Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00030
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: August 13, 1972
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: UF00072147:00030

Full Text

SUNDAY, AUGUST 13, 1972 : r, .

NOW THAT Lassalle and
Shah have spoken well
and wisely, the country
knows which way our
bread is buttered. The
young lieutenants have
confirmed that there is
no cool solution in the
barrel of a gun. A revolu-
tion is not the same thing
as a coup; you have to
fight and build and
struggle to change the
way that people live and
work and see.

And if you cannot
simply shoot your way to
bring the change, you can
only do it by persuasion.
And that is why a free
and fair debate is bound
to be subversive. Oddly
enough, in a revolution
more than at any other
time, talk is a most im-
portant part of action.
All the politicians in
the country know this
very well. But we the
people know it even
better because we do not
have an axe to grind. We
know that the Constitu-
tional Commission is a
place where all can speak
their minds and let their
views be heard by all the
rest. In fact, we know
that it is now theonly
place because the House
of Representatives is a
pappyshow and marches
are now an SLR affair.
Who can say he does
not know that the Con-
stitutional Commission is
the only People's Parlia-
ment we have? And that
one of these evenings the
PNM will have to show
its face? And then we'll
see the pundits eat their

Right now Wooding's
meetings are only
warming up. The Voice
has got cold feet because
whatever plan they put
before the country is sure
to be rejected. When
people grind through
fourteen years to learn
they cannot trust, no
matter what you do it's
bound to be a big mis-
But having called on
Wooding to save his life,
Williams cannot now af-
ford to chicken out. He
had hoped that Tapia
would let the government
off the hook by con-
tinuing to stay aloof. But
we have them where we
want them and we going
to eat them raw.


KO'S [

WHAT REASON is there
for us to feel that a
government which can't
even maintain decent
roads for communication
between its citizens at
home could be trusted to
sustain the national
interest on the tight ropes
of international relations?
The humiliating diplomatic
disaster of this country's ap-
plication to join OPEC shows
above all that international
policy cannot be contrived for
convenience. That it has to be
worked out on the basis of
careful evaluation of what our
needs are, and of where we fit
into the international align-
ments of perspective and
Instead of the serious dis-
cussion that should have gone
on here about what are the
realistic aims of this country
and how they could be realized
through international diplo-
macy, Williams and Robinson
over the 10 years of our "in-
dependence" have simply re-
plicated on the world scene the
blundering and ineptitude and
the absolute lack of coherent,
integrated policy that have
characterized their government
at home.
And the OPEC case stands
as the culmination of all that.
But what is involved in this
case is our veritable life blood
- our oil resources and the
relationship between ourselves
and the metropolitan countries
in the exploitation of these re-



"west of the Iron Curtain" and
securely in the American lake.
And while with typical ambi-
valence Williams and the PNM
spokesmen have sought to
identify as well with "the spirit
of Bandung" and such causes
as the re-accommodation of
Cuba, it has fooled no one -
least of all, other Third World
countries as to where this
country has been really placed.
So that the OPEC rebuff
was equally an implicit repu-
diation of the PNM's policy on
oil something Tapia has
always held is neo-colonial in
the extreme. In his OPEC an-
nouncement to Parliament
Williams showed he was de-
luded into believing the OPEC
countries were impressed by
"the increasing sophistication
of Trinidad and Tobago's parti-
cipation in the ownership and
exploitation of its oil re-
He now knows different.
But after the infamy of the
Badger 1971, who doubts that
the PNM's policy on oil is
simply to accommodate
American capital as much as
possible in "participation"
schemes which still allow them
to take home the gravy?
Once again it is the demo-
ralized diplomatic service
which has to pick up the
pieces. Trinidad diplomats
were last week reportedly
busily seeking to take up the
OPEC issue with the Iraqi dele-
gation in the Guyana
talks. It is they who over the

Even as the nation reels in
shock and disbelief from the
resounding snub we got from
Iraq, the die-hard apologists of
the old PNM regime are busy
trying to attach blame any-
where but where -it really
So that one editorial writer
could make the outrageous
suggestion that Williams had
been "misled" by his advisers
into thinking we had got
through and making that grand
statement in the house. Such
an unconsoling rationalization
blatantly ignores the fact that
Williams has been caught lying
in the past on more than one
The Express in 1970
published the incontrovertible
evidence that Williams had
been passing the hat around
the local business sector for
funds to support his "national
reconstruction" schemes, and
has been refused the business-
men's support. This was the
day after Williams had publicly
denied that there had been any
such refusal.
In his post-Emergency 1970
address to the nation Williams
said he had first approached
African and Third World
countriess for arms. But Clive
Spencer's revelations last year
showed that the first phone
call was made not to sister
Third World countries, but to
Uncle Sam!
It accords indeed with the
position in whi c h the PNMhas
put Trinidad and Tobago -


years have prepared briefs only
to see them totally ignored by
Government ministers making
thoroughly ill-advised state-
ments. ANR Robinson's 1979
UN speech on Cuba, for
example, was interpreted
abroad as an implicit support
for US intervention in Viet
In Caracas, February 1970,
Williams' blunt call for the re-
admission of Cuba in which he
directly urged Caldera to agree
was taken as a major diplo-
matic faux pas in the context
of current official sentiments
in Venezuela, the host country.
Between acting as personal
servants of travelling govern-
ment ministers and submitting
never to be read reports, diplo-
mats in the foreign service
must live with frustration and
endure the humiliation of
diplomatic sneers at their
They can take consolation,
however, in the fact the
braggodocio and robber talk of
politicians here !no ice
in the international world. For
example in 1964 when
Williams visited President
Johnson, the President is re-
ported to have said by way of
"Mr. Ambassador, I'm sure
you would wish to have your
picture taken with the Presi-
dent of the United States."
That we are oniy this year
seeking membership in OPEC is
partly due to lack of
diplomatic representation in
the right places. The principal
:ause, however, lies in the fact
that we defined ourselves as a
colony by allowing Texaco to
develop a major refining centre
So we could not qualify for
membership in OPEC. Were we
not aiding and abetting the im-
perialists to exploit the Middle
East oil countries by providing
a "politically stable" refining
haven in the American
In key areas like the
ECM our representation is woe-
fully weak. And over those key
years thatlthe OPEC oil policy
was being hammered out we
had no representation in the
\,rab countries.

Besides which the way dip-
lomacy is conceived of as
something with an existence of
its own, unrelated to anything
specific, meant that we have
had a highly paid foreign
service largely without
specialist competence. So that
whenever something specific
became an issue there had to
be, post-haste, the appoint-
ment of someone qualified to
see to it.
If even we had represent-
ation in Iraq, or other Middle
East oil countries, consistent
with normal practice, the

Cont'd on Page 8


show 0"- DOarce
SATURDAY AUGUST 26, 1972 9 P.M. $1.50

15 cents

No. 29

Page 2 TAPIA




minding us that there are good
men in the Army. If that wasn't
the case, runs his favourite argu-
ment, then 1970 would have been
very different.
We are to concur from that, of
course, that the soldiers who were tried
and convicted and even most of those
who got off were the bad men and
that the 1970 revolt ended in a triumph
of good over evil.
For the Brigadier to be counted
among the heroes, clearly this simplistic
line of reasoning is necessary. And for
the thousands who are asking what
about the string of 'evils' that were
clearly established to have been the
basis of the turmoil in Teteron, the
good Major has a coy answer. He assures
us that the Army is changing, that the
men are involved in constructive comm-
unity work.
And the "liberal" Press rolls over on
its back to be patted proud that the re-
forms they suggested have been


Lasalle and Shah, if they were
different men, would be laughing up
their sleeves. For it is clear that Serrette
like the Press will not see that change in
the Army is predicated on the condition
that.the country is reconstituted and re-
organised so as to establish popular con-
trol and confidence.
Only then will the government not
feel itself threatened internally and only
then will it feel free to engage its
military personnel in national recon-
struction efforts.
That is positive change, based on the
army filling the best possible role in the
context of a changed Trinidad and
Tobago. And he re the basis of the
success of the plan must be the moti-
vation of the men.

Negative change is the kind of
gambage that is being peddled by Major
Christopher on behalf of the men tot-
tering at the top. Which soldier is not
feeling in his heart that the "community
work" in which he is engaged is not an
attempt to get him away from real guns
and ammunition? Which soldier, aware
of the fixations of a government that
sees the substance of its overthrow in
every shadow, will not feel, that the
"community work" is not merely
,mother diversionary wild goose chase?
For the inescapable fact is that the
country has not yet been re-constituted.
Oh yes, we have come a long way and
tensions are gathering over the heads of
those who pretend not to see. The
government and the army brass are not
asses enough to believe that the tensions
that continue to wrack the country are
by-passing the brothers in Teteron. No
institution, and perhaps least of all the
Army, is outside of these tensions.

And so it is after two years and
millions of dollars the circus has come
full circle. Tokenism instead of genuine,
radical change. And the situation in the
Army has not changed very much from
pre 1970.
Nevertheless an important change
has taken place in that through Tapia,
other unconventional groups, and the
words of the soldiers themselves the
people have a vision of a new army like
they have visions of a new system of
government and indeed of the whole
new way of life.
So on July 27, over 1,000 people
crushed in a small area of Frederick to
welcome the soldiers back into active
struggle. And what was important, then,
was not the bitter condemnation of the



Keith Smith

Government and its personification in
this instance in Karl Hudson Phillips -
though of necessity there was that. Not
even the outcry over the untold amount
of dollars spent and the final embarrass-
ment of the Government being given
short shrift by as colonial an institution
as the Queen's Privy Council, bit the
genuine optimism that prevailed. An
optimism that allowed people to laugh
and to banter and at the same time
shout powerful agreements when the
more intense of the waiting welcoming
party uttered some serious political

That was what was important. That
and the sympathy that overflowed for
the soldiers exemplified in this instance
by an old woman in Woolworth who
said on the day of the soldiers release:
"If I had money I would give each of
them $500 to help them on their feet."
There were those there, of course,
who were dubious about the strategy
attempted by the soldiers. But even
these didn't doubt on, whose side the
soldiers stood, thus when Brigadier
Serrette hastens to assure the popu-
lation that the good men in the Army
prevented 1970 from being different,
one wonders to which side of the popu-
lation is he talking.
July 27 was another day to feel sorry
for the police. Characteristically the
Government has attempted to play the
one against the other. Vindictively, the
regime has never lost an opportunity

whether it be through wage increases or
the stationing of guards at the resi-
dences of the people that it thinks
matter, to show that as far as it is con-
cerned the enfant celebre are the police.
But magic wands are apt to get
unglued in Trinidad and Tobago these
days. Currents cross and re-cross and
while the government seeks to promote
the police as the friend of the nation,
harassed in our daily lives by policemen
who unthinkingly wallow in their up-
graded "status," the people come to re-
gard the police at best, disdainfully, and
at worst with a frightening and terrible
So that on this day outside the ugly
strong walls of the Royal Gaol every
new batch of policemen was greeted

Sincere congratula-
tions to Tapia on its deci-
sion to involve itself in
the public deliberations
of the Constitution Com-
It is now evident that
UNIP and others op-
posed to the public dis.
courses of the Commis-
sion have not experienc-
ed much from the "No
Vote Campaign '71" and
the events following May
24, 1971.
Williams, from the
poor support given to
him at the polls, may not
have the people's consent
or moral authority, as
some refer, to do any-
thing even draw a sal-
ary from public funds.
But his victory in the
type of system which at
present exists, gives him
the political or constitu-
tional power to do what
he wishes provide he
has maximum control of
the police and armed for-

with 'boos,' and the epithet "FUZZ!"
was spat out so one felt sorry for the
police personified in this case in the
young policeman, still a boy, walking
uncertainly with a revolver strapped to
his waist waiting on the orders of his
superiors. What must have been his
thoughts? And what the thoughts of the
inspectors and the sergeants, hemmed in
outside the gaol by this wall of ani-
mosity they who had been so loyal.
Once again the government had
muddled its options and established a
clear path to conflict, once again con-
trived. As the army van whirled up
Frederick Street taking the power-raised
hands of Lasalle and Shah, one youth
mused: "It really easy to become a hero
these days." Easy? One wondered what
he meant.

This he has. hence the
legitimatizing of a frau-
delent State of Emer-
gency '71 and the enact-
ing of Draconian laws (in
sum the Public Order Act
which ironically was to-
tally rejected by the very
people Williams claims to
be representing by being
the elected government
of the people).
UNIP and associates in
thought must realize or
be made to realize that
Williams has made
another mistake a cost-
ly mistake. A mistake
that can culminate in his
He has given the op-
position another plat-
form for attack on the
existing system; a system
that legalizes his office.
The opposition forces
now have a public plat-
form to air their views
and recommendations
for total change; Views
no doubt which the
'serious people in the

population must be
following closely.
Hence, even if
Williams not the PNM
- drafts his own consti-
tution (and this no doubt
is what he is doing to re-
tain skilfully much of the
power he enjoys under
the existing system) he
must deliberate well be-
fore he rejects proposals
:f groups like Tapia in-
cluded in the draft of the
A rejection that can
have catastrophic con-
sequences. It can lead to
grand finale. A final
assault on the Doctorship
as well.
The kind of political
immaturity displayed by
the UNIP plus -
though not surprising -
is frightening. My best
wishes to the members of
A brother with Tapia,
San Fernando.

-rr p -


a ,'. .

~-~ -~

,~. ~s -.---

Tapia was right


TAPIA Page 3

Couva Junior Sec

- raw deal

in a package

Augustus Ramrekersingh

THE NEW Couva Junior
Secondary School has
been completed after 15
months at a cost of $1.3
million. By the time it is
opened the overall cost is
likely to be in the vicinity
of $ 1.5 million. Like the
other Junior Secondary
schools already con-
structed or being con-
structed, it has been fi-
nanced through an aid
scheme of the World Bank.
The imposing but incon-
gruous structure, though an
attempt tofill certain long-felt
needs, raises several questions,
among them being the nature
of World Bank aid schemes,
staffing, and the fate of
students after three years at
the institution.
All the schools have been
built according to the same
plan; they are in fact no
different from those in Jamaica
which were built through the
agency or ime wormu naIK. i is
really a package deal which the
World Banks is selling not


The rigid uniformity of the
schools means that the
differences in individual envi-
ronments have not been taken
into account. The Junior
Secondary at Curepe or
Barataria or Couva have been
built in the same way to cater
for the same needs, ignoring
the fact that Curcpe, Barataria
and Couva are not exactly the
same. The surprising under-
emphasis of agriculture
judging from the so far avail-
able facilities, in predomi.
nantly agricultural Couva is a
case in point.
This is in the first instance a
result of the type of aid
scheme of which we are the re-
cipients. And in the second in-
stance it is the consequence of
an overemphasis on central
planning at the expense of the
individual needs of the lo-
calities. What it really shows is
the absence of local govern-
ment, the need for the comm-
unity to exercise some control
over its educational needs.


These World Bank aid
schemes generate foreign
business to the detriment of
local business. The local
merchants in Couva did not
benefit one iota from such an
extravaganza of construction.
Let us see why.
The blackboards and notice
boards were all made in
Canada, The stools and book-
cases were assembled locally
from imported Israeli board.
All locks, electrical and pipe

fittings came from Britain.
Even as simple an item as a
bicycle shed was imported
from Arix Metal Industries
Ltd., (Britain), as indeed were
the louvres. Toilet bowls and
the water tank, though avail-
able locally, were imported


No wonder the cost of the
school was so high. It could
perhaps have been built at half
its present cost if the terms of
the loan were reasonable, if it
were truly an aid scheme, and
not a means of generating
business in the metropolitan
countries. Local enterprise and
business would have been sti-
mulated. Just imagine the
booster to the fabricating
plants and the lumber industry
if the supplies for the Junior
Secondary schools were in
local hands.

*y- ,..

Further, if the designing
were done locally it would
have generated employment
for local architects and con-
struction firms. The wheels of
the local economy would have
been greased.
And after all the injudicious
spending there is no gym-
nasium in the school. The
drainage is hopelessly in-
adequate and the work-table
surfaces in the cookery room
are not even heat resistant. The
schools Couva being only
one example are in fact not
suited to tropical conditions. A
consequence of their foreign
desi gn.
If the economics of the con-
struction are a scandal, the
vital matter of staffing is a
disaster. The system of Junior
Secondary Schools is a new
one here and obviously
teachers have to be trained to
cope with the new demands
and special problems which

r :
:;i: :

will inevitably arise, especially
in the e early days. The training
course for teachers who will
work in these schools is in-
adequate and haphazard.

There is a glaring insuffi-
ciency of trained teachers for
these schools.- This is all the
more serious because the shift
system demands a high number
of teachers in an individual
school and in view of the fact
that no apparent effort is being
made to train staff for the
schools yet unbuilt. It would
be tragic if the problem were
to be solved either by crash
courses for teachers or by
relying hopefully on the
enthusiasm of inexperienced
teachers, unprepared, through
io fault of their own, to cope
with the new situation.


All of this could have been
avoided if there were proper
planning with clear vision. We
should have been preparing for
the change for years. Instead
the government in character-
istic fashion allows problems to
assume crisis proportions
before attempting to tackle
them. Then, their half-baked
remedies are worse than the
The teachers would become
frustrated and the students
would suffer. It is always the
students who suffer in the ulti-
mate. And we would continue

thfs GuaoO seasoO

You know who

paid for that $2m

Barclays computer?

BARCLAYS' deputy managing director claimed recently
that the bank's new computer system would relieve the
staff of tiresome and time consuming chores and enable
them to maintain and improve "personal relationships

with customers that are
It is natural to expect that
new arrangements to maximise
efficiency should result in L
better service to customers,
That indeed is what the banks
all claim to be doing. And in
the recent rush to become
"local" corporate persons, mul-
tinational banks like Barclays
have been trumpeting their
record of and commitment to
providing satisfactory service
to customers.
And presumably nothing
less than customers' con-
venience could justify Barclays
proliferation of 33 branches
throughout Trinidad and


What then if you can't cash
at one branch a cheque drawn
on an account lodged at
another branch? Now it's not
as if Barclays have a rule for-
bidding that kind of transac-
tion. As I have found out, they
So you won't get a flat
"no" for an answer if you try
it. That, for sure, would im-
mediately provoke the kind of

an essential part of good

Lennox Grant
question that Barclays don't
want asked: what, apart from
making money, is the use of
having all these branches?
Instead, Barclays require
you to pay a prohibitive $1
charge for the verification of
the cheque, in fact, offering
you a reasonable service for a
clearly unreasonable tax. The
bank thus gets the best of both
worlds: they can claim to offer
that as one of their many
services, and they get $1 for
every person who makes use of
it. Further, if you refuse to pay
or cannot afford then they
are saved the trouble of
verifying the cheque and the
expense of setting up some
central system for facilitating
that kind of exercise.
If all these things occur to
you while still at the counter,
and you recall the larger
question about the role of
banks like Barclays in the eco-
nomies of countries like this
one, then you have to ask
Why the $1? To pay for the
phone call to the branch con-
cerned. You insist: but that's

exorbitant for most a lywhere
in this country. Then the
second line of defence is
assumed: the charge is also to
cover the cost of the service,
you are informed.
The alternative, counsels the
official cynically, is to go
yourself to the branch where
the account is lodged. But
that's brazenly begging the
question, you protest. The
issue, however, as far as
Barclays are concerned, has
come to a close. "These are our
It doesn't matter that the
other branch is half the island
away or in Tobago. Or that
your need for cash is urgent
and closing time is near.
The fact is you have ex-
hausted due process of law,
and politics must now take
over. You probably have no
legal case against the bank, and
different methods are appro-
priate for fighting a moral one.
So you begin to assert your-
self, like Naipaul at Piarco re-
cently, to say who are you; to
insist on your rights; to descant
on the arbitrariness and high-
handedness of the bank's rule;
in rising tones to draw
attention and support to your-
self; to make the political point
- why is it that the needs and
interests of ordinary people
must always take second place
to administrative and official
convenience? Where is the
manager? This is damn
And you will get your cash.
Like as not, the Man himself
will make the phone call and
not charge you a cent for it.
For typically, Barclays have re-
sources for soothing rough
customers like yourself.
Without conceding the
point, they'd concede the

dollar. Certain to make it back
from the next customer whc
will just shrug and pay $2 for a
bank statement to give the US
Embassy. Certain that many
more will just cuss and walk
off ineffectually.
This capacity to make
tactical adjustments and then
carry on as usual, adopting in-
numerable devices to prise a
little something extra out of
people all the while, is what
will keep the status quo in
banking intact despite grand
overtures at localisationn."
The pressure on branch
managers to all the time keep
revenue on the increase drives
them to implement schemes
that at times look very much
like sharp practice to get a
dollar here, a dollar there, over
and above normal business
For example, UWI students
complained to the Guild earlier
this year that the Barclays
branch there was imposing a
fee for ever\ withdrawal made
above a certain number per
month. I phoned the manager.
What kinda thing is this? He
flatly denied knowledge of any
such system. He had given no
such instructions. lHe agreed
with my suggestion that
students were within their
rights to refuse to pay. Aid the
matter ended there.
So that Barclays have
waited till they have 33
branches to set up a computer
system which would possibly
facilitate transactions between
branches. It has cost S2 million
collected by a systematic
computer levy from customers
over these many years.
Now who is going to pay to
maintain it'? You will hear.

1 0 m m u n 7lim

to hear government propa-
ganda about the improvements
in education and the number
of new school places available.
Purely a statistical view of edu-
cation with no regard for the
quality and content of edu-
cation or the final products of
the school.
We have unquestionably to
invest in education. But we
have to insist that what we pro-
duce is at least commensurate
with the input. In the final
analysis the success of our edu-
cation system is determined by
what it is able to produce.


The same lack of foresight is
evident with the streaming of
students after three years at
Junior Secondary level. It is an-
ticipated that after three years
students will be channelled
into Technical Schools or
Senior Secondary Schools,
according to their aptitudes.
Have we started any real work
on the Senior Secondaries or
the Technical Schools for that
matter? Or are we as usual
going to wait until the first
three years have elapsed and
then start a mad scramble to
deal with a crisis which could
have been avoided in the first
place by competent planning?
And while the authorities
move from blunder to blunder,
from crisis to crisis, the
nation's future, the nation's
childrenn would be jumping up
in steelband.

Page 4 TAPIA

LOCAL government has
been the subject of many
investigations. The latest
was the Sinanan Local
Government Committee in
In some ways, this proli-
feration of inquiries marks a
regression from the pre-
occupations of the nine-
teenth century. In those
first hundred years of
British rule, the scope of
the discussion was largely
restricted to the relations
between the Crown Colony
State and the Port-of-Spain
Cabildo or City Council.


The population was of
course, by definition shut out al-
together. Yet the discussion
focused on the real issue: the
distribution of responsibility and
power. Broadly speaking, the
struggle opposed the creole
cocoa planters to the imperial
bureaucracy and its sugar plant-
ation allies. But neither side
doubted its own or the other's
capacity to run the thing. So
far as the wider community was
concerned, Lord Harris in 1849
abolished the old Spanish system
3f Quarters, Parishes and Barrios
and substituted the framework
of eight counties cut up into dis-
tricts and wards. Harris had,
however, only been concerned
with administrative efficiency.
His view was that Africans
and "coolies" were unfit to be
placed in the same position as
labourers from the civilised
countries. They were to be
treated like children. The
question of community respon-
sibility and community partici-
pation did not arise at all. All
power to the State!


Strictly speaking, the 19th
century lasted until after World
War I. The Reform Committee
and the Trinidad Workingmen's
Association dated from before
the turn of the century. But the
fruits of their efforts required a
Cipriani to pluck them. When so
tall a man arrived, naturally he
changed the rules.
The City Council remained b
thorn in the Governor's side; but
now it was not so much a
French Creole piquant as a
weapon in the struggle by the
barefoot man to win control of
the Central Government itself.
Local Government in which the
entire population could engage
in politics and exercise the res-
ponsibilities of government
remained at best a subsidiary
In 1909 the Clifford Com-
mittee had inquired into the
possibility of extending Local
Government into the County
districts but nothing significant
came of it. In the context of
plantation economy, nothing sig-
nificant was possible. The estate
was the meaningful unit, not the
village, not the town, not the


Besides, Afro-Saxon culture
was drawing the potential com-
munity leaders into education
and towards the metropolitan
stage of Woodbrook. Moreover.
Crown Colony rule was in-
herently incapable of negating
its own moral premises. Its doc-
trines was imperial, not popular
responsibility. The bureaucratic
spirit of Harris lived merrily on.
The Moyne Commission of
1938, more than any other, pro-
vides the proof of that power to
survive. Here was an extremely
sensitive Commission which
could perceive the need for a
"moral resurgence" among our
degraded peoples. It saw that
"improvement in social condi-

r Y

1111!7 B

tions depends in large measure
on co-operation between the
central administrations and the
people through properly consti-
tuted and well conducted local


But then it shilly-shallied.
After a perceptive analysis of the
West Indian condition, it saw no
difficulty in prescribing Colonial
Development and Welfare
Schemes and Imperial Preference
as major planks of policy. So
too, now, the Commission
doubted the wisdom of esta-
blishing more than advisory local
bodies. In truth, it was forced
into this doubt. For the conti-
nuation of the plantation
economy was taken for granted,
notwithstanding all the re-
commendations about agrarian
re form.
Summoned in 1944, O'Reilly
did little more than reiterate
Moyne. Next, Spurling in 1947,
yielded. The County Councils
were to have executive power.
But in keeping with the spirit of
the culture, the view was so
focused on government as dis-
tinct from politics, that the
Commission never saw that the
organisation of the economy
would surely defeat the scheme.
Imrie investigated in 1957.
By then the County Councils
had come into being. They were
already piling up the evidence
for those philistines who would
later argue for greater central-
is ation on the spurious grounds
that the country is too small and
that local government spells only
waste, corruption and incom-


Reporting in the age of in-
dependence, the Sinanan Com-
mittee might have been expected
to add some new dimensions to
the discussion. While it made
some valuable proposals, the
Commission succeeded mainly in
confirming the lag of political'
thought behind the demands ol
The Report is excellent so fai
as it goes. The analysis is careful,
lucid and precise and the docu-
mentation solid. Yet there is less
philosophical and theoretical
exploration of the options thar
seems to have been called for.
It was not that the deputa-

tions failed to raise key issues.
The Trinidad Association of
Village Councils, for example,
advocated that the County
Councils be scrapped altogether
and taken over by the Village
Councils. The South Trinidad
Chamber of Industry and Com-
merce warned of the ever-
increasing control from the
centre and called for additional
local powers. A section of the
Civil Service Association sug-
gested more political power and
greater authority for the


By far the most powerful
demand for change came from a
witness from San Fernando.
Williams E. Hitchens argued that
overcentralisation could lead to
the eventual destruction of de-
mocracy in unscrupulous hands.
He recognized the need for
strong leadership at all levels and
acknowledged the importance of
organisational flexibility. He
then proposed wider powers for
the Councils and Municipal con-
trol over police, fire services,
education, housing, licensing of
vehicles, roads excluding high-
ways. He also proposed control
over a wide range of taxes.
These witnesses were clearly
trying to say something which
the Commission failed entirely
to grasp: that the combination
of responsible, vigorous and in-
telligent government had im-
posed new needs in the local
field. For political parties to
function and for large-scale
economic plans to be imple-
mented, local self-confidence
and local involvement are essen-
tial. Strong local government is
necessary on this ground. With-
out it, positive government will
probably degenerate into auto-
cracy precisely because it wishes
to achieve gains for the commu-


Corruption and incompetence
are a consequence of irrespons-
ibility. They are not therefore a
worthy reason for restricting res-
ponsibility. Local Government,
above all, is necessary to teach
the population the modalities of
power. The problem is not,
therefore, one of identifying
what areas are viable with the
existing division of powers. It is
one of devising and designing

rules and of refashionin g the
structure to create and establish
meaningful and viable units of
political responsibility and of
social cohesion.

The entire country must be
sub-divided into municipalities
with extensive powers. This re-
organisation is to take place in
the context of other proposals
for constitutional reform, for
the freeing of national economic
enterprise and for a settlement
with the metropolitan sector.
Outlined in TAPIA No. 20 -
Independence 1971.
The municipal boundaries are

-' S' S#


to be drawn with regard to eco-
nomic viablity and social and
cultural cohesion in the new
context. This is far less like
starting with a clean slate than at
first appears. Many existing or
suggested groupings will stay
together, though all of the poor-
me-one, far-flung councils are to
be disappear. THe difference,
here, however, likes in the
following four suggestions.


The new Municipalities must
be envisaged as full participants
in economic planning and ad-
ministration. The Tunapuna
Municipality, for example, will
found a Holding Company to
share control of Orange Grove
with the Central Government
and with local businessmen,
Pointe-a-Pierre will be in a
similar relation to Texaco, Point
Fortin to Shell, Princess Town
to Usine, Couva to Brechin
Castle, and so forth.
They are to be represented in
the proposed National Pan-
chaiyat. The aim here is to in-
crease the accountability of the
municipal administration before
the entire nation and to erect an
extra bridge between national
and local economic planning and
administration. There will, of
course, need to be internal
consistency between municipal
and national plans -'an exercise
made both politically and tech-
nically feasible by the small scale
of Tobago & Trinidad.
The Municipalities are to act
as the agencies for co-ordinating
the programmes of Village, Dis-
trict and Ward Councils. At the
moment, community identifi-
cation is weak and the Central
Government is allowed too
direct an access to the small
units of local organisation.
They must have extensive


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The National Commercial Bank of Trinidd & Tobago.60 Independence Square, P.O S.




TAPIA Page 5



Claro Toco
mar Tunapuna
yentille Belmont
aval St. James
t of Spain Diego Martin
oni Ch Ma
quite Chaguanas
ntFortin SanFernando
ices Town La rea
gre Grande Chaguaramas
Juan Couva
Anns Pointee-Pierre
)odbrook Siparia

powers of taxation. Sales taxes
on public utility services are an
obvious candidate. But comm-
unity levies for amenities such as
education, health, sport and
sanitation, are also attrractivein
phases of social anxiety about
public goods, special purpose
taxes are more useful than norm-

ally. Profits to the Municipalites
will, of course, also accrue from
participation in enterprise. If
necessary, income-tax sharing
schemes may also be worked out
with the Central Government.


These proposals are entirely
consistent with central pro-
duction of public utilities and
with centralised collection of
revenues where necessary. At the
same time, they expose the need
to decentralise many of the
services now irrationally
provided or utilised in Port-
The scheme is designed with a
view to stopping the costly
movement of people to the
capital for no good reason.
There is another side to the
award of tax powers to the Mu-
nicipalities. The revenue is to be
put to use. The obvious areas are
education, health, housing,
traffic, the arts and sport. Every-
one of these areas is now highly
unsatisfactory due to too much
central paper planning. Never
has education needed more to be
decentralised to allow private ex-
perimentation and initiative. Nor
does there seem to be any reason
why the local communities
should not be able to organise

their own clinics in partnerships
with teams of doctors, nurses,
and dentists.
There is also a powerful case
for local responsibility in
housing within the guidelines of
a national plan. Proper housing
is essential to the development
of a tourist industry compatible
with cultural independence and
economic improvement. This is
especially relevant to Laventille,
Belmont and Tobago. Locally-
planned housing can also aim to
relieve pressure on space in
schools, libraries, hospitals and
clinics. The town-planning which
is involved will also help the
rationalisation of sport and
But the problem of co-
ordination needs to be perceived
from the existential positions of
the people in their communities.
It cannot be solved by applying
text-book conceptions from a
Port-of-Spain office least of all
by a class of planners who are
short of experience and who
have been cut off from the real
world by both education and
This re-organisation of local
government is the most im-
portant single measure among
these proposals. We need to

create 200,000 jobs by 1983 and
to double the national savings
rate. In terms of people, this can
only be achieved by triggering
off initiatives at the local level.
Only then will the rest follow in
terms of a flow of manufactured
and agricultural goods for home
and export consumption. If we
envisage an abandonment of the
policy of industrialisationn and
tourism by invitation" we imply
a transformation of traditional
patterns of life, work and comm-
unity collaboration.


It means that the local
authorities will need to organise
clinics, nursery schools, old-age
homes, libraries, golf courses,
parks, swimming pools, tele-
vision and washing machine
centres, public baths and toilets,
motor-car pools, taxi-co-ops,
steelband education and work
centres, and so forth. For full
employment and a high savings
rate imply activating spare
labour, land and skills to create
extra output. It involves shifting
our pattern of consumption to
things we can produce for our
own comfort and pleasure.
Besides, the programme will
require us to keep our skilled
people and even to attract many

back from overseas. This entails
the provision of creative opport-
unity for nurses, doctors and
lawyers; for economists and

accountants; for architects., en-
gineers and surveyors; for social
workers, teachers, dramatists,
ilm-directors, and journalists;
for computer-programmers; for
cricket, football and netball
coaches; and so forth.
These people have been
leaving. But it .is not because
they lare unpatriotic as some
half-wit interpreters have been
suggesting They find little satis-
faction in working for the auto-
cratic planter-petroleum state.
Consider the possibilities for say,
Caroni. As a Municipality it can
develop its own industrial and
culturall bias once its gifted and
favoured sons can find a place
there for their politics and their
It is no paradox that we need
community organisation to
frame this exploration of indivi-
dual talents. Our "indivi-
dualism" has been negatively
evaluated by those who are
themselves too insecure to have
faith in others. But it is just that
flexibility and that willingness to
confront orthodoxy with indivi-
dual heresy which are now
needed if we are to salvage our-
selves from confusion.

Pain-killing needles of Acupuncture

Prensa Latina

MODERN research and
ancient, traditional
practice have combined
in China to produce the
near perfection of the
amazing method of
killing pain -
Acupuncture is the tech-
nique of inserting needles
into various parts of the body
so as to alleviate pain during
surgery, dental extraction,
childbirth, or even such com-
plicated operations as brain
and lung surgery.
Though its origins date
from the most remote times
in Chinese history, research
over the last 13 years has en-
abled doctors to perform the
most remarkable experiments
using acupuncture. And not
only have the over 5,000
operations been 90%
successful, but acupuncture
actually improves on con-
ventional anaesthesia.


The patient is conscious,
throughout the entire
operations, can converse with
the doctors, and within
minutes after the needles
have been withdrawn, can sit
up or be up and about
generally depending on the
seriousness of the operation.
Another thing acupuncture
has never up to now caused
bleeding in any of the
patients treated. And the
patient who feels pain after
can be given a normal
anaesthetic. There are few
post-operation effects; re-
covery is quick.
fo understand the prin-
ciple of the acupunctural



In the dentist's chair the needle being stuck into this patient's cheek will eliminate pain
in the extraction of a jaw-tooth.

low 4



anaesthetic it is necessary
above all to know what the
main physiological effects
will be once the needles are
inserted into the human
body. Patients being prepared
for operation have needles
stuck into various parts of

their body.
Different points can be
used with varying degrees of
efficacy for the same type of
operation, doctors explain.
But as obviously volunteers
for trial a method experi-
ments in this would be hard

to come by, doctors have hi!d
first to insert testing needles
into their own bodies before
applying their discoveries to
their patients.
The precise "acupunctural
points" vary widely. A
woman with a tumour in the

ovary needles inserted in
her back; a young man with a
neck tumour needles in his
feet; an old woman with cata-
racts acupuncture in her
cheeks; a boy with a decayed
jaw-tooth a single needle in
the left cheek.
Once the needles are in
place, the anaesthetist makes
them vibrate several hundred
times per minute. Formerly
done by hand, these vibra-
tions are now made by an
electric manipulator.
When the patient feels a
slight numbness in the spot
around the needle it means
the analgesic effects are being
produced, a surgeon explains.
Twenty minutes after the in-
sertion of the needle, the
surgeon begins to operate.
In the 10% percent of the
cases when the patient does
feel pain, ordinary aesthetic is
used. It means the correct
"acupunctural point" hasn't
been found.
But in any case, the
patient is always free to
choose between acupuncture
and conventional anaesthetic.
And increasingly they are
opting for the needles.
The chief surgeon of a
Peking hospital spearheading
research in this area says:
"Acupuncture can be applied
to a 10-day old baby as well
as to an 80-year old person.
But of course, it's more diffi-
cult to see the results in a
baby as it can't speak and
therefore can't co-operate
with the doctors as an adult
"We do our best to select
the cases for acupunctural
treatment which stand the
best chance of responding
successfully to the method."

Cookeen Golden Ray Blueband
Vim Sqezy Drive BreezeW RINOW FOR
Sunlight Lux Lifebuoy Fiesta WT OW

N M- Tapia House Publishing Co. Ltd.,
EASTERN MAIN ROAD CHAMPS FLEURS 91, Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago.

Minutes ago this woman was operated on to remove a tumour from her ov:.:y.

a i I Irrr La --J~ r I~clr*r a r



Page 6 TAPIA

North South

and a slow coach in th



SATURDAY, July 15,
when North met South
was wet and slushy. In
view of the depression that
sours the nation in every
sphere of its life one ex-
pected that the game
would have matched the
slushy ground conditions.
Instead the game was brisk
and keenly contested with the
southerners unlucky to lose the
match 2 1.
Both teams had highly ef-
ficient defences with the ex-
ception of the brawny Winston
Phillips, the North and Defence
Force left back. His positioning
in the defence was woefully
substandard. He was so easily
drawn from his defence and so
easily evaded one speculated
on the efficiency of Clibert
Lennard (the national and
south right winger) in that he
did not make better use of

From the beginning of the
tournament it was obvious that
Guyana's George Brathwaite
(resident in the United States),
Gordon Stephens (resident in
the United States) and Errol
Caetano (resident in Canada)
were better players for having
played against a variety of in-
ternational opponents. And in
spite of the hopeful blurbings
that Trinidad and Tobago was
going to win this the fifteenth
championship, ping-pong
pundits knew different.
Indeed in the midst of the
euphoria that greeted Trinidad
and Tobago's defeat of Jamaica
some were asking whether our
team was really equipped to
trounce all comers and
clearly they were thinking of
Guyana. Events were to prove
that their questioning was
based on sound table-tennis
sense which when applied to an
analysis of our team showed
that we had some glaring weak-


The four-man team tlat we
fielded consisted of two de-
fensive and two attacking
players. Against really top class
competition, write off the two
choppers, Mansing Amarsingh.
the team's captain and Lloyd
Pantin. Amarsingh is a good
close to the table chopper,
capable at times of imparting
really vicious spin to the ball.
He, however, has one attacking
shot a surprise flat kill on
the forehand. He doesn't
"make" the shot in the sense
that lie does not have the at-
tacking build-up to force his
opponent into putting the ball
in exactly the right spot for the
smash. Instead lie depends on
the viciousness of his chop to
lure his opponent into making
tic mistake and giving him the
shot. Nothing wrong with that
- until he cones up against an
attacking player with a heavy
loop and devastating flat kills.
Forced away from the table his
killer shot becomes useless, and
as a retriever against the loop
away from the table Amarsinghl

Phillips blunderings.
Whenever he got the ad-
vantage over Phillips he invari-
ably held on to the ball too
long allowing Phillips to re-
cover. Lennard takes too long
to bring a ball under control
What appears as a beautiful
solo run from Lennard is really
a struggle to bring the ball under
Unlike Lennard, Dick Fur-
long, probably the most intell-
igent forward in the country
today with the possible excep-
tion of Knobby Phillips, cap-
italised on a Phillips
blunder and engineered South's
equaliser. More beautiful than
Brewster's half volley was

has always been suspect.
Pantin is a steady stone-
waller, but against an intelli-
gent player like Fernando
Roberts his deficiency as a
player is only too apparent.
Play him on both wings, steady
drives bring him in and flat hit
and he invariably loses. His
attacking equipment is practi-
cally non-existent save for a
forehand shot which he uses re-
latively rarely. His defeats in
the tournament are ample evi-
dence that in today's inter-
national table-tennis world the
all-out chopper has had his
day. Even so, Pantin is not as
brilliant a retriever as say
Mulligan in his hey-day or the
best of them all, the now re-
tired. Earle Prescott.


So we fielded two choppers
who were weak against a biting
loop attack, and two attackers.
In the team, Stephen Wade
bests understands spin. By all
accounts he is a difficult player
to play, but Wade I have
always found, is much too
awkward on his feet. I have
always had the feeling that his
legs keep getting between him
and his game, so that while he
has spin the man lacks speed.
Derek Da Silva is the best
attacking player that we have.
Capable of quick loop drives
and skating flat kills, Da Silva
lacks temperament. In the
game against Jamaica he fought
Fernando Roberts every inch
of the way in the first game of
the set, but wilted in the
second. In the quarter-final
Mens' Singles match against
Gordon Stephens the game
went into the thirties before
Da Silva lost in a tense closely-
matched game.
In the second game it was
difficult to believe that we
were watching the same player.
He was defeated in minutes.
Again, here it was a question of
speed. Time and time again
during a rally, Stephens was
able to hit the ball earlier and
faster than Da Silva and since

Furlonge's well placed
"dump." He placed it wide
enough to tempt Figeroux (the
north goalkeeper) into running
out to intercept and caught
him "in no man's land" with
Figeroux drawn from his goal
Brewster volleyed home into
an open goal.
To prove his first dump was
no fluke he made the same
play again only to see one of
his colleagues boot the ball in-
gloriously over the bar.
South's mistake, however,

Da Silva cannot resort to
chopping against a player of
Stephens' speed, he simply
The point here is not simply
the approach taken by our
players in the tournament but
the approach that they take to
the game in general and here
one wonders exactly what kind
of practice sessions our players
take part in. It is not easy for
local table-tennis players to get
venues where they can prac-
tice. The result is that there are
always others waiting to play,
and winning one's game be-
comes important.
Of course, nobody is
arguing that the team we field
does not have the talent to
blossom out into a really top-
class team. The point is the
seriousness of approach of
which Guyana's Brathwaite is
the best example. The players
;argue, and there's some merit
in the argument, that they
need a top flight coach since,
unlike the Guyanese stars, they
are all based here. The result is
that they all learn from each
other which, perhaps ex-
plains why they manage to
beat each other almost as if
they were operating on a give-
and-take basis. No player has
any clear supremacy over the
other one either has a good
night or a bad night.

In the interim, however, our
players will be well advised to
concentrate on building up
those areas of their game that
are weakest. Surely, Amarsingh
and Pantin must realise that
their table-tennis future is
limited unless they build up a
reasonable repertoire of at-
tacking shots.
If 1 were Wade I would run
around and lose a few pounds
and Da Silva must have seen by
now that while his attacking
power is enough to put him in
the front ranks of the local

was that they did not concen-
trate their attack on the right
wing instead of the left where
Brewster was playing. In the
second half, one expected that
Phillips would have been re-
placed by Charlie Spooner and
that Ron La Forest would have
replaced Morgan in the half
line. Instead Spooner replaced
Teixeira playing at left back
and La Forest came in for
Calvin Lewis, an enterprising
and imaginative player from
'East Trinidad. Here one could

players, against above-average
competition he is still too slow
and he still has not acquired
the ic y cool that is the mark of
the ping-pong champion. And
until such time as the Associa-
tion is able to afford a coach
there are books and periodicals
available that give a clear
picture of the state of the
game. There is no need for our
players to be battling "in
vacuo," so to speak.


About thie tournament,
itself frankly it was not one
of the better ones. The absence
of the Mens' Champion, Orville

Haslam, (Jamaica) and the
Women's Champion, Pat
Hildebrant (Barbados) both of
whom are based abroad and
who are aiming to represent
England and the United States
respectively, meant a fall in tlhe
general standard. Both
Barbados and Jamaica fielded
weak teams, with Jamaica
being the worst of the two.
One understands the diffi-
culties of the Trinidad and
Tobago Table Tennis Associa-
tion, but the Public Service As-
sociation Centre with its glare
and its breezes is not a place to
run off tournaments, parti-
cularly in the day. And
umpires have got to understand

take issue with Sedley Joseph
the north coach and by that
fact the national coach.
Sedley is the fonner Maple
ind Trinidad captain. His style
is patterned after the English-
Alf Ramseyian to be more
exact. He is a consistent,
steady, though not enterprising
player. His positioning and dis-
tribution were impeccable and
he had the knack of always
doing the simple things right.
Yet I am afraid that as
coach he will attempt to place
consistency above creativity.
Like Ramsey he seems to be
heading in the direction of
looking for players to fit his
conception of the game rather
than devising a plan to suit our
most talented players.
And when he took off Calvin
Lewis instead of Morgan whose
style is similar to his, his policy
was evident. Trinidad's football
will continue to be the
mundane thing it is if creativity
is sacrificed for competent
mediocrity. After all the
Brazilians in the last World Cup
showed how much creativity
outdistances pedestrianism on
the football field.


ihat in addition to scoring they
have to see that people do not
walk about the place the
game is so fast these days that
a player has only to glance out
of the comer of his eye at a
passing member of the
audience to lose the point.
The Association might p6d-
fitably look at these things and
to consider whether they can
not bring some much-needed
funds into their depleted
coffers by importing a varied
selection of table tennis equip-
ment, bringing an end to the
situation where it is impossible
to get certain kinds of table
tennis bats, or, at times, any
kind of good bat at all.


Finally, will somebody ex-
plain to me just what system of
seeding was used? The officials
tell me that it was on a
national basis. Such a method
leads to ridiculousness like Da
Silva being seeded above Brath-
waithe because Brathwaithe
does not compete in the local
Guyanese championships.
Since under the laws of the
Caribbean Table Tennis Feder-
ation people do not have to be
based at home to compete in
its championships, then merely
to be giving the top berths to
the champions in the various
countries does not make sense.
In the absence of any inter-
vening regional chamnpsionship
it would seem to me that the
logical thing to do would be to
seed players on the basis of the
preceding championship. If for
one reason or another a seeded
player is not participating then
the man below him moves up
one rung -and that's that.


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TAPIA Page 7
I~ I I

Esther le Gendre
The professional art-
istry achieved by the
Jamaican Folk Singers in
just four years of
existence reflects that
island's tradition of the
National Theatre as well
as the musical accom-
plismunents of Musical
Director, Olive Lewin.
The two-hour pro-
gramme was introduced
by dance songs followed
by work songs and songs
that sought to give voice
to a gamut of life's ex-
periences. Some were
done in the mento
rhythm indiger.ous to
Jamaica. The rhythm is
supposed to produce
both horizontal and ver-
tical pelvic movements of
the calypso a point



that the audience was
quite ready to dispute
wih the chameleon M.C.
Some of the songs be-
trayed Miss Lewin's
Royal Academy training.
The language and tone
somewhat stilt the charm
of the nature songs. For
example in "Eyes Don't
See" all the drama in-
herent in the eternal tri-
angular affair was
missing. Nevertheless

"Mango Time" came
across well and in "Missa
Potta" the querulous
tones of landlord-tenant
disputes were well dra-
From a black-clad
figure huddled in a
rocking chair came the
strains of 'Come Back,
Liza' and, if not before,
one was certainly moved
now by the pathos of
that fine old song.



The Jamaican 'gereh"
emerged as a much
sadder and lonelier affair
than the card-playing,
rum and coffee drinking
that typifies our funeral
customs. Quite apart
from the robust work-
songs of the men, ad-
vising how to catch a
"If you see wan
ugly gurl
fuh cut yuh eye


and\ passher
If you see wan
pretty gurl
Tek yuh finger oall
The wake and the
Kumina songs sung in the
Congolese dialect were
worthy of note.
If only because one
has heard the drumming
of the Jamaican National
Dance Theatre, the
drumology interspersing

the programme was
rather disappointing. The
piccolo performance,
however, was a happy
thing, raw, unsophisti-
cated, trilling into bird
calls then screaming with
the life and exuberance
which characterise the
folk tradition. BrAging
their generous per-
formance to a close with
a triumphant "Alli-luia,"
the group's visit will cer-
tainly be remembered
Solidly backed by the
Jamaican Government
this young group has al-
ready toured North
America, winning the
O.A.S. prize this year at
the International Folk
Festival in Argentina.

No ifs

about that


THERE MUST be no ifs
about whether the Consti-
tution Commission would
publish its report.
This position was re-
emphasised in a July 26 Tapia
statement presented to the
Commission at Curepe.
Referring to press state-
ments by members of the Com-
mission that the report would
inevitably become known be-
cause of the kind of country
this is, Tapia urged the Com-
mission to give an undertaking
that the report would in fact
be made public.
The Tapia statement -
made at the halfway point of
the Commission's first series of
public meetings suggested
ways the Commission could
better aid the public in
thinking things through
thoroughly and in making pro-
posals for constitutional re-
A top priority, Tapia
suggested, should be public-
ation of additional drafts on
Tobago, Local Government
and Proportional Represent-
The statement stressed the
importance of race, patterns
of employment and economic
control among the wider social
and economic issues on which
t he Commission should also
provide more background in-
The public should be en-
couraged to send in statements
which though not directly re-
lated to the constitution,

would be essential in helping to
form constitutional judgments.
Tapia also argued that mem-
bers of the public could not
reasonably be expected to send
memoranda in five copies, and
requested the Commission to
discontinue that requirement.
To prepare background
material for publishing the
extra drafts, the statement sug-
gested that the Commission
set up research teams.
Noting that by its nature
the Commission could not be a
representative body, Tapia
pointed out that its credibility
and effectiveness nevertheless
depended on how its compo-
sition reflected the society in
terms of sex, geography and
race. (In Tobago the weekend
before Tapia's statement the
Com mission had been criticised
in Tobago for not having a
Tobagonian among its
The Commission was also
urged to pay more attention
to press reports of its
meetings. The Secretary could
correct grossly misleading or
inaccurate reports for these
could affect popular confi-
dence and perhaps make
people unwilling to participate,
Tapia proposed.
Reports since the statement
indicate that the Commission is
moving to prepare a draft on
Proportional Representation.
And the press advertisement of
the Commission has been since
altered to eliminate the re-
quirement fo r memoranda in
five copies.

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I --I I ,


Lassalle & Shah talk to the press

Rex Lassalle, the two Re-
giment lieutenants re-
cently freed after 27
months of jail and trial,
have never had to rush the
spotlight. Ever since that
day in April, 1970 when it
became known that they
were leaders of the
Teteron uprising, they
have been a focus of
public fascination.
In their press conference on
August 5 they were clearly de-
termined not to be rushed into
anything. For over two years
they had languished in jail, en-
during physical and mental
strain, and exercising remark-
able fortitude in a resolve to
"keep their manhood."
The experience, they said,
had made them more politic-
ally conscious, given them a
greater awareness of the pro-
blems, and they had had time
to read and to think out their
own ideas of solutions. They
feared, however, that their
ideas might be "utopian"
owing to their long isolation
from "the mainstream of the

And they protested timt
and again to the gathered news-
men that they had only been
eight days free of the dehumin-
isation of the Royal Gaol, and

wished simply to have time to
reorieAt themselves.
Such an attitude bespoke a
winning sincerity and humility.
The maturity which recognizes
as part of the problem a
willingness to rush eagerly for-
ward to "lead' the masses
quite surpasses conventional
politicians a phrase uttered
by the soldiers several times in
the course of the conference.
but then Shah, Lassalle and
the other soldiers seem to have
gained some insights into the

problem of change here. Shah
explained the significance of
holding the press conference in
Freeport, central Trinidad as
a symbolic gesture to break the
conventional centralisation in
"metropolitan" Port-of-Spain.
They appreciated the need
for "political education" and
drew a distinction between the
traditional "electoral mobiliza-
tion" and "political mobiliza-
tion." Thev understood that

politics is all embracing and
not peculiar to a type called
"the politician."
Indeed Shah noted the un-
savoury connotation the term
"politician" had acquired in
the context of the politics of
doctors and now-for-now and
In saying that he hoped one
day to attain the status of"re-
volutionary" Shah conceded
something to the complexity
and subtlety of the process
called "revolution" and to the

person who can fittingly be
called "revolutionary." :
Nor were they seduced by
the romanticization attached
to the facile concept of "full-
time revolutionary." Lassalle
assured that they intended to
'ook for work. "We got to
Finance ourselves."


It was the avoidance of
bloodshed which motivated
their remaining at Teteron
when on April 21, 1970 the
itwo officers had under their
command the firepower to
blast their way through to any-
where. And now, perhaps what
is more significant than their
assumption of the role of
"mediators," is the recognition
of the need for dialogue and
communication between the
groups who want change


As their prepared statement
defines it, the need is "for
sorting out principles of co-
operation, and working out the
areas of common interests as a
.basis for sustained action."
It is noteworthy in passing
that Lassalle demurred at the
qualification of their role as
"working for opposition
unity" a position indeed so
tainted taited by chicanery as
to be subversive of any kind of
unity at all.

OPEC snubs Doctor Politics

From Page 1 sentatives.
person may not have been
necessarily someone know.
ledgeable in oil matters.
The Santo Domingo con-
ference at which 'the Trinidad

THE Tapia Operation
Groundings" ran into heavy
weather on Discovery Day,
Monday August 7. We found
Waterhole spitting brimstone
and fire over Keith Smith's
"Drum Beat of Survival," pub-
lished in Tapia No. 28.
Apparently Keith's story
had been given to him by cer-
tain "traitors," anxious to do
the proud community down..
. So when Ivan Laughlin and
later Felix Webster arrived on a
house-to-house campaign
selling "papers and politics,"
the brothers on the block were
waiting to give them a proper
tongue-lashing for Tapia's
failure to check out the facts

and Tobago delegation voted
against the supposed policy of
the Trinidad and Tobago
government is one of the most
curious incidents in inter-
national relations. That it is in-

before committing the story to
By the time Alan Harris,
Denzil Grant, and Lloyd Best
came up from their groundings
down the road, the Tapiamen
had been given an education
they will never forget.
"This kind of now-for-now
reporting could never tell you
what the people really think,"
one brother hissed at Best. The
Secretary grinned his agree-
ment and promised this apoligy
in Tapia. In exchange for the
political education Tapia is to
do an in-depth study of Water-
hole and to organise some com-
munity education classes,

conceivable such a mishap
could take place is paralleled
only by the subsequent ab-
surdity of the government
openly repudiating its repre-


What of the future inter-
national credit of Trinidad and
Tobago now standing at an all-
time low with the OPEC de-
bacle? Who can tell whether a
particular delegation sitting in
at international talks could
make any meaningful commit-
ments on behalf of Trinidad
and Tobago when the govern-
ment is likely to say after it did
not approve of the position
taken nor was the delegation
authorized to vote as it did.
A not generally known pre-
cedent, however, occurred in
1962 when Ellis Clark
and Seignoret took it upon
themselves to vote against a
UN measure for the promotion
of bith control. In the circum-
stances they were morally right
as in those early days foreign
policy was largely manu-
factured in the missions by the
diplomat who could get no
direction from home. But
Clarke and Seignoret were
clearly flying in the face of im-
plicit po licy indications.
So far from being confident
of the support of the home
government, diplomats can
never be certain when their
credibility in the circles in
which they must move will be
irredeemably undermined. The
Constantine case is perhaps the

most savage example of
this. Sir Learie as High
Commissioner in London in-
curred the wrath of the British
Conservative Government for
criticising the first Common-
wealth Immigration Bill which
clearly discriminated against
black people and West Indians.
As an immigrant West Indian
himself, and moreover one who
had established a reputation
fighting racial discrimination,
the late Sir Learie felt impelled
to comment though this con-
travened strict diplomatic con-


But in any case it was argu-
able that as a Commonwealth
citizen entitled to vote in
Britain, Sir Learie was free to
make such statements.
No matter. When Sir
Learie came home to see the
Prime Minister he was kept
waiting days for an audience
until Duncan Sandys, then UK
Secretary of State for Com-
monwealth Relations, came to
Trinidad. In proper house-slave
tradition the country's High
Commissioner was roundly
abused by Williams in the pre-
sence of Duncan Sandys, for
meddling in British internal af-


At one point Williams de-
creed that Ambassadors send
their reports personally to him
in long hand for security
Former Ministers appointed

as ambassadors retained
something called "Cabinet
status," which was in effect a
legitimation of Doctor Politics
in that it made for direct com-
munication with the Prime
Minister, by-passing the
Ministry of External Affairs
Centralised as they are,
burdened by a thousand fresh
cares of state every day, the
government is hard put to find
the time to think of inter-
national relations. Not that
they could have brought any
unconventional thinking to
bear on the issues. But doctor
politics is having equally un-
happy consequences at home
and abroad.
Williams and the PNM sore-
iy needed that OPEC okay. It
was the sort of announcement
tailor-made for his new grand-
standing jaunt special "an-
nouncements in the House on
behalf of and on the authority
of the Cabinet."
In the hope of getting inter-
national muscle to deal with
the oil corporations, the
government has been quietly
banking on the oil boom of the
seventies. But Trinidad and
Tobago couldn't make the
OPEC team; what the OPEC
fiasco means is that we have to
develop the resources at home
to deal with the super-giants of
And what that means is that
we have to put in office a
government that commands
the aspirations of the people
for control of the economy, a
government that is able to be
Boss in its own house.

.- _______________~t~ttc~

Waterhole Baptism