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W 722 oo
V the (ift of
SOME THOUGHTS ON ECONOMIC AID TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
To the Economics Society of the University
of the West Indies, Jamaica
Dr. Eric Williams
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and
Pro-Chancellor of the University
19TH FEBRUARY, 1963
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, TRINIDAD, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO--1963
SOME THOUGHTS ON ECONOMIC AID TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
AN ADDRESS TO THE ECONOMICS SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES,
JAMAICA, 19TH FEBRUARY, 1963, BY DR. ERIC WILLLAMS, PRIME MINISTER OF
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO AND PRO-CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I was very glad when the Economics Society wrote to me in Trinidad to ask
me to speak to the students of the University on any particular subject that I wanted
to choose. I never miss an opportunity of seeking to develop the University of the
West Indies and to associate with the students in the University. And then, more
important, I think it was a German strategist whose name escapes me now who
said once that "war is the continuation of politics by other means". I believe that
politics is the continuation of education by other means.
I make it a point, wherever possible, as the head of the Government of one of
the West Indian territories, to take time off and continue scholastic interests, whether
it is just taking off the telephone and reading some worthwhile literature or just
locking myself up and doing some writing. Or, as in this particular case, maintaining
the liaison between politics and education, between Government and scholarship,
by meeting the students of the University. Some of them are certain to gravitate
into politics in future years, .and I hope when they do gravitate into politics they
will not allow themselves to forget the lessons and the disciplines and the ideas and
the contacts that they learn and that they make in University circles.
I am sorry that I could not make the original meeting with the Economics
Society and I must say that I feel that I am here today under false pretences.
Knowing undergraduate societies from my undergraduate days I had anticipated
a small room with about eight or ten people where we would have had a seminar
sort of discussion. It was for that reason that I picked out this particular subject
which I have had no time to develop.
I am sure that you all could appreciate the situation that faces someone who,
wherever he is, has governmental problems to attend to, and they keep on intruding
sometimes when they ought not to intrude.
-::. SQ.I-was particularly careful to indicate that I was just setting..out;thisafter-
noon to try and whet the appetite of some economics students, to give some of them
perhaps an incentive to try and do some study of this subject which would be very
valuable to all West Indian Governments, and merely to present as objectively as
possible (trying to forget the occupation of the politician) some of the considera-
tibns' that underlie this question and which perhaps I might see a little more sharply
and clearly than you, because when I do see them outside of this room I see them
from the desk of the Head of the Government or from the Cabinet room.
I had not expected to find this mass of people. It is not a subject to develop
in an audience like this where I want to quote some statistics, and so on. I am
sqorr, MAr. Chairman. I am quite used to mass universities, -I .helped to develop
one. I thought I was coming to a small, Economics Society. They are not members
of your society ? And I suppose if,.the society has any dues, and so on, that you.
have to meet and they ask you all to pay something, you all, like good West Indians,
would refuse to pay. But anyway, there it is. .
I am very glad to see all of you' and' I will try to throw out some suggestions.
But ii every now and then I address myself particularly'to the students of economics,
then those who are not students of economics or of the social sciences would under-
stand, perhaps, that'this is a subject of general political interest and of vital concern
to.Jamaica and to Trinidad and Tobago in particular, whilst of course it has its
interest for Barbados, Grenada, British, Guiana and other places.
The Chairman has,asked me.whether I would answer some questions afterwards.
I .am. quite prepared to do, so if I know the answers to them, on one condition,
ladies and gentlemen. J am not stating, anything today that has anything to do
with the policy-of the Government of .Trinidad and Tobago and I .will answer no
questions relating to the.policy of Trinidad and Tobago,, which is.not to. say you
shouldn't ask them. [Laughter].
I did cnti mean it that way at al. What I meant was that the:rest of the
audience might be particularly concerned with a particular question that is asked,
,but -if I state that-I will..riot reply to that question you will understand I 'do not
want to .be misquoted. I do not- want to.choose the Economics Society. of the
.University. of the West:Indies as my forum for'making public statements on the
policy of Trinidad and Tobago. '. '
*.-So, now, let;me!se'e if, I can-give you, both the economics students and those
who are studying in theirr faculties, some thofights on economic-aid with particular
reference to developing countries, but, of course; aimed primarily at Jamaica and
Trinidad and Tobago, two of, the newest independent states which would qualify
for this economic aid and, therefore, finding themselves in a position somewhat
different perhaps from British Guiana or Barbados, because they would be freer
to look at this entire question on a world scale, freer to develop any particular
interest they might have in it without any interference from outside, than British
Guiana or Barbados or Antigua or any of the other countries.
I want to give you, first, especially those who know nothing more about the
subject except the fact that it is treated every now and then in the newspapers-
very cavalierly in West Indian newspapers-and. who, of course, as part of the
contemporary world, know that this is a vital and a burning subject. Everybody
talks economic aid. Everybody talks about assisting developing countries and as
tar as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago are concerned not much is done about it.
There is a lot of talk but the Governments of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago
would know that there is more talk than action on this matter. And if I could
set out some of the facts of the problem, if I could set out some of the realities
that your Governments have to face when they deal with this matter, then that is
as far as I intended to go this afternoon.
The first point I would like to make to you is something about the sources of
economic aid. A number of countries are associated in the eyes of the world today
with economic aid to developing countries even though sometimes it is not tbo clear
what is the definition of a developing country, because the first large volume of
economic aid within the past twenty or twenty-five years went from. the United
States of America to Europe as a part of the rehabilitation of Europe after the war.
It you went about Europe today, especially Western Germany or parts of Holland,
parts of Belgium, what will strike you is that everything is so new, indicating the
tremendous amount of destruction that took place during the wat and, much more
than that, the rapidity and the success of the rehabilitation effort.
Thus, you and I, coming from underdeveloped countries, coming from a part
of the world whose underdevelopment places it in, a special category as I hope to
develop a bit before I conclude today, .when. the question of economic aid arises,
when I go about as the head of a government in parts of Europe talking about the
possibilities of economic aid, immediately two things strike me; One is that the
economic assistance has gone very largely to countries which are responsible for
the underdevelopment of large parts of the world and,' secondly, that if we in the
underdeveloped parts of the world could get for any period of time any assurance
of etonomiclaid od the scale that economic aid was made available to Europe after
the war, then a lot of the problems that plague us in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago,
British Guiana and elsewhere would be solved. A lot of the problems that will face
you students when you get out into the world in whatever capacity you get out,
whether it is the private practitioner trying to improve the health of his community
or the teacher in a primary or a secondary school or the young economist working
in the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Planning and Development, all of
you will face these problems that the governments face today.
So let me start off by just giving you some idea of the volume of economic
aid that has been made available in recent years, leaving out of this afternoon's
informal discussion the question of United States economic aid to Europe. Except
that I want yon to bear this in mind, and I speak here now as a representative
of the political elements in Trinidad and Tobago, if the United States of America
had adopted to some of the European countries the attitude of-indifference is
not too strong a word-complacency with which some of those very countries regard
'the problems of economic development in developing countries, then, of course,
the process of rehabilitation would not have gone as far as it has gone since the
war in these various countries of Europe.
Just some quick idea of the volume of aid. Here is a massive table I have.
We have been giving a lot of thought in the past few months in Trinidad and
Tobago, the Prime Minister's Office, the Planning Division, to this question of
economic aid and the picture presented of economic aid by what are called the
OEEC countries-the countries of Europe-Western Europe really-with the United
States and Canada added.
Over the years 1956 to 1959 the volume of aid provided has amounted to some-
thing in the neighbourhood of $6.700.00000000 (I never can understand or remember
at the appropriate time what is the difference between billion in the American sense
and billion in the British sense, so I put it as $6,700,000,000), of which the United
States of America has provided'almost half, $3,000,000,000, and France comes
next with $1.265,000,000, just a little less than twenty per cent. Then France is
followed. by Western Germany with $798,000,000 and the United Kingdom
$773,000,000, in each case somewhat more than 10 pet cent.
The first source of aid, then, has been the countries of Western Europe, the
United States and Canada. As against that now the second source of aid, the Soviet
Union, the figures that I have here-frpm 1955 to. March. '961-(I have it in
billions but I assume here that the billions mean thousand millions and not million
millions) amounted to $3,800,000,000 in economic aid and 11,300,000,000 in
The principal beneficiaries up to this time, March, 1961, have been India
S946,000,000 (American dollars), United Arab Republic $826,000,000, Indonesia
$509,000,000, Cuba $245,000,000, to which would have to be added the figures
stated in a more recent period where (according to an American magazine of
doubtful value as far as students of economics are concerned or students of history
for that matter), that according to a late figure towards the end of last year, the
Soviet Union had pledged Cuba $300,000,000 U.S. towards its development plan,
of which $40,000,000 have been given, while $300,000,000 had been provided in
Then Afghanistan $217,000,000, Iraq $216,000,000, Ethiopia, Yugoslavia,
Argentina, all about $100,000,000, and then smaller quantities to Pakistan, Yemen,
Mali, Guinea, Ghana and so on. That's the second source of aid.
A third source has been the United Kingdom Development and Welfare grants
and loans. The totals I have since 1945 appear to be in W.I. dollars. Apparently
this is only Colonial Development and Welfare and would have nothing to do with
the military and other aid that the United Kingdom has been giving in the Middle
East, let us say to Jordan or other middle eastern states.
From 1945 to 1961, the end of the period .with which I am dealing now, the
total allocations made by the United Kingdom to its colonial areas amounted to
$1,057 million W.I. In the West Indian area the money has gone principally to
Jamaica and British Guiana and the Windward Islands. The Government of Jamaica
has received in what is about 16 to 17 years $44,000,000 W.I., a little less than
about $3,000,000 a year. British Guiana has got almost $324 million, Leeward
Islands about $14 million (that includes the British Virgin Islands). Barbados has
got $6,240,000 in the 17 years and Trinidad and Tobago in the 17 years has got
A lot of money has gone to the African countries-Nigeria $174 million,
more than all the West Indies combined; Tanganyika $44 million, about as much
as Jamaica; Kenya $46 million, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, between them
about $38 or $39 million.
Then they have given money to the Federation of Malaya in Asia which got
$32 million, almost as much as British Guiana has got; and then the small places
like Sarawak, North Borneo, Malta $15 million, Cyprus $11 illidn, Mauritius
$12 million, and so on.
That has been the third source of aid, but this is limited now to the colonial
areas or former colonial areas and would not be the full picture of United Kingdom
assistance to what we call the underdeveloped countries, which would include either
military aid or economic aid to parts of the Middle East as I have said..
In.more recent years a fourth source of aid has developed and that is the
European Development Fund, the money made available by the member countries
of the European Common Market-France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Luxem-
bourg and Italy-to .their, former colonial associates principally in Africa.
1 had somewhere an indication of the scope of assistance which in more
recent years has become fairly extensive. I wish I could find it only to indicate
to you the position in the British Colonial territories, as against the, position in the
former French colonial territories. Yes, here it is. Beginning in 1959 with a total
of $8 million U.S. to all these former colonies of these European countries in the
Far East like Dutch New Guinea, or in the Caribbean like Martinique and Guade-
loupe, or in Africa like Algeria or Brazzaville or Gabon or Senegal and so on.
In 1960 it became $56 million, in 1961 it was $135 million, but I do not have
the figures for 1962. The member countries of the European Common .Market
recently got together and decided that. the money that they had available, for
economic development of these associate territories, which I think was in the
neighbourhood of $500 million for the first five years, would be stepped up to
something like $780 million in the next five years, with the proviso that if the
United Kingdom-the discussions were then going on-were to associate itself
with the Common Market then the United Kingdom would make a pro rata
contribution to the 'European Development Fund out of which the former British
associates in Africa or in the West Indies who decided to accept associate status
with the'Common Market would receive grants, like the Cameroons or the Ivory
Coast or Martinique or Guadeloupe or Surifam or any of the French or. Dutch
or Belgium associates receive today.
And then there is a fifth source of aid today, which is the Alliance for Progress,
the' United States plan for the Western Hemisphere. Instead of the figures which
have been fairly exterisive-thobgh I don'f believe too much in the find, has been
given out yet-I would like to indicate the conditions, the criteria which have been
laid down by the United States Governmenit for disbursements under the Alliance
for Progress. -' '
It is perhaps the clearest statement and, I think I could safely say, one of
the best statements on the subject of economic aid and the criteria which should
govern economic aid, which is not to say that the criteria are absolutely satisfactory
or would satisfy everybody or even satisfy the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
The conditions summarised are these:
1. Long-range plans based on the application of programming techniques
must be drawn up for both private and public sectors
Nowadays in the West Indies where every citizen is conscious of develop-
ment programmes under which schools are built or more hospital beds
added, this is not a question which would concern purely the student
of economics. The general citizen body would be interested in any form
of economic assistance involving long range plans drawn up by govern-
ments for both the public and the private sectors.
2. The fiscal system should be reformed both in order to increase the level
of tax revenue in relation to national income and to make the tax
structure more progressive
So immediately, if I may interject here for the benefit of any citizen in the
audience who says he does not like to pay taxes or he doesn't like the tax structure
reformed or he does not want to pay more for his cigarettes, or he does not want
the income tax rates to be revised-immediately the citizen comes up like the
Government against this condition laid down by the United States as one of the
requirements for economic aid, that the fiscal system must be reformed-and heaven
knows in most West Indian territories when the Nationalist Movement assumes
responsibilities for the future of the countries what we inherited from our. predeces-
sors -was something-so bad that it was very badly in need of reform and revision.
I continue: At the same time the machinery for the collection and assessment
should be completely overhauled.
A simple example familiar to most West Indian students would be the system
3. Measures should be instituted to increase domestic savings and these should
be applied to productive investment.
That is to say-if I may interject again-that one of the conditions for
S economic, aid would be that any increase in personal savings should not
,be dissipated in improving the social status of so many people in the
.i' ; 'West Indianacommunities, should not be entirely dissipated in personal
.consumption, whether it' might be as useful a commodity in the home
S as aifrigidaire or just simply patronising the racing pools that you get
disgracing all West Indian communities.
4. Certain basic social reforms must be implemented such as the breaking
up of large latifundia-the old plantation type economy-for the purpose
of distributing unused or under-utilised land to peasants who will be
S. required to put the land to good use.
S A very difficult reform in many parts of Latin America where you have
the traditional pre-emancipation land pattern of the large estate inherited
from the Spanish conquerors who brought over to the New World with
S them their medieval organisation of agriculture and medieval system of
land distribution and ownership.
5. Development programmes should lay as much stress on improving the
quality of the people, for example by expenditure on education and
training, as on increasing the stock of physical capital.
A slap in the face for those people who keep on preaching to colonial
territories, ex-colonial territories, especially those from the United
They have told Trinidad this until they have been blue in the face but Trinidad
and Tobago well knows when to be deaf to all this advice that you spend too much
money on what they call social expenditure. As if when you remove hookworm in
.Caroni.or in.the sugar areas you are not taking a positive step towards the increase
of production in that area; as if when you remove tuberculosis or malaria you-are
noft.ni.mproing at-one and the same time living conditions in the area and the
productivity of the labour force;. as if when you spend money on children, the
future citizens, to give them free secondary education you are not investing
directly in the national future and in improving both the technical skill and the
civic 6conci6usness of your future citizens.
6. Democratic regimes in Latin America should be encouraged.
I would not want to make any reference to that because any reference
that I make would be bound to be misconstrued as the statement of the
Head of a Government which then immediately puts our country in an
S. embarrassing situation. All that I would'say is that speaking for Trinidad
and Tobago, which is, of course, not a Latin American country in. the
strict sense, the whole policy before and since independence has been in
.the direction of encouraging democratic regimes.
7. (Perhaps the most important of all) Aid should be guaranteed over the
period of the Plan,
That is, that a country planning for five years or ten years in the. West
Indies must be assured that the aid wouldn't stop suddenly just because
the United States Congress or the British Parliament or some other
parliamentary body decides that they want to cut-off this aid for one
reason or another. Long-term plans cannot be drawn up by territories
like ours as one of the conditions for economic aid unless the- territory
can be guaranteed that the aid would be of a long-term nature and
would not be shut on and off just as if it was a tap.
Now those are the sources of aid. May I just add one thing to that in terms
of the countries from which you and I come, and that is that the British system qf
Colonial Development and Welfare made money available over a period of five
years, so it did facilitate a certain amount of planning.
Taking the total of the aid it has not been insignificant except that it has been
spread over the whole colonial area and, of course, Trinidad and Tobago got virtually
nothing out of it-of which I shall have something to say in a moment-and the
United Kingdom aid under Colonial Development and Welfare was not necessarily
tied to purchases from the United Kingdom.
At the same time there was the great difficulty of Colonial Development and
Welfare, that it was being administered and developed by people who did not
know much about development programmes. The British people are not much at
planning. They.have gone about muddling their way through. Britain and they
messed up the Colonial areas for several generations and they did not know much
about what they were doing. A lot of the money was foolishly spent and they did
not seem to realise that by making a particular change, good as it was in a particular
territory, they were merely increasing the recurrent expenditure of the territory
year by year and-then sometimes making it more and more-difficult for the- country
to balance its budget. .
So where they began by giving the country over and above what they call
grants or 1Ians for capital development, where they began by giving it a grant in aid
of administration to help it to balance its budget, every school added so many.more
teachers to the budget, every hospital added so many more nurses and-doctors
to.the budget, and the territories remained in this grant in aid status, the grant in
aid. being .necessary year by year to help the territory to balance a budget that
increased inexorably with. every improvement inthe field of capital works. So
much for the sources. You will notice how factual and objective I am trying to be.
The second point I want to deal with is some of the principal considerations
involved in this question, of aid as distinct from the volume of aid, and the first
consideration I want to turn 'my attention to is that-a point attracting a great
deal of attention now, in the last year or so-most of this aid is given on a bilateral
basis,.from country to country and it is not given on,.what the experts now call a
multilateral basis.. It is not .provided, so to speak, by the United Nations, the
multilateral agent par excellence and its associated agencies like UNESCO or the
Food and Agriculture Organisation.
I had intended-as part of the whetting of the appetite of the students of
ecohomics-to read to them and on the assumption that they were not aware of
it, a longish quotation from the Presideht of the World Bank, himself I believe
an American, at the annual meeting for 1962, just the other day, on this question.
SBut since all of you others come in here and want to interfere in matters of
economics, well, then, you just have to sit down and take it.
I speak particularly to the economics students and, in fact, it is not as bad
as that because the point of view that is being made by Mr. Eugene Black is of
great concern to all, anybody who is a student, and anybody who is concerned
with the economic development of his. particular territory.
I think we should make this point because it is of great importance to us
in places like Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and, of course, British Guiana
and Barbados where they have been living under bilateral aid from the United
Kingdom for all these years. This is what Mr. Black said :
."Bilateral aid is usually-and unfortunately, increasingly-tied to purchases
of the.,giver's products. However well intentioned a lending government, it is
vulnerable to pressure from its own commercial interests to help finance the sale
of particular goods for projects abroad, whether the projects themselves are well
justified or not. And, however sensible the government of the recipient country,
it' may have difficulty in resisting offers of finance, even for low-priority projects
and on terms that often are not suited 'either to the circumstances of the country
or the requirements of the project.
"My most serious criticism"-this is Mr. Black speaking-"of bilateral aid
programmes, however, is their susceptibility to political influences, whether overt
or otherwise. At its worst, aid is offered or exacted as a price in political bargaining
that takes no account of the actual economic requirements of the recipients. But
even at best, there is always the risk that political influences may misdirect develop-
ment aid, since they may bring in considerations that are irrelevant to the real
needs. "I have known cases where, as a result"-I hope nobody is offended by
this but I don't think it applies-, "I have known cases where as a result a
splendid new sports stadium has been built". But as I say it does not apply because
the people of Jamaica paid for their stadium and this was not a question of economic
aid. I would like to draw the conclusion here, just so that I make sure that you
get it, and that is, that I have known people from outside governments coming
to say that a country doesn't really need economic aid if it could afford to build
a nice sports stadium-raising immediately a crucial question in economic aid,
that if the political representatives of a country, with the support of the taxpayers
and the voters of that country, decided that some particular project, for example,
a stadium, is necessary in the interest of national development, if economic aid
is to involve someone sitting up there and deciding how your representatives and
how your taxpayers and how your voters are to establish their own priorities in
respect of their national development, then something very, very serious is injected
into economic aid from outside. And that is direct political interference in the
ordinary domestic affairs of the country.
"It is the business of the people of Jamaica and their representatives if they
wanted a stadium. That has been raised because we have a stadium on our agenda
for a long time, we have decided-we have been criticised or praised as the case
may be for our decision-to postpone it for a while, and'then somebody comes
to say from outside, "But after all you don't need economic aid if you build a
We did not postpone it for that, and if we did we would have been just very
badly off indeed, because we did not get any economic aid anyhow. So it did not
matter very much. It did not matter whether we had the stadium or not.
Continuing Mr. Black-"I have known cases where, as a result, a splendid
new sports stadium has been built while the highway system remains primitive;
or where the national airport has acquired a strikingly modern terminal building,
while parched but fertile land is left without irrigation. Economic priorities are
inevitably confused when economic objectivity is lost-and economic objectivity
is not easy when aid is influenced by political ends. Moreover, the. problem goes
deeper than the simple waste of a given' amount of money. Aid directed to a
government that is unwilling to meet the real needs of a country has one consequence
that is pernicious. The most obvious result of some of the .bilateral lending of.the
past decade has been to make it possible for countries to put off undertaking needed-
reforms, because well-meant but ill-judged offers. of aid have been forthcoming,
governments have been able to postpone such essential but disagreeable tasks as
the overhaul of systems of taxation or essential, currency reforms--which perhaps
explains the emphasis in the Alliance for Progress that I.have just indicated.
Continuing the President of the World Bank: "I doubt, moreover, whether
bilateral aid is. any more efficient as a method of achieving political ends than as
a means of furthering development... My own acquaintance among leaders of the
less developed countries does not suggest to me that they are persons who will be
easily bent to any foreigner's purposes. They value their own and their country's
independence too highly. In any case it is clear that aid which is at the mercy
of the variable whims of diplomacy offers a poor basis for the rational programming
of economic development.
Continuing : "Admittedly bilateral programmes have been known to work well,
avoiding friction, furthering development, and even garnering some political returns
as well. And development aid on a multilateral basis has not always been a success.
Having said this, however, I would still assert that multilateral aid, when it is
professionally equipped and independent of political pressures, offers advantages
that bilateral assistance cannot equal.
"The International Aid Organisatioti" (United 'Nations) are objective, and are
known to be so. They enable a developing country to draw on the experience of
all nations; to buy in the cheapest market; and to avoid compromising its sovereignty
by regulating its internal affairs -at the behest of other countries. An international
organisation, will make aid available with the sole purpose of helping the country
receiving that aid. "The Bank" (International Bank) and the International
Development Association, for example, can apply what should be the real criterion-
the practical merits of the particular case. Because they are .known to have no
ulterior motive, they can exert more influence over the use of a loan than is possible
for a bilateral lender : they can insist that the projects for which they lend are
established on a sound basis, and-most important-they can make their lending
conditional upon commensurate efforts being made by the recipient country itself
"This objectivity provides the chief reason for expecting that aid can be most
effective if channelled through an international agency-but there are other reasons.
Countries receiving aid from a multilateral organisation to which many nations
have contributed, and under international administration, will be likely to take
a more responsible attitude towards the use and repayment of that aid than toward
aid received bilaterally. An international organisation can also spread its net more
widely than any single country. It can provide experience on all aspects of develop-
ment planning based on experience drawn from many nations, including the under-
developed countries themselves. It offers a framework within which can be put to
good use the resources and knowledge of industrialized countries too small to be
able to justify the administrative effort needed to mount effective aid programmes
of their own. It may, like the International Bank, be able to raise development
funds on a world-wide scale in the private market. And, in the long run, I am
convinced, multilateral aid programmes must exert a much healthier influence than
bilateral lending upon international relations as a whole".
So after 15-20 years of this economic aid largely on a bilateral basis we have
reached the stage now where the bilateral aid is being increasingly criticised and
more and more emphasis is being placed on multilateral aid provided principally
through the United Nations. The developed countries have rejected these proposals
and suggestions because obviously, to put this matter in the hands of the United
Nations where Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago with the Afro-Asian block and
underdeveloped countries in Latin America are in the overwhelming majority, it
would mean that the issues--aid itself, quantities, scope, and so on-would be
decided by the beneficiaries and not by the donors.
And I suppose that that is the reason why so far the developed countries giving
aid have, for the most part, rejected these proposals for multilateral aid. But the
quotation from Mr. Black indicates some of the principal problems that our countries
face. You have the loan or the grant tied to the products of the country providing
We in Trinidad and Tobago have had some experience of that which I suppose
would be shared by Jamaica. In some cases, ladies and gentlemen, we have had
propositions put to us involving the utilisation of foreign supplies when we had
the local supplies there developed by Government aid out of public funds and
employing local people. Both Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have extensive
unemployment problems, so that they cannot afford to go and provide employment
for countries giving aid, whether it is the supply of water pipes (which we now
produce in Trinidad) or building materials. It would be different if one were talking
about bulldozers and expensive machinery and equipment which, of course, Jamaica
and Trinidad and Tobago do not provide themselves.
Sometimes a further criticism of the existing procedure is that this assistance
has been made available only for the foreign exchange aspect of the assistance.
That is to say, do you want bulldozers, or do you want expensive equipment,
etcetera? Whereas a whole development programme might reach the point, as
I think it has reached in Trinidad and Tobago, where the tremendous expansion
that has taken place itself generates a greater demand for consumption goods that
up to now come from abroad, and you have a foreign exchange problem arising
or threatening to arise from the mere improvement in the standard of living in
The procedures in some cases are cumbersome to get this money and, again,
to take an example from my own country, Trinidad and Tobago, we are in a
position now where, if you get aid for a particular project, then the country pro-
viding the economic assistance has to send in a firm to make the designs, has to
send in a firm to make surveys, has to send in a firm to make feasibility studies.
But you have your own civil service administration, you have your own economists
who have made their surveys, you have your own Cabinet that has decided that
priority be given to this against that. And before a country receives any part of
the aid that might have been voted for it, some part of that aid goes to the
recipients in the country providing the aid in the form of technical services.
So I had to ask one lending agency once, "Supposing we wanted to ask for a lot
of economic assistance for the acceleration of housing rehabilitation in Trinidad and
Tobago." We have a serious problem, building a lot of houses--we must have
built some 6,000 low-cost houses over the last two years. The house is very satis-
factory, the people like it, it is standardised now. The small contractor can go
building five or twenty-five as the case may be.
The Government decides that it is not passing on to the occupant of the
house.the cost of the.development of the land. The house is subsidized to that
extent. The occupant is buying the house, he is not renting it. He has twenty-five
years to pay and he has certain criteria to meet; he must pay down 10 per cent.
and pay so much each month.
I had to ask the lending agency, "Well, if we are to get assistance on this
basis does it mean we are to get an architect from outside to come in and design
a-.house for- us where: we have .already built -6,000 of our own houses and' we know
more about the climatic requirements of Trinidad and Tobago than anybody out-
side? And then, do we have to get somebody to make a feasibility survey as to
the importance or need or urgency of this question when Government's priority
to housing is based on an extensive survey conducted six years ago?"
So we could tell you in what part of the country, what. percentage of the
houses is unfit for human habitation, and what percentage is overcrowded and
needs to be repaired in one way or another. And then the Government has taken
action and utilised public funds to acquire certain areas for public purposes-are
we now to be in a position, in order to get economic assistance for that worthwhile
project, to have somebody coming in from outside and conducting a feasibility
survey to tell ts that the houses should not go in that area?
But then, what is the Government to do? The Government has gone to Parlia-
ment to acquire that land, the money has been paid for that land, and if the
development of a housing estate in that particular part of the country involves
traffic problems, people having to get to work, or the problems of putting up a
school there, either primary, or secondary or both, or developing some sort of
community facilities like a supermarket, surely the Government Minister responsible
for housing, the Government Minister responsible for finance, the Government
department responsible for town planning, &c., would have taken all these con-
siderations into account and the mere decision by the Government to acquire X
area for development purposes necessarily means the school will follow, efforts to
ease the traffic congestion will follow. And if they don't, well the traffic is in a
mess all over the country anyhow, so that is no particular problem.
And then you carry the water and the electricity and all the. services. So .that
these .procedures, involving the reference to, and the approval of some outside
government, involving the submission of political and economic and development
plans to an outside agency knowing nothing about the country, tends to raise a
question that I believe Mr. Black has not raised to any great extent but which
will assume increasing importance in later years. .
It is almost as if in terms of the West Indies we have been put back to the
colonial period where for donkey's years the United Kingdom does nothing about
housing, ur roads, or schools in Jamaica- or Trinidad and Tobago. Suddenly the
West Indies explode from 1937. Then thet war comes up and.they put in the Royal
Commission. and don't dare to publish the report of the Royal Commission because
they say it would provide propaganda for the..Fascist opposition in Europe.-And
then,, wheni. they publish it, they decide that something. has to.be done about it
and they start this Colonial Development and Welfare scheme, spending money
but-not on houses, spending money but not on schools in the proportion that is
The Minister of Education in Trinidad could tell you the vast amount-of money
we have had to spend in Trinidad and Tobago to carry out the national objectives
freely decided by the representatives of the people in the. field of education. They
have spent money, yes. The cynics and the anti-Britishers used to say in the old
days, and some of it was very largely true, that some of it was spent on Maypole
dancing. I saw. some of it myself-I don't mean the money, I mean .the Maypole
dancing. There is nothing wrong with Maypole dancing; it is quite nice and quite
elegant, but nobody in his senses in the West Indies would have put such a.higl
priority on Maypole dancing.
And some social welfare services, &c., where a lot of the effort was imposed
on the community, social welfare services developed from above, &c. While some-
thing was-done for roads, &c., well, we in Trinidad still have a lot of roads on
which we are spending vast sums every year; and all parts of the West Indies are
entering the period of independence or self-government with an inadequate infra-
structure-as we say-insufficient electricity, water supply, road system and all
the rest of it.
So that while something has been done, what was provided was a mere fleabite
in comparison with the accumulated neglect of centuries of imperial control. So
the British procedures were just as cumbersome as it involved-you know the old
days-big shots being taken up from the United Kingdom and put down in the
West Indies as a super-government, &c., some of them not knowing what it was
all about, sbme of them caring less. Some good was done, yes, but they decided
that Jamaica would get 544 million, and they decided that Trinidad and Tobago
would not get for a' number of reasons that are not clear to us, &c. They decided.
And now if you have independence and self-government it means that you must
decide for yourself. Yes, and the West Indies generally, by and'large, have proved
that they have the people both at political and at administrative level qualified
and competent to assess the needs and to work out a reasonable programme for
implementing the political decision.
To come now to say that because the whole world needs economic aid, because
the West Indies'now are to get some of the economic aid that went to Europe and
to Britain just after the war, that the independence is to be compromised and the
independence is to be attacked from the start by reference to outside, controls, and
that'the local effort to create employment-wlhether it is at the level of the unskilled
worker digging a drain or whether it is at the level of the professional man who
is an architect designing a house, sometimes on the basis of a competition held
by the government of the country-that whatever it is, the local capacity is to be
depreciated and somebody is to come in from outside to satisfy the parliamentary
procedures of another country, then it is almost as if we are going back to one
aspect of colonialism, and as far as I am concerned, ladies and gentlemen, all of
them are tarred with the same brush, all of them ask for the same conditions,
all of them, all the aid that is provided with these cumbersome procedures and
involving approval of agencies or individuals outside, all are a challenge to the
competence of the local population and all are a possible threat to the national spirit.
A new sort of thinking has been developed now in circles in the United States
of America. The new thinking of the last few weeks really tends to emphasise in
the United States, in circles that are normally considered to be close to the high-ups
in the administration, emphasises the per capital basis. You give assistance on
a per capital basis in relation to population.
So you see what is likely to happen. Jamaica is big, 1.6 million, only in
relation to Barbados or Antigua. It would get more than Barbados and Antigua on
a per capital basis, but Jamaica would not get anything worthwhile if it has to go
on to compete on a population basis with India, or with Nigeria, or with any of
the other countries, unless this is an open invitation to increase the already .
One would almost think that you are anxious to accept the invitation before
it is [laughter] Unless this is an open invitation to aggravate the already
difficult problem of these West Indian countries where the birth rate is increasing
far more rapidly than productivity or than the available resources. Then it means
that one of the new criteria being developed for economic aid penalises a country
precisely because the country is small. So perhaps that is as good a point .as. any
to take up,, the specific problem of the West Indian countries. with special reference
to Trinidad and Tobago.
A lot of the aid, as you can see from the criticism of, Mr. Eugene Black and
from the figures that I have quoted as to the donors of aid and the recipients of
aid, a lot of the aid has been given for purely military or political purposes. And
you come up against the fact, therefore, that there are no important strategic
interests in the West Indies. Nobody cares about the West Indies and the West
Indies have virtually been written off economically by the larger countries. So that
.apart from the concessions made, represented by Colonial Development and Welfare,
to public sentiment in the West Indies and in the United-Kingdom just before and
during the last war, nobody bothers too much. The West Indies-without any
important strategic considerations which they can present, with no important
economic nmerest. to-defend--a little bauxite in Jamaica. and a little oil in Trinidad
-the West Indies. the two independent countries, Jamaica and Trinidad and
Tobago, since their' independence, have not figured largely in this question of
economic aid.and probably are not likely to figure largely.
It is quite tr;e the United Kingdom has a responsibility fbr the mistakes of
mne past, after all. They used, especially in' Trinidad and Tobago, to govern Trinidad
and Tobago without any reference to the Trinidad and Tobago population at all.
The-people did not have anybody there, so there is no difficulty in identifying
responsibilityy for -what .has not been done, when you .have. the.serious housing
problein that. faces the. Government ot Trinidad and Tobago today. It did not arise
overnight or did not arise within the term of the P.N.M. Government. Some of the
houses are forty, fifty years old. And it is the previous administration that 'must
accept the responsibility for small areas already with limited land space where half
the area is inaccessible because there is no road, as we have in Trinidad ard Tobago.
Or where you cannot provide employnient for your population and then you find a
section of the population living at stagnation level or below subsistence level-let
us say, the fishing inidust'i,-simply because nobody had ever pad attention before
the dev#lopmerit df the nationalist movement to the education of the fishermen in
new techniques and new ideas to encourage them to increase their catch and to
improve their. contribution not only to their society' but to themselves.
'That'responsibility is there'arid then we could talk about it, of course, arid
it T 'good platform propaganda, though I believe that we could do more about
it in the 'months to come than merely grumble hbolt it on the'platform. But here
wie are, the nationalist movement is virtually 'being turned over the West Indian
territories and 'old, "Here, you want your' self-govertiment'?'Take your estates
that ie tive'Teft:h 'barikiupt condition add do' what you possibly' can'about them."
That sounds crude and it is exactl-y as crude as that, what has been dpne in
i'mbst' ases, and it s ghg toget Worse. '" -.. '
,, I ,; . ,. :':,'. .'
., The moodin, the United Kingdom today in particular is against the .Common-
wealth, against,coloqies. They do .not :care.-BBy the time the.younger generation is
,fedion this-,propagacnda ithe .younger generation that ten,, fifteen years, ago tended
S,support., tor. romanticc csentimeints qnd so on, -the,-idealism of. youth, to support
.teen-nationalist ,rmTqement anqd the,,movement, for independence,. would. grow. tip
now in.the conception, "Well. we have; given you your independence. We have
washed away our guilt and like Pontius Pilate .we wa\h .our hands ott you. Go
about your business and do what you like."
It is quite possible that the world can develop on that basis, but then you
cannot go talking about economic aid to developing countries. You cannot go
talking about putting out a report to the United Nations in which you say you
gave this aid to that country; that aid to the other country, all the big grants tp
independence that they have given to these countries, all of them except Trinidad
I hope I am not being misunderstood. I am' stating a historical fact as
objectively as possible. We did not 'get any aid. So,' therefore, wd are not goihg to
liiure in any report on it.' Tanganyika got 8 million, Uganda 1 million,
Nigeria 12 million plus a lot of extras, Cyprus 10 million, Malta is getting a
five-year' development programme envisaging an 'experiditue of 32 million of
which 29 million are to be provided by way of United Kingdom grants; and then
money is always beirig provided to Jordan or Saudi' Arabia. I was going to
say 'something about Jordan but the good Christians in the room might have
resented it. I prefer not to say it.
That is the position that we face today. The position is aggravated by the
migration situation. The tremendous expansion of Europe, and so on, the great
development of a lot of European countries in the last century was associated with
an enormous wave of migration going to the United States of America from all
Central Europe, from Ireland, from Britain itself, and to a -lesser extent to the white
overseas dominions, Australia, New Zealand, and soon. And! this was taking'place
in 1850j. the second' half of .the last century, on the' basis ot a much smaller rate
of population growth than we have in the West Indies.
So yop:,cannot expect, the West Indies in independence to -go developing at. any
rate. cmpapablq to; wha ltoo; plaepi-E.ur., ivbehr .you .have this enorntous,rale
of ,pppdation, increase. I.-am not suggesting that you. -hould blame the imperialist
countries, for that. It is, the .West Indies who-have done. that, and, the Westr-Indies
must accept the responsibility for that. But whilst the doors were open .to the
Europeans who cQ4uld go.and get a new life in the New World, the doors have been
increasingly slammed .in the face of West .jndians. seeking some. relief from. their
overcrowded territories and,.from ,thq. maladministration ,and ,neglect' of, previous
generations. .. .
Now you cannot go to ,the United Kingdom except with a permit, and you
cannot go into the United States except on a quota, and you cannot go to Canada,
&c. I had to tell the Commonwealth Prime Ministers in September, "What's the
point? I mean what are you talking about Commonwealth? Canada would only
take domestic servants, Ausiialia would only take cricketers"-though I don't
blame them for that-You had to take a Barbadian to go to Australia to do what
no Australian or Engishman has ever been able to achieve Claughter]. You had
to.take a Barbadian to. do that. Long live Barbados, long may she reign laughterl
And you cannot get into the United Kingdom unless you have a job, and then
if e\en you get a job you never can tell when you are. going to be picked up by
the, Police.and charged with something. Two Trinidad students sent abroad as the
representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Government were just arrested and
charged with stealing motorcars. Well, I mean, we. have our faults, in the West
,Ipies, we have a lot of car. stealing, but we do not normally associate it. with people
of a certain .type. And then' refuse to believe that West Indians could deteriorate
so rapidly that they merely leave Trinidad-it is a highly developed and.conscious
cqnmmuity-and they merelyrhave to land in England. and they begin .to .steal,the
motor cars [laughter]. It is quite absurd.
,So there.it-is. Trinidad and Tobago faces the problem; and to'a lesser 'extent
Jamaica. I want to-deal with it because it is something that I think:some of the
economics students might address themselves to.
-. We face the problemhere that they say that Trinidad and Tobago in particular
because of-oil, andi.Jamaica to a certain.extent because of.bauxite; are not. in .the
position of a lot of these countries. They have higher staidards- of living, they
have a higher national incomes,',&c.,- and I have some-figures here that you might
like to know. They do not tell us, for example, that Australia's national income
as;'d 1:961 per 'caita was $1: 224 ;U.S., 'or Belgiumn $1, 141, or Cahada $1,500,
'Denmark $.1,035, France $1;028, Ltiemibotfrg '$1,277.'They pick on Triiidkd and
'Tobago, ivhich in 1961 was $500 U.S. and Jamaici-was $349, and then'they ccime to
say that Biatil' is.$476; China (Nationalist Cliin' is $122, Ceylon "as $i65.'Where
is India? $63.- Greece, a.. European country, $335; below Trinidad', Finland,
a European country, riior' than Trinidad,'$890. Italy; one of'the member countries
of their Conmrirn Market, $554, indicating the extent to which the tremendous iril.ds-
trial expansion of northern -Italy has been brought'dbtin'by the enormous agricultural
problems faced in southern Italy and Sicily. Mexico is $270. New Zeala d, 'by the
way, was $1,818. Nigeria $77, Pakistan $53, Spain, another European country,
$273, Turkey, another European country $178, the United Arab Republic $173,
Venezuela, about the highest in the Latin American countries $842.
And then you get the position here now that people say to Trinidad and Tobago
-and some of the American interpreters of this point of view have included Jamaica
with Trinidad and Tobago-you are better off than the African countries and
the Asian countries. So when you were a mere colony-I mean Trinidad and
Tobago in particular-you did not get anything because you were a colony, and
they said you were a wealthy colony. And now they say that you cannot get any-
thing in the form of economic aid because you should give it on a population basis
in any case and you have no population to speak of. And they go and put it on the
basis of per capital national income aid say you are better off than a lot of other
countries, as if you can' compare some country in the Middle East dr. in Africa
where you have people living close to the land, &c., and unemployment is something
totally different from unemployment in a Western country like Jamaica or Trinidad
and Tobago. When you get unemployment around Kingston or around Port-df-Spain
you are not dealing with people who, could be put back to the land tomorrow
You are dealing with unemployment that the Americans would understand or
that the British would understand or that the Europeans would understand. And
then you shave .14, 15, 20, 25 per cent. unemployment principally at that.level.
That is an explosive situation which would blow the lid off the American Government
and the European countries if it was allowed to develop there, and then they come
to tell You that'you. have a higher national income, &c. But how do you get that
national income.? We work for it. We did not steal the money. We develop ourselves
ilore or less as the case may be. We tax our population. Not a single country in
Latin America satisfies the criteria for the Alliance for Progress as Trinidad and
Tobago satisfies tlem, and we have just put a Budget through-the most astonishing
thing about the Budget, a sophisticated American population would not behave with
a Budget like ours as our population did. They simply said, "Well, I mean, it is
independence and we have got to develop ourselves".
They have seen for five years houses, schools, roads, this, that and the other.
They understand the crucial, problem.of employment. It has been,drilled into them.
They see what happens when some firm from outside says that it cannot make. a
sufficiently high rate of. profit and, therefore, it must rationalise, and ratiopalisation
for,a EuropQan firip means 200 Trinidad store clerks or oilfield workers being thrown
on the streets, coming to the Government which does not have the'public resources
t6 do it.
They come to the Government which has to go to a foreign country that says,
"My dear fellow, you must concentrate on private enterprise". Private enterprise
which is rationalising and throwing people off on the streets, private enterprise which
ivill not adhere to the social objectives of an independent government. Then -the
Country outside. says, "'You cannot get economic aid, you are too-small 'and you.
are not poor enough." Five hundred dollars (US)'in Trinidad and Tobago; supposed
to be the wealthiest territoiy- in'the Caribbean, but $1',500 in Canada.
YWhat. are you trying :to tell the new independent. countries, then? That you
must not develop, you n.mst not aim, you must not aspire .tothe standard of living
in Canada, Canada withits $1,500 per capital which will take the domestic servants
from Trinidad and Tobago? Australia with its 51,200 per capital which will take
the.-cricketers tp hope that the West, Indies -cpuld .teach...them something so the
'Vest-Jndiesdo not lick the.hell out of them. in the series?
'I want to' end' by showiing you our difficulties,' bv comparing two countries,
both small. Both would count as developing countries-not necessarily under-
developed, developing. One is Puerto Rico and one is Israel.
The per capital national income in Israel-unfortunately I don't have it. In
Puerto. Rico it was $532 American in 1959 as against $500 in Trinidad in 1961:
Trinidad is below Puerto' Rico.
.You hear a lot about Israel. I had the opportunity of seeing the country.
Enormous strides have been made in Israel., almost unbelievable; you have to go
to see it. But Israel is no pattern for Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago. It is now
a great country in the .sense of providing experts. It does not have money to
provide but it' has an ernrmoaus..amount of technical skill and intellectual
coietence, It i, possible, through ihe peculiar history of the' Jews especially' i
the last' fe 5~ cai"es, 't there' is no country which in relation to its size and
resources can boast of a greater amount of professional talent and intellectual
competence than Israel can.
So you cannot compare Jamaica and Trinidad with Israel. And you can
compare' theni 'still less in respect of the analysis of the Isiael economy over the
last eight or nine years.'For example, ladies and gentlemen, the Government of
Ihel 'collects efnormous amounts of money every year from Jews abroad' who
in nine years they have provided in grants of one sort or another 5581,000,000
American, just like that. You go to Israel and you say, "Good heavens, how much
did that building cost"? They say "We don't know. The United Jewish Appeal
gave it to us." A big technical school. You should see the equipment in that
school. Just a gift, and they tell me there are six or eight---I forget which-others
scattered all over the country. They just give money like that.
In one year, for example, 1950, it was $70,000,000. Would not Jamaica like
to have $70,000,000 from somebody just like that? American dollars to boot.
[Laughler]. In one year, 1954, it was $87,000,000. In one year Jews abroad would
give to Israel more than the British Government gave to Jamaica in 15 to 16 years.
We obviously cannot compare the two. The United States, with its grants in aid,
has been quite liberal to Israel over a period of about 8 years; it gave $242,000,000,
an average of $30,000,000 a year. The United States Government has loaned money
to Israel. Over nine years it has amounted to $228,000,000. Just from those three
sources, gifts from Jews abroad, United States grants in aid, and United States
loans, Israel has picked up $1,050,000,000 in nine years, an average perhaps in
excess of the income of Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago some few years ago.
It is possible, therefore, to develop a country on that basis. But it is not
possible to look at its finances and its industrial development, and so on, and say
that that serves as a pattern for Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago. I do not know
what you do with your people overseas, how they help you. A lot of remittances
come back, to Jamaica more than to Trinidad because, of course, there are more
Jamaicans abroad and traditionally there have been more Jamaicans abroad.
Jamaica has traditionally been a country of emigrants as distinct from Trinidad
and Tobago, a country of immigrants.
But, at the same time, there is another question. Whilst, of course, many of
the Jews are from the ghetto and the dispossessed and the submerged sections of
European cities and European society, many of them are tremendous bankers and
investors and capitalists and scholars and educators and so on, whereas you and
I have come from slavery and indenture, generations in which you were bought
and sold. Life was cheap and one thought in terms of a few cents. A wage for an
able-bodied man in Trinidad working on a contract under law for five years was a
shilling a day thirty, forty years ago. Your population has remained like that. It
is anxious to get the good things of life. It would, of course, go out to a big hotel
to get its name in the blooming papers the next morning, and spend fantastically
one night to show off and starve for the rest of the year or borrow from somebody
for the rest of the year. But, by and large, it thinks in the terms that it has been
accustomed to. So that I meet a big-shot doctor from Trinidad who has emigrated.
Very interested in Trinidad, of course. "Wonderful, wonderful job you fellows
doing back home."
Wonderful job, making a hell of a lot of money outside. I only hope he pays
his blooming income tax to the United States Government. And we say, "Well,
we have an election, &c., &c. Send me some money, man. We need some money."
He says, "Sure, man, you can count on me, and you can count on our community.
We will send you."
And then when the letter comes, what do you see in the letter? Fifteen dollars
Perhaps when he left Trinidad to emigrate to the United States of America
they used to buy a vote for $15.00. You do not buy votes today, but you spend
money in legitimate ways to fight elections and you do not fight elections on the
basis of a $15.00 grant from a big-shot doctor where somebody in a political
meeting will put his hand in his pocket and take out the equivalent of a day's wage
to contribute to the political party that he wants to win the election. That is point
one, we cannot compare with Israel.
Point two-Puerto Rico, America's show-piece. (Laughter) Tremendous! I say
that quite deliberately and not offensively at all. I am happy to think that the
Puerto Ricans have done so well. I am happy to think that on the basis of assistance
from the United States native Puerto Rican talent has been able to express itself
in the eyes of the world and create one of the most thriving communities you would
find anywhere in the world. I was not sneering at Puerto Rico at all-I know and
like them too much for that. But here now I have a table. Funds borrowed abroad
by Puerto Rican Government agencies. They have access to the United States
money market, the Puerto Rican Government agencies, that you and I do not have.
Let me see if I can do a quick addition of this thing, some fantastic figure, any-
thing up to 300 million dollars in 1961, funds borrowed abroad by Puerto Rican
Government agencies. Sewer Authority, Water Authority, Urban Renewal and
Housing Corporation, Puerto Rican Central Government, Industrial Development
Company, Municipal Governments, direct investments in Puerto Rico, miscellaneous
investment, &c. Table two, Federal grants to the Puerto Rican Government for
joint projects. 1959-541,000,000; they went to Agriculture, Commerce, Health,
Department of Interior, Education, Labour, Housing, International Co-operation
Administration, Office of Civil Defence, Atomic Energy Commission, Defence
Department, other agencies. Grants from the United States Government to Puerto
Rico-$42,000,000 in 1959, $47,000,000 in 1960, $49,000,000 in 1961. New loans
made by U.S. Federal credit agencies to Puerto Rico-1959, $59,000,000, Farmers
Home Administration, Department of Health, Veterans, Federal National Mortgage
Association, Federal Land Bank of Baltimore, Baltimore Bank for Co-operatives,
Small Busines Administration, short-term loans, Commodity Credit Corporation,
.&c., &c.; $59,000,000 in 1959, 82,000,000 in 1960, $67,000,000 in 1961.
That is the basis of Puerto Rico's national income per capital, $532 in 1950
as against $.500 in Trinidad and Tobago for 1961, with Trinidad and Tobago
getting no Colonial Development and Welfare grant ($6,000,000 in 15 years),
no funds from abroad, no economic aid from anybody else.
And now you are facing the fact that the United States says, Puerto Rico is
in special relationship to us, and it is in the Caribbean, and we must do what we
-an to help the people to help themselves, &c. Absolutely wonderful, producing
in Puerto Rico something that is among the most vital developments in the Carib-
bean in the last fifty years.
But when it comes to Trinidad and Jamaica you say you must do it on a
population basis and you must do it on the basis of clumsy and cumbersome
procedures which retard the development of the country. And when you ask for
assistance for housing, you say, "No, we cannot do that." Not everything I have
called out here includes housing for Puerto Rico.
If Puerto Rican housing is so superior to housing in the Caribbean today, it
is because of Puerto Rico's relation to the United States. One is tempted to ask the
question : if a lesson that is applicable to, that is valid for Puerto Rico, is not to
be applied to Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, what conclusions are the
politicians of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to draw from that? Puerto Rico
is not an independent state. Puerto Rico does not control its customs. It is part of
the United States Customs area. Puerto Rico does not control its health services,
that is part of the Federal Immigration Service. Puerto Rico is an indispensable
part and link in the American chain of defences. Is the lesson of Puerto Rico that
a small country in the Caribbean must surrender its independence for the benefit
of a special relationship with the United States of America? If the answer to that
is no-and I am not suggesting that the question has ever been raised-then it is
impossible to apply to Trinidad with 900,000 people and Jamaica with I1 million
people conclusions and criteria and qualifications that you ignore when you deal
with the 21 million people in Puerto Rico purely because they are in a special
relationship with the United States of America.
1 have tried to keep the whole thing objective as I said. A lot of conclusions
can be drawn from it. I thought of whetting the appetites of the students. I believe
I have given you suicient if not for questions-perhaps that, does not matter,
questions don't really matter at, meetings like these. The questions that matter are
the question, you proceed to ask, yourselves as future citizens and administrators
of these countries, the future meetings you will hold among yourselves-If I have
done .anything that could stimulate an interest in this question, if I have done
anything to set the poor, miserable Trinidad and Jamaica and their little problems
in a larger world context. and to show you some of the responsibilities that the
students from Jamaica and Trinidad face when they return as graduates to their
independent countries; if, Mr. Chairman, I have done anything to provide a basis
for study and discussion among'students of the Economics Society of the University,
then I am very happy indeed to have come here with you today, very happy
indeed to have met all of you, and very happy indeed to have had the privilege
of indicating, as objectively as it was possible for me to.do, some of the intellectual
considerations and economic considerations that underlie the fundamental problems
of day to day politics in the countries of the West Indies. Thank you very much.
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