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Tapia
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00158
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: April 20, 1975
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00158

Full Text


SUNDAY APRIL 20, 1975


Page 2


"WE lack Order," Wrote
Vidia Naipaul. "Above all,
we lack power, and we do
not understand that we
lack power. We mistake
words for power. As soon
as our bluff is called, we
are lost. Politics for us is a
do-or-die, once-for-all
charge."
.Naipaul was an exact
observer of the dying
colonial days when the
ultimate political responsi-
bility still rested with the
colonial office and the
habit of impotence was
anchored in the facts. Now
Independence has called
his bluff.
If tomorrow blood
were to flow at say,
Charlie King's Junction,
we alone would, be res-
ponsible. That is the
power we now have:.
And yet the politics of
this country could not be
more absurd and the
mimic men are in every
nook and cranny, thunder-
ing their gun-talk. It must
be the storm before the
calm.

CHRONICLE

Wednesday Caroni Limit-
ed forced to recognize Shah
who turns up at a meeting in
the role of Panday's adviser.
Tuesday Dr. Williams puts
in an unexpected appearance-
at the passing out parade of
the police.
Monday -7 Weekes comes
out to talk in a turban. Oil
workers pledge to continue the
fight.
Sunday PM tells country
we won't spend a penny on oil
exploration.


Saturday Panday: the
workers are being tempted into
a violent confrontation. We
have no intention of being so
tempted
End of'chro:jicle. Begin-
ning of confusion.
"Oh Gawd, hold we back
before we make a jail for this
Government." The ultimatum
is seven days. Either Texaco
must pay or Texaco must go.
The ante is 80%; 147%;
107%; 90%. The principle is
profitability, productivity,
cost of living face-saving.
No, the inescapable fact is
that wage increases are in
themselves part of the causes
of inflation . In some
occupations and industries it is


possible to use this as "a valid
criteria ". Advertisment)
O.K. the condition is a
Fund for the poor, especially
cane farmers.
,But that is a totally differ-
ent matter, depending on the
economic and political philo-
sophy of the country. If it is
to be considered this should
be done through Government
taxation not through wage
negotiations.
What about a Round Table
G-G? If you call it we will
order the workers back.
No, you must consult the
workers; the people will
decide. Sunday morning I will
-decide them meeting in
Chaguanas.


The workers have decided,
that if you let them appoir
directors to the Board, they
Sgo go back to work.
So quick they change, the
workers does decide quick
man. I thought they would
only go back if we recognize
the new Cane Farmers' Boss?
No man, this is settlement
week, The condition is that
you establish an Unemploy-
ment Fund.
Oh Brother, you betraying
the working class again.
Which working, class? Con-
gress own or Council own? I
know they have two bourgeois
class now because you can see
Forres Park through the look-
ing glass and it becomes


Back Page






MIMIC MEN





GONE MAD!







IF it is valid to describe The crowning absurdity, of view or another. Life is a stage
the events of the past few course,* is the fact that every- and we are the actors. Tragedy,
weeks as a "revolutionary one has been acting on behalf comedy, farce. The real bone
drama", then, perhaps, for of "the people". Few, though of contention is over the
the vast majority of the have been willing to listen to leading roles.
spectators it has also been the voice of "the people"' By
What arcane arts the "leaders" So we had better know
a painful experience in the are enabled to read the minds where we stand, from which
theatre of the absurd. and hearts of "the people" is wing we make our entrance.
Modishly, the audience never revealed. Or, perhaps, we would prefer
has been drawn one way But who are "the people" to be among "the people",
or another into the action and how can they make their when in tattered rags and with
of the play, viz. the out- voices heard? Who knows but tattered hearts they rise up
pouring of statements that if they spoke, they might from the stalls and storm onto
from scores of concerned call for a fresh cast of actors, the stage to cast the impostors
citizens and organizations, a change in the dramatic down.
or the determination that personae? Horror of horrors,
the public at large should they might even'wish to take Regrettably, perhaps, the
re, at le iari y the stage themselves. No real life drama seldom, if ever,
share, at least vicariously doubt, soe would then call offers such an apocalyptic
through its discomfort, the action "oie mas-" ending. Then, there is always
in the epic struggles of the But then everything is mas-' the next act. Is anyone learn.
actors on stage. querade from one point of ing the lines for that?


curiouser and curiouser.
How you mean?
-How you mean how I
mean? Harry is now the
boy carrying the Dr. paper-bag
- Johnny tief the money and
gone Venezuela. So the busi-
ness community feel they
should recognize Shah so that
money could proceed as usual.
When Chin talk to the nation
Friday that is all we want to
hear.
You come good. Just what
the country wanted, exactly
what we had been hoping for.
Plenty gas stations, account-
ability; balance of payments
loss of $200m, 1,000 dead
bodies saved, economics for,
so.
I go ban that from the air;
is apolitical broadcast.
"If you think the price is
too high, then you will have
to do something about it."
I suggest we do a Benevo-
lent Dictator.
I suggest that the struggle
must go on.
I suggest a Conference
of Citizens.
That is a provocative
act.'You mean to say you
want to stop all these well
placed manipulators from
continuing the confusion;
you mean you prefer the
vast multitude of people
to be able to talk in all
their reputable organiza-
tions? You must be mad.
Yes, is the mimic men
gone mad. When they
finish self-destruct, the
vast multitude of the
citizens will talk. The un-
represented, the under-
represented, the nomin-
ally-represented, the badly-
represented or otherwise
disadvantaged, disposses-
sed and thorough disen-
chanted.


Vol. 5 No. ~16


.30 Cents


~,c~t'








PAGE 2 TAPIA SUNDAY APRIL 20, 1975
Michael Harris Looks At The Breakdown Of The Paris Oil Talks


And Sees,


IT should come as ao surprise to
anyone that the long awaited
Paris Conference between the Oil
Producers and the major Oil
Consumers which began on April
7. has broKen down in a stale-
mate-after the Americans with-
drew their delegation from the
Conference.
For the real issue at the
Conference is not and never was
simply one of Prices but rather
the realisation that once against
the time has come for a redivision
of the World and a reapportion-
ment of its real resources.
The issue over which the talks
broke down was the scope of the
proposed International Conference
between Oil Producers, the Industrial-
ised Countries of the West and the
non-oil producing countries of the
third-world. (One of the side-effects
of the whole "energy crisis" is that
the already inappropriate: division of
countries into developed and under-
developed becomes even more so.)
OPEC had insisted all along that
any such Conference should not
confine itself to the economics of oil
but should be widened to include a
discussion of all basic raw materials.
Their rationale was simple. What
OPEC was after was a long term re-
arrangement of the terms of trade
between the Industrial nations and the
Primary Producers based on the
concept of Indexing.
The Americans have been ada-
mantly and belligerently opposed to
any such widening of the issues. Their
belligerence is easily understandable.
As the greatest beneficiary of the pre-
1973 distributive process they have
the most to lose. By the same token
however, they are in the strongest
position to resist the challenges of the
Third World. They are more nearly
self-sufficient in oil than any other
Industrial Country arid in spite of
their current problems with the
demons of inflation and recession,
their economy is certainly more self-
sustaining than those of the other
Industrial Countries.
The basic strategies had been
formulated and articulated long in
advance of the Paris meeting. The
main concern of the Americans from
the time the "energy crisis" broke
in 1973 has been to break the
solidarity of O.P.E.C. The main thrust
in this effort was to drive prices
downward in the short run while
moving with haste to develop alterna-
tive energy supplies in the longer term.
When we remember that
America was, among the Industrialised
oil-consuming nations, in the best
position to weather the storm of
higher oil prices (they are more nearly
self-sufficient than any of the others,


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importing in 1973 just about 15% of
their oil requirements) then it becomes
clearer that America's adamant opposi-
tion to OPEC was prompted more by
a desire to discredit the example of
the oil-producers and forestall the
adoption of similar tactics by other
raw material producers.
In the event other Third World
countries were not slow to realise the
significance of the OPEC moves. For a
period of time producers of all sorts,
of raw materials were announcing
plans for closer association and con-
trol based on OPEC lines.
In many cases these hopes were
unrealistic. But even so organizations
of Bauxite, Banana and copper pro-
ducers do exist today in some viable
form. Equally as important, is the
impetus given by the example of the
Oil Producers towards third-world
countries demands for greater partici-
pation and control in the production
of their natural resources.
The fact remains however that
the fate of the Oil Producers is the
most critical factor in assessing the
prospects for any long term re-
arrangement in the control, produc-
tion and pricing of the World's
natural resources. The reasons are
obvious. No other raw material is so
vital to the economic well-being of the
Industrialised West as is oil and in no
other case, except possibly bauxite,
does one group of third world coun-
tries control such a vast share of the
world's supply.
Yet it is for precisely this reason
that America has been insisting that


any discussions between the Oil Pro-
ducers and Consumers be continued
strictly to the question of Oil while
OPEC on the other hand has been
advocating that the discussions en-
compass all raw materials.
To treat of oil alone is to confine
any agreements to oil alone leaving
existing arrangements intact as far as
the other raw materials are concerned.
To discuss all raw materials is almost
inevitably to lend to them an advant-
ageous position which by themselves
alone they cannot achieve.
Almost inevitably, because,
there is no way in which third-world
non-oil producing countries can be
excluded from the discussions, al-
though America first batted at the
idea, and their demands are certain
to be in league with those of the oil-
producers.
And the issues at any such dis-
cussion are not going to be resolved
by the weight or validity of economic
legal or moral arguments, but, like so
much else in International affair, by
the political strength of the different
parties.
So that the stalemate at the
Paris Conference and the withdrawal
of the American delegation means
nothing more or less than that the
poker game is now being played in
deadly earnest.
The fact is that the Americans
need the discussion as much as anyone.
They cannot afford to jeopardise
their painfully constructed strategy
by removing themselves from the
arena of decision-making. They have
achieved considerable

ing together with the Western Euro-
pean Countries and Japan to form a
"consumers cartel".
They have gotten their partners
in the cartel to agree, through the
medium of the International Energy
Agency, (their brain-child) to reduc-
tion in consumption (of imported oil)
.by some 2 million barrels per day.
They have also been able to get the
Industrialised countries to establish a
$25. billion reshuffling scheme. So
that on the face of it the Industrial-
ised oil-consumers are presenting a
solid front with machinery to relieve
members suffering undue hardships.
But very real differences still
exist between America and the other
Industrialised countries having to do
with their capacities to withstand pro-
longed embargoes or other militant
steps on the part of the oil-producers.
It is doubtful that the European
countries and Japan would be prepared
to see the. present indeterminate
situation, in which their consumption
is abnormally low, their balance-of-
payments deficits with the oil pro-
ducers still abnormally large and their
whole economies unsettled, go on for
any extended period of time without
some attempt to resolve the basic
issues.
So that America plays the
"Angry Giant" at the risk of seeing
the cartel break up and its members
scramble once again to treat with the
oil producers on an individual basis.
Yet it is a risk that is probably
well worth taking for a short while
particularly in view of the fact that the
OPEC members are facing the most
serious test to their solidarity at this
time.
There are two main problems
facing OPEC currently. The first is
the erosion in their income brought
about by inflation in the value of the
main international currencies, part-
icularly the U.S. dollar in which they
receive their oil payments. They have
already given the undertaking that oil
prices will remain uncharged through
to September.
Side by side with the erosion of
real earnings is the question of the
"oil glut." This question is more
fraught with danger. It is important to
understand precisely why a glut has
emerged. The glut stems in part from
the deliberate reduction in consump-
tion on the part of the Industrialised,
countries mentioned above.
But the more significant reason
is the sheer inability at many coun-
tries, particularly amongst non-oil
producing Third World countries, to
buy the amounts of oil they need at
current prices.
What this latter fact points to of
course is the failure of the OPEC
countries generally and the Interna-
tional agencies to arrange meaningful
Continued on Back Page


THE Caribbean Com-
munity Secretariat in
conjunction with the
International T r a d e
Commission (UNCTAD/
GATT) is holding a train-
ing seminar for Caricom
Trade Commissioners,
Commercial attaches and
Trade Officials from
Monday 21 April to
Friday May 2 in Port-of-
Spain.
The opening session
will include a lecture on


"Development of the
Caricom region and
Prospects for the future."
The lecture will be
delivered by Mr. Alister
McIntyre Secretary/
General of Caricom.
Economists from
both the Government and
Private sectors have been
invited to attend. Pro-
ceedings get underway at
10.00 a.m. April 21 at the
Kapok Hotel in Maraval.


THE BEST PLACE TO BUY BOOKS


ANY KIND OF


/S Stephens
PORT OF SPAIN SANFERNANDO


Caricom Secretariat


Holds


Training Seminar.


I










N -NA I AI:


LEAVE DE DAMN




DICTATOR


CLUTCHING a sheaf of anguished letters
from party groups and concerned "citizen
bodies" pleading that he should break his
silence, the Prime Minister journeyed to Point
Fortin on Friday 11 to put his case to the
nation. Only on the Wednesday before had
the Cabinet intervened in the months-long
industrial dispute, sending in the Army and
Police to commandeer supplies of fuel im-
mobilized by the withdrawal of the services of
Trintoc and NP tankwagon drivers, and there-
by rescuing the country from a near total col-
lapse of motorized transport and pulling us
back from the brink of a complete shutdown.
Buoyed- by the knowledge of that good.
deed, and satisfied that the nation had had
ample opportunity to dip our finger in the
wound, Williams duly and dutifully answered
the urgent call from his party loyals in the
Caribbean petro-metropolis of P'int Fortin.
But beyond the maddening shortages of gaso-
lene and kerosene and domestic gas and sugar that
the workers' actions had created, there lay the vexed
issues of our relationship with the foreign corpora-
tions, of our relationship with nationally-owned
enterprise and of the relationships among ourselves
in terms of equality of r wards and opportunity.
The concerted struggles of the oil and sugar
workers had also given promise of an enduring
breach in the barriers that for so long have divided
Indian and African. Moreover, the issues surrounding
the challenge by the Cane Farmers Trade Union to
Act 1 of 1965, and those surrounding the legality of
the ULF march/procession of March 18, raised con-
siderations of the deepest constitutional import,
throwing into stark 'relief the thorny problems of
fundamental rights and freedoms.
Above all, this confrontation seems to be yet'
another step on the road to civil war which the
nation had travelled over the course of the February
Revolution. Taken together with an outpouring of
views and expressions from individuals and organisa-
tions alike, perhaps unequalled since the introduction
of the Public Order Bill in 1970, it pointed directly
to the absence of a valid Parliament where legitimate
conflicts among community interests, could be arbi-
trated in peace and with goodwill.


MANIPULATIVE


A nation long grown weary of unceasing con-
flict retained a last flickering hope that this time
there would be an attempt to come to grips with the
deep-seated roots of the crisis. But this was not to be.
Stubborn and unbending as ever, woefully
unresponsive to our people's deepest yearnings, the
Prime Minister could only regale us with the latest
symptoms of the crisis viz. the Guardian headline
the next morning "$200m. lost through unrest.
Balance of payments in serious position PM". At
best he could offer us only short-term, hastily-
contrived palliatives viz. the Express headline -
"Govt takes over all of Texaco's Gas Stations".
Frustrating whatever noble hopes the remnant
of his party faithful may still have held out for him,
Williams chose rather to be recklessly manipulative,
never seeking once to measure up to our deeply felt
need for a new order of peace and justice, but playing
crudely on our self-interest, narrowly conceived, con-
temptuously inviting us to let the devil take the
hindmost, and this at a time when sugar workers and
cane farmers and oil workers had demonstrated at
heroic cost the possibilities of co-operative struggle
and sacrifice.
Tragically out of touch with the country's
aspirations, the Prime Minister could not but choose
to be the spokesman of darkness and despair, to
attempt to drown our dearest hopes in a froth of
spurious statistics and schoolboy analysis.
For Williams, despair and self-doubt have been


elevated from the level of personal shortcomings to
that of urgent political imperatives. He needs them to
survive. So that his insistence that we are "easy
people, easily satisfied, quick to anger, quick to
reconciliation", despite its superficial benignity, is
less a fatal misreading of our mood, than it is a
desperate attempt to undermine our self-confidence..
Similarly, while his stance that Trinidad and
Tobago is "the weakest link in the international
petroleum chain" derives from an inherent defensive-
ness and an almost congenital sense of inferiority, it
also serves to justify his refusal to seek effective
control of the petroleum corporations, in a context
where, for one thing, he lacks the political support
vital to the success of any such move.
That is the downward spiral in which the Little
King is caught, in which he is compelled to make a
necessity out of every vice, with what dangerous
consequences for the people of Trinidad and Tobago
we shall soon see.
The build-up to the Point Fortin speech and the
format of the occasion betray the cold calculation of
his own interests which characterized the Prime
Minister's entire approach. Having carefully orches-
trated the expressions of support from his party-
groups, Williams finally agreed to address the nation
in response to a request from party, stalwarts to
speak in Point Fortin. As further demonstration of
the solidarity of the party, in response to the PNM
San Fernando constituency groups he consented to
address a public meeting there on the following
Sunday.
At Point itself, he was welcomed by the local
party leaders, and cheered by placard-waving party
supporters. At a more elaborate level of calculation,
the confrontation of industrial interests, and the
attendant distress of the public, had been allowed to


Way He





Do He










Well Do.


proceed to just that crucial point where his Govern-
ment's intervention would appear toe the large
majority of people to be mercifully messianic.
Finally, realizing the failure of his dinner-time
TV-Radio expositions to excite any real interest, the
Prime Minister opted for the "live" format of an
afternoon, political speech at a busy intersection,
broadcast to the nation as we "rolled home"
courtesy the Army/Police Petroleum Service. So
elaborately stage-managed was it, that it is no wonder
it so emphatically fell flat. Dead. Tepid applause. No
vital connection. Entirely lacking in spontaneity, it
therefore lacked the warmth necessary to kindle and
sustain in us any fresh hope.
The speech offered "urgent practical measures"
and was replete with hints of more to come. Ever
concerned with stability and the "climate for
investment", the Chamber of Commerce welcomed it
as what the nation had been anxiously awaiting. No
doubt it also satisfied those political infants who had
been taken in by Prevatt's attempt to debunk Tapia's
Senate statement which posed as the first priority the
need to fashion an agency capable of distilling the
national consensus from among the multiplicity of
constituent interests.


TINKERING



Now the Prime Minister was advancing those
practical solutions which Mr. Prevatt had found
lacking in Tapia's "sincere" presentation. But if it is
one thing we have learnt over the course of the
February Revolution, it is that a crisis of the entire
order can in no way respond to a little patching up
here and a little tinkering there. As C.L.R. James put
it over 40 years ago:
"Governors and governed stand on either side of a gulf
which no tinkering will bridge, and political energy is
diverted into other channels or simply runs to waste...
(The Case for West-Indian Self-Government. p.32)
We have been through this business of take-
overs and negotiations to take over too many times
before. We have learnt how to read beyond the head-
lines, and how to discern the crude, pragmatic intent
behind these moves. And we cannot now be taken in
by cynical half-measures and attempts to buy our
sympathy with sweettalk about our "right to a decent
life" and tra-la-la. No, not this bunch of transients,
not after nineteen long and painful years.
The speech also demonstrated that when it
comes to the matter which has excited the most
urgent public interest, the question of national con-
trol of the petroleum industry, Williams prefers to
lead us on a trail of confusion that reaches from
Abu Dhabi to Indonesia. There is no attempt to open
ap the issues, as they relate to Trinidad and Tobago,
fairly and squarely. Playing on our ignorance, he
pretends to a familiarity with events world-wide that
reveals only his contempt for the potential of this
country and the crashingly colonial and conventional
cast of his mind.
What kind of negotiations can we expect with
Texaco on the question of participation, if we start
from the defeatist perspective that this country is the
"weakest link in the international petroleum chain"?
Concluding his garbled review of the world oil
situation, Williams almost sighs with relief when he
says that "this would have been the worst time for
dealing with the Trinidad situation where nobody
would have cared what happened to Trinidad and
Tobago" because our output of petroleum is so
small. Praise be for falling prices and Dr. Kissinger's
counter-offensive. And so on to the inescapable
conclusion that we cannot live without the corpora-
tions, a conclusion bolstered, of course, by the
inevitable colonial's crutch of an outside reference:
"If Indonesia could do it, we could do it too".
Again we see here Williams' political technique
of attempting to crush us with our own weakness, of
feeding our sense of impotence and our conviction
of smallness and backwardness in order to cover-up



































the colossal incompetence of his Government. Wil-
liams has survived for two decades by systematic -
ally denying us the information we need to make
proper judgments. (And he knows what he is doing;
that is why he shrewdly concedes in private that
Tapia, enjoying no multitudinous following but equip-
ped with: vehicles of genuine political education, is
the most revolutionary torce in the country.)
He is now gambling that we are too stupid to
know that if today we, or Abu Dhabi or what have
you, find it difficult to exercise effective control
over our natural resources, that has nothing to do
with a pre-ordained state of nature, and everything
to do with our own failure to take the necessary
steps to prepare ourselves for effective control.
Trinidad has been in the oil business since
1911. Williams has presided over our destinies for
twenty of those years. Why is it today we not only
lack a corps of men and women trained in the skills
needed to monitor, control, take charge of, oil, but
even worse, we have no notion of what kind of skills
we need to harness to create the basis for control?
The fundamental dishonesty of Williams'
position is revealed by his treatment of the question
of accountability. "If there is one area in which the
Government has fallen down, it is on the question of
public accountability for funds that belong to the
public." So plead guilty to the lesser charge of man-
slaughter in order to escape being tried for murder.
Tapia has consistently pointed out that there is
no accounting in the Consolidated Fund for revenues
from State investments. When it was appropriate to
respond to our query on this state of affairs during the
.Budget Debate, there was only contemptuous silence.
Now it is being dragged out in a futile attempt to
divert public attention from even graver sins of omis-
sion and commission, and in a destructively short-
sighted effort to further undermine the independence
of the University.
In fact, the drive to undermine independent
institutions such as the University and in the mass
media is directly related to Williams' fervent wooing



Tapia




Meeting









I)I IIM


7.30 pm.


of foreign corporations. Since the people no longer
gladly hear him, he must seek now to construct
alternative pillars of support. Far from warning
against the baneful influence of the corporations, as
he sought to do in his September 1973 "Farewell"
address, he has so turned his face around that he now
sees his future as being inextricably linked to the
fortunes of Kaiser and Tenneco and Grace. Even in
agriculture he can trust no one but the MNC's.
The absence of trust and love points toward the
second element in his strategy for survival increas-
ing repression. Anticipating Senator Inskip Julien's
April 15 call for a "benevolent dictatorship", Wil-
liams teased his Point Fortin and nationwide audience
with the prospect of a more authoritarian system of
things. "What happened in Trinidad and Tobago
would not have happened in any other Third World
country producing oil, except one .... It demon-
strates the tremendous freedom we have in this
country If you want ie freedoms we have, this
is the price you have to pay. If you find the price too
high, then you will have to do something about it."
Further, the calling out of the Army and
Police had not been meant to break any strike, but
merely to relieve public suffering. "Have your dis-
pute, but don't let the community suffer from it",
was the benevolent admonition. And as if expecting
many such calls as Senator Julien's, the Prime Min-
ister announced -that a special corps of engineers
would be established within the Protective Services
to run essential services "in case of emergency".
So, smoothly, benevolently, the Military are
introduced as a Public Utility, a pillar of the-regime,
and the Doctor bids for yet another role in a long and
distinguished career that of military strongman,
The next time the "obstructionists" stage a march,
the first thousand of them will be shot.
Battling desperately for his survival, and almost
totally devoid of popular support, the Little King
offers his perspective for a benevolent dictatorship
he needs to survive; the benevolence is what he needs
to sell it. So that, in addition to offering a guarantee
against disruptions of essential services in the future,
the case is strengthened by many fringe benefits -
headlines drawn from Tapia's New World of radical
reconstruction local government, Constitution
Reform, National Debate, National Wage Bargaining.
But they are headlines only, or at most dis-
torted and stunted versions of programmes and


proposals that offer to the people of Trinidad and
Tobago genuine participation and equality in their
political, social and economic lives. So that to create -
a State monopoly of gasolene stations simply places
ever more levers of control over jobs, over revenue
in the hands of whoever has the state.
By itself, State ownership offers no qualitative
change to the lives of ordinary men and women. A
genuinely radical perspective, however, points to the
need to divest in favour of a rationally-ordered
system of taxi-co-ops. Similarly with the distribution
of domestic gas. Or take the case of wage.bargaining
on a national basis. The Tapia proposals for Annual
National Wage Bargaining conducted in the context
of an expanded Senate seek to create a mechanism
which can accommodate a variety of interests in the
pursuit of equality, justice and fair-play.
Further, the proposal makes sense only in rela-
tion to Tapia's other proposals for full employment,
localisation, and for minimum wages and maximum
rewards. In that context, the contest between manage-
ment and workers, capital and labour is entirely
transformed.
On the contrary, Williams' musings about
"wage-fixing machinery to cover all essential indus-
tries" and so avoid confusion and dislocation, smack
entirely of fascist control and repression; of the ISA
and the IRA. Tapia's Senate is truncated to the
suggestion of introducing "citizens bodies" into the
process of wage-fixing, presumably to act as a
counter-weight to the unions, and then there is the
absurd question whether "it is possible to find some
reconciliation with the public interest not lost while
workers get their just due?" As if workers were not
the public too.
No, the benevolent dictatorship will not resolve
the contradictions that lie beneath the recurring
crises we have endured; it will not resolve them
because it has not resolved them over the nineteen
years. It does not even promise a trade-off between
efficiency and freedom. It is nothing but a pernicious
plan fow -destruction and repression, which is all its
author knows now.
It is high time we swept him away with all his
wicked works, and cleared the way for a genuinely
new order, bringing with it a new morality of power,
a cultural revival, social and racial peace and sweeping
economic reorganization. In a word, Participatory
Democracy.


SAN FERNANDO FOWN HALL

THURSDAY 24th APRIL













,r*ig Chamberlain

NOT long after the Carib-
bean island of Grenada,
strikebound and bank-
rupt, became indepen-
dent from Britain last
year, Prime Minister
Eric Gairy, self-styled
mystic and servant of the
lord, erected a 16-foot
high luminous cross on a
hill overlooking the
capital, St. George's.
So far however, neither
it nor the occult forces
which Mr. Gairy says
govern his every action
have managed to bring
much salvation to Grena-
da's 110,000 people, who
remain as firmly as ever
subject to the whim of
their bizarre dictator.
Mr. Gairy is still passion-
ately involved in his daily war
against the "enemies of
progress" as he dubs all his
opponents. There have been
surface alterations. The
police aidshave "disappeared"
into the islands's army and
into the regular police as a
"field arm." But their func-
tions remain the same and
the arrests, beatings, searches
and shootings and the
paysterious fires which re-
gularly consume the houses
and property of Mr. Gairy's
opponents continue in spite
of the denunciations by
many regional political and
religious organizations outside
the island.


ZEAL


A typical victim was
Eugene Rose, a police sergeant
who testified against the
Prime Minister before the
Duffus Commission. Not
long afterwards, Gairy agents
burst into his home and
savagely beat him. He was
blinded for life.
Mr. Gairy likes to warn in
his speeches of the new
"zeal and enthusiasm" of his
police against what he calls
"nonsense" in an attempt to
intimidate the moderately
radical New Jewel Movement
(NJM), a "godless group of
subversives" to Mr. Gairy,
who were prominent in the
pre-independence unrest.
The fact is, however, there


Maurice Bishop
falling into the trap?


is still no effective opposition
to the regime of the eccentric
Mr. Gairy, who has dominated
the 120-square-mile spice
island's political life for a
quarter of a century.
All his opponents, radical
or conservative, young or old,
failed to co-ordinate or define
their aims clearly during the
revolt against him on the
eve of independence. Thus,
and playing by rules which
Mr. Gairy never recognized,
they were easily out-
manoeuvred by him. Their
movement collapsed.
Today, The New Jewel
Movement, although as har-
rassed as ever by fires and
arrests, seems to be still falling
into this trap. It has an-
nounced it may fight Mr.
Gairy at the polls, although
it admits that when elections
take place, they are likely to
be "arranged"by Mr. Gairy in
time-honoured fashion. Previ-
ously, the NJM, which
believes in building political
awareness at the grassroots,
rejected such elections as
"old politics" which could
change nothing because of
the system they were part of.

OPPOSITION

The traditional middle
class opposition has weakened
too since Independence. The
gentlemanly but ineffectual
leadership of the lone opposi-


tion member of Parliament,
the former Premier, Mr.
Herbert Blaize, and his
Grenada National Party, is
now contested by the break-
away United People's Party,
led by a young surgeon in his
late thirties, Dr. Ethelstan
Friday.
But, as ever, none of these
leaders are any match for
the raucous charm of the
handsome, foppish 53-year-
old Mr. Gairy and the potent
mixture of mysticism, thug-
gery and corruption with
which he has long mesmerised
his unsophisticated rural base
of support. Grenadians as a
whole seen to have sunk back
into small-island inertia and a
passivity instilled by 300
years of colonialism, a men-
tality which Mr. Gairy has
always exploited to his great
advantage.
The businessmen in the
towns fought him hard. Many
of them were ruined by the
nontha of abortive strikes in
the unrest of just over a year
ago. But now they have come
to heel in a pragmatic effort
to cut their losses. Mr. Gairy
has flatly rejected the Duffus
Commission's recommenda-
tion that he compensate them
for the looting of their shops
by the secret police.


ARREARS

He couldn't pay them any-
way. The treasury is still
'very bare. Tourism is slowly
recovering, and the current
high world prices of two of
the island's major export
crops, nutmegs and cocoa,
are helping. But the govern-
ment is still months in arrears
in paying teachers and civil
servants. Unemployment has
been put as high as 60 per
cent.
Much less is there any
money for development, even
road repairs. Mr. Gairy's
preference has always been
for expenditure on such items
as flower gardens and cocktail
parties and luminous
crosses.


He has managed to wring
some small financial aid from
Guyana, Trinidad and
Jamaica. But his recent quiet
diversion of 250,000 sterling
of British Development Aid
to pay government workers
and secret police got him
into a row with Britain.
London is now exercising
tighter control over the
money.

AID

Nothing has yet come
of his hasty diplomatic
links with Peking, though he
says he has been promised
extensive aid by South Korea
of all places. What he is
pinning most of his hopes on
is making Grenada a tax haven
this year. But few Grenadians,
in view of their Prime Min
ister's connections in New
York, believe his assurances
that he will keep the opera-
tion out of the hands of the
Mafia and their allies who
have found it so easy to
entrench themselves in other
Caribbean islands through
blackmail over the small and
.dependent economies.

OIL

Mr. Gairy's-other panacea
- and fantasy is oil. Six
weeks ago, he had his ambas-
sador to the United Nations
hold a Press Conference in New


TAPIA PAGE 3


Eric Gairy
presiding over Paradise


York to declare that there
were "clear indications" that
reserves of five billion barrels
lay off the island's picturesque
beaches. He is now waiting
for offers.
In the meantime, Mr.
Gairy busies himself as
vigorously as ever with such
details as ordering ties and
blazers to be worn in the
island's schools against all
logic of climate and poverty
- though well in step with
the colonial attitudes he
claims to have cast aside -
deciding what hymns school-
children shall sing every
morning and lecturing the
nation on "the proper pattern
of behaviour."
"This is the Garden of
Eden, "he likes to tell visitors
and journalists with a cosmic
smile, "and I have been
chosen by God to rule it. "


WE LEAD THE FIGHT AGAINST


INFLATION


oISM.aiEt.


26g. Corrugated


Galvanise Sheets 6-12

At $1.22 per ft

Plastic Laminate Sheets
4-81lmm

At $26.00 per Sheet.


U Pic. 4 U i-^P' S .-**.I.y ^.


Phone: 62-32176,62-38372
652-2303.
56-60 CHARLOTTE ST. P.O.S.
POINT-a-PIERRE RD., SAN F'OO
99-10? EAST-':. Al i no- L' ?.


VA-0


SUNDAY APRIL 20, 1975



A Serpent In The





Garden Of Eden


ave Now On


I -- -


-- -~


-I--^-- ~ I~P~rr~l~;-Y*~yl-I.~."I)lm L( --IY~.VI-~--Il~-LI- r~-~N.~IP1UILII~


~Y~IPY~U-LII~Y


LC-~-CJ







PAGE 4 TAPIA


Lloyd King Comments Or


Student Folk

The Univer!


'Africans are found throughout the New World but there is no diaspora.


THE Student Folk Ballet Group
of the University of Havana
came to Trinidad at the invita-
tion of the U.W.I. Guild of
Undergraduates and made a large
impression on audiences at the
J.F.K. Theatre and on one night
in San Fernando.
What we saw was not the
full group, since some of the
members had remained in Cuba
to take, part in a more com-
petitive inter-University Festival
for which prizes are awarded.
The group's professionalism and
vitality were equally impressive and
contrasted with the approach to
cultural presentation of many of the
U.W.I. performers.
However, what I want to do
here is not to discuss the festival as
such but to convey some explana-
tions made to me by the Dance
Director of the main item in their
repertoire. It was called "El entierro
de la botija" The burial of the
treasure.


CONGOLESE


The story line behind the dance
is basically African and more specially
Congolese and the choreography is
traditional; that is, it is a reproduction
of a dance brought to Cuba from
Africa.
A word of explanation: the
African slaves carried to Cuba retained
a sense of tribal identity to an extent
not at all imaginable in the English
West Indies and the sense of distinc-
tiveness was reinforced in so far as
Spanish slavers were bringing in
Africans till the latter part of the
nineteenth century.
This meant as well that speakers of
West African languages straight out of
Africa were reinforcing cultural and
linguistic continuities.
Secondly, the Folk Ballet group
does not claim to be doing an
"African" dance, but a Cuban dance.
When Holly Betaudier comes on on
T.V. and tells us that some village
group is going to do an "African
dance", we know that what he means
is that they are going to do a routine.


based on dances they have seen in
Hollywood movies, Tarzan shows and
so on and not something with a
serious basis in tradition.
The Cubans on the other hand
are sure of the sources of their dances
and let it be said are not anxious to
stress African origins. They admit
African origins but are not interested
in seeing themselves as part of a
"Black diaspora."
It was stressed to me that although
this particular dance group was com-
posed only of blacks, this did not
mean that white dancers were ex-
cluded and in fact, the national Folk
Ballet group had white dancers.
Thirdly, the Cubans would not speak
of an "African dance" because of
their awareness of tribal differences,
and they can distinguish a Congo dance
from a Yoruba dance.
Now let us tell the story behind
the "Burial of the Treasure". A Congo
queen has an nganga. An nganga,
according to one Cuban ethnologist,
Lydia Cabrera, is a dead person, a
power who has a contract with a living
person to do their wishes. If you have
an nganga, you have the power to
exert magical influence.
In this case the nganga is a
magical object but according to the
congolese, if you keep an nganga in
your house, it will "eat up" your
strength or that of the youngest mem-
ber of your family. So the queen takes
it into the bush (el monte) to bury it.
Her husband, the king, who is
impotent, spies out the movements of
the queen and her retinue and sees the
hiding place of the nganga. He there-
fore digs up this treasure, the nganga, -
which invests him with potency and
strength. In the meantime the queen
has returned to her compound to
celebrate the end of harvest and the
fertility of the crops.
The king's actions have been
noted by one of the queen's followers,
who reports the theft of the nganga
to the queen and the king is challenged
and called upon to return the nganga
and warned of the damage it can do
to the tribe. Invested with his new
power and potency he refuses and the
queen sends out her warriors but they
are vanquished by the king.
The queen then calls on her
"ndoki", a kind of guardian spirit,
who attacks the king but is also


repulsed. The queen, however, has
extra magical resources, with which
she now invests the "ndoki", and he
lays the king low, recovers the nganga
and assures tribal health.
Without changing a step or a
movement, or altering a costume, this
folk opera (for there is much singing,
much of it, in a congolese'language)
the Folk Ballet as a socialist dance
group have worked out a somewhat
different storyline.

THE MORAL

A congo queen goes out to bury
a jar full of gold coins, a treasure
accumulated by the tribe as a result
of the harvest, which has been good.
This money is being saved up, because
the people are enslaved and the inten-
tiori is to buy the freedom of the
younger ones. (In Cuba slaves were
allowed to earn money and could
with patience save enough to buy
their freedom). Her husband spies out
where she has buried the money and
because he is driven by avarice (a
typical capitalist vice) he digs up the
jar to use the money for his own
amusement,,with the help of some of
his followers.
One of the queen's servants sees
him and goes back to report this to
the queen who is celebrating the end
of the harvest. The queen challenges
the king but he is strong and resolute
and even when his followers turn
against him, because being grasping
he shares very little of. the treasure
with them,he defeats them.
The queen calls upon a man


FOI


who is a close collaborator of hers and
in whom she has great confidence but
the king flings him back. Then the
queen injects a special courage into the
man pointing out that he is fighting
for the well-being of the group
against individual egoism and selfish-
ness, and he then engages the king and
strikes him down. He then recovers
the treasure for the common good
and in the interests of social harmony
effects a reconciliation between the
king and queen.
This was described as "sacando
la moraleja", this is to say that the
congo story is looked at with the idea
of finding the moral point of the tale
and reorganizing the story to suit.
What I would stress again is that
dance movements are not affected. I
was however unable to obtain a copy
of the lyrics which accompanied the
dance, a large part of which was in an
African, presumably congolese,
language. I was told that the singers
knew in a general way what they were
saying but did not know the meanings
of the Congolese words as such.
Why, one may ask, was a need
felt to change the story behind the
dance? The answer given was that
Cuba was now a socialist society, a
Marxist and materialist society and
therefore religious or magical mean-
ings were incompatible with artistic
conceptions.
The result is that a distinction
is therefore made between the dance,
as a specific series of movements and
possessed of a tremendous form and
vitality and content; in other words,
the original content is separated from
the original form and a new content


THE


I


--


IJUT




Mh'ok;AGE







IUL 20. 1975

The Performances Of


allet Group Of


tv Of Havana


TAPIA PAGE 5


The


Whatever the form the content must be essentially Cuban.


STAYS

THE


"free of mystifications" is married to
the original form. The form of the
folkloric dance is integrated into new
meanings.
In the building of a new socialist
society art must be didactic, must
reinforce moral points, in this case that
individual appetites must be subordi-
nated to the well being of the group.
To those people in this society
who perhaps walk around with
buttons marked "Jesus Loves Me",
and who might be offended by the
term "Materialist", a word of explana-
tion might be offered here, although
this will not leave them necessarily
less offended.
When a Cuban says that he is
materialist he means it in a philo-
sophical sense, that is fundamentally
that he rejects religious explanations
of the universe and religion as provid-
ing norms for the organization of
society. But as can be seen from the
"moral" story designed for the "Burial
of the Treasure", it is obvious that his
materialism is idealist in orientation.
He deliberately wishes to stress
the need for the common good over
against the lust for money or goods;
whereas the whole point about many
of the "Jesus loves me" button
wearers is that they are eaten up by
a concern for their own material
security. They are in fact the ones
who are crude materialists but their
church-going and preaching effectively
hide their true nature from them.
Secondly, if we judge from this
instance, it would appear that Cuban
Marxist materialism is proceeding
within the norms of what I would
call old-fashioned Western rationalism,


a rationalism which not only under-
mined strictly religious conceptions
but has been hostile to all forms of
what one must vaguely call "psychic
life".
Such a rationalism would be
unable to tolerate the notion of secret
forces of nature as implied in the
"nganga" and "ndoki".

DIFFERENCES

I would suggest that the Congolese
version of the "Burial of the Treasure"
is emotionally more satisfying and
aesthetically more appealing than the
socialist version although the latter
may be more morally uplifting. But
first of all it may be useful to indicate
some ways in which the stories are
totally different.
First of all, it is evident that the
Congolese story derives from a tribal
situation in which there is matriarchal
domination. In effect the king's
sexual impotence is really a correlate
of his political impotence.
The "nganga" is nothing other
than the symbol of power which the
women must both control and conceal
because the men must be subordinate
but at the same time must not be
reduced to the status of eunuchs,
because fertility must be assured. The
king, however, because of his position,
and his potential position as leader
of a male revolt, must be kept im-
.potent.
It is not accidental that the
queen is accompanied only by female
companions when she goes into the
bush to bury the treasure, the nganga.


The rest of the story shows the queen
marshalling the men of the tribe
against the king on the ground that
possession of the nganga will damage
the tribe.
Chaos and disorder will result,
or at least this is the mytn propagated
by the matriarchy because its own
position is now threatened. The queen
wins out because she has superior
psychic resources. The story shows
how matriarchal dominance reasserts
itself.
I want to suggest further that
this persistence of this Congolese story
and the interpretation I am suggesting
is not particularly surprising if seen in
the light of one of the primary facts
of Caribbean sociology, namely that
one of the effects of slavery was to
entrench female dominance of the
black family as is so readily suggested
by the reference in the West Indies to
"my mother who fathered me". The
Congolese story is an episode in a
universal theme, The "Battle" of the
Sexes.
Now, Cuban socialism probably
does not recognize the so-called "battle
of the sexes" as a universal form of
conflict at all but most likely as a
function of bourgeois economic organ-
ization, in which the dominant and
the dominated must be at war.
Apart from this, it is possible to
say that Cuban society is dominated
by intensely male images, while at the
same time to note that Cuban women
have been freed from the Latin
American ethos of a passive role.
If my suggestion that the dance
entitled "El entierro de la botija" is
in its origins a matriarchal myth, based
on a "battle of the sexes" theme, then
the very form of the dance must
reflect this. It therefore seems to me
that to seek to retain the form in every
detail and substitute a new content
subjects the form to a certain amount
of strain.
For example, although the tribe
is supposed to be saving the gold
coins to buy the freedom of its
younger members, the fact is that in
this sequence of the dance, the queen
is accompanied by women only when
she goes to bury the treasure.
When the king gets the treasure,
he can only seek out men to celebrate
with, and the queen only gets the
men to turn against him because he is
mean in sharing. While the nganga in
the first version invests the king with


new strength, in the second version
the king shows this strength "because
after all he is a king". (These are the
words of the Dance Director).
And of course without the
powerful symbols implied by the
nganga and ndoki, the "African"
content is drained. Leave out the
reference to the Congolese and black
performers are only logical because in
Cuba, blacks were the ones who were
slaves.
S All of this has to do with the
objectives of Cuban nationalist social-
ism. Firstly since the Marxist view of
racism prevails, namely that it is the
result of unjust economic conditions
and unequal opportunity, then since
such conditions have been abolished
it follows that skin colour is now
considered a biological accident.

SOCIALIST VIEW

Secondly Cultural beliefs and
conceptions must conform to a
socialist-rationalist world-view and
therefore the only roots a Cuban is
expected to seek are the roots of his
Cuban-ness. There is no attempt to
repress the fact that Cuban blacks
came from Africa, but they are not
expected to think of themselves as
part of a black diaspora.
The ultimate aim is to make of
Cuba a truly tribal society with shared
values but without cultural differentia-
tion. Thus a term like "afrocuban"
which once had a certain currency is
no longer appreciated.
I do not think, for example,
that the Cubans would do like Prime
Minister Burnham of Guyana ana
legalize obeah. They simply take it
that Cuba has passed that stage, since
obeah would be seen as a defensive
mechanism mobilized by poor and
dispossessed Cubans as a solace
against a vicious economic system.
Since that vicious economic system
has been eliminated, then obeah is
irrelevant, which is not to say that
obeah men are persecuted; unless they
show hostility to the Revolution that
is, and that applies to anybody.
Similarly, practices such as the
"African" style marriages encouraged
here by NJAC would not be regarded
with too much favour, and it is difficult
to imagine young black Cubans in-
terested in something like it. They are
on a different scene.


CH-A-N~lES


- I ----


, ~ ~ i ~ .__f


I







PAGE 6 TAPIA SUNDAY APRIL 20, 1975


That Mental Health Bill Has A Vicious


Jacques FarmT-er

FHE Government has just
publishedd a Bill which
)oses the most insidious
threat to the freedom of
he people of this country
;ince the notorious Public
)rder Bill.
The Bill looks innocent
enough. It is said, in its
)reamble, to be "an Act
or the admission, care,
treatment of persons who
ire mentally ill and for
natters connected there-
vith and incidental
hereto." We are, there-
ore, going to be told, no
loubt, that the Act is a
'long overdue measure to
Update" the laws relat-
ng to the treatment of
nental patients.
No doubt the laws relating
o the treatment of mental
patientss ought to be brought
ip to date even though we
ave the habit of making laws
without having any idea of how
hey will work, since in this
country it is no argument
against anything to say that it
ill not work. No doubt we are
oing to be told by the medical
profession that something must
e done to ensure "proper
supervision" of the mentally
1. But.
But tucked away in the
lill there is a section (s.13)
ihich says as follows:-
(1) A person found wander-
ing at large on a highway or in
any public place and who by
reason of his appearance, eon-
duct or conversation, a mental
health officer has reason to
believe is mentally ill or in
need of observation in a psychia-
tric hospital, or ward may be
taken into custody and con-
veyed to such hospital or ward
for admission in accordance
with this section.
....... (4) A person who has
been admitted to a psychiatric
hospital or ward under subsec-
tion (2) shall not be kept there-
in for more that (sic) seventy-
two hours unless on examina-
tion the Psychiatric Hospital
Director or the duly authorised
medical officer is satisfied that
the person is in need of further
care and treatment.
(5) Where the Psychiatric Hos-
pital Director is satisfied that a
person to whom subsection (4)
applies is in need of further
care and treatment in a psychia-
tric hospital or ward, the person
shall be deemed to be a medically
recommended patient and all
the provisions of this Act relat-
ing to a medically recommended
patient shall apply to which a
person.


(6) A police officer shall, if
required by a mental health
officer render such assistance
as may be necessary for the
apprehension and safe convey-
ance to a psychiatric hospital
or ward of a person referred to
in subsection(1)."
Even though it will be pro-
tested that this is not the
intention, the effect of this
provision is virtually going to
grant to the State a licence
to lock up anybody for a
period of at least seventy-two
hours who happens to be on
the street at any time, part-
icularly when there are not
many other persons about.
What is meant by "wandering
at large on a highway or in
any public place"? How is it
going to be decided whether a
person is in fact "wandering at
large"? The Bill gives the power
to the "mental health officers"
to decide this. The mental
health officers are people
designated as such by the Min-
ister of Health in accordance
with s. 58 of the Bill. It means
that, if you decide to take a
stroll through Port-of-Spain
simply in order to look at its
buildings or its scenery or its
people and, worse, if you
decide to take a walk at five
o'clock in the morning to see
what the country looks like
when everybody else is asleep
you are likely to attract the
attention of a mental health
officer who will no doubt
consider that you are "wander-
ing at large".
Your situation is:going to be
even more serious if you have
a tendency to talk to yourself
or to talk nonsense generally
because the mental health
officer is going to find that
your "conversation" makes
you sound suspiciously as
though you are mad; if your
clothes are dirty, or eccentric,
or not quite in accordance
with what a mental health
officer considers regular, decent
or proper then alas, your
"appearance" will condemn
you in the eyes of the mental
health officer as a lunatic.
If the mental health officer
thinks that you are behaving
in a fashion of which he does
not quite approve because you
talk too loudly or gesticulate
too much or alternate your
walking between fast and slow
or shout too persistently if
you want a taxi, then alas,
with your beard, or drooping


Sting In The Tail


mustache or dirty clothes you
are certain to be picked up and
held for seventy-two hours
while the "Psychiatric Hospital
Director or a duly authorized
medical officer" decides that
you are in need of mental
treatment.
If you object that you are
perfectly sane it dosen't
matter; the "mental health
officer" thinks otherwise. He
can call a policeman and
physically compel you to
accompany him. If you resist
you will be "assaulting a police
officer in the execution of
his duty". If the medical
officer, during the seventy-two
hours, decides, after all, that
nothing is wrong with you, it
is no big thing: you walked,'
talked, looked, behaved your-
self as though you were mad,
so why shouldn't the medical
officer have a policeman grab
you and take you in? The
section specifically says that
"A person shall not be liable to
any suit or action in respect of
any act done pursuant to the
provisions of this section, if he
acted in good faith and on
reasonable grounds."
What on earth could pos-
sibly be the intention of such
a provision? It is not the busi-
ness of this article to enquire
what that might be; one sus-
pects that the answer would
be given that there are just
too many people roaming about
the place who need medical
attention and who cannot be
treated because the hospitals
have no power to compel them
to submit to treatment. But
the effect,not the intention,
is what matters.
That may or may not be so;
but if it is, it is far, far more
desirable that there should be
people going about who are in
need of medical treatment
than that the whole Com-
munity should be exposed to
the risk of being arbitrarily
locked up because somebody
disagrees with, or disapproves
of his standards of conduct,
mode of dress and style of
speaking or of his eccentrici-
ties of behaviour: what good
is it going to be to anybody to
sue for wrongful imprison-
ment when the mental health
officer is going to be able
protect himself by getting into


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a witness box and saying that
he really thought you were
mad?
Even if a court would not
itself, from the evidence, con-
clude that there was good
reason for the detention, the
court would be powerless to
award compensation if the
metal health officer genuine-
ly thought he had reason to,
suspect insanity and could
offer evidence about the dress,
conduct, wandering about etc.,
etc.
Notice also that the mental
health officer does not even
need to think that you're
insane; it is sufficient, also, if
he thinks that you are "in
need of observation in a
psychiatric hospital or ward".
How does he decide this, as
distinct from deciding that you
look mentally ill? Must he take
you in if he thinks you need to
have a few tranquillizers? And
then, when you are taken in,
on the word alone of a "duly
authorized medical officer" or
of the Psychiatric Hospital
Director you can be detained.
Nobody who has had any
experience of how things are
done in the medical services
could fail to shiver at that.
Why, really, are these powers
at all necessary?
Why should a citizen be
exposed to detention because


of what a mental health officer
thinks about him? The mental
health officer may be quite
genuine in his suspicion but
why should anybody be de-
tained upon the suspicion of
anybody else however genuine
that suspicion is?
The Bill does not say that
you can be detained if, with
your odd speech, appearance
and conduct you appear to be
threatening the safety of
another member of the public.
No danger to the Community
is necessary for the mental
health officer to detain you.
If, indeed, there is such a
danger and a threat is actually
made by a person suspected of
being insane adequate powers
exist for dealing with the
situation.

There are other objections
to the Bill but these will be
dealt with in a later article
because the obnoxious section
13 (well numbered) is so
dangerous that it ought to be
dealt with apart from the rest
of the Bill. If people are at
all concerned about their rights
- and the outcry over the
Public Order Bill suggests that
they are then an outcry
ought to be raised against this
Bill of as great volume and
intensity as greeted the Public
Order Bill.


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FOOD CROP





PRODUCTION





MUST BECOME
RCabbages i the field...... disease is also a problem.



)UIR N IMBER ONE ONCRNNOWN


VEGETABLE farmers
or market gardeners have
been complaining in the
last few weeks about the
raw deal they are getting
from the Central Market-
ing Agency.
Two problems present
themselves immediately, 1)
the cost of production is
high and 2) there seems to
be no incentive for the
market gardener.
If suitable and relevant
technology were introduced
to increase productivity and
minimise the inefficiency and
wastage which now occurs
production costs would
decrease.
Methods n6w used in
market gardening are ex-
tremely antiquated (hoe and
cutlass to scratch the earth,
buckets for irrigation, spray-
ing plant by plant and so on)
and we must move into the
20 Century.
This does not mean large
machines or complete mechan-
isation but certainly we can
follow the lead of the Chinese
who have increased productiv-
ity and efficiency by educat-
ing the farmers, organising
land and food production
generally and introducing
small scale technology.


SUBSIDIES

Once market gardening is
made cheap and efficient we
can deal with the question
of incentives for the small
farmer. Realistic guaranteed
prices can be one such incen-
tive. Another incentive can
take the form of subsidies.
The mechanics of this can be
worked out on some rational
basis. It may be on the
basis of the quantity of goods
produced; equipment neces-
sary for cultivation and pro-
duction, materials such as
seeds, fertilizer and so on.
Subsidies based on any
combination of the factors
listed above would be a
tremendous boost to the
market gardener and to food
production in general. How-
ever, once food production
is mentioned issues larger
than costs and incentives
have to be raised.
It becomes necessary to
ask, in the first place whether
there is any *active policy
towards food production at
all. Market gardeners, for
instance receive little guidance
from the ministry of Agricul-


ture on what to plant, in
what quantity and so on.
As a result food production
is often irrational and
anarchistic.
Last year there was an
over-supply of cabbages; there
is again an over-supply this
year. In past years we have
often had shortages. Toma-
toes are plentiful this season.
Last year around Christmas
there was a shortage. There
was an over-supply of pigeon
peas in 1968 but in 1972
and 73 we imported pigeon
peas from Africa.


RATIONALISATION

And so it goes. Obviously
food production cannot con-
tinue in this haphazard way.
We must rationalize food
production and to do this
we must rationalize the entire
agricultural sector.
The realistic aim of a
national agricultural policy
would be to meet a major
part of our food requirements
to bring our nation as close
as possible towards self-
sufficiency in food.
And if we are to concen-
trate on growing more food
for consumption at home
then we have to make some
decisions with regard to the
Sugar Industry and estate
Agriculture (cocoa, coffee,
citrus.)
As regards Sugar we must
decide whether it is worth it
to produce for export and to
continue to be at the mercy
of Commonwealth Sugar
agreements. Sugar prices were
enjoying boom times recently
but the downward slide is
well underway.
In any case sugar accounts
for only about 5% of total
exports and we have always
had to rely on a protected
market to keep it viable.
It might be feasable to
produce sugar for export
only when the price is high
and then play the world
market; and when the price
is low we can cut down on
Sugar production and grow
food instead on the free land.
Cocoa, coffee and citrus
are a real problem for us.
Most of what we produce is
exported. World prices are
generally low and in any
case, compared to other ex-
porting countries our produc-
tion is negligible.
It might be to our advant-
age to produce these crops
for local consumption and
for export in the Caribbean


area if it is feasible.
Once we make these crucial
decisions, then we can turn
our attention to growing
food and rearing animals for
milk and for meat. In any
meaningful programme we


must think beyond the ques-
tion of merely growing the
food.

MARKETING

It is also necessary to give
serious consideration to the
question of setting up effi-
cient mechanisms and
agencies to take care of
collection storage, distribu-
tion, and marketing. Facilities
for processing, canning and
so on would also be necessary.
Small- Industries should
emerge out of increased agri-
cultural production. Then we
can seek out export markets
in the Caribbean area and
elsewhere-
Contrary to what the
Prime Minister wnnld have


us believe, we do not need
the multi-national corpora-
tions'to help us increase food
production or make agricul-
ture more efficient. There are
people in the country who
have been committed to the
land for generations and
many young people are now
willing to make there life in
agriculture.
If Agriculture has
traditionally suffered here it
is because of political con-
siderations. If vegetable
farmers are suffering today
it is nothing new. But gua-
ranteed prices alone or subsi-
dies can never be the answer
to the problem.
Incentives to the farmers
are certainly necessary but
they must be located in total
effort to reorganise our land
use and holdings and to en-
courage more people to
participate in the task of
growing food to feed the
nation.
Beau Tewarie


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THE COMBINED ISLANDS





W/ON THE SH IEL SHIELD
W W 1^* v I I I i II^ s^^L ^ %a~ BBBlK~i^


Baldwin Mootoo

THE controversy over the
final Shell Shield placings
rages and there are
threats that it may finally
reach the courts.
It is unfortunate that the
argument. is being pursued
only within the letter of the
law as to what exactly is an
"even tie" and the interpreta-
tion of the phrase "the match
having been played out" as
occurs in Law 4 Note 22 of
the M.C.C. cricket laws.
Scoring systems. have nothing
to do with narrow technical
definitions but rather with
the relative strengths of the
competitors.
Normally, it does not
matter a great deal whether
a match ends up a draw, an
even-tie or a "tie-draw" and


THE State is about to
acquire the Texaco gas
stations and to monopo-
lise the sale of domestic
fuel. We have yet another
opportunity to anchor
the people's sector in
deeds rather than words.
Is this not the time to
found a nationwide Taxi
Co-op with local chapters
controlling particular retail
outlets?
Is it not time also to float
a nationwide consumer co-op
of housewives to distribute
domestic fuel again through
local chapters?
Tapia has proposed such
companies before. We envisage
participation by the Central
Government and the Local
Authorities in combinations
to be determined by the
circumstances of the part-
icular industry.
This is what true localisa-
tion means. It could rid us
of the evils of party-card
State capitalism and heavy-
handed Commissar socialism
though such a municipally-
based economy would bring
problems of its own.
1 still think it a golden
prospect for us because it
would allow us to celebrate
our God-given condition as a
small city-state.
With one dollar shares, we
could make a modest start
towards involving large num-
bers of little people in
manageable public utilities,
admirably suited to local


it is only important in this
case because of the scoring
arrangements for the Shell
Shield.
Needless to say a scoring
system cannot detail or even
envisage every situation that
mav arise during the com-
petition. Any interpretation
.of an. unexpected situation
must be based on the
principles outlined in the
scoring system.
If we look 'at the rules
governing the scoring system
for the Shell Shield matches
we see that a tie on 1st
innings is based on run'
-ggregate.
Thus a tie on 1st innings
is not only given when both
,sides have scored the same
number of runs at the close
of their respective innings.
But even in a situation
where say, one side scores
150 all out and in reply the


control.
Apart from the immediate
gains in mopping up the in-
vestible funds in the hands of
the public owing to the large
jumps now taking place in
some wage levels not to
mention profits there are
long term benefits too.
Once islands of local parti
cipation exist, the Minister
of Finance would be better
placed to orchestrate and to
monitor the concessions he
may wish to give to say,
taxidrivers. That is if we are
thinking of urging taximen to
move to co-operatively owned
mini-buses, to accept a certain
amount of profitable zoning
and to permit some integra-
tion of the taxi-service with
the public bus-service. Such
a public system is needed if
we are to open up the feeder
routes and to provide ade-
quate transport inside the
vast bellies of those town-
ships which sandwich the
overcrowded main roads.
And then the gas stations
provide excellent launching
pads for an infinite range of
community co-ops; their
growth potential is exceeded
only by the super-markets
perhaps. The participatory
democracy demands these
convenient planks for local
co-op business.
We have a chance to begin
the reorganisation now; a
competent government would
surely seize the time.
Tapia Press Rel/ase
April 12, 1975.


'\


Murray

other side scores 150 for 4
before rain washes out play
for the rest of the match a
situation which is clearly not
a -tie on first innings as,
defined by the official rules
of the game but accepted
for the points allocation in
the Shell Shield.
It seems to me to follow
naturally that the same
principle (of run aggregate)
must apply (although it is not
specifically stated) for the
entire game and a tie as
accepted on 1st innings must
also apply for the entire
match.
The reason that it was not
specifically stated for the
second innings is, I suspect,


From Page 2
redistribution schemes which
take into account the special
circumstances of the econ-
omically poorer countries
and enable them to obtain
the energy supplies which
they need if only to maintain
existing standards.
Given tie introduction
of such schemes and given
the natural rate of growth in
consumption patterns in the
Industrialised countries the
"glut" can reasonably be
expected to disappear as
demand increases.
In any case the "glut"
problem is not really a finan-
cial one. OPEC countries are
still earning far more revenue
than they did in pre-1973
days. There are of course
those countries with enor-
mous development invest-
ment demands to be serviced
which may feel some strain.
But the "glut" problem
is really a political one. Un-
able to juggle prices it is clear
that cutbacks in production


Findlay


because no one envisaged a
tie on aggregate occurring in
this way.
Indeed, I am suggesting,
too, that the principle im-
plicit in the rules of the
Shell Shield will also allot a
tie if the Islands had equalled
the Trinidad aggregate with
four wickets standing and ten
overs still to be bowled at
which point rain had stopped
play for the rest of the
match.
..Any interpretation of the
scoring system which penalises
one for being better off (in
this case not losing your
wicket) and rewards one for
deliberately getting out must
be wrong.


are called for. Thus far, while
there have been reductions in
output by member countries
these have been on a volun-
tary basis. Now it seems
necessary that some binding
agreement be arrived at to
allocate future reductions.
Already proposals for a single
OPEC marketing agency have
been made. But even so the
hard decisions still have to
be made as to who gets cut,
when, and how to enforce
compliance with cut deci-


Roberts
The islands have won the
Shell Shield and the scoring
system must be applied
sensibly. The narrow, rigid
M.C.C. ruling of an "Even
Tie" does not apply here,
the sensible interpretation of
the Shell Shield Scoring rules
is what does.
In any case, some of those
who are such sticklers for the
letter of the law on this
occasion should be reminded
that last year against England
there was no question that
Kalliecharan was legally run
out by Greig. Yet they were
among the most vociferous
that he should be allowed to
continue his innings.


sions. The seeds of possible
dissension are very clear.
Thus far, at any rate,
these problems do not seem
to have affected OPEC. They
stuck to their guns in Paris
and individual member coun-
tries are busy taking all kinds
of measures to further in-
crease their control. It may
seem to be a game of huff
and bluff but at stake is
nothing more or less than
future control of the wealth
of the world.


Council


Meeting


Sunday April 2 Oth


10.00 a.n


At The House


True Localisation:

A Nation-Wide Taxi Coop


1- 36B


- --