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ALL VOLUMES CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
Cal a cane conference
WHEN the February
Revolution hit them in
1970, the PNM Govern-
ment hastily took major-
ity share-holding in
Caroni. But what does
mean for the 10,000
workers and the 11,000
farmers trapped in the
We can only guess the
answer from the grim record
of cane fires, working-to
rule, no-cut campaigns, lock-
outs, strikes, demonstrations,
one-week-off and one-week-
on carrying that has marked
the industrial relations of the
industry since the triumphant
intervention of the corrupt
Last year the contradic-
tion sharpened perilously
when militant new leadership
among both farmers and
workers simultaneously es-
calated their agitation to such
a dizzy height in the weeks
before Carnival that sugar
nearly turned ole mas.
As it turned out, we had a
stay of execution followed
by a heady revival of the
industry's market fortunes.
The reprieve has created one
more chance for the Govern-
ment to come to terms with
the basic unviability of sugar
as at present organised to
keep the vast majority of its
workers and farmers on the
lowest rungs of the income
The re-emergence of large-
scale agitation during the
Crop of 1975 only confirms
that the fires of the February
Revolution are burning
brightly still- in the country
as in the town, amongst both
of the major racial groupings.
Trinidad and Tobago will not
return to quiet until the old
colonial regime has been
In agriculture, this must
mean constitutional reform
and economic reorganisation
to bring new patterns of land
ownership, land use and
local government to place
more control in the hands of
the local people. Control of
production, control of mar-
keting, control of the econ-
In -sugar this must mean a
complete takeover of Caroni,
collective ownership by
workers and farmers of the
milling operations, a switch
of exports to new markets
and eventually, a switch of
productive resources towards
output of food and materials
required by the economy at
The big obstacle to this
a a 7 -
is raj:nig political conflict. In
its own int 4 't, the Govern-
ment insists on propping up
power interests in sugar
which belong to the lost
colonial days. Act One of
1965, for example, is nothing
but a shackle on farmers'
freedom to organise.
Tapia supports the en-
tirely legitimate demand for
repeal of this repugnant legis-
lation. We also look forward
to some political assembly of
die workers and the farmers
in sugar to settle their own
Steps we expect such a
gathering to take are to
repudiate the recent Sugar
Levy and other recent tax-
ation measures and to draw
up a workable plan for a
radical reconstruction of the
plains of Caroni and Nap-
Now turn to page 2
Up Caiman Hill
they on the cross
LIP Caiman Hill, people on the cross. "'They
crucif\ ing we but \\e de% w ith themm"
That was the chorus Sunda\ miornia,
before last as the Ga ap proceeded. The men
had gathered to extend the road another 20 ft.
That \would make 100 feet in all with another
700 still to go. Self-help with a vengeance.
Caiman Hill is one of those settebnents dtia
hide behind God back in dte wrinkles that mark die
brow\ of the Northern Range As you pass up through
ihe newly-found splenJouui of St. Elizabeth Garden;.
St Joenpl v'ou adapt Dkrek WVacott's poe'm on die P'nril
matter To' go up is Jurel, to descend' (jppi
PRglt on die crect, before the pocket opens ,l; ; ialk
out ahead betwIeen valle', walls worthy of a canyon. .. ,,
the magnificent v ew o t de Caron, Plain is com-
nianded F\ diei house of Mr. Eugenio oMoore.
Econornmi .Advi'ser of tie Prime Minister. St .J-'pl
Linfortuniately. none of his endeavours have o G.-,O
far succeeded in extending die fournch main Sh._,nl
beyond his own sv.uiming pool glistening Iighup
in die sunlgligt.
\\arer up in (Camln Hill is stnctly a ravine
business. Early in the morning, die fianii1es crowd
round a water hole to draw dieir quota "After Q
o'clock, me en lthnk it safe"
Cont'd on Page 3
; *1?- ',B~5.
"OH, GOD, Mr. Lloyd Best,
they taking too much advant-
age of the poorer class". She
smiled as she spoke, as if the
pain had gone beyond the
point of suffering. Her
husband stood beside her and
recounted how he had been
fired from a company which
had "gone bankrupt" only to
open up again, registered by
"Twenty-five years and not a
cent of gratuity, and since then,
we only living by the grace of God
and we still have to buy rice
.. and flour and thing in the shop
every week; it must have something
that we could do."
Mrs. Donawa had just
a. finished speaking, Parliamentary
A.I Representative for Fyzabad. The
placards told the story of her
stewardship so far as the Delhi
Road people were concerned.
Done-a-War or Start-a-War?
The gathering was in a fighting
mood. "Your Days are Over, Your,
Promises Not Fulfilled."
The neighbourhood had
assembled to deliver a memo of
protest to the big nobs.
In the inspection party with
the Minister for Youth, were Mr.
Pollydore, PNM President of the
Village Council, Mr. Campbell,
PNM County Councillor, Mr.
Brown, PNM Village Council
spokesman, on the defensive now
but still articulate and informed.
Called upon to speak, I felt
at once the temper of the people.
The acclamation was deafening
when I noted at the outset that
"this is not at all a political occasion.
Continued on Page 3
Vol. 5 No. 5
They taking advantage of the poorer classes
PAGE 2 TAPIA
AN examination of developments
in the Sugar Industry since 1970
must be set against the Govern-
ment's Policy for the industry
and their agricultural policy in
general. As evidenced by their
stated policy in the last two
development plans, the PNM
Government sees no conflict
between promoting domestic
agriculture and encouraging ex-
port agriculture. They have
therefore sought to develop
domestic agriculture, mainly by--
means of the Crown Lands Pro-
ject alongside the traditional
sugar industry, failing to recog-
nise the historically rooted
contradiction between the two.
They do not see that what they
do with sugar is central to the
whole process of agricultural
The government's commitment
to sugar expressed itself in the
acquisition of Orange Grove in 1968
and a 51%shareholding in Caroni Ltd.
in 1970, the major producer. The
question we must ask is what meaning-
ful change "has the Government's
ownership in sugar brought to the
country in general and to the lives of
the 10,000 workers and 11,000.cane-
farmers in particular? An account of
developments in the Industry since
1970 would suggest the answer.
Developments in the Industry
,can, be discussed under three main
(b) Markets and Prices;
(c) Employment, Incomes and
- Sugar Production 000 tons
The highest production ever
recorded for the industry was 250.6
tons back in 1965, Production fell by
21% to 197,1 thousand tons in 1968
but picked up in 1969 to 237.4
thousand tons. From 1969 to 1974
production fell by 22%, with an
average annual rate of decrease of
4.4% in spite of -an expansion of
acreage reaped from 86.6 thousand in
1969 to 89.9 thousand in 1973.
The declines in production have
been attributed to the low sucrose
content of canes, widespread came
fires and unfavourable weather condi,
tions. The fundamental reason seems
to lie in the industrial climate which
surrounds the Industry,
- Gross Export Earnings of Sugar
Gross Export Earnings from
sugar have. been unstable over the
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
U.K. and U.S. Prices S per ton
The following is
of price movements
in the three
Index of price movements
years. In fact between 1969 and 1973
Gross Export Earnings had an average
annual rate of decrease of 0.6%.
Export Earnings for 1974 are not yet
available but given the phenomenally
high prices prevailing on tie World
Market this year, Gross Export Earn-
ings are expected to show a tremend-
ous increase. We must note however
that a recent study of the industry
measures that in 1970 bnly 62% of
Gross Exports accrued to the economy
in the fonn of net foreign exchange
MARKETS AND PRICES
Of ite sugar exported in 1972,
81% was sold on the U.K. market, 13%
on the US. market and 6% on ite
regional market. At present one of
the most topical issues concerning
sugar is the future of the market for
the bulk of our exports when the
present Commonwealth Sugar Agree-
ment expires in 1975. Under the
present agreement, about 70% of our
sugar exports is assured a market in
the United Kingdom at a guaranteed
price. With Britain's entry into the
E.E.C. she would be obligated to seek
her supplies from within die E.E.C.
thus closing her market to Common-
wealth producers. This country like
many other such producers have
therefore been frantically making
efforts to negotiate terms of agree-
ment with the E.E.C. for guaranteed
markets for their sugar. The issue is
further complicated by the extra-
ordinary prices now prevailing on the
To fully understand the current
issues of markets and prices, one
must examine the former structural.
features of the present international
sugar markets. Exporters of sugar
,throughout the world traditionally
sold their sugar in two main ways,
under bilateral agreements, such as
the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement
or on the World Market which is
regulated by the International Sugar
Agreement. Until 1973 most of the
world's sugar (80%) was marketed
under bilateral agreements. The bulk
of Trinidad's sugar prior to 1974, was
sold under bilateral agreements,
namely the Commonwealth Sugar
Agreement and.the U.S. Sugar quotas.
In 1970, under such agreements 63%
of our sugar was sold to the United
Kingdom and 15% to the United
States. The existence of these quotas
have been vital to the survival of our
industry since the relatively high cost
of our sugar production, made us
uncompetitive with suppliers on the
In 1974 the International
market for sugar experienced a great
upheaval and was fundamentally dis-
located as a result of several factors.
This upheaval in the market triggered
off unprecedented prices.in the world
market and has virtually transfonned
the latter into a sellers' market. Two
of the factors responsible for the
present situation need to be discussed
together since they have interacted
with each other. They are develop-
ments in the International Sugar
Agreement, which we saw above con-
trolled about 20% of world sugar
exports,and conflicting rates of world
sugar production and consumption.
ISA. The International Sugar
Agreement was last signed in 1968
and was due to be renegotiated in
October 1973 at the U.NC T.A.D.
sugar conference in Geneva. At that
conference no agreement was reached
between producers and consumers and
the talks broke down without any
effective agreement being negotiated.
Prior'.to this conference, since 1972
a certain buoyancy was discernible in
the world market. The rate of world
consumption was perceived to be
increasing faster than the rate of world
production resulting in continuous
draw down in stock levels. Moreover,
the unregulated world sugar market as
a result of the breakdown of die
conference created further supply/
demand imbalances and thus aggra-
vated the situation.
USA. Another factor which
further pushed up world prices in
1974 was the decision of the U.S.
Congress to discontinue the Sugar Act
under which the quotas for the U.S.
market were allocated. This meant
that the U.S.had decided to purchase
her supplies on the world market.
This decision was expected to increase
world demand by five million tons
ARABS. It has also been
argued that the Arab countries with
their significant increases in purchasing
power as a result of the World Oil
situation, have made a significant
impact on the demand side of die
The following table illustrates
the drastic movement in world sugar
World Sugar Prices $ per ton
The price movements in the
world market also influenced move-
ments in the two traditional markets
for our sugar i.e. U.K. market (Negoti-
ated Price Quota) and the US.market
as shown below.
All three markets show rates of
increase in 1974 with the world sugar
market showing an astronomical in-
crease of 1,564.7% above the 1971
level. The forecast of international
market analysts is that these high
prices are likely to prevail on the
World Market until the early 1980's.
The questions which naturally
now emerge are how have these extra-
ordinary developments affected
Trinidad & Tobago and how has our
country reacted to them. Like many
other producers,-this country found
itself in a position where its main
export market was being threatened
by Britain's entry into the E.EC.
However, with the prevailing high
prices on the world market the
country is now faced with the option
of selling sugar on the world market.
hi fact in 1974 Caroni Ltd. shifted
some of its supply from the U.K.
market and capitalized on the high
prices in the world market. The
result was that the company recorded
a profit before tax for 1973/74 of
$9.4 M. in spite of its disappointing
volume of output. Previous to this the
company had recorded losses for.
three successive years. Moreover, the
company has stated that since June
30, 1974 it has already realized a
profit of $17 M. on a few shipments
which will be taken into account in
One can identify several viable
options now open to the industry
with respect to its choice of an export
(a) To sell all of its sugar on the
(b) To seek a long tenn agree-
ment with the E.E.C. for the
sale of all of its sugar;
(c) To sell some of its sugar on
the world market and some
under the E.EC, agreement.
(There would be several more
options within this option in
terms of the ratio to be chosen);
(d) -To seek agreements with
other sugar consumers outside
The E.E.C. The Arab world
seems to present good prospects
for this type of agreement. In
fact, Jamaica is now exploring
These options must be seen against
the prediction that the high world
prices will only last until the early
The controllers of our industry,
seem finely bent on selling most of
our sugar under a long-term agree-
ment. All official efforts seem to
concentrate in the direction of an
E.E.C. agreement. They are in fact
Continued on Page 11
HoIoIrlI ea Io.s. .M.A5
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
From Page 1
because the business of the
people always stands above
the business of any single
party." That opened up die
morning for a frank discus-
It was not only the
platform personalities and
the placards which told the
sorry tale of
roads beyond patch-
ing. The last time we had a
resurfacing was 1954. When
the Duke of Kent came 39
years ago, this was the road
he used to Apex. Long time
we used to have motor-cycle
and bicycle race; now we
,can't even run. You talk
about good old days.
Water like gold.
Ay-ay! In Seulal Trace, so
people is not human too?
of drainage that
simply does not exist.
of streets dark, dark,
dark. "More Lights, no rape"
the placard again.
of garbage trucks that
Little wonder that dte
village in Delhi Road had
sent for Tapia.
"We hear you in the
Senate and on the News-
From Page 1
Tapia had taken a
camera to get the picture. It
was the Friday after the
Gayap. Mrs. Guppy. posed
for us to take a picture. We
had found her picking her
way down the hill-side way
above the ravine, her two tiny
children by her side. Once
out of the dale, they would
walk the crooked mile to St.
Joseph Government Infant
Totting up on our
fingers, we reckoned that
there must be well over 100
children in the district, born
to no less -than 51 families.
They all trudge their weary
way to school.
The road wends forhalf
a mile or so up to a point
just beyond the telephone
booth, the only one, says the
legend, that never the Com-
pany has had to repair.
Utilities are too precious for
Caiman people and their
patience and discipline stretch
Frank Stephen and
Sham Mohammed have been
brambling them for years and
years. The settlement has
been opened since 1964,
right after the promises of
Independence, long before
the February Revolution of
WORD OF MOUTH
Since 1968, they have
been negotiating with WASA.
In 1972, the negotiations
passed from word of mouth
to formal letter-writing,
Blanked, the people wrote to
Last year we the
residents of the above
address had written to
WASA authority asking
them to instal pipe
borne water, and up to
now we did not get any
answer from them.
Sir, we are asking
you please ...."
signed the letter, They had
all joined the San Juan Land
They taking advantage of the poorer classes
makers, we want smine tur-
pentime in they tail."
The letter had come
to the Tapia House in
Tunapuna. Ivan Laughlin,
Michael Harris, Robert
Maxwell, Eugene Achong,
Cyril Spencer, Judith Taylor,
Arlene Henry and I decided
we would make tie trip.
In the end, we left
Michael and the boys in
Penal with the Tapia Van.
The Saturday morning
market there was crowded
out with people.
;.an, the girls and I
went on to I'vzabad. As we
turned off into the Delhi
Road, an official was there
to flag us down.
"All the shops closed
down; we meeting by the
junction down the road."
Even the party stal-
warts have been running out
of patience. "Three times we
have written to the Minister.
We invited Mrs. Donawa here
on January 11; she playing
for time. We agreed on 9.30
today; it's 10 o'clock already.
We tired with the talking."
The placard agreed -
"Act more, make less speech."
Suil, 'uu can't have serious
politics without plenty talk.
"The voice of the
people is the vtce of God
All over ,nfidad &
Tobago today, ,pople are
standing up and speaking up
As Tapia moves from
village to village, we hear a
litany of woe. No water,
no transport, no attention,
the same story, up and down
the country, in the North,
in the South, in the East and
the West. I am glad to see
that Mrs. Donawa is here
after many months of chink-
sing. The Government
must govern for the entire.
country If they don't,
while they are there, Tapia
promises you Is turpen-
time in they tail."
Following the cheering,
the anti-climax came by way
of official exhortation to
prepare for the schoolfeeding
programme and to do this
and do that and to do the
By this time, the com-
munity was bubbling over and
people, like the man and
wife, were telling their own
stories. Of how an engineer
from theMinistry came to fix
the road and get blasted vex
and tell them to take the
sand from the road side and
stuff the holes in the road;
and how the only way you
does get thing done is -to get
blasted vex yourself and
write the Prime Minister; alnd
how after one tine is two
and we want a change and
Tapia must come back and we
go hold some meeting and so
We then got into our
jeep and joined the motor-
cade. By this time Tapiaman
Billy Montague and his wife
had joined us from PaloSeco.
We went to inspect the
guerrilla areas, the land up
Silver Stream, the 150 acres
waiting for 20 years now for
drainage to stop the flood
when the ravine come down.
We went all the way to
Mondesir and now and again
we all got out to skin teeth
with one another, Opposition
and Government alike.
And everybody revelled
in the freedom of the
occasion. No politics.
The Express duly re-
ported that included in the
entourage of the Representa-
tive were Senators Laughlin
and Best. But then politics is
totally alien to the way of
Tenants Association in the
hope that action by a reput-
able community organisation
would at last bring some
official response. One letter
went in January, another in
February 1972. The latest
one is dated January 17,
In between, the villagers
were advised to form a party
group. They formed a party
group. They were advised to
send in a Memo to the Con-
sultation on Education. They
sent a memo.
"At present there are
not sufficient technical
schools to accom-
modate children from
the Junior Secondary
The politics continues,
the basic problems go on
"We would be grateful
if your department
could investigate the
matter with a view to
assisting us by way of
advice or other assist-
The target that time
was the Community Develop-
ment Divsion. Caiman Hill
people have been trying
everything. In desperation
now, they too, turn to
Their demands are
concrete and exact. They
are not satisfied with ravine
water, supplemented from
time to time by the WASA
truck, The ravine is seasonal
and polluted; the roadside
drums are irregular and nasty.
The only solution must be a
public standpipe, suitably
located in the centre of the
village. That is number one.
Number two, they
want an improvement of the
road up in the heart of the
vale. They are fully prepared
to give the labour, the inverts
and other materials must be
provided by the County
Council or the Ministry of
Works andhelp with a tractor
will be very welcome.
Number three, they
want improvement in the
lighting. Their situation is not
desperate, they admit, but
the pole which is danger-
ously placed in the middle of
the path of the new road
must be removed and, at
and nasty. "
least, while the road remains
uncut, the track up at the
head of the valley could use
more overhead light.
Finally, Caiman wants
no more official tours. It is
time for the imposture and
the sham to done.
Up Caiman Hill they on the cross
You must get water
before 9 o'clock or else.
Caiman Hill boys
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
kREORGANIZATION of the school system cannot, by itself, achieve
for any society the aims of true education namely, equipping each
individual with the mental and moral resources and technical skills he
or she requires in order to function as a well-rounded human being and
productive member of society.
The education system therefore must be regarded as a life-long and largely indi-
vidual process. Formal school education is merely one, and not necessarily the most
important, part of that process.
For example, in the light of current knowledge about the phases of brain
development, it is clear that far greater emphasis must be placed on the educational
(but non-academic) development of the pre-school child.
The whole elaborate and expensive structure of formal schooling will other-
wise continue to rest on insecure foundations since the child's instinctive thirst for
knowledge and instinct for investigation may have already been snuffed out by the
time he or she enters school. Thereafter, the child may be capable of being trained
but will have lost the motivation required for true education.
It may be either a temporary or a permanent loss, depending on the ability
of the rest of the education system (including the school system) to re-stimulate his
motivation and to provide him with the opportunity to awaken and satisfy his
intellectual interests or vocational needs at any point in his life.
The cycle of life-long edu-
cation must therefore include
child-care centres for 0-3 year
olds, a play school programme
for all children from 3-6 years
old, the programme of formal
schooling already described,
and a comprehensive but
flexible programme for adult
(or out-of-school) education.
Though the three pro-
grammes might conveniently
be administered separately,
they must be planned to
supplement each other so as
to achieve the overriding objec-
tive of producing well-rounded
The pre-school is divided
into two segments for 0-3 and
3-6 year old children. The
justification for considering the
care of the 0-3 age group as an
educational responsibility and
not merely a matter of social
convenience, lies in the fact
that the brain develops 80%
of its potential during the first
three years of life.
Deprivation of nutritional
factors or of the mental
stimulation induced by affec-
tionate care and playing with
toys, listening to stories etc,
at that age can therefore set a
pattern of mental development
for the child that it may be
impossible to change later.
A recent study in Jamaica
has revealed that "working
class" babies were as much as
18 months behind "middle
cl'" babies in mental develop-
.,nt and one of the main
factors found to be responsible
was the lack of toys and
mental stimulation among the
ly in poor communities, need
to be able to rely on proper
care (including mental stimula-
tion) for their babies during
Day Care centres, which
should combine child care with
Family Education, would have
the following objectives:
To care for the babies
and pre-school children of
To help all parents learn
better methods of child care
(e.g. by registering for certain
evening classes in return for
day care service).
To help mothers and
fathers understand and cope
with the physical, mental and
emotional needs of their
To help each community
to work together to ensure
that all our children have:
Our coverage of
is unsurpassed anywhere
for focus and point.
Keep abreast of the
real currents in the
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Tapia, 91, Tunapuna Rd. Tunapuna, Trinidad & Tobago, W.I.
medical supervision to
detect problems early
through affectionate care, play
groups and toys.
To help mothers and
fathers (and others) improve
the quality of their family
lives through education in
family planning, home.
improvement, and other
matters of their choice.
Such centres could 'be
organized within each com-
munity- on a co-operative basis,
given some direction and
incentive from local govern-
ment bodies. Men, women and
teenagers could play their part
in such a programme: of
caring for the children, making
a community garden to supply
fresh vegetables, eggs, poultry
and rabbits for the children; it
should also be possible to
provide fresh milk, either
cow's or goat's.
Teenagers could help by
entertaining the children while
learning to be better parents
themselves. Everyone could
help by making toys of various
Play-schools for the 3-6 age
group would have to be more
carefully structured in terms
of teaching techniques and
training in child psychology.
In fact, the report of
Unesco's International Com-
mission on the future of
education (entitled Learning to
Be) makes the point that far
greater teaching skills are
needed for the 3-6 age group
which form the foundation of
the normal school system.
The systematic training of
teachers of that age group must
therefore be a priority concern
of a Tapia Government, work-
ing closely with local govern-
ment bodies. It goes without
saying that the organization of
play-schools for 3-6 year olds
must emphasize the stimula-
tion of the imagination and
instinct to explore rather than
learning by way of adaptation
to authoritarian teaching.
The objectives of the play-
school programme, for example,
or the move away from certifi-
cate-mania in the secondary
schools, might be thwarted
unless the understanding and
co-operation of parents is
achieved through the pro-
gramme of adult education.
Such an adult education
programme should be of four
Type 1: Information pro,
vided by local or national
government in the interests of
society as a whole c.g. multi-
media campaigns explaining the
functioning of the education
system, the need for immuniza-
tion and sanitation, the
implications of new legislation,
incentives and new methods
in agriculture etc.
The technical facilities and
expertise required for the pro-
duction of such programmes
should be pooled (at both
local and central levels) to
save expense and improve
Type II: Information pro-
vided by organizations and
groups seeking the ear of the
public. In their own interests,
such groups should be invited
to co-ordinate their efforts and
to incorporate some of their
activities within the framework
of Type II adult education
Type III: Information freely
selected by individuals within
a broad framework of available
topic groups. As is the admir-
able practice of Sweden, the
central government must
supplement the resources of
the local governments, if
necessary, to ensure that a
subject leader or 'animateur'
can be made available to any
group of people willing to
follow the same course of
study. (In Sweden the group
unit is three; here it might be
as many as 12 to begin with.
The study groups can be
held at any place or time
mutually convenient to the
In order to emphasize the
concept of the inter-relatedness
of all knowledge, the broad
topic areas proposed are
designed to meet the need for
information that any single
individual might encounter
while functioning in his various,
and frequently overlapping,
The most obvious roles of
an adult (for which educational
provision must therefore bh
made) are: the Adult as a
Person, as Friend, as Lover, as
Homemaker, as Parent, as
Breadwinner, as Member of a
Community, as Citizen,
An educational programme
under the broad area of Person
might, for example, include
the following heads: Self
Knowledge and Self Accept-
ance; Development of the
Intellect; Use of Leisure. These
heads would provide a coherent
framework for the detailed
exploration many specific
topics or subjects.
For example, Self Know-
ledge and Self Awareness
would handle the problem of
'identify' by exploring specific
areas like 'how the body
works', 'how the mind works',
Continued on Page 9
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PAGE 4 TAPIA
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
A Abrighter vision
TAPIA PAGE 5
AND the practical aspect is that you have to
The review of the 1974 economy points
to the problem we are talking about, and the
measure of the budget, the measures of
government is fiscal and monetary policy
indicate incompetence, they indicate impractic
ality and it shows up in the lack of self
Practical implementation, in fact, means not
only that we have planning objectives clear; it does
not only mean that. You must also be able to judge
politically the psychological condition of the society
to be able to see the way in which the problems, we
are facing can be resolved.
The fact is, as far as I am concerned, the
human infrastructure exist here, the talent exist for
us to make a radical departure from the colonial
economy. It has been under the surface for years, but
it is here. There is a yearning to break out in creauve
expression. But it is bottled up by sterile and
colonial economic policies.
One of the most interesting periods of our
economic history was during the war, and I would
like for a minute, just to refer to an article written
by Edwin Carrington who is now working with the
Caricom Secretariat, located in Guyana, in which
he discusses the way in which the economy was
motivated during the war years when imports had to
be-cut off as a result of the submarine blockade and
The way in which the economy was able to
be generated from inside, the way in which a whole
range of small scale industries of agriculture, food
production and so on grow and developed out of the
skills and ingenuity of the population of this
He said, in fact, that;
"the experience of the war would suggest that there
is no lack of ability of entrepreneurship within the
community to deal with the problems."
This was during the second world war. That
whole period of sustained activity inside the economy.
It is instructive for us to Know, tor example,
mat the steelband came out of that period. The
greatest innovation in music the steelband was
born in that period when the economy was activated
from inside, when we the people of this country had
to search within ourselves to see how we could
resolve the problems that we were facing. That has a
lesson for us that period.
The point of the matter is that those under-
lying factors within the economy that we are talking
about also came to the forefront in 1970. This is
what I mean when I say we have to look at the
psychological factors existing in the economy.
The upheavals of 1970, indicated that those
conditions still exist. The phenomenon of the drag
brothers; of those numerous stalls that develop in all
the areas along the eastern corridor and in the south
and so on, that whole range of stalls of people selling
all kinds of small handicraft articles; even fruit and
The agricultural co-operative that began to
blossom and the attempt of particularly African
young people to go back to the land to re-discover
themselves began to blossom in that period. Those
are the indications that enterprise exists here.
And the point about it is that Government took
it as a political task to deal with those things. So you
had them investing in the Memphis Co-operative, up
at Cumuto (ninety something acres) I understand
that they have barely 10 acres under cultivation.
They invested in a group called'Afro Co-operatives'
where the Industrial Development Co-operative
advanced the money for the co-operatives and now
they operate all the offices in the building, so I do
not know to what extent it is still a co-operative
So you had those simple phenomena, so you
had the situation in which architects, and town
planners and a whole range of technical people were
growing up, longing to exercise their commitment
and so on but in a political context that lacked vision
We do not in Tapia simply castigate the Public
Service and say that people are lazy and not working
and so on. There are people abounding in talent in
the Public Service wanting to express themselves,
wanting to participate in the development of the
country in a meaningful way, wanting to contribute
towards the development of policy directives, and
they are being frustrated by the political gimmickery
that government continues with all the time.
In the realm of music for example, in those
kinds of areas of creative expression we can see a
whole range of activity that indicates the extent to
which the people of this country are abounding
with the necessary talent to launch into a new enter-
prise of economic active ty.
Not the old kind of buy and sell operators or
large-scale factory operations of the European model
which simply dehumanises people destroys the
personalities on these assembly lines.Even though
we will have some of those but we will design ways
and means of mechanizing to the extent that we
cannot simply involve our people in those kinds of
large scale practices which give people no inner
spiritual meaning totheir existence.
What I am saying is that there are a whole
range of activities within the society in music -
people like Andre Tanker and Lancelot Lane, Bertie
Marshall, just to mention a few attempting creative
expression in music and recording. In the Theatre
Workshop the Caribbean Theatre Guild. The small
groups, in dance a whole range of them. And I
am sure that Dr. Elder will bear me out on this.
There is a whole indication of the extent to
which the country is bearing toward some kind of
creative expression, developing some kind of creative
It is an important basis for the restructuring
of the economy and the politics and for the develop-
ment of a new direction in small business and co-
operatives and small scale enterprises generally.
A whole range of expressive enterprise hidden
in the country, to a certain extent, and longing for
political direction that would bring it into ihe open.
That is what Senator Solomon indicated. The
extent to which the government, has failed to
Williams as he pointed out can go to China and
see the extreme extent of self-reliance. He can go
there and see that. He can note it and observe it in his
report and what he turns around and does. He brings
together the oldwarringnations of the United States
and Japan and he organizes them in an economic
invasion on Trinidad and Tobago.
He sees the fact of self reliance in China and
he sets out to bring the Americans and the Japanese
You know when he went to the United States,
Kaiser, and Tennaco allowed him to reorganise his
schedules, they put-aeroplanes at his disposals and
they said have a little share in one of our companies
up here. and we will becoming down to resolve all'
your problems. That is the response. The Government-
fails to grasp what the population wants. How we're
Continued on Page ,
I a "
ivan Laughlin continues his address, in the Budget Debate
Nam e ............ ........ .........
(Surname) (Other names)
A address: ................... .... ........
Place of Work; ......................
... .......... ... ... .o .. .....
Interests: (Indicate or Insert)
ADULT AND YUUI H EDUCATION ...........
SOU-SOU INVESTMENT ....................
Group affiliation: (Indicate or Insert)
TMf'IA HUUSE GFIUP .......... .TUNAPUNA
TAPIA HOUSE GROUP .....................
I hereby subscribe to the rules of the TAPIA
HOUSE GROUP and endose $1.00 membership
Signed: ......... ....... .. Date: .......
Return to Tapla, 82 St. Vincent Street. Tunepuna. Trinidod
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 19
PAGE 6 TAPIA
From Page 5
ready to work. How we're ready to throw up those
shackles and express ourselves. They continually fail
to perceive that.
Let us take for example, the co-operative
movement in which Mr. Chambers, says in his Budget
Speech that it is not achieving success the new
activities Mr. Chambers says that they are not
showing success. It is documented in his statement
In the Third Five Year Plan they said that with
the exception of Credit Unions verydisappointing
progress has been shown in the co-operative activities
over the last 60 years; and this has been true of the
last five years. This is the Third Five. Year Plan. So
that the situation is very grave with regard to
But it is interesting to see the remedy for that
Mr. Chambers comes up with. He says here on page
"Three of the foreign companies which will participate
are now in Port-of-Spain ....."
He is talking about, I think, the Caribbean
Integration Fund food and what have you.
"Three of the foreign companies which will participate
are now in Port-of-Spain and have held preliminary
discussions with Government representatives this week,
seeking to select for development large areas appropri-
ately spread throughout the country which might be
developed on the basis of co-operatives."
So that we have a situation in which coopera-
tives are not being activated in Trinidad they say;
and they figure that the way to remedy it is that -
and this is the extreme they are bringing three
large American companies to develop co-operatives
here for us. That is really lunacy. I cannot find any
other way to describe it. It is really completely
The point is that co-operatives cannot take
place in a vacuum. Co-operatives have to take root in
a political context. We have to ask.ourselves-why were
credit unions successful? Why for example did people.
in the country use the sou sou method of banking?
What are the fundamental reasons for that? We must
ask ourselves these questions.
It is simply because it was'the avenue of saving
that the people understood and could participate in
together. So these kinds of co-operative enterprises
developed grew and blossomed and produced men
who understand finance.
We have a range of people involved in the credit
unions who understand how finance can be organized
and the Government still tends to feel that we cannot
handle our financial operations here. I will deal with
that in a little while.
The point is that scale enterprise, co-operative
enterprise has to take place in a political context and
it has to take place in the sense that we are encourag-
ing the aspirations and the hopes and the ideals of
our people. We cannot be looking for Nixonian
assistance to develop co-operatives here in Trinidad
That then is the .background, That is the broad
background against which we have to look at 1975.
Economic distress is rampant. The country is
despairing. It was evident by the mad rush at Christ-
mas where people seemed to figure that we may not
see 1975. It seemed to indicate this to me.
And certainly when I looked at some of the
Senators on the other side this morning I got the
impression that they felt so too.
Economic distress is rampant; added to that
revenues are high; and add to that the interpretation
that we in Tapia are making of our people that the
latent talent is there ready to be activated into
productive enterprise, and it is against that back,
ground that I would like to outline the Tapia perspec-
tive in relation to the 1975 budget.
I have already before this House outlined our
perspective for Constitution Reform during.another
debate and stressed then that the proposals we were
making were organized to open up participation and
to answer the pleadings of the February Revolution
To oven up participation, to liberate the
politics to open, up avenues of political expression
and opportunities to express that in governmental
And I. said as an important pre-condition to
Constitution Reform, as an important pre-condition
therefore to economic reorganization was political
mobilization, what we call unconventional politics
which attempts to build the moral fibre to activate
the spirit for hard work.
So that the Tapia perspective in looking at the
economy and looking at the attempts that the
Government is making in the economy to deal with
the underlying, problems, sees clearly that there are
three imperatives at the present time economic
control, full employment and equality.
Mr. President: Senator Laughlin's speaking
time will expire in three minutes.
Motion made and question proposed: That the
Senator is speaking time be extended by 30 minutes
(Senator L. Best) or
Question put and agreed to:
Senator Laughlin: Thank you, Mr. President
As I was saying, the three imperatives at the present
time are economic control, full employment and
We certainly cannot be so inhuman as to tell
our young people to hold strain.
Listen to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and
Tobago in the foreword to the Draft Third Five Year
Plan for Trinidad and Tobago. Let me quote him
quickly. This is 1969; I would just like to stress that
date for you.
"Most of our young people face the very severe and
difficult challenge of 'holding strain' over the next few
years until the country can generate enough jobs to
absorb all of them into productive employment."
So in 1969 the Prime Minister of the country
told the young people to hold strain, in 1974 we
hear that the way in which they organized the educa-
tion system is ensuring that they cannot get jobs.
So the question I would like to ask the Leader
of the Senate is, could he tell me how long the
young people of this country have to hold strain?
I understand that some time ago they said it
was until 1983., but I would just like him to clarify
that for me in terms of their new proposals for the
economy maybe they have a new date.
I would like to know about it because when we
look at the structure of unemployment here we see
as I pointed out before that 39 to 40 percent of the
age group 15 to 25 is unemployed' and if that does
not create political tensions now well I am going to
tell them that it is going .to happen very soon.
Hold strain is their policy apparently.
We are saying; we cannot allow that, We can-
not be so irresponsible as not to take decisive
measures to close the income gap and take control
of the economy.
But I want to state a principle that is important
in terms of what we are talking about. Because it is
the method that we use to activate the economy that
We are not talking, in our proposals, for
control of the economy, about that rigid bureau-
cratic state organization that exists in Eastern Euro-
pean countries which are only colonies of Russia. We
are not talking about that,
We are not talking about the over-centralization
and inhuman processes of economic organization
which are the hallmarks of Stalinist domination. We
are not in that league at all; we are not talking about
At the same time let me stress that we are not
talking about the chaotic, capitalistic individualistic
organisation either. A handful of business interests
who squeeze the life blood of the population.
We are also not in that Watergate type league
because that phenomenon that exists in Russia and
the United States is extremely similar. We are not
dealing in any one of those categones.
The Prime Minister it seems is enraptured with
the multi-national corporations from the United
States and Japan and Hong Kong.
Hon. Senator: China.
Senator Laughlin: He is not bringing any of
them here to work. He only said he is impressed with
the self reliance.
He also visited Africa and India. He does not
seem to have gleaned anything from the economic
history of Africa and India, of the types of economic
organization they had there before the colonial
people broke it up,
It is the same phenomenon. We are not dealing
We are talking both in terms of the organiza-
tion of the state machinery and in terms of economic
reorganization of a flexible democratic organization
of the economy administered in the interest of the
And this is demonstrated vividly in our pro-
posals for Constitution Reform which as I said Ilaid
before this House already.
The important factor is that the type of
economic reorganization we are talking about is only
possible in small couriries like Trinidad and Tobago.
People always talk about it as in the five year
plans that smallness of size is alimitation and, that
we have to take negative and defensive attitudes in
our economic programmes,
We are saying that smallness io our context and
in terms of our proposals is a distinct advantage.
We do not have those kinds of conceptions of
developing and developed country. Are you going to
tell me that the United States is more developed than
Trinidad? In what way? They are the most backward
people in the world in social terms. Look at the very
attitudes they have to countries like Trinidad and
Tobago and to countries that are trying to assert
themselves in a context of European colonialization
and domination. We are not in that kind of league
We do not have those conceptions that we
cannot turn our smallness into advantage and to see
ourselves as a country that can inspire the entire
We do not see ourselves as being at the bottom
of the heap and having to see them as developed.
Those European categories that they put into the
economic jargon here that tells us we are a develop..
ing people utter nonsense and we are not in that.
So we are talking about a distinctive control of
the economy; we are not worried about it at all. We
are going to control production; we are going to
control trade; we are going to control banking.
TAPIA PAGE 7
In production we are going to control petrol-
eum, Texaco, Amoco, Tesoro; not Shell alone the
entire set of them. Federated Chemicals, Cement,
We are taking complete control of the economy
and we are going to administer it. And we will adopt
the normal procedures that we use in any situation
of that kind. Where we do not have skills then we will
buy them but we ar going to take decisive asid
significant control of the economy.
In terms of banking, we intend also to national.
ize the banking industry. They do not bring in capital
and skills. Trinidadians are already managing
banking and we are going to take over the banking
system in the interest of Trinidadians and Tobagonians
Al these arrangements with Barclays and the Royal
Bank and so on, when you drive down Independence
Square is a scandal.
Look at Independence Square and look at the
banking empire that has developed there and the
Governmentdoes not have the confidence to take
control of it and let our people run it.
We are not looking at those categories of black
and white, of Africans and Indians we are looking
at Tiinidadians who are capable and have the skills to
man industries of that kind and we are going to take
control of them.
You need only to look at the Economic
Review Loans and advances from Commercial
Banks 2.8 per cent to agriculture; 3.6 per cent to
connructions; 35.7 per cent on consumer durables
We have to re-organise our whole banking
system to show the extent to which we can re-
organize the economy. The thing about the com-
mercial banks -is that they disorganize the economic
order. Investments are in the wrong places. We have
to put the investments in the areas that are produce.
We intend when we take control of the econ-
omy to regulate the import/export trade.
When we take control of production; we
usually resolve the export side.
In terms of imports we treat that in three
categories luxury items, that is commodities we
produce and commodities we do not need. We are
stopping this completely.
strategic commodities necessary to maintain
standards of living, like drugs, educational materials,
food, capital goods equipment those have to come
under state direction. Of course, we will employ
existing merchant skills under the direction of the
state, to conduct trading. It is perfectly feasible. They
will do so in the context of national reconstruction.
and of course, other imports.
So the point is that we intend to take control
of the economy decisively, not in any half-way
We intend further to deal with the question of
ieqnuality against the background of growing in-
equality, la;^ scale unemployment, and spiralling
In terms of ire:uality, we are talking about the
development of a large welfare sector with large
investment in that area ,o immediately cushion the
effect of unemploynen with which we are going to
deal. And we will ou .ie the perspective for un-
employment in my 30 minutes. But at the same time,
we want to show that we are going to cushion the
situation in the interim to give direct relief to the
pressures that people are facing from inflation.
So we are talking about a welfare sector which
will include free school uniforms, free books, free
meals to school children. We are insisting on that
because that has important links with the proposals
If you are going to have children in a school
environment, and they are going to have free meals,
then you can begin to deal with the problem of taste.
Young people can start enjoying and understanding
the importance of local foods.
So we begin to deal with the problem of the
importation of foods on which the sum of $130
million is being spent at the present time.
We are talking about libraries set up and down
the country, and museums, so that children can
develop in an atmosphere ofgenuine education. We
are not simply talking about massive buildings. The
Government seem to figure that is educational policy.
We are talking of education for living, not education
for examinations, as the Government has perpetu-
ated over the last 18 years.
We are talking about heavily subsidizing much
more of our transport. We are talking about health
facilities and significant control of drugs. We cannot
wait for the long-run municipal health centres that
they are talking about.
The Government can immediately rent build.
ings in localities and instal units for health services,
It is really a scandal the problems people have to
face to get any kind of reasonable health attention.
In housing we, are going to undertake a large
In sport, development not the destruction that
the PNM have been undertaking. Everywhere you go
in the countryside you see play fields where people
have been playing for years in dispair.
I live in Maracas Valley and there was recently
a bush fire on the playfield Government had been
preparing the land for over five years. They spent
$70,000 and put up a fence and bulldozed the field.
But there is a big hole left. You can swim in the
rainy season. That is the Government's, sports pro-
gramme the destruction of playing fields. That is
their sports programme.
Facilities for the aged and orphans: Where you
have aged people living in homes for the aged and
orphans in orphanages, we cannot perceive that the
factor that ties them together is the problem of the
lack of love. Why can't they bring the aged and
orphans together to live in an environment that can
add something to their spirit? We are so colonized
here that we cannot perceive that as a reasonable
So that is the first thing in terms of equality, a
large welfare sector.
We are proposing an incomes policy that will
close the gap between the income groups in the
Senator Tull: How do you do it?
Senator Laughlin: Minimum wages. I will deal
with that, if you give me a few minutes. Could you
tell that to the President? I would really like to
elaborate on that for you.
We are moving to establish an incomes policy.
And fundamental to these proposals is National
Service, We are going to make National Service
compulsory for all people of 15 years and uowards.
In terms of National Service we hav to se the
possibility of being able to mobilize exiting skills; to
mobilize them into the development process, and so
allow us to develop new skills. Because when you
have people working in a national service environ-
ment, it means that those skills you do not have will
develop on the job. I will set out the perspective for
that in a short while.
It will also tend to break discriminatory prac-
tices where you have people living in one area of the
society who never understand what it is to do manual
labour to cut cane and to dig roads. So everybody in
the country will have to do that in the proposals we
have for National Service. Whether you are living in
Goodwood Park, or living in Haleland Park, or living
in Laventille. Everybody is going to have to indulge in
National Service and understand what it is to work
People always say that black people are lazy.
When they see people digging the road, they say all
those people want to do is to prop up on a pick axe
because they do not want to work hard at all. But
everyone will have to understand what that kind of
hard work is in our proposals for National Service.
Of course, we are going to deal with the ques-
tion of retail distribution which we have already set
out to bring Hilo and Kirpalani's under community
So these are the perspectives for the welfare
sector, We have set it out and we are serious about it.
That is the only way to deal with the inequality in
this country. And we intend to deal with it.
It is criminal for the Government to be talking
about inequality and not setting down a concrete set
of proposals to deal with the problem.
The third thing, is full employment in a context
of 70,000unemployed. There are four significant and
fundamental employment areas.
Mr. President, how much time do I have?
Mr. President: Seventeen minutes.
Senator Laughlin: Thank you. Four significant
areas in terms of dealing with unemployment, small.
scale industry, housing, agriculture and services.
I am not talking about employment in terms of
Government's industrial programme that is not a
significant employer of labour at all.
I am prepared to elaborate Senator Prevatt, but
apparently you do not want me to speak. I do not
have much time so I will have to forego that.
I want to deal with the main things that
generate employment in the economy.
Senator Laughlin: I will sell you a copy of
What is interesting with regard to employment
is the budget policy about the creation of more jobs.
They do not say how many more jobs they are going
to create by these budgetary measures.
In 1974, let me remind you they said un-
employment is increasing, employment in agriculture
is declining, employment in construction is declining.
I have just said that construction and agriculture are
fundamental employment areas in the economy.
In the budget here during 1974, in terms.of
construction, they say that there are difficulties
facing the local construction industry difficulties
of the local industry not being equipped with the
necessary technical and managerial skills, problems
of shortage of construction materials and a whole
range of factors of that kind.
I would just like to briefly mention, this is the
1975 budget and in the 1970 budget, I think Senator
Prevatt gave that budget it is interesting when you
look at the problems facing the construction industry
in 1975 and relate them to 1970, because in 1970
even though they are saying now that we have pro-
blems in the supply of construction materials on the
import side we are told in the 1970 budget that the
import content of construction material is less than
20 per cent.
I do not know if it is that in 1970 we had a
different regime from that in 1975.
Or, for example, we hear them say in 1970 that
the construction industry is one of the principal
employers of the craftsmen who are being trained in
our technical schools and that the industry also
generates a substantial number of Jobs for unskilled
But we hear that the construction industry has
problems of technical and managerial skills in 1975,
that the Government has been anxious to ensure that
locally owned construction firms improve their
capacity. Apparently between 1970 and 1975, that
capacity has declined significantly.
Small contractors, they said are given,every
facility. I do not know what kind of facility they have
been given, because the fact is that they are now
saying in 1975 that they are not equipped tohandle
the problems ot the construction industry.
You hear about the St. Patrick Development
Programme which was reported recently. And what is
Continued on Page 8
PAGE 8 TAPIA
From Page 7
interesting about it is to what extent would it become
another Chaguaranas Plan or another East Port-of-
Spain Plan, and therefore we can expect three or four
years before they decide to employ foreign consul-
tants to tell them what to do with the proposals
enunciated by the local consultants.
So in terms of employment, I do not sec how
the St. Patrick Development Programme is going to
have any effect in 1975.
Or take water, very important, because there is
no doubt that private development is being severely
restricted because of the lack of water; the present
position is extremely bad.
WASA is turning down all kinds of proposals
for development in housing because they do not have
the water to supply.
We see that between 1969 and 1974production
increased by 9 million gallons. In 1975, the Minister
tells us that they estimate an increase of 13 million
gallon buthe does not say how.
We hear the Oropouche Scheme talked about
in the budget, but when you look at the statement
of expenditure on the Development Programme
Estimates there is nothing about the Oropouche
Scheme, so apparently nothing is being done about
that in 1975. The people at WASA tells me that has
been on the table for many years.
So I do not understand the '- y in which the
Government is going to deal with die water problem
and at the same time I do not understand the way in
which they can expect the private sector to develop
housing as they are suggesting in their proposals here
for the housing question,
As a matter of fact, I have a document here
that indicates the table showing water production and
cost vhich is really confusing:, you cannot really tell
the situation in water at all.
Maybe' the Hon. Minister has every reason for
not saying what the position is. It really seems com-
pletely chaotic, the situation in water; and that is a
fundamental infrastructure for the development of
So we are faced with a situation in which the
construction industry is declining and in which you
cannot, see any method by which the construction
industry is going to be activated significantly in the
And we have a set of policy directives which
say that the Government is going to put funds in the
hands of the population and give them incentives and
assistance to build their homes and that the National
Housing Authority will become a catalyst in that
The basic point we have to bear in mind is that
(a) the construction industry is not organized to deal
with any large scale housing construction as they
themselves say; and (b) that there are severe problems
on the infrastructure side.
So it seems to me, in that context their pro-
posals for housing are completely unfeasible and in
fact, the mortgage 'arrangements they are talking,
about is notgoing to deal with the lowincome bracket
at all, it will only benefit the well-to-do.
And in agriculture. Time does not permit me
really to go into the crazy'agricultural programme
that they have set down here. Because they are out-
lining problems in 1975 which they set down in the
Second Five Year Plan in 1964,
Problems of tenure of holdings of mechaniza-
tion and of processing.
It is the same thing thatexistedin 1964. There
is no thrust in budgetary policy. There is no way in
which we can discern that the trends of economic
organisation coming to terms with the problems we
are facing. It is a really frightening situation that we
are faced -with in 1975 when the country is under so
In point of fact they are saying that to resolve
the problems listen to this classic it is even
better than the statement on Co-operatives. To
resolve the problem needs careful thought the
Minister says, and we are going to have pilot pro-
jects to determine the requirements of successful
farming with the assistance of major international
1975, a country that is under real pressure
from a lack of food, and they are going to give the
matter careful thought? And then they are going to
have pilot projects with 'a set of international
ihey have the Crown Lands programme which
they said is going to resolve the problems, but it is
really a pity, it is really a pity, Mr. President, that
you are not allowing me to give this data. It is
important that the country gets it; because we arc
going to undergo severe problems from lack of food
The Agricultural programme is completely
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
topsy-turvy. It is not going to resolve the problems
here and it is a pity we cannot bring this to the
attention of this nation. It is a scandal, in fact. No
thrust in the agricultural policy. There is absolutely
no indication of policy thrust.
Certainly, they do not say anything about small
scale industry and services in the way that we are
talking about it. There is no indication that the pro-
gramme for employment that the Government have
enunciated in the budget will in anyway resolve the
They are simply on another planning trip. Hold
strain is once again their foreword in 1975 as it was
in 1969. There is no difference in their proposals, and
it is in that context, Mr. President, that if it is we are
to deal with our own problems here we feel that the
. thrust must be two-pronged. That is the Tapia view.
We would have to immediately embark on a
set of programmes to feed and house our people and
in so doing we are going'to be able to resolve the
unemployment problem in the very near future.
We are proposing-in T~ipia a massive housing
programme. We are talking in Tapia about the need
to develop a new living complex on die sands at
Waller Field, where the Government erroneously put
agriculture can you imagine that? They put agricul-
ture in Waller Field where we have all the infrastruc-
ture there already roads, drainage, sewerage, water-
ready for an urban development of some kind.
I was a Land Surveyor in the GovernmentCivil
Service at that time. And they bull-dozed existing
roads. I would like to explain that to this House one
of these days the way in which that programme was
conducted up there.
But we are going to move the thrust of the
population away from Port-of-Spain and put it up in
Waller Field and when you see the possibility of that
you would realize that the East West Corridor plan of
$207 million is completely unnecessary.
We have no grouse with the planners who
enunciated that plan. It is most probably feasible in
terms of the political directives they are getting but
we are saying in our context it is completely unfeas-
ible. We are not embarking on any of that kind of
We are going tomove the population away from
Port-of-Spain and you need to consider that in the
context of large scale unemployment among the
youth and against a background of the National
Service that we are talking about.
We are talking about a new living complex in
Waller Field and another somewhere in die Couva -
Chaguanas area. And when we consider it in totality
when we see die demands of establishing that kind of
living complex in Waller Field when we can bring
together skills managerial skills, tehcnical skills of
one kind or another, when we can mobilize the
youth of the country in a programme of National
Service and start the thrust towards developing a new
type of living environment up there; when we see it
then it tells us immediately the supply and demand
needs of the economy.
We cannot be thinking about it in 1969 and
having careful thought in 1974. When we look at die
problem ofunemployment, theproblem of inequality
and die need for housing and for food when we look'
at that and we put it together and see that die way
to resolve it is to move the population into a new
environment, to carry the youdt into a new kind of
development a new kind of living environment up
in Waller Field, we immediately see die need for
materials, the necessity for research to break down
the import content.
We have asphalt here for example why are we
not attempting to develop asphalt roofing? We can
see die need for forestry, tie need for wood. We can
see all kinds of possibilities that exist.
The kinds of skills we want, the kind of infras-
tructure, how inuchi water that is needed, itiminedi-
ately becomes apparent to us.
We can then see die employment potential;
We envisage in terms of the housing programme we
are talking about in which the main generator would
be the Wallerfield situation the possibility of direct
employment of somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000.
We have that on the basis of comprehensive
figures which, as I said before, I do not have die time
to give to the House, but these are based on data that
Tapia people have been developing.
The employment potential in direct employ-
ment is significant and, when you add to that the
thrust in agriculture, it shows you how we can begin
to come to terms with the questions of full employ-
ment. So you don't even have to answer the question
of how long you are going to tell young people to
hold strain. We have answered it already.
The basic factor, therefore, is that when you
perceive of that kind of policy, it immediately sets
your budgetary priorities and you know what you
are going to achieve in 1975; you know what you
have to achieve in 1976 and 1977.
You can see the trends developing;you can see
the way in which you are carrying the economy
forward; and bringing young people into the produc-
tive process, getting jobs, providing skills on the job.
That is a situation in which we can see a host
of young people living in a new situation up there,
developing agriculture in the valleys of the Northern
Range. We can see the link that Wallerfield can
provide to the plains of Caroni and to the Eastern
We can see the whole way in which we could
activate agriculture and housing and provide a living
environment foryoungpeople in which we could begin
to deal with the problems of taste that so condition
our import factors and so on.
It is really significant and important possibility
that we can use against a background of National
Service to be able to resolve the problems this
country is facing to be able to deal with the under-
lying problems of unemployment.
It is, in fact, a new civilization, the basis of
developing a new civilisation, of living in a new
environment, of people of all kinds working together
in co-operatives and small scale enterprise"
So that is a broad perspective of one of the
fundamental ways in which we can start to come to
terms with the problems ofunemployment in the very
And, as I said, when we couple with that the
proposals we are making for an expanded welfare
sector we can see the way in which we can buffer the
problems that the population is facing in terms of
And then services. We are talking about a proli-
feration of services, steelband tutors in schools,
sports coaches, environmental caretakers, to keep the
country looking as it should. Look at the state that
this nation is in.
There is no conception of the service industries.
that could develop to take care of the environment
of this nation.
We are talking of art directors, of guides of one
kind or another. Why are the children not going to the
Caroni Swamps and seeing the sanctuaries there? Or,
why are they not hiking up to El Tucuche and up
into Caura and so on?
There are a whole range of opportunities once
we break the impotence of colonial domination and
see thepossibilities we can use, the way in which we
could activate our people to participate in economic
enterprise to see die services, the proliferation of
services, that we can generate here.
It will give us an indication of the employment
We may very soon have to import labour to
deal with die proposals that we are making and that
is important when we consider ourselves as part of a
West Indian Nation. It is very important that we see
that dimension of it.
So we are proposing about housing a large
scale housing programme, die living complex being
the focus of that in Wallerfield.
We are talking about a proliferation of services
and we are talking about small scale industries.,to
develop die indigenous skills of the population, and
to develop genuine craft.
As 1 said before, we are not interested simply
in diese massive factory situations that are deluman-
ising people. Tliere are some areas in which we will
have to have that and we will have them, of course,
but we want to see shoemakers, small ctraftsmen,
developing up and down the country.
We want to see food processing undertaken
not by Kaiser wvi di their massive technologies that are
foreign to our people. We have Ibeen p:oducin guaiva3
jelly and candies and pepper sauce anid so on for
Coniiniiied on Page 10
SUNDAY FE-'L 'RUIARY 2, 1975
Esther le Gendre
EVER passed through
Caroni, from Curepe, to
reach Port-of-Spain? Puz-
zled? Strange things do
happen on the Eastern
Main Road after 6.30 a.m.
The novelty wore off after
a while. Leaving Curepe at
6.15 in order to get toMaraval
for 8.00 that is. My colleagues
no longer marvelled and the
cleaner was getting testy. And
by ten I was sleepy.
That morning I maliciously
clamped a hand over the
mouth of my raucous alarm
and mentally stuck my tongRue
out at the greying sky neatly
squared off by my window
panes. I awoke at 6.20 with
the heady sweetness of the
forbidden fruit on my lips.
At 7.05 I looked at the
usual metal snake lying slug-
gishly on the Eastern Main
Road. One of these days I am
going to skip along, stone-in-
the-river fashion, all the way to
San Juan on the back of this
many-jointed reptile. Yes
nothing unusual, except that it
took fifteen instead of tihe
usual five minutes to travel
from Scott St. to Jackson St.
.... all thirty yards of it.
SThen my driver got a bright
idea. Let's make for the U.W.I.
Farm Road. That way we
could escape the monster on
the main road. But there he
was, soundly asleep in the
morning sun. 'heels locked
and tyres crunched and bit
into the poor road as drivers
made an about-face.
Dust particles rose to the
occasion, slowly rose and all
rested quietly in the brown
haze. And in the midst of all
this beauty I started to sneeze,
'Like yuh can't take the
The fellow' on the bicycle
was moving up from the other
direction, stopping at selected
cars. He chose us,
'Bes allyuh tun back boy.
Try de highway.'
'Eh heh? W'ha happening in
Not dey. Rong by de hos-
pital it have accident. If yuh
see blood in glass like san' and
furdcr dong Kirpalani place
bun dong so is more baccha-
Five past eight and the
Southern Main Road cannot
be negotiated. Ten past and
we're heading East yes, I
know Port-of-Spain is in the
West. Thirteen minutes past,
and rm passing three houses
away from home. More than
an hour later rin back to.
square one. Lord why ah din
stay in mih bed?
U.W.I. looks cool in the
morning. The highway opposite
is unbelievably clear. As far as
the roundabout anyway. The
only traffic moving is the line
from the Southern Highway.
You want to move? Logic.
Come from South.
So my enterprising driver
took off southwards. I must
say I appreciated the change
of scenery. Green canes jostling
each other in the stiff morning
breeze, men' and women
wielding unfair cutlasses,
mowing down the denuded.
canes when the sap runs
sweetest in their veins. How
old is the scene? One, two
Through the Caroni Savan-
nah Road and out to the
Princess Margaret Highway.
Did I say we had lots of
company that morning? We
got about sixtieth place in the
line out but at least we were
moving. Churchill Roosevelt,
Lady Young, Maraval, 8.50.
Not bad considering the
'You reach ten to nine?'
-she was incredulous. 'How
come? An I leave before you?
I reach Mount Lambert half
Guess I was lucky after all.
From Page 4
'social conditioning', 'the
development of a personal
philosophy and values'.
Similarly, under the broad
area of Breadwinner, subject
heads might be (1) getting and
creating jobs; (2) participating
in growth. The first might
combine training or retraining
in a particular skill with dis-
cussions on such topics as job --
or even 'is work worth it?'
which could explore aptitudes
as well as attitudes and objec-
The second subject head
'Participating in Growth' might
cover such topics'as our social
and economic environment, the
role of trade unions and pro-
tessional organizations, tfhe
role of co-operatives and the
sharing of responsibility for
Type II- information pro'
vided by organizations and
bodies. It is intended to invite
all such bodies (as well as
government bodies) to maxi-
mize their educational efforts
by conducting some or all of
their work within the frame.
work of the Type III pro.
Several organizations might
co-operate to provide speakers
and resource materials for one
broad topic e.g. How the Body
Works might be of interest to
biochemists, doctors, family
planners, nutritionists, public
health inspectors, beauty cul-
turists, physical culturists,
v.eight-watchers, the RedCross
and Cancer Societies etc.
The subject leader or 'ani-
mateui' could request speakers
and/or resource materials from
such groups in order to stimu-
late wide-ranging discussion
within his group. Some groups
would gradually develop re-
source materials that could
serve as a nucleus. for other
The extreme flexibility of
this approach to structure
should be viewed as its strength
rather than as a weakness,
Adults learn voluntarily or not
at all. Although much can and
should be done through more
Sehooly ing is
Sl u U-4--:,& A- ) K
. . .,
imaginative use of nedia :;
improve ;- pactt of essential
public information 'Type
programmes) yet 01c fact
remains that adults cannot be
herded into institutions or
forced to participate in educa-
The most that can be done
is to stimulate their own
motivation by offering them a
wide choice of programmes
which correspond to their real
interests and by letting them
select the time and place of
their own meetings through
the system of providing 'ani-
mateurs' or subject leaders for
This system presupposes
far more means of community
contact than at present. Those
anxious to follow a particular
course would have to publicise
their interest by whatever
means are at their disposal,
e.g. notices in shops and
supermarkets or local news-
papers -- and then apply
through their local education
committees for the appoint.
ment of subject leader,
Pending the establishment
of such committees the Extra-
Mural Unit of the University
of the West Indies might be
able to function as the national
co-ordinator for such an exten-
sive adult education pro-
gramme. Subsequently, it may
be necessary to establish a
National Council for Adult
Education which could:
identify and pool national
resources for adult education
respond to requests from
community education com-
train or certify 'anima-
educational kits for use within
each educational region.
The administrative link
between the communities and
the National Board might be
Regional Councils for Adult
The programme for adult
education describedhere would
help to nourish both, the
school and pre-school element
of the educational system by
explaining the need for day
care and play school centres as
well as the role of the parent
in relation to the school system,
The apparent exceptions to
the flexible structure proposed
are (1) academic subjects re-
quiring special equipment and
(2) technical subjects, But the
need for flexibility is in fact
increased by the challenge
offered by such subjects,
Several approaches are pos-
sible: local school facilities
could be used at night; certain
types of equipment might be
made by the students them-
selves as part of the course;
equipment pools could be held
by each regional educational
council and issued to regis-
tered groups; resources within
the community might be
identified and utilized after
working hours on the basis of
an agreement with the owners
e.g. a local printing press,
welding and car maintenance
On the other hand, technical
education would be more
widely built into the formal
school system and provision
made for adults to reenter
the school system. None of
these factors, however, de-
creases the importance of
establishing technical and
vocational education institutes
in each educational region,
geared to 1he particular types
of skills required in that region
and closely integrated with
actual job situations.
The whole system of adult
education proposed here would
have a nourishing effect on the
pre-school and school aspects
of the process of lifelong
education. In the first place, it
would involve a far greater
proportion of the adult popu-'
lation in the pursuit of know.
ledge which, together with the
greater emphasis on real needs
in the school system, would
help to bridge the experience
gap between the generations.
More explicitly, adult edu-
cation programmes would
explain the need for day care
and play school centres as
the role of parents and other
members of the community in
the school system.
Tapia.House 82-84 St. Vincent Street Tunapuna
GROUPS IN YOUR AREA
SELL OUR PAPER
_ rm__L______J~__Y__I1________11___1 I -~--- I
PAGE 10 TAPIA
From Page 8
generations here and the Government does not see
the way in which they could take those indigenous
factors that exist here and bring them into small-
scale enterprise and let the processing industry
develop drawing on in the agricultural resources in
the country. They don't see that.
They figure that you have to bring Kaiser to
resolve it or you have to bring Teneco.
Look at something that people here adore -
bush rum I could never understand, how is it that
we could be using legal measures to jail people who
are distilling a commodity like bush ruinm.
Look at the relish on Senator Tull's face when
I mention bush rum,look atit.
I know you agree with me and I am quite
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2, 1975
sure that Senator Prevatt must'too he is a land sur-
veyor; he spends a lot of time in the bush.
The point we are making therefore, is that
instead of destroying it we should be developing that
kind of enterprise by providing it with scientific
skills and by providing it with standards of health
and so on. And therefore allow indigenous processing
like that to develop. I am sure Senator Gatcliffe
would be very happy to see that.
If we can only see the possibilities of that it
shows us the manner in which the economy could be
activated from inside. We could return to a situation
in which the people of this country would be taking
significant control of the economy generating
practices of processing, practices of industrialisation,
practices of housing development and so on, within
the context of an economy moving to resolve the
ills, the underlying problems that we are facing.
It is a period of significant adventure. It is a
period that would carry us into a new era of life in
Trinidad and Tobago. It is a perspective that can
activate the population towards work, towards saving.
It is a situation in which we could see the future as
being prosperous. We would see the future as being
We could see ourselves as being important in
that context. We could see a situation where we can
exercise decisive control over our future. It is in that
context that 1975 for us will be a year of prosperous
effort and hard work and for us it will be the year of
Syl Lowhar reflects on the
ON the nights of Monday,
Tuesday, and Thursday
of the week which ended
on January 18 the John
F Kennedy lecture hall
was filled to capacity
with receptive audiences,
listening attentively to
the radical Guyanese his-
torian Walter Rodney as
he spoke successively on
Socialism, Pan African-
ism, and the Caribbean.
Rodney's visit was long
overdue, For long the brothers
and sisters on the blocks who
had studied his Groundings
looked forward to welcoming
him in their midst.
So when he arrived at last
after his peregrinations over
three continents, six years
after his exclusion from
Jamaica, he walked into a
very charismatic situation.
Trade Unionists such as
Nunez and Shah, Black Power
Advocates like Daaga, Kamn-
bon and Gaddafi: Marxists
old and new were all there.
NUFF came out in full
force, and the occasion was
marked with Vol. 1 No, 1 of
The Freedom Fighter, voice
of the oppressed, official
organ of the People's Freedom
Someone observed how
ironic it was that this former
UWI lecturer, now hustling,
scrunting freedom fighter,
should have to speak from a
lectern in the Trojan Horse,
the gift which the Americans
gave to the country when the
1941 Chaguaramas base lease
It was the mess of mortar
for which we sold our birth-
right the right to walk
freely on our own soil. Bu't
as we have had to point out
with regard to Tapia's
presence in the Senate, it is
not where you stand but what
you stand for that matters.
Rodney was lavish in his
praise of the socialist revolu-
tions of the world, and went
on to attack the pseudo-
socialists 'who are to be
* i I In
LE I EU.;
found everywhere in the
Third World. Even Tanzania's
President was not exempt.
He branded Nyerere's African
Socialism as petty bourgeois
nationalism that was neither
African nor socialist.
Everyone is now a socialist,
he said. That everyone felt
the need to identify with
that ideology was the clearest
recognition of its validity,
Capitalism as a-system can
no longer be defended any-
where. That world is crumb-
ling, and all tha bourgeois
economists who complicate
problems with nice econom-
etric models confess that they
cannot find the answers.
They are turning to President
Ford to find the solution.
But Rodney was not
merely referring to Forbes
Burnham of Guyana or
Michael Manley of Jamaica
who has not yet lifted the
ban which Shearer, his pre-
decessor, had imposed.
Neither was he alluding'
I I I t i-
wanted her to
makes it easy -
HAVE A DEMONSTRATION TODAY
NATIONWIDE AGENTS AND STOCKISTS
to Eric Williams, the modern
Marco Polo on his China
Quest, who was heard to
praise Chairman Mao for his
outstanding achievements, for
his self-reliance, and his
development of indigenous
industry and technology
(never mind the ban on the
Chairman's thoughts. Charity'
does not have to begin at
home though it might end
As he described the pseudo-
socialists 1 thought I recog-
nised some of the variants in
our midst. For example there
is the famous one who some
time ago led a delegation of
Valsayn residents to obtain
better amenities for the area,
Then there is another
who just a few years ago is'
on record as standing for
conventional politics and
private enterprise. There is
yet another whose avowed
socialism is a passport for
visiting Capitals and attending
conferences the world over.
Without being able to
unite in their ownEURO&
centred clique they go about
calling on the workers of the
world to unite,
One notable faddist, edu-
cated for many years at the
expense of the Transport
Workers, returned from
England with the announce-
ment that he was back in
politics, and established an
organ called the Socialist
Worker in whose pages he
kept Tapia under constant
attack. Neither he nor the
Socialist Worker is to be
All these pseudo-socialists
have the ideology of self. For
them socialism is a stepping
stone to gain. Rodney saw
them as so much debris, as
obstacles in the path of the
development of genuine
It came as a surprise to
many of the campus radicals
when Rodney identified
them as well as himself with'
the petty bourgeois.
Nevertheless he felt that
petty bourgeois intellectuals
could still serve the interest of
the working class. This
attempt to exempt from
stigma was later taken up by
a young Indian graduate,
himself a Marxist, who
pointed out that only the
workers can lead a socialist
movement. Intellectuals like
Rodney can only betray it.
The fact is that to conduct
the discussion in terms such
as 'petty bourgeois' and
'working class' must lead to
sterility, since these are
categories which Marx used
to describe the tendencies
that were taking place in
the specific conditions which
prevailed during the Indus-
trial Revolution in England.
A lot remains unexplained
when it comes to dissecting
individuals, to discovering
their motivations and their
Both Rodney and his
Indian questioner know
themselves to be of the
working class. The exercise
that concerns us therefore is
to clarify the process of
bourgeoisification, the quali-
tative change that takes place
through learning and living
in a certain environment.
It is too simplistic to
repeat the cliches, to take
for granted a phenomenon
about which Marx himself
was very cautious. This is
why in his later years he
kept asserting, "All that I
know is that I am not a
M arxis t."
Only in The 18th Brumaire
of Louis Napolenn did he
venture a definition of class
one which does not easily fit
the realities of our situation,
(To be continued)
fAll.1- 11' 1 1111
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 2. 1075
From Page 2
opting for what they term is d'
safest option, because, they argue,
only a guaranteed long-term price can
ensure the long-term viability of the
industry. What this clearly suggests is
that the Government, in spite of the
failures of the past, is not contemplat-
ing the possibility of agricultural
diversification, but is prepared to
continue to tie up over 100,000 acres
of our most rjl... ill ocated
agricultural land and our minost agricul-
turally experienced human resources
in the production of a low income
elastic export crop for an uncertain
external market while we continue to
import most of our basic foods from
international markets plagued by
shortages and sky-rocketing prices.
Thus the essential 'characteristic fea-
tures of the plantation economy still
obtain and the lives of our people
remain unnecessarily vulnerable to
external uncontrollable market forces,
all because of lack of vision.
For several years the supporters
of sugar have argued that its existence
is justified by virtue of iti significant
contribution to employment. As we
saw above the industry employs about
10,000 workers and supports about
11,000 cane farmers. What these
supporters have chosen to ignore,
however, is the extent of under-
employment and ridiculously low
wages which prevail in the industry.
In 1971 69% of all cultivation workers
had been employed for less than 166
days. A comparison of average weekly
earnings by manual workers and mini-
mum wage ratesindicateslthat with the
exception of the Textile Industry
workers, sugar workers receive the
lowest wages in the country. In fact
sugar workers and fanners supplement
their low incomes by maintaining
back-yard gardens for their household
subsistence. That is the only way
they can survive.
It is interesting to note that
between 1965 and 1969,Caroni Ltd.,
the major sugar producer, laid off over
3,000 .workers as a result of its
mechanization programme. Moreover,
within the industry, the view has
been consistently propounded by top
officials that the industry needs to be
mechanized for it to be efficient thus
needing to displace more labour.
Against the above background,
it is not difficult to understand the
turbulent industrial relations climate
within which the Industry has operated
over the past two years. We have seen
the emergence of new and vibrant
leadership in the Trade Union success-
fully challenging the old leadership
which had for several years betrayed
the interests of workers and fanners.
Under the new leadership,workers and
farmers have became more militant
and agitative and have reached the
point of'making demands for some
form of.workers' ownership and con-
trol of the industry.
This increased militancy lism
manifested itself since 1973 in deliber-
ate cane fires, "no cut" campaigns,
work to rule, strikes and demonstra-
tions, significantly affecting sugar out-
put over the past two years. With the
recent windfall in profits and the
introduction of the new cane price
formula, there has been some increase
in incomes accruing to workers and
farmers. Cane fanners are now receiv-
ing a record S41 per ton for their cane
and Caroni Ltd. have agreed under
pressure to grant a bonus to its
workers. However the 1974/75 crop
target set by the company is likely to
be affected in a serious way by more
wage negotiations between Caroni
and All Trinidad Sugar Estate Union
and the demand by I.C.F.1.U. for the
repeal of Act No. 1 of 1965 giving
them recognition as the official trade
union of cane farmers.
It can be clearly seen froi
the above discussion that the sugar
industry is confronted with major
problems. In-fact given the natural
momentum of events taking place in
the Industry over the past two years,
the long-terinn future of die Industry
,seems very uncertain. Let us summarize
the situation briefly. The industry is
inefficient and high cost and is an
uncompetitive producer in the world
market die present buoyancy of
which is not long-term. The traditional
guarantee for the country's sugar is
uncertain with Britain's entry into
the EE.C. To be more efficient the
Industry would have to mechanize
and thus displace substantial labour
widi its attendant socio-economic and
Moreover, the already poorly
paid workers in the industry faced
with this unprecedented inflationary
situation especially for basic necessi-
ties and under more militant leader-
ship, are making vehement demands
for higher wages and better working
conditions further pushing up die high"
cost of production, affecting output
and making the industry more ineffi-
cient. Clearly all the conditions
making for die collapse of die industry
But questions of efficiency can-
not be narrowly confined to the com-
pany. We must examine the question
of efficiency in terms of the use of
our country's resources. The question
we must ask is whether the sugar
industry represents the most efficient
use of our country's resources in a
way that brings the maxbium possible
social and economic benefits to the
people of die country.
As we saw above, sugar occupies
100,000 acres of some of our best
land. In addition, the sugar areas are
strategically located and are the areas
where most of the infra-structural
development for agriculture has taken
place, in terms of access roads, water
etc. Moreover, the workers and farmers
involved in sugar have a long tradition
in agriculture and culturally are very
attached to the land. In other words,
sugar uses up some of our best
resources in terms of land and labour.
To produce sugar then we have to
forego using these same resources to
produce many of the basic foods
which we could have feasibly produced
but which we now import at prices
which continue to rise at fantastic
In addition, our people are now
experiencing shortages in these basic
food-stuffs as a result of world
developments. Had these resources
been engaged in producing livestock
products, livestock feeds or many of
the odier basic foods which we now
import, it could be proven that we
would have gained greater benefits in
foreign exchange earnings, higher in-
comlles for our people, more linkages
and generally greater structural trans-
formation within die economy.
Furthermore,-our economy would not
..remain as vulnerable as it is now. All
these points need further discussion
It is being argued here that the
sugar industry must be diversified and
the present high prices on dit world
market presents a leverage widi which
this could be done. Perhaps all the
-sugar exported should be sold on the
world market while the high prices
last, that is until about 1980. The
huge profits generated between now
and 1980 together with oil revenues
could be used to diversify the Sugar
industry and reorganize the country's
Agriculture. After maintaining enough
sugar production for local and
regional demand, the following broad
alternative uses of resources are to be
considered. These options are not of
course exhaustive but represent those
which have been suggested as the
(a) Maintain sugar cane produc-
tion but use the sugar cane plant
.more efficiently. Research has
identified that by a process of
sugar cane separation, five indus-
trial raw materials can be
produced which may be used to
produce sugar, livestock feeds,
paper products, wax, board and
chemicals. The most tested
option so far has been livestock
feed as Comfiti. Years of
research in Barbados have shown
that this is a most feasible
option and feeding trials with
beef cattle have been very suc-
cessful. The technology could
be purchased from its owners
in Canada and machinery is now
available. Eminent livestock
scientists have acclaimed this
process as a major break-
through. This option promises to
bring greater self-sufficiency in
Beef and Dairy Products and
Carbohydrate animal feeds.
(b) Break up estates into
medium-size fans and place
them under die control of
fanners and workers with a view
towards mixed production of
foodcrops and livestock. -
(c) A third option is to convert
the sugar lands into production
of corn and soya bean for live-
Whatever the strategy we adopt
for our sugar, it can only be meaning-
ful and effective if it fonns an integral
part of a Policy for agricultural
development embracing fundamental
refonns in the areas of land owner-
ship, land use, research, extension,
marketing, availability of inputs and
general infra-structural development.
This latter policy must be conceived
within the context of a wider coherent
strategy of economic transformation
widi broad goals of racial and social
equality, full employment, import
displacement, inter-dependence be-
tween productive sectors and owner-
ship and control by our people of the
major productive resources and sectors.
The present Government clearly
lacks the wherewithal to embark on
such a programme.
fMilitancy of workers and farmers is a factor in Sugar's failure.
The tall, good-looking
the gateway from the
forecourt to the stage,
was not losing her cool.
I understood. We were
striking up something. This
time I wouldn't have to call
my policeman-partner from
his post at the other end of
And the drunken, ill-
tempered CDC official from
whom this police couple
were taking their orders had
gone somewhere else..So she
let me pass again.
One narrow gateway,
blocked all round by metal,
with steel-rail gates at either
end, hardly longer than 12
feet, yet requiring two police
guards and one of the inevit-
able "officials" in residence.
It's the logic of Carnival
---"agement and develop-
ment control, necessarily
more rigid and forceful,
ending up in total repression
as the only way of imposing
"behaviour" where none
exists, and order where chaos
So there's Inspector Khaki,
his black face a mask of
fury, urging his horse down
the aisle between the stage
and the rails in the.front of
the Grandstand, mercilessly
flushing out mas -players,
It works. The aisle becomes
a dangerous no-man's land ...
until the next band comes,
and like the tide on a beach,
it starts all over again.
Who owns Panorama,
Carnival, mas, the greatest
spectacle on earth etc etc...?
The people who pay to see
it or.the people who pay to
alla dat is mas
Maybe that's what it's all
about a conflict to wrest
control of the thing for once
and for all. And the children
and more children and grown
ups who swarm over the
stage, their feet thumping on
the wood, are a besotted
horde of banzai shock troops
who will be swept away to
behind crowd barriers at the
Or some will pour off
over the sides to duck
beneath the stage and hide
among the' steeldrums on
which the wooden platform
is mounted. Pan and people
on top, pan and people
below. The symbolism is
much too stark.
But I wa- passing through
the gateway again because I'd
caught sight of Clive
Alexander in the enclosure
where he sat with John
Sewell and Steve Christian, in
judgment over the Panorama
"They asked the Gayap
for somebody, and the
Gayap nominated me," said
Clive, anticipating my ques-
tion "how come?"
He had this stack of
stencilled sheets threaded
together in a file before
him. Little columns to write
figures in. "A good experi-
ence, boy", he said.
A switchboard on the
judges' table controlled the
traffic lights atop the stage,
by which the bands were
instructed to get ready, play,
A band struck up and the
judges resumed their labours
of listening and marking tie
What are they listening
for? I must ask Clive. The
crowd, I'm sure, dosen't
listen with the tutored
critical ear of a Jeremy
Taylor for "a sweet little
decorative grace-note on that
octave leap .. ."
The secret, as it occurred
to me, seemed to be finding
and working on an exposed
nerve end. There's a formula:
changes of key, fanfares,
stops and starts, sharp
phrasing, and of course the
size. and-.weight to give
effect to all these.
You nevcr know if it is
that you're just carried away
by the charisma of a Solo
Harmonites. But if you listen
blindfold, you won't see the
dance performance of that
plaited, Solo-jerseyed double
tenor man whose movements
could never be choreographed
even by an Astor Johnson.
And alla dat is mas. The
feller in Texaco Sky Chiefs
wearing an Arab fez. The
spectacular feller in Maraval
Hilltones wearing football
socks, Bermuda shorts, sleeve-
less long coat advertising
Ipagel on the back, plaid
headtie. Eyes closed, he be-
labored a rusty grater with
an afro comb.
They say "competition",
I say "parade" of the steel-
bands. That's what Panorama
is. The vast majority of the
bands know they don't stand
a chance. Who asks what it
cost True Tones Steelway to
travel 50 miles from Princes
Town to play "Soul Train",
when they clearly can't
afford a good tuner? Can't
even be sure of an appreci-
It's the kind of perverse
die-hardiness that keeps
Carnival going. Its roots deep
in futility and waste. Its
spirit resisting efforts to
change it into anything else,
to mak it pay.
It pays the sponsors and
(as it seems now) the
arrangers. Echo Diamonds
are incredible pans un-
painted looking so much like
newly recycled dustbins; 15
uncos umefd b:zters behind1
a dark blue rag daubed with
white paint "Do Dem Back
S. Arr. by Ralph James".
\\;dh this great production
of i. Asic and songs each
year so much goes to waste
even before Carnival with
this emphasis on the road-
marc., causing two or three
to be selected and ihe rest
called Bertie Fraser, the
president of Pan Trinbago,
as he passed by, walkie-
talkie in hand.
"How much is the appear-
ance fee now?"
"Two hundred dollars,"
he replied, studying me curi-
ously. "Why, you getting
Later on the track I met
Gary Simmons, captain of
Valley Harps, watching the
parade in the company of
some of his men. A shouted
interview above the din
Gary's, ite splinter of
Valley Harps (without Reed,
the sponsor) is not on the
road this year, not in Pano-
rama, hardly functioning as
a band at the moment,
though the great Tony
Williams is helping with the
Many of his beaters had
gone to other bands to play
on the road. "A lot of fellers
beating in more than one
band,"Gary says"so how you
could say that one band
And lie seemed to have
tie evidence on hand. He
called a handsome laughing
panman with a pair of sticks
in his pocket and a CDC
"Official" badge on his chest,
"What band you playing
"Blue Diamonds and
Tokyo," said the panman
Laughing at tie joke.
"Fifty dollars for a swivel
(pan-stand wheel)," Gary
continued, and it mightn't
even reach the stage. Look
A six-base section was just
being parked up next to us.
Another swivel didn't reach
The whole things a farce,
Gary kept insisting. The first
prize should be $15,000 -
not the $5,000 which had to
be argued for last week. And
the appearance fee should be
"Would that fully cover
the expenses- of making an
appearance," I asked.
"No, not even that, but is
Back in the Grandstand, I
tried to assess the generosity
of the different '.olnsors
from the appearance -f the
The shabbiness ofMaritime
Life Hatters and Colgate
Melodians was eloquent. Fed-
chem Synconites was a shame
for that finn. They had a
single oil-cloth canopy for
the rhythm section stand.
Textel Belmont Amboys
looked undressed with yellow
tarpaulin canopies and hide-
ously painted pans, and
WASA Silvertones drab like
But look at CIBC Star-
lift in gay pink flowered
canopies, pans in red and
gold about the only
generosity that band got.
They were howled at by the
crowd. And Catelli Trinidad
All Stars who came onstage
in a cloud of dust, like
rolling caravans hung with
red, blue, yellow and lemon
After several hours in
which the echoes of steel
never died down from that
space by the Grandstand, the
air seemed solid, as if it
would clang when struck.
Like loudspeaker feedback
the sound of a departing
band didn't die out before
another started up. For the
smaller bands in particular,
it was often a problem to
hear them even, far more to
Just like that, it seemed,
Denise and Camille who had
been quietly seated behind
us were standing on the
seats, wining and jumping
up. My policeman-partner
smiled and shook his head.
It was WITCO Gay Despera-
does playing "Fever".
"You can't hear one ass
what they beating but you
have to wail," lie said.
n, ~X el:i~Z~