Government of Burma Act

   A law in effect between April 1, 1937, and the Japanese occupation that separated Burma administratively and politically from India and placed it under the executive authority of a governor directly responsible to London, rather than to the Viceroy of India. Although the governor exercised control over matters relating to defense, foreign affairs, finances, and the "Excluded Areas," which formed a major portion of the Frontier Areas. In other matters, he was obliged to act in accordance with the decisions of the cabinet, headed by a prime minister, who was chosen by Parliament. The Parliament was bicameral, consisting of a 36-seat Senate and a 132-member House of Representatives. Dr. Ba Maw became the first prime minister under the new system after a general election was held in 1936; his leadership was constrained, however, not only by the governor's reserved powers but also by business and communal interests in the legislature. Many Burmese political leaders opposed the 1935 act; by separating Burma from India, it seemed to deprive the country of the constitutional advances being accomplished on the Subcontinent.
   See also Dyarchy.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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