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Legislative Council (British Guiana)

The Legislative Council was the legislature of British Guiana between 1928 and 1953 and again from 1954 until 1961.



The Legislative Council was created by constitutional reforms in 1928, which abolished the 22-member Combined Court and replaced it with the 30-member Council. The new Council included an extra eight appointees,[1] and consisted of the Governor, two ex-officio members, eight official members, five unofficial members and 14 members elected in single-member constituencies.[2] The new council met for the first time on 28 November 1928.[2] The first elections were held in 1930 and 1935.

Due to the outbreak of World War II, elections did not happen again until 1947, with the Council elected in 1935 becoming known as the "Long Parliament". Constitutional amendments in 1943 saw the number of appointed members reduced from 16 to 11, giving the elected members a majority. The 1947 elections were held under this system.

As a result of the Waddington Commission, further constitutional reforms were enacted in 1952; universal suffrage was introduced and the Legislative Council was to be replaced by a House of Assembly. The term of the final Legislative Council was extended in order to allow preparations for elections under the new system on 27 April 1953. The Council was dissolved on 8 April 1953.[2]

However, the constitution was suspended on 9 October 1953 and the House of Assembly was prorogued, before being dissolved on 21 December. A wholly appointed Interim Legislative Council was established and met for the first time on 5 January 1954. The Interim Legislative Council had 28 members, including the Speaker, three ex-officio members, four members with portfolio, three members without portfolio, two official members and 15 unofficial members,[2] several of whom had previously been elected members.

The Interim Legislative Council remained in place until it was dissolved on 29 June 1957, after which elections for a new Legislative Council were held on 12 August. It consisted of the Speaker, three official members, six nominated members and 14 elected members.[2]

A new constitution was promulgated in July 1961. It abolished the Legislative Council for a second time, replacing it with a bicameral Legislature including a 13-member Senate and a 36-member Legislative Assembly. Elections to the new Legislature were held on 21 August.



Position Member
Unelected members
Governor Gordon Guggisberg
Colonial Secretary Crawford Douglas Douglas-Jones
Attorney General Hector Archibald Josephs
Colonial Treasurer Thomas Millard
Director of Education William Bain Gray
Inspector General of Police William Ernest Horatio Bradburn
Director of Public Works John Cormack Craig
Conservator of Forests Bernard Reader Wood
Colonial Transport Department MD Sydney Howard Bayley
Commissioner of Lands and Mines John Mullin
Surgeon General William George Boase
Nominated members Arthur Piercy Gardiner Austin
Thomas Traill Smellie
Francis Dias
James Smith
Sydney Howard Seymour
Elected members
Berbice (Senior) Edward Alfred Luckhoo
Berbice (Junior) Albert Raymond Forbes Webber
Demerara Arnold Emanuel Seeram
East Demerara Hubert Chester Humphrys
Georgetown (Senior) Nelson Cannon
Georgetown (Junior) Percy Claude Wight
Georgetown (Other) Joseph Gonsalves
New Amsterdam (Senior) Eustace Gordon Woolford
New Amsterdam (Junior) Joseph Eleazar
North West Essequibo (Senior) Robert Edward Brassington
North West Essequibo (Junior) Stanley McDonald DeFreitas
South East Essequibo (Senior) Robert Victor Evan Wong
South East Essequibo (Junior) Edmund Fitzgerald Fredericks
West Demerara Alfred Victor Crane
Source: Parliament of Guyana


Position 1930–35 1935–47 1947–53
Unelected members
Governor Edward Brandis Denham Geoffry Northcote Charles Campbell Woolley
Colonial Secretary George Douglas Owen Eubule John Waddington Desmond John Parkinson
Attorney General Hector Archibald Josephs Hector Archibald Josephs Edgar Mortimer Duke
Colonial Treasurer Thomas Millard Edwin Frank McDavid Edwin Frank McDavid
Director of Education William Bain Gray William Bain Gray
Director of Agriculture John Sydney Dash John Sydney Dash
Comptroller of Customs William Albert D'Andrade William Albert D'Andrade
Director of Public Works John Cormack Craig John Cormack Craig
Colonial Transport Department MD Sydney Howard Bayley
Commissioner of Lands and Mines John Mullin John Mullin
Surgeon General Percy James Kelly Quirino Bonifacio DeFreitas
District Commissioner Malcolm Buchanan Laing
Nominated members Frederick Jacob Seaford Thomas Traill Smellie Frederick Jacob Seaford
Gilherne Joseph De Freitas Malcolm Burnett Gardiner Austin George Arthur Cyril Farnum
George Earnest Anderson Francis Dias Vincent Roth
Sydney Howard Seymour Joseph Waterton Jackson Thomas Theophilus Thompson
Edward Miles Walcott Edward Miles Walcott William John Raatgever
Cramat Ally McDoom
Geoffrey Haward Smellie
Elected members
Berbice River Joseph Eleazar Joseph Eleazar Clement Patrick Ferreira
Central Demerara John Ignatius De Aguiar John Ignatius De Aguiar Cheddi Jagan
Demerara-Essequibo Jung Bahadur Singh Jung Bahadur Singh Jung Bahadur Singh
Demerara River Alfred Victor Crane Arthur George King Joseph Patrick Coghlan
Eastern Berbice Edward Alfred Luckhoo Edward Alfred Luckhoo George Mayo Gonsalves
Eastern Demerara Arnold Emanuel Seeram Hubert Chester Humphrys Daniel Prabhudas Debidin
Essequibo River Edmund Fitzgerald Fredericks Alfred Railton Crum Ewing Theophilus Lee
Georgetown Central Percy Claude Wight Percy Claude Wight John Fernandes
Georgetown North Nelson Cannon Frederick Jacob Seaford Jacob Alexander Nicholson
Georgetown South Joseph Gonsalves Joseph Gonsalves Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow
New Amsterdam Eustace Gordon Woolford Eustace Gordon Woolford William Oscar Rudyard Kendall
North Western District Victorine Antonio Pires Charles Ramkissoon Jacob William Phang
Western Berbice Albert Raymond Forbes Webber Peer Bacchus Aaron Theophilus Peters
Western Essequibo Robert Edward Brassington Sydney Howard Seymour Claude Vibart Wight
Source: Parliament of Guyana