1953 Fijian general election

General elections were held in Fiji on 29 August 1953.[1]

Electoral system edit

The Legislative Council consisted of 32 members, including 16 'official' members who were civil servants, fifteen 'unofficial' members (five Europeans, five Fijians and five Indo-Fijians), and the Governor sitting as President of the Council.

For Europeans and Indo-Fijians, three of the five representatives were elected from single-member constituencies, with the other two appointed by the Governor. All five Fijian members were appointed from a list of ten candidates submitted by the Great Council of Chiefs.[2]

Voting for Europeans remained restricted to men aged 21 or over who had been born to European parents (or a European father and was able to read, speak and write English), who were British subjects and had been continuously resident in Fiji for 12 months, and who either owned at least £20 of freehold or leasehold property or had an annual income of at least £120.[2] For Indo-Fijians, eligibility was also restricted to men aged 21 or over. They had to be a British subject or from British India, have lived continuously in the Fiji for at least two years, be able to read or write in English, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu or Urdu, and for the previous six months, have either owned property with an annual value of five years, had a net annual cash income of at least £75, or held a Government or municipal licence worth at least £5 annually.[2]

Campaign edit

Leaders of the Muslim Indo-Fijian community urged a boycott of the elections, calling for separate representation and for Urdu to be taught instead of Hindi.[3]

Results edit

Constituency Candidate Votes % Notes
European members
Eastern Harold Brockett Gibson 227 49.7 Re-elected
Fred Archibald 210 46.0
William Edmund Willoughby-Tottenham 20 4.4
Northern and Western Maurice Scott Unopposed Re-elected
Southern John Falvey 487 59.8 Elected
James Burton Turner 238 29.2
Charles Phillips 89 10.9
Indo-Fijian members
Eastern James Madhavan 886 55.7 Re-elected
Odin Ramrakha 706 44.3
Northern and Western Ayodhya Prasad 2,043 47.5 Elected
A. D. Patel 1,919 44.6
Tulsi Ram Sharma 280 6.5 Unseated
Babubhai Patel 54 1.3
Hari Shankar 5 0.1
Southern Vishnu Deo 2,365 64.5 Re-elected
Hari Charan 1,288 35.1
Hari Charan Akheel 12 0.3
Source: Pacific Islands Monthly

Nominated members edit

Type Member
Unofficial members
Europeans Stanley Cowled
William Granger Johnson
Fijians Edward Cakobau
Kamisese Mara
Indo-Fijians K. S. Reddy
Abdul Samad
Official members
Accountant General W.E. Donovan
Commissioner of Police E.K. Laws
Comptroller of Customs A.R. Smith
Director of Agriculture C. Harvey
Director of Education G. Arthur
Director of Labour C.S. Reay
Director of Lands R.V. Cole
Director of Medical Services J.M. Cruikshank
Director of Public Works J.P. Bruen
Secretary for Fijian Affairs Lala Sukuna
Appointed George Cakobau
C.R. Nott
Brahmanand Raghvanand
Ex officio
Attorney General Brian Andre Doyle
Colonial Secretary H.W. Davidson
Financial Secretary E.R. Bevington
Source: Fiji Elections, Pacific Islands Monthly

References edit

  1. ^ Fiji Election Results: Few Changes in New Legco Pacific Islands Monthly, September 1953, p16
  2. ^ a b c 1940 Legislative Council Election Fiji Elections Archive
  3. ^ Tropicalities Pacific Islands Monthly, September 1953, p75