SIR GERALD STRICKLAND: PRIME MINISTER OF MALTA (1924
Lord Gerald Strickland was born in Valletta on 24th May 1861,
son of Walter Strickland and Louisa Bonici Mompalao. Gerald
studied in Malta, Britain and Italy. He began to take an
active part in Maltese politics at an early age and won the
warm praise of Dr. Fortunato Mizzi, whom he even accompanied
to London to submit a scheme for a legislative assembly. The
result was that the new Constitution of December 1887 was
largely based on the joint Strickland-Mizzi proposals.
In 1887, at the age of 28, he was elected to the Council of
Government as representative of the nobility and land
proprietors. In 1888 he was nominated Principal Government
Secretary, a position he held until 1902. Strickland was
created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George
in 1889, for rendering invaluable services during a severe
cholera epidemic. He was Governor of the Leeward Islands in
the West Indies (1902-04), Tasmania (1904-9), West Australia
(1909-12) and New South Wales (1912-17).
On returning to Malta after the grant of self government,
Strickland founded the Anglo-Maltese Party in 1921 and after a
few months it merged with the Maltese Constitutional Party
forming the CP under his leadership. He was Leader of the
Opposition (1921-27). In 1924, Lord Strickland won the sear
for Lancaster for the Conservatives in the House of Commons.
After the 1927 elections, following the so called
"compact" alliance with the Labour Party, he had a
majority in the Legislative Assembly and became Head of
Ministry (the fourth Prime Minister between August 1927 and
June 1930). In 1928 he was elevated to the peerage. One of the
most important projects of his government was the commencement
of building works for St. Luke's Hospital.
During his administration Lord Strickland clashed with the
Senate leading to the issue of Letters Patent which curtailed
its powers. Concurrently he clashed with the ecclesiastical
authorities which led to the suspension of the Constitution in
1930. Between July 1932 and November 1933 he was once again
Leader of the Opposition and in 1939, after the grant of the
new Constitution he became the leader of the elected majority
in the Council of Government.
He was an owner and director of Progress Printing Company
and The Times of Malta.
In 1890 Lord Strickland married Lady Edeline Sackville and
they had eight children. In 1926 Gerald Strickland re-married
Margarete Hulton. He died at his residence in Villa Bologna,
Attard and is buried in the family chapel at the Mdina