The Malta Independent 24 March 2019, Sunday

The ‘lazy’ Borg Olivier Cabinet met 766 times, the ‘hyper-active’ Mintoff one 45

Malta Independent Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 10:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

The Cabinet papers covering the period 27 August 1962 to 20 November 1981 were yesterday opened for study and research by the National Archives.

At least on paper, and according to the records that have survived, these Cabinet papers disprove quite a few popular myths.

In particular, they disprove the common belief that the Borg Olivier administration was a lazy one which preferred to let things develop on their own.

The pre-election campaign by the Labour Party was dominated by claims the government was a lazy and sleepy one. Dom Mintoff, on the contrary, was the image itself of activism.

But according to the papers released yesterday, the Borg Olivier Cabinet met all of 766 times from 27 August, 1962 to 1 June, 1971, just before the elections which were to unseat it.

On the contrary, the papers do not record any Mintoff Cabinet meeting in the first legislature, with the first Cabinet meeting taking place on 23 December, 1976, seven in 1977, six in 1978, just three (and none before 31 March) in 1979, 15 in 1980 and 13 in 1981.

George Borg Olivier emerges from this data as a hard task master. His Cabinet met even on Boxing Day, sometimes morning and evening and once even on the feast day of St Paul’s Shipwreck (10 February).

The Malta Independent on Sunday will carry a series of Cabinet minutes and Notes to Cabinet from these years.


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