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The Solomon Islands Constitutional Conference

Volume 387: debated on Thursday 17 November 1977

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Whether the Solomon Islands Constitutional Conference agreed on independence for the territory; if so

  • (1) what date was fixed for independence;
  • (2) what is to be the character of the National Legislature and the basis of the franchise;
  • (3) what provision is made for the maintenance of fundamental rights and freedoms;
  • (4) in whom is the ownership of land and natural resources to be vested; and
  • (5) what grants are to be made by the United Kingdom and for what period.
  • Yes. Details are available in the Report of the Solomon Islands Constitutional Conference (Cmnd. 6969), which was presented to Parliament on 29th October 1977. (1) It was agreed to aim to fix a date for independence in the middle of 1978. (2) The national legislature will consist of a single chamber, known as the National Parliament of Solomon Islands, with a normal life of four years. Only citizens of the Solomon Islands will be qualified to be elected to Parliament. The country is to be divided into single member constituencies, of which there will be not less than 30 nor more than 50, on a basis of universal adult suffrage. (3) The provisions of the existing Constitution for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms will be incorporated into the new Constitution, strengthened in some respects. (4) The Conference agreed on the principle that all land in the Solomon Islands belongs to the citizens of Solomon Islands. There are no special provisions for natural resources. (5) The United Kingdom agreed to make available grant aid up to a total of £26 million in the first four years of independence.