Volume 7 Number 29
For The Week Ending 15th September 1979
7th Year of Publication - - 227th Issue
ELECTIONS NOT THE KEY QUESTION
The people of Grenada did not have a revolution to have an election
That is not the prime issue in their mind and it is not the major
area of concern for them.
This opinion was expressed by Prime Minister Maurice Bishop at a
Dress conference on Friday (14th). He said what Grenadians want
to see is the country built and reconstructed.
"What they want to see is certain material.benefits being brought
to them as a, result of having risked their lives on March 13th",
he said. "That, for them, is the key issue."
The Prime Minister said that, on the question of elections,
regardless of how important it might be to some elements inside
Grenada and in the Caribbean and in the world, as a matter of what
they would see as 'principle', the firm view of the People's
Revolutionary Government is that the holding of early elections is
not the view of the majority pf Grenadians. '
"Indeed", he said, "when we go around, the predominant response and'
impression we get is of people who are telling us, 'Forget election
for 10 yG ', 'Forget'elections for 20 years', some say. That
is not our position."
Produced & Printed by Alister & Cynthia Hughes
P 0 Box 65, St.Georges, Grenada, Westindies
THE GRENADA NEWSLETT!i
;Mr Bishop said the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) does not
want to state for what period of time the elections must be postponed,
but the PRG is clear in its mind that elections are NOT the key
question. "That is not what people fought for", he said. "That
is not what they risked their lives for, they are not primarily
concerned about that."
jAccording to Mr Bishop, Grenadians are concerned about stabilising the
;economy and building the country. They want to see health clinics,
!they want better medical attention, they want to see what can be done
about unemployment, they want to see the cost of living reduced and
they want a better way of life for themselves and their children.
"We believe that the majority of patriotic Grenadians are concerned
about consolidating the revolution, moreso in relation to its
national security aspects", he said. "They know that Gairy is
still outside and that he is still trying to recruit mercenaries
:to come back, and that means something. It means that our country
,Istill faces external aggression and, therefore, one has to look to
ensuring the consolidation of the national security aspects of the
In that kind of context and situation, the Prime Minister said, it
would be ludicrous to talk about holding an election next week or
With reference to Grenada's return to constitutionalityy", Mr Bishop
said that what had existed under the Gairy regime was not
constitutionality. "The bit of paper that you can wave around
which you call the Constitution, that entrenches all sorts of nict
rights on paper", he said, "never found practical reflect in terms
Sof the way in which the country was run."
The Prime Minister said even the right to life had been removed and
"the various patriots which have been murdered over the years have
not bven been able to get Coronor's.inquests", and people have not
been arrested and tried. He said most of the guilty people have
Seen spirited out of the country. What Grenada had on paper,
he said, did not have a p ctical reflection in the country, and the
Week Ending 15.9.79
Week Ending 15.9.79 THE GRENADA N4EWlrETTER Page 3
PRG1feels the people understand this.
"We say, very categorically and boldly that the rule-of-law Io'tni"" 'W
inOcGreada oane-,illpn-.timaes .9Ere tha ,it did six months ago", _h
lsakda"'and-we are very clear t .-thtf* ,.. Today, when pe
their normal rights ag'rfeve'@6aor afr,6nted.:they :db.iv, a-.btneE. ,.
prospect of obtaining justice. in the Courts of law than they did
six months ago and, therefore, we are not at all concerned that, in
theory, there is no Constitution on paper. What we feel should
be looked at is the practical manifestations of what has happened
over the last six months, and what this means to the lives of the
ordinary people of our country."
PRG TO TAKE STEPS AGAINST "TORCHLIGHT"
The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) is considering,"very
concretely",certain steps which will have to be taken to ensure
that the Pres4' behasiTs"in A A'tfrae and' responsible0 *ay.' -
Prime Minister Bishop disclosed, this at a.pres .confArence
yestera' y (14th), and he expressed the view.of the PRG that the.
Grenada "Torchlight" newspaper.has not been acting in a responsible
"We do not accept any right of 'Torchlight' to reprint scurrilous
or libellous material from overseas", he said. The Prime''
Minister was not specific but his reference appears to be to an
article he complained of previously. That article was from a
1est German wagarine-and appeared in the Sunday lst July issue of
"Torchllt t". *: , .
"Leaving aside for a moment the fact that there is a special
situation in Grenada (because, after all, there was a.revolution
here on March 13th) in pure conventional terns, tTorchlight 1'does
not have the right to reproduce libellous ma':erial because libel is
libel and the fact of repetition does not make it ay: less ,
-* libellous ", the Pkme h Ministtr said
Page 4.- THE OR'NDA NBWSLETTBR Week Ending 15.9.79
IMr Bishop said also that the PR3 does not accept "m6notity control
iof newspapers of the sort there, is in 'Torchlight"'. He said
one or two people have full control over what goes into the newspaper
!and, "in the way in which 'Torchlight' has been behaving", this has
Ithe implication that only the views of that minority will be published.
jWe have conclusive and irrefutable proof that, on several occasions,
'when articles are sent to 'Torchlight' by the ordinary masses of the
people of the country, presenting a point of view different to that
held by 'Torchlight', they are not published", he said. "We do not
!accept that this is a proper role for the Press."
1Mr Bishop said "Torchlight" is attempting to spread confusion in the
country and "to add itself as one further vehicle of destabilisation
against the process that the people are trying to build in Grenada".
The Prime Minister felt the time has come when something must be done
about that. Government would act, he said, but, as yet, there had
been been no decision as to what action would be taken.
"Our concern relates to ensuring that the Press does behave responsibly,
does publish the views of people when they are sent in, regardless of
whether those views are contrary to the 'Torchlight's opinion", he
said, "and our concern, therefore, relates to minority control by one
or two elements, moreso by foreign elements, of the mass media in
NOEL FACES THE NATION
The People's Revolutionary Gdverhm4nt (PRM) hopes the Grenada Court
of Appeal will commence sittings in November. Answeringgquestions
on the Radio Free Grenada programme, "Face The Nation", on Wednesday
(12th), Acting Attorney General Lloyd Noel disclosed this and said the
Court will be "itinerant". It will sit twice each year, in May
"The purpose", Mr Noel said, "is to enable our Government to choose
Frtm the best brains in the Caribbean,,and we have done so by.choosing
jurists from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad."
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
Mr Noel said that, subject to confirmation by the people involved,
the Court of Appeal will include men of the calibre of Mr Aubrey
Fraser who, in 1974, sat on the Commission of Inquiry into the
Breakdown of Law & Order and Police Brutality in Grenada. Mr Fraser
is the Executive Officer of the Council for Legal Education, and
Mr Noel said his appointment to the Court of Appeal is subject to
approval of that Council.
Also proposed to be judges of the Grenada Appeal Court, the Acting
Attorney General said, are Mr Telford Georges, Dean of the Faculty
of Law at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies,
Mr Joseph Oscar Fitz-Clarence ("Jof") Haynes,Chancellor of the
University of Guyana, Dr Nick Liverpool, Assistant Dean of the
Faculty of Law at Cave Hill and Dr Edwin Watkins, Chairman of the
Trinidad & Tobago Law Reform Commission.
Mr Noel said it is proposed that these five jurists comprise the
judges of the Court of Appeal, three sitting at a time in rotation.
On the question of the complaint that there is too much delay in the
Courts, the Acting Attorney General said it is proposed that a
second High Court be established to hear civil matters exclusively.
The location of this additional Court has been chosen already and a
presiding judge is being sought.
"This second Court will have a second mode of operation", Mr Noel
said, "in that we are hoping to use that second judge and the Chief
Justice as a Court of Appeal for Magisterial Cases."
The Attorney General said that, under this system, Magistrates will
deal with cases summarily, following which there will be an appeal
to the Court of Appeal for Magisterial Cases. From that Court,
there will be a further appeal to the Itinerant Court of Appeal.
It is hoped the second Court aVp Court of Appeal for Magisterial
Cases will be in operation by January.
In connection with the present crime rate in Grenada, Mr Noel said
irthat, when the PRG seized power in March, there were 4,037 cases
pending in the Magistrates' Courts where, by his estimate, between
Week Ending 15.9.79
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
!96% and 98% of all criminal cases are tried.
'he said, this number had been reduced to 1,459.
Week Ending 15.9.79
On August 31st,
During that same period, the Acting Attorney General said, the total
number of cases, both criminal and civil, filed in the Magistrates'
:Courts was 540 for the entire country.
"On the basis of those figures", Mr Noel said, "I will say that the
crime rate has dropped tremendously and, not only this, but the
Magistrates' Courts have been able to function at a level which
enabled people to take their matters to Court and get them heard
within a relatively short time."
Regional Police Force
Mr Noel was asked for his reaction to "the United States offer to
help the Eastern Caribbean states set up a regional police force".
"Our position is set out in the 'Declaration of St.Georges' signed
after the Mini-Summit in Grenada in July", the Acting Attorney General
said, "and as we explained then, we have no problem with what they call
a regional police force as long as that force is concerned with
external protection and is in no way involved with the internal
security of independent states."
SMr Noel said it is an inviolable position that independent countries
must be allowed to control and manage their internal affairs. The
PRG would find no problem in being involved in a regional police force
for external defence, but, if this force is to be involved in internal
security, Grenada would not be interested.
The Acting Attorney General expressed his personal opinion that he is
totally against capital punishment but, he said, a strict policy of
the PRG as to its position on this matter has not been enunciated.
Mr Noel pointed out, however, that, under the Grant of Pardons Law
(People's Law No. 45) passed in June, all death sentences except
one had been commuted to life imprisonment.
The Acting Attorney General expressed another personal opinion, this
time with reference to when elections will be held in Grenada. "An
overriding and overwhelming factor is Gairy's position at large", h14
said "As long as that man remains at large with the potential to
Week Ending 15.9.79 THE GRENADA NF''SLETT.R Page 7
create chaos within our island, then it means it will be difficult
to return to normalcy, and an election is, in anybody's language, a
Mr Noel said that, in terms of months or years, he could not say
when am election will be held, but it is his "fond hope" that, once
the island returns to normal, "an election will and must be held so
as to bring Grenada back to what the people like to call 'a
Also in connection with the holding of elections, Mr Noel said "the
well-wprn answer on the question of 'consolidation of the revolution
is partly applicable at this stage." What is even more important
he thought, is to bring into perspective the questions of the
administration of Grenada, the economic position of Grenada, security
With reference to the Elections Cpmmission which was named in MNy,
the Acting Attorney General said the naming had been done
prematurely. "We guaranteed to update the existing electoral
legislation by a new enumeraton law", he said, "and, under that law
provision was to be made for an Electorial Commission to replace the
Supervisor of Elections. It is in that context the Electorial
Commission was named."
Due to a number of technical difficulties, Mr Noel said, the
enumeration law has not been passed, and the persons nominated to
the Electorial Commission have no powers. When the law is passed,
the same persons nominated will become the Commission.
With reference to Grenada's Constitution, the Acting Attorney
General expressed the opinion that most Grenadians feel that the?
Constitution which existed up to March 13th, the day of the
revolution, is "totally unacceptable to our conditions in Grenada."
He thought it essential that a new Constitution be drawn up and
constitutional experts have been asked to advise on the form and
structure of the Assembly which is to draw up the new Constitution.
Mr Noel said there are two schools of thought on this, one favourin
Page 8 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 15.9.79
V Consultative Assembly and the other a Constituent Assembly.
A Consultative Assembly, he said, would be composed of persons nominated
from interested groups, while a Constituent Assembly would have its
Members elected from each constituency.
"We have not yet heard from the experts as to the form of Assembly they
advisee, the Acting Attorney General said, "but, when we have received
this, the decision will be made, and I dent see this happening for
three to six months."
Among other questions, Mr Noel answered queries also on the Missing
iPersons Bureau, detainees, extradition, human rights and the law of
GOD SHOUTS TO US
God whispers to us in our pleasures, God ,speaks to us in our
consciouses and God shouts to us in our pains.
Anglican Bishop of the Windward Isl ds, Cuthbert Woodroffe, quoted
this to NEWSLETTER on Monday (10th) the second day of the Anglican
Tri-annual Synod. The Bishop was outlining the form his "charge"
to the Synod had taken. With all the pains in the world, he said,
he had wondered whether people were trying to pay attention to what
;God has been trying to say to them. -
"I tried to point out to Synod", Bishop Woodroffe said, "that so many
disasters, physical as well as political as well as social have come
on the world in 1979, so much has happened between March and August,
that it seemed to me that God was and is trying to speak to us."
The 55 members of the Synod were drawn from Grenada, St.Vincent and
St.Lucia. Twenty-five were lay persons and the remainder were
priests. The Synod came to a cte on Thursday (13th).
____ _~I~ II____
PRG SEEKING NEW SUPPLY SOURCES FOR SUGAR
Because of the "unpredictability" of Caroni Ltd of Trinidad, the
National Importing Board (NIB) of the People's Revolutionary
i Government (PRG) is seeking other sources of supply. Negotiations
are being made to obtain sugar from the Dominican Republic.
This was disclosed this week in a release from the Ministry of
Information in reply to a letter signed by 'Angry Businessman' which
appeared in the Grenada 'Torchlight' newspaper. The letter
complained that Minister of Finance Bernard Coard had publicly
accused merchants of creating artificial shortages of ,potatoes and
onions, rice and sugar. The letter said inefficiency of NIB was
responsible for the shortages.
"Regardihg the rice and sugar situation", the release said, .. 3
"officials of the NIB confirmed there has never been a shortage of
rice on the local market, and the brief shortage of brown sugar
experienced three weeks ago stemmed from the problems arising in
Caroni Trinidad Ltd and not with the NIB".
The release said every shipment from Caroni Ltd, paid for in advanced,
has been received short of the amount paid for and, because of this
unpredictability, negotiations are being made to obtain sugar from
the Dominican Republic.
Shortage of white sugar (privately imported) has also increased the
shortage of brown sugar, the release said. Beverage factories
which normally use white sugar, have been forced to use a great deal
more clear brown sugar.
With reference to the shortage of potatoes and onions, the average
amount imported every six weeks is 150,000 lbs and 90,000 lbs
respectively, the release says. Licences to businessmen were
issued between July 17th and August 31st for 190,000 lbs of potatoes
and 125,000 Ibs of onions, the release continued, but, despite the
sxtra licences, it appeared that businessmen imported much less
than was needed.
"In the light of the above facts", the release concluded, "it wpuld
seem obvious that "Torchlight's" 'Angry Businessman' was either
Week Ending 15.9.79
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER
Page 10 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 15.9.79
grossly inefficient in collecting his facts, or deliberately malicous
iln his presentation of them."
BISHOP TO VISIT VENEZUELA
Prime Minister Maurice Bishop has accepted an invitation to pay an
official visit to Venezuela in the near future.
The invitation was issued by an official Venezuelan delegation which
visited the island from 10th to 13th September, and was accepted on
Mr Bishop's behalf by Acting Prime Minister Bernard Coard. Mr Bishop
was, at the time, unavoidably delayed in Cuba after the Non-Alligned
The Venezuelan delegation was led by Ambassador Asdrubal Aguiar
Aranguren, Director General of the Department of International
Cooperation of the Ministry of External Affairs.
According to a joint communique issued at the end of the visit, the
Delegation's talks with the People's Revolutionary Government took
place in an atmosphere of great warmth and friendliness. A
wide range of matters was discussed and it was decided to establish
diplomatic missions in St.Georges and Caracas at the earliest
mutually convenient date.
It was agreed also that a joint technical commission for the
delimitation of marine and sub-marine boundaries between Grenada
and Venezuela be established and Venezuela has offered assistance
in undertaking geo-physical studies.
Venezuela is also to assist by providing technical cooperation and
training in the fields of agriculture and livestock, construction
and public works, transport, health, sanitation and housing.
Dr Demetrio Boersner, Advisor to the delegation, told NEWSLETTER
that he and his colleagues were very impressed with what the
People's Revolutionary Government is trying to do. "The
Evolutionary Government seems to be working day and night", he
said "We were amazed at their activity and their rhythm of
Week Ending 15.9.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 11
work in a very sincere determination to improve the welfare of the
people and to make them really participate in the shaping of their
CHANGES IN ESTATE DUTY
The Government Gazette of September 14th gives some details of
changes recently effected in the Estate Duty Ordinance.
One of the principal changes is that, where the value of the
matrimonial home, including up to one acre of land on which the
house stands, does not exceed EC$100,000, house and land will be
exempt from Estate Duty. This condition is applicable where the
house was the deceased main residence and was occupied by him or her
at the time of death.
After deduction of the value of the matrimonial home up to the
allowed limit, rates of duty on the estate are
On tne first E.Ilu,uu00 Nil
On the next 10,000 $1,500
On the next 130,000 39,000
On the excess over 150,000 @ 45%
The term "Privileged Class" has baen amended to include, not only
the mother, wife and children of the deceased, but father, husband
common law spouse, illegetimate, legally adopted and step children
of the deceased.
Property passing to persons in the Privileged Class is limited to
payment of two-thirds of the standard rate of Estate Duty.
Previously, the rate of duty applicaple to persons in the "Non-
Privileged" class was twice the standard rate. This has now
been reduced to a rate of one-third above the standard rate.
According to the Government Gazette, these amendments'to the Estate
Duty Ordinance will cost Government an estimated EC$j million in
revenue. The provision regarding the matrimonial home is
effective from March 13th, while the new standard rates and the
rates applicable to the Non-Privileged class will have effect from
January 1st 1980.
Page 12 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 15.9.79
THREAT TO WINBAN BANANAS
'The outcome of a case, now before the British High Court, may prove a
'threat to the future of Windward Island and Jamaica bananas.
IAccording to a report in the "Fruit Trade Journal" of September 7th,
the case was brought by Chris International Foods Ltd against the
iMinistry of Agriculture. The majority of bananas now imported
into Britain is supplied by the Fyffes and Geest Groups and Jamaica
Producers. Chris International claims that the Ministry has
!created a monolopy, and that the system of licencing "dollar bananas"
is contrary to the Treaty of Rome.
'A spokes for the Ministry said there is an obligation under the Lome
'Convention to assure access of "traditional supplies", and there is
no discrimination against anyone who applies for a licence. Bananas
from Commonwealth sources are assured of :- Larket in Britain and
shipments from other areas, "dollar bananas", are given 1 cences only
When there is a shortfall in Commonwealth supplies.
;The case was adjourned when the Ministry told the High Court that
ilicences for 1979/1980 would be issued within a few days and
iChris International Foods Ltd will not be discriminated against.
'According to "Fruit Trade Journal", Fyffes, Geest and Jamaica Producers
have not responded to the charge made by Chris International at a press
conference on August 31st. The Company charged that the monolopy
'allowed wholesalers,who supply the immigrant market, to be charged
nearly twice the price obtained in the ECC markets of West Germany,
Holland and Belgium.
WINBAN EXPERIMENT DAMAGED
'An important experiment at the Windward Islands Banana Associations'
(WINBAN) Experimental Farm at Roseau, Dominica, suffered serious
,damage when hurricane "David" swept through that island on Wednesday
The experiment, which was two years old, was being carried out on a
Week Ending 15.9.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 13
1.25 acre plot, and it was designed to investigate the relationship
between levels of fertilizer application and the control of
A recent WINBAN release says, however, that results of the experiment'
had begun to show already the importance of neamatode control.
"Small farmers who follow WINBAN's recommendations for fertilizer
application could reap 2.6 tons of fruit extra per acre per year if
neamatodes are controlled", the release says. "Without neamatode
control, these farmers would reap only 0.8 tons per acre per year".
Some interesting statistics have resulted from an assessment of the
damage done by "David" to the experimental plot. Uprooting of
mats in lots where there was no neamatode control amounted to
26-.9%, while in lots where there was control, uprooting was only
7.2%. In lots where there was o% fertilizer application and no
neamatode control, about 17% of the mats were toppled. Where
there was adequate fertilizer application -'id no control, losses rose
"This revealed", said the release, "that in cases where neamatode
control is neglected, money spent on fertilizer application is
The Pebple's Revolutionary Government (PRG) has published a list of
Public and Bank holidays, Official Days and a National Day to be
observed in 1980.
The Public and Bank Holidays are
January 1st New Year's Day
February 7th Independence Day
March 13th Grenada Revolution
April 4th Good Friday
April 7th Easter Monday
May 1st Labour Day
May 26th Whit Monday
June 25th Corpus Christi
August 4th Public Holiday
December 25th Christmas Day
December 26th Boxing Day
I The first Monday in August has, traditionally, been given as a
Page 14 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 15.9.79
holiday to commemorate emancipation of slaves in 1838 and, no doubt,
the "Public Holiday" on August 4th, listed above, in a continuation
Until now, Grenadians have enjoyed holidays on the day after New Year's
Day, Easter Monday and the first Monday in August. These additional
holidays were introduced in the era when the island was an important
horse racing centre, and the additional day of holiday facilitated the
holding of two-day race meetings at New Year's, Easter and August.
The list now published eliminates these extra holidays.
Seven Official Days have been created, which Days will not be holidays
but will be recognized "by an official function or programme." These
Official Days are :-
January 21st Anniversary of "Bloody Monday"
Mar.- 2nd Fedon's Insurrection
April 20th Anniversary of Jeremiah
June 19th Uriah Batler/Alister Strachan Da.
November 7th Marryshow's Birthday.
November 18th Anniversary of "Bloody Sunday"
December 27th Harold Stiachan Day.
January 21st was the day in 1974 on which a peaceful anti-Gairy
demonstration was attacked by 500 of deposed Prime Minister Gairy's
'mongoose gang" of criminals supported by armed police. Prime
Minister Maurice Bishop's father, Rupert Bishop, was killed on that
In relating the start of the unsuccessful revolution led, in 1795,
by Julien Fedon against the British, the official Grenada Handbook
says, "At midnight on March 2nd 1795, the storm broke ......
This would appear to mean 12.00 o'clock, midnight, immediately
proceeding the morning of March 3rd, particularly as the Handbook
says the news of the revolution reached St.Georges on March 3rd.
While it would appear that the proper date for the Official Day
marking the Fedon Insurrection should have been March 3rd, this
has been fixed at March 2nd:
April 20th was the day in 1973 on which Jeremiah Richardson, a member
of the Now Jewel Movement was shot by a policeman. That policeman
Was tried, found guilty and condemned to death. That sentence was
subsequently commuted to life imprisonment.
Week Ending 15.9.79 THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Page 1
Grenada born T Uriah "Buzz" Butler was a prominent member of and
performed significant services to the trade union movement in
Trinidad. Alister Strachan was a member of the New Jewel
Movement who died by drowning in 1977 when the violent break up
of an NJM demonstration by the Grenada Defence Force caused him to
jump into the sea. This incident took place on June 19th.
Theophilus Albert Marryshow, during the early years of this
century, was an outstanding advocate of Westindian unity. He
was born on 7th November 1887.
On 18th November 1973, six members of the New Jewel Movement were
attacked by the "mongoose gang". Three of the attacked men,
including Mr Maurice Bishop, were badly beaten.
Harold Strachan, a member of the New Jewel Movement, was murdered
on 27th December 1973. He is alleged to have been shot by a
member of the "mongoose gang".
Cabinet has decided that, in addition to being a public holiday,
March 13th, the day on which the revolution took place, is to be a
15th september 1979