P 0 Box 65
THE GRORADA WHLtWLTTER
For The Week Ending A&ril 23rd 1977
CHAMBER CRITICIabS FOREIGN MXCHAHGE TAX.
In a strongly worded press release issued yesterday (2Aet), the
Grenada Chamber of Commerce expressed its deep concern over the 2~9
Foreign Exchange Tax proposed by the Minister of Finance in his
presentation of the 1977 Budget to the House of Representatives on
According to the Chamber, the imposition of this tax is "abbrtaighted
at a time when the limited purchasing power of Grenadians restricts
any approach to economic bouyancy, and this additional tax will add a
further burden which could have adverse effects on revenue expected tc
he collected through other taxes imposed by Government."
In an exclusive interview with NEWSLETTER, Mr Lyden Raddhanny,
President of the Chamber, said the Foreign Sxchange Tax "will almost
completely remove any benefit which may have come as a result of the
so-called removal of import duty from flour, rice, sugar, saltfish,
milk and drugs." In his Budget proposals, Mr George Hosten, the
Minister of Finance, said import duty is to be removed from these
items, but, according to Mr Ramdhanny, this will have "negligible
effect" on the cost-of-living.
"Most of these items are already duty-free", said the Chamber's
President, "as large percentages of them come from the CARICOM area
and so qualify to be exempt from import duty." Mr Remdhanny said
that, in fact, some of these items will now cost more as they will be
affected by the Foreign Exchange Tax. "In effect", he said, it is
further taxation on all imports ands bearing in mind that the consumer
is already burdened with the %b Stamp Duty Tax uhich was introduced
in the 1976 Budget, we cannot see how the Grenadian consumer can
The full implications of the Foreign Exchange Tax are now being
studied by the Chamber and an interview is to be sought with the
Minister of Finance.
THE GREADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 23.4.77
TUG ELECTIONS CHALLENGED
Objections have been raised to the "unconstitutional manner" in
which the Grenada 'rade Union Council (TUC) conducted election of
its officers at the Annual Conference held on April ind, and both
the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Labour Commissioner have
been advised of this complaint.
The objections cane from a TUC affiliate, the Grenada Manual,
Maritime & Intellectual Workers Union (GMMIWU) (which is headed
by Prime iMinister irio Gairy) and, while the exact nature of the
complaints is not known, it is understood that they relate to the
procedure adopted in the election of the TUC President, Mr Osbert
Benjamin of the Grenada Civil Service Association.
In a letter dated April 7th, the GMMIWU stated its complaint to
the TUC Secretary, Mr Curtis Stewart, and sources close to TUC
told NEWSLETTER on Wednesday (20th) that a Convention is to be
called shortly to clear up a "technicality".
COiNRONTATION POLICE/PEOPLE' ALLIANCE
In St.Georges Market Square on Sunday 17th, an angry crowd intervened
and stopped police when the law officers attempted to stop a public
meeting being held by The People's Alliance, the opposition political
grouping of The New Jewel Movement, the Grenada National Party and
The United People's Party.
This incident resulted from the decision of Commissioner of Police
Osbert James to limit the use by The People's Alliance of a
public address system at the meeting, and also to refuse the
Alliance's request for two 2-hour periods on Friday 15th and
Saturday 16th during which to advertise the meeting with the use
of a public address system.
Commissioner James allowed only two one-hour periods for advertising,
and said the public address system could be used at the public
meeting only from 4.00pm to 6.00pm or from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
In a letter dated April 15th signed by Mr Maurice Bishop, Leader
of the Opposition in the House of Representatives, The People's
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 23.4.77
Alliance protested to Mr James "in the strongest possible terms" his
decisions "to allow us such a limited period for advertising and,
moreso, the totally inadequate time you have proposed for the actual
holding of the meeting."
The letter pointed out that the Alliance won 485/o of the votes polled
in the last elections and holds 6 of the 9 seats in the House, that
"this is only the second public meeting being held by the People's
Alliance since the last elections", and "the major issue for
discussion at Sunday's meeting is to be the Budget, a matter of the
greatest national importance which must require prolonged diseuasion
The letter said also that "the 16 speakers for whom permission to use
a loudspeaker was applied are made up of 6 elected members, 3 Senators
and 8 candidates in the last elections, and also that "the discretion
which you are called upon to exercise under the Public Order
(Amendment) Act 1974 requires you to act fairly, impartially and in a
Commissioner James was asked to reconsider his decision but
NEWSLETTER was told that no further communication had been received
from him when the meeting began shortly after 4.00pm on Sunday 17th.
The crowd which, at the start, was dout 200 persons had grown to
between 500 and 600 persons when, at 6.00pm, a party of some 6
policemen approached the speakers' platform and attempted to stop the
At that stage, about 50 protesting members of the crowd surrounded
the policemen who were forced to withdraw and the meeting continued
for another 45 minutes without interuption before being brought to a
close by the organizers.
To date (22nd), there has been no report of further action in the
BRAZILIAN GOVERNMEhT MISSION VISITS
A seven-man team from Brazil visited Grenada this week to make final
arrangements for that country's participation in the 7th Regular
Session of the OAS Assembly due to open in Grenada on April 14th.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
This was disclosed on Wednesday (20th) in a Government Inu-wmantion
Service Release which said that the team, which included minister
Adolpho Benevides, expressed satisfaction with arrangements being
made for the General Assembly.
The team held talks with diss Gloria Payne, Permanent Secretary in
the ministry of Planning & Development (who is co-ordinator of the
OAS Conference), Dr Samuel Lujan of the OAS, Mr Franklyn Cherman,
Acting Cabinet Secretary, Mr Ian Gale, Director of Information and
Mr Frank Smith of Cable & wireless (W I) Ltd.
GAIRY ATTENDS UFO CONFERENCE
The Government Information Service announced on Monday (18th) that
Prime Minister Gairy is attending "a high level conference of
world scientists studying the phenomena of Unidentified Flying
Objects in Acapulco, Mexico."
This conference, which opened on April 18th and will last until
April 23rd, has been organised by the "Centre for the Investigation
of UFOs and Paranormal Phenomena" and, according to the Government
release, Mr Gairy was invited to be guest speaker because of "the
tremendous leadership he has exerted in the study of the subject".
Addressing the House of Representatives earlier this month, the
Prime Minister referred to the call he had made to the United
Nations for an international exchange of information on UFOs and
said world reaction to his call had been "immediate, abundant and
"The matters I raised aroused considerable interest among scientists
in every part of the world", he said, "as a consequence of which
I was given the signal honour of being the only Head of Government
in the world to attend and to address an international conference
of world scientists in Mexico later this month when the phenomena
of UFOs and other phenomena will be discussed."
Mr Gairy said that, at the conference he would not pretend td be
a scientist but that he would grasp the opportunity "to give
assurance that I shall continue to lead the scientists of the
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
world in the global forum of the United Nations."
Accompanying the Prime minister to Acapulco are Dr Wellington Friday,
Educational Advisor to the Government of Grenada and Mr Fabian Redhea.
of External Affairs. From Mexico, Mr Ga ry will go to Wachington
for talks with the State Department on matters affecting Grenada's
economy. He is also expected to have discussions concerning the
OAS General Assembly to be held in Grenada in June
WINDWARD ISLANDS DIOCESE CENTENARY
At a press conference on Monday (18th), the Right Reverend Cuthbert
Woodroffe, Anglican Bishop of the Windward Islands, announced the
launching of a Diocesan Apptol Fund to mark the 100th Anniversary of
the establishment of the Diocese of the Windward Islands which takes
place on Tuesday November 8th 1977.
His Lordship said the target of the Appeal is EC$300,000.00 and this
sum is to be used on three projects, each of which will be allocated
EC$100,000.00. The first ECB00,000.00 will go to partially endow
the See of the Windward Islands, the second will be utilized in a
"programme of social out-reach" throughout the Diocese, and the third
E0I100,000.00 will be used to provide a home for retired clergymen of
"In 1877 when the Diocese was born", said Bishop Woodroffe, a
similar Appeal was launched and, at the moment, we have a small
endowment from which the Bishop is paid. Today, the Bishop of the
Windward Islands is guaranteed a monthly wage of EC5352.00 and all
other of his living expenses comes from pickings and beggings"
His Lordship said this situation is not considered fair to the holder
of the office and it should be remedied, but he did not favour
complete security for the Bishop. "Complete security can be just
as dangerous as under-security", he said, "because while under-
security can lead to anxiety and fears, over-security can lead to
In connection with the allocation for "social-outreach", Bishop
1;voodroffe said this would be "something to do with development of
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 23.-.77
our people in these islands, and he mentioned, as an example,
the building and extension of schools. "The Church has always
been engaged in education", he said, "and, up to now, the various
Governments are not able to carry out in full the education of
our people and, wherever we find there is need for educating our
young, we step into the breach." Hid Lordship, emphasized,
however, that in the matter of education, the Church is not in
competition but is complementary to the Government.
Referring to the provision of a home for retired clergymen, Bishop
Woodroffe said that, up to 10 years ago, the Diosese had been served
mainly by foreign priests who, on retirement, returned to their
native land where there were homes for retired clergy. "Now
the emphasis is on our local men", said His Lordship, "and my
concern is that, on retirement, they have no where to go where
they can be taken care of in their old age."
Following the press conference and in an exclusive interview with
NLWSLETTER, Bishop Woodroffe cleared up a popular misconception
that the Diocese of the Windward Islands was established in 1927.
"The first Bishop of the Windward Islands was enthroned in
St.Vincent in 1877", he said, "and he was Bishop Mitchinson.
Between 1977 and 1927 we shared a Bishop with Barbados but, in
1927, the Diocese of the Windward Islands decided it would no
longer share and elected Bishop Barclay after his retirement
from Barbados. Bishop Barclay was the first un-shared
Bishop of the Windward Islands, and this has given rise to the
mistaken belief that the Diocese was established only with bishop
Barclay's enthronement in 1927."
Bishop Woodroffe said the Centenary Celebrations will commence
in November and will continue until Easter 1978.
PRLSS CONFERENCE THAT WASN'T
In its issue of April 20th, the Grenada "Torchlight" newspaper
reported that, at a press conference called for Saturday April
16th, Prime Minister Gairy "decided that he would only answer
questions put to him by the Grenada Television representatives
THE GRENADA NhWSLETTER Week Ending 93.4.77
after keeping his questioners waiting on the veranda of his Mount
Royal residence for some eighty minutes."
NBWSLLTTER was invited to attend a press conference called by Prime
Minister Gairy for Friday April 15th, but was later told that this
conference had been postponed to Saturday 16th and that the time
would be advised later. This advice was never received but,
according to the "Torchlight" report, "waiting to interview the Prime
Minister that morning were representatives from one foreign paper,
Radio Grenada, Grenada Television and the twice-weekly Torchlight."
The paper said "Mr Gairy only answered questions from Mr Leslie deon
the representative for Associated Press, who is also attached to the
local television house", and "it was reported that the Prime Minister
offered an apology to the effect that he had to attmid a luncheon for
the aged that day and so was not available for any lengthy discussion
According to the "Torchlight", the reason for the interview was
learned only when, an hour behind schedule, the Director of
Information Services, Mr Ian Gale, told reporters that "the Prime
Minister would like to discuss the Easter Water Parade with emphasis
on areas such as the participation of Carriacou for the first time,
the benefit to the Business Community, the Agricultural Booth and
other minor aspects of the show."
Mr Gale said Prime Minister Gairy had not mentioned his willingness
to reply to questions relative to the scheduled OAS Conference in
Grenada and that this would have to be inquired into after the
televised interview. NEWSLETTLE has been told, however, that
after the tevelised interview, there was no press conference.
GSA/SWWU AIEITING NOT YE PFIX)D.
Sources close to the negotiations between the Seamen & Waterfront
Workers Union (SWWU) and the Grenada Shipping Agents (GSA) advised
NEWSLETTER today (22nd) that a date has not yet been fixed for a
meeting at which the negotiations will be resumed.
These negotiations are relative to a demand by SWWU for a cost of
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER dteek Ending 23.4.77
living allowance, and there has been an exchange of documents
between SWWU and GSA relative to the economic justification of
SWWIU is now studying the GSA document and a meeting may have
been fixed before if Mr Eric Pierre, secretary of SWWU, had
not been called away from the island on urgent personal business
earlier this month. Mr Pierre is now again in Grenada but
it is understood that SWWU has not yet completed its study of
the GSA document.
The S S 'Geestcrest' sailed on April 19th with 32,522 boxes
of bananas weighing 970,205 Ibs and valued at EC111,573.00.
There were 673 boxes of reaeoted fruit.
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CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the week ending April 16th, the following cruise liners
called at trenada :-
April 10th Sagafjord 404 Passengers
11th Monarch dtar 552 do.
12th Cunard Countess 591 do.
14th Brittanis 1,085 do.
NEWSLETTER has been advised by the tourist Authorities that
the "Angelino Laura", reported in the issue for the week
ending April 4th as having arrived in Grenada on March 26th,
did not call at the island that week.