March 29, 1946: Constitutional Amendment allowing for the Burns Constitution in the Gold Coast

Sir Alan Burns Constitution of 1946 provided new legislative council that was made of the Governor as the President, 6 government officials, 6 nominated members and 18 elected members.

Legislative elections were held in the Gold Coast in June 1946. Constitutional amendments on 29 March 1946 enabled the colony to be the first in Africa to have a majority of black members in its legislature; of the Legislative Council's 32 members, 21 were black, including all 18 elected members.

The executive council was not responsible to the legislative council. They were only in an advisory capacity and the governor did not have to take notice. It was the first major step towards recognition of a role for Gold Coasters (Ghanaians) in their own governance.

The Colony and Ashanti achieved representative government with the coming into force on 29/3/46 of the Burns Constitution. The operation of the Legislative Council was extended to Ashanti; elected members were increased from 11 to 18; the ex officio members were reduced from 13 to 6 and the nominated members were increased from 2 to 6. Elected members therefore, had a majority of 6 over the official and nominated members. The elected members comprised 9 provincial members elected from the Eastern and Western Provinces by the Joint Provincial Council; 4 Ashanti members elected by the Ashanti Confederacy Council; and 5 municipal members of whom 2 were elected from Accra and 1 each for Cape Coast, Sekondi-Takoradi and Kumasi. The ex officio members were the Colonial Secretary, the chief Commissioners of the Colony, Ashanti and the Northern Territories; the Attorney-General and the Financial Secretary. Of the 6 nominated members 3 were Africans, making a total of 21 African members out of 30. Three African members were also appointed to the Executive Council, namely Nana Tsibu Darku, Mr. C.W. Tachie-Menson and Dr. I.B. Asafu-Adjaye. Also, in 1946 an agreement for the administration of British Togoland as a trust territory by the United Kingdom Government was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Sir Alan Burns was governor of the Gold Coast from 29 June 1942 until 2 August 1947. He was made Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1946 and after retiring he served as Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom on the UN Trusteeship Council until 1956. Burns died at Westminster Hospital in London on September 29, 1980.