Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00135
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: November 10, 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: UF00072147:00135

Full Text


.NEW YORK 2'. K. y
NOV 20'7

capacity as Leader of the
Opposition has revoked the
appointment of Mr. Basdeo
Panday to the Senate and
has advised the Governor
General to appoint Tapia
Education Secretary, Denis
Mr. Richardson, as of
course he is quite entitled to
do, took the decision to act
without first consulting any of
of the Tapia Senators. Mr.
Richardson has stated his
reasons for so doing and we feel
sure that he acted with the best
of intentions.

We in Tapia cannot deny
that we are pleased at this
increase in our Senate repre-
seniation. We are fully prepared
to represent the new movement
in this country not only on the
Constitutional issue but also on
the vital questions of bread and


We are no more prepared
to let this Government get
away with any closed "family"
discussion on the burning issues
of inflation, unemployment,
housing, transport and all the
many problems that afflict our
people, than we were on the
question of Constitution Re-

People are saying that the
Government is going to try to
make its final fling with the
1975 Budget, their last chance
to buy the country back. But-
people are also saying that since
we have gone there, they have
been very careful as to what
Bills they bring into the House.
Whether they delay or
whether they galay, we shall be
there to deal with them. We are
doing the work all the time and
whenever they dare to come we
shall be ready.

They can, oi course, try
to put us out of the Senate. The
decision on this is to be taken
by the Governor General. We
have no doubt that he under-
stands the Constitutional cjes-
tions involved, nor that he has
been well briefed on the political
SWe simply wish to remind
him that whoever else he may
have to justify his decision to,
in the end it is the country that
shall rule on the wisdom of his

National Executive in session at Tapia House
National Executive in session at Tapia House

AT A Press Conference
yesterday evening (Thurs-
day 7) the Leader of the
Opposition revealed that
he had advised the Gover-
nor General to revoke
Bte appointment of Mr.
Basdeo Panday and to
appoint instead, Denis
Solomon of Tapia.
Mr. Richardson, in a
prepared statement, indicated
that his letter to the Governor
General yesterday followed a
letter sent on October 31
requesting that Mr. Panday's
appointment be revoked and
upon which, according to Mr.
Richardson, the Governor
General declared himself
unable to act.
Mr. Richardson whose
status as Leader of the
Opposition in the House has
been challenged by indepen-
dent member Mr. Horace
Charles, admitted that the
Governor General had indi-
cated that he did not wish to
act on the revocation advice
until he had concluded what
he felt to be the more
important matter of Mr.
Richardson's status.
On this question, how-
ever, Mr. Richardson declared
that as long as he was still
Leader of the Opposition, he
felt that the duty of the
Governor was clearly to
accede to his advices as
stipulated in the Constitu-
He further stated that
as long as he remained as
Leader of the Opposition in
the House of Representatives
he felt it his duty "to provide
the country with the most
cohesive, coherent and com-
petent opposition possible in
these exceedingly difficult
When questioned as .to
the reasons for revoking the
appointment of Mr. Panday,
Mr. Richardson declared that
while he had, and had always
had- confidence in Mr.

Panday's ability to deal with
certain issues he had been
surprised and disappointed
in Mr. Panday's performance
during the debate in the
Senate on Constitutional
S Uiidcf" hihcse circum-
stances, Mr. Richardson con-.
tinued, he felt it his duty to
provide the strongest possible
representation on what he
said he had always felt to be
the fundamental issue of
Constitutional Reform as well
as other "vital economic and
social questions".
He had therefore
decided to carry "to its
logical conclusion the changes
started on 7th October,

Lloyd Taylor

nurses, acting as spokes-
men for the Nurses
Action Group, recently
disclosed a subtle attempt
by the Minister of Health,
Kamaluddin Mohammed
to offer them places in a
public health training
programme which has
itself been the source of
considerable protest.
According to the
spokesmen they had taken
the issue to the Minister
because they felt that the
ultimate manner of selecting
trainees for the course was
both irregular and discrimina-
They argued that the
advertisement for the course
published in the dailies of
September 9, 1974 invited
applicants from nurses who
were also trained in midwifery.
As it turned out, only nurses

1974." (The date on which
the first three Tapia Senators
were appointed by Mr.


Mr. Richardson added-
that while he had not been
able to contact Mr. Panday
to give him any official notice
about the revocation of his
appointment, he pointed out
that Mr. Panday had on many
occasions in the past assured
him (Mr. Richardson) that if
at any time he felt he could
bring together a strong
opposition team in the Senate
he would step down.
On the question of his

from the districts were
accepted as eligible applicants
and were subsequently inter-
Confronted with this
case, and realising that there
were also several nurses who
after years of service now
reached the point of frustra-
tion the Minister indicated
that had it been only three of
them it would have been
possible for him to do some-
thing about their predicament.

The representatives how.
ever made it quite clear that
they were seeing the Minister
on behalf of 150 nurses who
sought an explanation for the
divergence of the actual
manner of selection of
trainees from that actually
outlined in the original
advertisement. According to
the spokesmen they were
before the Minister on
grounds of principle and not
to seek favours.
To add insult to injury

Council Meet

FHE Council of Representa-
tives of Tapia meets this
Sunday, November 10, at the
Tapia House. In what will be'
a crucial session, the Council
will deliberate on the Execu-
tive decision of October 25,
to instruct the Tapia repre-
sentatives in the Senate to
"retain their position for: as
long as Public Opinion con-
tinues to show approval of
such presence, and so as to
.make the voices of the little
people heard on the issues of
bread and butter."

own status as Leader of the
Opposition Mr. Richardson
revealed that he would be
seeing the Governor General
at 12.30 p.m. on Friday 8,
to discuss Mr. Charles'
He stated that as far as
he was concerned the position
remained the same as it was
when Mr. Charles left the
U.P.P., at which time the
Governor had indicated to
him that he saw no need to
change the situation.
He felt "confident that
the Governor General under-
stands his responsibility to
exercise (his) discretion in the
best interests of Trinidad and

the nurses reported that the
Principal Nursing Officer
denied them any nobility of
purpose in protesting and in
showing concern, by insinuat-
ing that all the nurses wanted
was an opportunity to get
Applicants who were
bypassed have since received
acknowledgements from the
Ministry as if they had applied
for the posts of district
nurses, and not for selection
in the public health training
programme. All of which
seems to suggest further
attempts to hoodwink the
nurses and slight the validity
of their protests.
The nurses are currently
planning to take up further
issues affecting them among
which is the sneaky selection
of persons from St. Ann's
Mental Hospital for scholar-
ships which have not been
advertised. The nurses are
continuing to press for an
apology from Kamal.



S~i-Ellsin aI

!IT] V3 ,E'



At the close of the so-called Con-
sultation on National Education held
at Chaguaramas a few weeks ago, the
Minister of Education, Carlton Gomes,
felt it necessary to make an appeal to
the public to come forward with
*solutions to the problems he faced,
particularly in terms of finding places
for the Graduates of the Junior
Secondary Schools.
Such an appeal would have been
heartening were it not for the fact that
for a long time now many groups and
organizations have been putting for-
ward proposals for a radical transfor-
mation of our educational system and
Sthe Minister must surely be aware of
these proposals and information.
For example we in Tapia have

constantly been producing in our
paper add in special pamphlets policies
and programs aimed at introducing a
whole new approach to education in
our society. In addition much useful
information and ideas have come from
the University of the West Indies and
the regional representatives of
In the face of this wealth of
analysis, information and creative pro-
posals, we cannot but believe that the
Ministers plea was not for policies but
for sticking plaster. In short anything
which would cover for a short period
of time the ugly, festering sore that is
our Education system after eighteen
years of P.N.M. rule.
The fact is of course that inno-

vative and relevant educational reform
cannot take place in isolation from
other aspects of the social order.
Indeed this foolish conception is part
of the whole problem
When we have a Government
that is capable of firing our minds
with a new and bolder view of
political, economic, social and cultural
development then the task of intro-
ducing revolutionary educational pro-
posals will be greatly simplified.

In the meanwhile we in Tapia
will continue to expose and explore
the new concepts .in the field of
Education. An expert meeting was

organised by Unesco last July to pre-
pare for a conference next year of
senior education officials in the 25
so-called "Least Developed Countries."
This meetmg examined areas
for reform, some of which are high-
lighted in this interview, given by the
chairman of the meeting, Mr. Joseph
Ki Zerbo of Upper Volta, to Unesco
education writer Antony Brock.

Mr. Ki Zerbo, who holds the
chair of history at the University of
Ouagadougou, is Secretary general of
the African Council for Higher Educa-
tion (CAMES) and a member of the
board of consultants of Unesco's
International Institute for Educational

see0.-- I S-eas in d,-

Q. The aim of this Unesco meeting
was to make proposals which
would serve to advance educa-
tion in the 25 Least Developed
Countries, ofwhich your own
country is one. In your view, do
these 25 states have specific
problems, particularly in the
educational field?
A. The list of 25 countries was
drawn up on the basis of
quantitative criteria, such as the size
of gross national product, the per-
centage of industrialization and the
percentage of literates. These are
handy criteria, but they do not
precisely represent the reality: the 25
do not face problems which are
qualitatively different from those of
other developing countries and some
of the evils which they suffer are
found even in developed countries.
The question is rather one of
degree. The need to eat is felt every-
where in the: world, butfelt different-
ly: in very rich countries it is appetite,
in others hunger, and in still others,
Even with this distinction, the
group is not very homogeneous, one
country of the 25 may already have
undertaken considerable educational
reforms while another may still base
its educational development on out-
of-date models.
Q. Did the experts see the aim of
advancing education in these
countries as a contribution to
their overall development, or was
there a suggestion that educa-
tional progress would have to
wait upon economic advance?
A. This is one of the vicious circles
affecting life in those countries.
We asked ourselves: is education
mediocre, even miserable, in those
countries because they are under-
developed economically, or are they
underdeveloped because of the low level
of their education? Personally, I think
that these countries are poor because
they are ill-educated.
If they could be given suitable
educational systems that produce
producers and not educated jobless or
people who want only to be white-
collar workers, then their economies
would be directly affected. The
.Unesco experts' meeting was impor-
tant because it sought to help the 25
to use their educational systems as
tools for economic development. This
is the aim we want to communicate
to the coming conference of the 25.
Q Given the mechanism of the
United Nations system the
fact that its agencies can only
respond to requests by govern-
ments, not impose solutions -
do you think, it possible that
international aid can influence
changes in the 25?
A. There we face a capital problem:
the United Nations, by defini-
tion, is outside the realm of choice in
baic options in education, a matter

decided by sovereign states. However,
the selection of these 25 countries for
privileged assistance should provide a
chance for new approaches to the
Too often, I think, aid to
developing countries has been subject
to conditions, and even bad condi-
tions. Especially in the case of bilateral
aid. This has been given, not accord-
ing to the developmental imperatives
of the receiving country, but rather
according to the imperatives of the
donating country. I wonder if the
time has not come to offer aid,
subject to new conditions; for if we
continue simply to add new invest-
ments, new funds to a system which
is badly oriented, in 20 years we shall
still be where we are today.
The time has come to link aid
to innovation. After all, even if inter-
national organizations are not free to
intervene in the fundamental choices
of nations, they are still free to give
or not to give, to favour this orienta-
tion rather than that. They can help
the countries concerned, not only by
giving, but giving for innovation.
Q. Do you think innovation can
affect the structure of education
or its contents? What means of
educational reform- exist for
these countries?
A. Innovation should be considered
as an investment, as an addition

to capital. It is innovation which
gives, investments their value. A state
receiving aid is often asked to provide
a counterpartt to aid from the outside:
if a state is asked to innovate, this can
be regarded as a counterpart and this
innovation can lead to more aid.
Innovation means qualitative
change as well as changes in structures.
Introducing mass media into education
can be an innovation because through
it the school, instead of being an
institution confined within its own
walls, can become more open, more
responsive to the milieu. The mass
media can extend the school, trans-
form the village into a school, create
what has been called a "learning
There are other, more precise
innovations which could be introduced
into school; for example, by bringing
work into school. Education can be
unproductive in two ways: first,
because during the school years the
children are unproductive, and se-
condly, because once schooling is
over, graduates may remain a charge
on society instead of becoming
producers. One of the main ideas
which the experts suggested be
presented to the 25 was to consider
education as something achieved by
work and to generate work.
There, is too, the use of African
languages for reading and writing and

the production of educational materials
within the country instead of expen-
sively importing it. These decisions,
affecting structure and quality, could
be important assets for the progress of
the country. All that is needed is to
support the decisions with money.
. The meeting did not seem to
consider that just "more money"
would solve the problems of the
S25, but that the states them-
selves would have to decide on
new paths to follow. In your
view, do the innovations of which
you have spoken constitute new
A. In the last few years, since the
majority of these countries
became independent, they have shed
many illusions, such as those held by
some people at the Addis Ababa
conference. in 1961, where they spoke
of achieving 100 per cent enrolment
and 100 per cent literacy in 20 years_
It is nodw-realized thatia0tPt
of all the factors, of demography and'
of structural difficulties on the national
level, this rate of development cannot
be followed and that present educa-
tional practice, far from spurring
development, is a drag on it. Many
statesmen irn Africa today know this
because they see the results with
their own eyes. Those who drop out
of school or who have fine diplomas
but cannot find work often belong
to the families of the decision-
Ehus conditions are good for
the introduction of the idea of
revolutionary innovation. The thought
of introducing work into school is very
unpopular'but I think the time is ripe
to make parents understand that it is
that or nothing. I believe that it should
be explained to a family that instead
of hoping for the impossible to
get their child a civil service job, which
is increasingly difficult it is better
to accustom him to productive work
with his hands from the first years of
schooling, so that he can find a job
himself no matter at what level his
education ends.
Q. I noted in the meeting f experts
that although the original Unesco
proposal was to hold a confer-
ence of ministers of the 25, the
idea now is to invite high
officials who, presumably, have
more liberty. Do you think that
this will allow new approaches
and provide stimulus for progress
in these countries?
A. Some of the 25 have already
launched revolutionary reforms;
Tanzania and Guinea, for example. In
such countries,there will be fewer
difficulties. The advantage of inviting
officials, instead of ministers, is that
ministers are bound by their govern-
ments' commitments while officials
often have more freedom to speak.

Continued on Page 11

13Years war ?

One of our most urgent needs today is for properly trained
technicians and craftsmen at all levels and for a higher level of
efficiency and skill generally in the offices, in the workshops, hotels,
factories and farms.
'It will be among the functions of the Secondary Modern
School to provide that general education on which the foundations
of success and efficiency in all those vocational fields must be laid.
It is on the class of business people, technicians, office
workers and craftsmen that are laid the foundations of economic
prosperity. John Donaldson
Minister of Education
From a Radio Address
on "The Secondary Modern School"
January 14, 1961

We are already desperately short of the skills, whether craftsman or
technician, required for our economic development.
In August 1972, in a public document, th< National Training
Board identified the following manpower deficiencies comparing
1968 estimates with 1973 targets: professional, higher technical
administrative, managerial 4,676; technicians, 3,323; craftinen,
36,798; whilst the surplus of clerical and sales applicants-was 12,126:

Eric Williams
Prime Minister
From an address to the
Caribbean Union Conference
on "Education and Decolonisation"
August 29, 1974








THE ONLY thing better
for Tapia than to stay in
the Senate would to be
thrown out of it.
The allergic reaction
whereby the regime mobilises
its declining resources to rid
itself of the powerful irritant
in its system may succeed or
it may fail. It matters little
whether the reaction was
brought about by simple
jealousy on the part of
Horace Charles, or whether
he was put up to it by the
PNM government, whose
leader Charles, in his own
words, still loves and ieveres.
Small-mindedness is small-
mindedness, whether it
operates through wide or
nanow channels. Ellis Clarke
~wil-iln-any-case-take nQo
decision until he gets his
orders from Wandering Willie.
Either way, Tapia will
gain. If we are thrown out,
the public will receive an
object lesson in the cynical
manipulation of the funda-
mental laws of the land to
which the regime must have
recourse in order to rid itself
of the threat of awakening
public consciousness.
As far as the "Consti-
tutional question" of who, if
anyone, has the right to the
title of Leader of the Opposi-
tion, we flatly refuse to
discuss it. To raise it at all is
to put the cart before the
horse. All of the three solu-
tions (Richardson, Charles or
nobody) are equally ridicul-
ous. The Constitution must
above all be capable of
encapsulating political reality.
When it fails to do so,
you have, by definition, a
Constitutional crisis; and a
Constitutional crisis cannot
be solved by a Constitutional
manipulation (in this case, by
a "decision" of the Governor
General); it must be solved
by the political process of
recognizing the alignment of
forces in the society and
adjusting the constitutional
instruments to reflect them.
The constitutional crisis

has existed since Indepen-
dence; the current Tapia-
induced governmental panic
is merely its latest manifesta-
tion. When the PNM was
elected to 100% of the seats
in the House of Representa-
tives by 28% of the votes,
the lack of an opposition
leader was merely the surface
manifestation of the real
crisis, which was the lack
of confidence of the country
in any of the conventional
Ellis Clarke could no
more have solved this prob-
lem by declaring Jamadar
Leader of the Opposition (the
solution which Jamadar him-
self proposed) than you can
cure polio by calling it fresh
cold. The defection of
Richardson and Charles
merely provided an opport-
unity for a specious and in-
effective cover-up of the
symptoms, which burst out
again with Tapia's presence -
i.e. the attempt by the
Opposition Leader to really
The immediate political
reality in this case is that
Tapia is the opposition, whe-
ther in the Senate, in the
streets or in the rumshops,
and nobody knows- this
better than the Government.
The country wishes Tapia to
take over; the Government
wishes to avoid this at all
costs. The lack of a legal
framework for the resolution
of this dispute between
Government and people (a
dispute that one way or the
other must be resolved in
favour of the people) is the
constitutional crisis.

If the Government does
not bend it will break. A
people can always get itself
a new people, even if it
searches as far away as China.
China has no influence here;
if Ed Fung brings back a few
new recipes, that will be the
only gain Marco Polo and his

caravan can expect.
We are no longer im-
pressed by the pats on the
head Williams gets for him-
self from foreign statesmen,
whether on the left or on the
right. The game is being
played right here and nowhere
else. After one time is two
time. If Williams thinks he
can cap the African safari
with a Long March he has
another think coming.
So it is very much to
Tapia's advantage to be
kicked out of the Senate. It
is also very much to our
advantage not to be kicked
out. Anything the Govern-
ment does is wrong. Kick us
out, and its desperation is
plain for all to see. Leave us
in, and increase the pain of
the turpentine massage Tapia's
parliamentary arm is admin-
istering to the Government's
shoddy and unimaginative
legislative proposals.
This agony will' reach
its height with the 1975
Budget, a document that will
have to be a masterpiece of
political fraud if it is to give
the impression of curbing
inflation and increasing em-
ployment at the same time by
the means of the conventional
methods the PNM has pro-
claimed (one cannot even say
adopted) in the past. This
fraud will surely be exposed
in great detail by Tapia in
the budget debate.
It may well be that
Williams will decide for ex-
pulsion. Since the country
has already seen through the
Government's legal manoeuvr-
ings; since the PNM is already
as unpopular as it can get;
since Williams' only recourse
is to play for time and yet
more time, he may decide to
band he jaw and throw Tapia
out he backyard.
That is OK with us; we
are in the Senate but we are
not only in the Senate. If we
have to leave the Senate for
the Square, we will take
politics and government along
with us.



Live and let live
The Editor,
WE OF the grassroots should bless the Great Debate.
It has brought out the basic principle of the word 'Tapia' -
equality; that to earth we all return, bridging old and
young, rich and poor, removing class based ,on cash, and
encouraging unity in the community.
Mr. Best has shown his deep interest in the nation, in
the fundamental strengthening of the foot of the ladder
which is the 70% of the people who are badly in need. The
Government is thinking of giving $50 million to Carifta.
But the amount of other islanders in Trinidad and Tobago
forms a Carifta in itself. Why not spend the $50 million in
bringing up pensioners of 1940 1960 whose pensions are.
below $100. Those who were the country's support in the
old regime, be generous to them they need it. Generalise
social assistance further. Help the beggars these are not
The top public servant wants $2000 and more,per
month. But he dosen't want to give $200 to the public
servant at the bottom. But we all have to buy from the same
seller's market, isn't that right? They don't want to leave
any for the other brothers and sisters outside. They don't
care how you live or die.
Brother Best is right lets put some economic love
in our a character-building. That would assist in unifying
the society. Let us not forget that Charity begins at home.
Let us be blessed by the creative spirit of true fellowship in
the community and be a trendsetter. Build up farming. Put
roads to get out the produce for the farmers, with the oil
income from earth to earth, Tapia's motto. Let the oil
bring forth food.
Brother Best take to opening and exposing to the
people and you will achieve support.
Look how many years to find an ombudsman!
V. Brewster






fourth anniversary



down to -

down to

. 9-

- 9.99

ZLe.76A&e. S/Z&/7LQ

- e




IN 1971 Aretha Franklin made a hit record called "Rock Steady Baby".
Looking back three years later, Mike Georges, double-bassist and one of
the founders of the Gayap Workshop Centre, reckons that song could
have provided an important turning point for Trinidad musicians.
For, as Mike remembers it, Ms Franklin and her funky sidemen
were, despitethe Jamaican theme, trying to play a rhythm that was
undeniably Trinidad calypso. What happened was that many Trinidad
musicians, at the time still committed to following where the American
popularity charts led: found themselves directed by Rock Steady Baby,
to their own backyard.
Talking to the Express recently about two currently popular American songs
- Rock the Boat and Rock Me Baby, Calypsonian King Wellington called them "a
vivid example where American artistes have used our musical talents to advantage".
Wellington predicted: "I feel that the next type of musical beat to take the world by
storm will be West Indian calypso rhythm".
Here in their own backyard, where the musical fruit of calypso grows wild
and in abundance, some Trinidad musicians are preparing to reap a harvest. What
they expect is not the purely material gain from selling a million records should
the King Wellington prediction come true. (Though it must be remembered that

the Beatles were decorated by the
Queen for precisely that kind of
contribution to Britain's balance of
payments at home and national image
Rather, the quest can be summed
up without really overstating the
case in one word: liberation. That is
to say, a state of mind which would
make achievement of a truly national
music, a Caribbean music, possible.
"A New Caribbean Music" is
what the publicity handout of the
recently formed Gayap Workshop
Centre calls it. Mike Georges, however,
one of the Workshop's spokesmen,
warns about "getting carried away by
labels". So with that advice, we can
leave off trying to define, summarise,
and thereby, limit the scope of the
work that's.going on.
And see what's really happen-
ing. The Gayap Workshop Centre,
now located in a high-ceilinged, L-
shaped room, an annex at the back of
AB Architect/Planning Consultants on
Dundonald Street, Port-of-Spain,
started in July this year. Its chief aims
are "to improve the standard of
performing musicians and provide out-
lets for musical expression in Trinidad
and Tobago".
At the moment the Workshop
has its own letterhead, the nucleus of
an organisation and a portfolio of
plans and perspectives for the achieve-
ment of its aims. In late September
when the Workshop made its first bid
for public attention, it was to
announce the CARICOM Jazz Experi-
ence which took place in three
sessions at CIC Centenary Hall and
Purple Haze Discotheque in Maraval.


Purple Haze on Sunday evenings
has itself become a kind of centre for
musicians interested in jazz experi-
mentation or just jamming. And for
those two evenings in late September
the regular clientele heard the Gayap
Workshop-presented "experience" in-
volving musicians from Guyana,
Barbados, Surinam, St. Lucia and
We heard such calypsoes as
Sparrow's Trinidad Wonman, Shadow's
I Come Out To Play and traditional
like Old Lady Walk A Mile. And there
were Clive Alexander's compositions,
Little Carib and, Tripping Up, both in
calypso rhythm, together with some
conventional ballads and rhythm 'n'
blues stuff.
But, just to start somehwere, I
could say that none of the calypsoes
were played as you would expect to
hear Sparrow's Troubadours or Art
)e Coteau's band playing them.
Though Errol Wise held a calypso
rhythm on the drumset and at times
went off into solos that sounded,
fantastically, like a shango drumbeat
from his Western "traps", you could
not recognize the familiar tunes after
the initial statements of theme.
And even the melodies: you
recognized them of course, but they
weren't in the familiar accents, not the
way you'd expect to hear them

played. It all conjured up a strange
feeling that something was wrong. Not
quite; but that the calypso was being

The QRC Jazz Club in wo
bass as Mike Georges.

violated, manipulated, made into
something else.
It was. Calypso as raw material:
that's the way it is, and is going to
remain, an attack on all the conserkv-
ative, and really reactionary, notions
that calypso is a jumpy, catchy
"sweet" tune to jump up to on
Carnival day. Full stop.
What is calypso then? The roots
from which our musicians are sending
up brave new shoots to face the light.
That the metaphors are getting mixed
up calypso as root and calypso as
fruit I know. But the point is that
there is positive work going on in our
backyard, natural resources are being
discovered, recognized for their pos-
sibilities; entrepreneurship moves
In the hands of Lancelot Layne
it is labelled as "Neo-calypso". Lancelot
is bridging the gap between the words
and the music. He takes Shadow's
Baseman and re-arranges it for perfor-
mance by a group of singers that
includes the Sparks, Ella Andall and
Betty Joseph so that you hear lines
Shadow never wrote:
"Ah want to get rid ah de Baseman
in mih head
"Before he kill me dead...

"Doctor Leon I want ah brain
"Ah man in mih head -
"Lie down on de bed...
"Like you have ah infection
"Ah go gie you ah injection
"Lie down on de couch
"Pass de needle -
Says Lance Layne: "The whole
idea is what I've been thinking about
for years now this theatre-like kinda
thing, bringing out all the humour,
concentrating on the theatre aspect..."
What you hear in fact is a process of
building on the nucleus of a dramatic
plot suggested by Shadow, extension
of-an original idea, the paying in fact
of the supreme compliment to a
calypsonian and to the calypso.

But the Gayap Workshop musi-
cians are not 9f course in the realm of
words; their building is in music -
improvisation of calypso music.
Clive Alexander, bearded pianist-
composer is Workshop Co-ordinator.
An architect who is the "A" in the
firm AB Architects/Planning Consul-
tants, Clive Zanda, as he is also
called, has been in the mainstream of
the developments that led to the
Gayap Workshop Centre over the last

Mervyn Williams... pioneering com-
poser, pianist, vibra-harpist, organist,
who in 1964 started his "Afro Jazz

oD session sometime in the mid-1960s. On double-

12 years. Even though for much of
this time he was away studying music
and architecture, he was in spirit part
of the enterprise which flourished and
foundered at times over the last 12
He came home for a time during
a highpoint in 1966 when there were
jazz concerts at UWI, at the PSA
Recreation Centre, at Mausica and an
appearance on TTT. The QRC Jazz
Club which started in 1962, as music
appreciation sessions and grew, under
the direction of English teacher and
musician Scofieid Pilgrim, into music
classes and later a workshop perform-
ing group comprised of QRC students,
was central to the enterprise I am
talking about.


The QRC Club sponsored jazz
concerts as a means of raising funds
to buy instruments, and, through
Scofield Pilgrim's connections, was
able to bring together the progres-
sive musicians of the time for perfor-
mances at the school. Ihese musicians
would include pianists Felix Roach,
Ralph Davies.and Mervyn De Gannes,
vibraharpist, pianist and composer
Mervyn Williams; Andre Tanker,
Carlyle Henry and Arthur Winter.
From these we could, not un-
fairly, highlight the work of the QRC
Jazz Club under Scofield Pilgrim's
direction and Mervyn Wlliams. The
facts are that the QRC club were-the
only band at that time which was
interested in playing calypso nusic
- including a steelband double tenor
- and improvising on the music.
The concerts provided rare
opportunities for the exposure of the
pioneering work then going on of
Mervyn Williams, an intense musician,
a primary school teacher by employ-
ment, who as far back as 1964 had
formed an "Afro-Jazz Quartet".
Mervyn Williams' work was on the
exploration of basic rhythms like
Shango and historical themes. In 1966
his 30-minute suite Middle Passage
was performed andnot recorded
atthe UWI;never recorded too was his
Slave Girl Blues.
The Gayap Workshop Centre
continues in the tradition of the work
that began with the QRC Group and
Mervyn Williams. It comprises some
of the same people. There is Scofield
Pilgrim, now a Duke of Edinburgh
Award regional representative, who
makes use of his transCaribbean
travel to make links with like-minded

Setting the

organizations and musicians through-
out the islands, and through whose
roving ambassadorship occasions like
the CARICOM Jazz Experience would
be made possible.
Mike Georges, an IDC manage-
ment consultant and now a member of
the Workshop Co-ordinating Com-
mittee, is a product of the QRC jazz
Club. So also are Johnny Blake,
guitarist-singer, formerly of the Venus
Plus X Group, Roger Allambie, a pan-
man with experience in Invaders,
Starlift and Phase Two; and Michael
Boothman guitarist-composer, leader
of the Family Tree band, formerly
called the Rockerfellers.
The rest of the nuclear of the
Workshop: Jacuc il ch-n ,"S ',;t iy^,-
Barney Bonaparte, formerly of the
Rockerfellers, Wayne Kirton formerly
of the Rockerfellers and QRC; and
Clyde Bacchus, who is the "B" in
AB Architects/Planning Consultants, is
Executive Director of the Workshop.
Now it is one thing to appreci-
ate the possibilii.:s of experimenting
with calypso improvisation but quite
another thing to have the musical
competence to be able to explore it.
And we find that, because our musi-
cians have hardly ever been required
to do more than make suitably
adapted or as faithfully as possible
copied renditions of foreign music,
such skills were generally not develop-

Clive Alexander is clear on the
point: "There's a lack of musician-
ship in the sense of being able to
perform even your own calypso music,
among young people particularly. It is
because of this soul-funk exposure.
You find that a feller never spends
time to learn his instrument because
he only has to learn two phrases or
two notes.
"So that to develop the art of
improvised calypso rmrsic you need
people to develop musicianship relat-
ing to international standards".
Clive insists that it's a "traditional
art form" this improvising of
.calypso music. He remembers John
Buddy Williams calling it "playing it
while you hear it".
So that the Gayap Workshop
Centre is about "composing on the
spot. We are developing this traditional
art form which we find is now lacking
our music. What we developed'is the
art of copying it while we hear it".
To restore this lost traditional
art and to develop musicianship are
what the Gayap Workshop Centre sets
itself to achieve. The Workshop is
providing, gayap-style, training for
musicians in instrumental technique,
fundamental harmony, double-bass




Members of the Gayap Workshop in
ensemble session.
At keyboard (centre)
is Workshop Co-ordinator and com-
poser Clive Alexander.

stage for something new

methods, and it is stimulating research
into the basics of calypso, steelband
and folk material.
Participants in this work of self-
development will have already achieved
a measure of competence in some
musical instrument. It is not for
beginners. And, in the spirit of the
each-one, teach-one kind or approach,
"all participants must be prepared to
listen to and accept.criticism".
The plans of the Gayap go
further. Participants will, after a course
oT- T2 Workshop "lectures" qualify for
playing in the Gayap Workshop En-
semble. It is hoped to establish this
Ensemble in two stages. The first a
smaller group should be able to
perform within six months, for the
core musicians and their rhythm
section are already there.


The.second stage of the Ensemble
is a band of about 21 pieces including
reed, brass, steel, string instruments;
-bamboo flute,- shango drums and
cuatro. This Ensemble would be con-
cerned with experimentation of new
music, improvising calypso music.
For "calypso", in the Workshop
terms, we must understand not
merely the current year's hits, but old-
time calypsoes and compositions of
the Workshop members in a similar
vein. In addition, it is intended to
perform the arrangements of foreign-

based writers whose wuik is of and
about the Caribbean.
I asked Cive Zanda and Mike
Georges how they saw their work
helping to provide a living for Trinidad
"This is the idea of Gayap. We
want to have a resource of musicians
who, through their competence, will
be able to make a living. We hope to
be able to keep a register of musi-
cians who would be available for work
like the making of jingles. To draw up
payment contracts for playing-out
musicians and to see to it that they
are adequately paid, that is at least
$35 to $40 per night."
They mentioned the prospects of
getting work outside .Trinidad and
Tobago in the Caribbean and else-
where in the world. Work, however,
which would require a certain accept-
able standard of musicianship.
The "musicianship" question
brought to mind steelbandsmen with

their unique instruments. Haven't
they developed musicianship without
having to do courses of training,
either formally or of the Gayap kind?


"The panmen are technically
more advanced than the horn-men, for
example. They've been using an indi-
genous instrument which they had to
develop and learn while they developed
it. But they still have to learn to solo.
A panman's got to be able to play his
instrument as an instrument in its own
right. This is why we're introducing
pan in our ensemble to be played in
that kind of way.
"The scene with the pans right
now is this: most steelband music
involves playing the verse one way,
then the whole chorus one way. And
they do it over about 20 times. No
variation. The arranger therefore tries

to build everything into that one
"Then again from the point of
view of craftsmanship it takes hours
and hours cramming out their parts.
robot-like. Most of the steelband
leaders tell you they think the whole
thing is just being reduced to a robot
kind of mechanism.
"Let's face it: pan has gone far
as far as tuning etc. is concerned. But
pan has not developed a music. What
has been developed is an instrument.
And the proof of this is that when you
go to a steelband fete if you hear a
calypso it is by the way, very casual as
if it means nothing".


But how did we come to this
pass where there are so many musi-
cians and so much interest in music
and so little real training and research
going on? So little competence in
"Well there's also a problem of
seriousness, we feel. One of the strange
things about this country is the
number of musicians who don't have
instruments. One reason is the cost,
but it can't be the whole story. For
you find that even with fellers who
do have instruments, there is the
strange habit of turning up on a
music scene without bringing along
their 'axe'.
The schools?
"Trinidad must be the only
country in the world where you can
go in and out of the school system
without learning anything
about music. Schools in the Virgin
Islands are importing whole pan sets
so as to be able to teach pan. But we
don't know how the Ministry of
Education here has been getting away
with that for so long".
As a vanguard group, the
Gayap Workshop Centre musicians are
producing music which could be
criticised as being "ahead of their
times". I put to them to observation
that their music did not conform
with what is popular these days. How
therefore did they propose to involve
the public in the excitement of their
explorations, and make it pay for
"Popular music becomes popular
as a result of what has been put in
terms of public relations, marketing,
promotions etc. Who develops a taste
for James Brown andlShot the Sheriff?
An important part of our work is to
conduct just that kind of promotion
and public relations. We have to get to
the media, get around the limitations
and not just sit back and say it can't
be done".



East Coast

For mile after mile of unbroken beach
memory claws the torn gut like leeches
feeding on old wounds I open deliberately
to salt their poison in this plunging sea.

The liquid green morning spreads its crown.
In the thundering surf I watch old friends

But I will toast still those two who write
how love is welded firm by death's grief;
whose eyes forever mirror the lost child
floating out beyond the blank pitiless reef.

Distance slowly relieves the nightmare
of too many lives wasted through haste.
Those seagulls tracing the sun's corona
are not fixed always in their erratic pace.

The years sink their differences here
on this sprawling desolate shore. Listen:
another voice booms within
the shelled ocean's incessant roar.

Raoul Pan tin

Your family is

I well fed with

Blue Band

J on bread




THE following presentation was made in the Senate on
October 15, in response to a Bill moved by the Leade of
Government business "to amend the Appropriation Act,
1974". The purpose of the Bill, according to Senator Prevatt,
was "to vary certain heads of expenditure. .. by authorising
the increases in the sums appropriated under certain heads
of expenditure. and by authorising the reduction in the
sums appropriated under certain heads of expenditure." He
added that"the increases in expenditure. are balanced off
against the reduction in expenditure. so that the total
expenditure for the year 1974 will not be exceeded."

HON. President, hon. Senators of the House,
citizens. I must confess that I had not antici-
pated coming into the action so soon. I must
confess also that I have very little inclination
to meddle in affairs which are only symptom-
atic of the plague that sweeps this country.
Mymain reason for being here this afternoon,
to make a long story short, is to bury Caesar.
I am not going to be sidetracked merely by
outward visible signs of inner decay. We have
to deal with the fundamentals. Nevertheless,
Mr. President, Sir, we have to deal with the
bill; and I do not want to begin by putting
goat mouth on it at all but, after hearing what
the hon. Leader of Government business in
the Senate has not said about it, I have only
been confirmed in my impression that this
House and, indeed, the country at large, if
asked, will answer that it wants absolutely no
part of this bill or, indeed, of any other bill.
What the country needs is better public
finance. As part, I may add, of a scheme of
fundamental economic and social reconstruc-
tion, as part of a venture in moral resurgence
and cultural revival.
I am afraid this bill I have looked at it
admittedly only cursorily, so short has been the
notice I am afraid that this bill does not meet the
specifications. When I opened the envelope in which
it came I noticed it was accompanied by a report
from the Carnival Development Committee; I hope
that is not an invitation for us to make 'mas'. The
one principle I can see in the fragmentary notes
which accompanied the bill seems to be what the
creoles call: "who have more corn, feed more fowl".
Some juggling clearly is going on in the appropriations
for 1974 but the Government side seem not to think
it important to tell us in any depth the meaning of
this juggling. The comments, as I have noted before,
are fragmentary, they are scrappy, they tell us
nothing. I do not think this hon. House can put up
with that. I think it is the duty of the Government,
Mr. President, Sir, to situate so important a matter as
the appropriations for the year in the larger economic
context; we cannot be expected in this House or,
indeed, in the country, to understand the meaning of
the expenditures or the shuttling of expenditures
here involved unless we relate the changes to the
larger budgetary scene and I want to ask the indul-
gence of the House for a moment, perhaps for more
than a moment, to do just that.

Revolutionary Crisis

1 think it is time, when we are in tihe middle of
what is clearly a revolutionary crisis in general and
an economic crisis in particular, not only in this
country, not only in this region but on the world-
stage as a whole. I think it is the duty of Government
to take these issues far more seriously than I notice
they have been doing for a long time. I do not see
how we can usefully evaluate the meaning of these
changes unless we take into account the crucial fact
that we are living through an inflation on a scale not
witnessed in this country or indeed in any other
country for anything like 40 years. 1 do not see how
we can make the necessary assessment, the necessary
evaluation, unless we are told as well what are the
reveni'e consequences of the factors that have made
it necessary to make the adjustment in the Appropria-
lion. Nor indeed can we make the assessment, nor can
the country be expected to understand what the
Government are doing unless we attempt to follow
through the significance of thle expenditures in terms
of their impact in the country. Not merely in terms
of inflation butl iln ters of-the ol jectives outlined
by the Minislcr of Finance himself when he in-
troduced the initial Appropriations at the beginning
of the current fi'iantcial year.
I want to begin bv renunding the llouse Ithat
when the Minister of I imlance presented tlie budget
earlier in the year he .said tllhai the objectives were as
1. To increase the level of employment. l'o
expand the domestic food supplies aid to diver-

sify and strengthen the infra-structural base of
the economy.
2. To provide additional facilities and ameni-
ties' which the population urgently needs and
which are essentially to support our economic
and social development over the long term;
3. To cushion to the extent possible some of
the effects of rising external prices on the
domestic cost of living and to reduce the cost
of transportation and manufacturing,
4. To redistribute income in favour of the low
income groups and in particular to improve the
position of old-aged pensioners and those
dependent on social assistance.
5. To ensure that we will be able to proceed
with our plans for basic restructuring of the
economy and for increasing national participa-
tion in resource based industries even if existing
oil prices do not last very long.
6. To respond to the real needs of our rural
community which experience unique problems.
I -must say Mr. President, that personally I
anticipated that long before now the Government
would have come back to the country on the budget-
ary question and I consider it the height of cheek
that they could come back to the country and to this
House- for an amendment of the Appropriations of
1974 without attempting to account for these charges
which they themselves laid down at the very begin-

This is not an ordinary time. It is a time of
distress and I would also remind the House that the
Minister of Finance, at the beginning of the year,
also noticed that he was introducing the budget for
1974 under rather special circumstances. He men-
tioned the raging inflation. He mentioned the pro-
found shifts in balance of payments throughout the
world. He mentioned the shortage of critical goods,
the scarcities of foods and raw materials in particular;
and not least, he mentioned the fact that the end of
last year and the beginning of this year noticed a shift
in the terms of trade and collaboration between the
producers of petroleum of whom we are one, and the
consumers, and the consequences of that shift for the
entire energy situation in the world as a whole.
So that if he now .comes back to the House
later in the year to deal with the Appropriation he
needs also to locate the question in that context and
I want/to take the bill, as I see it, under three heads,
dealing first with what you may call the large causes
or reasons for the shifts in the pattern of expenditure
originally set out at the beginning of the year Then
I wish to deal with the matter of the revenue con-
siderations that surround expenditure and finally I
Want to deal with some of the consequences of the
shifts here proposed.

SReasons for

the shift

When we look back over the years at the
budget estimates the first thing we notice is the low
efficiency of the estimating. But that here. I am
afraid, is the least of the apostles. This year it seems
to me that the change in the pattern of expenditure
might be attributed to any of three things and all of
which it was the duty of'the Government to take into
The first of course is the inflation. The infla-
tion which obviously, and as said by the Minister of
Finance, as anticipated by him. changes the prices of
imports and changes the prices of domestic output.
of what we produce at home. 1 do not see how the
Government can come here. having noticed the
importance of these and not give us measures of their
significance in the months that have gone. I do not
see how the Government dares to come here in a year
when they have proposed to deal with inflation
largely by way of subsidies subsidies to petroleum',
subsidies on rice: subsidies on flour: subsidies to
agriculture and not account for what has happened
in tile course oftlie time. I think it is totally irrespons-
ible and I think this House must take notice of it.
Thirdly. the inflation in the country because it
has occupied tlhe public stage hete in recent weeks s
has had profound implications toi the shaic that
personal emoluments take in the national budget.
Thile Minister. I think, pointed out el rlici in llthe \ ea.
that there was this sinister trend fcl i enoluteis ll iS
erode the revenues gained by the lE\xchequ.e
In l1074. we have reached a bench niii k \\hien
the bargaining process between tlie (Gov'ei intentC .and
thle Public Services Assoclation ti esiiines and the public
servants are making claims tor increases in wages and
salaries and increases in tfinge benet'its \\lntich .iA e
likely to have a protound signilficaiice on employ.
inetit : ion prices; on income dist ibiition. oi bal.iiuc of
pay.ienlts: on itoneti;ri\ man.iagemen t .iiid \\ e hea.I
not. a word. So thlat \ve iIilIht sa\ ihat lthe fiSt s l.aulse
for which the Goiovernmenit does not .tccoutn is

inflation increases in prices which increases
money costs-of what output we can be saidto be
getting from the public sector.
But then, of course, there is a second considera-
tion here which we also cannot afford to ignore in the
context, which is higher real costs and which focuses
therefore on the question of productivity. I raise the
question because the symptoms which we are noticing
of economic and industrial unrest have consequences,
not merely for the balance of payments, not merely
for the budget, not merely for prices, but they affect
morale, and the economic expression of that, ij
So one of the reasons why Government have to
spend more is simply because it costs more money to
get the same output under conditions where morale
is falling, where there is political and industrial crisis
and where productivity is dipping dangerously low.
Nowhere is there more evidence in the country than
in the case of the public utilities. Every morning the
country awakens uncertain as to whether electricity
might be cut off. as to whether the telephones will
work. as to whether there 'will be water at all: and this
development is not of course unrelated to the political
situation in the country in general. and the conse-
quences of it for productivity.
So here again \\e have a total irresponsibility
on the part of Government coming here today
proposing changes in the pattern of expenditure and
failing entirely to raise the critical issues tlat the
multitude of little people in the street must be
reflecting deeply about.
The third and important head here is the
matter of extra projects. When the budget was pre-
sented earlier in the year one of its important aspects
was a lack of concreteness in particular projects. You
will remember, Mr. President, that the budget came
at a time when Government had failed entirely to
produce the Five-Year Development Plan; when
the Government had failed entirely to produce the
Throne Speech at the opening of Parliament; but the
energy crisis and the change in conditions in the oil
sector suddenly, it seemed, gave Government an
unexpected windfall and they went off on long
tangents designing a rainbow world of all kinds of
colossal long-term, never never projects. You might
say, they drink four cents rum and they get eight
cents drunk. At the time it was noticed in the popular
press that inspite of this, the budget contained no
projects of the spirit, no projects relating to Carib-
bean integration and no concrete proposals for
participation in the dominant sectors in the country.
Since then, however, we have been regaled on
Radio and Television to excess with statements of
intention to fill in the blanks. How important must it


BER 10, 1974


f ull



Smai den




I Senate


therefore be for the Government to come here on this
occasion and tell us, and account to this House and
to account to the country for the meaning and signifi-
cance, in financial terms, of the range of new projects
for expenditures!
When we look at the notes hurriedly prepared
for us and sent last night by the hon. Leader of
Government business in the Senate, we notice that
the most important single increase in expenditure is
under the head of Community Development. We
notice that the second important head of increase is
in the Ministry of Public Utilities; the third is in the
Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the fourth,
the Ministry of Works.
Nowhere in this entire scheme is there any
attempt to match the figures for expenditure with
the projects which, you might say, have been making
the running for the Government in recent times. It is
irresponsible. The notes are for the most part irrele-
vant and the entire statement given to us here is
lacking in substance and lacking in weight.

2 Implications
for revenue

~ ___ __ __

The proposal in the bill is to re-allocate a total
expenditure' of $41m, $12.7m of which I noticed
earlier, is under the head of Community Development;
$ 10.9m is under the Ministry of Public Utilities and
the financing for this $41m comes very largely from
the $35.6m budgeted in a general head under the
Ministry of Finance at the beginning of the year. So
that Government are not coming back to the House,
as the Hon. Leader of Government business has said,
for any extra ways and means and for any extra
'provisions. But it will be a fallacy for us to believe
that because the total increase in expenditure is equal
to the total reduction in expenditure on this account-
ing that there are in fact no revenueconsiderations to
be raised in this connection.
The same factors which lie behind the shifts in
expenditure being proposed by Government under
the heads here noticed also have consequences for the
revenues of the country. It must be the duty of
Government when they come here to indicate what
these revenue consequences are. I might point out to
the House that the same factors of inflation that we
have noticed on the expenditure side, affecting
productivity, affecting the cost of inputs and
materials, and affecting wages; this same factor also
has consequences for taxes.
It is very easy to establish that a general



s ORStephens


increase in prices necessarily increases the ievenuc-
take which the Government get from purchase taxes
alone, not to mention'other indirect taxes which are
levied on value. So that we ought to notice as a
simultaneous development with the increasesin the
costs requiring these increases in expenditures, an
increase in tax revenues on the other side of the
The same is equally true of money incomes.
With the progressive system of taxation that we have
in the country, the Government do not require an
increase in the rate of taxation to get an increase in
revenue when incomes are rising. It is quite clear that
:n wages and salaries go up the income tax on this
account necessarily goes up without any increase in
rate. So that on the ground of prices, and on the
ground of wages, we have revenue considerations
here critical to the total evaluation.
Above all we have the critical consideration of
corporate tax. This is a year,it is worth repeating, in
which petroleum prices are not only infinitely higher
than they were last year that is the source of most
of the difficulty but in point of fact they have
risen during the course of the year. So that even the
elevated revenues which the Government conservat-
ively estimated at the beginning of the year are likely
to be infinitely larger in fact. My own estimates
suggest that Government revenue which is projected
to be of the order of $950 million or thereabouts
this year, ought in fact to be up to something like
$1400 million much nearer $1400 million.
For the whole of last year corporate tax on
petroleum amounted to something like $117 to S120
million. This year by my estimate up to the month of
September alone, that figure ought to be something
of the order of $750 million, giving us a notion of
the kind of corn that the Government have "to feed
more fowl", if that is the principle of statecraft on
which they conduct their public finance.

Chronic Problems

I raise the question because the evaluation we
must make of this shift in expenditure cannot be
kept separate from the question of the total funds
available, and as I pointed out before, from the
objectives outlined by the Government themselves
at the beginning of the year. If the same considera-
tions which lead to a shift in expenditures because.
of rising costs, because of falling productivity, because
of additional projects including projects that buy
into the private sector, if these same factors auto-
matically lead to increases in the revenues available
to the country, it must mean that the Government
are in a better situation, that the public sector is
better placed to launch an attack on the problems
identified by the Minister of Finance at the beginning
of the current fiscal year.
These problems being, as the country knows
because it is punch drunk with them. unemployment,
chronic, colossal and incurable under the present
dispensation; inequality galloping along, widening on
evidence brought forward here, there and everywhere;
inflation ravaging the country's pockets.
The data are clear for all to see, for those who
need data. Prices last year as you know, Mr. Presi
dent, increased at the level of anything like 20 to 30
per cent, depending on the measures that you take.
The Government are fond, of course, of urging on us
the cost of living statistics officially determined by
the Central Statistical Office, which I might add, are
of course based on the cheapest possible basket of
goods, so they understate by, a mile the increase in
prices. Last year, inspite of that, it was anything like.
23 to 30 per cent. This year, the. figures show that

up to September, the last twelve months, it has been
at least 26% and ranges, depending on the basket we
take, between 26 and 36. And if we may project
this into the future, on the evidence of what is
happening in other countries where price increases
are of the order of over 40 per cent in some cases,
then it can be comfortably concluded that price
increases in this country this year cannot by any
stretch of the imagination be less than 36 to 45 per
So that the responsible question we must ask
about this Appropriation Bill is whether in fact the
perspective of the Government is wide enough, first
of all to understand and evaluate the reasons for the
shift of expenditure they have been forced to make;
secondly to embrace the potentials for tackling the
fundamentals inherent in the revenue consequences of
the same factors that are bearing on the expenditures,
and thirdly, whether the Government are in any way
interested in the wider consequences of those
expenditure shifts which they are actually proposing
to make.

for society

I want therefore to turn to the third of the
considerations, which is to look at the scope and
range of consequences likely to flow from the shift
in expenditure. I am not going for a moment to
attempt to do this in any serious quantitative way
for the simple reason that the documents with which
we have been presented here, and indeed the docu-
mentation which is available and which bears on the
question, are hopelessly inadequate to the task. It
really is an outrage of the rights of Parliament, not to
mention the rights of the citizens that we do not
have national accounts.' I do not see now we can
evaluate and assess the significance of the public
budget; I do not see how we can assess the meaning
of the expenditure, the significance of shifts, unless
we are able to relate this to the larger totals of
national investment, the larger totals of national
product, the larger totals of national income and all
the other aggregates which are normally presented in
the national accounts.
And I want to draw the attention of this House
and indeed of the' country as a whole to the wanton
neglect of the Government, in fact the wilful suppres-
sion by the Government of the national accounts
which 1 know for a fact are being articulated
and computed on an entirely different basis by the
civil servants at Trinidad House.
It was not long ago, perhaps two or three years
ago, that an agency was established in the Ministry
of Planning and Development specifically to reform
the national accounts so as to provide for the country
the wherewithal for evaluation of economic policy on
a basis appropriate to the needs of an independent
We adopted, in the past. national accounts that
we systematically borrowed, cogged and fudged from
other countries, and owing to the work conducted in
the. University of the West Indies by young scholars,
we have managed to revise the basis of the national
accounts so that the flow of ddta. estimates and
accounts is more likely to produce evidence equal to
the kind of questions that we need to pose in the
country today.
For reasons that 1 cannot understand, but can

Continued on Page 8

~ _I~IL____
I __




From Page 7
only guess at, these accounts which reached an
advanced stage of preparation a year or 15 months
ago were suddenly suppressed and the unit disbanded
and the national accounts are nowhere to be found.
As I have said elsewhere, we are going to have to put
some turpentine in the Government's behind, if you
will permit the expression, Mr. President, to see that
this total irresponsibility is discontinued at the
earliest possible time.

The point I am making here is precisely the
Government's lack of this information and other
critical information, to wit, the White Paper promised
on Oil so long ago in one of the famous radio/
television simulcasts. The country wastes colossal
sums of money, or spends if you prefer to lie more
modest, on sending missions to every corer of the
world. We have been hearing all kinds of piecemeal
announcements in this House and some outside, but a
picture of what is happening in the Oil sector is
nowhere to be found.
I think it is the duty of this House, if not the
other, to insist at the earliest possible opportunity
that we are presented with some account or statement
of what is actually happening in the Oil sector; because
the evaluations that we need to make cannot be made
without the national accounts; and they cannot be
made unless we have that White Paper on Oil.
It is therefore not surprising to me, as a layman
and as a new boy in this House, to have come here
this afternoon and to hear the Leader of Government
Business in the Senate simply stand up for a few brief
moments and present us with these little bits and
pieces of paper -and in no way attempt to fix our
attention on the most important aspect of the
entire discussion that we have to conduct. Which is
to say, that any shift in Government expenditure, as
indeed any increase or decrease in Government'



more fowl

expenditure, necessarily has consequences for those
fundamental objectives identified by the Minister of
Finance when he gave the Budget earlier this year.
They have consequences for inflation because
expenditure on Special Works or expenditure on
Community Development call it what you will is
of quite a different character from expenditure on
agriculture. Expenditure on agriculture hopefully
increases the output of food lettuce, tomatoes,
sweet potatoes and yam. Expenditure on Special
Works increases only expenditure. So that although the
totals of expenditure and revenue are equal and
Government are not coming back to the country for
any extra appropriation, the consequences of the
shift are of the same character as if Government were
in fact spending more money, if in fact the shift in
expenditure is a shift from productive activity to
activity of a largely or purely electoral character.
So that we have to hold the Government res-
ponsible for the irresponsibility of not identifying,
for this House, the right effects of the shift
We can follow quite rapidly through to say that,
equally, the shift in expenditure necessarily has con-
sequences for income distribution. Conceivably, these
are consequences that we may wish to endorse.
Certainly a shift of expenditure away from Public
Utilities which on the whole, in my estimation, are
a nest of elites in the country- towards Community
Development or Special Works, tends to bring about
a redistribution of income that any man interested in
social justice can easily embrace, although it also has
political consequences which are not relevant for us
here today.
The point I am making, however, is that we need
to know and we need, to have quantitative data to
evaluatewhat the Govemment:onceivestobetheincome
distribution effect if only because the Minister of
Finance made it one of his crucial objectives at the
start. The same might equally be said of employment,
the same might be said of business control. One of
the scandals of this country after 12 years of inde-
pendence and many more of self government is that


your energy food.



Because ounce for ounce Crix has 20% more
energy-giving food value.
You see, the Crix baking process bakes out
almost alithe moisture so you get more punch
to the crunch. And that adds up to better value...
more for you to go on. Go get 'em.


the structure of business control leaves the levers in
the hands of a small minority. I am never tired
pointing out that the data we have show quite clearly
that over half of the business elite in this country is
white, only nine per cent Indian and only four pei
cent Africans. I certainly wish to find out, and I am
not going to tire until we find out, what this admin-
istration or the one that follows it, intends to do
to reduce the imbalance. Every time we come to
deal with appropriations or with budgetary proposals,
it is the meet, right and bounden duty of the Govern-
ment to estimate, evaluate and to make it clear what
changes the level and pattern and shifts they are
proposing are likely to bring about in the interest of
the vast majority of the citizens, what changes in the
structure of business control, for instance.
Mr. President: The speaking time of the hon.
Senator expires in two minutes.
Thank you, Mr. President, I can wind up very
easily because under my third head I am simply sug-
gesting to this Senate that the Government have been
guilty of a dereliction of duty in failing to deal with
the inflationary effect, the income distribution effect,
the business control effect, the employment effect,
the budget effect itself, and the monetary effect of
the expenditure-shift they are proposing. That is
quite clear from the points I have tried to make in
the brief time, about the factors lying behind the
expenditure-shift, about the revenue consequences of
this ane about the failure of the Government side to
take the issue of appropriation seriously enough to
present the country with any reasonable interpreta-
tion of.what they are proposing. It is quite clear that
this bill can in no way come to grips with the issues
that confront this country every morning.
What the country needs, Mr. President, hon.
Senators, citizens, is public finance of a different
kind, of a different level of seriousness. We want
better public finance. We want improvement. That'r
why my colleagues and I have come to this Senate;
simply to start a debate on that level.
I said at the beginning that we did not come
here to deal in trivia. We came here to bury Caesar.
I might add, in conclusion, we intend also to bury,
Caesarism as well.




Tapia House 82-84 St Vincent Street Tunapwuna


U.S.Policy victimizes Haitian


Greg Chamberlain

A RICKETY sailboat
crammed with 39 men
and 14 women beached
on the coast of Florida
a few weeks ago (28 Sept)
and disgorged another
group of Haitians to swell
to nearly 1,000 the
number who have fled
the Duvalier regime in
this precarious and un-
comfortable manner in a
quiet exodus over the
past two years. 33 others
drowned when another
boat which was with
them sank, the latest
refugees reported.
Like their predecessors,
the refugees were jailed to
await deportation proceedings
by immigration officials who,
often using local pro-Duvalier
Haitian interpreters, sum-
marily dismiss their stories of
political persecution and class
them as people merely in
search of work who therefore
have no right to political
Supported by local
priests and welfare workers,
the Haitians are now fighting
legal battles to stay, saying
that they face imprisonment
and torture, or even death, if
sent back to Haiti after
publicly discrediting the
Duvaliers by fleeing and seek-
ing political asylum. This view
is borne out by oblique
statements made by Haitian

officials, apart from past
To underline the point,
one refugee went as far as to
hang himself in his Miami
prison cell last March a few
hours before he thought he
was actually to be deported.
Certainly, the refugees'-lurid
horror stories of torture and
repression presently appear-
ing in the American press is
the worst publicity the
Duvaliers, who have spent
millions of dollars on public
relations abroad, have had
for many years.
In fact, none of the
refugees has yet been sent
back to Haiti. But the author-
ities insist that they must be
and,according to iminigra-
tion rules, they are right.
However, there are rules and
rules specifically, much
more lenient ones for the
hundreds of thousands of
Cubans who have fled the
Castro revolution to the
barely-concealed delight and
with the virtual encourage-
ment of Washington. Last
year, the State Department
announced it was admitting
some 20,000 Cuban exiles
from Spain without work
permits or close relatives to
go to.


Many of the Haitians
did flee for economic reasons,
but then so did many Cubans.
This open political discrimina-
tion between opponents of a

Our coverage of


is unsurpassed anywhere

for focus and point.

Keep abreast of the

real currents in the

Caribbean Sea.


Trinidad & Tobago -
Other Caribbean -
North America
Overseas Deliveries Airmail Surfai
Back Issues Available

S12.00 TT
18.00 W1
12.50 US
L 8.00U.K.

ce Rates on Request

Tapia, 91, Tunapuna Rd. Tunapuna, Trinidad & Tobago, W.I.

regime which Washington does
not like and those of one with
which it is in cahoots mili-
tarily, politically and econ-
omically has brought the
Haitians much publicity, in
the United States, which
helped to bring about the
Senate hearing in July on aid
to Haiti when the opposition
got a rare ,public forum
It has also won them
support, notably from the
National Council of Churches
and the American Jewish
Congress. Both bodies have
recognized racism implicit in
the favouring of the white,
mainly middle class Cubans
over the penniless black Hai-
tians. The Council has largely
taken over the refugees'
financial and legal defence
and intends to carry it right
up to the supreme court.
So far however, the
government's determination
not to embarrass the 'stable'
anti-communist Duvalier re-
gime in doggedly maintaining
that the refugees run no risk
of persecution by returning
to what they describe as a
'liberalised' Haiti shows no
sign of cracking.
Haitian migrants are
,also under pressure elsewhere.
In the Bahamas, from where

a small number of the Florida
refugees have sailed, the
Pindling government's order
in June for an estimated
40,000 illegal immigrants,
overwhelmingly Haitians, to
register for voluntary return
to their country, netted more
than 13,000 people.
But Haiti, which values
the migrants as a source of
foreign exchange as much as
it fears the returness might
include subversive elements,
has said it will only take
back 400 a month. Canada
too is trying to expel some
1,500 illegal Haitian residents.
In the Dominican Republic
however, where 300,000
Haitians live, harassment ol
the despised black aliens
seems to have eased for the


These human tragedies
are compounded by rackets,
often run by Haitian govern-
ment officials, to sell false
visas or extort huge fares and
othersums from the desper-
ate Haitians. A United States
consul in Port-au-Prince has
already been dismissed for
involvement in this traffic.
The plight of their com-

patriots has provoked little
response from the Haitian
political opposition abroad
however. The opportunity
presented by the bad publicity
for the regime has not been
seriously taken up to try tc
forge the impotent and
pathetically-divided factions
into any kind of unity. The
exile political scene is still
too dominated by old-style
'presidentiable' opportunists
for this to change .
Although there is some
evidence of new resistance
and sabotage inside Haiti
itself, the degree of the Hai-
tian diaspora's isolation from
'Haiti-Tomas' as the heartland
of Haiti the 'authentic'
Haiti, is called, is demon-
strated by the number of
Haitians who say they will
never return, and symbolised
by the opening last month in
Jamaica by former senator
Thomas Desulme of a US
$6m dollar plastics factory,
Jamaica's biggest single in-
dustrial investment apart
from the bauxite plants.
Tragically for Haiti,
thousands of its best citizens
now see their future as being
outside of Haiti for good.
(Courtesy Latin America


Literature Economics

Lloyd King Economics
Gordon Rohlehr
Victor Questel George Beckford
Denis Solomon Norman Girvan
Cheryl Williams Owen Jefferson
Derek Walcott Clive Thomas
Wayne Brown Maurice Odle
William Demas
Roy Thomas
Havelock Brewster
Alister McIntyre,

James Millette Lloyd Best Vernon Gocking Dennis
Forsythe Fitz Baptiste Vaughan Lewis

Books...Pamphlets...Tapia selections

Phone 662-5126 or visit our office at
82-84 St Vincent Street Tunapuna.



Latin American Theatre seeking

a Public

Enrique Buenaventura has directed the Experimental Theatre of Call
(TEC) in Colombia since 1957. Buenaventura's troupe has sought
answers to basic questions of identifying its public, collective work,
creation of an intentionally provocative language and the use of
improvisation. Buenaventura's work is known far beyond its home-
land and has become an influence throughout Latin America, as well
as in North America and Europe. Femando Ainsa of the Unesco Press
Division, reports on Buenaventura in the following article.

"I'VE just come," said
Mr. Buenaventura, "from
the Fifth 'Chicano' Thea-
tre Festival in Mexico. It
was a big success. We
formed a confederation
of American theatres,
including those of the
United States and
The confederation con-
sists of Chicano ('Mexican'
in the American vernacular)
theatre groups, 10 Latin
American groups, and some
avantgardists from California
(like the San Francisco Mime
Group) and New Mexico.
To some extent, this
implies international recogni-
tion of a certain type of
Latin American multi-style
theatre, like the CET itself.
Mr.lBuenaventura, who
was born in 1925, had his
first taste of people's theatre
when he joined a fit-up
company that performed in
towns and villages through-
out Colombia.
The enthusiastic audi-
ence reaction was, he says, a
decisive influence on him,
despite the "horrible" plays.
(The protagonist of one was
Genevieve, tragic heroine of
a popular legend dating back
a millennium and a half.)
After quitting the fit-up
company, Mr. Buenaventura
travelled throughout Latin
America,' doing a variety of
jobs "sailor, house-
painter, journalist". This gave
him experience of the myths
and grassroots of a Latin
America never depicted on
the stage, including Afro-
American rituals such as
Bahia' candombele and West
Indian Voodoo.


He then spent five years
as assistant to the well-known
Argentine actor-manager
Francisco Petrone. There fol-
lowed two years in Buenos
Aires with the independent
theatre companies Fray
Mocho and La Mascara, a
spell in Brazil, and then on
to the University of Chile,
where he incorporated Afri-
can ritual into the university
On his return to
Colombia, he took part in
the establishment of the CET,
which started out as a theatre
school and until 1969 was
From 1960, when the
CET scored a big hit at the
annual Paris international
drama festival, the Theatre
des Nations, Mr. Buenaventura
devoted his theatrical efforts
to increasing the identifica-
tion with social and political
realities in Colombia.

"In Latin America", he
says, "we are still seeking
our public. The theatre can-
not continue as the recrea-
tion of a minority of passive
spectators. That's why we're
looking for different audiences
that can be actively inte-
grated into the experience of
"The CET auditorium
is a social centre for confer-
ences and round-table discus-
sions. Every performance is
followed by a public debate
where we try to refashion the
play through its audience.
"This 'rewrite' explains
why a play like Carlos Jose
Reyes' Soldiers exists in five
different versions, each of
which has been enriched by
the ideas and opinions emerg-
ing from our free-ranging


"The play deals with
the suppression of the 1928
banana workers strike, and is
based on passages in Alvaro
Cepeda Samudio's The Big
House and Gabriel Marquez's
One Hundred Years of
In its search for an
audience, the CET is perpetu-
ally on the move. It performs
in universities and for profes-
sional associations and trade
unions. It also discusses its
experiences with other
Colombian theatre companies.
The aim of the CET and
kindred groups like the Can-
delaria and the Scorpion is
not to peddle a message but
by the polemical approach to
get the audience to think and
to ask the right questions.
As Mr. Buenaventura
puts it, the thing is to "tell
the story that hasn't been
told" That is what happens
in Soldiers and Mr. Buena-
ventura's own writings like
Six Hours in the Life of
Frank Kulak, Documents
from Hell, The Trap, The
Orgy, The Menu, and On
the Right Hand of God the
Father. These works have
been performed in Canada,
Czechoslovakia, France, West
Germany, and the United


"We work", he says,
"with historians. We dig out
documents and eyewitness
reports of the relevant
periods of our 'non-narrative'
narrative. For instance, we
reproduced in sketch form
episodes from the riot-crazed
period following the murder
of the Colombian working
man's tribune, Jorge Gaitan,
in 1948.

"We have used episodes
from the 1930s and early
1940s in Guatemala, the time
form that uses storytellers,
different types of music, and
a Brechtian-style chorus.
Linked with the CET's search
for an audience, it constitutes
a working method in which
of the Ubico dictatorship. We
have also used little-known
American rituals and myths.
I guess you could call it
'documentary theatre'.
It's the expression of a

popularly-based dramatic
the traditional division of
labour in a theatre company
is abolished".
"The responsibility is
the collective one of the
company. We get together
and analyse texts and use
individual improvisation as
a dialectical kind of process
that leads us to regard every
kind of theatrical perform-
ance as the result of a
practical commitment, not of
a formalist aesthetic theory

worked out in advance."
Hence the utilization-
of an austere-looking stage in
Soldiers when it is used to
represent successively a train,
a scaffold, and the platform
for a speech-making politi-
Hence, too, the plethora
of ideas Mr. Buenaventura
has expounded in drama
courses he has conducted in
recent years in Asuncion,
Caracas, Madrid, Mexico City,
Quito and, most recently, in




Typesetting;Paste-up and
Offset Printing Services that
are dependable and of high
Call us now at 662-5126
or visit our offices at 82-84
St.Vincent St. Tunapuna


Read more than


read TAPIA

every week






From Page 2
The disadvantage is that although
officials may reach useful conclusions,
these may not be translated into
action immediately because the
officials are not at the highest
decision-making level. But they ,do
have power and the confidence of
their ministers and, if they. have
conviction, many changes can follow.
In this respect, the fact that the
group of 25 is not homogeneous is
valuable. It is easy to discuss big
ideas without practical experience, but
it is more useful to listen to an
official who can say: 'we have under-
taken this innovation, these are the
difficulties we met, this is how we
overcame them and these are the
benefits we drew from them'.

Such experience exists in certain
countries and can help to attune
approaches so that the 25 present a
united front in negotiations. It would
be to the advantage of the 25 to
present themselves as a block, even
if their basic options are not the same
at the national level.
Q. TO -sum up, do you believe that
realistic planning will make it
possible to close the gap which
exists between the 25 and the
rest ofthe wurld?
A. If the states accept the idea of
innovation as a pre-,condition to
aid from outside they can achieve
substantial results. Bringing the states
together will show that by concerted
action at their own level, they can
solve some of their problems.

Army of "alfabetizadores" on parade Cuba's novel approach to the
problem of literacy.


One day
the apolitical
of my country
will be interrogated
by the simplest
of our people.

They will be asked
what they did
when their nation died out,
like a sweet fire
small and alone.

No one will ask them
about their dress,
their long siestas
after lunch,
-no one will want to know
about their sterile combats
with "the idea
of the nothing."
No one will care about
their higher financial leaning.

They won't be questioned
on Greek mythology
or regarding their self-disgust
when someone within them
begins to die
the coward's death..
They'll be asked nothing
about their absurd
born in the shadow
of total lie.

On that day
the simple men Will come,
those who had no -place
in the books and poems
of the apolitical intellectuals,
but daily delivered
their bread and milk,
their tortillas and eggs,
those who drove their cars,
who cared for their dogs and garden
and worked for them, and they'll ask:
"What did you do when the poor
suffered, when tenderness
and life
burned out in them?"

By Otto Rene Castillo (Guatemala)
translated by Margaret Randall

The silence



(For young Brother Paul at Harambee House)

You were born, here, or so
the devalued documents say.
Here you are, using freely
the hot hypocritical air,
taking all the public poisons
for granted, walking casually
down Holloway Road, nobody
but nobody saying anything
like I certainly told you so.

The traffic lights wink,
baffled by sharp, midday
spikes of light everywhere.
Two women blink. Heads turn.
The sun hits home. You know
they all see you clearly.
Of course, they see you.
You're on the road. They are, too.
They see you as a stranger,
an unrevealed, statistical toad.

Consequently, you see yourself
as a leaping, thin-legged stranger,
a lone ranger; even though we know
you were born, here, even though
you began by thinking you belong.
Yet, everything you see, touch,
nold, leap over, hope for, plainly,
tells you you're hopelessly wrong,
absolutely, insanely wrong.

With that in your split mind
as you go inching down the road,
you can't say you're at home,
because we know they see you
as an intruder, a cruder kind
of unwelcome stranger, out there,
than they can reasonably accept,
and that's how it is with them
and you and the old order.
But that silence can't last;
dense as it is, it can't last long.




(For Elsa Goveia)

What we do with time
and what time does-with us
is the way of history,
spun down around our feet.

So, we say, today,
that we meet our Caribbean shadow
just as it follows the sun,
away into the curve of tomorrow.

In fact, our sickle of islands
and continental strips are'mainlands
of time with our own marks on them,
yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Two poems


Andrew Selkey

Coun gcial -Rs

- a 'lP b~k~P`-- ----dLt~L~z ~--l~9~B~DP~a~iiL~B~JBSi~~

~sr~C L~~ aa~c~p~

- __m -- -mmu---smogsl W pl r an

Ip I I ~ 1 ~II ~ I~ P~




Iz ^sfA1

THE TAPIA Forum on
Proportional Representa-
tion finally came off at
the Thunderbird Terrace,
San Fernando on Tuesday
night last, November 5.
Having been already post-
poned from the previous
Friday because of a mix-
up in booking the Town
Hall, the venue had to be
hurriedly changed when
Borough officials claimed
an oversight in promising
the Hall when it was
already booked.
Yet the loss in numbers
on this account was well
compensated for by the lively
session that did take place.
Tapia Vice-Chairman Augustus
Ramrekersingh led off the
discussion by stating that
though Proportional Repre-
sentation had become a
central issue in the debate on
Constitution Reform, a parti-
san and emotional approach
to the question had so far
prevented most people from
making an objective assess-
ment of its merits. His inten-
tion was to lift the discussion
on to the plane of informa-
tion and serious analysis.
Confining himself to
the pure list system of Pro-
portional Representation,

-Ramrekersingh argued that
the basic objective of the
system was to allow for an
accurate mirroring of the
electoral strength of parties in
teims of the number of seats
they gained in the legislature.
As opposed to this, the first
past the post system inevit-
ably carried with it some
element of distortion.
The Tapia Vice-
Chairman produced figures to
show that if previous elections
had been conducted under
Proportional Representation
the PNM majorities would
have been smaller. He warned,
however, that this assumed
that voting behaviour would
have been unchanged in
fact we needed to hote that
electoral systems also affected
voting behaviour. But on the
assumption that the opposi-
tion parties would have
gained more seats, Ramreker-
singh wished to pose two
questions: (1) Would there
have been more democratic,
effective and stable govern-
ment and (2) would it have
made the opposition any
more important?
The same questions
could be asked of the mixed
system proposed by the
Wooding Commission, which
sought to mitigate the dis-

portions produced by first
past the post by combining
it with PR.
Ramrekersingh charged
that the opponents of PR
had been deliberately con-
fusing it with communal
representation. The reference
to Cyprus by the Prime
Minister in his April 1, 1973
speech on PR was a case in
point. This could be seen as
an attempt to play on racial
fears and to stampede certain
elements in the community
into racial voting.


The speaker took issue
also with Williams' claim that
PR was responsible for the
rise of Hitler in Germany.
Hitler's rise to power could
not be explained by PR only
- one needed to look at the
economic, social and psycho-
logical conditions of the
time. The most that one
could say about the effects of
PR was that they were in-
calculable it might or it
might not produce certain
desirable or undesirable
Ramrekersingh identi-
fled five major arguments
that were advanced against

PR. These were (1) that it
leads to a multiplicity of
parties, (2) it creates unstable
government, (3) brings about
racial voting, (4) encourages
highly centralised political
parties, and, (5) eliminates
the idea of the constituency
Taking each of these
objections in turn, the
speaker argued that even
without PR there were many
parties in Trinidad and
Tobago. In any case, under
PR there were devices which
could be used to control the
wild proliferation of parties.
He felt that the presence of a
large number of political
parties was symptomatic of
other problems in the body-
politic. For example, in Italy,
which had PR, the root
causes for the existence of
over 80 parties were to be
found in its long tradition of
disunity and political splinter-

Nor did it follow that
with several parties and PR
that unstable coalition gov-
ernment would result. There
was the case of the coalition
government of West Germany,
where the mixed system was
in operation, but where there
was stable government. On

Augustus Ramrekersingh

the other hand, in several
countries which had the first
past the post system, recent
elections had led to dead-
locks, so that the system did
not matter.
As for racial voting,
that pre-dated PR, which
might or might not serve to
reduce i. It had helped to
reduce tensions in Belgium,
yet it had failed to do so in
Guyana. The effects depended
on what else we do, on
whether we possessed higher
vision and on 'F ta f
issues we raised in the elec-
Ramrekersingh's great-
est fear was that PR could
create highly centralised
political parties. In our situa-
tion where parties were
already leader-dominated, he
wondered what would happen
to men of independent judg-
ment and critical mind. With
regard to the loss of the idea
of a constituency representa-
tive, the disadvantages were
.that it eroded the representa-
tive principle and hindered
the emergence of local
Some of these undesir-
able features of PR, Ram-
rekersingh felt, could be
corrected by strengthening
local government, reforming
the present character of
political parties and by
instituting a highly representa-
tive Senate.
As for the advantages
'of PR, it was clear that no
other system was superior to
the pure list system in terms
of producing fair numerical
representation. This system
had the further advantage that
it eliminated gerrymandering
which had been, in his
opinion, a marked feature
since 1961. However, this
would not remove the need
for a genuinely independent
Elections Commission outside
the control of the Prime
Finally, because under
PR every vote counted, there
would tend to be an increase
in electoral participation. But
electoral participation should
not be confused with political
participation, which was
much more than getting
people to vote.


11: 114 1III




Grand National


of all Tapia Supporters

Afullday of political activity

Sunday November 17,1974



TheTapia House
82-84 St. Vincent Street, Tunapuna
For Further Infbrrnation call the Adminitrative Secretary 662-5126.


I rp i