Big government and self-government, 1940–69

Stephen Constantine

in Community and Identity

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780719076350
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702048 | DOI:
Big government and self-government, 1940–69

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The evacuation from May 1940 of much of the civilian population from Gibraltar, and especially some of their uncomfortable experiences in Britain and Northern Ireland, did embitter the exiles and those still resident in Gibraltar, and did provoke demands for political change. The apparently tardy steps being taken by the British authorities to organise repatriation seemed to expose the limited political influence that Gibraltar civilians had over their own lives. The Association for the Advancement of Civil Rights (AACR), established in December 1942, became Gibraltar's first organised political party, dominating Gibraltar's electoral politics until the 1980s. It found in Lieutenant-General Sir Noel Mason-Macfarlane (May 1942–February 1944) an outspoken advocate of constitutional and administrative change. This chapter explores big government and self-government in Gibraltar from 1940 to 1969, first focusing on Mason-Macfarlane's proposed reforms of the constitution of the City Council, and then turning to the colonial government and post-war housing, Gibraltar's welfare state, government finance and the politics of taxation, constitutional change and the Legislative Council of 1950, and self-government and the Gibraltar constitution of 1969.

Keywords: Gibraltar; self-government; Noel Mason-Macfarlane; City Council; housing; constitutional change; constitution; welfare state; taxation; government finance

Chapter.  27637 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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