SPEECH BY FELIX CUMMINGS
LA1 NIN I C
Felix Cummings, the P.P.P's representative in Nev
York, addressed the United Nations during October 1961
and in forceful and precise language, laid the case for the
majority of the population in B.G., as represented by th(
People's Progressive Party.
His speech, which is herein published for the first timi
in full, gives the important historical background to tht
situation in B.G. Also, he has spoken with forthright cour.
age and honesty, in. assessing the present situation. H(
reminded the members of the Special Committee whict
heard him that . "the Coalition Government is illegal
having come into power by shocking breaches of the Con.
stitution. It is wasteful and incompetent, prodigal of oui
country's resources in the interests of colonialists and im
perialists, and squandering the public purse in pointles,
ramblings by frivolous officials. The Coalition Govern.
nent, in its unholy conception, in its shameful birth anc
sickly feebleness, is a monstrosity which is a clear anc
present peril to British Guiana and an outrage against the
principles of the United Nations Charter."
I can recall some years ago hearing the Southerr
Rhtdesian patriot Joshua Nkomo speak before the ver3
same Committee of the United Nations. He warned th(
members that if they did not at that time do something
tangible in Southern Rhodesia to halt the trend of events
the situation would worsen. How right he was! Felis
Cummings is in the same position. Hi warning has gone
unheeded by the British Government which has succumbed
to the insistent pressure of the USA to oust the PPP and
entrench a puppet government. Independence on these
terms makes a mockery of the word. The formal British
ties will now be out, but in its place, American imperialism
has established another firm foothold in the Western
Perhaps. in years to come, Felix Cummings' speech
before the United Nations will grow in significance with
the devve l t of the many complex problems he ha.
pedic Janet J
THE UNITED NATIONS
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French),:
The members of the Committee will remember that
when we approved the sixty-eighth report of the Sub-
Committee on Petitions (A/AC.109/L.248), the Special
Committee decided, at its 383rd meeting on 7 Septem-
ber, to grant the request for a hearing with regard to
British Guiana from Mr. Felix A. Cummings, the
Director of Information and Public Relations of the
People's Progressive Party of British Guiana.
I have just been notified that the petitioner is now
in the Committee room and that he is ready to make
his statement. In these circumstances, and unless I
hear an objection on the part of members of the Com-
mittee, I shall invite the petitioner to take a seat at
the Committee table and to make his statement.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr. Felix A.
Cummings, Director of information and Public Rela-
tions of the People's Progressive Party, took a place
at the Committee table.
Mr. F. A. CUMMINGS (Director of Information
and Public Relations. People's Progressive Party):
Mr. Chairman and distinguished representatives:
Once again I appear before what I consider the most
important organ of the United Nations. The great
importance attached to this body is evidenced
by the fact that its main task is to assist
peoples, large and small, to break the shackles
of economic and political slavery imposed upon
them by dominating countries. I know, Sir,
that the task of this Committee is an ardous one. The
many obstacles and innumerable road blocks, and
more often than not the pitfalls and the traps laid by
the administering Powers of colonies, have neither
blunted the sense of duty of some members nor re-
duced their zeal in the noble fight for the freedom
of all peoples.
Mr. Chairman, you and the forward looking
members of this Committee, and the Committee's
staff, have remained committed to the high duty of
seeing to it that man's inhumaity to man should be
wiped out on this planet, Earth. I am aware, Sir, of
obstacles placed in your way in freely pursuing the
execution of your task. Such interference has denied
the Committee the possibility of exercising its moral
right to achieve its purpose uninterrupted. Never-
theless, the Committee has shown great courage and
determination in pursuit of its difficult task.
In this connexion, I should like to pay a tribute to
the Committee's Chairman, Ambassador Coulibaly,
for his inspired leadership and sterling qualities of
tact and diplomacy, which have enabled him to over-
come the many difficulties he has encountered. He
has enjoyed your confidence, gentlemen, and the con-
fidence of all petitioners who have spoken to this
Committee. And I,make bold to say that he will
doubtless continue to do so.
May I say how happy I am to see the entire Com-
mittee and staff back at the United Nations Head-
quarters, after your arduous labours in the great con-
tinent of Africa.
Mr. Chairman, the question of British Guiana
has engaged the attention of the Special Committee
on several occasions, as this colony seeks to assert
its right to self-determination and genuine indepen-
dence. This right has been denied them in the past
on the flimsiest pretexts by the administering Power,
namely the United Kingdom. In these political calis-
thenics they have received willing and able support
from the United States of America. Sometimes one
is put to wonder which is the real administering
Power, the United States or the United Kingdom? To
put it simply, who is the manipulator and who is being
In this connection, it has been found that the
United States Central Intelligence Agency and the
so-called trade union leaders of that country played a
highly significant role in fomenting the riots of 1962
and 1963 in British Guiana in order to create chaos
and confusion so that independence should be denied
the country under Dr. Jagan. Of course, we know
this statement will call for vehement denials. But
we also know, from recent events, how much credence
is to be given to such disclaimers.
And what was the reason for this unabashed and
unjustified interference in the internal affairs of Brit-
ish Guiana? Why the cruel intervention? The answers
are crystal clear. Dr. Jagan was suspected of policies
and ambitions contrary to the United States Depart-
ment doctrine, namely he tended to lean towards
socialism, he did not favour colonialism and im-
perialism, he rejected neo-colohialism and, the worst
crime of all, he was not an anti-communist or even
anti-Castro. Yes, Sir; yes these were the accusa-
tions levelled against the People's Progressive Party
and its leader, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, which caused the
imperialist forces to redouble their efforts to prevent
British Guiana from attaining independence under
the Jagan regime.
It was rather natural for the imperialist forces
to seek to strangle the genuine independence of
British Guiana. Imperialism in its last gasp, like
the rabid beast, bares its fings and seeks to destroy
its enemies, real or imagined. One may cite a recent
example of this ruthless and unprincipled aggressive-
ness: the provoked attack against the heroic Viet-
namese people, an embroilment that could lead to a
possible extension of the imperialist aggression. More-
over, we hear daily of the destruction of defenceless
people and homes and foul deeds of mass slaughter of
innocent populations, which have shocked the whole
world. These outrageous acts of barbarity have met
with protests and denunciation among peace-loving
people all over the world.
Historians recount the plunders of the United
States imperialist with its large appetite, when it
bit off pieces of Mexico, Texas, California and New
Mexico. Of course, it had for dessert the Panama
Canal and Puerto Rico. In more recent times the
United States has attacked Nicaragua and Guatemala;
it encircled Columbia and machine-gunned Honduras.
It was the year 1953 when the democratic Presi-
dent of Guatemala was thrown out of office and the
principles of democracy were thrown out the window
and a military dictatorship was established under
Colonel Castillo Armas. And it is in that year on 9th
October 1953 that the democratically elected Govern-
ment of British Guiana was occupied by the troops of
the United Kingdom at the request of President Eisen-
hower of the United States. But we take heart from
this, if I may borrow Dr. Aravelos' expression from
his notable work, "The Shark and the Sardines," the
big shark is growing tired, from a heavy stomach, and
the sardines are growing too big and too strong for
the shark's continued comfort.
It will be of interest to point out the manner in
which the imperialist camp has consistently sought
to obstruct the self-determination and the genuine
independence of British Guiana and to maintain the
country in a condition of perpetual dependency on
Well known to this Committee is the anti-im-
perialist stand of the People's Progressive Party of
British Guiana and its struggle for independence,
self-determination and complete freedom. The Party's
record is well known. It has always stood for the full
freedom of the peoples. Again and again the People's
Progressive Party has declared its belief in socialism.
It taught the people of British Guiana to embrace the
virtues of socialism. That this party and this teach-
ing have been fully accepted, there can be no question.
The People's Progressive Party and its programme
have been accepted to the extent that although the
Party went to the polls under very trying circum-
stances, on every occasion the majority of the
Guyanese people, as you will note, supported the
Party and placed it at the head of the poll at every
election since its inception.
In the meantime, the imperialists and their local
lackeys adopted all the foul and unfair means they
could devise to defeat the will of the Guyanese people.
It will be recalled that in October 1953, Churchill, then
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Eisen-
hower, then President of the United States, saw or
thought they saw a communist plot lurking in every
crack and crevice of the colony of British Guiana. So
it came to pass that the Government of the People's
Progressive Party was forcibly overthrown ousted
from office on 9th October, after a successful regime
of 133 days.
The records will show the contributions made by
the Party's Government within even that short period
of time. But the typical British provocations began,
against the People's Progressive Party and its follow-
ers. For instance, the Party leaders were jailed;
several well-known Party workers were also jailed
and fined before the Court. The Party's offices were
padlocked and heavy armed guards were placed
around the premises.
The People's Progressive Party was for the years
1950 to 1964, standing on its socialist platform, being
vindicated at the polls in every election, since 1953.
In 1953 the People's Progressive Party gained eight-
een out of twenty-four seats. In 1957 we gained nine
out of fourteen. In 1961, when British Guiana
attained internal self-government, the People's Pro-
gressive Party won twenty out of the thirty-five seats.
And even out of the unconstitutionally engineered
election of 7 December 1964. the People's Progressive
Party received the highest number of votes and the
highest number of seats in the Parliament, that is to
say, the People's Progressive Party obtained twenty-
four out of fifty-three seats; the remaining twenty-
nine seats were divided between Mr. Burnham's
People's National Congress and Mr. D'Aguiar's United
Force: twenty-two seats and seven seats respectively.
In the present so-called coalition Government,
the People's Progressive Party, which actually won the
*majority of seats in the election, is denied any parti-
cipation in the Government and 109.000 constituents
are thus in effect disenfranchised.
At this. stage, I shall submit, if 1 may, a document
entitled "Summarized Documentation on the British
Guiana Situation" issued by the People's Progressive
Party." In it are set forth the breaches of the Con-
stitution just alluded to, which laid the foundation
of the disintegration of the political situation and the
retrograde economic situation in which our unhappy
land now finds itself.
The Premier speaks glibly of economic progress,
while the cost of living soars; of the lofty promise of
ten per cent reduction in unemployment because of
road-building schemes, etc. On the contrary, unemploy-
ment is soaring. People are being laid off in the city
and elsewhere. The present regime talked a great
deal about relieving unemployment when it got into
power, but all it has done was to give two or three
weeks' work to the unemployed supporters in
cleaning out drains and doing other scavenging work
in the housing projects.
It seems that the only beneficiaries of the present
regime are the foreign oil and bauxite interests. It
has been a field day for the magnates. Major conces-
sions have been made to the bauxite and oil industries
by the Coalition Government perhaps as a reward
to the imperialists for engineering them into power.
It will be recalled that the PPP tax structure was
devised to place the tax burden where it properly
belonged on the backs of those who, by reason of
their profits, were in all justice the ones who should
bear the burden. For this, we were rewarded by a
riot, a riot organized by the so-called trade unionists
of the United States, the Free Institute of Labour and
the ruthless business-CIA-military complex, whose
god is profit.
The small gains we made in the tax revision were
either legislated out of existence or summarily
abolished. It should be noted that our tax reforms
were instituted by Mr. Nicklos Kaldor, who now is a
tax adviser of the United Kingdom Government. At
the time he instituted the tax reforms for British
Guiana he was promptly dubbed a communist by the
men now in power, in order that the riots could get
off on a sound footing. According to the present
regime, all these reforms recommended by an expert
presently retained by the United Kingdom are the
proposals of a communist. I do not know what this
says for communism or implies about the British.
I will not impose upon the indulgence of this
Committee, by a lengthy and tedious recital of in-
stances. I believe I have indicated, and on demand
will further prove, that the coalition Government is
illegal, having come into power by shocking breaches
of the Constitution. It is wasteful and incompetent,
prodigal of our country's resources in the interests of
colonialists and imperialists, and squandering the pub-
lic purse in pointless ramblings by frivolous officials.
The coalition Government, in its unholy conception,
in its shameful birth and sickly feebleness, is a mon-
strosity which is a clear and present peril to British
Guiana and an outrage against the principles of the
United Nations Charter.
The PPP continues, as it must continue, to strive for
true independence for our country. We have enun-
ciated our demands for independence under six main
heads. They are as follows:
1. All detainees must be released,, and the state
of emergency must end forthwith, before participation
by the PPP in a constitutional conference on British
2. We demand the inclusion on the conference
agenda of .discussion of proportional representation as
a retrograde step.
3. Fresh elections before a date is fixed for inde-
4. Correction of the imbalances of the police and
security forces before new elections.
5. The removal of all foreign troops and the re-
moval of all military bases, and particularly the United
States Air Force base at Atkinson Field.
6. The restructuring and democratization of
governmental institutions dealing with law and order.
Those are our minimum demands. Otherwise, to
grant independence under any other circumstances or
under the present conditions would be to give indepen-
dence with reservations and conditions, violating the
1960 Declaration on decolonization and contrary to the
United Nations Charter. It would be also a gross in-
fringement of the Declaration of the human rights of
Regarding demand number two, it is in the light of
new reasoning brought to bear on the subject of pro-
portional representation by the Prime Minister of
Trinidad andTobago and Prime Minister Shastri of
India at the Marlborough House meeting of the
Commonwealth Prime Ministers that new information
on this subject ought to be discussed. The Prime Min-
ister of India pointed up the illegality of the system
and its alien nature to the Commonwealth of Nations.
Surely British Guiana should not be made an excep-
tion. There has never been and there will never be any
marked difference between British Guiana and the
other Commonwealth countries politically. In this con-
nexion it would be well to recall the answers of the
Secretary of State for the Colonies in the British
Parliament recently on the proposed constitutional
conference of British Guiana.
Sir P. Agnew asked the Secretary of State for the
Colonies when the constitutional conference of British
Guiana to fix the date for independence was to be held
and if he would make a statement. Mr. Greenwood, the
Secretary of State, replied:
"I have suggested to the Governor of British
Guiana that the conference shall begin on the 2nd
Sir P. Agnew asked:
"Does the Right Hon. Gentleman expect that
the fruits of the conference will be an early grant
of independence now that it can possess and run a
system of stable government that has persisted
now for over half a year?"
Mr. Greenwood answered:
"British Guiana has perhaps done even better
than the Hon. Gentleman's wording seems to sug-
gest but the fruits of the conference are largely a
matter for the conference itself. One of the object-
tives is to discuss the future constitutional pro-
vision for British Guiana and to decide what steps
are to be taken and the timetable to which they
Mr. Sandys intervened here and asked a question:
"Does the Right Hon. Gentleman realize that
his rather circumlocutory way of answering that
question will undoubtedly cause doubts in the
minds of the people of British Guiana as to
whether he is going to carry out the very definite
pledge given by the late Government and con-
firmed earlier by him that the purpose of the
conference is to fix a date for independence?"
Forgive me, but I can make very little out of the ques-
tion, as the English seems to be rather complicated.
Mr. Greenwood replied:
"It is to do all these things, and it is hoped
that agreement will be reached about a date for
independence. That is what we want. We want to
fulfil the pledge that we have already given about
independence for British Guiana."
Mr. Sandys said:
"The Right Hon. Gentleman says that he
hopes that agreement will be reached. The deci-
sion rests with Her Majesty's Government. Her
Majesty's Government are able to decide when
independence is to take place. Of course there may
be disagreement we know that there always is
disagreement at this conference on British
Guiana, but I hope that the Right Hon. Gentleman
will make it clear that he intends to carry out the
pledge to fix a date for independence. It is within
his power to do so. Naturally, he must consult all
concerned in British Guiana, but will he give that
Mr. Greenwood replied:
"We have made it perfectly clear that we are
holding this conference at the beginning of Novem-
ber in order to carry out the pledges that we have
already given about independence. The whole
House will realize that the maximum degree of
Agreement that we can get about changes of this
kind the better it. is for all concerned, but we have
not the slightest intention of walking out on any
undertakings which have previously been given."
In this context I would like to draw the Committee's
attention to the section of the final communique deal-
ing with British Guiana of the Commonwealth Con-
ference at Marlborough House, London. Under the
heading "Dependent Territories", Britain made the
following statement to the meeting about the progress
of British colonial territories towards independence:
"The independent members of the Commonwealth
now amounted to no less than twenty-one, including a
population of more than 750 million. Britain had thirty-
one remaining dependencies, with only 10 million in-
habitants, of whom over half were in Hong Kong and
the South Arabian Federation. Nineteen of these de-
pendencies contained less than 100,000 people, and six
less than 10,000. It was hoped that many of these re-
maining dependencies would reach independence in
the next three years, including Basutoland, Bechuana-
land, Swaziland, British Guiana, and the South Ara-
bian Federation; also some or all of the territories in
the eastern Caribbean, whether in a federation or
As regards British Guiana, while differing views are
held on the constitutional arrangements best suited
for the country, the Prime Ministers welcomed the
British Government's intention to hold a conference
later this year, one of the tasks of which would be to
devise a constitution and to fix a date for indepen-
dence. The Prime Ministers noted the British Gov-
ernment's recognition of the need for adequate ma-
chinery to ensure human rights and due judicial
I shall ask the indulgence of the Committee to set
forth in detail as much in connexion with the third de-
mand as is possible in the time this Committee has at
its disposal. I seek not to impose on the Committee's
time, but this subject demands careful consideration
if this Committee is to arrive at a just conclusion and
give the assistance to the people of Guyana that they
deserve in the vital matter of human rights, prior to
the granting of genuine independence and freedom.
The People's Progressive Party has consistently
campaigned for correction of the imbalances in the
police forces, including the security forces. The PPP
bases its campaign on the need for national unity and
harmony. It was essential, it claimed, that the confi-
dence of all working people should be reposed in the
country's institutions. It was against this background
that it suggested that a broad cross-section of the
working class should be reflected in the Forces. The
role assigned to the Forces in suppressing the rights
and liberties of the Guianese people and their subver-
sion for the purpose of serving the cause of colonialism
and imperialism were matters of considerable concern
to the PPP.
It felt that the Guianese could not enjoy a society
in which the organs of government provide the most
prolific sources of dehumanizing fear.
Excepting the Special Service Unit organized by
the Government, a break-down of the composition of
the Forces shows the following:
Officers: Afro-Guianese, 30; Indo-Guianese, 4;
European 6; others, 5. Total, 45.
The next rank, chief inspectors: Afro-Guianese,
4; Indo-Guianese, 1; European, and others, none.
The third rank. sub-inspectors: Afro-Guianese, 38;
Indo-Guianese, 6; European. none; others, 8. Total,
In the general category referred to as "Other
Ranks": Afro-Guianese, 1,099; Indo-Guianese, 248;
European, none; others, 103. Total, 1,450.
Thus we see that Tndo-Guianese comprise 16.5 per
cent. of the total Forces although they comprise only
47.8 per cent. of the population. Afro-Guianese, on
the other hand, comprise 75.4 per cent. of the Forces
and 33 per cent. of the population. It is the sort of
"proportional representation" that the PNC would
never tolerate if the position was reversed.
Based on the PPP class approach on this matter,
its solution never has called and never will call for
a dismissal of the Afro-Guianese now in the Forces.
It is recognized that the present position has
arisen not by design but through certain historical
circumstances; and the problems that it now poses,
including fear and loss of confidence in the Forces by
a substantial section of the community, could be re-
solved by extension of the Forces rather than by
dismissal or demotion of anyone. The PPP stands
for the Guianization of the Forces from top to
bottom; that is, wherever Guianese can fill the posts,
they should be given the jobs.
The problem of these imbalances was recognized
by the United Kingdom Government over two years
ago. If for no other reason, the serious threats to law
and order arising from disturbances initiated by
the PNC-United Force opposition in 1962 and onwards
made this painfully clear.
In pressing home its claims, the PPP pointed out,
among other things, the matter of the proclamation of
the Public Buildings Area and the attitude of Messrs.
D'Agu;,ir and Burnham towards it; the charge of in-
subordination by the Police Commissioner himself
against certain members of the Forces; the discovery
of an unauthorized mobile broadcasting station in a
van; the failure of the Forces to maintain law and
order at appropriate times; the burning of buildings,
in broad daylight, in Georgetown and Upper Dem-
erara without a single police prosecution and/or con-
viction of any of the persons engaged in these criminal
acts and with partiality, in many instances, in the
discharge of duty.
Having recognized the problem, the next step was
how to correct it. The plan of the Commissioner of
Police was to increase the strength of the Indo-
Guianese in the Forces to 33 per cent in five years.
Even the Governor was not happy with this plan.
The PPP proposed an increase in the strength of the
Forces by 1.000 of all races but so balanced as to
correct the existing imbalances within a year.
The Secretary,of State for the Colonies then opted
for the appointment of a Commission from the Unfited
Kingdom to determine the ways and means of correct-
ing the imbalances.
The present Colonial Secretary was therefore
committed to putting this enquiry in train.
It was at this point that the coalition government
came in, under what Prime Minister Harold Wilson
described as a "fiddled Constitution", and resisted in-
terference by the Colonial Secretary in this matter.
The coalition insisted that since this was a domes-
tic issue it was entirely within their purview. The
Colonial Secretary did try to get Dr. Jagan and Mr.
Burnham together on the issue, but since at that time
bbth the statements and writings of Mr. Burnham
showed that he did not recognize that there was any
problem of imbalances, such a meeting was considered
It was felt that since the Colonial Office itself
sometimes adheres to matters of principle, then the
principle of an unconditional commitment made by a
previous Government, the Tory Government. in the
matter of imbalances on which the present Colonial
Secretary was agreed should commend itself for
action by the Colonial Office. It has the power to
hold the enquiry and a duty to do so.
The events have shown that the Colonial Secre-
tary has deferred to the coalition and agreed that the
international Commission of Jurists should come to
this country. We have no quarrel with the ICJ as
That it was appointed without consultation with
the opposition is in step with the plans and scheme
of things under our so-called consultative democracy.
But it is clear that the imbalances are a grave social
problem requiring an urgent political solution, and
the ICJ, whose object is to promote the understanding
and observance of the rule of law throughout the
world, is not suited for the project in hand.
With all his declared preferences for our settling
our affairs ourselves, it was felt that Mr. Burnham
would have invited social scientists, as he said. from
the University of the West Indies to deal with this
But whatever we think of the Commission, the
terms of reference for which the Colonial Secretary
cannot escape responsibility and which were drawn
without consultation with the opposition show in-
sincerity somewhere; and that the exercise to be
undertaken by the ICJ is mere window dressing and
not intended to touch the kernel of the issue.
They show that the Colonial Secretary has not
only given way to Mr. Burnham as to the type of
Commission, but he has also permitted terms of refer-
ence tantamount to a retraction of the undertaking
given by the Colonial Office to the previous govern-
ment. That this is possible with Labour in power is
all the more shocking.
The Commission's terms of reference narrow the
investigation by the IC.T to probing "the procedures
for selection, appointment, promotion and dismissal
in the services" and "to make such recommendations
to correct any such procedures with a view to the
elimination of imbalances based on racial discrimina-
The procedures for appointment to the Forces is
a minor question; from a purely legalistic point of
view the ICJ can' without difficulty find that the
procedures have not been the cause of imbalances and
are not in need of correction and that there is not
With this whitewash from such an international
body the Government can then proceed to forever
ignore the real question of imbalances.
This is why the PPP refuses to take part in this
farce. Unless the terms of reference are amended
to show an acceptance of what presaged the enquiry,
the imbalance in the Forces, and required an
investigation as to how it should be corrected, the
whole enquiry will be farcical.
The PPP maintains that the imbalances which
are known to exist must be corrected as speedily as
possible. It will not be content even with mere
recommendations for their correction, but insists
in the recommendations being implemented so that
the country can move forward without fear of police
The imbalances are harmful to the welfare of
the community and are against the public interest.
Before all else, national unity is the main pre-
requisite. One of our most experienced legal practi-
tioners recently expressed his opinion about the police
The police force is a very important section of any
country's legal system, and when a legal practitioner
of wide experience expresses a considered opinion
about so important an institution as the police force,
then some attention must be paid to what is said.
As recently as 9 May of this year, the Daily Chro-
nicle, a city newspaper, published the following state-
ment and attributed its authorship to Mr. J. T. Clarke,
Barrister-at-Law, who has had wide experience of our
courts, particularly our police courts, and is therefore
well qualified to express an authoritative opinion.
Furthermore. Mr. Clarke has no connexions whatever
with the People's Progressive Party, and those other
elements which have been critical of the police and
This is what Mr. Clarke is reported to have said:
"A big job facing the Government of today is
to rake and scrape and wash and clean with forma-
lin the British Guiana Police Force, for it is rotten
to the core. There would have to be a clean sweep
from top to bottom as early as possible, for with
the exception of a few outstanding officers and
men of proven integrity and character, the Force
of today reeks of lies, corruption and disloyalty
and it has among its ranks quite a few political
weather-cocks, who have outlived their usefulness,
and should no longer be employed in a job that
calls for the impartial investigation of crimes."
Since the extract quoted above was published,
there have been some significant developments.
Crimes of violence have increased to the point
where members of the Force have themselves
come under attack. Recently. for instance, no less
than three incidents of this kind took place.
The most revealing incident which has occurred,
however, since the Wismar genocide in May 1964, took
place last week in the West La Penitence Housing
Scheme, which is a stronghold of the People's National
When a police party went into that housing area
to effect an arrest, some residents became so incensed
at the police action that they attacked the police party
The report of this incident is a police report, and
must therefore be accepted at its face value. The signi-
ficant feature of this incident is the attitude of the
residents of the PNC stronghold to a police attempt
to recapture a prisoner. One cannot escape the conclu-
sion that in the view of the residents of the Housing
Scheme, the police were wrong to intervene as they had
If we take this incident and place it alongside the
statement attributed to Mr. J.T. Clarke, Barrister at
Law, we cannot escape the conclusion that the Police
Force is incapable, as it is presently constituted, of
performing the duties required of it impartially or
On 14 July last, His Worship Mr. E.A. Triumph,
as Magistrate in charge of the Vreed-en-Hoop Court,
ordered the refund of fifteen cents to a sugar worker
after he had found that the sum had been deducted
from the worker's wages and paid over at the Man-
power Citizen's Association in the absence of a valid
authorization from the worker.
This is not the first 'case of its kind to have been
decided in this manner by our Courts, but it is the
latest to come to our attention. Moreover, there were
aspects about this case which clearly point to the pos-
sibility of fraud, and we are therefore surprised to
learn that the Police Department has not taken and
does not propose taking action to investigate the
matter and prosecute those against whom there may
be evidence to establish fraud.
I will not recite here the particular features of the
matter which cause us concern. They are known to the
Police and presumably to the Director of Public Prose-
cutions, who are the authorities charged by the law
and the Constitution with the duty of inquiring into
crime and prosecuting those against whom there is
evidence to establish prima facie the probability of
This question of deductions from sugar workers
wages for MPCA dues has been one of the greatest and
most frequent causes of friction and industrial unrest
in the sugar industry. Moreover, it is an injustice
which has endured in spite of complaints and strikes
for a number of years.
Prudence would seem to suggest that, once having
been established that unauthorized deductions had
been made and in fact no one authorized them -
a thorough investigation into the whole system should
immediately have been instituted. This, however, has
not happened, and we now find that, several cases of
unjust deductions having been established notwith-
standling, no action is proposed.
There is a general feeling which has persisted
over countless years that justice is only for some
people. We do not ourselves subscribe to this view,
although we have noted several instances Oin which
some people have a very hard time winning justice
for their cause.
Fifteen cents may seem a small sum to highly
paid officials, but it is a relatively large sum to sugar
workers and an unbearable burden when it is used
to chain them to an institution that they do not want
to be members of.
We call upon the authorities to take note of these
instances which clearly suggest fraud and to initiate
measures aimed at bringing any guilty persons before
the courts for trial.
Mr. Chairman, I have laid before you the plight
of the Guyanese people. It is proper at this time that
I acknowledge ou" debt of gratitude to the Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Eric Will.ams,
whose political skill placed British Guiana on the
agenda of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' meet-
ing at Marlborough House in London last June; to
Prime Minister Shastri of India, who reportedly de-
nounced proportional representation as a total failure.
A special word of thanks to President Nkrumah of
Ghana, who used his prestige and powers of states-
manship to secure the inclusion of the question of
British Guiana in the final communique of the con-
ference. It was also my tmuque privilege to be cor-
dially received by the President of Ghana to discuss
British Guiana. a privilege for which I was humbly
Mr. Chairman, we do not ask any special favours.
We ask for human rights. We are not seeking merely
that a particular party with a particular viewpoint
should be favoured, but we are asking that the right
of the Guyanese people to choose between alternatives
should neither be set aside nor tradoced.
Once again I leave the fate of the Guyanese
people (in the capable hands of this Committee, Mr.
Chairman, confident that in the end right will tri-
umph and freedom will arise to flourish rin its fullness
in our land.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French):
I wish to thank the petitioner for his statement. I do
not know whether any member wishes to put any
questions to the petitioner at this time. I wish to
assure the petitioner that his statement will be con-
sidered by the Sub-Committee on British Guiana when
it meets to consider the situation in that Territory.