Legislative Council of Trinidad and Tobago
The Legislative Council of Trinidad and Tobago served as an advisory commission to the Governor in British-ruled Trinidad and Tobago, between 1925 and independence in 1961. The Legislative Council consisted of a mixture of appointed and elected members. Initially the Council consisted of 13 "unofficial" members (those who were not civil servants serving ex officio in the Council), seven elected and six appointed, to 31 members, 24of whom were elected. Over time the balance between elected members and appointed members changed. In 1956 the Council consisted of 24 elected and 7 appointed unofficial members.
Between 1797 and 1925 Trinidad was directly ruled from Britain as a crown colony with no elected representation. This was unlike the situation in the rest of the British West Indies where an elected Assembly was the norm. While there was a Council of Advice, which was later replaced by a Council of Government and finally by an Executive and Legislative Council, these were purely advisory bodies and had no elected representation. Following an investigative visit to the Caribbean by Major E. F. L. Wood (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies) between December 13, 1921 and February 14, 1922, a recommendation was made to include elected members.
The first elections to the Legislative Council were held in 1925. Voting rights were based on property or income qualifications. The colony was divided into seven constituencies: