P 0 Box 65
THE GRP ADA NEWSLETTER
Por Tho Week Ending JuLy 3Oth 1977
JUDGEMENT GIVEN IN NUTMEG BOARD CASE
The Dissolution Order made by Governor General, 1ir Leo DeGale, on
July 4th 197- is null and void and of no effect. This was
pronounced yesterday in the High Cburt by Mr Justice Nedd as he gave
his judgement in the Suit filed by the members of the dissolved
elected Board of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (QCNA).
In may 1975, GCNA held its statutory meeting and elected 6 members to
serye on the Nutmeg Board for the 1975/76 term and, as required by the
Nutmeg Industry Ordinance, Government appointed three persons to this
Board. The GCNA Manager, Mr Robin Renwick, pointed out to
Government, however, that one of Government's appointees must be a
Civil Servant and none of the three persons named by Government had
this qualification required by the Ordinance.
GCNA received no further communication on the matter but, on July 4th
1975, the elected Board was dissolved by an Order signed by the
Governor General and armed guards were stationed at the GCNA Head
Office. Authority for such an Order lies in Section 34 of the
Nutmeg Ordinance which states that if the Board "persistently makes
default in the performance of its duties", or "exceeds or abuses its
powers", the Governor General may dissolve it.
This Dissolution Order made provision for an Interim Board, and 15
persons under the chairmanship of Mr Claude Morrison were appointed
by Government and took office.
Porce of Arms
Reaction to dissolution of the Board was a demonstration of farmers
to Government House. A petition was presented to Governor General,
Sir Leo DeGale, protesting "the take over of the Nutmeg Association
by force of arms and the literal dissolution of the cooperative". The
petition also protested Government's taking "full control of the
cocoa and banana cooperatives and resting them in a few hand picked
members of the regime."
There were further developments in September 1975 when a meeting of
Nutmeg Producers passed a Resolution declaring the Dissolution Order
THE GRENADA NLWSLLTTER Week Ending 30.7.77
invalid. The Resolution pointed out that the Association had
not been correctly named in the Order and that no provision had
been made for the election of a new Board "within a period not
exceeding two months", as required by the Nutmeg Industry Ordinance.
The Resolution also stated that foreign buyers of nutmegs and
local Banks were to be informed "that the Board appointed by
Government had and has no authority to transact any business on
behalf of GCNA, and that any transaction entered into makes
them liable in law."
On October 8th 1975, Government passed the Nutmeg Board (Dissolution)
Order (Validation) Act. This Act deemed the elected Board
to have been "validly dissolved" on July 4th 1975, "notwithstanding
the error in description of the urenada Cooperative Nutmeg
Association". Piloting this Act, Mr George Hosten, Leader of
Government Business in the House, announced that a Commission of
Inquiry would be set up to probe the working of GONA since 1972.
Legal action was taken by the members of the dissolved elected
Nutmeg Board on October 28th 1975. A Notice of Motion was
filed in the High Court seeking a Declaration that the Dissolution
Order is null and void. The Motion also sought a Declaration
that the Order contravenes the Applicants' rights to protection
of their property. There was also a request for a Declaration
that their rights to freedom from slavery and to freedom of
assembly had been contravened. And, the Court was asked to
order an inquiry into the accounts of GCNA.
As a parallel development, the Commission of Inquiry referred to
by Mr George Hoaten began its sittings on the same day the Notice
of Motion was filed. Mr Harold Dennison, the one-man
Commission, took evidence from several persons and completed
hearings on Deceonber 4th 1975. Returning to his homeland,
Guyana, Mr Dennison is reported to have died sometime during
the first half of 1976; his Report has not been published.
Hearing of the Suit brought by members of the dissolved elected
Nutmeg Board began before Mr Justice Nedd on December lst 1975.
.i.y were concluded on April 9th 1976, judgement was reserved
THE GRENADA NRs ATTLITER Week RlndnK r 0.7.77
and was given yesterday (28th).
Taking a little over an hour to present his findings, Mr oadd nai. th.
Act passed by Parliament in an attempt to validate the Dissolution
Order is null and void. "The Dissolution Order is bad law", he
said, "it is in breach of the Constitution and cannot be validateA.m
Dealing with the Dissolution Order, Mr Nedd said that, if the Governor
General decided to dissolve the elected Nutmeg Board, then he must
have had grounds for this. "In natural justice", said the Judge,
"these grounds should have been communicated to the Board with an
invitation to the members to defend themselves." Mr Nedd said
there had been no evidence that the Board had been persistently in
default in its duties or that it had exceeded or abused its powers.
Also in connection with the Dissolution Order, the Judge said it had
not made provision for election of a new Board "within a period not
exceeding two months" as required by law. "I am of the opinion",
said Mr Nedd, "that the Applicants can successfully maintain their
Suit seeking an Order declaring the Dissolution Order ultra vires the
Nutmeg Industry Ordinance and null and void, and I grant that part of
Referring to the claim that the Applicants had been deprived of their
property, Mr Nedd said the law speaks of the "Association's property"o
"The individual members in this Application have no property in which
it may be said they have been deprived", he said, "and such a -.
challenge should come from the Association."
The Judge also found against the Applicahts in their claim to have
been subjected #o slavery. He could not agree that the Disoluti;i
Order reduced them "to anything as despicable as slavery."
It was the opinion of Mr Nedd that the Dissolution Order had infringe-
the rights of the Applicants to freedom of assembly. "With one
stroke of the pen", said the Judge, "all the power of the Board was
placed in the hands of the nominated.Chairman, the Manager and the
Secretary, and that same stroke of the pen deprived members of the
Association of the right to assemble together to elect the management.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Finding 30.7.77
Mr Nedd said the Declaration he had agreed to would be made and
that an injunction restraining the 15 members of the Goverhment
appointed Interim Board would also be made.
Mr Claude Morrison, Chairman of the Government appointed Interim
Board is out of the island. Contacted today (29th), Mr Fisher
Archibald, Chairman of the Nutmeg Board which was elected in May 1975
and "dissolved" on July 4th 1975, said he had not yet seen a copy
of the Judgement and declined comment until he had conferred with
his legal advisors.
Legal circles point to the provision in the Nutmeg Industry
Ordinance which states that the Chairman of the Board "shall
remain in office until the appointment of his successor." It
is believed that Mr Archibald, as the last elected Chairman of
the Nutmeg Association, will be able to call a General Meeting
of GCNA to elect a new Board.
ELECTION PETITION HEARD
The Election Petition brought by Mr Kenrick Radix against
Mrs Cynthia Gairy was heard yesterday (29th) in the High Court
by Mr Justice Archibald Nedd.
Mr Radix and Mrs Gairy faced each other in a straight fight
in the General Elections of December 7th last, Mrs Gairy winning
by 263 votes. In his Petition, Mr Radix alleged, among other
things, that Mrs Gairy had been guilty of bribery, that Radio
Grenada had campaigned for Mrs Gairy's party, the Grenada
United Labour Party, on Llection Day, that registration of
names on the Electorial List had been irreguAar, and that there
had been no legal Electorial List for the 1976 General Elections.
In presenting Mr Radix's petition, all allegations other than
the irregularity of registration and the illegality of the
Electoral List were dropped and only Mr Radix and Mr Lloyd
Noel gave evidence.
appearances in the case were Dr Lloyd George Barnett (of Jamaica)
;:.d Mr D C Williams for Mr Radix, Mr Derek Knight and Mr Eamon
THE GREBADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 30.7.77
De Freitas for Mrs.Gairy, and Mr Bruce Procope (of Trinidad) and
Mrs Evelyn De Freitas for the Attorney General.
Judgement has been reserved for September 16th, the first day of the
new Term after the Court goes into recess today (29th).
"BA BARA" RELEASED
The United States yacht "Barbara" which was arrested here for debt
on June 30th has been released. This was disclosed to NEWSLETTER
yesterday (29th) by Mr D C Williams, Counsel for Captain Dan Meredith
who had a claim of US1150.00 against the owners of the yacht.
Mi Williams said he has not seen or heard from his client for over two
weeks and that, although the debt has not been paid, the "Barbara"
was released on July 27th. Asked whether this meant that the claii
was being dropped, Mr Williams said the case could still come up for
( 93 words)
PORBLIGN EXCnANGE TAX GAZETTED
The Foreign Exchange Tax Act 1977 which was passed by the House of
Representatives in April, was assented to by the Governor General on
July 8th and published with the Government Gazette of the same date.
This Act, which imposes a '2% tax "on all transactions involving the
purchase of foreign currency", has been made effective from April 6tlh
The S S "Geesttide" sailed on July 26th with 22,635 boxes of bananas
weighing 687,759 Ibs. Geest Industries Ltd paid 29.081 ELC per
pound, making a total of EC#200,007.19. The price paid to growers
by the Grenada Cooperative Banana Society was .14 EC% per pound on the
weight of bananas received at the boxing plants, but this figure is
not yet available. There were 499 boxes of rejected fruit.
The weight shipped by the "Alsatia" on July 19th was 635,696 Ibs and
the amount weighed in at the boxing plants was 650, 473 lbs, making
( a:.-t-, 1 o )
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 30.7.77
a difference of 1;4,777 lbs between boxing pl nt weight and
NEGCiTIATIONS AKE PROGRESS
The Grenada Shipping Agents (GSA) and the, Seamen & Waterfront
Workers Union (SWWU) have returned to the bargaining table.
Following a mfeting of the economists representing the two Bodies,
GSA and SWWU met again this week and sources close to the
negotiations told NEWSLETTER today (29th) that "satisfactory
progress" was made.
These negotiations stem from a claim made on GSA by SWWU for
a cost of living allowance and, when the talkebecone deadlocked,
the matter was referred to the Labour Commissioner, Mr Robert
Robertson, and a meeting was held under his chairmanship on
hEWSLLTTER understands that Mr Robinson did not sit in on the
GSA/SWWU discussions this week, and it is expected that agreement
will be reached shortly.
CRUISE LINER CALLS
There were two cruise liner calls at Grenada during the week
ending July 16th. These were the "Cunard Countess" on July
12th with 629 passengers, and the "Sun Viking" on July.16th
with 761 passengers.
In the week ending July 23rd, the only call was from the
"Cunard Countess" on Tuesday 19th; this ship carried 664
29th July 1977