Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00003
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: November 16, 1969
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00003

Full Text

OEC 16 '69


School children,
1969, are put
to the flag-wagging
exercises of
Empire Day.


Dialogue with
empty benches.


Independence has not brought any real
curtailment of the exorbitant power
which the Chief Executive has always had
here. The Prime Minister controls the
Lower House (House of Representatives).
There is no check on him there unless his
colleagues in the majority party have an
independent base in the constituencies or
in business. There is no outside check on
him unless dissenting opinion in the
country is free to express itself.
But free opinion is almost non-existent
except in the University. The local
business class is small and too much of it
either does not see the danger of
repression or is happy with it. The foreign
corporations are bound to play ball with
whoever is in power. And the Central
Government is both the largest employer
and the largest source of new jobs. The
prime Minister therefore has a great deal
of influence over other men's jobs.
Besides, he has an extraordinary
amount of direct control over
appointments under the Constitution. As
Her Majesty he appoints the Governor
General and as the Governor General he
appoints the Chief Justice. He appoints
the Public Service Commission and the
Police Service Commission; the Elections
commission and the Boundaries
Commission; the Auditor-General; and
three out of five members of the Judicial
and Legal Service Commission not
counting the Chief Justice. Finally, he

* Cont'd., on Page 2.


Who fooling
who ?


For whom will the bell toll? The people? Or the Government? That is
the issue which lies behind the current non-discussion of constitutional
The Government's approach to the question reveals its contempt for
the population. Williams has refused to offer a clear statement. Instead he
has had some thirteenth raters clowning about on the non-issue of the Privy
The distraction from the real issue isLLOYD BEST
bad enough. But the Maximum Leader's calculated to create the very
own performance has been worse. The "apprehensions" he pretends to be
Prime Minister's sly mention of the Latin worried about. For he Williams knows as
American model must have been well as anybody else that on paper the

Latin American model is the same as that
of the United States.
But that nasty shot just can't make.
The Prime Minister now finds himself in
the tragic position where anything he
does is a mistake. iHe controls Office and
patronage but he enjoys no moral
authority. His only choice is to force his
wishes on the country.
His one option now is to join with one
of the many DLP's, get the 75% majority
needed and sing out bull's eye. Let him
try. It might be his swan-song.

Abandon the Monarchy. Establish a
Participatory Republic with a
Governor General as Ceremonial Head
of State and a Prime Minister as Head
of Government.

Establish an island-wide system of Local
Councils in Trinidad. Give them real

Establish a specially powerful Local
Authority in Tobago.

Change the basis for selecting the Senate
and increase the size of that Assembly.

Enhance the power of the Senate in
appointments and strengthen its
influence on State opinion.

Establish a National Panchaiyat of both
Houses and give it influence on
appointments and on legislation.

Entrench Congressional power of
Constitutional Review every two
generations (30 years). Maintain

Give Congress power to review
representation in the Senate every five
years. Members can be included or
excluded by simple majority. The
Senate will keep up with the times.

Abandon the Privy Council and establish
a Local Court, preferably a West
Indian Court.

Reform the rules of the Civil Service to
grant more freedom.

Reform the rules of the Teaching Service
to grant more freedom.

Reduce the voting age to 18 to embrace
the youth.

Establish National Service to help
community spirit.
Shift the Capital out of Port-of-Spain
to help dcccntralization.

Page 2 TAPIA

T A P IA ispublished by The Tapia House Publishing Company Limited, 91a Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna, Trinidad


Leadership vs Prophecy

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall
not want. He maketh me to lie
down in Green Pastures."

The notion of a universal Saviour, if
we track it down, derives from the
peculiar condition of a people landless
and nomadic but at the same time
intensely nationalistic. The early Israelite
tribes craved political power, but lacked a
political base in reality. In despair they
turned to the magical hope of a Messiah.
The Old Testament is obsessive with the
dream of messianic delivery, because the
sense of importance and frustration in
real life fathers the hope that Somebody
Up There must Love Me.
Essentially, that is the psychology
behind what we have been calling Doctor
politics the politics of the lame and the
dispossessed, of those who have been
intimidated and discouraged into the
conviction that they could never hope to
help themselves and must depend on the
ministry of an omnipotent Redeemer.
The drift of Palestinian history made it
inevitable that, at a later date, Jesus
should be identified by his followers with
this idea of the Redeemer, but if we are
to judge from large parts of the New
Testament, it would appear that 'Jesus
himself had much insight into this
deliverance syndrome and into its
essential futility. "Take up thy bed and
walk" was his most characteristic
prescription; he himself was consistently
discouraging about the whole idea of
miracles, even when he was supposed to
be performing them. Wehave to look
beyond the trees of the Gospel stories to
perceive this, but it's there for those who
have eyes.

*** *** ***

It is therefore a kind of irony that,
through the part which western
Christianity played after Emancipation,
the New Testament should have become
so potent an instrument in recreating,
here in the West Indies, the chiliastic
spirit of dependence and expectation.
The explanation, of course, lies in the
fact that the total West Indian experience
of slavery, colonialism and other forms of
exploitation contains its parallels with the
old Jewish experience of impotence and
frustration. Both experiences have led to
the call not for leaders but for Prophets -
Captains; Chief Servants; Doctors.
Such expectations always throw up
the men to meet them; and in such a
climate the best-intentioned leadership is
always tempted to take a prophetic
turn. Leadership itself is perverted by the
passive salvationism of the people; in
place of the leader we get the Prophet -
and the fundamental ascription of the
Prophet's role is that of infallibility. The
process involved is a circular and
cumulative one; and the delusions of
follower and Prophet feed and magnify

each other, with cumulatively disastrous
consequences. The Prophet is more and
more convinced of his mission to direct
and manipulate the people for their own
good: the people are only led deeper into
their conviction of impotent
unworthiness. In the long run they lose
all capacity to "take up their bed and
walk." The infallibility' of the Prophet
moreover has the most serious
implications. By the principles of the
prevailing mythology he can never be
wrong. Since in real life men do make
mistakes, the view of reality must then be
constantly adjusted to meet the needs of
the mystique. The manipulation of men
implies the manipulation of truth. The
practice of Prophecy breeds Orwellian
double-think. It becomes increasingly
difficult to apprehend reality, and finally
the people are confirmed in an endless
nightmare in which they are lead blind
from despair to despair. In their delusion
they keep up the wail for a messiah; but
in fact they are in Babylon for good.

*** *** ***

It is a point of central importance to
our movement to understand this
distinction between leadership and
messianic prophecy; the failure to
understand it has been responsible for
many of the false issues currently being
raised about the nature of political
action; in particular, for many of the
interpretations, charges and criticisms -
even honest and sympatheticiticisms -
of the movement. As an example of
last we refer to the very instructive letter
from a Tobago supporter which we
thought it important to publish in full
(see page.4 ) because it argues from so
many of the assumptions about political
action which we consider most
Leadership, as distinct from
messiahship, is not a matter of ethical
desire; it derives from the natural
accidents of the human condition. As
men are differentially endowed, by birth
and experience, some who have
developed special skills or insights
inevitably give leads to other men within
the areas of their competence. Two things
are implicit in this process: first, that
such leadership recognizes its own
fallibility and the purely contingent and
relative nature of its pre-eminence; and,
related to that, leadership is continuously
providing for its own obsolescence. To
the extent that his leadership is successful
the leader expects to be superceded,
precisely because he understands that the
basic condition of his success is the active
participation of those whom he leads.
Without this participation, leadership
turns to messianic Prophecy, in which
case his utmost destiny is only to preside
over eternal crisis. In the last 50 years in
Trinidad & Tobago we have had much


* From Page 1.
appoints the principal representatives of
the country (the Ambassadors).
On top of all this the Prime Minister's
consent is required when the Electoral
and Boundaries Commissions confer
powers on public officers for the purpose
of discharging their functions. He also has
the power of consent over appointment,
acting or permanent, to the posts of
Permanent. Secretary, Head of
Department, Director of Personnel
Administration, chief professional
Adviser and all the respective Deputies.
His agreement is required for transfers
and promotions as well. And.still more, he
must assent to the appointment of the
Deputy Commissioner of Police.
In our context, these arrangements are
ready-made for a totalitarian State. They
require an angel as Prime Minister if the

abuse of power is to be avoided. Well,
Williams is not an angel, and we are not
anticipating any intervention by Heaven
in the appointment of his successors.
Nor is that all. The Prime Minister even
controls the Upper Branch of the
Legislature the Senate. He appoints 13
of the 24 members directly and through
the Governor-General a further 7 after
The question before us therefore is not
Monarchy or Republic? It is: who should
be in charge here? The State? The
Government? The Prime Minister? Or the


Our proposals are designed to place the
people in charge. We are preparing full
statements on all aspects of these

experience of messiahship; over the last
15 we have lived the perpetual crisis.
It follows that if we are serious about
making a better world there can be no
question of presuming on ignorance and
backwardness, there can be no question
of seeing the people as "the masses" to be
pulled about by a ring in. the nose. And
this, above all, is not a question of
idealism versus practicality; it is the plain
commonsense of understanding that the
only way to leave Babylon is for
everybody to take up his bed and walk.
What this means in terms of political
action is the absolute necessity of
"playing for change," of resisting the
temptation to force a change which can,
in the end, be no change at all. "Playing
for change" does not mean inaction or
hopelessness; it is the only mode of travel
that offers any real hope.
The immediate task of political action,
after all, is precisely that reform of the
imagination which makes it possible for
institutional change to take on flesh.
Talking, in this sense that is, significant
discussion and analysis, persuasion by
argument and exposure, conversion by
the common imaginative effort to define
the reality of ourselves and our
condition- is itself an indispensable
mode of action. We can not talk about
"theory" as opposed to "action," and
when people do so what they are usually
implying, often without realizing it, is
really a distinction between compulsion
and participation, between prophetic rule
and the kind of common endeavour in
which leadership is only .'functional and
contingent not there by any special gift
of grace or vocation.

*** *** ****

Many differences of opinion in current
dialogue are of this nature and derive
from the same source. But perhaps the
most pertinent one at present is'the
distinction being offered between
intention and method. The "split" in the
New World Group is supposed to be
about this. The columnist writing under
the name of Warren D. Armstrong in the
Express of two Sundays ago, for instance,
bases an extensive analysis on the
assumption of a Best faction versus a
Millette faction of New World, the two
being divided by differences of opinion
on the question of strategy.
Replying to this article a few days
later, James Millette himself underscores
the idea that people can be substantially
agreed "on all substantive issues" while
disagreeing about methods of procedure,
about "strategy."
Our position is that this is all a
delusion. Marshall McLuhan's phrase "the
medium is the message" makes the
important point missed by this kind of
analysis. Put into terms of political
action, what McLuhan's phrase means is
that you cannot use the traditional
methods of colonial power to realize the
intention of an independent nation. The
intention and the method are inseparable.
The way in which we proceed is
everything to what we will become.
If the ministry of Dr. Williams has
taught us nothing else it should have
' taught us that.

proposals. Here we present summaries on
the Monarchy, the Senate and the
Panchaiyat and on Local Government.


The case for the Monarchy is
that many Europeans, conservatives
and older people are afraid to
change the symbols of the old
order. It is not that the Monarchy
helps them in any concrete way. It
does not. The Prime Minister is the
real king; the burden of the case
against the Monarchy is that we
must unmask him. The proposals
made here will limit him but it will
still leave him strong which he has
to be.
The rest of the case against the
Monarchy is that its supporters are
in the minority. Sixty-two percent
of the population is under
twenty-five years old. The
Europeans must now accept


symbols of the change to
independence and to sovereignty of
the people.
They are right to seek re-assurance;
they must have a dignified place here.
They must find those assurances in the
Constitutional and political system as a
whole. We must persuade them by our
whole way of behaving that cutting the
navel-string with London is important to
us but that we will not use it as an
occasion to turn the tables. The
Constitution and the Government must
be for all the people.


The Senate must represent all
organised interests in the country. This is
necessary to bring popular opinion onto
the public stage and to give it
parliamentary protection. The Senate
must help the people to think seriously
about all aspects of the national life, to
see the range of their interests, and to
grasp the need to be organised and
The representatives must be selected
and paid by the community interests
themselves. They must not be under the
control of the Prime Minister because of
nomination. Nor must they be elected -
they may then challenge the other elected
body. What is needed is an Assembly
more to inform the State and the public
and less to exercise power.
At the moment, this scheme should
yield about 250 members of which 100
could be village Councillors, 25 Municipal
Councillors and 20 each for sporting,
cultural and trade union organizations.
There will be plenty of ordinary people.
This is the best part of the scheme.
These are the people who need to be
heard systematically. The scheme will
also throw up a lot of expertise and it will
force some to account in public for their
--Besides;--interests can change their
bowlers from time to time. Changing
attitudes will be reflected in the House
even between elections, and governments
will be better able to keep in touch with
public opinion.
The Senate must be charged to select
the Governor General from among its
own Members. This would mean that
both the Head of State and his electors
will be un-elected. Neither will have a
basis for challenging the elected
representatives of the people, and the
Prime Minister, as Head of Government
will still be the king-pin of the system.
But this Assembly must have power in
addition to its opportunity to mould the
opinion of the State. It could quite
properly and conveniently be given, power
to appoint the Auditor-General, the
members of the Electoral Commission
'and the members of the Boundaries
"Commission. These appointments need to
be taken out of the hands of the
Executive and the elected legislators.
These are controls on the State and
should be exercised by the Central
Agency which is most sensitive to popular
The senate should also have power
to initiate legislation
to establish Commissions of Enquiry and
to supervise the State's interest in the
Radio, Television and Newspaper
These are powers in the field of
information and they will service the
moulding of State opinion. To initiate
legislation is to tell the State about the
needs of the people.

This is a Congress of "Elders"
composed of the members of the House
of Representatives and the Senate. It
should enjoy influence on legislation but
not decisive power. The sovereignty must
lie clearly with the Elected House. One
way to do this is to allow Congress to
vote on the first reading of all non-money
bills. The elected representatives must be
unbridled in matters of raising money.
The second reading will be in the
Lower House and will be decisive. But the
Government will flout the decision on the
first reading only at its peril. In other
Cont'd., on Page 8.


TAPIA Page 3


What we should and should NOT be asking ourselves.

1. Monarchy or Republic?

2. Indian or Latin American model?

3. Are the local authorities ready for

4. Should we have a Senate?

5. Strong head of government or head
of state, or both combined?

6. Separation of powers?

1.What constitutional arrangements
are required to guarantee the
sovereignty of the people over the

2.What are the best constitutional
arrangements to ensure that every
government governs in the interest of
all the people black, brown, pink,
yellow, and white; African, Asian,
Mixed, and European; young and old;
urban and rural; Trinidad and
Tobagonian; rich and poor; male and
female; white collar and blue collar?

3.What division of responsibility
between central and local authorities is
most likely to lead to full participation
,f the people in the running of the

4.Is there anything which a Senate can
usefully and economically do which
the House cannot?

5.How should power be divided
between the Chief Executive and his.
staff of Ministers and Civil Servants?

6.What particular arrangements would
limit Executive domination of
Parliament and the Courts?

7.Should non-elected members have
places in the Cabinet?

8.Should we abolish the Privy

9.Are we mature enough to be a

10.Do we court danger from
over-reaching change?

7.How can the efficient working of the
Cabinet be made consistent with the
sovereignty of the people?

8.What judicial system will ensure
justice without political interference?

9.Why not Frank Worrell for West
Indies Captain 1957? Why not
Trinidad independence April 22,

10. How to get out of an impossible




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Don't get to hell outa here
Join the TAPIA HOUSE Movement
Come to Thursday night discussions
Read & distribute TAPIA
Take out a subscription
Come to Our

Saturday, 29th Nov., TAPIA HOUSE,
91 Tunapuna Road.

Page 4 TAPIA


Dear Lloyd,

You've tapped the vein of political
respiration of this territory and the
consequences, whether plasma or water,
will bespatter either, to your satisfaction
or utter disgust.
Take some sprinkling, one way or the
other. You are in the nature of a god-send
in having the capacity to analyse and
accurately diagnose the ailments of our
West Indian society. You're prescribing.
You've got the foresight and all that is
necessary to salvage humanity in these
parts. But, you're'not a Politician in the
"accepted" sense.
To be forthright, sincere, capable and
altruistic are all very well; but the ability
to put these qualities into effective action
depends on a sagacious use of ignorance.
Let me explain.
Ninety-nine per cent of us John
Public are ignorant, stupid, lazy louts.
We see and believe what we want to see
and believe; we accept what is not
difficult; we reject thinking and anything
which suggests effort. We were taught
that way; line of least resistance,
dependency complex plus the lot slavery
left us, and a catalogue more (which you
know so well), all added together, united
in the mass of bodies called people, in the
Caribbean. This is the manifestation of
our orientation.


Your speeches, writings, methods give
the idea that you're a practical man; that
you've got the qualities of leadership; but
also that you're hell-bent on playing the
game according to your rules.
Indeed, we know that you are correct in
all this. But "we" is limited to the few
who are stung into the desire for
knowledge and a balanced way to
fulfilment. The rest trust to sensible and
benevolent leadership -
It is therefore to this peculiarly
abhorrent phantasmagoria that you are
addressing your efforts. We and they are
but human in form but not in intellect. It
is with us that you have to work. Our
peculiar and unfortunate way of thinking
(if you can call it that) is the available
Using the available i material and
juggling ignorance are the stock-in-trade
of every able Politician. I'm not arguing
for ignorance. I'm arguing for good sense.
Your objectives must be indelible since
you believe in them, in their soundness;
they become part of your very being.
Once these are not nebulous they
manifest themselves in your every action
and over and above any juggling necessary
to giving them concrete effect.
The nation is calling-yelling-for you.
You sit back waiting. Waiting for what? I
don't know a damn about history, but
I'm sure history will prove or proves that
the politicians who contributed most to
humanity used honestly the ignorance of
the masses to their benefit. You've got to
get going along with the stampede to
swing the herd. Ignorance instinctively
rejects good sense (and.vice-versa). When
ignorance experiences good sense
ignorance manifests hope and it deifies
the unit in which good sense is embodied.
But ignorance must first experience
hope. It experiences hope when good
sense sets it aflame within. We, the
masses, are oriented to an environment
geared to perpetuating itself, environment
of ignorance. You've got to get in and
then stimulate the hope necessary to
effect the changes you providentially see
needed. You cannot sit banging away at a
whole system whose continuance must of
necessity presuppose tactical liquidation
of efforts such as yours unless you are
prepared to see these efforts fail. You've
got to see yourself sufficiently
ammunitioned to join battle. Your
ammunition is the masses.
See editorial comment under
"The Movement", Page 2. -





My most constant sensation during the entire time I worked in the' Trinidad and
Tobago Public Service was a feeling of being cheated. It was impossible for me to feel
what I knew I should feel that the Service was bigger than me. I knew I should feel
proud to contribute to its purposes with a piece of good work and ashamed to detract
from them with a sloppy one; that I must earn the right to influence its directions by
building a series of good contributions, by studying my seniors' evaluations of these
contributions, and by carefully examining the operations of which my work was a.
part. Instead I came to know that what was good or bad in my work would have to be
judged so by me alone.
I realized that reputation had nothing to do with performance. Recognition could
as easily come from a piece of charlatanry as for the most earnest effort. To influence
the development of public administration was impossible; but to have an influence on
the haphazard jumble of personal relationships that came to be substituted for it was
quite possible if one was prepared, first to abandon hope of lasting order in the quest
for short-term influence; and second, to reverse the proportions of time one felt
should decently be allotted to doing work
and to making oneself popular.
An organisation must be greater than -of Independence'. The title implied tha
the sum of its parts. But what makes it so only the Service, not the government, wa
is not the fact that its parts ultimately, in need of reform. And when the firs
the individuals composing it are part of the Working Party's report made
combined on paper, but that their efforts statements like the following:
are consciously coordinated, and that the we cannot conceive of any
activities on which these efforts are lasting improvements in the
expended are rationally assigned and structure, organisation and
adjusted in the eternal search for balance operation of these services [i.e.
between economy and specialisation, areas of public administration]
speed and thoroughness. But what is most being achieved without a
important is an acceptance by the fundamental change in the outlook
individuals of the primacy of the organ- and objectives both of those who at
isation, and a uniformity of the criteria and objectives both o f those who at
for such acceptance. present perform them and of those
under whose direction they are
In other words, an organisation must eroe direction they are
be a culture whose members judge each perfo ed
other and themselves, form alliances, it was coldly received. All the extremely
conduct disputes, acknowledge leaders valid points it made about colonia
and ostracise pariahs within a framework attitudes among civil servants, the
of mutually, even unconsciously,accepted necessity for different levels o
rules and taboos. The effectiveness of the decision-making, inter-ministry suspicion
organisation will depend to a great extent hiding of necessary information from and
on the degree to which these rules and by civil servants, were disregarded. And
taboos- can be- validly -related to the the Working Party stopped work before i
purposes of the organisation. could get down to concrete organisationa
Therefore, looking at an organisation recommendations. Mr. Lewis went int(
from the inside out is as good a way as limbo for a period of several months, and
any to examine its state of health. My last thereafter never headed a government
article on the Public Service dealt with department again.
the attitude of civil servants to themselves Part I of the report gave some hints a:
and their masters, and the relationship of to what these recommendations would
this attitude to the development, or lack have been like:
of development, of the governmental ,.. establishing targets for ...
machinery from 1956 to today. The improved performance on pain of
article stressed the self-contempt of the disciplinary action
older administrators, the aggressive the urgent need for a drastic
subservience of the young middle-ranking reo urentation in the system of
officers to political control, and the education...
authoritarian but anti-hierarchical
attitude of Ministers. -In short, it ... a change in nomenclature which
described a situation where all concept of would emphasis both the
the P public Service as an organsatl on wac 'national' and 'service' aspects ...
the Public Service as an organisation was There might be a National Health
lacking. CI ,:.v, n MTN;innal T Lre Cnrer a


I also pointed out that the political
arm of the government, by virtue of its
own and the country's history, could not
discern the causes of the problem.
Indeed, by using the phrase 'political
arm' I may be perpetuating one of the
myths at the root of the problem the
myth of the separateness of politics and
public administration. No concept could
be more damaging. Everybody
throughout society is a policy maker,
everybody is an administrator, in some
degree; within what is loosely termed the
'government', policy-making and
administration are shared by MP's,
Ministers and civil servants, and all the
psychological criteria of organisational
solidarity outlined above apply to
members of all these groups.
Therefore none of them is exempt
from criticism in the search for reform,
and in any survey of governmental
machinery the operations of Cabinet and
the attitudes of its members, at the very
least, cannot be excluded.


Their own responsibility was, therefore,
what the Ministers principally failed to
realise. The most noteworthy assault on
the problem of governmental inefficiency
was the appointment in 1964 of the
O'Neil Lewis Working Party on 'The Role
and Status of the Civil Service in the Age





v arev ce, a iIaLIonai j-egai 3ervi4 c, a
National Library Service... 9
They indicated a view of the nature,
both communal and individual, of public
administration that was evidently not
shared. In the words of the United
Nations Handbook of Public
Administration: 'There is a tendency
among political bodies to advocate
administrative reforms- as a general
principle, but to oppose them in their
specific application'.


Let us leave aside for the moment the
questions of whether this view was
sufficiently revolutionary in relation to
the role of the public, and whether
detailed 'recommendations for
improvements in the organisation (aside
from salary revisions) could have been
made by a group like this in the short
space of time it would have been
expected to take. Let me just say that I
think the answer to both questions is no.
The training recommendations, for
example, are disappointingly pedestrian
and vague, and even if the Working Party
had got down to ,concrete
recommendations in the departments
there is no indication that it could or
would have tackled such comprehensive
subjects as, for example, budgeting and
accounts, supervision, personnel
management or archives.
Perhaps it is not true to say merely
that the PNM government recognized a
problem but rejected unpleasant

solutions; there may also have existed
some functional, if ill-formulated, view of
desirable structure of public
administration. None was ever officially
proclaimed; but between 1956 and 1962
young Trinidadian public service officers
of the PNM orientation could be heard at
various courses and conferences in the
UK and the Caribbean proclaiming the
virtues of the 'American' system one
which required a change in the senior
levels of the public service with every
change of government, and personal
loyalty to the governing party on the part
of the officers at these levels.
Jamaicans, on the other hand, prided
themselves precisely on their
non-involvement with parties and claimed
that whatever happened in Parliament
they would continue to run the country.
Both views were of course wrong, but
while the Jamaican at least sprang from
misguided professional pride, the
Trinidadian was as abject as it was


The United States of Amerfca is about
the worst parallel that could be drawn
with Trinidad and Tobago. The American
administrator and technocrat is mobile
and confident; he shifts jobs within the
private, and from the private to the
public, sector with frequency and ease; if
he attaches himself to a party it is
therefore likely that he has done it
through dedication or a taste for
government, especially since he may well
have had to take a salary cut. He will not
shrink from controversy in government
nor- from resignation if the controversy is
serious and unresolved. The Trinidadian is
rooted in place by a combination of
self-doubt and lack of opportunity; his
party allegiance must be suspect, because
not only is government service probably
his only opportunity but he will hesitate
to lose favour by expressing controversial
Moreover, in the United States,
administration extends deeply into the
'political' branch of government; the
separation of powers and the committee
system mean that all members of the
legislature are constantly engaged in
administrative policy-making, and the
fact that the executive is appointed
means that the member of cabinet is at
least as much an administrator by
inclination as the senior civil servant is a
politician by party adherence.


All the factors of motivation and
restraint operating on the individual in an
organisation may be summarised in two
words reward and punishment. Both
may be external to the organisation,
internal to the organisation and external
to the individual, or exclusively internal
to the individual. In any organisation at
any given time, all three operate in
relation to different acts.
But it is evident that the strongest and
most effective organisation is that in
which the pressures of reward and
punishment operate in the reverse order
of importance to the one given above.
The most widely operative should be the
restraints imposed by the individual's
own conscience, pride or even neuroses.
The best filing clerk is the one, who is
so compulsive that he cannot rest while a
missing paper remains unfiled; and while
to be anally fixated is not necessarily the
best qualification for a supervisor of
elections, it might help to prevent him
going home to a good night' sleep on the
eve of a general election when he knows
that some voting machines are on their
way to Toco while their keys are in
Sanctions imposed by the organisation
must be second in their impact, and those
external to the organisation, third. That
is, it should not often be necessary for a


civil servant to be disciplined or
dismissed, and only rarely necessary to
put him in jail.
But most important is that these
sanctions must exist, that they be
acknowledged by the members of the
organisation and that they be related to
the purposes for which the organisation
This applies to society as a whole.
Adrian Espinet has written incisively
about the credibility gap in the area of
public rewards more specifically, our
ludicrous national honours.
When we look at the government as a
whole, including Cabinet and Parliament,
we realise that the rewards -- a pair of
motorcycle outriders, immunity from
cockfighting arrest, a pedestal shared with
John Wayne and Valmond Jones are
pathetic, and the punishments totally
The more unquestioninglyauthority is
accepted, the less conscious are those
who accept it of the manner in which it is
exercised. Both reward and punishment
must derive from the informed evaluation
of society; and if lack of informedness
prevents punishment from being available
at need, when it does come it will be
sudden, unpleasant and excessive. It will
spring from the exasperation of the
governed at their belated realisation of
misgovernment; from surrendef-to the
blandishments of the much feared
'subversion', whose credibility is
magnified by disproportionate
governmental reaction, or from both.


Such an outcome is unthinkable
because of the disastrios consequences it
would bring to society as a whole; that is
why public awareness and public
involvement are desperately necessary --
-p-nishment and reward must be
continual, temperate and widely
applicable. Just as much it has the right
to know that its tax money is not being
stolen or its drinking water polluted, the
public has a right to a reasonable
certainty that administrative operations
of less direct impact are being carried out
rationally and efficiently; and when it is
unsatisfied it must be able to make its
disapproval felt. This can come about
only through public awareness, which is
the same as public participation. Public
disapproval will still fall directly on its
elected representatives; but it will now
spring from an informed evaluation of the
government's performance on specific
issues rather than from the racial
background of voter and candidate. It
will be easier to overlook a man's race if
you and he, or a member of his party,
have sat together on a hospital board and
done work you can both be proud of.
Civil servants will still be protected
(through less than before) from the direct
disapproval of the public, but they will be.
indirectly much more subject to it
through the politicians, in that the latter
will be compelled to institute and
maintain, however initially unpleasant it
may be to themselves, a stronger
permanent governmental machinery. And
future professional administrators, raised
in an environment ofefficiency and




responsibility in school and community,
will develop a tradition of responsibility
and professional pride.


So I come at last to concrete proposals
for improvements in the machinery of
government. I can no more indicate
concrete improvements in the running of
each Ministry, department, County
Council and statutory body than could
the O'Neil Lewis Report. But from what I
have said above the lines of approach
should be clear. It is indispensable that
two conditions be realized without delay.
Rewards and punishments must be
immediately made real. Administrative
decentralisation, both in policy-making
and policy-execution, must be instituted
not only throughout the government but
throughout society.
The incidence of punishment will have
*to be preponderantly external at first,
since it is speed that matters now; but the
incentives and deterrents will gradually
become more and more internal as the
situation improves.
The new reality proclaimed for
rewards and punishments must be
credible, as must all other aspects of the
programme of change; and a Government
can make it credible in only one way by
immediately accepting, in advance, the
possibility of punishment fbr itself. It
must make the proposals part of an
election platform and pledge adherence
to them.

The proposals should be as follows:

and more specific terms of reference. It
should be composed of the most
reputable and competent local public
servants. It may also be useful to include
people of international eminence in
public administration and related fields -
management, accountancy, personnel
management. Technical assistance to
cover all or part of the foreign cost can
easily be found the U.N. Technical
Assistance programmes have offered
services in this field since their inception,
and many countries have taken advantage
of them.
Instead of interviewing heads of
departments as the present Working
Group is doing, the Commission should
have the powers, and the staff, to delve
into the working of any public agency at
any level, and examine any records. It
should be given two years, not four
months, to complete its work.
Since such a Commission cannot
initiate recommendations on the type of
constitution that will suit our national
needs, its terms of reference should be
drafted against a background of policy
resolutions aimed at decentralising the
structure of government and
strengthening local government organs.
This must in turn be conceived within the
framework of economic decentralisation
and participation.
In relation to the central government,
the Commission must also be charged
with an examination of the operations of
Cabinet and of the share of administrative
power exercised daily by Ministers.
The investigations of the Commission
must be in two dimensions. First, it must
investigate and make recommendations
on governmental operations from the
point of view of technique: that is, on
budgeting and accountancy, personnel






management, supervision, archives all
the professional pursuits which, while
they may differ in detail from one agency
to another, will exist throughout the
government whatever changes there may
be in departmental structure, and which
need to be revised, modernised and made
more flexible. Secondly, it must examine
the working of the Ministries and other
agencies that exist now, and make
recommendations for changes in the light
of the proposed constitutional reforms.
Along the first dimension, the
Commission must make
recommendations on such things as the
effectiveness and flexibility of the
budgeting and accounts procedure in the
separate types of government body; the
systems of records, research resources and
internal communications; the machinery
for in-service training, supervision, and
individual efficiency reports and their
evaluation. The Commission must -must
be charged with developing wherever
possible criteria for measuring output and
achievement, and recommending how
these criteria may be applied in different
areas for purposes of promotion,
discipline, staffing and training. It must
advise on the creation and revision of
operational manuals for the guidance of
officers of departments such as customs,
Registrar General's, Immigration and
others which do a large volume of work
closely governed by statute or regulation.
Along the other dimension, the
Commission must examine such things as
the organisational structure of each
agency and the performance of individual
officers in it. It must study the extent
and effectiveness of inter-departmental
cooperation, and must be specifically
charged with recommending
inter-departmental consultative
machinery for administrative
policy-making at all levels. It must
recommend machinery within
departments for maintenance and revision
of procedural statements for repetitive
operations, with the objective of fostering
the interest of junior officers in the
efficiency of their departments by
enabling them to-contibte-ideas and
ensuring that the ideas are considered.

PARTICIPATION in the running of
public services at all levels. The emphasis
here must be on the community; it is not
sufficient merely to have a few lawyers
on the boards of national statutory
corporations. There must be regional and
local boards and management committees
with responsibility for planning and
supervising health, welfare, fire,
education, town and country planning
and other services, under the local or
central government as the case may be.


The local government bodies
themselves must be given, in the words of
the U.N. Handbook of Public
Administration, 'significant functions and
powers, and also compatible resources, so
that they may act not only in form but in
substance as the responsible authorities in
local affairs'.
The full realisation of community
participation will be a big step, and will
doubtless be attended by a certain
amount of confusion. Indeed,
decentralisation getting as many people
'as possible into the act goes against the,
grain of many efficient administrators. A
camel, runs the saying, is a horse designed
by a committee. If so, it was a committee
of desert dwellers. E.N. Gladden, in his
'Essentials of Public Administration',

6 In the local government
sphere, as in no other, there is a
grave danger of over-emphasising
administrative convenience.
Administration is a good servant
but a poor master. Efficiency in
this direction may be pursued at
the expense of life. It is important
to a democratic society that local
government should be based upon
the interested community whose
citizens take full responsibility for
the essential housekeeping duties -
local administration in the truest
sense which is the first concern of
the local authority to perform.
When the formulation of larger
units is in question the increasing

TAPIA Page 5
difficulty of maintaining
democratic self-government calls
for consideration. The first problem
to be solved in regionalising local
government is the problem of
efficient representation and the
maintenance of citizen
participation. Until this is solved
administrative convenience should
take a back seat. 9

In any case, the need for participation
does not deny the need for leadership -
indeed, one of the most important things
we expect from it is that it will throw up
leaders in all fields.

SERVICE. The Public Service
Commission must be freed from the
political control at present exercised
upon it through various unorthodox
channels, in matters of appointment and
promotion. Access of officers to
administrative or political :heads of
departments in the matter of promotions,
and the intervention of Ministers in such
matters, must cease. The present
unconstitutional Ministerial interviewing
panel for Foreign Service applicants must
forever be abolished.
Training and recruitment must be
made much more flexible, and in the
decentralised structure it should be easy
to achieve this. The conditions to be
sought should be early exposure of youth
to practical administration, and detection
of the kind of interest in administrative
problems that is the material of good
administrators. This can be achieved
(apart from the necessary changes in the
education system) by making a place for
adolescents, perhaps during school
vacations, in the work of community
boards and authorities. Recruiting
authorities must keep records of the
performance and aptitudes of these young
people. A two-year period of
(non-military) national service will give
further experience in administrative work
to those who have shown administrative
aptitudes and who opt for, or are assigned
to, administrative tasks as part of their


The present university qualifications
for entry into the upper levels of the Civil
Service should be retained, but
augmented by a well-developed
programme of testing, with sophisticated
tests designed to reveal potential ability
in specified types of jobs problems
culled from files, theoretical
organisational problems, psychological
tests. There should be a period of
probation that is real, not fictitious like
the present Administrative Cadetship,
with a strictly defined in-service training
programme during the probationary
period and a serious review of the
probationer's performance reports before
There should also be a basic notional
pattern of promotion -- a model average
Public Service career setting out
roughly the length of time officers may
expect to spend in each grade, to inhibit
accelerated promotions not justified by
the most exceptional ability, to teach
applicants the difference between career
and careerism, and to get across the idea,
not very widespread in this country, that
governing a nation is not an easy job but
one which it takes a lifetime to learn.
The machinery for promotion should
be made deliberately more complicated.
Irregularities in promotion procedures are
perhaps the greatest cause of young
officers' present lack of confidence in the
Service and the prevalent neglect of work
in favour of lobbying. The P.S.C. might in
deliberations on promotion be augmented
by a certain number of department heads
and lower-ranking officers, perhaps
appointed by. the Civil Service
Association. This fs how the French
system of Civil Service promotions works.
The deliberations should as far as possible
be made public. The personnel
department, under the direction of the
P.S.C., should elaborate rules of
promotion based on seniority, merit and
the requirements of specific posts. The
rules should first narrow down the list of /

* Cont'd., on Page 8.

Page 6 TAPIA


The Paradox of Power in Trinidad


On the face of itWilliams's international reputation looks like the full
answer to the black boy's dream of prestige and power. Bustamente, we
all know, for all his political bushmanship, was a buffoon, a Texas-type
ten-galloner whose wit ran strictly to rodomontade, as in his famous joke
on hearing the size of the St. Vincent budget ("What! But-that is what I
carry around with me for pocket change!). Manley, humourlessly hailed
by Jamaicans as "the world's third best lawyer", enjoys the prestige of a
Rhodes Scholar for whatever that variable is worth. As for Adams, the
kindest view one could take of him from about 1958 was that of the
Grand Old Man, the honourable relic.
For Williams alone the ripest plums of
opinion seem to have been reserved. It
was not Trinidad, but Eric Williams's
Trinidad that Harold MacMillan described
as the Athens of the West Indies. It is
Williams who long ago was seen as the
modern scholar-prince, the heir of
Woodrow Wilson, the Stupor Mundi of
the *Third World Lesser men covet
colonial knighthoods; Williams's
excellence claims nothing beneath the
rare dignities of C.H. and Her Majesty's
Privy Council surely the final proofs of
stature in this white man's world. When
you're black you've got to come double
good to be in. there among the big
leaguers. Williams is the author-statesman
whose publisher flies. down to hold
conference with him, whose
autobiography is an event in the London
cocktail circuit. In these and other signs
one is assured that pur Prime Minister
really has it made. Everywhere he is seen
as the strong politician, the man firmly in
the saddle of party and polity, as proper
to one commanding such prestige.
That, at any rate, is the accepted view,
on sale at home and abroad. Of course
there are those who won't buy it, and on
closer scrutiny the reputation is not quite
so rosy as it seems. The English reveiwers
of Inward Hunger were enthusiastically -
polite, but there were distinct sounds of
sniffing in the air for those who had ears
to hear them like that dry reviewer's
comment that it seemed a formidable '
thing indeed that anybody could be so
invariably "right" about everything as
William's own sccount made him out to
be. Other observers, scrutinizing the god's ,
feet, have announced traces of clay.
Williams's popularity, said a recent writer powers, has held so much personal
in a Latin American series, "hides his control direct and indirect over the
incapacities." The pathologically insular portfolios of his government. Finance
Jamaican view a view moreover which Planning, Development, Tobago Affairs,
holds peculiar values about physical size Community Development, Local
- stubbornly seems Williams as the likkle Government all fall more or less
man from Trinidad. directly within his competence. A


This last may be unfair to cite because
of its clear peculiarity. And yet, by
whatever idiosyncratic processes the
Jamaican mind comes to it, it comes
oddly close to the truth, the reality
behind all the cheesecake of Williams the
Omnipotent, the statesman as
philosopher in action. The paradox that
this view embodies, the paradox that it is
our business to resolve, is that of the
maximum leader pulling all the levers and
pressing all the buttons- and effecting
nothing at all. All wind and no change, as
Mr. Harold Wilson commented in another
context, of Sir Roy Welensky.
This paradox of energy turning
pointlessly on itself is the crux of the
problem about Williams's baffling
exercise of Statesmanship an exercise
that might precisely be described as one
of controlled ineffectuality. The Prime
Minister's hands are full of the buttons
and the levers, all right ,.and he is visibly
working them with a rare energy.. Our
problem is therefore to discover why all
this apparatus is connected to nothing
more creative than a treadmill.
The analysis must begin, then with a
look at the apparatus itself; and Lloyd
Best has in the last week or two been
making the essential points about this in
his analyses of the constitutional reform
question. The Prime Minister virtually
exercises a pussonal monarchy which in
fact, if not in principle, comes closer to
the Republican presidential type than to
the nominal Westminster cabinet model.
No Commonwealth Prime Minister, not
even Nkrumah at the height of his

number of them he manages, at one
remove, through a cardboard Minister of
State. By a variety of devices he succeeds
in retaining the initiative in External
Affairs, West Indian Affairs, and Labour.
Internal Security, Defence and the Civil
Service are his by virtue of their status as
co-ordinating functions of government.
Williams, in short, is the onlie begetter,
and we may fairly summarize his position
by saying that no decision is too large for
his single capacities, or too small to be
beneath his notice.
The very scope of this omnipotence
calls for enormous resources of energy
and ability, and there can be no doubt
that Williams brings them abundantly to
the task. As a Prime Minister, he has
varied the dubious formula of primus
inter pares to a far more certain (though
not always clear) one of first among
unequals a patent fact which has led
some observers to the view that every
Member of the Cabinet is Williams's
personal creation, his man to make or
break by private fiat.
This view is almost certainly mistaken,
and in fact the evidence for a
counter-dependence of Williams on
certain of his "men" is as much there as
the evidence for theirdependence on him.
Two of the more obvious examples
should be enough to fix the point the
cases of O'Halloran and of the rather
remarkable Mr. Kamaluddin Mohammed.
Trinidad is by cultural heritage a jungle
of dark rumours, and for the purposes of
serious analysis it is fortunate that we
don't have to depend on some of the
sinisterly entertaining stories now in
currency about certain personal relations,
past or present between Williams and his

key men. These stories may or may not
be more or less true, but fortunately for
our legal position they are unnecessary to
the analysis. We can understand
O'Halloran's position for instance by
reference to two sets of facts, the first of
which could, be misleading in isolation,
but which taken together throw a lot of
light on the dynamics of the political

The first consideration about
O'Halloran is the generally recognized one
that he is an elected representative
without a personal support in his
constituency. To this extent he is the
creation of the party. And beyond that,
because of the 1966 incident in which
Williams personally overruled a party
constituency group decision rejecting
O'Halloran (in favour of Miss Verna
Critchlow), we can say that O'Halloran,
as M.P., is the creation of Williams.
That is one set of the facts. Nobody
loves the enormously successful Minister
of Cockfight, the Government
frontbencher who brings a massive gothic
indifference to his well-publicised
improprieties vis a vis the law, and who
perhaps more than any other government
minister popularly symbolizes the ruling
party's fall from its own proclaimed
standards of morality in public affairs.


The question is, if nobody loves
O'Halloran, if O'Halloran costs the party
so much in terms of popular respect, why
then does Williams continue to tolerate
him indeed to allow him a seeming
immunity beyond that of any other
minister? The answer to this leads not to
the labyrinthine deeps of palace intrigue,
but somewhere close very close to the
crucial particularities of Williams's
political modus operandi.
The simple point is that in the P.N.M.
government O'Halloran is the legman on
the commercial beat -- the one
government man whose roots belong in
the Chamber of Commerce and who still
has personal (as opposed to official)
access to that off-white demimonde.And
behind this distinction lies a
socio-political reality dating far back to
the bad old days before 56 when the
national movement was seen as athreatto


the integrity of the Country Club. This
allusion makes the point right away;
under the ministry of Williams we have
passed 13 years without solving this
problem (so that in 1969 we can still be
debating, with an air of solemn surprise,
with all the ritual of recrimination and
absolution, the "question" of racial
discrimination in the Country Club.) For
after 13 years, despite all the official
ballyhoo, the plain truth is that the
Country Club- Chamber of Commerce
complex has neither been destroyed nor
reconciled. We have met the times by
resorting to blackface ads for Ovaltine
and Guinness, by erecting selected black
mannequins in the shopwindows, and by
a destructive sponsorship of steelbands -
even by putting each year a lonely Miss
Ebony into the creamy flocks of the
Carnival Queens. But we have never
rejected the assumption of blackness as
illegitimacy. Shifting without moving, the
creoles have continued to shop around
for a party that would guarantee their
ancient rents; and at the last election, in
this continuing search for the means to
resusciate the P.O.P.P.G., the sum of
$70,000 was somehow found to finance
the Liberal Party's campaign.
There are two important implications
here. The first clarifies O'Halloran's true
function in the governmental structure;
he is the P.O.P.P.G. link that Williams is
forced to retain for the sake of the
unstable polity. The second is that
Williams's need for this link points up his
failure to fulfil the terms of his contract
to "forge the uncreated conscience" of
his nation. By temporization,
equivocation and ambiguity, by failing to
face squarely the issues of his regime, he
has been forced to maintain a halloween
policy of trick or treat. O'Halloran is only
the boy carrying the paperbag.


Kamal is in a sense a more complex
case, but in the present context calling
for less discussion. The two leading facts
in the instance are that he is an Indian
Muslim and that he is personally and
irrepressibly ambitious. Widely distrusted
by the unknown soldiers of the party, he
holds the promise and the threat of the
anti-Hindu Indian vote over the head of
Williams. Given a mandate to remove him
by the P.N.M. backroom boys, Williams
strategically shifted him to a new
Ministry where his energy and ambition
were only given scope to create a new and
even larger importance. Today the
rumours of the market-place are that he is
the true heir-apparent of Williams, and
whether that is true or not is not of the
slightest importance. What it does show,
once again, is that a particular minister is
as important, or nearly as important, to
Williams's political strategy as Williams is
to his political survival.


When we ask why these things are so
we are led to the heart of the paradox of
Williams's ministry. Williams, as we have
seen, is certainly in charge; but in charge
of what? There are strings on all those
levers the strings of sectional interests.
Those strings cannot be broken not
because they are strong (in 1963 Williams
could have rationalised an educational
system that has been a mass of
confusions for 150 years or close, or it
would seem that he could have but he
did not) but because the little king has
failed to initiate the kind of political
system that makes real control possible..
The analysis leads us to the conclusion
that the appearance of total power and
the inability to initiate actual change are
integrally related. They are two aspects of
the single reality that, as in the colonial
past, our political dynamics continue to
be propelled from outside. To understand
why this is so requires analysis of three
aspects of Williams's thought his
conceptions of political authority, of
party organization, and of economic
change. These aspects we intend to
explore in follow-up articles in the near

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DLP: Politics of doom (cont'd).

Mission Unaccomplished

"And then came Rudranath Capildeo ... A Man with a mission. His
straight-from-the-shoulder speech punctuated by deafening cheers. In language which
showed the poetry of the man's soul, in words that revealed a fearless and inexorable
desire to follow the path of truth, in a manner which showed that principle would not
be sacrificed for expediency ..."
So ran the official party version of Capildeo's advent, according to an article in The
Statesman of May 13, 1961.
"And then came Rudranath Capildeo the Savannah, Capo was visibly shaken by
S A man with a mission. His the ignominiess" meted out to the DLP
straight-from-the-shoulder speech during the contest. He lost his cool and
punctuated by deafening cheers. In made a disastrous call on his listeners to
language which showed the poetry of the "Arm yourselves with your weapons..."
man's soul, in words that revealed a Whatever chances the DLP had had,
fearless and inexorable desire to follow dissipated on that afternoon. It was not
the path of truth, in a manner which the last wound which the Doctor was to
showed that principle would not be inflict on the DLP but it-was a big gash.
sacrificed for expediency ..." Perhaps the largest crowd in the nation's
In spite of organisational difficulties political history had gone to hear words
and continuing internecine strife, the of wisdom; what they had gotten for all
DLP seemed set to offer a spirited their pains was largely brash invective.
challenge to the PNM in the elections of And so the "floating vote" was
1961. After the climax of April 22, 1960 decimated and with that, was lost much
the March on Chaguaramas the PNM possible Negro support for the DLP. The
was dodoing. Party politics was playing business classes also hesitated. No longer
itself out, and giving way to the "stunted was the DLP the party of law and order.
party politics" which the new movement The rest was sheer anti-climax.
has now to re-habilitate. But as things The DLP campaign was driven indoors
turned out, the stagnation did not help and in the wash, only ten of thirty seats
the DLP any. were won in the poll. The party gained
WHICH DOCTOR? 41.66% of the votes cast, 36.699% of the
electors. This last figure is deceptive for
Yet it might have, In 1961 the big being close to the proportion of Indians
question was: which Doctor? The in the country. Race had been at the
hostility generated by the campaign forefront of campaign .but it had not been
reached its high point on a fateful Sunday a straight case of race. It was Doctor
afternoon in mid-October. Speaking at Politics and the two Doctors had both

slhiled the focus away from party and
programme. At each party's base was a
Messiah-man and it was the dependence
on Saviours which let the racial skeleton
out of the cupboard.
The DLP's first response to the
election result was mere diatribe. We were
robbed, went up the shout, in that tragic
unpolitical way of ours. The issue was
contested not in the constituencies but in
the Courts; seven writs were duly laughed
out with costs. Meanwhile, Capildeo
solemnly ordered his Parliamentarians not
to attend the new Assembly. Just when
the nation needed to confront the new
administration, Her Majesty's
distinguished Opposition went dead out.


And then began the naughty comings
and goings. Absentee-leadership became
the form. Up and down. In between his
travels, Capildeo found time to lead his
team to the Independence Conference at
Marlborough House. Together with
Williams, he accepted independence as a
gift all wrapped in the tinsel and string of
During the period 1962-1966, Capo
lectured at London University while still
enjoying the perks of the Leader of HM's
Opposition. He made eight visits home
during this period. For him, politics had
become a vacation job. That created an
intolerable situation for some. Defections
produced the Liberal Party and the W.F.P.
The DLP thus went to the 1966
elections against three parties. Capildeo
returned for the fete. The Daily Mirror of
17th July reported his famous lines. "If,
he said, I lose the elections, I am finished
with Trinidad for good.." He lost the
The DLP won 12 of the thirty-six seats

E RC E BN A D Ibecause the English look down on them.
They do not believe themselves lower,
I JDIAN I CEBE_. --and you cannot persuade them.
-- In Trinidad, as in India, the Indians'
For long the Indian people in Trinidad have baffled the understanding of, strength of mind is such that they are
non-Indians. Even now the theorists who generalise about Indians may not. be.seeing confident even when in ignorance of
clearly. Unless they clear up some misconceptions and stop looking through Negro eyes. detail. The average Indian knows little of
they will progress little. They must give up the feeling that Indians are similar to his past, would be unable to argue well [
Negroes except for minor differences of ideas and physical appearance. Indians are for his way of life or his religion, but he
another people with a defined traditional way of life, of religion, of behaviour, of believes in it -nonetheless. Anyway it is
thought. They are not a subculture, but a
rival culture and a strong resistant one. E

The urban Indians are unrepresentative
of their people, and they tend to give a
false idea of Indian feeling and behaviour.
We must realize that Indians are largely a
rural people, quiet, conservative and
attached to the land. They live in the
Western Hemisphere, but they are Eastern
peoples. If Negroes look to the Americans
and Europeans and wish to be bourgeois,
Christian, materalistic and intellectual,
Indians do not. They hold to traditions
and behaviour from India, despising all
else as inferior. They are not, and do not
care to be, part of Trinidad's cultural

No Need to Shout

Recently we have seen a new Negro
consciousness of self arising, a racial and
cultural upsurge. Some may be wrong in
believing that we will see an equivalent
consciousness growing among Indians; it
may be wishful thinking. New World
Negroes can talk at length of their
growing consciousness because they never
had any before. They lost it in the Middle
Passage. Indians have had this for
thousands of years and they accept it.
They do not have to argue, to shout
aloud that Indians are beautiful. They do
not have to justify their existence and
claim equality. To them Indians are a
superior people, and no question about it.
Their definitive statement is "I am an
Indian, I am a Hindu."
The problems of Indians have all been
resolved and settled long ago. They do
not have to worry about anything except
the mechanics of living. Whatever else
they want is there for the taking.
Philosophical problems such as their place
in the universe, their value as a people
have been solved ages ago. Historically
they know the role they have played. Do
you ever see them arguing about what the
plantation system did to them, and how

they should get freedom? Indians are
already free. Their religion is a monument
on which they can close their eyes and
lean. It pervades them, is part of them,
Have you wondered why Indians do
not gather in groups and discuss
themselves intellectually? Why should
they? That is not the Indian way which
rather, is to avoid stress. Indians have no
intellectual problems that press for
solutions. Besides it is the Western way to
intellectualise and theorise on all
problems. Such activity is strange to the
East, whose way is acceptance rather than
revolt and change. Also country folk have
better things to do than argue. Indians are
unaggressive and gentle by nature, the
reason why they tend to avoid the more
extroverted Negroes. The lotus blooms in
the west, but it is still a lotus.
The Indian position on race and colour
causes more confusion again. If you talk
of black people you cannot mean Indians.
Physically they are not black, emotionally
they do not feel the Negro stigma of
blackness, or of colonialism. Indians are
insulted at being considered black in the
Negro sense of the word, and "third world
peoples" means nothing to them. Perhaps
foreign whites and some local ones may
consider them inferior, but this is
Trinidad. Frenchmen do not worry

doubtful if he would bother to argue at
all. His Indianness is a religion which is
felt deep within; its premises are not to
be the subject of argument.
The Indian does not hate Negroes and
their way of life. Not caring for it, he
ignores much of it. There is no active race
hatred against Negroes. Indians are not
that concerned. They remain separate
because they have little in common with
the urban Negro people. Indians do not
identify with the flag or the tourist
brochure idea of Trinidad. They go to
their movies, listen to their music, eat
their foods and perpetuate their living
,patterns. Most care little for calypso,
carnival, steelband and other forms of
Negro cultural life.
The solidity of the Indians is not as
great as it was; but that does not mean
Indianness is weak. Negroes cannot easily
understand Indian unwillingness to accept
anything else, for they do not know the
power of such a tradition.
Those who delude themselves with
facile hopes of early integration, assuming
a growing unity of mind or body, may
have before them the long empty road of


TAPIA Page 7
largely by salvaging a substantial part of
its Indian supporters. Capildeo's surviving
charisma and Hindu solidarity had seen to
that. Yet the party's share of the popular
vote was now only 33.98%, a drop of 8%
from 1961. It share of the electors was
22.3% a drop of 14.4%.
The ritual of complaining about the
voting machines was again religiously
acted out and cast in legal (not political)
terms. Capildeo announced sundry
grandiose projects for the country and
duly returned to the metropolitan capital
"to write books" (and to nourish the
Doctor magic.) For this he was awarded a
two-year scholarship by the party. But by
now the other Doctor was riding high in
the comedy and the Governing Party
invoked the rule to depose the absentee
from his Parliamentary seat.
In the resulting by-election Bhadase
won Chaguanas in a low poll. His arrival
in the House helped to end another
pathetic DLP silence on the
Parliamentary platform.
From London, Capo continued to
send directives. He ordered no
participation in the Local Government
Election of 1968. But by now it was
straight farce. The DLP contested after
Bhadase had bluffed by threatening to
put up candidates only to withdraw his
threat on the eve of Nomination Day. "I
want, he had said, "to prove conclusively
to the public that the DLP comprises a
bunch of incompetent men."
In the election, the DLP received
40.024% of the votes cast; of the
electorate it received 14.2%, a drop of
8.1% from 1966, one of 22.5% from
1961. Not that it was much worse than
the PNM.
And now this year the bacchanal has
reached altogether new heights. Instead
of abandoning Doctor Politics and
seeking to build a programme and an
organisation, the DLP has been playing
musical chairs with possible Doctor
Leaders. As early as April 1968,
negotiations were going on for a new
world of Doctors-But nothing came of it
for reasons which will one of these days
become clear.
This year, th- succeeded in
making the b.. y ending
Ca Sn Qs ip. A special
convention in July has ratified this.
,iut the main result of this
ground-clearing has been to split the
party further. Bhadase has risked getting
a cattle-boil by taking back the
traditional Hindu faction; Jamadar has
contented himself with some second-best
Doctors: and the Young Socialists have
made off with the plum.
As it was in the beginning, so it is in
the end. The politics of impotence;
alliances of expediency; musical chairs.
Perhaps Capildeo is not alone in his
(1963) view that systematic opposition to
the PNM would strengthen rather than
weaken it better it collapse on its own
steam. But Capildeo has no political
Nor for that matter, does he have
political consistency. In February 1968,
he was reported as saying in London that
his long-term ambition has been to have a
PNM-DLP coalition. He has also said
that "Bhadase is no:.' threat to me,
Bhadase has no support when I am on the
scene." Bhadase, for his part, in 1966
threatened to fight Capildeo in any seat
he chose to contest. Now the two are
playing hansy-pansy together; and they
expect the population to buy the happy
But no; the young Indians are not in
that. And the older Indians are tired of
being out of power. Like the Negroes and
the other Creoles, they too, must be
evaluating the new movements. For they
know that the politics of the PNM is the
politics of Government and the politics
of the DLP is the politics of doom.


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Page 8 TAPIA


From Page 5.
those eligible by laying down the
conditions of seniority required for
eligibility. Only then should other
criteria, with relative seniority remaining
a factor, enter into the picture.
The elaboration of procedures and the
participation of staff will have twoeffects:
to focus on qualifications that cannot
be invented seniority and documented
performance and to remove favouritism
and spite. In the latter regard, staff
participation will be the most important
factor. Faced with the task of passing
formal judgements on their colleagues
officers will have no choice but to be
both just and severe, if only in
self-preservation. This has been found to
be true among airline pilots, who in the
operation of the system of check flights
have agreed that absolute strictness of
college's judgement of college is the
best way to maintain professionalism and
therefore fairness.
It must also be laid down that Cabinet
shall not consider any matter affecting
the appointment, promotion or training
of any individual officer, and that any
evidence of lobbying on the part of an
officer, or intervention on the part of a
Minister, will redound to the detriment of
the officer perhaps even be grounds for
dismissal and, as far as the Minister is
concerned, form the basis of a report to
Parliament. A standing committee of
Parliament should have a watchdog
function over the working of the Public


Although continuing to recruit
university graduates, the Service must be
able to draw on the best of those who
have begun to develop administrative skill
at the community level and during
national -service. This-can be done by
having, a varied ;pattern of entry--
requirements Si-formers emerging
from an educ;~wwhich provides
formal train"ere were dhS-.. t Ato
administration 'ir fora ',se wh t
current affairs, with imi.
instruction in English and including"
perhaps even subjects like agriculture,
might enter the Service directly after
national service if their performance were
good enough. Perhaps these might have a
longer probationary period.
The gap can be further bridged by a
series of non-postgraduate certificate
courses at the U.W.I. in public
administration, management,
accountancy, personnel management. The
student without a university degree might
be required to take one of these
certificates. Ultimately there should be a
National. preferably Caribbean, School or
Public Administration, not to usurp the
functions of the U.W.I. by duplicating its
present instruction in the Social
Sciences, but to give more intensive
practical instruction in administrative
skills. At first, it would admit promising
students without degrees, but ultimately
it would develop to about the level of the
French Ecole Nationale d'administration,
becoming the only road of entry to the
administrative ranks of the Public


The period of study and the period of
probation would then be combined;
graduation from the School and
confirmation of appointment in the
Service would be simultaneous. The
School might have a longer period of
training for those without degrees, or
might give these a different type of
training and graduate them only into the
executive level, with opportunities for
additional training and promotion to
administrative grade later on. Training at
the School would in all cases involve
considerable periods of closely supervised
and evaluated work in a variety o f
central and local governmental and
quasi-governmental bodies and in

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Tel: 65-78927

government must awaken the interest.
and maintain the synpathyil. t ilie public
by a shift in the cin:-'asis iul its public
relations away frc. i ic present system of
unabashed par; ,ropaganda on the one
hand, and publication oi heavy r eleience
material on the other. to a forlmn of
contact with the public designed to assist
them to understand the working of
government as it effects them daily and
to help them make use of it.
It should publish pamphlets on how to
apply for licences of various kinds, how
to register a small business, how to get
various kinds of technical assistance. It
must organise recruiting propaganda, as
well as instructional material on
government operations, for schools, to
interest children in government as a
career; there should, in any case, be a
counselling service in schools that would
undertake career counselling of all kinds.
The latter will of course be meaningful
only in the context of a full-employment
professional status and knowledge,
disseminate professional information,
carry out research into public
administration and maintain contact with
developments in public administration
throughout the world and with sister
bodies such as the International Institute
of Administrative Sciences. This Institute
must be an independent body. But it
must receive funds from the State -
possibly through the Senate for the
maintenance of a secretariat and the
pursuit of research. The Institute should
of course be a Caribbean, rather than a
Territorial Institute if at all possible.
of a court order, or even, in the case of a
legislatively defined range of matters
affecting individuals, on demand of a
Iemfber of the public. This would of
i j-" be modified in respect of national
security and criminal matters. However, it
would apply to any other type of
operation not merely those where there
is suspicion of injustice to individuals, but
also where there is prima facie: evidence
of general inefficiency or negligence. It
would mean first of all that there would
be a greater concern among civil servants
for the maintenance of proper records;
and it would induce them to handle every
case as if it had to undergo public
scrutiny. This is a good example of
external sanctions making up, in the
initial period of reform, for the possible
lack of motivations internal to the

This question naturally brings up the
question of an Ombudsman. Perhaps the
creation of such an institution might be
the best way of applying public scrutiny
of records -- the Ombudsman might be
the one charged with deciding whether
to apply to the courts for the records to
be made public; though perhaps any
Member of Parliament might be
empowered to do this. The Ombudsman
could in any case enjoy permanently the
investigative powers to be vested initially
in the Commission of Enquiry proposed
above. He would be an officer of
Parliament and responsible to that body
rather than to any Minister or Ministers.
EMERGENCY. After the Comimission of
Inquiry has reported, a Government
which has pledged itself electorally to the
implementation of reforms must declare
a definite housecleaning period in which
to put these reforms into effect. During
this period a specially appointed
independent tribunal will recommend ;ll

necessary personnel changes transfers,
promotions, re-training, redundancy and
compensation, and even disciplinary
action and dismissal, in the light of the
Commission's Report. Action will be
taken immediately on these, and the
tribunal will immediately be dissolved.
After the end of the housecleaning
period, any individual appeals will be
heard by the P.S.C. or ultiniately by the

existing final review tribunal.
These must be expeditiously dealt
with, so that there shall be no hangover
from the old order to the new; reward
and punishment must thereafter operate
with a new, more clearly defined, more
powerful and more widely accepted
-~ -
From Page 2.
words, it must carry the country with it
and try always to secure a majority in
If it does not, it may still go ahead
with its intentions. But to do that it must
enjoy enormous moral authority if it is to
give the people leadership in an unwanted
direction. The presence of the elected
representatives in Congress will present
opportunity for the ex-officio
representatives to study their men and to
be persuaded by oratory, and by
man-to-man argument as well as by
information and analysis.
That is moral power for the Senate.
Legal power is also necessary. In matters
of appointment, where the initiative
needs to be left with the Prime Minister,
but where he needs to be curbed, the
Congress will serve well.
The Elected representative will again
have the chance to persuade their
colleagues in debate. The Congress can
therefore be given power to reject the
Prime Minister's nominations to the posts
of Chief Justice and to the Public Service
and the Judicial and Legal Service


About twenty-five such Councils are
needed in Trinidad.
The purpose of this arrangement is to
create units small and intimate enough
for real participation. We have been kept
out of government for centuries. We need
units which are close to the people. The
country is small enough for the number
of agencies to be manageable. ,,
The Municipal Councils must enjoy
greater tax revenues, some of which will
be collected by the Central Government.
They must however, have more tax power
and must be given greater responsibility
in housing, health, education, sport,
banking, police control, etc.


It will surely be argued that these
proposals are too far-reaching, too
complex and intellectual, too idealistic.
We should note the assumption behind
that kind of argument. It is that the
people are too backward and too stupid
to follow through schemes which are of
great importance to them.
We do not hold that view. We know

that the population does not have
inofrmation. Their leaders, incumbent
and aspiring, are too obsessed with office
to take the time off to present and
discuss plans in detail. And Doctor
politics needs to confuse in order to
con trol.
This movement is proceeding in an
entirely different way. We place the
highest value on information, analysis and
concrete solutions. We feel that if our
schemes are made public, they can be
explained, discussed and modified to
meet real objections. We do not trust the
'method of whipping up crowds and then
telling them the Doctor plan.
People must know what they are
joining, what they are fighting for, what
they are agreed on. If not, they will start
squabbling the moment they get office
and are forced to take action. They will
simply be replacing one set of men by
another set; one Doctor by another.
But even if we proceed by submitting
our ideas for discussion, it may turn out
that this plan for constitutional change is
too optimistic. It is true that changing the
arrangements is not enough to change the
people. But that is why we are not simply
publishing ideas in a paper. We are also
organising work in the communities -
work by which to win self-knowledge and

From the response that we have been
getting, it seems that a large section of
the population is quite tired of the
neo-colonial arrangements and is now
ready to ditch them. We may not
therefore be biting off more than we can

Certainly, far-reaching reform will have
many unintended consequences, and will
therefore create problems which we
would not have anticipated. But that is
precisely the point. This movement is
anchored in the confidence that the
population can handle any problems

which may arise.
We are not afraid. Throwing off the
colonial condition means embarking on a
road without the slightest fear of what
lies ahead. To worry about whether-we-w .
are "mature enough" is to doubt
ourselves. And that we must leave to the

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