Alister Hughes 22nd August 1975
PO Box 65
THE..GRENADA NEWMSLETTER P
For Week Ending August 23rd 1975
POLITICAL CLIMATE DISCOURAGING
Mr Lyden Ramdhanny, President of the Grenada Chamber of
Commerce, said yesterday (21st) that the 'pblittoil climate"
in Grenada would have to improve before the island could recover
from its current economic slump.
In an exclusive interview with NEWSLETTER, Mr Ramdhanny, who has
the distinction of being the youngest President ever to head the
Chamber, said he had had recent discussions with sources close
to the Banking Community. "The local economic situation is
unhealthy," said Mr Ramdhanny, "personal savings with the Banks
are now on a steady decline, and as a result, the Banks are
holding a very tight rein on loans." "In fact", he continued,
loans extended by the Commercial Banks in Grenada now exceed
savings, and this negative gap is increasing."
According to Mr Ramdhanny# the Grenadian business community is
in considerable difficulty because of the worsening economic
situation. During the first six months of 1975, the drop in
the building materials trade was some 20% as compared with 1973,
the last normal year of trading. (Grenada was shut down for a
long period in 1974 as a result of political unrest).
Mr Ramdhanny said that building activity in the public sector
was negligeable and t at the only activity in the private sector
was a few homes being built, mainly with money remitted by
In the food sector, the President of the Chamber said he had
been in touch with the operators of the principal outlets and
that the volume of cash turnover is higher than in 1973. Food
vendors, however, say that this is not an indication of
increased trade but a reflection of the inflated cost of
foodstuff. Also, said Mr Ramdhanny, the buying trend is
towards the purchase of basic staple foods only, and even in
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 23.8.75
this category, there is an indication of reducing volume.
"It is obvious," Mid Mr Ramdhanny, "that the spending power
of Grenadians is now very limited because of the unemployment
situation, and the.private sector is unable to do anything
about it because it is already stretched to the limit in
providing jobs in a declining economic situation. Government
has admitted its lack of funds and is, therefore, unlikely to
be able to undertake any major job-intensive projects. bur
only hope is for an injection of outside capital. The existing
political climate does not encourage this, and, until we can
attract new investment, particularly from our more affluent
CARICOM partners, the current economic slump will continue and
Mr Ramdhanny thought that agriculture was still the basic
dependable source of income for Grenadians, and he felt that,
when the right conditions have been created, agro-based labour
intensive industries should be the objective of the island's
GHA PRESIDENT SAYS LIAT IS PROBLEM
Senator Paul Slinger, Minister of State for Tourism in the
Grenada Government, said yesterday (21st) that there had been
no falling off in the interest of visitors to come to Grenada,
but that the island's problem was centered on airline communication.
This view was confirmed by Mr Charles deGale, President of the
Grenada Hotel Association (GHA) and owner/manager of the south
coast Calabash hotel.
Mr deGale said that the biggest problem of Grenadian hoteliers
was the seeming inability of Leeward Islands Air Transport
Limited (LIAT) to get passengers to Grenada. "More than
this", said Mr deGale, "the reservations system of LIAT does
not seem to work. It is not unusual that, after having great
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 25.8.75
difficulty in getting passages confirmed, when hotel guests
arrive at the airport, they fail to get seats on the flight."
The situation is extremely critical, the President of GHA
continued, and it is so bad that hoteliers are cancelling
promotion trips they had scheduled to create business for the
1975/1976 winter season. "What is the point of selling out
all the hotel rooms in Grenada", Mr deGale asked, "when the
LIAT link to Barbados and Trinidad cannot be relied upon ?"
In this connection, Senator Slinger, without pinpointing LIAT
as the difficulty, said the problem of airline communications
to Grenada was being worked on and he hoped there would be an
improvement which would benefit the coming Winter Season.
Senator Slinger also disclosed that Mr Peter Capella, Grenada's
official Director of Tourism for Germany, Austria and
Switzerland, had visited Grenada this week. Senator Slinger
said Mr Capella, who is resident in Germany, brought with him
two important hotel investors who had showed considerable
interest in Grenada's potential. "I am hopeful that this
visit will bring developments in our Tourist Industry", said
Senator Slinger, "particularly as the Germans, who are among
the world's greatest travellers, are now on the lookout for the
exotic type of atmosphere such as Grenada offers."
DEMONSTRATORS BRAVE RAINS
For the third consecutive week, nutmeg producers demonstrated
through the streets of St.Georges in protest against the
dissolution by Government on July 4th of the elected Board of
Management of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association.
This week's demonstration took place on Thursday (21st), and
heavy rains may have affected the turn out which was about 150.
The demonstration of Thursday August 14th had proceeded to
THE GREADA NEWSLETTER MWeek Finding 23.8.75
Government House where a protest petition was presented to the
Governor General, Sir Leo deGale, by a delegation led by Mr Exel
Roberts. Mr Roberts reported after that Sir Leo had said that
he had no power to intervene in the matter, but that the Government
had promised to hold new elections to the Nutmeg Board within two
months of the dissolution of the elected Board.
Speakers at the demonstration yesterday (21st) said these elections
should take place by September 4thj and it was decided to hold a
meeting at the Seamoon race track on Sunday September 7th to consider
Contacted on the phone yesterday (21st); Mr Claude Morrison,
Chairman of the interim Nutmeg Board appointed by Government, said
he knew of no promise by Government to hold elections within two
months, neither did he have any information relative to any scheduled
elections. (210 words)
S3ROPTIMISTS BTA3E EXHIBITION
In an exclusive interview with NEWSLETTER, Mrs Marcella David,
President of the Soroptimist Club of Grenada, said today (22nd)
that she was very pleased with the response to the Arts and
Crafts Eihibition' or Women which the Club is sponsoring in
observance of International Woman's Year 1975.
Interviewed on the Exhibition site at the buildings of the
Technical and Vocational Institute in St.eeorgee, Mrs David said
she was pleased with both the number of entries and the high
standard of the exhibits.
Mrs David also revealed that the 4th Anniversary of Soroptimist'
international of GeOnada falls on August 23rd, but, beoaupe of
the holding of the Arts & Crafts Exhibition, the celebration of
the Anniversary ha& b'-n poetpond a It wV 'hopqA that
this event would take place on September 7th.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 23,8.75
On the 19th and 20th August, the S 8 "Geestttde" loaded 33,558
boxes of Bananas weighing 1,001,816 Ibs and valued at
EC$95,172.00. There were 163 boxes rejected. The next
loading of bananas is expected to take place in the week ending
CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the first half of August, there were three cruise liner
calls at Grenada. The "Cunard Adventurer" arrived on the 5th
and 12th with 616 and 680 passengers respectively. The "Sun
Viking" berthed on August 8th with 798 passengers.
NEWSPAPER (AMENDMENT No.2) ACT l397
A meeting of the House of Representatives today passed the
Newspaper (Amendiant No 2) Act 1975 which will allow newspapers
printed or published in the State to effect insurance-against
libel instead of making a cash deposit of EC#20,000.00 with the
On July 4th, the Newspaper (Amendment) Act 1975 became law, and,
in addition to an annual licence fee of EC$500O00 and a bond of
$960.00, this Amendment required a cash deposit of $20,000.00 or
"security in the form of Government Bonds". The Amendment
passed today (22nd) allows the Minister responsible for newspaper
to aooort, as an alternative to Government Bonds, "a policy of
insurance given by the Caribbean Publishers and Broadcasters
Association from any reputable Insurance Company acceptable to
In the Public Gallery of the House during the passage of the
Amendment today, was Mr Ken Gordon, President of Caribbean
Publishers and Broadcasters Association and Managing Director
of the Trinidad "Express" newspaper. This Amendment permitting
an insurance policy to be accepted has been made at the
instigation of CPBA.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 23.8,75
Sources close to CPBA said recently that insurance against
libel was not easy cover to get, but some insurance companies
had shown sympathy with the position of newspapers in Grenada
and the matter was being persued.
However, insurance circles in Grenada expressed the opinion
today that insurance against libel was a very unusual risk.
It was not known what such insurance would cost, but it was
felt that, if insurance cover of this nature could be obtained,
the annual premiums would be excessive.
Alister H es
2j August 1975