Nationwide broadcast


Material Information

Nationwide broadcast
Physical Description:
10, 4, 16 p.22cm.
Williams, Eric Eustace


General Note:
Three speeches delivered on 23rd March, 1970; 10th May, 1970; and 30th June, 1970
General Note:
Each has a separate title page
General Note:
Subject-Geo. Trm: Trinidad and Tobago Politics and government

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
UF Latin American Collections
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 24140943
oclc - 01535723
System ID:

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I know that you are all very concerned, in one way or
Happening in our country in the past few weeks. So I
trying to clarify for you the background to these develop
1 points to remember.

The first is that in the last decade we have witnessed a %
ority and traditional institutions and values. This has I
in the ferment in the Roman Catholic Church. with pa
divorce, and celibacy of the clergy, in the questioning of I
ie obsession with sex, and in the growing addiction to i
On top of that. has come the revolt of the youth and the fe
cents in countries as far apart as the United States of Am(
university students have been particularly critical o:
,tures and procedures as well as of the content of the
7 have violently opposed the war in Vietnam and the ad
try to dominate a small non-white country. We have
ed States of America but also in many other countries
Sweden, the rejection by white youths of their former
t.itution of such non-white heroes as Ho Chi Minh and I

The second phenomenon of the past. decade has been the
g countries against foreign investment. Some, like Cuba,
oct of foreign banks, have gone in for outright national
with nationalization: the large capital investment rec
ack of national experts in management and administrat
lem of securing adequate markets. So that countries lil
ie and Trinidad and Tobago have preferred to procee
ures and a greater national share in decision making by t
)nal share in key enterprises-in our case, the port,
munications, with outright purchase of a sugar compal
Leading economists in the United States of America are
lem in terms'of satisfying the demands of developing col
aguished of the Latin American economists has proposed
elopment Bank, which lends money to the member StE
merican States, shoudd be equipped with a special agen
gn concern and hold it in trust., until either the goverr
try involved or the local private sector of that country

her, with what has
ik I ought to begin
2ts. There are three

-wide revolt against
particularly notice-
.Jar reference to the
Iment and Congress,
at. among university
, France and Japan.
tiquated university
versity curriculum.
pt by a large white
a, especially in the
I as West Germany
to heroes and their
Tee Tung.
ring revolt in devel-
izania, and India in
an. Three questions
d for the takeover,
and most of all the
Aile, Zambia, Sierra
I the basis of joint
g a 50 or 51 percent
telephone, external
i radio station and

grappling with this
ies. One of the most
the Inter-American
of the Organization
whichh can buy out a
.t of the developing
i a position to take

The third important feature o0

are co-operatives and community development. In the field of scholarship, the Blacks
in the United States of America, taking pride in the independence of Africa and the
new discoverAfres relating to the African historical past made in the field of archaeology,
have attacked the denigration of Blacks in text books and in historical research, and
have succeeded in getting Black Studies programmes introduced into the universities
and high schools.
Our West Indian societies, with their special history, traditions and institutions,
are particularly vulnerable to all these world forces, but particularly to the Black
protest. The history of the West Indies has been a long history of deprivations and
injustices for the, two numerically dominant racial groups of African and Asian
origin. It is not only a history of slavery and indenture. It is a history of deliberate
and conscious discrimination against people because of the colour of their skin and
notwithstanding their educational qualifications. Efforts were made from time to
time to keep them out legally from certain professions and skilled trades, and, after
emancipation, to prevent them from becoming small farmers. A decisive blow against
the tradition of white control, especially white economic control, was struck last
Year in Curacao which, very significantly was never a slave plantation society.
Specific grievances, especially unemployment among youths and racial dis-
crimination in employment, fanned the flames. Then came the final ingredient, the
politicians. There was a political element seeking to use the legitimate demonstrations
for its own ends. And, as you know, ladies and gentlemen, nothing in Trinidad and
Tobago is complete without our unsuccessful politicians, who promptly sought to
jump on the bandwagon.
Our Government has fully appreciated all these world currents and its whole
policy has been directed towards a restructuring of the society which we inherited.
Political power and independence were the key to everything, and so we concentrated
on those first. We consciously sought to promote a multiracial society with emphasis
on the economic and social upliftment of the two major disadvantaged groups. Our
goal has always been Afro-Asian unity. We have consciously sought to promote
Black economic power. We have in five years created 1,523 Black small farmers over
the country; we have encouraged small businesses in manufacture and tourism; we
have, without too much success, sought topromote fishing co-operatives. We have

SeA" .iv,



has been the revolt of Black

brought free secondary education within the reach of the
miless who could not dream of it in 1956. We have sought 1
r the youths in yoith camps. youth centres and trade ce
all levels, is staffed today almost entirely by nationals
iceasingly sought, to control or at least to alleviate the
herited, and which has increased with the tremendous rise
heated no fewer than 68,200 new jobs between 1956 and 1
We have not merely been satisfied with relief program:
'e have instituted training programmed to produce skillet
ere the brain drain steps in. Between 1965 and 1969 we I
ie same period 586 nurses resigned and emigrated. TI
electricity Commission operates one of the best training
1969 it trained 77 technicians and craftsmen of whom
,ent $4 million on scholarships of one sort or another for
Lst five years, on the condition that each scholar agrees
r five years after his training; in the past five yeass 85 sue
i their obligations. We have contributed $30 million to tl
dies in the past five years; but the Faculty of Agriculture,
which costs us $7,247 per place is grossly underutilized. It
'0 students, but we cannot get young people with the requi
apply for agricultural training.
The demonstrations, however, suggested that neither i
ent nor the measures taken to implement that policy are
feeling that there is not sufficient awareness of our police
ve-Year Plan to strengthen local decision making where
Ld to achieve a larger national share in the principal en
I get a feeling that there is not sufficient awareness of
iall business and co-operatives this year. For examp
iplications for assistance in the construction of factories
ch fields as cosmetics, tyre recapping, carpentry and m<
this month tenders will be invited for the construction 4
these factories will go up in the East Dry River, six in I
ie in Point Fortin, one in Milford, Tobago. By August of
vited for eight more such factories, all in Morvant. We
an of $115,000 to the Tobago United Co-operative, andq
at taxi drivers co-operatives in both Trinidad and Tol
ierate gasolene stations.
I get a feeling also that there is not sufficient awarene
control land alienation to foreigners in both Trinidad a
This lack of awareness by the people is a world problem
ent of Trinidad and Tobago may be at fault, we are now

Another point, which has emerged from the demonstr
Lange has been and is too slow, and that the Governme


ids of disadvantaged
videe further training
.Our Public Service,
inly Black. We have
aployment which we
e birth rate. \Ve have

;o put people in jobs.
:kers for higher jobs.
-d 696 nurses, but in
rinidad and Tobago
mes in the country;
emigrated. We have
3rsity training in the
erve the community
iolars have defaulted
diversity of the West
ted here in Trinidad,
absorb an additional
Academic background

olicy of the Govern-
ciently known. I get
tement in the Third
stment is concerned
decisionn to emphasize
re have received 57
small businesses, in
working; by the end
such factories. Four
nee, Pointe-a-Pierre,
year, tenders will be
* already provided a
recently have agreed
will be permitted to

our deliberate policy
isofar as the Govern-
ig steps to correct it..
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in implementing its policies. I am myself frequently infuriated by the delays we
encounter of one sort or another at. various turns. But the population must understand
that there are certain basic difficulties. The most important is the parliamentary
system which we are trying to promote and maintain. That is at the best. of time slow,
but many of its procedures-such as the call for public tenders awarded by a special
board and the control of public expenditures by the Auditor General-are safeguards
in the public interest.. Administrative procedures are also slow and bureaucratic.

Practical problems arise that delay matters. The Taxi-Drivers Co-operative in
Trinidad that asked for permission to operate a gasolene station had a constitution
which permitted non-taxi drivers to become members. A great loss of revenue would
have been entailed. As soon as the Taxi-Drivers Co-operative agreed in discussions
with the Minister of Labour and Social Security to amend their constitution to
exclude all non-taxi divers, the matter was settled.

The residents of Diamond Vale are now being assisted by us to form a co-operative
to run a supermarket, a book store, a chemist shop, with room for future expansion.
They want assistance in the form of a building. But the IDC has to sit down and
work out with them the size of the building, has to design the building for them
because they don't have the know-bow, and has to suggest. to them the various
possible terms and conditions on which the building can be made available for their
Executive to take a decision. Thus there is inevitable delay.

The IDC has to call in every single one of the 57 small businessmen applying
for factories to discuss with them the type of business they want to operate, the
area in which they want to be located, and the size of factory that they require.
No standardization is possible: each case has to be treated on its individual merit.
So there is inevitable delay.

I have already had two meetings with steelbandsmen from some 30 bands to
discuss with them proposals emanating from one baud regarding assistance to the
steelband movement with particular reference to the establishment of a factory
for the manufacture of steel pans on the basis of a partnership between a steelband
co-operative and the Government. I didn't think that we as a Government ought
to take a decision on such an important matter without, direct talks with the steel-
band men themselves. So there is an inevitable delay.

We decide to set up youth camps, then we have to select the site after expert
investigation, to survey the area, put the work out to tender, call for applications
from the boys, interview them before they can be placed in the camps. So there is
inevitable delay all along the line.

But the fundamental feature of the demonstrations was the insistence on Black
dignity, the manifestation of Black consciousness, and the demand for Black economic
-power. The entire population must understand that these demands are perfectly
legitimate and are entirely in the interest of the community as a whole. If this is
PBlck Power, then I am for Black Power.

The question now is how to provide the means by which these legitimate demands
can be satisfied. Immediate action is possible in certain areas. To these I now turn
my attention.
The major problem is unemployment, especially among young people. As of
June, 1969, there were 17,200 young people aged 15-19 unemployed and 13,100 in
the age group 20-24. Cabinet has therefore decided to impose, as from January 1,
1970. a special levy of five per cent. on the chargeable income of all companies paying
corporation tax, all banks, all insurance companies. Pioneer companies and partner-
ships which pay no corporation tax will pay the levy on their tax-exempt profits.
On individuals the levy will be 5 per cent on the excess of the chargeable income
over $10,000.

I anticipate that this levy will yield $10 million in the first year. This sum will
not go into the general revenues of the country. It will be devoted exclusively to
providing jobs in all Counties and Municipalities, including training facilities for
various skills which the country requires. The levy will be over and above what the
Government normally allocates by way of Better Village Programmes or Depressed
Areas Programme or Youth Camps or Trade Centres.

In charge of this programme will be the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime
Minister for Public Relations, who will be responsible through me to the Cabinet.
He will work in close consultation with the Minister of Labour, who is responsible
for labour exchanges, and with the Minister of Education, who is responsible for
technical'training. My Parliamentary Secretary will have to assist him an advisory
council comprising youths, the Trinidad and Tobago Labour Congress, the Employers'
Consultative Association, and appropriate professional bodies.

It will of course take some time to identify appropriate projects and to design
and construct training facilities. Cabinet has therefore agreed that, in order to
provide some more jobs as a matter of urgency, work should commence almost.
immediately in three already identified areas of national grievance-roads, drains
and recreational facilities. The Ministry of Finance will advance the necessary funds
until the first quarterly instalment of the annual levy is actually collected.

Three important questions now arise. The first is that. Cabinet will take steps,
through the Prices Commission, to prevent any unscrupulous operator from passing
on the levy to the consumer. The objective behind the levy is social justice; those who
have are required to make a greater contribution to those who have not. The second
question is that the appropriate authorities will pay particular attention to the
possibility that the number of existing jobs in certain industries may be further
reduced by mechanisation. The third is that the new workers, the young ones in
particular, will be expected to do the work for which they will be paid and to pay
particular attention to raising the level of productivity in the public sector.

The second problem for immediate attention concerns racial discrimination in
employment.i After careful thought Cabinet prefers not to interfere with the powerful
Commission which it has set up on the subject. I have asked the Commission to

expedite its study, and the Commission is aboutto start public hearings. I now
content myself with giving fair warning to all concerned. They still have time to set
their house in order and to have their establishments reflect faithfully the numerical
preponderance of the two historically disadvantaged racial groups in our community.
If they dan't do this, the Government will set their house in order for them. The
Cabinet will give urgent attention to the Commission's report as soon as it is available.
In the meantime new and more effective machinery for the control of work permits
for non-nationals is being developed.

I turn now to a third problem, greater national participation in the important
sectors of our economy. We shall proceed more expeditiously with the implementation
of our decisions taken at the time of the Third Five-Year Plan regarding Government
shareholding in particular enterprises. We are proceeding with the setting up of our
own indigenous commercial bank, in respect of which the Swiss Government has
provided an expert who has been on the job for the past month. With the transfer
of the assets of the Bank of London and Montreal to the Bank of Montreal which was
announced ten days ago, Cabinet has accepted my recommendation that the Govern-
ment itself should take over the BOLAM bank in Port-of-Spain and its ancillary insti-
tutions as the headquarters of the Natioial Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, with the
rural branches of the Post Office Savings Bank serving as its branches. The Govern-
ment and every Statutory Board in the country will be required to do its banking
business with the new National Bank. The Ministry of Finance is negotiating with
the present owners on the price to be paid for the assets and on ways and means of
ensuring the continuation of the smooth operation of the bank. The negotiations are
being conducted in a spirit of friendliness and cordiality. Cabinet today authorised
the continuation of these negotiations.

These, ladies and gentlemen, are only the immediate measures. There are, as
you would understand, many equally fundamental issues that require greater and
more careful consideration and which cannot be decided overnight. I refer to such
matters as effective machinery for dealing quickly with the complaints and grievances
of citizens as they relate to social amenities and needs, a thorough overhaul of our
education system with particular reference to the curriculum, greater public participa-
tion in the exploitation of the country's principal resources. On this latter point we
need to be very careful not to cut off our nose to spite our face. Take one example:
von have all heard of the substantial discoveries of oil and Yas off nur ERaq. .nnqa.

Usposal of the 44,000 barrels of crude oil a day, a n
Whether immediate or more fundamental issues are
remainss ready to give serious and sympathetic study
hat may be formulated and to encourage any approa
approaches have already been made. Two have already
So, ladies and gentlemen, let us proceed to work
awards the economic and social upliftment of the Bla
)ur society of both African and Asian origin, as the only
national integration to which so many of us are dedic
continue to march and demonstrate, by all means let h
piarantees this as a fundamental right. But I urge that
violence, without trespassing on the constitutional right
erance of any sort with the freedom of worship eauallv au

L J.UL. uu. uo Ai .ucQ
io interference with tl
Our young people

es, no interference with
Sof the general world ma

. It is a horse of a different colour if what is involve<
s. In that case the law will have to take its course.
Let me end, ladies and gentlemen, as I began by
er world perspective. What is involved here is th(
ess begun in the 19th century and deliberately
er to the 19th century contribution to human progr
enable rights and the rights of man. The leaders oa

bagatelle, produced by

serned, the Government
any concrete proposals
for dialogue. Six such
i committed to writing.
re positively than ever
disadvantaged groups in
r to achieve the genuine
[. If anyone wishes to
o so. Our Constitution
should be done without
f others, without inter-
teed by our Constitution.
rence with the temples,
place of worship.
, seeking something new
icy. They are restless,
misunderstanding about
rson and molotov cock-

ng our problems in the
Lination of an historical
Muted on racial grounds.
the field of natural and
movmen "F rn.P

endent United States of America.
i Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was promulgated
t include the thousands of Black slaves in the French colony which
came Haiti? The answer is no. The Declaration of Rights was

nd when the French slave colony was threatened by i
'rench Revolution, as a political measure aimed at Bri
ecognisd the rights of the Black man.
The American Declaration of Independence was
identified man's inalienable rights as life, liberty and
Vhat of the slaves who had no liberty, who could pur
,ere generally classified as property ? On the questic
congress on the basis of population, a conflict develop(
ates of the North and the slave labour states of th(
)solved by a compromise-the Black slave was county


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id become more radical,
itish invasion, that the
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In 1833 the British abolished slavery in their colonies. The British Parliament
voted 20 million compensation. This compensation went to the planters for the
loss of their property and not. to the slaves for the injustices they had suffered.
When a Baptist missionary in Jamaica proposed that, as compensation to the slaves,
the British Government should establish a University of the West Indies in Jamaica,
the British ignored him, and the West Indies had to wait another hundred years for
their university.
The rights of man were the rights of white men. Thus it was that the Cuban
philosopher, Jos6 de la Luz y Caballero, a white man, could make that profound
statement, "the blackest thing in slavery was not the black man". I commend this
to all my listeners: the blackest thing in slavery was not the black man.
The 20th century has moved from the rights of man to human rights." Will the
Black man be excluded again? He is now determined that he be treated economically,
and recognized politically, as five-fifths of a man. Where the recognition of the
rights of humanity by us in the Caribbean are concerned, I turn again to Cuba,
this time to one of the greatest figures the Caribbean area has produced, the apostle
of Cuban Independence at the end of the 19th century, Jos6 Marti, who fought side
by side with the victorious Black general, Antonio 3Maceo, to win political indepen-
dence from Spain only to lose economic independence to the United States of America.
Listen to Jos6 Marti: "Man has no special rights because he belongs to a particular
race. It is sufficient, to say 'man' to comprehend therein all rights Man is more
than white, more than mulatto, more than Negro."
The recognition of t e rights of humanity must commence with special assistance
to the Black man, to make up for historical injustice and the time lost through his
exclusion from the economic and social, and even political, progress of the 19th
century. The political independence of Africa, India and Pakistan gives him greater
strength than he had in the 19th century. I know of no country in the world better
circumstances than Trinidad and Tobago to initiate this fundamental reconstruction
which the entire world today faces. Let us then, fellow citizens, now dedicate
ourselves to this question of human dignity, beginning necessarily with Black dignity,
and to the establishment of the economic power without which there could not be
that dignity, confident of the fact that we would thereby not only create a new and
better Trinidad and Tobago, but also make a positive and powerful contribution to
the solution of the problems that face our tortured humanity.





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