Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00054
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: April 15, 1973
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: UF00072147:00054

Full Text


TAPIA HAS been ar-
guing at the National Con-
vention that, on the con-
stitutional plane, power to
the people demands one
fundamental breakaway
from the past. We must put
into the corridors of Gov-
ernment a People's Parlia-
ment or a Permanent Con-
ference of Citizens.
There can be no other way
to constitutionally acknowledge
and establish the February
Revolution. There must be an
Upper House of the Citizens,
a Senate which will neither be
elected as you do with politi-
cians, nor nominated as you
do with the conventional House
of experts and business elites.

This must be a Permanent
National Consultation of ordin-
ary citizens, fully conscious of
their political interests and res-
ponsibilities but not profession-
ally involved in politics as a
way of life.
We say that this House must
be selected by the community
organizations which must be
vested with the right to recall
and replace representatives any
time they want.
We say this House must be
much larger than the House
of Representatives (Professional
Politicians). We are ready to
entertain anything up to 500
members most of them men-in-
the street.
We say these Citizens must
be paid by their community
organizations, given time off
and everything they need to
be independent-minded.
We say that a lot of these
Citizens will in time align them-
selves with political parties and
groups and that this will be a
good thing. There would be
such a criss-crossing of interest
that the parties will have to
think very hard about their
national, multi-racial image.



vited to a meeting at the
Tapia House, on Wednes-
day night, April 18.
The purpose of the meeting
is to streamline the Local Tapia
House Group of Tunapuna and
to select delegates to the Coun-
cil of Representatives.
Business will be followed by
a Report from the Secretary on
"The National Convention".

M uddling


ONE OF the working papers
prepared by the Wooding Com-
mission for the National Con-
vention at Chaguaramas is
Outlines Of Four Model Con-
stitutions. On page 3 of this
issue of TAPIA, we summarise
our assessment of these Models
for the benefit of Tapia readers.

They will have to project ideol-
ogies and programmes rather
than individuals or slogans.
We say that a considerable
number of these Citizens will
remain independent-minded
and unaligned. Issues and con-
flicts which are above party
will bring them into play. This
is the mechanism which will
ensure popular sovereignty over
the Prime Minister and the
Cabinet, which will prevent
military and police rule.
We say let this Conference

ber of people who consider
themselves Trinidadians and
Tobagonians is in fact ex-
cluded from citizenship be-
cause of a combination of
government negligence, in-
eptitude and low politics.
We have been conveniently
divided into groups with differ-
ent privileges. Tapia was in-
sisting that in this matter as in
all others, our women be given
treatment equal to our men.
This is what Denis Solomon,
Vice-Chairman of the Tapia
House Group, told the National
Consultation last Tuesday.

of Citizens have the right to
vote on the first reading of all
except finance bills. Get the
opinion of the country before
Stage Two which finally

Those who are afraid of the
people keep saying the scheme
is impractical, not feasible,
cumbersome, expensive. They
want a cut-and-dried, one-and-

The agenda item relating
to citizenship had been brought
forward to accommodate the
two delegates from the Trinidad
& Tobago Alliance of New
York, USA, who had flown
in to put their Group's views
on citizenship before the Con-
vention, and were due to return
to New York the following

Putting Tapia's views on
citizenship to the Convention,
Solomon warned us that the
question of exile or deportation
was not by any means a theoret-
ical one. Since 1970 it had

* Citizenship provisions must give every possible advantage
to citizens abroad as well as at home. All restrictions on
dual citizenship must be abolished;

* Constitutional provisions relating to the Legislature,
the Executive and all other areas must be such as to
give continual legislative and administrative reality to
the rights and duties of citizenship;

* Children born abroad of citizens by descent must be
able to acquire citizenship automatically by registration.

* Women must be allowed to confer on their husbands
the same right to apply for citizenship by registration as
husbands confer on their wives.

done, formula so as to avoid
the work and the politics in-
volved. They do not want to
think it through. They want a
neat, bureaucratic, comfortable
The only practical scheme
is one that anticipates politics
and political bargaining and
respects the demands of the
age. It is the height of im-
pertinence to think that some
Committee or Commission of
Experts could lay down a Con-
stitution to resolve a revolu-

assumed great importance and
political victimization under the
guise of law was a reality we
had to confront every morning.
In an age dominated by
nationalism, said Solomon, our
status in the world depends
on our citizenship. We function
in the world as a whole only
by virtue of the fact that we
possess the citizenship of a
sovereign country. It is our
citizenship that assures us of
the protection of our govern-
ment when we are abroad.
At home, it secures us:-
the right to be elected
to Parliament;
the right to vote;
the right to acquire land;
the right to work without
a work permit; and
immunity from exile, de-
portation or extradition
by the authorities of
another country.
The promulgation by Gov-
ernment of laws, or constitu-
tional provisions defining
citizenship is therefore a matter
for the utmost care, Solomon
A full report of his address
will be published in TAPIA
nex week, April 22.

Denis Solomon

tionary crisis such as this. What
could be more insufferably im-
practical and idealistic?
All we can do is hint at a
possibility and let the bargain-
ing start. Who will get in and
how many reps will they have?
It is the political bargaining
which will determine what is
Tapia says start with the
obvious ones and let them vote
on the others who should join.
If they are not wise enough to
do the right thing, we might as
well pack up and emigrate.
In the meantime, let us all
put this in our pipes and smoke
Housewives, Women's groups 6
Youths, Students 3
Trades Unions, Staff Asso-
ciations, etc. 30
Village, Community, Muni-
cipal Councils 150
Manufacturers 3
Artisans & Craftsmen 12
Farmers & Fishermen 12
Wholesalers & Retailers 6
Teachers, Guild of Graduates 6
Journalists 3
Calypsonians, Steelbandsmen, 3
Entertainment 3
Taxidrivers 3
Law 3
Medicine 3
Accountants 3
Engineers. Surveyors, Build-
ers, Architects 3
Sport 6
Religion 6
Unemployed 3
Public Corporations 25
Miscellaneous 25


National Convention Special

Louise Home

15 cents

Vol. 3, No. 15


What must the

National Convention

THERE can be no mis-
take about it, the signs
are there for all to see. The
February Revolution is
moving towards consum-
mation. The political
vacuum cannot remain un-
filled much longer, the old
regime is due to fall.
Who knows this better than
the little tyrant, now mortally
afraid to leave the country,
echoes of Nkrumah doubtless
ringing in his ears?
For years this country toler-
ated the punishment and the
pain of czarist arrogance and
then in 1970 our patience was
finally exhausted. Our distress
exploded into demonstrations.
The Government survived
the ensuing confrontation but
in doing so revealed how in-
competent and how rigidly in-
flexible a thing it was. We
realized to our greatest horror
that our only hope for rescue
was to drown this monster
down the drain of history.


Since then, the second and
final confrontation has been
readying itself to come. The
Government has certainly been
trying every dodge it knows
to fortify itself against the
people. It has been heaping
all kinds of repression on the
We the people on the other
handhave been agonizing over
what to do. The legislation
of recent times has stripped
us of the most direct means
of expressing opposition but
we have not by any means
been cowed by that. The wave
of pamphleteering is proof
enough of our resolve to fight.
Meanwhile, the collapse of
normal administration has
forced the whole nation to
admit that the time for funda-
mental change has come. To
chronic unemployment and in-
equality they haw added soar-
ing prices, water shortage,
garbage crises, not to mention
the epidemic of health pro-
Now the constitution crisis
ketch afire. In every revolu-
tionary crisis, there comes a
crucial moment when the tyrant
flatly states his opposition to
the thing that symbolizes the

now do?


popular demands.
It is perhaps ironic that
proportional representation is
not in fact a serious issue in
itself. None of its advocates is
really certain that such a step
would help his cause. As in
the instance of the ballot box,
the PNM is as likely as not
to exploit proportional repre-
sentation far better than any
other group or party.
The important point is how-
ever, that the ballot box and
proportional representation-
have been adopted by many
citizens as symbolic goals of
entirely new regime. It is ab-
surd, but in a revolution it is
such absurdities that often
make the difference.
It does not really matter
what particular personalities are
on stage nor what the specific
bone of contention is. Once
the time has come of age,
history seizes on an
issue through which to pose
the fundamental revolutionary
question: who is to be the
ultimate repository of sover-
eignty in the State, the foun-
tain of law-making, war-making

and peace-making power in the
land? Should it be The Doctor
or should it be the people?
True this Monarchy is a
purely ideological thing, devoid
of any real material base. The
civil service oligarchy which
surrounds it is no more than
a house-slave troupe dressed
up in morning coat to dance
the quadrille. Unfortunately,
it takes more than masquerade

to save a kingdom.
The moment Williams spoke
at San Fernando Sunday before
last, his tone of royal ab-
solutism drew a line of battle.
The country's response was
instantaneously defiant. Even
a normally neutral Bishop felt
compelled to square up on
the other side, intuitively
seizing the full meaning of
the conflict.
The large majority of the
citizens are not markedly differ-
ent from the Bishop. They are
not particularly concerned with
politics and are probably quite
sympatehtic to the old regime.
But they have been forced to
acknowledge that the institu-
tions of a safe society have
one by one been breaking down.


The ordinary law abiding
citizen, the very self-same one
in whose name repressive law is
being enacted, is looking hope-
fully forward to a new con-
stitution. He is praying for a
viable and workable regime.
He wants a government in
office which could resume the
job of making this land of his
a better place. He has doubted
whether Williams would allow
it, but he wants success for
Wooding and his Constitution
After Sunday, all his doubts

Proportional Representation

IF YOU get 10% of the
country's votes, you get
10% of the seats in the
House; if you get 50% of
the votes, you get 50% of
the seats.

That is the basic prin-
ciple behind proportional
representation. Now that
the constitutional debate
has been joined in earnest,
people have been wanting
to be clear.
What we have now is the
first-past-the-post system. An
individual wins a seat when he
runs in a constituency and
gets more votes than all his
If 10 individuals from one
party win seats in 10 consti-

I-ri k t os -

THE article "Who Selects
the Selectors" on Page 5 was
written at the end of the second
day's play of the Fourth Test

The results of that match
have not only served to vali-
date many of the arguments
advanced in the article but have
shown us that the team was
even nearer to breaking up

than we realized.
The situation is quite urgent
- the West Indian Cricket
Board of Control must act
very quickly their most ur-
gent task must be to select a
manager for the short tour of
England this summer who can
really relate to the players -
Alf Valentine, Joe Solomon
and Wes Hall are names that
readily suggest themselves.

tuencies, 10 is the number of
seats that party would get in
the House, no matter what
percentage of the country's
votes it wins when all the
votes are added up.
In 1961, the PNM got 57%
of the votes and 66 2/3%
of the seats. The DLP got
41 2/3% of the votes and
only 33 1/3% of the seats.


In 1966, the PNM got
52% of the votes and 66 2/3%
of the seats; the DLP got
34% of the votes and 33 1/3%
of the seats. The Liberals got
9% of the votes and no seats;
the WFP got 3%% of the votes
and no seats.
It is quite clear that pro-
portional representation gives
a much fairer distribution of
seats in the House than first-
past-the-post. Many people are
therefore supporting a sug-
gestion that we might amend
the rules so as to have a
"mixed" system.
The new proposal is to have
50% of the seats decided by
first-past-the-post but with each
party getting a total number
of seats corresponding to its
share of the total votes.

The PNM is opposing this
proposal flatly and is advancing
a great deal of undigested in-
formation on how proportional
representation has worked in
other countries. Characteristic-
ally, they have offered little
analysis of the background in
Trinidad & Tobago.
Tapia is very cautious about
the proposal to adopt the
"mixed" system. We know that
PR would make representation
more fair but it could also lead
to continuing Doctor Politics,
more splinter parties and un-
stable coalition governments.
The Constitution Commission
admits that it would create a
Legislature of "loose alliances".
We think it better to avoid
this risk and to plug for a
solidly based new party, about
which we are much more opti-
mistic than most.
If the large majority in the
country were to insist on PR,
we would consider it absolu-
tely necessary to take constitu-
tional steps to assist the forma-
tion of solid national parties.
One such step would be a
large non-elected and non-
nominated Senate representing
a comprehensive range of com-
munity interests.
Ivan Laughlin discusses our
proposals on Pages 6 and 7.

about the Government's in-
tentions have been summarily
dispelled. He knows now for
sure that Williams intends to
dictate terms to the Convention
from outside. The question
which the ordinary constitu-
tion-minded citizen is therefore
asking is: how can the National
Convention save the day?


The answer we think is very
simple. The people must arro-
gate the sovereignty unto them-
selves. Our system of govern-
ment and politics was initiated
by a Proprietor and a King,
necessarily fashioning their
structures from above. Williams
coming late and in a hurry,
has never had an original idea
in his life. He simply inherited,
and retained the traditions of
a system which has always
disinherited and dispossessed
the West Indian people.
It is now historical necessity
that we arrogate the sovereignty
from below. Monarchy, from
on top, has consistently posed
the question but who the hell
we going to put? The time has
come for us to answer: move
the King and put the people.
Once we accept that, there
is no problem defining what
the National Convention now
needs to do. The first thing
it must do is to transform
itself into a Constituent As-
sembly of the people, resolved
to stay in session "until the
Constitution of the kingdom
is laid and established on secure
foundations. It is not an origi-
nal idea, it cannot be
- destroying tyranny is des-
troying tyranny at any time or


The first requirement to be
fulfilled if this Assembly is
to be historically and politically
valid is that all community and
political interests must be in-
volved in its work. This is
another way of saying that
those who stay away will in
effect be the supporters of
the old regime.
The second requirement is
that the Report on the current
round of deliberations must
first be submitted not to the
Governor General and the Doc-
tor Parliament but to the
Assembly out of whose work
it would in the first place
have come.
Such an act of acknow-
ledging the people as the fount
of sovereignty will be
by far the most important
pointer to the kind of
constitutional reorganisa-
tion which our history now

THE MODELS One, Two, Three and Four which
are being talked about at the National Convention are
really sample Constitutions. The Wooding Team has
set them out in a document which aims to help people
to focus on the variety of choices which we are said
to have.
In point of fact, we do not really have many
choices except on paper. Examination of the samples
is not useless but it is useful only for illustrating
certain principles of constitution-making. With these
principles in mind we have to find the one scheme
that responds to our own particular needs.
Model One describes the
Constitution which we have
now, the so-called Westminister
or British Constitution.
Here constitutional practice
endows the Prime Minister with
an enormous concentration of
power over publicity, patron-
age, appointment and law-
making. His use of this power
is left to be checked by poli-
tics as distinct from govern-
ment, that is to say, by com-
munity action as distinct from
administrative provision.


The politics of checking
Executive abuse is effective to
the extent that there exist
powerful communications me-
dia, independent men in the
Cabinet of rank equal to the
Prime Minister, backbenchers
in the Legislature willing and
able to speak their minds, and
active professional and commu-
nity interests capable of ob-
structing the government.
By implication, Model One
is unworkable in Trinidad &
Tobago today and other kinds
of checks must therefore be
Unfortunately, the Commi-
ssion has not provided us with
any extensive analysis of why
the current Constitution has
broken down. The alternatives
are therefore put forward in an
extremely abstract form.
Model Two provides an ex-
ample of how to limit the
Prime Minister by:-
A president independent
enough to be able to act in his
own discretion whenever needed.
A Senate so constituted
as to act independently of
the Executive


Unfortunately, the discus-
sion of both the Head of State
and the Senate lacks any sense
of context.
You can cause untold con-
fusion by muddling people's
conceptions of leadership,
power, office and title and
such confusion is mother of
Messiahs and Dictators. You
cannot simply ask a Prime
Minister to share power with
a President because it seems
logical to do so.
Whether it is feasible or not
depends on the political cli-
mate, the personalities, people's
habits, etc. Any constitutional
exercise which ignores these
considerations will lead to a
Ghanaian result: before long
the new arrangement will break
down, the military will pro-
bably enter and the country
will fall into crisis even worse
than before.
Nor can you expect any
Senate to be free of party
political representation. The
Senate can be selected by com-


What are all these

models about?

I -I



2 -

munity interests rather than
be nominated by political par-
ties or elected in political elec-
tions but it can never be free of
political alignments.
The question is whether or
not the alignments which are
inevitable can be bent towards
some constructive purpose. In
Trinidad & Tobago, this means
principally that the process of
alignment should help in making
the Legislature larger, in activa-
ting professional associations,
in making the media less vulner-
able and in forcing parties to
organise on a national non-racial

There were two typogra-
phical errors in the article
"Consultation One Way",
by Jacques Farmer, on page 5
of Tapia No. 13.

The first sentence of the
article should read: "Clearly,
from Williams' point of view,
National Consultations are
more than anything else ex-
periments in Constitution re-

The last paragraph in column
one should read: "For instance,
all the interests that rose in
opposition to the Public Order
Bill would now be represented
in the Senate. The Government
would no longer be able to
muzzle the lawyers, the doctors,
the concerned clergy ...

The article on page four
on the Panama Canal should
have been credited to Prensa

Model Four limits Executive
power by the American method
of separating powers. Our Prime
Minister would become a Presi-
dent but his Cabinet would
now be drawn exclusively from

outside the Legislature.
To get legislation through,
the President would need to
be able to woo into being
coalitions of support from
amongst many loose groupings

in the Legislature. .
To this end, the Model en-
visages one Chamber elected
by Proportional Representation
mixed with first-past-the-post.
In other words, it is admitted
that the "mixed" system of
election is expected to produce
"loose working alliances", that
is to say, fragmentation and
splinter parties.
Model Three is the case
where both the President and
the Prime Minister are con-
siderable national figures elected
by the people.
Confidence in the system
presumably rests on both. They
are supposed to get in each
other's way.
The Legislature comprises
of one House only, elected by
the "Mixed" system. It would
provide the Prime Minister's
Cabinet or Council of Minis-
ters. In appointments the Legis-
lature must approve the Prime
Minister's nominations by 2/3
This model confuses Execu-
tive images, encourages splinter
parties, unnecessarily inhibits
appointments and adds up to
a recipe for total confusion.
Unfortunately, it is the
Model which the ruling elite
finds most attractive. No doubt
in the vain hope of another
chance of Muddling Things






61 Queen St., P.O.S.







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Tel: 35665.

DOWN CHAGUARAMAS at the National Convention,
the February Revolution has been transforming constitu-
tional reform into the most explosive issue of our time. Al
along, the old conventional party politicians have been
insisting that constitutional reform was irrelevant.
According to this short-sighted view, which completely
overlooked the political consequences of a constitutional
discussion, Williams had outmanoeuvred the Tapia "lib-
erals" by appointing the Wooding Team. He had hit on an
excellent expedient by which to buy himself some political
When, on Friday March 30,
only a few score people turned ment as well as opposition.
up..at Chaguaramas, many knit- At the Tapia House, we were
ted brows could be seen scurry- never fooled.In February, when
ing across the corridors of the Rally was announced, we
Convention Centre while the warned the country that it was
pundits no doubt went home to no election meeting but that
laugh. And then two significant its aim was "to dominate the
things happen, the rime opening of the Convention".
First of all, the Prime
Minister spoke his little piece
on All Fools Day. All last year,
he had backed away from in-
volvement in the work of the
Constitution Commission know-
ing full well that the moment
the PNM put its foot in, the
entire opposition would come
in to oppose and, in so doing,
would transform the exercise
into something of great poli-
tical significance.


This year, falling for the
conventional interpretation of
his Rally as just another Elec-
tion Woodstock, Williams
thought he could get away with
a little bit of robber-talk about
Proportional Representation if
only he could hold the dis-
course outside the National
Convention and hog the publi-
city in the morning papers.
It is amazing how notor-
iously lacking in political
judgement are these masters of
conventional politics, govern-

We expected Williams to
make the statement and we
anticipated the impact it would
have. We knew that the consti-
tutional question would finally
be brought to a boil. It is
uncanny how, since 1969, we
have virtually been writing the

Assembly bringing citizens to-
gether for discussion and de-
bate. The Commission's role
was merely to be a Secretariat,
providing amenities, holding,
the ring, and reporting pro-
Early on Friday, Denis
Solomon sought to reiterate
this important point and to
argue that the time to be
allotted to each speaker was a
matter not for bureaucratic
determination by the Commis-
sioners but for political decision
*by the citizens present.
When he failed, it served to
remind us that in unconven-
tional politics above all, the
medium is unerringly the mes-
sage. You cannot win a poli-
tical point by the bureaucratic
method of raising an issue of
We therefore had to win the
point by politics. Lloyd Best

National Reconstruction

has now begun

Well, the Little King duly
dominated the All Fools Week-
end and outsmarted not Tapia
nor the country but himself.
Everybody knows now that
constitutional reform is another
barricade that we must hold or
yield to the old regime.
People have now suddenly
become interested and this is
*going to be important not so
much for the constitutional
proposals advanced but for the
politics of mobilization against
the Government.

The second thing which has
injected meaning into the con-
stitutional discussion was the
change in the Standing Orders
,at Convention Centre.
Chairman Wooding began as
if it were another Royal Com-
mission before which the na-
tives would be given twenty
minutes to advise the Crown of
their requests for favour.
In contrast, Tapia insisted
as we had been doing from the
start, that the gathering was
legitimate only as aConstituent

simply spoke beyond his 20
minutes and so carried the
assembly along with him that
the utter absurdity of limiting
speakers to 20 minutes was
exposed for all the world to
see. The Chairman then publicly
agreed to re-negotiate the rules.
Now the Convention has
become a place where com-
peting visions of tomorrow are
:on stage for all to judge.
With some of the delibera-
tions flitering through the
media, more and more citizens
will take position. National Re-
construction from below has
now begun.

WE ARE NOT going to
be able to make the right
decisions about constitu-
tional reform unless we
delve deeply into the
reasons why the PNM has
become such a monster,
the same PNM which 15 or
16 years ago, many citizens
were welcoming with open
What went wrong? Was it
simply a matter that we put
too much power in the hands
of the Prime Minister under the
so-called Westminister Consti-
tution which we borrowed in


Or is it, as the Constitution
Commissioners seem to imply
in their Introduction to Model I,





become such a monster

from the inability of
bank benchers to be
independent because of
the small size of Parlia-
from the undeveloped
character of professional
from the vulnerable po-
sition of the press?
from the rigid party
discipline which places
Sthe party-leader in too
strong a position?
In Tapia we believe that all
these reasons are valid but that
simply to advance them is not
by any means the whole story.
And the people who once rallied
behind the PNM are not going
-to be persuaded by half-truths.

We are satisfied that the
country has decided that it is
time for a change. But people
are not going to shift until we
are all satisfied that we can
carry our past political acts
with us into the future.
The thing that disturbs the
country most at the moment is
the fact that we have actually
created the monster that is
now the government. Large
numbers regarded Williams ast
a Saviour. We were aroused to
action as we had never been
before. We saw plans for in-
dependence, plans for morality
in public affairs, plans for
Federation, plans for virtually:
everything we really wanted.
And yet, after only a few short
years, all these grand hopes

have been dashed to pieces.
If it was simply a matter of
"personality" why did we not
see this before? If it was simply
a matter of' Constitution" how
could we have made such a
terrible error in 1962?
In Tapia we believe that
there is another important con-
sideration: is the political
method employed by the PNM
in 1965 and 19 the method
of sweeping a political party
into office without building
on any sound foundations.
The method of contriving
an overnight party appears valid
as a response to the impatience
of a long disadvantaged people.
In the 195G's it probably could
not be avoidedbecause it was
better to get the Colonial Office

out at any cost.
Once we decided to move
in that way, it followed that
we had to repose our trust in a
Messiah and a very simple set
*of ideas.
There, was just no time to
build up any solid team of
leaders, to establish any solid
party organization, -to think
out any comprehensive and
coherent programme.
Office won, the trouble then
necessarily began. We did not
and could not have the means
for serious government. A coun-
try cannot be run by one man
and his dogs.
.fut the means to govern
and lead must not be con-
founded with the means to
stay in power. The PNM cer-
tainly could easily find the

fatter: bribery, intimidation,
It was an entirely natural
thing. If you do not have the
means to lead and govern, you
can only fall back on the
means to stay in office. It
would have happened to any
overnight party, put into office
If we understand this, we
see that constitutional reform
is not enough to bring the
change we need. We will also.
need economic reorganization
to take the pressure off our
And.above all, we need more
patient political organization.
We need the unconventional
politics of building solid parties
with the means to govern if
they ever get to office.


Who selects the selectors


IT SEEMS that the pres-
ent chapter in the Sobers
controversy has come to
an end.
Stollmeyer, the Chair-
man of the selection panel
for this tour, speaking on
behalf of his committee of
self-appraised men of inte-
grity, has said that they
have been selecting the best
team from the available
Walcott, part of that com-
mittee, and manager for this
series, has said that there is no
friction between Sobers (the
world's greatest cricketer he
admits) and the selectors, he
would love to have Sobers on
the team but it is a simple
matter of Sobers being not
medically certified as fit.
Sobers has insisted that he
has been fit and available since
the second test match and has
closed this chapter of the affair

by saying that the selectors
have had their say and they
are always right.
He is no longer interested
in them or in playing in the
present series and is packing
his bag to leave for England
and Nottingham Cricket Club
on April 17. He will decide
an his future cricketing career
after long and careful thought.
All cricketing enthusiasts in
the West Indies must, at this
stage, give long and careful
thought to this episode.


It has been fraught with
authoritarianism, false pride on
the part of the selectors, and a
total insensitivity with regard
to greatness and trust in the
players who are out there fight-
ing it out in the centre and
the real question that emerges
is who selects the selectors?
It is one of the ironies of
the situation that the present

chairman of the selection board
is the one man on it who does
not have a mandate from his
territory his only mandate is
his own clique which controls
the so-called Trinidad Cricket


All the other territories have
representatives on the West
Indian Cricket Board of Con-
trol who come there as dele-
gates from nationally represen-
tative territorial cricket boards.
The rest of the West Indian
Cricket Board must know this.
Of course the representa-
tives from Trinidad have tre-
mendous say at all levels of
West Indian cricket because
the purse strings of West In-
dian cricket depend on the
income from games played here.
But again the board must
be aware that the Trinidad
cricketing public's willingness
to pay their money and see

their cricket has nothing to
do with Queen's Park's strangle-
hold on the game here.
In fact, the long-suffering
cricketing public here is
chafing to be released
from Queen's Park domination
- fortunately the signs are
there that it will not be much
And so one hopes that the
West Indian Cricket Board of
Control will come to grips with
the situation quite quickly. We
must see out the present series
and support the team as best
we can in the circumstances.


Kanhai and his men must
be playing with the shadow of
Sobers hovering about. We hope
that they can live through it
and at least try and level the
series in the end.
It will be a fitting tribute to
our cricketers if they can do
this in spite of the machina-

tions of the present selection
But at the end of the series,
regardless of the outcome, the
Cricket Board must tackle the
situation sensibly and reinstate
Gary Sobers in his proper place
in West Indian cricket which
includes reorganising the selec-
tion committee and including
him on it.
Not to do this will be to
once more fail the West Indian
people, undo the tremendous
work of Frank Worrell and
throw us back to the sad days
of factionalism and regionalism
- a bunch of calypso cricketers,
fit to entertain but useless as a
team -this at a time when our
potential is strong as ever with
players willing to go out there
and do their best for the West
But how can they if the
right climate is not provided
by the administrators of the




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National Panchayat

ans Power


TOWARDS the end of 1969, when it was
quite clear that the political skirmishes of the
1960's were leading to a fundamental social
upheaval in the society, we proposed National
Reconstruction to the country.
In 1970, after the beginnings of that up-
heaval, after the outbreak of the February
Revolution, Williams introduced a series of
halfmeasures, under the borrowed headline of
National Reconstruction, to attempt to deal
with the crisis. But because Williams and the
PNM are so much a cause of the crisis,
because they do not possess the basic ingre-
dient of moral authority so necessary for
reconstruction, we can see where their half-
measures have-led.
We are today in a state of perpetual crisis. No-one
is fazed if they open the morning papers and read
of "shoot-outs" or "guerillas in the hills" or see the
"ace crime fighter" smiling behind the barrel of a
sub-machine gun.
No, these things surprise no-one. They are facts of
life in the Trinidad & Tobago of 1973. Now even the
courts are suspect; people have lost trust in every
institution in the country. We are today literally
living in a state of nature. Terror, intimidation and
bribery are in fact Williams' measures for national


We know now that halfmeasures cannot work, we
know now that National Reconstruction has to do
with the entire fabric of our society. We know now
that we have for the first time in our society to
constitute a nation out of all the fragments flung
together by the process of colonialization.
National Reconstruction has to do with recon-
structing the order of politics, of economics and of
the system of government, to bring into being a
human order of society.
We have not arrived here by chance or by some
pronouncement from Whitehall. We are here because
the direction of our history has propelled us into a
revolutionary crisis and has compelled men of in-
dependent mind and spirit to lay the foundations of
a new world.
It is our past that must inform the present and so
allow us to chart the future. On Tuesday, Lloyd Best
outlined the system of government and politics in
Trinidad & Tobago, it is out of that analysis that
National Reconstruction falls under three heads:-


is an entirely new mode of political organisation
in Trinidad & Tobago that commits men to the
hardwork of building a political movement
rooted in the communities. A mode of political
organisation which insists on the democratic
process and in which men can grow free of the
dictates of a Doctor.
ordering of the economy to provide an equit-
able distribution of the wealth and to put
economic control in the hands of the people.
the business of this Convention and which I
shall deal with in depth.
But, I want to say that all three heads are inter-
related. Our proposals for constitutional reform can
only be implemented by an organisation which has
built unconventional politics and it is these proposals
which will lay the foundations to allow for the
economy to be reorganised.
In the same way, it ,is economic reorganisation


which will make our constitutional proposlas viable.
So that Unconventional Politics, Economic Reorgani-
sation and Constitutional Reform have to be seen as
Tapia's package for National Reconstruction.
Our proposals for constitutional reform seek to:-
(a) limit the Executive abuse of power and
(b) ensure that the opposition has the free-
dom to survive and to organize.


In other words, we intend to deal with the legacies of
the past, to break the stranglehold of central power,
to liberate the politics, and give full rein to the
creative capacities of our people.
We are proposing:-
wide municipalities with review every 20 years
or so;
powers for this Regional Government;
A BILL OF RIGHTS with special reference
(a) the teaching service, the civil ser-
vice and the public sector, so as to
allow these government employees
more freedom to participate in the
political and economic life of the
country; and
(b) -marches, political meetings, pub-
lications, States of Emergency,
Sedition and Summary Offences
all those rights we have lost since 1970.
I am just sketching these three proposals. We will
of course deal with them later on in the agenda. But
I am mentioning them so as to show how they relate
to what our proposals are intended to achieve.


With regard to the specific item on the agenda,
we are proposing:-
A REPUBLIC with a President as ceremonial
Head of State. The President is to be elected
every six years by the Senate of which he will
be Chairman;
must be lowered to 18 years. Radio & TV time
must be made available to all political parties.
Tapia is at this time battling for this democratic
right. We are prepared to buy time. It is really a
scandal that 11 years after Independence the govern-
ment continues to deny our people the opportunity
of genuine political discourse in the media.
It just goes to show how much of a second-rater
Williams really is; he is terrified of open discussion,
of open dialogue,- he just can't make in that league.
But the point is that that is a fact of colonial
politics and we need therefore to make radio & TV
time to all political parties part of the election rules.
As regards the system of voting, we have always
maintained that it could be by voting machine or
ballot box because the fundamental issue is not
whether or not the voting machine is riggable. Both
the ballot box and the voting machine can be rigged.
The fundamental issue is one of control of the
It is the appointment of the bodies who control
the elections, i.e., the Elections & Boundaries Com-
missions, that must be taken out of the hands of the
Prime Minister and placed in the hands of either
the Senate we are proposing or a multi-party
We need to establish trust in the election machinery
and our proposal will not only allow fair voting but


will also deal with the problem of gerrymandering of
constituency boundaries.
THE PARLIAMENT: We have always argued
that you simply cannot break with the past,
you cannot wake up one morning and start on a
"new beginning" as Mr. Jamadar has suggested.
People have all their habits of the past.
Though we have been largely left out of the
governmental process yet we understand certain
procedures of government and what we need to
do is to ensure that what we are proposing
relates to what exists. A "new beginning" is
the surest route to totalitarian rule.
We are proposing therefore one fundamental
departure and that is the National Panchayat.
composed of two elements the House of
Representatives and the Senate or Conference

of Citizens.
consist of 72 members elected on a constituency
basis by first-past-the-post method.
I want to say that we are not rejecting P.R.,
we are keeping an open mind where this
proposal is concerned. But we feel that the
matter has to be given careful study and those
who are proposing it must be able to convince
the country that it will achieve all they say it
can achieve.
One thing we are certain about is that no
single proposal, be it P.R. or Ballot Box or
whatever you wish, can ever resolve the crisis
in the country. What we need to do is to
establish a set of economic and political pro-
cesses that could put our country on the road to
genuine nationhood and that would therefcre:-
1. encourage the formation of solid,
multiracial, national parties;



Home rule for Tol

A figure-head Pr

A senate appoint

community inte



OPRIL 15, 1973

Ivan Laughlin

At the



those who have governmental power i.e.,
the PNM;
those who have economic power like the
Chamber; and
and Tapia is in the vanguard of this group.
Let us make no mistake about it. The PNM and
the Chamber understand that Tapia is the revolu-
tionary force here and they are continually waving
Tapia banners. That is because they understand that
we intend to make revolutionary change.

, We intend to humanise the society, to establish
the supremacy of the people over government and we
intend to ensure an equitable economy where men,
and women can be assured a dignified standard of
So that our Senate is not a small house of experts
or a rubber-stamp for the governing party. Not so.Our
SeanliPis going to be a BIG MACO HOUSE as-
Lloyd Best called it on Tuesday.

2. promote the growth of partici-
patory politics;
3. establish stable and radical govern-
ment; and
4. destroy doctor politics, individual-
ism and messiahship.
ZENS we are proposing will, in fact, be a
permanent national consultation. Not the kind
that Williams and the PNM are conducting these
days, where Williams sits in the chair, prepares
the background papers, decides on the agenda,
invites the delegations and, ultimately, makes
the decisions.
Nor is our Senate the small house of
"experts" that the Chamber is proposing.
Nothing of the kind.
There are three groups who are very clear about
the significance of power here in Trinidad & Tobago:-




)d by all

* COMPOSITION: A House representing all
the interests in the country. A House that will
bring our people into the corridors of govern-
ment for the first time in our history house-
wives, journalists, students, heads of public
corporations, calypsonians, village councils, pro-
fessional organizations (lawyers, doctors, en-
gineers, architects, land surveyors etc.) religious
organizations, steelbandsmen, the university,
labour organizations, parents and teachers,
businessmen sportsmen etc.
There maybe anywhere from 150 to 500
delegates as long as there are.interests to be
represented then they must be represented.


We envisage that the representation will be
in the vicinity of 200 because we understand
that the democratic process would bring groups
representing similar interests together to allow
for strong representation. We have no doubt
that our people will take up the challenge and
recognize that the responsibility for govern-
mental stability is in our hands.
* SELECTION: Each group will therefore
select its own delegates and withdraw them
whenever its interest is not being properly
The groups will be responsible for paying
their delegates and this will ensure that the
group is viable and representative of genuine

A Panchayat of both houses to

vote on first reading of bills

New electoral rules

Senate supervision of media

A 72 member house of


Some people are worried about how you
start such a conference of citizens. We say let
us start with all those groups except the political
parties, which have shown their responsibility
to the national purpose by coming to the
National Convention.
Every year the Senate will review its mem-
bership to admit new members and to d op
those that may have become rediv-dant. In
fact this assembly meeting here a* aguaramas
can start such an exercise so bring in all
those interests that ought tr Je clearly recog-
nisable but who are not here iith us.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this permanent
National Consultation is:-
(a) To provide parliamentary cover to
all those groups who are prepared
to contribute to the national direc-
tion. We live in a society where
officialdom has denied our people
the opportunity to talk and to
express our fears, our needs, our
hopes. Government has always been
separate from our people, the Senate
will therefore provide an arena of
discussion where the opinion of the
country can bear on the process of
(b) To provide an arena of national
information and enquiry that will
bear on the development process.
(c) To provide a forum for account-
ability. No longer will we have to
listen to rumours about the tele-
phone company's malspending or
- wait 10 years to find out that
,-BWIA has lost $80 million. No sir.
"'he-Heads of Public Corporations
will hli~e to account to the nation
for their stewardship.
POWERS: Finally, the Senate will have
clearly-defined powers in:-
(a) Legislation the entire Panchayat
will vote on the first reading of
every bill except money bills. This
reading however will not be decisive.
The Government must be free to
ignore a defeat and push ahead but
t will do so only if it is very sure of
its mbral authority. So that the
House of Representatives alone will
vote on the second and third read-
ings of the bill.


The Senate of course will have the power to
introduce legislation.
S(b) Appointments We see three
categories of appointments:-
(1) The Senate will appoint all
watch dogs on the Executive
e.g., Auditor General. We
are therefore assured of in-
dependent controls on the
operations of government.
(2) The Panchayat will appoint
where mere restraint on the
Executive is required e.g.,
Chief Justice.
The initiative for these appointments will
come from the Prime Minister.
(3) The Prime Minister will ap-
point all those offices that
carry governmental policy
either within the national
borders or in the foreign
service e.g., permanent secre-
taries, ambassadors etc. We
totally disagree with the pro-
posal in Model III that the
President who maybe of a
different political affiliation
from the governing party
appoint ambassadors. The
Prime Minister must have the
power to appoint the men
who implement policy.
Continued on Page 9




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HAITI became an inde-
pendent state on January 1,
1804, when Dessalines and
the victorious generals took
the oath "to renounce
France for ever, to die rather
than to live under her domi-
nion, and to fight to the last
breath for independence".
Soon, however, dissension
manifested itself. Dessalines,

who was proclaimed em-
peror, assumed dictatorial
Furthermore, he threat-
ened to adopt a policy which
was contrary to the interests
of the emerging elite groups.
"Be on your guard, Ne-
groes and Mulattoes," he had
warned, "we have all fought
against the whites; the pro-

perties which we have con-
quered by the spilling of our
blood belong to us all, I
intend that they be divided
with equity'
The predominantly mu-
latto elite of the South and
West were determined to pre-
vent this, and with the
support of the ambitious
HenryChristophe, they plan-

ned and effected the assasi-
nation of Dessalines, at Pont
Rouge on October 18, 1806.
Christophe was proclaimed
provisional head of state,
and a constitutional conven-
tion was called in December
at Port au Prince.
The constitutional con-
vention was dominated by
generals from the South and

West, who were determined
to limit the authority of the
new president by creating a
strong senate, and by secur-
ing a separation of powers.
A small committee of
nine, five blacks and-four
mulattoes, headed by Alex-
ander Petion, produced a
document which outlined the
principles behind the pro-


S lI II qI r t r a mIk

The Haitian case

TO GIVE a revolution its full value, having
wrought vengeance upon the tyrant, one has
to strike at tyranny itself in a way that takes
away from it all possible means of self-
duplication. This was the wish and the mind
of the people when they appointed you to give
them a constitution. Given the task by you.
citizens, to bring together the principles and
institutions most suited to found and secure
the freedom and welfare of our fellow citizens,
we come to offer you the fruits of our toil.
It is an indisputable truth that the best system of
government is one which, being the system most in
accord with the temperament and customs of the
people for whom it was devised, will procure for them
the greatest amount of happiness; but it is equally
obvious and irrefutable that there are principles
common to every good constitution.
The most fundamental of these principles is the
separation of powers, since their concentration in the
same hands is what constitutes and characterises
despotism. We therefore propose to you, citizens,
the establishment of a Senate, whose members will be
elected, on this occasion, by the constituent assem-
bly, and on future occasions, will be selected by the
people from among the public servants.


In this way, the Senate will be composed of
soldiers who will be singled out for their services to
the country, and of citizens who by their talents
and worth have merited the public's confidence.
The following advantages should result from this
constitution: our laws will no longer be the expression
of the whim and will of an individual, swayed,
continually by his passions to separate his own
interest from the common good; they will be the
work of upright, learned men; they will be put under
the scrutiny of rigorous examination and public
Those who formulate them as senators will be
constrained to obey as citizens. The people will no
longer have to fear that the burden laid on them is
greater than what is made necessary.by the require-
ments of the state, for they will have in their
representatives defenders all the more vigilant on their
behalf, since the weight will be felt by them and
their families .
We thought that we would suggest to you a senate
composed of 24 members. This body should not be
too large, the dispatch of business would thereby be

hindered; yet it must be large enough for its laws to
be, as far as possible, in accordance with the mind
and heart of the people.
The power of appointment to public office, which
we have given to the senate will always be one of the
most fundamental tenets of our constitution. To hand
this important function over to the executive body

Mexandr Pufon
would mean wanting to corrupt the public mind,
preparing the way for the slavery of our citizens.
Public officials ought not to consider themselves
thralls of an individual, on the contrary, everything
should unceasingly remind them that they are the
agents, the delegates or the representatives of the
people. Therefore, according to good theory and the
practice of any well-designed government, the right
to name public servants belongs to the legislative
You have not forgotten what under Dessalines
followed from this prerogative to make appointments
which was one of his arrogations. Ambition and
greed gained control in every heart; men, irreproach-
able until then, agreed, to obtain or preserve a job,
to make themselves supports for or agents of tyranny;
others became, following the tyrant's will, instru-
ments of his savagery. All leaders, it is true, do not
resemble Dessalines, but in politics we should put
our trust in principles and never in men ...
Moreover, citizens, if we give to the head of
government the smallest bit of legislative power, in-
stead of working towards liberty, we will establish
despotism. Does not experience prove that legislative
power tends inexorably to weaken, whereas executive
power relentlessly grows stronger?
We submit to you, citizens, that no sum leave the

National Panchayatontinuedfrom-e7

(c) National Arbitration The senate
will undertake Commissions of En-
quiry, National Consultations and Na-
tional Arbitration e.g., wage bargaining.
(d) Supervision Supervision of the State's
interest in the media. This is of utmost
importance because if government's
refusal to grant radio and TV time to
the opposition is a scandal then the
attitude of the media to this conven-
tion is a colossal scandal.
We are standing today on the brink of a military
conflict in this country. When people's freedoms are
suppressed like ours are in Trinidad and Tobago; when
all the avenues of reasonable political agitation and
discourse are blocked, when people are intimidated by
the police, then men and women who treasure
democratic principles will always resort to whatever
avenues there are to ensure their freedoms.
We in this country, let me say, intend to have our

freedom and the government is making every effort to
block our drive to a new world.
This convention is possibly the last hope for a
political resolution to the crisis and the media,
particularly the TV, are treating it with contempt. We
can have cricket on TV, we have a bunch of tenth rate
Yankee hogwash slung at our people night after night
but we have little or no coverage of the deliberations
taking place here at Chaguaramas. This includes the


The media refuse to accept responsibility.
It is politically dominated and we cannot allow that to
continue. Our conference of citizens must therefore
supervise the State's interest in the media and provide
the country with information.
The Panchayat then allows the Executive to be

public coffers without the signature of the secretary
of state, who, appearing before the senate, will at all
times b ready to present it with an account of
It is fair that the people whose contributions form
the state's income, be informed of the use made
thereof; if it were otherwise, if as in monarchies the
public purse becomes an individual's purse, corruption
would spread as far as the senate. Men, being every-
where the same, let us be,humble enough to admit
that we will not be any more incorruptible in our
republic than others elsewhere ...
On the subject of executive power, we thought that
the modest title of president was the one which was
most appropriate for the first magistrate of the
republic. We submit to you that he be elected for
four years and that he be eligible for re-election
indefinitely; we suggest that he be in charge of the
army and that he appoint legal officers of state. His
powers and the range of his authority which exceed
those possessed by the Directory in France make the
course which he will pursue important, already we
hear the voice of the people crying out to him:
"Our representatives have elected you to the
first magistracy of state, they have willed that you be
its first citizen. Honours, dignity, fame, they have
heaped on your head; if you are worthy of them you
will be all your life surrounded by the glory of
command, but try to make us happy.


Remember that there comes a time when all
human illusions vanish, and when you arrive at this
point to which nature calls you as it does every other
man, you will find nothing more real and consoling
than the testimony of an unimpeachable conscience,
together with the memory of service rendered to your
In the article which deals with civil law, you will
find clauses which guarantee your property, and in
the article concerning criminal law you will find
clauses which breathe humanity.
By recognizing each citizen's right to express and
publish his ideas on affairs of government, we make
freedom of the press the bulwark of public liberty.
Governed by such principles, obeying a constitu-
tion which will be the compass which will prevent us
from deviating from the course which we have to
follow, what else will we need to be happy? Nothing
fellow citizens, if we know how to utilize the benefits
of this divine providence which has protected us in
all our undertakings and which, in placing us at the
centre of this archipelago, under a friendly sky, on a
land of marvellous fertility, seems to have ordained
that we be the most fortunate people in the universe.

strong, it simply counter-balances Executive power.
The Prime Minister remains the focus of political and
governmental activity which is as it should be. We are
accustomed to that in the Caribbean.
Moreover, the Panchayat provides a forum of
professional politicians and citizens the nation is
miniature which could distil the country's opinion
in times of crisis.
So the National Panchayat is our fundamental
constitutional departure. It says that we have con-
fidence in our people. It says that we have the
capacity, the wit and the creative ability to be respon-
sible for our land and as such the Panchayat is also a
psychological departure from the colonial condition
we reinforced when we wrote the Independence
Constitution of 1962.
fThe colonial condition is one in which
seen ourselves as second-class people unable to
control our destiny, always looking for someone else
to solve our problems. Today we must hold our heads
high and lay the foundations of a new life. We must
accept the responsibility of National Reconstruction.
It is the National Panchayat that will give reality to
the cry of the 1970's -- Power to our people!

posed constitution.
Perhaps this early exer-
cise in Caribbean constitu-
tion-making will be of in-
terest in our present'context.
The text can be found in
J. St. Remy Petion et Haiti
(Paris 1855) vol, iv. and is
translated by William Carter.


IT would be futile for us to assemble in what I consider to be the highest
court of the land to frame the law and the constitution and then to abandon
their administration to court dominated by the Executive, The aim of good
government is justice. That is why Plato's Republic was alternatively called
Ai Enquiry into the Nature of Justice which simply means the granting
unto every nan his due. "To secure these rights (these dues)" says Jeffer-
son, "Governments are instituted among men, deriving powers from the
consent of the governed. Whenever any form of Government becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and
to institute a new Government.'
Incidentally when considering forms of government we must be very
careful because we can have a republican form which is monarchical in
operation, and a monarchical form which is republican in operation. The
distinguishing feature always is whether or not there is power to the people.
There was a republic in Rome in the heyday of Cicero. Yet when the Emper-
or reduced the senate to a rubber stamp which kept confirming his legisla.
tion with imperium that same republican form became a monarchy in fact.
We therefore have to separate the judicial and executive functions suffi-
ciently so as to avoid arbitrary government and the cardinal principles must

be that.
a) All men and women are
equal before the law.
b) No one should be a
judge in his own cause.
c) Both sides must be heard.
To ensure these judges
must be secure from political
interference. We intend to
settle this question as the
British did by their Act of
Settlement whereby judges sit
on good behaviour and are
not easily removable.


If we look at the historical
evolution of the Chief Justice
in that country we will see
that there was a time when
the king as fountain of honour,
of justice, of power claimed the
right to sit in judgment orer
his subjects. Chief Justice Coke
denied this right, insisting that
the calling of a judge required
special training in law.
Centuries before in the four
versions of Magna Carta the
Barons had checked the un
bridled license of the king.
They took the judicial power
from him and constituted
themselves into an Upper
House the House of Lords as
guardians and watchdogs of
the constitution, In recogni-
tion of that principle up to
today it is the Lord Chancellor
of that House who appoints
the Chief Justice in England.
We are advocating the same


here. Our Senate or Upper
House will institutionalise our
revolution in the same way
that the Upper House of Eng-
land did to their revolution
In their time citizenry was
feudal and limited.
Ours is more revolutionary
in the sense that we intend
to bring not only the vested
interests but the interests of
large numbers of ordinary
people into that House. And
this is probably why the
establishment is so afraid of
our 500.


All those organizations that
rose in opposition to the
nefarious Public Order Bill
the lawyers, clergy housewives
doctors, trade unions and
political groups; all those
elements here represented, the
farmers of the constitution
shall be constituted into an
Upper House to keep perpetual
vigil over our rights and the
administration of our laws.
The Upper House or Con-
ference of Citizens will never
be cumbersome as so many
fear. It will be just like this
National Convention but more

Whenever Sports are discus-
sed only those with interests
in them will attend. Similarly
with legal or financial matters,
the important safeguard is that
whenever there is a crisis
affecting the rights of the ordi-
nary citizen, whenever a State
of Emergency is to be declared
or a Sedition Act passed
whenever the political prin-
ciples underlying the constitu-
tion are to be tested, the entire
500 must have the power to
Of late we have seen gross
interference with the judicial
process. Young men are taking
to the hills with guns as their
best chance of survival rather
to submit to judges and to
courts that are the handmaid
of the Executive.


We have seen fearless judges
by passed and demoted for
dispensing justice according to
well established principles and
traditions. Magistrates have
been acting like civil servants,
anticipating and executing the
politics of ministers. Recently
Louisa Crichlow, Granger and

others were denied bail.
The facts remained un-
changed. Louisa was still 16
years old when bail was granted
as she was when bail was
denied, It was the duty of the
Magistrate and the judge to
discover the facts. Yet it is
only when the political pres-
sures began to build up that
bail was granted. So justice
has become a question of
lobbying-It is a scandal.
Coroners too seem to have
been mistaking their functions.


As far as I recall the
coroner's duty is not to try the
case, but as guradian of the
pleas of the crown he is to
examine the evidence to see
whether there is sufficient
ground for a trial. In the
matters of Santa Clause, Cowie,
and Basil Davis it seems to me
that the coroner's inquest has
become a new device to oust
the jurisdiction of the courts-
Generally we are proposing
three types of appointments
to high office. Some such as
the Ombudsman, and particu-
larly the Auditor General by
the watchdogs of the Senate.


Others such as Ambassador
by the Prime Minister alone.
We must concede him this
right for the proper execution
of policy. Others still are to
be proposed by the Prime
Minister for the approval of
the Senate. We believe that
the Chief Justice as well as the
Police Chief and the Head of
the Public Services Commis-
sion should be appointed in
this way.
Law must be certain and
predictable. A person must be
charged for a breach of the law
and for nothing else. Judges
must be given fixed and clear
direction in law on fundamental
freedoms especially in regard
to marches, meetings, emer-
gencies, summary offencesj
publications. utterances, and
sedition. Violations of these
rights must be regarded as a
breach of trust on the part of
the Government who are our
We prefer ideally a West
Indian Court of Appeal, If this
is not possible we would want
the highest court of appeal to
reside here.
The concept of the Privy
Council is repugnant to the
exercise in sovereignty that we
now engaged in.



SClico a company of
West Indians, formed for the
economic upliftment of PEOPLE.
Growing from humble beginnings to one
of the largest financial institutions indigenous to
the Caribbean. Assets for the security of our
policy holders now total over


The Growth is UP






Pan body in

Trinidad wants

more exposure

for musicians

PAN TRINBAGO is to host a
"Steelband Week" during the last
week of April.
Tapiaman Keith Smith met the
organisation's President and Public
Relations Officer: Roy Augustus
and Peter Aleong, to discuss not
only the "week" but the state of
pan as well.
Following is the interview:-
Q: What does Pan Trinbago hope to
achieve by Steelband Week?
A: We hope to bring the steelband
into focus, to keep the panman
in the eyes of the public not
simply as a man beating a pan,
but as a musician and as a thinking
involved member of the com-
Q: Doesnt Carnival serve this purpose?
A: Not really, because Carnival is a
one-and-done thing. And we want
to show that it is not only at
Panorama and on Carnival days
that the panman can function.

Q: Do you have any immediate plans
for the funds you hope to raise
during the week?
A: Well, for one thing, we plan to
give part of the proceeds to a
member of Maritime Life Hatters
who was accidentally injured dur-
ing last Panorama a young man
with neither mother nor father.
Q: You said earlier that you con-
sidered the panman an involved
member of the community but
tell me, what are the areas of
difficulty as regards this involve-
A: Perhaps the major area of difficulty
is the panman himself, in that he
has not matured with his music. It
is almost as if he is not aware of
the heights that his music has
Q: Couldn't this be because the pan-
man sees himself in the role that
the society has outlined for him?
A: Yes, of course.
Q: Any other area of difficulty?
A: Yes, the growing dearth of versa-
tile young panmen. We feel that
they are not as involved in their
art as the older panmen were.
Q Can you advance any reason for
A: Sponsorship.

Q: What?
A: Yes, young panmen look at what
a particular sponsor is doing for
a particular band and they im-
mediately feel that they should
have the same thing as well. So
they come to the panyard and
expect everything to be laid out
for them some of them even
expect you to provide the rubber
for the very stick that they beat
Q: That may be so, but if you con-
sider that the majority of steel-
bandsmen have to hustle for a
living when the day comes, isn't
it understandable that they have
no energies left when the night
comes to do anything but come
and beat?
A: Yes, but if you love something
Q: It would seem then that the
young panmen don't like pan as
much as the older meg in th(
A: Yes, and perhaps it can be ex-
plained in this way: Pan has left
the inventive stage and it is now
say, in the developing stage and
you find that people aie usually
keener when something is new
than when it has been around for
some time.

Q: But surely the non-achievement of
the older panmen in material
terms must have some bearing on
the attitude of the newcomers on
the scene.
A: Yes, we would concede that the
younger panmen must be perturbed
when they see where the older
ones are today.
Q: Do you ever see a time when the
steelband will be able to provide a
living for its members? Or to put
it another way: Can the steelband
bea commercial enterprise?
A: Well, the size and number of the
bands militate against this. We
can't see steelbandsmen making a
living from their music alone.
Q: Your last sentence, however, holds
out the possibility of them earning
a living in some other way.
A: Yes, but first a survey is needed.
We can't just rush about putting up
pan theatres all over the place.
We feel that whatever enterprise
a steelband engages itself in should

arise from the needs of the com-
munity in which it is based the
enterprise should be located in
and serve the interests of the
Q: But quite a number of steelbands
have as basic a problem as not
having an established place of
their own either to practise in or
from which to launch an enter-
A: Yes, there are, we would say,
about 75 active steelbards and
would you believe over 90% of
them don't have a base in the real
sense of the term.

Q: Everytime the discussion on steel-
bands as a commercial prospect
comes up one hears talk of export
do you think that there is in
fact an export market for steel-
A: We are at present investigating
that, through the Tourist Board.
There are indications that there
is a number of markets which
astonishingly enough have not
been tapped.
Q: Maybe the fear is that from past
experience the panmen will not
come back that's not to be
taken seriously but what is
serious is that many of the ex-
perienced panmen have gone
abroad and those who are here
will eventually die without passing
on their skills.
A: Yes, that's a problem, particularly
as these days you have the new
phenomenon of "unattached"
tuners -so there are members of
steelbands who are not even close
to the tuning process. That's why
our proposed pan school is so
Q: Of course you realize that for the
school to attract students, there
must be prospects of employment
for its graduates, which brings us
back to where we started.
A: Yes, the steelband problem is an
exhasutive one.
Q: Exhausting too!
Reports have come to hand that
two tuners are to be employed on
a national level and that the jobs
will be pensionable.

Yes, that's true.
Who are they?

A: We would prefer not to disclose
the names just yet, but anybody
who has been following steelband
closely over the years will know
who they are.
Q: I see what you mean Tony
Williams and Bertie Marshall, per-
A: We are not saying.
Q: To end by talking a little bit about
Panorama don't you feel that
that competition is too important?

A: Meaning?
Q Well, don't you think that the
reason why there is all the protest
after the results are announced is
that steelbandsmen realize that
this is the one time that they are
.on the national stage, so to speak?
A: Certainly more competitions are
needed during any one year .

Q: Well, I wasn't thinking in terms of
more competitions. I myself would
do away with the damn things and
concentrate on using other means
to give the seelbands exposure -
for instance, the kind of com-
munity exchange of steelbands
that your organization plans to
'promote during steelband week.

A: But you will realize that here too
there are problems.

Q: Yes, and I quite see why at this
point in time the Association is
thinking in terms of more com-
petitions, but I was merely hold-
ing out the possibility that in a
different scheme of things there
might not be need for any compe-
tition at all.

A: Well, we certainly cannot do away
with competitions, but we know
that there must be other forms of
exposure one thinks of record-
ings, but it is difficult to get
proper recordings done and even
if you get them done the arrange-
ments are such that the panman
gets exploited.
However, we consider ourselves a
very open organization, open to
suggestions, to new ways of doing
things. We are engaged in the
work and we just have to hammer
away at the problems.

Warning for suppliers

IN AN effort to combat food shortages, the
Jamaican Government has ordered importers, manu-
facturers, wholesalers and retailers from storing some
foods without making them available for sale.
Suppliers must list inventories with the Ministry of
Trade & Consumer Protection.

Puerto Rico


A TAXI STRIKE was called by the Independent
Union of Taxi Drivers during the last week of
February. A March 19 court order that they return to
work was expected to be defied by the drivers. Strike
is said to be hurting tourism.

Haiti moves to control


A SERIES of drastic measures to reduce prices of
basic foods, especially beans, rice, ground maize and
millet, was put into effect on March 24 to control
inflation, the Duvalier Government announced.

SUNDAY AMRL 15, 1973


On news stands throughout T'dad every Friday

CRACK football profes-
sional Everard "Gaily"
Cummings is confident that
Trinidad & Tobago can
defeat Haiti in the next
round of the World Cup
certain members of the
Trinidad Football Association
leave the players, coaches and
trainers alone;
the selection of the team
is left to the coach and his
assistant; and
the team is picked en-
tirely on merit.


Cummings, who has been
playing for Trinidad & Tobago
since he was 15, elaborated
in this way:
"TFA officials must realize
that they have to stick to
administration instead of
coming and causing conflict
between the players. The major-
ity of officials don't even come
to the training ground and yet
they want to have a say in
picking the team."
Cummings feels that far too
often in the past players have
either been included in or left
out of the Trinidad & Tobago
team for non-football reasons:
e.g., the personal relationship
between a player and a parti-
cular official.
He warned as well against
any tendency selectors might
have to pick the team on the
basis of football politics so
many for North, so many for
East, so many for South etc.


"It is important,"Cummings
pointed out, "for the players
to be in training for at least a
month before the Haiti game -
they should live in, together
with the coach and assistant
coach, since it is important that
we get to know each other
both on and off the football
Cummings, who plays for
New York Cosmos, expressed
concern over mutterings to the
effect that foreign-based foot-
ballers should not be considered
for selection.
He pointed out that it is not
as if these players were flying
from the United States and
straight into the team.
"We will all be tested and
Archibald, De Leon, Keith Aqui
and I will have to prove our-
selves. But we should all want
to see the best team play -

Haiti cannot beat our best
team," he said.
Cummings leaves Trinidad
for the United States in a
week's time and one of the
first things he will do there is
to meet with the other pro-
fessionals to discuss under what
terms and conditions they will
play for Trinidad & Tobago.


"Make no mistake I, and
I am certain the other pro-
fessionals as well, want to play
for the country but we
certainly can't play for just
anything football is more
than a sport for us it is our
livelihood," he stressed.
"And if things go according
to plan and we join the local
squad in training in September,
it means that we would just
have finished our season in the
United States and we would
be fit and ready to go."


He admits that he has never
seen anything as big as the
proposed plans by the TEA to
ensure that this country is well
represented in the World Cup.
"But let us be serious right
through and this seriousness
must begin with the TFA and
be passed on to the players. I

have to confess, however, that
the majority of times I have
come down here it has always
been one big joke however,
perhaps the time has come
when we are seeing football
become something more than
an underdog sport," he said.

He agreed that some fans

We can

beat Haiti


v ,
)31~J~i V5.


"p..!.t r
-. '~i:

V, ;

Everard "Gaily" Cummings

might have been disappointed
with the performance of the
professionals in the Santos-Tri-
nidad game, but he reminds
these fans that conditions on
that day were hardly conducive
to good football.
"But the World Cup is some-
thing else. If we are treated
fairly we will be there playing

our guts out. It is unfortunate
that we allowed ourselves to
be trapped into playing Haiti
in that 'friendly match' last
I think we should have
avoided it. Haiti won, which
means that they have a psycho-
logical advantage over us but
the players have to get that

defeat out of their system from
now and then there will be
no stopping us," Cummings
Cummings, who is now 24,
said that his playing as a pro-
fessional has made him a mature
player. His whole approach to
the game has changed.


"Like so many of the foot-
ballers here I used to think that
dribbling was all. Now I only
dribble when necessary, con-
centrating more on passing the
ball to get it nearer to the
other team's goal and from
there into the net," he dis-
He concluded with an ex-
pression of dismay over the
reluctance of youngsters these
days to exercise:
"i remember we used to be
able to collect some 35 players
on any given day to go up to
the Savannah and have a run.
Now the most we can get is
eight too many of the others,
some of whom I know to be
good players, have gone off on
drugs their love for the game
killed by the lack of real


Phone TAPIA: 662 -5126; 652 -4878