blister Hughes h
P 0 Box 65
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
?or The Week Ehdina June 1th 1977 \
GEC COMMISSION OP INQUIRY RiSUMES.
Grenadian consumers of electricity can expect an tnr-eaae in rates.
with effect from January slt 1978. This was disclosed by Mr
William Robert Lord, Manager of brenada Electricity Services Ltd,
(GES), on Tuesday 7th as he gave evidence before the three-man
Commission of Inquiry appointed by Governor General Sir Leo deGale to
"examine and investigate all aspects" of GEC and to make, -
"This (proposed increase in rates) is with a view to meeting rising
costs of equipment", said Mr Lord, "and to try and maintain our
expansion programme, modest though it is, it in necessary for the
rates to increase because our overdraft position is, .... well, we
only function by virtue of Barcays Bank."
The Commission of Inquiry, headed by retired judge of the Supreme
Court, Mr Adrian Date, first sat on Tuesday May 24th when, apart
from formalities, the only business done was the taking of evidence
from Mr. F M Coard, an electricity consumer, whose principal complaint
(a wide-spread one) is the difficulty in understanding the machine-
printed bills sent out by GEC.
Mr Date, together with his fellow Commissioners, Mr Joseph Bain, the
Grenada Government's Director of Audit, and Mr Glyn Evans, the
Grenada Government's Electricity Inspector, toured the GEC power
station on Wednesday May 25th, and on the following day, GEC's
Generation Engineer, Mr Jack Allen, gave evidence concerned
principally with the technical aspects of the installation.
Up to this time, GEC had submitted copies of the Company's accounts
to the Commission, but no memorandum. The Manager of the Osmpany,
Mr Lord, was due back at the end of May, and the Commission adjourned
until June 7th to give GEC time to prepare the memorandum to be put
before the Commission by Mr Lord.
Questioned by GEC Council, Mr H E L Hasten, Mr Lord said Grenada
Electricity Services was incorporated in Grenada on 27th September
THE GRENADA NEMSLETER Week endingg 11.6.77
1960 and, on the following day, the Government of Uroada and the
Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) signed a "cooperative
agreement" under which, among other things, GEC agreed to purchase
existing electricity undertaking from Government.
GEC took over the electricity services and commenced operations
on January let 1961, Mr Lord Said, shareholders in the Company
being CDC with 59.3/o of the shares and the Government of Grenada
with 40.7b. The Manager also disclosed that the present
members of the Board of Directors are Mr T A Kerwood (Chairman),
Mr J Osmond and Mr J C Ryan representing CDC, and Mr Walter
St.John and Mr E A Heyliger representing the Government of
Mr Lord spent some 44 hours giving evIdence, during which time
he was questioned by Mr George Brizan, economist representing
interests of the Grenada Trade Union Council. Among other
information given by Mr Lord was the fact that the Government
of Grenada is given a 10% discount on its electricity bill,
that CDC would be willing to sell its shares to Government, and
that, between 1960 and 1975, the Company made a cumulative nett
profit, after deducting all expenses including interest, of
Mr Lord said also that, at any one time, GEC is owed approximately
EC$4 million for electricity consumed, which disclosure brought
a query from the Chairman as to whether the bills making up this
sum are settled in due course. "The average for the non-
Government consumer is 6 weeks in arrears and so they are
collectable", said Mr Lord, "but the Government Departments are
76 weeks in arrears".
The Manager said that, because the Government of Grenada is some
1' years in arrears on its electricity bill, GEC was owed
EC$387,635.00 by Government up to the end of April 1976.
Giving evidence to the Commission on Wednesday (8th), Mr Jeaes
Parrish, representing CDC as their Senior Regional Accountant
in the Caribbean Region, Oxplained what was meant by charges
for "debenture administration" appearing in the GEC accounts.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 11.6.77
"Under the Loan Agreement dated 17th December 1966 between the Company
and CDC under which ODC agreed to lend 63 thousand to the Company",
said Mr Parrish, "it was provided that, during the first 6 years of
the loan, the loans would be interest free. After the end of the
interest free period, interest has been charged at 8J or 8 7/8 per
Mr Parrish went on to explain, however, that during the interest froe
period, CDC charged an "administration fee" of 1Vjb per annum of the
capital sum of the loan outstanding, and this was the charge referred
to as "debenture administration".
Queried by the Chairman as to whether the charge of 1Ie per annum
cound not be regarded as an interest charge, Mr Parrish said it was
not described as such but was called "an administrative fee to try to
cover the costs of CDC executive time in administering the loan."
Explaining another charge, "debenture commitment", Mr Parrish said
this was a fee charged by CDC to GEC for setting aside its resources
and making them available to the Company at oall. "It ia quite
normal to charge a commitment fee", said Mr Parrish, "and in this case
the fee has been calculated at 16 per annum on the capital amount of
the loan from the time when the loan agreement was signed to the time
when the loan was actually drawn."
Outlining CDC's role, Mr Parrish said this was the provision of
capital and management, and CDC enters into and remains in a country
only at the invitation of and continuing goodwill of the host
Government. Generally, the CDC role is of a temporary nature as it
seeks to develop the project and then expects to sell its capital
investment to the nationals of the host country or to the host
Government. CDC also expects that, as local management staff
becomes available, to withdraw its own mang ement "in accordance with
the best interests of the particular project."
According to Mr Parrish, the British Government requires that ODC
operate on a commercial basis, and CDC must pay interest on all money
borrowed from the United Kingdom treasury.
Mr Parrish was the only witness appearing before the Commission on
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 11.6.77
Wednesday (8th), and he was oloaely qliestione on COD apportion
of costs to GEC and other matters concerning the financial
relationship between CDC and GhC. One matter which was not
discussed in public was that of salaries paid to the Manager and
other senior staff. Mr Parrish submitted a statement on this
and a discussion was held in camera after the public hearing
Mr Lord took the stand again today and was the only witness
testifying. Because the Secretary to the Commission,
Mr Maudsley James, is required for duties in connection with the
OAS Conference due to open in Grenada next Thesday, June 14th,
sittlnga of the Commission of Inquiry have been postponed to
Monday June 27th.
OAS CONFERENCE CENTRE OPENED
The geodesic dome especially constructed in the grounds of Holiday
Inn on Grand Anse beach to house the 7th Annual Regular Assembly
of the Organisation of American States (OAS), was officially
opened today (11th) by Her Excellency, irs Marie Jo McIntyre,
Acting Governor General of Grenada.
Before a gathering of some 300 invited guests and visiting
dignatories, 25 Heads of Churches, headed by the Roman Catholic
Bishop of Grenada, Monsignor Sydney Charles, assembled to bless
After six had prayed, however, Prime Minister Gairy, in the
interest of saving time, asked the remaining 19 to cooperate
in a joint blessing. "I will ask you", he said, all
of you that have not yet prayed, if you will come forward
please, and I will ask all of you to hold hands. One of
you can lead in the Lord's Prayer and all the others would
join in spirit, and in hearts and hands."
After the ceremony, the building was open to inspection by
the gathering. The Conferenve starts on Tuesday (14th).
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 11,0.77
oAIRY: I DID NOT INSIST
It was announced today (11th) that Prime Minister Gairy has been made
e Knight Bachelor (Kt.B) in the Birthday fInours of Her Majeaty Queen
On his return to Grenada yesterday from the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Conference now taking place in London (and prior to the
announcement of his Knighthood), Prime Minister Gairy denied that he
insisted on being addressed as "Sir" at the Comference.
This was disclosed in a Government Information Service Release which
quotes Mr Gairy as saying that "articles" datelined London and
appearing in the Eastern Caribbean Press are untrue. On June 8th,
news stories in the Eastern Caribbean stated that Mr Gairy was ceasins
British protocol officers "some consternation with his insistence that
he be addressed as Sir Eric Gairy."
According to the Government Information Service release, Mr Gairy sai.
he had not insisted on any mode of address and that it was the British
and Conference officials who referred to him as "Sir".
From time to time, Mr Gairy has announced various honours conferred
upon him and these include four Knighthoods apart from that now given
him by Queen Elizabeth. These are the Knighthood of the Grand
Cross Doctorate in Political Science from the Ecoleetastical
University of England, the Knight Grand Cross of the Sovereign Greek
Order of St.Dennis of Zante, the KAighthood of the Distinguished
Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the Knighthood of the Order of
In connection with the last mentioned, which was presented to Prime
Minister Gairy last September by a Mr Thomas L Kelly "on behalf of the
Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo", His Grace the Archbishop of Toledo,
Dr D Marcelo Gonzalez, Primate of Spain, has announced that there in
no Order of Knights of Toledo in his diocese, and "...neither I nor
this Archbishopric granted any Award to anyone ...." in Grenada.
THE GREJNADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 11.6.77
SZE& VISITS BARBADOS
A well informed source disclosed to NEWSLaTTAR today (10th) that
fugitive-from-justice United States citizen Eugene Zeek, who has
been resident in Grenada since 1974, paid a secret visit to
Barbados last month.
zeek is wanted by the FBI on a charge 6f "fraud by wire" involving
over USb1 million and, as far as is known, has not left Grenada
since his arrival for fear of the possibility of being arrested
in either Trinidad or Barbados.
In Grenada, Prime Minister Gairy said last year that he will
honour his international obligations if the United States of
America issues an Lxtradition Order. Questioned in the House
of Representatives in March 1976 on press reports of Zeek's
continuing presence in Grenada, Mr Gairy said, "The Government
is known to be fair, straightforward and strong, and we will not
allow any pressure groups to interfere with the fair manner in
which we govern."
"We will not allow ourselves to he dictated to by any reporter
or Government", he continued. "In the old days, Grenada's
affairs were in the hands of the British Government, today, they
are in the hands of the elected representatives of the people.
If the High Courts in the USA issued an Extradition Order, then
the Government of Grenada will bow to its international obligations."
However, informed legal opinion states that the Extradition Treaty
existing between Grenada and the Lnited States does not cover
Zeek's alleged crime.
Last May# Grenada's then Attorney General, Guyanese ir Desmand
Christian, was suspended from his duties because, against the
wishes of the Grenada Cabinet, he took action to have ZEek
deported. In August, Mr Christian was, himself, deported,
but a Commission of Inquiry found he was within his right in
his action against Zeek. However, as a result af the bad
relationship which had developed between Mr Christian and the
Grenada Government, he did not return to Grenada.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week h3iing 11 .G.I
In disclosing information on Zeek's visit to Barbadoa, the source said
he was positively identified on Broad Street in Bridgetown on Friday
May 27th. He was then wearing a pink shirt and brown pants and,
later on that day, identified himself to someone lose to the American
Authorities as "James Lawless".
It is not known who alerted the barbadian Authorities, but q search
was instituted for Zeek. During the next few days, he was seen
fleetingly in the commercial sector of Bridgetown and it was thought
that he was based on a yacht in the Bridgetown harbour, but the Police
never reached him.
Inquiries today (10th) revealed that Zeek is back in.Grenada where he
operates a night club and a charter yacht service, and where he goes
under the name of "John Clancy". His secret trip to Barbados,
however, heightens recent speculation that he is now seeking a haven
GRENADA iAS NEW OAS REPRESENTATIVE
According to the April issue of "Americas", publication of the
Organisation of American States (OAS), Mr Alfredo Neirs has presented
his credentials to OAS Secretary-General, Mr Alejandro Orfila, as
Grenada's new Permanent Representative to the OAS.
Ar Neira, a Columbian who holds a degree of Master in Humanities from
the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, succeeds Dr Jose M Chaves
as Grenada's OAS Permanent Representative.
Mr Neira also holds the Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from the
University of Laval in Quebec, Canada, the Master in Sociology degree
from the George Washington University, and he has held the Chair of
Sociology at the Technological State University in Magdalene, Columbie.
Mr Neira's appointment has not been announced in Grenada.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 11..6.77
Og June 7th, the S "Geestland" sailed with 22,521 boxes of
bananas weighing 683,656 lbs and valued at EC$88,875.00.
There were 99t boxes of rejected fruit.
CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the week ending June 4th, only one cruise liner, the
S S "Sun Viking" called at Grenada. This was on Friday
June 3rd and she carried 594 passengers.
NO NEWSLETTER NEXT VEI
The Organisation of American States Conference is scheduled
to commence in Grenada on June 14th and inquiries have brought
indications that there is no certainty as to how long it will last.
Officially, the Conference should conclude on June 24th but
sources close to the OAS have stated the possibility that
delegates could conclude the business before them within four
days or the Conference may be prolonged over the officially
With the limited personnel facilities available to NEWSLETTER,
it will not be possible to cover this important Conference
adequately and, at the same time, produce an issue for the
week ending June 18th. Also, if the Conference lasts until
June 24th, it will not be possible either to produce an issue
for the week ending June 25th.
What is planned is that a special OAS Comference issue will
be brought out whenever the Conference concludes and, following
this, the normal weekly issues will be reverted to.