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QUARTERLY OF THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
DECEMBER 1973 VOL. 7-NO. 4
Concerning Jamaica's 1760 Slave Rebellions . . . . .Carl A. Lane 2
Das Licht auf dem Galgen
A German Marxist Author on Jamaican History . . Eckhard Breitinger 5
Jack Mansong, Bloodshed or Brotherhood .. . . . L. Alan Eyre 9
Politics, Pollution and Power . . . . . . Dr. TrevorA. Byer 15
A Saga of Frogs . . .. . . . . . George R. Proctor 29
The Church and Urbanization in the Caribbean . . . W. Kane, S. J. 32
ART LITERATURE MUSIC
The Entertainers- 1973 .... . . . . . . .BariJonson 38
Ikebana. . . . . .. . . . Aimee Webster 47
Festival '73 Junior Poetry . .. . .. . . . . 50
Boxer Exhibition. . . . . . . . Basil McFarlane 51
The Gonzales Kayiga Exhibition .. . . . . John Maxwell 54
Front Cover: "Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrating Feast of Epiphany".
Colour Transparency by Tony Russell
Inside Cover: "Tembe Muntslad"
Bushnegro Woodcarving from Surinam
Back Cover: "The King Must Die"
Sculpture by Roy V.S. Lawrence
Correction : The picture identified as "Boats" by Vivian Morrison on Page
65 of March-June '73 issue actually should have been credited
as "FISHERMEN" by Leeford Capleton.
by Carl A. Lane
HISTORIAN EDWARD LONG
"Did he have a moral and emotional invest-
ment in the certainty of the slave system's
Jamaica's servile insurrections of 1760 constitute a heroic
chapter in the history of black people's efforts to resist western
slavery. Within a seven month period slaves in St. Mary,
Westmoreland, Portland, and Kingston, as well as in several
places along the north coast and in the interior, boldly attempt-
ed to destroy the men and institutions which held them in
bondage. As was true of many aspects of black history, until
recently these uprisings received little if any scholarly atten-
tion. Nevertheless, despite the current interest in such matters
there still exists a degree of misunderstanding regarding the
causes and nature of the 1760 rebellions. A recent article in
the Jamaica Journal, for example, maintained that all the
revolts were the product of a single conspiracy organized and
executed by" aslave named Tacky.1 To dramatize the unique-
ness and significance of the events of 1760 the same article
distinguished between slave riots and revolts, defining the
former as spontaneous, undirected disorder and the latter as
premeditated violence aimed at tearing down the slave system.2
By this reasoning what happened in 1760 was different from
all previous and subsequent slave uprisings because it was
planned and purposeful.
Several problems inhere in the conspiracy interpretation of
the 1760 insurrections and derive from the nature and use of
the only contemporary source to maintain such a view,
Edward Long's History of Jamaica.3 According to Long,
... in the year 1760 a conspiracy was projected and
conducted with such profound secrecy, that almost
all the coromantin slaves throughout the island were
privy to it, without any suspicion from the whites.4
Long also believed that
... whether we consider the extent and secrecy of [the
conspiracy's] plan, the multitude of the conspirators,
and the difficulty of opposing its eruptions in such a
variety of different places at once, [it] will appear to
have been the more formidable than any hitherto known
in the West Indies.5
The conspiracy explanation of the revolts hinges on the credi-
bility of these assertions and others Long made in his narration
of the events of 1760. The all important question is, then, of
what worth is the evidence?
Determining the quality of historical evidence is a hazard-
ous business, particularly when the evidence is personal testi-
mony, be it in the form of a diary, a letter, an old man's
memoirs, or even several lengthy volumes of learned exposi-
tion. Critical analysis of such source material involves more
than just a hearty draught of scepticism and a healthy measure
of detachment on the part of the historian: it requires the kind
of research that allows him to get inside the mind of his wit-
ness, to gauge the commentator's interests, biases, beliefs,
hopes, and fears; it demands the sort of thorough investigating
that enables him to weigh that testimony against contrary
evidence. Put simply, all such evidence needs verification, and
all doors must be opened in its pursuit. Enlightened common
sense ultimately judges the credibility of personal testimony.
Accordingly, Edward Long's analysis of the 1760 rebellions
must be evaluated in light of what is known about Long him-
self, weighed against conflicting evidence, and, finally, put to
the test of common sense.
It must be kept in mind at the outset that Long published
his History fourteen years after the outbreak of the insurrect-
ions. Without knowing what sources he used to freshen his
memory, it must be assumed that the passage of time diluted
somewhat his power of recall. Nevertheless, the inaccuracies
resulting from a blurred recollection would most likely pertain
to details rather than to general impressions regarding the
course of events, and, consequently, more important to this
inquiry than the "time lag" is Long's position in and view of
Jamaica's colonial society.
Edward Long was a wealthy plantation owner and slave-
holder from St. Ann. He moved about in the highest echelon
of Jamaican society, counting among his closest friends, his
brother-in-law, Lieutenant Governor Henry Moore. Recogniz-
ed and respected as a leader, for many years Long held a seat
in the Jamaica Assembly and, indeed, was one of its most
important members. In 1760, the year of the rebellions, Long
sat as Judge on Jamaica's Vice Admiralty Court. In short, he
was a pillar of eighteenth century Jamaican colonial life and
Unlike most of his fellow islanders Long was a man of no
mean education. He was not only a thinker but a writer of
considerable skill. But his thought, like most men's, was
shaped by the culture in which he lived. Slavery, of course,
was the foundation of that culture. It was the backbone of
Jamaica's economy and the most striking feature of the island's
social order. Black bondage made a man like Long a master,
and it provided him not simply his livelihood but also the
leisure to devote time to public service, to study, or to the
simple enjoyment of life. In his writings Long defended Jamai-
ca's slave system against hostile criticism from North America
and England and, in fact, hovered about and nearly embraced
the doctrine, long before it was fashionable, that slavery was a
positive good which conferred blessings on both master and
Keeping these things in mind, is it reasonable to accept
unquestioningly Long's assertion that the 1760 rebellions were
the product of a single conspiracy? Might not the conspiracy
be an invention of Long's own mind? After all, to Edward
Long, who saw the slave system as the benign, natural order of
things, providentially defined, the uprisings came as a shock,
a bewilderment: how to explain bloody revolt when commit-
tedto the belief that all is well? Long obviously could not deny
that revolts had occurred, but was he capable of recognizing
that all was not well? Did he have a moral and emotional
investment in the certainty of the slave system's essential
justice? If so, then quite possibly he resolved the contradict-
ion by what might be called the "rotten apple" explanation.
One incorrigible slave, Tacky, spoiled all the rest and unleash-
ed the bloody 1760 rebellions.
Thinking of this sort is not uncommon. Recent American
history provides an interesting parallel. In 1967 angry black
Americans, frustrated in their hope of securing genuine equal-
ity, put city after city to the torch. Many white Americans
then maintained that the only reasonable explanation for such
furious outbursts of violence was that "militant" conspirators
travelled the country sparking ghetto dwellers to riot. This
reasoning was most typical of those who believed that there
was nothing essentially wrong with urban America and that
whatever problems blacks faced were self-induced. In other
words, those who refused to acknowledge that problems
existed in the first place attributed the 1967 urban disorders
to unidentified villains who acted secretly and in concert. Yet
the thorough and searching investigation of what happened in
1967 revealed that "the urban disorders of the summer of
1967 were not caused by, nor were they the consequence of,
*any organized plan or 'conspiracy.'-"7
Belief in great conspiracies often cloaks an inability or an
unwillingness to approach unpleasant or disturbing evidence
with an open mind. What exactly conditions this inability or
unwillingness lies beyond the discipline of history. More pre-
cisely, it falls within the realm of psychology. Although the
academic disciplines which probe the human experience over-
lap at the edges, a great debate rages these days within histori-
cal circles concerning the merits of applying the principles of
modern psychology to historical personages. The difficulty is,
of course, that the "patient," in this case Edward Long, cannot
be placed upon a couch and psychoanalyzed. Nonetheless,
Stanley M. Elkins' pioneering work, Slavery: A Problem in
American Institutional and Intellectual Life, has shed consider-
able light on the psychological traumas of servitude and their
effects on black personality.8 There is, unfortunately, little
material of a comparable nature dealing with the master class,
and, in that absence, any further pursuit of this line of thought
must necessarily involve speculation. It is time, therefore, to
approach the matter from another angle.
To suggest reasons why Edward Long believed what he
believed may raise doubts about his credibility but does not
shatter it. His testimony must yet be weighed against that of
other witnesses and sources. These, however, do not corrobor-
ate the planter from St. Ann's view that a great slave conspir-
acy was afoot in 1760. Samuel Cleland of the Irwin Estate in
Westmoreland, although acknowledging that among the slaves
generally "there is a turbulent and rebellious spirit," wrote of
each revolt as a separate entity.9 So did Cleland's colleague,
James Barclay. This plantation manager, without referring to
simultaneous events in St. Mary and elsewhere, described the
Westmoreland uprising as "the greatest rebellion that ever was
known."10 The Jamaica Assembly also recognized that it had
not one but many insurrections on its hands. The slave code
enacted in December, 1760, as a result of the crisis, described
the disturbances in the plural. "Whereas," the law began,
"there hath lately been very dangerous rebellions and rebel-
lious conspiracies amongst the slaves of this island ..."11
Finally, unlike the inquiry made following Blackwall's revolt in
1765, no contemporary investigation of the events of 1760
revealed a widespread network of revolutionary conspiracy.12
The single conspiracy view of the 1760 rebellions flies in
the face of common sense. By definition conspiracy involves
clandestine planning and organization. Any slave or group of
slaves conspiring to incite an islandwide rebellion would necess-
arily encounter an insuperable chain of obstacles. First of all,
the plantation system and its code of discipline restricted the
mobility of slaves by imposing a close perimeter on their com-
ings and goings. Secondly, the island's poor roads,, rugged
mountains, dense vegetation, and innumerable rivers and
streams made all communication and transportation slow. The
difficult experiences of the white militia, often unable to must-
er effectively in an emergency, demonstrate the problems of a
group attempting coordinated activity, and the militia, keep
in mind, was not burdened by the demands of secrecy.13
Was it really possible, in other words, for a slave conspiracy
to have embraced the entire island? If not, then the causes of
the rebellions must be sought elsewhere.
Jamaica's 1760 insurrections had their origins in the pecul-
iar horrors of the island's slavery and the wide disproportion
between the black and white populations. The great majority
of slaves lived and worked under miserable conditions. Sugar
cane production demanded backbreaking work the year round
without respite, and food, shelter, and medicine were both
substandard and insufficient. A high incidence of absenteeism
among landlords depersonalized what was by nature a cruel,
exploitative institution, and the gang system further diminish-
ed whatever sense of responsibility the master class might have
felt for its labourers. For many years plantation owners and.
managers found it cheaper to work slaves to death and replace
them by purchase than to provide even the most basic human
needs. This practice resulted in a steady stream of newcomers
from Africa, making the degrading "seasoning" period an
enduring aspect of Jamaican slavery until late in the eighteenth
century.14 The poet Philip Freneau once described Jamaica's
slavery as "hell." 15
A small minority of Jamaica's total population imposed
these miseries on the labouring class. Governor William Henry
Lyttleton reported that in 1762 there were about 16,000
whites on the island as compared to 146,500 slaves.16 During
a tour of Jamaica in 1764 Lord Adam Gordon estimated that
there were 160,000 slaves and 25,000 whites. 17 Whatever the
precise numbers might have been, it was Edward Long's belief
that the ratio "nearest to exactness" was 100 blacks to every
nine whites. 18
The wretchedness of their condition as well as their super-
iority in numbers encouraged Jamaica's slaves to rebel. The
explosion occurred in 1760. Each uprising was a local pheno-
menon, although an atmosphere of hysteria among the whites
and rumour and hearsay among the blacks may have fanned
the flames and helped the rebellions to spread. While there is
no doubt that Tacky was responsible for the initial outburst in
St. Mary, he had nothing to do with the more serious revolt in
Westmoreland, nor with the insurrections at Tryall, Windsor,
Manchioneal, and Kingston. In other words, more than one
black hero and leader fought and died in 1760. Just as history
remembers Tacky, let it remember the others too.
IC. Roy Reynolds, "Tacky and the Great Slave rebellion of 1760,"
Jamaica Journal, VI (June, 1972), 5-8.
2. Ibid., 8.
3. Edward Long, History of Jamaica (London: 1774).
4. Ibid., II, 447.
5. Ibid., II, 462.
6. Ibid., II, 440ff.
7. Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
(New York: 1968), 202.
8. Stanley M. Elkins, Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional
and Intellectual Life (Chicago: 1959).
9. Samuel Cleland to Thomas Hall, June 10, 1760. See also C!e-
land's letters to Hall of June 21 and 31, 1760. Mss., West India
Reference Library, Institute of Jamaica, Kingston.
10. James Barclay to Thomas Hall, June 18, 1760. Ms., West India
Reference Library, Institute of Jamaica, Kingston.
11. "An Act to Remedy the Evils Arising from the Irregular Assem-
blies of Slaves," December 18, 1760. Ms., West India Reference
Library, Institute of Jamaica, Kingston.
12. Under Edward Long's chairmanship, a committee of the Jamaica
Assembly investigated Blackwall's 1765 uprising in St. Mary.
The result revealed that slaves from seventeen plantations in the
parish were involved in the abortive revolt. No similar investiga-
tion was made in 1760. Journals of the Assembly of Jamaica
(Spanish Town: 1829), V, 592.
13. Consisting of all white males over fifteen years of age, Jamaica's
citizen soldiery amounted to about 5,000 men. The plantation
economy spread these men over wide distances, and, as a result
of the limitations nature imposed on communication and trans-
portation, the muster was often ineffective. As a consequence,
militia units often made a poor showing against rebel slaves
whose ranks, thereupon, swelled. William Henry Lyttleton,
"Description of Jamaica, 1764," 8, ms., West India Reference
Library, Institute of Jamaica, Kingston; Long, History, II, 452-
14. John Hope Franklin, From Slavery to Freedom (3rd ed., New
York: 1969), 60-66; Clinton Black, History of Jamaica (3rd ed.,
London: 1965), 97-110; Richard B. Sheridan, "Africa and the
Caribbean in the Atlantic Slave Trade," American Historical
Review, 77 (February, 1972), 15-35. One should also consult
Orlando Patterson, The Sociology of Slavery: An Analysis of the
Origins, Development, and Structure of Negro Slave Society in
Jamaica (London: 1967).
15. Fred Lewis Pattee, ed., The Poems of Philip Freneau (Princeton:
1902-07), II, 258.
16. Lyttleton, "Description of Jamaica, 1764," 7.
17. Lord Adam Gordon, "Journal of an Officer in the West Indies
who travelled over a part of the West Indies, and of North
America, in the Course of 1764 and 1765" Newton D. Mereness,
ed., Travels in the American Colonies (New York: 1916), 379.
18. Long, History, II, 318.
A German Marxist Author
on Jamaican History
i Anna Seghers' Novel qim
"Das Licht auf dem Gal
by Eckhard Breitinger
Few German authors have ever concerned themselves with
West Indian topics. During the eighteenth century, in imitation
of Defoe's Robinson, the so-called "Robinsonaden" came
into fashion; they were, however, set in an idealized, undefin-
ed no-man's land. In the first decade of the nineteenth century
the Prussian officer and writer, Heinrich von Kleist, spent some
time as a French prisoner of war at Fort Joux, where Tous-
saint L'Ouverture had been imprisoned for life. This experience
induced him to change the scene of one of his tales from
revolutionary France to the no less revolutionary Haiti.1 By
the middle of the century Theodor Storm, living in the very
north of Germany under Danish rule, wrote a rather sentiment-
al novel which is partly set in the then Danish Virgin Islands.
Anna Seghers, the most prominent East-German writer, drew
on the impact of the French Revolution in the Caribbean area
for her short novels Marriage in Haiti, Restitution of Slavery
in Guadeloupe and The Light on the Gallows. Quite under-
standably, she clad the historical facts in a plot that illustrates
Marxist theories of revolution and de-colonization.
Anna Seghers, descended from a well-established middle
class family, won literary reputation with her tale The Revolt
of the Fishermen of St. Barbara (1928), which describes the
unsuccessful attempt of Atlantic coast fishermen to reduce
exploitation by shipowners. In 1928, Anna Seghers joined the
Communist Party. Together with Berthold Brecht and Johannes
Becher she formed a circle of "Proletarian authors"; she
engaged in a long theoretical debate on the nature of socialist
realism with the Hungarian Marxist philosopher and critic
In 1933 she fled to Paris, and, just in time to escape the
invading German troops, she moved on to Mexico, which was
then a centre for socialist intellectuals exiled from the fascist
countries in Europe. During those years in exile she first touch-
ed upon Mexican and Caribbean themes, though her literary
output at the time concentrated on the intellectual campaign
against German Fascism. Her anti-fascist novels won her
world-wide recognition with the critics, independent of politi-
cal outlook. The Caribbean themes, however, only found
literary expression after Anna Seghers had settled in East
Germany in 1947.
As late as 1961, Anna Seghers published the third of her
Caribbean Stories "Das Licht auf dem Galgen" (The Light on
the Gallows) which deals with the case of two French secret
agents, Sasportas and Dubuisson, who were caught in Jamaica
in 1799. Anna Seghers herself cites a German translation of
R.C. Dallas' History of the Maroons as her main source of
information.2 Scant as Dallas' information is on the Sasportas-
Dubuisson-affair proper, the author amplified her material
1. Siegfried Streller, Geschichte und Aktualitat in Anna Seghers
Erziihlung "Das Licht aufdem Galgen," in Weimarer Beitr'dge IV (1962),
2. Siegfried Streller, op. cit., p. 746.
with details from the two Maroon wars and, for the rest, she
handled historical facts rather freely. Here she deviates from
her normal documentary technique which she based on a
thorough investigation of the factual background. For a num-
ber of her novels she actually went to the place of action to
study social conditions on the spot. This personal experience
combined with her sense for detail and visual effect after all,
she was an historian of art by profession lend her novels the
lively quality and realistic richness that was so much appreciat-
ed by the critics.3 Here, however, she had to rely on a rather
shaky knowledge of historical facts and she had no personal
conception of the Jamaican setting, which necessarily entailed
a thinning-out of the narration on the one hand, and more
space dedicated to ideological and theoretical speculation on
The most fundamental deviation from the historical back-
ground is that Anna Seghers sets her heroes to the task of
instigating an island-wide slave uprising and thus install general
emancipation of the slaves solely from humanitarian and ideol-
ogical motives. She presents us with missionaries of the equal-
ity ideal of the French Revolution, while the report of the
British agent to the governor of Jamaica, which eventually led
to the detection of the two agents, makes it quite clear that
the aim of Sasportas' and Dubuisson's mission was primarily
to prepare the ground for a French invasion of Jamaica.
Another important alteration is the roles of the two protag-
Anna Seghers' Debuisson (the documents give the spelling
Dubuisson) is of mixed Jamaican-English and French descent;
having spent his early life in Jamaica, he deserted to the French
in Guadeloupe, and, an enthusiastic supporter of the French
Revolution, he became a secret agent in the service of the
Republic. In him she focuses all the conspiratorial activities;
he only turns traitor later on, when he finds that the political
situation in France and his personal interests have changed.
Sasportas, on the other hand, is described as the young idealist
revolutionary, who, without reservations, devotes his life to
the cause of the emancipation of the slaves. In consequence of
this devotion he has to die for his conviction. According to the
British agent Douglas, Sasportas was the hard-boiled head of
the conspiracy, while Debuisson seemed to have been pressed
by the French to serve as an agent. Anna Seghers even takes
over the character of Douglas who informed the authorities
about the two agents. But her Douglas is not the British agent
who detected the conspiracy by counter-espionage; he is a
house slave who occasionally carries letters for the two agents.
He informs the police from a childish urge to show off what
he knows and with what terrible secrets he has been entrusted.
To provide wider scope for conspiratorial activities, Anna
Seghers brings into the story a certain Cuffee, a run-away-
3. Jirg Bernhard Bilke, Anna Seghers: Vom Klassenkampf zur
StaatslReratur, in Deutsche Studien 32 (1970), p. 359.
slave, wb- had collected a gang of supporters, mainly to pillage
the planters. That Cuffee and his men should become an in-
strument for the emancipation of the slaves is rather what
Sasportas hopes for than what Cuffee himself conceives as
convenient. He becomes quite uncooperative as soon as a white
person appears on the scene. The author here had recourse to
events of the first Maroon war, when Quao and Cuffee were in
command of the Windward maroons. She even reports that
Cuffee and his men were wiped out by regular troops, who
had clandestinely placed swivel guns high up in the mountains.4
This is obviously based on Captain Stoddard's attack on
Nanny Town in 1734.5 Cuffee, described as short and hunch-
backed, is modelled after the historic Cudjoe.
Anna Seghers had never been to Jamaica and therefore very
wisely avoids revealing her lack of familiarity with local condi-
tions in long descriptive passages. She concentrates in her
narrative on the actions and the motives of the various charact-
ers. Scenery plays a quite subordinate role. The few, but
indispensable, geographical data she gives, however, are suffi-
cient to show that she is not particularly knowledgeable about
Jamaica. Nor did she absorb the full context of the Maroons'
relations to Spanish Town or the slave population. Here,
Marxist revolutionary ideology did not allow for a psychologi-
cally-based hatred between the slave population and the black
Maroons, who supported and profitted from the plantocracy
by hunting down run-away slaves. The ideology of revolution
demanded a unity of action and a complete identification of
all blacks, or even all non-whites, against the imperialist white
planter caste and their exploitative economic system.
Anna Seghers tale is meant as a didactic tale. She gives the
reasons why revolution failed under the historical circumstanc-
es described, she deduces the necessity of a revolution for nat-
ions under colonial rule and induces her readers to learn from
the mistakes of the past. In this she follows the rules of Social-
ist Realism, which prescribes the analysis of the historical facts
from a socialist point of view, and the deduction of political
relevance for the present as well as consequences for the future,
according to the theory of the dialectic development of
history. The stylistic means adopted, such as interior mono-
logue, association techniques, shifting of point of view, point
beyond strict Socialist Realism in the direction of "bourgeois
formalism and aestheticism"; in her dispute with Georg Lukacs
on the nature of Socialist Realism, she had defended the
necessity of experimenting with various artistic forms.7
Anna Seghers narrates her story as a tale within a tale,
starting off in the Paris of 1802. After Napoleon's take-over,
Antoine, a Jacobite, has been dismissed from his post with the
republican secret service, which sponsored under-ground move-
ments in enemy territory. Now, he himself is forced to live in
the underground. In this opening chapter Anna Seghers ex-
ploits one of her favourite fields, which she had so impressive-
ly described in her anti-fascist novels: the depressive milieu of
enemies of the regime, living in constant fear of being traced,
imprisoned or killed, and yet hoping and contributing to the
overthrow of the present regime by conspiratorial activities.
Malbec, a sailor, has sought out Antoine, to hand over the
report of his friend Galloudec, who was one of the party sent
to Jamaica with Debuisson and Sasportas. Galloudec's letter,
delayed for more than two years, informs Antoine that their
mission had failed: Debuisson had turned traitor, he was de-
ported to England, Sasportas was sentenced to death and
hanged. Galloudec had died of yellow fever.
4. Anna Seghers, Das Licht auf dem Galgen, in Erzahlungen II,
(Neuwied, 1964), p. 274.
5. Clinton Black, History of Jamaica (London, 31965), 82pp.
6. Fritz J. Raddatz (ed), Marxismus und Literatur I, (Reinbeck,
1969), 10 pp.
Wolfgang Joho, Vertrauen in die Entscheidung, in Neue Deutsche
Literatur, (Berlin, 1969), p. 160.
7. Fritz J. Raddatz (ed), Briefwechsel von Anna Seghers mit
Georg Lukacs, in Marxismus und Literatur II, (Reinbeck, 1969),
p. 110 138.
Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Deutsche Literatur in West und Ost
(Minchen, 1963), p. 363.
Anna Seghers deliberately begins with this double dis-
illusionment. She sets the scene at a time when the revolution
in France, the motherland of revolutions up to 1917, had
failed; when the revolutionary ideals liberty, equality, fra-
ternity were put aside; when the reactionaries had gained
the upper hand: the bourgeois had won the day over the
citoyen.8 In that depressive situation the defeated learn
that their missionary zeal to spread the achievements of their
revolution to other nations has failed as well. The capitalist
bourgeoisie had won on the national and international level,
and, in Marxist theory, bourgeois rule on the international
level means colonialism, imperialism, and, nowadays, neo-col-
onialism. However hopeless the revolutionists' situation may
appear at the moment, it still harbours hope. For Antoine and
Malbec, the exemplary struggle and the martyrdom of some-
one like Sasportas proves that the idea of the revolution still
lives on, even when the person of the revolutionary is put to
death. This is exactly what Fidel Castro meant, when, in the
trial after his abortive attempt to capture the arsenal at
Moncada in 1953, he said that "people follow ideas, not
persons."9 Thus the sacrifice of the revolutionary Sasportas
is rather meant to teach sympathisers to take courage than to
despair. His martyrdom promotes on a purely emotional level
a strong belief, even the absolute certainty in the ultimate
victory of the revolutionary cause. But what Antoine and
Malbec grasp only intuitively in quasi metaphysical terms can
easily be rationalized to the dialectic development of history,
namely that a reactionary regime with its mechanism of sup-
pression will only enhance the development-revolutionary
consciousness and thus accelerate the emergence of a genuine
revolutionary situation.10 This, as Anna Seghers sees it, is the
light that shines from the gallows on Saportas' life and on the
future revolutionary movement.
It should be mentioned that socialist writers have always
shown a strong interest in themes of the French Revolution
for two reasons. On the one hand the French Revolution
proved to be an unsuspected topic to glory in the highlights
of revolutionary's struggle. On the other hand it also conveyed
the warning not to overestimate bourgeois revolutions. The
French Revolution, seen in the light of socialist theory, was
an incomplete revolution, because it only strove for legal
equality, while it left the economic and social inequality
untouched. The revolution of 1789-99 was, therefore, bound
to entail a reaction by the economically powerful bourgeoisie,
which aspired to the position formerly held by the aristocracy.
In this ambiguous atmosphere, hovering between hope and
despair, the actual story begins. Debuisson, Sasportas, and the
sailor Galloudec set out for the West Indies. During their
passage and their short stay in Haiti, they tell us a lot about
the revolution in Haiti, the merits of Toussaint L'Ouverture
and the possible consequences for the slave societies in the
English and Spanish territories. The revolution in Haiti assumes
the character of a model within the geographical and historical
context. We hear, however, nothing of the slave rebellions in
St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent, organized by the French agent
Victor Hugues, which embarrassed the Jamaican planters
In Haiti Debuisson, posing as a French prisoner of war,
manages to return to Jamaica with the rest of the British ex-
pedition forces, together with Sasportas as his assistant in his
medical profession and Galloudec as a servant. On board the
British man-of-war they get a good foretaste of what they are
to expect in Jamaica: crew and passengers are neatly separated
according to rank and colour. Aboard ship they also learn that
8. Siegfried Streller, Geschichte und Aktualitft . . Weimarer
Beitrige IV (1962), p. 243.
9. Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Deutsche Literarur m West und Ost
10. A.E. Furness, The Maroon War of 1795, in The Jamaican
HistoricalReview V (1965), p. 34.
Cf. also Extracts from A. D. Dridzo, transl. by A. Gradussov,
Jamaican Maroons, (Moscow, 1971), in Jamaica Journal VI (1972),
pp. 121 125.
11. Anna Seghers, Das Licht auf dem Galgen, p. 235
the Maroons with whom they hoped to come into contact,
have been deported to Nova Scotia. On arrival in Kingston,
Debuisson and Sasportas are accommodated at Debuisson's
grandfather's plantation, and Galloudec with a mulatto carpent-.
er. Three short scenes strike the keynote of the situation of
Jamaican society: a run-away slave is left to die of heat and
starvation in a cage hung up in the market place; in the bust-
ling market, the slaves sell for their masters the products of
the plantations; the planters collect the cash and spend it in
the "Admiral Penn" which epitomizes the boisterous milieu
of the planter class.
In the following chapter, contact is established with the
local sympathisers, with the mulatto Crocroft, a ship's carpent-
er in Annotto Bay; with the blacksmith Bedford, a slave on a
neighboring estate; with Swaby, a tenant of Irish descent,
and, though indirectly, with Cuffee, the leader of a gang of
run-away slaves. Meanwhile Galloudec keeps in touch with
headquarters in Haiti. Preparations for an island-wide con-
spiracy, comprising mulattoes, slaves, run-aways, and under-
priviledged whites are well on the way when the decisive crisis
arises in the personality of the ringleader, Debuisson.
The first part of the novel deals mainly with the building
up of a revolutionary movement, in that it conveys a conspira-
torial atmosphere and links up nicely with the identical atmos-
phere of the opening chapter. The narrative technique is
straightforward, following the chronological series of events.
Only occasionally do we find flash-backs into Debuisson's
childhood in Jamaica or interior monologues commenting on
social or political conditions.
In the very middle of the novel the revolutionary movement
enters a critical stage when the news of Napoleon's coup d'etat
becomes known. The change in the political situation in France
provokes an objective crisis of the undertaking to which is
added the subjective crisis arising from Debuisson's reaction
to that event. Here, Anna Seghers shows how the individual is
affected by the political and social setting on the national as
well as the international level. With this crisis the emphasis of
the narration switches over from the external events to the
motives and inner struggles of the characters themselves. The
narrative technique is adapted to the new situation. In the
second part of the novel Anna Seghers operates mainly with
parallel montages. Apart from Debuisson's reflections on how
to adjust'to the new situation, more space is given to the
interior monologues and dialogues of Sasportas, Galloudec,
Bedford and others, illuminating simultaneously Debuisson's
motives from a different point of view. The planter society
was prepared without hesitation to reabsorb Debuisson among
their number, particularly since he functioned as a medical
doctor in lieu of his grandfather. Debuisson himself, though
unconsciously, arrived at an ever increasing identification with
the conceptions and interests of this class, for whose overthrow
he had returned to Jamaica.12 Debuisson, realizing that he
now lacks political backing from France, decides to leave the
entire project and he informs Sasportas to that effect.
Sasportas reacts violently. He argues that they have now
managed to build up a powerful underground movement which
cannot simply be left to itself. They would carry on even with-
out French aid. But Sasportas is also aware that the revolu-
tionary's chief virtues are discipline and obedience, and he
therefore advises Bedford to abstain from any rash actions,
though to no effect. Sasportas' sudden reserve arouses Bed-
ford's suspicions as to the loyalty of the whites, and Cuffee,
with his anti-white prejudice, confirms these suspicions. They
decide to strike on their own. Bedford and his men set fire to
the canefields and the greathouses of various estates. Cuffee
attacks a military post to capture weapons and ammunition.
Their actions, however, were incompetently planned, they were
not coordinated; and, most important of all, they failed to
spark off the island-wide slave-revolt they had hoped for. The
troops have no difficulty in finishing them off separately.
12. Paul Rilla, Die Erzihlerin Anna Seghers, in Vom biirgerlichen
zum sozialistischen Realismus, (Leipzig, 1967), p. 140.
Jirg Bernhard Bilke, Anna Seghers: Vom Klassenkampf zur
Staatsliteratur, in Deutsche Studien 32 (1970), p. 364.
Debuisson and Sasportas are arrested; Debuisson gives a full
confession while Sasportas refuses to reveal the names of his
associates. Galloudec escapes to Cuba to tell his tale, Crocroft
flees to the mountains, Swaby and others remain undetected.
There lies a certain irony in the fact that the tale achieves its
aim when the revolutionaries fail to attain their aims. The
story speaks for itself, and thus, the main interest lies with the
characters. And here lies one of the main weaknesses of the
literature of Socialist Realism. The didactic purpose together
with the certainty about the "ultimate victory of the cause of
the proletariat" create a literature that has much in common
with the medieval Moralities, particularly as far as characters
are concerned. So many of the characters never really come to
life as human beings they can in no case come to life as indi-
viduals, since, for the socialist author, every individual repre-
sents, above all, his class.13 This should, however, not prevent
characters being more than flat personifications of ideas or
prejudices impersonate, drawn from an oversimplified concep-
tion of the class structure of society. At an East-German
writers' conference, Anna Seghers had warned against reducing
characters to one-dimensional types that can be classified by
labels like "renegade", "popular hero" etc., though in her
earlier critical writings she stressed that characters can only
be understood as representatives of their class and the econo-
mic structure underlying the class hierarchy.14 This becomes
evident with the planters as they are described in our tale. The
little informaiton we get about the Swettenhams, the Raleighs,
the Dudleys information drawn from dialogue, behaviour, opin-
ions expressed reveal the hollowness, the greed, the conceit-
edness of the planter class. Particular stress is laid on the
inhumanity of the planter-slave relations.
The planters show excessive cruelty in punishing their
slaves for the slightest offence; the most cruel of these prac-
tices is to hang up slaves in the market place in a cage to die of
hunger, thirst and heat. We find this practice mentioned in
two passages that carry special weight because they are placed
prominently within the structure of the tale, at the beginning
and at the end. Anna Seghers illustrates the planters' utter
disrespect for human dignity in describing how they consider
their slaves not as human beings, but as means of production,
as capital investment, even as objects for speculation. Rumours
about the abolition of the slave trade induce planters to buy
slaves on stock to re-sell them again when prices have gone up.
They handle the Negroes like any other commodity. The
planters' daughters show no more humanity than their fathers;
they, too, dispose of their slaves at will.
The reader will accept this as a particularly severe piece of
criticism, for the general opinion will not allow for the same
amount of inhumanity in the females as in the males.
This inhumanity, on which any slave society is based, ex-
tends to the rest of society with its brutalizing effects, in parti-
cular to those on the fringes of society, the poor whites and
the Maroons. Anna Seghers insists on this point, time and again,
by denouncing the suppression of the Maroons with the aid of
bloodhounds. Of the entire planter class it is only Debuisson's
grandfather, Dr. Bering, who receives much of the author's
attention. Even so, he never becomes more than a mere type.
His career discloses the perfidious methods of the planters.
He came to Jamaica as a man of limited means, he married a
fortune and, usurping his daughter's and his grandchild's pro-
perty, engaging in fraudulent transactions, he amassed a huge
fortune. Bitter as Anna Seghers' criticism is, she never touches
on the most dubious phenomenon of the plantation system;
At the opposite end of the scale we find the popular heroes
from the ranks of the underprivileged. Again, we do not come
across any differentiated personality. Cuffee is modelled on
the lines of the "noble outlaw". Ann, a house slave with the
Raleighs, takes the side of the revolution for love of Sasportas,
but not on rational grounds. Swaby, the white tenant, is an
interesting figure, as he epitomizes the exploitative character
13. JSrg Bernhard Bilke, op. cit., p. 361.
14. Anna Seghers, Das Licht auf dem Galgen, p. 215.
of the protocapitalistic plantation system, right to its founda-
tion in religion. Descended from a family of Irish indentured
labourers that is, a victim of the Puritan profit-orientated
mentality he became a small tenant. As such, he is hardly less
exposed to the caprice of the land-owners than the slaves.
Swaby fully realizes his situation, develops a marked class
consciousness and consequently takes sides with his black
Bedford, the blacksmith, figures prominently among the
slaves. He is one of the masses; he is not the professional revol-
utionary with an intelligentsia background, but he has develop-
ed a keen awareness of the disgrace of his present situation.
His father and grandfather told him about the freedom they
enjoyed in Africa; Bedford himself never conceives slavery
other than as a temporary affair.15 Unlike heroes in bourgeois
novels of social criticism, he does not leave it to history to
right his wrongs; he decides to take his fate into his own hands.
He takes action to right his own wrongs and those of his fellow
sufferers. He unites all the properties of the "socialist popular
hero."16 Bedford instinctively feels that Sasportas-Debuisson
hesitate to strike, so he decides to strike on his own account.
Though he excels in zeal and prowess, he fails because of lack
of discipline. He kills an overseer in a fit of anger but he has
not sufficiently prepared the grounds for a general uprising,
which he hoped to spark off with his deed.
Local slave unrest crystallizes in the person of Bedford and
Cuffee. They stand for the mass movement. The professional
revolutionaries, Sasportas and Debuisson, succeeded in trigger-
ing off the movement, they could even channel it for a while,
but they failed to communicate openly with the popular
revolutionaries, with the result that the popular movement
overtook the professionals who were supposed to remain at
the head of it.
Sasportas represents the ideal revolutionary hero. Through-
out the novel we never hear that he concerned himself with
anything else except his mission. Compared with the cause of
the slaves he values his own life very little; on the other hand,
he does not irresponsibly put the lives of his helpers at stake.
If, however, the common cause demands that he risk his life,
he is prepared to do so, and he does not hesitate to ask the
same from his comrades. He subordinates individual interest
to general interests. This still involves a deep respect for human
dignity, as is shown in his way of dealing with the slaves as his
In the first half of the tale Sasportas functions as second in
command to Debuisson. He does not question Debuisson's
authority, and only when Debuisson steps down, for tactical
reasons, does he carry on on his own. This decisive change is
presented in a scene of symbolic value. On a ride to one of
their patients, Debuisson and Sasportas argue about the impact
of Napoleon's coup d'etat on their mission. When Debuisson
pleads that they should leave the slaves to themselves, Sasportas
suddenly gallops ahead, while Debuisson is left behind to con-
template the beauty of the scenery and the yield of the harvest.
Anna Seghers attempts to monopolize the reader's sympath-
ies for Sasportas. The analysis of her technique of characterisa-
tion makes this quite clear. While most of the information on
Debuisson comes to us through the critical reflections of Sas-
portas, Galloudec and, indirectly, Bedford, or through Debuis-
son's own thoughts, which are immediately contrasted with
views of others on the same topic, our information about
Sasportas remains strictly one-sided, not to say biased. He is
presented to us in his own interior monologues, which place
him in an advantageous contrast to Debuisson; in his actions -
notable are his demonstrations of the equality ideal when
dealing with slaves; and in a long monologue of Galloudec, who
looks back on his earlier suspicions of Sasportas' calibre as a
revolutionary, only to make his light shine even brighter by
his certain conviction of Sasportas' trustworthiness.
15. llinz Neugebauer, Anna Seghers, Schriftsteller der Gegenwart
(Berlin, 1971), p. 17.
Certainly, Sasportas' character is also to be seen against
the background of Nazi anti-semitism. While the Nazis de-
nounced the Jews as being profit-orientated, unsociable and
cowardly, Anna Seghers describes a Jew who is not only
entirely unconscious of personal interests, always placing the
general welfare first, but also heroic and courageous to the
All this adds up to making Sasportas an absolutely faultless
hero. He becomes a Symbol, a martyr and saint of the revolu-
tionary creed, although he is never put to the test of internal
conflicts; he never doubts his mission, he knows no fear for
his life. He sacrifices his life on the altar of the revolution as
if this were the most natural thing a man would do. He is the
revolutionary superman. As such he adds to the internal logic
of the tale, but he also helps to make the end appear to happen
mechanically that is, he helps to strip the story of its tragic
There is only one situation where a real conflict could have
arisen; when the police arrest him and seek to press a confess-
ion from him. In this one crucial situation he is told right at
the beginning that Debuisson has turned traitor. While the
police officer hoped to make it easier for him to confess, he
only made it easier for him to summon up his courage not to
betray the revolutionary cause. With the example of the rene-
gade before him, Sasportas can more easily assume the stature
of the revolutionary hero that counterpoints the bourgeois
Debuisson; he sums up his antagonistic position in the words
"I am not Debuisson!"l8
It may appear as if the conflict in the novel were evolved
as a personal conflict between the protagonists. If, however,
the characters are considered as representatives of their class,
the personal conflict widens to a class conflict. As such, it
enforces the theory of the incompleteness of the bourgeois
In the first half of the novel the conflict between the
planters' profit interests and the humane cause of emancipa-
tion is vested in the personality of Debuisson. In contrast to
the unbelievable super-hero Sasportas, Debuisson is the only
character that comes anywhere near to life. Debuisson's char-
acter even seems to develop in the course of the novel. Closer
examination, however, shows that differences in Debuisson's
behaviour are not due to a development of his character, but
rather to Anna Seghers' technique of drawing on different
aspects of Debuisson's personality in the first and the second
half of the novel.
The first part shows the bourgeois who turned revolution-
ary. It appears significant that his commitment for the revolu-
tion, in particular for emancipation, is grounded on humanitar-
ian reasons. In the second part, the revolutionary has turned
bourgeois again after realizing that the political, social and
economic consequences of emancipation would interfere with
his personal interests. Humanitarianism has to give way to
Both aspects are present in Debuisson's character all
through the novel. It is only that Anna Seghers abruptly
switches over from one to the other with the news of Napol-
eon's coup d'etat.
From the very beginning, Anna Seghers furnishes him with
such properties as are most likely to enhance his ambiguity.
While Sasportas as an orphaned Jew i.e. he is ethnically and
socially homeless can only be one of the "dammed of the
earth," Debuisson descends from a well-to-do family. His
mixed ancestry forshadows his role within the novel; the
French part stands for revolutionary zeal, the English for the
16. Heinz Neugebauer, op. cit., p. 6.
17. Anna Seghers, Das Licht aufdem Galgen, p. 284.
18. Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Literatur in West und Ost (Miinchen,
Jgrg Bernhard Bilke, Anna Seghers: Vom klassenkampf zur
Staatsliteratur, in Deutsche Studien 32 (1970), pp. 357 375.
A bi-lingual edition of the Caribbean Tales was edited by W.F.
Tulasiewicz and published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Press.
Continued on page 31
by L. Alan Eyre
ALL nations have their folk hero-villians. A classic stereotype
is the noble outlaw, a brave guerrilla who is ruthless with un-
just oppressors, generous to the common people, chivalrous
to women and children, and a champion of universal human
rights against an entrenched system of privilege. If, like
Robin Hood, Jomo Kenyatta or Che Guevara, they achieve
any measure of success, a mystique soon surrounds them.
Viewed as criminals by the authority in power, and as
heroes by highly dissident elements, it becomes very diffi-
cult, in assessing their influence, to separate fact from
Almost two hundred years ago, Jamaica had just such a folk
hero-villian in the person of Jack Mansong. It comes as some-
thing of a surprise now to realize that for more than fifty
years after his horrible death in the Blue Mountains his name
was held in a strange combination of fear and awe not only
in Jamaica but in Britain too. It is a fact that more "bio-
graphies" of Jack have seen published than of any West
Indian before or since somewhere approaching twenty
in all, almost all written in Britain and almost all anony-
Depending on which of these "lives" of Jack Mansong we
pick up, he was the "Terror of Jamaica", a "famous negro
robber", "a bold and daring defender of the rights of man",
a "gallant hero". To the colonial administration he was
"that daring rebel" and leader of a "very desperate gang of
Considering that Jamaica had many runaways and rebels in
slavery times and that Jack's provable career lasted only a
matter of months, during 1780 and 1781, the later effects
and influence of both facts and legends are really quite
astonishing. Not only did books about him become popular
and one or two are known to have been best sellers in Britain,
but a pantomime on his life had the rare distinction of being
a sensation at Covent Garden, Haymarket and Victoria
theatres in London. This musical Obi or Three Fingered
Jack had a run of at least nine years! Even in the nineteenth
century Jack's hideout was still being prominently displayed
on maps of Jamaica, including the first official detailed
survey of the island in 1802. There are important reasons
for this notoriety, which will be considered later. First, we
must determine who he was and what he really did.
As with all folk hero-villians, this is easier said than done.
However, an exhaustive search of sources has not only
clarified many facts but illustrated some interesting aspects
in the growth of folklore.
Who was Jack Mansong? Despite the library catalogues, it is
virtually certain that if Jack ever had a surname in his life-
time, it was not Mansong. This name does not appear in
print until nineteen years after Jack's death and was pro-
bably the brainchild of an enthusiastic theatre-goer in
London who saw the pantomime. It caught on and was
adopted by some subsequent "biographies". In his rebel
days in the hills Jack was known and feared by the name
Where was Jack born and where did he spend his life prior to
becoming Jamaica's most notorious guerrilla? To the forces
of law and order Jack was a common felon at large and the
question of his origins was immaterial. Also being a run-
away slave he was property, not a person, so that again his
early life was of no consequence. There grew up after his
death two traditions, circulating at the same time. An anony-
mous biography sold by the publisher. A. Neil in 1800 claims
to have "cited historians of veracity" and represents Jack
Mansong as the warrior son of Onowauhee, a Moslem from
Simbing in the inland delta region of the Niger somewhere
south of Timbuktoo in modern Mali.
From there he was carried to the Gambia and then sold as a
slave to Jamaica. But it is almost certain from internal evi-
dence that the only "historians" he consulted were a William
Bnrdett and the anonymous author of a book published by
Brown of London in 1800. Both of these were however,
propagandists who could tell a good yarn, not historians of
veracity. This tradition is also followed in accounts of Jack's
life published by Catnach, Clarke, Marks, Oliver and Boyd
(a best-seller) and Walker.
We may dismiss as a fairy tale this whole story that Jack was
from Mali. There are two puzzling features, however. One
is the extraordinary mass of detail as to Jack Mansong's
exploits as a young warrior, so lengthy as to be tedious and
completely irrelevant to his later activities. In fact, in some
cases where this tradition is followed, details of his early life
in Mali take up more space than the account of his rebellion.
.In some accounts Jack is betrothed to Zaldwna, the daugh-
ter of a chief, and the loss of her through being enslaved was
a prime motive for later revenge. Moreover, there are details
about the Bambara of Mali which are strangely accurate
considering that this interior area of Africa was virtually
unknown to Europeans in 1800. Even if the authors were
writing historical romances, where they derived their geo-
graphical and historical information is an interesting pro-
blem. It is incredible that such detailed knowledge of events
in Mali half a century before should have been known in
the London of 1800.
There is, however, a totally different tradition which places
Jack's birthplace as the Jamaican property of a Mr. Morn-
ton near Scott's Hall in St. Mary. In this account he is pre-
sented as the posthumous son of Makro who died on the
"middle passage" and Amri who was purchased by Mornton.
The birth would thus be about 1763, either two or four
months after his mother's arrival in Jamaica. Jack's parents
were stated to be from the banks of the Gambia. This story
first appears in 1800 in pseudoepistles by a W. Earle, Jr. and
is found as late as 1829 in one of the most detailed "lives".
"The Wonderful Life and Adventures of Three finger Jack,
the terror of Jamaica."
The main feature of Earle's story and others which followed
it is that Jack's parents were enslaved by a Captain Harrop,
a white planter from St. Mary turned slave trafficker. Harrop
was shipwrecked on the Gambian coast, nursed back to
health by Jack's parents but then abused their hospitality.
Possessed by a bigoted conviction that their future would
be better in civilized Jamaica than heathen Africa, Harrop
contrived to carry them in one of his ships as slaves to Jam-
aica. Jack's rebellious activities are interpreted as hatred and
revenge inspired in him by his widowed mother.
There are many fanciful elements in this story too, and many
geographical absurdities. The geography of Gambia is naive,
and it is not possible to run down for supper from Mt.
Lebanus in the Blue Mountains to Scott's Hall in St. Mary!
There are improbable events in improbable places, the most
fantastic being described by Petrus Borel, the Frenich Story-
teller, who has Jack saving a girl called Abigail from drown-
ing and from pirates in St. Ann's Bay. Nevertheless, whether
to give veri-similitude or because there was a grain of truth
somewhere, Earle gives us a biography of Harrop, who is
stated to have been born in Britain in 1738, taken to Jama-
ica at the age of one, and to have inherited a plantation in
The name Harrop is almost certainly a pseudonym, even if the
man ever existed, so there is no way of verifying the details.
A search has revealed neither Harrop, nor Mornton among
eighteenth century Jamaican planters, and certainly no trace
of the Jewish landowner at St. Ann's Bay by the name of
Hatsarmaveth Abraham Westmacot who was Abigail's master!
In the eighteenth century, details of runaway slaves were regu-
larly advertised in the Jamaica press to aid in their capture.
An advertisement was run' for several weeks early in 1780
reporting an escapee by the name of Jack from an estate in
St. Mary. It seems that he had run away to sea, gone to
Honduras, then been seen in Kingston and finally taken to
the hills. This Jack was apparently not from the Gambia, but
was described as a Portuguese slave. But there must have
been very many slaves named Jack, so this may be mere
Was Jack born in Jamaica? Perhaps, but we have no certain
way of knowing now. We have no idea where Earle got his
information and most of it may have been simply out of his
own head. He would not be the first to write fiction under
the guise of sober history! One thing is certain: by early in
1780 Jack had decided that the life of a guerrilla was better
than that of a slave, and he began his private war.
The Guerilla War
Governor Dalling's proclamation of 12 December 1780 makes
it clear that Jack was no ordinary runaway slave trying to
survive by crime. He is described as "a daring rebel" who had
"eluded every attempt to capture him." His earliest base was
near the head of the Cane River in St. Andrew from which
he could observe and venture out to attack traffic on the
on the Windward Road. But it was soon necessary to retreat
to a more remote locality, and it was on Mt. Lebanus that
he made his principal hideaway. It was with Mt. Lebanus
that he became principally associated in popular repute, and
many people in Britain had heard of Mt. Lebanus in this way
who knew nothing else about Jamaica.
As a matter of fact, there is slight disagreement as to its exact
location. One description places it "at the top end of
Newington up one of the gullys to the east of the bridle
path up Kenmure Ridge (of Blue Mountain Peak)". But
the surveyor Robertson, who was the most careful and
accurate map-maker of the early nineteenth century in
Jamaica, marks "Three Finger Jack's Huts" very clearly
and prominently in Queensbury Ridge at the 5,000 foot
level about two miles south of the Peak.
There appear to have been several reasons why Jack chose the
upper slopes of the Blue Mountain Peak besides inaccessibi-
lity. For one thing, it seems that the Mt. Lebanus property
was in receivership and was being advertised for sale during
most of 1780. Its backlands may thus have afforded a safer
haven than neighboring estates. But more important was
the fact that a certain obeah-man lived in a cave on the
Finger Jack's Huts"
Below, The Bandit's
Cave ... Cundall's
Three Finger Jack.
slopes of the Peak. The anonymous account published by
Brown, which is detailed and bravely entitles itself "a faith-
ful narrative collected from the best authorities" (it does
in fact contain some unique material) indicate that this
cave provided a regular refuge for guerillas and desperadoes.
This obeah-man is named Amalkir in one account and
Bashra in another: both names are undoubtedly fictional,
but this transported African witch-doctor must have been
real and provided powerful inspiration for Jack and his
Jack set up headquarters near Bashra (alias Amalkir) and plot-
ted with others various guerrilla stratagems. There are some
amazingly fanciful descriptions of this mountain retreat.
Most writers describe a cave of varying depths, down to a
hundred feet, and there are even utterly ridiculous refer-
ences to rooms in it with doors, tables and chairs! In fact,
the thick fabric of fairytale hangs over this aspect of the
The bushy section of the Windward Road where it negotiates
the hills between Bull Bay and Grant's Pen was chosen as
the principal scene of banditry. At Four Mile Wood, near
the present layby and viewpoint east of Eleven Miles on the
St. Thomas Road, were staged many daring hold-ups, violent
robberies, kidnapping and shootouts. Government officials
and members of the plantocracy were priority victims.
Other aims were theft of firearms and guerrilla recruitment-
interpreted as freeing of slaves or carrying them off accord-
ing to one's point of view! There were casualties both of
direct murder and by killing of pursuers. Earle waxes elo-
quent: "numbers of innocents fell beneath his rapacious
sword, and black men alone were spared."
In the early part of 1780 the movement showed signs of grow-
ing into a threatening revolt very similar indeed to the
Mau Mau of Kenya. There was solemn oath-taking and
African magical rites. The best source outside Government
documents, Dr. Benjamin Moseley, surgeon-general to the
Jamaica militia, assistant judge for St. Andrew and a renown-
ed world authority on the growing of sugar, mentions a cere-
mony in which the contents of Jack's obeah-horn were
smeared on the foreheads of his band to bind them to
The account published in Brown includes an episode of some
significance in Jamaican history. Early in 1780, we are told,
Above, Four Mile Wood on the Kingston to Morant Bay Road, between
Bull Bay and Grants Pen. Here were staged most of the daring guerilla
raids on government officials and other travellers, and although the
number of fatalities is not known, it is certain that shootouts were
fairly frequent for some months.
Right, The Queensbury Ridge of Blue Mountain Peak. Jack's hideaway
is reputed to have been close to the small peak in the rear centre. His
secret track led down the centre of picture, by-passed Cedar Valley to
left of foreground and eventually to Four Mile Wood.
plans were prepared for an island-wide massacre (the partly
successful one of 1760, the so-called Conference Uprising,
was still a vivid memory). At the firing of a signal gun at
midnight on 10th February 1780 the grisly work was to
begin. The location chosen to initiate the revolt was Craw-
ford Town, a settlement situated between Silver Hill and
Tranquility on the slopes of Haycock Hill in Western Port-
land. The attack on Crawford Town was made in the early
hours of the morning and it was set afire, amidst, so the
story goes, "screams of the defenceless and groans of the
dying." A detachment of five hundred Maroon irregulars
was quickly dispatched and they soon dispersed Jack's men.
A general uprising, as usual, never materialized. A free par-
don was offered to the insurgents and all accepted except
Jack. From then on he fought alone.
The burning down of Crawford Town certainly did take place,
but there is no other evidence that Jack took part in it. If
he did, then the statements that he spared Negroes in his
attack is nonsense, since there were many Maroons and few
Whites in the population of Crawford Town. Free Maroons
were encouraged to capture and return runaway slaves to
'justice' and thus there was little love lost between Maroons
and fugitives bands living in the hills. This may explain the
choice of target. Many of the maps of the late eighteenth
century show that the settlement was later rebuilt on the
other side of Haycock Hill and known as New Crawford
Town. It does not exist today.
Legends of Jack's character and prowess circulated wide-
ly. His obeah was heard as much as his musket. He was
blamed for marital unhappiness, sickness and other mis-
fortunes among both whites and blacks. On the other hand,
he was "never known to hurt a child or abuse a woman."
There was a persistent story about a soldier's wife who, travel--
ing over the hills to the garrison at Moore Town to visit her
husband, was way-laid by Jack. Not knowing him, she sought
his protection against the notorious bandit. She offered him
money which was returned.
Another episode was that of the birthday party. Jumping
suddenly from behind a tree as the revelries were proceed-
ing in the garden, Jack shot dead the master of ceremonies
and in the ensuing pandemonium retired with an ample
supply of loot.
Jack is said to have lost two of his fingers after waylaying
and demanding money from a Maroon of Scott's Hall called
Quashee, both being wounded in the affray. This is supposed
to have made Quashee determined to revenge the injury and
finally led to Jack's death.
More in realm of fancy than fact, herculean feats were ascribed
to him, such as forcing apart iron bars after capture, jump-
ing thirty feet and killing two warders to escape. As a
matter of fact, he was never captured alive. But during the
harrowing few months when travellers were thankful to
reach Bull Bay in safety, the wildest rumours circulated. He
was alleged to be a giant in stature and even able to absorb
bullets into his body without harm.
Jack had a private trackway from Mt. Lebanus to Four Mile
Wood. It was known to locals and for long afterwards it was
shown to curious visitors. Its general course can still be
Fawcett, the author of the pantomime to which we have
previously referred, wove a fanciful love story around a Cap-
tain Orford of the British garrison and a coy maiden called
Rosa Chapman. Orford was carried off by Jack, and Rosa,
dressed as a sailor boy, gallantly went off to his lair to carry
out a dramatic but comic-opera rescue operation. This be-
came later the most popular feature of the whole cycle of
legend and occurs in several varying versions, usually presen-
ted as sober truth. However, despite its popularity, it is
without question pure fiction.
By the end of 1780 the colonial administration was getting
tired of the pathetic failure of law enforcement to effect
Jack's capture. There is no doubt he was viewed as a very
serious threat to the established order. Rewards were offered
by both the British government and the Jamaican House of
Assembly. As these were initially ineffective, an additional
motion in the House offered freedom to any slave accom-
plishing his apprehension, dead or alive.
Almost the only part of Jack's life in which there is near unani-
mity among writers is in its ending. The manner of his death
is always described-and frequently illustrated-in great and
gory detail. It occurred on Saturday January 27, 1781, and
a short account appears in a supplement to the Royal
Gazette (Kingston) of February 3. It state; that Jack was
surprised by a Maroon negro named John Reeder and six
others. Jack was alone and armed with a cutlass and two
muskets. He only had time to seize the cutlass before being
shot three times in the body. Mortally wounded, he threw
himself down a forty foot precipice. Reederfollowed andin
the ensuing scuffle Reeder and another Maroon were woun-
ded. Finally Jack's arm and head were severed and brought
Dr. Moseley was closely associated with the event and took
something of a professional interest in the whole affair. His
account is substantially similar to the official one, although
more details are given. John Reeder appears as James Reeder,
but this was only a name adopted at a christianizing cere-
mony before setting out on the fateful expedition. Before
that he had been Quashee the unconverted Maroon. The
significance especially of this will be considered later.
Moseley mentions that Quashee (alias Reeder) was accompan-
ied in the final attempt by a small boy ("a good Shot") and
by Sam Davy. Described as a Maroon by the Government,
Moseley more specifically identifies him as the half-caste
son of a Captain Davy who shot the captain of a London
ship in Old Harbour, obviously a well-known incident. Both
Quashee and Davy lived at Scott's Hall in St. Mary.
The Final Struggle no doubt retold many times, was a
hand to hand affair. The precipice down which the wounded
Jack threw himself is forty feet in the gazette account; in
others it is ninety feet. Actually there was a ledge part way
down and the slippery descent was made in two stages.
The final struggle was without weapons in macca bush at
the bottom. Although mortally wounded, Jack got Reeder
by the throat and Jack was only put out of action where
Right, Jack attacked by Quashie and Sam. Photo Institute of Jamaica
Below, Four illustrations from Fairburn's edition (fly-leaf).
Photo Institute of Jamaica
Sam bashed his head in with a rock. Then Jack's three-
fingered hand was cut off and his head stuck on a bamboo
The victorious party carried these gory trophies to Morant Bay
where they were deposited in a bucket of rum for the
triumphant journey to Spanish Town. There the reward of
vt -.-' ,....-^v .dta6. .j< aBa Am.'tfIByy,
(ai .a~Iii'o t~i 1 0 eal x I L (w
0ACK co"(plerva 1!y wil't'llev A- ;-.111A
three hundred pounds was claimed. This was a sum large
enough at the time to buy about fifty acres of agricultural
land or fifteen fat steers. And neither Reeder nor Davy were
slaves, the Assembly's allurement of freedom was irrelevant.
The procession to Spanish Town must have been quite an affair,
considering that the distance was more than forty miles. A
"vast concourse of negroes" blew shells and horns and fired
off guns, while chairing the pair along the way. Dr. Moseley
shrewdly comments that it was Jack's obeah that they were
happy to get rid of rather than Jack himself.
Borel's romance describes the Spanish Town procession in
colourful detail and with poetic justice has Reeder stabbed
to the heart by Abigail the girl Jack once had saved from
pirates. In actual fact, there is evidence that Reeder and
Davy not only lived to enjoy their gains but used them in
typical Jamaican fashion to celebrate annually.
As for the trophies of victory, twenty years later the head and
three-fingered hand were still preserved in spirit "for the
satisfaction of the curious" in Spanish Town.
Actual descriptions of Jack are mostly special pleading. It
is remarkable that a British writer of a hundred and seventy
years ago should call him "the bravest, strongest man in the
world!" Another lauds him for his "persevering courage and
gallant heroism," yet another patronizingly says that "he was
not without his virtues."
More significant were appraisals of his role by the long parade
of anonymous British "biographers." William Earle Jr. calls
Jack "a bold and daring defender of the Rights of Man,"
and concludes that "thus died as great a man as ever graced
the annals of history, basely murdered by hirelings of
Government." No wonder writers published anonymously!
Why all the interest in Jack and his short lived rebellion? Why
should packed houses in London theatres give "unbounded
applause"to a dramatized version of this affair and romantic
elaborations of it sell like hot cakes?
The answer is complex but not without its relevances for today.
First, there was the appeal of the story in Europe. between
1799 and 1832. The idea of a gallant and chivalrous ex-
slave fighting the whole colonial-slavery system single hand-
ed had great appeal to the anti-slavery movement. Its poten-
tial for propaganda was utilized to the full. Jack's "bio-
graphers" were principally advocates of social protest and
change. Real or imaginary episodes were invoked to demon-
strate the brutality and degradation of slavery and in parti-
cular the African slave trade.
In Africa, Jack or his parents were presented as noble savages,
European traders epitomized by Harrop as misguided, bigo-
ted, vicious, yet unwitting tools of the system. Africa's
inter-tribal problems were viewed as serious enough without
the intervention of the European slave trade. We meet
William, himself a white bond-servant to Harrop, vainly
protesting the evil traffic, and later himself becoming a
hippie type fugitive in the St. Thomas hills, "wild and
living in the woods."
Several of the books about Jack Mansong were published by
evangelical and missionary minded non-conformist advo-
cates of human dignity for both West Indian and African
blacks. The desire to make the story relevant to both Africa
and the Caribbean may have been the reason why Earle has
Jack conceived in Africa, carried in the womb across the
notorious Middle Passage and born in Jamaica. The anti-
slavery slogan and imprint. "Am I not a Man and a Brother"
appears prominently on two of the books on Jack. In one of
the psuedo-letters of Earle, purporting to be from a resident
in Jamaica to a friend in Britain, is a typical passage advoca-
ting the irrelevance of the whole criterion of race:
"Jack is a negro," say they. "Jack is a man," say I.
The tremendous interest shown in the pantomime "Obi -
or Three-finger Jack" the writer has copies of both the
script and of an original Haymarket playbill was due to
the fact that, farce though it was, it pressed on the very
nerve of the British dilemma. This dilemma was political,
economic, social and religious.
In this farce, the resident whites are awfully goody-goody, and
Jack is supposed to be representative of the ignorant savage
who will not be civilized by the tender mercies of the slavery
system, and who can only be tamed by the resolute forces
of imperial Britannia. The fatuous doggerel of the finale,
set to music (now lost) by Dr. Arnold, no doubt quickened
the pulses of the patriotic British audiences:
"Here we see villainy
Brought, by law, to short duration:
And may all traitors fall
By British proclamation.
Chorus: Then let us sing
God save the King, etc., etc., etc."
Villain or Hero
And yet the musical left nagging doubts whether Jack really
was a villain, or hero, or both, or neither. Among the packed
audiences there were several who felt that a basic human
and international problem was being exposed, for most of
the anonymous writers set about their "biographies" after
seeing the caricature of Jack in the pantomime.
More important even than the fundamental issue of whether
Jack was criminal, man or merely lost property, was the
conflict of cultural and spiritual values. As with the Mau
Mau of Kenya it was Jack's obeah which sent shivers down
the spines of Jamaican whites, the fear of something little
understood and unpredictable.
The contest between Quashee (alias Reeder) and Jack was a
confrontation not so much of strength and weapons as
between different sets of supernatural powers, African and
Christian. As long as he was Quashee, Jack's obeah was an
impregnable protection; as Reeder, victory could be expec-
ted since Jack's obeah was powerless against the Christians'
God. He acquired superior protection by the ceremony of
becoming a Christian with a new name.
Jack was not just a political guerrilla, he was fighting a rear-
guard action for a system of superstitious magic against
western religion and culture, supposedly rational and civil-
ized. To every writer, what brought Jack down was not
Sam's rock but the failure of Jack's African magic.
Jack lost support among the slaves and his revolt failed (if
indeed it ever seriously started) because his gods were dying
The throngs of cheering blacks lining the route from Morant
Bay had their counterpart in the thousands of loyal Kikuyu
in the 1950's and early '60's who would have no part with
the Mau Mau whatever the cost.
Dr. Moseley took a grim interest in the goat's horn of obeah
which Jack always carried, and he personally claimed to
have analysed its contents. Certainly it was given to him
after Jack's death. He listed these as grave dirt, ashes, the
blood of a black cat, and human fat mixed into a paste. In
a bag at his waist were a dried toad, a pig's tail, a cat's foot
and some kid skin.
There was one other aspect of the whole affair of Jack Mansong
which some writers were at pains to emphasize. Moseley
says Jack had a "mortal hatred to white man" but "would
not disturb one lady's happiness" though how these two
could be effectively reconciled seems to have escaped him.
This implacable hatred for whites is seen as a warning of
worse to come if slavery, colonialism and racial injustice
The ultimate influence of the Jack Mansong stories upon the
British social and religious climate of the early nineteenth
century will never be known. However, it is interesting to
know that "Three-finger Jack's little guerrilla war" in the
Blue Mountains nearly two hundred years ago was widely
seen as a warning that in human, racial, national and inter-
national relations there is only one choice: bloodshed or
At the outset I wish to thank the Union for the invitation
to deliver a talk on "Energy, Politics and Pollution" at this
Seminar. This is a topic which to-day is being specially high-
lighted by both the international press and statesmen, and
hence it is a highly germane subject not only in view of the
international debate, but particularly with respect to Jamaica's
present and future energy development. I should clearly state
at the outset that the orientation of this talk is specifically
international in context. There are two simple reasons for this,
the first being that it is impossible to examine present and
future energy development in a country such as Jamaica,
which is a net importer of energy products, unless one
thoroughly comprehends the international energy scene and
the implications of actions on the international front for
Jamaica's position regarding energy. The second reason is
more simplistic since this is due to the fact that over the past
six years I have been working in the international arena with
special emphasis on nuclear energy. Having only recently
returned to Jamaica I am therefore best equipped, at present,
to review energy from the international standpoint.
Regarding the other two aspects of mytalk, "Politics and
Pollution," it should be evident that to evaluate the world's
energy situation and not assess the political environment with-
in which the "oil game" is being enacted would be an exercise
in what I term "theoretical logic performed in a vacuum." In
addition, to discuss energy and its politics without addressing
oneself to pollution is non-scientific. The three elements of
this triad are intricately linked, indeed, they are so linked and
interwoven that they can only be examined in toto lest one
performs a sterile task.
Having explained the context and objectives of the talk, I
should briefly outline the scope of the lecture. Due to limita-
tions in time, I have restricted myself somewhat in that I do
not propose to discuss in detail, the role of tidal, hydraulic,
geothermal or solar energy essentially because they are not at
the centre of the international energy stage, at present. This
therefore means that I shall devote myself to discussing the
history and role of oil, gas, coal and nuclear fuels as the
primary energy resources. Finally, I shall not to-day discuss
energy development in Jamaica, as I view it over the time
horizon up to the early 1990s. This is primarily due to the
time limitations and the factors I have outlined above.
1. WORLD ENERGY RESOURCES
The first and most critical point which I wish to emphasise
The views expressed in this Paper are those of the Author and should
not be construed as reflecting, directly, or indirectly, those of the
Government of Jamaica.
Dr. Byer is Energy Adviser in Ministry of Mining and Natural
is that despite the fact that today the world is being engulfed
by statements to the effect that we are experiencing and will
continue to experience an acute energy crisis, this is a total
miscomprehension of what is really happening on the energy
horizon. The world is neither experiencing nor about to
experience an energy crisis, what is being experienced at pre-
sent is a major institutional crisis in certain sectors of the
energy industry. A real energy crisis would mean that the world
was running short of energy resources even resources at astro-
nomical prices and that the only way the thirst for energy
could be satisfied was by the development of totally new
technology which did not exist at present. This is not what the
present situation is, for what we are witnessing is merely the
restructuring of certain sectors of the energy industry. This
distinction is important if we are to avoid the process of
freezing the mind around a core of dead rhetoric, for it places
the entire question of world energy into its proper perspective.
In assessing the world's energy resources, two time scales
must be borne in mind; the first being a geological time-scale
during which the earth's most significant stores of energy were
accumulated and, the second a human time-scale during which
those accumulations are dissipated. The world's energy resourc-
es theoretically available for power production are of two
classes:- First, various channels of the continuous energy
flux from extra-terrestrial sources, and from the earth's inter-
ior; and second, the chemical, thermal and nuclear energy
stored in the outer part of the earth's crust and in the oceans.
The energy flux shown in Fig. I. is an approximate steady
state where the energy inputs into the earth's surface environ-
ment from these various sources, undergo a series of thermody-
namically irreversible degradations, the end product of which
is heat at the lowest temperature of the environment. This
then leaves the earth by long wavelength thermal radiation.
Associated with this energy flux, the material constituents of
the earth's surface undergo intermittent or continuous circula-
tion. A small fraction of the matter on the earth comprises the
biomass of the earth's plant and animal kingdoms, and a
minute fraction of the incident solar radiation is captured by
the plant leaves and is stored chemically by photosynthesis
whereby inorganic materials such as H20, C 02 and mineral
salts are synthesized into complex inorganic compounds. This
provides the energy to sustain the entire plant and animal
kingdoms. A small fraction of the remains of plants and
animals accumulated over the past 700 million years in oxygen
free environments, such as swamps, and became buried over
by muds and sands. These remains have gradually metamor-
phosed into the earth's present stores of the fossil fuels, coal,
petroleum, gas and related substances.
-Any estimate of world's energy resources is a hazardous
venture and one may easily arrive at estimates which differ by
An invited Paper delivered to the Jamaican Union of
Scientists and Technologists Seminar on the Environment 16 June.1973
by Dr. Trevor A. Byer
WORLD ENERGY FLOWSHEET
Energy flow-sheet for the earth*
RID ECT REFLECTION
62 000 X 1012 WATTS (35%)
DIRECT CONVERSION TO HEAT
0 76 000 X 1012 WATTS (43%)
EVAPORATION, PRECIPITATION RUNOFF, ETC. STORAGE
40 000 X 10' WATTS (22/e) WATER a ICE
WIND, WAVES, CONVECTION a CURRENTS
370 X 012 WATTS /
40 X 10' WATTS ANIMALS
--- ^ )S
a factor of 2 or 3. In particular, the amount of energy resourc-
es is a function of the price which can be sustained to exploit
these resources. Furthermore, reserves are normally classified
into three groups proven, probable and possible and this
further complicates any analysis.
Since coal occurs in sedimentary basins in strata that
are of large areal extent which tend to rise to the earth's
surface, reasonably reliable estimates can be formed of total
reserves in beds of more than 0.35 metres in thickness, and to
depths of up to 2 kilometres. According to recent estimates,
the initial world supply of mineable coal amounted to
7.64 x 1012 metric tons, of which 65% occurs in Asia (includ-
ing European USSR), 27% in North America, 5% in Western
Europe and only 2.4% in the three continents of Africa,
South America and Australia. Of this quantity only 135 x 109
metric tons, or 1.8% had been mined by the end of 1969.
B. Crude Oil
Unlike coal, petroleum fuels are mobile and therefore
in accumulating underground can migrate to different sub-
regions about a proven deposit. Estimates of oil and gas are
therefore much more hazardous than for coal. Present world
production of crude oil is somewhere in the region of 50
million barrels/day and the proven reserves of crude oil world-
wide amount to about 642 billion barrels according to 1971
estimates. Table I. gives a breakdown of where these proven
reserves are located from which it is evident that the Middle
East accounts for about 58% of the total. Table II. gives an
estimate of the total reserves of crude oil worldwide (proven,
probable and. possible) and the regions in which these occur.
These data indicate that at present consumption rates of some
18 billion barrels a year of crude oil, the proven reserves will
last for another 35 odd years.
C. Natural Gas, Tar and Oil Shales
The quantities of natural gas for large productive
areas are roughly proportional to those of crude oil and the
TIDES, TIDAL CURRENTS, E
3 X 1012 WATTS
VOLCANOES a HOT SPRINGS
0-3 X 1012 WATTS
S32 X 1012 WATTS
NUCLEAR, THERMAL a GRAVITATIONAL ENERGY
Estimated Worldwide Proven Oil Resources, 1971*
Country/area Barrels (Billions) Share of Total (%)
Alaska fields) 45.4 6.8
Canada 10.2 1.5
Caribbean 17.1 2.8
Hemisphere 14.5 2.3
Hemisphere 87.2 13.4
Western Europe 14.8 2.3
Africa 58.9 8.9
Middle East 366.8 57.6
Europe, P.R. China 98.5 15.4
Hemisphere 15.6 2.4
Hemisphere 554.6 86.6
World 641.8 100.0
* British Petroleum Co., "Statistical Review of the World Oil Industry,
ultimate quantity of natural gas may therefore be based on
crude oil estimates. On the basis of the total estimated crude
oil reserves of some 2100 billion barrels the total natural gas
reserves are some 12000 x 1012 cubic feet. Tar or heavy-oil
178 000 X 1012 WATTS
A.R. WILES after "ENERGY RESOURCES"... National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council (1962)
.. . . R F E IO
Estimated Worldwide Proven, Probable and Possible
Country/area Billions of Barrels
Latin America 225**
Western Europe 20
Middle East 600
Far East 200**
U.S.S.R., Eastern Europe, P.R. China 500
* W.P. Ryman, Standard Oil Company, (New Jersey).
** Including off-shore areas.
Known Shale-Oil Resources of World Land Areas*
Recoverable Under Marginal and
1965 Conditions Submarginal
U.S. Gallons/ton 10-100 5-10 10-25 25-100
Continents Billions Barrels
Africa 10 Small Small 90
Asia 20 14 70
New Zealand Small 1 Small
Europe 30 6 40
North America 80 2200 1600 520
South America 50 750 Small
Totals 190 2200 2400 720
* U.S.A. Geological Survey, Circular. 523 (1965)
Energy Contents of the World's Estimated Total
Supply of Recoverable Fossil Fuels
Fuel Quantity Energy Content Percent
1021 Thermal joules 1015 Thermal KWh
Coal and Lignite 7.6 x 1012 tons 201 55.9 88.8%
Liquids 2000 x 10 barrels 11.7 3.25 5.2%
Natural Gas 10000 x 1012 cubic feet 10.6 2.94 4.7%
Tar-Sand Oil 300 x 10 9 barrels 1.8 0.51 0.8%
Shale Oil 190 x 10 9 barrels 1.2 0.32 0.5%
Totals 226.3 62.9 100%
sands are sands containing oil that is too viscous to permit
recovery by natural flow into wells. No world inventory of
their occurency exist since such sands are as yet mostly un-
exploited. The largest known deposits are in Alberta (Canada)
and are estimated as being capable of producing some 300
billion barrels of oil. Oil shales differ from tar sands in that
their contents of hydrocarbons consist of the solid kerogen
rather than of viscous liquids. This solid however distills out
as a vapour upon heating and then condenses to a liquid. The
best known and possibly largest of such deposits exist in the
Western USA. The total oil content of these shales has been
estimated to be about 1430 billion barrels based on a medium
range of 10 25 gallons per ton. Of this, however, only some
80 billion barrels of oil is claimed to be "recoverable under
present conditions." Table III shows the known shale oil de-
posits in the world along with the amounts of recoverable oil
from these reserves. Table IV summarizes the above data and
gives the total quantity and energy content of the world's
fossil fuel reserves. The most significant feature of this Table
is that of the total energy of 226 x 1021 thermal joules of
energy (or 63 x 1015 KWh (thermal)) of all fossil fuels, some
89% is represented by coal and lignite, and only 11% by the
entire petroleum group of fuels. In addition, as noted earlier,
some 1.8% of these coal reserves has been consumed by 1969.
In the case of crude oil and natural gas the picture is radically
different. At present consumption the world's presently proven
reserves of crude oil will be depleted in 35 years. This is what
people have termed an "ENERGY CRISIS," but only from
examining the fossil fuels it is evident that there is really no
such crisis. The crisis is really an INSTITUTIONAL CRISIS
restricted to the oil sector of the total energy sector. This
crisis has been brought about by several factors. Oil, because
of its convenience and formerly low cost, has penetrated
heavily into the electricity generation sector; it is the dominant
fuel in the transport sector; its use in the petrochemical sector
as a feedstock has risen drastically and the environmental
pressures in the industrial states associated with the use of
de-leaded gasolene in cars and the burning of only low sulphur
fuel oils for energy generation have placed demands of a new
nature on refinery capacity. When these factors are combined
with the limited proven reserves of crude oil, the continued
increasing consumption rate of crude oil and the rise of OPEC,
it is evident that a "crisis" had to ensue in that part of the
D. Solar Power
When one turns to the other sources of energy avail-
able for power production one may return attention to Fig.I.
again. The thermal power influx from solar radiation of
178,000 x 1012 watts dwarfs the inputs of 32 x 1012 and
3 x 1012 watts from the other two principal sources, geother-
mal energy and tidal energy respectively. Despite the magni-
tude of solar power, its low areal density makes the direct use
of solar power impractical and prohibitive in cost, at present,
for other than small-scale special purpose uses. This may be
seen from the following example of a solar-electric power
n n n
. . . I |
plant 3-00 MWe capacity. If one takes a conversion factor
of 10% from solar to electrical energy such a plant will require
about 5 x 109 watts of solar power input. The solar energy
incident on the earth's surface amounts to about 500 calories/
sq. cm/day or 2.4 x 10- 2 watts/sq. cms. To collect 5 x 109
watts of solar power input would therefore require an area of
about 20.8 sq. kilometres i.e. a square of about 4.55 kilometres
per side (or around 5000 acres). Such an area could be covered
with energy-collecting devices, to collect, store and transform
the solar energy into conventional electric power. However,
the complexity of the processes, its cost and maintenance in
comparison with thermal or hydraulic power sources render
this undertaking somewhat impractical, at present. Research
and development effort in this area is beginning to gain
momentum in the metropolitan states to-day. However, for
the short and medium term solar projects will continue to be
limited to small scale highly specialised purposes (such as hot
water heating). The major effort in present R and D for large-
scale utilization must be to seek to decrease the surface area
requirements, since for example by 1975 the total world
installed capacity of nuclear power will be around 100,000
MWe, but to produce this amount of energy by solar power
based on present technology rather than nuclear or conven-
tional thermal energy would require a land area of some
4,200 square kilometres (or around 1 million acres) which is
about 40% of the total land area of Jamaica.
E. Water Power
The potential water power of any given site is pro-
portional both to the magnitude of the river discharge and to
the height of fall and hence the world's best water-power
sites are concentrated in regions of heavy rainfall and of large
topographic relief. In Table V. the potential water-power
capacities of various regions of the world are given, along
with the approximate amounts of developed water-power
capacities in these regions in 1967. These data indicate that
the world's total potential water-power capacity is about
3 x 1012 watts which is of the same order as the world's
present rate of industrial energy consumption. However, only
8.5% is developed at present and this is mainly in the industrial-
ised states. Africa and Latin America possess the largest poten-
tial capacities of about 780,000 and 577,000 megawatts
respectively; these are also the least developed of all of those
of the world's major hydro areas. It may well be that with the
industrialized states experiencing rapidly rising energy costs
for energy based on fossil fuels, due to both environmental
restrictions and the prices of fossil fuels, that there may be
mild trends to develop and exploit some of these water-power
resources of Africa and Latin America. This is however, a com-
plex issue since it necessarily implies that several large scale
energy intensive industries would have to be sited around such
major hydro projects and this clearly introduces totally differ-
ent parameters (such as available mineral resources and the
size of the domestic markets in the recipient countries and, of
course, the political environment,) in assessing the possibility
of any such trend gaining significant momentum.
One of the major advantages of hydro projects is
that though the capital costs are very high, once completed
these are fixed, so that large scale energy consumers have got
virtually fixed energy costs over a significant time horizon
since there are no fuel costs involved.
Over the past few years one "new" aspect of water-
power which is being introduced in significant amounts both
in Europe and the U.S.A. is that based on pumped-storage
hydro. Pumped-storage hydro plants are used for peak load
duty and frequency regulation in an inter-connected electrical
system and are based on the concept of having two reservoirs
with water being pumped to the top reservoir during off-peak
periods (when rates are lower) and then during peak periods
the plant is used in the normal generation mode. Present
pumped-storage reversible turbines are capable of changing
from the pumping to generation mode within seconds and the
overall efficiency of these plants is normally around 70%, i.e.
70% of the energy used in pumping is available for generation.
Pumped-storage plants are important in growing electrical
World Potential and Developed Water Power Capacity*
Potential Percent Capacity
Power of 1967 Percent
REGION (103 MWe) Total (103 MWe) Developed
North America 313 11% 76 23%
South America 577 20% 10 1.7%
Western Europe 158 6% 90 57%
Africa 780 27% 5 0.6%
Middle East 21 1% 1 4.8%
Southeast Asia 455 16% 6 1.3%
Far East 42 1% 20 48%
Australia 45 2% 5 11%
Europe P.R. China 466 16% 30 6.4%
World 2857 100% 243 8.5%
* U.S.A. Federal Power Commission
Tidal Power Sites and Maximum Potential Power
Region Average Potential Power Megawatts
(Bay of Fundy) 29027
(San Jose, Argentina) 5870
(U.K. Severn) 1680
systems for two major reasons. The first is that it reduces the
required "spinning reserve" in the system and thereby reduces
the overall fuel costs of the system. This is very important as a
system increases in absolute size and the sizes of the largest
units in the system increases, since this necessarily leads to an
increase in the thermal "spinning reserve" if there is little or
no pure hydro in the system. Secondly, pumped-storage plants
are able to regulate frequency changes in the total system in
the event of large units being suddenly lost.
F. Tidal Energy
Tidal power is similar to water power except that it
is derived from the alternate filling and emptying of a bay or
estuary that can be enclosed by a dam. This filling and empty-
ing of the tidal basin takes place twice a day. When a tidal
basin is enclosed the maximum power obtainable would be by
a flow cycle that permitted the basin to fill and empty during
brief periods at high and low tide. Two of the most important
parameters in assessing the potential power available from tidal
energy, are the tidal range and the area of the enclosed basin.
The available power depends on the square of the tidal range
so that unless this is significant, power generation by this
means is generally unattractive. Table VI. gives a summary of
the average potential tidal power that could be obtained from
the world's most favourable tidal-power sites.
The total potential power capacity of all these sites
is 64000 megawatts. This represents 2% of the total tidal
energy dissipated of 3 x 1012 watts. It is furthermore only 2%
of the world's potential water-power capacity. The first major
tidal power installation began operation in 1966 and is in the
La Rance estuary in France. This had an initial capacity of
240 megawatts and is being increased to 320 MWe.
In contrast to tidal and hydro-power which depend
on continuing sources of energy, geothermal energy depends
essentially upon the "mining" and eventual depletion of
volcanic heat stored within the earth. The "conventional"
sources of geothermal energy are normally associated with the
volcanic regions of the world. In Table VII the developed and
planned geothermal-electric power plants in the world in
1969, as well as those which will be installed in the early
1970s are given.
One important development in the geothermal energy
field which is -till at the early research and development stage,
is that related to the use of the so-called "dry" geothermal
sources in contrast to the conventional "wet" geothermal
sources. This R and D work is being pursued at Los Almos
Scientific Laboratory (USA) and seeks to produce power from
the hot rock which is available nearly everywhere beneath the
earth's surface. The importance of "dry" geothermal systems is
that one would not have to rely upon the fortuitous set of
circumstances (i.e. hot rock not too far beneath the earth's
surface and a natural source of hot water and steam) associated
with "wet" geothermal systems. The essence of the "dry"
geothermal system for electric power generation is that two
bore holes are drilled, using conventional oil exploration tech-
niques, intd beds of hot rock whose temperature may be up to
570 OF at depths of 12000 to 15000 feet or less dependent on
the temperature gradients. Water is then forced down one of
the boreholes under pressure and emerges from the other bore
hole at high temperature and may then be used to drive conven-
tional turbines. It is however clear that at best a further 3-5
years of R and D effort are required to first establish the tech-
nical feasibility before one can seriously begin assessing the
commercial feasibility of such systems.
H. Nuclear Energy Resources
When one turns to examining the world's energy
resources for nuclear based power, two types of nuclear power
generation must be considered. The first is the so-called
nuclear fission power, by which energy is produced by the
fissioning or splitting of heavy nucleii, such as uranium and
plutonium. All of the existing commercial nuclear power
stations are based on this fission process. The second type of
nuclear power is known as fusion power in which energy is
released during the fusion of light nucleii, such as deuterium,
tritium and lithium. These two sources of nuclear energy are
those on which nuclear fission weapons ("A-bombs") and ther-
monuclear weapons ("H-bombs") are based respectively. At
present fusion energy can only be harnessed in weapon type
explosions and indeed a tremendous amount of financial and
manpower resources is being expended in the industrialized
States towards developing fusion reactors for the generation
of electricity. That is harnessing the power of the H-bomb
for peaceful purposes. It is expected that within the next de-
cade the major scientific breakthrough will occur in the fusion
power field and then the first prototype fusion reactor will be
constructed. Of course, it will then require a further decade
to achieve the economic breakthrough. This therefore implies
that towards the end of the 1990s we shall be witnessing fusion
reactors operating economically in the power grids of the
metropolitan States. The problems of achieving the scientific
breakthrough are enormous; for example, one has to be able
to maintain the hot fusion gases (or plasma) at temperatures
in excess of 50 million oC for "significant" periods of time.
However, in many ways when the breakthrough is achieved
one would have an almost ideal power source, since there
would be few environmental problems and an almost inex-
haustible fuel supply because the deuterium fuel can be
extracted from the sea.
In the case of fission power the basic fuels required
are uranium, plutonium or thorium, of which only uranium
and thorium occur naturally. Plutonium is produced artificially
Developed and Planned Geothermal Electric
capacity by early
Country 1969 MWe 1970s MWe
Italy 389 389
United States of America 82 400
New Zealand 290 290
Mexico 3.5 78.5
Japan 33 130
house and 17
USSR 30.75 38.25
Grand Total 828.25 1342.75
when uranium is irradiated in a reactor. To comprehend the
significance of the world's nuclear energy resources one must
appreciate a few of the general principles on which nuclear
fission reactors operate.
When uranium is mined it consists essentially of two
constituents, uranium 235 (U-235) and uranium 238
(U-238), of which only the U-235 component will readily
undergo fission and release energy to produce electricity.
However, naturally mined uranium only contains 0. 7% of
U-235, that is every 1000 grams of natural uranium contains
7 gramms of the crucial U-235. The percentage of U-235
can however be increased, by the process known as enrichment,
from the 0.7% up to about 95%. In fabricating nuclear weapons
it is the 90-95% uranium enriched in U-235 that has to be
used, whereas power reactors normally operate either on
natural uranium or uranium enriched to about 3% in U-235.
The technology to enrich uranium is the most secret technology
that still exists to-day and it is also the most energy intensive
technology. For example, the three U.S.A. enrichment plants
which were built for that country's weapons programme require
about 8000 MWe of installed electrical capacity to provide
power for these facilities.
When natural uranium is introduced into the reactor
the U-235 component undergoes fission and produces energy,
however only 0. 7% of the fuel is actually being "usefully"
used to generate electricity. The U-238 component on the
other hand which makes up 99.3% of the fuel, is then convert-
ed to a new element plutonium which like uranium has com-
ponents plutonium 239 (Pu -239) and plutonium 241
(Pu-241) possessing very similar properties to U-235. In
other words, as the U 235 is consumed, Pu-239 is created
which can be recycled back into the reactor in place of U-235
as fuel. When a reactor such as a fast breeder reactor, achieves
this conversion to plutonium at a rate faster than it consumes
plutonium to produce energy it is said to "breed" plutonium
and hence one is effectively using all of the uranium and not
only 0. 7% of it to produce energy.
This phenomenon clearly has a critical effect on the
utilization of uranium resources since it means that whereas
present non-breeding reactors can economically operate on
uranium costing about US$10 per pound of natural uranium,
breeding reactors, since they use all the uranium and not only
0. 7% of the resource, can economically operate on uranium
costing up to US$1000 per pound. In short, breeder reactors
extend by a factor of about 100 the lifetime of the world's
uranium resources at a given price.
Geologists normally define two categories of uranium
ore reasonably assured reserves and the estimated additional
__ __ __
Estimated Resources of Uranium: Mid 1971
(103 Tonnes Uranium)
$10/lb U308 $10- 15 $/lb U308
assured Estimated Reasonably Estimated
resources additional assured additional
(reserves) resources resources resources
United States of America 192 390 108 230
United States of America 70 70 -
Canada 178 177 100 130
(by-product) 154 11 50 27
Australia 17 5 7 5
discoveries) 100 -
France 35 19 7 12
Niger 20 29 10 10
Others* 49 45 296 67
Approximate Totals 815 745 580 480
* Other include Gabon, Spain, Central African Republic, Argentine,
Mexico, Yugoslavia and Brazil.
reserves as well as two price ranges in which such material
could be recovered: up to US$10/lb. and between US$10-15/lb.
In 1964 the known reasonably assured reserves of uranium,
outside of the socialist countries, which were recoverable at a
cost of less than US$10/lb. were about 450,000 tons of uran-
ium metal. However, following extensive uranium exploration,
by 1971 estimated reasonably assured reserves at under
US$10/lb. had risen to 815,000 tons of uranium metal (or
1.06 million tons of uranium oxide, U308), including 224,000
tons of by-product uranium. Table VIII summarizes the uran-
ium reserve position in the world excluding the centrally
planned economies. From this it is evident that the reasonably
assured reserves below US$15/lb. are estimated at about 1.4
million tons uranium metal or 1.8 million tons of uranium
oxide, U308. Table IX shows the actual production of U308
in 1970, as well as the production capability in 1973 and 1975
excluding again the centrally planned economies for which
data are not readily available. From this Table it is evident
that by 1975 about 40,000 tons a year of U30g'would be
produced at a cost of under US$10/lb. These requirements
for uranium will increase rapidly in the late-1970s and early
1980s as the metropolitan States install nuclear reactors more
quickly into their grids to offset rising crude oil prices. Indeed,
if these uranium resources were only to be used in the present
day low plutonium converter reactors then shortages of uran-
ium at low prices could quickly emerge in the mid 1980s.
However, increased installation of fast breeder reactors, high
plutonium converter thermal reactors and use of depleted
uranium in fast breeder reactors, will extend the life of these
low cost uranium reserves by about a factor of 100 as noted
earlier. This is the major incentive for developing the higher
performance fission reactors.
One of the important features of the nuclear fuel
cycle in contrast to a crude oil fuel cycle, is that if the price of
uranium doubles, from say US$8 to US$16 per lb., the nuclear
fuel cycle cost to a utility company will only increase by about
15%. This is totally unlike the oil case where a doubling of
Portugal, Japan, Turkey, Italy,
World Uranium Production (Below US $10/lb U308)
In metric tons of uranium
Actual 1970 Planne for Attainable
Country Production 1973 by 1975
Central African Republic
Total 17,665 29,430 38,970
crude oil costs almost means a doubling in the cost of residual
fuel oil to a power station. The reason for this is because in
the nuclear situation the net raw material cost to the total
nuclear fuel bill is only about 15%. The remaining 85% of the
fuel cost goes to pay for the services .performed in enriching,
fabricating and reprocessing the fuel, and it is this uniqueness
of the nuclear fuel cycle which makes the nuclear fuel cost
component of the total power generation cost much more
stable, than in the case of petroleum based fuels.
As I have pointed out earlier, fusion reactors are still
not technologically feasible; however, in Table X the critical
characteristics of certain thermonuclear reactions are shown.
From this table it is clear that the fusion reactions between
hydrogen nucleii (H) and tritium (T) delivers the most energy,
but that between deuterium (D) and tritium (T) is "ignited"
in the shortest time (0.000003 seconds) and therefore the
easiest to harness. This DT reaction is the one on which most
work is presently being expended. Deuterium exists in sea
water and the entire oceans contain about 1.5 x 1043 deuter-
ium atoms, a large fraction of which could be extracted by
existing methods at reasonably low cost. Tritium is produced
primarily by the nuclear irradiation of lithium. Lithium
deposits occur in the U.S.A., Canada and Africa, and from
these proven deposits about 107 tons of lithium can be extract-
ed at low costs. The African deposits have been the subject of
much "silent activity" in the past since these occur in Rhodesia
and lithium is a strategic resource as it is used, in the form of
lithium deuteride, as the prime raw material for thermonuclear
Having briefly summarized the primary energy re-
sources that exist in the world it should be self-evident that
energy resources are in abundance and there is no possibility
of the world "running short of energy resources" in the near
future. The rhetorical cries of a world energy crisis which
have been bombarding the press in the metropolitan States
cannot be taken seriously when one examines the world
energy resource situation. What has happened is that the power
structure in the oil sector has changed and the metropolitan
countries dislike what they see for it does not conform to the
pattern that they and they alone shall always be the masters
and the developing countries a mass of serfs to be restrained
and subdued by "economics" since after all, even the chains
of slaves have become unfashionable to-day.
II. OIL ITS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Having briefly examined the estimated world energy resourc-
es in an effort to put the concept of an Energy Crisis in
its proper perspective and underline that it is an Institu-
tional Crisis in the oil sector that we are presently exper-
iencing throughout the world, I now wish to turn to a fuller
examination of the four principal fuels, namely: oil, coal,
natural gas and nuclear, which will bear the main burden of
fulfilling the world's energy demands up to the mid 1990s.
In dealing first with oil, since it is the most internationally
topical subject at present, I shall briefly discuss the history of
the oil industry, for I am a member of the school of thought
who believes that no event or sequence of events can be even
partially comprehended without some familiarity of the his-
torical circumstances that surround the events in question.
A. The Pre-OPECEra
The "posting" of oil prices began in the late 19th
century in the U.S.A. This arose largely because the conven-
tional commodity exchange methods applied to copper etc.
could not be applied to oil because of its liquid state, storage
problems and the large range of products (destined for totally
different types of markets) that a single barrel of crude oil
yields after processing in a refinery. Furthermore it was diffi-
cult to determine the "market price" of crude oil since the
control of most of the oil industry was limited to a few
multinational corporations (i.e. multinational in their activities
but not in their policies) which controlled production, refining,
distribution and marketing of petroleum through their verti-
cally integrated structure. Clearly then the task of "posting"
always falls on the side with the smaller number of operators,
i.e. at the production end.
In general, because of their higher yield of the more
valuable gasolenes and lighter products and the lesser yield of
the lower-valued residual fuel oil, the lighter crudes have a
Characteristics of Certain Thermonuclear Reactions*
reaction at 20
Energy delivered million OG
No. Nuclear Reaction in kilocalories (1) Temperature
H + D He3
H + T He4
D+ D~ He3
D + T- He4 x n
Li6 + T- 2He4 x n
Fission of Uranium
2.35 x 1010
8.2 x 1010
6.6 x 1010
2.0 x 1010
(1) Energy delivered by 1 kilogramme of matter participating in the
Reaction in kilocalories.
Translations of a document published by the Military Publishers
of the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Defense. (1958)
higher "posted" price. Lighter crudes have a higher API
(American Petroleum Institute) gravity. Sour crudes, i.e. those
with a greater sulphur content (and usually also a higher con-
tent of metals such as vanadium and nickel), are somewhat
discounted to allow for the refiner's extra cost of corrosion-
prevention in the refinery and the cost of desulphurization
units. The most important historical aspect of "posting"
which is still the present policy, is that the "posted" price of
crude oil will have to be competitive with a "posted" price of
other crude oils at the least favourably placed refinery whose
business must be secured in order to meet the output target
for the particular crude with the main producing region serving
as the reference point.
In the 1920s when both Mexico and the USA were
the leading petroleum exporters, the Gulf of Mexico served as
reference point for "posted prices" and prices all over the
world were calculated as if the oil had originated from the
Gulf. That is, purchasers of crude oil paid the Gulf of Mexico
price and the freight cost from the Gulf to the delivery point.
This therefore meant that when a purchaser in Karachi
(Pakistan) bought crude oil from Abadan (Persian Gulf), he
would pay the Gulf of Mexico price plus freight charges from
the Gulf of Mexico to Karachi, this freight charge was natural-
ly much higher than the real freight rate from Abadan to
Karachi. Using the Gulf of Mexico reference point, "posted"
prices increased geographically outward from the Gulf until
they reached their maximum on the opposite side of the world,
this maximum price line being known as the price-shed.
During World War II shipments of crude oil from the
Middle East began to increase and as a result of the concern
expressed by one of the colonialist powers over the "phantom"
freight rates being charged (that power began experiencing the
Abadan-Karachi problem alluded to above), the Persian Gulf
was established in 1945 as a new basing point with prices
almost identical to those in the Mexican Gulf. Soon after, oil
discoveries began to increase in the Middle East whilst Europe's
fuel needs began to grow and this therefore made it expedient
for the oil companies to lower the relative price of Middle
Eastern Crudes. For example, in 1945 1947 when the Mexi-
can Gulf prices rose by US$1.35/barrel (to US$2.68/barrel
for 34 oAPI crude), Persian Gulf prices rose by only US$1.17/
barrel (to US$2.18/barrel). By March 1948, a uniform Persian
Gulf price of US$2.18/barrel prevailed for all Gulf producers
for 34 oAPI crude. Later that year this price was however
lowered by 15 U.S. Cents/barrel to US$2.03/barrel. This
weakening in oil prices continued and indeed gathered momen-
tum, for in 1949 due to pressures from the Economic Co-
operation Administration (i.e. the Marshall Plan for Europe),
which was financing the supply of crude oil to Europe, Middle
Eastern crude oil prices were reduced by the oil companies
by a further 15 US Cents/barrel to US$1.88/barrel for
34 OAPI crude. A further 13 cents reduction then took place
later in 1949, so that 34 oAPI Persian Gulf crude was priced,
in the Gulf, at US$1.75/barrel. As such Middle East crude
could compete with Venezuelan crude on the U.S.A. eastern
seaboard equalizing prices in New York at existing freight rates.
In 1950 Saudi Arabia introduced the "50/50" profit
sharing arrangements whereby a 50% income tax was imposed
on the net operating income of companies engaged in the
petroleum production in that country. By 1952 this profit
sharing formula has been adopted throughout the Persian Gulf
and it enabled the producing countries to increase their oil
income. However, in order to safeguard against the possibility
that the concession-holding companies might sell crude oil to
their own affiliates at depressed prices and thereby reduce the
host countries' "take," the calculation of the "50/50" profit
sharing split was based on the "posted"price. The "posted"
price of crude oil therefore became purely the tax reference
price since any potential buyer always obtains a discount on
1951 saw the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil
Company by Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran. The Iranians did
not recognize how difficult it would be to sell Persian crude
without their own tanker fleet and marketing system, as well
as when faced with a highly successful boycott organized by
the home-country Government of the leading company in the
Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. As a result, Iranian crude exports
fell from about 1 million barrels/day in the 2 years prior to
nationalization to about 2600 barrels/day in the 2 years post
nationalization. This practically strangled the Persian economy.
However, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company immediately made
up its losses in Iran since it owned 50% of the Kuwaiti Com-
pany and 23-1/3% of the Iraq Petroleum Company, Kuwaiti
production rose from about 310,000 barrels/day in 1950 to
some 770,000 barrels/day in 1953, and Iraqi production rose
from 150,000 barrels/day to 500,000 barrels/day over the
same period. Mossadegh was ousted in 1953 in a coup d'etat
and a consortium of multinational oil companies (led by B P)
was established in 1954 to replace the Anglo-Iranian Company.
The new consortium produced oil for the State owned National
Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), since the oil was owned by the
latter through the nationalization decree, which then sold it to
the different consortium members.
During the mid 1950s the market prices of crude
continued to fall, though the "posted" prices were not adjust-
ed as this would have reduced the host Government's revenue.
However, in 1959 a critical event occurred which had far-
reaching political and energy implications not only then but
also today. This was the action of the U.S.A. Government to
introduce the U.S.A. Oil Import Quota System which was only
abolished in 1973 by President Nixon. This system was enact-
ed to protect the U.S.A. indigenous oil industry and in effect
it did achieve. its objective. Crude oil prices in the U.S.A.
were maintained sufficiently high to stimulate domestic pro-
duction and it has beenestimated*that between 1/3 and of
domestic U.S.A. production would have been shut down but
for the quota restrictions prohibiting the import of cheap
foreign crude oil. However, this legislation put considerable
pressure on U.S.A. natural gas supplies. In the international
context, the implications of this legislation really lay outside
of the U.S.A. since it affected foreign producers and consum-
The Anglo-Iranian Co. (AIC) was dominantly BP and the point here
is that since the AIC owned shares in the Iraqi and Kuwaiti Cos., they
could easily off-set any decrease in Iranian production. This is evidence
of the strength and manner in which multinational Cos. operate. This
playing off of one country against another could only exist prior
to the formation of OPEC.
*("The Implications of National Energy Policies on World Energy,"
by P.C. Ward (1973)
ers to a large degree.
With the quota system, foreign producers in Venezue-
la and the Middle East found themselves with production
capability well in excess of demand since the largest consumer
had effectively withdrawn. This therefore contributed to a
further weakening in the market prices for crude oil outside
the U.S.A. and indeed, West Europe and Japan (as the second
and third largest consumers in the non-socialist world) really
experienced, as a result of this U.S.A. action, a massive amount
of inadvertent benevolence since these very low oil prices in
the 1960s gave tremendous impetus to post-war development
in Japan and Western Europe. Some authorities have observed
that "the importance of this event to the economies of West-
ern Europe has been as great as the Marshall Plan in European
recovery." These are some of the major reasons why energy
development and planning in any country, be it an industrial-
ized state or a developing country such as Jamaica, must be
viewed in the wider international context, lest one discovers
too late that, because of actions elsewhere, one is pursuing a
non-optimum path which, in the energy sector, it is difficult
for corrective measures, such as introducing other fuels into
the system, to have quick results.
In view of this development in 1959 and the associat-
ed price deterioration, the multinational oil companies decided
to lower the "posted" prices of crude oil unilaterally without
consulting the host governments. This was disastrous for the
companies, since the feelings of the producer governments
ran high. The Government of Iraq under General Kassam called
a conference of oil producing countries on 6th September
1960 in Bagdad and OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries)* was established. Though its first 10
years of existence were not accompanied by spectacular
achievements, the formation of OPEC marked the end of an
era. It marked the turning point in the dynamic process of
historical evolution, for it heralded the beginning of a gradual
change in the power structure within which the "oil game"
was performed, for those States and companies who had pre-
viously weilded autocratic, hegemonic and oligarchic power
were slowly shunted onto the path of relative impotence -
the sufferers slowly began to rise as if from a sleep of centuries.
B. The Post-OPEC Era
The first action of OPEC was to seek to restore prices
to the 1958 level prior to the introduction of the U.S.A. oil
import quota system in 1959. They however did not succeed
in doing this since the world oil surplus continued and the
OPEC States were unable to arrive at a formula for proration-
ing in order to limit production. Disunity amongst these States
over this formula was very much in evidence Kuwait thought
production should be based on proven reserves (they at that
time believed that their reserves were very sizeable), Iran fav-
oured population as the indicator (they are one of the largest
OPEC States in terms of population), etc. As a result of this
OPEC was considered to be a joke by the then oligarchic and
powerful interests in the oil industry. What OPEC however,
immediately achieved was the fact that the companies never
again lowered the "posted" prices of crude oil.
The surplus of crude production and the weakening
market for oil continued well into the 1960s. The average
market (and not "posted") prices for crude oil exported from
Venezuela declined from US$2.07/barrel to US$1.88/barrel
over the 1950 to 1966 period. In the Middle East the same
situation prevailed as actual (not "posted") FOB crude prices
continued to decline to such an extent that in the early 1960s
considerable volumes of oil were sold at actual prices of be-
tween US$1.25 to US$1.50 per barrel FOB the Persian Gulf.
In fact, in 1968, Kuwaiti crude was offered for as little as
US$1.18/barrel FOB the Gulf. Even as late as 1968, one year
after the 1967 Arab Israeli War, there was still little recogni-
tion by the multinational oil companies that this state of
* (OPEC has its Secretariat Headquarters in Vienna and comprises of
11 members four of which are non-Arab States. Iran, Venezuela,
Indonesia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Qatar,
Libya and Algeria).
Tankerborne crude-oil movements
"THE OIL AND GAS JOURNAL", SEPT. 1973
affairs could not prevail indefinitely. Evidence of this is obtain-
ed from a case which I personally know of in which Kuwaiti
30 oAPI crude was offered to a Latin American country for
4 5 years at an apparently fixed price of US$1.24/barrel FOB
Mina al Ahmadi. This contract ended early this year and upon
renewal the FOB price for the same crude oil was increased by
During this period of exceedingly low oil prices
extending from about 1959 to 1969 electric utilities in West-
ern Europe and Japan had rapidly increased the fraction of oil
fuelled power stations making up their total electrical systems
at the expense of coal fired ones and this was justified on the
basis of short-term cost/benefit grounds. However by 1970,
OPEC began to assert itself some ten years after its establish-
ment and this heralded the beginning of another new era the
era of OPEC "activism," unlike the proceeding 10 years of
OPEC passivismm." It is important to recognize that there
were three somewhat fortuitous events which changed the tide
in OPEC's favour and made the world recognize what "unity
and solidarity in plurality" really can mean.
The first of these events was the Arab-Israeli War
of 1967 which closed the Suez Canal. This meant that tankers
had to go around the Cape of Good Hope which took about
nearly three times as long for the delivery of a given amount
of crude oil to Western Europe from the Persian Gulf. This
therefore caused tanker freight rates to rise rapidly and an
apparent shortage of tankers occurred. Fig. II. shows the
changes that occurred between 1953 and 1970 in the main
crude oil movement by sea.
By 1970 over 5 million barrels/day of crude oil were
being transported around the Cape. As a result of the Suez
closure the so-called "short-haul" crudes became very import-
ant for the West European markets and this meant a significant
increase in Libyan production to the extent that by 1970
Libya was supplying up to 30% of West Europe's crude oil
The second event which occurred was the closure of
the TAP pipeline from Saudi Arabia to Sidon in Lebanon.
This pipeline has a capacity of about 500,000 barrels/day.
This meant that this crude also had to be moved around the
The third and most significant event however was
the overthrow of King Idris of Libya in September 1969 by
the young dynamic colonels led by Colonel Gaddafi. Libya's
hand was the strongest it could ever be. Immediately, Gaddafi
moved to cut back production for "conservation" reasons.
The Libyans then demanded in the spring of 1970, drastic
increases in the "posted" prices of Libyan crude as well as a
new tax rate of 55% of the "posted" price. The companies
were forced to yield one by one. Immediately upon conclusion
of these first new agreements, the Persian Gulf States demand-
ed similar treatment and got it particularly since these demands,
like those of the Libyans, were solidly backed by OPEC. At
the end of 1970 the Libyans then started a second wave of
demands to "leap-frog" the Persian Gulf agreement. OPEC
passed a resolution in December giving a 15-day time limit
for the companies to accept these new demands and called
for "concerted and simultaneous action by all similar count-
ries" if the negotiation failed an oil cut-off was threatened.
Faced with solidarity, the companies once more succumbed
and in February and April 1971, the Teheran and Tripoli
agreements were established and will be re-negotiated in 1975
so that from 1 January 1976 a new regime of "posted" prices
will evolve. These agreements are complex instruments but in
order to indicate one aspect of the Teheran agreement, I have
depicted in Fig. III. the rise in the "posted" price of 34 oAPI
Arabian crude FOB the Persian Gulf up to December 1975.
The abrupt rise in 1973 by about 10% is due to the 10% U.S.
devaluation. Beyond 1975 I have projected these prices using
the most conservative assumption that OPEC will not negotiate
a worse agreement than that concluded in 1971. From Fig.
III it is evident that, assuming no further U.S. dollar devalua-
tions, the "posted" price of 34 OAPI Arabian crude will be
just over US$4.00 per barrel FOB the Persian Gulf. This takes
no account of inflation between today and 1980.
In order to grasp what these agreements mean in
terms of the producer governments' "take," I have outlined in
the Table below the tax payment to Saudi Arabia in 1975 for
34 oAPI Arabian crude.
Saudia Arabian Royalty and Tax Payment
Posted Price of 34 oAPI Arabian crude, 1975 US$3.10/bbl.
Production cost .................. .... US$0.10/bbl.
12%% Royalty .................. ..... US$0.39/bbl.
55% Income tax ...................... US$1.44/bbl.
Total "take" by Government US$1.83/barrel
34 API ARABIAN LIGHT
POSTED PRICES PERSIAN GULF
-- -- -- - -
-/PROJECTIONS BASED ON A NEW
/= 1975 TEHERAN- TRIPOLI AGREEMENT
INCREASE UP TO 1975 ACCORDING
-TO EXISTING TEHERAN-TRIPOLI AGREEMENT
I I IA -I I I 17-1 1 1 1
1970 72 '74 '76 '78 '80 '82 '84....
"These prices are purely of historical significance today since the Teheran-
Tripoli Agreement was torn up by the Persian Gulf States on 16th October
1973 and all prices increased 70%"
By 1975 Saudi Arabia will be producing about
8 million barrels per day of crude which means revenue of
over US$14 million per day or over US$5.0 billion per year.
In view of these drastic increases in crude oil "posted" prices,
it is clear that the import bills of net-importers of crude will
undergo tremendous increases and indeed projections indicate
that the USA by 1980 could have an oil import bill in excess
of US$20 billion per annum. Though the international press
has focused most attention on the balance-of-payments prob-
lems the industrialized States will face, the position of the
developing countries is infinitely more serious. As a result of
their sizeable oil revenues the OPEC States can be expected to
be massive importers of capital goods and services which only
the metropolitan States can supply hence it is likely that most,
if not all, of the payments in-balance* between OPEC and the
industrialized States will vanish with time or at least be signi-
The recent announcement that the USA and U.K.
will be supplying Saudi Arabia and Iran with conventional
armaments worth over US$1 billion is another manifestation
of correcting the in-balances. The petroleum importing devel-
oping countries are however in no such position and their
plight is indeed a grim one, particularly since they are unfor-
tunately not in the sophisticated arms manufacturing business
and therefore are unable to off-set their oil import bills with
* Lack of balance in the balance of payments between countries.
major armament exports to the OPEC States. India, for
example, has been forced to cut back petroleum purchases.
Proposals have been made in OPEC's Vienna Headquarters that
some sort of lower or differential tax rate, other than the 55%
at present, should be granted by the OPEC States to at least
certain developing countries. I personally have never support-
ed such an approach to the developing country problem since
first, it would establish a "two-tier" oil price structure which
is in my view bad policy, since the major thrust of "OPEC-ism"
is higher prices for, increased revenue from, and increased
control over, their main natural resources and this is indeed
the objective of all "conscious" developing countries regarding
their natural resources be they members of OPEC or not.
Second, such a "two-tier" preferential approach would be
difficult to "police" because circumvention and resale of such
"cheaper" crude may be carried out by some parties. Third,
the OPEC States are themselves developing countries and
should therefore be supported by all non-oil exporting develop-
ing countries in their struggle for higher prices for crude oil
and greater control over the exploitation of their major
This however does not mean that some formula should
not be sought to ease the plight of the oil importing develop-
ing countries. One such proposal which achieves the same
objectives as the differential tax rate one outlined above is that
put forward in OAPEC (the Organization of Arab Petroleum
Exporting Countries) the wholly Arab off-shoot of OPEC.
This proposal is that a Petroleum Bank should be established
such that a fraction of each producer governments' "take" is
channeled into the Bank. Oil importing developing countries
could then have access to borrow from the Bank, at special
rates, for some 'of their major development projects. This
proposal is infinitely more attractive for it maintains a solid
front of high prices but above all, allows a "feed-back" to the
developing countries who are net importers of oil.
One of the important points illustrated in Table XI.
is that the production cost of a barrel of crude (which com-
prises the development and extraction costs) is very lpw,
indeed only some 3% of the "posted" price in 1975 of
34 OAPI Arabian crude. This is especially the case for the
Middle East fields. Generally the production costs in the Middle
East range from about US 10 Cents to US 25 Cents per barrel
at the most. Venezualan production costs are however higher
and rise up to US 50 Cents per barrel. On the basis of this
Table one can see the relationship between "posted" prices
and the tax paid prices. The table below (Table XII) illustrates
the "minimum FOB selling price" in the Persian Gulf for
34 oAPI Arabian crude, which, using a 1975 "posted" price of
US$3.10/barrel would be around US$2.21/barrel with the oil
,company profits being about 28 US Cents/barrel against the
host governments' "take" of US$1.83/barrel. The transport
'cost for such crude from the Gulf to say Rotterdam in a
130,000 ton tanker would be in 1975 about 83 US Cents/
barrel so that a "floor" price for such crude in Rotterdam, in
1975, would be around US$3.04/barrel.
Breakdown of FOB Price for 34 OAPI Arabian Crude
"Posted" Price (1975) US$3.10/bbl.
Production Cost. US$0.10/bbl.
Royalties and Taxes to Host Government
Oil Company Profit
Transport to Rotterdam from Persian Gulf
Average Cost Structure of Products in Western Europe
From 1 barrel of 34 OAPI Arabian Crude*
Cost of crude at refinery harbour
Cost of refining
Storage, Distribution and Marketing
Taxes levied by consumer countries
(excise taxes on products, corporate
Table XIII goes on to illustrate the average cost structure of
oil products obtained from one barrel of the same 34 OAPI
Arabian crude in a typical Western European country. This
table* reveals a fact which is seldom recognized -
namely that taxes levied in the industrialized countries (parti-
cularly on gasolenes) represent nearly 50% of the costs of the
ultimate product and are indeed nearly three times the amount
of "take" by the OPEC producer countries. Furthermore, the
cost of production of crude oil bears almost no relation to the
revenues derived from one barrel of crude by the producer
and consumer countries. In fact, crude production costs are
less than 2% of the combined revenue to both consumer and
producer countries. This has an important bearing on difficult
off-shore oil exploration activities (such as the North Sea)
which are associated with "much higher" production costs
than on-shore Middle Eastern wells, for it means that even if
production costs of crude rose ten times the consumer in the
industrialized States would only experience about 10% rise in
the costs of the final products. The net result being that higher
off-shore production costs will not prove a serious limiting
factor in the exploration of off-shore oil fields.
Before leaving the political aspects of the oil sector I
* This table is purely illustrative and not a precise breakdown.
It is based on analyses of data performed by R. Krymn and
co-workers in Vienna).
FIG. 4. PERSIAN GULF PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS*-
S173 '74 '7S '7 7 '* '1 *7 '1 'l '0 2 8 84 85 IM '87 '81 N N 'n
Petroleum Press Service February 1973
*These agreements have now (Dec. 1973) been effectively cancelled and
replaced by ones more favourable to the Producers.
must comment on the recent participation agreement between
the Perlian Gulf OPEC States (except Iran) and the multi-
national oil companies, for these agreements go far beyond
any "simplistic" arrangements merely to increase "posted"
prices such as the 1971 Teheran-Tripoli agreements. The
participation agreements seek to tackle the core of the prob-
lem from the producer country stand-point for they do not
solely aim to enhance the host governments' revenue, but
attempt to establish host government control over the oil
companies activities in the producer countries, as well as to
strive for increased participation in the "downstream" activities
of the industry both within and outside of the producer count-
ries. Fig. IV. depicts the manner in which the latest participa-
tion agreements, between the oil companies and Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and eventually Iraq, will operate.
If these Governments so wish they may have a 51% controlling
interest in the operations of their concessionaires within a
minimum of 9 years. The agreements are complex and were
designed to maintain non-interruptable oil supplies during the
transition period whilst the countries decide whether to mar-
ket their own share of crude (equal to their level of participa-
tion) or to sell all or part of it back to the companies.
The Gulf States will acquire an interest in all crude
oil arid natural gas producing facilities within their borders,
including exploration, development, production, gathering
pipelines, storage, delivery and export facilities, but not for
the moment other operations such as transportation and refin-
eries. The initial level of participation is 25% and will be
maintained until 1 January 1978. On that date, if the govern-
ments have fulfilled their obligations regarding compensation
and have previously decided to opt for "more participation,"
they may do so with their degree of participation rising to
30% in 1978; to 35% in 1979, 40% in 1980, 45% in 1981 and
finally 51% on 1 January 1982. Compensation for the initial
25% may be paid as a lump sum or over a period of three
years and it has been estimated that these payments amount to
about $500 million, $152 million, $150 million and $71
million for Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar
respectively. At least 4 years notice must be given of any
intention to increase the initial level of participation and 1
year's notice for each succeeding increment, furthermore, no
more than one increment can be achieved in any one year. The
Governments therefore have a minimum time schedule of 9
years in which to acquire a 51% interest, but they may take
longer if they so desire or even decide not to buy the full 51%.
As each country increases the level of its participation
it will have to fulfill its obligation to provide finance for
exploration and development to maintain or expand production
capacity. This raises the issue as to the degree to which the
producer governments in their own long-term vested interests,
should participate in the oil industry. These countries are al-
ready overdependent on oil and it may not be in their long-
term interests to increase their over-dependence to an even
greater extent. It is clear that a certain level of participation
is crucial, be it 25 or 40%, however, too much participation
could result in putting all their eggs into the oil basket. This
is an important question since it is significant to observe to-day
that several of the multinational oil companies are seeking to
take positions in the nuclear industry thereby enhancing their
positions as "total energy companies." As of to-day, Gulf is
perhaps the only company which can already claim to be in
this position, however, the recent agreements between Shell/
Royal Dutch and Gulf, and Exxon and General Electric in the
nuclear area, give further evidence of this trend. Indeed, I have
maintained for some time that the OPEC State oil companies
should be seeking even in a small way initially, to participate
in some of the industrial activities that go to make up the
nuclear fuel cycle, so that they too would be pursuing a
"total energy" strategy rather than purely an "oil" strategy.
One of the novel features of the participation agree-
ments coinerns the roles of "overlift, bridging and phase-in"
crude oil, particularly as these aspects of the agreements fur-
ther increase the price of crude oil over and above that shown
in Fig. III. due to the Teheran-Tripoli Agreements. At the
end of each year, if either party has lifted more than its basic
entitlement of crude (equal to its degree of participation) this
is known as "overlift" oil for which the party pays a premium
to the other party. This "overlift" price is based on the tax-
paid cost plus a margin of 25% of the difference between the
"posted" price and the tax-paid cost this is called the Quarter
Way Price and is illustrated in the Table below:
Quarter Way Price
Saudi 34 OAPI Crude
FOB Posted Price (1973)
Tax at 55%
Tax Paid Cost
Quarter Way Price
US$ per barrel
This means that instead of paying the tax-paid cost of
US$1.77/barrel, the party having "overlift" crude in any year
will pay US$2.04/barrel or 27 US Cents per barrel extra to the
other party. In contrast to "overlift" crude, the arrangements
about "bridging and phase-in" crude enable the State Oil
Companies time to learn and gain access to new markets for
their own crude as well as ensuring continuity of crude supply
during the transition period. These aspects of "phase-in and
bridging" are outlined in Fig. IV. The idea of "bridging" crude
is that the Governments are obliged from January 1, 1973 to
1976 to sell back to the companies certain amounts of the
State's crude so that the companies are able to "bridge" their
supply commitments during this 3 year period. Price for this
"bridging" for 34 OAPI Arabian crude is about US 19 Cents
per barrel above the Quarter Way Price. When the companies
spread this increased cost for "bridging" crude over their
entire production this increases crude costs by about US 6
Cents/barrel for Arabian light. I do not wish to penetrate into
further details of these agreements however, one last point
should be made. This is that in view of the 1971 Teheran-
Tripoli agreements and their re-negotiation in 1975; the latest
Geneva agreements whereby the "posted" prices of crude oil
are increased for any devaluation of the U.S. dollar; the 1973
Participation Agreements, and the present power of OPEC, it
is clear that the National Oil Companies of the OPEC States
will be emerging as THE FORCE in the late 1970s and early
1980s. Names such as NIOC (National Iranian Oil Co.) and
PETROMIN (Saudi Arabian National Oil Co.) will be house-
hold names in the 1980s.
To-day, NIOC is the most experienced of the State
Oil Companies in the OPEC countries. It was the first such
company to take over the internal (i.e. in Iran) marketing and
distribution of oil products; the first to sell oil overseas; and
the first to set up its own tanker fleet. In its agreements with
the major oil companies for joint exploration and participation
in Iran it asserted the right to national participation which is
now accepted worldwide and it broke the established 50/50
pattern of profit sharing and formulated the first effective
75/25 division of profits. In short, NIOC has always led the
way amongst the State Oil Companies.
Unlike the Persian Gulf States, Iran did not opt for
the sliding participation outlined earlier. Though NIOC has
been the recognized owner of the oil companies' consortium's
assets since the 1954 agreement settling the nationalization
issue in practise its role in operations was very limited. How-
ever, after 20 odd years of experience both in Iran and abroad
under the new agreement NIOC takes over control of the entire
oil industry in Iran and can enter the international field as a
fully integrated company. The consortium of oil majors will
become effectively a service company in Iran, carrying out
operations under NIOC's management, but with the long-term
right to buy guaranteed supplies of oil.
All of these developments mean that crude oil prices
will continue to rise sharply until at least about 1982. There is
however, a "ceiling" price at least as far as energy uses for
power production are concerned. This "ceiling" price may be
about US$8. 0/barrel landed cost in the main consuming areas,
in to-day's dollars, for around this price synthetic oil produced
from coal, shale oil and tar sands will begin to become competi-
tive. In my view it is only a question of when we shall reach
these prices not if At that time the direct products of crude
oil will largely be used for propulsion and petrochemical feed-
stocks but not for electricity generation other fuels would
then be cheaper than the usual No. 6 residual fuel oil (bunker
C) used to fire power stations.
One aspect of the participation agreements which
must be carefully watched will be the behaviour of the OPEC
State Oil Companies. Up to the present, OPEC has faced a com-
mon opponent, and therefore solidarity has not been difficult
to achieve. However, the OPEC State Oil Companies will now
have an increasing share of crude oil to market or re-sell to
their concessionaires. The markets for oil, like all other miner-
al and energy resources lie in the metropolitan States, and
hence as each OPEC country views its own national interests,
one could have a situation emerging in which the State Oil
Companies seek to offer "attractive" prices to enhance the
penetration of their own participation crude in given markets.
Competitive pricing amongst the State Oil Companies could
therefore emerge in which case the participation agreements
would have become the trojan horse in the OPEC camp. I
think this is a possible development, for it could occur if
narrow national interests, in the short-term, were allowed to
prevail over the larger issues of "unity and solidarity in plural-
ity." If this does emerge during the late 1970s then it will
once more prove that national economics is more important
than international political solidarity.
In concluding my comments on the fossil-fuel energy
sector it would be inappropriate for me not to gaze into the
crystal-ball somewhat further and give you my views as to
what role I see the fossil-fuels playing in energy production
over the next 15 20 years. Unfortunately, time does not
allow me to examine to-day the role of coal and natural gas in
any detail, however, certain trends are clearly emerging on the
basis of the developments I have reviewed up to this point in
First, crude oil prices will continue to rise sharply
until one of two events occur; these events being either the
advent of competitive price cutting by the OPEC State Oil
Companies seeking to market an increasing share of their own
participation crude as well as gaining an increasing control of
the distribution sector in the metropolitan States, or when the
landed price of Middle East medium crude (31 oAPI Arabian
crude) in the major consuming areas begins to reach about
US$8.00/bbl. in to-day's dollars. At this price synthetic crude
produced in the USA from oil shale and from the liquefaction
of coal will begin to become competitive. It must however be
recognized that production of oil from shale is not only fraught
with major technical problems but also vast environmental
problems. For example, the production of about 110,000 bbls/
day of oil from oil shale (Le. about 0.6% of present USA crude
oil consumption) will require the disposal of about 200,000
tons/day of solid shale waste this is the magnitude of the
shale oil substitution problem.
Second, in view of the steep climb in crude oil prices,
the uncertainty about secure supplies of crude oil, and the
environmental pressures in the metropolitan States regarding
sulphur dioxide pollution; the major power utilities will be
forced to continue introducing, at an accelerated rate, alterna-
tive fuels into their systems, such as low sulphur coal, nuclear
fuels and high sulphur coal accompanied by stack gas sulphur
removal systems in the stacks of power stations burning high
Third, the oil-importing developing countries unless
they are very imaginative in their political approach to the
OPEC States will face a grimmer situation than all other States.
These developing countries will be forced by the brute force of
economics to continue burning high sulphur residual fuel oil
in their power stations. Indeed, if these countries are over the
medium term (i.e. 15 20 years) to stabilize, or even marginal-
ly reduce their power costs so as to stimulate heavy industrial
activity, they will have to burn fuel oils of even higher sulphur
content than they presently do since such fuel oils would be
discounted in price. Within this context, I must clearly state
that I do not subscribe to the view that developing countries
must seek to introduce the types of energy pollution standards
that have been introduced in the metropolitan States. Our
circumstance is totally different from that of the industrialized
societies and exercises in imitation of their energy pollution
standards will stultify industrial growth in the developing
world. I would go so far as to say that, when the entire popu-
lation of the developing world has begun to reach the levels
presently attained by the metropolitan societies, then and only
then, must we begin thinking about only burning 0.3 0.5%
sulphur residual fuel oil in our power stations. It is the indust-
rialised States which are generating the world's pollution and
therefore the onus must be on them to effect corrective
These factors imply that energy-importing develop-
ing countries had better recognize quickly that they must
avoid, at all costs, getting caught-up in the "tail-spin" of the
brinkmanship struggle between the OPEC States and the
industrialized States. They, the developing countries, are not
the object of this struggle, and hence, unless such States formu-
late imaginative political approaches to the OPEC States no
one, least of all the metropolitan States, will give a damn
about their serious economic predicament due to the vast
increases in oil prices. Secure crude oil supplies at even bene-
ficial prices can only be achieved through political action
to-day; this is what is meant by saying that oil is a non-substi-
tutible strategic resource.
Fourth, the developing countries must take steps
simultaneously to seek to relieve the total dependence of their
power systems on petroleum products. This is however a long-
term (i.e. 20 25 years) action. As such those developing
countries with indigenous coal resources will have to increase
the rate of utilization of these resources in their total electrical
energy programme. For those developing countries without
significant indigenous coal or hydro-resources, alternative
energy fuels, such as nuclear fuels, will have to be seriously
examined over the long-term if these countries are to avoid
the vagaries of a single-fuel energy policy. Presently nuclear
power reactors are only truly competitive in large sizes (i.e.
about 300MWe), however, with each escalation in crude oil
prices the "break-even" point for nuclear systems is marginally
reduced. In several developing countries, the interconnected
electrical grids are still too small even by 1985, to albsorb
300 500 MWe nuclear or conventional units. Special cases
do however exist. For example, there is one country in Africa
to-day in which their electricity generation costs are so high
that even a 60 MWe nuclear station with a unit capital cost of
about US$900/KWe would generate cheaper electricity than
the alternative methods used at present in that country.
Energy-importing developing countries must however
be very cautious in their plans for embarking on nuclear power
programmes to relieve their oil dependence. The reasons are
again dominantly political. To-day, there are two major types
of proven non-breeder power reactors, those based on enriched
uranium and those on natural uranium. However, enriched
uranium fuel will only be produced, at least up to the mid
1990s, by the nuclear-weapon States and a few of their choose
allies. The U.S.A., U.S.S.R. and two separate West European
groups of countries (France, Italy, Spain and a few others on
the one hand, and the U.K., Federal Republic of Germany and
Holland on the other) will be the only commercial suppliers of
enriched uranium over this time period. This would represent
an even smaller clique of producers (4 in all) than OPEC at
present. Hence if developing countries move too quickly to in-
troduce too large a fraction of enriched uranium reactors into
their electrical systems to relieve their oil dependence, they
could be opening themselves to even greater economic and
political dependence than they were subjected to when their
electrical systems were dominantly dependent on oil and the
actions of the OPEC States. Natural uranium reactors do not
___ __ ~_ __ __
suffer from these limitations since the source of supplies of
natural uranium fuel is much larger. It is interesting to note
that India, Pakistan and Argentina (of the developing countries)
have all decided to pursue a natural uranium path in their civil-
ian nuclear programmes. These arethe types of complex non-
technical issues that the authorities in energy importing
developing countries will have to face in the late 1970s and
NEXT ISSUE Jamaica's Positionin the LanesofOil Pollution.
1. Abbreviations used in text
1. MWe = megawatts electrical = 106 watts = 103 kilowatts.
2. KWe = kilowatts electrical = 103 watts.
3. R+D = Research + Development
3. bbl. = barrel. 1 barrel of oil = 42 US gallons.
4. Metric ton
= 2204.6 pounds = 0.98421 English or long tons.
5. KWh = kilowatt hour
6. 107 = to the power seven = 10 million = 10,000,000 1012
= million million = 1,000,000,000,000.
7. 1 mill = 1/10 of 1 cent.
8. A rem means roentgen equivalent man and is a unit of measure
of the average radiation absorbed per gramme of human tissue.
A milli-rem is one thousandth of 1 rem.
THE AIR WE
BREATHE by Dr.
A.R.P.S. was awarded
a Special Mention
by the judges in the
CAMERA 35 of
JAMAICA at the
Hall of the
St. Andrew Parish
picture shows the
sun struggling through
the smoke from the
This is a story of two kinds of frogs.
Once upon a time the only frogs in Jamaica were the kinds
that live in wild pines or hollow trees, or little been ones that
hop about among the damp bushes and whistles at night or
when it rains. Being frogs, naturally they were (and are) known
in Jamaican language as toads. Then some time during the
1840's the big South American toad (Bufo marinus) was
brought to Jamaica from Barbados, in the belief that it would
eat young cane-piece rats. Jamaicans promptly called it a
"bullfrog", and "bullfrog" it remains to this day, though not
really a frog at all, and certainly not edible. It is necessary to
mention this fact (though nothing to do with our story), be-
cause real bullfrogs have come to join us, and from now on
there will be a charming confusion of names. This will prob-
ably not really matter unless someone tries to eat the wrong
The first part of our story begins early in 1967, when a
high Government official decided that Jamaica needed another
source of protein food. He therefore arranged for the importa-
tion of 25 breeding pairs of American bullfrogs (Rana
catesbyana), sometimes called "spring chickens", from a frog
farm in Texas. These were to be received, then distributed in
suitable habitats, by the Youth Development Agency, under
the supervision of staff at Cobbla Youth Camp. In fact, when
the frogs arrived at Palisadoes Airport on Wednesday, March
15, 1967, in insulated boxes packed with ice, they met with a
Instructions had been left at the airport to notify the Youth
Development Agency, but when the Y.D.A. was called, all the
staff was out travelling that day. Someone in the office decid-
ed in desperation to call the Institute for help, and the call
reached Mr. Bernard Lewis, the Director. Mr. Lewis, being
between two committee meetings himself, called on the
Botanist to deal with' the little problem of escorting the frogs
Meanwhile, the ice was melting.
Crapaud as illustrated on stamps from Dominica.
The Botanist drove out to the airport, inspired with frog-
rescuing zeal, and then spent most of the afternoon trying to
persuade Customs that frogs could legitimately land in Jamaica.
The problem appeared to lie in how they were to be classified,
as by some oversight frogs had been omitted from the schedule
of Customs categories.
Meanwhile, the ice had melted.
Eventually, a category of remnants or "unclassified objects"
was found that might conceivably include frogs, so they were
passed through, just in the nick of time before they passed out.
They were rushed back to the air-conditioned sanctuary of
the Institute's Botany section, and were revived with the
addition of more ice. It should not be supposed that these
frogs would always be dependent on ice, but for the occasion
they responded to cool refreshment like any other hot,weary
The next day the Botanisttook three pairs of these frogs to
the Institute's Mason River Field Station and placed them in a
reedy pond. These particular frogs have never been heard from
since. Whether they migrated and have survived in some
secret place, or perished, is not known.
The following day was Friday, the 17th of March, and at
this point the Botanist resigned from the frog business, as
Saturday was to be his wedding day; he decided very firmly
that frogs and weddings (especially his own) do not mix.
Therefore Dr. Thomas Farr, the Institute's Entomologist,
transported the remaining 22 pairs of frogs to a district called
Frenchman, which is near Slipe in the Parish of St. Elizabeth.
They all were released into a small tributary of the Black River.
Within a very few nights the people of Frenchman began to
hear strange sounds from the direction of the river sounds
never before heard in Jamaica. People were alarmed; some
came from as far away as the town of Black River just to listen.
Rumours of duppies and rolling calves floated about in fact
the sounds were said to resemble the voices of cows. Oddly
enough, the American transliteration of the bullfrog's call,
"jug 'o rum" or "more rum", never occurred to anyone!
The frogs sang this, their courting song, for about two weeks
and then stopped. They resumed again a year or two later,
but by that time most people in the area had learned about
the frogs (through me), so the excitement more or less died
down. A few were killed when caught in crayfish-pots.
Young American Bullfrog posing apprehensively on
tn1po-tnn at In.tititut nf .amaica 1973.
Illustration by Dennis Ranston
From time to time questions about the welfare of these
frogs were asked by the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
Memoranda were requested. Staff members from Cobbla Camp
and others made investigations. Were the frogs surviving? Were
they multiplying? As a matter of fact, no one needed to have
worried. The frogs were indeed multiplying! (A female bull-
frog can lay up to 5,000 eggs at a sitting).From all accounts
there are now probably thousands of descendants of those 22
pairs, and they have spread all over the Black River Morass.
The question of whether people can be persuaded to eat
frogs' legs has not yet been answered in Jamaica. The usual
reaction is, "Who, me? no sir!" Jamaicans tend to be rather
conservative in their eating habits, but I predict that attitudes
will gradually change in this case. After all, "spring chicken"
really does taste good!
Another question is the impact of these frogs on the local
ecology. They are voracious eaters, and will gulp down any-
thing alive and moving that they can trap with their big mouths.
Probably their chief catch is insects, but under some circum-
stances they will eat crayfish and other aquatic life, lizards,
and (I am told) even small birds. We shall see. One thing seems
sure the American bullfrog has taken up permanent Jamai-
The second part of our story begins, also in 1967, on the
verdant island of Dominica, where there occurs a large, edible
frog known locally as "crapaud" or "mountain chicken"
(Leptodactylus fallax). These frogs are a favourite article of
food in Dominica.
In 1955 a young lady from Jamaica named Miss Wendy
Pierce had been living in Dominica for about eighteen months,
and during this time she had learned to eat and enjoy the crap-
and. In fact, where she lived they had a sort of pen or cage in
which live ones were kept and fattened up, to be quickly
available for a meal when wanted. In 1967, Miss Pierce visited
her parents in Barbados, travelling by ship, and on the return
voyage to Jamaica, she stopped briefly in Dominica to visit
her former home there. As she was leaving, her faithful Domin-
ican cook presented her with a neatly tied-up box as a going-
away gift, saying it was "something she had learned to like in
Dominica." Miss Pierce assumed that what she had was a tasty
dish of cooked frogs' legs to enjoy during her voyage back to
Jamaica on the "Federal Palm."She boarded the ship with her
present, and stowed the box under the lower bunk in the
double cabin she was to share with another young lady. The
two girls then went off to have dinner, and eventually retired
for the night. Some time in the wee hours Miss Pierce was
wakened by her frightened cabin-mate (who had the lower
bunk), who anxiously demanded to know the cause of strange
sounds coming from the box. It didn't take Miss Pierce many
seconds to realize what had happened the cook had given
her live frogs! In fact, there was a pair, one male and one
female, and they were singing to each other.
Miss Pierce had not intended to carry "mountain chickens"
to Jamaica, but decided, since she had them, to see what she
The tale of her adventures on this voyage makes quite
interesting hearing as she tells it. In the first place, she had to
find food for the frogs, so she kept begging bits of raw liver
from the galley, explaining that she was "on a special diet."
Pretty soon the steward got suspicious, because he knew all
about what she was really eating, and could not see that she
was having any kind of special diet. He also noticed the frog-
box with its air-holes, and soon the secret was out. The next
thing Miss Pierce knew, the steward was operating a sort of
tour for the other passengers; she would come back to her
cabin to find a line of people outside, waiting to be shown the
frogs by the steward. She got rather annoyed by this, and of
course one day the inevitable happened one of the frogs
Now I should explain that the Dominican crapaud is prob-
ably the world's champion jumping frog. I myself have seen
one leap a distance of over twenty feet, and this is by no means
a record. So you can imagine the pandemonium on the
"Federal Palm" when this understandably agitated frog began
leaping about the passageways. Miss Pierce was afraid it would
make the fatal mistake of jumping overboard, but in fact it
ended up in the bar, the customers there scrambling up onto
the counter in consternation. The escaped frog was eventually
caught behind the refrigerator, and from then on Miss Pierce
took a much firmer line as to how her web-footed charges
At one of the ports she bought a little woven straw basket,
which she lined with mosses and other soft herbage, and in this
cozy nest the frogs safely rode out the voyage until at last they
reached the dock in Kingston. The date was September 5,
Miss Pierce's next problem was how to deal with Customs,
being uncertain of such matters. I gather that her luggage in-
cluded certain objects that puzzled the Customs officials. For
example, she had a much-used lawnmower motor originally
bought in Mandeville, which after several years of hard service
in Barbados was being brought "home". In view of its condi-
tion, the question exercising official minds was, why bother?
At any rate, they had already begun to have just a slight doubt
of Miss Pierce's sanity, when one of her fellow-passengers tact-
lessly shouted, "How are the frogs?" Miss Pierce had not
declared her live frogs, so with great presence of mind she
she fished a stuffed one out of her suitcase and shouted back,
"See here, just fine!" Much merriment all around. This finally
convinced the harassed Customs officers as to the state of her
sanity, and without further ado they told her to go.
Miss Pierce then took her two Dominican "mountain chick-
ens" to her home at Middle Quarters in St. Elizabeth, where
she deposited them in a tank for about three weeks. Retrieving
them after this, she removed them to Reading, near Montego
Bay in the Parish of St. James, where she spent the next two
years. She had some friends there who owned a little stream
that plunged in a series of pools down a wooded hillside. She
built a pen along this stream to keep her frogs. There they
lived, bred, and multiplied. Eventually the male died (alleged-
ly from over-eating), and as an act of mercy the female was
released. Their descendants have become well-established in
that part of St. James.
After two years, she returned to Middle Quarters, to find
Dominican frogs hopping about there also. It seems that her
original pair had laid eggs in the tank during their three-weeks'
sojourn there in 1967, and these had successfully hatched. To
this day an extremely agile crapaud she has named Jimmy
lives by a small lily-pool in back of her house. I have seen this
frog; we have tried to catch it, but it is evident that living in
Jamaica has not diminished the crapaud's ability to leap.
To sum up, we now have in Jamaica, apparently well
naturalized and thoroughly at home, two large species of
edible frogs. You have read a true account of how they came
here. They can be distinguished by the fact that the American
bullfrog is olive-green in colour, with or without darker spots,
while the Dominican crapaud is light brown, the male with a
white line around his chin. Both can weigh well over a pound,
when fully mature. Both have stout hind legs that are good to
eat. Try one some time if you can catch it!
When meatkind in such scarce supply,
The price control, but just can't buy,
Is good that in Black River now
Dem find dis frog that sound like cow.
Is said in France the people eat
this frog-leg as a special treat.
So now we join the E.E.C,
Frog-leg must good enough for we;
Come mek, we to Black River now,
An' nyam dis frog that sound like cow.
By Thomas Wright
"DAS LICHT auf dem GALGEN"
Continued from Page 8
reactionary forces that continue to practise colonialism. At
first, Debuisson sees no difficulties in deserting the interest of
his class and embracing the cause of the revolution. Debuisson
shows no less revolutionary qualities than Sasportas, but he
realizes that to carry out his mission means destroying his
personal property a large part of his grandfather's estate
belongs rightfully to him, the property of his future wife -
his marriage with the eldest Raleigh daughter is practically
agreed upon it even means risking the lives of his future
wife, his grandfather, his friends. Here lies the main difference
between Debuisson and Sasportas. For Sasportas there is no
personal property, no family at stake. So it is easy for him to
sacrifice all what is dear to others on the altar of the
Critics' opinions on Anna Seghers West Indian novel vary.
The West-Germans Reich-Ranicki and Bilkel9 see them in
connection with her other literary productions, particularly
with her trilogy on the history of the German Democratic
Republic, in which she glories in the socialist achievements,
celebrates socialist every day life and promulgates the official
verdicts on the "counterrevolutionary insurrections" in East
Germany in 1953 and Hungary in 1956. Artistically the trilogy
was a failure, and, to follow the argument of Reich-Ranicki
and Bilke, the author realized that an ideologically affirmative
literature is liable to fail. She therefore tried to escape to
topics in distant times and countries. They understand the
West Indian stories as an escape from the trite East German
reality, implying that evading reality is the arch sin for a
Although this proposition may be correct as far as the
author's motives are concerned, it is certainly misleading in its
implication that the exotic theme evades reality principally.
East German critics, on the other hand, emphasized the
actuality of the theme. They see the historic events as a para-
ble for the decolonization movement.
BY A. W. Kane, S. J., Director
Social Action Centre
Ironic as it may seem, I believe that any approach to urban-
ization and the problems which it presents in the Caribbean
today must give first priority to rural or agricultural develop-
ment. After rural development, priority needs to be given to
planning new urban centres away from existing capitals and
other large urban areas.
It is generally accepted that in countries like England and
the United States the migration of people from the land to the
cities was caused by the "pull" of the cities after these count-
ries began their industrialization processes. The cities offered
better economic opportunities.
In developing countries like Jamaica today, rapid urban
-" I I I rn" r wq-" I
growth is more the result of economic "push" factors from
rural countryside than from "pull" factors in the cities. The
"pull" from the cities tends to be social in these countries
rather than economic, and this social "pull" of the cities is
what Mr. Rupert Lake, in his background paper for this
Consultation,l refers to as the pull of the "bright lights".
However, whether considered as a "push" or a "pull" factor,
the fact is that the rural people have more and more been
excluded from the cash economies of the more modern sectors
and this has very much contributed to this urban migration.
Because the social amenities of urban life will continue to
attract persons from the rural sector, this being the dominant
* Presented at The Caribbean Consultation on Urbanization held in Guyana in April 1973.
A shortened version of this paper was previously published in JUSTICE.
trend all over the world, we cannot realistically expect to wit-
ness any significant return to the land by those who have left
it. The most we can hope to see is a slowing down of the rate
of migration to the major urban areas through greater rural
development and the building up of new urban centres.
Using Jamaica as a prime example, let us consider the
challenge of rural development and the decentralization of
urban population centres.
The declining contribution of agriculture to the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) in Jamaica explains greatly the
"push" factor demonstrated by the migration of the popula-
tion to urban centres. Granted that mining, manufacturing,
and tourism have all received greater capital investment in re-
cent years, the contribution to the GDP of these sectors, when
compared to agriculture, show the low productivity and returns
in the agricultural sector.
CONTRIBUTION OF SELECTED SECTORS
TO GDP, 1971
a) 'Labour force'
Preliminary % of
Totals ('000) GDP
% of Labour
173.1 16.7% .7%
135.7 13% 6.6%
8.8% 2% (est)
here includes only those actually
b) Estimate based on percentages for 1943 (45.1%) and
(Source: Economic Survey of Jamaica 1971, Central
Planning Unit, pp. 13, 22, 117).
Is it any wonder that the population of towns in Jamaica
rose by 43% between 1960 and 1970 while the rural popula-
tion rose by only 4%? Note that included in the towns were
the Corporate area of Kingston, all the parish capitals and
Ocho Rios. Certain other established towns were excluded
which, if they had been included, would have made the increase
in town population even higher than 43%. Another interesting
fact is that the migration to towns outside Kingston was higher
in 1970 than the migration to Kingston.
Another factor to consider is that the rural population has
a higher proportion of persons over 60 years2 and under 14
years than the urban areas.3 This means that those most out-
side the cash economy have to support a larger proportion of
both the older and the younger population.
JAMAICA CENSUS FIGURES SHOWING
POPULATION SHIFT 1960 1970
1970 1960 Difference %Change
Total Population 1,861,300 1,609,800 251,500 15.6%
Town Population 690,200 483,400 206,800 43%
Rural Population 1,171,100 1,126,400 44,700 4%
(Source: Daily Gleaner, 24th April, 1972, p.2)
Finally, the Jamaican Census for 1970 showed a total
population of 1.86 million, nearly 90,000 less than had been
expected. This indicated principally that emigration from
Jamaica between 1960 and 1970 was much higher than had
been previously known. Since most of these people emigrated
from the urban areas, especially from Kingston, it can be seen
that internal migration to urban areas was high to effect this
net increase of 43%.
Against these demographic facts, we can measure the
challenges of rural development. Although there has been a
small increase in the dollar value of agriculture's contribution
to the national economy between 1960 and 1970, this increase
is erased when allowance is made for inflation of the Jamaican
dollar. As we have already seen, the percentage contribution
of agriculture declined from 13.2% of the GDP in 1960 to
8.3% in 1971.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the
United Nations prepared a plan for agriculture during the
"Second Development Decade." The plan is called the "Indica-
tive World Plan for Agricultural Development." With a mini-
mum target of 5% to 6% in yearly overall economic growth,
this plan calls for agriculture to contribute between 2.9% and
3.3% of this growth. In countries where the population growth
exceeds 2.9%, agriculture must contribute more than this just
to feed the nation.
In Jamaica, where the annual population increase was 2.1%
in 1971 according to UN population figures and 2.7% accord-
ing to the Jamaican Government, the percentage increase of
agriculture must exceed the minimum 2.9% in order to reverse
the serious decline of agriculture over the last 10 years. In
1971, for example, the value of Jamaica's food imports actual-
ly exceeded total agricultural exports (J$56.4 million) for the
first time. Previously, though the gap was narrowing, agricul-
tural exports always exceeded food imports.
The disappointing record of agriculture in Jamaica and
other Caribbean countries, when taken together with the
vagaries of world market prices for primary products and the
costly and complicated task of developing rural infrastructures,
led many countries like Jamaica to attempt a short-cut to
economic growth through industrialization. Occasionally econ-
omic gains were realized, particularly when the industrial pro-
ducts did not end in high-cost, low-quality alternatives to
imports. But this policy proved deceptive when the importance
of .agriculture was forgotten in the enthusiasm for industrial-
ization. Industries were introduced which seldom formed
linkages with agriculture that could have stimulated agricul-
Agriculture, and therefore rural development, is important
for several reasons. Firstly, where resources are diverted to
industry at the expense of agriculture, the dollar value of
industrial production is generally obvious, but there is a
weakening of the purchasing power of the bulk of the popula-
tion for industrial goods. While agriculture is thus neglected,
industry usually turns out to be too capital-intensive to gener-
ate the employment hoped for, particularly when the depress-
ed state of agriculture "pushes" ever more people into the
Secondly, agriculture should provide necessary flow of raw
materials to industry. The policy of developing countries in
their rush to industrialize has led to the introduction of indus-
trieswhich import their raw materials rather than industries
which can use and encourage the increased production of
local raw materials.
Thirdly, where agriculture is neglected, foreign exchange
suffers. We have already seen how true this is in Jamaica where
food imports cost more than the total earnings of agricultural
exports and where the emphasis in agriculture is on export
crops. Recall that the 1971 contribution of Jamaican agricul-
ture to the GDP was J$86.1 million compared to J$60.2
million spent on food imports to feed the people. A healthy
agriculture is capable of producing savings to meet not only
agriculture's capital needs but, in part, those of industry as well.
If I have spent too much time and given too many statistics
(which I had intended to avoid) in describing the decline of
agriculture and its effects, I can only repeat that the neglect
of agriculture and rural development greatly explains the
"push" factors which have created serious pressures in urban
areas. If agriculture is made the most important sector of
national economic planning in the Caribbean, the rate of
migration to the cities can be slowed and improved linkages
with the industrial sector can be brought about.
Decentralized Urban Centres
The second area of effort to decrease urban pressures is to
plan new and smaller urban centres in other parts of the
country. Theoretically, this ought not to be as difficult or as
costly as agricultural development programmes. By providing
or improving social services and by creating new job opportun-
ities for surplus rural labour, these new urban areas can be
The advantages of these new urban centres are many:
cheaper land, lower costs, better living and environmental
conditions, proximity of farmers to markets, and opportuni-
ties for development planning of these small cities. These new
urban centres will very much complement emphasis on rural
development and ought to facilitate the introduction of infra-
structures, such as communication and transport which will
benefit rural development at the same time.
In 1971 the Jamaican Government produced a 20-year
plan for the island's development. Part of this plan is the creat-
ion of new urban centres in various parts of the island. In
many instances, these population centres already exist and only
require an upgrading of social services. In fact the 1970
Census showed that the rate of migration to these smaller
population centres was much higher than to the Kingston
Corporate Area over the previous ten years. The trend towards
more and smaller cities is already there, and simply requires
proper planning to ensure that it continues.
Compared to the large developing countries of Africa, such
as Tanzania, the islands of the Caribbean have a much more
manageable task in decentralizing urban centres. Tanzania,
which has given top priority to rural development, is concen-
trating on building Ujamaa villages to bring peasants who are
presently scattered all about the land into village communities
where they can be educated and given technical assistance to
improve their's and the nation's production of agricultural
goods. In Tanzania, where the population is much more scat-
tered than on the islands of the Caribbean, one measure of
their difficulty in providing social services and rural infra-
structures is the fact that only about one in every five children
between 5 and 15 years attends school in Tanzania -- and this
figure represents a vast improvement over the last ten years.
Contrast the difficulties of a dispersed population with
densely-populated Barbados; where educational and other
social services have for long been available to all the people.
Although the small size of Barbados allows easy access from
every part of the island to the capital, the rural areas are dev-
eloped adequately enough so that the rural people are not
pushed into the big city, as they are in Jamaica and elsewhere.
Recently in Mauritius, an island four times the size of
Barbados with about three times the population, I observed
several population centres outside the capital and all of these
had electricity, good roads and transport, and adequate educa-
tional, commercial and other social services. Mauritius produces
twice as much sugar annually as Jamaica, which is six times
larger than Mauritius, and having agriculture at the centre of
the national economy is obviously related to the high degree
of rural development. In fact, it is only very recently that
some new light industries have been introduced into the
island and, unlike Barbados, tourism has up to now played
only a very small part in the nation's economy.
In short, then, rural development and the planning of new
urban centres ought to receive top priority in any long-term
planning to change the present patterns of urban development
and problems. I believe that Mr. Rupert Lake's Survey Report
agrees with this emphasis.
Turning now to the problems which have arisen with
urbanization patterns over the last 20 years, I would first like
to identify the major problems as follows: increasing urban
unemployment rates, cramped slums and inadequate low-cost
housing, unsuited educational programmes and goals, unstable
family life, crime, inadequate health and other social services,
and a growing gap between those inside and those outside the
industrial or market economy.
Puerto Rico often served as a model for developing coun-
tries seeking economic growth through industrialization and
it should also have provided an indication of the social plan-
ning that would be required to meet the new pressures on urban
facilities and services. Not everyone had the escape hatch of
free entry into the United States for those abandoning agricul-
ture and unable to find places in the new industries -- and
many who pointed to Puerto Rico as a model for economic
growth overlooked this fact. Jamaica has tried in recent years
to have new industries located outside the Corporate Area of
Kingston in order to provide work for surplus labour where
they are, rather than in Kingston alone. The effort has met
with some success, particularly in the sub-urban plains, areas
to the east and west of Kingston. But it is also a frequent
phenomenon that the more skilled workers in these industries
commute daily from Kingston out to their jobs.
The economic policy begun in the developing countries
during the 1950's and based on industrialization and import
substitution has plainly resulted in unbalanced economic
growth and has failed to produce enough jobs for those push-
ed off the land. Economic growth rates were often impressive,
as I said earlier, but they did not bring real development by
transforming social and economic structures. One major reason
for this has been that industrialization policies have depended
primarily on foreign capital and imported raw materials, with
the result that many of these industries have been capital-
intensive and of a type Jamaicans call "screwdriver" industries.
Developing countries are now realizing that real develop-
ment benefitting all the people can only come by creating
growth from within, by building industries around natural
resources, and in general by following a policy of self-reliance.
Foreign capital and industrialization without linkages to other
sectors of the economy have provided tall buildings and a rich
minority, but they have also given birth to false hopes, further
economic dependence and unreal economic priorities.4
The pitfalls of industrialization policies are not our concern
here beyond the fact that they have contributed to the neglect
of agriculture and thereby intensified urban problems. Let us
consider now some of the problems which rapid urbanization
has presented us and which I mentioned earlier.
Because our goal in this Consultation must be to propose
areas for action rather than simply further discussion and
analysis of problems, I am choosing to concentrate on those
particular urban problems on which the Caribbean churches
can take some positive action. Although the problems listed
earlier are more or less interrelated, there are certain areas in
which the churches can more effectively point their efforts.
To this end I am choosing to specify the problems of housing,
family life and population, education, and consumer values
Several months ago, the Minister of Housing in Jamaica
requested a meeting with the Council of Churches at which he
asked the heads of churches to consider using some of their
church lands for lower-income housing. He requested that the
churches also arrange the financing of this housing. As it turn-
ed out, he was not necessarily looking for large tracts of lands,
of which the churches actually have very little, but for lands
of even one or two acres. The Minister even suggested carving
off one lot from property housing a church and a rectory in
order to build even one house for a needy family.
The church heads did express a willingness to comply with
the Minister's request, but I only know of one concrete offer
of land to date, and that very recently made. Admittedly most
churches have a complicated procedure for making decisions
about property or finance. There is now to be another meeting
in May between the Minister and the heads of the churches
who will this time be accompanied by their financial represen-
tatives.' I hope and expect that this will lead to more concrete
offers of land by all the denominations.
Even if, as in Jamaica, the Government owns more urban
land than all the churches combined, the churches can afid
should assist with the building and financing of lower-income
housing which will be in addition to what the Government
alone can do. Furthermore, by building small numbers of
lower-income units in various parts of the city, the people in
these new houses can more easily be incorporated into existing
social services and community life than if they are housed in
large groupings of lower-income housing where these form sep-
arate neighborhoods by themselves. Thus, the churches can
assist in preventing other social problems which often grow
out of people being housed in large and often impersonal lower-
Family Life and Population Growth
These two problems are so interrelated that I have decided
to treat them together. For in spite of consistent preaching by
the churches concerning Christian family life' and practices,
Jamaica continues to witness an increasing illegitimacy rate
(about 75%) and fragmented family structures. Contributing
to this situation is the migration of young people to urban
areas away from all parental restraints. These teenagers then,
perhaps in a search for acceptance and often out of just plain
ignorance, beget children which they are not prepared to care
for. When these young mothers are working or after they have
two or more children, their children are sent back to the coun-
try for older relatives to care.
On the basis of my own personal experience after six years
of counselling in Western Kingston, I have found that after 3
or 4 children and having reached her mid-twenties, the woman
would be willing to marry her present partner if they had a
house or some economic security ---- things which they
generally lack. On the other hand, the teenage mother does
not think in terms of a stable or long term relationship. Her
level of motivation, ambition and future prospects are just too
minimal to point her toward a more responsible attitude toward
family or sexual relationships.
I believe that the National Family Planning Programme in
Jamaica, despite an annual expenditure of J$2 million, has not
really been successful because of this same lack of motivation
among the urban poor. The dropout rate among family plan-
ning acceptors is very high. And because the churches have
never really addressed themselves to the problems of unstable
family life and the irresponsible procreation of children, save
to be condemnatory, and they have also failed to have any
positive influence with regard to family planning and responsi-
ble parenthood. And now because family planning is not
succeeding, the churches are faced with the spectre of an
increasing acceptance of abortion as a means of limiting births.
About two years ago, the Methodist Church in Jamaica
during its annual Synod adopted a resolution'which called for
the establishment of a special apostolate to those living
common-law or faithful concubinage relationships. Though
this might exclude the large number of principally younger
people who are following less permanent or "visiting" relation-
ships, the resolution still marks the only positive step by a
Christian denomination in this area. It is worth noting, too,
that in the view of many the Methodist Church in Jamaica
conducts the most active and imaginative youth programme of
all the Christian churches.
In short, the Christian churches must initiate positive pro-
grammes of education in responsible parenthood through the
use of their members and the mass media. One way to set
about such a programme would be to participate in and make
use of a survey being planned for later this year in which the
attitudes of grassroots people towards family life and the
1 In a subsequent development all of the churches made concrete
offers of land either in Kingston or in the rural areas.
Church are to be compiled.2 This survey hopefully will pro-
vide insights and guidelines for action for adapting our aposto-
lates among the majority of Caribbean people who endure
unstable family structures for most, if not all, of their lives.
On the question of family planning or the larger issue of
population, we need to be mindful of their bearing on respon-
sible parenthood and healthy family attitudes. Overpopulation
is not just a question of high or low population density in a
country, It is much more a question of individual parents being
able to provide psychologically, economically and otherwise for
their offspring. And with due respect for the persons who feel
otherwise, it is a head-in-the-sand and untheological view to
maintain that persons should have all the children God sends
them or to rely on God's Providence to care for all the children
that are being born --- particularly into unstable family
I recently published an article elsewhere (JUSTICE, #7,
Dec. 1972) on the subject of the Church's role in the popula-
tion question and I do not intend to include here all the points
or suggested measures outlined in that paper. Yet I would like
to stress certain steps which I believe the churches can take.
Firstly, the churches must be aware that lower birth rates
only come about'when there are rising hopes for a better life
for the majority of a nation's people and press Governments
to accompany their family planning programmes with serious
efforts at community development programmes. Secondly, the
churches can offer counselling and family education services
to complement clinical family planning programmes. And
thirdly, in order to achieve the first two steps and to develop
educational approaches to responsible parenthood, the church-
es, individually or collectively, can hold discussions for their
clergy on the subject of family planning and population.
By way of an illustration, I can tell you that the Family
Counselling Centre which I direct in Kingston includes family
planning as part of its overall programme of family life educa-
tion. Because of the high dropout rate among family planning
acceptors, and because the economic and social factors contri-
buting to unstable family structures will not easily or soon be
changed, we recently decided to expand our Centre into a
Multi-Service Centre by inviting critical Government social
services and other voluntary agencies to take offices in this
Centre. Among the services this Centre will offer will be
counselling, family planning, an employment bureau, a housing
officer, emergency financial help, a child care and protection
officer, and a probation officer. We expect thereby to serve
more efficiently and completely family social needs of the
urban poor. And we hope that this coordinated delivery of
services will help to raise the level of hope and motivation of
Those of you who know the David Rose Centre 3 right here
in Georgetown will be quite familiar with this concept. You can
hardly blame us if we in Jamaica or other Caribbean countries
choose to imitate your model.
So much has been said about education goals in the Carib-
bean, as for example at the Trinidad Consultation4 in Novem-
ber 1971, that little more should need to be said. Perhaps the
Trinidad resolutions on the subject are already being imple-
mented. But I fear that however much has been said on the
subject, much still remains to be done. And thus, particularly
in the context of urban problems, I shall offer some brief ideas.
Caribbean curricula have best oriented graduates toward
urban life in emulation of more industrialized societies. Our
secondary schools especially, even if educating only 10% of
the population in Jamaica, have not been providing graduates
2 The survey was subsequently carried out under the sponsorship of
the Catholic Bishops of the Antilles. A report of the results was
presented in November 1973.
3 A multi-service social and health centre, including craft and
4 Trinidad Ecumenical Consultation on Development, held at Chagu-
with those skills their countries most need. Rarely have even
rural schools given attention to agriculture in their curricula,
except when introduced here or there by an alert and innova-
In order to assist in building a spirit of self-reliance, the
Churches, through their many inputs to Caribbean educational
systems, can really effect necessary changes in curricula if they
put their minds to it. More vocational training ought to be part
of our regular school programmes and evening programmes for
adults. The Ministry of Education in Jamaica has introduced
many Caribbean text-books in recent years at the primary and
senior schools levels. But secondary curricula remain oriented
towards overseas examinations.
And the problem of teachers is also an acute one. In 1972
Jamaica graduated 1,000 new teachers, while 960 experienced
teachers left the profession. The dedication of teachers to their
crucial work can endure a certain degree of discrepancy in
salaries from the commercial sector, but not as much as the
difference which often exists with the rapidly rising costs of
living today. The Jamaican Government has recently announc-
ed significant salary increases for teachers and this is already
bringing an increase in persons applying for teaching posts.
When addressing ourselves to educational challenges and
needs, we must consider the opportunities offered by the mass
media which we have so far failed to use efficiently. One Jam-
aican delegate to the Trinidad Consultation has been conduct-
ing a weekly programme of discussion on important social
issues during prime television time. But the churches themselves
do not sponsor or conduct any television programmes. On the
two radio stations the churches sponsor 20 hours of religious
programming, and of this some 12% hours are bought by
specific religious denominations or groups and used for an
unvaried "church service" format. Of this 12% hours, only 3
hours' are locally produced programmes; the rest are foreign
programmes. The two religious newspapers in Jamaica are both
bland and do not really address themselves to education on
important local social issues.
The need to make better use of mass media opportunities
relates equally to our next problem area, that of the values and
attitudes which are influencing Caribbean youth and adults.
Values and Attitudes
An insidious result of emulating life in developed countries
is the consumer-oriented values which have become entrenched
in developing countries like Jamaica. The wants of the few for
luxury goods are being satisfied at the expense of hard-earned
foreign exchange which could be used to supply the basic needs
of the majority. I often used to cite theeexample that it cost
Jamaica 600 tons of sugar cane, which had to be grown,
reaped, transported to the factory, reduced to 60 tons of sugar,
transported to England, and then sold, to put one manbehind
the wheel of a Mercedes Benz. Such expenditure on material
goods and comforts also infects the poor with wants which can
only bring them false hopes and an unwillingness to work
when they cannot see themselves acquiring like material goals.
The established churches in the Caribbean have failed so far
to impress upon their large middle-class membership the social
costs of such material values. Is it because we are afraid to
criticise the life styles of our financial supporters? Or is it that
we are not convinced ourselves that such values and attitudes
I would suggest that every church at its assembly, synod, or
council meeting give priority to discussing values and life styles
of its clergy and members, with a view to establishing a policy
which will give an example to society at large and a stronger
witness, to our belief in Christian stewardship. The Prime
Minister of Jamaica in November 1972 told the Council of
Churches that he was going to give an example by dispensing
with his large, official automobile. Are we even here going to
leave it to the Government to set the example for national
values and attitudes?
Land and Labour
Related to this question of unreal values and attitudes are
two other problem areas which I want to mention only briefly
since they both received considerable emphasis at the Trinidad
The first of these is the high speculative cost of urban land
which often confounds Governments' efforts to supply lower-
income housing and puts the land out of reach for the majority
of people. It should be seen as a responsibility of the churches
to avoid contributing to the spiralling increase in land costs
when selling their own lands. The churches should also re-
mind their members of the Christian responsibility which the
ownership of property places upon them. The Acts of the
Apostles provides a clear teaching on Christian stewardship.
We cannot ignore this teaching simply because it is difficult.
The second related area is the role of trade unions in the
Caribbean. Since, as we know, the unions are closely allied to
political parties, union leaders are often accused of using their
office and membership for political purposes rather than for
the advancement of all the workers. When unemployment is
as high as it is in Jamaica (25%), it is easy for the unions to
concern themselves principally with their political sympathizers
when there are not enough jobs for everyone. And at the same
time, by their concentration on capital-intensive industries
which can afford high wages, the unions have certainly contri-
buted to an elitism or two-class system in the labour movement
Difficult as it may appear, the churches can press the unions
to work for the economic progress of all workers, to assist in
acquiring job-training opportunities on their own or in union-
ized factories, and to assist in the overall effort of increasing
worker productivity for the good of the nation.
Before concluding, I would like to describe four programmes
which the Social Action Centre is engaged in and which we
feel are efforts directed at the rural and urban problems which
I have been speaking about.
1) The Multi-Service Centre: this was explained earlier
as an attempt to design a model for improving and
coordinating the delivery of social services to poorer
2) Housing: one member of the Social Action staff has
been serving this past year as a full-time consultant
to the Minister of Housing and in this position he is
able to assist Government in planning how to provide
more lower-income housing in Jamaica.
3) Community Development Foundation: with an initial
push from the Pan American Development Founda-
tion in Washington, we hope to have this local
Community Development Foundation operating in
Jamaica by June of this year. Essentially, the Founda-
tion is an attempt to make credit available to grass-
roots communities (not individuals) for productive
purposes and when they do not otherwise have credit
available to them. The Foundation will have no cash
funds of its own but will have instead a pool of
guarantees made by individuals, companies, churches,
etc. The loans to the communities will be made by
regular banks against these guarantees. Some details
are yet to be worked out, but presently there are two
organizing committees at work: a financial committee
which is responsible for soliciting the guarantees, and
a committee composed of representatives from twelve
organizations with grassroots operations who are pro-
moting the idea of the Foundation at community
4) Rural Development: after two years of planning, the
Centre is preparing to launch, with the help of a grant
from the German Government, a three-year pro-
gramme designed to establish self-help community
models in three separate and different kinds of rural
communities. The Centre has actually been working
in each of these communities for up to five years.
I have attempted in this paper to illustrate the important
relationship between rural development and the problems of
urbanization. And secondly, I have attempted to point out a
few of the critical areas where the churches should accept the
leadership for effecting a change of attitudes and structures
relating to urban problems and overall development. Little, if
anything, of what I have had to say is new or at all revolution-
ary. But I firmly hope that it has been clear and direct enough
to encourage some positive action by all of us.
I close with these words of Gustavo Gutierrez from his
book A Theology of Liberation:
"Without a real commitment against exploitation and
alienation and for a society of solidarity and justice, the
eucharistic celebration is an empty action, lacking any
.genuine endorsement by those who participate in it."
1. Rupert E.H. Lake, Report on a Survey of Urbanization in the
Caribbean, CADEC, March 1973.
2. Daily Gleaner, Kingston, April 24, 1972.
3. Population Census 1970 Preliminary Report, Dept. of Statistics,
Kingston, Table 5.
4. A great deal has been written on the failures of industrialization
policies in developing countries. Here are only two recent articles
on the Caribbean scene: A.W. Kane, "The Problems of Industrial-
ization A Christian Perspective," JUSTICE, /6, Sept. 1972
Kingston. Steve DeCastro, "Tax Holidays for Industry: Why We
Have to Abolish Them and How to do It, New World Pamphlet #/8,
"Fertility Dancers" Sculpture by Roy V.S. Lawrence
The National Theatre Trust The Barn Theatre -
Jamaica Playhouse The Little Theatre African
Repertory Theatre Jamaica Amateur Operatic
Society Ed (Bim) Lewis The 8'O Clock Company -
The National Dance
These Entertainers are Entertainers in Drama, by word and dance.
Jamaica is experiencing a vibrant cultural growth in which all the
testing and work going back to the 1930s is now beginning to
Theatre reflects life. If anyone doubts the relevance of Classical
Theatre to life today, they need only compare the blood lust
of Shakespeare to the slaughter of the "Godfather". Incestuous
love in Greek drama is as real as the young six-teen year old
girl writing to a local newspaper in desperation as her father is
insisting on having sexual intercourse with her. Yes drama and
tragedies are real.
Unfortunately, our drama is still a long way from reflecting
contemporary life. The reason is quite clear. The Theatre-going
percentage of Britain, the U. S. A., the West Indies, in other
words, the Eurocentric cultural sphere, is very small, and concen-
trated among the middle classes. They pay to see Good Theatre
and unless they are convinced that something 'new' is good,
will insist on the old standards, and the classics.Our Playwrights
by and large are, from the same cultural and social background,
and are just beginning to be socially aware of the need to identify
with Jamaica as a whole in order to record the vitality and
movement that is taking place at this most important and signifi-
cant time of our development.
So, all these years, who are the people who have been the
Chronicle of our life? Our songwriters, our musicians and our
dancers. To our crying shame, no record has been kept of
Jamaica's reaction to our very exciting history. The songs of the
Troubadours like "Slim & Sam" are not to be found with their
wit, their humour, and their inevitable double entendres. For
example their, at the time, famous song of the 1939 war:
Jamaica ready to go to war to ra ra ra.
We need no gas or 'man 'O War' a ra ra ra
For we have Koo-Koo-Macka stick,
We razor an' we half-a-brick
To rip to rip to ra ra ra.
Also this wail on the American base at Sandy Gully:
I went to Sandy Gully fe go get a bite
Dem se' down me name an' a feel wright
De very day a start fe work, de man dem strike.
The Eddie Thomas Dancers The Jamaica Folk
Singers The Creative Arts Centre The Jamaica
Broadcasting Corporation Jamaica Information
Service Festival Radio Jamaica Rediffusion.
Slim and Sam would sing their songs at the market and sell them
for a penny a sheet, and within a few days the whole island knew
what was happening. These were the days before ZQI brought
radio to Jamaica, and during ZQI, but Slim and Sam were of the
wrong social background to put on radio, and their material was
raw, and earthy, Jamaican. In other words, what is now being
hailed all over the world as 'Folk Music'. Until very recently the
middle classes insisted that the man who knew "Derriere" was
artistic, but the poor man who only knew to say "Batty" was not
only not artistic, but vulgar. So a whole volume of Jamaican life
has been lost to us.
National Hero Marcus Garvey used to have artists performing at
his meeting in places like Edelweiss Park. The"'Sagwa"shows took
entertainment around the island. These shows suffered constant
harassment by the authorities and were performed in backyards
and fields; and "Nice Children" were not allowed to go. It was at
these shows that artists of the calibre of "Cupidon" the great
comedian, and dancers like Berto Pasuka, who later became
famous in Europe, developed their technique. The night clubs and
cinemas like the Gaiety, Glass Bucket and Springfield, brought out
'Harold & Dudley'. Harold Holness and his dancers rehearsed in
the backyards of Kingston in the dirt, and ended up forming the
nucleus around with Dudley MacMillian built shows like 'Hot
Chocolate' at the Ward Theatre. This was in the early forties
when the underprivileged black man began to make his appear-
ance in the conventional Theatre.Vere Johns and Eric Coverleyare
names one immediately associates with this, "Opportunity Hours"
and "Christmas Morning Shows" at the Ward Theatre and Coke
Memorial Hall. It was in these shows that the Louise Bennetts
and the Ranny Williams made their names. The arts suffered a
great loss with the death of Harold Holness this year.
To Henry and Greta Fowler, also, are due a lot of credit with their
Pantomimes, which span a fantastic 30 years. These Pantomimes
still remain the only Theatrical venture where all the classes of the
society meet. Lousie Bennett and Ranny Williams, with their very
Jamaican appeal, are without doubt very responsible for a lot of
this. The National Dance Theatre Company, after many years of
hard work and through farming out its dancers to teach in the
schools, have harnessed, a fantastic audience, which cannot help
but increase as these youngsters spread the word, so to speak.
Many experiments are going on to put in some controllable
theatrical form the very vital experience the Rastafarians are
going through. One was the performances produced by Marina
Maxwell at the Inafca African Museum in Lady Musgrave Road
two years ago which featured Count Ossie and the Mystic
Revelations with various poems and dances. Another was the
establishment of the Harambee Theatre in Bull Bay. These groups
are learning the discipline of Theatre mainly though trial and
error, because the conventional approach to Theatre in Jamaica
does not appeal to them. When they have perfected themselves,
we should have a tremendous cultural awakening in Jamaica. These
are the signs. We will still see .......
A most encouraging, and at the same time upsetting aspect of the
development of Theatre in Jamaica at the moment is the
desperate shortage of theatre space for production. There are
more productions than theatres to go around. If this pressure
keeps up, more space will have to be found.
The Barn: In 1973, continued with the run of the most successful
'Smile Orange' This must, without doubt, be the most successful
play in Jamaican Theatre history. 1972 was a very significant year
for the company. They were invited to the 'O'Neill Playwrights'
Conference in Connecticut, U.S.A. and won great acclaim. The
play was revised again for Festival. 'Smile Orange' is set in an
hotel in the Tourist belt, and deals with the hazards facing both
the locals and the tourists in their bid to get what they can out of
'THE SLEEPER'. Divided stage shows aual dramas simultaneously enacted. Photo: Tony Russell
each other. Standard equipment for Tourists is money. Standard
equipment for waiters is knee pads, and great fun is had by all.
'See Mama': This play was presented by Munair Zacca at the
Barn Theatre earlier in the year and enabled us to see perhaps the
best performance of the year, Leonie Forbes Amiel as 'Mama'.
Or maybe its the part that's so tremendous, because people have
said how effective Claudia Robinson Jones was when she alter-
nated with Leonie. I didn't see Claudia.
'Comic Strip': Three girls share an apartment. Two are from the
right side of the tracks, the other is a 'Bouguyaga'. She and her
Rasta boyfriend pop singer are being cultivated. Its the "In"
thing. Everybody hates the "Trenton" they say, but the 'Bouguyaga'
girl has a white man on the side, and the other two think about it.
There were two versions played by different actors. Another Barn
'Sleeper': Jamaican Middle-class family life as it is. Young husband
with mistress and strokes. Young wife frustrated and ready for
relief. Middle-aged father desperate not to go home which is only a
dustless house. Middle-aged mother desperate for love. Rich
middle-aged to old bachelor claiming to have a different girl each
night, but is never seen with one, and his niece who is having if off
with the young married man. The result spells "Loneliness".
All three Plays written by Trevor Rhone Directors: Dennis Scott,
Trevor Rhone, Melba Bennett.
'THE SLEEPER'. Father announces to wife and daughter
that he wants a divorce. Photo: Tony Russell
From: SON OF JOHN RAS I Coronation Scene. Photo: Tony Russell SON OF JOHN RAS I Court Room Scene: Jubilant supporters celebrate the
acquittal of their leader "Son of John Ras I". Photo: Tony Russell.
The Barn Th-2tre for Children: Presented two Plays 'Dorothy
Donkey' by Barbara Gloudon, and a mime play 'Anancy Story'.
These were delightfully produced by Belinda Durity.
The Jamaica National Theatre Trust: Had two plays in their
repertory season at the Ward Theatre. They were both interesting
and very well done, as one expects from this most outstanding
company. 'Pillars In The Mud'- This play takes place in Guyana in
1962, and shows the tragedy of racism. An African and an Indian
family live quite friendly together in a farming village until they
are caught up in the sudden emergence of the "Africans" and
"Indians". A Guianese friend of mine commented when the
Burnham and Jagan split first happened that: "When I left
Guyana there were Guyanese in Guyana. Now Jagan and
Burnham gone bring in dem "Indian and African". The young
African son, who is involved in the rioting in Georgetown,
returns to bring tragedy down on the families by eventually killing
the Indian father. The acting was excellent.
Play written by H. A. Naimatali, set designed by Colin Garland,
Director Lloyd Reckord.
'Macbeth' This Shakespeare classic tragedy was most interestingly
transferred to a Caribbean setting, and set in a place reminiscent
of Trujillo's Santo Domingo. The costuming and the set were
impressive, the acting mixed. A production of this kind, with such
an extensive cast, needs a dedicated bunch of professional actors,
and the director did not get this. I hope this will be done again.
Set & Costume by Richard & Sally Montgomery, Director Carrol
Dawes, The NTT also presented plays for children on Saturday
Ed (Bim) Lewis: Presented two plays this year. 'The Bald Headed
Rooster' stretched over from last year, and was succeeded at the
end of the year by 'The son of John Ras-I'
Mr. Lewis is presenting a Theatrical fare which is the nearest thing
we have to traditional Folk Theatre. I suspect it goes back to the
"Sagwa" medicine show days. There is always the Court Scene
interrupted by variety acts. Thehumour is crude and earthy. It is
Folk Theatre. The people want it. "Bim" seems to be the only
man, apart from the Pantomime to fill the Ward Theatre. That's
what Theatre is about.
Jamaica Playhouse: Only had one production this year, but gave
us two plays. 'The Real Inspector Hound' by the British author
Tom Stoppard, and the delightful comedy by Jamaica's Easton
Lee, 'Tarshan Lace & Velvet'. A very good evening's Theatre. 'The
Real Inspector Hound' was directed by Reggie Carter, and
'Tarshan Lace & Velvet' by Keith Sasso. These were presented at
the Lecture Theatre at the University of the West Indies, Mona
8 O'clock Players: Presented their revue'8 O'Clock Jamaican Time'
A very successful revue, in which no one was spared. Director
Tony Gambiill, presented at the Lecture Hall at the UWI.
The Little Theatre: The Pantomime this year was a lavish prod-
uction of 'Hail Columbus' by Barbara Gloudon. In a way it broke
with tradition, as it did not have "Miss Lou" this year. She took a
well deserved rest."Mass Ran"was still there and Eddie Thomas
designed some fabulous costumes, as well as writing the music and
doing the choreography. Tom Cross directed.
Veta Vincent and Chorus performing Mata Hari sequence in "Little Mary Sunshine" (Jamaica Amateur Operative Society).
Photo Wendy Hunt
Above: CELEBRATIONS-dynamic opening number by the NDTC. Choreography:
Rex Nettleford. Picture shows part of company (I-r) Joyce Campbell, Nettleford
himself, Barbara Requa, Sheila Barnett, Monica McGowan, Barry Moncrieffe, Mavis
Stoppi, Pansy Hassan. (Photo Maria LaYacona)
Left: MOUNTAIN WOMEN, the dance work by Sheila Barnett that tells of our
women and their mountains. In picture are Monica McGowan, Noelle Chutkan and
Jean Binns. The original musical score is composed by Marjorie Whylie the dance
company's musical director. (Photo Maria LaYacona)
Merry Wives of Windsor' was the Shakespearean production at
Paul Methuen's Garden Theatre. It was a good romp with Louise
Bennett, and Lois Kelly-Barrow. Paul Methuen directed.
The Jamaica School of Drama at the Little Theatre is well
established and now has a new director, Dr. Carrol Dawes. The
Lecturers at the school read almost like a Who's Who in Jamaican
Black on Black on Black: P. St. J. Hill presented black works
about black people performed by black people. Accompanied by
'The Truth' Band, songs were presented at the Little Theatre.
National Dance Theatre Company: Their annual season at the
Little Theatre this year was another outstanding one. Five new
ballets were presented in their Repertoire. 'Homage' 'Street
People' and 'In The Spirit' all choreographed by Rex Nettleford,
'Thursday's Child' choreographed by Bert Rose, and 'Windsong,
choreographed by John Jones. The company now has such a
large repertoire of good ballets to draw on, It moves from strength
The company made a most successful trip to New York where
they performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Rex Nettle-
ford was presented with the Keys of the City.
Because of Public demand, a "mini season" is scheduled for the
Ward Theatre at the time of going to press.
,bove ... REGGAE TIME The name of the ballet is "Street People" and
: is done to some six classic reggae tunes. The street people are Fitzroy
lunt, Yvonne Ffrench and Jackie Guy. Choreography is by Rex Nettleford.
t was a popular hit of the last Season of rnnr- (ohoto Maria LaYacona)
ight ... MOTHER and Child from "Thursday's Child", a new work by
DTC's newest choreographer Bert Rose who is also one of its principal
incers. In picture are Noelle Chutkan as the Mother and Barry Moncrieffe
the perplexed son. (photo O. Minott)
Left ... POCOMANIA an old work
which is frequently revived for en-
thusiastic audiences. Choreography is
by Rex Nettleford is a staged version
of the religious ritual.
(photo Maria LaYacona)
Left ... HOMAGE, the major work of
the 1973 Season here shows some of
the NDTC's top dancers (Barry
Moncrieffe, Patsy Ricketts and Bert
Rose in front) supported by Jackie
Guy and Tony Wilson (behind).
Choreography is by Rex Nettleford
who has presented since that time in
two churches St. Judges (Stony Hill)
and St. Lukes (Cross Roads).
(photo Maria LaYacona)
The Eddie Thomas Dancers
Eddie Thomas Dancers: The Little Theatre also saw the first
concert of the Eddie Thomas dancers. The programme, interlaced
with songs by the Jamaica Folk Singers, and Larry McDonald was
-highlighted by the ballet 'And It Came To Pass' in which Derrick
Williams, of the Harlem Dance Theatre, alternated with Eddie
I Thomas as "The King" the ballet was originally choreographed by
Eddie Thomas for The National Dance Theatre Company, with
Rex Nettleford dancing the King. The dancers also went to
-The Trinidad Theatre Workshop: Derek Walcott cannot be
ordinary. He presented his workshop in two of his plays
S'Franklin' and 'The Charlatan' at the Little Theatre. Arguments
about the play centered around the comparison with his present-
ations last year, the now established 'Ti-Jean and his Brothers'
and 'Dream on a Morkey Mountain' So Walcott was being com-
pared with Walcott. That's distinction for you.
The Jamaica Folk Singers: Had a very successful year. Apart from
going around the island, Montego Bay, St. Elizabeth, Port Antonio,
they did an extensive tour of Europe. Enthusiastic reception was
reported everywhere, London, Cardiff, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover,
and in the United States, Chicago and Miami. I think it needs
stating here, that when this company, and the National Dance
Theatre Company go abroad, they are not Government-aided as
many people think. They rely very much on goodwill.
The Creative Arts & Centre: Had a busy year. There was an Easter
Course "The University Singers" did a production "The
Caribbean Thespians" did a very impressive production of
Ogilvie's 'Sudden Guest' which was directed by Ron Harrison.
The touring French Theatre Company presented a short season,
and the "University Drama Society" presented two productions,
'Ti-Jean 'Man Better Man' was one of the best productions seen
anywhere in Jamaica this year. This play, by Errol Hill, deals with
stick fight,.g, and under the direction of Carrol Dawes, Tony
Smith, and Rawle Gibbons, provided some of the best comedy
seen for a long time.
Jamaica Amateur Operatic Society: 'Songs For All Seasons' was
seen at the Creative Arts Centre, directed by Vela Vincent and
Joe Gregory. The society also presented the American musical
'Oklahoma' at the Little Theatre. This production was directed by
The Uganda Drama Theatre: Gave us an example of what t
Theatre can mean. Lead by Robert Serumaga, they stopped
on their world tour to electrify us with their production 'Re
Moi' This was a dance drama in many Ugandan languages but
emotions created and communicated were so real that there
no difficulty in being immediately involved. A memory
The African Repertory Theatre: Led by Desmond Stewart tl
group, for the last couple of years have been working and presel
ing plays at the Y.W.C.A. their production this year 'Freedc
Ritual' depicted slavery, degradation, death and oppressic
They specialise in Mime Drama. More will be heard of their
~.-L ' 1.X ' c~:
The Jamaica Folk Singers photos Syd Burke
' *"; "^
Scenes from "OKLAHAMA", Jamaica Amateur Operatic Society,
Photos Wendy Hunt
Festival: Under Enid Chevannes, the Speech and Drama of
Festival has reached a very high standard. It is necessary now for
a definite link up with the various Theatrical companies so that
the winning Festival offerings get produced. No matter how many
prizes a writer wins, he cannot judge his ability until his play is
produced; and the public cannot judge him either.
Joyce Campbell once more presented us with a fine crop of
dancing this Festival. These are two outstanding sections of
David Carty, planter, strangles Mi-Jean, the intellectual (Teddy
Price), in the play Ti-Jean and His Brothers, U.W.I. Drama Society.
Photo Michael Morgan
C 7 _-r~~f
Radio: Jamaica Information Service has started a Studio Theatre
in which they have been giving half-hour plays. A welcome start
which must be encouraged.
Radio Jamaica Rediffusion. is well ahead in the field with
locally written and produced 'Dulcimina' written and produced
by Elaine Perkins, and 'A Time to Remember' by Gloria
Lannaman, produced by Norman Rae. They also give us radio
drama from abroad, and short stories.
The Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation has also begun to give us
more drama. At the moment most of it is foreign, but plans are
afoot for Jamaica to triumph.
Television: The Jamaica Information Service began a regular
monthly series of plays in their 'J.LS. Workshop'. These have
Above, Left Richard Seruwagi is being chastened by drummers tor trying to
kill Nakazzi in Renga Moi, (The Uganda Drama Theatre).
emphasised what I have maintained for ages, that is that you
only get good television drama by doing it. You cannot sit do
and wait for the masterpiece, you have to work at it. The fi
productions were not effective, either the plays were not go
television, or the direction was not television. But the impro'
ment has been very marked. Good luck to the Jamaica Inf(
mation Service. The Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation is still
the starting line.
It can be seen from this review that Jamaica has not been exac
starved of Theatre over the past year. Or rather, Kingston has
been starved. We just need to spread it around some more, and i
may witness a real cultural renaissance in Jamaica.
Above, Right Richard Seruwagi as the carpenter, tries to resusitate t
supposedly dead Nakazzi (Jane Majoro) before he measures her for the coff
in Renga Moi, (The Uganda Drama Theatre).
Mystic Revelation of Rastafari giving a free public concert on a Sunday after-
noon at Fort Charles in Port Royal sometime during 1973.
by Aimee Webster
In 1972 Jamaica was re-discovered by the Japanese. Their
Toyotas appeared on the streets of Kingston. Cable exchanges
and telephone talks were capped in both countries by a pair
of significant headlines the one-week visit to Jamaica of the
almost fabled prince of the Mistsubishi financial empire and
the establishment of diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level
between the two island nations.
The Jamaican Prime Minister, Mr. Michael Manley publicly
summarised "the Japanese have capital literally growing out of
their ears." That description was soon demonstrated. For the
Japanese celebrated their release from trade isolation with
Jamaica which the previous Jamaican administration imposed
by gilded re-entry:
J$14m was committed by a consortium of Japanese
bankers towards constructing a transhipment port in
Jamaica. Feasibility studies of this enterprise make the
17th century money-spinning asciento of which Jamaica
was the hub, look like chicken feed.
A diversity of Japanese investigators commenced examin-
ing Jamaica in real and potential terms: mineral desposits
were looked at in relation to those of Japan's newest
suitors, South Africa and Australia: assessment of Jama-
ican agriculture resulted in Tokyo's coffee merchants
replacing London blenders as recipients of Jamaica's
unique, too-small high quality mountain coffee crop.
Above all, the Japanese contemplated Jamaica's geo-
graphic placement. The island ` roughly equidistant
from the eastern Caribbean to which it is tied by a
Common Market and sentimental agreement, and from
the United States which, wobbly dollar notwithstanding,
remains the world's inarguably richest retail market.
So far as these relatively unnoticed activities by Japan's
free enterprisers were observed by the Jamaican people, they
saw a second Japanesd motor vehicle agency conferred on a
Jamaican dealer and they heard that their Government sought
for a Japanese textile expert to transform the white elephant
gift from Colombia's Coltejar of Ariguanabo Mills with book
value of J$6m into a profitable business.
In a single year, Jamaicans ceased to see Japan as the source
of pretty, cheap copies of Bavarian figurines. In 1972 Jamai-
cans commenced to recognize Japan as a source of massive
financial investment and incalculable know-how.
Japan is a miracle to oldtime Jamaicans. In their youth,
Japan was decried as an exploiter of cheap labour. In those
long-ago years, Japan provided many Jamaicans with their
first experience of wearing shoes. That footwear of canvas with
rubber soles, retailed at 2/6d per pair, was decried by Europhiles
on three counts, viz: the masses could afford to be shod, thus
tending to make them above themselves, the construction
fabrics of canvas and rubber created an unnatural climate for
the feet, sweating resulted that caused consumption of the
lungs. So earnest debates were held on the social and health
consequences arising from imports to Jamaica of Japanese-made
canvas and rubber shoes.
Merchants in their wisdom advised that these cheap shoes
inevitably would lead to whetting the Jamaican appetite for
leather shoes from Europe and North America. Thus until that
time came, there was nothing wrong with commissions and
profits earned from vending Japanese-made canvas and rubber
shoes to the bare-footed masses of Jamaica. Indeed, the trade
almost assumed a social welfare guise.
With their characteristic capacity for prejudice, Jamaicans
at no social level, ever described the Japanese footwear as
tennis shoes, although these were identical copies of this genre
of British-made footwear. The Jamaicans applied the names
"crepes" to the shoes from Japan in practical appreciation for
the non-slip construction of the soles. Because the tread was
silent, the word 'sneakers' came to popularity: perhaps with
Japanese conquest of Jamaica was so imperceptible as to
seem improbable. For the conquest moved from cheap shoes,
to crockery and plastic knick-knicks to the ancient Japanese
art of flower arrangement. The Japanese word is Ikebana.
How Ikebana, a 4-syllable word, came to exercise almost
magic lure for Jamaicans is not easily explained. For why should
a people surrounded by lush vegetation throughout the year
and themselves derived from many centuries of European and
impulse for mass decoration, be attracted by economy of line,
rigid rules of levels representing earth, man, heaven and sparse-
ness of leaf and bloom characteristic of Japanese flower arrange-
Ikebana embraces the thousand-odd schools of flower
arrangement in Japan whose entire population contemplates
vegetation with that singular awe affirmed in the simple state-
ment of the Book of Genesis, "God made a garden." But that
Hebrew history does not embrace Japan.
Precisely as Japanese garden design is economical in plant
material and depends upon suggested imagery rather than mass
to stimulate the beholder's eye, Japanese flower arrangement is
a strict discipline for placing stems with their leaves and flowers.
What is conveyed to the mental eye is the mood of the arranger.
By contrast, the western art of flower arrangement appeals to
the visual senses through interweaving textures and colours.
Ikebana then would seem to require intellectual compre-
hension as an essential pre-requisite of expression. Significantly,
this art had its rise among the priesthood. It is then an art of
contemplation, rather than of mindless search for prettiness.
In the passage of centuries of flower arrangement in Japan,
the art was dispersed among the population. Inevitably there
appeared diversions from the original, rigid expressions enun-
ciated and taught by Ikenobo, the first of Japan's flower
Rebellions and novelties, no less vigorous for all their per-
fume, proceeded. Today's figurines and geometrics and latterly
the appearances of female flower school masters might not be
the final of the heresies.
Although the essentially intellectual artistry of Ikebana de-
picts in a single piece of the season of year as well as an
event even so commonplace an event as the coming into the
house of a visitor what the western eye perceives in the com-
pleted piece is the meaningful placement of vegetation to
emphasise the infinite mysteries of space.
Because space until now is examined and categorised and
A. VERTICAL STYLE
Arranger: Pearl Wright, Master-Ohara School of
Photographer: Kenpoh Ohara
B. IKENOKO SCHOOL
Arranger: Thelma Chin
Photographer: Roy Thomas
C. FREE STYLE GEOMETRIC (Modern Sogetsu)
Arranger: Joyce Shaw
Photographer: Roy Thomas
D. "ADESTE FIDELIS" (Ichyo School)
Arranger: Veronica Robb
E. FREE STYLE (Sogetsu School)
"I hold the splendid daylight in my hands"
(From 'LITANY' by George Campbell)
Arranger: Gloria Lawrence
Photographer: Roy Thomas
explored by men, a question is: Can women achieve outstand-
ing performance in Ikebana?
Proficiency in defining space is nowhere in the exposition
of the late and revered Mrs. Frank Allen Jr., the wife of a
United States military officer whose tour of duty in Japan his
wife employed in establishing Ikebana International with the
motto: Friendship through Flowers.
Now there are scores of Ikebana International chapters in
the world. Seminars are held, conventions beck vast audiences
and from time to time masters of flower schools in Japan foray
forth to lecture and teach in the principal cities of Asia, Africa,
Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean. These workshops have
the fervour of religious convocations.
The cultural vehicle of Ikebana is recognized by the Japanese
government to an extent that even Jamaica, one of the smallest,
latest yet most ardent converts to the gentle art of Ikebana
was visited by an officially sponsored flower master, Mr.
Shibata and his assistant. That neither spoke English nor their
audience understood Japanese, in no way deflated enthusiasm.
During the tour of Miss Stella Coe, one of the few Western
women to win distinction in Ikebana to the extent of writing
textbooks, 500 persons swarmed her demonstration at Clare-
mont, a small rural village in Jamaica.
How much of the history, meaning, symbolism of Ikebana
is grasped by the mainly female zealots of this art cannot be
estimated. Thus Mrs. Edna Manley, the distinguished sculptor
who is patron of the Jamaica Chapter of Ikebana International,
might be entirely correct in her definition, Ikebana is the art
of the home. Or she might have described what Ikebana means
to the four schools of Ikebana which grew up in Kingston in as
many years. Yet what more exquisite introduction to the
world's foremost financial power and hardworking population
could there be than is expressed in the Jamaicans' zeal for the
Japanese art of flower arrangement?
The Future of Ikebana in Jamaica
Is the study of Japanese flower arrangement by Jamaicans
destined to be a craze, a fad embraced for its pretty economy
of plant material? Or will ikebana persist to so deeply engage
Jamaicans' imagination as to penetrate Jamaica's culture
throughthe use of local plants and containers,.that in Jamaica
Ikebana eventually demonstrates the fate of all colonisation?
For nothing is so true as that sooner or later the colony creates
its own peculiar systems which are the total combination of
what was imposed by the colonisers and engrafted upon that
which is original to the colonised.
The swift popularity of Ikebana among Jamaican flower
arrangers and public is a denial that trade follows the flag. The
truth is trade followed the flower arrangers, since it was after
4 years of intense Ikebana, including teaching tours by three
visiting masters, that the Japanese and Jamaican governments
established diplomatic relations. The balance of trade foresee-
ably will long continue to be in Japan's favour: flower arrangers
are tipping the cultural balance too in Japan's favour. To what
extent multi-racial Jamaicans could be led culturally by Ikebana
is an intriguing speculation.
A paradox with the large and increasing sale in Jamaica of
Ikebana textbooks is the infrequent sale of a book on Japanese
garden design. Also, not one public park, nor any of the thou-
sands of handsome private plantings in this Caribbean island are
influenced by the Japanese garden.
Zest for Ikebana along with oversight of the Japanese
garden's relationship with -Ikebana, perhaps indicates that sub-
consciously Jamaicans select the one art form from Japan
which apparently can evolve into what might become as dis-
tinctively Jamaican as say Jamaican dance and Jamaican speech
Such a development could not be prevented by the four
ikebana schools Ichyo, Ikenobo, Ohara, Sogetsu conducted
in Jamaica by qualified instructors, or by St. Andrew Chapter
of Ikebana International of which these schools are menibers.
The Chapter, chartered in 1973, has no authority over schools
nor members-at-large: they are responsible to their individual
headquarters in Japan. Hence, as students progress through the
degrees to iemoto (master), what could prevent the bold from
imitating their Japanese mentors?
In Japan, scores of iemotos have introduced variations on
basic disciplines they acquired during years of dedicated study.
They founded schools of their own. So a possibility is that
definitions from the ikebana glossary such as morimono,
nagiere, moribana, rikka now tripping off Jamaican tongues,
might gain some novel additions from the engrossment of
Jamaicans in Ikebana.
The brake to nationalisation of ikebana is that technical
mastery of this art form in isolation cannot assure perfect
achievement because Ikebana is not interior decoration only.
For example, one explanation why evocative pieces are not
achieved by some students while they seem to flow effortlessly
from other fingers, is in the Japanese percept that "Flower
arrangement is not to arrange flowers, but to arrange the mind.
We should revere courtesy in each flower arrangement."
This rule of Shinso Soami who founded the Soami School
500 years ago dominates authentic Ikebana,. an art of the
priesthood which passed to the laiety, including the suamari.
The 8th Shogun Yoshimasa, as much impressed by the sword-
manship of Soami as by his scholarship and Ikebana, elevated
him to the post which today we call "cultural adviser." His
black ink drawings still may be seen in the Art Museum of
Kyoto and his eminence in his lifetime gave permanence to his
pronouncement: An iemoto should not only have Ikebana as
So there persists in authentic ikebana the tradition that the
flower master is accomplished in arts other than Ikebana. Thus
when Sofu Tashigara exhibited his stone sculpture and calli-
graphy in Paris last year that city of artists was agog, and the
primitive art collection of Huon Ohara is famous as his Ikebana
The explosive creativity stimulated by the trilogy of Earth,
Man, Heaven,mathematical calculations in Ikebana express much
more than pretty harmony, hence the advice of the Japanese:
When you are angry or unhappy, make a flower arrangement.
Jamaicans advancement in Ikebana will be measured as much
for artistry and intellectualism as for adoption of the curious
humility of Japanese people. They, unlike admirers and imita-
tors of their unique flower arrangement art, even rate gardening
and contemplation as areas in which the student should excel
on the way to achievement in Ikebana.
Junior Poetry 14 16
by Basil Ethan Lyn
Workwom, careworn, hesitant,
His back to the wall
He faces the class,
Fearing the moment
When the challenge comes.
The cold, secret sting
Crawls into his inmost self
When he is made their sport.
He surveys his nemesis,
Reserves of assertion move forward,
But the wall offaces stops him
His heart hardens and hardens more
Against the voices he had learnt to hate.
The upraised hand ignored, wavers,
But it holds an invisible sword
Ready to descend on his cleancut neck.
Silence and intent gazes
Scream at him.
But the voice of the child is sure,
And the spectators convinced,
Wait with the old excitement.
In their fortress they sing in triumph
At the feeble ultimate gesture,
A look, a shout, a whimper.
Once long ago he
Also was impregnable,
But the future emptied
Itself and coiled around him.
by Basil Ethan Lyn
With sad pitying eyes
The lone guitarist
Surveys his invisible
Hidden behind the glare
Of harsh lights.
His slim fingers flit over
Round, perfect, pleasant
Ears, range over
The ecstasy of the played sound,
The faultless phrase
Leap beyond the boundary.
Moved by sweet concord
He dreams in tune with
His mellow-wise guitar.
Junior Poetry 14 and under
(Inspired by a painting by Albert Huie)
by Charmaine Mendez
Sitting under one of the huge willow trees
lam listening to silence.
lam speaking to no one,
Watching the clear blue water bubbling over.
Looking at the humble town of St. Peters,
Thinking how wonderful it is to be as free as the
Staring at the peaceful and great mountains,
Wondering how such a great thing came into existence,
My mind full of thoughts,
Day dreaming along the bank,
I sink into a deep dream.
A Review byBasilMcFarlane
It may be that the effective way to attack Jamaican (or
other) philistinism is in the region of the prejudices; in which
event the David-Wayne Boxer exhibition at the Institute of
Jamaica in the first two weeks of July can be reckoned a
landmark of our recent cultural history.
In 20 or more years of reviewing art exhibitions, I can
recall occasions when an exhibition of itself would become
nothing less than an emotional experience: if you like, a turn-
ing-point in one's development as an individual. The Eugene
Hyde homecoming exhibition at the Institute art gallery in
1963 was one such. In a quite different style, an exhibition
of water-colours by Roger Mais, put on within a few weeks of
his death in 1955, was another.
The Boxer occasion is quite something else. In boldness
and virtuosity he resembles Eugene Hyde. Like Mais in those
last watercolours, he can achieve a poem in terms of colour
alone (see 'Figure Turning and Leaving' series, particularly
- 49 in Boxer catalogue). But he is more knowing than either.
And by 'knowing' one does not intend to refer to Boxer's
vaunted status as an art historian, whatever that is. His know-
ledge of other artists' work is, I would say, an essential
element in the attack before-mentioned; and often, where
his knowledge co-incides with that of the viewer, it can be
employed to produce a wry sort of frisson; especially since
the characteristic but by no means original Boxer approach is
that of the studied anti-climax.
What I will call his de-composition of Van Eyck is a case in
point. In the well-known painting by the Flemish master, the
burgher Arnolfini is shown in the midst of his family and
possessions: a figure reflecting the naivete of fleshly enjoy-
ments. While it seems evident that Boxer is an admirer of this
classic work, he has left us a commentary on it (18 and 19 in
catalogue) that is, to say the least, chilling.
The early life of the Biblical David is, of course, nothing if
not an heroic tale; and, though I find David-Wayne Boxer's
work to be wholly without wit or humour (number 69,
'Buffo', after all, in spite of operatic implications in the title,
is quite literally toad-shaped), it is well within the spirit of his
exhibition's nearly exemplary showmanship to court allusions
based on nothing more than the common possession of a name.
Could it be from some such ploy that the resounding mani-
festos ('I allow private myths to nurture a universal purpose')
depend? And did not one of the more enthusiastic Boxer
promoters measure their hero against Michelangelo, himself
the greatest monumental painter of the Renaissance and
creator of a sculptural heroic David nearly as famous as the
scriptural model? And is not number 42 in the Boxer catalogue
epically titled thus: 'Standing Figure 72 also known as Figure
Walking and or Whistling, also affectionately known as Mao
Walking or Mao Whistling, most recently known as Goliath
... Goliath Triumphant'? But, among us, only those of
least wit will allow themselves to be side-tracked by the appar-
After further formal (and fashionable) self-immolation in
the shape of an 'Assault on Self Image' series and ancillary
self-portraits manque (to say nothing of a number of persona-
tions during which the artist is Jesus or Macbeth), Boxer
releases his taste for the grand in two creations, number 53,
'L. v. B. II (Homage to Beethoven)', but especially number 54,
'L. v. B. III'.
To those whose adolescence was exposed to his music, a
conception in which Beethoven is God may seem inevitable
and even just. Especially, as I say, in the later and larger work,
Boxer carries it off with aplomb and without the mawkish
note one might have feared. One of these days, this lad is going
to make a fine movie director.
The question remains: if Boxer is David, then who can
One of the exhibition's more effective pictures is number
58 in the catalogue: 'Self Image Assault IV', or a portrait of
the artist as corrupt young worldling. Like so many of its
ARNOLFINIS III 1971-1972
companion pieces, this has been conceived in an access of
purest fantasy and therefore, in accordance with the aesthetic
of self-mortification to which Boxer adheres at the moment,
bears neither moral nor matter-of-fact implications. Neverthe-
less it will provide an occasion (if you like, an excuse) for a
look at the exhibition in terms of its motivation.
I have already used the term, 'showmanship'; but then a
show is what it's all about. I have also implied that the show
may be historic in its possibilities.
Surely, one of the Boxer exhibition's history-making aspects
is the number of distinguished names that, on sometimes quite
transparent pretexts, have been willy-nilly organized into its
conspectus. Looked at from one angle, the exhibition is noth-
ing if not a name-dropping festival; what with Mao Tse Tung,
Hortensio Felix Paravicino, Macbeth, Francis Bacon, Freud,
Stella, Gloria Lannaman, Goliath, Picasso (of course), Salome,
Edna Manley; and more, at least as many again as I have
Again, it would seem that for their proper appreciation
these pictures and objects require, apart from the convention-
al grounding in the History and Philosophy of Art (gleaned
from several years of study at prominent universities), skill in
two or maybe three European languages beside English; al-
TOD (DEATH) 1973
though where the, so to speak, native language of picture
or object happens to be other than English it is to the credit
of the show's organizers that they have been thoughtful
enough to provide translations.
Now, it is well known that this is the sort of thing that is
likely, if anything is, to impress the philistines: prestigious
humbug and sub-masonic obscurantism: and one cannot say,
indeed, just how far it has gone towards becoming an accepted
technique of salesmanship, an acknowledged method in some-
thing mystically referred to as 'presentation.'
The question is, just how much of the Boxer exhibition is
I would say, quite a deal more than the average run of art
exhibition to which we are accustomed in Jamaica; and this
has little or nothing to do with whether we judge such exhibi-
tions, as individual exhibitions, 'good' exhibitions or 'bad'
Of Mr. Boxer's 76 pieces, I have discovered some eight or
nine for which I have experienced a clear liking; and this is a
good percentage for a single exhibition (in the context of a
one-man show, the implications are even more strongly com-
plimentary). Purely as a matter of interest, they are as follows:
Numbers 20 and 21, 'Nachtstuck' I and II, for their economy
and employment of colour (Boxer's sure colour sense is one of
the firmer elements in his claim on our attention); number 41,
'Three Figures (Triptych)'; number 44, 'Act I Scene I, 1972-
73', for its romanticism; number 46, 'Venere Volgare'; num-
ber 52, 'Das Wiedersehen (The Return) also known as Eroticon
V'; number 60, 'Self Image 72-73' (this I have sometimes
thought of as the best picture in the exhibition), for its very
effective use of-white; number 65, 'Portrait 73' number 68,
'Six Variations Interior'.
A substantial part of the Boxer subject-matter is ascribable
to pure fashion, a kind of cultural 'keeping up with the
Joneses', as he himself will be seen to admit when his mani-
festos have been read with attention:
'My work, at least the work represented in the current
exhibition must ultimately I think be viewed as a dia-
logue between abstract expressionism's painterly techni-
ques and freedoms, and the figurative constructs of the
"New Imagists"; Giacometti, Richier, Baskin, Golub,
Lebrun, Bacon et al.'
In other words, a kind of polemic; but a self-oriented,
self-concerned polemic: and, if anyone should be disturbed
at the notion of an artist who conducts dialogues with himself,
it should be understood that were this the only necessary
qualification it places Boxer in superior company, indeed.
But, to paraphrase the words of a famous man, there are
a few more things to be said; and they concern Goliath.
In the United States at the moment (and it is apparently
to the United States that Mr. Boxer has gone to be educated,
for the most part) it is considered a kind of chic for middle-
class people to have on their walls a variety of tokens of mor-
tality; and the cult of death, in common with other express-
ions of religiosity, is very much to the fore. It may be
concluded that this is a vague overspill of affluence, a world-
sadness very much akin to that necrophilia that was said to
haunt the resistless, all-accomplishing Victorians; but it could
also be looked at as the simple consequence of the accumula-
tion of wars, large and less large, with which the consciousness
of a generation has been bombarded:
'But Vietnam was the catalyst for these "damaged man"
themes. I was at Cornell, an undergraduate and very
impressionable, and night after night on television I was
bombarded with the pictorial evidence of the atrocities
raging in Vietnam ... I remember, too, the numerous
pamphlets put out by anti-war groups. Many had photo-
graphs of children with their flesh incredibly transform-
ed by napalm and sulphur. I, of course, drew obvious
parallels with Nazi Germany and the treatment of the
"L.V.B. III" (HOMAGE TO BEETHOVEN) 1972
VENERE VOLGARE 1972
Bearing in mind their intention, it is incredible that these
necessarily brief and schematic 'programme notes' offer an
over-riding impression not of commitment but withdrawal
(Mr. Boxer was not in Vietnam; he was patently not a member
of an anti-war group; what is more, you feel he would have
been lost without his T-V: one questions the right of anyone,
but more specifically someone in the authoritative context of
a work of art, to make a statement about human suffering after
such slight and perfunctory identification). And withdrawal
sums up the basic emotional content in the exhibition.
What we are left with, then, is rhetoric; and the exploit-
atory self-interested connotations of rhetoric. In fact, one
shouldn't be surprised to learn when the smoke has cleared
that what Mr. Boxer is doing is making -an old-fashioned plea
in some such terms as 'art for art's sake', which is really a suing
for mercy at the hands of the philistines; and not the least bit
Goliath triumphant? Only too likely.
Let it be noted that one does not write at such length about
valueless work. In the ordinary course of exhibitions by Jam-
aican artists, one does not often come across work that so
profoundly reflects the modern spirit: which I interpret as
based in the conviction that the real subject of a work of art
is the artist's temperament.
As such, Boxer's exhibition has the weakness of its strengths:
the implication that behind each disparate work lies a theory
or philosophy capable of articulation: and beyond that the
weaknesses which honest men may be persuaded to confess,
narcissism, escapism, self-pity.
RASTA MAN by Gonzales
OLD MAN by Gonzales
I have always wondered why artists got people to declare
their exhibitions open and I have over several years not been
able to come to any real conclusion. At one point my theory
was that the people who opened exhibitions were expected to
lend some air of importance to the occasion, but I have come
to realise that this cannot be so because most of the people
who declare other people's exhibitions open are clearly much
less important than the artist.
At another time I thought it was perhaps that the artists
wanted some sort of blessing, shall we say, from the establish-
ment perhaps, an insurance against the show being closed for
offences against public morality, but then I realized that the
blessings, such as they might be, must be in the works of art
themselves; and those, like good wine, need no bush.
So I still do not understand why people like myself, and
unlike me, very often; are selected to be the centrepieces of
Particularly do I not understand it in the case of today's
exhibition, because the artists whose work is on show here
today are formidably articulate not only in their paintings and
other artistic contrivances, but in the written and spoken
So, instead of telling you what I think about these men at
any length, I shall attempt to tell you in their own words what
they think they are doing. Before I do this I will tell you some
of the bare facts about their lives, facts which are not only
relevant but interesting.
First of all, Kofi Ricardo Wilkins Kayiga.
Kofi is in the process of legally changing his name to en-
compass his own tribute to his African origins. He is thirty
and is a graduate of the Jamaica School of Art and a former
teacher there. He gained a scholarship to the Royal College
from which he graduated two years ago and has since done
post graduate work in research into traditional African reli-
gions at Makerere University in East Africa. He taught at
Makerere and has exhibited in tie West Indies, Canada, the
U.K. Europe and East Africa.
Kofi's present works were done over the last five years and
were painted in Kenya, Tanzania, Britain, Sweden and Jamaica.
He said to me that he doesn't confuse himself with the rules.
"If they work I will use them' I am experimenting to see how
much I can say in the way I want to say it."
In his thesis he says "it is most easy to fall out of harmony
and enter the house of confusion ........ It is even easier to live
in confusion and accept misery as a way of life, to live in self-
pity and in self-glorified martyrdom. It seems the order of the
day to have no direction, to be open to all influences that
direct one like a stringless kite but if there be a kite, there must
be a presence that is to say, there must be a connecting
source, there must be the cord linking it to its strength."
This paragraph in my opinion expresses powerfully the
mainstream of Kofi Kayiga's art, which is a religious art, an
attempt to plumb the fundamental mysteries of life as he sees
it, and to plumb his connections with all the other sources of
power in his life. I believe you will see it in his paintings even
more powerfully than in his words, and if like him, you are
Kayiga, a hunter, you may track down some of these elements
as you explore his work.
Christopher Gonzales is also thirty, and like Kofi, is a
graduate of the Jamaica School of Art. Like him, Christopher
will be joining the staff of the School this year. He also is
interested in tracking down his roots and identifying his sourc-
es of power. In his view, the industrialisation of the modem
world has shattered the unity between many aspects of the
society and the individual and he is striving like many others
to find ways to connect himself with the other, organic, more
ancient tradition. Gonzales works in several media, in wood
and stone, concrete, plaster and plastic, in paint and in ink.
Unfortunately most of his recent sculpture is not here on show,
simply because it is too heavy and too expensive to bring to
Jamaica on spec. Christopher's postgraduate thesis presented
to the California College of Arts and Crafts expresses some of
the ways in which he has lately been developing.
He speaks for himself: "I became less inhibited toward the
integration of animal forms and tree forms with the human
figure. My old ideals were disappearing like the changing of a
lizard's skin. I accepted the attitude of using whatever is
necessary to increase strength and composition in my work."
Gonzi is also a mystic explorer. He says, "My whole being
dances iith the passion of the spirits .... some things come
unconsciously right .... These I never touch, fearing I'll never
see them again. In the whole creative process every part of me
is in action and I do not separate the different parts of my
whole personality. The artist I think, ultimately depends on
his inner spirit to give the work its life and meaning ......"
Gonzales' sculpture also conveys the tribulations of what
he calls, "the whole black nation. The shattering of beliefs,
the death both physical and spiritual, the awakening of the
sun spirit, the black spirits. ....."
He believes that it would be wasteful to ignore the roots
of our culture and become immersed in what is alien ...
Christopher Gonzales is back in Jamaica and with Kofi
Kayiga we have two artists here of a commitment and of a
standard of craftsmanship which reassures me at least, that
when the old masters are no longer with us and even before
that, there will be powerful voices here to express our Jamaica,
a new Jamaica, unafraid, confident, and above all beautifully
TREE OF LIFE
B ~I i i ,,Ff1 1 I 1, 1