Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00108
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: May 5, 1974
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: UF00072147:00108

Full Text

25 Cents

1UNDAY MAY 5, 1974

GENERAL elections for In his circular letter to when Tapia must ready itself discussion on Reports from at 3 p.m.
the 1974-75 Term will Tapia people, Community for the political combat which the Central Office, the Edito- Assembly Chairman
take place at the Tapia Secretary, Ivan Laughlin, en- willcertainly resolve the ongoing rial Office and the Community Arthur Atwell, will be calling
House,Tunapuna thisSun- visages "a full day of concert- political crisis in the very Secretariat in the morning. the Assembly to order punc-
day, May 5. The after- ed. co-operative work and near future. After a break for light uall on10.00a.m.
noon sessionwillround off discourse". The entire day will be lunch, the Treasurer and the TAPIA people are remind-
the second Sitting of the The Assembly, he says, devoted to a gruelling stock- Secretary will deal with the ed of the need to repudiate
Annual General Assembly comes at a decisive moment taking of the Tapia political fundamentals of finance and "Trinidad Time" once and
which starts at 9.30 a.m. in the life of our country machinery with the fullest politics. Then the elections for all.


WHAT is going to happen to our children who are soon to
graduate from the Junior Secondary Schools?
Crisis after crisis continues to rock our nation. The dislocations
in national life and the despair of the citizens continue unabated
T4' "YT 'rt X/ u' -r -Z7Tr.iTi ::,*i' -j lii-.-i:.'." F 1i
Nothing is more critical to the whole aspect of our existence,
and nothing affects a greater number of our citizens in a direct way
than does the Education system. And it is precisely in Education
that the most serious crisis of all looms. Over 7,000 children are
leaving the Junior Secondary Schools. According to this Govern-
ment's Five Year Plan, 4,200 (60%) of these have no prospect of
going onwards to Senior Secondary Schools.
The Government has displayed a criminal irresponsibility in
this regard. Not even arrangements to cater for the other 40%
of the Junior Secondary Graduates have been much advanced.
The lack of foresight and planning is of course typical of the
now-for-now policies of the Government. And as serious as is the
issue of the Junior Secondary School graduates, it is but the tip of
the iceberg.
The Government has, it seems, never been able to understand
the inseparable links that exist between Education and Economic
planning. Thus our entire Education system is incapable of providing
the citizens with the skills necessary to create employment.
We have succeeded only in training a nation of clerks,
and the result is the absurd situation that now exists. Without a
certificate you cannot get a job because you are underqualified; and

with a certificate, you cannot
get a job because you are
Right now we are faced
with the immediate crisis of
the Junior Secondary School
graduates and the prospects
seem bleak. One thing is
certain we cannot sit back
and allow the Government
to dump so many of our sons
and daughters on a-Labour
Market that cannot even ab-
sorb those who are already
If we feel it is too late to
save ourselves, let us, at least,
.save our children. It is for this
reason that TAPIA has issued
the following call to the Minis-
ter of Education:
* Tapia is calling on the
Minister of Education to pro-
duce a White Paper setting out
the facts on the current
crisis in Secondary Education
and spelling out what precisely
the Government proposes to
.do about it.
K The public is deeply
worried about the blatant

discrimination being threaten-
ed against the 14-yr olds who
may be forced to graduate
from the Junior Secondary
Schools after having complet-
ed three years m July 1975.
* Parents, teachers and
students are also anxious
about the possibility that
students in all Secondary
Schools may now be required
to take a 14-plus examination
in order to select those who
should be awarded two addi-
tional years.
* Tapia would strongly
oppose any such examination
as unfair to all concerned
and doubly unfair to the
students of the Junior Second-
.ary Schools.
M Those who entered the
Five-Year Secondary Schools
took it for granted that they
would be permitted to pursue
a Course at least up to O Level.
To change the rules for them
now would be a flagrant be-

trayal of their legitimate ex-
pectations even. for the
laudable aim of eliminating a
two-class system of Second-
ary Education .
* And yet the class sys-
tem would survive such a 14
plus examination because
some students have already
been disadvantaged
O by a continuing ranking
of the graduates from the 11-
plus into greater and lesser
products and streaming them
by different degrees of stigma-
tization into the new Govern-
ment Schools Secondary, the
Junior Secondary Schools and
the Private Secondary Schools
at the very bottom while the
elite is creamed off by the
prestigious Secondary Schools
at the summit of the mount.
O by the growing pains of
a hastily enforced shift sys-
tem which saddles very badly
with the other routines of
work and life to which the
country has been encouraged
to adhere.
0 by the failure of the
current Curriculum in both
the new Government Second-
ary and the Junior Secondary
Schools to fulfil its promise
to stimulate the native wit of
the students by providing a
broader Course, richer in
technical, vocational, and
human content than the Aca-
demic Curricula. of thepres-
tige Secondly Schools, and
O by the hopeless under-
preparation of the teaching
staff for grappling with the
revolutionary demands of
Junior Secondary Schools
which are frankly and neces-
sarily experimental in charac-
ter given the chronic incapacity
of the Government to formu-
late or implement long-term
plans for education or for any
conceivable aspect of the na-
tional development.
* The immediate relevance

of this class-ranking in 11-plus
education is that even in an
equal-opportunity-for-all ex-
amination at 14 which aims to
select those who should get
iie two years more to the
'O -evel,. some -are- already.
doomed to be unceremoni-
ously dumped ontothe labour
market where the unemploy-
ment rate is already well over
one in three.

* Although these -for-
tunates will be cor mntra..
in .the Junior ,:condary
Schools, there is no conclu-
sive evidence to show that
they have lesser potentials for,
- developing into skilled and
educated citizens than their
brethren who at 11, qualified

Continued on Back Page

New Horizons in Tourism

A NEW series of "Open House" Community presentations begins
next week at the Tapia House in Tunapuna.
The Trinidad and Tobago Society of Architects will be deliver-
ing an Audio-Visual presentation entitled"New Horizons in Tourism"
on Thursday May 9.
The presentation, embodying what has been described as "new
and radical concepts in tourism", was developed entirely on the
initiative of the members of the society.
The Society's Plan which uses the community of Charlottes-
ville, Tobago, as its pilot area seeks to develop a type of Tourism
which is fully integrated into the social, cultural and economic
life of the community.
It introduces two new concepts in this approach. First, it
moves away from the lavish, luxury hotels and utilises instead the
concept of Dwelling-House Tourism.
Secondly, the plan also introduces the concept of the capacity
of the community to absorb tourists in its midst. This "toleration
level" is the upper limit of tourists which would be attracted at any
The plan was first presented by members of the Society at
the First Pan-American Conference on Tourism, held in Jamaica
earlier this year, where it was enthustically received by participants.
Hosting the presentation at the Tapia House on Thursday
will be Ruskin Punch President of th Society and Brian Lewis,
Society member.
The programme begins promptly at 7.30 p.m. and the public is

Political pressure

Economic neglect

SNational shortage


See Pages 4 & 9

Vol. 4 No. 18

SUNDAY MAY 5, 1974

Concentration court established as

J-a aIica

-r F

I 1
*wiT~a ^ r^Ir

Dennis Pantin

IT IS impossible to visit a
country (even a neighbour-
ing Caribbean island) for
two weeks and make
authoritative statements
on the political situation.
The following account
tells of my personal im-
pressionsof Jamaica.
One of the first things
I saw on my way from
the Norman Manley Air-
port were two light tanks
leading a convoy of army
jeeps and trucks.
A few minutes later
we.came upon the startl-
ing red Gun Court, which

our driver described sar-
donically as "our latest
tourist attraction".
This was April 3 and the
Gun Court had only been
passed five days before, but
the Gun Court was almost
In my two weeks in Ja-
maica these were the only
signs I saw of official repres-
sion, outside of accounts in
the newspapers. I never saw
any violence of any kind and
the island seemed calm and
without troubles.
Everywhere there were
signs of construction new
hotels, shopping plazas. The
streets were filled with big
American cars, most of which
I had never seen before.
Jamaicans in general

seemed to be more embarrass-
ed than opposed to the latest
repressive legislation, or at
least those whom I met.


The facts are that violence
has always been a way of life
in the Jamaican ghettos and
while it remained there the
rest of the society seemed to
accept it. Recently, the vio-
lence took a new turn,left the
ghettos and several prominent
persons.were killed.
The new Jamaican Govt.
led by Michael Manley had
tried to deal with this situa-
tion. If had declared two
amnesties since coming to
power in 1972 and this had
netted a little over 9-hundred

Following the recent spate
of shooting the Manley Govt.
acted with a precision which
must have come from antici-
Within thirteen days it has
rushed through the Jamaican
Parliament, with the agree-
ment of the Opposition, four
pieces of legislation, amend-
ing existing legislation, or
creating new laws on the
statute books. The aim, to
eliminate the "criminal" ele-
ment in the society.
A Ministry of National
Securny and Justice was
created and Mr. Eli Matalon,
who belongs to one of the
biggest comnncL I 'il
who 3wn much of Jamlaica
was appointed Minister.
Within weeks hundreds of
Cont'd on Page 11

Juvenile Law is amended. Any
approved school or place of
safety can be declared a high-
security institution by the
Minister of National Security
and Justice.
Suppression of Crime (Special
Provisions) Act, 1974 is pass-
ed. The Minister can declare
any part of the island a
"special area" in the interests
of public order or safety. This
"special area" order can last
for 30 days of longer, if
sanctioned by the House of
Representatives. The security
forces can cordone off R"spe-
cial area" and restrict the free-
dom of movement of people
or vehicles into or out of this
Gun Court Act, 1974 is pass-
ed. Conviction in the Gun
Court results in indefinite de-
tention to be determined by
the Governor General on the
advice of a Review Board.
Offenders must be brought
to trial within 7 days.
APRIL2. Road Traffic Amend-
gatory for motorists to travel
with their driver's license

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THE dilemma faced by all organizations in
revolutionary situations is to decide how far
and by what means they should involve them-
selves in the struggle for change. Shall they
confine their efforts to technical contribu-
tions in their areas of competence, such as
health or education? Or shall they recoil from
specific tasks, as do many individuals, in frus-
tration at the enormity and complexity of
the problems, and devote their resources and
their prestige to denunciation and exhortation
i.e. to "politics"?
The problem was perhaps not as starkly present-
ed as this to the Workshop on Educational Strategies
and Priorities run in Guyana last week by the Carib-
bean Council of Churches and CADEC (Christian
Action for Development in the Caribbean). The
choice was not between the purely technical involve-
ment and political agitation. The concept of stimulat-
ing awareness "conscientization" was present
from the beginning of the deliberations, and though
in the attempts to define it in precise terms agitational
proposals surfaced and resubmerged repeatedly, the
choice that seemed implicit in the discussions was
really between options of dialogueu" or "co-under-
standing" on the one hand and planning for specific
technical intervention on the other.
The Workshop was provided with a set of guide-
lines in the form of resolutions and decisions of
-"*ani -Tmnsrrotablythe'-EcnTenical-Gonsultations-
held at Chaguaramas in 1971 and the CADEC Sur-
vey of non-governmental action for rural development.
The Survey had recommended the acceleration of
action, in keeping with the Chaguaramas resolutions,
according to five guidelines:
The Caribbean must develop its own life-
style, goals and a structure.
There must be full participation of people
in decision-making culture and sharing of
resources and goals.
Economic priorities and structures require
fundamental redirection.
The Churches, as an inseparable part of
their life, must act to identify with the poor
in their need for economic and social
Existence and potential of Caribbean unity
must be expressed in all development

On this basis the Workshop planners had laid
down the following objectives:

To engage in analysis of the objectives
open to the CCC and related bodies with a view
to.refining them;
To reflect and dialogue on the subject of
Caribbean realities with a view to proposing
other objectives.
To propose a strategy for the achievement
of these objectives.
To outline tactical approaches and use of
resources for the implementation of the strategy.
To explore ways of continuing the process
of experience reflection action at
various levels within the Churches.
What "objectives" could one select in education
that would aid in the "fundamental redirection" of
economic priorities and structures? What "tactical
approaches" would help to bring about full participa-
tion of people in decision making? These were the
problems the Workshop set itself to solve as it sought
to plan its Week's work. The proposedAgenda called
for division into four work-parties, two to consider
theological and parish education, one the formal educa-
tion system and one informal and adult education. But
this plan was abandoned. Instead, the meeting opted
for extended open discussion in order to feel its way
toward clarification of objectives, leaving the Agenda
to develop out of the certainty of common under-


SUNDAY MAY 5, 1974

I *Eii

waH IBki hoHP,

standing of the Workshop's goals.
On the one hand it was argued that knowledge
of the Chaguaramas and other resolutions represented
sufficient consciousness of these goals, and that what
was now required was to chart new directions based
on the identification of available skills and resources;
that to argue any further about problems would be
merely to repeat Chaguaramas. Against this, some
delegates urged the need to seek "co-understanding"
and "authenticity of expression" as indispensable
The method of proceeding that crystallized was
that the meeting should examine a list of constraints
on the development of self-awareness existing in the
Caribbean small size, misconception of the nature
of technology, mis-information by the media, trans-
ference of value outside the self, influence of multi-
national corporations and draw up a corresponding
list of positive values likely to aid the process of
change. Among those identified were the innate adap-
tability and capacity to survive acquired by the Carib-
bean people in the course of their history; the rise of
Black consciousness, the increase in consciousness of
economic deprivation; the multi-racial composition of
several of the populations.


Yet it was still unclear what this meant, or
could mean, in terms of marching orders-for C.C.C. or
its constituent chtiurches. Tt v's s i, that this
was the time to break into working groups, one for
each of the original subjects. Who wanted to partici-
pate where? The division into religious and other
education seemed organic enough; but how authentic
was it to consider formal and non-formal education
separately, when it might be precisely the rigidity of
this distinction that was responsible for the inade-
quacies of Caribbean education in general?
The necessity for the "deschooling of society" or
societization of schools seemed to demand an overall
consideration of the problems of learning in the
society; and the idea of finding areas of action, with
its implicit certainty that the nature of such action
could be known, began to yield to the view that the
process of discovery must continue into the field
situation; that the Churches must learn by "involving
themselves in the experience of those who had
learned by suffering"
It was agreed, therefore, to break into the same
groups of three, randomly selected, that had de-
veloped the list of positive values and to consider all
four areas in each group. The areas of intervention
could still be roughed out; but the emphases and

methods must be left to develop from the work
itself, performed in collaboration with the communi-
But the realisation that the solutions lay in the
transition to community participation and control,
and hence were inextricably linked with the politics
of decentralisation in all areas of activity and not just
education, brought back the feeling of despair. What
was the key to the brutalities of formal education?
The eleven-plus Abolish it! How? The system of
evaluation and selection is, specifically not an area
of the education structure that can be exploited for
change it is part of the problem. Agitation! was the
proposal regretfully made by one of the soberest and
most reflective of the delegates. Hardly an example of
the deployment of technical resources.
A youth group represented at a previous con-
ference had requestedthat the workshop endorse a
resolution calling for guidance counsellors to be sent
to schools. Counselling for 11-plus failures with
unemployment running at 30% for the age-group
15-24? Absurd! But gradually firm ground began
to be found. The resolution on counselling must be
adopted; but CADEC must make it clear that counsell-
ing can only be fully effective in a context of national'
reconstruction implying full employment; meanwhile,
the kinds of guidance likely to be most effective must
be worked out by CADEC people rapping with the
youth group which proposed it.
A resolution calling for improvement in rural
education had been proposed to an earlier conference
'by two parish priests, passed by the conference and
submitted to the Workshop. Their complaints about
the shortcomings of rural education were true and
valid; but -the shortcomings were neither typical of
rural education as such nor were the proposed
solutions necessarily valid for any particular rural
community. To attempt to find specific technical
solutions in the forum of the Workshop,the partici-
pants now realized, could be merely to remove the
process of finding answers from the only context in
which the answers could be found the individual
rural communities with their individual complexes of
difficulties, and the views of their inhabitants on what
might be done.
It was obvious therefore that the shape of the
final recommendations of the Workshop would have
to differ greatly from what had been envisaged, in
that they would at least have to 1. -combine the con-
cepts of planning, dialogue, conscentization and
action into one process; and 2 go beyond the sphere

Continued on Page 10



Is Steh Oens

SUNDAY. MAY 5, 1974

Political pressure

Economic neglect

National shortage



AS A RESULT of massive shortages in the
supply of rice from traditional sources (namely
Guyana), tremendous price increases in the
cost of imported rice, the poor quality of rice
obtained from sources other than Guyana
(eg. United States and Venezuela), the ques-
tion of increased rice production in Trinidad
came into prominence. Rice is a staple food in
the daily diet of nearly all Trinidadians. The
Government has found within recent times
that in order to maintain a retail price to the
consumer of twenty five cents it has had to
subsidize rice by eleven cents per pound. In
the light of steadily increasing food prices
rice, both locally produced and imported,
has been placed on the list of "price con-
trolled" items.
In the 1974 Budget speech Government stated
that its objective for 1974 is to bring acres of rice
under cultivation. The speech stated that "the prin-
cipal new thrust in agriculture in 1974 will therefore
be in stimulating food production with particular
emphasis on the revitalization of the rice industry".
The target set for 1974 is the rehabilitation of
rice in Caroni, St. George, Victoria and St. Patrick.
The task of bringing 5000 acres under cultiva-
tion has been entrusted to the Ministry of Agriculture.
One area which has been earmarked for revitalization
is in the South of Trinidad. It encompasses Penal, San
Francique Barrackpore, and the Oropouche Lagoon
A representative from the Ministryof Agricul-
ture who is directly responsible for the project has
noted that his major task is the development of the
infrastructure that will assist framers to irrigate their
lands and transport their produce. Thus the provision
of access roads, cleaning of irrigation channels, the
establishment of new channels and the building of
embankments along the river to prevent excess
flooding are among the major tasks as seen by the
Ministry. One might add that the Ministry also sees
itself as being entrusted with the task of improving
farming techniques and instituting higher yielding
In the areas referred to above, rice is being
grown and has been grown for over one hundred
years. At present there are about 500 to 600 acres
under cultivation in Penal/San Francique, with
another 300 to 400 acres of potential rice land. In
Barrackpore there are about 500 acres under cultiva-
tion with another 1000 acres being potential rice
land. In the Oropo-uche Lagoon area 2000 acres have
been acquired by Government from private land-
holders. Some of these lands were being leased from
the private landholder and cultivated with rice and
other food crops.
Incidentally, only one crop of rice is grown per
year in Trinidad. The prospects for growing two
crops per year are very encouraging and with the use
of new varieties can in fact be realized. We see there-
fore that t*ere are approximately 4500 to 5000
acres in this area that can be revitalized or spruced up.
It would appear thus that Government's objective
of 5000 acres can be achieveddin this area alone.
After the plan for revitalization of rice lands
was announced, the representative from the Ministry
attempted to setup meetings with the farmers in these
areas in order to: (1) educate himself as to their prob-
lems and (2) set the stage for implementing work of
an infra-structural nature. The meetings were at-
tended by one or two farmers and on most occasions
started hours after the scheduled time. In general,
the objectives of the meetings were not achieved.
The representative attempted to carry out

repairs of sluice gates and to clear irrigation channels.
The farmers stopped the Ministry's workers from
doing this. They said, "Bring cash before you enter
our lands". These farmers were probably recalling
their experience of 1963, from which date compensa-
tion is still owed to them as a result of flood damages.
In the Oropouche Lagoon area, farmers are
occupying some of the 2000 acres recently acquired
by Government. They lease various sizes of acreage.
(5, 10 or 30 acres.) They have several fears. Their
major fear is that the lands would be taken away and
redistributed. A Ministry representative recalls ever so
often hearing the farmers say as he passes nearby.
"There's going to be murder for these lands oui".
In Trinidad, on the whole Rice is cultivated
predominantly by East Indians who form probably
95% of the RiceFarming population, about 90% of
these are Hindus. The other 10% are Muslims (mainly
EastIndians) and Negro farmers. In the area delineated
above 99% are of East Indian origin and nearly all
are Hindus.
Rice production is only a part of the total
agriculture carried on by the farmers. In addition to
the single rice crop they also plant other marketable
produce and may rear on the same lands cows, goats,
sheep and poultry.
Rice production was at its peak during and

IN 1963, a drainage and irrigation scheme in
the Oropouche Lagoon area backfired. Due to
poor implementation of the designs, the land
was made improper for rice growing. The
farmers after much inconvenience, loss of
time and money were not adequately com-
pensated. In fact some claims were not con-
sidered at all.
At a recent discussion on Rice The Problems
of the Farmer held at the University of the West
Indies, St. Augustine on January 26, 1974, the
Trinidad Island Wide Rice Growers Association of San
Francique Road Pebal presented a paper in which
they described the Rice Farmers of Trindad as "the
donkey of the society, for they are the ones carrying
the loads and also taking the blows". The Association
also went on to accuse Government of destroying
the food basket of South Trinidad the Oropouche
Lagoon .
In its recommendations the Association called
for the development of an extensive irrigation system
and the introduction of new and improved methods of
field preparation, harvesting and threshing. The Asso-
ciation also made a call for the provision of technical
advice to the farmers on a continuing basis. In this
context the Association felt that the present Agricul-
tural Extension Officers "do not knowanything or
very little about rice cultivation".
In a paper presented by Bisnath Khelawan of
Penal, the plight of the farmers in the compensation
issue is further highlighted. In the paper entitled,
The "scheme" of the Drainage and Irrigation scheme
of the Oropouche Lagoon, Khelawan documents the
utterly reprehensible way in which the whole issue
was handled.
Khelawan stressed the fact that the report of the
Commission of Enquiry was kept confidential and
never revealed. He called the Working Committee that

after the war and up to the late 1950's. After that
production fell becaues of relatively cheap supplies
from Guyana and the neglect in the maintenance of
irrigation and drainage schemes which were necessary
to ensure a crop and to secure good yields. Many
farmers not finding rice cultivation profitable turned
primarily to sugar cane and other food crops such as
peas, watermelons and ochroes.
In 1953, the Trinidad and Tobago Department
of Agriculture, Rice Division said:
"The expansion of local production (of rice) has not
kept pace with the increases in the population. Today
rice is scarce; since 1946 it has been necessary to
ration imported supplies. For these reasons the
Government of Trinidad has for some time past, been
anxious to encourage the expansion of the rice industry".
In the 1969- 1973, Trinidad andTobago Draft Five
Year Development Plan said,
"The Government will assist the industry (rice) by
providing subsidies for the use of proven fertilizers, by
seeking to introduce new and higher quality varieties,
and by encouraging the establishment of fewer and
more efficient mills".
These two statements show that while pro-
posals have been made to improve the local Rice
Industry and while some of these proposals have
been implemented, rice farmers generally have had
to make out as best they can on their own resources.

was set up to represent the farmers a bunch of "self-
appointed opportunists".
Accusing the Committee of setting out "to
swindle the farmers" Khelawan pointed out that they
forced the farmers in the St. John/Avocat area (the
only farmers to receive compensation) to pay them
20% of compensation received. Those farmers who
refused to pay found that their names were struck
from the compensation list.
Finally Khelawan pointed out that even though
the Committee is under investigation by the Fraud
Squad, it is still permitted to.operate.
Most of the rice grown locally is consumed by
the growers themselves. In most of the area being
discussed rice is cultivated on acreages ranging between
4 1 acre sometimes made up of separate parcels or
lots. This in itself creates problems for the effective
use of machinery. A recent land Capability Survey
Phase II showed that 62% of the rice produced by the
farmers was consumed by the households themselves,
32% went to wholesalers and 6% to Distributors. It
would appear that these figures do not take into con-
sideration the magnitude of small holdings that gtow
rice only for home consumption.
In a paper entitled The Economics of Rice
Production, Dennis Pantin pointed out the labour-
intensive nature of the crop. Citing the Land Capa-
bility County Reports he questioned the method of
ascertaining the economic viability of a farm by cal-
culating what a farmer would have earned working for
another farmer or the cost of hiring other persons to
grow his own rice.
Pn1tin pointed out that such a valuation ex-
cluded the sociological factor of working for oneself.
something which cannot be priced, and moreover
assumed the availability of either outside jobs or
labour of the farmer, an assumption which did not
appear to be valid.
Continued on Page 10

'J .


SUNDAY MAY 5, 1974

E ric




WHILE production was al-
ready in process, Last Week's
TAPIA was held up to pay
willing tribute to Eric Roach.
The last minute-decision to
ndroom for Cheryl Williams'

statement meant that we had
to leave half of the copy for
this week. In the haste a page
of typescript was misplaced
so that a few criucial para-
graphs were left out early in

the piece. We include it as an
Erratum at the end of this
week's offering along with
the Footnotes and the List of
Poems. The insertion is to be
made after paragraph 4 on
page 3.

The Tapia House Publish-
ing Company hopes that
arrangements could be made
to publish the essay as book-
let which would also embrace
the poems.

THE matter for debate here is the role of the
artist in the society. I have already indicated
how a consideration of this divides the arena
between supposedly engaged and supposedly
free writing which indicates the ideological
assumptions of the artist. Allied to this is a
consideration of art as an expression of the
individual pain or art as a part of a tradition.
Brathwaite criticising Louis James's The Islands
In Between had said:
its contribution appears to have worked within a
cultural context and definition where the writer
appears as an artistic individual rather than an agent
or angel of his society. This (to me) has been on the
whole the only means through which the complex
pattern of West Indian culture has expressed itself;
and in undertaking this expression, West Indian
writers have on the-whole abjured individualism. 10
This statement assumes that the writer con,
sciously becomes a spokesman for the society or
.groups within-thatsociety; and because individualism
is adjured, anything that falls outside of what is the
then prevailing tradition is useless. Others have re
sponded. I have laready pointed to the dictum that
art cannot be in the service of any cause. Yet Walcott
depreciates the idea of the unity in the writing, for to
him "what is given is a general thesis, not a particular

In either case what is sought is a distinction
between engineered literature, and a genuine work of
art. The polarizations are useless, since they give no
insight on this. I would argue that the 'unity'
Brathwaite senses in West Indian writing has arisen
not because of any conscious attempt to be an agent
of the society. It has been achieved by the wirters in
spite of themselves. When Naipaul speaks of his
alienation, Lamming his own; each has unwittingly
voiced anxieties symptomatic of the whole society.
And this is not so merely because of the nature of our
history, but because of the "closeness", the essential
unity among the disparity of the small West Indian
world. Hence the private experience becomes the
public experience. This is the significance of Roach's
group "I". The poet in speaking of his own pain
becomes unwittingly the spokesman for the society
and is construed to be consciously representing
In devising the need to create our own world
on these. silands. Roach as early as 1951 had seen the
poets work as helping to create this world with his
pen. But the colonial mind is intrinsically transient.
His rootlessness breeds a dissatisfaction with his own
world. He feels a need for the colonial motherland
who is his standard bearer. Like Brathwaite, Roach
had noted these symptoms of rootlessness in Love
Overgrows a Rock
We take banana boats
Tourist, stowaway
Our luck in, hand, calypsoes in heart
We turn Columbus's blunder back
Bim, 1957
For Roach this would not do. As early as 1952,
in his Letter to Lamming, he chastises his brother
poet for seeking his home abroad.
Older than you and more content
I hold my narrow island in my hand
While you have thrown yours to the sea
The tone is one of chastisement, gentle but
accusatory nevertheless. For in England, Lamming's
voice reaches the island as only ane cho. Roach,

dissatisfied at home himself, can still only feel pity
for this exile.
Forgive the thought divining you unhappy
Roach's pity is because he sees this self-exile abroad
as an abandonment of the work, for the starkly
indigent masses needed not only economic help but
voices to articulate their needs
oh for your oratory for the Stricken dumb.
Lamming's The Pleasures of Exile was written
in 1961. Several reasons have been preferred for the
migration to the metropole not the least being
economics. But Lamming went further. For each
colonial, a journey to the colonial motherland be-
comes a psychological necessity a much more
'plausible' explanation than the lack of a theatre or
general aesthetic sensibility.- If that was the case, n
would be interesting to find out why so many of our
artists have not returned to build it and continue to
live lives alien to the forms their writing to nostal-
gically applauds (for the masses?). Roach has re-
mained, and Walcott too, among others. And Roach's
argument is that it is precisely because of this appa-
rent lack that each is needed.

Here we are architects with no tradition
Are hapless builders upon no foundation

To reach for the metropole is to reach for some-
thing not our creation. The fallacy of that hope is
capsulated in a beautiful metaphor.
Can we spread through a score of centureis gone
Leap from the sheer escarpment of our time
And mount like eagles, proud winged among
That world is not ours. Roach offers to Lamming the
island consciousness, home, for the finale of all his
0 man, your roots are tapped into this soil
Savacou, 1973
Assuming therefore that your work should be
here, the poet later moves from this general realisa-
-tion of need to a hardening philosophical commit-
ment. Perceiving the need for work in his Letter to
Lamming, in his later works the lack of an indigenous
culture is related to the need for,a revolutionary

commitment to the finding of roots. This is best
exemplified in The .Fighters where he exhorts:
Painter, sculptor, poet in whom the seed
Takes leaf and the leaf greens flowers like fire
Speak for the old slave hosts, speak out for us
Who are their heirs, a grief molten from their loins
Persist to sheer perfection in the work
Like those who pit their perfect and tough sinew
Against arrogance and hate; art in intellect
May scale the granite wall or tear it down.
An exploration of Roach's favourite symbols
would underscore this sense of responsibility, and
would highlight the particular nature of the revolution
he sought. Brathwaite has lightly explained away
these symbols as "indications in Road of the im-
pulsion to move away from the istrenousness of his
barriered society". 12 Far from doing that these
symbols root him more firmly in these soils.
The hawk is a potent symbol. In spite of his!
decadence he possesses a longetivity or strength that'
no other bird has, and this is why he survives. This.
bird in Frigate Bird Passing is seen as soaring above all'
limits, with an untiring heart. It is these attributes
and the conquering spirit of the bird that.Roach hopes
to inform his world.

^ >

Not as stark men upon a drowning shack
Or a berserk salient dommed. ..
Not these, the poet wishes that each be like "the
joyous defiant" as victorious as the Hawk:
Go on, o singing man!
There are the eagles, the great winged before you
Reigning in sunlight, the hawks and the swallows'
over limitless landscapes
The tree is an even more positive symbol. As
trees rise up to meat the sun, as Roach implores the
tree to "serve me for symbol". For Roach too services
a larger dream.
Ispearhead the nigger hope
I am the first slave's shattered dream
And like the tree
I have grown taller than my pain
As trees outstrip the crowding shrub
It's an extremely optimistic poem born out of a cer-
tain kind of self-knowledge. It is a celebration of a
certain kind of oathing, a steadiness of purpose
focused on a single dream; Roach becomes his rooted
symbol tree. For the poet
The years shall wind away and leaves
Till the tree stand bare of bough
Stripped of green pride, despair hats, rags
Nor ever contradictory weathers
Nor the mad winds shall break the talkstark tower.
Bim 1952
The poet stands as a sharp and piercing weapon in
the revolutionary cause. He awakens memories of
Martin Carter's : '
I was wondering, if I could make myself
Nothing but fire, pure and incornrptible. 13
The art becomes the cause and the poem his tool.
This is a recurring feature in West Indian literature,
evident especially in Brathwaite, Carter and Road
The hopes that Roach cherished he saw coming
to fruition in Federation. Every serious West Indian
then must have harboured the hope that with the
Imperial overlords gone and self rule the order, the
West Indies would be poised on the threshold of

Cont'd on Page 6


SSupporters of the idea are~
invited to ind 'icate how many
copies they may want andd to
send other information that
becould render the project feasi-




From Page 5
some new civilization. There were many possibilities.
Many knew that. The excitement filled the poetry,
the art, entire corpus of the aesthetic world. In alll
Ii ittj, the entire corpus of the aesthetic world. In all'
tnose, more new onward looking forms were emerg-
ing. The poem Fugue for a Federation of 1958,
celebrates the long passage 'upwards' to this triumph.
Once again we begin with Columbus. Roach always
begins in the past.
Lord, all the WestAtlantic
Seaboards scathed and suffered
Since his caravels. Hell
followed him with sword, sweat, lust
Legions of generations
Still cry hate, disdain Toussaint
Black semblance of a man
But today this world of Columbus' creation
Twenty one republics
Seek sovereignties of freedom
And Roach identifies this pioneering spirit with the
same vorces which sent Columbus pursuing his dreams
So now they set sail, set sail
To destinations of the heart's desire
His courage is their compass
It is doubtful whether today Roach would use that
analogy. In an Evening News article of August 1973
bitterly he condemned the continued celebration of
Columbus Day, w'hilst Emancipation Day is ignored,
The poet's enthusiasm is however short lived. By
1961, he can clearly see that the hopes for a federal
mit had gone to rock. Each island was struggling for
its own freedom. Insularity and lack of vision among
others had contributed to the estrangement. The
poem He-Jugglestmages coalesces all the poets fallen
hopes. He who began on a high pitch of revolutionary.
fervour, feels this public failure as his own personal
failure. Hence the poem begins with his literary
He sees with blurred and dying.eyes
Without regret, without remorse
With irony his own demise
He juggles images of death
Sees 'disease sneaking into bone
Till the worms come.
These images are the painful cynic's response to life.
Life as a meaningless, repetitive cycle, a paradox,
opposites contradictory and useless. Hence love
beginning memorably as:-
Two flattered streams of blood become
In. their utter moments one
Ends bitterly as lust

Lust makes all the miracles
haversing the journey from the
school to a bitter fate

womb, through

Recovering in the present tense
History's experience
The mind make reconnaissance
In the insane public dance.
One can only surmise up to this point the cause of
the bitterness, but this becomes clearer as the poet
Private experience,
The thin thread of a thousand strands
How easy seem the bourgeois way.
The reasons for the poet's cynicism is evident by the
juxtaposition of History's experience and private
experience and the bourgeois way is that of. those
who can easily create and ignore these failures. But
the poet is not that lucky.
Pray for those whose bitter fate
Falls into a most intricate
Delicate deluding dream

In 1968 m Jamaica and 1970 in Trinidad and
Tobago,.the political social peace was shattered by a
revolutionary upsurge of thousands of people demand-
ing a new order. The February Revolution, as it was
later called in Trinidad, was a climax of a host of
new forces that had been emerging since the previous
decade. The movement demanded a redress of the
social and economic imbalances, it rebelled against
the continuing European cultural and economic
domination; and turned with great vigor to ancestral
roots. The confrontation was with 'self asking why
the promise of independence had not been fulfilled,
why the continued dependence on the North Atlantic
world? It sought most of all a native integrity. If one
shares my assessment, then this Revolution was the
grand remonstrance for which the poet hungered. The
poem City Centre shows that Roach appreciated this.
It was the icnoclastic confrontation he had sought in
The Fighters. The first stanza acknowledged this:-
here at city centre
in this sweet square

the stone men closed
the trees green witness
that man do not die but grow in dreams of
S.A.G. 1970
Roach is aware that his generation has failed to trans-
form the nature of the society. He is triumphant that
failure is not constant. Hope and action are cyclical.
That is man's last hope. Today new Oguns had
appeared. The trees, symbol of Roach's hope and
strength, reappear as triumphant and self-regenerating.
But by 1972 the promise of the Revolution had not
been fulfilled. Hopes were scattered, and the'ancien
regime"had reasserted itself. The poet is naturally
bitter. In Poem of 1972 he reminisces bitterly:-
Dying, the serpents
Writhing in its couls
tombing itself
in fold on fold
of its cold quivering flesh
Awful the death throes
The Revolution was betrayed.
The thing undid itself
thrashing in torments
Of guilt, of fear, of folly
its spine slipped discs
It is not clear to me what exactly the poet thought
was the cause of this undoing. Roach has not aban-
doned the serpent, for the serpent image was the new
spokesman of his dream. Hence the use of the serpent
is delusory. This style of deception is frequently used
by Roach and one has to be careful not to mis-
interpret his intentions. Here the sentiment belies
the form:-
Well, let it die
Who grieves a serpent's death?
No one perhaps, execpt for those who share the
writer's passions. For the others:
It ruled Paradise
despoiled our virgin innocence
and will devour
each pure untopie
we may dream
TAPIA, 1972
The Revolution had shattered our much vaunted
myths of racial harmony. We had pointed to Carnival
and thought what a world of equality facilitated by
the greatest equalisers in the world, steelband and
calypso. Well, 1970 broke that. People were to realise
that the road to unity was longer, more painful and
entailed more than platitudinous gibberish. Many
have not learned, not even the 'radicals' so called.
The poet returns in sad wonder to muse on the
continued disinheritance of his people. He no longer
contains the freshness of the first revolutionary thrust,
but a tired sense of failure. As with Federation, he
links the public failure with what he sees as his failure
openly admititng the thrust and movement of his
work. Verse in August said all's failed
Failed, failed lives
Failed spirit and failed love
To the tinal cry of despair

I have eaten so much history that I belch
Boloms of years to come
Drunk each day's carnival
I lear and squint at time telescoped
In Jesus's spear-cleft side
We shall not build
A kingdom of this world that is not ours

Of course the group 'I' merges into 'we'. We have all
failed. In a fitting poetic summary of his and our own
historic and frustrating journey he said Hard Drought
we had marched in Butler's
barefoot battalions
and moved from there when
Williams called us, and we thought we'd wor,
confusion fell upon us
as we learned on the years marches
that he was not ours but history's ruin
And finally to the failure of the '70 Revolution:
we were a mob
our barricades fell down on our own braying
Jackals have whinned, in the lions lair.
Here he indicates that the 1970 Revolution may have
failed because of the lack of plans and oganisation.
Yet this is the movement of a West Indian soul.
Searching still searching even at the peak of despair.
This veteran of griefs, betrayals, shames
Snails in the ancestral void
Where the middle passage flung us
on our knees, And in my one whole ear
I hear the moles purr in the silent dark





Among the stones... These wretched mur-
TAPIA, 1973
The thrust of Roach's work, I have shown, nas been
the attempt to delineate the need for new values,
identity etc. And a necessary prelude to that creation
would be the reawakengin of the African self. It is
only when one makes the connection between his love
of the peasants and the desje for reidentification
with roots that one can assume some dseired dialectric
between the two. On one occasion he hints at this
relationship. In Lady by the Sea, he capsulses this
need and the need for unity among the Islands:
Blood Grows and blooms
One hand may disinter
All the folkfaces stationed in the stone
One mind may kneed the nations
Till each island eat one large philosophy
One poet's dream may join the peoples
BIM 1954
As the journalist also, talking of folk dances he said
The displaced and gradually integrating
peoples preserve their ancient rituals
like memory of the blood.
Yet it would be a dangerous and simplistic account
to think of Roach as a peasant writer. While in his
poetry, progress demands a search for tribal roots, as
a critic he had adopted Walcott's more all-encom-
.passing position, when he admonishes that we are of
Europe too. To my mind, there is no real contradic-
tion between the poet's sentiments and the critic's.
For a careful reading of Roach's work reveals that
he too felt the need to embrace Europe. In Caribbean
Coronation Verse he exults:-
Till now my nigger voice from the slave islands
Proclaim her majesty in Shakespear's tongue
And because of this we are no longer master and
slaves out equals. He exhorts her majesty:
To Queen a Commonwealth of freedoms
Advance Britannia. The provider empire waits
The valiant spirits pioneering faith.
BIM 1973
Here the poet does not see the need for a radical
break with Europe. But this is understandable. In a.
colonial situation ambivalence is a normal condition.
While seeing the need for the creation of something
new, he like his political counterparts Williams,
Manley etc., knew that the rule of the game was being


fit to rule. This meant and still means the closest
approximation to the European world.
And this is the visionary fix Roach and most West
Indians are caught in today. While raging about our
culture, European culture became his standard bearer.
Roach is a transitionary poet. He is transitionary not
because of the content of his work. His passions and
anxieties are as recent and relevant as Questel's. He is
transitionary because of his confusion, the quagmire
over standards.
His younger colleagues have no doubt they would
jettison the precepts of English Literature where they
are not relevant. It is all part of the process of finding
self. A sharpening of-the inward focus which does not
mean a free for all, but also assuming the right to
select at will from the world stage. They refute the
sometimes overt or unconscious assumption that there
is some standard form and this form is somehow a
part of the compact European package. Roach is
1971 felt that the ultimate in standards were those
of the Great English tradition.
We are at the hinge of the Americas. We have been
given the European languages and forms of culture -
in the traditional aesthetic sense, meaning the best
that has been said, thought and done.

This statement would be shattered in one blow by
an examination of the poet's own work. The causes
of his cultural void is precisely because his introduc-
tion to this world was not one of equal and free
participant, but a secondary sub-human dreg. As such
the confrontation with western civilisation either
demanded the wholesale abandonment of native self,
acculturation or continued struggle. Roach is in no
way blinded to the corruption of his history of the
Kingleys and Freuds. Yet he saw no other cultural
teacher but Europe, completely forgetting the other
To be a Caribbean English Language poet is to be
aware of the functions and structure of English verse..
At the same time, one must like a reptile shed that
skin of learning, disdain while we revere that cultural
dominance and strive for what we would like to call
'the West Indian thing'.
A very contradictory position. It nonetheless reveals
that his quarrel is above all about form.
His mistake, and hence his alienation from the new
poets, is because of this static conception of form.
He refuses to understand the implications of such a
.monolithic view of even the Great English Tradition.
That tradition incorporates a wide range of styles,
ambitions, etc. Chaucer and Langland in the fourteenth
*century attempted to incorporate folk speech and

rhythms in their work. Yeats, like Harris, attempted
to use myth to forge a new tradition. And yet Roach
refuses to allow the'West Indies a break from this
It is a generational bias, and also one of education.
Roach, the colonial, grew steeped in Shakespeare,
Milton etc. He had little contemporary referents of
of his own. Poetry was then learned not read, and the
written word assumed an importance over the spoken
word; rhythm over rhythm. Roach's perspectives are
linked to these limitations..
His younger colleagues come pre-armed with a less
biased, more varied and more self-revealing stock of
knowledge. They have grown with a rising tide of
black literature, theses, the scientific knowledge of an
African civilisation. The growth of an African and
Third World diaspora, Negrititude and Black Power
have more significance in their world. In the Carib-
bean they are qacuainted with monumental works sa
Plantation Economy, the emergence of native forms
as the steelband, calypso etc. The perspectives are
very definitely different. When they revolt, their
energies are not pitted against an imperial overlord,'
but must be directed within. In poetry this would
occur naturally. Hence the search for forms out of
the various'heritages at home.
In the debate Roach had confused his desire for
craft (a true mark of the poet) by locating that
craft solely in the European tradition. Gordon Rohlehr
has already pointed out to him that his confusion
arose because he did not recognize the multiplicity of
forms that were emerging in the new poetry.
These conflicts about form are mirrored in the
poet's work. There can be no doubt that Roach, like
most of his contemporaries then was a highly deriva-
tive poet. It is also understandable that the greatest
literary influences on his work were derived from
English sources. In his assessment of cultural decolo-
nisation in West Indian literature Baugh said of
Roach's work:
In many of his poems Roach reminds us somewhat of
Walcott in the use he makes of his readings in Euro-
pean Literature to help him articulate his West Indian
and particular self. And some of his best poems, like
most of A. L. Hendriks', while attesting to the matur-
ing of West Indian poetry, do not address themselves
to West Indian themes a such; but directly to, the
great and inexhaustible personal universal concerns
of man.
This accusation is particularly meaningful in a reading
of the poet's love poems. In She NeverDies for
example, he equates his passions for his lover to that
of Shelley, Byron and Keats, and as far back as
Tristan, Anthony and Homer; right back to the
neo-classical tradition.
The -universal themes are also reflected in
poems which outline worlds reminiscent of Elliot's
Wasteland. This theme pervades te untitled poem of
A rancorous blood, a common, levelling
Iniquitous, boisterous floods on the world
Wisdom is ruined, the sceptre and the orb
Of golden rule are snouted in dust.
The poet is here speaking of the whole world. It is
difficult to say what engendered this vision of uni-
versal emptiness. All man's hope he says was burnt to
rubble and ashes. The poet, like Elliot, saw the need
for a "religious apprehension" to restore peace to the
world. He speaks of an orator to
clenseus ofblood: break the brown bloodofpeace

BIM 1955
In 1960 the Wasteland theme is brought home
in Notes for a New Poem. The hills are brown, trees
leafless, and crops are slaughtered in the field. The
sun here is evil and vengeful. The drought on the land
is seen
as if a splinter from the sun
shot a rocket to the earth
Burns the shark-shaped island up
With an unconsuming fire
This sun had previously in Hawks Heart been seen as a
potential creative force in the poet's awakening.
He implored
Oh may the sun bum open cages
Of my being, heal my halt hope
Roach has been influenced also by the Roman-
tic writers as Wordsworth, Blake, etc. This is evident
in the poem Flowering Rock
In fierce hot noons
Neath homestead trees
Our village girls
Breast feed their young
And in our valley
The stream water croons
cool rhythms among stones
BIM 1950
There is a cool serenity, purity, an idlyllic quality
about this life. A mellow tender touch so reminiscent
of Wordsworth. It is claimed that Yeats is the largest

single influence in Roach's work. Roach according to
Walcott, possesses the tone of Yeats which is without
bitterness and "has a proprietary candour, the salu-
tory contempt of a man speaking about his own
people". 19 But Walcott went much further than
this, to an accusation of plagiarism on Roach's part.
He says
Roach exhausted his themes through an almost total
dependence on Yeats, and it is interesting to explain
The similarities as Walcott saw them lay in Roach's
use 'as Yeats of a directness of address, the constant
use of "I': for instance, compatible to exhorting'the
folk into realising their dignity.
Most of Roach's poetry is written in blank
verse and the iambic pentameter. It is significant that
when Roach speaks about the issues'closer to him his
language is simple and the form more fluid ...
Contemporary readers may baulk however at the use
of such images as hearth, winter and spring especially
evident in the early poems. Today the Caribbean man
is arriving at a more feasible solution to the problern'
of language. Dialect has found its place in the literature
alongside the elevation of the folk. As men grow
confident so too will this confidence be reflected in
their speech. Brathwaite began to write as early as
Roach, and it currently writing tremendous poetry
incorporating the speech patterns and the rhythms
of the Caribbean people. Roach could not bridge that
gap. His attitude to form, standards, ect, was largely'
the reason for this. .
On January 12, 1973, in an article entitled
"Conflict of West Indian Poetry" Roach attempted
to define the polarizations in West Indian literature.
The field as he saw it was parted between the tribes
and Afro-Saxons. Of the latter he said:
on the other side are the people of the Afro-Saxon
elite group measuring styles and. strides with North
American and European poets.
Now I have already argued that Roach's concept of
styles and standards are essentially of looking towards
Europe, especially England, for tutelage. Does he then
belong to the Afro-Saxons? On the other hand he
says of the "tribes" that they are:
concerned only with black people, the third world in
general, the dispossessed and the now betrayed Carib-
bean black folk in particular.

Obviously the content of Roach's work fits the above
description. If one accepts his definitions then just
where does the poet stand? As the poet continued his
analysis, in a very revealing statement about Wayne
Brown's poetry he said:
One reads "On the Coast" searching diligently for
some comments on our bewildered times, on our
baffled impotent rage, or self-mockery of our indi-
indigent condition. But all the poet offers us is idylls
of the sea and highly intellectualised glimpses of his
personal experiences here and there about the face of
the earth.

This statement was taken to be a conversion to the
tribal position. Roach had discovered at last just-
where his sentiments were.
Yet one still had to reconcile his views no form.
In Sunday Guardian of March 17, 1974, in the article
"Introducing Caribbean Literature to North America",
Roach took issue with Dr. Livingstone on the title of
his anthology "Caribbean Rhythms The Emerging
English Literature of the West Indies". Roach argued
that Livingstone was wrong in his assumptions the
Anthology, he maintained, is one fo the West Indies
and that there is nothing like an English Literature of
the West Indies. 24
It would seem that the poet had at last severed
the umbilical cord which in his previous assessments
had bound us to the English Literary tradition. But
one is not entirely sure, for, summing up his argument
he says
We are all off-shoots of the great human experience
known as western civilisation. But we are of the
American The Caribbean once the sea of
European destiny is now The American Axis. Art and
Culture should follow the political and economic

Roach here ahs obviously failed to appreciate the
scope of the 1970 revolution, or even the yearnings
expressed in his own work. For the imperial rider had
shifted from England to America and it was against
her cultural and economic dominance that most of
venom of the revolution was directed. More import-
antly, the new savants of West Indian literature-are
not about to be tied anywhere, Europe, Africa or
America. Their sources are home, their dictum, that
the West Indies must be the arbiters of their political,
social and literary worlds. That is the task of the
revolution. Of this they are sure.
In these days of hard politics, love poetry seems
to have little place. That would be the argument of the
foolish man. Art is basically an expression of self and
anything which falls within this is immediately valid.
I have mentioned already that it is among Roach's

Cont'd on Page 8

%AY 5, 1*74


Conclusion of:

The poetry

of Eric


From Page 7
love poems that one encounters the most foreign
references. Here too there is.a too obvious attention
*to craft. Some of the poems are painfully laboured.
Yet these poems are gripping in their stark emotional
honesty. There is anger and there is love and on
either occasion the emotion is genuine. Consider one
of his earliest Stranger Beware:
What is faith? And what is faithless
Stranger you who hold his lover
In the neighbour island yonder
Lightly turn and-fondly ask her

Lightly turn and fondly ask her
Of the years she shed away
That she count them day by day
Out of her heart into your hand
Till finally he gives the warning

Stranger lest she shall leave you
Gazing in a broken mirror
Gazing at your own reflection
Unaware that you are there

BIM 1949

It si a magnificent combination of rhyme, rhythm and
repetition. The rhythm, subtle, soft and smooth belies
-the poet's anguish. The movement of the poem ex-
presses the deceptive quality which the poet wants
to identify in his ex-lover, reinforced by the repetition
of lines. The same process is repeated in Poem of
June 1951 and The Picture. In the former, comparison
is used to evoke the moods of .exultant love and
failed love. The poem begins grandiosely:

He plucked a burning stylus from the sun
And wrote her name among the thronging stars

but the rhythms change to a quieter melancholic

The seas are sorrows
And the seas accept the moon's dark tragedies
Roach's main technical weakness particularly
obvious in the love poetry, is a tendency towards
bombast and words for words sake. Sometimes there
is a vagueness, an inability to draw together tight
arguments. This shows a clear lack of discipline.
Poems which start with serious intent, lapse into sheer
sentimentality. One can only guess on occasion, the
larger meanings at which the poet aims, only in the
light of what went before.
To conclude I would begin as I have started in
locating Roach's place in West Indian literature. I have
attempted to show that in many instances the polariza-
tions in the debate are false, for instance on the issue
of West Indian writers deliberately creating a unity in
their work on or the issue of the role of the artist.
Yet differences exist and Roach today stands with
his feet in both camps.
Roach the critic and Roach the poet have not
yet resolved their internal debate. This is evident i
.his continued confusion over standards here. His
problem, is partly generational. Today's generation
have been, a progressive development to Roach's in
termsof their resources and subsequently in terms
of their vision. The shifting alignments of the poet,
reflects: the shifting consciousness. Hence behind all
the rhetoric about form or the nature of art and
conflict is really ideological. In this sense the debate
is inevitable and perhaps healthy and reflects the
wider social and political debate. Yet in situations like
these, men quibble over imaginary differences and
create, divisions where there are none. The new
orthodoxy jostles with the old and differences are
magnified over and above the things that are shared.
It is inconceivable that there could be an easy
solution. One can only wait on time and the currents
which the writer informs and which themselves
inform the writer. This is the message of Roach's work,
besides it greater gift a path towards the creation of
a genuine new world.
April 16,1964

SUNDAY MAY 5, 1974


Since Africa and Asia were
battered, it becomes neces-
sary to restore them.
Some react to this as mere
cultural insularity, a tortured
focus which ignores the wide
world, and the various cul-
tures, in which these new men
of the world can partake at
will.The West Indies is young.
It is a physical and psycholo-
gical amalgam of a host of
cultures. This cannot be de-
nied. With redeeming fevour,
they argue that art is higher
than the particular. Not ex-
plicitly art for arts sake no
West Indian would afford that
shallow luxury they argue
that art must rise above poli-
tics or cause. It cannot be a
political tool or a continued
lament on the past. They
offer instead the hope of a
multi influenced literature
one embracing a universal
outlook in art and perhaps as
well in their politics.
But others see this as a
complete misunderstanding
of the argument. Of course all
the world's our stage. What
they seek is not to ignore that,
but to really choose at will;
And since the past and even
the present have been domi-
nated by the European actors,
the task is to remedy this.
This can only be done by
restoring to equality the
shattered cultures. Even in
literature Europe dominates;
The argument of universality
is seen as masking an unwilling-
ness to abandon concepts of
form or standards gleaned
from Europe. An utterly re-
prehensible view, for it is
tacitly concedes the superio-
rity of the European tradi-
The debate revolves then,
around content and form in
the literature and raises ques-
tions about the role of the
artist in relation to society.
The different positions taken
are assumed as defining views
about culture and politics,
which have great portent for
the choices and revolutionary
potential of the West Indies.
The question of subject
matter assumes immense pro-









1. Sylvia Wynter, "Creole Criticism; a Critique", New World
Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 4, Pg. 20.
2. Op.Cit., p. 23
3. Ibid.
4. Orlando Patterson, "Towards the Future that has no Past",

5. Gorden Rohlehr, "The Folk in Caribbean Literature" Tapia,
Vol. 2, No. 7, Dec. 17, 1972. Pg. 8
6. Orlando Patterson, "Towards a Future that Has no Past" p. 38,
op. cit.
7. Eric Roach, "A Type not found in all Generatoins" Trinidad
Guardian, July 14, 1971.
8. Derek Walcott, "In Praise of Peasantry" Trinidad Guardian, July
18, 1965.
9. George Lamming, "The Black Rock of Africa" African Forum
Vol. 1, No. 4
10. Edward Brathwaite, "Caribbean Critics, New World Quarterly,
Vol. 5, Nox. 1 &2 1969, Pg. 7.
11. Derek Walcott, op. cit.
12. E. Brathwaite, "Sir Galahad and his Brothers" Bim, Vol. 7,
No. 25, July-Dec. 1957, Pg. 12.
13. Martin Carter, "Three poems of shape and Motion Kyk -
over-al Vol. vi, No. 20 Mid-Year 1955
14. E. Roach, Trinidad Guardian March 10, 1967
15. E. Roach, "A Type Not Found in All Generations" Trinidad
Guardian, July 14, 1971.
16. Ibid.
17. Gordon Rohlehr "West Indian Poetry": Some Problems of,
Assessment, Tapia, Vol. 1, No. 20 August 29, 1971.
18. Edward Baugh, "West Indian Poetry" A study in Cultural
Decolonisation" 1900-1970
19. D. Walcott, op. cit.
20. D. Walcott, op.cit.
21. E. Roach, "Conflict of West Indian Poetry" Trinidad Guardian
Jan. 12, 1973
22. E. Roach, Ibid.
23. E. Roach, Ibid.
24. E. Roach, "Introducing Carib Literature to North America"
Sunday Guardian, Mar. 17,1974
25. E. Roach, Ibid.


Oh No More Now, Bim, Vol 3, No. 11 (Dec. 1949) 1 App Pg.
Stranger Beware, Bim, Vol. 3 No 11 (Dec. 1949) Pg 2, App.
The Flowering Rock, Bim, Vol. 3, No. 12 (June 1950) Pg. 3 App.
Beyond, Bim, Vol..3 No. 12 (June 1950) Pg 4. App.
Death Does Not,Bim, Vol. 3 No. 12 (June 1950) Pg. 5 App.
Frigate Bird Passing, Bim, Vol. 4 No. 13 (Dec. 1950) Pg. 6 App.
Transition, Bim, Vol. 4 No. 13 (Dec. 1950) Pg. 7
Homestead, Caribbean Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 3, Poem dated
1951-52, Pg. 9, App.
Poem in Bim, Vol. 4, No. 14 (June 1951) Pg. 11
Birth Bim, Vol. 4 No. 15, (Dec. 195.1) Pg. 11
The Old House, Bim, Vol. 4, No. 16 (1951) Pg. 12
Tree -Bim, Vol.4, No. 16 (1952)Pg.'14. June 1
Something Seen -Bim. Vol. 4. 16 (1952) Pg. 15
Caribbean Coronation in Verse Bim, Vol. 5, No. 18, (June 1963)
Pg. 17
Letter to Lamming in England Savacou, Nos. 7/8 (January/June
1973) taken fromBim, 1952, Pg. 19
Poem -Bim, Vol 5, No. 19, Dec. 1953, Pg. 21
The Fighters, Bim, Vol. 5. No. 19 (Dec. 1953) Pg. 22
The White Coffin Bim, Vol. 5, No. 20, (June 1954) Pg. 23
A Dyge for a Dead Poet, Bim, Vol. 5, No. 20 June 1954, Pg. 25
Lady by the Sea -Bim. Vol. 6, No. 21 Dec. 1954 Pg. 26
At Grafton Bay, Bim, Vol. 6, No. 21 (Dec. 1954) Pg. 28
Ballad of Change, (written perhaps in 1955-56) p. 29
Poem Bim, Vol. 6, No. 22 (June 1955) Pg. 31
Hawk Heart, Bim, Vol. 6, No 22, June 1955, Pg 32
Daggerel for Adolescence, Bim, Vol. 6 No 23, Dec. 1955, Pg. 32
Love Overgrows a Rock, Bim, Vol. 7, No. 25 July/Dec. 1957, Pg. 34
Figure for Federation, Bim, Vol. 7, No. 26, Jan-June, 1958, Pg 35.
She Never Dies, Bim, Vol. 7, No. 28. Jan-June, 1959, P. 37
For A.A. Cipriani, Bim, Vol. 8,No. 29, June-Dec. 1959, Pg. 38
Notes for a New Poem -A Review Opus, June, 1960, P. 39
I am the Archipelago, Tun Softly Demerara, Taken from Kyk-
Over-Al(1960)P. 41
The Picture, Bim, Vol. 8, No. 31, (July-Dec. 1960) Pg. 42
Mother and Son, Bim, Vol. 9,No. 33, July/Dec. 1961 P. 43
He Juggles Images Bim, Vol 8, No. 32 (Jan/June 1961,) Pg. 44
The Curse of Her Beauty, BimVol. 8, No. 32 (Jan/June 1961) P. 45
The World on Islands, Bim, Vol. 9, No 34, Jan/June, 1962, Pg 47
February, Caribbean Voices, Vol. 3, (1970) Pg. 48
March Trades, Caribbean Voices, Vol. 2, (1970) Pg. 49
At Guaracara Park, S.A.G. Vol. I, No. 3, (Dec. 1970) Pg. 51
City Centre '70,S.A.G. Vol. 1. No. 3 (Dec. 1970) Pg. 52
Blues for Uncle Tom, The Black I. Vol. I No. 1, Mar. 1972. Pg. 54
Poem, Tapia. No 25, April, 2, 1972) Pg 55
Hard Drought, Tapia. Vol. 3, No. 16 April 22, 1973. Pg. 57
Verse in August, Savacou, No. 718, Jan/June 1973, Pg. 61
Poem for this Day, Tapia, Vol. 11 No. 1I, Dec 17, 1972, Pg. 55


SUNDAY MAY 5, 1974


From Page 4
Pantin went on to speak on some of the prob-
lems facing the rice farmer. He cited seven major
problems: -
1. The lack of drainage and irrigation facilities.
2. The lack of security of tenure and the small
size of land holdings.
3. The lack of extension services to provide
technical information to the farmer.
4. Inadequate access roads.
5. The difficulty of getting young people to work
on the farms because of the drudgery and low
6. Lack of credit facilities.
7. Inefficient milling facilities.


POEPLE who plant rice in Trinidad are
mainly of East Indian descent. They live
predominantly in the rural areas and plant rice'
mainly for their own consumption. In some
cases they would sell to raise cash for other
-purchases. eg. clothing and foodstuffs. These
sales are negligible. However, rice for most of
:those who plant it at present is only a small
segment of their involvement in agriculture.
Most of these farmers plant other crops which
they market in the towns. They also rear cows
and poultry for their private consumption.
At present Rice farming is generally carried on
as a family activity. In some cases a planter may hire
labour. In most instances the entire family gets
involved in the cultivation and harvesting process.
This is done so as to reduce costs. In any event most
of these families are large (as high as twelve (12)
members and averaging seven (7) and often are
On January 26, 1974 a Seminar on Rice Farming
was held at the University of the West Indies, St.
Augustine. This was attended by approximately 400'
farmers. They came from the major rice farming areas
of Tnidad including those earmarked by Government

in its revitalization of rice lands project. This repre-
sentation of the entire rice-farming segment of the
population in Trinidad.
The average age of the farmer was around forty-
five years but ranged from seventeen to seventy five.
About sixty of those present were women whose
average age was about fifty years. Of the 400 farmers
present 5% were under 20 years of age another 14%
were between 20 and 35 years of age. About 60%
were between 35 and 60 years of age and 20% were
over 60 years of age.


Most of the active rice farmers are of the second
generation of East Indians, who were brought to
Trinidad between the years 1845-1917 to work on the
sugar-cane plantations. These second generation farm-
ers are generally illiterate though some may possess
the basic ability to write their names. Their entire
lives have been spent in the sugarcane and rice
fields. As such they have an excellent working know-
ledge of the ways and means of farming.
In spite of their low level of literacy it has to
be noted that they are a very politically aware people.
With the social and political uprisings in the 1970's
they have themselves begun to be more articulate
in their demands and to set up their own organiza-
tions to seek their interests. It is no longer easy to
divide them through the use of race, religion or politics
since their experience have taught them that unity is
strength. For example, the sugar workers, who are at
present battling for higher wages and guaranteed work
all year round boast of their unity and of the fact that
the normal divisive factors have failed to destroy
their struggle. These sugar workers also plant rice for
their own consumption.
Among the farmers, expectations are rising every-
day. The farmers do not wish for their children to be
farmers and they strive to give to them the best possi-
ble education. This creates an exodus of the third
and fourth generation East Indians from the sugar
and rice fields. It would seem therefore that -to
maintain an active labour force the status both social
and economic of the agricultural sector would have
to be increased.

Feeling the pangs of discrimination (both racial
and otherwise), having the experience of seeing Crown
Lands in Waller Field distributed to people who knew
nothing of cattle rearing, experiencing the compensa-
tion paid to pig farmers within two months of swine
fever such discrimination and favouritism is causing
the rice farmer to reflect on his role in the business of
One group of rice farmers had this to say:-
"All of us can plant, grow and produce rice. If
we are. given some help we can help to ease the rice
shortage. We have know how, we have the skill and we
want to do it. We have a large labour force of able and
determined men and women who would throw them-
selves with a will in making this project a success.
Government has started schemes in the past. The cause
of failure is that local rice planters were not involved.
Jobs were given to those who had no interest in
growing rice. Further the projects were not main-
tained either because of negligence or unconcern".
For the Ministry "the problem at hand is to
provide proper irrigation and drainage facilities,
access roads and other amenities to increase yields".
One Ministry representative said "maybe I need a
social worker in Penal, San Francique, Barrackpore
and the Oropouche Lagoon". He continued:-
"Rice farmers both present and previous are
bewildered and suspicious of the renewed inter-
est in rice production. Not being consulted,
compensated, not enjoying the benefits of ex-
tension services, seed material, better prices, nor
favoured in any way, rice farmers are being
called upon to help in solving the food crisis.
Neither the intentions of the planners nor their
plans for the future, whether they be long or
short-term, are as yet known. The returns to
the farmer if he should cultivate rice is also not
made public. All these important and un-
answered questions confound the rice farmers".
It is worth nothing what happened at the Seminar on
Rice Cultivation and its Problems held on January
26, 1974 at UWI. It was not the issue of rice technolo-
gy which held the limelight but the farmers' pro-
testations over their neglect and the deluge of requests
for official-recognition.



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From Page 3
of education. And so it proved. Of the two groups
considering formal and non-formal education, the
first proposed forays into all areas of national life in
the economic sphere, take advantage of crisis situat
tions .to sensitize housewives to- consumer issues and
possibilities of intervention by them; in the political
sphere, appoint three ''animators" to stimulate local
community leadership; in the cultural sphere, ex-
plore the use of drama to foster inter-cultural appre-
ciation rather than competition.
T h e f o r m a 1 education group, declining
to parcel out resources or identify indivi-
dual el events of the system that might be
e x p 1 o i t e d for change, proposed instead
a concentration of all resources in one single com-
In collaboration with the community, the
group said, CCC-CADEC must devote all possible
resources to schoolingforeleven-plus failures (perhaps



by assembling post-primary children from several
schools into one school); experimentation in curricu-
lum reform; adult education; infant day-care centres,
training and placement of para-professional workers
such as midwives, dental mechanics, agricultural
extension workers.
There must be no preconception as to method

and nothing must be done at a faster pace than the
people of the community themselves could be per-
suaded to adopt; the project must specifically not be
sustained by a bombardment of resources from out-
side, but must be made self-sustaining by the awaken-
ing of local participation. It must constantly seek to
persuade the community to consider the establish-
ment of its own machinery for obtaining and execut-
ing control over its own education, and must seek the
extension of this control to areas outside education.
So the choice was not after all between action
and dialogue between "politics" and "work". Just
as the task of organizations that call themselves
political is to undertake the work of politics the
sensitization of people to real issues so it is. the
task of "non-political" organizations such as the
churches to recognize the politics of work i.e,
need to attack specific technical problems in such a
way as to lead the population to an understanding of
its power to control its destiny in all ways.

Letter to the editor NJAC replies to Millette

PLEASE allow us to reply
to an "Express" report on
Dr. Millette's appraisal of
Black Power. His contentions
were (1) That Black Power
represents no ideology and
(2) that socialism represents
the only correct ideological
nnrtoi+n frr nfoIwring rpvnll.-

out systematic ideas for re-
solving what seems to be to
the theorist the fundamental
conflict in the world then
Black Power cannot be de-
nied an ideological position.


pVoull Wing g VVLet us state the ideological
tionarystruggleagainst capital- pitin ste the idologicl
ism. position first by outlying its
disagreements in stress with
We concern ourselves with communism. Black Power
his first contention and our does not recognize the con-
polemic is simple. If ideology tradition between working
is in essence a way of seeing class and bourgeoisie as the
and interpreting social phe- major contradiction -in the
nomena. and then the working world today. Instead it focuses

on the growing polarization
between two new antagonistic
forces the white and black
nations of -the world. (It is
common perception that des-
pite ideological differences in
the former camp, these can be
sunk in face of crises involving
black nations for the sake of
peace). It is out of that con-
sciousness that the whole
framework of Black Power
thought develops. Black Po-
wer recognizes the import-
ance of Imperialism, disagrees
over what are the:most poten-
tially eruptive forces within it
and does not pay homage to

it as a superordinate world
impulse over white racism.
In short Black Power sees
White Racism as the trans-
cendent ideology of white
civilization in the twentieth
What we have slowly wit-
nessed in this century is a
systematic castration of the
white working classes of the
North Atlantic countries by
capitalism. Having surrendered
their "historical role" the arena
of struggle has shifted to the
Black world, and Marxists
with that shift, but in the
process still clinging religiously
to the "God-given" role ascrib-
ed to the white working
classes as the mainspring of
world revolution. But the
colonial situation introduced
a totally new dimension -
Racism, -which Marxists have
been unable .to project satis-
factory ideological answers
for, giving it instead a wide
berth and not coming to grips
with it.


Nor, in essence, have the
over-riding class contradic-
tions of Marxianthought been
exported to the colonies, as
Marxists like to claim, and
therefore use to explain away
in a nice little package colonial
wars of liberation. Indeed
these present wars of libera-
tion are rooted in a history of
nationalist resistance to
European expansionism that
in many cases pre-date Lenin's
in many cases pre-date
Lenin's imperialist epoch
and that have in essence under-
gone little or no qualitative
Their treatment of the
colonial situations is super-
ficial and is a fine demonstra-
tion of the total inadequacy
of Communist thought in
terms of Black revolution.
Indeed, Fanon is one of the
few black revolutionary
theorists who seems to have
appreciated the spiritual and
cultural needs of black colo-
nized peoples dimensions
completely outside the frame-

work of Communist thought.
These dimensions introduce
now three new factors into
world revolution, race, na-
tionality and culture which
together transcend the' mere
concept of class and consti-
tute the characteristic under-
pinnings of colonial relations,
such areas of stress inform the
essence of the Black Power
ideology and not simply the
struggle against capitalism.


Nor can we be unwary of
the Marxist jargon of black
revolutionary leaders as an
indication of the direction, of
their intellectual commitment
and thereby to argue for the
university of Marxism-
Leninism. The political in-
irigues of the Soviet Union
are known to have "coerced"'
black revolutionaries to com-
promise their strong National-
ist position in favour of Social-
ism if they want delivered
the goods needed to wage
successful war. The severe
ideological conflicts within
the African liberation move-
ments, even while engaged
with the enemy, is a striking
case in point.
Our point is that Marxist
theoreticians are either unable
of unwilling to recognize the
growing irrelevance of their
ideology, both in place and
time, with the changing nature
of forces in the world and are
trying .to fit all existing revo:
lutionary situations into one
framework of thought. This is
Black Power has perceived
the dialectical- change and is
seeking to point the way to a
Wholly new direction for
thought. It does not claim to
have all the answers norjes-
tablish sources of reference,
but as an ideology it is de-
veloping everyday in a real
and practical situation of
Sekou Siaka
for Eastern Arm, .National
Joint Action Committee.


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From Page 2

persons had been searched as
part of "special Areas" cor-
doned off by security forces,
acting under the new legisla-
tion. Many were toface ganja
and other charges.
By last week twelve were
occupying the cells behind the
Gun Court, and three have
already been sentenced to in-
definite detention.
Jamaica has always suf-
fered from internecine vio-
lence just like Trinidad in the
heydays of gang warfare.
In Trinidad most of that
violence had been based on
the use of knives, cutlasses,
daggers, but hardly..if ever,
In Jamaica, the same type
of gang warfare continues to
exist, but many times based
on the use of guns.
Most of the guns are said
to be the result of the lucrative
gania trade with North Ameri-
ca. Jamaicans tell you that in
some of the remote areas,
ganja planes land on the roads.


Ganja dealers have been
taking their payment, it is.said,
partly in the form of arms
and ammunition.
However, many guns have
been distributed by the poli-
ticians themselves since each
political party has always had
its "army", particularly at
eTection time.
Again, this is something
which was not uncommon in
Trinidad during the 50's and
early 60's.
The Daily News in an
editorial on April 4, on the
Anti-Crime Drive makes this
"What we would ask Mr.
Matalon to do now is to go
after the political guns which
may still be around. The
introduction of the political
gun into the society probably
opened up all sorts of avenues
for other guns".
In so far as this violence
was directed to antagonisms
within the ghetto in West
Kingston or elsewhere, the
official reaction was one of
toleration. That violence has
now been spilling over and
the entire society has begur
to panic.
There is a similarity in the
Vigilante patrols established
in Trinidad during the 1970.
State of Emergency.
There are rumours that the
fatal shooting of the promi-
nent persons is a result of
some Mafia links with a recent
international boxing tourna-
ment in Jamaica. Others dis-
miss this rumour as mere
Those who have most to
lose panic easiest. Thus the
February/March "travel talk"
published by the Jamaica
Tourist Board carries a front-
page lead by the President of
the JHTA, John Issa, headed
"Lawlessness has hampered
industry's growth".
Issa argues that if Jamaica
is to survive, the tourist in-
dustry has to survive. After
dealing with question of the
balance ot payments, price
increases, import restrictions,

IF THE Gun Court legislation
is considered draconian then
its physical appearance is
frightening to the point of
Imagine a German prisoner
of war camp, machine gun
turrets at each comer, rolls of
barbed wire behind the chain
line outer fencing. Paint the
central compound of build-
ings the brightest red you can
Do the same for the cells
at the back and the machine
gun turrets at the four cor-
ners. Paint the soldiers black.
Add a connecting link to the
headquarters of the Jamaican
Defence Force next door and
you have the Gun Court.
Oh, don't forget, the large
sign over the main driveway,
heavily guarded by soldiers,
which reads quite simply

he states,that the biggest
problem facing the tourist
industry is lawlessness in the
The solution, he says, is
the creation of "stringent law
and order measures in the
resort area. Turn the resort
areas into armed camps, if
necessary. Despite riots, kid-
napping and anarchy in Mexi-
co,these very measures have
protected the tourist industry
and last year their growth
was in the region of 18 per


The other Business organi-
sations soon raised their voices
calling for law and order.-The
result the four pieces of
repressive legislation.
There have been voices
raised in opposition including
those of the Bar Association,
private citizens and other
institutions. Their protests
have generally been centred
on the constitutionality of the
new legislation.
One lawyer, lan Ramsay
says that he intends to with-
draw- from legal practice as
a protest against the Gun
Court Act. He will not appear
in the Gun Court or in rela-
tion to any charges under the
Suppression of Crime Act.
These pieces of legislation,
Mr. Ramsay says, takes away
rights and liberties belonging
to the people of Jamaica won
since the abolition of slavery.
He argues that gun crimes
should be handled under the
emergency powers in the Con-
stitution which are temporary
The Act reverses the bur-
Sden of proof as one is now
assumed guilty until proven
innocent. He also criticised
the power given Residential
Magistrates under the Act
which "usurps the functions
of the jury, and provides for
secret trials to which the
press is barred.
For the last few weeks the
big controversy in the press
has been over the .question
of whether licensed gun-hold-
ers should be disarmed. Mr.
Matalon has hastened to as-
sure-that the position should
be one gun to one household

and that only excess guns will
be kept in safekeeping by the
I suspect that most Jamai-
cans, with the exception of
those directly affected by the
legislation, are ambivalent
over the new legislation, in so
far as it is lessening the amount
of gun crimes in the society.
Some will say it openly,
like one Trinidadian friend
living inJamaica whose retort
was "who cah hear, must
A University lecturer
Slau g h ed embarrassingly:
"Lucky ting I not in gun
crime business."
Another Jamaican, while
admitting that the legislation
was not the answer, felt that
several of the persons shot
had in fact assisted many of
the sufferers in that society
and did not deserve their end.
This is why I think the
comparison can be made with
the days of gang warfare in


When two steelbands
clashed on Carnival day, any-
one could end up in hospital
and so the society had little
sympathy for those involved.
If you lived in one fo the
ghettos then you knew that
this violence was no respector
of persons.
It is only since the rise of
black consciousness and the
steelband gaining some respec-
tability (if not the panman to
quote Stalin), that this inter-
necine violence has been elimi-
nated to a large extent. No
more rope days in the ghetto.
Violence has been given point,
or directions in 1970 when
certain business places were
However, there wsa still
that uncertainty of the direc-
tion of this violence which led
to Vigilante, committees in
many residential areas. There
is a difference between a vigi-
lante committee of residents
and paid guards which upper
class areas could afford.
The point is that States of
Emergency were declared in
Trinidad which did not last
forever; the Jamaican legisla-
tion remains on the statute
However, we have had our
repressive legislation Fire-
arms Amendment Act, Sedi-
tion Act, etc. which in a
piecemeal way covers almost
the same legislation as the
Jamaican bit.
The penalty for arms and
ammunition in Trinidad is
ten years. In Jamaica it is
indefinite detention.However,
it seems unlikely- that many
persons convicted will serve
as much as ten years.
There are over one-hun-
dred persons in our cells await-
ing trial for arms and ammu-
nition charges and several of
them have been there for
years. That is also indefinite
The real danger in the
Jamaican legislation is not
merely the fact that it con-
ceives of repression as the
way to end crime and does
not look at the underlying
social and economic .condi-

tions, it is the indefiniteness
of the sentence which leaves
the victim to the mercy of
persons who may deliberately.
keep him incarcerated.
The Gun Court will not
end crime in the society. It
will only ensure that those
caught will pay for all the
other "criminals" at large.
What is even more dange-
rous is that this legislation
may not been intended for
"criminals" at all but really
for political opposition who
conceive of changing the sys-
tem rather than the govern-
This end may not be dis-
cernible today but in the
future when the attempts by
the present government to
patch up things are seen as
no better than that of the
Shearer Govt.
When people's conscious-
ness are raised to the extent
where they perceive that it is
not a question of good men
or bad men, but one of sys-

No matter how micht
goodwill, a Govt. has, unless'
it can provide employment,
social amenities and elimiiate
.!privilege then it must I'f
tually reach down into its little
bag and come out with re-
When the disillusion f.bal;
ly sets in with the M4e i
Govt. It will take a dfectt
political focus unlike the'in-
direct or unconscious violence
prevailing at present.
And this is where the
present legislation will beqpme
important because it wig be
able to put the real political
opposition on ice for as long
as it requires. As we in Trini:
dad know so well, to plant
arms or ammunition on some-
one is the easiest type of po-
lice operation.
If this is Joshua's promised
rod of correction we now
realise thatthe use of popular
forms, shirtjacs, or debonair
looks make no difference. In
the end God's children can
only be saved by themselves.



\ /










Tapia House 82-84 St Vincent Street Tunapuna


SUNDAY MAY 5, 1974


lirs. Andre Talbut
Research plstitut'
Study of Man,
S162, iast 78th S
Ph. Lehigh 5


From Page 1
for the prestigious Secondary
Schools. The only thing we
could say-with certainty is
that they coped less well with
the 1 -plus and that among
the reasons for this could

Riithven Baptiste

ON THE looks of things
-it appears thatthe penalty of
for refusing t6, talk to a re
policedntn is a bullet to be
the face ,because, accord- spa
ing toan eye-witness that's lati
precisely what happened
at around 10 a.m. Friday
26 at Gokool Tr. Diego
Martin. Is
James Malcolm who
refused to talk to Detec- de
tiveConstable Mohamned ke
S".f the Diego. Martin Po-
I'ce Statibn is now a pa-
Stient atiheP.O.S. General m
Hisjital rgcuperating u
from giunshot wound to
his right jaw. ,
On the occasion, it is C
alleged that Detective Con- in
stable Mohammed, possessing st'
neither a'warrant for; Mal- u
colm's arrest nor catching him p
red-handed committing a cri-
minal ct, approached Mal-
colpi and demrrded that he
' speak to him. us
S sit
"'Well, I d6n't want to jax
talk to you", replied Malcolm do
and on turning to walk away his
Mohammed, reportedly, drew
a revolver jnd fired. on
.DiegbMartin residents are go
still stunned and .are shocked
that on so simple a provoca-
tion a man can be shot.
.Malcolm's friends and rela-
tives are surprised' as well that wh
'none, of the nes media re- dia
-ported thieshooting incident. sei

Naturalists Visit

THE Campaign to save our Pa
Samaan' Trees takes a new of
tumon Saturday may 4th cu
when members of the Field
SNaturalist Club visits the W.
Samaan fields of St. Joseph. lo'
'- It has recently been sug- pe
'"gested tat this area be turned ale
-'into a 'Samaan tree National

have been that they had come
from less privileged social
backgrounds, that perhaps
they are late developers and
that possibly some of them
were far too bright and inde-
pendent-minded to have sub-

In the past when incidents
this kind occurred a news
ease by the Police used to
given to the press. The
ence of any report, has
rked off a flurry of specu-
on in the district.
Diego people are asking:

it that Detective Constable
ohammed's action was so
justified, that it has been
cided by his superiors to
ep it quiet?

Do Constable Moham-
ed's superiors know about
ch allegations against him?

If the report is tru, has
unstable Mohammed handed
a report on the circum-
ances in which he had to
e his service revolver, as
lice procedures require?

Was a service revolver
ed or some other gun, pos-
)ly home-made? People are
king this because the bullet
which struck Malcolm on the
w deflected and travelled
own his neck and through
s right rib cage.
"A good gun", speculated
e resident, "would have
ne straight through".

These and otherquestions
which people in the imme-
ate district are asking de-
-ve to be answered by


krk to protect the trees many
Which have recently been
t down.
The meeting place is the
ASA Carpark and all nature
vers arjd other interested
rsons are invited to come
ong and spend the evening.
The tour starts at 4 p.m.

mitted to the authoritarian
regime fo the coaching for
the 11-plus examination.
9. Tapia therefore insists
that the Government imme-
diately assuage the anxieties
of the country by announcing

Commissioner May
who, in acknowledging
the strained relations (to put it
mildly) between the Public
and Police Service announced
on his appointment ,late last
year that a Public Relations
division was founded to re-
furbish the image of the Po-
lice Servicc-.

* Or, are the functions of
the newly formed Public Rela-
tions a negative one and was
it, in fact responsible for the
Malcolm incident not being


If Commissioner May is
really serious in attempting
to restore healthy relations
between the Public and the
Police Service and in this
particular instance the resi-
dents of Diego Martin and
their Police, it is incumbent
upon him to take the steps
necessary to see that justice is
done and that acts of bar-
barism are not hidden from
the light.



on sale


the House

that, as an interim measure,
all 14-year olds will be
given the two additional
years. We are neither satisfied
with a plan that summarily
condemns 60% of the school-
leavers from the Juniro Secon-
dary Schools to ignominy at
the tender age of 14; nor are
we persuaded that any arrange-
ments are in fact being made
to cater for the ostensibly
luckier 40%. Certainly we
have noticed no valid attempt
at training teachers or at ex-
pediting the promised conver-
sion of selected Secondary
Schools into Senior Second-
ary Schools in time to acco-
modate the outflow in 1974.
10. Tapia is also insisting
that, instead of regaling hte
public with dubious figures
of money spent and school-
places created, the Minister
of Education resume publica-
tion of the Annual Reports
of the Departmentof Educa-
tion which, once upon a time,




FOLLOWING close on Trea-
surer Baldwin Mootoo's ex-
hortation at our April 7
Assembly, plans have been
announced for our first major
Tapia fund-raising venture for
the year. Treasurer Mootoo's
eloquent appeal to the as-
sembled Tapia people pointed
to the need to devise ways
and means to finance our
increasing activities.
Now a group of Tapia
women have gone ahead and
organised a Bar-B-Que for
Stinday May 26, at the home
of Paula and Sydney Williams
at the University Field Station
(Farm). A Bar-B-Que lunch
qill be on sale with rum
punch, coconut water and
other drinks.
The organizers are hoping
that it will be a Family Affair,
with entertainment for all
members of the family, and a
well deserved rest for "who-
ever" prepares Sunday lunch.
With this in mind, a steelband
has been commissioned for
the day.
A bumber turnout is
looked for from all Tapia
supporters and friends to en-
sure a successful launching of
our 1974 Fund-raising Drive.

parents and teachers enjoyed
as a valuable source from
which to draw the information
needed for fashioning a sensi-
ble long-term education policy
acceptable to large majority
of law-abiding citizens.
11. Tapia itself is naturally
working on its own state-
ment on Education which, as
in the case of our White
Paper on Oil and the 1974
Budget, we will publish only
after we have had a compre-
hensive statement includ-
ing all the relevant figures -
from the Ministry of Govern-
ment concerned.
Allan Harris
Administrative Secretary

THE dispute within the Bar-
badian Consumer League over
the matter of the League's
objection to the rate increases
requested by the Barbados
Light and Power Company
(Tapia Vol. 4 No. 9) has led
to the replacement of League
President Curtis Hinds by
Carol Taylor, the leader of
the group that opposed the
withdrawal of the Leagues
Ms. Taylor was elected
President at the annual general
meeting of the League on Sat,
20th April.
Now the new president
has handed in an objection
to the proposed increase in
rates requested by the Bar-
bados Telephone Company
At.2.30 p.m. on the 25th
of April the Public Utilities
Board received the objection
in the name of the Barbados
Consumer League. It was
signed by David Simmons and
Dr. Richard Cheltenham, the
Leagues attorneys.
The battle over the pro-
posed rate increase is expected
to be bloody; there are at
least four other objections
which have been lodged by
individuals from the private
sector of the community.
The first hearing is sche-
duled to open on Friday the
3rd of May, and the League
is working to ensure strong
public attendance and parti-



Triggermhappyr op. loose

n. Diego: ar, in