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A short biography of

The Secreteriat


Establishment of the Secretariat building

The quadrangular area of the Secretariat is 16 acres.
The main structure is a massive U shaped building with one long central block and two wings. 'Council Chamber' was added to the north of the quadrangle.
Central block (south facade fronting Dalhousie Road) was firstly built in 1889 and completed in 1893. The cost of Central block was about 10 Lakhs of rupee.
East wing (fronting Judah Ezekiel Road) and West wing (fronting sparks Road) were built in 1903 and completed in 1905.

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Hierarchical designations of the Secretariat office

By 1900s, Chief Secretary was the Head of Secretarial staffs. Other ranking are two Secretaries with their Under Secretaries. These were housed, together with other high official in the Secretarial building.
By 1930s, the new reforms led to a great increase in number of secretaries. In addition to the Chief Secretary, Head of the offices, there were 7 Secretaries, 7 Under-Secretaries, 2 Assistant Secretaries and 4 Registrars.
By 1940s, the introduction of reform took place again after separation of Burma from India. There were 10 secretaries, 3 joint- Secretaries, 5 Deputy Secretaries, 9 Under Secretaries, 5 Assistant Secretaries and 7 Registrars.

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Period of Diarchy government

On 2nd January 1923, form of government by Diarchy with Burmese participation was introduced. There were Administrative Council and Legislative Council in Diarchy Government. In Administrative branch, Head of the Executive Council was

  • Sir Spencer Harcourt Butter (Governor)
  • Sir William John Keith (Premier and Minister of Finance)
  • Sir Maung Khin (Minister of Home Affairs)
  • Joseph A. Maung Gyi (Minister of Forestry)
  • M.A Maung Gyee (Minister of Education)

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Period of Burma Office

The administrative reforms Led to the separation of Burma from India and the new Burma Office came to existence on 1st April 1937. Cabinet was in the form of coalition government and Dr. Ba Maw became the Chief Minister of Cabinet.
The new constitution set up two chambers of parliament, a senate half-nominated by the Governor and elected for House of Representatives. There were 36 seats for senate and 132 seats for House of Representatives.

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the Second coalition government led by U Pu

In Administrative branch, Head of Executive Council was –

  • Sir Archibald Douglas Cochrane (Governor)
  • U Pu (The Premier)
  • Saw Po Chit (Minister of Education)
  • Mr. H.C. Khue (Minister of Forestry)
  • U Htun Aung Kyaw (Minister of Finance)
  • U Khunt (Minister of Commerce)
  • U Paw Tun (Minister of Revenue)
  • U Ba Pe (Minister of Home Affairs)

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Pre - Independence period

Rangoon was re-captured by Patriotic Burmese Forces and Allied Force on 2nd May 1945. Sir Dorman – Smith returned as Governor and Lord Mountbatten of Burma handed over the State Power on 16th October 1945. Sir Dorman – Smith formed Governor's Executive Council on 1st November 1945. Sir Paw Tun became the Chief of Governor's Executive Council. 34 M.Ps were nominated by the Governor for legislative body on 31st December 1945.
On 28th February 1946, the first legislative meeting was held in Council Chamber.
On 21st March 1946, Thakin Tu Oak accused Bogyoke Aung San of murder and urged legislature to put him on trial for committing crime.

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Period of Parliament government

Pyaw Bwe U Mya was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament. Ceremony of transferring State Power was held in the Governor's House at 6:30 AM. The last Governor Sir Hubert Ranse and his wife left Rangoon at 8:20 AM.
The fifth legislative meeting came to an end by the Executive Order from the President on 24th April 1947.
The AFPFL Government submitted their resignation to the parliament at 2:00 AM suddenly on 15th July 1943.

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