On 30 December 1957 the Maltese Legislative Assembly unanimously approved a Break with Britain Resolution moved by Prime Minister Dom Mintoff. Negotiations over Mintoff’s plan to integrate Malta into the United Kingdom had stalled. By the end of March 1958 they had broken down irrevocably. The uncertainty concerning the future of the Naval dockyard also shrouded the Island. Mintoff apprised the General Workers Union of the situation prior to his Government’s resignation which led to street demonstrations and clashes with the Police. On 28 April, the General Workers Union called a one day protest strike in solidarity with the Maltese Government. The day was marked by violent incidents, damage to private, public and Services property, including the sacking of three Police stations. Who was behind the mayhem? Were the day’s incidents the spontaneous reaction of an angry population? What was Mintoff’s role? What were the political results and consequences? These are some of the questions that this book seeks to answer as it explores Mintoff’s political mission, his attempts to fulfil it, his modus operandi and his conception of the national interest.
Professor Joseph M. Pirotta, winner of the National Book Council’s 2019 Prize for Biographical and Historiographic Research, has a well-established reputation for scholarship, objectivity and a flowing style that appeals equally to the academic, to the student of history, and to the general reader.