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FOR THE STUDY f. ,- N
,.162 EAST 7 Mr
AND 'R ELATEW
1I I I
LI 't ta, ..... ... ....
FROM THE time that
Shellane got scarce we sus-
pected;now we know. Shell
has been guilty of "gross,
calculated and sustained
disregard of the public
Coming like a Godsend,
plumb in the middle of the
worldwide energy crisis,
the Towle Report, has
,-ripped the veil of uncer-
tainty surrounding the
housewife pro-gas crisis.
God works in mysterious
ways his wonders to per-
After 17 years the PNM
is only now mouthing talk
about nationalising the
Let Williams and Prevatt
first establish their independ-
ence by taking Shell to court.
Tapia say cite we and relate
we; we ready to swear them
Dr. Towle himself states:
"If Shell is obligated by law to
serve customers' needs, there
are sufficient grounds, I believe,
for prosecution for violation of
law. The circumstances and
evidence, suggest a gross, cal-
culated and sustained disregard
of the public interest".
The Report has found that
Shell has deliberately cut back
on its pro-gas supply; that the
shortage is entirely the result of
manipulation; that the Com-
pany has failed to use its
transport in an optimum re-
sponsible fashion; that, while
the housewives have been
scrunting, surplus gas has had
to be thrown away in Pointe-a-
It has shown that Shell has
now engineered itself and the
country into a position where
the use of the barge in the
Swamp may be necessary for
an interim period if we are to
meet total peak demand during
the important holiday season.
It is the lowest criminal
dodge, aimed to show Williams
who is boss.
Pro- gas thrown
Shell has already made it
clear to Chambers that they do
not favour the Government's
Now they intend to press
for Shellane price increases and
a deposit system for cylinders.
They want taxpayers to sub-
sidise the new scheme for dis-
tributing Shellane with accele-
rated depreciation allowances
for the Sea Lots installations
and for the notorious Pelican
Or they will force us to give
them their way in regard to use
of the Caroni Swamp.
Taria say not a blast.
BReak up the multinational
Give OWTU a share in
management. Insist on national
management and control.
Do not let them get their
capital out until we have been
compensated for the milking
over the years.
1. Shell's present supply of Liquid Gas from Texaco's
Pointe-a-Pierre Refinery will shortly be cut off.
2. There is a shortage of Liquid Gas at Pointe-a-
3. Shell is having trouble with (transport) bridgers.
4. The bridge system is inadequate.
5. Shell cannot supply enough to bridge operations
from Pointe-a-Pierre to meet local daily needs (current
6. Shell has cut down on bridge operations.
7. Workers have been told by management to go slow,
make only two runs not three, no overtime, let the short-
ages build up.
8. Shell has cut out an early morning start by one of
the drivers who lives near Pointe-a-Pierre by requiring
him to leave the truck at Cunupia overnight, even though
empty, and to go back the next morning to pick it up
9. Texaco has been throwing away (burning) liquid
gas for lack of storage since the Shell cutback.
10. Shell is switching its source of supply to Point
Fortin from Pointe-a-Pierre for "internal economic
11. Shell has come honest and straight and said that
one reason for the shortage is that they are losing money
on each pound sold and they do not want to lose more
in paying overtime.
12. There exists evidence to suggest a gross calculated
and sustained disregard of the public interest.
...Shell barge at centre of the controversy
Tapia is coming straight
from the shoulder because we
know where Shell is at. Having
used every trick to beat this
country into submission, they
are now trying to prevent the
facts from coming to light.
Shell have been anxious
not to have the information
contained in the Towle Report
published for public scrutiny.
By direct request, or in-
directly, through delaying tac-
tics, they have sought to re-
TRUE NOT TRUE DOUBTFUL
.strain. TAPIA from making the
And this, above all, leads
us to suspect another example
of the tendency' of these cor-
porations to settle important
issues behind closed doors.
But Shell should know that
TAPIA has always condemned
behind the scenes manoeuvres
on public matters which keep
the population out of the
If Shell has a statement of
their own to make, let them
use their publicity machinery
and we will be ready as in the
past, to open our columns to
any material that promotes
When the Express merely
said that the shortage resulted
from an internal policy deci-
sion, Point Fortin immediately
responded with a writ.
And last Thursday near
press time Shell called i APIA
asking us not to pubL.li the
report, but refused to give any
statement challeeiin.iig the find-
ings, claiming ,ihey were not
ready to do so at the time.
However, the Towle report
has been in circulation at least
since Saturday, December 15,
when the Express pub!iihed a
story based on it. Sine. then
Shell made no pubihl attempt
to refute what the governmnent-
commissioned consultant said.
TAPIA therefore considers
it our duty to make public the
unchallenged in forima tin in our
possession as a meanis of ex-
posing an example of the mani-
pulations of the multinational
corporations whose present
style of operations here we have
Tapia says deal with these
multinational bullies now.
I I- ~L
I I '1 '
SUNDAY DESCEMBI~k.4a, i,'73
Vol. 3 No. 51
Llesf d mni S-
SUNDAY DECEMBER 23, 1973
Blue River LPG
THERE HAS been a run-
ning battle between various
groups of citizens and Shell
Trinidad Ltd., and many
people have since felt the
effect by way of shortages
of propane gas and kero-
TAPIA reproduces in
this paper part of the text
of a report which, if any-
thing, focuses on the main
issue, and that is: the stand
which we must take as a
people in the face of the
arrogant abuse of power
by Shell and the conni-
vance of this PNM govern-
The Blue River Action
Committee, a consortium of
non-political groups, has over
,the last few months argued
that Shell's use of the Caroni
Swamp bore no relation what-
soever to the good of the
people of this country. The
Committee has had negotia-
tions with the Government and
with Shell over the proposed
operations of a barge through
the heart of the Caroni Swamp.
Their stand, which we have
endorsed, is that there is a
between industrial activity in
this part of the Swamp and
wise use of this valued natural
As a result of the nego-
tiations between the Group,
Shell Trinidad Ltd. and Mr.
Prevatt, the Government un-
dertook to seek the opinion of
Dr. E.L. Towle, a highly
qualified foreign consultant.
What with air fares, hotel ac-
commodation, expenses, and,
of course, consultants' fees,
tax payers must have spent
anything like $7,000 for this
All those people who are
,party to this legitimate protest
have stated that the current
shortage of propane gas is in
no way related to the use of the
Blue River by Shell. They have
charged that the current short-
age is an artificially induced
one, deliberately engineered by
the company to apply pressure
to Government so as to achieve
that company's aim.
Dr. Towle who has endorsed
that position had the benefit of
free access to a full range of
data, not only from the protest
groups but also from Shell,
some of its competitors and
various Government Ministries.
The consultant acknowledges
in his report that there is a
strong feeling of distrust and
hostility directed towards Shell
and Government and that the
people of this country are not
prepared to accept any special
arrangements with Shell with-
out absolute guarantees that
steps are taken to protect our
interests. This of course is
nothing new to us.
Even more damning in Dr.
Towle's report his view that there
are sufficient grounds for
prosecution of Shell Trinidad
Ltd. forviolation of the law to
which HATT has referred.
What is more, the report says
that Shell is deliberately mani-
pulating an issue, using every
form of pressure, to get Go-
vernment's agreement to a fur-
ther price increase burden on
One tragic aspect of this
sordid affair is that the con-
sultant has reported to Go-
vernment that Texaco Trinidad
Inc. has had to burn off excess
propane which would normally
have gone to consumers via
Now that the report has
been submitted Prevatt does
not seem to be prepared to
accept and implement the re-
commendations.The Blue River
Action Committee was invited
to comment on the report and
they have accepted the report
and have endorsed particularly
What Prevatt now wants is
to discard the report and to
reopen the issue, taking us back
to September 1973. Will tax
payers have to continue bring-
ing in consultants until one
produces a report which will
suit the objectives of Shell and
its Cabinet stooges?
Findings from the
WIDESPREAD feeling that the entire barge issue would
not have arisen if the Government had acted more expedi-
tiously to declare the Caroni Swamp a National Park.
WIDESPREAD hostility to Shell as a multi-national
DISTRUST of the Government's ability to control Shell
CONCERN over the unpredictable environmental impact
of the barge operation upon both the Scarlet Ibis and the
A BROAD BASE of public sentiment for keeping the
Shell barge out of the Central Caroni Swamp.
UNIVERSAL distrust of any "permit" or "arrangement"'
for Shell to use the barge.
A DEMAND for the original deal to be replaced by a
new one defining the Swamp as a park, instituting proper
controls over short-term use of the barge, and committing
Shell to an alternative supply route.
& Family loaf
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RETURN TO: Tapia House Publishing Co. Ltd,
91, Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna Phone 662-5126
Trinidad & Tobago
I- I' -
PAGE 2 TAPIA
SUNDAY DECEMBER 23, 1973
ma I Is I ala
EXCEPT FROM THE FINAL
REPORT T ON THE CARONI
SWAMP, BLUE RIVER, SHELL
LPG BARGE CONTROVERSY
By Dr. E.L. Towle, Consultant
There is a broad base of
public sentiment for keeping
the Shell LPG barge out of the:
central Caroni Swamp. There is
also widespread hostility to
Shell, as a multi-national cor-
poration, distrust of govern-
ment's ability to "control" or
"regulate" Shell, concern over
the unpredictable environmental
impact of the barge operation
upon both the Scarlet Ibis and
the Caroni ecosystem, and, last-
ly, widespread feeling that had
the government proceeded more
expeditiously to declare the
Caroni a National Park, (giving
it more protection), the entire
barge issue would not have
There is universal distrust of
any "permit" or "arrangement"
for Shell to use the barge on
the Blue River, without simul-
1. that the Caroni Swamp
will be declared to be and will
.be developed as a National Park
(see section II);
2. that the original permit
to Shell is null and void or
Shell voluntarily relinquish the
permit in the light of paragraph
3. that safeguards and con-
trols will be implemented to.
regulate any interim emergency,
short-term permit given to Shell
for temporary use of the Blue
River to supplement LPG de-
livery to its Cunupia filling
4. that Shell is committed
to make other arrangements for
an alternative supply route (see
C. The alleged local current
LPG shortage is entirely the
result of manipulation of its
bridge operation by Shell and
has not occurred because Shell
could not operate the barge.
Shell has deliberately cut back
on its entire bulk supply pro-
cedure from Pointe-a-Pierre, and
any shortage that exists can be
traced to these internal de-
cisions taken by Shell and its
failure to use its bridgers and
rigids (tank trucks) in an opti-
mum, responsible fashion.
If Shell is obligated by law
to serve customers' needs, there
are sufficient grounds, I believe,
for prosecution for violation of
that law. The circumstances and
evidence suggest a gross, calcu-
lated, and sustained disregard of
the public interest.
D. Shell has, through its own
actions, placed itself (and its
distributors and customers) in
a situation where the combina-
tion of backlogged orders, em-
pty tanks, cylinders and bottles,
the Christmas demand, and the
seasonal requirements of the
tobacco industry may now re-
quire the use of the barge for an
interim period to meet the total
immediate peak demand. This
would not now be the case, had
Shell acted responsibly in op-
timising its use of bridgers over-
. .-. '
THE, ..C BG E Ei.ANRI.. NH I
THE ARON ARGE SL I Dt. ...-
THE CARONI BARGE SHELLPELICAN RIDES AT ANCHOR IN
the past several months.
E. Shell appears to be attempt-
ing to link its alleged shortage
and the barge problem with its
pending request for a price
increase and deposit system for
the cylinders. Mr. Ali, of Shell,
asserts that Shell's cutback on
bridge operations and driver
overtime is "because it is losing-
money" under the current pri-
F. There is absolutely no short-
age of LPG at the Texaco
iPointe-a-Pierre refinery source
and no evidence to support
Shell's repeated assertion to
this consultant that its source
of supply at Pointe-a-Pierre was
likely to be cut off at any
time. Naturally, the current
Middle East crisis could cut
crude sources and reduce both
Shell and Texaco's refinery
total output but this is beside
the point and an irrelevancy to
the case in question.
G. Shell does not buy the LPG
directly from Texaco but has
or had some complex "swap"
arrangement involving Shell
transport of some Texaco crude
stock or products (which is not
clear). This "arrangement" does
appear to have just run out or
terminated and negotiations are
apparently underway for re-
newal. Shell's negotiating posi-
tion, vis-a-vis Texaco re LPG
obviously would be stronger
if it had the option of "buying"
its own LPG from its own
refinery at Point Fortin to
Cunupia. A subtle leveraging
factor may be at the root of
H. The Conservation Group has
indicated its willingness to go
along with a temporary permit
for Shell's LPG barge operation
on the Blue River to'Cunupia
if, and only if,
1. Government makes an
announcement confirming the
National Park status of the
Central and Western Caroni
2. A true holiday period
shortage exists, and bridgers
.operate on an accelerated day-
3. Shell publicly commits
itself to an alternative transport
4. Barge trips are kept to
minimum (by full simultaneous
use of the bridgers), never ex-
ceed three trips week per and
are monitored by a responsible
independent government team
which will have authority to
terminate barge operations if
I. Shell has indicated its will-
ingness to devise an alternative
supply scheme via Sea Lots (see
Section III) if given time and
some government assistance in
the form of a tax break (i.e.,
accelerated depreciation on its
additional investment of approx-
imately $400,000 and possibly
on the barge).
J. Action Recommended:-
1. Ministry to request Shell
to operate its bridgers as before
with a minimum of three, pre-
ferably four trips per day (day-
light hours) plus a change to
six days per week (Texaco will
open plant on Saturdays on
request, no extra charges).
NOTE: Six trips per day, six
days a week will move 108,000
lbs. ofLPG per week
2. Ministry to ask Shell to
document its need for more
than 108,000 lbs. per week.
NOTE: Shell spokesman in-
dicated maximum peak load is
106,000 lbs. per week and Shell
also has two 1,500 gallon rigf:'
tank trucks to supplement i::
above and handle the toba": .,.
3. Ministry to recommn1
that Shell acquire, at the earlier.
possible date, a third bridge i
4. If Shell can document a
need under (2) above (dou'
ful), and expresses an interest
in using barge to transport LPG
from Point Fortin (supplement-
ary to or in lieu of Pointe-a-
a) get a commitment from
Shell for the Sea Lots transfer
facility for LPG;
b) get a commitment from
Cabinet on the Caroni National
c) prepare with relevant
ministry or ministries, a 90-day
permit to Shell (as outlined
elsewhere in this report);
d) call a meeting of Shell
and Conservation Group rep-
resentatives to approve a-press
release announcing resolutions
of the problem and containing:-
i) Shell's decision to seek
alternative supply route
using the barge via Sea
Lots (or equivalent);
ii) assure the public that
adequate supplies of gas
will be available for the
iii) Government endorsement
of National Park; and
iv) arrangement for tempor-
ary permit and monitor-
ing (if necessary).
St.Vincent St., & Eastern Main Rd., Tunapuna
~-IiP LI~~(BBP dLIPL-14 i~b-~898~~
I. 'a aI
I ArIA YAjrE,
I B;lnrl w;
PAGE 4 TAPIA
SUNDAY DECEMBER 23, 1973
Here come Santa Claus. ..
CHRISTMAS, they say, is a time of good cheer. A Forbes Burnham a Jacket, half black, half white.
time for giving and forgiving. For those involved in Eric Williams a new snazzy outfit designed by Karl
politics both giving and forgiving seem difficult tasks. Hudson-Phillips.
In fact, on most festive occasion, political people seem to K. Hudson-Phillips a thank you note from the Doctor and a
retreat into despair as the rounds of partying and merry-making ticket to London.
continues in spite of all the "oppression and corruption". Irwin Merritt the starring role in a new play entitled: How
Being caught somewhere in the middle, I would like to John the Baptist tried to tie his master's latchets in a footsee.
send out Christmas presents to the political personalities in Michael Manley a new gimmick.
Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean. And to the Basdeo Panday a pin-cushion looking like Rampartapsingh.
people of the country. Rampartapsingh Basdeo Panday.
Ashford Sinanan a primer on how not to start a political Sugar workers their own union.
party Express one Editor, one Political Reporter.
James Millette a political party. Vernon Jamadar a Darts circle looking like Lequay.
Krishna Gowandan a P.hd. Alloy Lequay a Winsure branch in Peking for life.
Errol Balfour the complete works of Marx, Lenin, and a Baby Doc Duvalier his own referees at the World Cup.
one-way ticket to Moscow. T & T National Football team a bush bath.
A.N.R. Robinson a lady Chairman (African) and a lady Chookolingo a stroke of conscience.
vice-Chairman (Indian). To the average housewife a bag of flour, another of rice,a
Lloyd Best a Constituent Assembly. few pounds of meat, some milk, a ban on profiteering.
Eric Gairy a fast, very fast plane out of Grenada to be To everyone in the country (with a few exceptions) a
delivered by the 27 December. better life.
Robert Bradshaw a tiny island in the Pacific, renamed DENNIS PANTIN
TURERS of liquid bleaches
seem to be short-changing
the housewife, according
to a survey on the quality
of bleaches carried out dur-
ing August-September this
year by the Bureau of
Standards and analysed by
the Government Chemist's
This is disclosed in the
Newsletter of the recently
formed Bureau. Forty-five sam-
ples of liquid bleaches were
bought from shops all over the
island and analysed in the
Government Chemist's Labo-
ratory for the percentage of
active chlorine in each sample.
A standard method was used.
Chlorine is the ingredient re-
sponsible for the bleaching ac-
tion. The net contents of each
bottle was also measured to
find out if short measure is
Seventeen samples out of
45 were short measure, two by
about 10% of the stated volume.
Most brands (39 samples)
claim to contain either 5.25%
or 5.75% available chlorine.
Sixteen of these samples had
less chlorine thafi was declared
on the label.
The Government Chemist's
report summarizes the findings
for each brand, and gives the
price of one ounce of available
chlorine for each brand, based
on average price and average
strength of each brand.
The Bureau's Newsletter in-
cludes a summary of the results
but the complete results are
available at its offices.
According to the summary
report best value for money,
can be had from Ajax, Klene
and Punch based on the criteria
ofNet content, Active Chlorine
found and price per ounce of
Chlorine. All manufacturers
have been told the results for
samples of their products.
This is the first Newsletter
of the Standards Council ap-
pointed in March this year and
headed by Dr. George Sammy.
The Council has held five meet-
ings between April and Sep-
tember and sub-committees
have been formed for the pur-
pose of dealing with priorities
for standards, staffrequirements
and estimates, educational pro-
grammes, and with drafting
regulations to be made under
the Standards Act.
The Standards Council has
decided that priority will be
given to standards in the areas
of animal feeding stuffs, cloth-
ing, household goods, building
materials, informative labelling
and engineering items, with
emphasis on articles of im-
portance to the ordinary con-
sumer, farmer, house or car
The Food and Drugs Divi-
sion of the Ministry of Health
will continue to be responsible
for standards for foods, drugs
and cosmetics, and for the
enforcement of the standards
set (and to be set) in the Food
and Drugs Regulations.
The Central Marketing
Agency will be responsible for
the standards and grades of
agricultural producTs, using its
powers under the Central Mar-!
keting Agency Act. (D.P.)
SUNDAY DECEMBER 22, 1973
AS THE year ends, those
for whom it was a time of
hardwuk are doing some
sober thinking before, as
usual, normal business sus-
pends itself for a spasm of
In the little community
of Whiteland, Corosal, there
is a group of young people
who in the last ten months
or so have grown accus-
tomed to looking further
ahead than spreeing.
We are talking about Black-
gold youths who send greetings
to the youth in the country
hoping that, in the new year,
their brethren would "better
understand our feelings about
the present state of the coun-
Their feelings about the state
of the country are best expres-
sed by what they have been
doing since they formed them-
selves into the Blackgold Sport
and Cultural Club and the
Blackgold Co-operative about
ten months ago.
The thrust has been towards
getting the young people to-
gether, directing their minds
away from, the sterile lifestyle
of scrunting, smoking and gam-
bling towards upliftment cf
themselves and their community
through their own strenuous
Travelling through the coun-
try organising distribution of
this paper and meeting people,
Tapia. Community Relations
Secretary Ivan Laughlin came
upon the youths of Blackgold
in Corosal who had joined to-
gether to do something for
themselves about the problems
they and their community are
Ivan saw a genuine attempt
of struggle against the crippling
evils of unemployment and
demoralisation in the commu-
nity, and he wrote about the
Blackgold group, introducing
them to Tapia and to our
readers in the country.
There followed a fruitful
period of mutual encourage-
ment nurtured by weekly visits
to Corosal of Tapia people and
the involvement of Blackgold in
writing for and selling of the
paper, the proceeds of which
go to the Corosal group.
Representatives of Blackgold
attended our Assemblies on
September 23 and November'
18. On July 29, a large con-
tingent of Tapia. members spent
a day in Whiteland "a day of
relaxation", as it was called,
marked by games, socializing
and, memorably, by loud but
futile objections of the PNM
Village Council Chief.
We have helped to organize
coaching sessions in netball and
drama and some educational
Talking on behalf of Black-
gold last weekend, young PRO
Carlton Marchan revealed plans
for the new year. It is hoped to
emphasize sport, drama and as
many different kinds of activity
as possible as a means of getting
young people interested in what
the group has been trying to do.
Two other brothers Ken
Le Gendre 'and Evril Atwell,
Chairman of the Co-operative
Section, were present. We did
not get the two sisters' names
they left too quickly.
It has not been easy to
obtain understanding among
even other young people in the-
district of what Blackgold's aims
are. This has not daunted the
forty or so.brothers and sisters
who have continued to set the.
By dint of hard labour, their
hillside crops have grown to
fullness; they have harvested
and sold the produce by ar-
rangement to International
"It is the first time," Carlton
says, "that a group of young
people ever formed in this area
and lasted so long, with plans
of going even further."
This by itself is not enough,
.it has been proved, to get for
Blackgold the kind of recog-
nition that it deserves.
The history of the group has
been marked by a fight not
only.for understanding of their
position but for their very fight
to exist and function as bona
fide youth group.
Their use of the community
centre has been obstructed by
*the Village Council which seems
to function to do little else
but obstruct progress in White-
At the moment, Blackgold'
reports, a Caretaker Committee
has been formed as a tirst step
towards bringing the Village
Council organisation back to
life on a more representative
That Blackgold counts as
a step forward, though the
opposition to their group has
not ended. Talks have been
going on with the young people
in the nearby village of Hard
Bargain with a view to per-
suading them to the Blackgold
But there has been definite
progress inthe raising of con-
sciousness among the members
"We intend.to make our-
stives men ioui of the garden",
says Marchan. "We intend to
extend the garden in 1974".
Expressing the feelings of
his group about the reluctance
of young people to get involved
for their own benefit while all
kinds of things are happening in
the country, the PRO says:
"It's like another man buy-
ing a car and we waiting for a
ride. But we in Blackgold want
to know the technique of mak-
ing a car".
He spoke passionately in
the abandoned house where the
brothers and sisters are head-
quartered about ."the people
:trying to keep back progress
and turn back the hands of
The latest objection to
Blackgold has taken the form of
suspicion. Some people have
been 'charging that Blackgold
is simply a Tapia group using
Local exponents of politi-
cal mauvais langue are whis-
pering that the group's aims are
political and that all this empha-
sis on cultural activities, on
sport, on togetherness and on
self-help agriculture is just a
To Blackgold members who
aim to demonstrate what could
be done by young people like
themselves it is a keenly felt
slander. As indeed it is to Tapia.
Not that they are afraid of
"People still have other
youths believing that we're deal-
ing with politics as if that's
something wrong. We are now
getting conscious, understand-
ing what it's all about.
"Man, I think politics should
be one of the subjects they
should have in GCE right now",
one member, said.
They .openly admit that
their association with Tapia
and the reading of the paper
havegiven them a better under-
standing of what is going on in
In any case, they argue, if
they were in fact setting about
to organise a political group
that would be better than re-
maining trapped in a life of
gambling, smoking and mauvais
So the work goes on, in
Whiteland Corosal, as in other
places. Among Blackgold plans
for next year are a workshed
with co-operatively held .tools
and sharing of expertise by all
Morale remains high. The
Blackgold Christmas cheer will
last throughout the new year
as it has persisted throughout
the old. It is not based on party-
"Is five months now we
ent beat a party. We want to
break away from partying -
blowing all your bread on a
But still, from Whiteland,
from Blackgold, come "Greet.
Danish Teak finish
Living Room Suite
68 70.HENRY ST.
PORT OF SPAIN
TAPIAT AGE'G 5
PAGE 6 TAPIA
WALCOTT'S LONG and intricate poem about
the significant impressions and experiences that
have shaped his vision as an artist is a major
triumph of style and a near singular triumph of
integrity. "Another Life" is a poem of some
twenty three chapters that represent seven
years sustained effort. The poem is dated,
April 1965 April 1972.
Walcott's Another Life is really about his growing
up in St. Lucia with the emphasis placed on the
impact of home and country environment on his
outlook, as well as the impact of his friendship with
Dunstan St. Omer on his life. The poem also records
his relationship with Anna, his first love, and his debt
to the late Harold Simmons.
On first reading, the poem seems fragmentary, a
mere collection of jottings from a journal, echoing
earlier work. Closer scrutiny however reveals both the
artistic and moral integrity of the work. It reminds one
of a poem like Louis Macneice'sAutumn Sequel, which
in twenty six Cantos examines the poet's relationship
with his close friends during the Autumn of 1953. Parts
of Walcott's poem also recall' Robert Lowell's Life
Studies. There is also an obvious debt to both the prose
and poetry of Boris Pasternak.
Now, Pasternak in his autobiography Safe Conduct
The clearest, most memorable and important
thing in art is its coming into being, and
the world's best works, while telling of the most
diverse things, are in fact narrating their own
This is what Another Life is about. The narrating of
the coming into being of two artists, Gregorias,
(Dunstan St. Omer) and Derek Walcott. The poem is
also about creating a new style in a New World. Another
Life is about origins in every sense of the word. By
new style I am referring to that "plain" style that
dominates most of the poem. A style that was hinted
at in The Gulf: a style past metaphor. In "Nearing
Forty "he says in part:
... because your life bled for
the household truth, the style past metaphor
that finds its parallels, however wretched
in simple, shining lines, in pages stretched
plain as bleaching bedsheet under a gutter-
ing rainspout; glad for the sputter
of occasional insight...
It was in 1966 that Walcott drew our attention to that
style past metaphor, as he saw it in Pasternak. In an
article entitled"'Contemplative is word for his genius"
published in the Trinidad Guardian of October 5, 1966
on page 5, he said in part:
... I cherish at least one minor masterpiece of
Pasternak's prose, his autobiography, "Safe Conduct"-..
Some poets merely reflect the brilliance of
things. In Pasternak, everything, churches,
trains, ... snow, insects are returned with a
dulled but fixed sheen ... but a great poet achieves
his level when he reaches what Pound
once called "the language beyond .metaphor "
when he has found his wisdom in clarity, when
the naming of things, the simplest things, like
buckets, sofas, the sound of rain, are merely,
by the act of his naming them, reverberations...
The sadness in Pasternak's voice is the
sadness of common things, common occurrences,
especially the pain of absence ...
Given that Walcott felt that he was slowly approaching
that style, it is not surprising that the figure of Pas-
ternak rears its head in The Gulf In the poem "Love in
the Valley" Walcott says the following:
and now I drift elsewhere,
through hostile images,
of white and black, and look,
like a thaw-sniffing stallion, the head
of Pasternak emerges with its forelock,
his sinewy wrist a fetlock
pawing the frozen spring,
till his own hand has frozen
on the white page, heavy. (p.64)
By striving and achieving this plainness of style, it
allows Walcott to arrive at a tone of voice which main-
tains a more correct distance between the triangle of
poem,poet and reader. For this to be made clearer,we
must look at some of his earlier poems. In BIM. Vol.
IV No. 15 pp. 209-11 we have a poem by Walcott
entitled "Sambo Agonistes the first stanza is as
I was bright like bone with my rag and bone cry,
Smiling that everyone was going to die,
But the wild bee of love stung my mouth with its lie.
On my xylophone ribs the wind played its sharp
And flat, and strummed her hair like a golden harp,
And everything skeletal that she sees warp
Become my lyre.
The poet is too occupied with his lilting singing voice
to arrive at the key relationship between his poem,
himself and his audience. Seven years later in Caribbean
Quarterly vol. 5 No. 2 February 1958 pages 99 to 102
he gives us "Words for Rent". Here is a fragment from
... May poverty wither my thumbs
If I ever abuse His gift
For money or fame or uplift:
For I know less than you, cold
Singers, sown under the mounds,
Than the dome of star-pierced minds
That could sway the earth like gold
On the hair of compassionate scales,
Divining frailty from good.
All that I have are the tales
That are streams in the drying blood
And are fountains of hidden tongues
I would talk time out of the tomb
If my gift were blessed event,
I would reach out a finger and touch
The turning and plunging ark
Of grave, cradle and womb
If I knew all Heaven has meant,
But I am all of these earthly wrongs
My son under my humble roof,
I curse my own cloven hoof,
But wish error all that is good
And a life thought badly spent. (p. 102).
The triangle is more even, but still not even
enough, In Another Life, while talking about Anna, we
see that greater relaxation which marks the style as
superior to the above, though the emotional situation
is just as intense.
Still dreamt of, still missed,
especially on raw, rainy mornings, your face shifts
into anonymous schoolgirl faces, .a punishment,
since sometimes, you condescend to smile,
since at the corners of the smile there is forgiveness.
Besieged by sisters, you were a prize
of which they were too proud, circled
by the thorn thicket of their accusation,
whatgravedeep wrong,,what wound have you brought
The rain season comes with its load.
The half-year has travelled far. Its back hurts.
It drizzles wearily. (p. 95).
The style past metaphor is always close to the casual
tone of conversation, representing as it were a shedding
of literary cliches. Thus, Pasternak turned to the collo-
quial language in order to revitalize Russian poetry. He
spoke of the beauty of nature not in the usual poetic
cliches but with the words of everyday language; though
he continued to use the traditional themes. Mayakovsky
drew on the language of the street as well, but went
ahead and drafted in vulgarisms along with the vocabu-
lary of political speeches. He went on to talk about War
and the Revolution. Walcott like Pasternak does not go
the whole distance, as did Mayakovsky, mainly because
both he and Pasternak are fascinated by silence. But
Pasternak's love of silence does not extend to his use of
the Russian language, only to what he hears, both
without and within. Thus, despite his pre-occupation
with silence, Pasternak enjoys making music with
words. Sadly most of the music is lost in translation.
Walcott on the other hand is not too concerned with
music, at least one can never use sound alone as a
yard-stick in Walcott. His concern is with muted
tones and reticence.
This brings me to the point where I must mention
the significance of silence for Walcott. To that poet,
silence in a yard-stick for assessing all art. In looking at
an exhibition mounted by M.P. Alladin at the Town
Hall-in May of 1962, Walcott singles out the painting
"East Indian Wedding" for special comment. He said,
"the painting, like all good art sends out silence".
As a result, the theme of silence has always been a
major one in Walcott's poetry. It is also closely related
to his way of seeing gained from tuition in painting
from Harold Simmons. Hence, Another Life is full of
silence and silences. The silence could be the result of
the break-down in communication, as when Gregorias
pays him a visit in Trinidad years later.
The highway canes unrolled in
silence past the car glass, like glass
the years divided. We fished for the right level, shrill,
hysterical, until, when it subsided,
a cautionary silence glazed each word. (p. 129).
There is also the silence brought about by absence, by
separation. There is also the silence of name-less things,
the silence of undocumented history.
For no one had yet written of this landscape
that is was possible, though there were sounds
given to its varieties of wood;
the bois-canot responded to its echo,
when the axe spoke, weeds ran up to the knee
like bastard children, hiding in their names,
whole generations died, unchristened,
growths hidden in green darkness, forests
of history thickening with amnesia,
so that a man's branched, naked trunk,
its roots crusted with dirt,
swayed where it stopped, remembering another name;
What gives Another Life its structural and symbolic
unity and integrity, is the persistence with which the
poet uses all the techniques from drawing, painting and
filming to build his poem. The first consideration is the
use of light. Like a good painter Walcott is very
concerned with how light affects both his art and life.
LIFE. Farrar, St
4LCOTT. 152 pp.
In fact life and light are at imnes interchangeable. The
poem could have been called Another Light and it
would not have lost any of its meaning. The poet also
sees himself as throwing light on his past, and on the
plight of the artist in the Caribbean. Next, light in all
its forms is explored sunlight, moonlight, twilight,
and all artificial light. The by-products of light, such as
glare, and the effect of light through a pane of glass are
also harnessed for use by this painter-poet.
Next, the poet also draws with light. That is he
turns to photography. The whole .poem in fact, is
meant to be read as a reel of film. Thus the word film
is repeated throughout the poem, and the poet can be
considered a photographer who has developed the
negatives of the past for both his and our benefit. The
film reference is also used in the usual sense of the
word, as a slight covering or coating over the object.
Given this pattern, we are not surprised to find the
word "still" repeated to suggest stillness, silence, a
photograph, as well as the accepted, nevertheless.
Furthermore, each image is framed, and this is part of
the poet's aim. In fact the poem is about Walcott,
Anna, Gregorias and Harold Simmons, all framed by
light and life. Hence, we can have the following
fragment growing out of the poet's vision and tech-
Well, everything whitens,
all that town's characters, its cast of thousands
arrested in one still!
As if a sudden flashbulb showed their deaths.
The trees, the road he walks home, a white film,
tonight in the park the children leap into statues,
their outcries round as moonlight,
their flesh like flaking stone,
They have soaked too long in the basin of the mind,
... (p. 9).
Since the poet is mainly concerned with framing, with
draughtsmanship, one must look at his lines, his
strokes. At times he aims at sculpturing his line. In fact
it is by varying the length of his lines and strokes that
the poet gains control over his "plain" style, thus
achieving a greater degree of movement and texture in
his poem. Related to his drawing with lines and light, is
his use of circles. Thus, one gets repeated references to
rings, and circles and to the state of being ringed,
encircled. The reader is encircled by green, blue, and
red, as well as yellow and white. In fact one is en-
circled by the Renaissance masters, because they were
the masters that Harold Simmons passed on to Derek
Walcott and Dunstan St. Omer. In keeping with his art
motif Walcott has constantly tried not only to photo-
graph the past, but to polish it as well. The poem is
thus also treated as a piece of pottery that is meta-
phorically fired and glazed.
TAPIA PAGE 7
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As a painter, Walcott confesses that he is a failure.
I have toiled all of life for this failure.
Beyond this frame, deceptive, indifferent,
nature returns to its work,
behind the square of blue you have cut from that sky,
another life, real, indifferent, resumes.
Let the hole heal itself.
The window is shut.
The eyelids cool in the shade.
Nothing will show after this, nothing
except the frame which you carry in your sealed,
Where ;id I fail? I could draw,
I was discipi-aed, humble, I rendered
the visible world that I saw
exactly, yet it hindered me, for
... the poet is mainly concerned with framing
... each image is framed
in every surface I sought
the paradoxical flash of an instant
in which every facet was caught
in a crystal of ambiguities,
I hoped that both disciplines might
by painfil accretion cohere
and finally ignite,
but I lived in a different gift,
Both Walcott and St. Omer saw themselves as men
dedicated to naming the island.
But drunkenly, or secretlyy. we swore,
disciples of that astigmatic saint,
that we would never leave the island
until we had put down, in paint, in words,
as palmists learn the network of a hand,
all of its sunken, leaf-choked ravines,
every neglected, self-pitying inlet
muttering in brackish dialect... (p. 52).
As a painter, Walcott was St. Omer's runner. As a
result, every landscape they entered, was signed by St
Omer, who apparently "possessed aboriginal force".
Walcott refers to many Renaissance painters though
Giotto is highlighted apparently for two reasons. One,
it was Giotto who inaugurated what came to be known
as "composition". As Malraux states in his The Voices
of Silence, "he invented the frame: for the first
time an imaginary window delimiting the scene makes
its appearance". Given Walcott's concern with the
frame ant" framing one understands why Giotto is
cited. Secondly, the Giotto-Cimabue story is a good
example of the fact that the artist in his youth is more
deeply moved by the sight of works of art than by the
things which these works portray. Such was the case
with Walcott anyway. Then Fra. Filippo Lippi is re-
ferred to, and he as Helen Gardner says, was "The
first Renaissance painter to use line in a sculptural
rather than in a two-dimentional sense". Given Wal-
cott's use of the sculptured line, one will again
understand why Lippi is in the poem. His Annunciation
that is referred to in the poem is the one painted in the
church of Santa Maria Primerana. Masaccio is also
mentioned, not only because Walcott and Gregorias
would have studied his frescoes, but also because
Masaccio heightened the illusion of space.As Vasari
puts it, Masaccio was the first to "clearly perceive that
painting must be founded on nature both in form and
colour.", Moreover Walcott is suggesting that Gregorias
like Masaccio, saw new.gestures to paint. Giorgione is
also there in the poem. He was of one the greatest
masters in the handling of light. Given the poet's pre-
occupation with light in the poem it is only natural
that he be there.
Walcott's portrait of St. Omer (Gregorias) is done
with great affection.
Oregorias laughs, a white roar ringed with lamplight,
gigantic moths, the shadows of his hands
fluttering the wall, it is his usual
gesture now, the crucifix.
"Man I ent care if they misunderstand me,
I drink my rum, I praise my God, I mind my business!
He frames a seascape in a chair,
then, striding back, beyond a table littered
with broken loaves, fishbones, a gut-rusting wine,
he smites his forehead.
"Ah, Gregorias, you are a genius, yes! ... (pp.64-65).
As Walcott draws his lines of communication,
separation, demarcation, encirclement and develop-
ment he stresses that men like Gregorias are our heroes,
worthy of being in the Caribbean pantheon.
Walcott gives us an insight into the heroes of his
island childhood. They are all derelicts who he has made
larger than life, by imposing on them the Greek
pantheon. That whole chapter has a vigour about it
which I like. Large fragments of it must be quoted.
lion-coloured stallion from Sealey's stable,
by day a cart-horse, a thoroughbred
on race-days, once a year,
plunges the thunder of his neck, and sniffs
above the garbage smells, the scent
of battle, and the shouting,
he saith among the kitchen peels "Aha!"
debased, bored animal,
surly chauffeur from Clauzel's garage,
bangs Troy's gate shut!
It hinges on a scream. His rusty
commonlaw wife's. ..
the fowl-thief with his cockerel's strut,
heads home like Jason, in his fluttering coat
a smoke-drugged guinea-hen.
the golden fleece,
reprieved murderer, tangled in his pipe smoke
bringing more gold to
Monsieur Auguste Manoir,
The description of Weeks, the black grocer in gold-
rimmed spectacles reflects a lengthening of line which
gives a slow dignity to that Barbadian bible-reading
Walcott not only records his friendship with
Gregorias and their attempt to name things as well as
the people in the island; but he also records the
architecture in the island and the changes that took
place. He looks at the Gothic influence, that reflected
in St. Lucia delicate wood work and framed lighi.
Soon the Gothic has to give way to the cement pheonix,
after the great fire.
Apartment blocks whitened the air,
cul-de-sacs changed their dialect patronyms
to boulevards and avenues,
the cement phoenix rose.
All day in the gutted roads of the new city
the cement mixers snarled American, white-faced
the city entered its half-century. (p. 103).
When Walcott near the end of the poem, records his
return to St. Lucia, only to discover that "it is harder
to be a prodigal than a stranger", he asks:
And what if it's all gone,
the hill's cut away for mpre tarmac.
the groves all sawn,
and bungalows proliferate on the scarred,
the magical lagoon drained
for the Higher Purchase plan,
and they've bulldozed and bowdlerised our Vigie,
In the poem, memory, the voice of recall is con-
stantly counter-pointed by the voice of silence, by
amnesia.Returning to origins can never be total. One of
the primary problems is one of language. The language
we use is not our original language, yet any exploration
we do can only be done with the language of our
original master. Stephen in Joyce's. A Portrait of The
Artist as a Young Man puts it best when he says of the
His language, so.familiar and so foreign, will
always be for me an acquired speech. I have not
made or accepted its words. My voice holds them
at bay. My soul frets in the shadow of his
language. (p. 189).
As a result of this tension, Walcott feels he has to plane
the wood of language. For him
the tongue of shavings coil from the moving pen,
to a Paris of plane trees,
to the peeled ease of Hemingway's early prose,
Walcott not only records sounds and sights but also
smells. So we can have the following:
The smell of our own speech,
the smell of baking bread
of drizzled asphalt, this
odorous cedar. After the rain
the rinsed shingles shone,
resinous as the smell of country sweat,
of salt-crusted fishermen. (p. 75).
One of the remarkable things about that just quoted
passage is that it calls to mind a similar passage from
John Hearne's novel Voices Under The Window:
Then there was the stale smell of uncured wood,
and the chemical smell of the oilcloth-
on the table ... And in the heat he could
smell the rancid, dusty-sour odour of the people
in the street and hear the rise and fall
of the voices. (p. 55).
In fact one of the interesting things about Another Life
is the number of prose works it calls to the mind. For
example some of the passages about the sea echo the
lyrical tone of say Camus's "The Sea Close By". I will
just quote the following passage from that essay and on
reading Another Life you will see the rhythmic
At noon, under a deafening sun the sea, exhausted,
scarcely finds the strength to rise. When it falls
back on itself, it makes the silence whistle. It
cooks for an hour and the pale water, a vast white-
hot iron sheet sizzles. In a minute it will turn
and offer its damp side, now hidden in waves and
darkness, to the sun. (p. 157).
Much of Walcott's ,work, not only Another Life,
reflects more than a familiarity with Baudelaire's
essay "The Painter of Modern Life". For example, his,
descriptions of his mother, his home, Gregorias and of
Castries reflect Baudelaire's insight into the painter of
manners. He says in part, "Sometimes he is a poet;
more often he comes closer to the novelist or the
moralist; he is painter of the passing moment and of all
the suggestions of eternity that it contains". Further-
more, there is in Another Life the vision of the child
who sees things in a state of newness, and moreover in
a state of drunkenness, which reflects another of
Baudelaire's insights in his essay. Finally, a poem like
"Hic Jacet" is partly a direct out-growth of Baude-
laire's comments on the artist as man in the crowd
END OF PART ONE.
'BER 23, 1973
SUNDAY DECEMBER 22, 1973
A short story
Beneath each skull
Friday sat down, grasped his thick
head of hair, pulled out a black twisting
strand and. squinted as it. curled up.
Life. You stretch right out, then just as
you are about to achieve, everything
curls up into.nothingness. A headache
tom-tomed beneath his skull. He re-
moved his glasses, and set them down
on the table in front of him. He
stretched out his legs and the noises arid
sights of the island rolled around like a
stone in his head.
Break ah dollar, break ah dollar,
don't be lucky and coward three
for twenty five, lady look yer elastic
here, five yar4s for twenty five cents
S yer shudder bus' she face, you
minding she and she want to keep
sweetman get yer apples .
Guardian- -Express ah-har, look meh
here ah have it Have it, all ah all
yer is de same ting, setta schemers .. .
walk girl, not you, yer know is de ugly
one who making style ....
Ah looking for Sparrow record shop,
try de arcade higher up ... They fit yer?
Well try the eights, no, no half size ...
May I help you? who she tink she
is, dat is fifteen dollars and sixty
cents, look ah putting back two bottles
of the squareone ...
De valley, all for de valley yer
see dat no parking sign, yes constable
but give meh ah chance, is meh liveli--
hood, yer see dat effing no parking
sign? The Ghetto is hell, vote
DLP free our Black Soldiers .. sar
war by one driver yer going .too
fast; dis is ah highway madam, yer
know what dat mean? It mean drive
fast or park up ...
Picture was good boy, dis Wang Yu
feller is somethingelse, de man spin
round, and is because he cut down a
whole forest we are offering today
a special package deal, on this you save
two dollars I am an underarm ex-
pert. Something exciting is going on in
Bata shoes .... get somebody with halo
. Elsa's for toys Moonan moves
mountains Carite, king fish, get
yer carite .mummy you're fantastic
. and here they come round de
Shamrock bend it is Bounty hunter,
followed by go places with friendly'
faces bear right to San Fernando
. .. .Make a hit with Broadway, .
another Kirpalani opens at Princes
Town five held on drug charge ...
. UWI faces crisis, yer big mouth
cousin Zingay Talala Civil servant
to wed nurse any woman can .
bookings at Singer Mall A beer is a
carib unemployed youth petition
minister career opportunities in the
water and sewerage authority lost,
one poodle who answers to the name
pixy, small reward offered.
SNobody loses on Mastana Bahar ...
brother talking to brother .. The
year with the gorilla bank in your
bank two charged with Barclays'
robbery .... Sama Ko Badal Dalo, in
Eastmancolour and English subtitles, a
story that will touch the fiercest heart
.and bring tears to your eyes, now
showing 4.30 and 8.30 p.m. and con-
tinuing at Prince Sari Fernando .
Swing into the Carnival spirit -at the
Chinese association tonight.
Those were the headlines, the de-
tails in a moment. Friday got up and
turned off the radio. News. I will make
that soon. The fridge in the room was
humming quietly,a cock was crowing in
the distance and the hibiscus fence
stirred slowly in the wind. It was at the
point in the afternoon when a nap was
the natural thing to do given the heat
which hung from the ceiling. Friday
got up opened the fridge and took out
a large tumbler of orange juice. He
sighed. It was at times like these, as
child he used to take out his colouring
book, and colour, sometimes cutting
himself with the kitchen knife while
sharpening a blunted colouring pencil.
He remembered he never seemed to get
the right shade of yellow for the boy's
hair or the right shade of brown for the
horse. Funny how he sat there waiting
for the police to knock at any moment,
that he should think of colouring. Fri-
day got up from the straight back chair
in which he was sitting, walked away?
from the table and looked through the
window. He longed for the simplicities
He smiled at the book cases, and
felt that some of the books winked
back at him. He moved from the window
and sat on the couch, and thought of
the humming bird he had seen outside.
Yes, humming birds are getting scarce.
He sighed. Music. Friday got up walked
into his bedroom bent down opened a.
metal cabinet where he kept his records.
Calypso? Blues? Jazz? He finally settled
for PORGY AND BESS with Miles
Davis. Friday turned up the volume,
then laid himself on the couch and
sipped orange juice. If Marje could see
him now, so cool, so collected. I love
you Marje he whispered. He winked at
the books as if they and he shared some
secret. A dog barked. Children's voices
began to crowd his mind, and he realized
that the school in the hill was over.
Summertime, yea, blowit brother,
blowit, do it to dem brother, do it to
,,E 8 TAPIA
TAPIA PAGE o
SUNDAY DECEMBER 23, 1973
My tray is full
,butts are dead
The night lasted
for an age
My search meandered- -
depths of flaming
oratory the raging
resonance of woes
crevices of time
My tray is full
the fruitless harvest
the hungry raids
the crop is shared
the head of the slain
too are dead ends
of thought. The river
ah my friend, a river
of cold sweat now
betrays the lauded
silence of the martyred
Abdul Malik (Delano de Coteau)
He could Trimble
rap like Moses
rap like John
Mih Daddy was strong
Lord all mighty.
He could level
wid ah sweeping gaze
sa cri -fice
an wuk fuh days
Mih Daddy was good
ah tell yuh
He could dodge
slay an shout
in de Butler riots
ah talking bout
Mih Daddy get mad
Yuh hear mih
Den he open dese eyes
an make mih wise yes
he say SON
is lil people sweat
make up big pappy gain
is poor people always
in de rain
Mih Daddy was poor
The Managemen t & Staff of
Seasons Gre eti
to all their friends and
for a bright and
Petro e am
cu st o mers,
My tray is full
the burden of an age
my search meandered
depths of tone
woes and vows
NO WORDS OF
We can only rise
in time and metre
rise and fall
ember after ember
spark after spark
wave after wave
until we make
the passing of
My Tray is full
ashes are dead ends
for the forces
The tray is now h-u-r-l-e-d
is your gas!
- 9 1'-~ -~NounP
-L _I I I I I P4~i~ar~a
SUNDAY DECEMBER 23, 1973
IN HIS address to senior
civil servants two weeks
ago, George Chambers,
Minister of Finance, took
pains to impress upon his
'audience that with their
salaries and allowances,
they are amongst the most
highly paid'workers in the
country the aristocracy
Besides the emphasis on
service to the community, so
sadly lacking in the Public Ser-
vice at the present time, his
remarks did give some hint of
the approach the government
is going to adopt in the rene-
gotiation of salaries next year.
The forthcoming Budget is
bound to be one of the tightest
TIGHT FIST FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS
in this period of penury. Re-
vision of salaries and allowances
of civil.servants will hardly be'
high on the list in the next
It is very possible that
dependable James Manswell is
preparing to do the good turn
by postponing claims for in-
creases when the present agree-
ment runs out at the end of this
year. Of course he can postpone
the claims by protracted "dis-
cussions" into the New Year.
Meanwhile the Public Ser-
vice would be given an interim
salary "increase" through the
introduction of a five-day work-
week, that is, less work for
Some form of control on
wage and salary increases in the
Public Sector is long overdue.
In fact, for years Tapia has
been clamouring for a policy on
minimum and maximum in-
comes from all sources.
But such an incomes policy
must be part of a larger re-
organisation to achieve full em-
ployment, a more equitable
sharing of the cake and greater
economic security for all citi-
zens of Trinidad and Tobago.
Like the Minister, we are
convinced that Public Servants
are very well paid relative to
the large majority of other
employees. With unions repre-
senting less than 30% of all
employees, too many are still
left to fend for themselves.
In a country with an un-
employment rate of over 15%
and in which the Public Sector
offers to a newly graduated
B.A. a salary over four times
the average national income,
there must be some re-examina-
tion of the wage and salary
scales, in both the public and
Like the Minister, we are
shocked at the mammoth
($6.4 inillion) expenditure on
travelling allowances. Since all
decisions have to be made in
Port of Spain, or at Whitehall,.
for that matter, it becomes
necessary to have a horde of
travelling officers to convey the
message from on high, in a.
subsidized, air-conditioned car
to other parts of the land.
The problem of inefficiency
and low productivity in the
Public Service goes far deeper
than the indiscipline or squab-
bling among civil servants. A
government that has been in
power for 17 years should
know better than to want to
throw blame at the door of the
A re-reading of the Doctor's
going-away speech, especially
what he had to say about his
colleagues,,would provide some
of the answers to the problems
of decision-making and policy
implementation in the public
service. The lack of confidence
in the Public Service is, by the
Doctor's own testimony, a
symptom of something much -
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PAGE 10 TAPIA
SUNDAY DLGC-Mbr.L ,,.. ,,/15
TAPIA PAGE 11
THOUSANDS of battle-
weary sugar workers are
expected to make a deci-
sive step forward this week-
end in their attempt to
enforce their will over the
present Executive of All
Trinidad Union, and to
have from it an account of
the state of the union's
The occasion will be a mas-
sive gathering of workers at
the Couva Recreation Ground,
on Sunday, December 23. And
"the workers are expected to
consider just what line to take
now that Rampartap Singh,
General Secretary, has con-
tinued to deny the union's
members their right to scruti-
nise money vouchers.
A CLASSIC war of attri-
tion .drags on between
the management and work-
ers at Orange Grove Na-
According to a spokesman
for the workers, the latest in
a series of skirmishes came last
Wednesday when employees in
the mill section mounted a
spirited on-the-job protest. The
action was taken against an
over-zealous company super-
visor who in an effort to ad-
vance preparations for the 1974
crop, tried to squeeze the last
drop of blood from the workers.
Shocked by the spontaniety
of the workers' action, the poor
supervisor broke down in tears.
Thereupon, Clement Tello,
accused of down-grading the
economic potential of the com-
pany, walked into the factory
compounds, unmindful of the
fact that the place remains out
of bounds for him.
Immediately the bugle, kept
to herald his entry, was sounded
and every worker walked out,
leaving Tello and the other
company officials alone inside.
It is more than obvious that
the company is galaying on
whether or not Hunte and Tello
should go. In the meantime
workers have assiduously kept
their side of the bargain, mak-
ing night out of day, to put
the factory house in full pro-
ductive capacity for grinding
the 1974 crop.
And even at this pace work-
ers can promise to have the
factory ready only for
January 15, 1974, one week
outside of management's ex-
Management must now
surely ponder the significance
ofWednesday's protest for what
workers are most likely to do,
if January 1974 finds Hunte
and Tello still around. The
situation is graver yet, now
that the Tractor Shed workers
have joined those in the factory.
Reports from tie sugar bell
indicate that several thlousand
signatures have been ..--II. .1. -I
in an attempt to force tihe
ruling clique to call a Special
Conference of Delegates to
look .into this entire business
of corruption in the Union's
A large number of workers,
too, all more than ready to
ditch the old order, have so far
signed up forms revoking nmem-
bership in the union.
As it is not generally anti-
cipated that Ramnparap Singh
and his boys would simply
back up and get out. the sugai
workers may well have to dis-
card the strategy of "smoking
the rats out", and so look
toward the formation of a union
that workers must now con t iol
Who,s backing Panday now?
SU G AR WORKERS,
throughout the sugar belt,
and at Orange Grove in
particular, are bound to be
more than a little disturbed
'by George Weekes' denial
that his Union has given
any support to Senator
Panday in his dispute with
All Trinidad Union.
company of Hunte and Tello,
they have been under the im-
pression that George Weekes,
acting on behalf of the OWTU
had tacitly given them his sup-
port, and through Panday, of
For those workers at Orange
Grove Weekes' denial must be In fact so strongly was this
particularly shocking since all belief held, that the workers
through their struggles to rid the once construed Ben Primus'
acknowledgement that he knew
that Panday had "powerful
friends" as a reference to their
tightly held secret that the
OWTU was backing them. Ben
Primus, who is Chairman of the
company's Board of Directors
was reported to have made the
statement at a meeting held
among some company officials,
sugar workers, trade union re-
presentatives, and the Trade
that Panday himself considered
acceptance of the office of
President General only after
consultation with George
Now they are not sure of
exactly what to believe con-
cerning just what Panday has
led them to think about the
support which the Oil Field
Workers Trade Union is pre-
pared to give.
The big question is whether
Basdco Panday can afford to
own up to the facts?
i'rs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institute for
Study of 'ian,
162, East 78th Street,
NEl YORK, N.Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehigh 5 8 418,
COME NEXT year's Eng-
lish tour we may well see
Maurice Foster as Vice
captain of the WI team in
Jamaica, Deryck Murray
in Trinidad and, if a test
match were to be played
in the Combined Islands,
we could well see Elque-
medo Willet in that posi-
That is likely because the
West Indies Cricket Board of
Control has announced that a
vice-captain will be appointed
for each test match. The an-
nouncement revives memories
of the 1940's when a captain
was appointed for each test
match and the ill effects it
had on West Indian perform-
It appears that whatever
the good reasons for appoint-
ing a vice captain the board is
prepared to use that post to
fan chauvinist flames. That
may not be the intention, but
it is the most likely conse-
quence of such a policy.
The question is no longer,
can we reach the world cup
but can we win the world cup
Trinidad's convincing 4-nil
cutass over Mexico, the domi-
nating force in Central Ameri-
can Caribbean football for
more than a generation, has
answered the question beyond
After seeing Trinidad's
dismal performances prior to
the Haiti trip I was extremely
pessimistic as to our chances. I
am happy to be wrong.
The bugging question is,
why are our performances so
uninspiring at home and the
reverse is true abroad?
Why were we the worst
performing team in the CON-
CACAF series at home in
1971 and the best team in
Haiti, by the Mexican coach's
Those are questions our
organizers must answer after
some serious reflection on
Just as important how-
ever, is that we ought to start
preparing for the 1978 world
cup. The immediate tasks are
to keep our top talent at
home, Archibald, Cummings
and others, and to ensure
that future stars don't migrate.
That is easier said than
Wes all leagues
igb hopes for '74
TREVER "Burnt Boots" SMITH resigned in a huff from
the Wes Hall League this week. Smith's resignation came as a
surprise, especially as he had threatened earlier to contest the
A spokesman for the League's management says they are
now bewildered about the position of the League's Annual
Report which former Secretary Smith promised at a meeting of
the League on November 25 last. They also want to know
about the records of a raffle held by the league in 1969.
Last Tuesday, December 18, Karim B. Khan was elected to
replace Smith as Secretary. Ramlal Bajnauth was re-elected
unopposed as President. Other officers elected were:
Hamza Mohammed Vice President
Edward Vidale Assistant Secretary
I. Traboulay Treasurer
I. Saqui and M. Aziz Auditors
The newly elected management hopes that 1974 will be a
turning point in the League's history. It will attempt to secure
independent representation on the TCC in the same way as the
At the present the League is indirectly represented on the
TCC through the Northern Association of Minor Leagues.
The League hopes as well that it will be consulted and
play a more important role in the National Sports Council
coaching schemes and in the selection of the Benson and
FOR THE SEVENTH
successive year the EHFL
(Eddie Hart Football
League) concluded its
programme for the year
with a prize distribution
function held at the Trini-
city Recreation Club on
Sunday December 16.
. . ,- .
WORLD CUP HEROES
WARREN ARCHIBALD &
The solution in my view is
'to professionalism our top ta-
lent. To repeat what this
column said after the
football strike in 1971, is to
say that all a professional
leagueneedsisa fenced ground.
Stands, pavillions and all the
other amenities can be added
along the way.
THE Tapia Council of Re-
presentatives will meet on
Sunday January 6 to finalist
plans for the Grand New
Year Assembly scheduled
for January 20. The meet-
ing starts at the Tapia House
at 10 a.m. sharp.
Among matters to be
discussed is the round of
local gatherings to be held in
preparation for the Assem-
bly on Sunday January 13.
Also on the Agenda of
the Council meeting on
January 6 will be the Tapia
timetable in relation to the
publication of the Wooding
THE UWI Branch of Tapia
is to hold a meeting on the
first Tuesday of the new
term. Full details of the
meeting will be published
in Tapia No 52 of December
The EHFL with over
2,000 players in the big-
gest league in the country,
but both "national" dail-
ies,although invited, were
conspicuously absent. It
appears that the daily
press will never learn that
Trinidad is the whole of
Trinidad, not Port of Spain.
PRINTED BY THE TAPIA HOUSE PRINTING CO. FOR THE TAPIA HOUSE PUBLISHING CO., 82-84 ST VINCENT ST.. TUNAPUNA
Sunday Jan. 20
9a.m. Tapia House
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