The British Parliament passed the State of Singapore Act in August 1958, which converted the colony into a State with control over all domestic affairs, including finance. However, the British government retained control over foreign affairs and external defence. Internal security was placed in the hands of the Internal Security Council, comprising representatives from Singapore, Britain and the Federation of Malaya. In May 1959, an election was held for the Legislative Assembly, which would comprise 51 members. Members were elected on the basis of adult suffrage by all Singapore citizens.