q.v.; Central Malaita); D. Kausimae (q.v.; S. Central Malaita); A. Saru (q.v.; S. Malaita). (AR 1970, 154)

In August 1971, Silas Sitai (q.v.) replaced the High Commissioner as Chairman for all public meetings. The six public service members of the Council were gradually phased out and were finally withdrawn on 31 December 1971, leaving only three ex-officio and seventeen elected members. (AR 1971, 5)

After a general election, the Governing Council was reconstituted in June 1973 and continued to operate until the British Solomons Order 1974, which implemented recommendations of a Select Committee comprised of all members of the Governing Council in 1972 and 1973. The Governing Council became the Legislative Assembly (q.v.) with an unchanged membership.

Related Cultural Artefacts

Related Places

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


Governing Council and High Commissioner Sir Michael Gass
John Smith