Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00121
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: August 4, 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: UF00072147:00121

Full Text

Vol. 4 No. 31

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SA political obituary by Lloyd Best



rolled to Sangre Grande last,
week, but the meeting,
scheduled for the afternoon
of Thursday, July 25th. did
not come off. The micro-
phones failed to work. The
sizable crowd which h ad
gathered under the Co-opera:
tive Supermarket left quite
'disappointed but Tapiamen
.promised to return the fol-
lowing Thursday, August 1st.
equipped with a proper sound

La Brea

TAPIA will hold a public
meeting at Majouba Junction
Ia Brea at 6.30 p.m. on
Friday, August 2nd. Theme of
.h~.iLetingwill be.WE WANT-
Speakers for the evening
include Arnold Hood, Hamlet
Joseph, Mickey Mathews, Ivan
Laughlin, Sly Lowhar and'
Lloyd Best. Some of the
topics to be covered by the
speakers are 'Oil Policy,' 'Un-
employment,' 'Local Govt.'
and 'Cost-of-living.'


Tapia Corosal says
LAND.. This theme will be
delt with in detail on
Wednesday, August 7th.
Speakers for the evening are
Kelvin Ramsumair, Ivan
Laughlin, Kenneth Fabien,
Michael Harris and Loyd
The speakers will cover
Side range of topics relevant
to the people of Corosal.
.Among them 'Cement fac-
tory,' 'The Price of Peas,'
'Canning Company' and
'Local Government.'



WHEN Bhadase died, I remember
the agony we experienced in the
Tapia Editorial Office. So con-
siderable a figure warranted more
than ritual tribute for the con-
tribution he had made. To have
weighed him exactly in the scale
of. biography would have been
the only real recognition of the
mark he had-made, a man
emerged into political eminence
from in' da rkly compete ive
underworld of dispossession.
Bhadase never ceased to straddle
the two kingdoms and on that ground
alone, the assessment of the man posed
even more explosive issues than are
normal for all public careers. To have
heffed his properly, necessarily meant

Bhadase Sagan Maharaj

Sir Hugh as Constitution Commission

Exposing both the ugly and the more
prepossessing features of the com-
munity and the country that made him
what he was, that sustained him in all
his complexity and that he un-
-doubtedly served -even while he
liberally ev v-d hinclf. Political
obtua[) is more abuut tie quick than
the dead. aniong us it remains sadly,
anunpracticed art
_ike Sir Hugh after him, Bhadase
died at a crucial moment in our
constitution evolution, just after
Parliament, hopelessly unrepresenta-
tiye of the country at-least since 1966,
had finally been exposed for the
mockery that it was by the non-
participatory election of 1971. When
the large body of citizens pointedly
repudiated the Prime Minister's call
for "a massive vote," it marked the
end of the twilight zone between
Crown Colony Government and In-
dependence which Bhadase and his
generation had inhabited since the late
1940's. The boundary had been the
February Revolution of 1970.
Bhadase had come on stage
definitively in 1950 at a time when I
was a little boy only a few years into
QRC. I can still visualise the US
Marine helmets he gave out to his
henchmen and the vibrations as his
campaign against McDonald Stanley
evokedprimal loyalties and sent shivers

down the spine of El Dorado where I
was born and grew. I never actually.
heard-him until some time in 1961.4.
suppose, in front the Co-operative
Supermarket, just West of the Caura
Royal Road. At the time he was
struggling tenaciously for survival
against a reputed cancer. The in-
domitable will to go on, the scheming'
underdog's resolve to triumph in the
end, the defiant robber-talking
extravanzas of his minority
psychology doubtless all combined to
lend him his appeal to a race and a
nation escaped from indenture,
slavery and colonialism. But none.of
these essential ingredients of his ruth-
lessness nor any of the shadowy
preoccupations of his off-the-platform
existence ever dried the milk of hu-
manity that somehow flowed parallel
in his veins. There was a touching
lyrical quality about him for those
who cared to notice these subliminal
details beneath the glaring lights of
political stage.
Bhadase retained his position as
the real leader of the DLP, the man
who blended personal and communal
interests in his contribution to Hindu
andnational education, the figure who
integrated trades unionism and religion
and by doing so reached out to little

.THE following is a letter received, from Mr. Aubrey
Fraser, Director of the Council of Legal Education.
'Tapia would add that we unreservedly retract
the damaging implications of corruption contained in
the lead article which we published on page one of
Tapia. Vol. 4. No. 29. We apologise for the
.harm it may have caused.
Dear Editor,
On the front page of the issue of Tapia for Sunday,
July 21, 1974, which arrived in Jamaica today, there appears a
wholly inaccurate headline in large print "Corruption
Shuts Down Law School?" The Note of interro-
gation ,does not lessen the mischief.
The Law School at St. Augustine is not closed nor
has that'ever been contemplated. There is also a smaller head-
line which is-equally inaccurate "Senior staff resign as police
launch investigations".

The news story which follows is also inaccurate to the
point of gross irresponsibility and it is to be deeply regretted
that your newspaper by its action could so wilfully harm an
international institution of learning established for the training
of West Indians.
I have no knowledge about student complaints re-
garding books nor did I ever pay a "surprise visit to the school
in Trinidad and saw the State of the Library." Moreover, I am
unaware of any loss of books and documents from the
The financial affairs of the school are not under
police investigation nor is it true that "the whole budget of the
school was spent but that a large sum of money cannot be
'accounted for from the official vouchers."
The police brought changes involving allegations of
dishonesty during May, 1974 against a former member of tile
staff who had been dismissed in December, 1973.

25 Cents

Law school head refutes Tapia report



From Page One
people and therefore inevitably made
politics. Capildeo whatever his merits,
was jnly window-dressing; Babagee
was the real master of that transitional
politics and when the curtain fell, he
fittingly made his exit in 1971. The
end of an era.
Sir Hugh has had the same
exquisite timing. The personal and
private tragedy to his family and
friends, can never be compensated by
the historical property of his departure
at this moment. Yet it is a nice instant
at which to close the case, his Report
on the constitutional make-up of the
nation-state, safely on the table.
"Friends and Delegates," he told the
final session of the National Con-
cention at Chaguaramas on May 27,
1973, "I am done perhaps in more
ways than one."
His innings spanned all the con-
stitutional advances that his country
ever made for being the pure model
of Crown Colony Government and
politics in action. When Wood con-
ceded elections to Cipriani's Move-
ment for the first time after World
War II, Wooding was finished at
Queen's Royal, embarking on an in-
tellectual career of rare distinction.
His presence on the scene must have
been a contributing factor in con-
vincing Moyne that we were "fit to
rule," as Imperial power needed to
acknowledge if it was to make the
adjustment which we got to Adult
Suffrage in 1946. And then at Queen's
Hall, for the final transfer of 1962,
Wooding demurredfromthe perfect
one-man State, 'as always from his
own Victorian perspective, basically
content with authoritative patterns of
government and politics the premium
being on administration and order
rather than on participation and con-
Coming out of that Crown
Colony world, Sir Hugh found politics
,an alien preoccupation. In that sense,
he was cast in .the Afro-Saxon mould,
framed by a culture which assumed the
the need for tutelage of the people
after the fashion of the Colonial Office
after emancipation. He was un-
doubtedly one of the noblest sons of
that tradition in its orthodoxy. He
chose law and brought to it a mind
exceptionally well-suited to the
purpose. it is said that when he hied
Court at the Court of Appeal, a Court
it was, of law and justice. One of the
more perceptive minds of the new
generation, not given to extravagance,
insists that he was indispensable to
the higher reaches of the Judiciary.

In Tapia we knew him neither
,asman nor a lawyer, only as a personage
involved in the current constitutional
drama. If we say that Sir Hugh was in
the orthodox Afro-Saxon tradition, we
are simply fishing to locate him in a
field where only James perhaps con-
sistently parted from the assumption
that the little people in their large
multitude deserved no significant place
in the corridors of government. And
even James succumbed in 1966, with
that extraordinary exercise called the
Workers' and Farmers' overnight party,
to the seductions of manipulative
conventional politics, the implication
!being that the people were so unready
for seriousness that we could therefore
be sold Stephen Maharaj and an assorted
side of pick-ups.
That view of the little people

Hugh Wooc

leagues on the Constitution Com-
mission. We in Tapia disagree
diametrically. We are suspicious of the
magic of proportional representation, .
we are aware of the division and 4.
faction which have been endemic to s
our political life but we do not project .
them uncritically into the future. We
think national non-communal parties
have now become historically relevant
and politically possible if only we
would adopt attitudes and design in
stitutions to encourage them and
succour them
We do not think that fundamen-
tal fights and freedoms can be secured
by exact and liberal constitutional
definition, vital as that is We fail to see



safeguards, the only sure block .to
executive domination. Power to the
People the cry of 1970 was no hollow
mocking call.
A M If Sir Hugh's Commission has
failed to respond to that call, curiously
enough, it is a testimony to the
integrity of Wooding's vision. Power to
the People is simply beyond Victorian
D range. We in Tapia certainly never
anticipated anything different from the
final Report- Judged in correct
historical perspective, it makes the
best'job possible, given its assumptions.
as being "not ready for socialism," It could not accommodate the p)iloso-
to use Justice Georges' own particular phical considerations raised by Tapia's
version of Afro-Saxon self-assessment, formidable output of counter-argu-
prevailed to prevade the final Report ment. The Report is remarkable for
fashioned by Sir Hugh and his col- its pooh-poohing of Tapia in an
how absolutism and abuse in our almost flippant vein. But it remains
particular political context can be valid in Victorian terms and we are
checked by any formal division of fully prepared to make it the working
power between two poles of the paper at the Conference of Citizens
Executive a President and a Prime or Constituent Assembly soon to be
Minister, both selected by political convened. If the Report is invalid in
process. Nor do we see how a rein- terms of current needs the politics of
carnation of the Crown Colony practice the Assembly is certain to repudiate
or nominating members to the One it and substitute a relevant social
Chamber of the Legislature could avoid contract.
the triumph of government over
politics, however deeply we may CHAGUARAMAS
entrench Committees of the House,
however much we may endow the
Ombudsman, the Auditor-General and It can be seen how shrewd a
the Director of Public Prosecutions choice of Wooding for Chariman Wil-
with administrative independence, and liams made. Sir Hugh had a way of
whatever "checks and balances" we dignifying everything he touched and
may succeed in constitutionally in- who could better have legitimate the
stituting. Commission which the Government
The critical question for Tapia found itself forced to summon in June
and for the uinvonventional politics of when in May the Prime Minister had
the Independence period, beyond the said that there was no crisis and he
pale of post-emancipation, Crown anticipated none? Who but Wooding
Cololy perceptions, has always been enjoyed the stature of an independent
"where are the people?" In the final man, an independent mind, an in-
analysis, Liberal States, free societies dependent spirit, capable, simply by
and humane government can be secured his presence, of offering the country a
only if the people are activated to legitimate instrument of the general
exercise their viligance and their col- will? Who else had the wit and the
lective wisdom. The two simple devices skill, the crustal clarity of formulation,
of widespread local government and a the precision of language, all so
Senate to assemble the people in all brilliantly displayed in his overnight
their "reputable organizations" to summing-up at Chaguaramas, moving
borrow a phase from the.Prime Min- Sly Lowhar and myself to the .brink
ister are the imperative and unique of tears, to make something out of

the nothing into which the cool
opposition response 'ad made the
Commission from its earliest days?
Wooding brought those gifts as
Williams knew the would; and Tapis
too. We never questioned his com-
petence or his in tegrity in the slighest.
The honararium that he received
amounted to nothing exceptional for
a lawyer operatingin his exalted realm.
What both Tapia and Williams knew
Was that with his virtues, Wooding
would necessarily bring his vices -
there is a possibility," warned Gocking,
in Democracy or Oligarchy, that he
will be brilliantly legalistic on what is
essentially a political problem."
In the end, the Commission
went so far as to suggest concrete
steps for the resolution of the crisis -
steps culminating in a new Constitu-
tion on Aug. 31, Independence Day,
followed by an election within three
to four months. A supremely im-
practical suggestion for the one reason
that it lacks politics. Only the un-
disputed administrative authority of
Her 'Majesty's Royal Commission,
back I by the imperial might of the
Secret, ry of State in London, could
make such a pat arrangement stick.
Fortunately, Trinidad & Tobago
and the West Indies have graduated
past the- stage. The only way Doctor
Politics can be demolished is by
popular participation, by the uncon-
ventional device of substituting
politics for administration government.

Sir Hugh did not and could, iff6T
grasp that. He therefore got no re-
sponse to his final Report. Before he-.
went you could here the shrill cry of
disappointment, of futility, and mad-
dended sense of loss. "We have written
our Report," he said, "and there is
little feedback, why don't the people
here protest, write to the media?"
There is no question that he was
every bit in favour of a free and open
democratic State as the most self-
righteously democratic of us, Tapia
included. No doubt, in my mind. What
he probably did not see was that for
the people to respond, our leaders
must first evoke an elevated sense.of
possibility, must break the bonds of
'Crown Colony assumptions so tightly
maintained by the 1956 administra-
tion, all the early promise notwith-
Doubtless, Sir Hugh left the
stage a frustrated man. Perhaps he had
an intuition that by going he would
lend us one of those unplanned
"accidents" of history which
accomplish for us more by far than
any living endeavour could bring to
The Government has b'en
temporising on the constitution -
question. None of Sir Hugh's initia-
tives could successfully force them
into action. Now his crowning glory
might just be that by taking leave, he
would precipitate us finally into
motion. In a sense Bhadase's going
sealed the passing of the essentially
communal politics of the PNM-DLP
regime and confirmed the authenticity
of another epoch-making slogan
"African and Indians Unite."
Perhaps Sir Hugh will, in more
ways than one, now drive a nail in the
coffin of Doctor Politics. He may
prove decisively by the last in a
long series of distingusihed contri-
.butions that to effect its _greater
impact, the personality need not at all
'be present




Syl Lowhar's address

to C.W.U.

I WANT to thank brother
Carl and his Union for in-
viting me to speak to you.
We have been friends for
a long time. We first met
in the Trinidad and Toba-
go Mission in Guyana
where I worked under
him for two years. The
place was a diplomatic
frontier, tor with racial
antagonism, and infiltrated
with CIA agents. The idea
of a CARIFTA was being
born, and Burnham and
Barrow, the architects were
hostile to Dr. Williams for
so many reasons includ-
ing the breaking up of
the Federation. I'm sure
you remember the new
mathematics one from
ten leaves nought.
It is still in vogue.
Nought must remain f the
Prime Minister is to retire
from the Party. The name of
Trinidad and Tobago was mud
in mudland, and it was the
task of Commissioner Tull to
improve relations.


So while he was dis-
charging his commission with
credit (he has left his mark
on that country in more ways
than one) I was in exile pre-
paring for another mission,
and when I left that shore,
thrown as it were like Jonas
from the belly of the whale,
and came upon this corrupt
and unholy city I too had to
Ishout that 'Nineveh must be
The cry was not new.
Butler, a Moravian preacher
I think, said it before at a
time when the entire Carib-
bean was swept by a wave of
labour unrest. It was the la-
bour leaders and the workers
-Bustamente, B r a d s h a w,
Bird, Joshua, Payne, Crichlow
in Guyana everywhere from
Kingston to Georgetown -
who undertook the task of
building a new order, of or-
ganising labour so as to lib-
erate it.
I went to Fyzabad on
June 19 to take part in the
Butler Day celebrations; to
see the great old fighter ap-
pear as powerful as ever; to
'commemorate that historic
day when the Oilfield Work-
ers, soon to be joined by

agricultural workers struck
for better conditions and for
constitutional rights. The
march was so short, the at-
tendance so poor, the fervour
so uninspiring, it was a shame.
That such should be the
rally around so illustrious a
citizen and labour champion
is the surest symptom of the
widespread disenchantment
and malaise which now paral-
yse the country. It was
nothing like old time May
Day when the unions came
to town with their banners
and bugles singing solidarity
forever. The labour movement
is so sadly divided.
In spite of all this Butler
Day has for us a significance
which far surpasses that of
May Day. It is that we have
given pride of place to the
history of our, own struggle
over the history of Europe.
But there remains a con-
fusing hangover. Some choose
to call themselves Marxist;
others Black Power advocates.
What can be more logical
than for comrade Weekes to
espouse the cause of Black
In Trinidad and Tobago
the black masses and the op-
pressed classes are the same
African and Indians who have
been exploited in the fields of
oil and sugar, and in the new
branch-plantations. B lac k
Power here is Marxism in
action, and it is time that we
heal this ideological rift. Per-
haps this is why our best
known Marxists, James and
Padmore have been so much
involved in the Pan African
Congress, and why the Regime
-in the Caribbean has taken
measures to prevent Weekes,
Granger and others from
making such a vital contact
with their roots.
But what is necessary
now more than ever is unity
in the ranks of' labour. We
must begin to see the division
as part of a strategy to keep
us in chains, to deprive us of
republican government and
constitution reform. This ex-
plains why brother Tull lost
the recent Labour Congress
elections to Manswell and
Tull has been trying to
bring the factions together.
He has even had the courage
to say that Government Min-
isters repeat their speeches
like stuck gramophone re-
cords. Now he is prepared to
wreck the IRA by calling

strike action.
Some of the top people
in the Congress today were
so threatened by a loss of
Union membership to Weekes
in '70 that they influenced
their colleagues into calling
for the State of Emergency,
and some of them have been
most hostile to the Cipriani
Labour College.


When Dr. Williams came
to power in '56 the labour
movement led by Butler had
not long been betrayed by
Gomes, and other racist
bourgeois nationalists some
of whom are still strutting
the political stage like IMPs.
Some of them have been
planted to undermine the
Constitutional exercise from
And here I think we
ought to pay public tribute
to Sir Hugh Wooding who
has suddenly died. However
chequered his career might
have been he has been un-
doubtedly a man of high
public spirit.
As fate would have it
he died I think on the same
Iday that the Prime Minister
published the cost of the
'Commission to the Country.
The malice night have has-
tened his death. The public
has had to call for the pub-
lication of several accounts
over the years, BWIA and the
African Safari for example.
'The response has never been
as prompt. We must be sym-
pathetic with men like
Wooding. There were obvious
limitations of time and gen-
eration. But I think that to-
'wards the end of his life he
made a genuine effort to make
a public contribution.
We are now witnessing a
career of spite and vindictive-

ness, which can only destroy
It cannot build. We in the
organisation to which I belong
respect building from the
grass. Whatever may be said
of Senator Tull, the tact can-
not be gainsaid that he has
helped to build a union.
When Williams came he
diverted the thrust of the
labour movement as the main
vehicle of social and political
change by placing the em-
piuisis on education and ihe
teachers. His contempt for
labour may be seen by the
fact that during the entire 18
years of PNM Government
no Minister could boast of
being a true representative
of labour. Woodford Square
was not the Parliament of the
people but the University,
and the boast was that the
Prime Minister, the Dep. P.M.,
the leader of the Opposition,
the Chief Justice, were all
island scholars.
At first these scholars
and doctors began to buy out
labour leaders or to neutralise
them. Attempts were made
to cut them off from the base
of their support. Tull himself
after his Union had'struck the
first decisive blow for popu-
lar control of industry was

sent abroad, then put as chair-
man of the Transport Corpor-
ation. It was a way of sowing
strife among the Unions.
I remember in '69 when
Joe Young and the Transport.
Workers were in a life and
death struggle for a small
increase, the ease with which
the telephone workers quietly
got about 40%. The ISA was
eventually defeated. But not
without b-ual police rcpress-
Sion over the blocking of the
buses. It was an unprecedented
assault on the workers, but
the worst was yet to come.
The signs were clear as
early as '60 when the workers
began to see through the be-
trayal, and to agitate for social
and political change. Not only
was Bhadase brought back
into sugar with the notorious
sugar Melon deal, but the
Mbanefo Commission was set
up the Commission to in-
quire into Subversive Activ-
Labour leaders and their
advisors including Weekes,
Young, Manswell, I think
Crichlow, Lennox Pierre, Jack
Kelshall, Lloyd Best who had
just been passing through and

Continued On Back Page


Tapia Chairman Syl Lowhar addressing delegates at 3rd. Biennial National Conven tion of C. W.U


Gaf ic o m.
Now o n

SHOES F ro nn 4. 9


75 1 jej,.\ sjj,ej & i Froderick Strect P.O.S.


Doctor politics

survives in Canada

Robert Chodos
ALL OF the elements in
the formula seemed to
point in the direction of
a defeat for the goveri-
ment of Canadian Prime
Minister Pierre Elliott
Trudeau. Inflation was
running at around eleven
per cent a year; its highest
level since the Korean war.
The opposition Conserva-
tives were hitting hard at
the inflation issue, and
proposing a remedy of
wage and price controls.
Furthermore, the election
came not at a moment
of the government's own
choosing, but as a result of
its budget's being defeated in
the House of Commons. At
the last election, in 1972,
the Conservatives came within
two seats of toppling Trudeau,
and now itseemedas if they
would finish the job.
But it didn't happen
that way. That it didn't is
attributable to the skill of
Pierre Elliott Trudeau as a
politician, to the flexibility,
of his Liberal party as a
governing institution, and
finally to the stubborn insis-
tence of the Canadian electo-
rate on voting in its owrl
Of all the Western
parliamentary states, there is
no other where the two major
political parties are as in-
distinguishable as the Liberals
and the Conservatives in
Canada. In the early days of
the Canadian Confederation,
in the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries, the
Conservatives stood for the
British connection while the
Liberals favoured closer ties
with the United States, but
the flow of history has long
since resolved that question
in favour of the Americans.
Partly as a result of
that, the Liberals have been
'in power for thirty-nine of
the last fifty years, as
Canadians enjoyed, in only

slightly diluted form, the
benefits of the American good
In 1968, the Year after
Canada's centennial celebra-
tions, Trudeau rode to power
on a wave of optimism,
explicit eschewing issues
and campaigning on the at-
tractiveness of his own
personality. tk appeared as
the man who would replace
the old, discredited leaders.
unite French and English
Canadians (the son of a
French millionaire father and
an English mother, he is
fluently bilingual) and
generally solve all problems
with a wave of his magical
hand. It was Doctor Politics,
Canadian style.
But it was not quite so


The Canadian economy,
along with other Western
economies, began to falter.
Inflation and unemployment
were both persistent prob-
lems, and the government
was capable of dealing with
neither of them. President
Nixon's declaration of a ten-
percent tariff surcharge in
1971 (and his refusal to
exempt Canada from it, as
the Americans had generally
done in similar situations in
the past) gave Canadians a
bad scare, although its
concrete results turned out to
be less than many people had
Trudeau's policy of
bilingualism in the civil
service angered English
Canadians while still failing
to bring real equality to
French _Canadians. The
presence of French Canadian
cabinet ministers in key
grant-giving protfolios was
another sore point with the
English majority. And while
Trudeau's use of a state of
emergency to deal with a
French Canadian terrorist
group that -carried out two
political kidnapping in 1970
initially attracted wide (and

unthinking) support, many
people, after sober after-
thoughts, rejected the
measures as, at best, too
The press, which had
enthusiastically supported
Trudeau's rise to power, now
turned against him.
The Doctor was in for
a fall.
The fall occurred on
October 30, 1972, when the
electorate reduced Liberal.
representation in the House
of Commons from an absolute
majority of 152 seats to a
bare plurality of 109. The
Conservatives had capitalised
on anti-French sentiments in
English Canada (they
failed to make a dent in the
strong Liberal majority in the
French-speaking province of
Quebec) along with legitimate
economic grievances. T h e
Liberals could now stay in
office only by retaining the
support of one of the smaller
parties, the left-of-centre New.
Democrats (NDP).
This they did, and the
results was one of the better
governments Canada has had
in recent years. The Liberals'
natural tendecy )o [C mi.ve to
the right to undercut the
Conservatives was checked by
the necessity of retaining the
NDP's favour.
The success of the
minority Liberal government
is measured 'not so much by
what it did as by what it
didn't do: it didn't give in
completely to the oil com-
panies on energy, or retreat
on bilingualism, or dismantle
the country's much maligned
unemployment insurance
scheme. Meanwhile it con-
tinued to work for close ties
with the Soviet Union, China
and latterly Cuba, as at least a
small counterweight to the
overwhelming influence of
the United States.
But the NDP and the
right wing of the Liberal party,
led by Finance Minister John
Turner, were in the mood to
compromise for only so long.
By this spring, the 31-member

NDP caucus was itching to
break loose. Turner's May 6
budget, which gave increased
tax benefits to large cor-
porations, provided the im-
mediate excuse for a split.
The NDP, the Conservatives
and the 15-member Quebec-
based Social Credit party
combined to defeat the
budget, and the July 8 election
was the result.


Inflation was of course
a major issue, as the Conserva-
tives had hoped, but what
they didn't count on was that
people would see the Con-
servatives medicine as being
worse than the disease. For
the Liberals could point to
the fact that controls of the
sort being advocated by the
Conservatives had been tried
*in the United States and
Britain, and had failed to
stop rising prices. Worse still,
by proposing to control wages,
the Conservatives were promis-
ing to cut off the only avenue
most working people have of
at least staying even iMth
The New Democrats
helped by concentrating most
of their fire on the Conserva-
tive proposals. In so doing and
in failing to make clear the

differences between their own
program and that of uie
Liberals, they undercut much
of their own support. Com-
mitted NDP voters were
frightened into the arms of
the Liberals, and on election
day the NDP was reduced
from 31 seats to 16.
Hard-core socialist con-
stituencies such as Vancouver
East in British Columbia fell
to the Liberals;as one observer
said, "the NDP losing
Vancouver East is like
Brezhnev losing Moscow
SIhe Conservatives also
lost, particularly in the
' heavily industralised heart-
land of Ontario. where wage
controls- posed the biggest
threat, and the Liberals were
returned with a majority of
141 seats, only eleven fewer
than they got in the "Trudeau-
mania" sweep of 1968.
The election left the
Liberals comfortably astride
the Great Canadian Middle,
and likely to remain there
for a while yet. Before there
will be any fundamental
political changes in Canada,
aserious;alt.ej.ra;.tih ull.ria.
to pose itself, and the need-
for such an alternative
Swill have to be widely per-
;ceived. As of July 8, 1974,
neither of those two things
had happened.

I The


S| Newsmagazine

in the current issue:

Analysis of Canada's

recent general election:

why the voters chose


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7 (



s S Stephens

I Ic--b~aap-~IB~cren ~ ~p~ ~p~ --~ ~BS~a~l~ ~l~a _



V- 2,

C.L.R. James

George Lamming

Vidile Jipl~dl1

The relative writer

and W. .society

Gordon Rohlehr

THIS IS part I of the text of a lecture delivered at Carifesta, Guyana,
in September, 1972 by Gordon Rohlehr head of the Dept. of English,
U.W.I. St. Augustine, Trinidad. The lecture is broken up to be run
in 4 consecutive issues of Tapia. The final installment (Part iV) ;'ili

be included in the 8-page literary
pendence Issue.

A TALK such as this one ought
properly to have been preceded
by at least two lengthy papers:
First,a paper which traces
the development in historiography
of the West Indies, from the days
when it was mainly a pastime of
the Colonizer to the time when
it began to become part of the
West Indian's quest for his past,
and secondly a paper which
traces the political and social
development of the archipelago
from emancipation to the present
For the ideas, concepts,
types of experience which have
been included in, or which have
emerged from W.I. literature, are
part of a total development of
the Caribbean peoples, which is
the result both of history-writing
in the area, and of the unbroken
political movement from the time
of slavery to the present day.
Most Caribbean writers are
fascinated by the theme of his-
tory, and by the extension of
history into present-day politics,
and one point which I hope will
emerge from this paper, is how
several. West Indian Writers' no-
tions of the potential of Caribbean
peoples, are shaped by their pre-
sumptions concerning the history
of the area.
I shall also deal at some length
with the work of Carter, and Wal-
cott whose stay in the region has been
virtually unbroken, with that of
Edward Brathwaite, who has been
home in the area for over ten years;
and with the essays of Seymour,
Lamming and Harris, and the frequent
statements of Naipaul, which have
been so important in provoking

supplement o o our Speciali 1ie-

thought about the Caribbean scene,
and about Caribbean writers and
I hope in this way to arrive at a
cross-section of opinions and attitudes,
which could provide the necessary
ground for fruitful dialogue later on.
J.E. Clarke, Acting Senior
Inspector of Schools in Trinidad, re-
ported in Council Paper No. 72 of
1934. (p.9) on the status of history as
a primary and high school subject:
History This subject has not
found favour in many schools.
This is to be regretted; for, when
Empire Day comes round, it must
be difficult for teachers to im-
press their pupils sufficiently,
when the latter know nothing'
of the growth of Empire, the
glorious deeds of Britain down
the centuries, the lives of her
greatest heroes and statesmen,
the main turning-points of British
History, and the results of the
British occupation of the col-
The few fortunate souls who
would have absorbed history taught as
J.E. Clarke envisaged, would have
found it hard to conceive of the West
Indies as having a history worth study-
It is quite common, even today,
to hear Caribbean scholars and artists
lamenting what they see as the lack of
a past, and propounding the view that
a satisfactory history of the region
cannot be written. We will examine
one or two such statements later on,
and observe their effect on these ar-
tists' treatment of their experience as
Caribbean men.
At present, though, the obser-
vation I'd like to make is how the
intelligence of the region was directed
outside the Caribbean milieu. This
made it virtually impossible for the
men of the 1920's and 1930's to cui-

ceive of art as a form of self-scrutiny,
holding the possibility of self-know-
ledge. For the basic assumption was
i0 :) 1""ii!lu i'v,,, ';,' ",)t possess a
past or a selt worthy of scrutiny ....
Y,, 1he lC 'ol ilii'l : l r f ii i lh Ls
must have had the opportunity to read
outside the narrowly propagandist con-
fines of the school curriculum. Hence,
it was in the 1930's that Mendes, De
Boissiere, Gomes, Ralph Mentor and
C.L.R. James emerged in Trinidad, to
develop that current of consciousness
which had always been there in the
West Indies.
This alternative current, kept a-
live by pan Africanist thought, the
writings of Garvey and the desire of a
growing West Indian intelligentsia to
gain recognition in Crown Colony
Society, insisted that the West Indian
had a self, a life of his own, his own
distinctive way of doing things, his
own peculiar language, mode of feeling,
One should mention, too, the
presence of a living oral tradition in
the calypso, and a rich variety of
rhetorical games. For in Trinidad since
emancipation, a peculiar relationship
had sprung up between various classes,
which found its forum on the streets
at Carnival time, and in the rapidly
developing calypso tents during the
second quarter of the twentieth century.


Thle emergence of the "Beacon"
group in the early 1930's -then, was a
result partly of the vibrant grass-roots
alternative tradition to Crown Colony
education which had always existed in
Trinidad, and of the growing need
which educated people were feeling
to understand roots as a basis for
opposing the Crown Colony system
if possible, or joining it at a higher
level if necessary.
Among the more "radical", this
search for self and roots resulted in a
desire to strengthen the embryonic
labour movement which Cipriani was
then leading, as an instrument not
simply of economic liberation of the
worker, but of the political freedom of
the country as a whole.

Here then was a group of people
whose activities involved not only the
writing of novels, poems, and short
.tO'i--s, but pli tit. i,!. 1, unionism ,
and in the figure of C.L.R. James.
history y.
As may be expected, The Beacon
operated under rigorous conditions.
Albert Gomes's house was raided by
the police on more than one occasion,
because The Beacon had published
articles and stories which highlighted
poverty, disease and malnutrition as
visible aspects of the Trinidad milieu,
and because of Gomes's angry young -
man stand against the Cipriani regime,
against Imperialism, and against war;
for labour and a vague socialism.
Part of the police harassment,
too, may have been a reaction to The
Beacon's increasing attempts to talk
about the Black man as Black man, and
about Blackness as a particular pheno-
menon in the West Indies and in the
So despite the efforts of edu-
cators such as J.E. Clarke a West Indian
awareness was developing throughout
the region. It was political, vaguely
socialist, and it was paralleled by the
beginnings of a literature rooted in
the language and experience of the
Self-scrutiny led to the desire to
reappraise and rewrite West Indian his-
tory. Hence in the early 1930's, C.L.R.
James wrote a life of Cipraini, and
later in that decade produced The
Black Jacobins, a study of the Haitian
Both books were based on the
desire to see West Indians as the
subjects and not merely as the ob-
jects of their history' and to see West
Indian history as part of the main
current of democratic evolution in the
James's explorations were paial-
leled by the work of French West
Indian writers C'csaire and Damas. and
were foireCII nn to Williams' Capitalism
and Slacvery (194344), Tnhe ,Vcgro
in tihe Caribbean (1942) and lI:'uca-
lion in the British West Indies.
All of these works weie ie-

Continued on Page 6

_ _~I___

_ _


PAG 6 TAI SUDA /__ __1__ 1__P__-ll

As in dance the WestIndian has his
own style, his own pecular language
and a life style all of his own

From Page 5
evolutionary in their inspiration, aim and
vision. British publishers refused to
publish Capitalism and Slayiry, be-
cause, they said, it went too far
against the grain of British liberal
humanitarian historiography.
The Negro in the Caribbean was
a dispassionate catalogue of the vast
areas of British neglect in the West
Indian colonies; and as such nearly
lost Williams his job as director of
research at the Caribbean Commission.
Education in the British West
Indies looked at the absurdity of
colonial education, and made far-
reaching recommendations about
structural changes; education for
citizenship; and the creation of a West
Indian University, which would serve
as a seed-bed for ideas, and a spear-
head in the struggle for political
Ironically, part of Dr. Williams's
headache today is that the U.W.1. is
Tloing precisely what he hoped it
would; save for the fact that he is now
An the position of old-time Crown
Colony governor. West Indian litera-
ture of the sixties embraces these
ironies as well.
it is against this background of
'growing self-scrutiny that we must
place the flowering of Caribbean lit-
,erature since the 1950's. 1 have only
.sketched in the Trinidad background,
but the sketch is true for the entire
area, especially since a spirit of re-
gionalism reigned early among writers
who contributed to A.J. Seymour's
,Kyk-Over-Al, in Guyana, or Frank
Collymore'sBim in Barbados.
Mittelhblzer had lived in Trinidad
'during World War II, Lamming taught
there after the war, Walcott and Hill
have both lived in Jamaica, and mi-
gration to England in the 1950's did
'more to bring various West Indians into
,close contact with each other, than
sojourn in the West Indies.
S West Indian literature of the
'1950's and 60'shas been the product
iof the growing political and social
awareness, which began somewhere in
ithe late nineteenth century and ac-

celebrate in .lhe 20's and 30-s.
Eric Williams's attack on British
iia k ii o is in 1i i ; 7. ;, / /;. ',t, .2i
had its parallel in Lamming's pre-
occupation with the moral and physical
consequences of colonialism in almost
everything that he has written.
Williams's examination of the
absurdities of colonial education in
Education in the B. W.I. found an echo'
in the Empire Day passage in Lamming's
In the Castle of My Skin, (1953)...
While Lamming's identification of the
authoritarian personality as a product
of Caribbean social experience, is par-
alleled by Lloyd Braithwaite's quite
similar observations in "Social Strati-
fication in Trinidad, "also published in


One discipline echoes the other.
Discovery on one plane influences en-
quiry on any other plane. An un-
acknowledged wholeness exists in
Caribbean creative eexploration
whether it be conducted on the level
of literature, music, dance, historio-
graphy, or social anthropology. ...Be-
cause of this wholeness of sensibility,
one can start virtually anywhere in a
lecture such as this.
Had I, for example, begun by
talking about "dread" in Jamaican
music, or political calypsoes in Trini-
dad during the period of Independence,
I would almost certainly have ended
with observations on Jamaican pol-
itics, or on the poetry of Bongo Jerry
and Edward Brathwaite, or on the
later plays of Walcott, or on Naipaul
since A House for Mr. Biswas.
One of the things I want to do
in the rest of this paper, is to assess
how far the politics of independence
has kept in tune with the wholeness of
creative sensibility and enquiry, which
one can feel in our artists and scholars.
We have seen how the politics of
anti-Crown Colohy protest was paral-
leled by an embryonic literary move-
ment, and a new sense of Caribbean

history Our task now is to see how
both the fow of culture ind the flow, .
i politics developed in tle 50's and
60's; whether they nurtured or stood
in opposition to each other. What has
their development together or in iso-
lation, meant for the creative artist in
the West Indies.
Our first point of reference is
Guyana 1953-57 ... in other words,
Guyana from the first P.P.P. victory
to the first elections whose only issue
was race. This is also the era of Martin
Carter's Poems of Resistance "Frag-
ment of Memory", and "Poems of
Shape and Motion."
The best assessment of this
period is Ivan Van Sertima's "Astride
Two Visions," which was the text of a
talk delivered to the Caribbean Artists'
Movement at the W.I. Students' Centre,
London, September 5th, 1969.
(See C.A.M. Newsletters Nos. 11
& 12, July/December 1969 and
August 1970)
I myself in radio programmes in
Trinidad have identified a movement
from rhetoric to reticence in Carter's
work, which was part of the harsh pro-
cess of political education in the West
Indies. Van Sertima records Carter's
comments in 1958 on the Guyanese
situation ... and possibility.
"To live here .... to have our being
here, denotes immediately a par-
ticular kind of sensibility, derived
from the actuality of slavery, and a
particular kind of status, derived
from the actuality of colonial life.
What I contend is that the sensibil-
ity of the slave and the status of
the colonial make up' What were
in the innermost meaning of the
"You can't begin to understand
what has been done to us. You
can't imagine the real burden of the
thing we're carrying. Just to emerge
with a freeman's sensibility in this
place is to achieve the impossible."
"For the essential meaning of
slavery is the loss of self, the loss of
identity. And what I mean by this is

the loss of those relationships which
u""" w of choices ti-e 'loss ot tos
cqclvalclnccs between inward neces-
sity and external situations. And I
mean the disruption of rhythm, the
breaking down of the structure of
the personality in which integration
is lost and action remains action,
removed from any possibility of
being transformed into destiny."
(CAM Newsletter No. 11, July
Nov. 1969)


The statement here is desperate
and extreme, but it is the kind of
statement which has echoed through-
out the writing of the sixties. One
hears it stated more clinically in
Naipaul's The Middle Passage; it
is essentially there in Walcott's essays
and poems from 1964 to 1971, exile at
home producing the same hollow re-
sonances as exile abroad......tropic
death being simply a mirror of polar.
A curious thing is that Carter
who was deeply involved in politics,
and Naipaul who began by seeing
politics as fraud, farce and absurdity,
share the same view of Caribbean his-
tory and Caribbean potential ......Name-
ly: that the sensibility of the slave and
the status of the colonial make up what
we are "in the innermost meaning of
the term" ;and therefore that "Just to
emerge with a free man's sensibility
in this place is to achieve :the im-
What sort of art was likely or
possible given this view of Caribbean
man as irredeemably shattered in his
innennost being? In the Poems of
Resistance which were written some-
time before Carter's 1958 statement of
despair, there is gloom,melancholy, a
sense of the timeless march of man-
kind in an empty landscape, rhetorical
energy, statement of defiance. There is
also considerable faith even in the
face of death, and patience ..........
"Death must not find us thinking
that we die ......

- -- --



u m




GUST 4, 1974

Marcus Garvey keeping the pan- Africanist thought


Andre Tanker taking a serious view of the past in his Caribbean rythms

Dear Comrade
ifit must be
you speak no more with me
nor smile no more with me
then let me take
a patience and a calm ......
for even now the greener leaf
sun brightens stone
and all the river bums".
"The greener leaf explodes'
the necessity for a destruction of
structures and the possibility of
w life are contained in the line.
ii-brightens'stone", suggests the
visibility of animating even the frozen
nimate tapped concretized sen-
lity of colonial man "And all the
r bums" is an ominous yet hopeful
lge ............
But even in Poems of Resistance
s statement of revolutionary faith,
s commitment to the long march of
n, was being made in the face of
serious contingencies of prison
s, the wide waste,, and a crippling
ise of time "the terror and the
i The revolutionary dream which
|uired a sense of history as timeless
t somehow progressive movement,
s being dreamed by a man with a
ong sense of time as barrier; a
,htening inability to drown the
lure of the moment in a dream of
intual success and fulfilment.
"Out of my time I carve a monu-
Out pf a jagged block of convict
yjars I carve it.
'The (harp knife of dawn gutters in
my hand
)ut how bare is everything .....
tall tall tree
nfinite air, the unrelaxing tension
of the world
mnd only hope, hope only, the kind
eagle soars
nd wheels in flight."
SBy 1955 when it was clear that
rana's future would for some years
fracture, fraud and frustration,
e, the kind eagle, had lost its wings.
:er's Poems of Shape and Motion
55) Kyk-Over-Al VolVI No 20
P, show a retreat into reticence
Doubt; but for me they contain
e of the most genuinely moving
I penned by Carter: ...
'was wondering if I could make
thing but fire, pure and incor-
Fthe wound of the wind on my
S Continued on Page 8
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The American Stores
Trouqhout the Notion

PAGE______ 8_TAIA;_ SU D\Y 4 AU UT,17

The creative writer and W I society

From Page 7
would be healed by the work of my
Or the growth of the pain in my
would be stopped in the strife of my

The "wind" in Carter's poetry
suggests emptiness, the void. Whereas
in 1953 he seemed certain of the
incorruptibility of his cause, in 1955
he questions this, and wonders whether
through creativity ("the work of my
life") the corrosive power of futility
and emptiness ("the wound of the
wind on my face") may be annulled.
In this poem, the void is seen as a
challenge to the poet, a space to be
filled out of which self-knowledge is
"And the challenge of space in
my soul
be filled by the shape I become."
But even this quest is seen as
potentially futile, so that by the third
poem, the poet is converted into a
tired timeless wanderer,
"A man who cannot drown",
and who walks slowly in the wind of
emptiness, rather than change, remem-
bering all the clamour of the revolution
which never, somehow, came off......
"I walk slowly in the wind.
I hear my footsteps echoing in the

echoing like a wave on the sand or
a cry on the wind
echoing echoing
a voice in the soul, a laugh in the
funny silence."
The long march of the timeless,
faceless masses in "University of
Hunger", has shrivelled to the lonely
melancholy wandering of a man in
exile from history, from causes, from
people and almost from himself.

Edward Brathwaite in a recent
note on Carter's poetry identifies
"hopelessness and terror and futility"
as its commanding elements, although
he regards Carter as having been able
to transform these things into "The
elevation of a single mind against the
Brathwaite also offers a possible
explanation for Carter's despair:
"Carter's poetry reveals little sub-
stantial awareness of the past. lHe
asserts that he will 'turn to the his-
tories of men and the lives of the
peoples", but unlike his contem-
porary, A.J. Seymour, he has pro-
duced no work of reconstruction.
Because of this shallow soil of
heritage, Carter, poet of the revolu-
tion, has really only himself and
the revolution and a hope for the
future to sustain his vision"
(R. Murphy editor; Contemporary
Poets of the English Language,
Lond. 1970, p. 180.)


This may be true. The statement
reveals Brathwaite's concern with his-
tory, the possibility of reconstruction,
and the importance of acknowledging a
soil heritage, and roots. This concern
is echoed in just about everything
Brathwaite has written.
But Carter was much closer to
skeleton of politics than any other
West Indian writer besides, perhaps,
Roger Mais, and the internal shattering
of Guyana was a more terrible thing
than anyone who has not known it can
possibly realize.
Carter's experience, his move
meant from rhetoric to retik'cnc wrc hos.
final aspect I will look at later on, is
one of the possible paradigms of the
process through which Caribbean man
as artist/ politician/ rebel will go.
We are still only at 1955 in
Guyana. While this great erosion of the
spirit was taking place at home, the

writers abroad, Selvon, Lamming,
Naipaul, Salkey, Mittleholzer were
taking up their different burdens. They
gave Caribbean people a definition
and name, they identified the sights,
sounds. smells, speech of their socie-
ties; and in the case of Lamming
showed an early concern with analy-
sing the structure of his society, in-
cluding the shape of its sensibility,
the pattern of its thought; and its
unconscious groping for roots and
history beyond the confines of the
village or small town.
It was in this era that the concept
of literature and the "folk", and lit-
erature and the "peasant" arose.
Brathwaite in his essay "Sir
Galahad and the Islands" (BIM Vol. 7,
No. 25, July December 1957) and
later in his essay "The New West
Indian Novelists" (BIM Vol. 8, No. 31.
July December 1960) tried to assess
the new flowering of literature, and
the range of attitudes which various
writers were bringing to bear on their
experience. Of particular interest is his
comment on the work of Eric Roach
and Derek Walcott. Roach, he says:
"Is in possession of a fact, a
feeling that aligns him with "folk",
with peasant tradtiion. This is the
point of difference too, between Roach
and the "Emigrants". While Lamming's
and Selvon's folk-sources are the city
and urban village, Roach's values are
peasant values: acceptance, a sense of
Brathwaite, "Sir Galahad & The
Islands," BIM Vol. 7, No. 25, (July -
December 1957) p. 11.
Brathwaite is at this point look-
ing at Walcott's early despair and
terror at the poverty and barrenness of
lower clasV li.e o mhis island, anld his
sense of bitter helplessness as an artist
in the face of this fact. The poet's art,
Walcott declared, could be of little use
in the face of this penury. "Politics
and prose" could do as much, or more.
Brathwaite's thought has shown

a remarkable consistency between 1957
when this statement was written and
1970 when the one on Carter quoted
above was published.
It poses the question whether
knowledge of "the folk", the "pea-
santry or the folk-urban townsmen;
whether a grasp of their history, their
life-styles, their rhythms and traditions
can really protect the questing writer
or person from the vision of sterility
and despair, and the bareness and
"unrelaxing tension" which Carter
found in his world at its dayclean.
Or whether it is something
more complex, whereby a sense of
roots enables questing man to contain
despair, to place it in its proper per-


While Guyana started on its
fragmentation in mid-fifties Trinidad
was applauding the emergence of Dr.
Eric Williams, party politics, and a
new sense of both history and destiny
which the P.N.M. seemed to be offering
in 1956. Slinger Francisco, the Mighty
Sparrow was 21, in that same year,
and celebrated his coming of age by
winning the crown and introducing a
kind of professionalism which the
calypso world had never seen before.
The oral tradition was flowering
and gaining a new polish and sophisti-
cation, both on the stage and on the
political platform; and the dream of
federation, alive since the 1920's se-
emed to be nearing concretion.
This dream of federation was
particularly strong among the artists,
and affected the work of several
calypsonians.- peets-and-neveist
1956, George Lamming and Wilson
Harris were producing "New World
of the Caribbean."
According to one commentator:
"New World of the Caribbean" is
Continued on Page 9



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The way they could not make it

Thecr er

andW soae

From Page 8
an .experiment in ladio entertain-
ment. Performed by a local cast
largely new to radio work, and
produced by George Lamming in
collaboration with the Guyanese
poet Wilson Harris, the programmes
consist of readings from West In-
dian literature, brought together by
means of narrative passages, and
are designed to illustrate important
themes in West Indian history -
those of discovery and emigration,
and the relation of the Old World
to the New.
The first programme takes the lis-
tener with Columbus on his voyage
of discovery, and the second takes
him with a group of West Indian
emigrants to England and illustrates
their impressions of the new life
there. The third programme dis-
cusses the themes developed in the
earlier ones, with particular refer-
ence to the problems of migration,
and the last programme describes
the historic unity of the peoples
and lands of the Caribbean, and the
hopes of the new nation which is
West India Committee Circular,
Vol. 71, (Jan.-Dec. 1956) P. 258).
Broadcast over Radio Demerara
in June 1956, "New World of the
Caribbean" received an enthusiastic
response in Guyana, the one country
whose then leader elected not to join
the Federation.
Guyana's failure to participate

in the Caribbean,experiment in nation-
hood was grounds for further frus-
tration for Martin Carter. That period
has been described thus......

"The conflict with the 'left' in
1956 was mainly concerned with
the issues of Federation and the
nature of the P.P.P. The Jagans
prevaricated on the question of
Federation, pointing out the dan-
gers of a 'Colonial' Federation still
under Imperial auspices; the 'left'
(King, the Carters, Westmaas and
others) favoured immediate partici-
pation with a view to carrying on a
progressive campaign inside the
Federation. Both positions contain
elements of truth. What was more
important however, were the rea-
sons underlying these positions.
Dr. Jagan partly based his stand on
fear of Indian reaction. "The In-
dians, feeling as they do a sense of
National oppression, are almost a-
hundred per cent opposed to Fed-
The 'left' opposed this reasoning
as 'racial'. As Sydney King put it:

"How strong is the party supposed
to be 'working class' led, which
confessed to be full of racial pre-
judices? Jagan is only prepared to
notice how strong these prejudices
are, but does not intend lifting a
finger against them." In other
words, Jagan feared that patty unity
would be destroyed by racial pre-

judice, King argued that any true
Marxist must take the chance not
defensively but creatively"
(New World Fortnightlv, No. 19,
(July 23, 1965) p.14)
1957 were the Aphan Jaat racist
elections and a crowning futility to
those who had been struggling 'for an
idea to transcend the racial divisions
in the country.
The Federation came in the late
fifties, andblessed by Princess Magaret
and the limitations of West Indian
leaders, went after two or three years.


-In Trinidad, Williams had no time
or use for C.LR. James, the Chaguara-
mas march turned out to be the Chag-'
uaramas grand charge, and eventually
petered out into the Chaguaramas re-
treat. So the 1960's began with pol-
itical disillusionment for those artists
who had dreamed of Federation.
1960 saw Pleasures of Exile and
Season of Adventure from Lamming,
A House for Mr. Biswas from Naipaul,
who was to publish The Middle Passage
soon afterwards (1961). 1960 also saw
Harris's Palace of the Peacock.
Together these books indicated
not only the variety of thought feeling
and expression, but also the new rigour,
severity and assurance of statement,
which now existed on the West Indian
literary scene.
In Pleasures of Exile (1960:
Lamming identified the confusion and
philistinism of West Indian societies;
their power to corrode excellence
and defeat dedication. He expanded
Mannoni's use of The Tempest myth,
to examine colonial impotence and
paraphrased C.L.R. James's then out-
of-print The Black Jacobins to indicate
the possibility of rebellion. He identi-
fied the majority of Caribbean creative
artists as "middle-class" men, who were
prepared to look in "at what had
traditionally been ignored" by the
W.I. intelligentsia, i.e. the life of the
common people.


In Season of Adventure he sets
his story on an imaginary West Indian
island San Cristobal, in which Haiti's
voudoun, Trinidad's steelband, and the
grim dread energy of Jamaica's urban
poor, are fused.
San Cristobal, present in Lam-
ming's work since Of Age & Innocence
(1958) is the product of his imaginative
grasp of the unity of Caribbean sen-
sibility. Significantly, the inner power
and energy of the people is opposed by
the arriviste class of shaky professional
men and dubious browns who "play
at ruling" the society. The police
carry out their orders in the true
Crown Colony tradition to crush
the creativity of the folk. .
Season of Adventure is prophetic
of the failure of politics to suppress
the growth of popular culture. What it
does not predict is the way in which
politics had adapted popular culture to
its own ends, which waver between a
genuine desire for a national image,
and a necessity to keep the masses
quiet by means of the time honoured
Roman technique of bread and cir-
A number of our present poli-
ticians can still speak Latin, and re-
member their Roman history well
enough to realise that the less bread
there is, the more elaborate thecircus
will need to be made.







Street Tunqpuna

Phoendradatt Tewarie
reviews the film The Way We were
The film, THE WAY WE
WERE, moves chrono-
logically from 1940 (W.
W.II has already started)
when Theodore Roosevelt
was President of the Uni-
ted States and Communist
party opposition to U.S.
involvement in the war
was intense, through
American participation in
the War, Roosevelt's
death, then through the
Joe McCarthy era in the
fifties when the witch
hunt for suspected com-
munists was at an all time
high, and ends in 1956
when the nuclear bomb
became part of our world
consciousness and leftist
activists began a "Ban the
Bomb" campaign.
Against this historical
background, the story of two
people who find love and lose
it, is told. Robert Redford
and Barbara Streisand are the
two people.
In a sense, a fair know-
ledge of recent U.S.history
as well as some understanding
of American culture and tlh
American, experience foster
appreciation of the movie.
As the film begins, the
cameras zero in on a Uni-
versity campus and the two
principal characters: Robert
Redford -- blond, blue-eyed,
handsome, rich, playboy-type,
personable, athletic, full of
humor, upper middle class,
gen tile;and Barbara Streisand-
dish-water brown, curly -al-
most kinky hair, nearly ugly,
with an enormous nose, poor,
hardworking, -angry, intellec-
tual, seemingly devoid of
humor, lower middle class,
With World War II and
communist activism raging in
the background, and with the
particular socioeconomic and
temperamental differences
between the two major char-
acters planted in our minds,
the love story begins to un-
Early, but in an uncom-
mitted way, the mutual at-
traction of Redford and
Streisand towards each other
is established.
Nothing develops, how-
ever, except that in their first
verbal encounter, Redford is
able to make her laugh and
Streisand is able to prod hin-
towards introspection.
Later, in the "outside
world", they stumble througl-
chance meetings, (lie, a naval
officer, she, on the product-
ion team of a radio serial)
in which it is obvious tha
she has much affection fo
him and that he really feel
nothing for her
Streisand pushes, how
ever. lets him know of hei
feelings and. eventually,
love relationship develops:
Then, it breaks up: slih
crawls: lie comes back, the\
make up. they get married.
she 'becomes pregnant, tlhey
Cont'd. on Page 10

-- -----~

'TAPIA IAcut 9



Contd. from page 9

are happy.
Soon, however a kind
of strain begins to set in.
partly because they see the
world from different points
ofview and their expectations
of it are completely opposite.
Each would like the other to
modify his/her approach to
life, but cach one cannot.
So divorce. separate
ways, individual lives with
both parties feeling a deep
sense of loss.
Yet, in a strange way,
individual needs are now ful-
filled, though at the end of
the movie, Strcisand seems

much more fulfilled than
Redford' will ever be.

The essential difference
between Streisand and Red-
ford is that she is an idealist
who cannot live without be-
coming involved and trying
to change the world. She is
naturally, therefore a political
animal. lie, on the other hand
is a cynic who takes the
world as it is, regards radical
change as wishful thinking,
and indulges himself whenever
he can. Politics is out of his
realm of existence.
He can be detached in a
way that she cannot be; she
becomes involved with an in-


when I got home today
was that a police inspec-
tor had stopped his car
on the street, come out
and seized .dhe ball a
group of small boys were
kicking around. He took
out a penknife, slashed
the thin rubber, and drove
No grown-ups were
around at the time, and there
was general outrage in the
street when the boys reported
the incident to their parents.
It appeared that the boys
Shad had the presence of mind
to note the car number, and I
heard that two of the parents
were going to make a com-

The police again. This
simple act, so small, so sudden,
so needless an abuse of power.
What is the legal position?
Did he have any right to do
it? The question came up -
not because anyone thought
of redress through the courts.
We're not that kind of society
It seldom occurs to most of us
that there's value in such a
'line of action even if the
action fails.
As fail for sure it would,
if what is sought is the punish-
,ment of the police officer.
They said he was an inspector,
but that's just a way of saying
he wore khaki and drove a
car. He might have been of
higher rank. Who knows?
Complaint. Would such
a story get past the charge


Insure yourself and family


tensity that he ClcanntiiiI UCri-
The love story told is
a good love story. It is not
overly melodramatic, while
at the same time, deep eino-
tion, great joy and intense
sorrow are all part of the
lovers' experience.
Streisand as the com-
mitted political activist, and
liberated woman able to love
and cherish a man, relishing
the traditional role of wife
and mother, yet losing.
neither her individuality, nor
personal and intellectual free-
dom, makes for an interesting
portrait. But her role is too
strong for the one r Jford
has to play.
He comes off as a
wishy-washy type of individ-
ual, lacking emotion, com-


room constable? He might
laugh in your face. Or, by the
kind of questioning that fore-
shadows the courtroom exam-
ination, just reduce your case
to absurdity.
"A rubber ball, man?
And they was playing in the
street you say? They lucky
they didn't get lock up. That
is obstruction, man. Besides
it was for their own good.
You know how much little
children does get killed play-
ing in the road all the time."
Still, you know it can't
be right. A big man can't just
come and slash a rubber ball
some little boys are amusing
themselves with. Not so. He
could talk to them, warn
them, call their parents. But
why so drastic, so unfeeling

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mi-tenit, with no sense of
values, materialistic, no social
concerns, with "everything"-
good looks, personality,
money gifted as a writer
but lacking the discipline and
the commitment to be any-
thing more than a literary
hack in Hollywood.
The fact that Redford
and Streisand are so com-
pletely opposite in everything,
and that while she is willing
to make small compromises,
to make things work for them.
lie wants to make none at
all, detracts from the impact
of the movie. The characters
are too black and white; the
issue too cut and dried.
It should be noted
here, that Redford is willing
to compromise all his ideals
and beliefs as a writer in


order to make it in Holly-
wood, but is not willing to
compromise in order to make
it with her.
The film is interesting in
its use of fact and fiction
and the interplay between
factual possibility and fiction-
al probability, but while this
adds authenticity to the movie
it does not make the charac-
ters and their situation any
more credible.
All in all it is a fair
movie, however. Another one
ofseveral recently which seem
to be raising questions about
America's past.
But the film also
raises questions as to whether
commitment to one's ideals,
beliefs, way of life is more
important than commitment
to love, marriage and the



Lenny Grant

an act?
But I didn't want to get
into that. I've been through it
before. But my concern this
time is different. I'm con-
cerned about those small
Lost in grown-up pre-
occupation, I've been only
dimly aware that the small-
boy population has increased
of late ii our street. Last
Saturday I did note a couple
faces I'd never seen before.
Yes, of course, schools are
on vacation.
And then the World
Cup is just over. I heard
them shrieking "Penalty,
Penalty!"just now. How they
I couldn't help noticing
a group of them last Saturday
afternoon. They were all
,around my place, and I had
firmly to wave away one em-
.boldened eight-year old who
came on tip-toe through my
,backdoor to hide or to
Their voices mimicked
the sound of gunfire and
Y a n k e e-accented, action-
movie dialogue. They killed
each other over and over.
iThey formed and reformed
casts to play impromptu plots.
Lots of violence.
The shock came when I
!noticed their weapons. The
real things. A silver-painted
six gun, SLRs, MISs, and an
impressive machine gun
mounted on a tripod, that
spat fire when the batteries
had life. In heat of battle one
little feller was even firing
away with what looked like a
I've been one of those
to criticise the giving of chil-
dren toys of violence. Never
could I get my mother or
-others in authority over
children to share this reser-
vation. When* I was small,
didn't I play with guns too?
And I haven't grown up with
any liking for violence. The
reference to my childhood is
a way of chiding: when you
were small you were the same
way. Why try to get down on
the boys?
I see what you mean.
But I wasn't doing that. Still
the boys are growing up in a

world today in which the gun
remains a method of settling
disputes. Or just of making a
Look at the Pales-
tine Guerrillas, the Symbion-
ese Liberation Army, the Irish
Republican Army, the Zebra
Gang in the U.S.A., the Death
Squad in Brazil. In Cuba
"Defence of the Revolution"
still has that literal meaning
of learning to use a sub-
machine -gun- as-par-t-o-ef-a-
company of militia. Though
Barry Reckord has dis-
tinguished that from the
triumph of "militarism" in
On the radio last week,
Neville Linton was arguing
that the Greek-Turkish con-
flict over Cyprus showed again
that the 20th century value
of arbitration of disputes, em-
bodied in institutions like the
U.N., has been accepted only
in name by the nations of the
world. the most readyrecourse
is still blood and fire the
accepted method of 19th cen-
tury diplomacy.
Here in Trinidad, young
people under the banner of
NUFF have dramatised the
case for armed revolution.
If the gun is as much
part of the modem world -
true-life and imaginative as
say, the computer, what is the
case for exposing children to
"educational" toys and new
math, but not to weapons
technology? What do we want
- a nation of pacifists and
"Morir por la patria es
vivir'" (To die for your coun-
try is to live.) Thus read a
banner at Cuba's July 26 cele-
brations. With no Sierra
Maestra or Bay of Pigs be-
hind us, our patriotism can
never be cast in stirring evo-
cations like fighting on the
beaches and the rooftops.
They have it to say that
our police including our
khaki-clad officer "saved"
the country in 1970. Saved
the country from what? Not
from the U.S. Marines or
Venezuelan Rangers lurking
outside the Bocas, but from
That, for sure, is not
yet history. Not history you
can teach to small boys who
have seen their World Cup
game disrupted.

Clico means people-

your kind of people



Repertory dance theatre july season Revertory dance theatre july season Repertory dance theatre july season Repertory dance season that re july

view with Astor Johnson
did NO T take place, but
could easily have happen-
ed last Sunday night at
Queen's Hall afterviewing
the Repertory Dance
Theatre's July Season.
Q:- Astor You know I have
always admired and supported
what you and your company
have been doing for Dance in
Trinidad and Tobago, but to-
night I feel disappointed, even
insulted. What happening man,
how you could have put on
such a terribly disjointed, dis-
organized and distressingly
bad show?
ASTOR:- You know people
kept asking when next would
we do a thing, so I felt we
had to get something together.
I do feel we have to keep the
company in the public's mind.
Q:- I see. But Astor it
struck me that there were
some new faces in the per-
formance, you think they had
anything to do with its
ASTOR:- I don't know;
but being on stage myself, I
am in no position to decide
whether the show was a failure
or not. What I do know, is
that the audience was most
Q:- Yes. According to
the programme tonight, Sun-
day night, you promised to
give us 'Defiant Era', the
dance built around significant
events of the Haitian Revolu-
tion- Why wasn't this piece
ASTOR:- Well, that would
be both difficult and embaras-
sing to explain.
Q:- Astor, looking at Dance
performances staged by other
dance companies in the
country I notice that many of
these companies are copying
and sometimes expanding


your style. Would you there-
fore say that you have an
.obvious responsibility to the
country to keep your
standards high since many
dancers outside of your
company are looking towards
you for inspiration and
ASTOR:- First of all,
let me say that I don't really
see many companies drawing
on my 'style' as you call it,
but if they are, then that
could be both a good thing
and a bad thing depending on
several variables. But let me
say that we in the Repertory
Dance Theatre have always
tried to aim at high standards.
With respect to your reference
to responsibility, every artist
has a responsibility to keep
his standards high.


Q:-- True. There was song
and there was poetry in the
production. Would you say
that you are aiming at in-
corporating more song and
poetry in future productions?
ASTOR:- I don't know. I
feel that we should certainly
have more song, yes. And as
you know it was always my
intention to have dancers in-
terpret poetry written by our
Q:- Yes, but with respect
to the use of song, don't you
think because dance is the
central pivot in this instance


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TEL. NO. 639-2849


that it becomes more difficult
than say it drama was the
central pivot? So often the
New World Performers Choir
was unconvincingly used to
set the atmosphere for the
next piece or to fill in while
props were being placed. At
no time was there a marriage
of dance and song.
ASTOR:- I don't think we
were we aiming at that.
Q:- Turning to 'She', there
the dancer and the reader of
the poem were working
against each other. Surely it
would have mademore sense to
have the poem read first, and
then the dancer interpret the
poem. If you want to have
both then the unity must
be absolute, so that one does
not disturb the other.
ASTOR:- I sec v.hat. you
are saying.
Q:- Would you say that the
production was under-
ASTOR:- We have been
working together for some
time so that I did not think
many rehearsals at Queen's
Hall very necessary.


Q:- Is is not the high rental
fee for Queen's Hall that made
many rehersals there prior to
the performance impossible?
ASTOR:- I rather not
talk about money.
Q:- I notice from the pro-
gramme that many individuals
served as artistic advisers;
people such as Louis Johnson
and Derek Walcott. How use-
ful were these people really,
seeing that the show flopped?

ASTOR:- I don't think
the show flopped, though we
might have been a little un-
prepared. With respect to
expert help, that is always
Q:- The Msu Mau drummers
sounded ragged and looked so
too. Can you account for this?
ASTOR:- They have
played for us before, and I
find them more than com-
Q:- Do you think that it is
because of your involvement
with other companies that
you apparently lacked the
time and energy to give
maximum direction to your
July Season?
ASTOR:- Not really. I
have directed productions be-
fore in the midst of giving my
time and talent to other
groups and individuals.
Q:- To be more specific,
do you think .your role as
Basil in Derek Walcott's
Dream on Monkey Mountain

has anything to do with the
almost dead presentation? I
mean so many of the dancers
including yourself just did not
have the energy and charming
dynamism that have been
seen in past performances.
ASTOR:- Your question,
as you know, is unfair.


Q:- I suppose it is. Anyway
Basil has some powerful lines
to say...I mean all that talk
about "a drop of milk is
enough to condemn them, to
banish them from the archives
of the bo-leaf and the papyrus,
from the waxen tablet and
Sthe tribal stone."
ASTOR:- I thought you
wanted to talk about tonight's
Q:- Yes, Iam jumping ahead
of events aren't I? Now, Astor
in all seriousness how come
pieces that were redone did
not improve? Take 'Grave-
yard for the Living' for
example, it has degenerated.
It was loose, and without in-
tegrity and like some of the
others it lacked credibility,
furthermore, the lighting was
not effective: What really
ASTOR:- It is difficult to
Q:- Keeping in mind that
spontaneity could never be a
substitute for hard work,
would you say that in trying
to get the Alvin Alley in-
fluence out of your system
that you have settled for a
loose kind of spontaneity?
I mean, look at 'Schooldays,'
it was good slap-stick comedy
but certainly not good dance.

ASTOR:- I think I am
interpreting works in the light
of what Ailey is striving for,
and I would not say that I am
striving to get him out of my

system. With respect to your
comment on spontaneity, I
find it is a necessary element
in any production.
Q:- Finally Astor, I must
say that there were at times
excellent moments, but too
often there were rock-b'ottom
moments that deserved a
stony silence. Maybe I should
have said nothing. Yet, by
speaking I hope I have pre-
vented the possibility of a
similar shambles when your
next season cones along.

V, '

: .,.' i : t ;i

,. ; ,
-r h n ..ac
Astor Johnson in action

68-70 HENRY STREET, P.O.S. (Farah's Building)
TEL. NOS. 62/36565

q I E I I--~ lsll sa.



Victor D 'uesteel

;rs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institute for
Study of an,
162, East 78th Street,
NE' YOLRK, 5.Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehi'gh 5 UL244.,
u- I S. Y.

THrF ;_A Q' OF


UWI Daily Pad demand

UWI Daily Paid demand Cost--

Tapia Council Meeting

Discovery Monday

LAST Sunday's Council
Meeting decided upon an
early resumption of de-
liberations., A morning of
heavy rain saw only two
carloads of representatives
wending their way down
the slippery track to the
miniature Tapia House
built in Corosa by; the
Blackgold Co-op members.

The House stands plumb
in the middle of land freshly
prepared for the new peas and
vegetable crop. All around is
the celebrated undulating
country of central Trinidad.


Cont'd From Page 3
had written a series of critical
articles in the press, Bernard
Primus were all dragged be-
fore the Commission.
It is against this back-
ground that the appointment
of Nunez must be viewed.

overlooking the Gulf of Paria
to the West.
Ivan Laughlin, Com-
munity Secretary, opened
the meeting late in the morn-
ing and turned the Chairman-
ship over to Mickey Matthews,
Tapia Vice-Chairman, Rep
from Fyzabad.
We had time only for
the minutes a perfunctory
comment before the meal was
served. Provision, cassava
dumpling, pork-and-chicken
pelau, rum punch and juice.
Then the discussion
proceeded drowsily to the
point where we finally de-
cided to convene the next
Council meeting at the earliest

Not only is he being brought
in to hold Selby Wilson by
the hand, but to keep labour
in check with all the tricks
that he has learned after all
his years in the Ministry of
In your struggle you
must not budge, you must
not waver, because what are

A' A

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possible date. Members settled
on Monday, August 5, Dis-
covery Day.
Administrative Secretary,
Allan Harris discouraged the
suggestion that lunch should
be served.
The moring-only meet-
ing will begin at the Tapia
House, Tunapuna at 9 a.m.
and wind up at 1 p.m.
Other decisions taken
last Sunday were:
To set up an Editorial
Cominittee to plan Tapia
supplements for Independence
Day, New Year and other
special occasions. Convener
is Acting Editor, Beau
To hold public meet-
ings in Corosal and La Brea
To hold a September
General Assembly over two
weekends, September 22 and
29 ... details to be an-

at stake are much bigger than
they appear. It is our duty as
workers to continue from
where Butler and Cipriani,
O'Connor and others have
left off, and to take the con-
trol that is our just desert.

Whatever stands in our way
must be swept into the gulf.

N ext


THE next meeting of the
,Council of Representatives
has been scheduled for the
coming Monday, August 5th.
at 9.30 a.m. at the Tapia
House in Tunapuna, The main
items of business will be a
discussion of the political
situation in the country, and
a review ofthe Tapia political
campaign and plans to extend
Deliberation on these
matters had been deferred at
the last Council meeting in
Corosal on Sunday, July 28th.
because several members of
the Council had found it im-
possible to attend.
A large turn-out of
members is expected.


Last week's piece George
Lamming: The Search For
Freedom was reprinted from

of-living Pay

DAILY paid workers at
UWI are seeking a cost
of living adjustment in
their pay packets. At a
spirited NUGFWmeeting
on campus last Thursday
July 25, Branch Secretary
Lutchman read corres-
pondence between the
Union and the University
showing that spiralling
prices had eroded 28 of
the 30 cents increase
gained by the pay-
contract of January 1973.
Called upon to explain
the movement in the cost of
living index, Lloyd Best,
guest adviser to the meeting,
told the gathering that
inflation was like a hole in
your pocket.
The Tapia Secretary
pointed out that between
1968 and 1972, the dollar
dropped to 81 cents,a leak'
age of about 5 cents a year.

Then in 1973 we lost at
least six times that, possibly
eight, depending on what bas-
ket of goods we buy every
weekend in the market and
supermarket. The dollar was
worth 60 to 70 cents, and
heaven knows what it is worth
Responding from the
floor, one wit said that for 18
years he had been hearing
about pint this and pint that
but he had never understood

this cost of living business;
he had only been getting
The Chairman, he felt,
shotrld have sent around a
circular advising members that
Mr. Best was going to be
present, perhaps we might
have got a very much bigger
The 50 people present
cheered lustily when the
Tapia Secretary urged that if
the Union could not do the
job, we must get another one.
"The Union must see to
it that the University is so
decentralized that pay in Tri-
nidad is not dependent on any
regional Grants Committee."


The meeting noted that
the St. Augustine Adminis-
tration was sympathetic to
the worker's --claims-for--a--
c os t-of- i v in g adjustment.
Many hoped that a cost of
living escalator-clause could
be built in to future contracts
following a reasonable amend-
ment to the Agreement now
in force.
The choice, the meeting
considered, was between
forcing the University's hand
and waiting for a settlement
which would compensate re-
troactively for the.losses since
January 1973.
The decision taken was
that the Branch Secretary
should write to the Union
urging a speeding up of nego-
tiations following on a meet-
ing of the University Finance
Committee scheduled to de-
cide on the cost-of-living
matter before the end of July.
One member reminded
the gathering that the prob-
lem could not be solved simp-
ly by criticising the Union.
"The U.lnion is working
well, it is the Branch that
does not always get people
to come out and play their
Looking iat tlie problem
of participation fiomi another
angle, Lloyd I est p ul the
issue very sqiitiicly: "We
would be fooling ourselves if
we think we could ist formal
another Union witliouii meet-
ing up another ISA or IRA
or measures of that kind. The
problem has to he tackled by
embarking on a larger pol-
itical ad\ entuic."
Some of die meeting
clearly shivered at the thought
of brinl ing politics into
Union life. Tihe rest, knowing
on which side tleii bread is
buttered, went iome rejoicing
that it is alr .ad\ safely there.

Lowhar's address to CWU


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