The Senate since 1921


1921 – 1933


In 1921 Malta was granted the Amery-Milner Constitution which ensured autonomy in internal affairs when a diarchical system of government was introduced. Control was divided between a Maltese government and an Imperial government which had control over many ‘reserved matters’. A bicameral legislature, consisting of a Legislative Assembly (with elections every 3 years) and a Senate (with elections every 6 years) was introduced and the right to vote was given to men who were twenty-one years old, or upwards and had certain literacy and property qualifications.

Following the 1927 Elections Lord Gerald Strickland led the Compact parties, Labour and Constitutional, in government. At the time a political crisis ensued regarding the Senate. It was accentuated by a political-religious struggle between Strickland and the Church. In 1930 the Constitution was amended and then suspended ushering a period of political confusion.

When responsible government was returned in 1932, Ugo Mifsud became Prime Minister. But the Constitution was soon suspended and governatorial autocracy imposed. It was at this time that whilst Maltese artists and authors were gaining prestige, the Maltese language was made the official language of the Courts in 1934. In 1936 an Executive Council was established and in 1939 the Macdonald Constitution provided for the setting up of a Council of Government half the members of which was to consist of Maltese elected representatives.

All in all only three Senates were elected, namely in 1921, 1927 & 1932.

After the War, in 1947, a diarchical system of government was introduced by the MacMichael Constitution (1947) which ensured self-government for internal affairs in Malta. It provided for a unicameral system and granted the right of vote to men and women over the age of 21, but such things as defence, immigration, nationality, treaties, postal censorship and other items were considered as ‘reserved matters’.

1921 Elections

For the Senate Election held on 5th & 6th October 1921 there were 20 Candidates. UPM – 7, PK – 7, PL – 5, Independent – 1. Malta was divided into two districts.

Members elected to the Senate were these:

Joseph Howard Col Achille Samut Alfons Maria Galea
Mons Ignazio Panzavecchia Fr Michael Gonzi
Dr Max Debono
Dr Andre’ Pullicino

Special members on the Senate:

Clergy Nobility Graduates Commerce Trade Union Council
Mons G. Apap Bologna Marquis P Apap Bologna Prof C Mifsud MD Luigi Apap Col William Savona
Mons Paolo Galea Count A Caruana Gatto Dr F Caruana Gatto John C Camilleri Salvu Zammit Hammet

Joseph Howard resigned to become Prime Minister and was replaced by Dr A Mattei. Col William Savona and Salvu Zammit Hammet resigned from the Senate because they were elected in the Legislative Assembly in 1924. They were not replaced. In 1924 Fr Michael Gonzi resigned due to his appointment as Bishop for Gozo. He was replaced by Col A McKean.

In 1926 Count Caruana Gatto died and he was replaced by Baron Igino DE Pirod’Amico. Mons Panzavecchia died also in 1926 and was replaced Edgar Arrigo.

Dr F Caruana Gatto resigned and was replaced by Rev Prof Anastasio Cuschieri O.C.. Luigi Apap and John C Camilleri resigned and were replaced by A Cassar Torregiani and Alex Mizzi.

1927 Elections

Members elected to the Senate were these:

Sir Ugo Mifsud Col Achille Samut
Prof L Randon Prof S Cassar
G Lanzon Prof Augusto Bartolo
Not Salvatore Borg Olivier

Special members on the Senate:

Clergy Nobility Graduates Commerce Trade Union Council
Mons P Gauci Baron I DePiro D’Amico Rev Prof Anastasio Cuschieri OC Edgar Arrigo Col William Savona
Mons C Zammit Marquis D Testaferrata Bonaci Ghaxaq Count Luigi Preziosi Alex Mizzi Mikelang Borg

Mons P Gauci was first replaced by Mons Vella Mangion and later on by Can Nerik Bonnici. Mons C Zammit resigned various times but he was always re-nominated.

Col William Savona and Mikielang Borg had to resign because their election was invalid.

Col Achille Samut resigned and was replaced by Jos. Muscat.

1932 Elections

Members elected to the Senate were these:

Col Alex Chesney Lord Gerald Strickland
Mons Enrico Dandria Prof Robert V Galea
Prof Luigi A. Randon
Not Salvatore Borg Olivier
Gaetano Lanzon

Special members on the Senate:

Clergy Nobility Graduates Commerce Trade Union Council
Mons Enrico Bonnici Lord Gerald Strickland Rev Prof Anastasio Cuschieri OC Alex Mizzi Mikilelang Borg
Mons Giuseppe Depiro Marquis D. Testaferrata Bonaci Ghaxaq Count Luigi Preziosi Emmanuel Said MD Carmelo Mamo

Mons Enrico Dandria died on 3rd July 1932. He was replaced by Dr A. Pullicino. Lord Gerald Strickland resigned from the Senate and was replaced by Dr Gorg Borg. Prof R.V. Galea resigned and was replaced by Maj J Gatt MD.


In 1933 the Amery-Milner Constitution (1921) was withdrawn. Malta reverted to the Crown Colony status it held in 1813. The MacMichael Constitution (1947), which ensured self-government for internal affairs in Malta, provided only for a unicameral system. The Senate was never revived.



One thought on “The Senate since 1921”

  1. I’m looking for some maltese stamps

    if anyone would like to help me and send me some Maltese stamps I would greatly appreciated

    Maltese for ever

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