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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00019
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: July 25, 1971
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
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: UF00072147:00019

Full Text
LIBRARY
RESEARCH INSTITUTE
FOR THE STUDY OF t!A;,


Constitution Commission
P.O. Box 1309
Port-of-Spain.


July 5th, 1971.
Dear -< ..L. *'

The Constitution Commission having been
empowered to determine its own procedures for consultation
with organizations and individuals wishes to ensure that
every opportunity is offered for maximum participation
of the people in its deliberations.

The Commission is in the process of
considering the mechanics of having public dialogue, and
to this end extends an invitation to yoir organization to..
nominate a representative to meet with the Commissioners
to discuss this most important matter.

The date and venue of the meeting will be
communicated to you in dte course, but it is expected to
be before the end of July 1971.

Please advise me as early as possible of
the name of your representative.
Yours sincerely,





H.O.B. Wooding
Chairman.
S"Indeed, the more independent the Commission and the more
democratic its deliberations, the greater would be the illusion that
the crisis has been resolved in a fair and democratic manner. And
the greater would be the contribution made by the Commission
and its collaborators in validating a sleight of hand which at bottom
denies the wishes of the country and sustains a discredited political
oligarchy in a most dangerous domination of the machinery of the
government. "


African wear display at


Tapia House
A DISPLAY of African cloths and a
lecture-demonstration of African hair-
styles and headties will be put on at the
Tapia House, 91 Tunapuna Road, Tuna-
puna, starting 4.30 p.m. on Saturday
July 24.
The programme will be jointly spon-
sored by the African Studies Association
of the West Indies (ASAWI) and the
Tapia House Group.
ASAWI is at present active only in
Jamaica, although a branch existed in
Trinidad a few years ago: The main,
purpose of ASAWI is to provide a forum
for research on African culture and
affairs and aspects of African life and
thought in the Caribbean.
ASAWI also sponsors other activi-


ties like film and slide shows, displays
and public lectures. In June, ASAWI,-
put on a display of cloths and a lecture
demonstration of Atrican hairstyles,
headties and clothes at the Mona, Jamai-
ca, campus of the U.W.I. The Associa-
tion plans to sponsor this display there
again later this year. Meanwhile,
ASAWI members on vacation in Trini-
dad have decided to put on a similar
show here and are at present organising
for the event.
Anyone interested in contributing
cloths or ideas should contact Maureen
Warner at 662-3432. Cost of entry is$1.
TAPIA members are reminded that the
next Seminar takes place oin Sunday
July 25 at the Tapia House. For further
details contact the Administrative
Secretary.


TAPIA REPLIES :


THE PEOPLE





MUST TALK



The Tapia House,
91, Tunapuna Road,
Tunapuna.
20th July, 1971.
The Chairman,
Constitution Commission,
P.O. Box 1309,
Port of Spain.
Dear Chairman Wooding,
We in Tapia are greatly encouraged to see from your letter of July 5th that
the Constitution Commission is seeking to hold its independence and to offer the
widest possible opportunity for citizens to participate in the deliberations. We
regard this attitude as healthy and in consonance with the spirit of this historical
moment.
Yet, Tapia is not persuaded that, in. effect, the Commission can be more than
another political instrument in the service of the Chief Executive. You will doubt-
less appreciate that until Tapia has been so persuaded, we could not conceive of
sending any representative to discuss with you the mechanics of organizing public
dialogue.
SEMBLANCE OF MORAL AUTHORITY

We cannot claim to know what the Government intends by establishing the
Commission but we do know that one important effect will be to buy time and the
semblance of moral authority for a political party that does not enjoy either the
trust or the support of the large majority of citizens. And .we think it profoundly
inimical to the democracy we are trying to build here that the safety of the people
be subordinated to the interest of one party.
The PNM has been able to retain control of the State without admitting its
responsibility for the constitutional breakdown. It has been able to do this only
because it denied the wishes of the country for constitutional and electoral reform
before the election. It has therefore forfeited the right to govern which it would
have gained if it had won an election after permitting the necessary reforms.

Now that the Government has saved itself by perpetuating the constitutional
crisis, it has appointed a Constitution Commission the integrity of which is essential
to a restoration of the PNM's own bona fides.
Indeed, the more independent the Commission and the more democratic its
deliberations, the greater would be the illusion that the crisis has been resolved in a
fair and democratic manner. And the greater would be the contribution made by
the commission and its collaborators in validating a sleight of hand which at bot-
tom denies the wishes of the country and sustains a discredited political oligarchy
in a most dangerous domination of the machinery of the government.
To such chicanery Tapia cannot ever be party. We insist that when it becomes


See Page 3


Turn to Page 7


STAPIA'S EXPERIMENTAL SCHOOL See Page 5 for details


I ( _

_ ___





TAPIA .Page 2 Sunday, July 25, 1971
THE COURSE of the last few years has been scarred with the
occurrence of crises and confrontations. From the Rodney Affair
right through Anguilla, Michener, Camacho, the Bus Strike to the
climax of the February Revolution it has been permanent
crisis. After the February Revolution there was the reign of terror
instituted under a State of Emergency. But the people hit back -
rising to repudiate the Public Order Bill in September last year and
frustrating the general elections in May this year. And the crisis
continues.


For some time now we have been
moving through a period of intense
labour unrest. During the recent OWTU
strike it looked as if we were going
back through 1970 all over again, what
with the Government's sabre-rattling,
eagerly applauded by the reactionary
forces in the country, appearing to
precipitate us into another State of
Emergency. The strike ended, and within
a week Government spokesmen at the
tripartite talks on the new industrial
relations legislation began pushing for
an early conclusion of the discussions.
'The Attorney General criticised the
other parties for finding "excuses for
delays", and Mahabir sought to put
a deadline on the negotiations by an-
nouncing that the Government intended
to bring the Bill to Parliament by the
end of September.

LIP-SERVICE

Such tactics are certainly incohsis-
tent with a "Year of National Dialogue".
The Labour Congress branches had not
yet even studied the draft, and the
OWTU, the most powerful union in the
country, have not even been favoured
with a copy. What they indicate is the
Government's anxiety to settle labour
unrest by passing laws through its Par-
liament while paying only lip-service to
real dialogue and consultation.


GENERAL STRIKE
Labour unrest must not be viewed
in isolation. It is part of the total
political and economic situation. O.Ae
recalls Robinson telling the O.W.T.U.
that Trade Unions should stay out of
politics. And one recalls Tull saying that
the Government should use political
means to curb a general strike. But we
know that in a neo-colonial age where
representation is denied it is the militant
unions that present serious challenges
to the regime. It happened with Cip-
riani and the working men; it happened
with Butler; it happened with Joe Young;
it will happen again.

STRENGTH OF MACHETE

Sometimes it is the poor peasant who
in the face of oppression feels the
strength of the machete in his hand. So
it was in Mexico, Cuba and in other
parts of Latin America. In Britain it
was the labouring poor, the artisans,
factory workers, and the army of the
unemployed who defied the Combination
Acts of 1799, and survived the mas-
sacres at Tolpoodle, Partridge and Peter-
loo. Those Acts had the effect of the
Industrial Stabilisation Act and the Pub-
lic Order Bill combined. They were
political as well as industrial.
So it was not surprising when the
O.W.T.U. members in bil and agriculture


laid down their tools in support of their
brothers at Dunlop and Fedchem. Such
acts of freedom have been repeated con-
tinually since the days of slavery, but
they have often fallen short of their
objective because the regime usually
has in its service the most knowled-
geable, talented and skilled. Trade Union,
activism, student rebellion, and Black
Power militancy are not enough to
sustain the revolutionary struggle. It is
important to bring analytical power
in the fray. To combat the regime, men
of goodwill must abandon the cause of
oppression for that of revolution. The
fact that workers in oil and agriculture
who were not directly involved in the
negotiations came out in solidarity is
encouraging. It suggests that various
categories of labour in different sectors
of the economy are becoming conscious
of themselves as an exploited class.
Most workers are primarily concerned
with improved conditions of service
and increased wages. When these goals
are attained they relapse into com-
placency and conservatism. On the other
hand, the largely unemployed super-
militants who are faced every day with
the narrow choice of starvation or sur-
vival cannot be relied upon by them-
selves. They can easily sell-out.
Lenin was as much an intellectual as
was Rousseau before him in France, and
Fidel and Che after him in Cuba. And he
had to warn the grassroots of Russia
that spontaneous activity was only the
beginning of consciousness, and that
"without revolutionary theory, there
can be no revolution"

INTELLECTUALS
And these super-militants who have
maintained an elegant disdain for the
"intellectuals" involved in the struggle


JUST LOT OF



RUBBER TALK


fth. mal ~ p~


Ir R


TAPIA


MEETINGS


here have forgotten that Fanon from
whom they take their chapter and verse
was a Martiniquan intellectual who vir-
tually gave his life to the Algerian
revolution. But Fanon has also reminded
us that "the oppressor who never loses
a chance of setting the niggers against
each other, will be extremely skilful in
using that ignorance and incomprehen-
.sion which are the weaknesses of the
lumpen-proletariat.......
"The success of the struggle pre-
supposes clear objectives, a definite
methodology and above all the need
for the mass of the people to realise
that their unorganised efforts can only
be a temporary dynamic. You can hold
out for three days maybe even for
three months on the strength of the
admixture of sheer resentmentcontained
m the mass ofthe people; but you won't
win a national war, you'll never over-
throw the terrible enemy machine, and
you won't change human beings if you
forget to raise the standard of con-
sciousness of the rank-and-file. Neither
stubborn courage nor fine slogans are
enough."
Whosoever dismisses the work of
intellectuals as "bullshit" is, without
knowing it, acting as an agent of the
oppressor.
PEOPLE'S VICTORY

Brother Weekes has been well advised
to settle for a limited people's victory,
and to call off the strike. Those who
urged a further confrontation on this
issue have lost their sense of realism. It is
obvious that the Government, the Em-
ployers' Consultative Association, and
certain elements of the Trade Union
Congress had formed a conspiracy with
Dunlop and Federation Chemicals to
break Weekes and the O.W.T.U.
First the E.C.A. called for the en-
forcement of the "fascist" I.S.A., anc
had the arrogance to state that th(
granting of work permits was a matter
for the Government, not for the people
Secondly, Senator Tull attempted to
undermine Weekes' position by accusing


IMEE1NGS


EVERY THURSDAY
at 8.00 pm

- Rain-Shine-Emergency-Without Fail >

4. FREE AND OPEN DISCUSSION


91, TUNAPUNA ROAD,


MEETINGS


TUNAPUNA


TAPIA MEETINGS


I The Movement
I II .II I l I I


ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION


S....... the review of the new politics

% y Surface: -Trinidad and Tobago $5.00 TT
Overseas $6.00
Air: Caribbean $8.00
% North America $10.00
U.K. $12.00
V Europe $15.00
Africa $20.00
Name.......................................... ...............................
Address.............. .............. ............................................................

I enclose $........ for........ >r(s) Air/Surface mail

Return to The Tapia House Pablishing Co Ltd,
91, Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago


i


him of mismanaging the strike fund and
of other malpractices. Then there were
the adamant stand of the firms, and
the helplessness of the Minister.
But those who have had any ground-
ing in the theory of plantation economy
as formulated by Lloyd Best and Kari
Levitt must know that Multi-National
Corporations cannot be defeated except
by a popular nationalist movement,
steeped in an understanding of the way'
in which these total institutions and the
regime function.
Fedchem and Dunlop are typical of
the neo-colonial branch plants which
operate in the same exploitative way as
the sugar plantations which survive the
old colonial period. Just a sugar remains
the oldest infant industry in the world,
dependent on British (and now European
Economic Community) protection, so
too these newcomers continue to enjoy
special exorbitant privileges at the ex-
pense of the national interest.
PIONEER AID

In petrochemicals the prospects of
profits are always high. These resources
are relatively rare. Why then should
Fedchem have been given pioneer aid?
Why should the people of this country
subsidise a giant corporation whose
frontiers are spread all over the world
(120 branch plants in 1968) wherever
it calculates that it can amass a quick
fortune? And why should the Govern-
ment be showing such favouritism to-
wards Dunlop which keeps driving the
knife deeper into the back of the tyre
consumers? Already, the firm has hogged
the entire domestic market, and its
inferior high-priced products are costing
people a great deal in terms of rapid
wear and tear and loss of a wide range
of substitutes. For months before this
firm started production it stockpiled
cheap imported tyres and tubes from the
parent company, and made capital gains
by off-loading them at a higher price.
At the formal opening of Dunlop inr
July 1968 the Young Power Movement
demonstrated its protest. Dr. Williams
acknowledged the vital role that overseas
investment was bound to play in solving
"the tremendous problem of finding
employment for thousands and thou-
sands of young people who come into
the labour market every year". Yet this
$8 million joint venture has been able to
employ not more than 250 persons. In
his remarks at the opening ceremony
J.N. Simon, a U.K.director of Dunlop,
made some significant and revealing
statements. He said: "None of us would
have been here today had it not been
for the encouragement and foresightof
your Prime Minister who has led your
country so successfully." Simon went on
to describe our policy as ideal a "fine
blend of independence and dependence
indeed that would seem to sum-
marise the attitude of your government
to the industrialization of Trinidad and
Tobago, and Dunlop is proud to be
associated with it".
So when Padmore overran the Prime
Minister in his "race with time" to catch
up with the free enterprise system which
the Chamber of Commerce has been
flogging for years, and talk about giant
corporations as though the Government
are not responsible for setting them up
here, it is so much rubber talk.






TAPIA Sunday July 25, 1971 Page 3


DENIS SOLOMON

THE LIBERAL IMAGE Williams
has tried (again) to assume with
the recent appointment of his
Constitutional Commission is the
most transparent item in his
growing wardrobe of purloined
garments.
The "constitutional" crisis in
this country can be summed up in
terms of two factors exorbitant
power of the Executive and the
total lack of trust on the part of
the population in the
parliamentary, administrative,
business, professional, academic
and trade union establishment.
Williams' solution to this crisis is to
use his executive power to appoint a
Commission manned exclusively from
the ranks of the establishment.
To submit a single recommendation
to this Commission is to beg the largest
of the constitutional questions at issue,
by acknowledging that the executive is
still above the problems instead of being
the most severe of them.

VOCAL AND ENERGETIC

And how is the Commission to win
any credibility for itself when its
membership includes not a single one of
those who have been most vocal and
energetic in criticism of the regime? In
this crisis of ours, dissatisfaction with
the structure of society and opposition
to the regime have been almost
synonymous.
How therefore, can the task of
allaying dissatisfaction and restoring
confidence be seriously contemplated
by a Commission which is not made up
of representatives of the NJAC, of
Tapia, of UNIP, of the DLP, of the
ACDC/DLP, indeed of all political
organizations whether conservative or
liberal, including the PNM itself? In
short, how can a problem be solved by a
group whose composition does not
acknowledge the problem?
The difficulty that must face anyone
with a genuine desire to resolve this
crisis by means of a specifically
appointed body is a problem of
credibility. This is why we must
conclude, that Williams' desire cannot be
genuine (indeed, he has categorically
denied that the crisis exists). For he
made no attempt at investing the
Commission with any credibility
whatever.
If any step taken by Williams to
resolve the constitutional crisis is to be
credible it must be seen to involve the
possibility of his own immediate
removal. This indispensable concession
could take any one of a number of
forms, from pledging to abide by the
Commission's recommendations to
declaring the present government an
interim government. But in fact there
has been no such concession the
Government has given no advance
undertaking in respect of anything
whatever.

PRESS CONFERENCE
The Commission, for its part, has
given no one any reason for optimism.
Wooding's press conference sounded
suspiciously like Ellis Clarke's Queen's
Hall performances 10 years ago. His
catalogue of points for the scrutiny of
the Commission reveals a similar
propensity for the public elucidation of
trivialities. Monarch or President?
Ombudsman or not? Privy Council or
West Indian Court of Appeal or neither?
Voting age to coincide with age of
majority? Already, indeed, the
Chairman is in a quandary with regard
to an overlap of jurisdiction, on this last
point, with the Joint Select Committee
of Parliament, and he has initiated an
enjoyable exchange of correspondence
on the matter. Folio 1 for the
Commission's files.

LEGAL DRAUGHTSMEN

But nothing else could have been
expected, because the Commission is,
and can only be, a Commission of legal
draughtsmen and civil servants. The
chief characteristic of legal draughtsmen
and civil servants; however expert, is
that in drafting laws and regulations -
and the .Constitution is the fundamental
law -- they must be given policy
guidance as to the results the legislation


is required to achieve. Then they apply
their expertise to the task of structuring
the legislation for maximum
effectiveness.
In the case of this Commission, it is
the policy itself that the experts are
being asked to develop. Unfortunately
or perhaps fortunately there are no
experts in this. 'The way of life we wish
our constitution to embody, the
interests we wish it to safeguard, can
only become evident through dialogue
among the groups and individuals
possessing those interests. This fact is
the ultimate justification of democracy.
If Commissions could have the
knowledge this one will have to have
there would be no problem of
government anywhere in the world.

CITIZENS' INVOLVEMENT

But why can the Commission not be
the focus for the expression of these
interests? This, if it is honest, is what it
will want to be. But it cannot, for
several reasons. First, not all interests
are conscious, and those that are will
not only become so through the
involvement of citizens themselves in
the process of deliberation. What form
of representation does a man desire for
his interests as a householder or a
tenant, as a town or country dweller, as
a farmer, as a sportsman, as an Indian,
as an African, as a member of a
particular religious sect, as a possible
defendant at law, as a parent, as a
consumer, and so on ad infinitum.
Most people do not have the haziest
idea, for the simple reason that all
dispensation in these areas has always
been handed down from above, and as a
result has always been ineffective. Only
the involvement of the whole nation in
a genuine, not fake, search for answers
to these questions can begin to develop
firm and practical ideas in the minds of
individuals about their network of
relationships with the State and their
fellow citizens. People must have
proposals to react to, suggestions from
others to stimulate their ideas. The
Commission is certainly not going to
draft as it goes along and submit interim
proposals to the nation for criticism.
The most it can do is listen, study,
draft, submit to the Government and
call that George.

LOPSIDED PICTURE
Secondly, the Commission cannot
serve as a focus of ideas because with
the best will in the world on the part of
all concerned it is bound to get a
lopsided picture. The submissions they
receive will be from those who have the
skills, time and inclination to make
submissions. This is the criticism Justice
Trinidad made of the Government's call
for public comment on the Public Order
Bill. What can be the value in asking for
submissions when part of the problem is
that the majority .of people are
unschooled in the practice of making
submissions written or spoken of any
kind?

SPINNING TOP IN MUD

Thirdly, the existence of this
Constitutional Commission, implies a
narrow view of Constitutional Rctorm
a view directed only towards the
wording of a document. Constitution
reform in fact means the reform of the
entire institutional structure of our
society, social, economic, educational,
artistic. Reforms in these areas will be
the foundation on which the wording of
the document called the Constitution
will be based, and any attempt to tackle
the process in reverse will be spinning
top in mud.


Therefore, to set a-tentative deadline
of 12 months, as Wooding has done, is
madness. ,.- '
But most importantt of all, the
Commission will not be able to gather
ideas because a large number of people
will have nothing to do with it. So we
come back to the problem of
credibility. How can the Commission
elicit the co-operation of people who
view its very appointment as an example
of the contempt and arrogance which is
the chief cause of their dissatisfaction.
This is not only the main obstacle to the
work of the Commission, it is also the
central fact of the constitutional
breakdown which the Commission is
supposed to solve. Indeed, this is the
reason why genuine radical groups could
never consent to collaborate with the
Commission.

OFFER OF POWER

The answer to the question lies not
in establishing the independence of the
Commission, for what use is
independence to investigate without any
guarantee of implementation of the
results of the investigation? The answer
is to be found in concession.
The large disaffected majority (70%,
not including those under 21) who wish
to have nothing whatever to do with
any manifestation of the process of
government must be brought into the
process of writing the social contract for
this country. These people can only be
brought in by an unequivocal offer of
power. That is, they must be convinced
that their ideas have a decent guarantee
of contributing to the process according
to their weight and quality, whether the


SEE-THROUGH



COMMISSION ,

Begging

the largest

question of all


_


Government likes them or not.
It might be desirable to give all
radical groups an immediate share in an
interim government. The present Senate
and a re-constituted Cabinet could well
be instruments for this purpose. The
only sure way to guard against rebellion
is to give the potential rebel an interest
in what he might wish to destroy.
For his part Williams must be given
the opportunity to save face by being
guaranteed what he has never
guaranteed to others a system in
which opposition can be exercised as
honourably and effectively as
government.
In its call for a Constituent As-
sembly, Tapia has never been so
naively idealistic as to conceive of the
Assembly as occurring spontaneously on
a given day, or summoned by some
soul-stirring cry issued from the heart of
Tunapuna. Least of all, have we
imagined that it would be knowingly
summoned by Williams, though it was
necessary for us to keep telling him that
it was his duty to call it.

HASTEN THE PROCESS
There are countless ways in which
the Constituent Assembly could come
into being, some gradual, some rapid; its
beginnings may be geographically
dispersed or geographically centralised.
In a sense the Constituent Assembly has
begun already, in the shape of the
mobilization of public opinion in
response to the Public Order Bill.
One way in which it could easily
continue is by the crystallisation of a
public dialogue around another event.
The work of the Commission could
provide us with one such event. The
Commission, as a Commission is futile;
but politically it could well be the grain
of sand in the oyster shell around which
a pearl would grow.
If the Chairman and the members
understand this they themselves could
hasten the process in a number of ways
by demanding prior Undertakings
from the Government; widening their
own ranks and increasing their
credibility by co-opting representatives
of radical groups. By cancelling the
12-month deadline; by submitting drafts
to the public for discussion instead of a
final draft for the Government; by
meeting in Woodford Square; in short
by offering themselves as an instrument
of the people and not a tool of the old
regime.





Page 4 TAPIA Sunday July 25, 1971 j
*~~ ~~~ A__ _


IT IS one of the bitterest ironies
of our time that the people of
Anguilla who four years ago so
dramatically demonstrated their
independence of spirit should last
month have come to embrace a
form of Crown Colony Govern-
ment as a settlement.
According to Reuters reports in the
Guardian of June 23 and 25, the British
solution won the "general acceptance"
of the Anguilla Council which held only
a few "face-saving" reservations. What is
more, the Council urged other
Commonwealth Caribbean Governments
"not to interfere in a situation which
does not concern them, and towards the
solution of which they have made no
worthwhile contribution".

WHITEHALL COLONIALISM

Clearly, the West Indian
Governments have lost all moral
authority to intervene and recommend a
settlement for Anguilla. The result was
to leave it up to Britain to find a
solution. So that, as St. Vincent's
Ebenezer Joshua said, the Anguillans,
faced with the choice of "Whitehall
colonialism or St. Kitts colonialism",
opted for the former.
That things have come to the stage
where the Afiguillans could contemplate
,a settlement which would allow Britain
to :retain foothold in Caribbean affairs
is undoubtedly a denial of that island's
history of independent initiative.
However, there yet may be a way to
bring the Caribbean Governments back
into the game, which will "save face"
for all the parties concerned.
The proposals for this, in fact, had
been put before Ronald Webster and
other interested parties since May 1969.
They were made by Lloyd Best who has
had a wide experience as a UWI
economist, as Economic Planning
Adviser to the Guyana Government
1962-63, and as Appraisal Consultant of
the FAO-World Food Programme for
the Caribbean Region 1964-66.
Best's strategy for a settlement was
outlined after a visitto Anguilla in May
1969 and is excerpted below from a
paper of that date entitled "Anguilla:
Proposals for a Caribbean Solution".
THE STRATEGY

THE strategy must be to work out an
agreement which would allow Britain,
St. Kitts, and the Caribbean
Governments to declare the issue
favourably concluded. At the same
time, we must make substantive gains
for the people of Anguilla and the West
Indies.

Against this background, four steps
recommend themselves:


To ',get


back


in the


game


Immedi te appointment of a
Caribbe a Resident Commissioner
to brihg the Caribbean
Governrients back into the
matter.

Modification of CARIFTA to
provide il new regional'framework
for all ithe Associated States
includingiAnguilla.

Home-Rule for Anguilla within
the new regional framework.

Formulation of an economic plan
for Anguilla within the new
framework.
The Caribbean Commissioner needs
to be appointed immediately as a way
of conceding the victory to the
Anguillan movement for localisation, of
taking the tension out of the situation,
and of bringing the Caribbean
Governments ihonourably back into
play. Such a step has already been
proposed and Jhas received favourable
comment both in Britain and the
Caribbean. jt should pose little
difficulty because the British have
prepared the ground by repatriating the
controversial 4Iee and by appointing
Cumber merely to act.

PARTIAL FEDERATION
i j
The critical step that we must now
take is to abolish the function of
Colonial Governor. The new Commis-
sioner must he seen to be something
quite different. The power must pass
to an elected jilead of Government who
must govern with an elected Council.
of Citizens. I
The Resident Commissioner would
then have duties similar to those of the
Resident Re'resentative under the
United Nt ion's Development
Programme. That is to say, he will be an
organizer of tPchnical aid programmes


The ball passed to Britain ... .".British soldiers play football with Anguillans "1969.


under the umbrella of a new CARIFTA
and he will be a diplomatic point of
contact with the outside world.
The, second step is to create a
regional framework within which all the
Associated States can cut their navel
string to London. In practice, this
means the establishment of a partial
West Indies Federation to deal in
defence, diplomatic representation and
economic negotiations with the
extra-Caribbean world. There is now a
more favourable climate for West Indian .
collaboration and the situation will
improve as the last Federal experience
recedes into history.
The new deal must be imaginative
enough to permit the right blend of
insular and regional commitment. It
must allow each territory to hold on
to its own constitutional apparatus while
being free to cede powers to the regional
body as the changing context dictates.
In concrete terms, it means creating a
Permanent Commission of the Heads of
Government Conference as a co-
ordinating body under which we begin
by placing CARIFTA, the Regional
Development Bank, the regional parts
of the system of Higher Education, the
Secretariat to deal with the multi-
national corporations, and so on.
Most of the territories are.probabry
ready right now to centralise defence
and diplomacy. The present
arrangement is absurd; it is much too
costly in all sorts of ways. Jamaica alone
may want to remain apart for another
25 years or so. But as time passes, more
territories will regionalise more services.
Meanwhile the arrangement must be
kept as flexible as possible.
It is only such an arrangement-which.
could allay the very real fears which
some of the territorial governments have
about secessionist movements. At the
same time, it will reassure Tobago,
Barbuda, Cariacou, Nevis, and
of course, Berbice against
mal-treatment and intimidation by their
respective central governments. Fears
will be allayed because potential
secessionists will find access to
metropolitan manipulators much more
difficult while territorial central
governments will be more restricted
than they are now in the mis-use of
troops and economic aid.
HOME RULE
The third step we must take is to
grant home-rule to Anguilla as part of
this whole deal. In a sense this is the
price we are paying for getting back
onto the road to Federation. St. Kitts
would be giving up Anguilla in exchange
for independence within the new
regional arrangement. The other
Caribbean Governments would be
conceding one secession in order to
head off others. And the entire West
Indian people would be becoming
involved in this dispute as part of the
Movement to find Caribbean solutions
to Caribbean problems.


TIHE


BOOK

SHOP




111 FREDERICK ST.


SThe' fourth step must therefore be a
West Indian plan to salvage the
Anguillan economy. Anguilla provides
an excellent opportunity to experiment
with a plan which would rely on
regional initiatives and resources while
also employing foreign help. It is a
chance for the Regional Development
Bank to forge the principles which
might inform future regional
programmes of econoriic
transformation. It is an opening for
CARIFTA to cut its teeth.
THE PERSPECTIVE PLAN
At thelevel of vision,the aimmust
be to transform Anguilla into a
Caribbean city-state, a centre for
teaching Caribbean arts and Caribbean
history and, therefore, the heartland of
a reformed tourist industry in the
region. We shall have to set up the
facilities for this a set of Institutes
and an organization that could involve
students, teachers, artistes, trades
unionists and so on in the enterprise.
The plan must be to provide the
island with a steady flow of income
based on regional spending. Anguilla is
small enough to make this well within
our capacity. U.W.I. and the Regional
Development Bank will obviously have
to be- deeply involved as project
organizers. We shall have to mobilise
architects, engineers, agriculturalists,
financiers, lawyers, economists and a
whole range of intelligence and
expertise.
THE PROJECTS
Several projects come to mind at
once. A Caribbean reference library
with archives, museum and gallery
attached; a centre for drama; a teaching
centre with language labs, closed-circuit
TV and facilities suitable for
short-courses; a Convention Hotel. And
of course, there'll be need for housing,
preferably guest-housing so as to leave
control in local hands. Also, there'll be
need for supporting infra-structure:
airport, roads, utilities. And finally,
there'll be increased scope for vegetable
and flower gardening, fishing, and
artisanry of various kinds.

FINANCING

The burden of financing this project
should very properly fall on the rest of
the region; it should not be heavy.
Trades Unions, Chambers of Commere,
Governments can all be induced to take
an interest. That is part of the work for
the Regional Development Bank. The
other (traditional) part is raising aid
from the metropolitan countries and the
international agencies. Anguilla already
has a direct connection to North
American finance.
Then there is the supporting work
for CARIFTA. The reorganization of
Anguilla is certain to have an impact on
SSt. Martin, the other Virgins and the
Leewards. CARIFTA will therefore have
to work out special trade and payments
deals with the British, the French and
the Dutch, and the Americans. We will
therefore have a chance right now to
familiarise ourselves with certain
problems which are going to become
larger as the Caribbean emerges from
colonialism and begins to put its house
in order.
To miss this opportunity is to per-
petuate the irresponsible attitude which
the imperial government have always
had to the West Indies and their future;
it is to continue to take the short view.


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Iii






TAPIA Sunday July 25, 1971 Page 5

TAPIA'S EXPERIMENTAL SCHOOL


Dear Student / Teacher.

The Tapia House Group is starting an Experimental School in
August this year in order to consider practical ways and means of improving our
education system. It is hoped that this experiment will advance the work towards
designing a Caribbean Certificate of Education to replace the Londori/Cambridge
G.C.E.
The School will last for approximately one month, starting on
August 1st and ending on August 28th. Work time will be from Mondays to
Friday 9.00 to 12.00 a.m. and possibly from 3.00 to 6.00 p.m. if there is a
demand for it. The venue is the TAPIA HOUSE, 91, Tunapuna Road, Tu napuna.
The first week of this Vacation School will be devoted to an
evaluation of the existing system of education. Participants will be free to ex-
change their experiences from kindergarten to University and to draw
lessons concerning reform.
In the next three weeks, we will be sampling new curricula and
experimenting with new methods of teaching a setting different from normal
School (at the Tapia House we have a Moonlight Theatre). In general, the aim
is to encourage participants to use their native talent, to develop their own
initiatives, and to see education as a normal and pleasurable process.
The School will be run free of charge, and all students and teachers
involved in work from 'O' Level to University, including Polytechnic and
Vocational Schools, are invited to attend. However, owing to lack of equip-
ment, we will not be able to do any experimentation with Science and


The end game, says


Laughlin

TAPIA'S Seminar of March 27 28
at Mayaro (reported in Tapia No. 15)
marked a significant turning point in the
history of, the Group. Out of the
searching self-examination and
stock-taking that took place then.came
the perspectives for policy and the
framework for activities that were to be
undertaken in subsequent months.
Indeed, as Chairman Ivan Laughlin
noted on that occasion, Tapia had
arrived at an altogether new juncture.
And the developments that followed in
the three months since March 27 28
represented; efforts at settling down
both in terms of internal organisation
and overt political activity to the role
defined-by the imperatives of the new
juncture.
In his Chairman's Report to the
Seminar of June 27 at the Tapia House,
Ivan Laughlin recalled the activities of
the period since the end of March and
described the present situation as
"critical".
The stage the Group had come to
was the "end game", he said. "Total
war." Expressing satisfaction with the
way the organisation was settling down
both in terms of internal and public
activity, he warned that still greater
sacrifice and dedication were required.


He elaborated on this: "If in fact we
are serious about change, if in fact we
intend to have real participatory politics
and a genuinely humane society in this
country, then we have to throw our full
capacity into the revolutionary struggle.
It is end game, brothers and sisters, and
we must win."
The Chairman's Report mentioned
the election of officers that took place
on April 18, the revision of the Group's
Constitution, the development of the
facilities of the Tapia House, the
programme of public meetings, the
newspaper, and generally covered all
aspects of the Group's activities for the
period under review. It ended with a call
for "renewed revolutionary effort and
commitmentt.
Laughlin's report set the tone for the
day's deliberations which was reflective
and characterized by sober optimism.
After lunch the Seminar considered a
paper by Lennox Grant entitled "I
Think We're Winning" which provoked
discussion on certain fundamentals of
Tapia's policy, strategy and mode of
operation.
Lancelot Layne presented the Group
with a copy of his hit record "Blow
Way" and initiated a discussion on the
Tapia's role in the developments of the
arts.
The Seminar ended at 5 p.m.


Technology this year. We shall have to confine our attention to Languages;
Mathematics & Bookkeeping; History, Geography & Social Studies; and,
Literature & Creative Arts.
We should be pleased if you would circulate this notice among
your colleagues and friends, and advise us of your interest in this project by
completing and returning the attached form. On receipt of your form we will
forward reading lists and more detailed proposals about this experiment.
For information by 'phone, please contact:
Angela Cropper, Telephone No. 662-4414 (after 4 p.m.)
or Lloyd Taylor, Telephone No. 662-5511, Ext. 75.


ANGELA CROPPER
The Tapia House,
91 Tunapuna Road,
TUNAPUNA.


Application Form

NAM E: .........................

SCHOOL: .................. .......

HOME ADDRESS: .. ......... ..... ....


OCCUPATION:

INTERESTS:


AVAILABLE:


Student Teacher F7

Literature i-' Mathematics _.1 History / 7


Languages __l

9:00 12:00 a.m.


Science & Technology ]

f/'i 3:00- 6:00 p.m. _7


Any Suggestions? ................ .. .. ... ....... .......


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To Africa


Heave your loins only for those who have love
To offer you. Give not your charms away
To every passing stranger lest they say
Thou art an easy prey to words of love.
That your heart is gentle is good I know.
But add firmness it shall be better still:
Charms a little at the mercy of will
Give a greater value to those you show.
The sun itself takes pains to find your bed
Through the dark covering of your forests
Why should not men earn the right to your bread.
Let only those who have loved you well,
Loved your children, sung your praise be blest.
For exploiters all landscapes should be hell.

VERNE GUERIN


I--


1





Page 6 TAPIA Sunday,July 25, 1971


WHICH WILL BE


THE


LAST


STRAW ?
ViE CAN never know what straw
will break the camel's back, what
.spark, will set the people aflame.
:Not long before the Russian Rev-
olution Lenin was telling the
workers, "you and I may never
live to see the day."
Whenever there is a breakdown of
the moral order, and rule by corruption
and terror, the one event that is certain
'to come'like a thief in the night is the
fall of the regime. The unmistakable
sign of such an outcome is when the
regime becomes caught in what Fanon
has described as the "contradictions of
its own conscience." Then you know it
cannot last. It is true that in its final
months it reacts like a wild hog
cornered, tearing at all that stand in its
way. But before that time comes around
it tries every gimmick to survive. In
Mafia style it intimidates the leaders of
the opposition and buys off the rest. It
then proceeds to win back the
population through bread and circuses.

UNDERMINING DECAY
The next trick is to present a new
face. The regime hastens to recruit new
men who pretend to' be willing to
implement the radical programme which'
it unashamedly steals from its critics. So
in Russia Stolypin introduced sweeping
land reform to. appease the social'
revolutionaries; in France, Necker is
brought back too late to save the
finances. All true historians must know
that anesthetics and injections of new
blood, may create illusions of wellbeing;


SYL LOWHAR

they cannot stop the undermining
decay.
Meanwhile we see the rise of the
security men who set up themselves as a
privileged class apart from the rest of
the police service. The Czars had their
spies; the Caesars their Praetorian
Guards. The danger always is that rtlers
set up machines which their successors
may direct against them with greater
force. Who will guard the guards? The
British have been very cautious in this
respect. Ever since they have had to slay
the king. They do not trust the central
government with all the means to
commit violence. Here we encourage
this tendency; not only do we maintain
a standing military army whose purpose
can only be to intimidate'the
population, but we are training and
equipping the civil police force to
supplant the army. What is more, the
intention of the Public Order Bill
(which may still become law anytime,
now that the ruling party has complete
control of Parliament) was to gi. civil
powers of arrest to soldiers as' well;
Moreover, no one would have been able
to make any rash and. intemperate
remarks concerning these forces. x.


CITIZEN AGAINST STATE
And the warning is clear. The words
"rash" and "intemperate" are gaining
currency in the mouths of the
Government's spokesmen. First the
Speaker of the House rebuked the Press
for describing as "rushed' a Bill that
was passed in twenty minutes. And that
was a major Act. It postponed the Local
Government elections. S.econdly, the
Attorney General accused former Chief
Justice Wooding of "intemperate"
language for saying that the
Ombudsrian Bill was a "waste of time".
But Sir Hugh held his ground. Here
again it was pointed out that the


intention was to exempt the Executive,
i.e. Ministers and Police from liability
under the proposed Act, So it would be
farcical to believe that .such legislation
could ever bring relief to the citizen:
against thestate.
Imagine- the: Attorney General of all
persons stating that it was not what you
say but how you say it. A man who
referred to-the February Revolution as a
"storm in a teacup" or who, during the
recent election campaign, boasted that


he was ready to take on all comers. Or
has he forgotten all that talk about who
didn't want to vote should jump in the
Gulf, or about who had the power to
say come, and he cometh?
WHICH WILL PREVAIL?

But Sir Hugh must understand what
this Government means when it boasts
that it has given complete independence
to the Constitution Commission which
he heads. No deadline has been set for
the report, and there is no guarantee
that such a report will be accepted. The
Prime Minister will still decide. That is
why he has charged his Minister of
State, Cuthbert Joseph, with the re-
sponsibility for Constitution Reform.
So there are now two agencies dealing
with Constitution Reform. Guess which
one will prevail?

SECRET SITTINGS
,But we have had a whole history of
this type of Independent Commission of
Inquiry. We have had the Sinanan
Report on Local Government, the Lewis
Report on the Civil Service, the
Brewster Report on the Industrial
Court, to name only a few. The Review
Tribunal headed by Seemungal was also
free to set up its own procedures. Yet
such were the obstructions put in its
way that it took almost two months
during the State of Emergency before it
had the first of its sittings which were
secret and inquisitorial. The detainee
was deemed. guilty. until proven
innocent :a complete reversal of
time-honoured principles.
SI have made several visits to the
Ministry of National Security seeking to
obtain a summary of Tribunal's finding
and recommendation to the Prime
Minister in my case, as I am entitled to
under the Emergency Powers Act. To
date I have not received it.. The Civil
Servants are very cordial and
sympathetic, but the papers seem to be
all in the custody of the Attorney
General.


LOCKED IN CHAINS

The practice of the king appointing
Royal Commissions to investigate
disturbances in the colonies continues.
The Court Martial and.the Constitution
Commission sit: in judgement of the
people whose real access to
representation' remains locked in chairs.
We are still being kept outside the gates
of power;
But it is precisely this sort of
pig-headedness which breeds violence.
You cannot cork a bottle when the
spirits arc fermenting. It will explode.


Who will guard the guards?







From Page 1
clear that a government has lost the confidence of the country, that government
must resign at once and go to the electorate. When the electoral system itself is'a'n
issue, reform must come before and not after the election. And when there is a
a crisis of the constitution, it-can be resolved not by the government or by a team
of experts, however honest, but by the intervention of all the political interests in
the nation acting in concert to revise the social contract.
In Tapia's book, this means that if the Constitution Commission is not to
make itself in effect a political tool of the PNM and to lose its initial integrity, it
must disband itself and advise the Executive to summon a Constituent Assembly of
the Citizens.
This is the only democratic course. Certainly, the Commission cannot itself
convene the Assembly because it is essential that the Executive itself begin by ad-
mitting the ultimate sovereignty of the citizens over the Government. The central
issue now is that Dr. Williams has refused to do this. And this is an issue we will
continue to avoid only at our peril.
The Assembly of Citizens, when called, must literally be a free-for-all, open
to every conceivable interested party. It must elect its own Chairman, appoint its
own Secretariat of experts and officials and determine its own procedures. It is at
this point that the bona fides, the integrity and the competence of the Constitution-
al Commission would become patently relevant. And of course, we would then have
to settle the mechanics of public dialogue.

VOICE OF THE CITIZENRY
Some may think that such a proposal is utopian and that the only result of
attempting such a thing would be chaos and disorder. This is-to assume that the
country has no capacity for organization and order.
At the Tapia House, we assume exactly the contrary. The meaning of the
1970 revolution against continuing Crown Colony Government and politics is that
we are ready to found an independent political system rooted in community
organization and support, The moment there is a prospect of a genuine constitution-
al conference where the voice of the citizenry can be effectively heard, the many
groupings and interests will perceive very clearly why they have to make real com-
promises of political alignment and organise themselves so as to carry real weight in
the national debate.
In other words, we will establish and for the first time authentic political,
not governmental or religious or racial or industrial organizations. That is to say
political parties! These parties would not be any overnight mergers thrown together
to fight an election; nor would they be fickle crowds moved by the magic of an
orator. They would be coalitions of interest painfully forged to enter into a social
contract with opposing interests so that we could define the national framework of
peace within which the partisan interests can thereafter struggle for sectional
advantages.
POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE
This is what should have happened in 1962; it is what must happen now so
that we can establish a;real constitutional (and therefore political) independence.
And this, it is quite obvious, cannot be done unless the Assembly settled certain
basic issues concerning economic reorganisation as well as constitutional reform. It
is no accident that the issue of "free enterprise" is before us at the same time as
the issue of "popular participation."
The Government is not distinguished for any intellectual contribution to the
country in the last so many years. But, if Dr. Williams had thought through the
matter in this way, he would certainly have seen the value to himself of appointing
a Constitution Commission instead of calling a Constituent Assembly. For the PNM
would have no chance whatsoever of surviving any such thing as a free conversation
among the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
ROUSED TO ACTION
Tapia is not therefore optimistic that the Government would accede to any
call by the Commission for a Constituent Assembly. We understand very well that
the Constituent Assembly like all other political instruments has to be won for
the. nation by political leadership, political organisation and political ideas. The
political task of the moment is to persuade the citizens to fight for their sovereignty
over this government and all the governments to follow. The Tapia House Group
came into existence in order to service that task and we are not going to be diddled
into abandoning our responsibilities by the dodges of the Chief Executive.
No; we the people must be engaged in constitutional discourse by politics,
not by government. The onliest thing is that when a nation is roused to action by
this route, those who have for any reason stood in the way of its advance will in-
evitably have the price to pay. Let both the Constitutional Commission and the
PNM oligarchy weigh this consideration with the utmost solicitude.

Yours sincerely,
LLOYD.BEST,
Secrbfary..


tTHDE OS4 S LIP'
Slade Hopkinson's "The Rose Slip"
will be put on at the Tapia House at the
Tapia House at the end of August. It
will be a joint production of Tapia and
the Drama Guild,


F& RHAEDEED
25 & 87 EM. Rd., T'pa.
Suitings. Clothing Footwear:
T4i-62W49O9,4S73.
--..' 1 -


TAPIA Sunday, July 25, 1971 Page 7



LABOUR UNREST

OWTU faces challenge
JUST ACROSS the way from the OWTU's Paramount Building
headquarters on Royal Road, San Fernando, a new structure is going up.
A signboard announces the new building as the "Den" of the San Fer-
nando Lions Club. As yet the only roar audible in the conference room
of Paramount Building is that of a bulldozer working overtime on the
site. But George Weekes has noted with interest the setting up of this
advance post by forces which must in his scheme of things be regarded
as the enemy.


Comrade Weekes' watchfulness is
born of sheer concern for the fortunes
of his union now besieged and assailed
by the axis of forces of the old order.
The battle has been joined, and though
the last engagement the OWTU's
General Strike from July 1 to 7 ended
without providing a total test of strength,
the hawks are still .hankering for the
head of Weekes and the undoing of his
union.
FREE ENTERPRISE
The strikes at Dunlop and Fedchem
which later spread to all branches of the
OWTU revealed the composition of
forces whichtthe union has called the
"Power Structure". And the Lions, soon
to be laired within roaring distance of
the OWTU headquarters, are among
them. The Guardian of June 30 re-
ported outgoing Lions President David
de la Rosa as declaring the Club's oppo-
sition to "the destroying of the free
enterprise system and the nationalising
of everything." Just a few days before
that the OWTU had issued a memoran-
dum calling for the nationalisation of
Fedchem and Dunlop.
Once again left to the media, the
issues seemed to be defined in simplistic


LENNOX GRANT

terms, each of which misleadingly con-
notative. On the one hand there were the
free enterprisers, the business com-
.munity, an unholy alliance of foreign
and local interests crystallised in the
persons of the Employers' Consultative
Association spokesmen, the Chamber of
Commerce and other bastions of the old
order like Gatcliffe and O'Brien. They
wanted the classic conditions for the
expansion of business so as to "float all
boats". That is, control of wages, higher
productivity, and an elimination of the
apparently increasing belligerency and
daring of the trade unions. At the other
end of the pole were Weekes and the
OWTU calling for higher wages etc. and
nationalization...echoes of "Marxist"
Allende in Chile and Burnham's bramble
that backfired, the Demba takeover.
PEACE-MAKER
Add to that Weekes' "Communist"
image sedulously cultivated in the media,
and the impression given was that of a
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TAPIA Page 8 Sunday, July 25, 1971

From Page 7
straight clash of proponents of both
extreme right and left wing positions.
In the middle of all this, according to
the picture given by the media, stood
the Government, symbolised by Maha-
bir, the Great Conciliator, seeker of the
people's interests "pouring oil on
troubled waters". Meantime, Padmore
appears attacking the free enterprise
system all round with the intention of
carving for the government an indepen-
dent position in the dispute and contri-
buting to the chimera of "National
Dialogue". Yet it was clear that the
Government was prepared to declare a
State of Emergency from the first day
of the General Strike. The regime was
prepared to go to these lengths in a dis-
pute that involved a fiercely nationalist
union pitted against firms in the metro-
politan sector. Indeed the effect and
the intention of the Government's
threatened "any action necessary" was
to break the strike, destroy Weekes
once and for all and undercut the
OWTU. In other words, The Govern-
ment was seeking to achieve the same
ends as the E.C.A. and the others in the
free enterprising camp, despite Pad-
more's appearing to take them to task,
and despite Mahabir's image of "inde-
fatigable" peace-maker.
RADICAL FORCES
It was only the consciousness of their
own weakness, coming to power with a
28% vote of the electorate, and having
to face a crisis of that magnitude within
weeks of a "landslide victory", that
induced the Government to appear to be
conciliating before making the crack-
down. And as Weekes wisely settled for
a limited victory the regime lost a
chance for dealing a blow against the
radical forces in the country in a situation
where they could claim to the popu-
lation they were safe-guarding essential
needs.
But like the Establishment hounds
still baying for the blood of Weekes and
the OWTU, the Government is
still anxious to deal with the OWTU.
And it is in this context that we must
view the recent police raid on the union's
headquarters and the accounts books
for the second time in little over a year
This totally contemptible persecution
of a militant trade union cannot be
seen in isolation, however, the strategy
of the Williams' regime to deal with the
"troubled waters" of labour unrest is a
part of its general strategy to stem the
flood of radical dissent repressive
legislation like the I.S.A. and the Public
Order Bill.
SIREN SONG
That is the sinister counterpoint to
the siren song of "national dialogue"
and "consultation". Now Mahabir and
Hudson-Phillips are in a hurry to wind
up the tripartite discussions on as vital a
piece of legislation as the Industrial
Relations Act. Mahabir seeks immedi-


ately to cut short the "dialogue" on the
draft Bill by announcing that the Gov-
ernment intended to take it to Parlia-
ment by the end of September. Hudson-
Phillips, for his part, impatiently criticises
the Labour Congress and the ECA for
"excuses and delays." All of which leads
us to suspect that the new legislation
must be of such a nature as could not
prudently be allowed to stand up to the
scrutiny and perhaps suffer the fate of
the Public Order Bill. According to
Comrade Weekes, it is a "top secret"
document that could only be entrusted
to the Establishment unions in a charade
of national monologue. Such fears have
indeed been justified from the one copy
of the draft which has so far leaked out.
It has been described by Eugene Joseph,
pro tem Secretary of the United Labour
Front, as"'vicious and far worse than its
predecessor, tne Industrial Stabilisation
Act intended to destroy the free
trade union movement in the country."
It was only when this exposure was made
that Mahabir promised to publish the
Bill for public comment.

NEO-COLONIAL
No one, least of all the militant
unions, will be taken in by the sweet
talk about dialogue and consultation
coming from a regime which for 14
years showed no interest in any point of
view different from its own even when
it had a Parliamentary Opposition. Be-
cause the Government is still committed
to enforcing "tranquility in industrial
relations" a concept introduced and
vigorously advocated by A. N. R.
Robinson in his Budget Speech of 1964
(Robinson will have to settle that one
with his new-found buddies in the trade
union movement who have as vigorously
opposed the I.S.A. from the beginning.
Just as he will have to straighten out the
zig-zag of telling the OWTU to stay out
of politics in November 1969 and
openly seeking their political support in
1971.) "Tranquility" and "stability" in
industrial relations are important in
maintaining the "climate for investment"
in the neo-colonial economic policy to
which the PNM has committed the
country.
That labour unrest is now seen as a
carrying at the political regime is simply
another manifestation of the sustained
assault now being made on the foun-


Divorce, British style


DURING their first 14
years in office the PNM
showed no interest what-
ever in social legislation.
Now, we are advised to
expect a flurry of social
legislation. The Attorney
General's excursions into
the field are expected to
deal with illegitimacy, and
already there is before the
public a new Divorce Rill
Obviously the intention
behind the whole exercise is
to allow the PNM and es-
pecially the Attorney general
- to appear liberal and
modern. But if the PNM is
using this as an excuse to
attempt an overhaul of its
reactionary image, we need
not be too concerned. It
would take more than a few
gestures of this kind before
the Electorate would be pre-
pared to believe the'PNM
leopard has really changedits
spots.
Nevertheless. it is import-
ant to appreciate what is being
done albeit foi the wrong


reasons, and as we shall see, in
a t o t a 1 1 y misconceived
manner. The Government
offers to remove the tradit-
ional hardships which our
British-inherited family law
has entrenched in our society.
All well and good. But our
family law needs a wholesale
overhaul so as to be recast in
terms that relate meaningfully
to the environment in which
it ,has to operate. That is,
here, in Trinidad and Tobago.

COLONIAL THINKING

So that if the Attorney
General could claim for his
Divorce Bill that it incor-
porates the most modern and
p r o g r e s s i v e thinking in
the field of divorce,, we are
entitled to ask one very rele-
vant question. And that, of
course. is: whose modern and
progressive thinking is being
foisted upon us this time?
And the Divorce Bill reveals
it is the traditional, colonial-,
one. What we are having im-
posed upon us once more is
the thinking of the British.
The Attorney General has


simply lifted wholesale, and
without apology, the last piece
of British legislation o f
divorce.
The British Parliament in
1970 passed an Act which
revolutionized their divorce
laws. But the Act was drafted
only after prolonged study
and investigation into what
was appropriate and de-
sirable for the conditions ob-
taining in Britain. As such, it
could be claimed to represent
very modern and progressive
British thinking in respect of
the way in which British
people might best regulate
their sexual, marital and
family relations.

FAMILY RELATIONS

Sexual, marital and family
relations are absolutely fun-
damental to social organisa-
tion and we are cuite properly
regarded by governments as
an area where one does not
fool around, or even interfere
with, without having first
done very thorough research


dations of the economic and political
system. The issue at stake is a settlement
with the metropolitan sector to put
the economic resources of the country
into the hands of the people. Those
who are now making a fetish about
"responsible" trade unionism and calling
on the Government to enforce the law
or institute new laws for industrial
relations are simply arguing for the
maintenance of the system by which
economic control remains out of the
hands of the people of Trinidad and
Tobago.
HIGHER WAGES

It is no accident that the militancy
among trade unions is spearheaded by
the union representing highly paid
workers in those industries characterized
by heavy foreign investment. Such in-
vestment and the inappropriate capital
intensive technologies adopted in the
branch plants of these multi-national
corporations force wages to go up while
at the same time militating against the
reduction of unemployment. So that
industrial unsettlement agitation for
higher wages and benefits is inherent
in the existing economic model. In
addition, offensive industrial relations
practices historically adopted by em-
ployers in these industries exacerbate
the potential for unrest which spreads
to other sectors of the economy.
The success of the OWTU in winning
increases for the workers in oil has led
to the expansion of the union into
other industries. Now, the union leader-
ship admits, the expansion poses a
problem of servicing the new branches.
Using the criteria of the T&TEC agree-
ment negotiated by the OWTU, the
Public Service Association sought, and
won, a 31.75% increase for its members.

STRIKE PAY

Weekes recalls that the ECA had
condemned the T&TEC agreement, then
in alarm at spread effect potential of
such increases in other sectors, deter-
mined to make of the Dunlop and Fed-
chem negotiations a showdown. The
Fedchem and Dunlop situations were
deliberately created, Weekes claimed.
The "Power Structure" interests, he
said, took further alarm at the Texaco
strike from June 1 4 which took


FRANK SOLOMON


and being satisfiedthat the
changes it is proposed to in-
troduce are appropriate td the
Particular situation.

RESEARCH

It is wholly proper, there-
fore, for the British Govern-
ment to study and research
sexual, marital and family life
in Britain, and finally to
change Britain's family and
divorce laws to accord with
their findings.
And it is wholly proper for
the Trinidad and Tobago Gov-
ernment to study and research
sexual, marital and family life
in this country and finally to
change the family and divorce
laws of Trinidad and Tobago
to accord with their findings.
But it is ludicrous, absurd
and dangerous and contemp-
tuous of the people of Trini-
dad and Tobago to change
the family and divorce laws of
Trinidad and Tobago to accord
with research and study done
by the British Government on
the sexual, marital and family
life of Englishmen.


Labour




unrest


Printed by the Vanguard Publishing Company, San Fernando for the TAPIA HOUSE Publishing Co., Ltd., Tunapuna.


them by surprise. And they were further
inflamed when Texaco signed an agree-
ment giving workers strike pay. This
was not without precedent, Weekes in-
sisted. Last Christmas Halliburton Tucker
paid $450 to each of the workers who
had been out on strike for two months.
And in 1960 Texaco gave two weeks'
pay to workers who had struck for 17
days.

PICKET LINE
As the OWTU understood it, the ECA
strategy was to use Dunlop and Fedchem
as frontline assault to draw the union
fire and then to bring up reserves of the
whole "Power Structure" to destroy
the OWTU. And they would have suc-
ceeded, Weekes concedes, had it not
been for the successful General Strike
called from July 1 to 5. Fedchem even
tried unsuccessfully to form a Works
Committee, an anti-OWTU company
union which would have seriously under-
mined the strength of the OWTU. But
the support of the Texaco workers at
Pointe-a-Pierre strengthened those on
the picket line. In the end Dunlop had
to take back all the workers without loss
of service except the 14 the company
was reluctant to take back. Fedchem
had to settle with the dismissal of only
the original six, and in both casesit was
agreed to hold negotiations on the out-
standing dismissals early.
The union emerged from the strike
much stronger. The greatest gain,said
Weekes, is the knowledge that the
OWTU had that kind of support. What
was particularly encouraging was the
support given by workers not employed
by Dunlop and Fedchem which was
unprecedented in size and scope in the
history of the labour movement. It gave
new meaning to the old slogan "a blow
to one is a blow to all." And the
support was given at great personal
sacrifice, Weekes acknowledges. Despite
this, however, the workers were prepared
to hold out longer if requested to do
so by the union leadership.
In addition, gains could be counted
in terms of experience gained on the
picket lines, seeing the company's
strength and weaknesses, and in terms
of self-knowledge knowing which
were the dedicated workers and which
were not. The success of the struggle
kept the workers' spirits high not
only those in the OWTU but in other
areas as well.

POLICE SEARCH

In particular, the exercise was valu-
able preparation for the coming nego-
tiations with Texaco "the Battle of
Beaumont Hill". The OWTU, said
Weekes, would march on the hill con-
fident and strong to face the most
powerful bunch of politicians in the
country Wilson, Texaco's General
Manager wno was the invisible Prime
Minister, and Stibbs, the Assistant
General Manager, the invisible Labour
Minister. Williams and Mahabir are only
the puppets of these men.
The union has so far received no
response to its memorandum in the
Prime Minister urging the nationali-
zation ot Dunlop and Fedchem. The
OWTU favours nationalization as the
means of dealing with the metropolitan
sector. Fedchem, it is felt, contributes
nothing; in fact, it only takes away from
the country. It only pays salaries while
enjoying concessions with respect to
taxes, electricity and water.
The union found something very
strange, Weekes said, that when the
workersstruck, Fedchem said they would
start negotiations right away to con-
clude in two weeks' time but they did
see themselves starting back the plant
until the end of negotiations. Besides
the Braun plant was shut down for six
weeks. And the company brought in
foreigners, welders and drivers, to break
the strike.
Weekes sees the most recent police
search and seizure of the OWTU's books
as an indication of the hysteria that has
overtaken the "Power Structure" in
their anxiety to destroy the union. Also,
it was intended, in his view, to divert
the workers' attention from the Beau-
mont Hill negotiations with Texaco.
It was a tactic to keep them off balance.
But it succeeded only in making the
'Power Structure' appear foolish in the
eyes of the workers.