01-Sir Joseph Howard


1862 – 1925


Born in Valletta in 1862, Malta’s first Prime Minister under the Colonial Government, Joseph Howard was educated at the Lyceum and abroad and served as an officer in the French Military academy. He joined the commercial sector – the tobacco industry – and was appointed director of Cousis Cigarettes. Between 1914 and 1925 he served as consul of Japan and later President of the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1912, Joseph Howard was elected member to the Council of Government after being nominated by the Comitato Patriottico. In 1921, he joined the UPM of Mgr. I. Panzavecchia and was elected Senator in the first Maltese Parliament. As Panzavecchia did not accept the premiership, Governor Lord Plumer offered the post to Howard. Between 1921 and 1923 Joseph Howard managed to lead the first Maltese Government with the support of the Labour Party. His successes were mainly due to his keen sense of tolerance and the result of his vast experience in administration.

Howard was regarded as the gentleman ‘par excellence’ and was held in great esteem by politicians of all political creeds.

Joseph Howard was President of the Government emigration committee and in 1919 he headed the Maltese delegation to France which discussed the employment of Maltese labour in that country.

He was also President of the Societa’ dell’Arte, Manifattura e Commercio and President of the La Societa Filarmonica La Valette. He was also made Officer of the British Empire (OBE).


CABINET 1921-1924

Minister Ministry
Joseph Howard Head of Ministry & Finance
Dr Alf. Caruana Gatto Justice
Mons Francesco Ferris Education
Antonio Dalli Public Works
Dr Ugo P Mifsud Industry, Commerce, Posts, Fisheries & Agriculture
Prof Carm Mifsud Health

Note:    In April 1922 a coalition was formed with the Labour Party.  Col William Savona became Minister for Posts, Agriculture & Fisheries.  Col Michael Dundon became Minister for Health.

On 13th October 1922, Dr Francesco Buhagiar became Minister for Justice while Col Savona and Col  Dundon resigned in January 1923.  In their stead Dr Ugo P Mifsud became Minister for Posts, Antonio Dalli became Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries while Prof Carmelo Mifsud became Minister for Health again.

In July 1923 Mons Enrico Dandria became Minister for Education and in October 1923 Dr Giovanni Adami became Minister for Public Works.


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