Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00071
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: August 12, 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: UF00072147:00071

Full Text

DURING THE Crop Time of
1968, fully two years before
the February Revolution
erupted in the People's Parlia-
ments, Lloyd Best had warned
of the storm then brewing
amongst the youth of 35 and
under, full seventy souls and
more of every hundred.
Finishing with an image which
anticipated the coming confron-
tation, he wrote that a generation
had come of age:
"Its elders stand on the thres-
hold of a decade when they will
attain the height of their creative
powers. Its cadets are coming to
political consciousness in a flood.
These men constitute the decisive
cohort for the next round".
Later that year, on November
14, The Tapia House Group was
brought tolife, repudiating Millette's
i-manoeuvres to1 form another quick-
quick party.


Those were the days when the
rhetoric of change enjoyed a repu-
tation unsurpassed and optimism
knew no limits whatsoever. When
Tapia urged "a concrete plan to
come to terms with the specific
legacy of difficulties," the roman-
tics and anarchists retorted that no
plan was needed because the people
would in time decide.
But we were driven by the
intuition that "the youth and the
unemployed may tear the fabric
down long before the millennium of
1983", We feared the day would
come when thousands would have
achieved political consciousness in
a flood and found they had no
concrete strategy of action.
Those were the glorious days
before the onset of full repression
when radical thought would grace
the morning papers.
They were the days before re-
volutionary oratory and rhetoric
had sharpened the political percep-
tions of the people and radical
thought seemed so very hard to read.
Nowadays Tapia's plans have
become so much a private utility
that the Establishment would not
know where else to fudge its new
perspectives. But our sketches for
the future more than ever have
vitality, relevance and point.
The silence of a muzzled press
keeps screaming that the only posi-
tive force is the bankrupt govern-
ment. Tapia's proposals for national
economic reorganisation are there-
fore more subversive than they
have ever been. In this Number, we
present a statement on the Housing




Gastro epidemic

FACED WITH water shortages, shoot-outs and shoot-ins,
the news of 98 deaths from a gastro epidemic over the
last four months seems to have escaped notice. It is in fact
a frightening thing that the way things are going, people
are becoming accustomed to bad news, and oblivious to
the soothing of government ministers.
This is why Health Minister Mohammed's promise
of an Anti-Litter Bill next month got only the little notice
in deserved in the two dailies.
After polio, typhoid and now 98 deaths from
gastro-enteritis, the Health Minister issues a health warning.
The Ministry now speaks of curing the cold after it has
developed into pneumonia.
Meanwhile, an official of the Ministry of Education
and Culture has advised that compulsory immunisation
against smallpox and poliomyelitis should help students to
do better at their examinations. What about gastro attacks,
bad living conditions, scarce and expensive food, and books
no jobs?

Rain brings floods

"WHO HAS built embankments on the Caroni? What
measures are we taking in advance to clear the old canals
and drains which always block-up in Laventille, or to build
new ones where we know there may be trouble? If we are
to have crash programmes, why can't we put them to con-
structive purpose?"
Old talk? Yes. We warned since last month about
the dangers that the rains would bring. (TAPIA June 24)
Faced with the prospect of a long-drought and a
speedily dwindling water shortage, we all welcomed the
rains of the last few days.
However, the rains brought havoc in different
areas. For the families and friends of five-year-old An-
thony Garcia and seven-year-old Garfield Drakes, both of
Laventille, and both of whom drowned last Tuesday, the
rains brought disaster.
The point is that if the rainy season really begins
in earnest, what happened this week may be a joke.
During the "Great Flood" of mid-October 1971,
$100,000 worth of property was swept away during the
weekend alone.
Tapia calls on the people in the localities to get
together and build their own reinforcements, clear their
own canals.
The government is both unwilling and unable to
deal with these issues. After all, none of their children
push cars in the rain.

DID YOU know that "low cost housing" is not really low
cost? For one thing. It doesn't turn out to be low in cost
after all the kickbacks have been taken. And in any case,
the social and political price of low-quality housing is the one
we've had to pay of continuing unrest climaxing in the periodic
explosions like 1970.
The signboard in picture above at Bon Accord, Tobago,
advertises the building of a "low cost housing project" with
IDB assistance. It has turned out to be unusable and unwanted
by the people for whom they were built.
In the Tapia plan outlined in this paper, we propose
decent housing for all at a price the nation can afford. See
page 2. See also pages 5 and 6 "Tapia as a House".



no felony in the inquest
into the death of Lt.
Oliver Walker shot dead
by Police Superinten-
dent Murray last month.
But what do the people
Well, we are not satis-
fied with any hurry-hurry
inquiry called by the Attor-
ney General to give a de-
cision that was predictable
from the Coroner's remarks

on the last day of the hear-
It is a decision which
has shattered all our hopes
to see an end to gun law in
this country.
The entire procedure of
setting up an ambush for a
presumed Regiment war
party, then shooting dead a
lone man as he approached
a police post, suggests either
a violent intent or over-
reaction amounting to cri-

minal irresponsibility.
Whichever it is, a jury
ought to decide in a court
of law. In the minds of
people there is no doubt
that sufficient evidence has
,been brought to light in this
inquiry to justify a higher
court deciding on the matter,
In the Santa Claus case,
a precedent was set by the
Law Society asking that the
inquiry be reopened. By

last report, more than two
months ago, the Attorney
General was still studying
the documents on that in-
When will we hear more
about that?
We have to call upon
those who value the rule of
law in this country to de-
mand a similar opportunity
for ventilating the troubling
questions in the Walker case.

I .



15 Cents

Vol 3. No 32






Drastic housing reform in Trinidad and Tobago could also be
our most important means of ushering in a new regime. In
the particular context of Cuba, literacy was clearly the major issue.
In Jamaica nothing is more important than agricultural land reform.
With our particular urban, immigrant, transient history, the revolu-
tionary ideal inevitably revolves round house and land.




IF HOUSING is the top priority in the Tapia plan for
national reconstruction, it is for the simple reason that we
could not ever hope to sustain participatory government
and unconventional politics unless the local communities
became a place of continuing creative involvement where
the citizen could discover his sou!.
And we know that the local community could not
be transformed into so entirely different a pace unless the
individual homes became a nook of hope and peace and
love, of joy and merriment and gladness.
"We are only human; we are people, no! robots". The
architect, after 30 years of tears, is weeping still for civic housing.

You can always tell how serious
a government is about actual
people by the way it proceeds
to solve its housing problem.
Decent housing is in itself a
worthy goal.
Drastic housing reform in
Trinidad and Tobago could also
be our most important imeanl
of ushering in a ne\\ regime.
In the particular context of
Cuba, literacy) was clearly the
major issue.
In Jamaica nothing is more
important than agricultural
land. reform. With our particu-
lar urban, migrant, transient
history, the revolutionary ideal
inevitably revolves round house
and land.

More than any Caribbean
country, we have been a clas-
sic Colony of the Crown,
totally insensitive to local need,
completely-incapable of moti-
vating national effort. Section-
alism. individualism and cen-
niism- '. O, b banners.
But a comprehensive na-
tional housing project would
dictate a democratic frame-
work of local government, a
hu;in!:I syste i f !ienv!onmien-
tal control, 'nore valid rela-
tionship ; .tweLaeii our many
races, a repudiaiion of our

--SUNDAY AUGUT-i: 1973-.

division into shade and class
and colour and above all, a
revolutionary strategy of eco-
nomic ,change- with all that
that entails for--more-e equal
distribution of income, fuller
employment, improved land
iusc, iniggciinou!:v proiptled
industrial and agricultural de-
velopment and genuine-local-
Sisation of money and banking.
When the next government
decides to build say, 175,000
housing units by 1983 -start-
ing at 10,000 per year and
mounting quite conceivably to
near 20,000 per year, we will

have to begin by asking certain
The first question is where
to put the housing? The PNM
Government operates with
what Town Planners and Ar-
kee(s describe : a "v'oum
theory". Wherever there exists
an open piece of land, put some
houses there "if that is what
they want".
Employment, utilities,
health,education and transport
services are taken for granted.
Land use and community de-
velopment and such basic con-


FOUNDATION: 15,000 c yds of base concrete; 1,600,000
ft of building blocks; 10,000 c yds of concrete fill; 4,800,000
sq ft BRC, bamboo or other tensile material.
WALL: 120,000 c. yds of wall concrete @ 1:2:4

FLOORING: 170,000 c. yds of floor concrete; 15,000,000
sq ft of floor finish in tiles, timber, asphalt or concrete.
ROOFING: 15,000,000 sq ft of roofing surface in clay tiles,
wood shingles, asphalt, aluminium or concrete; 15,000,000 sq
ft of ceiling in timber, hardboard, etc.
PARTITIONING: 15,000,000 sq ft of partitioning;
2,000,000 c. ft of cupboards.
FITTINGS: 80,000 doors; 80,000 windows; 80,000 door-
knobs; 4,000,000 hinges; 16,000,000 screws 2,200,0001bs
nails; 80,000 plugs 200,000 locks; 50,000 taps; 30,000,000
ft of electric wiring; 300,000 ft of pipeline; 400,000 light
FURNISHINGS: 10,000 toilet bowls; 20,000 sinks; 10,000
refrigerators; 10,000 stoves; 10,000 washing machines;
10,000 radios; 10,000 TV's; 50,000 single beds; 50,000
mattresses; 100,000 chairs; 20,000 couches; 30,000 tables.
Assorted curtains; carpets; window rods; linen & utensils,
brooms, brushes;vacuum cleaners, etc.
FINISHING: Paint, putty, varnish, glue sandpaper, paint-
brushes, etc. Quantities to be determined.
UTILITIES: Water, telephones, electricity, domestic gas.
Quantities to be determined.
All tenders in writing to Central Board for Morality
in Public Affairs, Ministry of the New Movement.
Day of Judgment by May 1974.

siderations are left to take care
of themselves.
This low level of human
concern is mirrored in the
state of the libraries, archives,
newspapers, radio and TV pro-
grammes, and in the publishing
trade above all, the PNM
Publishing Cpmpany which
held out such a fair promise in
Williams is quite satisfied
to confine black-people any
people to the poet's "nigger-
yard of yesterday". His Instant
Plan for Shanty Town in 1970
has now made that plain to
any doubter who may by
chance have missed the con-
spicuous neglect even of so
loyal a PNM place like Success


This is the kindof thinking
on housing which has r'"-,' -d
in monstrosity in Mor, ., in
these ghost towns on tie Main
Road in Curepe, the Tumpuna
Road in Arima, at Buccoo and
Bon Accord; which accounts
for the colossal waste of money
in New Village, Point Fortin
and the absolutely wicked allo-
cation of agricultural land to
habitation in Diamond Vale,
Trincity and Valsayn.
It is the kind of thinking
which has led the Government
to attempt a most improbable
transformation of Waller Field
into a pastoral idyll when the
site could not be more richly
endowed with the ingredients
of a little city Piarco pleisto-
cene pebbles and all. When The
Base could have provided an
excellent take-off point for a
pr.graniime of agriculural di-
versification and home-based
industry in the Eastern bosom,
of the country.
The second question would
be what size of household? And
following from that, how do
you build it? On how much
land? What kind of grouping
to form a community? Where
would the money come from?
And the materials? What
Continued on Page 15

Make your dream home

a reality now,furnish with..







exclusively from

Unity Furniture Store
25 Fifth Street Barataria 638-2334



The high demand for imported gadgets and household
equipment is accounted for by 4he difficulty in
financing housing. So people keep their old shacks and furnish
them with the biggest television, refrigerators, radiograms and

washing machines.
(When we reorganise mortgage banking and consumer
credit) people will so for the house first and begin to plan
strategies for furnishing, equipping etc...
Everybody knows that it is foolish to be spending on

grams and TVs when the boys are sleeping with the girls, and
parents have no privacy; the children no place to study or
play. But what choice do we have now when it is so hard to
acquire or rent a decent house? We settle for the gramsand
show our neighbours that we are not doing all that bad.
Tapia No. 20 August 1971

Column 1

Lennox Grant


and seekers of

THE NATION'S future is
in a crisp, white store-bag
freshly crinkled round the
That, as a restatement of
Williams' 1962 "the nation's
future is in your schoolbag", is
probably the realization of a
Were we not supposed, as
Sparrow urged, to "go to school
and learn well", so as to get
"qualified", so as to get a good
job, so as to be able to buy
our freedom from the bondage
of scrunting?
Some of us have done it
all. We have escaped, for our
pains, one kind of breadline -
the possibly endless queue of
the seekers of bread. But we
have won ourselves a place in
the fast-moving procession to
cashier's counter to have that
paperbag flapped open and
stuffed full of goods; we have
become spenders of bread.
Walking in opposite direc-
tions, the spenders and the
seekers will presumably meet
at the 1983 junction of "full
employment" all with bulging
shopping bags.
For, by that time, by dint
of the efforts to "make shop-
ping a pleasure", shopping
would have become even more
of a vice than it is now.


The final fulfilment of the
Independence vision is the gra-
duate cashing his diploma like
a cheque. Through free junior
and senior secondary educa-
tion, and maybe university
education, he would have been
qualified to be a spender.
There is, to my mind, al-
ready such a person as a con-
sumer, a compulsive consumer
of things and goods, the entity
envisaged and addressed by
advertising appeals, the store-
bag addict.
Swirling about our con-
sciousness is a mirage of dura-
bles and perishables. In a state
of induced vertigo, we clutch
and grasp at the tactile images,
and if we're the favoured spend-
ers, we just fill our store-bags
Within three years of start-
ing in business, the Starlite
Shopping Centre ("time-saving,
one-stop shopping") could em-
bark on a $200,000 expansion.
The owners of that Four
Roads, Diego Martin enterprise
had seen a "new day in con-
sumer trends coming". They
had played for it and scored a
Diego Martin customers
were saved the traffic and the
parking troubles of going to
town. Localisation paid off.
But the loss of the Diego Martin
custom has not apparently af-
fected Port of Spain business.
Just look around. See the
boutiques which have sprung
up beside the traditional de-
partment stores. See the ex-
pansion in the food and drink

business, the specialised shops
for stereos, for furniture, and
then the generalized plazas and
super-supermarkets for one-stop
Man must live indeed. And
the standard of living suggested

by all of this is something that
either belies or underlies the
ketchass documented all
It is what makes every
spender, every consumer, con-
spicuous as he demonstrates

that this is a rich country and
that this is a poor country at
the same time.
Yes, I'm. talking shop.
Money make to spend on con-
sumer durables and perishables
because there isn't much incen-

tive for people to spend their
money on anything else.
Barclays used to have a
cartoon ad showing long lines
of spenders going into the bank
and emerging smugly. bearing
Continued on page 14



Does that tickle your wish-bone?

If it does, then ring a bell ours at the N.C.B. Trust. Our new

numbers are 62-32576 8, and make an appointment to

see someone in our Mortgage Department.

In some areas we will offer up to
90- .ncr Our rnpt'n

4' tesssy..ou will.dI find, fit into yourt" '

,:l.nasyoBudget conventientsfr:,~ :A,:

..a: 'as your rent does
-".^ ^ ., ., .... '. .


N.C.B. Trust Building 20 Abercromby St. P.O.S.
phone 62-32576-8



ROUGHLY 50% of the nation's grossly overcrowded
housing units and 42% of its poorly built structures are
squeezed up in the urban areas which occupy only 18%
of the country's total land area.
Little wonder that in 1970, the so-called Northern Area
proved to be a tinder-box because 46% of the overcrowded units and
42% of the poor-buildings are to be found in this area, most of them
competing frantically for space in Greater Port of Spain.
The most dramatic manifestation of the housing problem in
town is the proliferation of low-level settlement since the 1940s
and the end of the War. These settlements symbolise the chaotic
economic situation caused by the new post-war policy of industri-
alisation by invitation.
Both the Gomes and Wil- ~Igr%-~ r
liams administrations have sys-
tematically destroyed the small
class of artisans, manufacturers
and food-farmers which sprang
up during the war when we had
to produce for ourselves or die.
Men were making soap,
tinware, brooms and brushes,
all kinds of household items
like furniture and even refrige-
rators in little establishments
up and down the Eastern Main
Tradesmen tinkerers and
smart-men entrepreneurs were
developing in-great abundance
until our Afro-Saxon leaders jli-
became heady with oil revenues :
and allowed increasing imports
to drive out little local men.


The disaster is now belated-
ly being acknowledged in the
curious concept of the People's
Sector. It would take more than
such headlines to retrieve an
already desperate situation.
Thrown out of work by
the policy of big fish eat little
fish,, people were driven into
town to create the problem of
uncontrolled settlement on the
edges of the city. Where the
hope of finding work is great-
est that's where people will
automatically gravitate.
Of all paid employees in
-1965, 55.3% were located in
the urban areas. In manufac-
turing industry, St. George,
including Port of Spain account
for 55% of total employment
opportunity. In construction
43%; in public utilities, '61.5%
in services, commerce and go-
vernment, 67.4%; and in all
major sectors taken as a whole,
St. George contributed 49%
of total employment oppor-
In keeping with the Govern-
ment's mania for concentration
and centralisation, of nearly
600 acres retained by the IDC,
well over 75% is in the urban
You can see where the
spontaneous settlements are.
In Harding Place and Fort
George to the west 2,000
units. In Maraval, Upper St.
Anns and Upper Cascade to
the North 1,000 units. In
Laventille to the East 9,000

The settlements are all stra-
tegically placed' on or near the
city boundary. They occupy
rough terrain which for one
reason or another is considered
unsuitable or unattainable by
other and more secure inha-
bitants of the city.
Here you have your "bunch
of transients" in the Prime
Minister's contemptuous and
revealing phrase. The settle-
ments include almost 6,000
squatters' dwelling units and
contain over 1/3 of the area's

IN 1956 THE PNM swept in to office
in a 9-months campaign, partly be-
cause of the pent-up frustrations
caused by overcrowded housing. In
1957, of the 161,000 accommoda-
tion units in this country, 69,000 or
43 of every 100 could be considered
"grossly overcrowded".
In 1966, after 10 years of golden pro-
mise, the Government stopped publishing
In 1970, the February Revolution
erupted and the disappointment of the
urban youth once more boiled over into
the public places.
Some say 1956 all over again, at least
in that respect. How much of it was due to
horrid housing?
Well, the technocrats and statisticians
have to be very careful and objective these
days if they want to get their statistics and



-.. -...

175,000 inhabitants, accord-
ing to the 1971 Census.
If the Beetham Highway is
any indicator of PNM policy,
the new plan is to stabilise the
transients on the spot. The
question is: what is the plan to
alter the distinctive features
of these areas the high level
of unemployment, the low
standard of education and
training, and high drop out
Perhaps the Fourth Plan
will hazard another set of beau

tiful intentions.

Meanwhile the trouble con-
tinues to brew as settlements
multiply and expand at an
alarming rate. The majority of
the old areas have increased' by
at least 50% between 1965 and
Some have grown by over
150% between 1960 and 1970
and new settlements are con-
tinuously- being established,
above all, in the Diego Martin

* Harding Place

SFort George


SUpper Cascade

* Belmont

* Laventille

This rate of growth must be
compared with a 14% decrease
in the Central City between
1960 and 1970 and a 21%
increase in the suburbs during
the same-period.
The political and social
consequences of this hapha.
zard development are too terri-
fying to be obscure. Frankly,
the PNM has been cultivating
epidemics, engineering flood-
ing and pollution,.'and breeding
military upheaval.

It was only a matter of
time, oratory and, to finish the
game, organization.

into Ithe streets-

analysis into print at all.
"Gross overcrowding" therefore takes
into consideration neither size of room,
life styles of people or living circumstances
We can take it that the official definituio
masks far harsher conditions than the
figures suggest.
In 1966, 40.3% of the nation's dwell-
ing units were still grossly overcrowded,
no appreciable reduction on 1956.
Again, the majority of the adminis-
trative areas showed their gross overcrowd-
ing percentages to be over 40%.
Port of Spain had dropped from
52% to 44.2% but much of thisis attribut-




soft, light

_ and delicious.


able to a population shift to Valsayn,
Goodwood Park and new suburban develop-
ments rather than to any injection of new
housing in the city.
Of all dwelling units in the two
islands, 35 in 100 were considered struc-
tually fair or poor with the country areas
showing higher percentages then the urban
areas. For Port of Spain, San Fernando and
St George, the respective figures were 26%,
18% and 32%.
For Caroni, Nariva/Mayaro, and St
Andrew, the corresponding percentages of
poor housing were 43%, 57%, 49%. In the
town overcrowding, in the country poor

Inside the houses every-
where, basic facilities were
sadly lacking. Only 32% of
dwelling units in 1966 had
running water inside the house.
People had to bring water from
standpipes on the road in no
less than 47 out of every 100
If the water situation was
bad, the toilet situation was
atrocious. Nine out of 10 dwel-
ling units claimed to have some
sort of toilet facility on the
premises which may appear
reasonably civilized until you
realise that only a few of these
facilities are water borne, sett-
ing the stage for gastro-enteri-

Continued on Page 14


Fru'stratllon boi e over



? ^^ifcii--

'. r



This article was taken from a 1971 study on the development on In-
dian housing in Trinidad by architect Brian A. Lewis. Tapia will
publish the rest of the study which covers other aspects of the sub-
ject in serial form over forthcoming weeks.

THE "AJOUPA" hut was
the first form of domestic
shelter to be associated
with the East Indians in
Trinidad. Although it is dif-
ficult to pinpoint the exact
date of its introduction, it
is thought to be around
1917 when grants were
first issued to indentured
There also seems to be
a certain amount of con-
flict as to the origin of the
*ajoupa. .. :-
S;Although MortonKlass
maintains that the ajoupa
: was .of :Carib origin the
word was adopted by the
East Indians from. the
SFrench Creole patois.
The ajoupa is constructed
Sof mud walUS and timberr.:
f :'frame':supporting a thatched
-: roof. The construction is of a
.'temporary nature as most of
the materials employed are of
a low.durability and require a
high maintenance.


However, more important
is the' economy 'of construc-
tion evolviig out of the use of -.'
natural: materials readily avail-
Sable on the lower plains where
.sugar is cultivated. The house
:is. usually: constructed by -the
family tith .perhaps an. ex-
SperiencedI friend at. negligible
.expenditure. -
The term "tapia-hut",which
is often used when .referring
to the ajoupa, is actually de-
rived.from the process of mix-
Sing various organic. materials
Sto. .produce ,.a mud-like sub-
stance called tapia.
Tapia is made by mixing
mud.,. grass, water and cow
Sung .in .- a: four foot square
Left: .
The -front entrance to the
ajoupa which leads directly in-
to the verandah or living room
an entirely open area. Note
the six-inch high platform on
which the house stands. The
surrounding clay was used in
the construction of tapia.
Side view -showing the front
and ,back verandahs adjacent
to one .another yet used' for .
entirely different-, purposes.
.R 'igh.t: '. -
The chullah, a traditional
Cooking utensil. Each day. the '
.:chullah is resurfaced with new
- clay. : -

hold four feet deep in -the
ground. The materials are pre-.
pared on site since the main-
tenance of the walls -requires
a tapia coat almost weekly.
The floor is usually built
up around the surrounding

level by some six inches so that
flooding may not occur.-The
walls are. generally non-load-
bearing and are formed by
spanning twigs horizontally
between the wooden :frames
Sand finally posting the tapia
until the, required thickness
of three.,or four inches has
been built up.
The frame is usually of
either bamboo or pitch-pine

sections at two foot centres
with simple joining techniques.
- The roof is generally. of the
'f6r m of a hip-type with purlins
spanning across rafter and the
crackac" leaf woven, over and
bound with string, wire or net
There is no, ceiling and the
carackl plant gives .a warm
visual effect to a dwelling. The
life of such a roof is certainly


no more than ten years but it
gives very good weather pro-
tection with a continuous eave
around the building.
Internal partitions can
either be of tapia .or wooden
construction. The walls and
partitions do not extend to the
roof thus allowing a free pas-
sage of air at all times.
Continued on Page 6


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perannum. ;; "


- ~ '~) ----I--


.-~ '
" I




!r ,


From such crude,unsuspected source shallspring flood

of change.Not from a house of bricks but one of thatch,earth and

cowshit' '( LOWHAR)

From Page 5
Doors and windows func-
tion only as visual barriers for
privacy rather than security.
One can easily climb over the
walls into any room of an
The plan forms are varied
but are all controlled by the
geometric construction of the
roof. Although there is some
evidence of early ajoupas with
rounded corners they are nor-
mally rectangular and charac-
teristically in the order of 20
x 15 feet.
The porch or semi-open
area becomes a "living room"
where the family and friends
relax, and is usually in the
front of the house forming the
main entrance.
The bedroom, and on many
occasions there is only one, is
usually about 10 x 10 feet
where there are one or more
A whole family may sleep
and change in this one room
and thereis little privacy under
such conditions. Sometimes
there is a little furniture but
nothing is permanent.
The kitchen is usually out-
side in a separate building or
in the back of the house in an
open area and often becomes
the place for after dinner dis-
cussions with family or guests.
The front of the house
usually y faces the road or path,
and is upkept to a high degree
illustrating a certain amount
of self-respect under even such

Back view showing
kitchen outhouse
which was later added
to the house but
still retains an
The chullah is in
the corner.

poor conditions.
The house itself represents
a simple expression of the
status of a poor Indian and has
no architectural decoration
Quite often flower beds,
trees and gardens are the only
form of decoration and cost
the farmer nothing. However
the very fact that flowers and
so on are planted for passers
by to see indicates that even a
humble farmer is aware of
appearances and self-expression.
Tall bamboo stakes with
white or single coloured flags
are often seen exhibited in the
garden and each flag symbi-
lises a religious event in the
Indian culture is swamped
with symbolism and it is inter-
esting to see the East Indian in
Trinidad pursuing this symbo-
lism with an honest eocnomy
of bold form; the flag, a vertical
symbol seen from a great dis-

* ~4;;A.ia

The back of the house is
generally more untidy, less de-
corated and shows the signs
of poverty. The kitchen, toilet
and washing facilities are
usually arranged to take ad-
vantage of the prevailing winds.
Quite often the Indian can
be seen growing vegetables in
the back garden for the family
consumption. The mud used
for maintaining the walls is
taken'discreetly leaving a gra-
dual sloping plateau away from
the building.


There is never any built in
furniture which enforces the
temporary nature of the ajoupa.
Furniture will probably be kept
within the family for many
Lighting is provided by
means of "flambeau". If a

family is fortunate enough to
own a sewing machine the
mother can keep a well clothed
family at a minimal expense.
The chulla, a traditional
piece of cooking apparatus, is
quite common among the East
Indians in Trinidad. The chulla
is made from tapia and its
design allows extremely effi-
cient ventilation for flame
endurance and weather pro-
The cooking vessel is placed
on top of the three moulded
pinnacles and the open side
stoking of coals, access to the
ashes which are used in wash-
ing and finally provides ade-
quate ventilation.
After each session of cook-
the chiilla is cleaned by pre-
paring a new batch of tapia
and completely resurfacing the
entire stove.
Eating utensils consist
mainly of brass bowls, and

eating habits remain, in most
cases among the farmers, to be
in the traditional mLnner. This
further illustrates the standard
of sanitation and self respect
carried forward and maintained
into the life of the Indian in
The wife is responsible for
all these tasks and also the care
of the children, even up to the
last stage of pregnancy.
Thus the ajoupa expresses
every possible facet of the East
Indian farmer's domestic status
in its sheer simplicity and
economy of design. There is
little, if any, decoration and
this simplicity is the expression
of the poor status of the far-
mer establishing a culture in
In fact the ajoupa shows
very little similarity to modern
associations of India. But there
is not supposed to be any
symbolism in the ajoupa.
Finally, the ajoupa, which
wasfirstintroducedabout 1917,
still continues to exist today.
There are farmers today in
Trinidad who are in the same
economic position as the
Indian farmers of the early
20th century.
The ajoupa has changed
verylittle from its introduction
and the life of the Indian today
is much the same. However,
the basic ajoupa, described
above, is rapidly becoming
extinct in its "pure" form.
There have been many de-
velopments during the century.

3p ece Nadir

Marin a



h e ric tore



Localisation as


Ernest Massiah

NOW THAT the Bank of Nova
Scotia Trinidad and Tobago Ltd.,
has gone through its "localization"
exercise, it is clear that no real
change has taken place. We have
simply witnessed a bit of window
dressing put forward to camouflage
the continuing exploitation of the
nation's resources. Control of this
bank and its assets remains firmly
in foreign hands.
As was to be expected, no timetable
has been set for the local issue or offer of
further shares in order to reduce the
Bank of Nova Scotia to a minority
shareholder. For the present and for a
long time to come, our shareholders,
will have a voice in the policies of this
"localized" company only by the grace
and favour of the foreign bank.


Such "localization" is totally mean-
ingless and inadequate to the nation's
needs. Tapia has long maintained that
these foreign branch banks do not bring
capital into the country. If anything,
the export of capital is facilitated by the
family connections which they maintain
with their respective head offices. We
are confident that the skills they bring
are already available in the West Indies
or can be obtained from abroad on a
contract basis.
There can be only one policy to-
wards such institutions real localiza-
tion on Tapia's terms which would
immediately place control of the de-
cision and policy making processes in
the hands of nationals.
A brief examination of the pros-
pectus with its rather limited information
is most instructive and reveals just
where the power lies. The "local" com-
pany bought over the entire Bank of
Nova Scotia enterprise and .paid for it
by issuing to the Bank shares with a face
value of one dollar a piece at par.
Approximately a year later, at a time
when its pretax profits appear to be
stagnating, these very same shares are

300 Near, ago. this enterprising
gentlelian exploited tihe btaine-- potential
of the Caribbean.
Today, ibat potential is c ei greater.
And ou needn't risk your neck to
rcalise it.
\'rite to us for information about
business or pleasure in the Eastern
Vho knows, we might find you
your own treasure island.

Advertisement from "West Indies Chronicle"

offered to the general public at twice
that price.
The justification for this 100% rise in
the price of these shares is apparently
provided by an assertion which not only
is unsupported by any evidence in the
prospectus, but appears to run counter
to the evidence of stagnation put for-
ward by an independent body.
Within the prospectus we see the
highly optimistic statement "The direc-
tors of the Company expect that the
profits of the company for the current
year before tax on a 12-month basis
will show an improvement over the
pattern of the three previous years and
will approximate $4.5 million. In that
event the directors would recommend
the payment of a dividend at an annual



of the

Bank of



rate of 16 cents per share subsequent to
this issue and offer".
This confident assertion looks very
much like wishful thinking when the
figures provided are analysed and the
other evidence examined.
The pre-tax profits, the deposits
and the assets of the enterprise tell a
story which can be more clearly.seen and
understood when we 'ook at profits
before tax as a percentage of deposits
and of assets. Such a computation yields
the results shown in box.
These figures should be noted in
conjunction with the Trinidad Manu-
facturers Association Magazine's essay
entitled "The Status of the Trinidad
and Tobago Economy". Two para-
graphs of this essay are of particular
interest in this connection:
"It is clear that the Government
is now trying to manage this excessive
demand curbing it by its recent tax in-
creases on consumer durables and by the
additional 2% reserve requirement that
the commercial banks must hold at the
Central bank ."
And the opening paragraph: "A
persistent economic malaise now affects
Trinidad and Tobago. It was present in
the late 1960s and has worsened in the
1970s, completely nullifying confident
predictions of an oil-led boom. It has

sapped business confidence and severely
strained the social cohesion of the so-
The company could have less money
to lend, and its financing of the purchase
of consumer durables, which is an
extremely profitable part of the busi-
ness, is being regulated in some measure.
Will that in effect yield a higher level
of profits?
It is clear that even onia conventional
reckoning these shares were overpriced.
But we should also note that the initial
capital injected into the country when
foreign banks were first established has
long been amortized and reexported,
and that "localization" such as this
serves merely to add some more frosting
to the cakes held by these institutions.
We must realize that these foreign
controlled branch banks are being ope-
rated so as to produce the maximum
profits for their foreign parents even
where the policies which ensure this
are contrary to the national interest.


Tapia has long said, and independent.
sources confirm, that foreign banks
have aggregated small savings and uti-
lized the capital resources thus obtained
to finance massive consumer spending
on foreign goods or on goods locally
assembled from high cost foreign raw,
or semi-finished, materials. At the same
time they are discriminating against
small indigenous industries and agricul-
It is also germane to note that in
large measure North American manage-
ment skills and tecnhiques are in-
appropriate to our situation and that a
management contract is only another
sophisticated device for siphoning capi-
tal out of this country.
In particular, the details of the
management contract signed with the
Bank of Nova Scotia by the "local"
bank show that we have got a six for
a nine.
This management contract provides
that the, Bank of Nova Scotia should
make available managementservices and
technical assistance which we do not
really need; correspondent banking ser-
Continued on PagelO





Discuss your plans with us !

We might save you some money

and a lot of headaches !



PORT-OF-SPAIN: 62 --- 32176.
SAN JUAN: 638 4356-4735.
SAN F'DO: 652-2303.

I_ _





DURING OUR crisis of conscience here in
1970, the banks came in for a big buffet-
ing from the orators and publicists who
inveighed against the old regime. Since
then the demands of the Peoples' Parlia-
ments have been strongly supported by
expert opinion.
In his book, Central Banking in the
Caribbean, Clive Thomas, the undisputed
West Indian authority in the field of
money and banking, has stated very blunt-
ly that the banks have failed to adapt to
the needs and priorities of development
and that before it can play a fundamental
role in the growth process, "the banking
system will have to be nationalized".

Even before the February Revolution ex-
ploded in 1970, Tapia had been making proposals
for economic reorganisation. In 1969, we in-
sisted that "the foreign banks bring no skills that
we cannot provide their presence here only
places unnecessary strain on the administrative
resources of the Central Bank .. the system
must now be completely controlled by financiers
with a stake in the country .. the local em-
ployees of banks are known to be competent
and ready ." (TAPIA, Vol 1, No 20).
Our proposals envisaged a complete over-
haul of the monetary system so as to streamline
household, commercial, and industrial banking
and to transform the Central Bank from a glori-
fied money-changer into a sensitive guide and
manager in our monetary affairs.

IN BANKING as in so much else, the Third
Five Year Plan contains most of the right
headlines. It points directly to the need for
a mobilization of our financial resources, for
an increase in savings for productive invest-
ment, and for selective control of credit to
finance production and exports rather than
consumption and imports.
The Plan even envisages state encourage-
ment to the formation of locally owned and
controlled commercial banks, the modernisa-
tion and expansion of the functions of the
Post Office Savings Bank, and the localincor-
poration of the international banks through
share-offerings to nationals.
As is usual with all these PNM plans drawn up
by technocrats, with little or no involvement by
political and parliamentary leaders and no involve-
ment at all by the citizens, the priorities remained
unstated and the contradictions remained unresolved.
Can a national system of commercial banking
develop while the metropolitan branch banks keep'
expanding and setting the pace?


Will not local incorporation of metropolitan
banks create an interest hostile to genuine banking
These questions have not been answered if only
because they have not even been posed. And we run
the risk of making the same mistake in banking as we
made with industry, 25 years ago.
In 1949, Arthur Lewis did warn that agricul-
ture needed to grow alongside industry, but
neither Gomes nor Williams saw that their chosen
strategy i of industrialization by invitation would con-
sume so much energy in maintaining the confidence
of foreign investors that we would not dare to rock
the boat by undertaking the radical measures which
alone could rescue agriculture from trouble.
All the amendments which the Gpvernment
has made to the banking system have been conserva-
tive and "pragmatic" and even the hasty expedients
devised since the February Revolution have amounted
to no significant departure.
During the stewardship of ANR Robinson as
Minister of Finance, two half-hearted reform measures
were tortuously introduced, the Central Bank Act
and the Commercial Banking Act of 1964. In his
book, The Mechanics of Independence, Robinson
has made great play of his projection of the Central
Bank as "a dynamic institution in a dynamic environ-


ment as opposed to the traditional central bank and
it preoccupations with monetary stability." He did
not want "merely to transplant a central bank with
the functions of the Bank of England ..." But that
is exactly what we have ended up doing.
In the Act, provisions were aimed "at stilling
apprehension" to "reassure the banking community".
In the interest of stability, we fixed the par value of
our currency in terms of sterling. In the interest of
confidence we entrenched convertibility into sterling.
At the altar of tradition we became involved in pro-
.viding (50%) cover for our currency notes.
The banking community clearly did not trust
the Central Bank and the Central Bank did not dare
to trust itself for the simple reason that it was the
progeny of Afro-Saxon culture and the child of Doc-
tor Politics. It therefore had no confidence in itself,
could get no long-term commitment from the popula-
tion and could consequently acquire no capacity for
radical change.
In a confession remarkable for its air of un-
responsibility, Robinson admits that the Bank ended
its first four years as "hardly more than a currency
board and made little impact on the domestic

The reasons given by the Minister who brought
the Bank into being are more than interesting. They
are three: leadership in the hands of a foreign Go-
vernor and foreign advisers unacquainted with the
local environment, the conservatism of the local
banking community, and, a board of directors with-
out experience in the field of monetary policy.
In reality, the reasons must go much deeper.
Who was responsible for bringing Pierce and then
McCleod? And a host of half-literate IMF personnel?
Was it Williams? Robinson? Weintraub?
And what impertinence did they advance to
,support that step? The answers might be intriguing
but not important because the ultimate explanation
lies in the fact that monetary policy has not yet had
to be serious because the Government's policy of
economic change still depends> heavily on external
The appointment of a national as Governor in
1969 has certainly not made any significant difference.
Victor Bruce is an excellent statistician and in Tobago
he is said to have been a first-class diplomat during his
stint as Commissioner of that island's affairs. But a
central banker needs a far keener sense of monetary
matters than the Governor has. shown to date.

The kind of banking Tapia wants to see must even
out inequalities of income and wealth between
men and women, between people in the town and those in
the country, and between people in different occupations.


- I II II s I I

T 12."1973-


We demanded household banking to help
people to place their financial affairs on, a
planned footing so that spending, saving and
investing would always proceed in relation to
some realistic budget. We advocated an abandon-
ment of the vikey-vy approach to pensions, in-
surance, and pawn-broking to hire purchase and
sou-sou, to housing and land and even to gamb-
ling. We were emphatic that in a State organised
for people, the main purpose of the banking
system would be to establish sane patterns of
financial control at the level of the individual
The kind of banking we want to see must:
ENSURE that investment is flowing into
those activities which would win us full em-

EVEN OUT the inequalities of income
and wealth between people of different races,
different sex, different occupations and different
ACTIVATE the full economic potential
in terms of enterprise, skills, materials and out-
put; and above all
PLACE our population and NOT the
central government or metropolitan companies -
in charge of the entire apparatus of production,
distribution and exchange.
This is where we have stood from the very
beginning of our existence; it is where we stand
now. It is a point of vantage from which you can
see that, in the 17 years they have been in office,
the PNM have only been monkeying and tinkering
with the system of money and banking.


I 1 11 II



Bruce inherited a Bank saddled with what Tho-
mas has described as a "limited and dependent con-
ception" of its role, its first serious intervention being
necessarily a response to the change in the London
bank-rate in August 1966.
Management measures were not altogether ab-
sent even though the hire purchase regulations (1965)
could hardly have been avoided and even if the Spe-
cial Deposits Accounts which were created in 1968
to facilitate the employment of the excess liquidity
of the banks were special only in some special PNM
sense that, by providing more liquid funds for the
public sector, they duplicated what Treasury Bills
were already doing. Yet, Thomas does applaud the
"considerable improvement" in the administration of
the foreign exchange market in 1969.
Notwithstanding these minor efforts, the overall
performance warrants only condemnation. In 1966,
the bank stood by and watched reserves being lost on
account of excessive credit expansion by the commer
cial banks.
Its policy towards regulation of credit by the
commercial banks has been "largely passive". It has
"refrained from imposing any restrictions for fear of
hampering the competitiveness of the commercial

banking system."On the other hand rigid limits have
been enforced on public sector credit.
Where development in the money markets is
concerned, the Bank's posture has been "largely
defensive", the same being true for discount rate and
exchange rate policies.
In the grim logic of this "dynamic institution in
a dynamic environment", the devaluation of 1967
"was forced onto the Bank". Thomas can scarcely
disguise his horror in making up the scorecard.
It took the February Revolution to force a
more independent and active posture on the Govern-
ment and by extension, on the Bank. The explosion
of social and political protest and the threat which it
posed to the old regime led inevitably to a wholesale
flight of national capital and to a dimunition in the
inflow on the account of foreign investors.
Officials did deny the existence of any such
exchange crisis but unfortunately the statistics do not
help. The figures have been obscured both by deli-
berate official manipulation and by reduction in mer-
chants imports which have prevented our exchange
holdings from showing, up the fight of funds.
In any event, Exchange Regulations were
tightened and extended even to all sterling countries

ive Thomas
Clive Thomas

- a step away from Mr. Robinson's Act of 1964.
Controls were also imposed on the ownership of
foreign currency and the holding of overseas accounts.
Above all, the National Commercial Bank was
established in March to be followed later (1971) by
the Workers' Bank. Nationally owned and controlled
Banks had arrived on the stage at last. We had turned
the clock back (and therefore forward) years.
But did this step mark any advance in PNM
thinking? The evidence we have does not suggest it.
You could see from Mt. ANR Robinson's Commercial
Banking Act that the Government at no time really
believed that national banks were a serious prospect.
There was certainly no appreciation of the possibility
of small street-corner "sou-sou" banks emerging
organically from a "people's sector".
It took a Tapia commentator to propose in
1969 (Express), May 4) that we needed ten-cent
banks and that the State should contribute not by
starting government banks, but by help "possibly in
the form of special Charters and certainly by way of a
reduction in the minimum initial capital stipulated in
the legislation".
The Government absolutely refused to do any-
thing in spite of its promises in the Five Year Plan
and a later announcement suggesting that the Penny
Bank might be encouraged to merge with the Post
Office Savings Bank to provide a base from which to
launch nationals into commercial banking.


Behind the scenes, proposals were being made
to bring in the Bank of Baroda as a partner in this
crucial national effort. No doubt this was appreciated
as another multi-racial, "Bandung", gimmick but
in fact, it was nothing but a shattering vote of no
confidence in the capacity of Trinidadians and
Tobagonians, African, Indian and European to make
it on their own. It was nothing but a recognition of
the complete and total incapacity of the PNM to put
a plan to the nation and to move from there to
This incorrigibly colonial approach has now
produced its best fruit in the colossal blunder which
not only wasted millions in buying a building and
some adding machines from BOLAM in the name of
goodwill, but which has also since saddled us with a
Workers' Bank that is conspicuously a poor-relation.
To top it all, the Penny Bank and the Post
Office Savings Bank, where plenty poor-people have
their navel string bury, have been humiliated, for-
gotten, and relegated to oblivion.
You can see why Barclays has changed from
Dominion Colonial & Overseas to Barclays Trinidad
& Tobago Ltd. and why nationals now own shares in
The Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago while bank-
ing habits survive unaltered.
Such is the perspective for the new society and
the clarion call for a new regime.

* In the new society,
banking must en-
sure that investment
is flowing into those
activities which would
win usfull employment
and activate the full
economic potential in
terms of enterprise,
materials, skill and

I I I i




- -

From Page 7
vices which can readily be obtained by
negotiations with overseas banks and
quite possibly at a cheaper rate; a line of
credit which as net capital exporters
we should not need;and assistance to the
local company to set up a pension fund
which leads one to wonder what is
wrong with the company itself negotiat-
ing a pension plan with insurance com-
panies .
The real shocker comes when the cost
and duration of this contract are ex-
aimed, for they are not fixed, real cat
in bag style. The Bank of Nova Scotia
Trinidad and Tobago Limited will pay
annually such reasonable amount to the
Bank of Nova Scotia as the parties agree
based on the cost of its assistance to the
Bank of Nova Scotia and also on the
profits of the "local" bank.
In the event of a disagreement then
the auditors of the Bank of Nova Scotia
shall decide a reasonable amount and
the local bank must pay it.
The contract can be terminated on
six months' notice by either party, but
should the local bank decide to termi-
nate, then the Bank of Nova Scotia
can require the local Bank to

change its name so as to delete from it
the words "Bank of Nova Scotia" or
Such a contract could be used to
bleed the local company if the Bank of
Nova Scotia so desires at any time for
it can make any charges it wishes and
the appeal is to its own auditors who
have a vested interest in keeping its
Of course, when we note that six
out of the 10 directors of the "localized"
company are Canadian citizens, includ-

ing its Chairman and its General Ma-
nager, it is clear they are (and quite
properly so) concerned with maximising
the profitability of the Bank of Nova
For local interests to become para-
mount, control must be in the hands of
nationals and such contracts must be
terminated forthwith.
Finally, a glance at the directors'
actions dividend-wise over the period
May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973 reveals
that during this time 26 cents per share

was paid out in dividends while for the
first six months of that period, pre-tax
profits were $1,425,812. Since profits
pre-tax were, as shown above, stagnat-
ing, the second half-year's profits were
unlikely to exceed this figuremarkedly.
To be charitable, let us put the
year's pre-taxprofits at $3,250,000. This
amount in the directors' opinion jus-
tified a dividend payment of 26 cents
per share, that is, a dividend yield of
26% based on the issued price of one
dollar per share to -the Bank of Nova
Soctia and their unknown nominees.
The directors now state that if the
company makes pre-tax profits of $4.5
million, they would recommend a divi-
dend yield of 8% based on the offer
price of two dollars per share.
"Lucky" shareholders should go in
force to the annual general meeting of
the company. They should demand
from the directors a full explanation of
their apparent solicitude for the financial
well-being of the Bank of Nova Scotia and
their nominees.
They should find out why our bene-
factors are prepared to treat local share-
holders so harshly.

The Workers' Bank creates local bank- 9 M 25 year mortgage period. This is very
ing history with their new Home Owner- iA likely less than what you're payingin
ship Plan for people paying rent and rent and installments. Home Owner-
installments like the Jones. If like the ship Plan Accounts can be tailored
Jones, you're earning more than $650. to your special circumstances for
monthly, individually or jointly, homes (furnished, if desired) ranging in
you also may qualify for a loan of $25,000 to build .value between $17,500 and $30,000.
$28.63 weekly (or $124.09 monthly) for two short l u
years. The Jones' loan (or mortgage) repayments ship Plan Accounts are available. Come
are $44.84 weekly (or $194.34 monthly) for the in to see us for the full details of how to
own your own home in two years.

.where your money works harder for you.



ESTABLISH a commercial
banking division within the
Central Bank of Trinidad &
Tobago. For the purpose com-
bine the National Commercial
Bank, the Workers Bank, the
Penny Bank and the Post Office
Savings Bank.

PUSH FOR full localisation of
the system of money and bank-
ing by giving notice of inten-
tion to withdraw operating
licences from all metropolitan
branch banks, insurance com-
panies and hire-purchase houses
by end of 1975. Make support-
ing exchange control effective.

PREPARE for a rationalisation
of commercial banking into
three distinct sectors:
Household ,& Mortgage
Banking to deal in Hire-
purchase, Pensions & In-
surance, House and Land,
Pawnbroking and Other Con-
sumer credit. Also in Friend-
ly Society, Credit Union and
Co-operative Finance.

Trade Banking to deal in
short-term finance imports,
exports, and particularly
internal trade.
Industrial Banking to em-
brace the IDC, the DFC and
the ADB in one unit. Equip
this unit to deal in long-term
SHAKE-UP the Central Bank,
repudiate the neo-colonial
legacy of ANR Robinson's
legislation, introduce compe-
tent staff and place relations
with the IMF and the London
money market on a completely
clinical basis no intimacy.
Prepare for radical policies to'
make money our servant and
not our master.
Acceptance House and Clear-
ing Agency with branches in
London, New York, Toronto,
Brussels, Delhi, Lagos and
Nairobi. Prepare for inde-

31-10-1967 2.706 1.816
31-10-1968 1.449 1.129
31-10-1969 1.985 1.617
31-10-1970 2.522 2.326
31-10-1971 2.971 2.834
30-4-1972 2.708 2.251 *
31-10-1972 2.427* 2.139*
Computed on a 12 months basis.


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Look and Listen
\______________ _____ ,__________

WHEN I spoke to Michael Anthony last year at the end of a
lecture he gave at a branch ot the Central Library in Princes
Town, I found his response edgy and slightly annoying,
but I was asking edgy and slightly annoying questions. He
did agree with me though, when I said that "The Games
Were Coming" was his best novel to date.
He might also agree with me when I say that his collection
"Sandra Street" and other stories, contains a warmth and genuine-
ness of feeling that rescues it from banality and at the same time
makes it instructive and entertaining for children.
This small collection of nine stories, many of which first
appeared in BIM, is published in the Heinemann Secondary Readers
series, and is aimed at third and fourth form students of secondary
schools. The collection is illustrated by Richard Kennedy who spoils
his good work by giving all the boys in hisillustrations the same face.
The soft covers of Sandra Street and other stories might well
have to be changed because of the grossly inaccurate statement made

by the editor, or at least made
with the editor's approval. I am
referring to the statement that,
"many (stories) take place in
the Trinidadian village of Maya-
ro, where The Year in San
Fernando is set". Although the
writer of those notes states in
his exaggerated manner that
The Year in San Fernando is a
"world famous novel", he cer-
tainly has not read it. For
those who have not read An-
thony's second novel, The Year
in San Fernando, is set in San


Writing for children requires
a genuine feeling for and belief
in both the child's world and in
the child's future. Given the
general feeling of uncertainty,
hopelessness and disillusion
example by the writings of
our writers, few of them can
write for children. Even Andrew
Salkey when writing for child-
ren cannot break out of'the ring
of foreboding and disaster. The
titles of his books for children
are Hurricane and Earthquake,
very revealing indeed.
Mr. Anthony must have a
quiet confidence in the future
which many of us don't have,
for his output of stories for
children is increasing. So far,
his stories are not rewrites of
folk tales, or the simplification
of West Indian history, but
usually the heart-warming re-
cording of growing up as ex-
perienced by the very young,
Sandra Street and other
stores, is a frank and simple
recording of growing up, of
observing, of becoming aware
of people and things, and of
the nuances of emotion that
such a process of expanding
awareness introduces,


The overall pattern for most
of the stories is set by the title
story "Sandra Street", This is
a story about a teacher, Mr.
Blades, and his attempt to get
his class to write about their
environment. It is an attempt
to get children to appreciate the
beauty behind the superficial
squalor, and the beauty of the
natural vegetation. As Mr.
Blades says cuttingly to one of
his students, "There is some-
thing called observation",
Seven of the stories stress
the importance of observation
of place and of self, whether it
be the close observation of
Calcutta Street by a boy on his
way to school as in "Enchanted

'An attempt to make children appreciate the beauty of vegetation ..

told her how terrified he had
been and how he swam down to
the bottom to scape, but he
could not. And even at the top
he could not. For the hands
were everywhere. The hands
with the million ting holes. He


Alley" or the story of Peeta
the carite and his tragic end.
"The Precious Corn" and "The
Day of the Fearless" both de-
viate radically from the general
I will now quote two pas-
sages fromthe story "The Valley
Of Cocoa" which illustrate
Anthony's message.

Months passed, and more and
more I grew fed up with the
valley. I felt a certain resent-
ment growing inside me. Resent-
ment for everything around, for
Father, for the silly labourers;
even for Wills, for the cocoa
trees, for the hills that impri-
soned me night and day. I grew
sullen and sick and miserable,
tired of it all. (p. 22)


That is how Kenneth feels
before the man from Port of
Spain comes and spends a day
with the family and points out
the beauty of Kenneth's envi-
ronment to him and then
Kenneth begins to love the
.*. He said he liked it here,
quiet and nice, As life wis meant
to be. Then his eyes wandered
off to the green cocoa again,
and the immortelles, and here
at the river, and up again to our
house n the hill, And he smiled
sadly and said that he wished
he was Father, living here .
It was strange being so near
those trees, Before I had only
known they were there and had
watched them from the house,
but now I was right in the
middle of them, and touching
them,, (p, 24)

Kenneth begins to observe
and the valley of cocoa comes
The writer of stories for
children must be able to create
a world of fantasy in which his
readers can believe. The under,
water world of Peeta the carite
as described by Anthony is real
and gripping. Here is Peeta
telling his mother of his escape
from the large net of the fisher-

He told her how he was just
playing and how very suddenly
M found himself against the
geat hands of the Monster, He

told her how there were hun-
dreds of others caught like him,
even the killer shark... And he
told her how the great hands
had closed gradually around
them and pushed them all to-
gether, and how they were all

frightened and desperate, even
the killer shark. He told her
how the breakers had pounded
over them and how they were
dragged on the sands of the
shore and how he had actually
heard the voices of the shore.
Then he told her how he had
flung himself desperately against
one of the holes, while the
threads cut him and the pain
shot through him, but how he
had discovered himself free at
last in the wide ocean. (p 37).

The stories "Hibiscus" and
"Cricket in the Road", while
sticking to the general pattern
of growing awareness and ob-
servation, introduce more com-
plex emotions which teachers
will have to explain carefully.
I would have liked to see more
follow up ideas and some com-
prehension type questions.
Anyway, all children will enjoy
reading the nine stories.



Ste OF SPAIN hens







The people are the only




IMAGINE that there.oc-
curred a rising among the
people and The February
Revolution achieved its
final consummation; that
we were able for the first
time in more than a decade
_to put in office a govern-
ment decent, honest and

*i -

Such a government would
look with shame on the hill-
sides of our ':city, ,hillsides
from which, as the poet Walcott
once put it, to come down is
to ascend. It wouldsquirmwith
embarrassment if any of its

Ministers, not least the Minis-
ter of Housing or the Minister
of Health and Local Govern-
ment or the Prime Minister,
had to drive without outriders
along the Eastern Main Road
and witness all those orphan
townships thrown up on the
Northern Range, "without
identity, without a name".

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Such a Government would
have inherited a legacy of un-
qualified abominations, left
behind by the PNM regime. To
survive it would need to make
a revolutionary breakaway
from conventional manners of
It would straightway:have
to gather the: multitude and:
declare that we the people are,
the only master builders; that.:
without our unequivocal com-
mitment to the task of re-
constriution, there would be
nothing that the Government
could do, save announce in-
tentions in another Five Year
Such a Government would
invite the people to embark on
the adventure of restoring
beauty to our land, of joining
our hands together to forge one
nation out of our many peoples
and to create out of nature's
gifts a place where the spirit of
that nation could rejoice in
peace and love.

"All these islands," said
Columbus, "are very beautiful
and distinguished by a diversity
of scenery filled with a
great variety of trees of im-
mense height blossoming
. and all flourishing in the
greatest perfection the
nightingale and various birds
. singing in countless num-
bers extensive fields and
meadows mountains of
great size and beauty, vast
plains, groves and fruitful fields,
admirably adapted for tillage,
pasture and habitation .."
We, the new natives of the
Carib islands,are the legitimate
heirs to this paradise. If only
we could recapture that long
forgotten vision of a land ad-
mirably adapted for habitation
and start to build afresh! A
revolutionary government of
the people would begin with
housing. Once we are organised,
.wrote TAPIA No 20 (1971),
"housing is the top priority".





IT WOULD have been a disappoint-
ment for those looking for a political
movie in the tradition of "Z". Direc-
tor Fred Zinnemann has clearly
eschewed politicalambiguity to present
us with what is more in line with the
genre of the suspense thriller.
For all that, "The Day of the
Jackal" manages only to be a piece of
good professional workmanship, and
in the end, like its protagonist, must
be judged a failure.
Having chosen to be an elaborate de-
tective thriller, the film still fails to achieve
those heights of nail-biting suspense which a
production like "The Spy Who Came in from
the Cold" does while at the same time
exploring the political and bureaucratic
intriguewhich attends the world of espionage.
Admittedly, the Jackal is not a spy. But
if, as is suggested, his past victims include
"that man in the Congo" (Lumumba?) and
Trujillo, clearly he knows
enough about politics to be *
able to ply his deadly trade in
that tricky milieu. *****


He is sufficiently shrewd
to judge that the OAS is a
thoroughly infiltrated organi-
sation, desperate and fanatical
enough to cough up the
$500,000 he demands. But in
the end he is a hired killer and
a supremely professional one.
To his credit, Zinneman
never allows this professional- gadgetry
ism to degenerate to the level The
of gimmickry the Jackal's .sided col
gun may be a marvel of en- in the s]
gineering, even doubling up as the art
a crutch, but it's always treated nerveless
functionally there is none of shooter.
that James Bond delight in Behir

De Gaulle (Adrian Cayla-Legand) takes salute at Liberation Day



for its own sake.
Jackal's is a many-
mpetence which takes
kills of a pick-pocket,
of a forger and the
accuracy of a sharp-

nd these are a massive

intelligence which takes its
possessor to the British Museum
to research De Gaulle's politic-
al style, and a total amorality:
which not only allows him to
sleep with bored matron and an
accommodating homosexual
in quick succession, but also

allows him to murder them both
in cold blood shortly after the
In the end it takes an
equally uncompromising pro-
fessionalism to undo the Jackal.
It is that of the Deputy Com-
missioner of Police, "the best

detective in France", who is
interpid enough to tap the
phones of his political superiors
in his single-minded pursuit
of the would-be assassin.
Because of this indiscretion
he is called off the chase, but
only long enough for all con-
cerned to realize that without
him the Jackal won't be caught.
Ultimately, his fanatical at-
tention to detail wins through.


At the last moment, when
it seems that nothing or no one
could elude the elaborate
security precautions laid down
for the Liberation Day cere-
monies, he makes one final
check just to satisfy his nagging
doubt. And the policeman tells
him that he has allowed one
crippled veteran, looking ill
for all the excitement, to pass
through the cordon in order to
get to his flat in the attic of a
nearby building.
But the film does little to
evoke the atmosphere of Paris
at the time, with France at the
end of a long colonial war,
political life factious and un-
certain and with the sinister
backdrop of the OAS and their
secret plots. Because of this
the scenes of the meetings of
the Security chiefs seem to
lack a real sense of urgency.
But more than that, this
lack of a political context robs
the film of the dimension that
would have made it really
memorable. First rate screen
entertainment, perhaps, but
not a cinematic classic. (A.H.)



From Page 3
TV sets, fridges etc on their
"I don't worry about ex-
pensive and not expensive
again, nuh. When I have money,
what I want to buy I does
buy", one spender told me the
other day.
The same man wants to get
married but he can't see him-
self doing it "unless I have $2
to $3,000 in my pocket as a
It seems that we need

literally to wear the evidence of
our getting somewhere in life
on us. We must blossom out in
"threads" and step out on
Well, perhaps we can live
in the evidence too, and marshal
our savings towards full em-
ployment before the apoca-
lyptic 1983 date.
And perhaps we can elimi-
nate the dangerous distinction
between "spenders" and seek-
ers" of bread, all at the same

for the

that is the programme
platform on which I


From Page 4
tis, typhoid, cholera, the
plague .
Old-fashion toilets are one
thing when the population is
largely tied to agriculture and
tho land; it is quite another
when everybody is hopping
taxis into Port of Spain, into
schools and sporting grounds
and every conceivable kind of
public place.
The state of water and
toilet facilities in the nation
as a whole is deplorable but in
the country areas it is an abo-
mination. The disparity is a


in the


thing in itself, and a political
thing too, besides.
In the three most rural
areas, only 17% of accommo-
dation units had taps within
the house whereas in Port of
Spain 51% had this facility. In
San Fernando, always,for some
reason,ahead, thefigure was 75%.
Those who keep preaching

how developed an "MDC" Tri-
nidad and Tobago is should
note that almost 50% of the
housing units in the city itself
are without water taps in the
Nearly 20% of the sanitary
facilities are still not water
borne unless we have had a
miracle since 1966.
In the rural areas, 90%
depend on roadside standpipes
for their water supply and
80% of the units have toilet
facilities devoid of running
water. In Caroni the latter
figure is 90%, in Tobago,
over 80%.

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From Page 2
components would have to be
imported? Could we develop
substitutesin the home environ-
ment? What research and de-
velopment facilities would be
These questions are already
being posed and answered by
the town planners and the
architects. Presumably their ad-
vice has not been finding any
In the Architects' Journal
1970, Anthony Lewis suggests
a 3-bedroom, 5-person family
house of 1,000 sq ft on a plot
1,500 sq ft leaving 500 sq ft of
He rejects the concept of
"land development"as "nothing
but ambiguity, equivocation,
uncertain standards, emphasis
and perhaps artificial accept-


We are wary of his notion
of "low-cost housing" as dis-
tinct from any other kind:
Tapia is interested only in
housing adequate to our needs
and our circumstances and an
adequate house is adequate for
any citizen.
But we are intrigued by
Lewis' demonstration that land
development costs could be
kept very low if we simply
adopted communal garages,
shortened, narrowed and eli-
minated street space where use-
ful, and facilitated cheaper in-
stallation of such basic services
-as sewerage, electricity, water,
The vision is exciting be-
cause it logically embraces the
idea of settlements organised
as communities with their own
food gardens and their own
individuality, their own style
in relation to their particular
industrial preoccupations and
their natural landscape. In a
country as small as ours with
its particular topography, the
imagination can play on the
entire scenario.

ceivable form of organisation
including gayap, complete the
The programme would be
manifestly labour-intensive,
opening the way to a large-
scale attack on unemployment.
The bottlenecks would ob-
viously be in finance and skill.
A precondition to the suc-
cess of the scheme is therefore
the organisation of a mortgage
market and the establishment
of a system of apprenticeship
and training both at the pro-

fessional and artisan level.
In other words, financial
reform will have to cmne as a
matter of course so as to in-
crease and redirect the flow of
savings into housing. Jack By-
noe has argued for longer amor-
tization periods based more on
the durability of the house and
less on the life expectancy of
the individual.
An increase in the fund of
skills will also have to come
bringing a rationalisation of the
aimless youth camp and small

business programmes on which
we are now frittering away
many millions. .
A massive attack on hous-
ing now would demand a mo-
bilization of all the architects,
surveyors, lawyers and other
professionals needed for the
success of the scheme and
would expose the kinds of ap-
prenticeship and training pro-
grammes appropriate to the
nation's needs.
Above all, it would bring a
rationalisation of the artisan
trades: electricians, plumbers,
joiners, painters carpenters, etc,
would all have to be organised
in Technical institutes,

equipped with management in-
formation, supplied with ap-
prentices and tools if chaos is
to be avoided in the housing
Again the whole pro-
grammes of Junior Secondary
and Vocational schools will
begin to acquire focus, rele-
vance and point.
Above all, a target of
10,000 houses a year would
permit the country to plan its
industrial programme. At the
moment the economy is not
planned at all because petro-
leum is at the centre of the

Continued on Back Page

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11110.1 lum
A044X WIT".--


We would need to think
through what we want for
coast and valley, hill and plain
and that of course depends on
the policies we have for sugar,
foodcrops, tree crops, etc etc.
But the underlying conception
is clear enough.
Once we begin to relate to
the environment and its possi-
bilities in this way, design and
technique are to be seen in a
different light. The objective
must be to activate materials,
skills and powers that we pos-
sess inside the nation, and to
place pressure on people to
increase the supplies.
The Tapia target of 10,000
houses therefore envisages some
kind of core-housing at the
base of the entire programme,
a certain degree of pre-fabrica-
tion and a heavy dependence on
home materials.
The strategy must be to
equip 10,000householders with
a core structure, out of mass
produced materials and to let
private labour, in every con-

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U.Soj. 9Y 4A


Lesson 1-




FROM being a bird
lover and a bird-cage
maker, Carly became a
dog lover and a hunting
devotee. This change
come, as we told last
week, when Carly got a
gift of two hunting dogs
from his friend and bene-
factor, William De Freitas.
Carly, now had to
break out his two beagles.
.Of course, breaking out
his dogs also meant break-
ing himself in. The ini-
tiation was probably
.easier for the dogs than
for the man:.
For his dogs hunting came
naturally. Their training con-
sisted largely in letting them
loose with De Freitas' ex-
perienced hounds and ac-
quainting them with boost
and call sounds. Carly had to
learn to boost and call his


"Boosting" in hunting
jargon means making a bugle-
like sound with the mouth
to spur dogs into following
up a hot scent. "Calling" is
encouraging dogs to give up
a chase. Calling may simply
take the form of making a
"yah, yah" sound, blowing a
cow's horn or blowing into
the barrel of a cracked gun.
Carly soon learnt that
beagles were not suitable for
all kinds of hunts. They were
best suited for hunting gouti
and lap.
Certain species of dogs



are better suited for hunting
certain animals, and even
dogs of the same breed hunt
differently. Some are "cold
trailers" picking up scent
from a trail. Others are
"draft pullers" picking up
scent from the air. Some dogs
prefer to hunt in the day
than at night, so that knowing
your dog is critical.
However the key differ-
ence is the wide variance in
stamina and endurance be-
tween species. Of the local
dogs the foxhound has the
greatest durability and he will
chase his quarry for as much
as 24 hours.


The pothound or com-
mon dog, on the other hand,
will give up chase after 30
minutes, and at best he can
only junt tattoo and mani-
cou, animals which the sea-
soned hunter takes no delight
in catching. The beagle hound
has reasonable staying power:
he has a sixteen hour endu-
These three dogs are the
main species found locally. In
order to go one up on his
fellow hunters De Freitas im-
ported four breeds, a grey-
hawk, a Blackhawk, a Mark
Sand a King Fisher, all
specially bred for hunting.
Like all foreign experts,
imported dogs had to be
acclimatised to local condi-
tions and they were subjected
to a similar training pro-
gramme as Carly's beagles.
Nevertheless those four
dogs brought De Freitas great
fame in hunting circles.
Carly still boasts that he
now owns their descendants.

hunts deer.

,____________-________ ..-
Ruthven Baptiste What we didn't urge then but we can
say now, is that there is no good reason why
RAIN CAME but it didn't wash out balls and boots (suitable to national condi-
the opening of the Eddie Hart Football tions, of course) cannot be manufactured
League last Sunday, August 5. It seemed locally.
as if the St Mary's Children's Home The drag brothers, shoemakers and car-
as if te St Marys Chilrens Hoe nival costume builders have ably demon-
Band was calling wolf as it played strated their skills.
"Rainorama" to the accompaniment Merely to supply the national market for
of a slight drizzle and heavy overcast these commodities can provide jobs for hun-
skies. dreds.

It was a relief to see a march past
blending formality with informality,
at the same time not seeking to hide
the harsh socio-economic realities of
the times. As the picture above shows
the league's under 15 champions of last
year Gaylettes, used the occasion to
to highlight the high cost of playing
football, one placard bearer even posed
the question, "armed revolution," Ed-
die Hart is at centre.
We have urged in Tapia Vol 3 No. 24
that "boots should be given the boot". Boots
are much too expensive and uncomfortable
for the hard grounds we have throughout
this country.

If things continue as they are now, then
armed revolution won't be satirically posed -
it would be the stark reality.
So was a "Trinidad style" opening, as
the invitation promised. The marchers past,
not pretending to have military training but
jumping to the calypso rhythms of the St.
Mary's Home band, Carib Tokyo and Catelli
All Stars.
The march past was followed by a
match between the league's top two under
15 teams, Gaylettes and Fulham. In another
game, representative league team opposed
Point Fortin Civic Centre.
Fulham won their match two-nil from
Gaylettes and the representative league team
won their match by a similar margin.

House end land_ The keynote of out revolution

From Page 15
entire apparatus of production
and nobody in Trinidad knows
anything about or controls the
levers of petroleum.
We have calculated some
of the materials and furnish-
ings required for 10,000 hous-
ing units of 16,00 sq ft each,
averaging two and a half bed-
rooms. The results can be trans-
lated into a bill of goods on
tender, representing demands
for industrial output and there-
fore opportunities for indus-

trial expansion with growing
income and employment.
For example, the cement
required would involve an in-
crease in cement output from
about 5 million bags annually
now to over 15 million bags.
That can be translated into
the whole set of operations
involved in expanding or du-
plicating the existing cement
plant, into a set of investment
and financial decisions, a set of
policy directives and political
perspectives in regard to na-

tionalisation, localisation, in
respect of the use of foreign
exchange, and so on.
That exercise will have to
be conducted many times over
for all the materials, fittings
and furnishings. Hardboard,
timber, aluminium, carpeting,
curtain textiles, plugs, pipe,
,radios, etc.
Targets of industrial out-
put will emerge, perspectives,
on productive capacity needed,
estimates of investment and
capital, calculations of man-

Printed by Tapia House Printing Co. Ltd., for Tapia Houge Publishing Co. Ltd., 91

power in the light of alterna-
tive techniques and so on.
This is what internally-
propelled growth and develop-
ment would mean because we
would be forced tochoosethe
equipment, the techniques, the
designs; to allocate scarce re-
sources, to phase and sequence
decisions which we are making
now only in a very haphazard
way if at all.
One effect of adopting such
a plan would be to rationalise
the brain-drain in the sense that
Tunapuna Rd. Phone: 662-5126

only the reactionaries who are
abandoning Trinidad and To-
bago for money would continue
to run to North America and
Those who have been leav-
ing because of lack of pur-
poseful direction to our econo-
mic and social life would be
turned on in a way they have
never been.
We will discover the citi-
zens who really love this coun-
try and are prepared to give
their all to save it.