The Grenada newsletter


Material Information

The Grenada newsletter
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.
A. & C. Hughes
Place of Publication:
St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
Publication Date:
twenty no. a year
completely irregular


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada   ( lcsh )
newspaper   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1973.
General Note:
Description based on surrogate of: Vol. 11, no. 1 (Jan. 22, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 24157414
lccn - sn 91021217
lcc - F2056.A2 G74
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text

Alister Hughes
P 0 Box 65

1st August 1975


For Week Ending August 2nd

Explanation to Subscribers.

The last issue of NEWSLETTER was published on ,June 5th for

the week ending June 7th, and, following the return of the

Editor from Canada, there should have been an issue

published for the week ending July 12th. However, on

July 4th, the Newspaper (Amendment) Act No 9 of 1975 came

into force, and there was some doubt as to whether or not

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER was affected by the provisions of

that Act. The Commissioner of Police was approached on

the matter, and the Editor is now in receipt of written

advice that his productions (The GRENADA NEWSLETTER, a

weekly column of opinion and a weekly feature, "This Month

in History"), "are not at present caught by the Newspaper

(Amendment) Act No 9 of 1975." With this assurance,

publication of NEWSLETTER is now being resumed and you may

expect to receive your copy regularly.

With a break in publication of nearly two months, subscribers

may not be in possession of the background to many news-

stories. To meet this possible deficiency, this issue of

NEWSLETTER is being devoted, mainly, to setting out facts

relative to the principal happenings of today. It is

hoped that this will give subscribers a better understanding

of the news as it unfolds in the weeks ahead.


Grenada has had a Newspaper Ordinance on its Statute Books

since October 8th 1955, the main provisions of which are

that (1) the name of the newspaper, its address and the names

and addresses of the proprietor, printer and publisher be

filed with the Registrar, and (2) that a bond for $1,000.00

be posted to satisfy any judgements "upon conviction for

printing or publishing any blasphemous or seditious or

other libel."

, ao71

-lister Hughes
Page 2

On July 4th 1975, this original Ordinance was modified

by the Newspaper (Amendment) Act No 9 of 1975 which

introduced some fundamental changes. According to
the Amendment, it is unlawful to publish a newspaper

unless a licence has been obtained from the Registrar

for the sum of $500.00 per annum. In addition, a

newspaper may not be printed or published within the

State unless a $960.00 bond has been posted to satisfy

any judgement and costs imposed by a Court, and, in

addition, the sum of $20,000.00 in cash must be deposited

with the Accountant-General "to be drawn against in order

to satisfy any judgement in Grenada for libel ....."

The definition of "newspaper" in the Original Ordinance

indicates the far-reaching scope of the Amendment.

"Newspaper", it says, "includes every paper or pamphlet

containing any public news, intelligence or report of any

occurrence, or any remarks or observations thereon or upon

any political matter published for sale, distribution or

other purpose in parts or numbers at intervals not exceeding

100 days, but does not include the Government Gazette or

any paper, report, matter or thing printed by the Government

Printer or published by Government authority, or programmes

notices or printed matter containing only or principally

bona fide advertisements."

Since the Amendment came into force, the "Torchlight",

(twice weekly) has ceased publication, but the weekly

"Jewel", the official organ of the New Jewel Movement,

continues to be published and there have been confrontions

between vendors and the Police/Defence Force. Several

arrests have been made and charges laid, but spokesmen

for NJM have stated that the "Jewel" will continue to be

published in protest against what the Movement considers

to be "suppression of press freedom".

Alister Hughes
Page 3

On one day, copies of the Trinidad "Express" were siezed

by Police and vendors and the local agent were taken to

Police Headquarters for questioning. The following

day, however, the papers were returned and the Attorney

General, kr Desmond Christian, told NEWSIETTER that "the

law is not being interpreted as binding on foreign



On April 28th last, the Manager of the Grenada Cooperative

Nutmeg Association, Mr Robin Renwick, advised Government

that the Nutmeg Board had appointed Mr Norris James to

fill the vacant post of Secretary, and sought approval of

the Governor-General in accordance with the provisions of

Section 70 (1) of the Nutmef Ordinance.

Government replied on June 2nd that the Governor-General

did not approve Mr James' appointment. No reason was

given for withholding approval, and on June 16th, the

Manager wrote Government stating that his Board considered

the withholding of approval "too vague and inconclusive",

and said, "if after full and mature consideration a

Board elected by the members of the Association to conduct

its affairs appoints a fit and proper person to hold office,

then the Governor-General cannot properly dismiss the

appointment with a shrug." The Manager expressed the

Board's feelings that "the Governor-General must be more

specific and state in definite terms the reasons for

withholding his 'formal approval' ", and he asked that the

matter be resubmitted to the Governor-General for further

consideration. Government did not reply to the Manager's


As a parallel development, Government advised the Manager

of the Nutmeg Association on June 12th that Messrs George

Alister Hughes
Page 4

Rhoden, Sydney Frederick and Edward Baptiste were GT~ernment's

nominations to the Nutmeg Board for the year 1st July 1975

to 30th June 1976. In reply, the Manager advised

Government on 27th June that he had been "directed by the

Nutmeg Board to point out to you that these nominations are

not in accordance with the requirements of Section 14, sub-

section (3) of the Nutmeg Ordinance Cap 201, and they are

therefore invalid." The Manager indicated that he

awaited further communication on the matter.

Section 14, sub-section (3) of the Nutmeg Industry Ordinance

Cap 201 reads, "The names of the members elected to the

Board shall forthwith be submitted to the Governor-

General who shall, within fourteen days of such election,
nominate an officer of the Civil Service of the State to

serve on the Board. The Governor-General may also, at

any time, nominate not more than two persons to serve on

the Board". It should be pointed out that none of the

three Government nominees mentioned above are officers of

the Civil Service.

The Nutmeg Association received no further communication

from Government, but a Government announcement over Radio

Grenada stated that, for some time, Government had been

dissatisfied with operations of the Nutmeg Board and that

the Board had appointed a Secretary without the approval of

the Governor-General. Further, the announcement stated

that the elected members of the Board had refused to accept

Government's nominations to the Board.

As a sequel to this, the Nutmeg Board (Dissolution) Order

1975 was made by the Governor-General with effect that "The
Beard of the Grenada Nutmeg Co-Operative Association shall

stand dissolved on the 4th July 1975." The Order also made

provision for an "Interim Board" which has since been nominated
by Government under the Chairmanship of Mr Claude Morrison.

Alister Hughes
Page 5

This action by Government cau:nd respntmrnt among farmers,

and it was decided to operate a "no-out" protest campaign

in the Banana Industry. This campaign was first put into

effect relative to the shipment made in the week ending

July 32th, and of an expected shipment of 380 tons, only

274 were shipped. The second week of the campaign was

the most effective with only 160 tons being shipped of an

expected 350. In the third week (ending 26th), the

shipped tonnage had risen to 216 of an expected 350, and,

although final figures are not now available, it was obvious

that the "no cut" campaign failed in the current week ending

August 2nd. It was expected that 350 tons would be

shipped this week, and, two hours before the ship was due to

stop loading, 233 tons had already been received at the docks
and officials were confident that the final figure would

exceed 300 tons.


On June 27th, Messrs Selwyn Strachan and Unison Whiteman,

prominent members of the New Jewel Movement, swore to

,affidavits before the Registrar relative to an incident

alleged to have taken place in the town of Grenville on

Grenada's east coast on November 18th 1973. This was

an incident investigated by the Duffus Commission of Inquiry,

and it is interesting to note the following from the Duffus

Report, Section 130, relative to the Commissioner's findings :-

"We are constrained to hold that they were unlawfully

detained; that all of them were unlawfully assaulted
by the cutting of their hair; that three of them, viz

Maurice Bishop, Selwyn Strachan and Unison Whiteman,

were cruelly beaten and that these acts were done in

the presence of and/or with the authority of assistant

Superintendent Innocent Belmar and Inspector David

Andrews and were committed by other persons named

and unnamed."

Alister Hughes
Page 6

Mr Maurice Bishop who, together with Mr Lloyd Noel, is

representing Mesera Strachan mad Whiteman, told NEWSLETTER

that, following the swearing of the affidavits before the

Registrar, Grenada's three Magistrates, Messrs Lloyd St.Louis,

I I Duncan and Ernest John, were approached in turn to issue

Warrants for the arrest of Eric Gairy (the Prime Minister),

Innocent Belmar, David Andrews and Terence Jones, alias


According to Mr Bishop, Mr St.Louis said the affidavits were

based on hearsay evidence and he would issue neither warrants

nor summons. Mr Duncan said he could nlt comply with the

request, and Mr John said the persons involved were well known

and he would not issue a warrant for arrest. Mr John did

say, however, according to Ir Bishop, that if the cases were

filed in his Court, that is the Eastern District, he would

issue summons. The cases, however, are filed in the


Failing to get the signature of a Magistrate, the services

of a Justice of the Peace were sought, and on July 5th,

complaints on oath were sworn before Mr F J Archibald J P,

and Warrants issued for the arrest of the four persons.

Mr Bishop said the warrants were then handed to the Commissioner

of Police for execution and the cases were filed at the

Magistrate's Court in St.Georges for hearing on July 23rd.

The Commissioner of Police forwarded the Warrants to the

Attorney General, Mr Desmond Christian, for his advice as

to their legality, and on August 1st, Mr Christian told

NEWSLETTER that, on July 22nd, he had advised the Commissioner

of Police, Nigerian ir J Usen, on the matter. Mr Christian

was not prepared to say, however, what his advise had been.

Alister Hughes
Page 7

As a matter of interest, the warrants state that "The

Defendants with others unknown did agree to act together

with a common purpose in committing a crime, to wit, to

commit previous bodily harm against the complainant."

When Mr Lloyd Noel appeared in the magistrate's Court

before Mr Lloyd St.Louis to hear these cases on July 23rd,

the Magistrate told Mr Noel that the cases were not on his

list but that he would look into the matter. When

NEWSLETTER informed mr Noel of the Attorney General's

statement reference his advice to the Commissioner of Police,

Mr Noel expressed surprise that he had received no advice

as to the execution or otherwise of the warrants. Hb

indicated he would be making early inquiries into the


Both Mr Noel and Mr Bishop have stated that, if the

Commissioner of Police does not execute the warrants, an

application will be made to the High Court for a Writ of


rn the mean time, a notice appearing in the Government

Gazette of July 18th states that the appointment of Mr

F J Archibald as a Justice of the Peace has been revoked.


On July 18th, the Cabinet Secretary addressed a letter

(according to an announcement over Radio Grenada), "to

the Heads of Churches and Secretaries of other organizations

whose members participated in the demonstrations and other

activities against what was termed Police brutality,

during the pre-independence crisis."

The Cabinet Secretary, Mr Godwin Brathwaite, later confirmed

to NEWSLETTER that the letter was sent to member

organizations of the Committee of 22.

Alister Hughes
Page 8

The letter drew attention to the wave of vandalism which

has been taking piece in the agricultural industry and

pointed out that "leaders of a certain political group,

opposed to Government, were continuing to publish and sell

a newspaper without meeting the legal requirements ......"

It went on to call upon the Churches and organizations as

"the self-confessed champion of human rights", to "come out

in open condemnation of the law breakers, and so evince a

measure of impartiality instead of the apparent onesidedness

for which your Church/organisation has been severely criticized."

To dates it is known that Government received three replies.

On July 25th, the Chamber of Commerce wrote the Cabinet

Secretary denying that the Chamber took part in any

demonstrations. "The Chamber fully supported the protest

of the Committee of 22 over what has been substantiated by the

Duffus Commission as unwarranted "POLICE BRUTALITY"," the

letter said, "but at no time did the Chamber as a body

participate in any demonstration, but individual members in

their own right did demonstrate as concerned citizens of the

country." The Chamber went on to condemn acts of vandalism,

but stated the feeling that "Government policy is fostering


'he Employers Federation answered on July 30th, also stating

that, as a body, the Federation did not take part in any

demonstration. It also pointed out its support for the

protest of the Committee of 22 against "what has been


The Federation pointed out that "History is replete with

examples in which laws which are popularly held to be unjust

or oppressive aggravate rather than minimise anti-social

acts such as lawbreaking and violence." The Federation

condemned acts of vandalism on the estates and "would go

Alister Hughes
THE GRENADA NEWStETTER Week Ending August 2nd*

further than this and condemn ALL acts of vadalism and

violence by whomsoever committed and would draw attention

to the Federation's statement in which we looked forward
to the full implementation of the Duffus Report."

The third reply received by Government was written on July

28th but not made public until kugust 1st. This letter

was jointly signed by Reverend l Atherton E Thomas,

Superintendent of the Methodist Church, Reverend A Hoskins
Huggins, Archdeacon of Grenada, His Lordship Sydney A

Charles, Roman Catholic Bishop of St.Georges and Reverend
Michael Chandoo, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church.

"his letter stated that the tone of Government's letter was

considered "insulting". It went on to strongly deplore
vandalism and called upon all those responsible to desist

from wanton destruction of trees. It disapproved of

any type of lawbreaking and felt that offenders must be

charges in a court of law.

"While, however, it is the prerogative of a Government to

pass legislation and new laws from time to time", it said,

"we believe it is also the duty of Government to ensure
that citizens do not get the general impression everytime

laws are passed that they are arbitrarily made simply to

meet emergencies and tend to suppress rather than to

*enourage freedom. Any appearance of suppression of
freedom is certain to lead to restlessness and rebellion."

To date, there has been no reaction from Government to
these letters.


On Friday July 18th, NEWSIETTER was witness to an incident

in which Mr Kenrick Radix, Barrister at law and a prominent
member of the New Jewel movement, was beaten by some 12 to

Alister Hughes
THE GRENADA NEWSeTTER Week Ending August 2nd
Page 0LO

15 members of the Defence Force carrying riot sticks,

Mr *Radix is alleged to have been attempting to take

photographs during a confrontation between Police/Defenee

Force and vendors of the allegedly illegal newspaper, the


Arising out of this incident, the Grenada law Society held

an Emergency Meeting on July 24th and unanimously passed a

Resolution recording its severe condemnation and resolving

"to lodge a strongly worded protest, by letter, with the

Commissioner of Police with copies to the Minister of National

Security, the Chief Justice of the West Indies Associated

States and of Grenada, the Organisation of Commonwealth Bar

Associations (OCCBA) and the Press".

In its letter to the Commissioner of Police ':the law Society

notes that this is not the first occasion that a member of

the legal profession "has been wantonly savaged in this manner.r

It refers to an incident on November 18th 1973 when, it says,

Mr Iaurice Bishop was severely beaten by Police Aids under the

guidance of an assistant Superintendent of Police. "Up to

the present time", said the letter, "no criminal charges have

been brought against any of the persons involved."

The law Society's letter requests that immediate steps be taken

to bring Mr Radix's attackers to justice, and continued,

"Bearing in Mind the comments made in the Duffus Report of

the Commission of Enquiry into Police Brutality on the status

and necessity for a Defence Force in Grenada (for example

at paragraphs 61, 80 and 204) we would wish also to be

advised on the status of the Defence Force and your

recommendations for ensuring that proper patrol will be

exercised over this body for as long as it continues in

exist ece."

Alister Hughes
Page 11.

Paragraph 61 of the Duffus Report refers the Police

Aids as "...,,an undisciplined group of amei, overal with
previous criminal records ....." In paragraph 80,
the Commissioners expressed gratification over ir Gairy's
assurance that the Police Aids "will never again be
recalled for service similar to that which they hitherto

performed", but felt that that assurance "seemed neutralized"
by the evidence of establishment of the Defence Force.

Paragraph 204 says, "During the course of his evidence,
the Honourable Prime minister gave the Commissioners his
solumn verbal assurance that the Police Aids would be

completely disbanded. In this connection, however,
the Commissioners seriously question the advisability or
the necessity of he establishment of another auxiliary

arm of the regular Police Force a so-called "Field
Force" or "Defence Force", especially when it is known

,that former Police Aids are now members of the Defence

Alist ughes
ls ugust 1975

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