Volume 7 Number 28
For The Week Ending 8th September 1979
7th Year of Publication - .226th Issue
CARD FACES THE NATION
A law now being drafted by the People's Revolutionary Government
will relieve death duties from the first BC$100,000 of a person's
This was disclosed by Minister of Finance Bernard Coard as he took
part in a new programme, "Face The nationn", aired for the first
time on Wednesday (5th). In this programme, which is to be 4
weekly feature, a Minister of Government will answer questions
by journalists in the studio and by the general public by
Mr Coard's disclosure of the proposed reduction in death dues cq
in reply to a telephoned question and he said, jokingly, that the
questioner must have had access to Government's secrets as, only
that afternoon, Cabinet had taken the decision to reduce death
"Through this measure", said Mr Coard, "not only the poor people
but the middle class people of Grenada, the wives, husbands or
children left behind, will no longer have the fear hanging over
them that they will have to sell the only home they ever knew in.
order to pay death duties."
Mr Coard said Cabinet had also decided to reduce the rates of
death duties and that an announcement will soon be mad&in this
Produced l& Pzfed by Alister & Cynthia Hughes.
P 0Box EC St.Georges, Grenada; Westindies
Page -2 THE GRENADA NEWSLSTTSR Iek eBnding 8.9.79
SIt was pointed out to Mr Coard by a journalist in the studio that,
soon after the revolution of March 13th, early elections had been
promised. The Minister was asked what factors the PRG must
take into account when fixing a date for General Elections.
Mr Coard said that, from the first days of the revolution, the PRG
saw the questions of national security and consolidation of the
revolution from a military and security point of view, together with
the stabilisationn of the economy" as the fundamental and twin
objectives of the revolution. As a third objective, he listed
the "smashing of Gairyism" which, he said, must not be taken as
victimisation of Gairyites but as the eradication of waste and
* corruption, victimisation and sexual abuse and exploitation of
women in the society.
i "The question of national security, the question of economic
stabilisation and the question of the defeat and smashing of all
manifestations of Gairyism were put as the highest priority",
Mr~Foard said, "and secondly the question of the drafting, after
the most thoroughgoing discussions with every single village in
Grenada, and all organizations in Grenada, of a new Constitution,
Drafted by the.people of Grenada, and'the holding of free and fair
elections under that Constitution."
The Minister said that, with reference to the economy, while the
PRG has made remarkable improvement in financial management, there
still remains in Grenada "tremendous financial and economic
Mr Coard said there is also still a great deal of corruption within
the bureaucracy inherited by the PRG and against which a campaign
is soon to b9launched.
"On e national security level", he said, "there have been a
number of disturbing developments in recent ts, both inside and
'outside the country". Some of these matters could not be
disclosed, he said, but there was one of which he could give some.
deBkan is. (continued)
Week EndSg. 8.9.79 THE GRBNADA 4 SSSLTTER Page.3
Recently, he said, a person from a "recently formed Caribbean
oriented organisation" of leading American businessmen based in
Washington, D C, had visited his office and disclosed that deposed
Prime Minister Gairy had contacted him seeking his assistance and
that of his organisation to mount a counter-revolution.
This person, who, Mr Coard said, was at one time "a Deputy
Minister of one of the American Administrations", told Mr Coard he
had informed the US State Department of Gairy's approach.
This development is an indication that the PRG cannot take a
complacent approach to the question of national security, the
Minister said, and, apart from this matter, there have been a
number of developments internally, of which Prime Minister Bishop
will speak at the right moment.
Matter of Principle
"The question of the holding of free and fair elections is a matt--
of principle as far as we are concerned and it is something we will
certainly do, it is one of the principles of the revolution", he
said, "but it is not the first order of priority."
Asked to explain what he meant by stabilisationn of the economy",
the Minister pointed to what he called "the massive debts we have
inherited", and he said that, immediately before the revolution,
Grenada was about to lose her vote at the United Nations because
the country's contribution had not been paid. He said also
that the country was about to lose: its vote in most other UN and
other international organisation for'the same reason, and there war
a deficit in the budget of "several millions".
Mr Coard said also that, under the Gairy regime, Grenada had
borrowed as much money as possible from most international
organizations, most people were not prepared to lend more, there
had been frequent periods when Civil Servants had been paid late,
agriculture was stagnating, the ability to expand and develop the
economy was in question, "what passed for foreign investment as
of the maffia type", the roads in some parts of the country J4'
deterioratcl to a point where they were impassable, the hospitals
were ill equipped and badly stocked and staffed, schools were
I *' f
Page 4, THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER .Weeen Bding A8.,9 79
falling apart, most people were unable to get adequate supplies of
water, and half the population was out of work.
"This is the kind of economic collapse which the country has faced
and is still facing", Mr Coard said, "and this is the magnitude of
the problem we face at this time."
The Minister was asked, considering all the factors he had put forward,
what was the approximate date indicated for General Elections.
S"I couldn't honestly give an answer to that question", he replied.
"I wouldn't choose a date. out of a hat and give an answer to that
question. It all depends on how fast these things are done.
One thing is certain that, on all these points, no one can accuse us
of moving slowly. We have been moving at a terrific speed to
try to deal with '11 these problems. We are certainly not
dragging our feet."
The Minister was reminded, by the moderator of the programme, that,
shortly after the revolution, he had said indications were that
Grenada had a national debt of EC$57 million. He was asked whether
this figure had been confirmed.
"That figure has not been-finalised", Mr Coard said. "What we
said is that the amount we were able to locate and tally indicated
a debt of BC$57 million. '"he or two bits and pieces have been
discovered since then which will add to that figure slightly and,
while I cannot give you a precise figure now, I suspect the entire
national debt will be somewhere in the vicinity of EC$60 million."
A journalist in the studio referred Mr Coard to the fact tf, in
July, two public political meetings of the Grenada Nati6nal Party
(GNP) were broken up by organised groups of supporters of the New
Jewel Movement (NJM). The journalist said he had been an
eyewitness to one of these incidents and the Minister was asked
whether the PRG should not have made 'a public statement that the
action of these NJM supporters had been against the principles of
The Minister said his information, which he received from a number
of eyewitnesses, is that "very large numbers of middle aged and
elderly men and women, almost no youths at all", made it clear to
GNP that "they did not want to hear them and that they did not want
them in their village holding a public meeting."
Where Were You, Blaize ?
"In my understanding of the facts", he said, "there wasabsolutely
no violence used, no stones, no sticks, but these middle aged men
and women, mostly women, I understand, made it very clear and, in
fact, their position was, 'where were you, Blaize, (GNP's Political
Leader) on March 13th ?'. And they made their position clear
that they did not want to hear what they had to say."
Mr Coard said he did not take the position that the people involved
should be charged with an offence, and he thought it was their
democratic right, so long as they did not use violence, to make it
clear to whoever wants to come in to their village to hold a
meeting, that they do not want to hear them.
The Minister said he had spoken to a number of middle aged women
who claimed they had been at the meeting and who said they told
the GNP Political Leader and other members of the GNP that they
did not want to hear them. To the proposal that GNP had a
right to be able to put forward a point of view at a public meeting
and that the NJM supporters had broken up that meeting, Mr Coard :
said GNP had had a public address system and the people had not.
"My information is not that the meetings were broken up", Mr Coard
said, "I don't think that is correct but, in any case, my position
is, very simply, that the people also have rights."
Among other questions answered by Mr Coard were those dealing with
the operations of the Marketing Board and the National Importing
Board, and the gift of fuel from the Government of Venezuela.
JOURNALIST'S PASSPORT CONFISCATED
Mr Eslee Carberry, editor of the Grenada weekly newspaper, "the
Westindian Crusader", had his passport confiscated by the
Week Ending. 8.9.79
THE GRBENADA NESLETTER
Page 6 .'. 5TH GRBlDA WSLETBR Week EnAiafi 8.9.79
Security forces on Wednesday (5ta)
Mr Carberry told NEWSLETTER that he was at Pearls airport to board a
plane when the incident occurred. "I was on my way to Barbados
where the paper is printed", he said, "but the security man at the
airport took my passport and told me I could not leave the island
because charges are to be laid against me."
Mr Carberry said he was not told what the charges would be and, when
NEWSLETTER checked on Thursday (6th) with..a source close to the
Prime Minister's office, it was confirmed that the passport had been
taken away and that charges were to be laid. The source, however,
i ccild not say whether those charges were of a criminal or security
On Friday (7th), Mr Carberry was requested to go to Police
Headquarters where he was asked to make a statement relative to an
incident which took place sometime in August. Following this,
he said, the Police informed him that, arising out of the incident,
he will be charged with assault. His request for the return of
his passport was refused.
For some time, "The Westindian Crusader" has been printed in either
St.Vincent or Barbados, and Mr Carberry told NEWSLETTER that
Wednesday's incident was the second time.he had been prevented
from taking his prepared copy out for printing.
A fortnight ago I was on my way to St.Vincent with prepared copy
-or printing when it was taken from me by the security officers at
the airport", he said, "and it has not been returned."
SMrs Phyllis Coard, Secretary for Information, told NEWSLETTER she
does not know of the confiscation of Mr Carberry's prepared copy,
.t she promised to look into the matter and advise.
DETENTION TRIBUNAL SITS
7-h~ Tribunal appointed by the People's Revolutionary Government to
review the cases of political prisoners commenced its second sitting
Wek Ending 8.9.79 TS, GsRENDA NEWSLETTER Page 7
on Tuesday (4th).
Detainees are entitled to have their cases reviewed 14 days after
they have been taken into custody and, after that, at two month
intervals. The first sitting of the Tribunal,after its
appointment on April 18th, was on April 26th and, between that date
and May 23rd, 74 cases were reviewed.
The Tribunal, which is headed by Dr ABolph Bierzynski and has as its
other two members Mr Bryce Woodroffe and Mrs Alice McIntyre, is not
executive and must submit its recommendations to the Minister for
Security. As a result of recommendations made after the first
sitting, six political prisoners were released.
At its sitting on Tuesday (4th), the Tribunal reviewed four
cases. These were
This is the second time these detainees are having their cases
On subsequent sittings, the cases reviewed have been
Alston B Smith
This is the second time these detainees have had their cases
This is the second time the first three named detainees have had
their cases reviewed. This is the first time for Mary Andrews;
she was detained on July 31st.
Page 8 TE MEPA MM4SgTTBR Week' Ending .9.79
Sittings are scheduled for next week to review the following caees.
This is the second time these detainees have had their cases reviewed.
Oliver T Rdeburn
This is the second time these detainees have had their cases.reviewed.
NEWSLETTER is informed that sittings of the Tribunal are not conducted
like a Court of Law. Sittings are in private and lawyers are not
allowed to be present. However, detainees may call witnesses and
they are provided with a written statement as to why they are held
VENEZUELA SENDS MISSION
A 20-man Presidential Mission from the Republic of Venezuela will
arrive in Grenada on Monday (10th) for a two-day visit.
Headed by Dr Asdrubal Aguiar, Director of International, Cooperation
in the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mission is expected
to discuss economic and technical cooperation with the Grenada
GRENADA AID FOR DOMINICA
The People's Revolutionary Government sent a Medical Team to Dominica
on Thursday (6th) with emergency foodstuff and medical supplies to
assist in the aftermath of hurricane "David" which struck that island
n Wednesday August 29th.
Comprised of Dr Lloyd Alexis, Nursing Sister Cynthia Telesford from
the Ministry of Health and Mr Joseph Simpson from the Insects &
Vecntors Control Division, the team is expected to remain in Dominica
Until they have made a complete assessment of and made recommendations
Week Ending 8.9.79
the PRG concerning the imme
THB GRNADA NEWSLETTER Page 9
mediate needs of the Dominican people.
On Monday of this week (3rd), the motor vessel "Tailaw" sailed for
Dominica with a wide assortment of clothes, food and building
materials given by the people of Grenada and, on Thursday (6th), a
further lot of 30 cartons of clothing was loaded on the "Geeststar"
for the same destination.
The "Tailaw", registered in Dominica and captained by Bernard
Avril,33, holed up from hurricane "David" in Barbados and came on
to Grenada after. The "Tailaw" transported the relief goods from
Grenada to Dominica free of charge.
The last statistics given for bai.ana shipments were in NEWSLETTER
for the week ending June 23rd and covered shipments up to that by
"Geestland" on June 18th.
The following figures are now available:-
Ship & Boxes Weight Rejects Geest
Date Shipped Shipped (bs) (boxes) Price (ECa)
26.6.79 27,669 868,665 215 34.891
3.7.79 20,768 657,039 237 39.202
10.7.79 19,288 603,697 130 38.413
12.2.79 18,264 569,980 383 39.219
24.7.79 21,154 655,652 222 40.013
The boxing plant weights of these shipments are, in Ibs,
respectively, 882,365, 663,014, 616,000, 582,541, and 668,878.
On the shipments of 26th, 3rd and 10th, the Grenada Banana
Cooperative Society (GBCS) paid producers EC 16 per, pound on the
weight received at the boxing plants. On the shipments of 17th
and 24th, payment was at the rate of ECC18 per pound.
Statistics nreviouslv required and now available are the Geest
price of BCC34.864 per pound on the shipment by "Geestland" of
Page 10 THB GRENADA NBEWLBTTER Week Ending 8.9.79
June 18th, and the boxing plant weights of 628,649 Ibs, 652,088 Ibs
and 606,869 lbs respectively on the shipments by "Geestcrest" (5.6.79),
"GeeststSr" (11.6.79) and "Geestland" (18.6.79).
Shipped to ....
31,956 ,783 31,329,521
Total Dollars (BC)
Earned to ...
1,6 l,3704 2,530,502
- , -
- 7.q ?
___ ~ __
Week Ending 8.9.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 11
GASOLINE PRICE UP AGAIN
Grenadian motorists have had a further ECC7 per gallon of gasoline
tacked on to their transportation bill. With effect from
yesterday (7th), gasoline has moved up from BC$3.88 to EC$3.95 per
Fuel prices are Government controlled and this authorised price
increase goes to the dealers, the operators of the service stations.I
An informed source told NEWSLETTER that this is the first increase
allowed to the dealers in some 18 months.
SCARIB/BGU FOR THE RECORD
An industrial dispute between the Bank & General Workers Union
(BGWU) and Grenada Brewers Ltd (brewers of "Carib" beer) was
settled after reference to both the Labour Commissioner and Minister
Two employees of the Company were dismissed and one suspended on
June 27th, allegedly for not returning to work after taking their
lunch hour. On behalf of the workers, the Union put to the
Company that these workers had worked through the regular lunch hour
and, for this reason, had not returned to work when they took their
lunch hour later in the afternoon.
The Company contended that, after taking an hour for lunch, there war
still three-quarters of an hour before the end of the work shift and
the men should have returned. It was argued by BGWU, however,
that, for the work done during the regular lunch hour, the men were
entitled to wages at time-and-a-half (taken in either cash or time)
and the three-quarters of an hour was approximately equivalent to
On June 28th, the day after the men were dismissed, BGWU called a
half-day protest strike at the brewery and, a few days later, the
Union and the Company discussed the matter before the Labour
Commissioner. No agreement was reached and both parties then
Page 12 THE GRBNADA NEWSLETTfR Week EndinQ 8.9.79
Sent before the Minister of Labour, Mr Selwyn Strachan.
The Union agreed that the three men should have stated that they
were not returning, but BGWU refused to accept the Company's
compromise proposal that the dismissals be reduced to suspensions.
The Company finally agreed that the men be taken back to work
without loss of benefits.
A sister ghes
8th etember 1979