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Title: Economic problems of Trinidad and Tobago
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 Material Information
Title: Economic problems of Trinidad and Tobago
Series Title: Public affairs pamphlets
Physical Description: 35 p. : ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Williams, Eric Eustace, 1911-
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Port-or-Spain Trinidad
Publication Date: 1955]
 Subjects
Subject: Economic conditions -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: At head of title: Teachers Economic and Cultural Association, ltd. People's education movement.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00003613
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000130288
oclc - 01654730
notis - AAP6308
lccn - a 61003714

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Full Text


eache" E&conuomic and
uttuL at (laoociatuia Ltd.


PEOPLE'S EDUCATION MOVEMENT




ECONOMIC PROBLEMS OF TRINIDAD
AND TOBAGO




--- BY ---

Eric Williams











PUBLIC AFFAIRS PAMPHLETS
No. 1
PiCE 12CT


PRICE


12 CENTS









* A PUBLIC LECTURE *
Given under the auspices of

THE PEOPLE'S EDUCATION MOVEMENT
OF THE T.E.C.A., LTD.

in Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain,

TRINIDAD

JULY 5, 1955

and repeated under the auspices of
THE CARIBBEAN WOMEN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

at Harris Promenade, San Fernando,

TRINIDAD

JULY 12, 1955



FIRST PUBLISHED, JULY 19, 1955


All Rights Reserved































































Priled by the Colege Press, P.O. Box 175, Port-of-Spain, for the publisher,
Dr. Eric Williams, of 17 Lady. Chancellor Road, Port-of-Spain,
Trinidad, B.W.I.





Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen :-

We, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, labour under one principal
handicap our government.

Our Ministers assumed the reins of government in October, 1950.
Theirs was a difficult task. They were untried and inexperienced. They
were not members of one party, with a party programme and a stated
policy. They came in to find their first budget prepared for them by the
outgoing administration. They accepted it. They came in to find an
economic programme for them prepared by the outgoing administration.
They accepted it.

Put in the simplest language, the job which we expected our Ministers
to do is so to organise our economy as to provide jobs for our adults and
the social services basic to a civilised modem community schools for
the children, houses for the families, water and health for everybody.

They needed tools for this job. We have given them the tools. We
have paid them salaries which were always good and which are now hand-
some. We have given them liberal allowances for travel, both local and
external. To facilitate their local travel, we have given them allowances
for chauffeurs.

Their salaries cost us originally $560 a month each. They raised this
figure to $800 in December 1953. A year later they raised it again, to
$960 a month, making this rate retroactive to January 1954. Their travel
allowance was originally $350 a month. Regarding this as a pittance,
they raised it to $390 a month. Their chauffeurs' allowance is $75 a
month. The total bill for four years and eight months, from November
1950 to June 1955, is: salaries, $194,000; travel, $101,600; chauffeurs'
allowances, $16,500 a grand total of $312,100, or an average yearly
expenditure of $62,000 for all five Ministers and $12,500 for each Minister.

The total expenditure on the five Ministers during these four years
and eight months exceeds the 1955 budget for salaries for the Government
Printing Office; the yearly expenditure of the ministerial system is ap-
proximately what we propose to spend in 1955 on the Central Library
staff, or on island scholars abroad, or on the Government Training College
for Teachers and the San Fernando Technical School combined, or on
the San Fernando Fire Brigade; it is more than what we propose to spend
on college exhibitions. The average yearly expenditure on each Minister
is double our proposed expenditure for this year on the training of pupil
teachers.

On local travel for Ministers, your expenditure of $101,600 in a little
less than five years would almost suffice to run Queen's Royal College







or the Public Library this year and is equivalent to this year's proposed
expenditure on the Board of Industrial Training. It has allowed the
Ministers to buy nearly 231,000 gallons of gasoline; allowing 25 miles
per gallon for the average English car, this means a total travel of
5,772,725 miles. That is a lot of travel, Ladies and Gentlemen, a lot
of travel, which may explain the anxiety to limit taxis and to spend vast
sums on improving the approaches to Port-of-Spain. After nearly six
million miles of travel in less than five years, our Ministers, whatever
their lack of knowledge in other fields, cannot plead ignorance of the
country and its problems.

What they don't know directly, they are able to know indirectly.
For you have also financed extensive travel by your elected representa-
tives who are not Ministers. You began by paying them $50 a month,
which was later raised in 1954 to $90; over and above this, you pay
them also, for travel five miles outside of Port-of-Spain, at the rate of 20
cents for the first 500 miles and 4z cents thereafter. Omitting this extra
payment, which it is difficult to compute, your 13 elected representatives
have cost you $45,760 in travel since November, 1950. This amounts
to 104,000 gallons of gasoline, equivalent to 2,600,000 miles. Whatever
our government may have failed to do in support of local industry, it has
certainly supported, in no uncertain manner, the oil industry, to the tune
of 335,000 gallons of gasoline, or nearly 75,000 gallons a year.

You have not only made it possible for your Ministers to know
our country, you have financed, with a liberality that Ministers else-
where might envy, their knowledge of other countries, to which they
have gone to represent us, state our problems, fight our battles, and
acquire knowledge and learn techniques which might be applied here.
Delegations and discussions, courses and conferences, if it isn't one
thing, it is another. They have taken trips to England, the United
States, Canada, France, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Kenya, Argentina,
Venezuela, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, British Guiana, Barbados; from time
to time they even go to Tobago. Their trips have had to do with
trade .and markets, sugar, citrus, oils and fats, general agriculture,
education, housing, water, our airport, yellow fever, rabies, local gov-
ernment, social services, and federation. No conference has been too
insignificant, no subject too unimportant, no discussion too trivial, no
course too pedestrian, for them to go in person, accompanied some-
times by as many as five advisers. Each trip has cost you a first class
passage and subsistence charges at the rate of forty dollars a day a
person two months wages of a domestic servant, the monthly wage
of a store clerk, the fortnightly wage of a dock worker.

How much time and money have been spent on such trips is a
closely guarded secret. The Director of Audit, in his report for 1952,
stated that advances exceeding $11,000 were outstanding against two
Ministers; after discussions, it was agreed that the final expenditure
amounted to $6,000. In his report for 1953, the Director of Audit







again drew attention to the unsatisfactory state of the rules regarding
travel and subsistence allowances, and stressed that sums exceeding
$24,500 were not accounted for; these represented either expenditure,
or unspent balances which, up to the time of his report, had not been
recovered. From an answer to an inquiry in the Legislative Council
in February of last year, it emerged that Ministers spent 253 days in
travel and residence abroad in the first eleven months of 1953. That
is to say, nine months out of twelve were spent out of the colony. One
Minister alone accounted for 40% of this total travel.

To all this must be added the cost of official entertainment -
large cocktail parties and expensive luncheons by individual Ministers
whenever a visiting dignitary or a group of dignitaries arrive. No
doubt the same lavishness is displayed abroad.

All this would be a small price to pay if the Ministers do their
job. They have not done it. Their record is one "of incompetence
and inertia which would disgrace even a crown colony government. I
propose to give you tonight an account of their stewardship.

o 8 *
The Ministers found the economy of Trinidad and Tobago in 1950
dominated by one portentous fact the relentless increase of population,
under the double stimulus of a steady increase in the birth rate and a
steady decrease in the death rate. This population pressure has not
abated during their tenure of office; rather, it has become more serious.
For every 100 births in 1950, there were 94 in 1947 and 107 in 1953. For
every 100 deaths in 1950, there were 102 in 1947 and 95 in 1953. In June
1948 our total population was 600,000; as I speak tonight, it is over
700,000; five years from now it will be well over 800,000, unless some
unexpected calamity intervenes. For every 100 persons in our popu-
lation a year ago we are sure to have at least 16 more at the end of
the next five years.

The problem of jobs is therefore the No. 1 priority in Trinidad and
Tobago not jobs in domestic service or selling sweepstake tickets, but
productive jobs adding dignity to the worker and wealth to the country.
The principal test of the achievement of the Ministers is, therefore: what
have they done to provide productive jobs ?

They entered on their task with a philosophy which was not re-
assuring. They accepted, lock, stock and barrel, the philosophy of the
Five Year Programme prepared by the previous government, to which,
by no stretch of the imagination, could the people of Trinidad and
Tobago have looked for any bold and constructive effort to grapple with
the basic problem of jobs, more jobs, and still more jobs. This was the
programme which the Ministers adopted:-







"to prepare a suitable foundation for the diversification of the
existing economy. In doing this due regard has been paid to:-

(i) improved agricultural services and techniques;
(ii) the extension of basic services with a view to stimulating
and encouraging increased industrial production;
(iii) the maintenance of a stable climate of political thought."

There was nothing in this philosophy that could not have been sub-
scribed to by crown colony government in its worst form in the history
of Trinidad and Tobago. This was the first mistake of the Ministers,
the original fount of all evils a failure to appreciate the desperate ur-
gency of the economic situation and to prepare and implement a courageous
programme not only to reduce unemployment but also to create new
sources of employment.

The Ministers found Trinidad and Tobago in 1950. dependent on two
principal sources of productive jobs oil and sugar. In 1955 they leave
Trinidad and Tobago dependent on two principal sources of productive
jobs oil and sugar. They found a community swimming in oil and suck-
ing sugar cane; they leave a community swimming in oil and suck-
ing sugar cane. If we had had not a single Minister, if we had paid our
five Ministers not one red cent, if we had paid them for not a single mile
of travel at home or abroad, the situation today in Trinidad and Tobago
would be exactly what it was in 1950.

Here are the facts. Trinidad and Tobago depended on oil for 72%
of its total exports in 1946, 75% in 1950, 75% in 1954. The value of oil
exports rose from $41% millions in 1946 to $126 millions in 1950, $193
millions in 1954. Oil employed 14,651 persons in 1946; 16,357 in 1950;
17,192 in 1954. Oil contributed one-third of the public revenue in 1946,
two-fifths in 1954. Oil paid out some $24 millions in wages, salaries and
local purchases in 1947, $60 millions in 1954. Ministers or no Ministers,
Trinidad is oil.

The oil industry has been warning the country for some time that
the oil resources are being rapidly depleted. I have heard many people
express doubts about this. The production statistics are perhaps the safest
guide in this matter. Comparing the situation in 1946 and 1954,
this is what we get: the population of Trinidad and Tobago increased by
21%, employment in the oil industry increased by less than 17%, while
production per oil well decreased by nearly 20%, and output per worker
employed decreased by half of one per cent.

Thus, within the past ten years, notwithstanding the glittering statis-
tics of oil's contribution to exports, wages and revenues, the industry has
not been able to provide sufficient jobs to keep pace with the increase in
population, production is declining relatively though not absolutely, and
productivity is barely able to hold its own. This is what matters, not







the fact that the value of exports in 1954 was nearly five times the figure
for 1946. The increase is due largely to the devaluation of the pound
sterling. Any upward revaluation of the pound will automatically put
us into serious difficulties. It seems clear then, that, if oil is to provide
more jobs, new sources of oil must be located.

The situation with respect to sugar is somewhat different. It is true
that in 1947, before the Ministers were even dreamed of, in 1950 when
we were first burdened with them, and in 1954 when we began to hope that
we would soon be seeing the last of them, the proportion of sugar to the
total export trade of Trinidad and Tobago remained unchanged 10%.
Ministers or no Ministers, sugar dominates our agriculture. The value of
sugar exports rose from $8 millions in 1947 to $18 millions in 1950 and
$28 millions in 1954. The price of sugar, 11 per ton in 1940, was 40
last year. The quantity of sugar produced increased from 110,068 tons
in 1947 to 146,508 tons in 1950 and 172,767 tons in 1954. The wages
paid by the industry amounted to nearly $5 millions in 1947, over $612
millions in 1950, $9% millions in 1953. The Ministers have exerted them-
selves, and rightly so, to protecting the British market for sugar, first
with the British Government, and more recently at the International Con-
ference on Tariffs and Trade in Switzerland. But, remember this this
is exactly the policy that has been pursued by the British West Indian
sugar industry for the past two and a half centuries. It is the philosophy
of colonialism, and at the Commonwealth Conference in London last year
on the subject, I frequently found it necessary to warn against a pro-
nounced tendency to speak of the British West Indies as colonies, politi-
cally dependent on Great Britain. I succeeded in that, but I failed to
get across my proposal that further protection should be asked for a
specific period, 25 years, to set us on our feet in the early days of self-
government.

The crucial fact about the sugar industry is that it is steadily pro-
viding fewer and fewer jobs. The number of manual workers employed
declined from 19,235 in 1947 to 18,349 in 1954; in 1989 it was 25,101.
Employment has declined 27% since 1939, 10% since 1947, and nearly
3% since 1950.

Theoretically, of course, it would be possible for sugar to provide
.more' jobs, if acreage and production are increased. There are two prac-
tical difficulties. The first is that for the past sixty years commission of
inquiry after commission of inquiry has warned us against the danger of
dependence on a single industry. The second is-where are we going to sell
the additional sugar which will be produced ? The world sugar situation
steadily gets worse. The Babados Agricultural Society has recom-
mended to the government of Barbados that sugar production be re-
duced by 10%. Jamaica has already overproduced its international quota,
and the sugar planters have begun to substitute bananas for sugar. Only
two days ago it was announced that Trinidad and Tobago in the current
season has exceeded its export quota. Within the British Caribbean area,








the British Honduras sugar industry is beginning to get into its stride, and
a new competitor for the total quota allotted to the area has to be
reckoned with.

This reduction of employment in the sugar industry is not an acci-
dent and is not due to malice. It is long overdue. The British West
Indies have depended for too long on manpower in agriculture; the ex-
cessive and indiscriminate importation of labour, Negro slaves and Indian
indentured immigrants, has been the principal cause of the technological
backwardness of British West Indian agriculture. The reduction of labour
going on today in the sugar industry in Trinidad and Tobago is a con-
tinuation of a process that has been going on for the past sixty years in
British West Indian agriculture. For every 100 persons employed in
agriculture in 1891, 20 less were employed in Jamaica in 1946, 20 less
in Trinidad and Tobago, 25 less in the Leeward Islands, 42 less in Bar-
bados.

The explanation is the rapid increase of mechanisation in agriculture,
the substitution of machinery for men, of horsepower for manpower. This
is due principally to two factors (1) the inevitable attempt of the
planters to counteract the continuous tendency for wages to rise; (2) the
sheer necessity of meeting the competition of mechanised production in
other parts of the world. This is a logical and even a necessary process
which will 'not only be accelerated in the years ahead, but, in fact, must
be accelerated.

Puerto Rico depends on sugar for about half of its exports even today,
as compared with 86% in 1943. The Secretary of Labour, a native
Puerto Rican, last year warned the Puerto Rican trade unions which
oppose mechanisation that Puerto Rico's sugar industry is headed for in-
evitable and irredeemable economic collapse unless a well-planned and
well-organised system of mechanisation is set up.

Our own Arthur Lewis, Professor of Economics at Manchester Uni-
versity, wrote five years ago:

"Mechanisation is also the only way by which agriculture can be
made to give its workers the kind of standard of living which they
now expect. The only way that agriculture in the West Indies
can be made to yield its workers the standard of living they re-
quire is by greatly reducing the number of persons employed per
hundred acres and substituting mechanical power for human
labour."

What Dr. Lewis advised is exactly what has been happening in the
sugar industry. The increase of total wages combined with the decrease
in employment has meant that the wages paid per person amounted to
$118 in 1941. $371 in 1950, $520 in 1953. That the employees want








an even higher standard of living is proved by the recent strike. That
higher standard is possible only with mechanisation and a still further re-
duction in the number of jobs. Such a reduction will mean increased
economic efficiency for the industry; the production per worker employed
during crop was 5 tons in 1939, 5% tons in 1946, 8 tons in 1950,
9% tons in 1954.

A similar reduction of labour is just as necessary if peasant agricul-
ture is to be made more productive. This is important insofar as the
developments in the sugar industry give rise to hopes that more peasants
might be settled on the land in land settlement schemes. At my sugges-
tion, Dr. Lewis was requested to study the subject of land settlement for
one of the West Indian Conferences convened by the Caribbean Com-
mission in December 1950. His expert knowledge was thus made avail-
able free of charge to the government of Trinidad and Tobago, one
of whose Ministers attended the conference. Dr. Lewis' study was subse-
quently published. As the subject is an important one from the standpoint
of productive jobs, I shall deal with it at some length.

Dr. Lewis emphasised that the break up of the plantation economy
and the redistribution of the land into small farms will not solve the
agricultural problems of the British West Indies, for two reasons (1)
the small farmer cannot afford in sugar or even in bananas in some cases
the capital, the research, the superior knowledge, and the speedy adoption
of new techniques and improvements; (2) the small farmer cannot enjoy
a decent standard of living on two or three acres. It is not that Dr. Lewis
endorsed the present sugar plantations. He drew attention to recent
experiments in large scale production, such as the profit sharing on the
proportional profit farms in Puerto Rico, and the Gezira cotton growing
scheme in the Sudan, and he recommended that similar experiments should
be begun in the West Indies. Dr. Lewis wrote: "A community which is
mixed racially needs, even more than other communities, to create for
itself social and economic institutions which are broadly accepted. New
forms must be created which will take the West Indian sugar industry
'out of politics,' in the sense of earning general acceptance, or the West
Indian community will sooner or later simply tear itself in pieces and
destroy the sugar industry in the process."

With respect to the other question, the size of the small farm, Dr.
Lewis stressed that the minimum holding for a peasant family in Europe
is 12 acres, and that in Denmark, often regarded as the ideal peasant com-
munity, two-thirds of the farm land is in holdings of between 25 and
150 acres. Let me read you Dr. Lewis' lengthy conclusion for the West
Indian problem of land settlement:

"If peasant agriculture is to be put on its feet, the number of
peasants must be reduced drastically, in relation to the land that they
now occupy, so that each family may be able to have a reasonable acreage
(more equipment to work the land will also be needed). In a word, if







West Indian agriculture is to yield a decent standard of living, the num-
ber engaged in the present acreage must be drastically reduced it
must be something like halved, if current expectations of what is reason-
able are to be fulfilled.

What the West Indies needs is more farmers in the twenty to fifty
acre class; not more farmers in the five acre class. The five acre holding
is not an economic unit. Not only is it not a self-supporting unit, but it
has also proved not to be a good farming unit, in the sense that farmers
at this level have a low productivity per acre, and tend- to ravage the soil.
Neither is the five acre farmer a good social unit; at that low level of
income he has not the level of education which makes the fifty acre
farmer a solid and useful leader of his community. There are not
enough fifty acre farmers in the West Indies, and their absence shows
itself in every sphere. A policy to create more of Ihis class deserves
thought and money; the West Indies might gain substantially if most
of the land not under sugar were converted into thirty to fifty acre'
farms. But there is nothing to be said for breaking the land up into units
of five acres.

Two things are said in favour of the smaller unit. First, the smaller
the unit the greater the number of settlers. This is true. On the other
hand, the smaller the unit the lower the quality of the settlers, both in
terms of the use they make of the land, and also in terms of their general
contribution to community life. Five 30 acre settlers are better than
thirty 5 acre settlers. The crucial tests are not the number of small-
holders, but the productivity of the land and the quality of community
life.

Secondly, as the unit gets beyond a certain size, the farmer can no
longer work it exclusively with his own labour and the labour of his
family. How much land a family can work depends on its equipment.
In many West Indian settlements the limit is as low as three acres, because
lack of equipment wastes manpower in cultivation, in fetching water, and
in travelling between holdings and to and from markets. The European
peasant has his plough and his draught animals to cultivate his twelve
acres; but if one has only a cutlass and a hoe, three acres may be a full
time job.

One cannot plan agricultural policy in terms of a cutlass and a hoe.
If one wishes to create a peasant class that is to have any value, it must
have at its disposal the minimum capital that is required to extract a
decent living from agriculture. Making this capital available is an
essential part of a land settlement policy. If the capital cannot be found,
then it would be better to leave agriculture to large scale operation by
agencies that have the capital."

There is not the slightest indication that Dr. Lewis' advice has had
any effect in Trinidad and Tobago, notwithstanding a ministerial trip to








Scandinavia where the accuracy of Dr. Lewis' observations could easily
have been verified. The agricultural policy of the government has con-
centrated rather on such developments as the continued rehabilitation of
the cocoa industry, support for the rice industry, emphasis on citrus, and
the beginning of large scale cultivation of bananas. But the cocoa industry
is largely a question of luck how long can the present high price of 329
per ton in 1953, over nine times the pre-war price, be expected to con-
tinue? Only three days ago you read, no doubt, the headline: "Big Drop in
Cocoa Crop expected." The growth of self-sufficiency in the rice in-
dustry is a serious potential threat to the participation of British Guiana
in the British Caribbean Federation. Banana cultivation will compete
with Jamaica's which is already in notorious difficulty in the British
market.

There is, however, some scope for a positive programme of local
food production, as is indicated by the following facts. In 1954 we spent
$62 millions on imported meat; our local production of beef, veal and
pork amounts to 6 lbs. per head of population. We spent $812 millions
on dairy products; our production of milk per head of population was 5
pints in 1951 and 4 pints in 1954. In 1954 we spent $15V2 millions on
imported cereals, nearly $9 millions on fish, $5 millions on vegetables,
$1 million on fruits. According to the 1946 census there were 64,000
acres of idle arable land in Trinidad and 10,000 acres in Tobago. All over
the two islands, moreover, there is land suitable for reclamation.

Developments elsewhere in the Caribbean suggest that a bold pro-
gramme of local food production and diversified agriculture is not beyond
our capacity: A vast expansion of plantains and pineapples is under way
in Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's acreage under sweet potatoes,
pigeon peas, avocado pears, mangoes, melons, has either increased or is
to be increased enormously. Jamaica is producing strawberries and
peaches for export and is paying considerable attention to breadfruit.
The Jamaica condensary has greatly stimulated the production of milk
by farmers, while Puerto Rico has inaugurated a six year programme to
improve 46,000 acres of pasture land and raise the annual yield of the
cattle industry from $56 millions to $85 millions. Surinam is reclaiming
abandoned estates; Puerto Rico is engaged in vast irrigation projects, the
largest, costing $42 millions, designed to bring 50,000 acres into culti-
vation. Bills to ensure beneficial occupation of idle lands are under
consideration in British Guiana and Jamaica.

But any programme of agricultural diversification based on Dr. Lewis'
advice regarding the development of a class of 50-acre farmers must
necessarily increase rural unemployment. The prospect before us, there-
fore, is that the basic question of providing more jobs for the additional
workers who will be added to the labour force in the next five years is
aggravated by the displacement of existing labour in agriculture.








The only solution is alternative occupations outside of agriculture.
There are two obvious alternatives industrial development and the
tourist trade. What have our Ministers done to provide industrial jobs?

In the first place, Trinidad and Tobago, like many other Caribbean
territories, has adopted the policy of encouraging outside investors to
start pioneer industries. The principal incentive offered to them is ex-
emption from income tax for five years. Since 1950, when the appro-
pirate legislation was passed, 101 manufacturers have been given pioneer
status this is at the rate of 25 a year. The new industries include
containers, gin, cement, artificial teeth, toilet soap, paints, stockfeed, dry
ice, bricks, textiles, shirts, assembly of typewriters and adding machines,
and lingerie.

In the second place, the government has published a pamphlet,
entitled Opportunity for Industry, designed to attract potential investors.
The pamphlet begins like this:

"There is more in Trinidad than sea and sunshine than Carnival
and calypso singers! The travel literature tells of natural beauty,
the bracing climate and tropical warmth, and the peaceful calm
of neighboring Tobago, the 'Robinson Crusoe' island. All these
elements combine to make Trinidad and Tobago 'a paradise for
tourists.' But, as many people have been discovering, that is
not the whole picture.
In the pages that follow the rest of the picture is unfolded and
the islands appear not merely as a playground for holiday makers
but as a land with splendid opportunities for investment in industry,
with a wealth and variety of natural products, with an ample
supply of good labour, with all the advantages of strategic position
as 'The Hub of the Americas,' and with a friendly Government
anxious to offer generous assistance and a warm welcome to all
who accept the invitation to share in the growing industrial and
commercial development."

It reads like a travelogue or an introduction to the colony's annual
report. The contents consist principally of statistics on the oil and sugar
industries.

Three years ago the Colonial Office sent down a mission of five
British industrialists to advise on industrial development, not only in
Trinidad and Tobago, but also in Jamaica, Barbados and British Guiana.
The mission gave the government of Trinidad and Tobago a slap in the
face by criticising the principal incentive offered to investors exemption
from income tax for five years. It condemned the tax concessions as
encouraging an investment from countries other than the United King-
dom which it described as "unfortunate," and as stimulating factories
which "are apparently nothing but assembly plants for parts imported
from dollar countries." It recommended with considerable reservations







the establishment of Industrial Development Corporations. It stated
dogmatically that "analogies drawn from Puerto Rican experience are of
little value as a guide to industrial expansion" in the British Caribbean,
and was of the opinion that the prospect of exports to the United States
and Latin America was not worth talking about. It commented fa-
vourably on industrial development prospects in the fields of agricultural
processing, building materials, production engineering with respect to
the assembly of imported parts, furniture, the tanning industry, garment
making, and the chemical industries. It concluded that no such industrial
development could be anticipated which would make any substantial
contribution to employment.
The report of the mission can be regarded as a sort of commenda-
tion of the government's easygoing attitude to industrial development.
Three practical aspects of this disturbing attitude have already emerged.
The first concerns the citrus industry, which, from its humble beginnings
in 1933 when exports were limited to fresh grapefruit valued at $16,000,
is 'today worth two million dollars in exports, canned juices representing
three-fifths of this. As citrus is a means of reducing our agricultural de-
pendence on sugar, and as it accounts today for only 77 cents out of
every $100 of our exports, its expansion has become a major concern
of the government.
During the past year we have heard repeated denunciations of the
invasion of our principal market, the United Kingdom, by subsidized
United States exports. We, and our British Caribbean neighbours, have
sent many delegations to England to fight the citrus battle. One is there
now. But the government is merely dodging the vital issue. The vital
issue is not that subsidized exports from a phenomenally rich country
like the United States are undercutting unsubsidised exports from the
poor British West Indies. The vital issue is that the United States in-
dustry has reached a stage of efficiency and development which makes
our competition with it similar to the competition between an A class
favourite and the champion of the Tobago goat race for the Governor's
Cup.
A West Indian economist on the research staff of the Caribbean
Commission which I formerly directed has indicated to me that, whereas
in 1953 Great Britain bought from the United States citrus products to
the value of approximately $1,300,000, a mere $27,000 of this total -
that is to say, 2% represented products competitive with those of Tri-
nidad and Tobago. The remainder consisted of concentrated orange
juice and frozen orange juice which the British West Indies do not pro-
duce. We produce and are trying to sell single strength juice, which the
British market absorbs in large quantities. What we are in effect de-
manding is that the British housewife should buy our single strength
juice and stop buying American concentrated and frozen juice. It is
a good example of the colonial mentality in our midst, our insistence on
protection by Britain for our production, however inefficient, however
contrary to the preference of the consumer.







Why on earth should the British housewife do our bidding? The
American product is easier to transport, easier to pack away. She can get
it into her handbag. And why should the British housewife be asked
not to do what the Trinidad housewife herself is free to do? The
American enemy is in our very backyard. Walk a few yards from here to>
morrow morning when the groceries open, and for 42 cents you can get
this a six ounce tin of Sunkist California concentrate for orangeade
which makes one quart. For another 21 cents you can get this a six
ounce tin o0 Sunkist Pure California lemon juice, two -tablespoons of ,vhich
equal the juice of one average lemon. Make no mistake about it,. they
are excellent. Try the orangeade on a hot day, try the lemon juice in
your rum punches. The frozen juice has not yet come, but it will.
Whilst you are about your purchases, take away also a tin of Hawaiian
pineapple juice or guava nectar. Then go home and ponder how you
spend forty dollars a day to demand protection for your less developed
local industry in the British market, whereas it would not cost you forty
cents to defend it right here in Trinidad; it would cost you much more, of
course, to attain the technological level reached by the U.S.A.

The second disturbing aspect of the government's industrialisation
programme is the closing down of the Safie Textile Mill because'of com-
petition from cheaper Indian products and the threat of the shirt manu-
facturers to close down because of competition from cheaper Hong
Kong products. About 1,500 people, some of them getting wages of
$15 a week and more, face the prospect of unemployment. The govern-
ment has opposed protection of the local industries because, it claims,
such protection will raise the cost of living. The government argues that
an industry must make out an impregnable case for protection. I am,
sure no industrialist ever expected such a warm welcome and such
friendliness from the Government.

The argument is nonsense, theoretically and practically, and shows
a complete failure to understand both the history of industrial develop-
ment and the desperate necessity of industrialisation in Trinidad and
Tobago, to absorb'not only the population in future years, but also the
population being steadily displaced by mechanisation in agriculture. J1l
commtries in the process of industrialising themselves have protected tfeir
rising industries. Great Britain did exactly this; it turned to free trade
only after its industry had developed beyond that of all countries behind
its protective tariffs. The United States industries, built up for a century
behind a high protective tariff, are now demanding free trade just as
British industries did a century ago. Jamaica has imposed a quoti on
British textile imports to protect its own textile industry; four months ago
it suspended imports of all shirts under $5 each, factory cost. The very
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade,. at which our Ministers, to
their credit, successfully fought for the right of Britain to protect colonial
products, expressly permits underdeveloped countries to take steps to
protect their rising industries. The Ministers make a great fuss about
their concession 'to the industry of duty-free raw materials. Elsewhere







this would be common sense, not concession. But I suppose it is a great
concession here, since it is allowed on material if it is used for shirts,
but not if it is used for shorts and pyjamas. Local industries, started in
Trinidad with the aid of public funds, are denied protection against a
cheaper Indian product which has the advantage of a huge internal
market, and against a Hong Kong product based on wages of a dollar a
day which Trinidad workers will not accept. Textiles yesterday and
shirts today what will it be tomorrow? The tanning industry ? Ce-
ment? Paints? And the government dares to talk of stability as the
principal incentive to investors I

Now it sheds crocodile tears over the poor people of Trinidad and
Tobago burdened down with the high cost of living It never
gave a thought to the cost of living when it upped Ministers' salaries
80% within two months. What is the cost of living for an unemployed
man? The Ministers should not ignore this; they might be themselves
unemployed sooner than they think. What does it matter to the unem-
ployed if the Hong Kong shirt or the Indian textiles are cheaper? Whilst
he is employed, his wife has to buy food which went up in some in-
stances 40% between 1950 and the end of last year. I worked out a
housewife's budget based on the following purchases: 1 loaf of bread,
8 oz.; 1 lb. flour; 1 lb. imported rice; 1 lb. sugar; 1 lb. beef; 1 lb. pork;
1 tin corned beef, 12 oz.; 1 lb. salted fish; 1 tin sardines; 1 bottle cooking
oil; 1 lb. table butter; 1 tin condensed milk, 14 oz.; 1 lb. powdered milk;
1 lb. split peas; 1 lb. Irish potatoes; 1 lb. plantains; 1 lb. bananas. The
housewife paid $4.51 for this in 1950 and $6.37 in December 1954.
That is to say, for every $1.00 she spent in 1950, she spent $1.41 in De-
cember 1954.

Now you see the government's policy. It uses public funds to
subsidise industries which, three years later, it discards. It talks about
finding jobs for people and ends by putting them out of jobs. It writes
about opportunity for industry and denies industry opportunity. It talks
about attracting foreign investors, and despises the investment in industry
of local capital which has hitherto been invested abroad or has gone into
real estate; let us not forget that the shirt industry is a West Indian
industry. All in your fhterests, Ladies and Gentlemen, all to protect you
from the rising cost of living. Not a word about the rising cost of popu-
lationl Perhaps the government will make out an impregnable case
against the population pressure

The third disturbing aspect of the Government's industrial policy
concerns the oil industry. I have already referred to the danger signals,
the decline of production and the decline of productivity. But there is
one possible hope for the future marine oil. The industry speaks guard-
edly about its prospects, and we all keep our fingers crossed. An addi-
tional 10% to the labour force in the oil industry will mean so many more
million dollars in exports, revenue and wages if the price keeps up. The
industry requests depletion allowances tax concessions in view of the







high cost of exploration and drilling and the speculative nature of the
operation. If it succeeds, the community will benefit more jobs. The
only sensible thing to do is to grant the depletion allowances requested.
It is an obvious opportunity for the government to keep its pledge to
provide opportunity for industry and "to offer generous assistance and a
warm welcome to all who accept the invitation to share in the growing
industrial and commercial development." Yet, in over a year, the gov-
ernment has not got round to granting the depletion allowances.

Wherever you turn, it is the same thing the government is stuck
in the rut of colonialism. All that it can do is to bawl for protection of
raw materials or agricultural processed products in the British market.
It bawls very loudly. Who wouldn't, for forty dollars a day ? For the
rest, it has not the faintest conception of the seriousness and urgency of
the problem of jobs, except where its own jobs are concerned. It compla-
cently permits unemployment in shirts and textiles, but will move heaven
and earth to extend its own five-year contract by postponing the elections.

What I condemn the government for is not so much its lack of un-
derstanding the problem after all, intellectual factors are involved -
as for its failure to make any effort to understand it. It can do so right
under its very nose. Five years ago Dr. Lewis thoroughly studied the
problem. Dr. Lewis is a very old friend of mine; I saw to it that he
met as many people as possible connected with the general problem.
Two of them are now Ministers; one of the two made a great noise at one
of the West Indian Conferences about a Caribbean Development Bank
for industrial purposes, walked out of a meeting because the imperialist
representatives were opposed to the idea, and turned in a minority report
on the subject. Dr. Lewis' study has been published; it sells for one
shilling; the Ministers got free copies and did not even have to draw on
their salary or travel allowance. If they had wanted Dr. Lewis to study
the question further with specific reference to Trinidad and Tobago, they
could have called on him, as the United Nations, the Government of the
Gold Coast and the Government of Malaya have done. No, they preferred
to bring in five British industrialists dominated by the traditional imperialist
hostility to colonial industrialisation. For all the effect Dr. Lewis' study
has had, it might well have been prepared for thd inhabitants of another
planet. Yet this is the Government to which irresponsible newspaper com-
mentators, taking advantage of the silence imposed on me by my former
official responsibility, would have you believe that I was to give economic
advice

What does Dr. Lewis have to say? First and foremost he places
the question of industrial development in its correct perspective it is
necessary for the provision of jobs for an increasing population and for
the labour displaced in agriculture.

Dr. Lewis, estimated that it would be necessary for all the British
Caribbean territories to create in ten years 413,000 new jobs, of which








40%, or 165,000 jobs, would be "basic" that is to say, jobs in industries
which would themselves give rise to additional indirect employment. Of
these basic jobs 120,000 would have to be in industry-a rate of industrial
expansion, he stressed, not more rapid than that of other countries in the
early period of industrialisation Japan, Canada, Sweden, South Africa,
the Soviet Union. Trinidad and Tobago has about one-fifth of the British
Caribbean population. This would mean a total of 24,000 jobs in ten
years or about 2,400 additional jobs in industry each year. Our Ministers
are not too far from the opposite goal putting about 2,400 workers out
of jobs in industry each year.

Dr. Lewis stressed the general relationship of industrial and agri-
cultural development. The government shows not the slightest under-
tanding of this. This is what Dr. Lewis wrote:

"The creation of new industries is an essential part of a programme
for agricultural improvement There is no choice to be made
between industry and agriculture. The islands need as large an
agriculture as possible, and, if they could even get more people
into agriculture, without reducing output per head, then so much
the better. But, even when they are employing in agriculture
the maximum number that agriculture will absorb at a reasonable
standard of living, there will still be a large surplus of labour,
and even the greatest expansion of industry which is conceivable
within the next twenty years will not create a labour shortage in
agriculture. It is not the case that agriculture cannot continue to
develop if industry is developed. Exactly the opposite is true:
agriculture cannot be put on to a basis where it will yield a reason-
able standard of living unless new jobs are created off the land ..
The way to increase agricultural productivity per man is to provide
the jobs that will take the surplus labour off the land If agri-
culture is to give a higher standard of living, then industry must
be developed. But equally, if industry is to be developed, then
agriculture must give a higher standard of living, in order to pro-
vide a demand for manufactures. The agricultural and the in-
dustrial revolutions thus reinforce each other, and neither can go
very far unless the other is occurring at the same time. Those
who speak as if the choice in the West Indies lay between agricul-
tural development and industrial development have failed com-
pletely to understand the problem."

Only -last Sunday, Ladies and Gentlemen, you had a conspicuous
example of this complete failure to understand the problem. A British
economist, adviser to West Indian Governments, announced that "indus-
trialisation must not compete with agriculture in West Indies." What
nonsense! Suppose you start tomorrow a factory to make paper from
bagasse and give priority to workers displaced by mechanisation in the
cultivation of the sugar cane from which we get the bagasse, would the
paper factory compete with sugar cane cultivation? Industry is to pro-







vide the jobs which agriculture cannot provide. Industry does not com-
pete with agriculture. It complements it. The sooner the British West
Indies dispense with imported economists the better. We have sufficient
West Indian economists who can apply their academic knowledge for the
good of the West Indies.

Dr. Lewis reached some general conclusions about prospects in the
British West Indies which mean more to Trinidad and Tobago with its
oil than to other territories. Let me summarise his conclusions for you
as simply as possible.

(1) The most favourable industries, those which hold out prospects
of bigger opportunities than are at present exploited, are hosiery, leather,
the garment industries, footwear, china, the paper trades, glass, building
materials, canning and the textile industries. Did you hear that, Ladies
and Gentlemen? Shirts and textiles, the most favourable industries, the
very industries which our Ministers regard as the most unfavourable.
There are also, Dr. Lewis added, some less obvious trades like plastics,
rfnbber goods, electric switches, toys, and electric lamps, at which the
islands might have a shot.

(2) It is impossible to build up any large volume of industry with-
out advancing into the metal trades. The British West Indies have to
build up finishing industries based on imported ingots. The sorts of things
that could very well be made in the islands are agricultural implements,
carpenters' tools, cutlery, pins, tin cans, locks, nails, screws, chains, pots
and pans, bedsteads, finished brass, and the general run of foundry pro-
ducts and ironmongery. It is also desirable to enter the field of light en-
gineering, and to make such things as bicycles, sewing machines, vacuum
cleaners, fractional horse power electric motors, gramophones, refrigera-
tors, and the simpler machine tools; and to entei also the field of assembly
- e.g., assembling imported parts into radio sets. You see the difference,
I am sure, between Arthur Lewis and the British Industrial Mission which
sneered at assembly plants.

(3) It will be much more profitable for West Indian governments,
if they are able to raise money for industrialisation, to develop lige in-
dustries using imported raw materials than to put it into some of the
heavy industries which use up much capital and little labour, such. as sugar
refining. Dr. Lewis also viewed unfavourably the frequent suggestion
that the West Indies should import wheat for milling into flour, on the
ground that it uses expensive machinery, rather than labour, and is a
heavy fuel consumer (which, of course, would be less of a problem in
Trinidad than it would be elsewhere). But Puerto Rico refines a part
of its own sugar, and sheer necessity may force us into flour milling, which
Puerto Rico and Jamaica now have officially under consideration.

(4) The British West Indian industrialisation programme must fol-
low the example of Puerto Rico and produce for export rather than for







the limited domestic market. Dr. Lewis indicated four potential markets
- the British Caribbean territories united in a custom union, Latin
America, North America, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Lewis tells us
we must follow the example of Puerto Rico; the British Industrial Mission
tells us that analogies drawn from Puerto Rican experience are of little
value to us as a guide.

(5) An industrialisation programme is a costly business. Light
industries based on imported raw material require an investment of some
$3,000 for each person employed; heavy industries using local materials
may easily demand $10,000 per head. Governments cannot borrow this
sum on their own credit, and even if they could it is difficult and ex-
pensive to break into a foreign market by building up new distribution
outlets. Therefore, the programme should be based on appeals and in.
centives to established manufacturers in England and the United States,;
who are already selling to Latin America or North America and who
already have established distribution channels, to come to the British
West Indies and produce much cheaper because of the lower wage level.

(6) Notwithstanding the emphasis on the private investor, there is
a case for government initiative in starting industries. Private enterprise
will start an industry only if it is profitable. It may, however, be in
the national interest to start it even though it is unprofitable. Let me
quote Dr. Lewis:

"If the only alternative is unemployment it is worth while em-
ploying a man so long as the value of what he produces exceeds
the cost of the raw materials, the machinery, and the other ser-
vices which co-operate with him in production. So long as the
net value exceeds zero, employing him adds something to the
national income. The employer, however, will employ him only
if this net value exceeds his wage. And so we often see the
spectacle that men are unemployed and hungry because it does
not pay anyone to employ them to produce "

Arthur Lewis omitted one thing the spectacle of men unemployed
and hungry because Ministers do not wish to facilitate employers who'
are willing to employ them to produce.

(7) A special development agency, like the Puerto Rico Industrial
Development Corporation, with offices in London and New York, should
be established to woo potential investors, to build factories for them and
possibly even buy machinery, and to do the necessary research as to po-
tential markets. In this connection, Dr. Lewis advises, the West Indies
do not necessarily have to beg the investors. They can get tough. They
can threaten a tariff high enough to encourage local production and so
force an established manufacturer elsewhere to open a branch factory in
the West Indies. They may, like other countries, provide that a patent
ca be revoked if the article is not manfactured locally. In addition







to this development corporation, an Industrial Development Bank should
be created. The necessary money can be raised by loans on the London
market or from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development
or from 'the United States Import-Export Bank.

(8) Since production will be principally for export, protection will
have only a small place in a major industrialisation programme, but it
should not be ruled out. That is exactly what -the Ministers have done,
ruled out protection. The case for temporary subsidies, Dr. Lewis con-
tinues, especially if they are disguised, is beyond dispute peppercorn
rents for buildings, loans at nominal rates of interest, government contracts
to buy part of the product at a price well above the cost of imports (did
you hear me, Ladies and Gentlemen ? The Government can help indus-
try by buying at a price well above the cost of imports), low rates for
electricity and water, nominal charges for important services, such as legal
and medical service or advice on labour.

Five years have passed since Dr. Lewis diagnosed our ills and pre-
scribed for us. In that period we have done nothing. But Jamaica has.
It has set up Development Corporations for both industry ani agriculture.
What we need here in Trinidad and Tobago is two such corporations,
well endowed with funds, independent as much as possible of bureaucratic
and political control, staffed from top 'to bottom by West Indians, people
born and bred in the West Indies. In addition local manufacturers
should form their own association, to protect their interests, keep the
people advised of their programme for providing jobs, and undertake
large scale advertising at home and abroad. The Industrial Development
Corporation should be given, in addition to other funds, a statutory annual
appropriation of one million dollars from the royalties from oil, so that oil,
the source of our strength today, can contribute to the diversification of
our economy. The Agricultural Development Corporation might similarly
Be given a special sum from government revenues from sugar.

The principal function of the Industrial Development. Corporation
will be to bring investors, from wherever it may be necessary. No bureau-
crats sitting down in Port-of-Spain can do this. It is the job for an astute
businessman, going out into the field. Thet.Corporation will have to assist
investors to the greatest extent possible by preparing the sites for fac-
tories, even building the factories, training workers, and doing the neces-
sary market and other research.. It should make that active search for new
markets which the Government has criminally failed to make. Over a
year ago the Chamber of Commerce called upon the Government to send
a trade mission to the U.S.A.; that mission has not yet been sent, instead
Ministers have gone there. We have had enough skylarking and old talk
on the subject. We want action: that is to say, jobs.

What is involved here is large scale investment, not fleabites. You
remember Arthus Lewis' estimates of investment per worker $3,000 to
$10.000. The British Industrial Mission estimated that it would require








an investment of 50 millions to double Jamaica's manufacturing output.
The workers of Trinidad and Tobago must understand that this money is
needed to provide joos, and that a heavy responsibility devolves upon
them. Not the sort of responsibility that is so glibly talked about by ir-
responsible ministers; the workers must be free to select their own repre-
sentatives, whoever they may be. Anything else would not be democratic.
But what the workers have to appreciate is that the reason why investors
will come to Trinidad and Tobago is because wages here are lower than
in England, Canada or the United States, and that one of the reasons
why wages are lower here is that productivity is lower. That is why
they have gone to Puerto Rico. That is the basis of Japanese industrial
development. This does not mean that capitalists can do as they please.
Quite the contrary the government of Puerto Rico has fixed minimum
wages for almost every trade, and the trade union movement in the island
is very powerful. As long as the trade union movement is guaranteed,
there is only one further condition in Trinidad and Tobago on which we
must insist that every new industry started with public assistance
pledge itself to train West Indians immediately for positions on the senior
staff and to promote them when they have been trained. I do not propose
to make the slightest apology for this.

These proposals are not impossible of attainment. They are based
largely, as Dr. Lewis' were also, on the living experience of a Caribbean
territory not very dissimilar from Trinidad and Tobago. That territory is
Puerto Rico, which, with its 2% million people, has an even greater
population problem than we have. Let me take you then on a brief trip
to Puerto Rico. Many of our Ministers have been there and learned
nothing. My conducted tour tonight will cost you nothing and you
will learn much from it.

The industrial development programme in Puerto Rico began in
1942 with the establishment by the government of an Industrial Develop-
ment Company authorised to start and operate key factories, and of a
Government Development Bank, authorised to lend money to the Com-
pany for industrial development. An Agricultural Development Com-
pany was later set up, and a new department, the Economic Development
Administration, established. The emphasis soon shifted from the con-
struction and operation of government-owned plants to assistance and
incentives to private capital to come to the island and commence opera-
ions. This assistance and these incentives take various forms, of which
the most important has always been the remission of income and other
taxes for a period of years, followed by partial remission for a fur-
ther but shorter period. This tax holiday, which the United Kingdom
Industrial Mission criticised in the British West Indies, has proved so
popular in Puerto Rico that, though it was not due to end until 1962, it
has recently been extended to the year 1973 in some cases. Thus the
industries can take a long' term view. The practical value of the tax
holiday is indicated by a recent estimate of the Puerto Rico treasury, that







exemption from income and other taxes was worth the industries $12
millions in 1953 on their total profits of $37 millions.

The other types of assistance rendered in Puerto Rico to prospective
industrialists include the construction of factories by the Administration
for lease or rent to them at peppercorn rents, loans for acquisition of
machinery and for working capital, training of workers, research. The Ad-
ministration also conducts an intensive propaganda campaign to court
industrialists and persuade them to come to the island. Its propaganda
pamphlet, Facts for Businessmen, puts Trinidad's Opportunity for Industry
in the shade. The most significant development in recent months is the
appearance of the first German firm in the island.

Puerto Rico's record of industrial achievement is an impressive one.
Here is a brief picture, simply stated, of the progress between 1942 and
June 30, 1954.

* Number of factories established 297 (nearly 25 a year)
* Number of new industrial jobs created 22,000 (nearly 2,000 a year)
* Net income generated by new factories $136 millions (over $11
millions a year, or more than the wages bill in our sugar industry)
Extent of factory buildings constructed 3% million square feet
(equal to the floor area of all new construction and approved additions
to existing buildings in all of Trinidad and Tobago for 1954)
Number of factory buildings constructed 141 (about 12 a year)
Investment in factory buildings constructed $59 millions (nearly
$5 millions a year)
* Government income from sale of 16 factory buildings $20 millions
(nearly $2 millions a year)
Annual rent from 106 factory buildings under lease $3% millions

The tempo of industrial development has become more rapid rather
than less rapid in Puerto Rico during these twelve years. Nearly one-third
of the industries were started, one-third of the factory buildings construc-
ted and one-seventh of the total investment in factory buildings expended
during the fiscal year 1953 1954. The position at June 30, 1954, the
end of Puerto's fiscal year, was as follows:

* Number of industries in process of being established 31
* Number of factory buildings under construction 11
* Investment in factory buildings under construction nearly $2 millions
* Assets of the Company $80 millions.

The industrial progress in the next six years will be even more rapid.
The official goal is the creation of 74,000 new direct industrial jobs, or
more than 12,000 a year, and a minimum family income of $3,400 a year,
or nearly $300 a month. Not as much as a Minister's travelling allowance,







I grant you, but nothing to despise, as you will agree. Each .of these
jobs is expected to provide two additional jobs in secondary activities.
These industrial jobs are to be provided by 1,200 potential investors, of
whom 830 are expected to survive all fatalities by 1960. The rate of
operations is expected to increase from 87 new factories in 1954 to 155
in 1960.

This is not just paper planning in Puerto Rico, or "blah-blah," Trini-
dad style. Puerto Rico today produces some 300 different commodities
which it did not produce twelve years ago. These commodities range
from vegetable canning to synthetic hormones, from leather products to
zippers, from textiles to artificial flowers, from boots and shoes to bras-
sieres. The island is producing sailors' caps for the United States navy,
is planning to produce light aeroplanes, has huge oil refineries under
construction, and even manufacture sanitary latrines on a large scale for
its housing projects. Its production of cement in 1954 was ten times the
figure for 1940; where the island spent $14 millions on imports in 1938,
it earned $11 millions from exports in 1952. Its boot and shoe industry
is now worth $8% millions in exports alone; the island produces 5,300 pairs
a day which employ 540 people; its goal is 25,000 pairs a day and 1,000
employees.

This is how Dr. Lewis described the Puerto Rican policy of indus-
trialisation five years ago:

"Puerto Rico proposes to live, like England and Japan, by import-
ing materials, processing them, and re-exporting the finished pro-
duct. China clay is imported from England, and crockery exported
to the United States. Badger skins are coming from Siberia, from
which the hair is being removed, washed, and graded, for shipping
to the United States. Fully. finished fur coats are going to New
York, made from raw skins imported from Canada. Materials
are also coming from the United States itself for processing. Raw
cotton, cotton, nylon and woolen yarns, fully finished fabrics,
leather, plastic powders, and semi-finished metals are included,
not forgetting oil, which is the basis of the whole programme. A
specially interesting case is the assembly of wireless sets. That
it is often cheaper to assemble for the local market on the spot is
a well-known and frequently exploited truth, e.g. refrigerators are
now assembled in Puerto Rico for the local market. But most.of
the radio sets being assembled in Puerto Rico, from parts made in
the United States of America, are exported to the U.S.A."

Tell me, Ladies and Gentlemen, if Puerto Rico can do all this, am
I wrong in my view that Trinidad can do it too? Puerto Rico has dis-
covered how to can sweet potatoes and pigeon peas. We can at least
copy from them. I go even further Trinidad and Tobago can- do better
than Puerto Rico. For we have on our doorstep what Puerto Rico does
not have, oil. Listen to Dr. Lewis' view of the importance of this ad-







vantage; as he stated it in a recent report to the Government of the Gld
Coast:

'"One raw material which is always lost in the process of mrn.u-
facture is fuel. If fuel is available side by side with the material
which is to be processed, the producing country has thus a double
advantage over all consuming countries which do not have their
own fuel. A source of fuel is not always important, because some
commodities supply their own fuel, in the form of waste. Thus,
sugar factories, sawmills, and palm oil factories are usually self-
sufficient in fuel. However, where coal or oil has to be burnt, a
raw material producing country is at a disadvantage if it is short
of coal or oil, because the processing of raw materials frequently
makes heavy demands on fuel. These demands may be so heavy
that even a weight losing material is drawn to the fuel instead
of the fuel to the material. In spite of the fact that it takes four
tons of bauxite to make one ton of aluminium, the bauxite is
usually carried to the fuel and not the fuel to the bauxite;
similarly, iron ore is more usually carried to coal than coal to iron
ore.

We thus have one of the principal requirements for an enormous
industrial development programme designed to make Trinidad the indus-
trial centre of the entire Caribbean area. The other principal require-
ment, however, is as conspicuous by its absence as oil is by its presence.
It is stated by Dr. Lewis thus:

"Some key is needed to open the door behind which the dynamic
.energies of the West Indian people are at present confined. The
key has obviously been found in Puerto Rico, where the drive
and enthusiasm of a people hitherto as lethargic as the British
West Indians, warm the heart and inspire confidence in the future.
The British West Indians can solve their problems if they set to
them with a will. But first they must find the secret that will put
hope, initiative, direction, and an unconquerable will into the
management of their affairs. And this is the hardest task of all."

We, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, have not found that secret.
But we do know, after five years, where not to look for it in our present
government. Do you see hope there ? Ask the unemployed textile
workers Do you see initiative? Look at our citrus industry! Do you see
direction? Ask the shirt manufacturers! Do you see an unconquerable
will? Let us consider the tourist trade. If industrial development is the
obvious long term policy for providing jobs for our workers, the tourist
trade is the obvious short term policy.

When one speaks of the tourist trade one thWinks principally of such
countries and areas as Switzerland, Florida and California, where tourism
is a highly organised business. It might at firt sight seem that Trinidad








and Tobago has little to offer the tourist no natural scenic attractions
and diversions as Switzerland, no such man-made organised entertainment
as Florida and California. This is indeed so. But the fact is that a sub-
stantial number of United States tourists, who spent over a thousand
million dollars in foreign travel in 1953, have been flocking to the Carib-
bean in ever greater numbers, and that the governments of several Carib-
bean countries, which are no better endowed with tourist attractions
than we are, spare no pains to encourage theq to do so. In 1954, for
example, the Bahamas earned $14 millions from the tourist trade, Jamaica
$27% millions, Puerto Rico $38 millions, Cuba $86 millions, Jamaica's
tourist trade amounted to half the value of its sugar exports, exceeded
the value of its banana exports, and was equivalent to one quarter of the
total export trade. Trinidad and Tobago, on the other hand, earned only
$7 millions from tourism. Between 1938 and 1954 the number of visitors
nearly doubled to the Bahamas, Haiti and Jamaica; it increased fourteen
times in Puerto Rico, and one half in Cuba; in Trinidad and Tobago the
increase amounted to one-third. It is the stop-over visitor who spends
money and creates employment, Vnot the cruise passenger. In 1954 the
Bahamas and Puerto Rico had as many stop-over visitors as they had
cruise passengers, Cuba had five times as many, Haiti, two-thirds as many;
Trinidad and Tobago, however, had more than two cruise passengers for
every stop-over visitor.

The stop-over tourist trade is dependent on first class and luxury
hotels. Trinidad and Tobago is far behind the other Caribbean terri-
tories in the tourist trade, because it lacks a luxury hotel. What hotels
mean to the tourist trade has recently been estimated in Puerto Rico and
Haiti. In Puerto Rico 37 cents of the tourist dollar go in hotels and 21
cents in food; in Haiti, 46 cents on hotel expenditures including food.
The stop-over visitor also spends more money in the stores and on taxis -
14 cents in every dollar on taxis in Haiti.

The obvious conclusion is: provide hotels, and the tourist expenditures
in stores, on taxis and other items are automatically increased. The hotel
development in such places as Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti and Jamaica's
Montego Bay, which has been described as "the Riviera of the New
World," has been exclusively the work of private enterprise. But there
are innumerable examples of direct government assistance to the hotel
industry, including two in the Caribbean the Dominican Republic and
Puerto Rico.

In 1948 the Dominican Republic announced a five year promotion
programme costing $51 millions, to include the following tourist develop-
ments:

(1) The construction of 14 hotels at a total cost of. $20 millions.
One of these, the luxury Hotel Jaragua in Ciudad Trujillo, where the
great attraction, when I visited it in 1949, was the Trinidad calypso,
has since been expanded from its original 70 rooms to 150.








(2) Deepening and expanding harbour facilities to accommodate
ocean-going cruise ships.

(3) A million dollar zoo in Ciudad Trujillo, where diners sit on
open-air terraces in sight and sound of rare animals and birds collected
from all parts of the world.

(4) Printing and distributionn of books and pamphlets on the
country and large scale advertising.

(5) Purchase of a 165-passenger vessel.

Over and above this $51 millions programme, the Republic has
built, at a cost of some $8% millions, a mile-long Columbus Memorial
Lighthouse as a major tourist attraction, to serve not only as a tomb for
the remains of Columbus preserved in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo,
but as a library and Columbus museum.

In the Dominican Republic, the tourist trade is obviously big
business. It will, therefore, not surprise you, Ladies and Gentlemen,
to learn that the number of 'tourists visiting the country was more than
three times as large in 1954 as it was in 1938, or that the country has
recently arranged with a United States Corporation for the construction
of a new $8% millions luxury hotel of 350 rooms to be ready for
the Free World National Fair at the end of this year.

The second example of government financing of hotels in the Carib-
bean, is the 300-room Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico, built at a cost of
$12 millions. The hotel was designed in consultation with Hilton Hotels
Internationals, Inc., who operate it under a lease with two-thirds of the
operating profit paid as rental. The hotel contains a casino as part of its
operation. Its construction was decided on by the Government as .a
part of the island's plans for the development of its economy and re-
sources.

The Caribe Hilton has become one of the biggest assets of the
Government of Puerto Rico, whose profits from the hotel have been as
follows: 1950 $705,000; 1951 $1,100,000; 1952 $1,358,000; 1953 -
$1,614,000.

Apart from the government profit in 1953, the hotel operators
earned a net profit of over half a million dollars from total sales and in-
come of nearly $6% millions. Latest accounts indicate that profits for
the first three months of 1954 exceeded profits for the entire year 1953.
A comparison of the Caribe Hilton with tourist hotels in the United
States indicates an occupancy rate of 81% for the Puerto Rican hotel
and 57% for the United States hotels, and a gross operating profit of 37%
for the Caribe Hilton (of which the casino accounted for only 11%), and
20% for the United States hotels.








The Government of Puerto Rico is quite understandably not anxious
to sell the hotel. The importance with which it is regarded is indicated
by the following Message of the Governor, Munoz Marin, to the Legisla-
ture of Puerto Rico on March 20, 1952 :

"Our, investment in one of the. great hotels of the Americas -
not merely a luxurious resort for the traveller but the great plant
for the tourist industry in Puerto Rico has been a great success.
The Government has no need for profits from this enterprise. It
is*intended to benefit not the government but the Puerto Rican
economy. Yet, the government has made a profit of a million
dollars in two years, and this money is now being used to promote
other industries. Directly and indirectly the economy of Puerto
Rico so far has benefited by no less than 6 million dollars from this
wise investment in the physical plant of our tourist industry."

But Puerto Rico is not satisfied with its Caribe Hilton and its
earnings of $38 millions from the tourist trade. Present plans call for
the provision of an additional 2,000 hotel rooms to accommodate the
200,000 tourists who, it is hoped, will visit the island by 1960. The cost
of this programme is estimated at $4] millions. It is proposed that the
Industrial Development Company (which built the Caribe Hilton) will
provide $10 millions over a period of six years, the Government De-
velopnient Bank $17 millions, and private capital the remaining $14
millions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, stop for a moment to ask yourselves this
question: Have the Government of the Dominican Republic and the
Government of Puerto Rico gone stark mad in building and proposing
to build hotels on such a fantastic scale when Trinidad and Tobago, with
all its wealth from oil, is still arguing as to whether it will build one
single hotel ? Somebody must be mad. Who is it ? I ask you, who is it ?

It is another case of Puerto Rico having found the secret, whilst
the only extensive tourist trade that Trinidad and Tobago has been able
to develop is the trips of our Ministers, locally and abroad. What have
they done about the real tourist trade? First they told us that they
absolutely must have one particular site for a luxury hotel, and that
another which was available positively would not do. You protested.
They backed down. And then what? We suddenly heard that site
No. 2, which they had first rejected, was absolutely the site that was
needed, while site No. 1, which they had first advocated, positively
would not do. They have got so used to changing their mind that it
is now just a bad habit. The hotel has not yet been begun. What are
they waiting for? If private capital won't come forward, let the gov-
ernment build the hotel. It is not just a hotel that we are building, it
is, as in Puerto Rico, the physical plant of our tourist industry, intended
to benefit not the government but the economy; any profit can be used
to promote other, industries. But how can we expect the Ministers to







build a hotel ? After all the talk for five years, we still do not have a
single bath house at Maracas Bay or any other of cur resorts, we still
have to dress and undress in cars or behind bushes, we still have to take
our hot lunches and share them on the sand with the other denizens of
our beaches, flies and mangy, half-starved dogs.

The hotel question is just another example of the Ministers' failure
to appreciate the question of jobs. The tourist trade means jobs.
The French Government once estimated that every dollar spent on
the promotion of tourism brought in $300 in return that is to say, more
jobs. In 1987 it was estimated in Jamaica that expenditure on adver-
tising, publicity, literature, etc., amounted to 69 cents per tourist, in
return for which the island received $28.80 from each tourist the
return was more than forty times the expenditure. A recent official
report from Hawaii for the year 1951 states that the $49 millions spent
by the 51,565 visitors in that year resulted in a total of about 122 million
dollars of local business, of which about 73 million dollars was personal
income in the form of wages, salaries, rents, dividends, etc. In Jamaica
in 1945 it was estimated that every 1,000 visitors provided gainful em-
ployment for 1,950 people, and 62 different main avenues of employment
were identified which were directly or inderectly assisted by the tourist
trade. The island now proposes to double the present volume of the
tourist trade within the next five years. Why ? The answer lies in the
search that goes on relentlessly for jobs, more jobs, and still more jobs
everywhere except in Trinidad and Tobago. The Daily Gleaner of
Jamaica, in an editorial a little over two years ago, stressed that the
tourist trade provided jobs for taxidrivers, cleaners, dressmakers, tailors,
fishermen, farmers, contractors, builders, carpenters, electricians and
truckmen, and it urged local farmers to improve their production to
supply the poultry and vegetables imported from abroad for the tourist
trade.
This is not just newspaper talk. Dr. Lewis, in his estimate of the
need for 413,000 new jobs in the next ten years in the British Caribbean,
allowed for between 10,000 and 40,000 jobs connected with the tourist
trade, about 4% of the labour force. This is exactly the estimated
employment provided by the tourist trade in the world's principal tourist
industry, Switzerland.
Thus the Ministers have exploited neither of the two obvious sources
of productive jobs which can accommodate an increasing population
and the labour displaced in agriculture industrialisation and tourism.
They have instead increased the jobs in the civil service. The depart-
ments of the central government employed 12,954 in 1950; 15,334 in
1954 an increase of nearly 19%. There was one civil servant for every
50 inhabitants .in 1950; one for every 45 in 1954. The danger cannot
be exaggerated. Civil service jobs are dependent, in number and in
remuneration, on productive jobs. You cannot indefinitely increase civil
service employment whilst employment in industry and agriculture is








decreasing. In the last analysis, the civil service is as dependent as the
rest of the community on an active and intelligent policy for keeping
our general population emyloyed.

Our economic bungling is seen at its worst where the question
of taxis is concerned. You are familiar with the charges against the
taxis they break all traffic regulations, they are hopelessly inconsiderate
to other motorists, they are reckless drivers, they are responsible for
many accidents, they are steadily putting .the buses out of business, they
add to the congestion on our roads. The cry is: limit the taxis. The
drivers are called "pirates." Why? A pirate is a robber. Is a man a
pirate because he tries to make an honest living? That is a new defini-
tion of piracy. If the taxidriver is a pirate because he is inconsiderate,
I would not know what word to use of their colleagues in New York,
Paris and Brussels. Moreover, all Trinidad and Tobago is a vast den
of pirates, since lack of consideration for others is one of our principal
national characteristics in every walk of life. If the taxidriver is a
pirate because he exceeds the speed limit, then we have pirates even
at ministerial level. If he is a pirate because he supplies a cheaper
service than the bus, then the bus is a pirate in terms of the train, and
the whole economic development of the world is a record of piracy.

We call for limitation of the number of taxis. Where will the
displaced drivers find employment ? In the textile mill, which has shut
down ? In the shirt factories, which are threatening to shut down ? In
the sugar cane fields, which have for years been reducing the number
of workers, some of whom, possibly, are taxidrivers today In oil, which
has not yet got the depletion allowances that will assist the industry in
its search for oil which, if successful, will provide more jobs ? In the
Port Services where, for every three jobs in 1950, there was one less last
year? The taxidriver obviously makes a living today; he can't run his
oar on water, he pays speeding fines, etc. He also provides employment
for others car dealers, mechanics, traffic cops, service station em-
ployees. He pays taxes and fees on his taxi. If you throw some taxi-
drivers out of employment, how do you assist the economy of Trinidad
and Tobago ? The solution of the taxi problem is an economic pro-
gramme which will provide productive and remunerative jobs in other
fields.

The picture of muddling through which I have painted is not im-
proved by a consideration of the Ministers' policy in respect of the
basic social services education, housing, water and health. These ques-
tions are admittedly difficult, due in part to the legacy of previous ad-
ministrations not distinguished for their concern with the welfare of the
population. But the five years of the Ministerial system have not brought
the solution of these difficulties any nearer.

Take the question of education, insofar as we can discuss it at all
in the absence of data the last education report published was for th,







year 1951. Is it that the Ministers don't dare to publish the facts ? Or
is it that the efficiency of the civil service has declined with the advent
of the ministerial system ? In ,that year 15 out of every 100 children aged
5 to 15 were not enrolled in school; 23 out of every 100 children enrolled
in the compulsory age group, 6 to 12, did not attend school. The
'number of new places provided by the government averaged 4,665 in
the three years 1951 1953, as compared with 3,809 by its predecessor
in 1949. The fact remained, however, that at the end of 1953 .the
schools were short of 2,922 places. even on the inadequate basis of eight
square feet per child, and that u, 1954, according to the report of a
Working Party of experts imported by the Government, 8% of the
children aged 6 to 12 could not be accounted for. Overcrowding in
the schools, as every one here knows, is as serious a problem as over-
crowding in the homes. The Working Party drew attention to one school
built for 305 children, which had over 900 enrolled. It concluded that
30,232 new places will be needed for the years 1954 to 1958, and that
the necessary school building programme will cost $6 millions. This
programme will require an additional 954 teachers, whose training and
salaries will be a further strain on our resources.

Please note, Ladies and Gentlemen, that there is nothing in this
expansion about enforcing the compulsory education ordinance and get-
ting into school the children not now in it, or about making any more
rapid progress towards the recognized democratic ideal of free secondary
education, or about removing some of the architectural eyesores in our
community which we call schools, or about raising teachers' salaries.

As in education, so in housing. In 1946, before the Ministers took
power, one out of every three houses was a one-room house, and another
was a two-room house; half of them had pit latrines, while one in eight
had no toilet facilities at all; half had to depend on standpipes for water,
and one in six on water from streams or ponds.

The situation has deteriorated since 1946, with ithe steady increase
in population. The total expenditure on slum clearance in Port-of-Spain
and San Fernando by the Planning and Housing Commission was just
over $4 millions up to the end of 1953; the expenditure in 1953 was
$184,000. Eighty-eight flats were built up to the end of 1953, none in
1953. The number of semi-urban and rural houses completed up to the
end of 1953 is 1439; of these 30 were built in 1953.

Obviously such a rate of progress can have not the slightest effect
on the situation. In the meantime John John and Shanty Town remain,
two grisly monuments to our policy of inaction, two menaces to our
community health daily increasing in gravity, two condemnations of our
transition to self-government. If slaves lived there, I could understand
it. If we deprived their inhabitants of the vote, I could understand it.
But these people are free men and women, who have the vote, who have
Ministers now to take care of their needs instead of a crown colony







government. John John has grown larger since 1950, however, and
Shanty Town's emergence as our latest residential suburb, whose very
name is offensive, is a product principally of the past five years. There
are other slums, I know, and slums in other countries. But John John is
not a place for a slum; our town planning should do better than that.
And the answer to Shanty Town is not demolition, unless, of course, the
Ministers propose to demolish its inhabitants in the process.

There is no easy solution to the problem. But it is not insoluble.
What do you think would happen, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you agreed
to postponement of the elections on one condition, that during the
period of postponement the members of the Legislative Council are
housed in John John, whilst Shanty Town is reserved for the Ministers, so
that they could get a more intimate knowledge of corbeau democracy?
I saw an apartment building in John John housing 25 families which
would be an ideal place for the Legislative Council Chamber for the
duration. Let me say that my suggestion does not apply to Mr. Bhadase
Maraj, the only Member of the Council who actively opposed postpone-
ment of the election.

I bet you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that, if this were done, the Legis-
lative Council would in record time find a solution for the problem.

A water expert has recently stated that it will require an expenditure
of some $80 millions to provide an adequate water supply for Trinidad
and Tobago. We have been nibbling at the problem so far, nibbling
ineffectively. Our failure to grapple with it stultifies all our efforts in
other fields. For example, we build a hospital for $7 millions in a town
which is constantly without water. What sort of industries can we
seriously hope to attract to such a place ?

So there we are all our expenses on schools, housing and water do
nothing more than dent the problem. We are learning to our cost that
social services and economic development go hand in hand, that govern-
ment revenues and individual incomes depend upon the provision of
productive jobs, and that a community where unemployment is compla-
;enitly accepted by the government cannot possibly hope to solve its
overcrowding in schools, to eliminate John John and Shanty Town, or
to-correct its perennial shortage of water.

What, then, is the solution ? Simply this an economic programme
of a scope and comprehensiveness never before envisaged designed to
provide productive jobs. The money for this programme can be sought
in four principal directions:

(1) The investment in industrial and agricultural development will
come from private capital attracted by incentives such as I have indicated.
Private capital, too, can be encouraged to invest in middle class housing
by some form of guarantee of mortgages by the government, as is done







by the United States Government in Puerto Rico; or by a government
guarantee of a fixed percentage of loans made by financial institutions for
building purposes, as is done in Canada; or by exempting fsom income tax
the interest on mortgages valued at less than a fixed maximum figure,
as has recently been done by the Government of Puerto Rico.

(2) A large loan has to be sought, either on the London or New
York markets or from the International Bank or from all these sources.
This loan should be expended in objects which, while themselves pro-
viding productive, jobs, will further assist the industrialisation and agri-
cultural programme roads, for example, especially the North Coast Road
recommended in 1947 (this will give an enormous stimulus to the tourist
trade) and roads to open up new agricultural areas; water, not only for
domestic but also for industrial purposes; reclamation and drainage, to
make areas like Cooorite and Shanty Town available for housing and in-
dustrial sites; irrigation, to bring more land into cultivation; a geological
survey of our resources, to strengthen the foundations of our industrial
programme.

(3) Special taxes should be imposed on luxuries, partly to .iyoid
the inflationary tendencies inevitable in any large scale dc :elopment pro-
gramme, partly to provide additional funds. These funds, however, must
not go into general revenues where they will be misspent, but must be
appropriated for specific and basic social and economic services which
would justify them in the eyes of those who have to pay them. Let me
give a few examples.

(a) We imported in 1954 $4 millions of alcoholic beverages-wines
and vermouth, beer and ale, stout and porter, whisky and gin, cordials and
liqueurs. A prominent bishop, one of Britain's greatest philosophers,
asked acidly two hundred years ago in opposing the importation of French
brandies, "whether if drunkenness be a necessary evil, men may not as
well get drunk with the growth of their own country." You cannot force
a man to drink local beer, even though he gets more, more, more in a
glass; you cannot force him to abstain from whisky and to drink sugar
cane brandy. But you can raise revenue from his expensive tastes. A
5% tax on our 1954 imports of alcoholic beverages would yield about
$200,000. It would raise by 27 cents the cost of a bottle of whisky or
liqueur retailing at $5.50. Allocate the annual proceeds of this tax ex-
clusively to the building of new primary schools, over and above the
normal education appropriation, and one might get as many as 25 new
schools in five years, with some 10,000 places.

(b) We spent in 1954 nearly $5% millions on motor cars. Impose a
5% purchase tax on all cars retailing for over $3,000 and on all American
cars, and allocate the proceeds to the maintenance and improvement of the
most heavily travelled roads, over and above the normal annual appro-
priation for road maintenance and repairs. No person in Trinidad and
Tobago who intends to buy a Jaguar or a Chevrolet will change his mind








merely because he is made to pay $250 on a $5,000 car, the proceeds of
which go not into Ministers' pockets but into the road pockets -so irri-
tating to the motorist.

(c) A head tax of one dollar on every tourist, whether stop-over or
cruise passenger, would have brought us $66,000 last year. The tourists
will not bypass Trinidad because of such a tax. Every visitor to the
United States has to pay a head tax of $13.60; Jamaica charges $2.40 each.
Allocate this tourist tax exclusively, and tell the tourists you are doing so,
to the improvement of our beaches and to the provision of bathing,
sanitary and eating facilities, and in five years time you won't recognize
Maracas, Mayaro or Manzanilla.

(d) The sweepstake ticket has become a recognized feature of our
daily lives, and the race meeting one of our principal forms of mass
entertainment. The sweepstakes pay about a million dollars a year in
prizes. At each meeting substantial sums are also paid out on forecasts
and the pari mutual. Tax all winnings 5%, and the total will amount to
anything up to $100,000 a year. The winner of a $40,000 prize will still
draw $38,000. Here is an annual sum that one can depend on for a
special fund for workers' housing, over and above the normal annual ap-
propriations.

(e) We import large quantities of other luxury goods. In 1954 we
spent nearly $2 millions on cosmetics; $220,000 on jewellery; $241,000 on
leather and leather manufactures; $271,000 on glass; $685,000 on glass-
ware; $324,000 on pottery; $950,000 on furniture and fixtures; $330,000
on travel goods and handbags; $342,000 on watches and clocks. These
items amounted in all to over $51/ millions. All of these imports are ob-
viously not luxury goods, purchased by the wealthier classes. Some of
them are the cheaper goods purchased by the masses. But let us assmue
that $3 millions consist of expensive perfumes, soap, handbags, suitcases,
watches, crockery, furniture and glassware. A 5% purchase tax would
yield $150,000 a year; it would raise the price of a $25 bottle of Guerlain
perfume by $1.25. An expensive woman will buy Guerlain whatever the
price. The government does not have to worry; only her husband does.
Allocate the proceeds of this tax exclusively to the increase of teachers'
salaries, and the civic-minded husband's pride in his well-groomed wife
will be increased by the satisfaction he derives from the contribution he
makes to the welfare of one of the most underpaid groups in our society.
If he grumbles, then remind him that he would pay a vastly higher pur-
chase tax on these very articles, in Britain today.

These purchase taxes will undoubtedly raise the cost of living for
the wealthier classes. But they will not reduce their standard of living
or their consumption of these items, nor will they affect their investment
or their incentives to invest, as higher income or profit taxes would. They
will be opposed by some, but the opposition will be reduced if their levy







is associated with and made -dependent on the fourth and most urgent
method of financing the economic programme.

(4) That method is a drastic reduction of the fantastic cost of our
Legislative Council. Our community cannot continue to shoulder the pre-
sent burden of salaries, travel and trips. A Minister's salary should be re-
duced to $720 a month; the salary of a member of the Council who is
not a Minister to $400 a month. Travelling allowances should be elimin-
ated, though a reasonable sum should be paid to members or Ministers
residing out of Port-of-Spain, for travel from their residence or consti-
tuency to Port-of-Spain on Legislative Council or ministerial business.
This should not exceed $60 a month for a Minister who comes to town
six days a week. Chauffeurs' allowances should be totally eliminated.
Foreign travel should be cut to the bone; an impregnable case must be
made out before the cost of living for the 700,000 people of Trinidad and
Tobago is raised by public financing of delegations and trips to attend
courses, conferences and conversations abroad. On such trips subsis-
tence rates should be severely cut. Cocktail parties and luncheons should
be prohibited whenever possible; their scope and cost should be reduced
if and when they must be held.

Am I being unreasonably austere, Ladies and Gent;lemen ? Com-
pare the situation in Great Britain. The First Lord of the Treasury
has been, paid the same salary, $24,000 a year, for nearly 300 years; the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for the Colonies for a cen-
tury and a quarter. In 1937 the salary of all principal Ministers was fixed
at $24,000 a year; but in 1951, Sir Winston Churchill, on taking office,
announced a cut of 20%, to $19,200 a year, for the period of rearmament.
Sir Winston's own salary as Prime Minister was reduced even more dras-
tically, by 30% from $48,000 to $33,600. Forty per cent of the Prime
Minister's salary is by law tax-free; Prime Ministers do not necessarily
take advantage of this provision. Up to 195] every Minister was provided
with a car and chauffeur. Since that time a Government Car Service
has been instituted, and only the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary
and the Home Secretary are now allotted personal cars. A considerable
saving has thus been effected.

Let us consider now the position of the ordinary Member of Par-
liament. He was paid nothing fntil 1911, when his salary was fixed at
$1,920 a year. In the Depression of 1931, this was reduced to $1,728,
but in 1937 it was raised to $2,880. In 1946, on the recommendation of
a Select Committee, this salary was raised to $4,800 a year, of which
$480 is tax-free; in addition the member gets free first class travel by
rail, sea or air between home, constituency and Parliament, and free local
telephone calls at the House of Commons. In 1954 another Select Com-
mittee pointed out that 75% of the Member of Parliament's salary goes in
expenses wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance
of his duties, while from the remainder he has to pay for the use of a car







or hospitality for constituents. The Committee therefore recommended
an increase of salary to $7,200 a year. This proposal gave rise to such
public controversy that Sir Winston Churchill announced that it would
not be right in the circumstances to proceed as was recommended. How-
ever, a month later, a motion for a straight. increase of the salary by 50%
was carried by a substantial majority.

I have not been able to ascertain whether this provision has been
accepted by the government or put into effect. The point is, however.
that Britain has been cutting salaries and that up to a year ago a British
Minister was paid $1,600 a month as compared with the Trinidad
Ministers' remuneration of $1,425, while the British Member of Parlia-
ment received $480 a month as compared with the Trinidad Legislator's
$510. This is utterly indefensible, not only in principle, but also because
of the fact that we, like all the British Caribbean territories, receive grants
from the British Government. Those grants are morally justified. It is
Britain which imposed on us slavery and indenture, the basic causes of
our present population problem. The British Caribbean in the past l;!s
made a substantial contribution to Britain's economic development. Britain
was solely responsible, up to a few years ago, for our misgovernment.
The grants we receive are, in fact, too small. But we have no case at all
for begging with one outstretched hand whilst, with the other, we put
money into the pockets of spendthrift Ministers. We cannot justify grants
from Britain which is reducing the cost of its Parliament whilst we increase
the cost of our Legislative Council.

From every standpoint, therefore, outs in the salaries of Ministers
and Legislators, rigid economy in travel at home and abroad, and the
institution of a strictly controlled government car service to be utilised
solely on official business all this is a must for us. My salary pro-
posals will cost the country at most $116,400 a year on its elected mem-
bers and Ministers; present salaries and allowance cost at least $48,000
more. Let us budget, however, for the next five years at the extravagant
rates proposed in the 1955 budget, and let us allocate the vast savings,
after the cuts, exclusively to secondary education schools, teachers and
college exhibitions. We will achieve thereby two important objects -
we relieve the labour market of the pressure from wage earners aged 14
to 18, and we give our young boys and girls a better preparation for
democratic citizenship. Do this, and by 1965 you won't be able to re-
cognise the Trinidad and Tobago you know today.

The next problem will be to maintain these cuts. We know what
has happened before. It must not happen again. Consider the facts
of the case. The sugar workers asked for increased wages. The employers
replied that they could not pay. So a Board of Inquiry was instituted.
which has recommended a moderate increase. The oil workers asked
for increased wages. The employers replied that they could not pay.
So a Board of Inquiry was instituted, which has recommended a moderate
increase. Why was not a Board of Inquiry instituted to investigate the







Legislative Council's demand for higher salaries? It just is not right
that outside arbitration should decide the issue in oil and sugar whilst the
Legislative Council, itself a party to the cause, should decide in its own
favour. It just is not right that the oil and sugar employers should have
an opportunity to state their case, while you, the employers of the Legis-
lative Council, should be denied that right. In the days of the Roman
iEmpire there was a saying that the governor of a province had to make
three salaries the first to pay his debts, the second to bribe his judges
# the trial which he was sure to face at the end of his term, the third to
live on. The colonial peoples had to pay these three salaries. As we emerge
from colonial status, we, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, can afford
to pay a legislator or a Minister, our own flesh and blood, only one
salary, to live on. In this we must be guided by the rule laid down by Mr.
Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain, when the principle of payment
of Members of Parliament was first instituted in 1911 that the salary
must suffice to enable the legislator "to maintain himself comfortably
and honourably, but not luxuriously."


The road before us is hard and steep. We may find ourselves in
the position of that unfortunate wretch in Roman mythology, sentenced
in hell to roll a huge stone up a hill as soon as he got it to the top,
down it rolled, and his labours began all over again. Every increase
in jobs in Puerto Rico is neutralised by the corresponding increase in
population. Jamaica faces the same prospect. It is virtually certain
that we shall, too, in the years to come. Puerto Rico and Jamaica find
some relief in the large scale emigration to the United States and Britain,
respectively. But each shipload or planeload of emigrants mocks the
claim that the Caribbean countries are trying to give their people a new
life and to build up a new civilisation. Trinidad's emigration fever is in
all probability only around the corner. That is why Federation is so
necessary, to build up the underdeveloped areas, whether in Dominica
or British Guiana, Nevis or British Honduras. But if our Ministers can't
develop the underdeveloped resources of Trinidad and Tobago, what
hope can we place in their capacity to develop the underdeveloped re-
sources of the British Caribbean Federation ?

But the harder the task, the harder we must strive. We must-strive
to create jobs. On Operation Jobs depend our schools, our houses,
our water. It is not a question of race, religion, or colour; it is not a
question of labour or capital. It is a question of jobs, schools, houses,
water. It calls for the united effort of the entire population. This is not
impossible of attainment. We may disagree as we please on intellectual
questions. This is an excellent way to use our leisure. It is also good
exercise in the practice of democracy. The one cause on which we must
agree and unite is a development programme designed to provide jobs
.for our adults, schools for our children, houses for our families, water
for everybody. Puerto Rico has found the key to. the door of this de-
velopment programme. This is not only an economic question. It is






85

also political, and so in my next lecture I shall turn to the question of
ettit tional reform. But, come what may, that key we must find in
Trinidad and Tobago, to open, in Dr. Lewis' words, the door behind which
the dynamic energies of our people are at present confined, to unleash
the drive and enthusiasm which warm the heart in Puerto Rico and
inspire confidence in the future.




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