After the War a dyarchical 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 to 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'.
Though a number of political parties appeared during this period,
the principal two were the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party.
The Labour Party gained a majority in the general elections which
were based on proportional representation and Dr Paul Boffa became
Prime Minister. The first Parliament was opened by the Duke of
Gloucester. A question over economic aid led to a split in the
Labour Party and new elections were held in 1950. The Nationalist
Party led by Dr Enrico Mizzi was insisting on Dominion Status while
the Labour Party led by Mr Dominic Mintoff was after integration
with Britain or self-determination. Dr Mizzi became Prime Minister
and formed a minority government. He died in office on 20th December
1950 and was replaced by Dr George Borg Olivier who formed two
successive coalitions with Dr Boffa, in 1951 and 1953.
In 1953 NATO established its regional headquarters (Cincafmed) in
Malta under Lord Louis Mountbatten. At the time Government was
proposing to transfer Malta to the Commonwealth Relations Office but
the Colonial Secretary offered to transfer it to the Home Office.
The results of the general elections of 1955 returned Mr Mintoff to
power. He put forward the proposal for Integration ensuring
political, social and economic union of Malta with Great Britain.
The situation was affected by a political-religious quarrel that
ensued between Church Authorities and the Malta Labour Party. While
Dr Balogh and Mr Seers presented an economic report on Malta, a
Round Table Conference was called by Alan Lennox Boyd, the Colonial
Secretary. It met at Lancaster House under the chairmanship of Lord
Kilmuir and recommended Maltese members in the House of Commons.
A Referendum about Integration was considered as having given an
unclear result - the Nationalists boycotting the voting. Meanwhile
proposals to reduce the Defence Expenditure were going to affect the
Naval Dockyard employees. The Maltese Government condemned such a
threat and on 30th December 1957 a 'Break with Britain Resolution'
was approved in Parliament. Events turned to the worse when the
Labour Government resigned in April 1958. An Emergency Ordinance was
issued and the Constitution was withdrawn. Whilst proposals for
Independence started to be made, the Sir Hilary Blood Commission
proposed a new Constitution which led to the formation of the
"State of Malta" on 3rd March 1962. It was similar to that
given to Singapore sometime earlier.