DAILY BROADCAST TALKS
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Wherever men and women meet, whether in their own homes (o itf
Shops or in the market, or at the street corner, or in clubs, sooner or later,
They will talk about the issues of the day. It might be food, it might, be
` the cost of living, it might be about other men and women, it might ho
About the great issues which move nations.
"Topic For Tonight" is another voice in this conversation which is,
always going on everywhere in the free world. Every night of the week,,
SFridays excepted, for more than a year and a half "Topic For Tonight" has
dealt with questions of the day. both local and international, has sought to
clarify and inform, and no more. "Topics" were never intended for
publication, but it has been suggested from time to time that some may be
Sof permanent value. A selection has now been made. They are pub-
Slished as they were broadcast.
"A GOLDEN THREAD"'
Creating New Nations Within the Commonwealth ...
The Exercise of Freedom ...
Steps Towards Self-Government ... ..
Gold Coast: Responsible Leadership in Action ...
Jamaica: Signs of Political Maturity ... ...
British Honduras: A Lesson in Good Sense ... .
An Eagle's-Eye View of the British Caribbean ...
For Canada A Bigger Place in the Sun ... .
Pakistan A Dream Come True ... ... ...
Indian Independence ... ..
"POINTERS TO PROSPERITY"
The Forest Sector of B.G's Economy .. ...
Control of B.G's Forests ... ..
Financing the Logging Industry ... .
Output by Sawmils ... .. ..
Timber Exports ... .. .. ..
"OUR DAILY FOOD"
Fish Culture in B.G. ... ... ... ...
Motorising the Fishing Industry ...
Developing a Shrimp Trade ... ... ...
"BY THE SWEAT OF OUR BROWS"
Trade Unionism in B.G. ......
New Industrial Training Regulations ... ...
Technical Education in B.G...... ...
"IN THE SERVICE OF THE PEOPLE"
Guianisation in the Public Service ... .. ... .. ... 47
Points from the Post Office Guide ... ... ... ... ... 48
"SOMETHING FOR THE FUTURE"
The New Central Telephone Exchange ... ... ... .. 53
Land Settlement Schemes ... ... .. ..... .. ... ... 54
Progress on the Torani Canal Project ... ... ... .... .. .. 55
Government's Role in Industrial Development ... .. ... ... 57
Promotion of Minor Industries ... ... ... ... ... .. .. 58
Government's Plans for Social Security ... ... ... .. ... 60
"A CHAIN REACTION"
The Co-operative Movement in B.G. ... ....... ... ... 65
Self-Help at Windsor Forest ... ... ... ... ... .. 66
Self-Help in Essequebo Islands ... ........... ... ... 67
Women's Role in Self-Help Schemes ... ... ... ... ... 69
Progress In Self-Help Schemes .. ...
"'The Credit Corporation's Role in Self-Help Schemes ...
Shift in Emphasis of Credit Corporation Loans ...
The Work of Regional Development Committees
"LIFE IN EL DORADO"
The Truth Behind the Myth of "The Magnificent Province"
The Effects of Population Growth in B.G.
Transport and Communication Problems
Development of Radio in B.G. ... ....
"THE BRITISH WAY"
The Queen ... ... ... ....
Sir Anthony Eden: A Solitary, Strong Figure
The Story of Penicillin ...
The British T.U.C ... ... ...
Success Story of a British Airliner ...
Britain's Atomic Revolution ... ...
"WINDOW ON THE
The Work of UNICEF ..... ..
The World Bank .....
October 24: More than Just Another Day ... .
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
"A GOLDEN THREAD"
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
CREATING NEW NATIONS WITHIN THE COMMONWEALTH
(June 13, 1954)
IN LONDON Mr. Lyttelton, the Secretary of State for the Colonies,
speaking recently to the Association of British Chambers of Commerce,
outlined once more British Colonial Policy. Mr. Lyttelton was speaking
particularly about South East Asian countries but he went on to review
the progress of British Colonies everywhere.
Here is what he said: "It has always been our policy, and that of our
predecessors, to make these countries a bastion against the advance of
Communism. Behind these bastions we have sought to drive forward a
policy of social, economic and political progress. We have sought to do
more than to restore freedom from fear. We seek to create new nations
within the shelter of the Commonwealth and to make and keep them free.
Look round the world at what we are striving to do in our Colonies and
"The pattern and nature of these countries are infinitely varied. Some
are rich in minerals like Northern Rhodesia. Others are fertile and grow-
ing crops like the cocoa of the Gold Coast, or the groundnuts of Northern
Nigeria, some are inhabited almost entirely by Africans with a minority of
Europeans chiefly of course British; others have several races and large
British communities. In some, civilisation is only just emerging from
centuries of darkness. In others the people of age long civilisations -
Indians, Pakistani, Chinese, Arabs are living side by side.
But through this coat of many colours there runs one golden thread
of policy, to give these peoples as they are able to discharge them, an ever
increasing share in the management of their own affairs and to bind them
together as part of the great association of free nations which is the British
That was what Mr. Lyttelton said. What, you might ask, are the facts
behind the phrase "one golden thread of policy"? What does the phrase
"increasing share in the management of their own affairs" really mean in
terms of constitutional development ? Let us look around the colonies.
This is the record for the last year.
In the Gold Coast proposals were put forward for a further constitu-
tional advance. Her Majesty's Government has accepted these proposals
In another African colony, in Kenya, the Government was reorganised
to give greater responsibility to non-official members, all races being repre-
Similarly, in Uganda there was an increase in the unofficial member-
ship of the Legislature.
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Still in Africa-in Gambia-a new constitution was approved, providing
increased unofficial membership of the Government and the Legislature.
And at conferences in London and in Lagos a new constitution giving
a greater measure of local government to the Regions was agreed for
Then in Sierra Leone the ministerial system was introduced. And
coming nearer home the ministerial system was also introduced in Bar-
bados. In Jamaica, changes in the Government provided for a Chief
Minister and 7 other ministers, with responsibility for departments.
Those are the facts behind the phrase "one golden thread". Those
are the facts Mr. Lyttelton referred to when he spoke of giving to Colonial
peoples "an ever increasing share in the management of their own affairs".
And Mr. Secretary Lyttelton went on to speak of the large sums which are
being granted to help the colonies "to gain higher standards of material
wealth, of education, of enlightenment and democracy".
Again let us look at the facts behind the words. Grants from Colonial
Development and Welfare funds totalled during the year, approximately
67 million dollars. This money financed 59 new development schemes in
the colonies, schemes which ranged from drainage and irrigation projects
to higher education and social research. And this sum does not include
capital which came from the C.D.C.
We will let Mr. Lyttelton have the last word: "What all this means",
he said "is that we are building new countries that is to say, countries
with their own governments both local and central, their own Civil Service.
Day by day the moral strength which comes from government by consent
of the governed is being built up. Just as the self-governing Dominions of
the British Commonwealth have now a moral force in the world'which I
believe transcends either their wealth or th6ir population, so in the colonial
territories, new forces are being released to play their part in the protection
of mankind from war and in the advance of prosperity."
THE EXERCISE OF FREEDOM
(June 12, 1955)
M]nR. ALAN LENNOX-BOYD, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, in a
television interview which appeared yesterday in America, re-affirmed
British Colonial Policy. Our papers have been full of it. He said that all the
political parties in Britain were committed economically and morally to
a policy of growing independence for the Colonial Empire. He emphas-
ised that Britain did not interfere with local governments unless it
happened, as here in British Guiana, that vital issues were at stake and
where non-interference would lead to the establishment of a communist
regime. I'd like to consider now what this statement of policy means, as
it is often misrepresented by the extremists in our midst.
The right to self determination which Her Majesty's Government re-
cognises, the policy of growing independence which it fosters, means briefly
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
self determination within the frame-work of democracy. It means that Her
Majesty's Government will further to the utmost possible extent, the devel-
opment of democratic institutions of self government within the colonies.
It means in short constitutional development along democratic lines. Now
there are some who argue: why should not a people go communist if they
want ? Why should they not choose communism ? Isn't this a limitation
of their freedom ? This, as the Secretary of State said, is the vital issue. It
goes to the very heart of freedom. But if it is a deep question it is not
really a difficult one if you look at it from a common-sense point of
view. In practice, in real life there are always limits to freedom. No one,
nearly everybody would agree, no one is free to behave in a way which
would endanger the freedom of others. The limits of freedom are pre-
cisely where they touch another person's freedom. Take an example of
which you hear from time to time the crime of arson. I have heard it
said by people who have not looked at the matter closely that it is hardly a
crime to burn down one's own house if one wants to. It is nobody's busi-
ness. But in fact and you can see this on reflection, it is everybody's busi-
ness because a fire once started is a danger to the community as a whole-
a point which need not be stressed in our country of wooden houses !
The principle also applies to the larger community of nations. The
exercise of freedom must take account today of a wider field than that of
any one country. Should a people be allowed to exercise its right to self-
determination in a way which would endanger the freedom of other
peoples ? That is the real question. If Her Majesty's Government has an
obligation to the colonies, she also has an obligation to the rest of the
Commonwealth and an international obligation to help maintain the
security of the democratic world.
Now, it is the hard truth of our time that the world is divided on
the one hand, democracy, on the other, communism. The forms of-demo-
cracy are as many as the countries in which it exists and those are by no
means limited to Europe. There is Ceylon, India and Pakistan and the
Gold Coast. But everywhere democracy assumes that man has a dignity
which cannot be taken away from him and that it is the individual who
matters, not the government. The individual, moreover, is free in normal
times to criticise the government. On the other hand in communism, the
state or the government is all important, sacrosanct, the individual counts
for nothing, and criticism is not tolerated. The world is divided between
these two systems of belief and practice. Only the evil men who wish to
foster the alien and totalitarian doctrine of communism will deny that
security cannot be reconciled with the establishment of a communist
regime anywhere in the Commonwealth.
STEPS TOWARD SELF-GOVERNMENT
(February 6, 1955)
IT IS PART AND PARCEL of the communist system of beliefs, that
changes and developments in government can never be achieved except
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
This system of beliefs the Robertson Commission found had' a wide-
spread influence on the leadership of the P.P.P. From this conviction, the
P.P.P. were led inevitably to doubt the sincerity of Her Majesty's Govern-
ment oft repeated statement of policy, that self government for British
Guiana could be earned in successive steps by a revealed capacity for
So the Robertson Commission noted that except for some signs of
hesitation for a short time immediately after the elections there is no
evidence to show that the P.P.P. were ever prepared even temporarily to
abandon or to modify their firm convictions that all British governments
are essentially if not equally imperialist and capitalist and that no British
government will, however voluntarily, concede full self-government to de-
pendent territories whose population is of non-European origin.
But if proof is wanted that this is indeed the policy of the British
Government the recent Commonwealth Conference in London could be
cited. There, speaking on an equal footing with Sir Winston Churchill.
and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Australia are the Prime Ministers
of Ceylon, India and Pakistan Sir John Kotelawala, Jawaharlal Nehru
and Mahommed Ali. The case of Ceylon is particularly worth noting be-
cause the Constitution with which it took its first sten towards self-govern-
ment in the 1930's was far less liberal than the Waddington Constitution
which irresponsible leadership threw away here.
A thought which may be in the- minds of many people who think
about the Commonwealth Conference is that now it is only a
question of, a year or two before Kwame Nkrumah takes his seat at a
Commonwealth Conference. And when he does, it will not be a surprise
to anyone, no more a surprise than the presence of Kotelawala or Nehru or
Ali. Because except for extremists who deny it to serve their own evil
purposes it is quite clear that Britain means what she says, that self-
government can be earned in successive steps by a revealed capacity for
responsible government. In more than one colony this is being demon-
strated., In British Honduras, for instance, the P.U.P. after a few months
of responsible leadership have now been granted further constitutional
advance the beginnings of a ministerial system.
Honduras stands at the beginning of the road which leads to self-
government. Nearly at the end of the road is the Gold Coast. The Gold
Coast beginning like Ceylon, with a Constitution not quite as liberal as our
suspended Waddington Constitution has now achieved full internal self-
government under the wise leadership of Nkrumah. It now has a Legisla-
tive Assembly comprised wholly of Africans returned by popular election
and a Cabinet of eleven African Ministers under an African Prime Minis-
ter, Dr. Nkrumah. The present Speaker of the House, Sir Emmanuel
Quist, is also an African.
The representatives include, shopkeepers, workers,, farmers, profes-
sional and technical men, graduates of British and European Universities.
Moreover, the Gold Coast now has its own African Commissioner resident
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
in Britain, with a fairly large staff under him, to watch the interest of his
country and her relations with Britain.
And if you want further proof of how far the Gold Coast has gone on
the road to self-government here it is The Gold Coast Government is
now considering the appointment of Commissioners to other European
capitals as well as to American and Asiatic countries. In other words, the
Gold Coast is almost at full nationhood and like the other nations of the
Commonwealth will soon be sending her ambassadors to the capitals of
GOLD COAST RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP IN ACTION
(June 19, 1954)
TODAY WE HEARD that Dr. Kwame Nkumrah was about to form a
Government in the Gold Coast, his party, the Convention People's Party
having won the election. Yes, Nkrumah is often in the news, but because
there are still a few people who enquire who is Dr. Nkrumah, what is the
measure of his achievement, I want to tell you a little about him tonight.
Until 1948 Nkrumah was hardly known outside his own village in the
Gold Coast. Since then his name has become a force not only in West
Africa but nearly everywhere else. He was born 45 years ago in a small
village in the Gold Coast, son of a goldsmith. He studied journalism in
America and took a degree. He went to England in 1945, joined Gray's
Inn and studied law. It was in Britain that he first showed gifts for
organisation and leadership, playing an active part in several West Afri-
can organizations in London and becoming in time an executive member of
the West African Students Union. He dominated the Pan-African Congress
held in Manchester in 1945. When he went back to the Gold Coast he was
offered the Secretaryship of a newly formed nationalist body. Out of
elements of that body Nkrumah afterwards built his own party, the Con-
vention People's Party who won the 1951 election and have just now been
returned to power.
By the time of the 1951 election Nkrumah had established a strong
personal ascendancy among his people. Politically, he was still an untried
force. But the deep sense of responsibility with which Nkrumah and his
colleagues used their powers was soon recognized in London. In less than
a year Her Majesty's Government had set up the office of Prime Minister
and Nkrumah became the first Prime Minister of the Gold Coast.
Moreover in the'same year 1952, just a year after Nkrumah and his
party had come to power, Mr. Lyttelton, the Secretary of State for the
Colonies, during a visit to the Gold Coast, told Nkrumah that Her
Majesty's Government was ready to consider further steps toward Gold
The present constitution which recently came into force is a large step
forward. Briefly, very briefly it amounts to this: The posts of ex-officio
ministers have been abolished. Nkrumah presides over a Cabinet broadly
responsible for the internal government of the Gold Coast. And that
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Cabinet consists wholly of Africans drawn from a single chamber legislature
directly elected on a basis of universal adult suffrage.
So far, has Kwame Nkrumah brought his people by moderation, and
Now let us take a closer look at his policy. Take the case of Foreign
Investment. This is what Nkrumah has said and done: "It will be many
years before the Gold Coast will be in a position to find from its own re-
sources people who can combine capital with the experience required in the
development and management of new industries. It is apparent that the
Gold Coast must rely to a large extent on foreign enterprise. The Gov-
ernment is anxious to give it every encouragement". So Nkrumah went
on, he left capital free to invest in any enterprise and put no restriction
on the freedom to transfer profits, or to repatriate capital. He had no
plans for nationalisation" but if that were considered essential his govern-
ment guaranteed fair compensation.
Now, take the case of technical aid. Development requires technicians
and administrative officers. There are not enough trained people in
colonies, not enough in the world even. But they are necessary if devel-
opment is to go on. And they will not come if they think they might"
suddenly lose their jobs at the whim of party politicians.
Nkrumah realises this. In a statement last year on overseas officers he
said that a fully self governing Gold Coast will want and need their ser-
vices. He went on to give his government's guarantee for pensions, and
other terms of services to those officers and suggested the introduction of a
scheme which would give officers a compensation allowance in addition to
pension if they wished to retire prematurely.
Or again take his attitude to communism. Earlier this year, Dr.
Nkrumah said, quoting Mr. Attlee. "Experience both in this country and
elsewhere has shown that membership and other forms of continuing asso-
ciation with the Communist Party may involve acceptance of a loyalty
hostile to the State." "This warning," went on Nkumrah, "applies with
even greater force to a young rising nation like our own. The Govern-
ment will not tolerate employing public servants who have shown that their
first loyalty is to an alien power or a foreign agency who seeks to bring our
country under its domination".
Three examples of responsible leadership in action, the leadership of
Kwame Nkrumah which has brought the Gold Coast to the threshold of self
government. And proof too that self government can be earned in
successive steps by a revealed capacity for responsible government.
IN JAMAICA -- SIGNS OF POLITICAL MATURITY
(January 15, 1955)
THE MAIN EVENT of this week in the West Indies has been without a
doubt the success of Mr. Norman Manley's party, the People's National
Party, in the Jamaican election. Mr. Manley is hardly less well-
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
known than Mr. Bustamante whom he succeeds as Chief Minister. He
does not have to the same degree Bustamante's powers of capturing the pub-
lic imagination and his sense of the moment, but Manley has behind him a
record which has led many thoughtful people to regard him as the leading
statesman of the West Indies. Because of his ascetic habits and legal
prowess (he is one of the great West Indian barristers of our time), his
great personal charm and wide culture, he has been likened to the late Sir
Stafford Cripps and to Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru. Educated at Oxford and
at Gray's Inn, he returned to Tamaica in 1921 after a distinguished acade-
mic career. He soon became interested in politics and was one of the first
to organise the Jamaican workers. It was as Manley's collaborator in this
work that his celebrated cousin Bustamante first appeared in the political
and trade union field.
In 1938 Norman Manley formed his political party, the People's
National Party, a left wing party with aims similar to those of the United
Kingdom Labour Party with which it is associated in the Socialist Inter-
national. It is very well organised and has 600 groups throughout the is-
land. I might say here that it is Mr. Manley's party which one would
normally call a Labour Party. Mr. Bustamante's Jamaican Labour Party
is in fact far more to the right.
The P.N.P. fought the election on a large programme of social welfare.
It favours co--operative farming and has also worked for the establishment
of the Industrial Development Corporation now in being. In 1944 the
year in which the new Jamaican Constitution came into force the P.N.P.
was defeated by a large majority, Manley himself failing to be elected. But
in the years that followed, the P.N.P. made good progress. In the 1949
general election Manley was elected for East St. Andrew, and the party cap-
tured, except for one seat, the whole St. Andrew and Kingston area, hither-
to Bustamante's stronghold. The P.N.P. had begun to draw even with the
Jamaican Labour Party. Now it has won the election and so Mr. Busta-
mante, in spite of all his considerable popularity is for the time being out
of office a thing familiar in British politics the swing of the pendulum.
In the weeks to come there will no doubt be much speculation as to
what changes will be made in the Jamaican scene. I think that there will
be no startling changes and that whatever changes there are, will come at
the slow pace which true political wisdom dictates. It is far more to the
point now to note how Jamaica is settling down in the tradition of British
parliamentary democracy. Jamaica has two widely based political parties
led by men of outstanding ability, who, whatever their political enmity, are
outside of the political arena firm friends. Moreover, as is the case in all
well developed democracies, the majority parties are in substantial agree-
ment on the main issues, especially external ones. The differences are in
domestic sphere and even there the differences are quite often one of pace
rather than of kind. Thus the Tamaican Labour Party and the People's
National Party both agree that their ultimate aim should be the establish-
ment of complete self-government for Jamaica within the Commonwealth
and both parties support the idea of West Indian federation. Moreover,
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
may I add, that in neither party is there any tolerance for communists or
their sympathisers. You may remember for instance, that two years ago
the P.N.P. expelled from its rank, four extreme left-wing members-the four
H's, known so through the curious coincidence of all having names begin-
ning with the letter H.
Finally, in welcoming, as everyone in this region must, these signs of
Jamaica's political maturity we must not forget how it began. It was the
Jamaica constitution of 1944 which set the British Caribbean colonies on
the road leading towards responsible government. It was a new day, said
their writers and poets, and the Jamaicans readily seized their opportunity.
They worked their constitution and strengthened their democratic institu-
tions and by 1953 had justified the further advance, which was granted then
- the setting up of ministries and the introduction of an elected majority
in the Executive Council. Yes, the people of Jamaica are now climbing
rapidly the ladder which leads to self government, as has been done before
by the people of the Gold Coast and by the people of Ceylon and by
IN BRITISH HONDURAS A LESSON IN GOOD SENSE
(December 5, 1954)
TONIGHT'S STORY is a lesson in good sense, a lesson that should be of
particular significance to Guianese, for it is taught by a group of people
like us, who were involved in a serious political crisis nearly 7 months ago.
The people of British Honduras had been promised a new constitution
which would give them a good deal of political power. The People's
United Party had gained support, and it was clear to everyone that they
would sweep the polls at the first general elections. A grim spectre how-
ever hovered in the background. It was the fact that a few months
before a similar experiment here had ended disastrously in a thinly dis-
guised attempt by the People's Progressive Party to overthrow the existing
constitution. The danger of a repetition of the British Guiana debacle was
only too obvious. On the other hand it was Britain's declared policy in
all her territories to promote more responsible government. In this diffi-
cult situation the British Government took the bold decision which prin-
ciple and experience dictated. The new Constitution was granted. The
P.U.P. won a majority in the Legislature, and four of their number took
their seats in the Executive Council.
By everything which has since happened this policy has been com-
pletely vindicated. The P.U.P. leaders gave a public undertaking to co-
operate in making a success of the new Constitution, and set to work with
the responsible officials on the detailed preparation of a new five year
development plan for the country.
Last May, the then Colonial Secretary, Mr. Oliver Lyttelton, invited a
delegation from the Executive Council to talk things over in London. The
visit has just taken place, with the delegation consisting of three members
of the P.U.P. and one independent accompanied by the Governor, Mr.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Patrick Renison. The discussions in London covered not only the new
development plan but also further constitutional reform, and the decisions
reached were announced in the House of Commons early in November.
The economic plan suggested by the delegation was found to be on
the whole sensible and well-balanced. It continued the present pattern of
development, which centres round the development of forestry, agriculture,
arid communications, but it involved more than double the present rate of
expenditure. This was thought to be quite beyond the present capacity
of the country, in the five-year period. So the British Government sug-
gested that a start should be made with a grant of 1 /4 million for the first
three years together with 300,000 carried over from the present plan.
This would permit expenditure on development at a rate more than one-
third greater than at present. In addition the territory would contribute
to the plan from its own resources and from loans. Progress would be re-
viewed in two years' time and the question of further assistance considered.
Of even greater interest to British Hondurans was the announcement
that the elected leaders of the people are to be assigned certain responsibili-
ties for the work of several Government Departments. They are to be
"Members", the "Member for Natural Resources", the "Member for Social
Services", and the "Member for Public Utilities". The Member system
is a common and well-tried one in the political development of dependent
territories and is considered a good preparation for the introduction of the
full Ministerial system. That it should be introduced in British Honduras
so soon, the most foolhardy prophet would not have dared to foretell a
It has often been said by people under extremist influence of one type
or another that in the politics of dependent territories, violence is the only
way to self-government. The example of the Gold Coast disproves this.
There, reason and a sense of public responsibility have triumphed. So
now, also in British Honduras. The leaders of the P.P.P. have certainly
been given food for thought.
AN EAGLE'S-EYE VIEW OF THE BRITISH CARIBBEAN
(July 17, 1954)
SUPPOSE WE COULD GET into a huge aircraft and fly out and up
.north west from British Guiana we would find that we were tremend-
ously high above the Caribbean Sea, we would see the waters of the sea far
below and there would be the familiar shapes of the islands we know from
our knowledge of maps and the islands themselves stretched out below us.
It.would be a fantastically huge aircraft to give us that overall view.
Well, every year, the Comptroller for Development and Welfare does
,this,sort of thing in the intellectual field. -He takes a tremendous flight
up and out from Barbados where he has his headquarters, and from his
strato-cruiser of the mind he looks down and picks out the most important
things which have happened in the British Caribbean. It is only the other
day that the present Comptroller, Sir Stephen Luke, issued his report on
the year 1953, and now in Topic For Tonight I'm going to let you hear of
major trends in our West Indian region.
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The peoples of the British Caribbean territories are united in a com-
mon loyalty and devotion to the Crown, and the year 1953 was rendered
memorable to the whole region by the visit to Jamaica in November of Her
Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on
their way to Australia and New Zealand. The growing sense of the unity
of the British West Indies was exemplified by the presence in Jamaica on
that occasion of representatives from all the British territories of the area,
who gathered to welcome Her Majesty on her arrival at Montego Bay the
very place where seven years ago there had been a Federation Conference.
Sir Stephen Luke has said that the task of regional co-operation will
never be easy in the absence of a central executive authority. Such
machinery as now exists is consultative and advisory so that speedy action
can seldom be achieved. Nevertheless, there were encouraging signs in
1953 bpth of the increasing readiness of individual governments to make
use of this machinery, and of their determination to make it work as
effectively as possible. The Report stresses the fact that the Regional
Economic Committee has gone a far way towards establishing itself as an
effective and businesslike instrument for mutual consultation on economic
matters of common concern, and spends some time on the important work
of the past year.
Sir Stephen Luke, quite rightly, emphasized the fact that C.D. 8& W.
arranged important conferences on Agriculture, Oils and Fats, on Home
Economics on U.S. Farm Labour, on Timbers, on Caribbean Air Services,
Aided Self-help Housing, Graduate Training in Agriculture and so on. I
think that anyone who reads the opening chapter of the Report will be
forced to realise the growing need for economic and social co-operation in
the British Caribbean.
Finally, let's turn to the chapter we are all most interested in. This is
the one on the economic background of the West Indies. What happened
last year ? Are we richer or poorer and what are the danger signs, if any?
Well for many years past, the curve of economic trends in the region has
been upwards. Primary producers have been encouraged by increased
prices and more stable marketing conditions; but primary producers have
been the first to experience some warnings that the economic climate may
prove somewhat uncertain in the next few years, a moderate decrease for
instance in the price of sugar sold on quota. Citrus fruit growers too were
faced with threats of heavily subsidized competition at a time when they
had committed themselves to large-scale projects for expansion of output.
Banana production has in several cases been sponsored by government
schemes but it seemed probable towards the end of the year that some
decline in prices would occur before long. Ginger and nutmegs were un-
certain and prices lower than of recent years.
In contrast to the declining prices in the goods we sell abroad there
are the high prices of imported goods which contribute to the high cost of
Governmental and other observers of the West Indian scene agree
that the highest priority should now be given to efforts to reduce the cost
of living which presses most severely upon the large proportion of agricul-
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
tural workers and brings about a reduction in their real income in spite of
nominal gains. We've been neglecting the expansion of home-grown food
supplies and consequently depend on expensive imported tinned foods.
Very strenuous efforts must now be made to augment the production and
remunerative marketing of locally-grown foodstuffs.
Copies of this 1953 Report of the Comptroller for Development and
Welfare are available for sale on reference and I invite you to take this
eagle's eye view of the British Caribbean in 1953.
FOR CANADA A BIGGER PLACE IN THE SUN
(July 1, 1954)
TODAY WAS A BIG DAY in Canada-the first of July, Dominion Day.
For it was on this day 87 years ago, that the North America Act,
unifying the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New
Brunswick, brought the new nation of Canada into being. The
dominion idea, the idea of a self-governing nation independent in every
way, but owing allegiance to the Crown, was born then. So if this is an
important day for Canada, it is also an important day for the Common-
Canada built the road along which has now gone the other great
and independent nations of the Commonwealth, Australia, New Zealand,
and India and Ceylon, and perhaps soon to go that way, the Gold Coast.
It is a great story this, and it's a story just begun. The Commonwealth
story beginning with the vision of far-sighted British statesmen in the 19th
century, particularly of that otherwise curiously undistinguished man,
Lord Durham;-that is a theme for many talks. But tonight I want to
speak only of Canada and its role in the world.
We in British Guiana have always had the closest trade links with
Canada; links emphasized in the old days by the frequent arrival of the
Canadian "lady" boats. But trade links, however close, are impersonal
links. Today, however, we have close intimate ties with Canada. So many
of our friends and relatives have gone to live there in recent years that what
happens there must have for many listening tonight a personal interest.
And I daresay, the news of Dominion Day celebrations will trickle back in
letters in a day or two.
What then does Canada mean to us? It means, I think, flour, and
from the movies, the country of the Mounties who never fail to get their
man. And it is the home too of the Dionne quintuplets. But there is far
more to Canada than this. We think of the U.S.A. as a big country
because it is a developed one and because it has a tremendous impact on
world affairs, but Canada in sheer physical size is much bigger. If you
could cut it out of the North American continent and turn it over it
would cover the whole of the U.S.A., and reach far down into the Carib-
bean. And it is rich country, rich in wealth, rich in resources, some
hitherto unsuspected. Recent explorations have shown that there is vast
mineral wealth in its northern reaches.
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We never quite realise its importance because it is overshadowed by
its great neighbour, but today its place in the sun is widening. It is
already the third trading nation in the world. But far more significant
of Canada's stature than trade is the achievement of her statesmen iin
world affairs. The name of Lester Pearson, Canadian Secretary of State
for External Affairs, is familiar not only in the General Assembly of the
United Nations in New York. And across the Atlantic, Canadian states-
manship and Canadian arms are parts of the formidable fellowship of
the North Atlantic Organisation. And Canadian skill and Canadian
money will be found playing a part in nearly all the U.N. Technical
Assistance programmes which aim to improve the industry, the health
and the education of under-developed areas. And Canada's role in the
world outside is second only to its role in the Commonwealth. It is
playing a vital part in Commonwealth projects, projects far removed fromr
Canada's sphere of influence; as far removed as South East Asia where
Canada is contributing to the Colombo Plan.
All these roles are most important for the peace of the world, but
there is one sphere in which 'Canada is making a unique and distinctive
contribution.. Sir Winston Churchill referred to it yesterday in Ottawa.
He said Canada was the essential link of Anglo-American unity.
Canadians speak "American" and play base-ball, and drink coffee in pre-
ference to tea. But they are nonetheless a Commonwealth nation with
characteristic British political institutions, and they cherish the monarchy
that links them with a great British past and with other free nations in
Europe, in Asia, in Africa and Australasia, in a world Commonwealth. So
Canadians, because of temperament and custom on the one hand and in-
stitution on the other, are in a better position than any other people in the
world to interpret one to the other and to link together the Common-
wealth and the U.S.A. And this role, as a link, in no way minimises
Canada's own achievements, for her sons are found, as I've said already, in
the councils, of nations where hostile ideas meet, and, in the places where
the enemy is poverty. Or in battle fields as recently in Korea, where evil
men work their way. They are found, indeed, wherever men defend the
frontiers of freedom.
PAKISTAN A DREAM COME TRUE
S(August 14, 1954)
SEVEN YEARS AGO on this day Pakistan or, as Beverly Nichols calls it,
the "dream empire" of Indian Muslims "came out of the clouds and
placed itself on the world's map with a bang."
Situated, as you probably know, across the Indian sub-continent,
Pakistan occupies a unique geographical position since it is the only coun-
try in the world divided into two distinct parts separated by '1,000 miles.
The Punjab, the. famous land of five rivers, the N.W. Province, Sind and
Baluchistan go to make up West Pakistan. Taken together, that great
territory borders on Iran, Arabia and the Middle East, and it is culturally
Sand historically a part of it. East Pakistan, on the other hand, borders on
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The question has often been asked "Should India, a country which for
centuries, to all outward appearances, was physically, culturally and
historically a single unit, have been partitioned ?" And indeed much
controversy surrounds the question even now and there can be no final
answer. But tonight I want to speak only of the events leading up to the
The Moghul Empire under Akbar the Great endeavoured before the
,coming of the British to unite the Indian country. Akbar tried to give it
the gift bf nationhood. "We ought therefore to bring them all into one"
said Akbar "but in such a fashion that they should be 'one and all' with
the great advantage of not losing what is good in one religion, while gain-
ing what is better in another."
So he proclaimed a new religion to sweep away both Islam and
Hinduism. Akbar was to be the Head and God's Viceregent on Earth.
His subjects throughout India were to forget religious differences and unite
in the new worship. Akbar's experiment was a magnificent failure and he
was not unaware of the real reason. It was that no political unity could
cover up the religious differences in a population whose religion was the
most important element in life.
Akbar's two successors Jehangir and Sha Jehan adopted the policy of
never letting rival religious feeling come to the surface. But trouble soon
arose in the form of Sha Jehan's eldest son who showed an utter disregard
for Islam. The followers of Islam fearing a repetition of Akbar's regime
gathered forces under Auranzebe, another son of the Emperor. The result
was the accession of Auranzebe.
Whatever might have been his policy, Auranzebe kept one feature of
Akbar's the unity of India, an India completely under Muslim rule.
The Hindu states revolted and another failure was recorded. A series of
wranglings and riots took place until the British came.
The British rule in India emulated Akbar's idea and tried to impose
unity in India. Queen Victoria's proclamation read as follows: "We
declare it our royal will and pleasure that none be anywise favoured, none
molested or disquietened by reason of their religious faith or observances
and it is our further will that, so far as may be, our subjects of whatever
race and creed be freely admitted to offices in our service." The new unity
of India was to be achieved by means of communications which were
employed to enable the people to feel not as Hindus and Muslims but as
For a time there was a measure of success until the forces of nationalism
got to work. To the Hindu, Muslim control was looked upon. as some-
thing foreign and to-the Muslim, majority rule by the. Hindu, meant com-
plete loss of identity.
Affairs came to a head round 1930. Slowly the term Pakistan or
"holy land" was born in the minds of such notable men as Sir Syed Ahmad
Khan, Sir Muhammed Iqbal and Mohamed Ali Jinnah. To these men it
was apparent that the unity of India which for centuries their predecessors
had encouraged should be a thing of the past, and that India should be
-partitioned, and the Muslims given-a share- in- it.
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Jinnah when asked what was the Muslims claim to be a nation
replied. "We are a nation, with our own distinctive culture, and civiliza-
tion, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomen-
clature, sense of value and proportion, legal laws and moral codes, customs
and calendar; history and traditions, aptitudes and ambitions; in short we
have our own distinctive outlook on life and of life. By all the canons of
International Law we are a nation." These few lines sum up the senti-
ments of millions of Muslims in India. And since every nation should
have a country, the Muslims strived vigorously and unrelentingly, to make
Pakistan a reality. And this was achieved on this day seven years ago.
(August 15, 1954)
THE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE ACT, 1947, brought to an end the
whole structure of British government in India. The handing over
power was completed on this day, seven years ago. So tonight, it might be
in place, to dwell for a moment on the legacy of India.
There is the India of the great cities standing out in contrast with the
India of the hill and forest peoples, and between these two, the India of the
villages serving as a link between life in its complex, and life in its primi-
tive forms. The thought characteristic of these three Indias, ranging from
simple superstitions through the variegated beliefs of an agricultural and
pastoral people, to the subtle systems of the intellectuals has found expres-
sion both in literature and in art.
To understand the form and shape which things took, it is necessary
to.know something about the high ideals of Indian life. There were three
main roads by which the wayfarers of this world sought to reach the goal
of everlasting life. Firstly there is the 'jnana' marga or way of knowledge,
pictured in a vast and profound literature, then there is 'karma marga' or
the way of action involving the careful observation of a complex ritual, and
above all these, the ingredients of popular Hinduism performance by a
man of his caste-dharma or duty, in accordance with the holy book,
Bhagavad-Gita. In that book is laid down that "action performed with no
hope or desire for reward, but solely-because it is his duty, has no power to
bind a man to earth". And finally, the "bhakti marga" or way of com-
plete devotion to God in which a man gives up all else and devotes himself
to continuous adoration of the deity, a method pictured and symbolised in
the literature devoted to the worship of the Lord Krishna, and practised by
many saints. The outward and visible signs of this immense religious
fervour which filled the centuries of India's history is to be found in the
many and various monuments of religious architecture, painting, literature
and sculptures. These works stand as milestones upon India's age-long
quest after God.
Until the end of the 18th century, physical and language difficulties
were sufficient to account for the comparatively small influence which
India and the western world exercised on each other. Within the last
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
century, some millions of educated Indians have learnt the English
language and the barriers preventing intercourse between East and West
have been substantially removed.
And a common language is not the only contribution of Britain to the
legacy of India. That legacy is not static; it is steadily growing in rich-
ness and content and for generations yet unborn it may well be that the
contribution made to it by the British people may prove to be an incal-
culable one. Even today the influence of the English language upon the
vernaculars is plainly apparent; while the effect of British political tradi-
tion as a force moulding the mind of modern India has been profound.
Incorruptible and efficient administration, the equality of all men in the
eyes of the law, these together with ideals of liberty and of the sovereignty
of the people expressing itself through representative institutions, have
been sown by Englishmen upon Indian soil.
Previous to its Independence, India's cultural progress was limited by
political issues. With the emergence of independent India, the world came
increasingly to recognize that here was a country which had not only
achieved its freedom, but had achieved it in a cultured and civilized way
that has perhaps no parallel in human history.
Today despite the many urgent problems with which she is faced,
India recognizes her obligations to the arts, music, visual arts, drama, and
the dance. But she is not only concerned with the mind; the importance
of strong, healthy bodies is also recognized. Her activities in athletics,
cricket, polo and hockey are coming into world prominence. The colossal
National Stadium in New Delhi with the most modern athletic equipment
and swimming pool is one of the gifts of present day India to the coming
The Government of India recognizes well that its contributions to the
world would, because of India's history, have to be mainly in the fields of
moral excellence and human relations. For the first time in many
centuries, India as a state has started taking an active interest in the pro-
motion of art and cultural activities not only within the country, but also
abroad. In the past, individual men had done this men like Tagore,
and the late Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed, the impact of Ghandi's personal-
ity on the modern world deeply stirred the conscience of men in all coun-
tries and led to a growing awareness of the value of India's culture for the
regeneration of the world.
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"POINTERS TO PROSPERITY"
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THE FOREST SECTOR OR B.G's. ECONOMY
(September 22, 1954)
TONIGHT, with the World Bank Mission's report, I pass from agricul-
ture to another important branch of British Guiana's economy the
Forest sector. In sheer size, it could perhaps be ranked as the most import-
ant sector. It covers 83% of the total land area, and approximately
70,000 square miles. It begins on the heels of the coastal agricultural
areas and extends southwards to the mountain ranges on the Brazilian
frontier. 'On the east, it stretches from the Surinam border westward to
Venezuela and Brazil. Clearly then, the forests are one of our great
assets. They are too, a renewable resource, for if carefully managed they
will support a stable and prosperous forest industry almost forever.
This forest area is traversed by an immense river system, more than
half of it being in the watershed of the Essequibo River and its numerous
tributaries. Now only the lower reaches of the Essequibo River are
navigable by ocean going steamers. Steamers can reach the saw-mills on
the Stampa and Kaow Island near Bartica, but can go only a little further.
Beyond, in the upper reaches, all the rivers are interrupted by long
stretches of rapids and falls. These make the transport of logs and other
forest products extremely difficult, if not impossible.
The limits of navigation thus divide the forests of the interior into two
clear zones the accessible or exploitable forest area, within the navigable
reaches of the river, and the almost inaccessible forests of the far interior.
Let us consider first the forests of the far interior. Surveys are not
conclusive, but it is probable that two-thirds of its 56,000 square miles is
potentially exploitable. Today it is exploited only in a small and limited
way for minor forest products, particularly balata which provides a small
income for the Amerindians. The only other use of these forests of the
far interior is the supply of wood, for simple structures and as fuel to
scattered gold and diamond camps and sometimes, it is understood, to
Brazilian, settlers and cattlemen.
The near or exploitable area, on the other hand, is much smaller, some
14,000 square miles. In the whole zone, there are only about 500 square
miles of privately controlled forests, the rest consists of crown lands. The
principal fo6us of exploitation today is the Bartica triangle where the large
scale development of C.D.C. is now progressing.
Under the pressure of our rapidly growing population, (population is
the villain of the piece that comes up again and again), the northern fringe
of this near interior forest area is being rapidly pushed back by agriculture?
is being, reduced to bush, inferior trees, and subject to fires. The rest of
the area is the site of our logging industry, and surveys indicate that the
area can go on producing for some 30 years.
The Mission noted, however, that if our forestry resources are to be
renewed from time to time, there must be a firm forest policy and up-to-
date forest management methods. A major step toward this end was taken
last year, where the Forestry Department, which has hitherto been purely
advisory, was given the administration of the Crown. forests under our new
28 TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
CONTROL OF B.G's. FORESTS
(September 29, 1954)
yOU MAY REMEMBER that last Wednesday evening, in my sketch of
the forest sector of B.G's economy, I had got as far as the new Forest
Ordinance. Tonight I'd like to deal briefly with some of the problems of the
Forestry Department as seen by the World Bank Report. The Forestry
Department was established as long ago as 1925, but until the enactment
of the Forest Ordinance last year, had only operated in an advisory capa-
city. Effective forest management was therefore very slow. The forests
of the Colony until the passing of that Ordinance were regulated by the
Crown Lands Ordinance of 1903. There was indeed a Forest Ordinance,
but this remained ineffective because of a certain division in power. The
forests were under the supervision of the Forestry Department, but the land
on which they stood was under the administration of the Lands and Mines
Department. In effect, the management of the trees were separated:from
the management of the land on which they grew. It had been realized for
some time that this dual control between the Lands and Mines Department
and the Forestry Department was unsatisfactory. That is the background
to the enactment in February, 1953, of a new Forest Ordinance, an ordin-
ance, (and this is.how it is titled) "to consolidate and amend the law rela-
ting to forests." This law gives Government the authority to declare any
crown land area "Crown forests" and to put it under the control of the
Forestry Department. Its immediate effect was to transfer the manage-
ment of approximately 29,000 square miles of forest from the Lands and
Mines Department to the Forestry Department.
But this dual control of forests and forest lands was not the only handi-
cap under which the department struggled. The Mission found that it had
(and it still has) too few technical staff. And the shortage in staff is not
limited to the higher levels only; there is, too, a shortage of rangers. The
Mission noted that the present rangers because of their heavy duties were
unable to acquire an intimate knowledge of the large areas under their
Something is being done to overcome this shortage of rangers. A
Forestry school was opened at Bartica in the middle of last year, and by
the end of the year, 8 forest rangers had successfully completed the course.
The school was again held this year and it is understood that another one
is to begin shortly. On the side of senior staff, the position still remains
acute. Our present salaries are just not good enough to attract qualified
technical personnel. This is a point which is being considered by the
Salaries Commissioner. On the other hand, Government and the Colonial
Development and Welfare organization has provided funds from time to
time for technical forestry training abroad, for qualified young men of
A quick look now at the organisation of the forest industry. The
forest industry may lie said to have developed on its own. A logger finding
a promising tract of forest applied for a year to year lease, and provided
that the area applied for was not unreasonably large, and nobody else
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
wanted it, the lease was usually granted. As British Guiana has a system
of natural waterways, transport was easy. It therefore took no great capital
to enter the logging industry. The forests in the more accessible reaches
of rivers and creeks have thus been broken up into no less than 600 small
concessions worked by small operators, under conditions which make
adequate control almost impossible. A major task of the Forestry Depart-
ment today is to put an end to the breaking up of our forests into small
concessions, which has been going on for the last 50 years.
FINANCING THE LOGGING INDUSTRY
(October 6, 1954)
LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT, I had got as far as the Logging and Milling
industry. Tonight I want to go on from there and have a closer look at
the logging side of the industry. The first thing the World Bank experts
noted is that logging in British Guiana is almost an industry in itself.
In other parts of the world, there is no separation as there is here,
between the logging and saw-milling sides of the industry. It is usual for
millers to be loggers, but here in British Guiana, this is seldom the case.
Only a few of the larger sawmills, those specialising in the export of lumber,
administer their concessions directly and produce logs. Those few main-
tain logging camps, these camps varying from barely habitable shacks to
well-built modern units, equipped with water and lights. But the majority
of the small saw millers, those supplying lumber for the local market, do
not operate concessions directly. The logs supplied to meet the require-
ments of their mills are produced by a large number of small loggers who
either have small timber concessions, or work on those secured for them
by millers. These small loggers experience very great difficulty in finan-
cing their operations. They depend on advances from the mill owners for
food and other materials. And there was until recently no source from
which they could get cash to finance continuous year-round operations of
any scope. The World Bank noted that the loggers could hardly ever
afford good equipment for log extraction and transportation. They could
not afford the type of lorry and mechanical winches which were becoming
increasingly necessary for extraction as they moved further inland from the
creeks and river banks. They rely on old trucks of British and American
make which the World Bank felt were unsuitable. These lorries are in-
variably overloaded and often improperly loaded. They are employed for
long hours with little or no maintenance. Operating over poorly located
and badly built penetration roads, they deteriorate very rapidly. Only
the ingenuity of bush mechanics kept them going. The World Bank felt
that the loggers needed heavy duty lorries, specially equipped for work on
poor roads. There was also the need for better mechanical winches. All
this meant expenditure of an order which the small logger has not in the
past, been in a position to afford. But now the Credit Corporation is
assisting. You might already have heard that the loggers operating in the
Bartica area are forming a co-operative. When that is done, an approach
will be made to the Credit Corporation for assistance to purchase the
necessary haulage equipment. But this is not the only way in which the
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small logger is being assisted. He has at his disposal the advice of the
technical officers of the Forest Department. He can seek their help -
they are always read to help him in the operational problems which he
comes up against from time to time. Now that he is getting the capital
he needs, those officers are helping him to choose the right type of equip-
OUTPUT BY SAWMILLS
(October 13, 1954)
CONTINUING TONIGHT with the World Bank Report our study of
the timber or wood industry, we go on and take a quick glance at the
structure of the milling branch of the industry. We saw last week, that
unlike the situation in other countries, here there is almost a clear separa-
tion between the logging and milling branches of the industry.
We have some 83 mills widely varying in output. The World Bank
Mission remarked that nearly half the number of mills produce only 12%
of the total output. In other words, most of our sawmills have ah
extremely low daily output. The World Bank Mission also noted that only
a very few of these mills were situated on the river banks or islands close
to the source of the log supply. This no doubt, has come about because of
the separation of the two branches of the industry. The fact is that nearly
all our sawmills are at the mouths of our rivers, close to the centres of
Production by these mills is divided into two classes-first, the structur-
al timber for export, and second, timber for local consumption. Timber for
export is produced almost exclusively by the larger sawmills, which are
alone capable of cutting these materials to meet the rigid specifications of
the United Kingdom, Netherlands and U.S. markets. These large mills
enjoy a fairly brisk business, built up during many years of sustained effort.
But the World Bank Mission noted a curious fact. These mills do not
maintain on hand supplies of ready-to-ship materials.
Each order usually means the fishing for logs in a muddy log pile that
may or may not meet the needs of the moment. Quite often it is the case
that a request has to be made to the loggers to ship logs of a certain
dimension to the sawmills to meet the rigid specifications of some export
order. This method undoubtedly has the advantage of not tying up funds
in stock piles. On the other hand no time is allowed for the gradual
seasoning of wood.
Here I must mention the new $3 million sawmill recently completed
at Houston. It was officially opened in February this year, you may
remember. This mill is equipped with two seasoning kilns-an innovation
to British Guiana, where what seasoning there has been up to date (and
there has been very little) has been taking up to six months. The Houston
plant, the largest in these parts, is expected to produce 10 to 12 million feet
board measure annually.
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Lumber for domestic requirements is supplied by a large group of
small sawmills. Their production, the World Bank expert found, is low
in relation to effort and the quality of the product poor. The Mission
observed that many of these scattered small sawmills suffered from inade-
quacy of working space, poor planning in the utilization of space, and no
space at all for orderly stacking. Moreover, their machinery is badly
installed all these factors contributing directly to the inability to produce
properly sawn, well-sized and easily marketable lumber. In combination
with the unreliable log supply, these circumstances make it impossible for
the mills to sustain production over long periods. These conditions in the
sawmilling industry are an aftermath of the rapid expansion to meet the
increasing demand for timber which began during the war. In an effort
to meet this demand, new mills were established. Any type of milling
machine, whether suitable or not, was acquired and installed in these
Another weakness of our timber industry apart from its haphazard
development is that only two kinds of wood (Greenheart and Crabwood)
are extensively used. Two of the objects of the Central Wood Manufac-
turing Plant now being erected by the Forest Department at Kingston will
be to popularise as many kinds of timber as possible and to act as a central
manufacturing market agency for sawmillers who are not well placed, to
manufacture and market their own production.
(October 20, 1954)
SWANT TO SKETCH IN quickly now the import and export picture for
timber and wood products.
Our chief items for export are long lengths of sawn and hewn green-
heart squares and piling for construction companies in the United
Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. These importers insist
on very high specifications and it is often not possible to find sufficient
greenheart of the type required to fill an overseas order. After greenheart,
mora. Mora exports are still in the experimental stage. Quantities have
been sent from time to time to Australia, the United States, Netherlands
and parts of the West Indies where they have been used as railroad sleepers,
Wallaba telephone poles are in considerable demand abroad. Unfortun-
ately, these are always manufactured by hand and this is a slow process.
That is also true of wallaba shingles which are also in much demand
particularly in the West Indies. Export of poles and shingles could be
increased appreciably, the Mission felt, if machine cutting was introduced.
C.D.C. (B.G. timbers that is) is experimenting, it is understood, along these
lines. Besides greenheart, wallaba and mora, at one time we used to ex-
port a great deal of soft wood, but these exports have now declined partly
due to the exhaustion of the best material in the easily accessible areas.
Now for imports. Before the war we used to import a lot of white
pine. Today imports have declined a great deal but white pine imports
still amount to half a million feet board measure. White pine is mostly
used for the bottoms of cane punts and for window and door sashes. A
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certain amount of white oak is also imported and used to make casks for
rum. On the question of imports the World Bank Mission felt that some
of the white pine used could be replaced with well chosen, properly cut and
seasoned B.G. wood. On the export side the Mission felt that we might
begin to try, if they were well processed, lesser known or unknown species
of wood in the foreign markets.
This brings me to the Central Wood Manufacturing Plant, for these
two recommendations of the World Bank are among the aims of this pro-
ject. The plant is now being established in Kingston to operate in con-
junction with the Forest Department's Seasoning Yard.
The Seasoning Yard was established several years ago to provide the
P.W.D. with seasoned timber of better cut, and to show the public the
advantages of cured lumber, to popularise unknown species of wood and to
introduce and demonstrate the advantages of grading. The objectives of
the new plant include these but will be much wider in ranges. The plant
when fully established will be putting on the market large quantities of
lumber of more than 35 different kinds and grades, seasoned, well manu-
factured and treated where necessary with preservatives. It will act as a
Central Manufacturing and Marketing agency for sawmillers who are not
well placed to manufacture and market their own production. (We saw
last week, how ill equipped were the majority of our sawmills and how
their production was very low and unfinished). It will try to replace
imported soft wood by the production of local soft wood lumber of com-
parable quality and manufacture and on the export side it will try even-
tually through the agency of exporting firms to establish markets in other
parts of the Caribbean for seasoned and dressed lumber of certain kinds.
The World Bank Mission noted that before much of our lumber can be
used for construction it must be reworked by carpenters. This is costly,
and is paid for by the consumer. The Central plant will eliminate this
waste by producing lumber in standard lengths and widths, thus cutting
reworking down to A minimum.
When this Central Manufacturing Plant gets into stride, the World
Bank Mission feels, it will be performing essential services for the develop-
ment of the forest industry in British Guiana.
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"OUR DAILY FOOD"
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FISH CULTURE IN B.G.
(September 4, 1954)
j HAVE A KIND OF FISH STORY for the topic tonight and as the
tradition goes, I must begin with a story about people fishing. The
time is nearly 30 years ago and the people who were fishing then have
branched off since into law and education and labour relations to become
respectively a magistrate, acting Principal of a Training College and a
departmental Staff Officer'.
Well, I don't want to tease your imagination much longer. I have
seen R. G. Sharpies, Sonny Rodway and O. T. Donald catching houri in a
trench along the East Coast at a place called Paradise. Hour after hour,
they would fish and sometimes, as the Bible said, they would catch nothing,
and I'm sure none of these three ardent knights of the fishing rod knew
then that you could grow fish just as how a Buxton farmer grows his
W. H. L. Allsopp is back in B.G. from a trip practically all round the
world on a U.N. Fellowship. He has been looking into the methods and
fisheries in places the names of which we generally see on postage stamps
etc. places like Siam or Thailand. And one of the results of his tour
is that we shall soon have when I say soon, I mean by the end of the year
fishponds in B.G. which should produce about one ton of fish every year
to the acre.
We began in B.G. to grow fish-that was 1949-with hassas, patwas,
houri, sunfish and lukanani. For a fish to be suitable for pond cultiva-
tion it must be able to live in fairly shallow water which is not flowing,
must grow fast, reproduce easily, must be easily fed and must not prey on
other fish and be fairly hardy. It was found that in our "sweet water" or
"black water", the growth of fish is very slow as the water is clear and acid
and does not produce enough food for the fish to eat. Some of these fish
were also grown in rice fields after it was found that those brought from
Malaya were readily eaten by the local houri, the most commonly occurr-
ing carnivorous fish.
The next step was to move from coastland trenches to the brackish
water swamplands as there are better prospects of high yield through more
fertile waters in such swamps. In Surinam they are cultivating Snook,
mullets and cuffum in such areas most successfully. Many localities along
our Coast have been found where the young of these fish come in with high
tides and it is intended to establish a brackish water fish-culture project in
The Fishery Officer has brought with him particularly selected fast
growing varieties of fish which can be easily fed on rice bussie and which
are doing well in ponds where they have now been acclimatised. These
fish grow very fast, are easy to spawn, feed and cultivate and are very tasty.
Farmers who have prepared ponds will be able to obtain supplies for
cultivating by the end of the year. One farmer has already got a supply.
It is estimated that about one ton of fish can be obtained from a pond of
one acre annually out here; but six times as much is obtained in other
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It has been found that the cost of fertilisers is too high to be used
cheaply to increase the fertility of our waters. Lime was tried and
phosphates but the water may however be enriched by careful addition of
stable manure and this has been done effectively and is quite cheap.
This method of growing fish in ponds is very important let us say
nothing about our present supply of beef but if we can get fish for our
daily food in large quantities our community health is bound to improve
and some of the worry lines will fade from the faces of housewives.
In China, Japan, Indonesia and Malaya and other parts of the Far
East, the fish grown in ponds is a major source of food. Imagine, half a
million tons of fish are produced every year in those countries. It's hard
to see all these leaping fish in the mind's eye, but they must be one of' the
great bulwarks against malnutrition and starvation in those parts of tih
Anyway, our fish culture will improve, given a little time and patience
and the trenches of the East Coast and fish ponds in Essequibo will teem
with leaping life and the fish farmer should rise in importance in our
MOTORISING THE FISHING INDUSTRY
(December 2, 1954)
THE OTHER DAY I was looking through a paper which had come to us
from UNESCO. It told of what FAO was doing to improve fishing in
tropical areas. In Ceylon and in Saudi Arabia and in many other parts
of the Middle East and the Far East, FAO were demonstrating that.one
quick and effective method of improving catches was to introduce motor
driven boats. Fishermen with motor driven boats, caught more fish than
fishermen who depend on their muscle and wind. Put a motor on, a boat
and men can go to sea faster and further. They can keep moving with
the schools of fish when they locate them. With a motor they can haul
more nets and lines. The experience of FAO was that once they had sent
out a technical assistance mission to show the way and small engines to be
installed in a few boats fishermen jumped at the chance to increase their
All this was most convincing, so I got in touch with Mr. Allsopp, our
Fisheries Officer, to find out what was happening here. This is what I
found out. Our Fishery development programme has always emphasized
the advantages of fishing boats with engines. The difficulty here has been
until recently that the average fisherman had little capital. Today, he can
get loans from the Credit Corporation, but I will come back to that in a
minute. In spite, however, of the absence of capital there has been in' fact
in the last year or two, an increase in the number of fishermen who have
put in engines with the help of local firms and, agents of outboard
engines. If you went down today to the Sussex Street Fish Koker, or the,
market selling in New Amsterdam or at the Canje Bridge; Landing or at
Bartica, you would see a good many outboard engines; some -forty in
Georgetown and a dozen or more in Bartica and Berbice.
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The indoor engine I am told is a much better investment from the
long terrh point of view, but the outboard engine is favoured by the local
fisherman because of its low initial cost, and because it can be easily re-
moved from small craft and stored at home in safety. Their engines, they
feel, if left in the boats at the Fish Koker might be destroyed or stolen. But
the indoor engine is definitely better; its initial cost is higher but it is
simpler and cheaper to run in the long run. And with an inboard engine,
the fisherman can provide himself with additional facilities such as hauling
lines, winches and so on. This cannot be done with an outboard engine.
So eventually, our fishermen must aim at equipping their craft with in-
board engines. And the Fishery Division in anticipation of this develop-
ment, has been considering the question of the safe docking of craft with
such engines. I got the impression that our fishing community is very
much alive to the advantages of mechanised fishing, thanks to the efforts
of the Department.
This is evidenced by the large number of applications for loans coming
from fishermen to the B.G. Credit Corporation for the purchase of engines.
For, it is clear as FAO has demonstrated in other parts of the world that
the amount of fish that can be caught with a boat with an engine is much
greater than with one without. The question today is not whether fisher-
men can afford motors. They can no longer afford not to have them.
Even in the poorest fishing regions of the world, engines quickly pay for
themselves in extra catches. And this applies here also, applies both to
small operations in the river estuaries no less than to the larger operations
of pin seines by the boats which go to the North West, Essequibo Coast
and the.Corentyne. Further more when the catch is brought in rapidly
the amount of spoilage is less.
Yes, engines are coming in to our fishing industry too. But the
handling of them is comparatively new to most fishermen. So the Fishery
Department is hoping that fishermen will be able to take part in a course
which is being arranged by the Technical Institute and in which they
could learn how to operate, maintain and repair their engines efficiently.
The course will start next year.
DEVELOPING A SHRIMP TRADE
(April 13, 1954)
MINOR INDUSTRIES constitute an important factor in the economic
life of any country, since, apart from their contribution to the national
economy, they provide direct and indirect employment for large numbers
of people. And so news of the development of minor industries in a coun-
try must be of importance to the people of that country.
Tonight I want to tell you about an attempt which is now being made
to develop a particular minor industry the dried shrimp industry. And
what I think is really important about this attempt, is that the persons in-
volved are small producers.
The shrimp trade which covers preserved shrimp and shrimp meal,
accounted for more than four hundred thousand pounds of fresh shrimp
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during last year. Quite a formidable figure, but you see in most cases it
takes about ten pounds of fresh shrimp to produce one pound of the
The shrimp meal especially is finding a ready market locally. Pro-
duced from the residue of dried shrimp, it contains a high protein content
and is widely used in the manufacture of poultry feeds. About forty
thousand pounds were sold locally during last year.
As I said at the beginning, the persons making these efforts to help
themselves and, at the same time, boost our national economy, are small
producers. But a striking feature of it all, is that here again, our women
folk are not only taking an active part, but are actually setting the pace.
One of the best efforts is that of three sisters in Hogg Street, Albouystown.
whose initiative in the preserved shrimp trade has not only been rewarded
with a good response in British Guiana, but has also led to the capture of
the Trinidad market.
Starting the industry in a small way ten years ago, the Naraine sisters
-Mrs. Lallsingh, Mrs. Appiah and Miss D. Naraine-have now established
a factory and there is every promise that they will soon develop a large ex-
port trade on a sound commercial basis. At the outset the efforts of these
three sisters were aimed merely at saving the surplus from the glut of fresh
shrimp for local consumption. This policy of using only the surplus supply
is still maintained, but their trade has developed immensely. You see,
whilst formerly fishermen only caught enough shrimp to fill the immediate
needs of the housewives, they now bring in maximum catches with the
knowledge that they can dispose of any amount.
In this factory which the Naraine sisters have erected, a steam plant is
used to assist in curing the shrimp; and there are also a storage room and
drying compound. The process employed is to wash, salt, steam, dry, shell,
sift and finally pack the preserved shrimp in ten-pound boxes for export.
Of course there are other residents of Albouystown who are also in the
preserved shrimp trade and they too, are doing quite well. But the
achievement of the Naraine sisters is outstanding and serves as an inspira-
tion to the rest of the small producers.
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"BY THE SWEAT OF OUR BROWS"
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TRADE liNIONISMf IN B.G.
(November 11, 1954).
TONIGHT'S EXAMINATION of the Robertson Commission Report
deals with the trade union movement. First of all, here is the recommen-
dation made by the Robertson Commission. They said, "Something may
be accomplished if the trade union movement in the United Kingdom could
take upon itself to send out (meaning to British Guiana) a man knowledge-
able of trade union practice to be guide and adviser. Only a man who had
himself graduated through the trade union mill could hope to gain the con-
fidence and respect of Guianese trade unionists. He could stand closer to
the unions than it is possible for the Department of Labour to do having
regard to its statutory duties and its role in arbitration between trade
unions and employers".
In their survey of conditions in British Guiana the Commission made a
study of the way in which trade unions had developed in British Guiana.
On the Commission was Mr. George Woodcock, who is the Assistant Gen-
eral Secretary to the British Trade Union Congress. Mr. Woodcock has of
course used his considerable experience in trade union practice in his ana-
lysis of B.G. conditions. This is what the Commission reported. They
felt that there has been a tendency "for unions to grow up, dis-
integrate and then reform in the same or other guise. The trade uniol"
movement has been too much used by would-be politicians as a means for
obtaining power, and not as a way of improving the conditions of labour.
Too many presidents and officials of trade unions even today are mere poli-
ticians. Many of them are not and never have been workers". Let us look
around and we shall see the truth of this sentence in the Commission's
Our trade union movement, first started with that grand old man, Mr.
Hubert Critchlow, in 1921 and has developed to the present day. The
Commission cited a total of 27 trade unions in B.G. and their membership
varies from time to time. In addition to that those who are financial
members are always less than the nominal membership. As the Commis-
sion Report states "financial membership is often far lower than reported
total membership." Then comes the question we ask ourselves, "What is
the feeling within a union ?" "Is there the kind of loyalty and support to
the organisation which we find in other parts of the world?" In answer to
that question, the Report states that "among the rank and file of the
unions there does not seem to be that sense of belonging and of any con-
stant loyalty and support to the organizations which they have formed to
protect their interests a loyalty and support which is fundamental to
trade unionism and which characterises the movement in the United
Where you do not have loyalty and a sense of belonging what happens ?
What is the next step in the picture ? The answer is given in the next
paragraph of the Commission Report which says "It is therefore easy for
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unscrupulous individuals to form a rival union and to seek to undermine
an established one which is recognized by employers and which is doing
good work. The Report goes on, "This has happened in the sugar industry
where the Guiana Industrial Workers' Union has been endeavouring since
it was first registered as a trade union in 1948 to,oust the M.P.C.A. which
negotiated its first agreement with the Sugar Producers' Association in 1939
and is the recognized union for general labour on the sugar estates". It is
because of this lack of loyalty and belonging and because of this tendency
for politicians to use the trade union movement as a means of obtaining
power and not as a way of improving the conditions of labour............it is be-
cause of these things that the Commission recommends the remedy for the
present situation. They say one or two things are necessary if trade union-
ism is to climb out of the rut. First thing is, that 'trade unionists should
develop a healthy mistrust of the motives behind the patronage of person-
ally ambitious politicians, and secondly, they say that the members of union ,,
executives should pursue their industrial objectives, that is to say, improve
the conditions of labour, by industrial and not by political means.
This is not an easy task and the Commission's view is "frankly we
see little immediate prospect of such a revolution" but they went on to sug-
gest that a trade union adviser should be sent by the trade union move-
ment in the United Kingdom to be guide and adviser in British Guiana.
In this third paragraph we have distilled the experience of Mr. Woodcock
who has looked at conditions in the labour field, not only in British Gui-
ana, but in the Caribbean as a whole.
NEW INDUSTRIAL TRAINING REGULATIONS
(June 2, 1955)
AT A PRESS CONFERENCE this morning, Mr. J. I. Ramphal, Chairman
of the Board of Industrial Training, discussed the Industrial Training
Regulations which have recently come into force.
The Regulations will put on an ordered basis apprenticeship schemes.
It became clear, as Mr. Ramphal discussed the regulations and the
work of the Board with the Press this morning, that everyone stands to bene-
fit the master, the apprentice and the community. The master, because
there will now be a stable relationship between himself and the apprentice.
The apprentice will be bound to obey his lawful orders and to promote his
interests; and the apprentice will not be able to leave him suddenly after
he has completed a good portion of his training. On the other hand the
apprentice is protected from any form of exploitation and at the end of his
period of his training will be entitled after examination to a certificate of
competency in approved form. And the community at large stands to
benefit too, because these ordered apprenticeship schemes supervised by the
Board will put increasingly into industry men who have been carefully and
thoroughly trained. In this the apprenticeship schemes will dovetail into
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the work of the Technical Institute. Both are alike preparing our own
people for the higher standards of production required in our rapidly de-
The Board has had a long history. The records are not complete but
it seems that it was first appointed in 1910 and was in existence until 1942
when the membership of the Board lapsed under the terms of appoint-
ment. A number of employers, notably the Sugar Industry, nevertheless
continued with apprenticeship schemes some of which are still in exist-
ence. The Board has now been reconstituted and on it are represented
people with wide technical knowledge and from the Trade Unions. The
main function of the Board is to start and to operate all apprenticeship
schemes. But the Board has decided that it will deal initially only with
the engineering and building trades. Branches of these trades such as
fitters, machinists, joiners, cabinet makers, painters, would be affected. In
these two trades it is now required that all masters who desire to operate
apprenticeship schemes should apply to the Board for a licence. This
must be in a prescribed form which is given in a schedule to the regula-
tions. And the Board invites all such masters to make applications for
each of the separate trades in which they would wish to train apprentices.
When these applications have been approved, masters will then have to
apply for registration for apprentices and after these applications in turn
have been approved, individual apprenticeship agreements will be
entered into between the master, the apprentice, his guardian and a repre-
sentative of the Board. The Agreement is the document which lays down
the rights and obligations of both master and apprentice. These regula-
tions, the Industrial Training Regulations, are thus an important addition
to our growing body of industrial legislation.
TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN B.G.
(January 4, 1955)
TONIGHT I want to talk to you about technical education. It has been
said, and rightly so, that bold plans and modern machinery are not
enough if a country is to keep pace with the exacting demands of this 20th
century in which we are living. In point of fact, they are meaningless with-
out technical skills to put them into operation. Even the most industrialized
nations always have to keep their technical training programmes geared to
the relentless demands of progress. For under-developed countries, and
British Guiana is one of them as you know, the problem is much more
difficult. Generally, they have to start as in our own case they have
to start from scratch. They have to cultivate a completely new attitude
while they are developing facilities for training, and they'must adapt their
technical education realistically to the needs of industry. And this is also
very important they cannot afford to make too many mistakes or waste
The task of providing technical education in British Guiana has been
entrusted to the Government Technical Institute, and it can be said that
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
industry and the public in general, are becoming increasingly conscious of
the important role the Institute is playing in the development of our, coun-
try. But it is the attitude of industry in particular about which I'd like to
speak tonight. The response of various industrial concerns to the Insti-
tute's effort to prepare our young men for the role they must play in our
battle for progress, has been inost encouraging.
Industrial firms have co-operated to the extent of providing scholar-
ships for the benefit of young Guianese with the necessary aptitude, but
whose parents or guardians may not, because of financial considerations,
be able to pay for their technical education. They have also made valu-
able contributions to the Institute by way of gifts of various kinds of
machinery, wall charts, wireless sets, and films for instructional purposes, as
well as numerous books for use in the Library.
The latest gift --a 5-horse power, outboard motor, which was handed
over yesterday to the principal of the Institute, Mr. E. W. Jupp, will be of
special interest to those people engaged in the fishing industry, as it is they
who will reap immediate benefit.
Recently, the Fisheries Division of the Department of Agriculture ex-
pressed much concern over the fact that quite a number of fishermen were
using engines of which they had limited experience. Well, we all know what
is likely to happen in such circumstances. These engines were acquired at
considerable cost, and lack of knowledge of the mechanism, of how best to
use them and how to detect any flaws while in use, is likely to result in the
wrecking of their engines, with resultant loss of money to the owners loss
which would cripple most of these people and perhaps drive them out of
Having listened to the representations made by the Fisheries Division,
the Institute set about trying to remedy this unhealthy state of affairs. And
with the co-operation which business firms have so readily given, the Insti-
tute is now in a position to take some positive action. Within a few weeks
the Institute will be arranging courses in the general care and maintenance
of these engines for the benefit of fishermen, and every effort will be made
to ensure that the training periods do not clash with their normal working
Fishermen operating in the Georgetown area which includes Kitty and
La Penitence, are all keen on the proposed training courses. There are
about 50 who own motor-powered boats and they are all conscious of the
importance of acquiring a sound knowledge of the care and operation of
Quite soon, it is also hoped to make similar, training courses available
to fishermen operating in the rural districts as well. If we are to stand on
our. own legs and take our place as a truly progressive country in the Com-
monwealth, we must, to borrow an American phrase, "master the know
how". We must produce men capable of running our machines. And it
is encouraging to see how anxious are the people of the fishing industry to
grasp this opportunity to learn, and how readily industrial houses are co-
operating in efforts to solve one of the most pressing problems of our coun-
try the question of skilled men to man the machines.
TOPI-C OR TONIGhtt 45
"IN THE SERVICE OF THE PEOPLE"
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GUIANISATION IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
(February 24, 1955)
AT A PRESS CONFERENCE this morning, the Chief Secretary, the Hon.
F. D. Jakeway, in his capacity as Head of the Public Service, discussed
the future of the Service, general policy regarding recruitment and train-
ing, the re-employment of pensioners, the relation of the Public Service
Commission to the Establishment Department and the question of Guian-
isation. There was hardly an aspect of the Civil Service which was not
touched upon. I'll not try now to compress into 5 minutes, all that he said.
Tonight I want to deal only with the questions of "re-employment of
pensioners" and "Guianisation" two topics which have been discussed
widely in recent weeks. Mr. Jakeway made it clear that pensioners were
only re-employed when services of equal quality could not otherwise be ob-
tained, and when this was done, care was always taken to see that the pro-
motion of an officer was not thereby blocked. He cited some interesting
figures to prove his point; in all there were only 34 pensioners re-employed
and this included 9 ex-policemen who were re-employed as watchmen. This
in a total number of some 3,000 persons employed in the Public Service -
just slightly over 1%.
On the question of Guianisation, Mr. Jakeway said that recruitment to
the Public Service of British Guiana rested upon the general principle that
first consideration is given to candidates of local origin, who possess the re-.
quisite qualifications and experience. This was the official policy and it
was a policy with which he was personally very much in agreement. When
no suitably qualified and experienced local candidate was available, candi-
dates from the other British Caribbean territories were then considered.
Only when it was clear that the vacancy could not suitably be filled from
British Guiana or the rest of the British Caribbean area, is an appointment
made from outside. Mr. Jakeway re-affirmed that promotions within the
British Guiana Civil Service are governed as they have always been by the
criteria of qualifications, experience and merit. Mr,. Jakeway went on to
show that this policy was not merely negative in its operation. Positive
steps had been taken over the years to ensure that local qualified candidates
would be available for appointment to senior posts in the Service. To en-
sure this it has been the policy of Government for many years to provide
training facilities by way of scholarships and courses. This policy is being
continued and'expanded. Last year a total of, 76 persons were sent abroad
for training courses, financed either from local funds, Colonial Development
and Welfare funds, or through the facilities of the United Nations and its
specialized agencies and the United States Foreign Operations Administra-
tion. The 76 included 10 scholarships for University education, leading
to degrees in Mathematics, English, Latin, Forestry, Geology, Agriculture
and Veterinary medicine, and 10 trade apprenticeships for future instruc-
tors at the Technical Institute. And this figure does not exhaust the schol-
arships and possibilities for training available. It does not include for in-
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stance, the awards which carry no obligation to return to B.G. or to join
the Government Service, for example, the Guiana Scholarships and the
scholarships and bursaries awarded to the University College, but it was
certain that some of these returning scholars would find places in the Civil
Service, perhaps under the recently introduced Administrative Cadet
And the policy was a continuing one. This year, the Legislative Coun-
cil has voted $115,000 for 13 scholarships ranging through the fields of en-
gineering, science and mathematics to education, and a further $20,000
has been provided to allow certain officers of the service to take approved
So Guianisation is seen not merely as the accepted principle of selec-
tion, but as a positive policy of enabling Guianese to qualify for the high-
est posts in the Public Service.
POINTS FROM THE POST OFFICE GUIDE
(February 5, 1955)
IF YOU GO with a $5 bill to the post office counter, and you ask for half
a dozen airletter forms at 6c. each, it is quite possible that the vendor
who will give you the stamps can tell you "I am very sorry but I have
no change, will you please get the change and come back again". Of course
this does not happen and we have long suffering stamp vendors and long
suffering-lines of people waiting to catch the mail who are queued up
behind the $5 bill which has been offered for 36c. worth of stamps.
I found this set out in the 1954 Post Office Guide which has just
been released and which is on sale at every post office at 5/- each. The
information was included in a section called "Services the Public cannot
claim as a right". There is a reason given for this rule about small change
and incidentally I think Ihad better read the rule to.you. It runs like
this Post Office officials are not bound to give change, nor are, they
authorised to demand change but postmasters and counter clerks will
always endeavour to be reasonably accommodating whenever it is, practica-
ble. And the reason' for this rule, which is also given in the section, is to
avoid a postmaster having to keep large amounts of silver and copper, or
having to leave his counters or office to get:.small- change.
There are quite a few other services the public cannot claim as a
right such as getting .stamps on credit, but I suggest that you should look-
yourself at the section, and, as a matter of fact, at this Guide.
The Postmaster General at a recent press conference said that the last
Guide had been compiled in 1943 and it does put between the two covers
of a 380 page book the regulations and rules governing the full range of
the P.M.G.'s kingdom. It deals with knotty points like insurance of
articles and what you may send through the post. Did you know inciden-
tally, that you are not permitted to send through the post, meat or perish-
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able matter, live birds or even a box of matches? It gives a list of the
various offices and postal agencies throughout the colony, and it even tells
you when the letter carrier at Danielstown is likely to deliver a letter at Fiar
Not Dam which is 14 mile from the Post Office. I would recommend that
every business house should have one of these Guides and I feel sure that
the people who run radio quizzes or who are responsible for "Do You
Know ?" columns like in our B.G. Bulletin they will be able to use
this as an inexhaustible mine of little known information on public affairs.
Funny enough, there is one section of the Guide which had to be out
of date before it was printed the Air Mail posting which must change
with every change in the schedules of Pan American or B.G. Airways,
these posting dates and times of closing have got almost to vary with the
weather, but it is quite so.
But the Guide is a solid compendium and as one practically minded
person puts it you get three valuable pages worth of information for each
cent that you invest in the book.
There is a brief index of ready reference for people who want to know
immediately what is the cost of a broadcasting licence, or what is the law
on literature coming for blind persons. In the index itself an item which
intrigued me is one termed "Public Co-operation". The P.M.G. begins
this section with a statement of the attitude which members of the post
office must take up to the public which is a helpful and courteous attitude
and not merely a courteous vocabulary. The staff have been advised never
to argue with the public, but to show the authority, known or unknown,
whether it be a guide, or an official gazette, or a post office notice. And
then there is this appeal made to members of the public. It is an appeal
to you and to me. Will you please reciprocate ? Facts are always valid
and unlike things have never acerbated.
I think I have said enough about the B.G. Post Office Guide, 1954,
to let you know the scope of the book and that there is a great deal of
valuable information in its 380 pages. I suggest that as soon as you
possibly can, you either buy or borrow a copy and have a look at it
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"SOMETHING FOR THE FUTURE"
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THE NEW CENTRAL TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
(January 17, 1955)
THE MEMBER for Communications and Works disclosed this morning
at a Press Conference that a further stage has been completed in the
planning of the new Central Telephone Exchange which is to be built on
the old Queen's College playing fields on Brickdam. He showed the Press a
model which will now be on exhibition at the B.G. Museum, of the build-
ing which will house the new Exchange.
The Central Exchange could not be fully planned until the situa-
tion of the site upon which it will stand was known, and so final planning
did not begin until the decision of last August to build on the Brickdam,
site; a decision which as you know was taken after the consideration of
several other sites. Completion of the model means that as far as the
building is concerned planning is at an end. It will be a very large build-
ing. It will fill the area. Its public entrance will be in Brickdam and the
building will reach across the site with its staff entrance in Hadfield Street.
The Central Telephone Exchange will not only be an Exchange for
Georgetown, it will also be the centre, the hub upon which the whole
colony's telephone system will turn. When the programme for reconstruc-
ting the colony's telephone system is completed the Central Exchange will
be a part of an automatic telephone network stretching along the coast
from Skeldon to Charity and southwards from Ituni to beyond. There will
also be provision for extending and improving the radio telephone services
to the Interior. So the building to be erected must not only house the
automatic Telephone Exchange for the Georgetown area. It must also
house the staff and equipment for all the services which he country wide
exchange system will need. As planned the new building will provide for
a radio work-shop, store rooms, maintenance space for motor vehicles, a
central telegraph office, lecture and training rooms where courses will be
held for the highly skilled staff such a system will need; and of course there
will be staff rooms for officers and rest rooms for the operators. There
seems to be a story going round that there will be no operators. There will
be operators for even a fully automatic Exchange needs a manual switch-
board to make connections between Exchanges.
One feature of the new Exchange building is that it will be air condi-
tioned throughout. This will prevent the deterioration of certain equip-
ment under local climatic conditions. Much equipment is lost now in this
way. Another feature is that the Exchange will be completely self-
contained as regards power.
Apart from modernising the telephone services, the new Exchange is
designed to cater for approximately 9,000 telephone subscribers. The pre-
sent switch board built to accommodate 1,000 subscribers is presently carry-
ing a load of more than 1,500; 9,000 is not a large number when the long
waiting list and Tuture requirements are considered. But with an eye to
the future the Honourable Member disclosed that it will be possible to
accommodate an additional 5,000 lines when the need arises.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Some people feel that the Brickdam site is rather out of town but as
was pointed out last August when the decision was taken, it is a site which
will become more central as the town expands South and East. And the
town can only expand in those directions. In the greater Georgetown Plan
the area is ear-marked for a special building zone for, the gradual re-group
ing of Government offices and departments. This modern Telephone Ex-
change, photographs of the model of which you will see in the morning
papers, may thus be the first, a rather striking first of what might in time
come to be a group of modern buildings forming the administrative centre
of the town.
LAND SETTLEMENT SCHEMES
(October 14, 1954)
LAND SETTLEMENT, like housing, is one of the major challenges con-
fronting British Guiana, and it becomes more urgent each day as our
post DDT generation grows up. The scope and importance of the problem
has been recognized in the setting up of a special Land Settlement Depart-
ment and the ear-marking of a million and a half dollars of development
funds for spending on these schemes next year.
Presently, a good deal is being done. You may remember that it was
announced recently that we had got a grant of $112,000 from the Secretary
of State for the Colonies, to meet the capital- cost for the further develop-
ment of the Cane Grove and Vergenoegen Land Settlement Schemes. The
development will be in line with the recommendations of Mr. F. A.
Brown, the Land Settlement expert, who visited British Guiana last year.
He recommended that the Cane Grove and Vergenoegen schemes should
be developed to the fullest extent possible so as to reduce overhead ex-
penses. At Vergenoegen, the grant will be spent in extending the area for
rice cultivation and providing dairy farm and drainage facilities for the
village. At Cane Grove the work includes the laying out of house lots,
drains, culverts and so on, and extending the dairy farm project.
Land settlement in British Guiana goes back a long way, goes back
indeed to the eighties of the last century. This is perhaps a good oppor-
utnity, while we look to the future to see what has already been done,
because the past nearly always has lessons for us if we are willing to
learn them. Some time about the year 1880, Government decided to settle
Indian immigrants in lieu of return passages to India, on sugar estates
which had been abandoned -- Huis T'Dieren, Helena, Whim, Bush Lot,
and Maria's Pleasure. All those settlements were near to sugar or other
plantations and the idea was that the settlers would not depend wholly on
the settlement, but would make some money also on the estates. Those
settlements ran into great difficulties and a number of them failed for
a variety of causes. Some of the settlers were unsuitable; the allocation of
land was too small; there was no source from which loans could be pro-
vided for housing and other purposes; and there was too, an overall lack
of organisation, and lack of heart on the part of the settlers. This was
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
rather discouraging. So it was not until the years immediately before the
first world war, that Government went on again with Land Settlement.
More abandoned plantations were acquired Windsor Forest, La Jalousie,
Hague, Unity, Lancaster and Clonbrook. The East Coast settlements
were laid out and the land sold on easy terms. On the West Coast settle-
ment the lands were leased. These three West Coast settlements have been
on the whole successful. Until the last war with its abnormal rise in the
cost of labour and material, they were self-supporting.
Again there is a break in Government land settlement schemes until
1930 when Government acquired Anna Regina and began a settlement
on the part known as Bush Lot. Bush Lot failed for the old reasons. The
type of settlers were not the right type and the size of cultivation plots was
too small. So there was a further setback to land settlement until the
'40's. In the meanwhile two land settlement committees had reported. In
the light of their reports, Government in 1946-47 acquired Vergenoegen
and Cane Grove La Bonne Mere. Here, care was taken about the size of
the holding, and on the whole these schemes are better based economically.
Rice is the principal crop, but there is also provision for dairy farms, and
the house lots allow for kitchen gardens and poultry rearing. These
settlements have been going well and the grant recently made should make
them largely self-sufficient. Moreover, a beginning has been made towards
local government with the setting up of settlers' committees. These com-
mittees meet from time to time to discuss the problems and disputes of the
Our land settlement effort in its 80 years has had a very checkered
history. But much has been done and much will be carried forward into
PROGRESS ON TORANI CANAL PROJECT
(September 25, 1954)
I WANT TO TELL YOU tonight about good news from Torani. Yester-
day, I was a member of a party which paid a flying visit to see how the
Torani Canal Project is getting on. It was literally a flying visit. Within an
hour from leaving the Ramp, the Grumman plane was on the Berbice River
end of the Torani Canal, where it runs the 12 miles almost like a straight
serpent from near one river to where it will connect with the Canje. I went
along with Mr. Leeming, the Director of Drainage and Irrigation, his
Deputy, Mr. Camacho and two officials of Ash and Watson, and the pur-
pose of the visit was to see the progress being made on the spot in building
the sluice gates-as the Director calls it. These are regulators which would
make the water of the Berbice River pass through the Canal into the Canje
and be of service to the rice farmers far away on the Corentyne.
In a very special sense what we saw at Torani yesterday was back room
work; as Sir Stephen Luke said when he was travelling along on the Canal,
"People can hardly visualise the amount of work that has been put in on
this long range project"-Well, I can tell you as a fact that they have been
TOPI6 FOR TONIGHT
digging the Canal from 1946 to 1953 and it's hard, too, for people readily to
appreciate the size of the problem that of making water available from a
river through a canal and another river, to people very many miles away
who are growing rice for the country's economy.
You know the story about King Alfred and the lady and how he burnt
the cakes, and we say the least said about it, the better. Well, Torani has
had mistakes made, but these mistakes have already been corrected and the
least said about them the better. The latest problem, which confronted
Government, has now been solved. This problem was that of finding firm
enough foundations for the sluice gates at the head of the canal, at the
Berbice end. When the workmen got down far enough to what they
thought would be a good foundation for the heavy machinery of the gates,
they came across boiling sand, The sand came bubbling up; that meant
they had tapped some kind of underground water layer, the kind you make
into an artesian well, and within a very short time the pit they were build-
ing was half filled with this blue water as from a spring. The answer to
this last problem has been to drive steel pilings in a hollow square, around
the foot of the construction and then use a special dehydrating apparatus,
in other words, pump the water out of this steel piling square to make the
foundations safe for the sluice gate.
Everyone is confident that they are now on the last leg of this long relay
and that in a short time the farmers on the Corentyne will be getting their
And now a word about the Canal itself. The launch we travelled
in took us along the 12 miles of the Canal in something like 80 to 90
minutes and one couldn't help being struck again by the sheer physical
problem to whatever we do in British Guiana. Apart from two bends,
the Canal is as straight as a surveyor's line can make it, passing through
swamp and high ground alike, and it lies there, waiting for the connection
at the head and at the tail of its serpentine body to link the Berbice and
the Canje River. The proposal is, so far as I understand it, to make
the Canal a kind of lock sealed at either end and to adjust the flow of
water into the Canje either at low or high tide by opening the gates or
closing them as the case may be. The great thing to guard against is to
prevent the Canje dropping so low that salt water begins to come in at
the pumping stations on the Canje, but my imagination and, I am sure,
your imagination will be captured by the thought of this engineering feat
carried out patiently, against unforeseen difficulties, and in the face of so
many set-backs, the feat which brings water over all these miles from one
district to another to assist rice cultivation. The engineers were able
to point out to me how this scheme will fit into the larger I almost
said colossal scheme of damming the Canje which Mr. Hutchinson
contemplates in order to bring even more land into beneficial occupation
in British Guiana. The main feeling was here was something being
done for the future by the arms of the present.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
GOVT'S ROLE IN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
(September 27, 1954.)
THE QUESTION is often asked why can't we have industries, or some
times why can't we have our own factories. Now, these questions sound
simple. In fact they are not simple and their answers are not simple. I will
try now to give in outline some of the problems which we would encounter
in setting up new industries, (they are not peculiar to B.G.) and to tell you
a little about what government is doing to help. May I say right at the
beginning that it is not the policy of Her Majesty's Government to discour-
age industrialisation in B.G. or. any other colony, in order to protect
British industry arid export trade. Today, factories are being established
in many places in the West Indies and Africa. In fact certain territories
have made considerable progress with industrial development since the war.
But clearly, (and this is a matter of common sense) the amount of indus-
trialisation anywhere depends on the resources of that territory.
There are many who hold that British Guiana's future is an agricul-
tural future and that the basis of our prosperity must always be agricultur-
al. Or the other hand there are some who feel that we should indus-
trialise as rapidly as possible. So let us consider one or two aspects of this
The first question that comes to mind is whether industrialisation is a
good thing and secondly what Government should do or could do to pro*
mote it. There are several people here in B.G., in Europe, in India and
in many parts of the world, who do not think that industrialisation is a
good thing at all. They think it upsets a much better way of living and
introduces stresses and strains which would be better avoided. And indeed-
it is true that rapid industrialisation without proper safeguards in the way
of labour and other legislation can be paid for in great human suffering and
can leave a legacy of extremely difficult problems for several generations.
Given the safe-guards, however, there are three main arguments in
favour of industrial development.
*First, it makes a country less dependent on imports. Secondly, it may
help to solve local unemployment problems. Thirdly, it makes the terri-
t6ry less dependent on its primary production, its crops and so on. Now
all these arguments are sound, but they all need qualification. The third
is clearly a good thing.but it is the first two arguments which decide the
issue. Let's take imports first. Before one can set up a factory it should
be examined whether it would both pay and benefit the local people. Most
of our imports are mass produced and there is no doubt that modern mass
production techniques have brought many manufacturing products within
reach of the poorer sections of the people, but mass production demands
the largest possible market if its' benefits are to be passed on to the people
in the form of cheap goods, otherwise 'the consumer might well find it
cheaper to buy imported articles. Here on this first question British
Guiana can answer "yes". Our rapidly expanding population will give us
in the immediate future a comparatively large internal market.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Now, let us go on to the other argument that of relieving unemploy-
ment. It is not quite as simple as it sounds. A factory does not necessarily
employ a large number of people. If it is set up to modernise an existing
industry, it may well have the immediate effect of using a few people to do
by machine what a large number previously did by hand. Nor does it
necessarily absorb precisely those people in the neighbourhood who are
unemployed. They may be quite unsuitable. They may not have the
So you see there are many difficulties in the way of industrialisation.
There may be either a lack of enterprise or of technical knowledge or of
finding a project that will be economically sound. What, you may, ask is
Government doing to help would-be industrialists to solve their problems.
What is the role of Government ? It seems to me that the role of Gov-
ernment in industrial development is twofold, to create the right climate
for investment, and to see that the necessary training is available to enable
people to become engineers and technicians of all sorts.
In 1951 Government passed two laws to encourage the establishment of
new industries through financial concessions. The first exempts new in-
dustries or new developments in existing industries from customs duties on
imported capital equipment for a period up to five years. The second pro-
vides that certain acceptable new industries or new developments in exist-
ing industries should be granted exemption from Income Tax for five years.
It also grants concessions for the modernising of equipment, for the under-
taking of scientific research and the provision of workers' housing. It is
the aim of this legislation to encourage capital to undertake ventures in
new lines, to make their risks more worthwhile. This legislation has the
effect of creating a suitable climate for industrial development, but I must
add it is not sufficient to have the legislation: industry will not be attracted
unless it is ensured of a stable political and social order and freedom from
arbitrary penalties. This is the political factor and its determination rests
with every British Guianese.
On the side of technical training Government has spent seven hundred
thousand dollars on training courses. Nearly every month we read of per-
sons going off on training courses. We now have too a well equipped
Technical College where technical courses are available to youths. And
besides all this, Government has in recent years set on foot a programme
for the development of rural and cottage industries.
PROMOTION OF MINOR INDUSTRIES
(October 4, 1954)
SSPOKE RECENTLY about certain Ordinances which were passed in 1951
to encourage through financial concessions the establishment of new in-
dustries in British Guiana. I noted also that another important contribution
which Government was making to promote industry was the development
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
of technical education. You can't have industry without the necessary
technical skills. But all this is indirect action on the part of Government.
On the other hand, Government is playing a direct part in the promotion
of certain industries, the promotion of Cottage and rural industries. And
it is worth reminding ourselves here that this programme of development is
not a recent thing. It has been in progress for several years, since 1949 in-
deed, and the body which is responsible for carrying it out is the Social
Welfare Division of the Local Government Department.
Government assistance in the establishment of minor industries takes
the form of research and experimental work to the pilot plant stage, after
which private enterprise is encouraged to take over. Government also
assists small established industries by providing marketing facilities and in-
vestigating export markets. There is a centre run by the Local Govern-
ment Department where minor industries products are displayed for sale at
20 Harel Street, Georgetown. Now that is the story of the plan of develop-
ment and of its objects. What, you may ask, has it. achieved? Well you
can get a good idea of the work being done, if you visit the Social Welfare
Booth at the League of Coloured Peoples' Fair, which opened today. There
you may see jams and jellies, tomato ketchup, teacups and roofing tiles, and
several types of straw baskets and many other things.
Let us have a closer look at one or two of the industries behind these
products. Let us take the jam, jelly and preserves industry. First, the
department investigated the supply of fruits on the Essequibo Coast. They
found it sufficient to support a pilot processing plant. So Government set
up the plant and operated it for two years; demonstrated that the project
was a sound one. It was then ready for private enterprise and the project
was sold to the Adventure Development Corporation of the U.S.A. who are
planning to erect a bigger plant at Adventure. So on that part of the Esse-
quibo Coast, a thriving industry is developing now in the production of
guava jelly, golden-apple jam, and mango jelly.
Let us move now to the East Coast, Demerara. There at Dundee,
Mahaicony, the project is still in the pilot plant stage. It is not yet ready
for private enterprise. There we have a factory manufacturing from padi
the well-known breakfast and cereal confection, Padi-pops. Let's go over
now to the Corentyne. On the Corentyne a project has only just begun.
Investigations 'are going on there as to the possible manufacture of tomato
ketchup. And these are only a few of the many projects which the Cottage
and Rural industries of the Social Welfare Division is handling today. I
have said nothing about the research and investigation into the manufac-
ture of pottery at Anna Catherina and in Georgetown, or the straw industry
at Queenstown in Essequibo, and at Bagotville and Goed Fortuin on the
West Bank and at Mahaicony on the East Coast.
I have said nothing too about investigations into a product which like
jam, may one day have a large market in the U.S. I mean the production
of papain from the papaw. But I think I have said enough to show that a
considerable body of work has been done, by this too little known depart-
ment of Government, the Social Welfare Department.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
GOVT'S PLANS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY
(November 20. 1954)
THE PAPERS were full this morning with what they called "plans for
freedom from want." It is the news of the action Government proposes
to take, subject to the acceptance of the Legislature, on the comprehensive
Report on Social Security by Professor J. H. Richardson who visited British
Guiana in January this year. He came as his terms of reference ran, to
advise the Government of B.G; on possible measures of Social Security. His
report was published yesterday with a Sessional Paper which outlines the
action on the report which the Governor in Council has decided to recom-
mend for the approval of the Legislative Council.
Professor Richardson considered a wide range of social measures-
public assistance, old age pensions, the setting up of a contributory provi-
dent fund for old age and invalidity, sickness and insurance benefits, the
payment of funeral expenses, medical care, provision for the feeding of
-school children, workmen's compensation, unemployment, and under em-
ployment. All of the Professor's recommendations'have been accepted :in
principle by the Governor in Council.
In one or two instances, government action since January has already
taken care of the need pointed out'by Professor Richardson, notably,in the
provision of funds for housing. This is also. true of another matter to
which Professor Richardson drew attention the lack of reliable informa-
tion on employment. Government is already making efforts to secure the
services of a statistician from the International Labour Organisation.
Some of the recommendations have received wide, publicity today,
particularly the substantial increases recommended for public assistance and
old age pensions. Public assistance and old age pensions will be doubled
in two stages; the first increase to date from Tuly last, and the next to take
effect in three years. And at the same time, the means test is to.:be reduced
to twelve dollars a month for Georgetown and ten dollars a month for other
But I would like to devote the rest of my time now to a review, an all
too quick review of the general findings- of Professor. Richardson. -But
first, what is social security? The essential purpose of social security,, says
the Professor, is.to ensure "Freedom from want" by collective or commun-
'ity provision for those people who, temporarily or permanently because of
sickness, accidents, invalidity, old age, death of the breadwinner; and other
adversities are without sufficient resources.
"Social security", goes on Professor Richardson, "implies a common
obligation to assist those in need. Thus those in good health contribute in
one form or another to.those suffering privation .because of sickness; the
aged po6r are in the main supported'by people of working age."
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Professor Richardson then points out that "The extent and standards
of social security are closely linked with the economic resources of any com-
munity, and that a rich country can afford a more advanced system than
would be possible in a poor country." All this is very much to the point
because, as the Robertson Commission noted, B.G. is a poor country. And
it is against this background that Professor Richardson makes his recom-
mendations. "In B.G.", he states "where there is great need for economic
developments to provide for the future employment of a growing popula-
tion, a proper balance must be maintained between economic developments
and social security. It would be an unsound policy to spend so much on
social security that the future economic prosperity of the colony was endan-
gered. Bearing this in mind, Professor Richardson concluded that a highly
integrated system of compulsory and contributory social insurance such as
that of Britain, a country highly industrialized, would be unsuitable for
British Guiana which is mainly agricultural. British Guiana must evolve
her own system and must do so stage by stage as other countries had to do.
His recommendations form the basis of a comprehensive first stage, or
rather a second stage, for Professor Richardson found (and this is worth
noting for there will always be people who will say that there was nothing
done in the past), Professor Richardson found that the Government of
British Guiana already has a well established system of social assistance.
Public assistance and old age pensions for instance, and a widows' and
orphans' fund for public officers. And there are also many big private
companies including those in the sugar and bauxite industries who already
provide for sickness and old age for their monthly salaried staff and to some
degree, for workers. And valuable work has also been done by voluntary
organizations in assisting the destitute, and by the Friendly Societies in pro-
viding funeral benefits and in encouraging thrift.
The Richardson recommendations are the next stage in the develop-
ment of social security in British Guiana.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT 63
"A CHAIN REACTION"
toPIc FOi TONIGHT
THE CO-OPERATIVE MOVEMENT IN B.G.
(October 7. 1954)
I'D LIKE TO INVITE YOU now, to have a look at the progress being
made by'the Co-operative movement in British Guiana. Some people
might perhaps be inl.ined to enquire why so much emphasis is being placed
on the movement. In reply, I'd like to point to two things. First, I'd ask
you to consider how very important a factor the co-operative movement is,
in the solution of economic and social problems in various countries the
world over, and also how very popular the movement is becoming in this
country. I'm sure you'll now appreciate the true significance of the move-
ment in relation to our own Development Programme, and so will readily
agree, that it cannot be given too much emphasis.
At present there are nearly 330 registered co-operative societies scattered
throughout the country, with a total membership of about 10,000 people.
Already I'm sure you've begun to appreciate how deeply entrenched the
movement is in our society. Of the total number of societies on the register
to date, more than 80 were added this year, the largest number to be added
to the register in any one year except 1949, since the Co-operative Depart-
ment was established.
At the outset I invited you to have a look at the progress being made
by the movement generally; but there's one field of activity I'd specially like
to tell you about now, a field in which there has been considerable develop-
ment. I refer to the army of small men who operate as loggers in the
timber industry. The 80 odd societies added to the register this year, in-
clude six which cater for small scale loggers operating mainly in the Berbice
River. These men have all come to appreciate the benefits to be derived
from working together, and have organised themselves in order that they
might make the best use of money available to them through the B.G. Cred-
it Corporation. In fact, haulage machinery is now on order for them and
they will soon be operating on sound economic lines. In addition each of
these six co-operative logging societies will have, as an extension, a consu-
mer's society to further strengthen the economic position of its members.
And then there are the small scale loggers operating in the Bartica area
who are now being organised into co-operative groups. To this end the
Commissioner for Co-operative Development and the District Commissioner
are sparing no efforts; and these men will also receive from the Credit Cor-
poration financial assistance to purchase the necessary mechanical equip-
Another important point I'd like to refer to is the steadily increasing
popularity of the movement among school children. There's a lot of signi-
ficance in this you know, because the children of today are the adult citizens
of tomorrow. But let me quote what the Commissioner for Co-operative
Development himself had to say about these school societies, in a recent pro-
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
gress report. He said, the move to speed up the development of the co-
operative movement among school children showed signs of a good response
during the quarter April to June this year. In this period nine new
societies were registered bringing the total number of school societies to 43.
This progressive expansion of the co-operative movement in British
Guiana is one of the surest indications of a sober, constructive, national
'outlook; and it is something about which all of us Guianese might well be
SELF-HELP AT WINDSOR FOREST
(March 15, 1955)
ABOUT 6 MILES from Georgetown, at a place called Windsor Forest on
the West Coast, Demerara, there is a community of some 2,500 souls who
have joined forces with their fellow Guianese in other parts of the coun-
try, in an endeavour to provide for themselves some of the improvements
in living conditions that are so very desirable.
Like the other groups of people scattered throughout the country,
these Western Demerara agricultural settlers are making a commendably
bold bid to erase the indictment laid against us Guianese by the Robertson
Constitutional Commission. And so far, they have achieved a good meas-
ure of success.
Now what was this indictment which, incidentally, was also a chal-
lenge ? The Commissioners said we were more ready to demand from
Government, the living conditions which we thought we should have than
to set about achieving them for ourselves. They conceded that there was
some justification for this attitude, because large schemes of improvement
and economic development were by the very nature of this country, bound
to depend upon the introduction of capital resources, which were far be-
yond our capacity. But the Commissioners' added (and this is the really
important part of their observation) they added, they did get the impres-
sion that there was a marked lack of self-reliance and of realisation of the
part all must play in the development of this country.
At Windsor Forest, it is clear that the settlers are deeply conscious of
the part they must play in the advancement of British Guiana; and they are
demonstrating their awareness in a very tangible manner.
Roads and drainage, two pressing needs, have been the first problems
to be tackled. Working as a team and on the basis of aided self-help the
settlers have set to work under the inspiring leadership of a six-man
advisory committee, and already they have dug hundreds of rods of deep
drains and raised the level of seven of the fourteen streets in the western
section of the estate which are earmarked for reconstruction. Each of these
streets covers a distance of about 100 rods. They have also erected bridges
to assist in the transportation of produce and to help children attending
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Moreover, this programme of improvement works is being executed
with a degree of enthusiasm, energy and determination that will not be
easy to surpass. In fact, the achievements of the settlers at Windsor Forest
brings to mind another noteworthy observation of the Robertson Com-
mission, regarding the need for leaders. Clearly, theirs is the kind of
leadership upon which the emergence of a better Guiana is largely
dependent; and it's therefore encouraging to note that leadership of this.
quality is literally springing up throughout the country.
SELF-HELP IN ESSEQUIBO ISLANDS
(January 20, 1955)
LAST NIGHT I returned to Georgetown after visiting the Essequibo
Islands and ever since I've been trying-not very well I'm afraid -
to find a way of describing the efforts of the people there to improve
conditions generally. Believe me, one has to actually see what has (been
accomplished by these people through team work and on the basis of aided
self-help, and see them at work to be able to appreciate fully, the tremend-
ous mental and physical transformation that is taking place in the Esse-
quibo Islands. And there is an abundance of visible evidence of this re-
markable change, throughout the length and breadth of the region.
'As I said just now, it isn't easy to find words that will do justice to
these people's efforts. Nevertheless, I shall try to give you some idea of
what I saw;.but before doing so, it might perhaps help you to appreciate
the extent of this change for the better and its significance, if I tell you
right away of two instances which have stuck in my mind. The first
concerns the efforts of the residents of the Endeavour-Amsterdam-Cane
Field Country District, who are working together, building a road and
digging trenches to improve the drainage of their agricultural lands and
to provide an easier and cheaper means of transportation for their farm
The other concerns the people at Great Troolie Island, who have
built a road on the eastern side of the settlement to replace the old road
which was eroding; who have dug deep drainage trenches on either side
of the road and have erected a building for the sale of goods by their con-
sumer's Co-operative Society. As is the case throughout the Essequibo
Islands, the achievements at these centres demanded good leadership, the
performance of hard work under very difficult conditions and the fullest
measure of co-operation on all sides.
At the Endeavour-Amsterdam Canefield area, a former Chairman of
the Local Authority, Mr. Surijbhan, said (and this is one of the remarks
that have stuck in my mind) he said, that during his 20-odd years resi-
dence in the region he had never before seen such eagerness on the part
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
of the proprietors to eo-operate and work so as to bring about the im-
provements they all desired so much, improvements which they hitherto
looked wholly to Government to provide. It was a complete re-orienta-
tion of outlook, he said.
The other instance I referred to was at Great Troolie Island. One
of the leaders of the Island's Improvement Association had this to say.
"We want you to tell His Excellency the Governor of our work. When
the Governor visited our Island last year, He spoke to us about lack of
effort on our part. We've taken to heart what His Excellency said, and
we want him to know that we have also taken up the challenge; we're
proud of our achievements to date, and are determined to achieve much
more through community self-help".
Throughout the Islands the emphasis on all these developmental
projects, has been on improving communications and drainage and
irrigation, so as to boost production and, at the same time, reduce to the
minimum the necessity for children attending school to travel by boat
which is usually very hazardous. And in their efforts, the men of the
Islands are being ably supported by the womenfolk who indeed, in several
instances, represent the main driving force and source of inspiration. Now
let's take a quick look at what's going on at the various centres. At Hen-
rietta-Vrou Anna, the people are clearing the land for a road building pro-
gramme, the object being to bring into productive use, a large area, com-
prising some of the most fertile soil in the region. This project will also
assist greatly the development of Hog Island.
The residents of Elizabeth Ann and Cornelia have started to build
part of a road which will connect with another part being built by the
residents of Windsor, Cane Garden, Pleasing Hope and Uniform. When
completed this road will be some 33 miles long and it will make a large
area of uncultivated land available for agricultural use.
At Noitgedacht an aided self-help housing scheme involving 10
families is now in progress, while at Hog Island the school building is
being extended to accommodate a Community Centre. This work is being
done by the Western Hog Island Improvement Association.
The people of Caria Caria have accomplished something which was
considered at one time almost impossible. They have formed a Develop-
ment Party and have erected a massive greenheart and moia bridge, 105
feet long across a creek, as part of the road building programme. Theirs
was the first self-help scheme to be launched in the Essequibo Islands and
it will be the first to be completed.
Members of the Fort Island Improvement Association are also en-
gaged on a road building programme, the purpose being to provide a
safer means of travel for children attending school and to open up the
area to settlers. I hope I've been able to give you some idea of the solid
work done by the people of the Essequibo Islands, on the basis of aided
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self-help. Looking at their achievements, it was difficult to escape the im-
pression that from among them, will arise the type of responsible progressive
leadership which means so much to us now and in the future.
WOMEN'S ROLE IN SELF-HELP SCHEMES.
(February 9, 1955)
IN THIS COUNTRY OF OURS, but especially in the rural areas, aided
self-help is now not only a very popular phrase, but a phrase that's brim-
ful of meaning. Most people are now conscious of the fact that aided self-
help offers a sure way to immediate practical results, a means by which they
could, at minimum cost, bring about various desirable improvements in
their living conditions.
One aspect of this increasing awareness of the benefits to be derived
from aided self-help about which I'd like to speak to you tonight, is the part
being played by our women folk.
Wherever there's an aided self-help scheme in progress nowadays,
women are not only involved, but they are, in fact, in the lead, working
shoulder to shoulder with the men.
Visits to Berbice, the East Demerara and Essequibo Districts have
shown this to be the case. And now the women of Western Demerara have
also stepped into the picture. At Vergenoegen, members of the Women's
Institute are making hollow concrete blocks for the erection of a kitchen
adjoining their Community Centre. One of their number, Miss Ruby
Bury, who, incidentally, is the Deputy Chairman of the Vergenoegen Local
Authority, recently received a course of training in concrete block-
making at the P.W.D. yard in Georgetown; and she is now directing
their efforts. These ambassadors of goodwill and co-operation have them-
selves provided the funds for the purchase of the material for making the
blocks. And when the job of block-making is completed, they hope to
secure some financial aid from the Social Welfare Department, for the pur-
chase of wood for flooring.
Another group of women now engaged on concrete block-making is to
be found at Sisters Village, East Bank, Berbice, where an aided self-help
housing project is in progress. These women are proving themselves quite
adept at handling the spade and trowel. In fact (and this is no exaggera-
tion) they are doing so as competently as they would the wash-pail in
In the Essequibo District, in the islands for example, several major
projects are being carried out at the moment on the basis of aided self-
help, projects in which women are featuring prominently. These schemes,
as I mentioned recently after a visit to the islands, involve in most cases,
large scale road building and drainage .programmes; and the women -
some people still refer to them as the weaker sex: why, I don't know -
the women can be seen wielding their cutlasses and using their shovels with
a skill equal to that of their male partners.
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Yes, the women of the three counties are everywhere inspiring their
husbands and brothers and cousins and brothers-in-law to greater effort.
And if our women folk could infuse into other aspects of our national
life, the same enthusiasm, energy and determination to co-operate for the
cominon good, there would indeed, be much hope for the future of Guiana.
PROGRESS IN SELF-HELP SCHEMES.
(February 12, 1955)
TODAY I've been running through the pages of a report on our Regional
Development Committees for 1954, which has just been released by the
Development Secretary. I'd like to invite you now to have a look at this
report, because I think it gives us a good opportunity of seeing what these
committees have accomplished since they came into being in February
Our District Commissioners, as you know, are the Chairmen of these
12 Regional Development Committees, the majority of which lost no time
in appointing their own area sub-committees to help them in their import-
ant work. These Committees have been meeting regularly, (in many cases
as often as once a week) and it is clear that the interest and enthusiasm
shown by members right from the beginning has never flagged.
In all cases, of course, the main work of the Committees was the con-
sideration of applications for loans made to the B.G. Credit Corporation.
This work has been heavy, as the number of persons seeking financial
assistance from the Corporation has been unexpectedly large.
And yet, we see in this report by the Development Secretary, that some
of these Committees made good progress last year in the administration of
Rural Self-Help Schemes. This is particularly true of the Essequibo Is-
lands where a wide variety of schemes has been approved.
During the year, 37 schemes were approved covering most of the
administrative areas of the Colony and it seems clear that the self-help idea
has taken firm root in our society. The estimated cost of these schemes
was nearly fifty thousand dollars, nearly twenty thousand dollars of this
sum coming from Government grants.
And you'll begin to appreciate the true significance of these rural self-
help schemes when you learn that nearly 2,000 families are participating in
them. The schemes included projects for the reconstruction of village
roads, the building of bridges, making a cattle pasture, building a com-
munity centre, clearing a channel to facilitate mining operations in the
Potaro area, the erection of a copra drier and erection of rest shelter for
You realise, of course, that self-help schemes must be of benefit general-
ly to the particular group or community, and grants are made only where
the group or community contribute their labour without payment. A
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government grant does not normally exceed 50% of the estimated cost of
a self-help scheme. It is intended to cover the cost of materials and techni-
cal assistance by way of supervisory staff, or purchase or hire of equipment.
One of the more important observations made by the Development
Secretary in his report was that in a few cases, encouragement by Regional
Development Committees had resulted in the formation of a number of
Co-operative Societies. These people, like so many others, had come to
realise just how effective was the Co-operative Movement as a solution to
economic and social problems and had staked their future in the move-
For example, the Self-help group at Good Hope which has been build-
ing a cattle pasture, has formed themselves into a Co-operative Society. In
the Mazaruni-Potaro region, two important Co-operative Societies were
organised the Mahdia Co-operative Saving Society, Ltd., and the Bartica
Co-operative Timber Development Society.
It is true that the Regional Development Committees did not give
much attention to local development schemes schemes which might run
counter to our general Development Programme. The main reason was
that they realized that no major variations could be made in the Develop-
But at least one of these Committees the East Demerara Committee
- did consider three local development schemes. One was an interim
drainage scheme for the Mahaica-Mahaicony area, another was for a road
to connect Champagne, a settlement some three miles up the Mahaicony
Creek, and the Public Road, while the third was for a communal pasture
for the area between Ann's Grove and Mahaica near Shanks Canal.
It is clear however that the Regional Development Committees have
been inspired by Government's policy of building from the bottom up.
THE CREDIT CORPORATION'S ROLE IN SELF-HELP SCHEMES
(March 9, 1955)
SHAD THE GOOD FORTUNE a day or two ago of being in a party of
Officers who visited a Land Settlement Project at No. 41 Princetown, Cor-
entyne, Berbice-an area of about 50 acres on the frontlands of Pin. Skel-
don. This land has been cleared at the instance of the Estate Authorities
and laid out into 87 house lots, each lessee having about half an acre of land.
Let me take you to a little shack about 15 feet by 10 feet and about 8 feet
high put together mainly of rough pieces of tree branches, cased in and
roofed with cane thrash. Of course, there is no floor. This is where
Richard Gomes a cane cutter of Plantation Skeldon and his wife with
five children lived until the other day when the B.G. Credit Corporation
came into the picture.
In December last, Mr. Gomes made an application to the Credit Cor-
poration for a loan to enable him to improve his living conditions. Within
six weeks Mr. Gomes' application was granted and two weeks after, he
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
received his first instalment of $240 on the loan. The proof of the pie
is in the eating and to be really impressed with the good work the Cor-
poration is doing, is to see what Mr. Gomes has done with the help of
the Corporation within six weeks. Three weeks ago, he received a second
instalment and has now been able to take his family into a portion of the
half-constructed cottage. The foundations are finished, the rafters all up,
the kitchen and dining room almost completed, and within the next month
Mr. Gomes shall receive the balance of the loan to have the house completed.
Mr. Gomes' enthusiasm is sustained by the willingness of his wife who,
with hammer and nail is helping her husband in every phase of his pro-
gressive drive. With local wood, mora, locust and crabwood and with
the help of a friend, the job comes happily along. And there are 60
such houses at Princetown under construction, all the work being done by
neighbours and friends imbued with this spirit of self-help which is gain-
ing ground now in all the rural areas of British Guiana.
But the British Guiana Credit Corporation, is not satisfied with its pre-
sent procedures even though these have already achieved striking results
as at Princetown, It is endeavouring to speed up the operation of dealing
with the steady stream of applications which are pouring in. The Corpora-
tion has effected two changes in its set up, the first is this: applications
in the rural areas will go first to the Corporation's District Secretary, who
will examine them and make sure that the facts stated therein are clear
and complete. It is surprising to note the large number of application
forms which are received by the Corporation incomplete, and even where
the questions are filled in the answers bear no relation to the questions
asked. It is hoped that where forms are received inadequately filled in,
the Secretary will see the applicant himself and help him to fill in the
form properly. After this process, the application forms will go to the Area
Sub Committees and to the Regional Development Committees for 'the
necessary action; secondly, Branch Managers for the Area Sub Committees
can now authorise loans up to a limit of $1,200 instead of $960 as was pre-
viously the case- Of course, although this means some relief to the
Regional Development Committees and to the Head Office, it will place
more responsibility on the Area Sub Committees. These Area Sub Com-
mittees and the Branch Managers are doing a fine job a job which it
is not possible to estimate unless you see action on the spot, as at Prince-
SHIFT IN EMPHASIS OF CREDIT CORPORATION LOANS
(June 20, 1955)
TODAY WAS SOMEBODY'S BIRTHDAY. Can you guess? It is no secret;
it's known to quite a number of people up and down the length of
British Guiana. If you could meet Mr. Richard Gomes of Princetown,
Springlands or his wife, or Mrs. Mona Adams of 57, Thomas Street,
- they could all tell you whose birthday it is for they all owe something
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
Mrs. Gomes would tell you that her fine new house built alongside the
awful shack in which she lived until recently was built with a Credit Cor-
poration loan and Miss Claudia Willis, a seamstress of Zes Kenderen would
show you the sewing machine with which she is now making a living
- a machine bought with a loan from the Credit Corporation, and Mrs.
Mona Adams well, her name gives you a clue for she is the owner
- thanks to the Corporation of the "MONA A" a fine vessel now
engaged in deep sea fishing. You may remember the pictures of the
launching ceremony last March.
Yes, today is the birthday of the Credit Corporation. Today it is
365 days old. And this morning Mr. Carmichael, the manager of the
Corporation was on hand to talk about it, and there was quite a bit to
To date, he revealed, the corporation has granted loans to the value
of nearly 41/2 million dollars. Of this more than 21/2 million dollars have
gone on housing loans. This is some indication of the need which existed
especially in the country districts for loans to build, repair and extend
houses. But the Corporation is aware that the need for houses must not
overshadow the fact that houses are not enough. People must also be
provided with the means to pay for the houses. And so, already the Cor-
poration is shifting the emphasis from housing to loans for agriculture and
The emphasis on housing has in the past caused some delay in dealing
with agricultural loans and has caused some dissatisfaction among farmers.
Now farmers' applications will be speeded up. In fact, the Corporation
will go further in helping farmers.- If it is a question of drainage and
irrigation, the Corporation will shortly be in a position to hire draglines
to carry out drainage and irrigation work, under the guidance of the
Departments of Agriculture and of Drainage and Irrigation. The farmer
will then pay the cost out of his increased production. This method will
not only be cheaper for the farmer, it will be quicker and more efficient,
than if he was to do it himself by employing manual labour.
But the Corporation is aware that agricultural development of the
coastlands has its limitations. It has therefore been looking into the river-
ain areas and here it has been stimulating industry, notably on the Berbice
River, by the setting up of Co-operative logging camps, of co-operative shops
and saw mills. These should attract people to that area where land is
cheap and fertile.
And the fishing industry, as Mrs. Adams could tell you, has not been
neglected. Over 40 of the smaller fishermen have been supplied With out-
board motors while 12 larger boats have been constructed.
Under the Head of Industry, the number of loans is much smaller
mainly due to the fact that the Corporatipn had little to build upon.
There is undoubtedly the scope for new industrial undertakings; but there
are the two major difficulties of the shortage of skilled workers and an
uncertain market. In the meantime, however, the Corporation has fin-
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anced the miscellaneous collection of small businesses, including saw mills,
factories, brick and cement factories, stone quarries, a tyre re-treading
workshop and a tanning factory-all projects which have every prospect
of succeeding and all owned by men and women of energy and initiative
who have invested all their savings in their businesses-a handful in several
hundreds throughout the length and breadth of British Guiana who cele-
brate today, the birthday of the Credit Corporation.
THE WORK 'OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES
(March 2, 1955)
YESTERDAY MORNING I was privileged to attend a meeting of a Re-
gional Development Committee as the members dealt with recommenda-
tions from the various area Sub-Committees. I was impressed with the
thoroughness of the discussions and the weight the Committee placed upon
the recommendations of the local groups. I got the impression that, if a man
had lived well with his neighbours in his village or district and that if he
put up a scheme which was not hare-brained on a project in which he had
some competence and skill, that both the Area Sub-Committee and the
Regional Committee would give that application sympathetic and lavour-
able attention. In the four hours the meeting continued, they dealt with
100 applications; but here's the crux of the matter, none was treated hur-
riedly, nothing was done too slow or too fast. Every application and
recommendation received its proper measure of time.
There were some two or three people who had been asked to come
before the Regional Development Committee and to answer questions on
their applications. In other words, the Area Sub-Committees felt that they
had gone as far as they could and wanted the larger body to make up
its mind whether a particular application should be entertained. I can
remember clearly two of these applicants who attended. One was a man
who was not quite clear what he was going to do with the money. He
hadn't got as yet the rice lands on which he hoped to expend part of
the loan. There were some five or six projects in which he was inter-
ested rice, coconuts and pigs and he had a trade which he was follow-
ing. As the questions came up I could see that gradually the Members
of the Committee were getting a little doubtful as to whether it would be
wise to embarrass him, so to speak, with all these various ways of making
his living, especially as some were new ventures for him in which he had
no experience. They decided to consider the application further and
deferred an immediate decision.
Quite in contrast to him was another applicant, a little older, and
quite clear in what he wanted to do. His answers gave you the feeling
that he had some vision, that.he was looking ahead, that he was prepared
to start with one kind of project and then develop it in other directions
- and this is important develop it along a line which would be of great
benefit to his community. You know how you pick up atmosphere. I
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
could feel the Members of the Committee becoming impressed with the
clear answers and forward-looking nature of this man. When he left the
members of that Regional Development Committee were openly admiring
the go-aheadness that he had shown.
Why am I telling you all this? That meeting makes vivid the 27-page
Report of Progress under the Development Programme for 1954, which
was issued two days ago by the Development Secretary. A section of the
Report gave the number of individual loans dealt with, probably dealt
with in the way in which I saw it yesterday. There were nearly 5,000
applications dealt with during 1954. Many of these applications were for
houses and the Committee had worked out an attitude to these applica-
tions which acted as a kind of sieve, allowing the good applications to
come through and holding up the doubtful ones. I have the feeling too
that people in the community were working out their own economic pro-
blems, that these were people dealing with applications from people whom
I'll tell you a story. I remember very vividly how there was one
application from a fairly influential member of the community and the
Regional Committee looked at it a little dubiously. There was a member
there who was the link with that area Sub-Committee and they asked him
to help them with it, to fill out the details of application. Then at the
end they said they would like to discuss this matter further with the appli-
cant himself. The delegate from the area Committee was obviously
pleased that the man himself would have a chance to make his case and
convince the larger; body of the worthwhileness of the claims. Well, that
to me is an instance of grass roots, so to speak, of people helping them-
It was like the spread of an umbrella and I rather liked this struc-
ture of credit which has been set up, which enabled men to have their
trustworthiness guaranteed and vouched for by their right thinking neigh-
bours. You see, you have the family as a basic unit in society and then
you have your village or your district grouping. Well, you will never get
anywhere unless you get your groups dealing with the problems you want
them to solve. In this case the problem for an expanding country is
credit worthiness and what is the measure of respect a man commands
from his neighbours. There is an old saying that a pint of practice is
worth nearly as much as a ton of theory. That was very much so yesterday
morning. I suppose there are other groups that do as well. Some may be
better and some may do worse, but the idea is right and the structure
is right. There is nothing which makes more for able social responsibility
and community trust than this fine democratic practice of sitting around
tables and talking things out on a man-to-man basis for the good of all.
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"LIFE IN ELDORADO"
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THE TRUTH BEHIND THE MYTH OF "THE
(November 3, 1954)
I DON'T KNOW who coined it, this phrase about the "Magnificent
Province". Some say the English novelist Trollope, but that is not known
for certain. Anyway it is a phrase we like using when we speak about
British Guiana the Magnificent Province and it nearly always brings
to the mind. the picture of a place overflowing with riches and vast natural
resources. Perhaps the picture owes something too, to the El Dorado myth,
the City of Gold somewhere in the far interior, perhaps in the Rupununi.
And of course when we use the phrase we are not thinking of what British
Guiana is today. We mean or rather we feel that if we are given that
vague somewhat magical thing called development, the Magnificent Prov-
ince will be here the day after tomorrow.
The hard lesson of the Robertson Report published yesterday, the
hard lesson that we Guianese must learn is that we are not living in the
Magnificent Province. We are living in a poor country, a country as the
Commission puts it, with a precarious economy which cannot afford an-
other crisis of the kind which developed in 1953.
The need to avoid another crisis is plain commonsense. If you have
got a lot of assets and resources, it might not matter much if you took
chances on doubtful prospects. But if you have just got enough to live on,
it would be clearly foolish to risk that little. That is why the Commission
found that they had no alternative but to recommend a period of marking
time in the advance towards self-government.
But let us return to this question of what our country really is the
truth behind the myth of the Magnificent Province and the city of El
Dorado. First, let us note the hard truth that a lot of our revenue, a lot
of our effort, must go year after year as the Commissioners noted, in what
is really negative development, drainage and irrigation. This is the way
they put it. "There is no end", they say, "to this struggle, and year by
year, money must be spent to maintain the elaborate system of the sea de-
fences and polders which protect the agricultural and residential areas
against flooding from inland during periods of extensive rains". "Nor is
this all", they go on, "since after protection against sea and flood has been
provided, there are problems of drainage and irrigation to be overcome".
The drainage everywhere, they concluded, and I am now summarising what
they say, the drainage everywhere is both difficult and expensive and un-
So much for the cost. What about our vast interior ? What about
the savannahs? The Commission found and the World Bank Experts
before them had found the same, that: "The soil is sandy and deficient
in minerals particularly in the Berbice Savannahs and the Rupununi dis-
trict. There is heavy flooding in the rainy season and drought in the dry
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weather. Consequently, the pasturage is poor and unsuited to cattle
raising on an extensive scale". The Commissioners go on, "the inhospit-
able and infertile nature of the Rupununi Savannahs and 'the forest areas
and the problems of the coastal belt are further accentuated by the special
difficulties of transport. The 'mighty rivers' of British Guiana, which
traverse the country from the interior to the sea, are obstructed by rapids
and falls at distances varying from about 30 miles upstream in the Pome-
roon River to 110 miles in the Berbice River, and thus cannot provide
cheap and easy water transport to the interior. Nature, too, has impeded
the passage of large seagoing ships into the rivers by silt bars offshore at
"The general economic picture therefore", they found, "is one of un-
remitting and costly struggle against geographical and physical difficulties :
of man pitting his energy and strength against unfriendly natural surround-
ings:. of much success and some failure". The Commission noted, however,
and they quote the Honourable Sir Frank McDavid on this, that the pres-
ent economic and social position shows triumphant success in the achieve-
ment of very real progress in the last 20 years and particularly during the
past 10 years. Sea defences have been provided and large scale drainage
and irrigation works undertaken. Georgetown, the capital city, has been
transformed into a fine city with good roads, some noble streets and build-
ings and reasonably high standards of amenity. Rural areas have been
provided with good potable water and health. conditions immensely im-
proved. It is, however, clear, they concluded "from its physical make-up,
that British Guiana can hardly be much more economically than a com-
paratively poor country (unless of course further mineral resources of
really important proportions are discovered), and that only by heavy ex-
penditure of capital and by continued hard work by the community as a
whole will conditions generally be improved".
THE EFFECTS OF POPULATION GROWTH IN B.G.
(June 28, 1954).
YESTERDAY'S PAPERS had an article which I am inclined to think was
of far greater importance than many others in large headlines. You
might have read it and passed on. I want to come back to it because it
dealt with a matter fundamental to all our development plans, the figure
i the background which is the cause of everything-population.
: -The release from the General Register Office which appeared yester-
day, gave the estimated population at the end of last year. It showed that
we are rapidly nearing the half million mark. And.the progressive increase
in population growth which began in 1945 shows no sign of falling. In
1945, the annual rate of growth of population increased sharply from 1.5%o
to 2.8%. In other words the rate of increase nearly doubled.
You know how all this came about. Before 1945 the drainage and
irrigation canals of our low-lying coast were ideal breeding grounds for
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malaria and malaria was a major scourge. In 1945, the D.D.T. campaign
began. All the world knows now the spectacular results of that campaign,
how the birth rate rose and how infant mortality dropped.
The World Bank Mission noted and the Registrar General reiterated
this weekend that the trend of population chiefly affects the lower age
groups. Immediately there is the problem of places in the schools. But in
the future there is the problem of jobs. Children born in 1945 are growing
up. In six years they will leave school. In 1960 there will be a new labour
force and our research, our development programme must be geared to that
The World Bank Mission described this (the population D-day to
come) as a factor of major importance and one which more than any other
influenced its recommendations. Yes, our steadily increasing population
and its movements are the thread which link all the parts of the develop.
Looking through the recent progress report on 40 schemes you might
feel rather confused, might fail to detect a pattern; but let us look at it
from the point of view of population and see how all the pieces fall in place.
What are the immediate effects of the population growth? Pressure
on schools, housing accommodation; pressure on food. Now let us look at
the Progress Report on development. School buildings which will shortly
be complete, will provide an additional 1,000 places. And during the rest
of the year work will be started on 8 new school buildings.
More people means more houses.. Again let us look at the progress
report. Nearly 5 million dollars will be spent on housing before the end
of this year. The target is to provide 800 houses. The machinery is being
set up; the funds will be made available soon, through the Credit Corpora-
tion. Finally, let us look at the problem of food. Now we either grow our
food here or we can grow what the world will buy and use the money to
buy what we want. To grow more food there must be land. We've got
a lot of good land along the coast but a lot of it can't be used because it
is badly drained.
So major long-term drainage and irrigation projects must be an im-
portant part of the development. They are, to name only the two major
ones from the Progress Report 'The Corentyne Drainage and Irrigation
Schemes Blocks I and II and the Boeraserie Project; both of which will
provide additional land for cultivation and pasturage. But land is not
sufficient there must be research into what will grow most easily, how we
can get the best out of the land, how we can use difficult areas. So let us
look at the Progress Report again. There you will see that there are rice
research schemes, fodder and breeding schemes at Ebini and St. Ignatius
and the cocoa trials which might possibly be the solution for the effective
use of the riverain lands of the Demerara and Berbice and the North West
District. And of course any form of expansion needs transport, transport
of. men, transport of produce. So look under transport and you will see
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
that a major item in the development plan is the rehabilitation of transport
services. And there is of course the road programme. So you see the 40
schemes of development are all part of a pattern and the key to the design
Population is our great problem, but it is also a challenge, and an 6o-,
portunity. North America was once over populated with 1/ million In-
dians. But today it is not, with 150 millions, because the resources of the
country have been developed. Provided there is development a country
may support for a long time to come an increasing population., We have
the development programme. We have the money. But there is one thing
else the people. The plan cannot come to life without the people.
For if the people are consumers they are also the producers. So we
come back to population. Development can only come where the people
want it and are willing to help forward 'it, to co-bperate with technicians
and leaders, and to bring to it their own resources of experience and
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS.
TONIGHT, I want to sketch in the problems of transported commnuni-
cation in British Guiana. A transport and comrhtunication problem is ri
the final analysis a geographical' question.- So let's have 'a look, a very
quick look, at the principal geographical factors which influence the
development of transport and communications in British Guiana. There
are two-a coastal factor and an interior factor. The coastal factor is the
division of the narrow coastal belt into four distinct sections by the three
main rivers-the Essequibo, the Demerara and the Berbice. :The interior
factor is the dispersion of small population in a few centres in the .vast
interior. These centres are found on certain naviwgble river-stretcdies and
scattered here and there in the remote savannahs.
On the coastal section, the World Bank Mission felt that the bridging
of the estuaries is impracticable for the moment. So measures for con-
necting up the four coastal sections should be directed towards better ship-
ping and trans-shipment services. And today you would no doubt 'hake
read about what is proposed to be done to modernize our ferry services, and
of the new stellings which are being built; all estimated to cost some two
million dollars. We shall return to this in another broadcast. Right now,
the question of roads-The Mission found universal agreement ini the
colony on the urgent need for a great improvement of the, road system.
The present, undeveloped road system the Mission found whenp'it i~isited
early last year, is poorly constructed and maintained, and results in cosrtl
transport which hinders development. Road development, the' mission
felt, was undoubtedly the most important problem in the field of trarisporl.
In the coastal area the present transport system could, they felt, forn 'the
basis of a greatly improved system. The existing roads are well situated
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and theii alignments-need only small adjustments. The main task will be
to provide a strong base and.a wear resisting surface, able to carry the motor
traffic which can be expected to develop. Our road programme is getting
On the railways and the steamer.side, and on transport equipment
generally, the Mission found that the depression, war and post-war condi-
tions had made it difficult and costly for the colony to procure adequate
replacements. In consequence, there are many years of accumulated
arrears of maintenance and renewals, as well as the shortage in experienced
planning, executive personnel, and of local skilled labour familiar with
modern techniques. But even with these numerous handicaps the Mission
noted that there had been an improvement in recent years.
And now the interior. To meet the needs of the sparse population in
the interior the World Bank experts thought that increased attention
should be given to the development of regular and cheap air transport,
(already providedon a small scale), supplemented by cheap and rough sur-
On telecommunications, the opinion was that the telephone services
were in need of a thorough overhaul. And in this connection the Mission
was in agreement with the plans already formed. On the other hand, the
postal services and broadcasting, and the telegraphic services did not appear
to need 'any capital expenditure, and was capable of handling future
S" This has been a very quick survey of the problems in the transport and
communications sector of British Guiana, in every branch of which impor-
tant developments are taking place.
.. DEVELOPMENT OF RADIO IN B.G.
(February 16, 1955)
TONIGHT the Government Information Services take time off from the
-f, familiar topics of Development, and the Commonwealth'and the inter-
lational scene to congratulate Radio Demerara on the opening of its new
studios. These new studios, 'the most modern.to be found anywhere in the
.Caribbean, isan outtward sign of the big step forward which broadcasting
haS taken in British Guiana:in the last four years. Things have moved so
,swiftly that we have been'hardly conscious of them. But one sure sign of
,-ow radio has developed is 'that we don't regard it as a novelty any more.
We take it for granted, an essential part of our daily lives.
So it might be worth looking back, just for a moment, to the early days
ofb.broadcasting in British Guiana.
S Only three years after the birth.of radio in 1922, British Guiana had
.a kind of rediffusion service through the work of an engineer of genius, Mr.
W. R. Brasher, the Chief Engineer of the Post Office Telecommunications.
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The next year a low power short-wave transmitter was installed) Then
came a long period of experiment in which a number, of well-known men
played significant parts Louis Kerr,> Oscar S. Wight, E. G. Fenty, F. T.
Manly and A. E. Gagan. Out of this period of experiment emerged two
Stations VP3MR and VP3BG, the two being unitedin the British Guiana
United Broadcasting Company in 1938.
But in spite of the re-organisation and the grant of a subsidy from
Government, broadcasting in B.G. persisted rather than developed. In
1945 the great fire destroyed the old studios in the Luckies Chambers, and
ZFY, as it was then called, began a rather wandering existence, coming to
rest finally in the old quarters in North and New Garden Streets.
Without in any way trying to minimise the work of the pioneers, there
can hardly be any doubt that the development of radio as a national service
began in 1950 with the management of Warren Robinson who brought to
the medium wide experience and considerable faith and enthusiasm.
While the new studios are an important step forward, I am inclined
to think it is only a first step and that the months and years to come will see
even more striking developments in Radio in British Guiana.
One of the urgent problems of a country's development is the. human
problem, the problem of enlisting the imagination on the side of forward
movements. Here radio can play a part which no other medium can.
It can bring stimulation, enjoyment, and fresh interest to men
and women, without any need for them to leave their, homes, and it can do
this even when men and women may not be very literate through no
fault of their own. On the one hand, it can tell them in a personal way
of what men and women in similar circumstances in other countries are
doing to help themselves to higher standards of living. And on the other
it can bring to more developed and fortunate communities a whole new
world of the spirit.
It can bring to the villager of Good Hope in Essequibo the story of
Community Development in a similar little village in India. It can make
a community project in India live for him as if a villager had come sudden-
ly from India into his village to tell him about it. And for the more fortu-
nate it can bring the great dramas and adventures of the human spirit into
their homes "Macbeth with the mocking laughter of the witches and the
tense guilty whispers of the arch plotters", the latest accents in philosophy
from Oxford, Harvard or Calcutta, or the University College in Jamaica.
Moreover, Radio with its intimate personal approach and its gifts of
understanding and sympathy will one day weld, is already welding, all our
peoples together, both here and in the Caribbean, giving to each the sense
of a family, and will reach Idng arms out across the seas into the wider Com-
monwealth family and the world.
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"THE BRITISH WAY"
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(June 6, 1954)
A YEAR AGO TODAY, the Queen was crowned. You might remember
how you and the rest of your family sat huddled around the radio to
listen to the commentary from London. I wonder what you remember best
in that broadcast. Perhaps you remember Audrey Russell describing the
glorious Coronation robes, or Howard Marshall talking about the procession:
Or, perhaps you will remember the tremendous cheering of the crowds in
Trafalgar Square, or the climax of the whole ceremony, the moment for
which we had all waited, the putting on of the Crown. But what I
remember best about the broadcast was at the very beginning. Do you
remember Tean Metcalfe telling us from inside Buckingham Palace of how
the Queen left her home. That was quite different to the rest of the day.
There was colour there but no ceremony quite a domestic note also a
mother and father taking leave of their children, relatives and servants
before an important journey. I like to think of that family scene as a
symbol of something of which we were reminded throughout theday the
British family of nations, the British Commonwealth.
Yes, Coronation day was a family day, our day. We had a sense of
pride, did you not, when the soldiers and sailors from the colonies, Canada,
Australia, India and Pakistan marched through Trafalgar Square on the
way to the Abbey. And again in the Abbey when the Archbishop in a loud
voice at the beginning of the ceremony said: Sirs, I here present unto you
Queen Elizabeth your undoubted Queen; wherefore all you who are come
this day to do your homage and service are you willing to do the same ?"
.And among those who had come and who shouted "God save the Queen"
we might have seen, if we had been there that day, the black tuniced figure
of Nehru, Sir Adeoji Adeumi from Nigeria and Nkrumah from the Gold
Coast, Mohamed Ali from Pakistan. Every race under the sun was there,
all partaking in a family ceremony, the crowning of the Head of the Com-
Without a head, a family cannot stay together: without the Crown the
Commonwealth family would not stay together. But freedom is the key-
note: of the Commonwealth. As the members grow up into nation-hood
they are free to leave as Burma left, but only Burma. The other members
of the family who have grown up have all kept their links through the
Crown with the family Canada, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Ceylop
and so on.
You might say that surely the Crown is too abstract a thing to keep so
many peoples together. But that is not true today the notion of the
Crown as something abstract. The Head visits the members of the family.
Our Queen goes on tour. In Jamaica, in Canada, in New Zealand, in
Australia, and in Gibraltar, the people know a person, Elizabeth the
Queen. They know the Head of the Family arid we, for the moment, less
fortunate members of the family have at least heard her when she speaks
Sto the family on family occasions as at Christmas, or a year ago today on
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SIR ANTHONY EDEN: A SOLITARY, STRONG FIGURE
(April 10, 1955)
IT IS a drizzly Sunday afternoon in February, 1938. A debonair immacul-
ately dressed figure comes hurriedly out of No. 10 Downing Street
and walks walks into history. The next day people learnt that Robert
Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, had resigned from the
Cabinet because of a difference with the Prime Minister on the Italian
question. Chamberlain was pursuing even then his policy of appeasement
and was willing to give further concessions to Mussolini. Eden felt that
the time had come to make a stand. It was not a popular decision. Most
said of Eden that he was a warmonger, but in a year the tide of public
opinion had caught up with Anthony Eden. And when war was declared
Eden came back to high office going eventually, with the appointment of
Winston Churchill, to the Foreign Office.
Until that day in 1938, in spite of all his great forebears (and for 500
years Edens had played a significant role in British history, both at home
and overseas), one hardly thought of Eden except as one of Britain's best
dressed men, rather gifted with political sense, but certainly not a coming
statesman of world stature.
Yet this is precisely what Anthony Eden has become. Within the last
year he has risen to the stature of.a world statesman. When he was made
Knight of the' Garter, an honour which in modern times had seldom gone
to a commoner though it had recently gone to his predecessor, Sir Winston
.Churchill, Her Majesty was recognizing what public opinion agreed.
The last year has been one of the unravelling and settling of a wide
range of problems in the international scene, and in nearly every instance
a settlement has been due to the persoUal intervention of Sir Anthony Eden
or to his influence.
Let us look over them briefly. The Anglo-Egyptian dispute over the
military base in the Canal Zone settled. The Persian pil question, resolved.
Then there were the major agreements over Indo-China, the London Agree-
ment and on the future of Trieste. There can hardly be any doubt that
the Geneva Conference would have ended in failure without the patience,
persistence and diplomatic skill of Eden. Mendes France's dramatic
gesture could not have been made at all if Eden had not kept the Confer-
ence going through long impossible weeks.
Similarly the settlement on the future of Trieste was clearly one of the
fruits of Eden's foresight when several years ago he initiated the policy of
detaching Jugo-Slavia from the Soviet Bloc.
And you must still remember how what recently looked like certain
collapse of European unity after the failure of the French Parliament to
ratify E.D.C. was rescued by the personal initiative of Anthony Eden, and
the elements making for disaster transformed into the diplomatic triumph
of the recent London Agreement. All these have been almost wholly due
to Eden's diplomatic skill and patience and singleness of purpose the ful-
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filment of the qualities which called him early to ministerial office and has
kept him there longer than any other statesman, including Sir Winston
Sir Winston once spoke of him when referring to the confused period
before the last war as the one "solitary strong figure against the dark, drear,
drift of disaster and despair" and more recently in prophetic words "as the
one fresh figure of the first magnitude arising out of the generation which
was ravaged by war".
In a day or two the man who walked from Downing Street on that
drizzly Sunday afternoon in February in 1938 will be returning to live
THE STORY OF PENICILLIN
(July 9, 1955)
THE STORY OF PENICILLIN which was discovered just 21 years ago is
a story of man's genius given over to the relief of human suffering.
And it is a British story.
It was at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, that Sir Alexander
Fleming made his great discovery. After this lapse of time it is perhaps
worth retelling the unique circumstances in which it came about.
Sir Alexander, one autumn afternoon, was working in his laboratory
growing virulent germs on plates of jelly, when a speck of dust floated
through the window and settled on one of them. Fleming examined it
with his microscope and found it was a mould spore with the scientific
name Penicillin Notatum. He afterwards noticed that on the plate where
it had settled there were none of the familiar germs which cause boils and
carbuncles and abscesses of all kinds.
That was the discovery that set Fleming on his course. Next step was:
by taking the spores from the mould he found he could grow fresh colonies
in a liquid nutrient broth. After a certain time he found that the broth
was capable of limiting the growth of certain bacteria as much as 800 times.
But he also found that the liquid lost this property if kept for any length
of time or if it were heated.
But he could not isolate the thing which had this effect on bacteria.
Here the biochemists under the leadership of Professor Raistrick, of Lon-
don University, came on the scene. They too succeeded in growing the
mould-this time in a solution of pure chemicals in water. But they too
could not find the thing, the active principle, and were for the time de-
feated, as had been Fleming. But the work went on. Nearly ten years
elapsed. In those years, Sir Howard Florey and his Oxford team (with
whom the name of Dr. E. B. Chain will always be associated) had joined in
the hunt. After long efforts they learned how to extract the crude penicil-
lin from the broth and, after the first early trials, they were able to make a
considerable contribution to the work of manufacturing penicillin on a
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Finally Florey and Chain made the great test with the pure penicillin
they had extracted. They took fifty mice and inoculated them with a
wound-infecting injection. Half of them were given injections of penicil-
lin. The others were left untouched.
Here is Florey's account of the experiment: "We sat up all night
.injecting penicillin to the treated group. I confess it was one of the more
exciting moments when I found that all the untreated mice were dead -
and the treated ones were alive".
Penicillin was now a great potential medical weapon. When war
;came, and later when the invasion of Europe came close, British manufac-
turers were urged to begin large-scale production. And large stocks of peni-
cillin were built up in readiness for D-day.
With this greater supply dramatic .and colourful developments in the
use of penicillin took place. It was found that a host of diseases yielded
to penicillin treatment. The drug has come to the aid of the sick of the
world to an almost unbelievable degree. Septicaemias, pneumonia, menin-
gitis, endocarditis, wounds and burns and bronchitis are among those
diseases in which penicillin has become an invaluable treatment.
Here is Fleming's account of the first case in which he used the drug.
"My first experience of treating a patient with concentrated penicillin was
in the summer of 1942. A middle-aged man with meningitis appeared to
be dying in spite of sulphonamide treatment. The germ was sensitive to
penicillin and Florey was good enough to give me his whole stock of peni-
cillin to try on this, the first case of meningitis to be treated. After a few
'days treatment with injections the patient was out of danger and he made
an uneventful recovery."
The case led to the setting up of the Penicillin Committee under the
presidency of Sir Henry Dale. That Committee furthered the production
of penicillin in Great Britain and exchanged information freely with the
American authorities. Close co-operation between the laboratories and
factories on both sides of the Atlantic was a prime factor in making large-
scale production available when the invasion of Europe became a fact.
Since then there has been considerable development. Yellow penicil-
lin (which contains about 70% purp penicillin) which was used in most
treatments has now been entirely replaced by a crystalline material once
reserved for only eye and brain surgery. The last few years have seen the
introduction of procain penicillin, a compound which not only provides
anti-bacterial action on injection but also sets up a "depot" of penicillin in
the muscle. And now atomic energy has been invoked to investigate how
the drug works after administration and if possible to find out how its
range of effectiveness can be extended.
Sir Alexander 'Fleming, who has already been honoured by several
nations was further honoured recently when the Duke of Edinburgh. pre-
sented him, on behalf of the staff of St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, in
London, with a gift of silver to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of peni-
cillin. Meanwhile, this great British scientist at the age of 74, quietly
maintains his research work at that hospital where he has worked for so
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THE BRITISH T.U.C.
(August 28, 1954)
THE TRADES UNION CONGRESS, which opened today at Brighton, is
one of the three big occasions of Britain's political and industrial year.
Nearly a hundred unions or more compose it, and their members number
more than 8 million workers. In another fourteen years, the T.U.C., as it is
familiarly called, will be celebrating its centenary. It has met, since it
was founded, every year save 1914. Primarily, the T.U.C. is a voluntary
association of trade unions for trade union purposes. One might say that
in principle such a body should be apart from politics. In fact, histori-
cally, the T.U.C. has grown up in intimate association with the Labour
Party. And it has its methods of working with the Labour Party.
But that is not to say, when one comes to examine its recent working
and the way its business is done, that it is a partisan body. It maintains,
and at times is ready to proclaim strongly, its independence of govern-'
ments of whatever complexion. That is often shown by its readiness to
negotiate for trade union interest with whatever government may be in
power. It is, given the community of mind and interests that it has with'
the Labour Party, perhaps less likely to squabble publicly with the Labour
Party than with any other, But it has and has had for many years now
- formal relations with the government through specially created bodies.
The functions of those bodies are to provide regular. machinery for the
discussion of matters of common interest, for the anticipation of difficulties
so that they may be solved before they become serious, and in general for
the smooth working of relations between government and organised labour.
The T.U.C. has of course relations with many outside bodies. But those
which are of the most importance for its place in the community are those
with the government. The T.U.C. is from time to time apt to be critical
of government policies, first on the practical grounds where the interests
of the trade unions are affected, but occasionally also on political grounds.
There are not many who would challenge the right of the T.U.C. to
form views on great political issues of the day, and indeed the Conference
now in progress will deplore as indeed it did last year anything it re-
gards as attempts to create trouble between the industrial and political
wings of the movement it belongs to.
For the first time for many years, the discussion of international affairs
is getting a prominent place in the T.U.C. This is against the trend of
recent years, and some observers are doubting whether it is the business of
the T.U.C. to discuss international relations in the way proposed, and not
to stick to the domestic, industrial and economic matters with which by
nature it is so much better equipped to deal. Certainly, the more fruitful
debates in recent years have usually been on topics of direct interest to trade
The T.U.C. meanwhile has its own international relations with trade
union bodies. It was instrumental in 1949 in setting up the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions, when its delegates and those of the
U.S.A. walked out of the Communist-controlled World Federation of
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Trade Unions. And the Congress at Brighton will have before it a report
warning the affiliated unions against taking up contacts again with a body
that represents workers in countries where trade unions are instruments of
totalitarian governments. For it is the pride of the Trades Union Congress
in Britain that it is not, and never will be the instrument of any Govern,
SUCCESS STORY OF A BRITISH AIRLINER
(September 2, 1954)
IT HARDLY CAME AS A SURPRISE the other day, when one of Ameri-
ca's large domestic airlines announced that it had decided to buy forty
Viscount airliners from the British firm of Vickers-Armstrong., The pur-,
chasers, Capital Airlines, had already bought three Viscounts, and it was
generally assumed that they would sign a contract for the remaining 37 as
soon as it was clear that the aeroplane would obtain an American certifi-
cate of .air-worthiness. The certificate has now been issued and the firm
order for a total of forty machines has been duly signed and an option
taken out on a further twenty Viscounts an option which both parties
confirm is also certain to be exercised.
This entry by a British gas turbine airliner into the home market of
the U.S.A. was bound to come. That the reward should come to the tune
of 45 million dollars for the sterling area is gratifying, but, as I have said,
The Viscount, has, in many ways, been a very fortunate aeroplane. At
the outset of its career it was far from certain that it would be persisted.
with. The first model attracted a great deal of interest and admiration in
1948 but .it booked no orders. A second and larger type which used
even more, powerful engines, hardly caused the customers to fall over them-
selves to be, first in the queue with a contract, It was around this time
that the whole Viscount project nearly died completely. It was only saved
by the joint efforts of the Ministry of Supply, Vickers, and a change of out-
look on the type of engines .used in the Viscount by the executives of Brit-
ish European Airways. B.E.A. were eventually convinced by test-flight per-
formances, and finally placed their first order. From then on a Viscount
production line was assured. Of almost equal importance, however, was
the fact that the aircraft, from then on, would be developed by the makers
in.partnership with a major airline operator. B.E.A. stated precisely what
their requirements were, and by the time the first machine came off the
production line, it had built into it most of the pre-requisites for commer-
It was, by now, becoming known that B.E.A. had a winner in the Vis-
count, and other airlines needing new equipment took the plunge for gas
turbines. Air France was the first, soon followed by Aer Lingus, the Irish
airline, Trans-Australia Airlines and Trans-Canada Airlines. More re-
cently, B.W.I.A. have announced that they will be replacing their planes
next year with Viscounts.
But there is still one inexplicable point in the story of the "Lucky
Viscount", as it has come to be known. When the first Viscount flew
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in 1948, the aircraft was naturally without a foreign competitor. Only
Britain was then in the prppellor-turbine field, and the rest of the world
was content to watch, to see what happened. It is now nearly 1955, and
there is still no competitor to the Viscount. There are something like
2,500 short and medium haul aeroplanes in use on world routes today.
Most of those aeroplanes are due to be replaced in the next ten years a
market worth 600 million. Yet what aircraft is there available or
announced as likely to be available ? As far as can be seen the Viscount
is still the only contender in the field at the moment.
The Viscount has already logged some 40,000 hours of passenger ser-
vice, and is expanding that total with every day that passes. Everywhere
the clear verdict is that passengers are sold on "Viscount" travel.
The success story of this great British airliner to date is that nearly 150
Viscounts have been sold to 17 operators and there is also an option on a
further 20. Sales for at least 50 more are in various stages of negotiation
and production plans, it was stated recently, call for 100 more in 1956, and
(if needed) a "hundred plus" in 1957. My own feeling is that the phrase
"if needed" was spoken tongue in cheek.
BRITAIN'S ATOMIC REVOLUTION
(March 5, 1955)
A NEW REVOLUTION faces Britain, one that may well be as important
as the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. It is the
Atomic Revolution, announced last week by the Minister of Fuel and
Power, Mr, Geoffrey Lloyd, which promises a future of lavish power sup-
plies backed by an export programme of atomic machinery and.equipment
which should be of untold benefit to the Commonwealth and the rest of
If all goes as her experts believe it will, Britain may well become the
world's atomic workshop within the next generation, providing herself and
other nations with nuclear power generators and a-supply of energy which
may change the living conditions of whole populations of now under-de-
Already the foundation of this new atomic era has been laid by a
brilliant group of physicists, chemists-and engineers who in 1945 set to
work against extraordinary difficulties to enable Britain to catch up with,
atomic development. In a single decade these men have worked wonders,
for ten years ago, with the war over, Britain was in a sorry plight on atomic
During the Second World War most of her leading physicists had given
their brains to the joint allied effort to develop the atomic bomb, but when
the war was over, Britain found herself virtually on her own. All the
atomic factories were in America and Canada; Britain had no facilities;
intensive atomic secrecy meant that there could be no .exchange of in-
Yet now, less than ten years later, Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd is able to say:
"These decisions of the Government (the starting of a 300 million atomiq
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power programme) open up tremendous prospects. They offer the possi-,
bility of a new industrial revolution with a continuing increase in produc-
tivity and in the standard of living in our country. This is an historic
day for Britain. I know of no other nation that has yet launched a nuclear
power programme on this scale".
How has this come about? Decisions have been made even before
Britain's first full-scale atomic power station has gone into operation. Al-
most monthly, one might say weekly, the team of research men at the
atomic research headquarters at Harwell near Oxford have been producing
new ideas; and the engineers of the Production Division in Lancashire,
have been devising new techniques to make practical use of them.
The reason for this ability to go ahead with a complete power pro-
gramme that will produce economical electrical energy lies largely in the
tremendous amount of practical work that has been going on in the "atomic
factories" in the north of England and the chain of experiments that con-
tinues without pause at Harwell. Throughout the atomic programme the
people in charge and the people "on the job" have had to make decisions
and carry out work without a trace of hesitation. There has been no back-
ground of experience for the engineers to fall back on; they have been
working with unknown quantities and they have had to put implicit faith
in their own skill and judgment and in the accuracy of the theories that
have been presented to them by the research men.
Possibly one of the greatest problems that face Britain in this new
atomic programme lies in the difficulty of gearing her training facilities
to meet the demands that will be made on her technical and scientific man-
power. Almost everything in this battle for world supremacy in atomic
power is going to be dependefit on brains and brains that have been
finely edged by the best training they can be given.
At the present time, the United Kingdom's Atomic Energy Authority
employs some 5,000 highly trained engineers and scientists but in ten years
time, the estimates show that at least twice that number will be wanted.
Industry, too, is already making demands on the scientific manpower for
the huge contribution they are to make to the atomic programme.
Meeting of this demand is going to call for considerable extensions of
training facilities. Already Birmingham and Manchester Universities have
announced new "atoriic courses" while the Queen Mary College of London
University has accepted nuclear energy as an optional subject for the en-
gineering degree since 1952, with a lecture course supported by work done
in a specially equipped atomic laboratory.
The Atcmic Energy Authority has its own training scheme. A five-
year apprentice course is already operating in which hand-picked youngsters
are given the opportunity of practical and theoretical training at no cost
to their parents. This is to be extended in the immediate future. At Har-
well too, there is the Reactor School, where engineers and scientists from
industry are taught the basic facts of atomic energy. This is to be
expanded in the near future and will eventually Le extended to in-
clude foreign scientists as part of the Anglo-American plan for widening
the world's scope of atomic learning. Harwell, in fact, may well become
the world's principal and first Atomic University.
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ON THE WORLD"
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THE WORK OF UNICEF
(June 3, 1954).
WONDER ,if you sometimes open the morning papers, as I do,. with a
shudder, afraid to read about new disasters, afraid to hear about acts of
violence and hate in the world.
There is hardly an issue of any newspaper or for that matter hardly ,an
edition of a radio bulletin which does not add to the terrible record. Radio
has made the world a small place. What happens in Peking or London, or
Port-of-Spain, is through radio and the press as much a part of your life as
what happens next door. So it is easy indeed to feel that things everywhere
are going to pieces. But are they ? Disasters and violence make news
The slow work of building up, of repair, works of charity these are not
spectacular. They don't get into the headlines: I want to tell you about
some of these works now; the work of an international agency, which shows,
I think, that nations and the ordinary people of the world do help one
another. War is not the whole story.
That agency, you might have guessed, is UNICEF. You have heard
quite a lot about what it has done here recently, particularly about the
B.CG. anti-tuberculosis campaign. At the end of the week, 35,000 persons
had already been .tested. And on Sunday we got the news that a two years'
supply of skimmed milk powder and cod liver oil capsules were also coming
here shortly from UNICEF. Commencing next September 16,000 under-
nourished school children will get a mid-morning snack of milk and bis-
cuits and cod liver oil. Yes, we have heard a good deal about UNICEF's
work here and in the West Indies.
But do you know what UNICEF means and how it came about.
The United Nations International Emergency Fund was set up in 1946,
to get aid to children in war ravaged countries food, clothing, medicines.
But it was soon clear, that there were under-developed countries not touched
by war but the needs of whose children were as great. So UNICEF's work
spread to Africa, Asia, Latin America. This change in the work of 'e
UNICEF has been recognized by the United Nations. It is no longer an
emergency fund. It is on a permanent footing but it keeps its old name.
UNICEF gets its money from the voluntary contributions of more
than 50. governments and from the public. It is money freely given, ndt'a
tax, not a levy, which makes its work possible.
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
If I had some means of showing you pictures tonight I could show
you that all is not violence or.hate. Beside the picture of evil men smug-
gling arms into Guatemala, I would set another picture where at lunch
time at schools, high in the mountains of Guatemala, UNICEF provides
for school children, fruits and vegetables and corn cakes. Yes UNICEF.
But when you come to think about it the real providers are good-hearted
people in America, let us say, or Britain, or India, and in all the countries
who contribute to UNICEF.
And there would be more pictures to show. In India I should set
beside the picture of marching men aid riots in Kashmir another one of
several hundred young women, who are being trained as nurses, young
men who will save young life and see that it grows strong. In Palestine;
in Egypt, and nearly everywhere in the Middle East where violence flares
up suddenly or natural disaster overtakes people, you would find UNICEF
at work. You would have got from the papers last year the terrifying pic-
tures of thousands dying in the earthquakes in Greece. But did you see
too, how the agents of UNICEF worked there, to help the victims with
blankets, and clothing and food.
But you mustn't think of UNICEF as the rich helping the poor, of
the prosperous helping the stricken. Thailand is a very poor country., But
when Bengal was stricken with famine the Thailand Government sent
through UNICEF 500 tons of rice for the victims a case of the poor help-
ing the worse off.
So you see that today's news if the full story be told is not a tale of
evil men at work, plotting and destroying, not that only, but of good men
at work, sometimes alone, but sometimes through agencies such as UNICEF,
men who save, while others kill, men who build while others destroy.
THE WORLD BANK
ALTHOUGH WE HEAR a great deal of the World Bank from time to
time, very few people know anything of its origin and its objects. This
is its story.
The World Bank was born at the International Conference at Bretton
'Woods in 1944. That was the conference at which representatives of the
*Allied Powers began to draw up the plans for the economic reconstruction
of the post war world. One must look back with admiration at the faith
and foresight which allowed some of.the best brains on the Allied side to
devote so much attention to the problems of the post-war world, at a time
'When the battle was still raging, and victory still 'no more than a hope.
The conference owed most to Lord Keynes, a great British thinker and
humanitarian who was then attached to Britain's Treasury as adviser to the
Chancellor of the Exchequer. He conceived the Bank as 'an institution
:;which w6uld mobilise the capital resources of the richer nations and set
them to work, not only repairing the immense damage caused by the war
toPIC FOR TONIGHT :99
but, ceatihg: a richer:,and more peaceful world by developing the "ratutal
resources of the less developed countries. It was a fine dreani, and runike
inost: dreams large part of it;has come true. :' ..
The Bank today has at its disposal some $&,000-million of resources,
made up of a varied array of the currencies of member nations, more than
$3,000-million of these resources being subscribed in dollars and other hard
currencies.- With these resources the World Bank has made 1oans totalling
over $1,800-million. And one very remarkable, thing about the record of
.the World Bank so far, is that it has not suffered a single loss. No interest
payment on loans made is overdue. The only deviation.from schedule i5
that, in one or two cases capital repayments have been made ahead of time
and loans have been repaid before their due date.
The loans made by the World Bank have been fairly widely spread
over the whole world. But there is one important reservation which must
be made to this statement no money has been lent to a Communist coui-
try. That, let it be added; -is no fault of the Bank, but is due to the fact
.that the communist countries have not 'become 'members.- The Russians,
as allies in the war, were invited to the Bretton Woods Conference, and
attended. In fact there was some delay in getting the Russians to accept
the quota of capital in the Bank which had been allocated to them. In
the end, almost at the eleventh hour, a cable came from Moscow accepting
the figure. When this was announced the whole conference rose as one
man and cheered to the echo. It was the most dramatic moment of the
meeting of Bretton Woods, and it showed how earnestly all nations assem-
bled there there were more than forty werp hoping that after the war
there should be the closest economic as well as political co-operation with
'Alas, those hopes were to be disappointed. At the next meeting called
to discuss the formation of the Bank and of the Fund, which was held in
Savannah in the south of the United States, the Russians were merely repre-
sented by observers. This was in 1946, when they had begun to retreat
behind the iron curtain. They never became full members. The Poles
became members of the Bank but sent in their resignation after a short
time. The Czechs for a tinie were the only communist country to be fully
represented: on the World Bank. But they ceased after a time to pay their
subscription to the capital and therefore no longer appear on the list of
members.. .. ..
The great .function of the Bank is to finance developments; but it is
also" an important function of it to1 give expert advice on develop merit'L-
as in the case of British Guiana. To date'it has sent survey missions to'it
least a score of countries. But of course the loans are the main part. of its
So far the number of loans made by the World Bank exceeds eighty.
The only difficulty in describing exactly what the Bank is doing is that of
choosing between -the, nany projects
:.aneatipile.ftri the C6mmonwealth. In, Pakistan 'the World Bank is help'
ing industrial development with. two. loans, one for i. i lw'a y de elopiient
TOPIC FOR TONIGHT
and the other for agricultural equipment. This agricultural equipment
is now being used to reclaim ,nearly 700,000 acres of desert-land in the
Punjab Province. Large tracts that have until recently been desert, are
now beginning to produce wheat, cotton, sugar, and orchards. Thousands
of homeless persons are being settled on that land.
That in brief is the story of the World Bank an institution which is
a tremendous force for good in the world today. Certainly it fulfils the
dreams of its great founder, Lord Keynes, of making the desert bloom and
bringing new industries and higher standards of living to the poorer coun-
'tries of the world.
OCTOBER 24: MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER DAY
TO MANY PEOPLE, in many parts of the world, 24th October is some-
thing more than just another day. It is one of the important anniver-
saries of the twentieth century; the day on which, nine years ago, the United
Nations Charter came into force.
The aims of the United Nations are great and far-reaching. They are
set forth in these opening words of the Charter. "To save succeeding gen-
erations from the scourge of war. To reaffirm faith in fundamental human
rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights
of men and women and of nations large and small. To establish condi-
tions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from
treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained. To
promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom",
Clearly, if the United Nations achieves these objects, the 24th of Octo-
ier, 1945, will riot only be a milestone in the present century; it will be
one of the greatest days in the history of the world. They have not been
fully achieved, but in the nine years remarkable progress has been made in
In spite of the frustrations, irritations and delays so familiar to news-
paper-readers, the United Nations has been active and successful in dealing
with threats to world peace.
In 1946 the frontiers of Greece were constantly disturbed by armed
incursions. The pressure of world opinion in the General Assembly and
the vigilance of the United Nations Observers have helped to eliminate
that menace. The frontier villages are now at peace.
The cease-fire which stopped the fighting in Kashmir was arranged
under the auspices of the United Nations, which since then has maintained
a corps of observers on the cease-fire line.
In Palestine the United Nations stopped the Arab-Israel war and has
by its ceaseless vigilance prevented a further outbreak, which might have
plunged the whple Middle East into war.