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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00141
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: December 22, 1974
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
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: UF00072147:00141

Full Text


25 CENTS


. N 51 SUNDAY DCME 1974=


Tspie OldYears fete


9 p.. ill...


Venue:


Harricaiie
George


P.O.S.


Sydney & Paul Williams


Orchard



Orchard VENUE
'Farm
Bldgs.


NESTLE
DrDiE I


Churchill Roosevelt Highway -
SARIMA
* Princess Margaret Highway


U WI FIELD STATION THROUGH THE CARIB GATE CHAMP FLEURS


- I U


a tragic swan songICE


a tragic swan song


IN A Marathon 8 1/2-hour speech which
ended in the House of Representatives at
about 6 p.m. last Tuesday December 7, the
Prime Minister fittingly concluded his auto-
obituary. He gave his most convincing demon-
stration ever, of the ultra-domination of the
parliamentary democracy by the Chief Exe-
cutive in the Government and Leader of the
ruling party.
It was a tragic swan-song, confirming with a
penetrating irony, that, in spite of itself, the Wooding
Commission has succeeded in bringing the constitu-
tional crisis to a point where the country would be
finally persuaded of the need to break the stranglehold
of Doctor Politics on the life of our embattled
country. 'History, like the Almighty, does work in
mysterious ways its wonders to perform. When it
demands that a sovereign people must be baptized
in revolutionary' glory, the King's fatal error is
always an ingenuously simple one.

THE GREAT DESTROYER


As C.V. Gocking once predicted, Wooding,
true to form, had been naively legalistic on an es-
sentially political problem. The patchwork of pre--
cedents which he and his nen contrived in the
Majority Report and Constitution served only to set
up the Great Destroyer with another Colonial Office.
Revelling in the intellectual and moral poverty of the
Wooding offering, Williams has duly hit his old rival
for six.
And yet, the manner of the destruction has
only clinched the central point of the constitution
crisis: that we must now dismiss this absolute mon-
arch by the politics of participation. Dr. Horace
Charles, with characteristic simplicity and directness,
in a telling intervention immediately after the Prime
Minister's, reminded the House-that in 18 years
of misgovernment, the Pussonal Nonarchy had so
perpetuated racism in the country, that by Dr.
Williams' -own admission, the attempt to introduce
Proportional Representation inevitably raised the
spectre of civil war.
And who, asked Dr. Charles, could possibly be


OF


held responsible for that? He gave his own answer by
noticing that any speaker in Parliament who needs a
full working-day and more to speak on any given
subject and to overkill his audience with repetitious
repetition,cannot but have been patently insincere.
The Prime Minister had anticipated the answer
by hogging the discussion in a travesty of Parlia-
mentary debate. As over the 18 years, so over the 8
hours of his speech; he had exonerated Party, Parlia-
ment and Cabinet, by imposing the Monotonous
Voice of One.
Despite all the protestations that the PNM had
set up a high-powered Ministerial Committee which
had advised the constituency-parties,had promoted
widespread political discussion, had issued a ques-
tionnaire to rank and file members and had even held
a Party Consultation to thresh out a final demo-
cratically established position on which some 1,000
party people had had the chance to speak, the one and
only spokesman out of 33 available parliamentary
representatives had been the Doctor Leader himself,
a man temporarily out of retirement,.in no way se-
duced by the blandishments of powerand onlywaiting
to be succeeded.
Continued on Page 2








hig 04Pe' ire x-o .(
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w ihils t-e ptt
atc or, ve mtiis


ONE-


Budget Day



Is Friday


"THE Budget represents a landmark in our
political ard ecoilomic history." Dialogue
February 7, 1974. Well, the Judgment Day
is here on Friday, December 20.
When Chambers reports there are two things he
must remember. First the objectives his measures
sought to achieve:-
fuller employment
additional amenities and facilities urgently
needed by the people;
reduction in the cost of transportation and
manufacturing as a cushion against sharply
rising prices;
income redistribution in favour of have-nots,
especially pensioners;
diversification and reconstruction toexpand
the food supply and to increase national
participation;
special assistance for the community in
country areas.
The second thing to remember is that bi' on-dollar
revenues from oil have given us the chance. to deliver
the promised "roaring seventies". For oil, as for
other would-be agents of transformation, ve have had
a Second Coming in only 20 years.
Are the PNM the men we can trust t share this
bread in justice? Most of us already know the answer.
Those who don't will be scrutinizing the record. They
will be remembering that, in the words of Dialogue,
last year's Budget was "a bold budget. .. one that
crystallises the thinking of an administration which
has had an unrivalled opportunity of overseeing
the development of nationalism and the independence
of Trinidad and Tobago for many seasons."


I


SUNDAY DECEMBERta22, 1974


VOL. 4 No. 51


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Bldgs.


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10 per
p ers(
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Supper
ilocItided






SUNDAY DECEMBER 22, 1974


THE VOICE


OFONE -


From Page 1
Doubtless, this histrionic display of stringing
together bits and pieces of useful information from
the store-house of constitutional materials available
in foreign libraries, bookshops and archives, available
only to those who are lucky to travel the world, was
meant to reintroduce to our admiration aphilosopher-
king, on the make for the second time. In fact the
performance only confirmed the perils of a totalitarian
personality, obsessed with his own machiavellian
virtuosity, innocent of all moral restraint. A case of
megalomania gone loco.
Can there have been any more insolent abuse
of Executive privilege than to nave so presumed on
the patience and the civility'of Parliamentary col-
leagues as t conduct an ostensible research investi-
gation in the act of making a speech with a few
utterly simple points? We know that Wooding's ob-
jective was to break Wfor tias as the embodiment of
executive doinatonfir and to break him because that
is what the country undoubtedly expected him to do.
Whatever people may be saying, that is what every-
body knows to be true.
Proportional Representation was clearly the
instrument chosen for the purpose, an abundantly
pragmatic and therefore foolisachoice. Williams had
therefore only to marshall and present a lucid and
concise analysis of the real dangers of proportional
representation, a task undisputedly within his
capacious command. If honestly focused, such a pre-
sentation could not possibly have omitted the facts of
race and politics at home which, if allowed to yield
their valid conclusion, would have generated a thea-
trical force easily equal to the drama inherent in the
politics of the constitution crisis.
As it turned out, the Prime Minister opted for a
demonstration of scholarship which was wildly
eclectic and transparently dishonest. It was indefen-
sibly biased in its focus on the outside world, in its
choice and use of sources, in the extravagance of the
casuistry that it repeatedly employed. Williams chose
to cast Wooding in the role of some sinister figure,
engaged in some desperately dark conspiracy, possibly
at the instance of.some foreign government. To put
this improbable nonsense over,he dared not rely on
the persuasions of the argument and ie natural
theatre of an honest and convincing case. Instead, he
needed to transport his captive audience, already
conditioned by teir ignorance and practisedin their
bovinity, into a world where they could be mesmerised
by the stage management of a veritable library of
reference documents.
i ien Dr. Charles used the phrase "downright
dishonesty" in that brief interlude of chilling truth,
every pair of eyes in that august Chamber gave him
the congratulation that eyes alone can give in the
politics of Doctor domination.g he applause was for
Dr. Charles' bringing into the open what the whole
country knows is right: that Williams has systematic-
ally manipulated the country, has kept this country in
a colonial backwater by a reactionary policy towards
education and towards the communications media;
at Williams has consistently traded on the back
wardness of his people and that he revels, as he
revelled again this time, in the "confusion" in his own
country which he has done absolutely nothing to
eradicate.
From the very beginning, Williams' strategy has
been to make public appearances only in situations
where his academic superiority over the ignorant
multitudes guaranteed him political gain. He has
caiaaistently refused to open himself to challenge by
men of equal technical and intellectual rank and his
failure to appear before gWoding as, indeed, his
decision to take the constitutional.issue before Par-
liament, were no more than a culmination of a long
process of always preparing a darkness in order to


appear and shine.
It is really quite remarkable that, what this
attitude really implies at bottom, is that the man
possesses no self-confidence at all. Apart from the
contempt for the country which it exposes and the
assumption that we areall gullible idiots a charge
he has had the impertinence to level atWooding-
Williams' attempt to smear his rival as a possible
foreign agent shows that he did not feel able to
demolish Wooding on intellectual and political
grounds alone, notwithstanding his whole-day de-
monstration that he is the second best brain in the
world. (In that view, no black man or colonial can
ever be first, of course).
It is also worth noting that this lack of self-
confidence is shared by all the conventional politicians
-on the right and on the left, in the Government and
in the opposition. Both sets have taken the identical
view of Wooding. The Opposition has always absurd-
ly regarded him a stooge of Williams that was their
excuse for their incapacity to perceive the paVtieal
importance of the constitution question and more
likely ,their mortal terror of confronting the Govern-
ment on the issue. Now that Williams has denounced
Wooding and shown that he relies on the same kind
of assassination, we may come nearer to understanding
what unconventional politics really is.

NATIONAL UNITY AND PEACE


Tapia has always been very clear that the
Wooding Commission was the illegitimate child of an
illegitimate Parliament, that the Wooding Commis-
sion failed to lift its work above the pragmatic con-
ventions of Crown Colony Royal Commissions and
therefore played into' the hands of Chief the Exe-
cutive once again. But their integrity and their public-
spiritedness have never been in any kind of doubt.
That interpretation is not only correct in our view
but it is the only one compatible with the demo-
cratic politics of dissent and disagreement within a
framework of national unity and peace.
The kind of view which Williams and some of
the opposition have felt able to take of the Wooding
Commission is one which is compatible only with the
notorious fight to the finish, the civil war which
Williams was the first to imply when, in 1969, he was
denouncing Joe Young's Transport Strike. If you
intend to live in peace and harmony with people,
subject only to quite normal political, ideological and
other reasonable differences of opinion, you cannot
conceivably be hinting at their being agents of a
foreign power or stooges of so and so. Once you take
that stand,you are jarring up for combat.
Those of us who now see where Williams
stands on the constitution question must realise that
the totalitarian performance which we have recently
been witnessing has driven our people dangerously
near the point of no return. Fortunately Tapia does
not own a cutlish; any piece of equipment in our
possession is designed to wage peaceful if radical
reconstruction. For us the alternative to civil war
must still be the Constituent Assembly, still the only





The' ne an-.--









'-n-1)


valid option.
Dr. Charles pointed out the total speciousness
of the argument advanced against calling a Constituent
Assembly as opposed to taking the question to Par-
liament and relying on the public to participate by
means of a Joint Select Committee. What Dr. Williams
did was to focus on the legalistic and contradictory
idiocy presented by Justice Georges and Mr. de la
Bastide.
What he avoided like the plague was Tapia's
proposal that first, the Constitutent Assembly be
called not at a Government level but at a party level,
and that there be a decision-making body in it on the
basis of one party, one vote. What the Prime Minister
avoided secondly, was Tapia's proposals to take the
decisions of the Assembly to Parliament where they
could be ratified without difficulty both because of
the overwhelming PNM Majority and because of the
fact that the PNM at the party level would already
have agreed to them at the Constituent Assembly.
The Tapia proposals were eminently feasible
and would have been accepted if the Government
had wanted to solve the constitution crisis in a way
that would have been both peaceful and democratic.
We deliberately formulated our proposal in a low key
to give the government a chance to accept it without
having to concede anv obvious credit to Tania. There
was a tremendous resistance inside Tapia before we
agreed that we would accept Parliamentary ratification
of decisions taken at the Temporary Conference of
Citizens or Constituent Assembly.
But when we did agree on that and published
it in Tapia, we did not doubt the perceptive power of
the Government to pick up the concession. When on
September 28, the Prime Minister decided to take the
matter to Parliament, we could only conclude that
the Government was basically too insecure to give the
country a chance and had therefore decided to risk
an extra-parliamentary confrontation for which their
decision on that day was an open invitation.
Tapia's entry into Parliament, which the Gov-
ernment could never have anticipated, was therefore a
step which gave our country a final chance at a civil
resolution of the crisis. Dr. Charles has made the
fundamental error of thinking that Tapia has been
merely making mileage and gaining political kudos. We
are certainly making political mileage on the centre of
the stage but we are involved in plenty more by far.
Our presence in Parliament gave the Govern-
ment a chance to convene the Constituent Assembly
in effect within the precincts of the Senate. If the
PNM wanted it, what was the constitutional difficulty
in accepting the Tapia Amendment to the Senate
Motion on the Wooding Report? DWlliams failed en-
tirely to answer this crucial question. There would
have been nothing unconstitutional or repugnant to
Parliament in inviting the opposition political leaders
to participate in a genuine constitution conference. In
8 hours of exposition, not a word on that important
option only opprobrium heaped on the stupid

Continued on Page 11


~B~ar19 ; ~ ~~~s~s~a~- BIF~I ~ ~"" L~a~lle~8aPk~n~slP~a~PL~~ li~


PAGE 2 TAP'IA























TAPIA Secretary, Lloyd
Best, told the Central
Bank Seminar last Friday
that political organisation
and political enterprise
held the key to changing
the distribution of world
income, in theshort-run.
The Arabs, he said, had
made a step in the right
direction when they
raised the price of oil
by means of a political
alliance in OPEC.
Lloyd Best was com-
menting on presentations
from a three-man panel of
experts on "Central Banking
in the Caribbean in the
Light of World Monetary
Developments." The Tapia
Secretary concluded that the
re-distribution of world in-
come could only come if we
move away from "the laisser-
faire of capitalism to the
kind of administered trade
practised by so many other
civilisationsin the past."
Best said he saw no
ground for Dr. Clive. Thomas'
pessisism in the light of US
military superiority.-He asked
who would have thought in
year 600 that Islam was go-
ing to overun so much of
the Roman Empire and con-
trol the entire Mediterranean?
Political and moral
considerations were weightier
than military ones he con-
tinued, and what the Arabs
had done with oil was to
start a political chain-reaction


which was already bringing
together sugar producers,
bauxite exporters, banana
sellers as well as the countries
tied to other staple materials.
Best said t!fat these
microcosmic associations of
staple producers could lead
to the -reemergence of ad-
ministered trade. He agreed
with Dr. Blackman that Dr.
Thomas' distinction between
capitalism and socialism had
been too simple but felt that
the socialist countries had an
Important lesson to teach in
regard to administered trade.
Administered trade, the
Tapia Secretary elaborated,
was the real solution to
galloping inflation and a
better international distribu-
tion of income. He deplored
the tendency to explain in-
flation by reference to
monetary factors alone and
felt that this was a Euro-
centered view.
"One major cause of
the inflation" argued Lloyd
Ilest,"is the break-up of the
mercantilist economic system
which has dominated the in-
-temational economy for the
last 500 years."
"The rise of the new
states trying to industrialize,
he continued, had demolished
the old division of the world
system into self-containe
monetary areas which were
able to join the world system
only through the intermedia-
tion of a few metropolitan


SID E'


.'- I--
BERNINA





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You always

wanted her to

sew...


BERNINA

makes it easy -

and an ideal

Gift too.


HAVE A DEMONSTRATION TODAY


KIRPALANI'S
NATIONWIDE AGENTS AND STOCKISTS


SUNDAY DECEMBER 22. 1974

centres."
"From very early, the
Bretton Woods monetary
system was threatened by the
the attempt by new states to
run down their. foreign
balances. Indian economic
planning upset the Sterling
Club and prevented London
and the pound from serving
as one of the moorings of the
monetary system."
Best explained that the
Bretton Woods system of in-
ternational payments had
broken down in three stages.
Up to 1958, the arrangements-
were settled as the re-
construction of Germany,
Japan and the post-war
economy took place. In this
period, consumer prices in-
creased at an average rate of
no more than 2.5% in the
10 main industrial countries
of the system.
After full convertibility
of the key currencies had
been achieved in 1958, there
followed 10 years of com-
parative stability when the
average rate of price increases
was about 3%. But it was in
this period that dark clouds
began to appear especially as
as the British Empire broke
up and the pound ran into
recurring difficulty marked by
periodic balance of payments
crises. The current troubles
were already brewing.
Then in 1968, the
system began a quick collapse
and set .the international
monetary system adrift
opening the way to the
current runaway inflation. In
March 1968, the introduction
of the tWo-tier gold system
removed the first anchor of
the old arrangements. In
August 1971, the suspension
of dollar-convertibility re-
moved -a second pillar and
finally, in 1973, fixed ex-
change rates were abandoned
and the time had come to


NEW CARICOM Boss
Alister McIntyre told a
Central Bank Seminar at
the Holiday Inn Ballroom
on Friday December 13
that the Caribbean could
deal with the problem
of inflation.
One of three panellists
specially invited from abroad
to celebrate the Tenth An-
niversary of the Bank, M:
Intyre underlined the im-
portance of distinguishing
the factors which initiated
inflation from those which
merely propelled it along
and made matters worse.
The CARICOM Sec-
retary-General argued that
the basic initiating cause of
inflation in the Caribbean is
our over-dependence on im-
ports. The total supply of
goods and services, he said,
contained too little of what
we ourselves produced. We
are importing a great deal of
the rising cost of living.
McIntyre added that
many West Indian countries


TAPIA PAGE 3
the old mercantilist
economic order.
Turning his attention
to the Caribbean the Tapia
Secretary agreed with Mc
Intyre that one cure for in-
flation lay in improving the
supply of agricultural and
industrial goods at home,
animprovementin which the
Continued on Page 10


were also spending too much
on consumption and too
little on saving and invest-
ment. Consumption; he ex-
plained, had been grow-
ing faster than income and
at the level of some of the
Governments, borrowing has
become necessary even to
meet the recurrent budget.
McIntyre saw a part to
be played by Central Banks.
He felt that they c-ould use
the instruments of monetary
management to promote
home production for home
consumption and to dis-
courage too much improvi-
dence by the West Indian
consumer.
The CARICOM Sec-
retary was the last of the
three panel speakers and
confinedhimselfto the Carib-
bean scene. Dr. Clive
Thomas also spoke, mainly
about international aspects
of inflation while Dr. Adolfo
Dix presented an interpreta-
tion of the current runaway
inflation in much of the
world economy.


We can beat Inflation


I- -


,, IC. I Lid"r~


establish another arrangement
altogether.
In this third period,
we face the problem of
inadequate levels of
liquidity, of awkward dis-
tributions of liquidity and
of liquidity in inappropriate
forms. Here was the im-
mediate cause of the current
runaway inflation, a mirror
of the structural changes in








SUNDAY DECEMBER 22, 1974


In Search of Innocence


Continued from last Week
In Chapter Four, "The Sea Madonna", the
tensions established earlier in the book begin to bear
fruit, though in my opinion, there could have been
considerably greater economy in this chapter: less
indulgence in detail, and perhaps, omission of the
passages dealing with the Sea Madonna, which verge
on sentimentality and add little to the unfolding of
the story. Alan, who is on holiday from high school,
now feels the need to prove his superiority by
explaining to Kaiser and Jaillin the mysteries of the
Mayaro coast where the Holmes family are holiday-
ing, as they do every year. Alan admits: "I found it
so easy to love them when I held the stage." (p. 96).
But his friends are able to take possession of the new
environment so quickly that Alan's patronage becomes
meaningless.
S This is the setting for the disintegration of
their relationship, for Kaiser's resentment increases in
direct proportion to Alan's air of superiority. Alan's
admission that he has never seen snow leads to a
discussion of the nationality of the white West Indian.
Kaiser argues that the White West Indian is a "white
coolie" (p. 101), as much a Creole as the peoples he
enslaved, as much a creature of Caribbean history ai:d
environment. Alan, who has never yet asked himself
the question of where he belongs, is reluctant to
accept himself as one who must share in the common
destiny of the Caribbean people. When he grows up,
he says, he will live in England. But Kaiser predicts
that he will be nothing more than a "force-ripe"
Englishman, which is inferior to being a shop-soiled
West Indian. "Even mango keskidee shit on better
dan force-ripe apple." (p. 102) Alan has no answer to
this.
He therefore tries a different tack. His next
claim is that Catholicism is the greatest religion, and
everything else is paganism. Kaiser resents this assert-
ion as yet another aspect of white racial contempt.
"Boy, jus' because you white don' try force things
down me t'roat, eh. We have we own way to live...
Christ, man, you white people think you mus' be
better everyhow." (p. 106)
Alan in alarm, changes the subject, but soon finds
himself in even deeper waters. Seeking to impress his


friends with the legend of an old Italian count who
had built a great house in the area, Alan romantically
claims the possibility of Italian blood. Kaiser
wickedly suggests that there may also be some Indian
blood in Alan's veins. This is more than a simple
innocent jibe on Kaiser's part. In the Caribbean
context it represents a probe of the white Creole's
most fundamental fear; that some of his ancestors
may not have been white. This is the tar-brush
neurosis so painfully evident in so many of Mittel-
holzer's characters ar in the man himself. Joyce
Sparer (14) and Denis Williams (15)have both written
sensitively about this obsession with purity of blood
which affects every race in the West Indies, but in
varying degrees. The West Indian of mixed descent
can either be crucified by the ethic of blood purity,
or he may reject it altogether by accepting the
openness, the inclusiveness, the hybridity of Creole
society as its most humane and humanising feature.
This latter alternative is not so easy for the
white West Indian, and, as Naipaul has shown, not so
easy for the high-caste Hindu either. Both see mis-
cegenation as violation of the flesh, a loss of human
integrity, a pollution of the blood. But the white
West Indian is in an ambiguous position since, as
much as everyone else, he has been responsible for
the mixed races of the Caribbean, both in his original
capacity of slave-trader, and in his clandestine
capacity as privileged lecher, lover of his black
servants. So Alan makes his instinctive denial of
kinship in blood with the black world: "Don't be
mad! I'm white," (p.,112) and Jaillin blazes out in an
equally instinctive accusation:
"Why you would be so shame to have Indian blood
mix in you?. Why you would be so shame at all?
What wrong wit' Jndian, say that? .... How many
white man .... Indian woman befo', say that? Dey
like Indian den, eh? (p. 113)
J.J. Thomas, the black Trinidadian scholar had asked
England's J.A. Froude the same questions about the
hugger-mugger affairs between white men and black
women, and what he termed "the fatuity of skin-
pride" in which the white elite and their academic
apologist, Froude,seemed to be caught. (16)
This exchange really marks the end of the
affair between Alan and Jaillin, the remaining inci-


dents are simply the final nails in the coffin. Alan at
last begins to understand his full dilemma as a white
West Indian, and the rebellion which will be neces-
sary if he is to break out of the prison of history.
The force called prejudice had spilled out in front of
my eyes. What was I to think? It had come out of me
naturally as a sneeze so I knew that it was not some-
thing I could easily get control of by conscious
thought. A proper opinion about certain things I had
engrained in me like religion. I felt now a little of that
power that was wrenching our friendship apart. (p. 113)
To fight means to reject his parents' way of seeing;
to accept means to choose the masks, cunning and
distinctions of colonial society, to deny conscience.
Alan chooses not to choose, and becomes the neuter,
sensitive but helpless voice of the sad narrator of this
story.
Next morning, Jaillin accompanies Alan to Mass
but cannot participate in Holy Communion. This she
interprets as yet another example of white exclusive-
ness, like the birthday party, and although she is
wrong her mistake is understandable, since it is Alan
himself who had the day before been projecting
Catholicism as the only true religion. The prose is
intensely alive for a second:
She looked at me, her eyes fled into darkness. I
shook happiness off. (p. 120)
Kaiser characteristically closes the scene with the
deftness of a mason sealing the last tombstone.
"Boy, all you better look out, eh You too young, an
skin not colour the same way." He turned away and
walked off.
"I don't know what he means, Jaillin. Don't bother
with him." Jaillin said nothing. (p. 127)

But Alan does know by now what Kaiser means, and
has been trying to say all along. Whereas in the earlier
chapters his misunderstanding was natural and
genuine, here it is the first of his disguises, his evasion
of the bitter taste of "the greater truth" (17)
The sea bath at night brings no absolution. It
simply provides the occasion for the formal ending of
the relationship. There is, however, a brief moment
of epiphany when Alan realises "how much whiteness
there is in the dark" waters (p. 137) and Jaillin is
still associated with brightness.
Continued on Page 9


Get your Bargains & Gifts




For Christmas At


An introduction to Ivan McDonald's The HIunming Bird Tree -
A review by Gordon Rohlehr.


62 Queen St P O.S.


CI -- --- -- --


I I -I^- -_- -


--


FAGE 4 TAPIA







Trinidad & Tobago


Public Gallery Paper No. 2


Constitution Reform:


of 1974


We Already Know The Score


Laid before the People on the 13th December, 1974


Tapia House Printing Company, Tunapuna, Trinidad & Tobago 1974
(Price: Donation to Tapia Campaign Fund).


_ __ __






We Already Know The Score


1. Just about one year ago, Dr. Williams stayed on, agreeing "to
continue in office, in the national interest, giving priority to the
holding, under a new constitution, as soon as possible, of general
elections in which the people can freely and fairly decide on the
party and leader to whom they wish to entrust their mandate .
The general election should be held under a new constitution ...
the work of the Constitution must not be frustrated."
2. That was the perspective set out by the Prime Minister; it is
now history. Nobody now expects that "The subsequent legislative
and administrative action" will be"takenasexpeditiously as possible."
No time has been saved by dealing with those issues on which there
seemed to be a large measure of unanimity even before the comple-
tion of the public discussion and the Government's decisions on the
entire report.
3. Now that three years and a half have elapsed since the Wooding
Commission first came into being, most people have settled on the
conclusion that the Government established the Commission only as
a dodge to buy much needed political time. The danger of this
position is that it is obviously much too simple, far too simple for
serious political people.
4. Clearly the Government was buying time; that is a standard
tactic in political strategy. The golden rule for those who hold
command is to buy time, do nothing and throw the onus on the
opposition. Possession is nine points of the law, especially when
possession controls police, publicity and patronage galore all the
more so when the opposition consists of mere agitators or former
deputy collaborators brought up on the game of spoils. That way
you can even stay in office for 20 years.
5. When the alternative appears upon the stage, however, mere
buying time is not enough. When Williams summoned Wooding, he
conceded to Tapia that there was a crisis of the Constitution and in so
doing, gave the new movement its chance to reach the centre stage.
The extra time was a sword with a double edge. Since we cannot
afford to underestimate the enemy, Tapia cannot buy the notion
that the Government is simply chinksing. We cannot believe the
DAC story that the constitution exercise is mere diversion while the
Government proceeds with more important business.
6. On the contrary, the constitution issue is the central one
because it contains one of the Government's twin thrusts to its
restoration following on the devastations of the February Revolution
Up to 1970, the PNM regime rested on three very stout pillars .
all ,of which were demolished by the ravages of the Black'Power
Movement.
7. The first of these pillars was Afro-Saxon chauvinism which in
1961, after the disenchantments of Chaguaramas and the early


mobilization, was openly accepted as the basis of political alignment.
The PNM became an unashamedly African party and the DLP
an unashamedly Indian one. The.Crown Colony attitude to politics
and race had become the overriding factor in political life.
8. Secondly, there was "Cabinet" Government which in practice
meant domination of politics and government by the Executive and
particularly by the Chief Executive. In this context of overcentraliza-
tion,no fundamental reconstruction could ever be attempted because
there existed in the communities no structures for implementation.
The one principle of state craft that survived this arrangement was
"who have more corn, feed more fowl".

9. Government inevitably became a matter of relief projects, of
crash programmes, community development adventures, best village
competitions and the like. Reconstruction and development became
a responsibility of foreign capital; industrialization was a matter for
invitation. In agriculture, where foreign capital'could not be imported,
stagnation was the order of the day, the alternative being incompati-
ble with the politics of race.
10. Racial chauvinism, Cabinet domination. The third pillar was
Doctor Politics. With the rank and file contemptuously manipulated
by the appeal to race and degraded by the reliance on metropolitan
businessmen (while black people typically picked up the crumbs in
the civil service), Doctor Politics emerged as a mediator between
these two different worlds.
11. The black boy on the burning deck, the College Exhibitioner
in the big league protecting the people from Texaco and Shell and
Fed Chem, the broker between the merchants in the private sector
and the technocrats and bureaucrats in the public service. Fit to rule,
alone fit to rule, the Doctor was the one and only channel through
which every issue had to pass; the system could not possibly work
without him.
12. And then Black Power arrived upon the scene. But when the
first pillar fell, the tricycle did not become a bicycle, it just became a
total wreck. In time, demands for the "whole bread" forced the
Government to admit that, after full 14 years in office, it was only
then, in 1970, readying to launch out on a quest for economic
independence by embracing perspectives for the new society and by
promoting a national reconstruction anchored in a people's sector.
13. The country reached its own conclusions and by 1971,
Cabinet Government had had its day as was confirmed by the election
boycott. In rejecting the Prime Minister's call for a "massive turnout"
to salvage the old regime, the population opted for a.reorganisation
of the State machine, one which could only render Doctor Politics
obsolescent.


Chinksing For His Own Salvation


14. Constitution Reform has therefore become an instrument of
Doctor Rehabilitation. A glance at Constitution Reform in Trinidad
& Tobago and at Perspectives for the New Society is enough to
establish that Williams understands and has always understood the
fundamental difference bewteen the vexatious bread and butter
issues and the apparently abstract matter of the order of the State.
15. An election campaign or the onset of industrial or social unrest
provides occasion for agitation and for assembling angry crowds,
rseponding from the gut to particular disadvantage. Such political
mobilisation does not and cannot by itself menace the survival of the
State. That threat comes only when there emerges the capacity for
disciplined government and administration. That is why revolution is
not normally completed until after civil war until military need
invents organisation equal to the civil tasks.
16. Williams knew that the exercise of constitution reform would
put to the test the political organisation of the opposition forces,
most of which were organised either for elections which were five
years away or for agitation which could no longer excite the
country once the price had been raised by repressive legislation,

17. On top of that, constitution reform is a difficult ground on
which tofight the Government. For the forces of change, it requires
a tremendous self-confidence and wit because, in the nature of the
case, the balance of advantage lies with theGovernment. Those who
urge constitution reform must necessarily use the constitutional
road. This necessarily places them at the mercy of those who
currently control the State Cromwell understood it very well It is
the King, the Government, who dictates the pace, the tuning, the
methods of reform. This is the constitutionalist trap which tlhe
self-styled revolutionaries fear so much. They fail to see that r is the
only way to glory. Before the final confrontation,step by step. rtlt
constitutional ,options. must be exhausted.

18. In opting for the Wooding Commission, what Williams
estimated was that he alone had the stamina and the survival capa-
city to last the distance. Those were the days when he was quietly


whispering to friends (mostly abroad) that the only organisation
with the means to beat him was Tapia "but they need many more
years,"

19. James Millette is there to testify that from the start we advo-
cated taking Williams the full distance to win the game on points,
knowing that if he opened up the guard by chance we could always
knock him out.
Well, we are now in the last rounds. All along the Government
has been bobbing and weaving out of range. The strategy all along
has been to set up the issue of constitution reform so that the con-
fusions in the country, in the party and in the Parliament would
create such a screen of darkness that the Doctor could finally
intervene to bring the magic illumination.

20. At every stage, Williams has been orchestrating the issue in
such a manner as to avoid any kindling of the political flame that
might force him to appear as an equal among the political forces in
the country. His reahbilitation has never ceased to dictate that he
hold a stage of his own on which to speak after all the others so that
by the last word, he would give us the new dispensation. That is why
he backed away from Arima and from Chaguaramas; that is why he
finally took the issue to Parliament rather than to a Temporary
Conference of Citizens or any kind of Constituent Assembly.
21 On Friday the 13th December coming, the watchword is
therefore let there be light. Wooding andCuthbert Joseph have
provided sufficient darkness by failing to point out to the country
that practically any old scheme of constitution reform could workif
only the country could be persuaded, in the act of adopting such a
scheme. to give the thing its blessing.
.. Williams therefore comes to make his declaration on Friday
with all his options open. Nothing that has so far transpired contains
any real potential to curb him. Those who have been foolish enough
to think that the intention was to force down a PNM Constitution
have signally failed to see that the exchange we are being offered is
between the content that thecountry wants and the method that the
Doctor needs. Williams has all along been hoping to rehabilitate






himself by being the one to give us the new dispensation that most of
want but to give it to us as an act'by the Gracious King.
23. The only reason why he will not be able to dolt on Friday is
that Tapia made his strategy plain and that, by ourselves entering
the Parliament, we have made the hand impossible for the Doctor to
play. The concessions would have no magic if they rebounded to the
credit of the opposition. The announcements would have no surprise


if they were anticipated by the country. Williams is in very much the
same position as he was after his phony retirement last September.
Last year, he could not engineer any massive call-back after we
exposed the stratagems he. was planning then; this year, he will have
to continue to disguise his true position on the constitution because
we are here to block the manoeuvre he has been practising all the
while.


Concessions Under Consideration


24. The main concessions with which the Government has been
toying four are in number. They concern the Senate, Procedure,
Fundamental Rights and Proportional Representation. Everything
else is of minor significance.
25. The Privy Council could be retained until a West Indian Court
is established which could be never. Local Government could be
treated as an administrative matter outside the Constitution, albeit
with protestations that we need limited decentralization, a few
municipalities but nothing so widly participatory as the Tapia
proposals. The shape of the Executive will remain more or less as it is
is because nobody will be enchanted by the Wooding Commission's
total idiocy in trying to split powers between a President and aPrime
Minister after 175 years of Government domination, after 20 years
of Doctor Politics, and in the midst of a popular demand for strong
leadership to promote the reconstruction. About the sundry electoral
reforms, there remains no serious dispute.
26. The issue of the Senate gives the Government an excellent
opportunity to be liberal,no to be generous in doing for the country
whatit in any case wishes to do for itself. Gocking has pointed out in
Democracy or Oligarchy that in principle Williams has always
supported the Tapia type of Senate and if there is any doubt after
we have checked Constitution Reform in Trinidad & Tobago and
Perspectives for the New Society, we have only to notice the editorial
in the Trinidad Guardian on Tuesday December 10.
27. The Guardian always knows, at the crucial moment, how the
Government is likely to act., In May, their Special Correspondent
insisted that the issue could only be taken to Parliament and as it
was said, so it was done. The Prime Minister even repeated what had
been written about the crucial importance of the Senate in the
parliamentary evaluation of what we could reasonably expect the
country to accept.

28. Now The Guardian thinks that "there should be a Senate but
that ways must be found to make it as widely representative as
possible of the var;d interests in the society ....." They are
prepared to accept "farmers, fishermen, cultural groups, sportsmen
and sportswomen, professionals like lawyers, engineers, educators,
doctors, nurses, pharmacists, workers, consumer interests, women,
the youth, the University, Local Government, the Village Council."


29. After all that concession in principle to Tapia's macco-Senate,
The Guardian is somehow able to reject "the large numbers sug-
gested (by Tapia) that would make it an unwieldy babel." But we
understand that The Guardian cannot afford to understand that the
political process by which you acknowledge the fishennen's rights
to representation could lead you to embrace calypsonians and
steelbandsmen as well.
30. Large numbers in the Senate lie in the logic of the principle of
popular representation. Only the politics can determine the actual
number. Williams will understand that as well as Tapia does, and at
some stage, he will make a concrete proposal to start the bargaining
off. The difference between the Government's final proposal and
Tapia's would be in the method of selection of Senators, in the
arrangements for party representation in that House and in the
powers the upper Chamber will enjoy. There will be infinite room
for concession after the country takes a stand on the two competing
proposals and the politics of the constitution begins to flare. But at
this stage, who could be so foolish as to close his options off?

31. On the question of Rights, the Government will never support
the PNM suggestion that women should be less than men in the
matter of citizenship for an alien spouse. Not even when he was
retiring last September did the Prime Minister forget to make his
pitch for the PNM Women League's support.

32. The question of procedure is more than ever loaded with
dynamite. Now that Williams finds himself in a position where the
politics of Parliament stands in the way of the concessions that he
needs to make, he may well revise his strategy on procedure. Tapia
has him in a trap where he may be forced to stuff the PNM Constitu-
tion down the country's throat contrary to his original intentions.

33. We must therefore expect him to seek some excuse for not
taking the matter to the Select Committee and towards final resolu-
tion. Williams' best option now is to be generous to the conventional
opposition and go for an early election without waiting for the end
of the constitution crisis. How else can he avoid control of the pace
and the ways and means of the Select Committee by Tapia while an
enduring and solid alternative movement matures and grows in the
local areas?


Proportional Representation


34. The biggest issue of all is Proportional Representation. The
Government's strategy "has all along been to make an unholy
clamour against PR and to create a climate of universal racial
antagonism, whitewashed by specious scholarship on the blackest
thing in slavery." (Prospects for Our Nation, p7) The excessive noise
made by Williams on this issue immediately suggests that he has
some ulterior plan very possibly to create conditions for a major
concession. "If this strategy drove Africans back together, propor-
tional representation would magically become the most gracious and
democratic concession, suitably dramatised by the earlier sound and
fury."
35. There has been little or no honest alscussion or me question
least of all in the Report of the Constitution Commission. Williams
has been in the lead with a great deal of spurious documentation of
the experience in other countries when all of it, all of it including
the evidence of Guyana, is totally irrelevant to Trinidad & Tobago.
36. From the very beginning we in Tapia have refused to take any
simple position on the question that is to say, to line up with the
conventional politics of race. We have maintained from the start
that PR is not the magic formula which some say would make the
country one constituency and place control in the hands ofleaders.'
The country is already virtually one constituency with people voting
for the Leader.
37. It is as wrong to insist that PR would aggravate fragmentation,
bring more splinter parties and reinforce Doctor Politics and racial
voting as to hold that PR woula necessarily give new parties a chance
and open up the political system. It could do any of these things and
clearly some results are more probable than others; but in the final


analysis the outcome will depend on many things. The only sure
result is that PR,in its pure form, would give seats in the House
commensurate with voting support in the country and that is
unquestionably a recommendation for it.
38. The outcome of PR does not only depend on the form it
takes .- whether it is mixed and the qualifying vote is 2% or 5% or
10% and on the package in which it comes with or without the
Senate and the electoral reforms to create confidence in the electoral
machinery and to win the youth. What it depends on above all, is the
climate, the climate in which PR is introduced, the amount of
patriotic spirit generated, the place given to love, to hope, to doubt
and hate and fear.
39. In a climate of despair'and doubt, the most likely consequence
would be a regression by the African population to the 1961
position. We already have the evidence of 1961 when many wanted
new leadership but settled for old when the flames of race were
fanned like mad.
40. The point to seize here is that PRcould be one of two things.
In the right climate, it could become an aid to a more equitable,
electoral system. This is why Williams is mortally afraid of it because
the PNM thrives on despair and the return of hope is the one thing
which would destroy the Doctor Party.

41. In the wrong climate, where the Leaders are systematically
cultivating ideas of impending race war across ite world, where black
people's interests are tied up exclusively with crash programmes,
community development, special works, better village and State






jobbery and bribery of every sort and where the only way for the
dignity and the status of African elites to be kept in line with that of
their counterparts of other races is through hard bargaining by the
PSA, in this climate, PR would probably benefit the Doctor Party
most.

42. This is the kind of discussion that should have emerged from
the Wooding Report. Instead, the Report, by failing to deal in the
unpleasant truth of the matter, has left Williams with all his options
open. But there can be no doubt that the Commission must have
speculated on the real meaning of the proposal on PR subcon-
sciously perhaps, because pragmatism is always second-nature, only
- idealism requires explicit treatment.

43. Dr. Selwyn Ryan has made it clear that the Commission had
no intention whatsoever to destroy the PNM. When the evidence is
weighed, it,is probably true that the motive was as much to save the
traditional PNM constituency from fragmentation and to give the
small opposition parties and groups a chance as it was to break the
stranglehold of Williams. Some of the confusion is explained this
way. And Tapia will deal with these confusions at the proper
moment.

44. The point is that the projections of the Wooding Commission
are pessimistic and the political sociologists among the Commission
should have known that in such a climate race would become the
overriding principle of political alignment. It looks very much as if
this is what Mitra Sinanan suspected, we in Tapia cannot accept the
simple medieval view that Sinanan's Minority Report merely means
that he is a client of the Prime Minister. We felt vibrations to suggest
that he saddled badly with the gut-orientation of the Commission
which could well have been to protect long-run African interests
seen in a pessimistic light.

45. In Tapia we have hitched our wagon to a multi-racial star. We
are satisfied that with the right policies, racial insecurity would dis-
appear. But we know that many Africans, after the havoc wreaked
on self-confidence by 20 years of PNM policies, feel that the African
has no place in business now and that he cannot see the kind
of future place that his brother Indian probably sees. What this
means is that the African is mortally afraid to let go of political


control of the State. We saw this in the Great Debate with Manswell
and we saw it when, against all reason Hudson-Phillips was preferred
to Kamal Mohammed.

46. This is the climate which Tapia is working to change so as to
show the entire nation that if we tackled fundamentals we could
escape from this dead-end street and open up a new world for all
the people. We have only to abandon the formulas and conventions
of the past including Doctor Politics and simple-minded Trade
Union bargaining.
47. Unless such a vision prevails, PR is perhaps the ideal instru-
ment for inducing an African panic and for throwing the old PNM
constituency back into Williams' arms on very much the terms of
1961. With this kind of reading, the most Machiavellian course for
the Government to follow would be to adopt an ostensibly magnani-
mous posture and concede PR to the conventional opposition.

48. The effect would not only be to refurbish the Doctor as a
flexible user of power who has refrained from exploiting his
parliamentary advantage and his decision to take the issue to the
illegitimate Parliament; it would also be to consolidate the PNM
and in the bargain, to bring into the open the real splintering that
existsin the Indian community to which Africans are conveniently
blind and which conventional Indian leaders ignore in their search
for a ready-made constituency.

49. When Williams speaks on Friday none of these considerations
will ever be raised. Politics in this country is rotten because it is a
game played without any open discussion of fundamentals. The
facts always prevail but they prevail only behind the scenes.

50. The fact that is going to make the difference now is that the
new movement will not let the old get away with the murderous
manipulation of nearly 20 years. At every stage, we provide the
country with an insight into the scenarios and the game-plans for
tomorrow and with a playback of the scenes from yesterday.

51. Come Friday, there will be noise galore andmuch robber-talk
but the country will believe none of it because we already know the
score.


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S A E 2 7 TA P


From Page 4
Her wet hair gleamed. It was darker than the night
yet it was more full of brightness'. I began to feel a
complete peace coming into me. (p. 137)
But it is the peace of exhausted passion, not of ful-
filment. Eden is now a distant dream of being "alone,
alone, secure, the only children in the world."
(p. 138) Floating in an element which neutralises
colour, the two races become one, rediscovering each
other through the primal medium of touch:
"You skin feel smooth, boy."
"So does yours, very smooth. I like touching your
skin."
"I barely see it is white at all, you could be Indian.'"
"No. We could be anything we wanted. Let's pretend
we're purple or green or blue. Let's pretend." (p. 138)
This is the Edenic dream of the new world of the
Caribbean, a dream of human potential for oneness
and identity beyond race, colour or religion. But such
moments, if they exist at all, do so outside of time,
history and society, and Jaillin jerks Alan back to the
hurt if things with her reply: "You really chupid,
boy, you mek me laugh." Utopias need to be fought
for in societies which do not provide any ready-made
neuter element in which differences of race and
historic role can be forgotten. Later on Alan discovers
the illusory neutralising element of Carnival, when,
anonymous under' the mask, boss man and servant
pretend to forget, to be free of their history, and
sometimes even to exchange their normal roles.
Carnival gives Alan a brief opportunity to choose to
become anything or to disguise who he is, and frees
him temporarily from having to assume the stereo-
typed role which history, race and society have
predestined him to play. Through the Carnival the
society pretends to be one in fantasy, since it is not
one in fact.
Jaillin rejects Alan's suggestion that escape from
reality into illusion is possible, and Alan, who is too
weak-willed and bewildered, and too young to rebel
actually entertains a death-wish. He intends to drift
in the sea until he drowns, and when Kaiser's voice
interrupts him from his reverie he stumbles to the
shore in a daze of indifference, ":emptied of every-


thing except a hard and thoughtless cold. A spasm had
gutted me of every old emotion." (p. 140) He is not
the new man, but the negation of the old one await-
ing rebirth.
This rebirth does not occur for obvious reasons.
Alan lacks passion, conviction of energy. He assumes a
mask of politeness to hide his "unthinking racial
distaste" (p. 148) for Negroes and Indians. He acts
the part of defender of elitist values for the benefit
of the "lower crowd" who, with a little thought he
would have realized, had always been the most
sarcastic commentators on the hypocrisies of the
elite, through the media of Carnival, Ole Mas and
Calypso. (18) Thus Alan plays at respectability in
front of an audience which does not believe in either
him or his role. The white world represents for
him:
the exclusive love, descended through old families
and many decorous years, of a solemn, happy, artifi-
cial, sweet life. (p. 162)

TRANSITION

It is only the artificiality of the Trinidad elite which
engages Alan's mild irony. The other things are
excluded, the pettiness, grossness and decadence
which one sees in Christopher Nicole's depiction of
white Guyanese society in the 1940's (19), and which
was well-known even in Trinidad of the same period.
The narrator's voice, more insistently didactic
now than elsewhere in the book tells us that Kaiser
and Jaillin stand for "an emerging, different, mixed,
mutual love." (p. 162). This is true, to a certain
extent, though the rest of Caribbean literature is by
and large conceded with the tensions and agonies
contained in this process of becoming. But to the
white boy who views non-white Creole society from
the standpoint of his own exclusive world, mixed,
mutual love appears to be freedom beyond his ken.
Even its confused agony seems enviable. Alan wavers
between this dream of freedom and "a sad, helpless,
race-remembered pity and nostalgia," (p. 161)for the


past age of white absolutism. The boy who in child-
hood reverie saw himself as defending his drawing-
room fortress against "aliens" and "a thousand men
beseiging it, (p. 29) is father of the man who views
democratic change as an "encroaching flooding
river." (p. 161)

INNOCENCE TO EXPERIENCE

Alan, as if to learn the meaning of his child-
hood, revisits the village before he leaves for England.
The scene is dominated by two monologues from 01'
Boss the village elder, who, like Pa in Lamming's
In the Castle of My Skin, seems to be fading into an
ancestral voice, the spirit of things past.* The first
monologue is recounted by Jaillin. (pp. 178-179) It
is a parable, a myth of Eden told in a language which
draws its metaphors from agriculture. 01' Boss
describes a time-off fullness and fruition, rice-fields
in harvest and scissor-tail birds, dipping over the
fields. Then he describes his own boyhood.

"All we little boys was mad to fish an' just dance up
in the sun when there was nothing mo' to do. All that
time finish up so soon so me head still heavy with
thinking why it so that people to 'come people mus'
kill a chile. You see that? When people small, the
world' full o' richness. But, chile you only have to
.t big an' this morsel of a world' get cheaper. (p. 181)

The basic themes of the book are summarised
and universalised in these laments. The parable of
the harvest is ametaphorical restatement of 01' Boss's
dream of Eden on earth, his hope for a tightly knit,
coherent and gracious peasant community, rooted
to the soil. This hope is shattered as the village
expands and the youth leave for the relative anarchy
and the different challenge of the towns. In the same
way one becomes an adult by'losing the innocence of
childhood and confronting a smallness, meanness and
cheapness in the world:
"When you lose you' firs' richness what you have
to expand to? You' min' get cheaper, Trinidad get
cheaper, the world' get cheaper. You have to fight
that like hell. You see now what I saying. Everything
mounting up to mek what you have in this lan' as a
chile cheaper." (p. 181) (my emphasis)

01' Boss sees the steady loss of Eden and the cheapen-
ing of life as something which needs to be resisted,
as a condition against which one should choose to
rebel. But he is talking to the wrong eunuch. At this
point Alan can think of nothing to say. When he does
speak it is to accept his powerlessness to alter the
scheme of things. "What you say is true . but
there's nothing to do about it." (p. 181)



Because of this emotional and moral paralysis,
Alan's predicament remains that of the mediocre
man anywhere, who lacks particular conviction or
sense of the necessity for personal involvement, but
who savours a sense of nostalgia and guilt. After the
poignantly caught regrets, the adorable remorse, the
mediocre man rejoins his group. When, as in the case
of Alan, this group happens to be a rich elite in a
society in transition, the mediocre man finds himself
articulating the supposed values of the group, en-
couraging the group in its crucial task of closing ranks,
and consolidating privilege. Christopher Nicole's hero
Rupert Longdene finds himself saying at the end of
White Boy:
"I love these people and I love the colony and I'm
sure they're right and I know they've been put upon
for centuries and now they're trying to do something
for themselves and I'm with them all the way.....
but I also love my parents and I thank God my skin
is white." (20)

Rupert is a 1947-model high-school drop-out receiving
accelerated promotion in a bank which does not
employ even qualified black people. Alan, more
talented by far, suffers from a similar lack of convic-
tion. He too wants to be part of "a West Indies
growing in a new world and way of life". (p. 162)
But he too wants to do nothing to achieve this new
world. Finally, the dilemma of both heroes is not
simply the dilemma of whiteness, but that of colour-
lessness. This is the deepest and probably the least
intentional of the ironies in The Humming Bird Tree,
that it should be simultaneously dedicated to a depic-
tion of the colour of things, and the colourlessness of
the protagonist.

* See the Old Man's Monologue, Chapter Ten In the
Castle of My Skin.


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SUNDAY DECEMBER 22, 1974


TAPIA PAGE 9






SUNDAY DECEMBER 22. 1974


PAGE 10 TAPIA


"The Franchise Committee Report",
Trinidad and Tobago Council Paper
No. 35 of 1944, p. 108.
Trinidd: Who, What and Why, Port-
of-Spain, 1950, p. 89.
"The Making of the 1946 Constitu-
tion in Trinidad Unpublished History
Conference Paper, U.W.I., Trinidad,
April, 1973.
Problems of Trinidad: A Collection


of Speeches and H\itings; Port-of-
Spain, 1933, pp. 1 7
(5) Smith, L., op. cit., p. 229
(6) Bickerton, D., The Murders of Boysic Singh, Arthur
Barker Ltd:, London 1962, pp. 52-59
(7) Fermor, P.L., The Traveller's Tree, John Murray,
London, 1950, pp. 174-176
(8) Davies, B., "The Seekers", The Islands Int


THE HUMMING 8IRD TREE.

.REFERENCES


Between, O.U.P., London 1968, p.114
(9) Walcott, D., "Chapter II: Tales of the Islands",
In a Green Night, Cape, London
1962, p. 26
(10) McDonald, I. "The Four Knives of Ireeman the
Cane Cutter", New World Fortnightly,
No. 42 (June 27, 1966) Guyana.
(11) Mclonald, I. "The Legend of Manga Much and La
Cour Ilarpe," New World Fortnightly,
No. 46 (Aue. 22. I196) Guvana.
(12) Naipaul, V.S., The Middle Passage, Deutsch, London
1962, p. 41
(13) McDonald, I. "Colour Poem". in A.J. Seymour ed.,


(14) Sparer, J.,


(15) Williams, D.,


(16) Thomas, J.J.,


(17) Same as (13)
(18) Hill, E.,
(19) Nicole, C.,

(20)


Nem Writing __in the _Caribban,
Guyana 1972, p. 78
"Attitudes towards 'Race' in Guyanese
Literature," Caribbean Studies, Vol.
8, No. 2 (July 1968) pp. 23-63
Imageand Idea in the Arts of
Guyana, Edgar Mittelholzer Memorial
Lectures, No. 2, Guyana, 1969
Froudacity Fishcr Unwin, London
1889. Republished by New Beacon
Books Ltd. London 1969.

The Trinidad Carnival, Texas, 1972.
White Boy, Hutchinson, London,
1966.
ibid., p. 284
Gordon Rohlehr.
September, 1973.


Politics&


Poverty


From Page 3

Central Banks had an im-
portant part to play by the
way they directed credit. "But
there are limits here", warned
Lloyd Best, "set by
technology, taste, organisa-
tion, management and enter-
prises." Dr. Blackman had
made the point and he
wanted to stress that it was
a very valid one.
In the short-run, Lloyd
Best pointed out, we had to
take some of these limitations
as given. "We therefore have
to look for some improvement
in the standard of living from
a change in the terms of
trade, whatever the level and
structure of output, what-
ever the level and structure of
demand."
The link between the
internal and external aspects
of the question was the "terms
of trade effect" which was
important in converting out-
put into income.
"The terms-of-trade are
crucial both because the
the presence of the large
metropolitan corporations
in akes na-tional income less than
gross domestic product and
because our exports. exchange
for imports at rates which
could be more favourable or
less favourable depending on
the relative movement of
prices.
In both senses, con-
cluded, Best, we could im-
prove our position without
waiting for the changes in
technology, taste, organisa-
tion and management and
enterprise. These were
long run economic factors
and in the long-run we are
all dead.
"The Arabs had shown
that by political organisation
and political enterprise poor
countries could get together
right now, and we could
change the terms of trade and
with that, the distribution of
world income and wealth.
"The rise in oil prices
has had the effect of reversing
the old mercantilist pattern.
Where the metropolitan
countries once had large
claims on assets in the staple
producing countries, the
build up of reserves in petro-
dollars had started to redress
the balance."


s. Naked Horsemen I
Ride the Black and
Barren Sky. Man of
Sagittanus on the rise.
the love of a rambling, gambling
adventurous life makes you a generous
friend, opnmistic and bright Beware.
Oh Rider, as you rise, for pride's proud
arrow does not forever fly, with its force
soon spent, it falls back towards ,- -
the earth again.


SGold Seal Slacks, Jacs, and Suits made in
Crimplene for men. These two styles are from
a very wide range now available at fine
stores everywhere.
"Crimplene for Men" and ICI Rounder
are registered trade maiks of ICI.


Smith, L.S.,

Samaroo, B.,


(4) Lamont, Sir N.,


_ I i__I _~


_ i I __


___ _ 1_1 _FI_~ _I _1~1 ~1_1~ ___ _1___11_






SUNDAY DECEMBER 22,1974


From Page 2
version of the Assembly proposed by "constitutional
babes in the woods."
Serious political people will understand now the
value of our Senate presence in terms of the evolution
of the constitutional crisis. The Government has had
every reasonable opportunity to call the country to-
gether. If they have frittered these opportunities away,


history will not absolve them.
Tapia has always been careful to make it clear
that we have anticipated that the time will come one
day when we will call the Assembly ourselves. We
cannot know when that time will be, so that we have
never failed to explore every possible chance of as-
sembling the forces ofchange. We joined URO in early
1971, we joined an Assembly of Citizens with Moko


1r' Wego ;o

lengthkt -12
ourjo


Installed suspended
offshore production platforms over twenty miles out at 'Sa t'.
.I ~tim. ePO It was a new exparien0-for Ps, but it,'Aas. all pert.ptf.
ouF4QO xThe Indus ila andB604iIg..PrdCt D.lui~Qf -
'--L-j,.10I6l mS limited. .'a, wi, J
AOart from installing SOW iApdn, 8' L"fi
-a ;So.pr.Lfronts and partitionsfqr hi' p ~na-p aIo elaMO
ACpQUrVQ.iAjhOows and custom -;OIra6
;_I~ ._ -fW'arnirn. Fle 0 -%h.t ell-~
S- famois.EvoSUPPN t~ik 5 R f
6iq 'F-~;$~~'~N~s.vo-.Stik 62WA w


in late 1971. In Mtrch 1970, we had invited NJAC
to summon an Assembly and then in 1972, we opted
to attend the Wooding Commission in the hope that
a Conference of Citizens might have emerged from
that. Whatever errors we may have made, that has
been a consistent and principled ideological line.
The development of the constitutional issue
over the years since the Dead Season of 1968 has left
us in a position that is strong because we retain our
self-respect for holding to an issue and a world-view
that is ours. More than anybody else Williams ack-
nowledged that strength in his presentation of 8
:hours. In the entire exposition, not once did he
attempt to attack or even criticise any of the positions
taken by Tapia. This is extraordinary considering
that.we are the only real opposition voice which he
must entertain in the parliamentarist stance he seems
on the surface to have been adopting these days.
On the Senate, Williams, like the Guardian,
aligned himself in principle with Tapia without going
so far as to kindle a Great Debate by specifying
numbers. On the Executive,he simply reiterated our
view about two man-rat, dismissing with characteris-
tioally less generosity, the Wooding idiocy of a Vice
President, an Electoral College and a President sharing
the Prime Minister's power.
On the Privy Council, as we predicted, he held
to the non-committal position that PNM would wait
for a West Indian Court knowing full-well that such a
Court could come tomorrow or could come never
depending on what Trinidad & Tobago really wanted.
On Citizenship, "we will see", leaving the way open
to make the obvious concession to the PNM Women's
League. On electoral reform, no problems of reaching
agreement. On Ombudsman and Attomey General
and Auditor General, Williams saw clearly as he saw
with Parliamentary Committees, that all of these were
S essentially subordinate issues, easily resolved once the
S key question is answered as to how to link up the
SExecutive, the Legislature and the parties in some
workable machinery of State. He saw that Wooding
tripped himself up with all sorts of imported bits and
peices only because he had tried to answer the
Central question by finding in porportional repre-
sentation the vital link between the government of
the State aid tdie politics of the people.

DOCTOR CRY TO PNM

In other words, by focusing attention on pro-
portional representation only, the Prime Minister
Ended his Parliamentary discourse with all his options
open. Even on proportional.representation, he would
be at liberty to concede so long as his cry to the
PNM Constituency, that Wooding has been trying to
destroy we party, is heard on the radio broadcasts
from Parliament and makes such an emotional impact
that the old 1961 regime is thrown into so desperate
a panic as to want to embrace their Doctor again.
In some ways, you might say it is excellent
politics. One thing it must prove to people is that
Williams has to be treated as if he belongs in the same
big league as Tapia. The mistake made by his op-
ponents, is to underestimate him over and over.
Hudson Phillips, for example, seems to think that he
can win the party by dressing-up andlooking pretty.
SOn Tuesday, instead of leading the party in other
directions by standing up and debating the Con-
stitution according to his own perceptions,he sim-
ply walked out in disgust and left the House to Wil-
liams ... a repetition of his copping-out performance
on that fateful December Day when the Doctor
reclaimed his marbles.
Tapia dares not underestimate Williams; he has
Small his options open. What this means is that we will
move now to the next stage which is the Joint Select
Committee. The pastmasters of revolutionary pol-
itics will recognize at once that backing-back to keep
personal options open is invariably the same thing as
shutting off the choices which could just possibly
S have salvaged the old regime.




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TFAPIA PAG@E I I





/ Frs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institute for
Study of Man,
162, East 78th Street.
NE17 YORK, iN.Y. 10021
Ph. Lehigh 5 8448,
U. S. A.


PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE TAPIA HOUSE PUBLISHING CO. LTD.. 91, TUNAPUNA RD.. TUAPUNAPN '6,E6L662-5126






Nationalise the Bnks

i"""~a"""~PrrL-e- -x~~L~~~ B


"WHEN we come to
office, Tapia will nationa-
lise Barclays, Royal Bank,
Scotia, CIBC, Chase Man-
hattan and First National
City."
Speaking at a Semi-
nar held on Friday De-
cember 13, at the Holiday
Inn Hotel to mark the
Tenth Anniversary of the
Central Bank, Lloyd Best
told an assembly of
bankers, economists and
men of affairs that he
saw no technical reason
why these alien banks
were permitted to operate
in Trinidad and Tobago
"when they bring no
services which we cannot
provide for ourselves."
The Tapia Secretary
was reiterating the position
he took in November at the
Sixth Anniversary Assembly
of Tapia when he urged
that one of the first acts of
the new government next
year must be to bring the


Trinidad Guardian and the
commercial banks under the
control of the vast majority
of the little people of this
country..." even if Barclays
does give me overdraft."
Last Friday, Mr.
Victor Bruce, Governor of
the Central Bank, sat in the
Chair of the Seminar and
heard Lloyd Best explain
that the banks had com-
pletely distorted the
structure of credit" so much
so that next January they
will be re-claiming plenty
fridge and stove that they
only lending black people
for Christmas."


Our People

must know

that their

Government

means

business


COLLATERAL


The Secretary said he
saw no good reason why
we should import the
practice of accepting con-
sumer durables as collateral
for loans "when you can't
get a loan if you want to
start a farm or some other
little business."


Replying to doubts
expressed by Mr. -ourtenay
Blackinan, Governor of the
Bank of Barbados, concem-
ing the political feasibility
of nationalising the banks,
Lloyd Best insisted that the
banks had to pass to national
control precisely in order


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Tapia Secretary Lloyd Best

to create the feasibility for
radical economicpnoi'-'ol
"People must know
that their Government
really means business," he
added "and to show that we
really mean business we
must tackle the symbols of
our domination by cleaning
up Independence Square."
The Tapia Secretary


said he could not agree that
the banks should be left as
they are because we can
always make them do what
we want.
"It is absurd to be
buying trouble and then
have to set up a Central
Bank to consume its vital
energies in order to sort out
that trouble."


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