Social Services Departments and Subjects
Major Social Services Projects
Member for Social Services 1
Policy on Education 3.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..3
Agricultural Education 7.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..7
Retired Teachers Grant .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..9
Secondary and Technical Education ..........11 Mobile Health Centres .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ...13
Matron Roberts Health Clinic .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 15
Cinderella Town Houses ..................17
Housing Survey .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 19
Housing and Planning .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 21
Industria! Relations .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 23
Unemployment .................. ....25
Government Workers Rules ..................27
Credit Unions .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 29
Y.W.C.A. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 31
SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENTS AND SUBJECTS.
HONOURABLE PHILIP S. GOLDSON Member For Social Services.
(ASSUMED OFFICE 1ST JANUARY, 1955)
HONOURABLE J. WILSON MACMILLAN, O.B.E.
Associate Member For Social Services.
(ASSUMED OFFICE IST JANUARY 1955)
Department of Education ......E. B. V. BROWN, B.A., L.C.P., Director
Department of Medical & Health .... Dr. E. LOSONCZI, M.D., D.P.H. Director
Department of Housing & Planning .. H. C. FAIRWEATHER, A.R.I.C.S., A.M.T.P.I.,
Dip. P., Director
Department of Labour ......L. S. DIXON, M.A., D.P.A. Labour Adviser
Department of Social Development .. S. F. SMITH, Social Development Officer Department of Cooperatives .. H. C. Usher, Registrar
Department of Prisons ..... C. KING, Superintendent
Libraries .......... L. H. BRADLEY, A.L.A., Librarian
Museums .......... A. H. ANDERSON, Archaeological
EDWARD P. YORKE / Assistant Secretary, Social Services.
(APPOINTED 1ST NOVEMBER, 1955).
It has been part of my function as Member for Social Services during these first eighteen months of the establishment of the Membership System within the Government of British Honduras to make speeches from time to time. These speeches gave information about or outlined policy on some aspect of the social services.
I have arranged for the publication of extracts from these speeches as I believe that they not only tell the problems of the social services during this first phase of the ministerial system of Government, but they also give to the vast, dedicated team of official and voluntary social workers some indication of the trend of Government thought on the important social questions which they must deal with day by day.
I think I can say that the philosophy expressed in the speeches in this volume is shared by every member of our Government. All members are always eager to devote time and attention to the solution of the people's problems. Mr. Macmillan and I also enjoy the full support of the staff of all departments of the social services. We believe that this Government and this country can bejustly proud of its official social workers in all branches of the service.
1st July, 1956.
The evils ofour time may grow worse everyday, but they cannot prevail. They may disturb us, but they should not dismay us. Wonderful is the surging of the waves, but more wonderful is the Lordon high.
St. Bernard (825)
MAJOR SOCIAL SERVICES PROJECTS.
(in process or planned).
New Education Ordinance
Belize Technical College Ordinance
Teachers Pensions Ordinance
Revision of Primary Schools Curriculum
Establishment of Home Economics and Manual Training Centres
Government Aid to Secondary Schools
Medical & Health.
Health Education Bureau
Public Health Schools
Nurses Training Hostel
Reorganization of Medical Services
Malaria Eradication Project
T.B. Rehabilitation Centre
Revision of Labour Laws
Government Domestics Rules
Amendment of the Shops Ordinance
The Apprenticeship Ordinance
National Industrial Relations Conference.
Housing & Planning.
Janet Housing Reconstruction (1,500 houses)
Replanuing Northern villages
Planning Belize City
Planning District Towns
Establishment of Housing finance corporation
Revision of Youth Training Schools System (reformatories)
Establishment of Family Guidance Service
Reorganization of Social Development functions
Cooperatives and Credit Unions.
Establishment of Credit Union League
Reorganization of Prison System Libraries.'
Extension of library services to all localities Museums.
Establishment of National Museum Local Goternment.
Establishment of Local Government Association
Extension of Adult Suffrage to District Town Boards
Village Council Ordinance General.
Organization of countrywide system of hurricane relief.
MEMBER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES.
Address by the Hon. Philip S. Goldson in the Legislative Assembly, accepting office of Member for Soeiial
Services, Friday, 31st December, 1954.
This morning, Sir, I shall, with your permission, be making two statement to the House, one on the terms of distribution of the Cinderella Town Extension houses and one on the distribution of free milk from the United Kingdom.
Before making these statements, however, I should like while I am on my feet to Tecord my formal acceptance of the appointment to the Membership of Social Services in accordance with the Message from His Excellency read by you during today's pro,ceedings.
I shall not attempt at this session any detailed review of the problems and plans within the social services.
It will be the constant endeavour of this Government, Sir, to offer better and better social services to the people. I believe that all will agree with the view, however, that our social services must keep pace with and not outrun our economic development. As our
-natural resources develop and people and Government become richer, we shall be able to afford more and more for our education, our medical services, our housing and our other social services. We of the social services, therefore, have a direct interest in the progress of our country's economic development and I am confident that everyone in this r-ountry will contribute according to his or her ability and opportunity to that development.
I am particularly happy, Sir" to have as my colleague the Honourable Mr. Macmillan whose zeal and long and varied experience in the field of public welfare will be invaluable. I have every confidence that I shall have full co-operation from the heads of the social services departments.. In fact, we have already, begun, I think, to work and think as a team.
Lastly, Mr. Speaker, I pledge myself once more to the service of the people, and I ask the help and guidance of Almighty God in carrying out my duties.
POLICY ON EDUCATION.
Address by M.S.S. at the 17th Annual Conference
of the British Honduras Federation of Teachers-3rd
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
This morning I listened to a speech in which the speaker said, among other things, that we take our teachers for granted. I believe that that statement is true. But I think it can be added that the better our teachers are, the more we take them for granted. Here in British Honduras we have developed through the years, a pattern of education which has many wholesome and desirable features. And because today we have teachers who are guardians olr our educational tradition, we feel secure in leaving in their hands the intellectual and spiritual development of our children. I think it is true to say that the parents trust our teachers, Government trust our teachers and the community as a whole, trust our teachers. How absolute this dependence and this confidence in our teachers is would be demonstrated over-night if tomorrow we were suddenly to lose the services of our teachers. Think of the effect, the bewilderment, the consternation in which Government and people would find themselves if all of a sudden there were no more teachers in our towns and villages and settlements.
Yes, we take our teachers for granted because they are doing a good job, because they are guarding well the precious traditions of our country: traditions of Christian education and of decent citizenship.
Almost every adult citizen of this country can say, "I went to this school and I belong to that ChurcV. Almost everyone can say that during the formative years of his life some unselfish, dedicated persons laboured unceasingly not only to develop his mind but to develop his sense of moral values. These unselfish, dedicated persons were the ministers and priests of our churches and the teachers of our schools.
Today we have every reasonable hope that our children and their children will continue to enjoy this great privilege. But as we look at the world beyond our shores we can. not fail to recognise the danger and the stupidity of taking for granted the noble efforts of our teachers. It is only in very few countries that you will find an eff ort on the part of teachers to preserve in this era the heritage of Christian Education.
In May of 1955, 1 attended the 6th West Indian Conference in Puerto Rico which considered the subject of education and small scale farming. At this conference very strenuous, and, I believe, sincere efforts were made by the delegates to find solutions to the greai problems confronting educators in the Caribbean area. It seemed to me, however, that in the desire to solve the problems of over-crowded schools, shortage of teachers and inadequate curricula, the professional educators who advised the conference were moving further and further away from the fundamentals of true education. Considering it my duty as representative of a Christian Government and people I moved a resolution that the conference's "educational policy should clearly recognise the role of the family, the church and the state in education".
I then made these remarks to which I feel every citizen of this country subscribes:
"As we all know, Mr. Chairman, the natural right of educating the child for this world and for the next world belongs to the parents in association with the Church. Where, through financial and other circumstances, the parents and the Church cannot completely fulfil the function of properly educating the child, then it is the right and the duty of the State to assist them to fulfil this function. The State should do this without prejudicing the right of the parents and the Church to teach the child those eternal values which they alone are qualified to teach.
"We all know that the Church originally developed the system of organized education which prepared each man for full natural and supernatural life. It was the Church which Christianised and educated Europe; and it was the Church also that Christianised and educated these Caribbean lands.
"Modern science has created the need for new forms of education to fi the changing times. But science cannot change the eternal truths; and for the proper education of the child, and for his proper functioning in modern society, he still needs education in the eternal virtues. Because Governments command the financial resources needed to develop and acquire modern scientific knowledge, they tend more and more to acquire control of modern education. There is an increasing tendency, therefore, to regard the Church as standing in the way of the child's educational progress. At best, the Church is tolerated and, often, ignored. At educational conferences, such as this one, the Church is left completely out. This would be proper if so-called modern education provided the complete answer to life. But it does not, as is demonstrated by the spiritual frustration of some of the most highly educated persons.
"It is sometimes argued that in democratic lands, the Church is free to worship and to promulgate its doctrines. This may be true. But it is also a fact that he who controls completely the school hours of the child may shape the child's life for all eternity. The State alone is obviously not competent to educate the whole child, material and spiritual, for its natural and supernatural functions.
"This Sixth West Indian Conference can perform no greater service to the peoples W this region than by emphasizing the positive role of the family, the Church and the State in Education".
This resolution was defeate&- in the Education Committee of the conference, the delegates on that committee, mainly professional educators, arguing that it was unnecessary and inappropriate.
I know, Ladies and Gentlemen, that such a resolution would have been heartily endorsed by any conference on education in British Honduras. We are still old-fashioned enough to believe that there is a role in education for the family, the Church and the state. The role of the family is clear. It is the parents' duty to see that the child receives wholesome education. The role of the Church you, as teachers, are familiar with. I think everyone recognises that the Church and its teachers have done and are doing a good job. Now, how about the role of the state?
I have heard it argued that the Government cannot give to teachers certain rights such as proper salaries and pensions because teachers are not employees of the Government. This argument I can never accept. I can well understand that Government may be prevented by lack of funds from giving the teachers their due, but I cannot accept this as a matter of deliberate policy. Something must be wrong with the theory that the teachers must be penalised because they are giving the children of the community the best education in the world-a Church education.
It is therefore very encouraging that Government has made some move towards true ,recognition of the worth of your profession. I refer to the grants to be made to retired
teachers. These grants, I am happy to aay, will be made aa from this month and they will be made to all teachers who are now on retirement due to old age. This is not a pension scheme and the grants hear no relation to any pension scheme which may be evolved.
Thbis beginning, I hope, will bring some satisfaction to the teachers and will enable them to look with greater hope towards a continuing career in teaching.
The need for more teachers in the profession and especially more men, is recognised and the difficulties the shortage of teachers throw on the existing body of teachers and on the Church are noted with great sympathy by the Government. We are all ambitious to see such improvements in the general education system as will provide greater opportunities for a bigger number of children, more places and better quality of secondary education, development of craftwork in the schools, domestic science teaching throughout the country-all in relation to the environment in which most of us will spend most of our lives. Such a task requires the full energies of the teachers and a contented teaching profession which has:
1.Regard for the Christian traditions of British Honduras.
2 A consciousness of the great responsibility that is theirs.
3. A genuine love of people and faith in human nature.
I wiah your Federation success in its endeavours during 1956. The Director of Education and I will be very glad to hear any constructive suggestions your Federation may recommend; and now it is my great privilege to declare the 17th Annual Conference of the British Honduras Federation of Teachers open.
Remarks by the M.S.S. in officially opening of the
Second Teachers Vocation Course at Central Farm,
4th July, 1955.
It is with distinct pleasure that the Government notes the desire of teachers to participate to their fullest capacity in the country's development programme.
Not until we in this country have solved the problem of more food at cheaper costs will we be safely on the road to true and permanent development.
In this business of development we must be businesslike and intelligent. We cannot hit-and-miss at development. We must know our objective, we must know the road to that objective and we must know how to get to that objective.
Finally, we must make sure that all concerned in this country-and is there any .citizen in this country not concerned with development?-we must make sure that all concerned know the objective and how it is to be reached. In short, we must teach. And how can we teach except through our teachers whose lifelong interest is to acquire and to impart knowledge?
The role of teachers in the scheme of development is admirably recognized in a draft Statement of Policy on Agricultural Education prepared by the Department of Agriculture for the consideration of Government.
That statement reads in part:
"There is a particular need for giving teachers a grounding in the rudiments of agriculture so that they can instruct school children in the fuller appreciation of their country's soils, plants and animals and help them to realise that agriculture can be an outstanding and worthwhile occupation. The teachers should first show themselves capable of running their own home gardens successfully; thereafter they may extend their knowledge through effective school gardens etc. to the
"Unless the teacher is a good gardener and can interpret the facts in an interesting and 'live' way, school gardens may do more harm than good, because manual work and poor results will tend to discourage the children from taking a real interest in farming. A school garden programme should be encouraged only where the teachers have themselves proved that they can make it of value".
The Fifth West Indian Conference held in Montego Bay, Jamaica in 1952 recomsmended"That Governments of the areas served by the (Caribbean) Commission be requested to establish pre-vocational training in the higher classes of primary schools
and to make provision in those schools for guidance services".
The British Honduras Government is seeking to implement this recommendation ik
respect of Manual Training, Home Economics and Agriculture.
The programme calls for the training of teachers in these subjects, and a beginning has been made in Agriculture by the holding of courses, of which this ir. the second held here at Central Farm.
It may quite justifiably be asked: "what next, after the course?" The answer is that al;ready as follow up to last year's course, teachers and farm demonstrators have formed Young Farmers Groups at such places as Barranco, Corozal and Xsibe and in the Starnn Creek Valley.
These groups, it is hoped, will develop into Young Farmers Club, and the Education Department will encourage and assist their development by providing tools on the recommendation of the Agricultural Education Officer.
RETIRED TEACHERS GRANT.
Resolution presented to the Legislative Assembly by
the M.S.S. on 16th March, 1956.
WHEREAS the Government of British Honduras considers that it would be proper to make payments from the revenue of the territory to certain former teachers who have retired on account of age* under the provisions of Rule 25 of the Board of Education Rules, 1947 (S.R. & O. No. 33).
BE IT RESOLVED that this Assembly approves such payments being made at the ate of $300 per annum with effect from the 1st January, 1956, to the undermentioned persons:
Sr. M. Alfonsa Santiago Labriel
Sr. M. Aloysius Sr. M. Liguoria
Sr. M. Andrea Adelaide McField
George Arnold Maggie McField
Amy M. Arthurs Ailsa F. Metzgen
Adele Bradley Esther Munnings
Sr. M. Catherine Alejandro Ogaldez
Bertha Dunn Secundino Ogaldez
Sr. M. Eligia Joseph Pitts
Petrocinio Enriquez Simeon Sampson
Hilda Foreman Estella Victor
Ella Gibbs Nicasio Zuniga
Another condition of the Grant: Residence in the country.
* 55 years of age
SECONDARY AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION.
Statement by M.S.S. to Legislative Assembly, Friday,
18th May, 1956.
With regard to the statements on secondary academic and technical education, made by the Honourable Member for the Cayo Division, I am pleased to say that between September and December last year Government gave financial assistance totalling $1,000 to Wesley College whose case was most urgent at the time. This school is being further assisted this year to a maximum of $5,000. Government has been holding discussions for some time now with the Managements of St. Michael's and St. Hilda's with a view to extending financial assistance to these schools also. The assistance given to' these three schools is an7 interim arrangement to enable them to continue their vital role in our heritage of denominational secondary education, and to help them to maintain proper standards.
I hope very shortly to present to this Assembly the draft of a new and comprenhengive Education Ordinance embracing primary, secondary and higher education. Thereafter, it should be possible before the end of next year to work out a more long term basis for Government aid to secondary education.
With reference to the Technical High School, an Ordinance relating to that institution is now under study and will soon he coming before this House. It will then be possible for Honourable Members to discuss the role of technical education.
In the meantime, I wish to take this opportunity to announce that Government has decided to change the name of the Technical High School to the Belize Technical College. This name, it is felt, is more appropriate than the present one. The change of name will take effect immediately.
MOBILE HEALTH CENTRES.
Radio Address by M.S.S. 5th May, 1955.
It is an old saying that prevention is better than cure. The Government of British Honduras fully realise the truth of this statement, and in our policy special emphasis is being laid on the development of preventive service.
To prevent malaria, houses are sprayed all over the country. To prevent tuberculosis B.C.G. vaccination is offered even in the most remote villages. To prevent yellow fever, special injections are given. To prevent small pox a law is in existence which puts the responsibility on the parents to cause their children to be vaccinated at the age of three months.
In our preventive services the prevention of disease plays an important part, but our aim goes further than just the prevention of communicable diseases. We would like to promote health in a positive way.
Eighteen health centres are in operation throughout British Honduras to discharge this double function of prevention of disease and promotion of health. They have been of proven value. The people have shown their appreciation by making full use of all that these centres can give.
The lack of roads in our country made it difficult to extend to many villagers the benefits of the preventive services which have been enjoyed in the past by towns-people only.
But now that some roads are open, everywhere, where a car can go you will find the green station wagons of the Medical Department. These are the Mobile Health Centres. Your clinics on wheels. I would like to say here that the two Mobile Health units which are now travelling to the villages in Belize, Stann Creek, Cayo, Orange Walk and Corozal Districts were bought and are being maintained this year with money from the Official Charities Fund. Now, you know most of the money in this Fund comes through the Government tax on lotteries. If you must buy lotteries then I suggest that you buy only the legal lotteries which pay taxes to Government; taxes that are used to pay for our school feeding programme, outdoor relief to the poor, and for some of our medical and social needs.
To the villagers along the seacoast and to those at the Cayes the Government launch will bring this same service to you. We plan to reach sixty additional villages through the Mobile Health Centres. For our community of seventy-eight thousand people we want to operate seventy-eight Health Centres throughout the country. One for every thousand inhabitants.
MATRON ROBERTS HEALTH CLINIC.
Address by M.S.S. at Official Opening of Matron
Roberts Health Clinic by the Acting Governor Mr.
T. D. Vickers, C.M.G., Tuesday, December 20th,
I believe that on such an occasion as this, we gather to do three things: to thank those who made this building possible; to express our joy that the community has acquired yet another useful and beautiful amenity; and to declare the purposes for which it shall be used.
2. Our thanks go to the people of Great Britain who donated the money to build this Clinic, to the architect and his draughtsman in the Public Works Department for the beautiful design and to the contractor and his workmen for the finished project which we delight in today.
3. All of us in British Honduras, and particularly those of us who live in this neighbourhood, cannot help a feeling of pride and joy in our new health centre. At a time when most of the world's resources in many parts of the world are being expended on measures for man's destruction, we can say a fervent "thank God" that we in this corner can still make to-do over the acquisition of an institution for promoting the welfare and happiness of our fellowmen.
4. And now, we must decide what we are going to do with our new Clinic.
Our intention is that this Centre should become the natural meeting place for all working in the interest of better health for the neighbourhood.
There is place in this building for Medical Officers to do curative work. There is place for Public Health Nurses to supervise mothers during pregnancy and after delivery, to supervise infants and to protect them through vaccinations and innoculations against infectious diseases. We have here offices for the Public Health Nurses who visit the homes to follow up the sick, to trace the contacts of infectious diseases. We have here offices for the Sanitary Inspectors who go to the homes to fight against malaria through residual spraying and to teach better environmental sanitation as a means of better health. We have here the offices of our Nutritionist who teaches us all better health through better nutrition. We have here ample space for health education which is the main aim of the Health Department.
By bringing together general medical services and services provided directly by the Health Department, this Health Centre shall become the focal point of an effective union between preventive and curative services, to build a healthier, happier British Honduras.
This Centre is a gift to the people of British Honduras, but it is in particular a gift to the people of this neighbourhood. I ask all who live here to use it fully and to take good care of it. I know that nothing will please our doctors, our nurses, our sanitary inspectors and our other health workers so much as the proper use of our new Health Centre.
CINDERELLA TOWN HOUSES.
Statement by M.S.S. to Legislative Assembly, Friday,
31 st December, 1954.
As the 50 new houses in the Cinderella Town Extension are now ready for occupation, andthe public have been anxiously waiting to hear on what terms and to whom these houses will be allocated, Government has asked me as Member Designate for Social Services to make an official statement to the House this morning on this important but intricate question. I trust that Government's decision will command the support of this House, the general public in Belize, and the persons directly concerned.
May I first of all briefly trace the history of this particular housing scheme. It goes back to the Development Plan Part 1t of 1951. Paragraph 226 of that Plan stated that an extension of the Cinderella Town Housing Scheme was to be undertaken with a'C.D. and W. grant for making the site and the streets and with a development loan for the building of the houses. The Plan envisaged the construction of 68 houses and was to differ from its predecessor intChat itwas proposed to sell the houses to successful applicants, allowing them to complete payment over a maximum period of 20years. The purchasers would be required to pay $1 80 a year overthe 20-year period to cover the necessary recurrent charges.
Work began on these houses in October 1953.
Applicants applied in the usual way to the Chairman of the Central Authority. By the end of February of this year the Authority had received nearly 300 applicants. It then gave notice by an announcement over B.H.B. S. and in the Government Gazette that:"Notice is hereby given that no further applications will be received for the houses
that are being built in the Cinderella Town Area.
The houses are still in the-course of erection and it will be some time before actual
allocation of the houses can be made.
Applications, very largely in excess of the number of houses that will be available,
have already been received."
The next step was for the Social Development Department to arrange all these applications in an order of merit based on!(at) Overcrowding in present living quarters.
(b) Ability to pay the rental regularly.
(e) Receipt of notice to vacate premises for reasons other than for arrears or misuse of their present residence.
To do this officers of that department visited every applicant at his or her present home and recorded all the relevant particulars of their claims. When all the claim forms had been filled up, the Social Development Department listed them in an order of priority and returned them to the Central Authority. Since then I have myself had the opportunity of going through all the completed forms and have been able to satisfy myself that the job has been thoroughly and fairly done.
I now come to the terms upon which Government has decided to offer these houses. It is quite an intricate matter and it has given us much anxious thought.
First of all we have decided to confirm the original plan, namely, that the houses should be offered on hire-purchase terms for a 20-year period. There are many people in Belize who wish to have houses of their own and Government fon ts part is keen to offer as many people as it can the chance to do so.
Secondly, in 1951 it was estimated that the building cost of each house would be approximately $1,600 and the housing loan of$ 10,000 to build 68 houses was accordingly
obtained under the Development Loan Ordinance, 1952. Government has now found that the actualcost of each house is $2,00. It has therefore only been able so far to build 50 out ofthe 68 houses originally planned. The higher costs of each house have also made it necessary to increase the hire-purchase rate from $15.00 a month to $17.50 a month exclusive of maintenance. Maintenance will be the responsibility of the tenant under Government supervision.
Government fully realises that this figure of $17.50 a month plus maintenance may appear to be a high one, and that the House will therefore wish to know what it covers. These are the annual charges that it has to meet:(1) Service charges on the loan (4 % interest and Per annum
3 % towards Sinking Fund ............. $160.00
(2) Insurance .................. 20.00
(3) Land lease .......... .......12.00
(4) Property Tax and Fire Rate ..............18.00
a total of or $17.50 per month ........ $210.00
H ad the cst of the site and streets not been met by a free grant from C.D. and W., the annual charge would have had to be even higher.
The other principal features of the terms which Government has decided to offer tenants arethese. There will be a standard written Agreement between Government and each tenant. This standard Agreement will provide amongst other things that:(1) The tenant may at any time buy the house.
(2) The tenant may terminate the Agreement on one month's notice to
(3) The tenant must pay all necessary repairs and maintenance.
(4) The tenant must obtain Government's agreement in writing before he cat
assign, sublet, part with, alter or add to the house or use it other than as a
(5) Government can resume possession if a tenant defaults with his payments or
breaks any of the conditions of the Agreement.
(6) If rates, taxes and insurances go up, the rent goes up proportionately.
(7) At the end of the tenancy the tenant will receive the standard Government
long term lease of 75 years of the land on which his house is built.
So much for the terms of this hire-purchase scheme. I now pass to the other side of it the persons to whom this scheme will be offered. Here Govemnment has decided to give first choice to the top 50 applicants in order of merit on the Social Development Department's list to which I have already referred. If, when that has been done, some of those to whom houses are thus offered are unwilling or unable to take advantage of the offer, it will then be made to the next most deserving case on the list and so on until all the 50 houses have been accepted. The allocation of individual houses is being done by drawing lots.
Before I close, Sir, I should like to add something of Government's plans for the 18 further houses which were originally planned as part of this Cinderella Town extension, and. also of Government's plans for lower cost houses elsewhere in Belize.
As for the 18 further houses Government proposes to ask the Secretary of State's approval for some of the money provided for other less urgent purposes under the Development Loan Ordinance 1952 to be switched to this urgent task of building the remaining 18 houses.
As for lower cost houses Government fully realises that there are many unfortunate families in Belize who can only afford to pay a very low rent indeed but whose housing conditions must be improved, and for these families Government is preparing plans for houses, that should cost less, when built by cooperative effort.
Finally, Sir, the House will perhaps be pleased to learn that Government will shortly be conducting a housing survey which should indicate the total housing needs of the City of Belize. Upon the facts of this survey Government will base its programme and policy for private and public building schemes.
Statement by the M.S.S. in the Legislative Assembly
Friday, 22nd April, 1955.
1 am happy to report, Sir, that a preliminary housing survey was 'held during the fourteen days January 26 to Fehruary 9. 1034 persons filled out forms and handed them in at the Social Development Department. These forms gave the Government valuable information concerning the nature and scope of the housing problem within the City of B~elize.
-A few figures may give some idea of the type of information now at the disposal of the Gjovernment through this survey. The 1034 persons who filled out forms would be able to pay rent or hire purchase rates as follows:
(a) under $6 per month 169
(h) at $6 to $12 536
(c) at $12 to $20 215
(d) at $20 and over 77
(e) number who have not 37
stated any amount
135 persons can contribute money towards the building of their homes in amounts ranging from $200 to over $1,000. 79 have their own lots on which to huild. 78 clerks, 229 labourers, 112 mechanics, 98 carpenters, 76 other artisans, 23 professionals, 33 Policemen and Prison Officers and 385 other persons filled out the forms expressing the need for houses.
There is at present no Government Department responsible for and capable of dealing with the planning and supervision of housing. Government's various responsibilities in the field of housing have been up to now divided amongst the Health Department, the Public Works Department, and the Central Housing and Planning Authority. The Central Authority was established under the Slum Clearance Ordinance, 1947 and the Town and Country Planning Ordinance, 1947 and has wide powers and responsibilities in the field of housing, slum clearance and town planning. The Authority has up to now, however, been a part-time body without staff and has thus been limited in the exercise-'of its statutory functions
Government has now approved the establishment of a fulltime technical and executive staff for the Central Authority. It is hoped that very soon this staff will be set up in the Biddle's Building in North Front Street, and the Central Authority will then assume full control and direction of housing, slum clearance and town planning throughout the whole country.
I think I should mention here, Sirthat as a result of discussions between the Govern. ment and the United States Foreign Operations Administration, this country will be given valuable FOA Technical Assistance in the execution of the Development Plan.
Government's second big problem, and one not as easily solved as the staff problem, is FINANCE.
It is estimated that some $41 million will be needed over the next five years for urban, rural, town and village housing. This amount is considered necessary for a worthwhile and 19
effective building programme. Apart from this some $lJ million is needed to meet cost of reclaiming swamp lands and for laying down streets, drains, bridges and so on in new housing areas. This $114 million, through grants, is largely available to us under Development Plan Part 111, which became effective on April 1, and as soon as a new dredger can be purchased work on reclaiming and developing selected housing sites such as King's Park, and the Vaults Area will begin.
This still leaves unsolved the problem of where the huge sums needed for actual house construction will come from. The British authorities in London have taken the decision that they cannot make C.D. & W. grants available for building houses. They believe that housing should be selffinancing, and that therefore this Government should make loans to meet the cost of the building programme. It is an undoubted advantage that among the FOA officials to work along with us is an expert in housing finance, and I hope at some future date to report to the House that we have found a satisfactory solution to the problem of financing our housing programme.
Before closing, Sir, I think I should tell members what can and wilt be done immediately in housing. Under Development Plan Part 1I1, we have a grant of $40,000 for experiments in housing; then we have allocated $60,000 from the British Honduras Development Loan for housing. This gives us $100,000 with which to build almost immediately.
HOUSING SURVEY, STANN CREEK TOWN.
A Housing Survey was held in Stann Creek Town from Thursday, August, 25th to Monday, 12th September, 1955.
519 families registered their need for houses.
14 belonged to a group called the New Home Builders Group.
This Group, organized with the aid of the Rev. Fr. John Knopp, S.J., were engaged in making cement blocks as part of a scheme for aided self-help housing.
They are in need of financial assistance to complete the project.
HOUSING AND PLANNING.
Statement by M.S.S. in Legislative Assembly
Friday, 12th August, 1955.
It is with pleasure Sir, that I report to the House this morning that a Housing and Planning Department has now been established as part of the Social Services. This Department will be the executive arm of the Central Housing and Planning Authority established under the Slum Clearance Ordinance 1947 and The Town and Country Planning Ordinance 1947.
1am very happy that we have been able to secure the services of Mr. Henry Fairweather, Government Surveyor, as Director of Housing and Planning.
This Department has the statutory responsibility ofcontrolling, directing and i mproving the physical development of our towns, villages and countryside, eradicating slums and of promoting and encouraging the building of more and better houses.
To give Honourable members some idea of the magnitude of the problem facing this new department let me just cite a few facts.
The housing problem in Belize dates back to 24 years. The 1931 hurricane destroyed hundreds of houses. The depression of the thirties and the abnormal conditions of the wartime forties prevented effective rebuilding and building for the new families.
It was not until 1947 that Government attempted a building programme. In the eight years since 1947 a total of 112 Government built houses have been erected. During the same period, private building average 120 houses per yeai, some of which were replacements ofoldhouses. Thus Government and private citizenstogether built an average of 134 houses per year since 1947.
It is meanwhile estimated that the population of Belize is increasing at the rate ofabout 500 a year.
Housing in Belize has therefore reached a most acute stage. In the housing survey in February of this year 1034 families registered their urgent need for houses.
Hundreds ofpeople are nowliving under sub-human conditions. Hundreds beg lodging with relatives and friends. Many persons have expressed willingness to reclaim the swamps in sub-urban Belize withtheirbare handsifallowed by the Government. I fear that squatting has already started. The 1954 Medical Report which Honourable Members will recall I laid on the table this morning, blames the spread of communicable diseases, such as tubercolosis on poor housing. Poor housing is also considered one of the factors contributing to the increase of juvenile delinquency.
Onto this dark scene I now hasten to shed a few hopeful rays of light. One bright ray is the new housing and planning departmentwith its energetic though very small staff.
One great handicap in housing, I feel, has been the lack of co-ordinated planning and control. This Department will now take care of that.
The Department's plans call for the adoption of the Gardner-Medium Town Plan for Belize, with necessary modifications, the zoning ofthe city, the strict control of new house building, the repair and painting of old houses, the planting of trees, landscaping, andmuch else to rAieve the grevious housing problems until reclaimed lands in King's Park and Yarborough are available.
A most brilliant ray is the assistance of the International Cooperation Administration of the United States Government. Mr. Donald Hanson, ICA Housing Adviser, recently completed a three-month study of our housing and community problems. We expect to receive very shortly his basic plan for urban and rural housing development.
We hope that by the end of this month the Department's first Aided Self-Help project will begin at Cinderella Town, under the direction of Mr. George Jordan, ICA Construction Engineer and Mr. Pedro Rivera, ICA Community Organizer. Both these gentlemen along with Mr. Fairweather and his staff are holding discussions with the eighteen families who will take part in this experiment in Aided Self-Help housing.
These eighteen families have te(n selected with great care by the Central Authority on the recommendation of the ICA experts. Our hearts go out in compassion to the 1,000odd families who must stand patiently in I ne, and watch and hope and pray, that this experiment will so succeed that Government will be able to assist them, too, to own a decent home to live in.
The final plans have still to be maee, but basically, under the scheme the Government will provide materials and skilled super vision and the families themselves will provide the labour for building the houses. Ihefamilieswill then repay the cost of the materials in the form of a reasonable rent, after which they will own the houses.
The Government hopes that under such schemes most persons, particularly young working men with families, will in time come to own the house they live in.
The speed with which such a programme can be pushed depends on several controlling factors. First on the availability of funds. The prospects are encouraging, but still to be explored. We expect to get helpful hints on the possible sources of funds for housing from the Hanson Report. Second on the need to develop housing in the towns and rural areas outside of Belize. Many families now living in Belize may find it more profitable to settle outside of Belize if they can get the incentives and technical help needed to help them to settle on the land. The Housing and Planning Department intends to work closely with the Agricultural and Forestry Departments and to organize housing programmes in the rural districts.
The third factor is the need to reclaim lands in the suburbs of Belize before they can be used as housing sites. It is recognized that the King's Park Area and the VaultI Area are needed to provide proper housing for the present population of the City. Without increasing the population of Belize, these lands are required to provide space for clearing out the overcrowded houses and yards. But both King's Park and Yarborough must first be reclaimed from Swamps then laid out with streets, drains, bridges, parks, playgrounds, water and sewerage facilities and light and power. The King's Park Scheme alone, including the erection of some 550 houses through aided self-help, Building Societies and contract will require about $21 million.
These, Sir, are the problems and the plans in housing. Public housing is a new venture for this Government. We are making our first hopeful baby steps. But we make them with confidence. We are confident that the people will cooperate with the new Department of Housing and Planning. We are confident that the people will be willing to save their money for housing if for nothing else. We are confident that all concerned will live up to any obligations they agree to. We have confid nce that with people and Government working energetically and unselfishly we shall be able to achieve the orderly and progressive development of our country.
To God we dedicate our humble efforts.
Address by the M.S.S. at a-Public Meeting held by
the General Workers' Union in connection with Labour Day, 1956.
I am very grateful for this opportunity to be present here with you tonight to convey to you greetings and best wishes on behalf of the Government on Labour Day.
I am happy to be here because I believe that Labour Day is a day that belongs to the people as a whole. It would, I think, be a great mstake to think of Labour Day as labourers day, andtherefore, only the concern of a section of the community. All of us in this country, Government and people, must be grateful to the General Workers Union for kindling the spark and keeping it alive these several years, but Labour Day is as much the concern of the Government as it is the concern of the Union and its members and the workers.
2. It is the concern of Government because Governmentis aware that it is only through the labour of the people that the country will survive, and therefore all the calculations of the Government, all its plans for revenues and all its hopes for improvement must be based on the assumption that the people will, by their labour, produce the revenues to pay for the services of Government. I hope then that within another year, Government will be able to give official recognition to Labour Day by establishing it as a public holiday in our country.
3. Labour Day also belongs to management and to employers in business and in industry. Employers know that plan as they may, and invest as they may, in the final analysis it is labour which determines the success or failure of an enterprise. I hope too, that within a year, due recognition could be given to this fact and that the next Labour Day will be celebrated in fitting unity by the 3 parties directly concerned with labour relations, namely: Government, industry and labour.
4. The Government has been striving during the past two years to show its appreciation of the place of labour in the national scheme. The New Government Workers Rules is only one indication of Government's efforts to give labour its just share. The appointment of a representative of the people to be the Member for Labour within the Government is another indication. The Government is hoping that the pattern it has set in labour relations will be followed in business and industry. The Goverpment is earnest in this desire because it believes that the progress and well-being of the whole community is bound up with the relationship between capital and labour.
5. I wish to appeal to all employers in their dealings with the Union to look beyond the personalities of the Union leaders to the great cause and to the hopeful thousands they represent. All of us, Government, capital and labour must consciously and deliberately strive for socialjustice because only thus will we have social peace. Having served the workers of this country for several years, I believe that I am in a position to say that their claim is not for more than their just share. I would ask employers to take this as coming from one who has no axeto grind. As the Memberfor labour relations, I know that it is my duty to protect and serve the interest of both management and labour and I believe that I am fulfilling this high responsibility when I ask that employers meet the workers with an open and generous heart.
6. Labour relations is a most difficult subject. All of us agree that capital and labour are entitled.to ajust share of the fruits of theirjoint enterprise but how to measure that just
share in each particular circumstance is the difficulty. Even with goodwill, the parties concerned will still find it difficult to measure the share each should get ; how much more difficult it is when the sharing is accompanied b. warring words and actions. Both sides tlcn, particularly the leaders, must seek to learn tle difficult art of industrial relations.
7. I can see some efforts on the part of the workers through their Union to learn how to get on with their partners in industry. This community, I think, would have very great cause for happiness if there was, on the part of the employers, some effort to learn how to deal with labour in modern democratic society. If we take the pattern of development in other countries, we can forsee that in the course of time, through the pressure of united action the workers will place themselx es on a true bargaining level with management. This is all to the good; this is how it should be. This is, I think, what all fairminded citizens of this country would like to see. What we would not like to see is that labour should arrive at this position in a mood of bitterness ar d truculence brought on by management's denial to them of elementary justice. I see no reason why we must tread the same bitter path of other countries, the path of strife and turmoil and hatred and destruction.
8. I believe that as reasonable humren beings, leaders of capital and labour can get totogether in a spirit of generosity each representing particular interests but both united in the desire to achieve justice. In such an atmosphere of concord and goodwill, the Government would be happy to lend its efforts and its resources to help both sides to realise their just objectives.
9. As we celebrate Labour Day in our churches on May 1, let us pray that Labour Day next year will find Government, capital and la bour united in action and purpose; and because I believe that capital can do more than anybody else to achieve this happy end, I say to employers: "Open your hearts and your workers will respond in like manner".
Extract from Radio Broadcast by M.S.S. launching
the Survey of Unemployed persons in Belize Thursday,
September 8th to Thursday September 15th, 1955.
Who has lived in this country during the past twenty-five years and not felt the effects of unemployment? Poor housing conditions, not enough food to eat, not enough clothes to wear, the humiliation of begging or borrowing-these are some of the direct and indirect eff ects of unemployment. These are some of the things which have dogged the lives of so many of us during the past twenty-five years.
1954 and 1955 may also be regarded as acute unemployment years due mainly to the end of major construction works in Belize, the end of major road building the unusually heavy rains in 1954 which affected the timber industry and the prolonged drought of 1955, which affected -crops in many parts of the country.
Many of those who came from our schools last year and this year are having their young hopes blighted. Some of the eager young men of the classes of '53 and '54 are already serving first terms of imprisonment, so that there is overcrowding in both Belize and Rockville Prisons.
The Government's policy is aimed at removing the causes of social distress and at promoting those things which assist the true development of the human personality within a well ordered society.
It therefore fights juvenile delinquency, crime, disease and social anomalies generally by promoting housing schemes, by assisting at providing better educational opportunities Ifor all, by preventive health measures and by encouraging thrift and enterprise through Credit Unions and cooperatives and by other social and economic measures, all within the context of a Christian society in which every man is his brother's keeper.
But you know and I know, that the social measures and plans of the Government wiU come to nothing if men do not have jobs to support their families decently.
Number of unemployed persons registered: 941 (858 male adults, 26 females 57 juveniles (15-18 years)).
Estimated population of Belize City 27,500.
GOVERNMENT WORKERS RULES.
Comments by M.S.S. announcing the new Government Workers Rules effective January 1st, 1956.
The Government recognises that it has certain obligations to its employees. Obligations of fair wages and fair conditions of service in return for fair work. The Government is not interested in dodging its responsibilities.
IThese rules are formed to give the worker, either directly or through his Union, every opportunity to negotiate with Government for what he considers to be his just due.
On behalf of the Government, I ask the workers to make full use of the machinery provided for negotiation. These rules were made after through discussion with Heads of Departments and the Union. But they are by no means perfect. They are printed only on one side of the page so that amendments made from time to time may be inserted on the blank side. It is the duty of the workers to let Government know from time to time what amendments they consider necessary. I wish to emphasize that workers will be doing great injustice to themselves and no favour to the Government if they do not use the machinery for negotiation. These rules are designed for free workers in a free democracy. If they are used wisely, they will bring many benefits to the workers and will open the door to many more benefits.
Extract from Radio Address by M.S.S. officially opening Credit Union Week 1955, Sunday, October 16th, 1955.
There are some smart people who have learnt the trick of having money at their beck and call.
These people are called Credit Unionists, and there are 6,000 of them in British Honduras and some ten million of them in North America.
These Credit Unionists have learnt the secret of money. They need money. They call. And it comes rolling with a smile and a bow and says, "At your service, sir", like the good servant it can be, but usually isn't.
THE Y. W. C, A.
Extract from address by M.S.S. at Official opening of the B. H. branch of the Young Women's Christian