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UWI's 40th ANNIVERSARY: THE ST. LUCIA LECTURES
1 Guest Editorial
Mlarilyn Flo issua
4 The Caribbean: The Cultural Imperative
16 Federations: Then and Now
25 St. Lucia in the Economic Hlistory of the Windward Islands: The 19th Century
35 The Right to Choose: Some Lessons of Independence in the field of External
A lister McIntyre
43 Vivat. Floreat, Crescat
Slhridath S. Ramphal
50 BOOK REVIEWS
S.'Nocs mn Contributors
)8 Instructions to Authors
VOL. 35. No. 3
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES
The Hon. R.M. Nettleford, O.M., Professor Extra-Mural Studies (Editor)
Everton Pryce, Department of Extra-Mural Studies (Associate Editor)
G.M. Richards, Pro Vice-Chancellor, St. Augustine, Trinidad
Roy Augier, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mona, Jamaica
Keith Hunte, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Cave Hill. Barbados
Lloyd Coke, Department of Botany, Mona
Neville McNorris, Department of Physics, Mona
All correspondence and contributions should be addressed to:
Department of Extra-Mural Studies.
University of the West Indies.
Mona. Kingston 7. Jamaica.
We invite readers to submit manuscripts or recommend subjects which they would
like to see discussed in Caribbean Quarterly. Articles and book reviews of relevance to the
Caribbean will be gratefully received. Authors should refer to the guidelines at the end of
this issue. Articles submitted are not returned. Contributors are asked not to send inter-
national postal coupons for this purpose.
Eastern Caribbean JS'0.00
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U.S.A.. Canada and other countries USS22.00
Exchanges are conducted by the Gifts and Exchanges Section, Library, University
of the West Indies. Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
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Subscription orders may be forwarded to the Editor or the Resident Tutor at the
University Centre in any West Indian Territory served by this University.
"Life begins at Forty" is how Sir Philip Sherlock introduces a chapter in the forthcoming
book on the history of the University of the West Indies which he helped to found,
establish and nurture between 1948 and 1970 when he retired as Vice-Chancellor. The
celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the institution's founding is also time for chal-
lenge. Its role as an institution of growth and an instrument of Commonwealth Caribbean
development out of colonialism into Independence continues as its greatest challenge.
The St. Lucia Lectures which follow speak to this challenge and the guest editor Marilyn
Floissac, who originally conceived and organised the lectures, saw them as a valuable
contribution to the efforts by the University to help shape a Caribbean social order that
will be worth inhabiting by humankind. This, as I have said elsewhere, may well consti-
tute the substance of the task for the next forty years which will have taken a full genera-
tion of West Indians into the Third Millenium.
The academic year 1988/1989 marked the 40th Anniversary of the University of the
West Indies (UWI), and for the occasion campus and non-campus territories were expected
to organise and implement programmes of observance.
For its part, St. Lucia through its Resident Tutor of the Extra-Mural Studies
Department established a 40th Anniversary Observance Committee aimed at designing
and executing a programme of activities for the occasion.
As sheer coincidence, 1989 also marked the 10th Anniversary of St. Lucia's Inde-
pendence. So when the government of St. Lucia formally requested of the island's Extra-
Mural Studies Department that it participate in the planned Independence Celebrations,
the Department's Anniversary Observance Committee decided to organise a series of five
public lectures as one of the activities to commemorate both occasions. The lecture
series ran from January 7 to February 15, 1989.
Four of the lectures are here reproduced in this issue of Caribbean Quarterly,
and a synopsis of these begins with the inaugural lecture delivered by Rex Nettleford,
the UWI's Professor of Extra-Mural Studies,entitled "The Caribbean: The Cultural Impe-
Professor Nettleford emphasises the need for urgency in the region defining and
laying claim to its cultural identity and, in so doing, driving the governments of the
Commonwealth Caribbean to relate fully to that identity in determining their national
policies. He acknowledges that the people of the region, in their struggle to formulate
their 'Caribbeanness', have given full expression to their grief and frustrations, their
hopes and aspirations through artistic expressions in drama, music, dance, art, religion
and language. In the Caribbean, artists abound a-plenty, says Nettleford, and many of
them having made their mark on the international scene have elevated Caribbean culture
to the level of world consciousness.
But there is still work to be done, Nettleford reminds us. There is still, for example,
the need for us to be fully enough integrated to think of ourselves as one people, the pro-
duct of the 'cross-fertilisation' of many cultures. In our growing tourism-centred economies,
says Nettleford, there is a marked need to market ourselves as being Caribbean and proud
to be so defined, rather than to identify our culture as an echo of elsewhere.
The second lecture was delivered by Fitzroy Augier, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the
UWI, who spoke on "Federations: Then and Now". This topic was chosen by Dr. Augier
because of its relevance to the more recent proposal for political unity among OECS
countries.* He reviews past attempts at state formations and federations in order to
draw important lessons for the present.
*Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
Augier contends that unity is difficult when the populations concerned exhibit
a pronounced ethnic plurality. In the context of the Caribbean, Augier argues, efforts
at unification from the era of Charles I to the 1958/1962 Federation were frustrated
because of conflicts of interests either between the member-islands of the region or
between the groups within the island-populations. Hence, although attempts at state
formulation are fuelled by the obvious necessity to unite in order to meet "common
needs", the Caribbean nevertheless lacks the ability to surmount its insular prejudices
to form a lasting unity.
With reference to the proposal for OECS unity, Augier does not recommend a
referendum since the two factors to be considered in this instance the costs and the
benefits cannot receive the thorough examination they merit from the layman. They
require, he contends, skills that primarily the economists possess. In any event, timing
and education are important considerations in the process.
"St. Lucia in the Economic History of the Windward Islands: The 19th Century
Experience" was the substance of Professor Woodville Marshall's lecture. In it he out-
lines the slow development of St. Lucia's agricultural economy at the turn of the 19th
century when the other Windward Islands were more agriculturally advanced, carefully
noting that St. Lucia at the time ranked at the bottom of the pile, on par with Dominica.
Even taking the plantation and peasant economies of St. Lucia into account, suggests
Marshall, St. Lucia lacked the diversity of peasant agriculture (unlike Grenada) which
would permit it to prosper in terms of local food consumption and inter-regional trade
even when the world market for sugar collapsed.
Marshall attributes the peculiarities in the St. Lucian economy to the rivalry for
possession of St. Lucia by the colonial powers of England and France followed by the
slave revolt after emancipation.
The final contribution to the lecture series by Alister McIntyre, the UWI's Vice-
Chancellor, turned on the issue of the choices facing the independent countries of the
Commonwealth Caribbean in the management of their internal and external affairs.
In his lecture, "The Right to Choose: Some Lessons of Independence in the field
of External Economic Relationships". McIntyre sets out the issue of choice between im-
port substitution and external development, external trade and finance. With characteristic
analytical incisiveness, the author contends that both import substitution and external
development are important and should be given equal weighting on the economic agenda
of the Commonwealth Caribbean. Import substitution requires prudent protectionist
measures coupled with public accountability since the need for 'sustained competitive-
ness' in the export market for locally produced goods and services is a critical factor in
the economic survival of the region.
Turning to the second issue addressed in his lecture, McIntyre reminds us that
as we move towards becoming middle-income countries in the Commonwealth Carib-
bean, there is a corresponding dwindling in the financial sources for development. In
situations such as this one, Caribbean countries will increasingly be forced to look
elsewhere for sources of finance and the options facing the region at present are com-
mercial borrowing or foreign direct investment. The former option is, however, not
feasible for small independent states, says McIntyre. and would only make sense if the
OECS countries enjoyed unitary statehood. Consequently, he sees foreign direct invest-
ment in the form of equity and quasi-equity financing for export production as the more
realistic option, and suggests that governments should initiate this venture supported
by the local private sector.
This issue of Caribbean Quarterly also carries the Convocation Address by Shridath
S. Ramphal. Commonwealth Secretary-General, delivered at the 40th Anniversary Con-
vocation of the University of the West Indies, Kingston. Jamaica, on May 6. 1989. Entitled
"VIVAT, FLOREAT, CRESCAT: Live, Flourish, Grow". Ramphal's address outlines
the challenges facing the UWI as it approaches the 21st Century, noting with relevance
that the challenges are "shared with all universities". Despite this observation, however,
he nevertheless sees a special role for the UWI in the years ahead,noting that it is well
"equipped for the encounter not only in terms of the strengths the University will
bring" to the future, but also in terms of "the strengths the people and Governments of
the region will bring to the University".
In publishing all but one of the lectures delivered during the UWI's 40th Anniver-
sary St. Lucia Lecture series and the Convocation Address by Shridath S. Ramphal,
Caribbean Quarterly is highlighting the continued relevance and vibrancy of the intellec-
tual pulse of the UWI to and for the agenda of concerns of the Commonwealth Caribbean
in face of end-of-century realities. For the lectures and the Convocation Address reflect
a fitting tribute to a regional institution of higher and continuing education that can
claim genuine pedigree as a Caribbean creation. Publishing them can but enrich its reputa-
University Centre, The Morne,
Castries, St. Lucia.
THE CARIBBEAN: THE CULTURAL IMPERATIVE
"Music, literature and art are as important a part of
the heritage of mankind as are science and morals.
They differ from science in that they do not repre-
sent what is, but are products of the creative imagina-
tion. They have, therefore, infinite scope for variation.
And yet they tend to be distinctively national in cha-
racter . This is the essential and most valuable sense
in which West Indians must be different to other
The above comes from neither a painter, musician, novelist nor a choreographer. It
comes, instead, from an economist from Sir Arthur Lewis, the St. Lucian-born Nobel
Laureate and the first native West Indian Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West
Indies which has nurtured tens of thousands of West Indians who still have their life and
being in that part of the region now known as the Commonwealth Caribbean.
A visit to an island like Sir Arthur's native St. Lucia immediately reminds one of
the sources of energy indigenous to the Caribbean and powerful enough to produce, for
the region and beyond, priceless yields from the creative imagination and creative intel-
lect of West Indians carrying such names as Walcott, Lewis, St. Omer, Augier and Beau-
brun who have bequeathed a great legacy for the likes of Monsignor Patrick Anthony,
John Robert Lee, Joyce Auguste, Joseph Eudovic, Kendal Hypolyte and many others
who shall follow in their wake.2
They have their counterparts in almost every single territory of the Commonwealth
Caribbean, from the Bahamas to Guyana. From the Bahamas have come people like
Clement Bethel, musician and ethnomusicologist, as well as Cleophas Adderley,composer-
cum-lawyer. Guyana has produced such guiding spirits as Wilson Harris and Edgar Mittel-
holzer (writers), Aubrey Adams (painter), Martin Carter and A.J. Seymour (poets) and
the renowned Elsa Goveia (historian and the first Professor of West Indian History in the
University of the West Indies). Grenada has given the region an intellect like Alister
McIntyre (economist and Vice-Chancellor of the restructured University of the West
Indies),a poet like Merle Collins and Paul Keens-Douglas, the story-teller. Antigua has its
Jamaica Kincaid (novelist) and Dominica its Alwyn Bully (playwright and theatre-artist).
Barbados is known for its Karl Broodhagen (sculptor), George Lamming (writer) and
Edward Kamau Brathwaite (poet, historian and literary critic). Trinidad with its gallery of
great calypsonians of the ilk of the Mighty Sparrow, Lord Kitchener and Lord Beginner,
trailed by the great steel-band players inside and outside the Gay Desperados, has also
produced Caribbean dance pioneer Beryl McBurnie and her Little Carib, Vidia Naipaul
and Samuel Selvon (writers), Eric Williams (historian), Lloyd Braithwaite (the first West
Indian sociologist), and the great man of letters and political thinker, C.L.R. James.
Jamaica has its well-documented array of iconic reggae superstars like Bob Marley,
Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff along with M.G. Smith (anthropologist). Philip Sherlock
(historian and man of letters), Edna Manley (sculptor),Mallica "Kapo" Reynolds (intui-
tive artist), Albert Huie, Barrington and Osmond Watson, Christopher Gonzales, Karl
Parboosingh, David Boxer, et al (painters), Trevor Rhone (playwright), Louise Bennett,
Mutabaruka and Lorna Goodison (poets), Claude McKay, John Hearne and Vic Reid
(writers), Olive Lewin and Noel Dexter (choral theatre musicians), as well as the Little
Threatre Movement's pantomime and the National Dance Threatre Company which are
regarded as models of Caribbean musical and dance theatre, respectively. The foregoing
lists are by no means exhaustive.
All of them, however, continue together and separately to challenge our political
leaders, economic planners, educators (from primary to tertiary level) in the end, the
entire society to give to their vision and the work they do the centrality due them in
this pressing matter of Caribbean development.
In fairness to our political directorates and their supporting bureaucracies all over
the region, there has been positive response moreso in some places than in others. St.
Lucia along with Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados can be said to have each a cultural deve-
lopment policy designed to make sense in the overall development strategy-design of each
nation. In none of these countries can full integration be said to have been achieved, how-
ever: and so the need remains to advocate the rooting of our development initiatives in
the cultural realities of the region as a whole and, more specifically, of individual terri-
Where there is consensus, moreover, one needs to be vigilant, so that use does not
deteriorate into abuse or that a genuine intention to affirm does not result in vulgarisa-
tion and debasement. The policy-option that comes quickest to mind is what is known
in several parts of the region as "cultural tourism". This has brought us into admittedly
highly profitable, but no less uneasy, contact with the North Atlantic and threatens in its
own way our liberation from the metropole, which liberation we celebrate annually (up
to a count of ten, in the case of St. Lucia in 1989).
All over the region we have been forced never to forget that for as long as one can
remember the Caribbean (Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanic or Dutch) has had a
special kind of glamour for folksy exoticist tastes. Note how I here describe the region -
that is, in terms of the impact of its former conquerors; and our Tourist Boards have not
scrupled to market us accordingly. The Bahamas, Barbados and Antigua market their
British heritage with a certain solemnity of purpose and Curacao and the rest of the
Netherlands Antilles, their Dutch. Even an Afro-Saxon Jamaica turns to the ill-advised
notion of Discovery (by Columbus, that is) to exploit a few ruins at New Seville to
attract tourists to its albeit vestigial Hispanic heritage, and the Winter (sic) 1988/89
in-flight magazine (BWIA Sunjet) on every BWIA aircraft carries an article sales-pitching
the "French connection" of St. Lucia which the writer says will proudly "participate in
the bi-centenary celebrations of the 1789 French Revolution" even while marking the
10th anniversary of "its independence from Britain . "3 At best this speaks to our
cultural pluralist texture of which we are, indeed, proud. At worst it reinforces the lack
of confidence in what we ourselves have created for ourselves and panders to the percep-
tion of a glamorous paradise packaged, indeed, for said folksy exoticist tastes.
Buzz words crop up a-plenty in response to the manifest demands for such titilla-
tion paradise, rum, sun, sand, sea, marijuana. In earlier times, before Cuba dared to
take a hold of its turf and on its own terms, casino gambling and prostitution were high
on the list as well. In 1988 the word "posse" was added and with it "violence", of the
wild-west, reckless, quick-off-the-hip variety. At least that is what the United Stales
media told American readers and viewers.4 Many law-abiding Jamericans (those Jamai-
cans who live and have their documented or undocumented being in the United States)
would quickly regard the "posse" as an American import into an erstwhile and naturally
peace-loving non-violent isle.
The claim is an exaggerated one since primitive innocence has long departed Jamai-
ca's textured shores, and those of all sister Caribbean islands, for that matter. But it reflects
the deep concerns in the entire Commonwealth Caribbean about the "cultural penetra-
tion" by the United States of America in its hegemonic bid to establish geopolitical con-
trol over what President Ronald Reagan dubbed "the Caribbean Basin" and, more per-
versely, "America's Backyard".5
Jamaicans have hit back by labelling Florida, to which thousands of them have
migrated, "Kingston 21". But the fact remains that the pressure of American cultural
bombardment is felt by the proud 2.2 million souls inhabiting that limestone rock as it is
felt by the other 4 or so million people in sister territories that go to form the Caribbean
Community (CARICOM). The concern for this new development must be seen against
the background of a certain consciousness of the region's unique place in the history-
making encounters on foreign soil over half a millennium between the old civilisations of
Europe and the old civilisations of West Africa with later infiltrations from India, China
and the Levantine Coast.
The region shares, then, in the great "American" drama whereby new societies are
shaped, new and delicately tuned sensibilities are honed, and appropriate designs for
social living are crafted through the cross-fertilisation of disparate elements. The process
has resulted in a distinguishable and distinctive entity called "Caribbean".
This capacity to shape, innovate, and create such unique designs for social living
should be acknowledged, recognized and given the respect and significance it deserves.
That it is not has been of deep concern not only to the region's creative artists but also
to its political leaders and their cohorts of nation-builders and social reformers ever since
the modern self-government movement sought ideal, form and purpose for a new Carib-
bean emerging out of plantation slavery and colonialism. Spain, Britain, France, Holland
(The Netherlands) held sway as colonisers for over 450 years in the region. The early
independence of Haiti from Gallic over-lordship deterred not one bit the continuing
imperialism of others throughout the region. And when the United States was strong
enough to help "liberate" some places (e.g. Cuba, Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico), she
helped herself to some of the transferred power by overstaying her welcome as liberator
and becoming what many regard as the new "imperial master".6
The Commonwealth Caribbean (comprising former British colonies) is the most
recent to be "liberated". The society has been wrought in struggle and resistance against
dehumanisation. What scholars have come to refer to as "cultural resistance" has been a
prime weapon in that struggle. The dynamic exercise of the creative imagination and
intellect has been a major modality of survival among the mass of the population (first
the African slaves and later their descendants, variously described as "sufferers" and "the
masses"). The United States may well benefit from understanding this.
Forged in the crucible of this existence have been cultural forms which are distinc-
tively Caribbean. These continue to inform contemporary life and to account for much of
the vitality and endurance of the region's people despite their "Third World" economic
conditions. Those conditions threaten, lest we forget, perpetual debt-drenched depen-
dency on a rich developed world, chronic contradictions of underdevelopment (of oligar-
chic plenty jostling mass poverty), and continuing marginalisation of the majority in their
quest for access to resources (admittedly limited) and to the centres of decision-making
which elude them despite the claim to flag. anthem, and the status of Independence.
Compensation comes largely in the mastery they often display themselves to have
over their destiny in the cultural universe. This universe they have carved out for them-
selves over time in much the way that the Irish with their Abbey Theatre or the Ameri-
cans with their musical-theatre, their Hollywood and their jazz, have done for themselves.
The English Book of Common Prayer written in the native tongue in defiance of the
imperial Latin. then the language of formal discourse, served similar functions for the
English before they themselves expanded elsewhere to impose on others the sort of cul-
tural imperatives that had "oppressed" them at home and from outside.
The entire Caribbean is rich in creole tongues as Europe once was in assertion of
self, if not in resistance to Imperial Rome. Likewise, St. Lucia has its own lanugage -
patois. It is the source of energy for much of what Derek Walcott himself writes despite
the seeming purity of a Standard English lexicon. Where he employs the lexicon, and all
else, of patois in his dramatic works life is made to follow art as much as the other way
round, whether it is "Sea At Dauphin". "Malcouchon" or "Ti Jean".7 How much is the
planner challenged by this still powerful tongue among the mass of the population in
communicating the meaning of the development process which is supposed to be in place
for "the people's" benefit?
I ask the same of the politician who may be able to speak the nation-language with
lexical dexterity: but does that politician understand the structure and inner workings of
this Caribbean tongue to make the transpositions or the transliterations effectively? One
need not ask the same of the local entrepreneur. especially the trader, for he must know
the people if he is to get to know their money. How is the foreign investor, coming in to
operate in an industrial relations system, prepared to cope? Or has St. Lucia made the
same mistakes Jamaica has made in not preparing foreign managers for the culture shock
they experience with workers in the 807 Free Zone programme workers who speak a
different language, literally and figuratively?8
For Jamaicans also have a language, by no means a "corruption of English", as
Jamaica Talk has been described by those who are yet to understand the power of this
oral creole tongue which most Jamaicans speak most of the time. Moreover, this native
tongue energizes a budding literature giving to the region and the world an artist like
Louise Bennett, a foremost poet of utterance, and earth mother to a younger generation
of Jamaican "dub poets" like Mutabaruka, the late Mikey Smith, Oka Onouro and
Canadian-resident Lillian Allen. A Cambridge Dictionary of Jamaica English celebrates
the reality of the phenomenon; and the richness of the creole linguistic universe through-
out the region tempts literary artists, critics and scholars to original work of the highest
This is as true of the much acclaimed Derek Walcott, or the remarkable Edward
Brathwaite and of such deans of Caribbean writings as George Lamming, Vic Reid,
Samuel Selvon and Vidia Naipaul as it is of Paul Keens-Douglas, the engaging story teller
of Tim-Tim Tales. The hope for development of Caribbean lexicography sharpens the
vision of Dr. Richard Allsop and his lexicography project at the Cave Hill campus of the
University of the West Indies while Frederick Cassidy, the renowned Jamaican lexico-
grapher, has been inherited by the United States for that country's gigantic task of docu-
menting the regional dialects of the USA.9
Meanwhile, a number of his compatriot Jamaicans have become increasingly availa-
ble as literary artists in Standard English, following Claude McKay (of Harlem Renais-
sance fame) into worldwide recognition. Two contemporary women writers, Lorna
Goodison, the poet, and Olive Senior, the novelist and literary editor, come quickly to
mind. In the Southern Caribbean, Curacao has invented papiamento, transforming an oral
tongue into a scribal linguistic form while patwah (or patois) eases the means of com-
munication between Haitians, Martinicans, and Trinidadians. A form of 'Caribbean
English' among the region's educated is also claimed.
The people of the Caribbean have also created religious expressions appropriate to
and reflecting their needs, in the defiant determination to find their own God(s), and in
their image. The syncretised expressions in old-time Jamaican pukkumina (pocomania)
and zion revivalism find a challenging and contemporary sequel in Rastafari, the Creed
that responds in the most compelling of ways to Western civilisation's Judaic-Christian
insistence on Black inferiority and the continuing denigration of things African. The
Rastafarian belief in the divinity of Haile Selassie, and indeed in the divinity of all man-
kind, has fanned out into a humanistic philosophy of the brotherhood of man perceived
through the eyes and experience of diasporic Africans.' 0 Jamaica's population is 96 per
cent of African ancestry though a great many among them see the need for a non-racial
world rooted in the dignity of men. Its much challenged motto is "Out of Many One
People" an aspiration that is yet to be a fact. It is the hope of the Rastafarians, as it
is of the wider society, that promise will in time yield to fulfilment.
But a sense of place continues to be guaranteed by commitment to the native reli-
gion. Similar expressions have long emerged throughout the region. Shango in its syncre-
tised Yoruba-Christian form persists among the marginalised Blacks in Trinidad as do its
cousins santeria of Cuba and candomble of Brazil. The vodun of Haiti remains the great-
est example of the process, involving the uprooted mass in search of self and society,while
revivalism in its myriad forms (Native Baptists, Shouters, Jordanites, Holy Rollers, Zion-
ists, and latter-day evangelicals) abound throughout the Caribbean.
One is conscious of the fact that an island like St. Lucia has escaped what some
orthodox Christians would probably regard as conspiracies with Satan and this despite
the presence, in more recent times, of Rastafari imported from a 'sinful' Jamaica. But a
closer look at the dominant Roman Catholic Church in St. Lucia will reveal inspired
accommodations over time with the mass of the population in myriad ways from the
creole tongue in the liturgy to the adaptation and manipulation of certain symbols such
as are to be found in the use of the murals drawing on traditional life by Dunstan St.
Omer, the artist.''
In the meantime, Obeah persists with a vengeance as it does elsewhere in the region
including Guyana, where it is legal.
The recency of East Indian migration through 19th century indentureship challen-
ges the dominance of such expressions in places like Trinidad and Guyana where the East
Indian populations are estimated at 40 and 53 per cent respectively. But the process
presumably is apace. Caribbean Hinduism or Mohammedanism may well take on distinct-
ly regional creole forms and orientations a hundred years from now.
Meanwhile, Western Christian orthodoxy abounds, albeit in latter-day underground
adaptations. Yet it is the genuine native-born expressions that give clues to the deeper
social forces operative in the region. The pluralist persuasion extends, as well, to a variety
of kinship and family patterns.
The love for children and the care for them are reflected in the tolerance which
diverse kinship patterns enjoy in the region. People do matter, giving the lie to the wide-
spread US press reports in early 1988 that the Jamaicans place little or no value on
human life. This metropolitan reading of the alleged murders by the drug-dealing Jamai-
can "posses" is not borne out by the cultural experience back in the islands.
Mothers continue to "father" children admittedly, but without the seeming psycho-
logical traumas that attend one-parent ensembles in the so-called developed world. Matri-
archy, extended family patterns, as well as the nuclear family-type, are cultural realities in
most parts of the insular Caribbean and most certainly in a place like Jamaica which sets
great value on human life as a matter of course despite, or because of, the sturdy indivi-
dualism of peasants, ghetto-bred and the wide-ranging urban middle strata alike.
The implications all this has for development in the Caribbean is already acknow-
ledged in the passage of Status of Children Acts all over the region, starting with Jamaica
in 1976,12 thus releasing thousands, rather millions, from the stigma of second-class status
on grounds of bastardy and setting the stage for increased self-confidence in adulthood. It
is not folly to speculate that this may work wonders in helping to release the creative po-
tential of a work force called upon to produce for growth and development in the future.
There has also been new and welcome thinking, in some parts of the region, on
maternity leave and fair employment practice which puts an end to gender discrimina-
tion perpetrated by male policy-determiners, who cannot have babies, against unwed
mothers for having sinned in the eyes of God. An understanding of such cultural realities
is part of the challenge facing the Caribbean to design their future on their own terms.
But probably the most obvious cultural attribute of the people of the Caribbean is
in the area of artistic manifestations. The region has more artists per square inch than is
probably good for it. But this merely speaks to that need for survival with dignity where
the creative imagination offers a particular kind of freedom of expression and self-fulfil-
ment on a personal as well as a collective (national?) level. The contribution of Jamaican
reggae to the world of popular music is the most dramatic of all since the mid-1970s.
Reggae superstars Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff were to become household
names among the young all over the globe.13 Back in their native Jamaica, they (and
others) are "prophets" among the dispossessed but long-suffering masses wailing out their
anguish in the face of economic and social oppression while invoking hope for survival
and beyond through the act of creating.
Jamaican reggae had the pace set long before by Trinidad calypso with its great
icons known worldwide as Lord Beginner. Lord Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow,
designations that are clear detonations of unequivocal assertions of status and self-
regard.14 Behind the assumptions of status and aristocracy is the undoubted creative
energy of talented individuals thrown up by a region in dire search of itself and deter-
mined to find it via the imagination and the intellect.
But before calypso there was the Cuban son followed by the mambo rising out of
the Afro-Caribbean landscapes of rituals, ceremony and celebrations through oral poetry,
music and dance.' 5 The wider world of music (and of dance) could not escape the impact
and energy of the region's outpourings. The Caribbean diaspora in the metropole diffused
and protected it even while Hollywood bastardised it.
The nation-builders the politicians rather than the elitist planning bureaucrats -
have been wise to pay such native "outpourings" from the Caribbean people the attention
they have since received in response to the signals from the mass of the population who
have always had something to say about their own destiny. Such response has come easily
not only in Jamaica where an enlightened and sensitive nationalist movement embraced
from early the indigenous artistic initiatives by incorporating them into the fight for self-
government (later Independence) and establishing institutional frameworks to facilitate
activities in the arts initiated largely by voluntary effort.' 6
Today the Commonwealth Caribbean, the latest to come to Independence following
Haiti, Cuba, and Santo Domingo, boasts public libraries, a University of the West Indies
with campuses and outreach programmes accessible throughout, schools of training in the
arts, national dance companies and drama groups, choral and musical theatre traditions,
traditional festivals incorporated into national cultural development programmes, creative
arts interfacing with education and the popular Festival art called Carnival which has
spread from Trinidad to other territories of the Eastern Caribbean, while ancestral jon-
konnu, and moreso its variants in the former Leeward Islands and the Northern Caribbean,
find new life through conscious incorporation into formal musical theatre as in Jamaica,
as part of heritage tourism as in the Bahamas and Bermuda.
The same can be said of the St. Lucian festivals of La Rose and La Margarete, the
inspirationn for theatre artists and painters. And the force and intensity of the aesthetics
and deeper meaning of Caribbean Festival arts have received acknowledgement in the late
1988 mounting of an exhibition of such arts covering jonkonnu (and Masquerade), Carni-
val (of Trinidad and the Caribbean diaspora in the metropole) and Hosay the Islamic-
derived festival brought to Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica by the indentured East Indians
in the 19th Century.1
Modern technology is yet to be totally appropriated in Caribbean terms. In Trini-
dad, Banyan Production Limited has produced highly creditable work under the guidance
of a team of culturally conscious Trinidadians. They present a weekly half-hour television
show entitled "Gayelle" (the traditional arena for the cockfight now made to mean
where the action is). It has a strong cultural base with wide-ranging perceptions of the
Trinidad population. Back in Jamaica a local sitcom "Oliver at Large" polled in 1988
highest popular votes over such established United States warhorses as "Dynasty", "Dal-
las" and the "Cosby Show" which are standard fare on Jamaican television as they are in
other parts of the region. Though no one could pretend that "Oliver . ." surpassed its
contenders in scripting or slickness of production, the popularity of this Jamaican offer-
ing reflected local faith in, or yearnings for, "things Jamaican" and suggested the possi-
bility of one kind of antidote for the "dallasisation" of consciousness which is considered
a major Third World affliction resulting from US cultural penetration ranging tactlessly
from Burger King and Kentucky Fried to Jimmy Swaggart (before his Fall) and the Oral
None of this assertion of cultural certitude by the region has meant chauvinistic
conformity or social realism. Freedom of expression is taken very seriously in the arts as
in politics. Critics can be as defiantly Eurocentric in this or that Caribbean country as
artists can be resolutely assertive in the search for their own Caribbean "voices". The
magisterial Daily Gleaner of Jamaica is happy to promote (or is it provoke?) the public
controversies that inevitably ensue.' 8
Successive Administrations in Jamaica, now followed by some sister territories in
the Commonwealth Caribbean. encourage artistic endeavours and attempt to integrate
cultural policies into their development strategies. Michael Manley, the PNP prime minis-
ter from 1972 to 1980 extended what he had inherited from his parents. the national
hero Norman Manley, apostle of Jamaican self-government and Edna, his sculptress wife
generally regarded as the "founder of the modern art movement in Jamaica". Edward
Seaga, who heads the present JLP government, is a social anthropologist by training. He
has up-dated the traditions through the use of the electronic media (with reggae and a
modest recording industry) and the promotion of cultural tourism (underwater archaeo-
logy at Port Royal and the restoration of old Seville where Columbus, one of Jamaica's
first "tourists", reportedly first landed).
Dr. Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago's founding father, understood and exploited
the importance of the cultural imperative to national development as did his Guyanese
counterpart Forbes Burnham who revived regional interest in Caribbean festivals through
CARIFESTAs. And Errol Barrow, Barbados' founding father, railed against US cultural
penetration and sought to correct that through artistic cultural development at home,
before his sudden death in 1987.
Trinidad's pre-lenten Carnival has had governmental blessing (and controversies)
through the very active Carnival Development Committee. The Barbadian Crop-Over
festival of recent vintage is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture in Bridgetown.
Trinidad and St. Lucia have appointed Directors of Culture. And so has CARICOM which
has a "Culture Desk". Grenada, Antigua, Dominica are all in pursuit of formulae for a
national "cultural policy", and talk of cultural tourism is everywhere in the region. This
invariably turns on by no means unjustified claims to uniqueness of heritage and cultural
The Anglo-Saxon Caribbean has in effect followed the Latin (Hispanic and French)
segments of the region in placing greater emphasis on the cultural imperative in Caribbean
life. Reconnexions with Africa or, more accurately, invocations of ancestral African con-
tinuities as source of energy for contemporary living, merely serve to articulate the cen-
trality of the experience of Africa-in-the-Americas to the Caribbean ethos and the region's
cultural formation over time. It stands to reason that the East Indian populations who
came centuries after the Africans did, should wish to reconnect with Mother India through
cultural exchanges and the establishment of active Indian Cultural Centres, especially in
Guyana and Trinidad. The importance of "roots" to the uprooted is indeed a strong
"American" impulse in these uncertain times and climes, up and down Plantation America.
But what is important is the Caribbean product from the process of cross-fertilisa-
tion over time since it is this that will cut across old imperial boundaries which still
attempt to hyphenate the region into Anglo-This, Franco-That or Hispanic-t'other,etc. It
is the Caribbean product that will finally de-emphasise ethnocentric indulgences which
still harbour racial disharmony and intolerance reflected in political and economic rela-
tions not only in Guyana and Trinidad where ethnic differences are clear-cut enough but
also in Jamaica and Barbados which have no just reason to be satisfied with their much
bruited multi-racial (or rather, bi-racial) bliss." The ideal is to be able to find definitions
of the region largely in terms of its inner logic and cultural consistencies.
The notion that as microcosm of a Third World largely peopled by Africans and
Asians the Caribbean should find such self-definition out of a conscious promotion of
intercultural harmony between its old African populations (including the mulatto variants
of historic significance) and its newer Asians (East Indians and Chinese in the Common-
wealth Caribbean plus Japanese in Suriname), will no doubt find much appeal among
many. Underlying all this, in truth, is the factor of cross-fertilisation as the dynamic of
Caribbean existence forged out of the sustained organic in-depth interaction between dis-
parate elements and the Indians and Chinese will undoubtedly be accommodated in
increasing intensity in the process which was set in motion by the uprooted enslaved
African severed and deposited in the Americas. The process is still apace. The "accommo-
dation" must therefore be in Caribbean terms for these "newer elements" no less than it
has been been for the "older elements" who came originally from West Africa and
Western Europe. Trinidad Carnival, as a result, is neither African nor European. It is
Trinidadian/Caribbean and celebrates its uniqueness as such!
Perhaps this on-going dynamism is one good reason why the insistence on free ex-
pression in tile pursuit of cultural goods remains very strong among the Commonwealth
Caribbean "folk" in their determination to exist beyond the level of mere survival, just
as they would wish to progress beyond subsistence farming and city-hustling. And the
characteristic rejection of governmental censorship and resistance to edicts from political
directorates or bureaucratic functionaries is part of the dynamics of public life in those
countries of the region that still place great emphasis on certain forms of democratic
electoral competitive politics.
Behind all this seeming political good sense is the undisputed reality of a society
that has demonstrated,over a period of nearly 500 years, tremendous resources of crea-
tive energy. Such is the energy that has produced particular ontologies and world-views
that inform the Caribbean sense and sensibility, music peculiarly its very own, religious
rituals forged in the crucible of longings for human certitude, dance-forms celebrating the
empowerment of will and spirit of anyone who finds control over his/her own physical
structure the body and highly expressive creole languages that guarantee organic
communication for everyday living and enrich the region's budding literatures. Such is
the energy that has also fuelled the vitality of mind and spirit which many believe remains
critical to the region's future development as it has been to its survival in the past.
"A society without the creative arts is a cultural desert," said Sir Arthur in that
thoughtful essay on Caribbean yearning for uniqueness. "I would commend to our states-
men," he concluded, "that they put a lot more money into the creative arts departments
of our secondary schools."20
I would add. "and into our primary and tertiary institutions, as well", including the
Sir Arthur Lewis Community College now established in Castries and which is meant to
bring new hope to St. Lucia and the region from its perch on the Morne.2
1. Arthur Lewis: "Striving to be West Indian", West Indian Law Journal. Vol. 1. No. 6 (Council
ol Legal Education. UWI. Mona. Jamaica).
2. St. Lucia with a population of 140,000 has produced for the region an impressive list of crea-
tive artists and scholars. Among them are the brothers Arthur and Allen Lewis both knighted for
contribution in Economics and Law respectively, Vaughan Lewis (nephew of Sir Arthur, son of
Sir Allen and the first Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States), the
brothers Derek and Roderick Walcott (poet, playwright and painter in the case of the former
and playwright and director in the case of the latter), cousins Dunstan St. Omer (painter and
muralist) and Garth St. Omer (novelist), Roy Augicr (historian and UWI senior academician) and
Michael Beaubrun (first Professor of Psychiatry in the University of the West Indies). Father
Patrick Anthony (a Roman Catholic Monsignor) is the moving spirit behind and founder of the
dynamic St. Lucia Folk Research Centre. John Robert Lee is a published poet, Joyce Auguste
is a folklorist and pioneer musicologist. Joseph Eudovic is a sculptor and Kendal Hypolite is a
playwright. They all currently live and work in St. Lucia.
3. See BWIA Sunjet, Winter 1988/89 p. 34. Air Jamaica's counterpart in-flight magazine Skywrit-
ings carries similar promotional material from time to time "selling" Jamaica in terms of its
extra-Caribbean "heritage" (q.v.)
4. See "Five Slayings Believed Linked to Drug Trade", Washington Post, January 24, 1988, p. 1;
"Police Identify Two of Five Killed in Landover", Washington Post, January 25. 1988 p. 1;
"Area Jamaicans Struggle Against Drug-Crime Image (Stereotypes Accompany Escalating Vio-
lence)", Washington Post, January 29. 1988, also "Two of Five Killed in Landover Identified",
Washington Times, January 25. 1988. p. Bl.
5. The development assistance strategy devised in 1983 by the Ronald Reagan Administration in
Washington to help the trading capabilities of those Caribbean countries regarded by Washing-
ton as ideologically compatible was called the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). The reference to
the Caribbean as America's backyard gained currency during the Eighties. See The Caribbean:
Whose Backyard? with a short and spirited Introduction by James Millette of the Department
of History of the UWI at St. Augustine, Trinidad (neither publisher nor date is listed).
6. Tom Barry, Beth Wood, Deb Preusch: The Other Side of Paradise: Foreign Control in the Carib-
bean (Grove Press, New York, 1984), passim.
7. "Sea At Dauphin" and "Malcauchon" are one-acters. "Ti Jean (and his brothers)" is a full-
length play with music that was prominent in the active repertoire of the Trinidad Theatre
Workshop which flourished throughout the Seventies operating out of Port-of-Spain and offer-
ing Walcott, the playwright/director, a splendid laboratory for exploration and further develop-
8. See Study of the Free Zone in Kingston, Jamaica (JTURDC Kingston, 1987).
9. Frederick Cassidy is also the author of Jamaican Talk, Institute of Jamaica, Kingston, 1961.
10. M.G. Smith, F.R. Augier, Rex Nettleford: The Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica,(ISER,
UCWI, Jamaica 1960); also Leonard Barrett: The Rastafarians (Heinemann, Sangster, Kingston,
1977); Joseph Owens: Dread The Rastafarians of Jamaica (Sangster, Jamaica 1977); "Rasta-
fari" in Caribbean Quarterly Vol 26, No. 11, December 1980.
11. e.g. the mural on the altar piece of the Church of St. Rose of Lima in Money, St. Lucia, painted
by St. Omer in celebration of the La Rose flower festival.
12. Status of Children Acts have been passed since 1976 in Jamaica, Barbados (1979) St. Vincent
and the Grenadines (1980), Belize (1980), Trinidad and Tobago (1981), St. Kitts and Nevis
(1983), Guyana ("Children Born out of Wedlock Removal of Discrimination Act" 1983).
See Leighton Milton Jackson: Family Law in the Commonwealth Caribbean: The Challenge for
Validity and Authenticity (unpublished doctoral thesis, York University, Canada 1987).
13. All three reggae composers/singers have won international acclaim. Both Marley and Tosh are
now dead leaving behind Jimmy Cliff who was the first to emerge on the international scene as
the star of the film "The Harder They Come" for which he wrote the songs he sang in it and
much of the incidental music. Both Marley and Cliff received national honours from the Jamai-
14. See the Address delivered by Dr. Slinger Francisco (the Mighty Sparrow) at the Graduation
Ceremony at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies on Saturday,
October 31 on the occasion of the conferring upon him of the honorary degree of Doctor of
Letters (D. Litt). UWI Newsletter from the Desk of University Registrar, Vol. VII, December
1987, pp. 18-23.
15. Robert Farris Thompson: "Dance Music in the Fifties", Caribe, Vol. VI, No. 3, Fall 1982
(reprinted from Saturday Review, March 1. 1961).
16. See my Caribbean Cultural Identity: The Case of Jamaica (Institute of Jamaica, Jamaica, 1978
or UCLA, 1979), especially, Chapter Ill.
17. John W. Nunley & Judith Bettelheim: Caribbean Festival Arts (St. Louis Art Museum in associa-
tion with University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1988).
18. See the Debate on Criticism in articles published in The Sunday Gleaner: "Crisis in Criticism",
by Rex Nettleford, Sunday Gleaner, February 7, 1988; "The Crisis in Leadership", by Andrew
Hope, Sunday Gleaner, March 6, 1988, p. 2C: "Andrew Hope and His Crisis in Leadership", by
Rex Nettleford, Sunday Gleaner, March 15, 1988, pp. 17A, 19A; "Answering Rex Nettleford",
by Andrew Hope, Sunday Gleaner, March 27. 1988, p. 2C; "Art Is Enhanced by Criticism", by
Hector Wynter, Sunday Gleaner, March 27, 1988 pp. 2C, 5C; "The Role of the Art Critic", by
Gloria Escoffery, Sunday Gleaner, April 3, 1988, pp. 7A, 16A; "Some Thoughts on Art Criti-
cism", by Irene Valdes (in a letter to the Editor, Sunday Gleaner, April 10, 1988), p. 5B.
19. Discussion about race and colour crops up intermittently in different parts of the region, other
than in Trinidad and Guyana at election time. In Jamaica and Barbados throughout the Eigh-
ties the issue of White economic dominance and Black poverty or deprivation has been public-
ly aired a factor that is of active significance in the 1988 election campaign in Jamaica,
though not explicitly so. In Barbados, Caribbean Contact, Vol. 16, No. 8, of January 1989,
carried a front-page article, "Race and Change in Barbados", by Shelley Francis, and the Bar-
bados Advocate of Friday, January 6, 1989, carried an article, "Let Us Protect our Country",
by E. A. V. "Foffie" Williams who wrote: "Does the hierarchy of the Barbados Labour Party
think that black businessmen have forgotten that 16 black men and one black woman sat
around a table [meaning the Cabinet] and awarded a white construction firm contracts to the
tune of $84 million while a black firm in the same business with the expertise and tools to do a
first class job had to be content with the crumbs that fell from the white firm's table, $5 mil-
20. Arthur Lewis: op. cit.
21. The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College was established in Castries, St. Lucia, in 1986 as a
national tertiary educational institution designed to meet pressing manpower needs. Emphasis
is on technical and teacher training. But it also offers the first year of studies leading to the
Bachelor's degree of the UWI in a wide range of subjects. It is the OECS model for the State
Colleges that are planned for other countries in the Eastern Caribbean following on the esta-
blishment of the College of the Bahamas in the northern Caribbean and the old Belize College
of Arts Science and Technology (BELCAST) later replaced by the University College of Belize.
These initiatives are all part of the process of building up tertiary level institutions (TLIs) in
the non-campus countries served by the University of the West Indies and represent a major
challenge for the University in maintaining its regional character. See my University of the
West Indies in the English-Speaking Caribbean Past, Present and Future Trends, prepared for
the Regional Centre for Higher Education Latin America and the Caribbean (CRESALC),
FEDERATIONS: THEN AND NOW
F. R. AUGIER
My topic has been chosen because of its relevance to the enterprise of state which our
various Heads of Governments have lately embarked upon. I hope that after tonight you
will look at this new enterprise in the light of history, that is, by reflecting on the ex-
perience of those who have attempted similar enterprises.
Historians have been warned, and indeed some of them have learnt, that it is
dangerous for them to move from commenting on the past to commenting on the pre-
sent. So I will take care not to comment on the present but hope that what I say about
the past will be of help in estimating the likelihood of whatever is proposed achieving the
end desired by its proponents.
By attempting to link the experiences in the past of other humans with the likely
consequences of our actions in the present, I am assuming that there is a particular re-
lationship between the past and the present. It is a relationship which is frequently
asserted and as frequently denied.
It is said that history teaches that we learn nothing from history. It is also said
that history teaches that history teaches us nothing. The first is a mere jibe, a provoca-
tive remark. The second is more to the point because it is not history that teaches; it
is really historians. The truth of the first phrase, such as it is, depends on the truth
in our claim that we can and do learn from experience. We know, however, that although
we can learn experience, we frequently do not learn from experience.
If historians are to teach us anything about the past which can usefully guide our
present activities, I think three conditions must be met. The first is that the circumstances
from which we are asked to draw lessons should be similar in their major particulars and in
their relevant elements to the circumstances of the present. This is a necessary condition.
If it is not present, then no lesson can be drawn.
The second is an extension of my point that it is not history that teaches but
historians. That is to say, any claim that we are able to draw lessons from past experience
assumes a clear-headed and informed guide. It might be too much to say that it requires
wisdom in the guide but at the very least it requires one with a capacity to distinguish.
This second condition can be illustrated by Sir Anthony Eden's justification of the
war which England and France fought against Nasser over Suez. Eden claimed that he
had noticed in Nasser the same tendencies that he had noticed in Hitler before he began
his aggression against Germany's neighbours. Because that aggression had not been checked
by force at its beginning, it led to a war which took a tremendous toll of life and greatly
damaged European civilization. That lesson, learnt from the experience of Europeans,
Eden now applied to the action he proposed in the present. Great suffering would have
been avoided if Hitler had been stopped early. So if Nasser were stopped early, great
suffering would be avoided. Sir Anthony Eden seems to have been the only statesman
to notice the similar tendencies in the behaviour of Hitler and Nasser and to draw that
lesson from history. But I wish you to mark it; because who better than Anthony Eden,
prominent critic of the policies of appeasement to Hitler, Foreign Secretary during the
second World War and now Prime Minister of England, who better to claim to be a
clear-headed and knowledgeable guide?
The third condition is that we must be willing to learn. The circumstances may be
similar in their relevant particulars, the guide may be knowledgeable and clear-headed,
but we may be unwilling to learn. All of us who are parents know that we do not often
carry our children with us when we tell them from the wisdom derived from experience
that they are about to embark on some folly. What is it, then, that I am proposing we
examine in the light of experience derived from the past? I assume that the proposal
before us concerns a federation of the Windward Islands, in other words, the formation of
a state. What our political leaders are proposing is an act of which there are many in-
stances in human experience. So we can draw on human experience in general and not
merely on that of the human beings who live in the Caribbean.
In the past, states have been formed by force, by act of will of a man whom we
might place symbolically on a horse, sword in hand, assisted by large numbers of per-
sons with instruments bearing death. Human beings have been brought together, popu-
lations have been made to cohere by repeated acts of force. This is one particular that
does not fit our present circumstances but, nevertheless, logic requires us to notice
that until recently it was the determining factor.
The formation of the State, which we now call the United States of America, was
the first instance in which populations were brought together not by a man on a horse
with a sword in his hand but by parley; by the populations being asked whether they
wanted to cohere, whether they wanted to come together and form a State. A more
recent example is India, where the people too, after a fashion, assembled and declared
themselves, in the words of the opening sentence of the report of their proceedings,
"We the people of India. ." and proceeded to form a State.
However the State was formed, by force or by parley, timing has been the key to
success for States formed by princes no less than for those formed by revolutionaries
or freedom fighters. The conjuncture of events, the accidents of birth and death, the
arrangement of a marriage, have mattered as much as the will of the actors.
I would argue that the failure of the West Indies Federation was due in as great
measure to the timing of its establishment as to the objective wills of its principal actors.
By contrast the failure to establish a federation of the islands in the second half of the
nineteenth century was entirely due to the lack of will in the Colonial Office. If British
Columbia's wishes had been treated with the deference accorded to that of St. Kitts or
Barbados it would be outside the Canadian federation today.
Since it is proposed to form the Windwards federation by parley and plebiscite,
it is not necessary to consider lessons from the experience of states formed by force.
However, while the experiences of the formation of the USA, Canada, Australia, India
might provide useful lessons for us, we do not have the time here for such an extensive
review. We shall, instead, confine ourselves to the attempts in the nineteenth century
in the Caribbean and to the failure of the period 1958 to 1962.
But first a word about the concept of nation. We have to distinguish the formation
of a state from that of a nation. They are not the same thing. When we speak of a state
as a nation, we are pointing to the particular elements by which that state coheres,
elements which enable its population to cohere. elements of language, of religion, of
ethnicity; all elements which together point to the existence of an identical culture.
Nations are modern things. States are old things the idea that they should he one entity,
a nation-state, having the same boundaries, is also modern, and is the source of the
intractable conflicts which currently afflict our world.
The problem is that there is very rarely an identity between the state and the nation.
States, even after a long period in existence, are composed of peoples of various religions,
languages, races, ideologies, in a word, of various cultures. Even the passage of time does
not conciliate. The different sections of the population not only refuse to cohere within
the state, they fight to be separate. We have examples in Ireland, Spain, Cyprus. Armenia,
Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, India. That difficulty would be with us were we
tempted to create a state on the basis of a common culture with its boundaries extending
from Guyana to Jamaica or to the Bahamas. We would have to contain within that state
ethnicities with cultures, religions derived from the continents of Asia as well as Africa
and Europe Hindus. Muslims, Chinese, Lebanese, Europeans, Amerindians and the
majority of us who are derived from Africa. Happily, a state formed of the present
Windward Islands would avoid that difficulty.
I contend, however, that the experience of our attempts to federate in the past
suggests that the populations of Caribbean islands tend to cohere tightly, as if they were
a nation, when juxtaposed against the population of other islands. Of course, they possess
pluralities of religion, of ethnicity, even of language. But they share with the nation
the tendency to define themselves by reference to the stranger, the outsider. To the
extent that this is so, state formation by joining together island-states might bring with
it a refusal of populations to be assimilated. Their resistance, such as it is, might weaken
in the face of propaganda and inducements, but experience suggests that the present
actors should be prepared to contend with this potential obstacle to state formation.
I will now turn to review, very briefly, the actors in the various federations of our
past, in order for us to see what lessons there might be to learn.
At the end of the seventeenth century. the first federation of the English-speaking
Caribbean took place. A true federation; a federation with a common legislature, and a
common government situated in Antigua and governing Montserrat. St. Kitts, Nevis and
Antigua. That federation was never dissolved, it simply ceased to function because of the
conflicts of interest which developed among the islands.
With the emancipation of slaves government in the Caribbean had a new purpose.
The principal actors were the governors appointed by the Colonial Office to make the
newly emancipated population truly free people. The governors had to attempt this
task with the constitutional instruments which they inherited from slavery, namely,
the Council and the Assembly, composed of the planter interest and whose raison d'etre
was the promotion of the interest of that class. In the Leeward Islands. Sir William
Colbrook decided that the way to resolve this contradiction between the instruments of
a constitution moulded to defend the interest of the planters and the tasks which the
Colonial Office had given him, of promoting the interest of the newly-emancipated
population, was to resurrect the seventeenth century federation of the Leeward Islands.
He argued that legally and constitutionally the federation had never been dissolved, and
all he had to do was to summon members for the General Assembly by issuing writs of
A bold governor might take a bold initiative so long as he had the support of the
Colonial office. But he had to contend with the absentee owners for that support, and he
lost. The planter interests were able to persuade the Colonial Office that Colbrook's
attempt to revive the federation was contrary to imperial interest, which was code for
saying that the elevation of the newly-emancipated slave population was not in the
interest of the sugar estate owners of the Leeward Islands.
The idea of federation was revived for the third time, in the 1870s and the 1880s,
first in the Leewards and then in the Windwards and Barbados. The idea was promoted
as the way to achieve cost-effective, efficient government. The Colonial Office had come
to feel that a multiplicity of governments throughout the Caribbean was both inefficient
So in the seventies, the Colonial Office attempted to persuade the populations of
the Leeward Islands and of the Windward Islands to come together in federations. The
task seemed more likely to be accomplished. if divided into two parts: begin with the
Leeward Islands and then later bring Barbados and St. Lucia. Grenada. St. Vincent and
Tobago together. The task of persuasion was entrusted to Sir Benjamin Pine. But both
Pine and the Colonial Office lacked the political will. The resistance of St. Kitts to a
Common Treasury, based on its belief that its surplus was to be used to rescue Antigua
from bankruptcy. was enough to make Sir Benjamin Pine advise the Colonial Office not
to press for a federal legislature with the power to make laws over all the islands but,
instead, to be satisfied with the unification of the public service.
The second part of the plan. the federation of Barbados and the Windward Islands
ran into even greater resistance. The Barbadian planters made it perfectly clear that they
regarded this proposal as below their dignity. They successfully provoked the so-called
federation riots in Bridgetown in 1876 by telling the black population that if they were
federated with the Windwards they would be returning to a state of slavery. In the face
of the Barbadian riots the Colonial Office withdrew its proposals.
Nine years later, in 1885, the Colonial Office attempted to federate the remainder
of the Windward group St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada and Tobago. None of the
islands would have it. This time it was not resistance by the planter interests as in the
Leewards in 1840 or in Barbados in 1876. It was insular pride, insular identity as in St.
Kitts in 1871. As one St. Lucian wrote in a letter to The Voice in 1885. "But what is
worse, our beautiful St. Lucia is to be classed as and sunk into a magisterial district
under Grenada". Like Kittians fearing needy Antiguans, the Grenadians were convinced
that St. Lucia and St. Vincent were after the large surplus in their Treasury. St. Lucians
for their part thought that it was quite obvious that only Castries was fit to be the capital,
and that St. Lucia was second to none: "Know you not that. . St. Lucia stands fore-
most and claims priority over her sisters in the Windward group". It was not the resistance
of the elite alone. When the Governor visited the islands in turn, his entourage was stoned
in St. Vincent. In Grenada he had been told 'No'. In Tobago the Legislative Council
informed him by resolution that the people of Tobago did not desire to enter into Union
with any of the other islands. So from there he wrote to the Secretary of State that he
was going straight back to Barbados because there was no point in visiting St. Lucia
having seen the mood of the people in St. Vincent, Grenada and Tobago, and knowing
that "St. Lucia is even more strongly opposed to Union than Grenada". That brought
to an end the nineteenth century initiatives from the Governors and the Colonial Secre-
taries to federate the islands. The Secretaries of State had never thought it worth their
while to test the resistance in a single case.
Before I consider the federation of 1945 to 1962, allow me to generalise in sum-
mary form what the history of our attempts at state formation indicate.
From the beginning of our history there has been tension between two poles. On
the one hand, there was a recognized need to combine in order to meet the needs which
the islands cannot satisfy individually; on the other, the insularity both of geography
and of mentality.
The isolation which geography brings, when it is the isolation of an island, seems
to create a cast of mind more obstinately prejudiced against outsiders than is the case
of populations who live on land and whose settlements are for a long time effectively
separated by obstacles such as rivers or mountains or forests. Their prejudices, it seems,
are overcome by time more easily than the prejudices of people isolated by the sea. So
our history has been characterized by this tension by which we are pulled in both di-
rections. Periodically, we recognize our need of each other and we set about co-operating
to achieve a goal. But we apparently do not have the will to pursue these acts of co-
operation long enough to establish the habit of co-operating, and thus to establish the
foundation upon which a state can be built.
Let me turn briefly now to the federation conceived by one Colonial Secretary,
Oliver Stanley, in 1945 and buried by another, Ian McLeod, in 1962. In a letter addressed
to them through the Governors, Stanley invited the West Indian people to consider form-
ing a federal state. His invitation was considered at a conference of West Indian politicians
in 1947 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The islands indicated interest, but soon after the con-
ference, British Guiana and British Honduras withdrew from the project.
The islands agreed to continue, and between 1947 and 1958 when it came into
existence, the structure of the federal state was elaborated in 1958. It was dissolved in
1962. What can we learn from the experience of 1945-1962?
The politicians were unprepared to administer and govern the federation. They had
not been the authors of solutions to problems which they had themselves discerned as
being bound to arise in a federation. Why? Because they had been distracted by the
politics of self-government which from 1944 was taking over from Crown Colony Govern-
ment in the islands.
The politicians knew one certain thing: in four years they would be coming up
for elections and if they wished to be in power, the thing to pay attention to was their
own garden, not federation. The federal state was down the road. When asked whether
they were in favour, they said "Yes", and meant it. But none of the work for establish-
ing that state really came from their energies. The preparatory work was done in the
beginning by committees of English civil servants and towards the end by senior civil
servants, such as Sir John Mordecai, from the islands.
The formation of the Windwards state will be more soundly founded if the exist-
ing island states adopt the device of a founding convention and hammer out the details
of the constitution in protracted debate.
The leading politicians were unwilling to accept federal office. With Manley at
East Race Course, Williams at Whitehall, Grantley Adams asleep at Spanish Acres, what
went on at Federation House was bound to have the air of a charade. When Manley
declined the political leadership of the federation and persuaded the other members
of his party to offer it to Grantley Adams, it passed, if I may say so without offence to
the memory of Sir Grantley Adams, to the Vice-Captain, who had to play with a side
selected for the most part from the second eleven. The members of the Federal House
were not of the first rank of the West Indian politicians. That was because they had
mistakenly decided that men should not hold office both in the islands and in the federa-
tion at the same time.
The West Indies Federation was handicapped, at the least, perhaps was doomed
by the absence of two gifts necessary for the successful prosecution of a great enter-
prise, timing and foresight. Of the two, foresight or vision is the more valuable. With
foresight a statesman may modify the consequences of timing bad for the enterprise, or
avoid action altogether. Foresight will enable a statesman to anticipate the likely effect
of acts not of his making.
The choice of the site for the federal capital had consequences which might have
been anticipated by the three leading politicians. The federation might have survived
the strains of its early years had Kingston been made capital.
The capital was put in Trinidad partly because the Trinidad Government advocated
persuasively that Port-of-Spain was the natural capital, but also because the Jamaican
Government did not put up a fight. But once Guiana had pulled out of the federation,
an imbalance was created between the islands and Jamaica. Had Guiana remained in the
federation, it would have been the southern anchor: two large areas of population and of
resources, Jamaica and Guiana, would have anchored the federation. Without Guiana's
presence there was this imbalance in the arrangements, which was exacerbated by the
way in which the representatives were at first allocated in the federal legislature.
Had Kingston been the capital, Jamaica's size, population and resources would
thus have been acknowledged, and would also have made its membership of the federation
more likely. The effect on Manley might have been equally beneficial. The premiership
of Jamaica might well have seemed less attractive if the office of the Prime Minister of
the Federation was in Mona Heights.
Although Oliver Stanley thought that 1945 was the right time to launch the federa-
tion, the conjuncture of events thereafter would not favour the federation. But I con-
tend that they were not beyond control by men of vision. The final show was the in-
sistence by the Leewards and Windwards for the fight to immediate freedom of movement
into Trinidad for their people.
We can only hope that the current politicians of these islands are possessed of
better political sense.
In the proposal before us. the Governments of the Windward Islands wish to con-
sult the people. I do not know exactly how this part of the enterprise is to be carried
out. But reflecting on our experience of the past, I think we will have to be very lucky
to get a 'yes' rather than a 'io'. The historical evidence suggests that if you ask people
who are separate, whether they want to join together, the tendency is to say 'no' rather
than 'yes'. The reason is that it is easier to say 'no' than 'yes'. The answer is based on
calculations of costs and benefits. The costs are in the present and the benefits are in
the future, and it is easier for most people to see the costs, very difficult for them to
trade off the benefits. To trade off the benefits needs vision, needs prescience. It might
also need the skills of an economist or an accountant to make the calculations which
will reveal the benefits. The ordinary person being consulted does not possess these
If consulting the people by referendum or plebiscite might yield tire answer 'no',
what are the alternatives? There seems to me to be only one: one of those parties currently
in power will have to put their leadership to the test: declare themselves to he in favour of
federation. advocate it as part of their policy, work hard to sell it to the people (like any
other policy) and hope the people buy it with their votes.
So much thile beller if all parties offer the same policy in this particular, but I
would not bet on it. The Opposition like everybody else will make calculations. I cannot
see how one call expect thile Opposition not to make calculations, and. as in 1958-1962,
the calculation will be about whether the policy adopted now will win it power in
the next election.
I am tolerably certain that the Jamaica Labour Party had nothing in particular
against federation. What some of its more calculating members saw correctly was that
it was in their interest as a Jamaican political party to make the federation an issue
because that would put the PNP under strain and might lead to their assuming the Govern-
ment of Jamaica. This calculation was facilitated by Mr. Manley's decision to hold the
referendum, that is, to consult the people.
It might well be argued that if insular prejudices are still so strong that a referendum
would yield a 'no', the time for federation is not yet, and the honest as well as the best
policy is to wait. Attractive as it is, this policy is likely to make us wait past death,
because it overlooks the fact that resistance to change is not due merely to ignorance,
but also to defence of interests. While we wait in the hope of reducing ignorance and this
prejudice, interests are being created which will do better in separation than in inte-
Let us ask ourselves whether it is easier to federate in 1989 than in 1958. The
answer would be certainly not the units in the 1958 federation. Perhaps yes for the
Windwards alone. The passage of time is not by itself sufficient. The formation of a
state is more than the establishment of a government. It requires the transformation of
a population; a change which requires time and the many acts which will erode prejudices
and make men feel for one another the sentiments of friendship and goodwill.
Photo Junior Channer
Sir Alien Lewis (the retiring St. Lucian-born Chancellor) and Lady Lewis speaking with Dean Joe Pereira (Faculty of Arts and
General Studies) at the Opening of the UWI's 40th anniversary Exhibition.
ST. LUCIA IN THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS:
THE 19TH CENTURY EXPERIENCE
First of all, let me confess that it is a little presumptuous of me to come to the home of
our leading economic historian. Sir Arthur Lewis, to talk about economic history. I am
not an economic historian: I am a bits-and-pieces historian who, without the benefit of
training in economic theory and mathematics, has tried to comment on those social
and economic trends that are not completely hidden from the conscientious layman.
However, I am emboldened to continue that effort in St. Lucia tonight because Sir
Arthur is thankfully absent: because, over the years, his own formidable gaze has been
so fixed on loftier heights and on a wider panorama that room has been left for us lesser
mortals; and because, in preparing this lecture, I discovered that, on the strength of a
doctoral dissertation written nearly thirty years ago on the Windward Islands. I remain one
of the few authorities on the economic history of St. Lucia.
That last comment should make us pause for a moment. Without attempting to
get involved in the argument about the extent to which our present is a reflection of
our past, we should be dismayed at the fact that large areas of our history remain un-
explored or, if explored, the results of the explorations are relatively inaccessible. For
me, attempting to assemble materials on the economic performance of St. Lucia in the
19th century, this gap in our historical literature was a particular problem. To do the
job properly, I needed access to information on national income, on the patterns of
production and of external trade, on the performance of the plantation and peasant
sectors, on productivity, on social conditions (personal consumption, public health,
employment opportunities, etc.),on public finance. In other words, I needed to consult
studies like the one Gisela Eisner did on Jamaica for the period 1830 to 1930; or, at a
less technical level, I could have used a version of Walter Rodney's History of the Guyanese
Working People or Douglas Hall's Five of the Leewards (1834-1870). But what was I
left to consult? Apart from my own dissertation and that of your own Michael Louis,
there was the work of the nineteenth century historians and tourist/commentators
which mainly yielded partial. limited and often misleading information. This information
was amplified to some extent by the sound but outline histories of Father Jesse and
B.H. Easter and, particularly, by the report of the 1897 West Indian Royal Commission.
But all this does not amount to a substantial base for either a general or a detailed exami-
nation of the historical experience of St. Lucia.
It seems to me that something deliberate should be done to remedy this situation.
1 have great admiration and support for the local history effort, and throughout the
Caribbean we have been most fortunate to have individuals of the quality and energy
of Father Jesse, B.H. Easter, Robert Devaux, Harold Simmons and Father Anthony,
without whom there would often be no popular history available; but the effort of the
most enthusiastic part-timer cannot produce the body of literature that is required.
Similarly, the supply from the graduate school mills of North America, Britain and
even U.W.I. is unpredictable in supply, uneven in quality, and will reflect more the
prevailing fads in research topics than be designed to fill perceived gaps in the literature.
Moreover, even when good or useful work is produced in these dissertations, it may, as
in the case of Michael Louis' excellent study of the St. Lucia peasantry, remain buried in
university libraries. So, perhaps the time has come to completent the voluntary effort and
private enterprise by the commissioning of historical studies. What I envisage is that
Ministries of Education and Culture should attempt to establish a partnership with the
historians of the University of the West Indies'in the production of a range of historical
material. The government departments would identify the areas to be covered, would
provide a measure of research assistance and share the costs of publication; and the
Departments of History would define the topics, organize and execute the research, and
produce manuscripts for publication. Hopefully, then, by the time you celebrate your
15th anniversary, there will be little need to apologize for the quality of a lecture on the
history of St. Lucia.
The Structure of the Discussion
Lest I be accused of exploiting a largely captive audience for the benefit of myself
and my colleagues, let me hastily return to tonight's main business. I propose first an
overview of the St. Lucian economic performance which will feature the occasional
comments made on it by visitors as well as the basis for whatever ranking in economic
performance St. Lucia occupied during the 19th century. Next. I will consider the extent
to which there was growth and change in the economy. Finally, I will consider the probable
role of the factors which may have constrained economic growth and change.
From the perspective of nineteenth century visitors and commentators. St. Lucia
was an undeveloped island which, however, possessed potential for significant agricultural
expansion. Early visitors like Trelawny Wentworth and Joseph Sturge and Thomas Harvey
thought it "an unfortunate island", "an unoccupied wilderness", a "neglected" island
ranking in "the lowest scale among these islands". These themes of neglect and limited
settlement were echoed by the later commentators. Henry Breen lamented that only
one-sixteenth of the island was cultivated though it was cultivable "to the summits of
its highest mountains": and John Davy linked its limited cultivation with "sparse popula-
tion". The influential Royal Commissioners declared in 1897 that "only a small portion
of the total cultivable area is actually under cultivation" and that, apart from the culti-
vation of sugar cane and possibly cocoa. "the agricultural development of St. Lucia has
hardly begun". The only commentator who was not impressed by lack of development
was William Sewell who came to the region in the late 1850s. He wrote approvingly
about the planters' 'wise policy' in adopting share-cropping which had created "an
independent class of labourers" and had ensured that the free labour experiment was
an "undoubted success". However, this commendation is put in full perspective when
we hear from him that St. Lucia is one of the smallest islands, containing 37,000 acres!
He was clearly confusing it with some other place, and obviously did not visit it. His
comments should perhaps be ignored.
How does this generally pessimistic assessment stack up against what we think we
know about the situation? In the first place, settlement was not extensive, if judged in
terms of population density. For the first three decades of the century, St. Lucia had
a population of about 18,000 with a slave population density of between 57 and 60
which was almost as low as Dominica's 46. which itself was the lowest in the Windward
Islands. However, population growth was marked after slave emancipation: by 1851,
24,318; by 1861, 31,600; by 1891, 42,220. By the end of the century. density was
197 which was more than twice that of Dominica. But, more to the point, in terms of
total size St. Lucia's population now ranked second to Grenada's when, at the start of
the century, it had been fourth, only ahead of Tobago's.
But we must also consider the cultivable extent and the carrying capacity of the
land. If, like Breen and the Royal Commission, we use unscientific observation as our
guide, then at least 75% of the surface is cultivable; but if we adopt geographers' criteria
of soil type, degree of slope and susceptibility to erosion, we could conclude that the
cultivable area is only about half of the island's surface. This significant variation in
estimates means that we must be cautious in our conclusions about real population
density, about the limited extent of settlement and about the capacity of the island's
soil to sustain a much larger population, even in the nineteenth century. In any case.
despite the extravagant claims of the island's capacity to carry much larger population
that were being heard up until the 1890s. the fact that, by the end of the century, there
was significant out-migration suggests that the extent of underpopulation was being
The other main point to be considered is size and character of agricultural output.
What is clearly apparent here is that, in the early years of the century. St. Lucia seems
to be producing far below its potential, particularly if compared with some of its neigh-
bours. The value and quantity of the staples of sugar. coffee, cocoa and cotton would
have placed St. Lucia behind Grenada, St. Vincent and Tobago, and probably on par with
Dominica. It is therefore possible to sustain a case for neglect, or for under-exploitation
of agricultural resources. But there are some explanations of agricultural resources. As
Breen and others have pointed out, St. Lucia's incorporation into the dominant planta-
tion system was obstructed during the late 18th century by the imperial conflicts of
France and England, was brought to an abrupt halt by the circumstances of what Acosta
and Casimir call "the first slave emancipation" in St. Lucia that is, the attempt by St.
Lucian slaves to localize the principles of the French Revolution. The resulting civil
war meant that plantation enterprise was paralysed for nearly a decade. Finally, St.
Lucia began its tranquil period of political and economic existence just when the slave
trade was abolished and so could not benefit from a substantial labour inflow from
Africa. So, this was not a case of deliberate neglect, merely the unfortunate consequence
of a conjuncture of events.
This point is borne out to some extent by the nature of St. Lucia's economic
performance throughout the rest of the century. Despite the unpromising start, despite
massive indebtedness which caused a wholesale change of ownership in the sugar industry
by the 1830s, and despite the weakness and uncertainties in the export markets for
sugar, cocoa, logwood, satin wood, the plantation-based economy grew at a significant
rate, much faster than its neighbours, to the extent that, by the end of the century,
only the Grenada economy could be said to be larger. Let me illustrate these points.
Growth in the Plantation Economy
The obvious example is the sugar industry, which was the mainstay of all economic
activity in these islands until the 1870s. In 1815, sugar shared prominence in the St.
Lucia export list with coffee, cotton and cocoa (in that order), but, by 1831, a mono-
cultural tendency was apparent. Cocoa was stagnant, coffee was dwindling and cotton
had disappeared. Both cocoa and cotton showed signs of revival in the 1850s, but while
cotton's was short-lived, cocoa steadily advanced to become a second major staple by
1880, exceeding a million pounds in export quantity by 1896. But sugar's dominance, in
terms of land use, state support and share of the value of exports, remained unchallenged
until the dark days of the Beet Sugar crisis. Sugar exports reached nearly 4,000 tons
by 1814, remained fairly steady until 1830, fluctuated between 2,500 and 3,500 tons
in 1831-50, and then advanced gradually to over 8,000 tons by 1884 when depression
dropped output to an average of about 4,500 tons for the rest of the century. By the
1880s, it represented over 80% of value of exports, and even in the depth of the depression
it represented about 40%. This performance contrasts sharply with the neighbours'.
St. Vincent's output after 1834 never reached its pre-emancipation level of about 11,000
tons, and the industry, though managing an output of 9,042 tons in 1884, was virtually
wiped out by the end of the century. Grenada's output gradually fell from its high point
of over 13,000 tons in 1828, a fall that was accelerated in the 1870s as Grenada became
a cocoa island. By 1880, the industry had virtually disappeared. Tobago struggled from
the 1830s to maintain production levels of 2,500 3.000 tons; and Dominica never
succeeded in reaching the 4,000 ton mark. On this evidence, St. Lucia easily had the
strongest sugar industry and probably the strongest plantation economy in the last
half of the century.
Size of Economy
My use of the term, "size of economy", is crude. I do not mean national income or
gross domestic product, because I have no means of computing this; rather I mean the
size of export trade, which, hopefully, is a useful index to the size of economy. By that
criterion, the St. Lucian economy, powered by sugar's performance and by cocoa's
revival and with occasional substantial assistance from logwood, had overtaken St. Vincent's
in the 1870s, was competitive with Grenada's before the sugar depression struck in
1883-4, and was in second place behind Grenada's in 1895. In that year, which was
a particularly bad one for sugar and cocoa prices, the relative outputs were: Grenada,
172,020; St. Lucia, 137,869; St. Vincent, 65,914; Dominica, 37,132. Depressed
sugar prices clearly had an impact on this comparative performance. The value of St.
Vincent's exports had dropped by almost 60% between 1878 and 1895, St. Lucia's
by about 35%, but Grenada's by only 13%. In other words, the trends that manifested
themselves in the 1860s and 1870s, if continued, could have placed St. Lucia in the top
spot by the end of the century.
Based on the crude indicators of population size and value of exports, the ranking
is obvious. St. Lucia had moved from the lowest ranks at the start of the century to
virtually the top ranks by the late 1870s or early 1880s. And even if we add another
crude indicator, public revenue, the situation is not altered. With basically similar fiscal
policies, St. Lucia equalled St. Vincent's public revenue by the late 1870s and was even
with Grenada's by 1890-5.
However, the ranking might be affected and the judgement on the quality of
economic performance might have to be qualified if we could confidently extend our
criteria of assessment to include other inputs in national income, notably the contribu-
tion of the non-plantation agricultural sector. We do not have the full data, but some
indications can be gleaned from a survey of the components of the export trade of
Grenada, Dominica and St. Lucia. In both Grenada and Dominica, we find substantial
evidence of diversified production: from Grenada, cocoa, sugar, cotton, spices, livestock,
fruit and vegetables, firewood, with the minor cash crops accounting for about 20% of
total earnings; from Dominica, sugar, limes and lime juice, cocoa, fruit and vegetables,
arrowroot, logwood, firewood, with the minor staples clearly becoming the economic
mainstay by 1890. When we add the information that Grenada and Dominica apparently
possessed much larger peasantries than St. Lucia, we have a clear indication of the exist-
ence of substantial non-plantation production featuring cash crops as well as food for
local consumption. There is a second indication as well: metropolitan markets are a
main focus of production, but some attention is being paid to production for regional
or sub-regional markets, which in turn is clearly illustrated by Grenada's leading partici-
pation in intra-regional trade in livestock, fruit and vegetables.
The St. Lucian pattern of production is somewhat different. There are elements
of diversification represented by cocoa, firewood, wood products (hoe sticks, spokes),
and logwood in the export lists. But closer examination indicate a much less pronounced
trend towards diversification. Only cocoa and logwood are significant minor cash crops;
cocoa is mainly a plantation crop by the end of the century; logwood is the only signi-
ficant peasant product in the export lists; and the number of small holdings is much
less than Grenada's. Therefore, in the ability both to provide food for home consumption
and to cope with dislocation in main export markets, there is a marked qualitative dif-
ference between the Grenada economy and St. Lucia's. By these revised indicators,
then, St. Lucia's economic performance over the 19th century was way behind Grenada's
and hardly better than Dominica's.
Role of Sugar and the Plantation
We can partly account for this qualitative difference in the performance between
the Grenadian and St. Lucian economies by focusing on the factors in the significant
growth of the St. Lucian sugar industry in the period 1842-1883. The first factor which
I would identify is the accident of late development. By that I mean that St. Lucia's
resources for agricultural development had only been scratched before the start of the
century. Sustained exploitation came later than it did in St. Vincent. Dominica or Tobago;
and St. Lucia possessed larger land reserves to sustain that exploitation. Further, quanti-
ties of fertile land ensured higher yields and, for that reason, may have attracted the
attention of British investors in much the same way that the new frontier for sugar
expansion in Trinidad and Guyana attracted such capitalist attention.
The second factor was the effect of the administrative reforms instituted by John
Jeremie between 1825 and 1833. The creation of a modern mortgage office and an
effective mechanism for facilitating the transfer of encumbered property (saisie r6elle)
rationalized credit arrangements and made possible the emergence of a new proprietary
class largely unfettered by debt. Therefore, relatively speaking, St. Lucia may have had a
fairly enterprising planter class after the 1830s, one that had access to credit and one that
may have been less opposed than its counterparts to change in technology or labour use.
The most striking illustration of this openness to change is, of course, the establishment of
share-cropping or Metairie in the 1840s and 1850s. This was never intended as any
permanent part of the plantation labour and production arrangements but was seen as
a necessary means of coping with credit and labour shortages that had been provoked
by a fall in sugar prices and profits. But, though the adoption had the features of ex-
pediency, it is to the planters' credit that they were prepared to experiment, to depart
from the traditional, if only for a limited period; and, in so doing, saved themselves and
the industry for its better days in the 1860s and 1870s.
The third factor was enduring political supports for the plantation and the sugar
industry. Crown Colony government in St. Lucia and the Colonial Office in London
(though often not Governors-in-Chief at Barbados) seemed to share the planters' belief
that the plantation was the appropriate mechanism for exploiting the island's splendid re-
sources and that sugar cane was the only viable crop. Therefore, the sugar planters gained,
with perhaps less effort than their colleagues in other islands, official support for legisla-
tion to create a dependent labour force and for state subsidies towards their production
costs. The clear illustrations of official attempts to manipulate the labour market are
seen in legislation against squatting, regulations to restrict the alienation of Crown Land
(which remained until the late 1870s) and the Cultivated Land Tax which provoked
the famous riots of 1849. State subsidies of production costs were furnished through
immigration schemes, partly financed by taxation of peasant produce, which brought
in about 6,000 additional labourers from Africa, India and Barbados. The most impressive
subsidy, however, was the government investment of 40,000 in the Construction of the
first Central Factory, the Cul de Sac Factory, in 1874-5. This investment may be better
described as a gift to the industry, for the government lost its entire investment when
the failing company was sold off at a loss.
Several points emerge from this last episode. First is the evident interest in techno-
logical innovation which both government and planter recognized as the only means to
save the sugar industry from creeping Beet Sugar competition in an open British market.
Such an interest led to the creation of two other centrals by the 1880s. Second, this
development illustrates clearly the difference between the St. Lucia Sugar industry and
its neighbours'. No centrals were established in the other Windward Islands before the
end of the century. Third, this government/planter solidarity underscored a commitment
to sugar monoculture, if not to total plantation-based economic activity. By the last
quarter of the century, it could be argued that the peasant option was being officially
recognized, but this was being done on very special terms. As Michael Louis has argued,
partly to stimulate labourers' consumption of imported goods, partly to create a buffer
between the underclasses and the elite in the event of new riots, but mainly to provide
a cheap source of canes for the projected central factories, the official prohibition on the
alienation of Crown Lands in small lots was eased in 1878. This was not support for the
peasant option; it was an attempt to buy cheap labour by incorporating a new peasantry
into the dominant plantation-based enterprise.
Constraints on Economic Growth and Change
By the end of the century, even by the late 1870s, it was evident that the St. Lucian
economy, despite its increased size and a rate of growth much faster than most of
its neighbours', was, like the others, proving even less capable than before of providing
an adequate amount of goods and services for the consumption of its people. Rising
unemployment, falling wage levels, depressed living standards, falling property values
and estate abandonment, increasing out-migration flashed familiar signals of recurring
economic depression. But the major difference between this depression and previous ones
was its severity and duration which, predictably, forced consideration, for the first time
in the Caribbean, of structural change in the economy. The question arises, therefore,
whether there were constraints on the performance of the economy which may have
been responsible for this crisis situation.
We have already suggested that population shortage, in a general sense, was hardly
an important constraint because there may have been gross overstatement of the island's
capacity to absorb additional population. But the advocates of continuing immigration
were not concerned about the need for human resources to extend settlement and agri-
culture; they were anxious to procure a cheap labour force for the sugar industry. They
promoted immigration as a means of over-stocking the labour market and of reducing
opportunities for alternative employment. They hoped to create a Barbados-type labour
situation by using the means that had worked brilliantly in Guyana and Trinidad. But the
experience with immigration made their hopes illusory. Neither their own pockets nor the
government's revenues could bear the costs of the substantial immigration that was
required to produce the result they wanted. Nor could they even hold on either to the
immigrants they received or to their own Creole labourers. St. Lucia, like the other
Windward Islands, was often a conduit for the delivery of immigrants and native labourers
to other Caribbean territories which offered higher wages. Therefore, as Governor-in-Chief
Hincks had suggested in the 1850s, St. Lucian planters needed to devise means of holding
on to their own labourers rather than to depend on immigration as a panacea. The point
is that cheaper labour would have improved the prospects of plantation economic activity
by reducing production costs, but, from the start of mass indentured immigration in the
1840s, large, cheap labour supplies had been unavailable to St. Lucia, and so valuable time,
energy and resources were wasted in the pursuit of a shadow.
Similarly, too much stress cannot be placed on the lack of capital investment.
Investment is attracted by the prospect of profit, and the sugar industry, from the 1840s
and probably earlier, was seen as a high risk/low yield area. But, on the other hand, it
is clear that the planters had access to some credit mainly because of their relatively
low levels of accumulated debt; and, with government blessing and backing, they managed
in the 1870s and 1880s to attract some foreign capital for investment in central factories.
Therefore, the situation was not unpromising throughout the period. The real problem
was whether additional investment in traditional economic activity could have ensured
continuing economic growth.
A third factor, international economic pressures, could be shown to have impacted
strongly on the local economy. This was seen most clearly in the sugar depression after
1884. Basically, British abolition of sugar duties fully opened the British market to the
dumping of subsidized European beet sugar; this caused a crash in prices, which, in turn,
forced British Caribbean suppliers to scurry around to find alternative markets; but, as
could be expected, expanding world supplies of beet and cane sugar rendered most
markets soft and unprofitable. All these, in turn, meant that losses accumulated, export
earnings dwindled and traditional credit and trading arrangements collapsed. For St.
Lucia, like all countries heavily dependent on the production of the sugar staple, these
events produced severe dislocation. In other words, to the extent that these economies
were integrated into the international economy, abrupt changes in the functioning of
that economy could be held responsible, in a general way, for the nature and timing
of the repercussions on the tributary or peripheral economies. But the international
economy could not be held wholly or mainly responsible for those characteristics of the
local economies which made them particularly susceptible to dislocation and even to
destruction. Such characteristics included the inefficiency and relatively high cost of
production in the St. Lucian sugar industry, the persistent monocultural emphasis, the
dominant plantation, and the active discouragement of the peasant sector.
Together, these characteristics ensured that the St. Lucian economy, like St.
Vincent's or Tobago's, did not possess to any degree those elements of resilience and
self-sufficiency which might have enabled it to cope with severe commercial crisis and with
the spectre of widespread starvation. There is of course no certainty in these matters -
but the Grenada experience suggested that, even with a fall in cocoa prices, there would
have been no appreciable loss in goods and services. Such an option had been clearly
available to St. Lucia at slave emancipation. The same patterns of slave maintenance and
internal marketing which propelled the establishment of a peasantry in Grenada and
Dominica were present in St. Lucia. Land for smallhold settlement was available and
interest in its acquisition remained high. Most important, the relatively small peasant
sector continuously displayed resourcefulness and some innovation as it tried to develop
a survival economy or a "counter plantation system". It expanded small manufactures
(charcoal, hoe sticks, farine manioc); it consolidated the logwood industry; it kept up
the cultivation of cocoa before its potential as a second cash crop was recognized by
planters after the 1850s; it captured a share of the local market for cane syrup by develop-
ing "lilliputian" cane mills; it expanded the domestic food supply. But its full potential
could never be realized because the restriction on land settlement and discriminatory
taxation of peasants' land and produce severely constrained its growth and activity.
Predictably, as with share-cropping in the 1840s and 1850s, decision-makers had to be
driven by the force of events to either recognize or concede the need for economic
change in the direction of the peasant option. Therefore, from this perspective, the per-
formance of the St. Lucian economy was mainly constrained by those agents which
gave it its dominant characteristics. In other words, it was constrained by the vision and
decisions of those who controlled the plantation and of those who gave it political
References/Suggestions for Further Reading
1. Yvonne Acosta and Jean Casimir, "Social Origins of the Counter-Plantation System in St.
Lucia", in P.I. Gomes (ed), Rural Development in the Caribbean, 1985.
2. H.H. Breen, St. Lucia, Historical, Statistical and Descriptive, 1844 (reprinted 1970).
3. B.W. Higman, Slave Populations of the British Caribbean 1807-1834,1984.
4. M. Louis, "An Equal Right to the Soil": The Rise of a Peasantry in St. Lucia 1838 -1900.
Ph.D. dissertation (Johns Hopkins University) 1981.
5. W.K. Marshall, The Social and Economic Development of the Windward Islands, 1838-1865.
Ph.D. dissertation (Cambridge University) 1963.
6. _, "Metayage in the sugar industry of the British Windward Islands, 1838-1865",
Jamaica Historical Review, Vol. 5, May 1965.
7. Carleen O'Loughlin, Economic and Political Change in the Leeward and Windward Islands,
8. West India Royal Commission Report and Evidence,1898.
Photo Junior Channer
UWI Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Alister McIntyre is here seen greeting Dominica's Prime Minister Ms.
Eugenia Charles, at one of the many UWI 40th anniversary celebrations event.
THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE: SOME LESSONS OF INDEPENDENCE
IN THE FIELD OF EXTERNAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIPS
Let me say what a pleasure it is to be here in Castries once again to deliver the final
lecture in this series. I have chosen for my topic "The Right to Choose: Some Lessons of
Independence in th- field of External Economic Relationships". I have selected this topic
particularly because the field of International Economic Relations is a vital and intricate
one and illustrates very well the opportunities and constraints that independent countries
have faced in exercising a fundamental right of constitutional independence, which is,
to choose how the country's internal and external affairs will be managed.
The past ten years have been a very busy period from the standpoint of External
Economic Relations. During this time, the CARICOM countries have negotiated LOME
II and III. CARIBCAN, worked with the United States to establish the CBI, and have
participated in a variety of multilateral fora: three UNCTADS, annual meetings of the
World Bank, IMF, General Assembly, several regional meetings under the auspices of
organizations such as the OAS and a very large number of bilateral discussions and
contacts. It would go far beyond the compass of a single lecture to review all of this
experience. What I wish to do this evening is to step away from the statistics and other
data to make some comments of a retrospective and prospective character.
Starting in the 1960s, governments in the Caribbean have had to weigh the respective
merits of certain basic options open to them in the field of trade and economic relations
with other countries. These have largely centred around the role of foreign trade in
economic development; in particular, the comparative weight to be given to producing
local goods and services to substitute or displace imported products as against producing
goods and services for exports. Associated with this are the related questions or inter-
linkages between trade and finance, involving largely the respective advantages and
disadvantages of foreign borrowing as compared with direct investment.
As far as the import substitution versus export development debate is concerned,
experience has shown that the dichotomy tends to be false. Countries need to do both.
What is important is that all tradeable production whether in substitution or displace-
ment of imports or for export be efficient. The "infant industry" argument for protect-
ing local industries until they can stand on their own feet retains its validity. However,
countries must be mindful not to over-protect, lest the infant does not grow up. What
is needed is machinery to ensure public accountability and transparency with respect to
any protection that is being extended. The Leutwiller Report on the international trading
system recommended some years ago that countries should establish national machinery
for preparing balance sheets of the costs and benefits of protection, which would be
available for public scrutiny. This recommendation was endorsed by UNCTAD VII and in
other international fora. However, as far as I know, no Caribbean country has yet acted
One cannot emphasize too strongly the need to become competitive in a world
that is increasingly interdependent. Sustained competitiveness means not merely com-
petitive labour costs but, more importantly, a capability to absorb, adapt and utilise
modern technology. In the present age of information technology, this means inevitably
that the competitiveness of goods production is becoming more reliant on the competi-
tiveness of services production telecommunications, financial and marketing services,
design and quality control services, to name only a few. As I said previously in Castries
some weeks ago, irrespective of what line of production is being developed, computer
capability is a must if one is to remain competitive.
Countries have therefore to be inward looking and outward looking at the same
time; making sure that local consumers do not pay too high a cost in terms of quality
and price for locally produced goods and services, while concurrently sustaining a com-
petitive export position.
In an ideal world small countries, such as those in the Caribbean, would, in prin-
ciple, be best served by a system of open multilateral trade, where barriers to trade are
minimal, and there are rules enforceable on all parties to ensure, subject to certain agreed
exceptions, that countries do not give, as a general rule, better treatment to their own
producers than they extend to outsiders, and that they do not discriminate between one
outsider and another. From the very beginning, this has been the key objective of the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). However, although governments in
the international community must persist in, indeed intensify, their efforts to establish
a genuine system of open multilateral trade, the fact is that current arrangements fall
far short of this ideal.
On achieving constitutional independence, Caribbean countries found themselves
faced by a world enmeshed in a web of protectionist arrangements. We had, for some
time, been beneficiaries of preferential trade arrangements under Commonwealth Pre-
ference in the UK, and successive Canada/West Indies Trade Agreements. On indepen-
dence, it became necessary to consolidate these arrangements, and to negotiate new ones
for securing additional access. The CARICOM countries have built up a good track record
in the negotiation of access. Commonwealth Preferences were transformed into LOME
Conventions which provided not merely market access, but also economic aid, and
financial compensation for shortfalls in export earnings from key commodities, as well
as for co-operation in a number of functional areas such as industry and agriculture.
Likewise, the Canada/West Indies Trade Agreement was re-negotiated in the latter part
of the 1970s to provide not only for preferential market access, but also a framework
for individual co-operation and development assistance. This has now been broadened
A major new development took place in the 1980s with the introduction by the
United States of the Caribbean Basin Initiative. This provides for one-way free trade on
a range of items, together with official development assistance and the encouragement
of private investment. Altogether, from the point of view of market access, CARICOM
countries are better placed than most of the other developing countries in the world
today. However, some points must be made here. First, we need to be vigilant to ensure
that our access position is not eroded by trade policy developments in our major partner
countries; for instance, the establishment of the US/Canada Free Trade Area can erode
our access position in both countries.
Under CARIBCAN. we have enjoyed freer access to the Canadian market than the
United States, while under CBI we have been in a similar position vis-1a-vis Canada in the
United States. Unless there were to be compensatory measures by both parties, the
US/Canada Free Trade Area could negatively affect our preferential position in both
markets. This might particularly be the case should the Free Trade Area be extended
to other countries with surplus labour, low wage costs, and growing technological capa-
A similar point can be made in relation to the establishment of a full internal
market in the EEC by 1992. 1 do not need to go into detail about Caribbean products,
such as bananas, that could be affected. I would only express gratification about the
assurances, emanating both from official and commercial sources, that the Caribbean
access position will be maintained.
A matter that needs to be carefully monitored is the Uruguay round of multi-
lateral trade negotiations. Antigua is the only OECS country to have, so far, joined the
GATT. It is, therefore, fortunate that the OECS secretariat is making its best efforts
to keep abreast of developments, and to work through existing delegations in Geneva
from CARICOM countries. As I said before, as very small countries, the CARICOM
countries have a basic interest in the establishment of an open multilateral trading system,
which essentially boils down to a system that protects the weak from the strong. How-
ever, where barriers to trade are being removed selectively, the countries of the region
have to ensure that they receive an appropriate balance of advantages; for example,
the current efforts of GATT members to liberalise trade in tropical products undoubtedly
have merit, although they could adversely affect preferential producers. One will have
to see whether the liberalisation will be done in such a way as to encourage an expansion
in the demand for tropical products, thereby enlarging the market open to both pre-
ferential and non-preferential producers. It would also be helpful if there could be con-
current liberalisation of other products, which could open new opportunities for pre-
ferential producers to diversify their exports.
It is not often appreciated that the Uruguay round is breaking entirely new ground
in international trade negotiations. The round does not only cover the reduction or
elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, but extends also to new issues,
such as the liberalisation of trade in services, intellectual property and the treatment
of trade-related investment. Caribbean countries, despite their limited human and finan-
cial resources, have to make sure that their interests are thoroughly safeguarded during
these important negotiations.
This having been said, steps should be taken to secure investments in existing
access arrangements. For instance, I wonder whether under LOME IV the CARICOM
countries should not press for a separate chapter on Tourism and Services which would
include specific measures to encourage European tourists to the area, as well as co-opera-
tion in the development of the services sector as a whole. Similarly, opportunities should
be taken to strengthen the CBI. Some possibilities include placing it on a contractual
treaty basis which, among other things, will give greater security to Caribbean exporters
to the United States as well as to investors in the region. This would place the CBI on a
basis similar to the LOME Convention and CARIBCAN. Furthermore, in all of these
agreements one would need to see the opportunities for strengthening market access
with respect to categories such as agro-industrial products and light manufactures.
Although the CARICOM countries have been rather successful in securing market
access, this has not been accompanied by corresponding progress with market entry,
that is, actually getting the product sold to its users. Under none of the present access
agreements has the CARICOM market share increased significantly. Governments are
aware that it is not enough simply to negotiate an inter-governmental agreement to
reduce barriers to trade. One has to follow this up by getting entry into distribution
channels in the partner country. This is usually associated with an intensive effort to
develop a network of contacts with the companies involved in using, processing and
selling the relevant products, and by negotiating private partnership arrangements such
as joint ventures to increase market shares. Experience has shown that this is the more
difficult part of the exercise. It requires a considerable outlay of time, of money and of
expertise. No CARICOM country has yet managed to achieve a high degree of success
with export and investment promotion in partner countries, although some countries
are making good strides in this respect.
Given the limited time available to me, I would like to turn now to the inter-
linkages between trade and finance. In conceptual terms it is easy to see that exports
provide foreign exchange earnings which can be used to purchase imports of capital
equipment, intermediate goods and raw materials which can be used for increasing
investment and domestic production, some of which could emerge in the form of ex-
portable production. At the same time, finance may through similar processes fuel an
expansion of export earnings. Countries need, therefore, to take a holistic view of what
they are seeking to achieve in the field of external trade and finance.
As far as financing is concerned, the CARICOM countries have on the whole
focused on mobilising official development assistance through bilateral and multilateral
channels. Most Caribbean countries are far too small to borrow on the major commercial
markets through public flotations of paper such as bonds, although it is possible to
arrange private placements from time to time. Other than those sources, the CARICOM
countries have to look principally towards foreign direct investment.
In retrospect we have become too reliant on official development assistance and
have paid less attention to the mobilisation of commercial flows. In the 1970s it used to
be popular to say that borrowing is preferable to foreign direct investment because the
former does not involve the permanent loss of sovereignty over natural resources. It is
remarkable to note the changes in attitudes that have swept over the world, especially
over the last ten years.
Countries of all sizes and levels of development are now involved in the attraction
of foreign investment, including the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and China.
There are many reasons economic, political, strategic for the changes that have
taken place. In the particular case of the Caribbean, there are a number of factors
which favour a more positive attitude towards the attraction of foreign investment.
First, we have to face the fact that we are being graduated from some sources of develop-
ment assistance. It is now common knowledge that certain donors regard us as less
aid-worthy than countries in other regions, particularly in Africa, because of our higher
levels of per capital income. Most CARICOM countries are now being categorised as
middle income countries, thereby making them less eligible for aid. I have argued before
that this analysis is flawed since per capital income is an inadequate criterion for measuring
aid-worthiness. However, one must face the fact that this is not a question of analytical
purity, in the context of limited resources and competing demands. Apart from increased
flows from the multilateral financial institutions, it is unlikely that over the next 5 to
10 years we can significantly increase present levels of concessional assistance. If that
proposition is correct, then we have to search earnestly for other sources of capital
financing which means commercial sources. As I said before, given the tiny size of
CARICOM countries, very little reliance can be placed on conventional forms of com-
mercial borrowing as a principal source of financing. Joint borrowing by CARICOM
countries may be possible but can be extremely complicated. For example, some sources
may require joint and several guarantees for such a loan, which means that each partici-
pating borrower has to guarantee the full extent of the loan, making the total guarantees
provided a multiple of the value of the loan. There is no doubt that from the point of
view of public commercial borrowing, a unitary state among the OECS countries will
make a good deal of sense.
The next option is foreign direct investment. Here, full account must be taken of
the fact that over the 1970s both parent and host countries have learnt a good deal
about what to avoid in a direct investment undertaking. Parent companies are now
generally sensitive about being seen to be good corporate citizens. Host countries have
a better capability to appraise investment proposals, and to identify concretely what
the benefits and costs are likely to be. The scope for misunderstanding and conflict
has accordingly been reduced. Moreover, foreign investment is now taking a variety of
new forms of so called quasi-equity financing: buy-back and leasing arrangements, take
or pay contracts, term financing, commodity bonds. In other words, the situation today
is far more flexible than it was ten or twenty years ago.
One must also recall that, given the highly indebted situation of some CARICOM
countries, it is important not to add significantly to debt liabilities in arranging new
financing. Equity financing has the advantage that the country only services the capital
provided the enterprise is making a profit, hopefully part of it being in the form of
Returning to the link between trade and finance, it is my own view that more
intensified efforts should be made to mobilise equity and quasi-equity financing for
exportable production geared for the markets into which we have special access. Govern-
ments are already addressing this issue and will no doubt give it greater attention in the
period ahead, but it is not a task for governments alone. The local private sector must
also take a lead in searching out joint venture partners interested in working with them
on particular lines for export to North America and Europe. A corollary of this is that
there has to be an increase in local savings, if local partners are to find their share of
the resources needed for the joint ventures.
Companies should not expect governments to do the whole job find the market,
find the joint venture partner, and put up the money. Once the government has secured
the market access, the private sector should be ready to take over the remaining tasks,
the government remaining as an honest broker to help the partners in sorting out problems
connected with the establishment of the enterprise. The roles of the public and private
sectors should therefore be interactive, with both fully aware and abreast of all the
dimensions of the problem. As far as the private sector is concerned, this means that
they should take a deep interest in international trade and finance issues.
What all of this amounts to is that we have to adapt our strategies, policies, and
actions to a changing trading and financial environment, and to the realities that lie
ahead. In my own view, the CARICOM countries need to review once again what ap-
proaches they should take in trying to attract new sources of trade-related capital financ-
ing for development. Even where they cannot act together they should act consistently.
I would like to end at this stage by a brief reference to the relationships between
economics and politics. If the period since Independence has taught us anything, it is
that there is no free ride in external relations. Countries have to accept that concessions,
say in the economic field, could carry with them other obligations, explicit or implicit.
During the 1960s and 70s we worried a great deal about dependency and about
being dominated by large countries. In a way this was a natural reaction to the ending of
colonial government. However, as I said before, we have now to assess what the respective
benefits and costs of the different arrangements are into which we wish to enter.
This is a basic question that all countries have to address. There are limits to sove-
reignty for all, large or small, developed or developing.
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C - w ----
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Photos by Junior Channer
Academic Procession: 40th Anniversary Convocation of the UWI, Kingston, Jamaica, May 6, 1989.
Photo Martin Mordecai
Sir Shridath Ramphal (the new Guyanese-born Chancellor) is here seen in academic procession at the UWI's 40th anniversary
Convocation Ceremony. In front of him are two former Vice-Chancellors Jamaican-born Sir Philip Sherlock (who was also the
first Director of Extra Mural Studies) and Sir Roy Marshall, the well-known Barbadian-born Jurisprudence Scholar.
VIVAT, FLOREAT, CRESCAT
(UWI 40TH ANNIVERSARY CONVOCATION ADDRESS)
SHRIDATH S. RAMPHAL
Honour, pride, a sense of history past and in the making, some little awe, abundant
pleasure, all co-mingle as I accept your invitation, Chancellor, to address this very special
Convocation. On behalf of the many who join in this occasion of tribute, whether here
or with us in spirit some, once of the University themselves I register our enthusiastic
congratulations to the University of the West Indies on its first forty, fledgling, sometimes
fractious, always fulfilling years. The University has truly earned the esteem and affection
it enjoys; it can count on their continuance as it looks to its fifth decade and the 21st
century beckoning on the near horizon. And our congratulations, too, to the eminent
persons who are today's new honorary graduands West Indians who honour the Uni-
versity in being thus honoured by it.
I first saw this Mona Campus 32 years ago. I remember still the thrill of our meeting.
For someone whose experience of 'university' had been five years in London commuting
to a still war ravaged King's College in the Strand, it seemed a virtual elysium of learning.
The Campus was not yet the built-up place it is today. Somehow, the old aqueduct
seemed more prominent on the landscape and the bougainvillea more dominant, as if
sheltering the youthful structures of the emerging University. It was a rhapsody of colour
and form and function a harmony that seemed to me the perfection of things West
Indian. I was, of course, seeing with both eye and heart; for the University was the
symbol of a dream long dreamt and now at last unfolding; or so it seemed to longing
I had come to Mona that year as a minor official an adviser to an observer, so
tentative were our probings to attend the meeting of the Standing Federation Com-
mittee held in the University's Senate House. For many of us they were the heady days
of hope, but hope well laced with realism: we knew that 300 years of separatism were
not going to release their grip without a mighty struggle. But there was confidence,
then, that our destiny lay in banding together and the University of the West Indies
was the first fruit of that confidence. It was to this Campus that we came to fulfil that
dream over a wider field of ambition.
It is fitting to recall those early days, not for nostalgia alone, but because they
are the gene bank on which the University's future will ever draw. And it was a genesis
of togetherness. One has only to summon up some of the names of those early years to
recognize the richness of that lineage. Not great names yet, but young West Indian intel-
lectuals who would make the University great: they and others from abroad who shared
that pioneering time. As my thoughts return to 1956 I think of a young Leslie Robinson;
of John Parry and Elsa Goveia and Roy Augier; of Shirley Gordon; of M.G. Smith and
Douglas Hall; of John Figueroa and of so many others in those first faculties of natural
and social sciences and of arts. And I think of others on the other side of the Campus,
under the hills of Papine in the new University College Hospital laying foundations of
excellence in medicine men like Ken Stuart and Harry Annamanthadoo and Louis
Grant. Names, I know, are invidious; there are always so many others; but names help
us to conjure up remembrance of times past. Here were the young academics. The Uni-
versity was in good hands.
The federal enterprise that brought me to Mona was to falter, but not the need
for each other which the University symbolised. West Indian unity was, therefore, to
pursue other path-ways over the years to meet that need. Sometimes we wandered off
the main road, down cul de sacs; sometimes we lost our way altogether; yet, always
we eventually moved forward responsive to those genetic impulses of oneness. And
through all these years the University remained as a lantern carried in the region's hands
(as Tagore would have said) 'making enemy of the darkness of the farther road'.
The University, in one sense, is a purveyor of enlightenment; but, in another, more
primary, sense it is by its very being a symbol of society's enlightenment in this case,
a symbol of our enlightened acknowledgement of a uniting West Indian identity that
oneness that is so dear to West Indians in Brixton or Brooklyn but so easily blurred at
home. As I look back over the last forty years, therefore, before we congratulate the
University on its record, we must recognize and applaud the political environment which
has nurtured and sustained it. I do not say this lightly. On occasions like this there is
often need to emphasize the claims of academic freedom and to underline the need for
a political climate conducive to the flourishing of the University. West Indian Govern-
ments certainly are no different from any others in being prone to the temptations of
those who pay the piper. But it would be wholly wrong to imply that the last forty
years these first forty years have been ones of struggle against interfering Govern-
ments. The record is very different. The University, indeed, has owed both its existence
and its development to enlightened political leadership. West Indian Governments have
purposefully sustained the University, often through difficult times at home. They have
sustained it, first of all, as one University; and they have sustained it as a University of
which the region can be proud. Congratulations, I believe, are in order to those political
leaders, past and present, who have shown activism in making the University viable and
restraint in making it worthy of the highest university standards.
I think in particular of the service rendered on the Council of the University. I
think of public figures from the early days: of Philip Sherlock and Hugh Springer who
were of the Council (and also of the Irving Committee of the Asquith Commission itself)
before they were on the University's staff; I think of men like Ludlow Moody and Sidney
Christian, Grantley Adams and Garnett Gordon and of the many others who followed
the pathways they first trod. But I think especially of the succession of Education and
Finance Ministers of the region on the Council and the Grants Committee, many of them
Prime Ministers, who not only ensured that the University of the West Indies remained
afloat in a sometimes stormy Caribbean but also that it voyaged steadily to the goal of
meeting in innumerable ways the tertiary education needs of the region. It is a point
worth making that, at this University at least, the close involvement of Governments,
and particularly of Finance Ministers, in the financial and development affairs of the
University has been wholly to the advantage of the University.
None know better than the successive Vice-Chancellors of the University how much
is owed, in a positive sense, to the Governments of the region. They were in the front
line of encounter with West Indian politicians: and all would testify to the strength of
the ultimate political commitment whatever the turbulences of the time. To those
Vice-Chancellors is due our special gratitude some here today, Sir Arthur Lewis, Sir
Philip Sherlock, Sir Roy Marshall, Dr. Aston Preston before them, Drs Taylor and Graves
- the first Principals from beyond the region; and now, after them, the first Vice-Chancellor
from the University's own academic ranks Dr. Alister McIntyre. The University of
the West Indies has been fortunate in the sustained quality of its academic leadership -
each Vice-Chancellor bringing different talents and attributes but all giving leadership
of quality. Young universities, universities in young countries, need such leadership
more than others do. When the university is still formative, when the society it serves
is still evolving its attitudes to the university that leadership is crucial. Young universities
cannot fly on automatic pilot.
Beyond the politicians and the University's academic leadership are the staff and
students: and it is they, together, who have been such a credit to our region. It is here
that the University's achievements stand out most clearly.
From a few hundred (mainly in medicine, natural sciences and arts) in the first ten
years, to over four thousand in the second decade when Sir Arthur became the first
Vice-Chancellor and what a delight it is to have him with us today and to know that
later this month he will be specially honoured in Barbados by the Caribbean Studies
Association to some eleven thousand today, as a dynamic new Vice-Chancellor sets his
hand to constructive development and change as robust as any that have gone before
and, perhaps, even more daring.
These developments and changes will, I trust, be facilitated by the success we hope
will attend the University's Relief and Development Appeal now launched on a worldwide
basis under the patronage of the Princess Royal a continuing Royal involvement with
the University which will have special overtones of nostalgia for those who recall the
years of the University's first Chancellor.
But I return to the role of serving the region through the University's young graduates.
Overall, the total number now approaches thirty-five thousand: men and women in every
walk of professional life and every branch of civic leadership. The region is already
greatly in the debt of its University.
But beyond these numbers, the University as a centre of intellectual activity has
won respect worldwide. This is a matter of incomparable significance in a world which
our genius has made so small that our learning can afford no mediocrity. I say this, of
course, without prejudging particular issues like the University's qualifications for admis-
sion. In this matter, there is probably no single right model. A University that serves
so far flung a region will need to meet many separate needs and to pursue many approaches
in doing so. What ultimately is essential is that the University does not compromise its
pursuit of excellence; for, if it does, it will fail to meet that primary goal of quality
judged by objective standards and fall short of its optimal service to the West Indies.
It is not a question of whether to produce champagne or sparkling wine; but that in
producing either we attain superlative quality. The University of the West Indies in all
these forty years has understood this well and been guided by its imperatives. Long
may it continue to do so.
And beyond quality in general terms, this is surely a time for us to commend the
University's role in fostering genuine West Indian scholarship and in developing standards
and norms of its own. The University's motto is: 'A light rising in the West'. That light
must not be as from a planet giving out reflected light light reflected from old metro-
poles or even new ones; the University of the West Indies should itself be a star, small
perhaps in the firmament of universities, but the authentic source of its own light.
It follows that the University has played a unique role in helping us to know and
develop our cultural identity and to escape the mental shackles of dependency that
bound West Indians for so long. This role of a University in society is always significant;
but, in developing countries, it has a primordial importance; a point I remember being
made with great force by the then Prime Minister of Jamaica (and Jamaica's Prime
Minister again today) when he gave the keynote address at the 1974 Commonwealth
Education Conference held here in Kingston on the theme of 'Education as an aspect
of social, economic and political strategy':
'Without self awareness (he said) we are incapable
of appreciating the relationship between what we
are and the environment we occupy. . decoloni-
sation is vital to the search for new strategies. But
decolonisation must begin at the psychological
level and must, therefore, reflect the process by
which we acquire some degree of awareness of
The University has helped to give back to the region a sense of pride and self knowledge,
forming and strengthening that belief in ourselves which the political process of decoloni-
sation made fully possible.
But we must look not only before, but also after. We must look to the challenges
that lie ahead, some peculiar to this unique institution, others which it shares with all
One of the former kind is that, in responding to the need for decentralisation, we
somehow must not lose on the several Campuses that West Indian mixture and flavour
that so enriches the role of the University within the region. I know that factors of
financial disequilibrium have been the primary cause, but while we respond to those
realities, as we must, I hope we never make such a virtue of necessity that we do not
see the dangers. Danger, in particular, to the University itself of Campuses being staffed
for the most part by nationals, and under-graduates spending their entire University
life on their own island Campuses. The very life blood of the University of the West
Indies is the intellectual cross-fertilisation, the social interaction, the political resonances
of region that derive from student and staff mobility throughout the University's centres.
As we look to the future, we must surely yearn for a return to a state of financial equili-
brium propitious to sustaining the University's regional character wherever in the region
it may function.
In this area of special challenges, few are more important than that which demands
of the University in all its disciplines in social studies as in science, in engineering as
in agriculture, in medicine as in education itself the vigorous pursuit of relevant re-
search. It is universities themselves that insist, and rightly so, on the inseparability of
teaching and research; not an elite well-funded research university on the one hand,
while on the other those at a lower level get on with teaching without concerning them-
selves with fundamental enquiry. I know that resources can limit research. Far worse,
however, if research is limited by inertia from within the university itself. The University
of the West Indies must be wanted by the people of the region as much for its research
as for its teaching. It will be less respected, less supported and ultimately less wanted
- if it neglects the one for the other.
In the area of wider challenge this University, like others everywhere, must adapt
to a world in which the knowledge base, both theoretical and applied, is changing rapidly.
How to keep pace? Business and management studies barely existed forty years ago;
information technology programmes, not at all. Even in traditional areas like history,
language and linguistics, medicine and engineering, content and technique are changing
fast. Have we the capacity and flexibility to adjust? Or are the universities to be stranded
like great whales on the beach while all the real action goes on in the sea from which we
have cut ourselves off a sea populated by specialised research institutes, colleges of
technology, by the training and research wings of industrial firms seas, in any case,
that will not touch West Indian shores? Keeping up to date is not just a matter of re-
placing yesterday's laboratory equipment with the latest electronics which will inevitably
be superseded tomorrow. Universities especially in developing countries, but in others
too will not be able to keep up with the technological 'Joneses'. What they can and
must do is forge partnerships with the world beyond the campus gates. The interface
between the university, industry and society has to be broadened and deepened if the
university is to remain fully relevant and in touch.
This is, perhaps, the greatest of all challenges for us: how to ensure that a know-
ledge gap does not open up,giving literacy a wider meaning and illiteracy a longer reach.
For developing countries especially, distance education must be a part of the response
to this challenge. UWIDITE is testimony that the University of the West Indies recognizes
the potential of open learning. At the Commonwealth level we are forging ahead with
West Indian support and involvement. The Commonwealth of Learning the beginnings
of a Commonwealth open university service has now been established with head-
quarters in Vancouver. It is the outcome of a recommendation of the Commonwealth
Committee on Student Mobility under the chairmanship of Sir Roy Marshall; and its
first President is a distinguished educationalist of this region, Dr. James Maraj. Both are
with us today. It was Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford of Barbados who introduced
the discussion of this enterprise at the Commonwealth meeting in Vancouver. Professor
Rex Nettleford served on the initial Committee under Lord Asa Briggs which demon-
strated the need to move in this way, and your Pro-Vice-Chancellor Gerald Lalor was
part of the Working Group that developed the eventual structures.
My vision is that one day the Commonwealth of Learning, working with and through
UWIDITE, can ensure that any learner anywhere in the West Indies should be able to
study any distance teaching programme available from any bona fide college or uni-
versity in the entire Commonwealth: to ensure, in short, by harnessing communication
technology, that tertiary (and even vocational) education of the highest quality available
in the Commonwealth through distance learning techniques is brought within reach of
every West Indian whatever his or her age, or resources, or occupation, whether in
Belmopan or Basseterre, in New Providence or Pt. Saline or Port Morant, in Scarborough
or Spanish Town. In this enterprise, the University of the West Indies will be, of course,
a receiver, but you will be a giver also to the Pacific, to Africa, even to the open learn-
ing institutions of the developed Commonwealth. Three generations and more ago,
West Indians of ambition reached out to learning through lamp-light and correspondence
courses. Tomorrow they must be able to reach even farther, through satellite and radio
and television, through programmes centred here in the University of the West Indies
backed up by the Commonwealth of Learning.
Universities everywhere are coming to terms with the reality that they have lost
their traditional monopoly of knowledge accumulation, generation and dissemination.
The future will in part consist of working in partnership with others engaged in the
knowledge, information and learning industry. The University of the West Indies has
recognized this. It is co-operating in the creation of non-campus colleges and has made
provision for other affiliations. The region needs to prepare for this next phase of higher
education and to plan an open and co-ordinated structure for post-secondary develop-
ment in the region as a whole. The answer is not to resist change that can respond to
valid needs but to ensure that it takes place in an orderly fashion and without prejudice
to overriding principles.
One of those, I hope you will agree, is the importance of there being a single
university system serving the member countries of the Caribbean Community. I have
already spoken about this on my installation as Chancellor of the University of Guyana.
I take the opportunity to repeat it here. I am utterly convinced of its rightness for Guyana
and for the region for the University of Guyana and for the University of the West Indies
which share a common purpose in relation to the long-term objectives of tertiary educa-
tion within the Community. In developing the structures of such a single university
system, we must, of course, place first the need of the people of the region, the young
people in particular, for the very best that the region as a whole can offer by way of
tertiary education in the new millennium soon at hand.
I said that some of the challenges the University will face are challenges shared with
all Universities. This year, for example, the University of Bologna in Northern Italy -
Europe's (and perhaps the world's) oldest University has been celebrating its nine
hundredth anniversary. What a temptation to wallow in self congratulation and to dwell
on past triumphs and great moments in history! Instead, the Rectors and Vice-Chancellors
of European Universities who gathered together to celebrate this great milestone issued
what they called a Magna Charta of European Universities. The Declaration virtually
begins with these words:
'four years before the definitive abolition of bound-
aries between the countries of the European Com-
munity, looking forward to far-reaching co-operation
between all European nations and believing that all
Peoples and States should become more than ever
aware of the part that universities will be called upon
to play in a changing and increasingly international
It is a document which looks forward, not back, one of relevance to all universities. Its
final principle is that, as a trustee of the humanist tradition, the university's constant
care must be to attain universal knowledge and, in fulfilling its vocation, to transcend
geographical and political frontiers, affirming the vital need for different cultures to
know and influence each other. What could be more relevant to the University of the
West Indies? But they did not stop there. The countries of the European Community
have developed what is known as the ERASMUS programme through which they will
ensure that ten per cent of students in higher education in Europe spend at least a year
of their university life in another European Community country. If even Europe, out of
whose ancient rivalries our history has been moulded, is finding now the need to assert
its togetherness, how much greater is our need not to lose that asset of oneness which
is our precious heritage from an imperfect past?
It looks as if for UWI, as for each of us, life begins at forty! The years ahead are
full of challenge but you are well equipped for the encounter not only in terms of
the strengths the University will bring to it, but the strengths the people and Governments
of the region will bring to the University.
Let me end then with words which have echoed through the whole history of
universities and which may be heard whenever a university marks both so serious and so
joyous a commemoration as that which we celebrate today; To the University of the
West Indies, I say for all of us VIVAT, FLOREAT, CRESCAT: Live, Flourish, Grow!
Manning Marable, African & Caribbean Politics: From Kwame Nkrumah to Maurice Bis-
hop, Verso, London, 1987. x and 314pp.
I have thought for some time that the comparison of African and Caribbean politics
would provide a fruitful avenue of enquiry in the field of Third World studies. The two
regions are bound, of course, by the history of the 'Middle Passage', but also share so
much else in terms of the experience of European colonialism and its many contemporary
legacies. Manning Marable clearly appreciates this and has produced a book of essays
which, although quixotic in some respects, do raise many fascinating issues of compari-
son between the African and Caribbean political experience.
Marable comes to his theme from an unorthodox angle, namely, a prior concern
with black politics in the United States. What brings Africa and the Caribbean together
for him is the common issue of race, or 'blackness'. The book is thus dedicated to 'the
countless number of men and women who gave of themselves completely to achieve free-
dom and self-determination . throughout the recent history of Black struggle' in the
two regions, amongst whom are specifically enumerated not only the two black heroes
identified in the sub-title, Kwame Nkrumah and Maurice Bishop, but also Amilcar Cabral,
Frantz Fanon, Agostinho Neto, Patrice Lumumba and the other leading politicians mur-
dered with Bishop in Grenada on 19 October 1983. The list, however, reveals that.
although race may have been Marable's starting point, class is his main tool of analysis.
Indeed, the central question he examines concerns the record of the various political
formations and mass movements in Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Guinea, Jamaica, Tanza-
nia and elsewhere which have tried in the last twenty or so years to develop program-
mes and transitional strategies for the construction of 'socialism' in the Third World.
By virtue of their very range, these diverse and complicated political experiences
cannot be comprehensively analysed in one volume. Marable's approach is that of the
essayist, organising his material as inclination rather than structure dictates. He begins
with a lengthy discussion of 'the historical contours of African and Caribbean politics'.
These are constituted, successively, by colonialism, neocolonialism, nationalism and
marxism, the impact of each on the two regions being described in busy (perhaps exces-
sively busy) fashion. Names, countries and party initials fly across the pages in an impres-
sive display of the author's erudition, but rather at the expense of establishing a particu-
lar argument. Nevertheless, the chapter may be said to stand as preliminary background.
It is followed by a second essay which addresses the rise and fall of the Convention
People's Party (CPP) in Ghana from Nkrumah's return to the country from London in
1947 to his overthrow by the army in 1966. All the main secondary sources have been
thoroughly culled in the cause of presenting an admirably clear and relatively concise
historical account of this dramatic and formative phase of Ghanaian politics. However,
not much space is given to reflection at the end of the story, although Marable does sug-
gest that Nkrumah's fundamental failure was 'an inability to comprend the centrality of
democracy to the dynamics of national liberation'. The road to Bonapartism in Ghana
was thus a fairly short one.
The third chapter reverts to the style and format of the first essay, ranging in fast
and furious fashion over other 'socialist' experiments in Africa and the Caribbean during
the 1960s and 1970s. Nevertheless, theories of democratic socialism, social democracy
and 'non-capitalist development' are interestingly debated and, again, the conclusion is
reached that too often the seemingly inevitable political consequence of such strategies
is some version of state authoritarianism, not 'social orientation'. This is then followed
by the fourth and final essay which gives Maurice Bishop and the Grenadian Revolution
the same treatment as was previously applied to Nkrumah's Ghana.
Marable displays a good knowledge of the extensive literature which has quickly
grown up on the experience of the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) and, as
before, sets out the main features of the story with style and panache. He does not make
the mistake of seeing the final conflict of the revolution in personality or any other
single-dimensional way, but instead emphasises the ultimate clash between 'egalitarian'
and 'statist' traditions in socialist thought and practice. In this he contributes helpfully to
the understanding of the Grenadian Revolution. Perhaps I may be permitted to add that,
at one point in a footnote, he takes issue with the observation made by myself in con-
junction with Paul Sutton and Tony Thorndike in our jointly-authored book on Grenada
- that parliamentary democracy could not defeat Gairy and that force was the only
answer. However, the citation of the fact that one member of the revolutionary leader-
ship fled the island just prior to the March 1979 insurrection (which is all that is said by
way of counter-argument) scarcely seems sufficient to rebut our claim.
This is almost entirely by-the-by, evidence only of a reviewer's inability to avoid
an opportunity to respond to criticism. The more serious flaw in the book is that it
completely lacks a conclusion. It just stops after its consideration of the revolutionary
implosion in Grenada in October 1983. This is an inexplicable omission and a substantial
disappointment because, in the preceding chapters, Marable does raise many important
issues concerning the debate about socialism in Africa and the Caribbean. His concluding
argument has thus to be put together for him, and goes more or less as follows. It is that
what usually passes for 'socialism' is an hierarchically deformed version of statism, which
emphasises centralised decisionmaking and planning, extensive social engineering and the
concentration of state power within the upper levels of the ruling party at the expense
of cultural pluralism, civil liberties and mass involvement. Marable's position is that any
successful socialist strategy must represent a dialectical synthesis of these contrasting sets
of characteristics. By this standard with which it is difficult to argue none of the
African and Caribbean models he examines comes up to scratch. Yet, he insists, both
Ghana under Nkrumah and Grenada under Bishop saw some concrete achievements in
this direction, from which it is possible both to learn and build. In this process, which is
certainly as necessary as the author claims, Marable is a valuable, if frustrating, companion.
ANTHONY J. PAYNE
Neil Price, Behind the Planter's Back, London: Macmillan Publishers, Warwick University
Caribbean Studies, 1988. pp. xiv, 274.
Neil Price, a trained English sociologist, uses participatory observation, a method associat-
ed with anthropologists, to study the society in Lower Bay, Bequia. With a population of
approximately 5,000, Bequia is the largest of the Grenadine islands, which, along with
St. Vincent, the largest island to the north, and several smaller islands to the south, com-
prise the nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines whose total population is about
The work differs from some other ethnographic studies of the region, in that Price
takes a very specific materialist approach.' He sees Bequia as a class society comprising
an exploiting class of ex-planters and merchants, and an exploited class made up of the
majority of the people. The dominant class owns and controls the markets and means of
production, while the peasant producers, share-croppers, fishermen, small entrepreneurs
and artisans are dependent on them. Price states, however, that although Bequia society
is dominated by the capitalist mode of production, the lower class frequently calls on pre-
capitalist, and other early capitalist modes when they are necessary for economic survival
(pp. xii-xiii).They have done this consistently as the post-emancipation society passed
through economies largely based on sharecropping, work on foreign vessels, and more
The empirical study,conducted between March 1980 and June 1981. is an interest-
ing, clearly written work that looks at the connections between history, economy, house-
hold, kinship ties, and tourism on the lives of the people of Lower Bay. The book provi-
des some useful information on the values and culture of the people of Lower Bay. Of
interest to policy-makers is the way in which Lower Bay people view themselves in rela-
tionship to other people. They look on all outsiders with suspicion, and are particularly
outspoken in their attacks and criticisms of Vincentians. Comments such as "Dere two
types of Vincentian. Country people and Kingstown people. And both of dem is worth-
less. Country people still living from years ago, and Kingstown people are all thieves",
help to explain why the people of Lower Bay rallied around the call for secession of the
Grenadines in the early 1980s. They believed that"A Vincee is a Vincee . .de govern-
ment ain't doing nuttin' for we people here in Bequia. People from St. Vincent is just
the same. Dey ain't got no respeck. When dey come to Bequia, and when we does go over
dere dey especk we grateful for de things dey do for we, but all the time dey hoping for
some money from we . ." (p. 187). These perceptions point out some of the difficulties
that face the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in fostering unity in the nation.
The picture that emerges of Lower Bay society is not unlike other studies done on
Caribbean society. Price's materialist perspective, however, credits practically all cultural
values, and functioning of institutions, to the economic realities of the society. He dis-
cussed practices such as the adoption of children by relatives, referred to as child shifting,
strong friendship ties among males, the low incidence of marriage (very rare among per-
sons below forty), and the lack of warmth between siblings as direct results of the people's
response to economic forces. He dismisses theories of African survivals, or the effects of
slavery on the development of lower-class West Indian culture. This is perhaps the greatest
fault with the book. Price tends to beg the question, viewing the facts in a preconceived
theoretical framework. Although there is merit to much of what he argues, surely there is
room for values outside of a purely materialist concept. For example, there must be other
factors, including religious views, and small island life, that discourage theft and violence.
Price contends that youthful misbehaviour brings shame to older family members because
it represents, in an impoverished and increasingly marginalised lower-class community,
actions and beliefs which constitute a threat to material survival or symbolic status of an
individual or group' (p. 169).
Price gives an entire chapter to the role of tourism, then in its incipient stages. Unlike
most people in Lower Bay, he has very little hope that tourism would provide the answer
to the present economic marginalization of the lower class. Tourism is controlled by the
ex-planter class, and overseas capitalists. Members of the lower class, particularly women,
find some work in the industry, but it continues to be exploitative, and insufficient to
eradicate poverty and marginalisation. On the contrary, it results in demeaning practices
such as dependency on individual tourists, especially drifters, and a hopeless longing to
be taken abroad by these itinerants.
Behind the Planter's Back is an in-depth look at Lower Bay life. We come to know
and understand the lower class, but, the planters who make the sinister moves behind the
scenes do not emerge as real people. In order to understand fully the economic exploita-
tion that Price mentions, we need to see more of their actual machinations. What we see
is a small community on a poor island in which some people are not as poor as the others.
We are reminded, however, that a people's material deprivation does not necessarily lead
to spiritual poverty.
1. See for example, the Caribbean studies of M.G. Smith; R.T. Smith; David Lowenthal; and
Jonathan D. Hill (ed.), Rethinking History and Myth: Indigenous South American Per-
spectives on the Past, (University of Illinois Press, Chicago, 1988) pp. 1-337, ISBN
It was perhaps inevitable, given the analyses of Claude Levi-Strauss on the structural
theory of myths, based to a considerable degree on the indigenous societies of South
America, that the historians would seek to reassess the evidence, and in the process esta-
blish analytic rapprochement with the anthropologists. This collection of essays repre-
sents the fulfilment of this intellectual and methodological development. Its mission is to
illustrate, by looking at Amerindian cultures of the Amazonian and Andean regions, that
the long accepted distinction between myth and history, especially within the Indian-
European contact experience, has no basis in intellectual objectivity and requires signifi-
cant reformulation. In this sense, then, it constitutes the condensation of recent research
by historians and anthropologists who are currently looking at the specific cultural and
linguistic traditions that shaped consciousness in the political-social encounter conditions
of native America and imperial Europe.
To varying degrees, historians have been uncomfortable with the excessively "capi-
talist" world view of world systems theory in the approach to South American history,
and many have advanced instead cohesive concepts that placed at the core of analyses
the critical importance of local and regional experiences. The view adopted within this
volume represents a synthesis of these two positions. Most authors have attempted to
show the levels of articulation between regional and global actions in the interpretation
of history and consciousness. Though it is not stated, this approach allows for the libera-
tion of the Amerindian world view and self-identity from imperial and Euro-creole narra-
tives. This, implicitly, is the central task which faced most researchers within this volume.
By restoring "core" status to the Amerindian mind in the interpretation of South
America history, it was inevitable that certain myths and misconceptions be looked at
closely. Thrown on the defensive is the stance of the classical anthropologist as "non-
participatory" observer involved in detached objective observation. Also thrown on the
defensive is the supposedly primary status of documentary evidence and the subordina-
tion of the oral tradition.
Authors are in agreement that it is necessary to illustrate that historical truth is not
arrived at primarily by the sifting of documented evidence, but essentially by a careful
interpretation of socio-linguistic and cultural traditions. The logical result of this approach
is the rejection of Levi-Strauss's categorisation of these culture-areas into "hot societies"
that thrive on irreversible, cumulative change, and "cold mythic societies" that resist
This volume, then, represents evidence toaffirm the basic "hotness" of Amerindian
societies, and to show how ancient myths played positive roles in the progressive evolu-
tion of Amerindian social consciousness. To a large extent, it seeks to relocate Amerin-
dian societies at the core of structuralist methodologies and theories of historical develop-
ment, and to lay the foundation for a rejection of the Eurocentric myth that such socie-
ties experienced rapid social change for the first time when they encountered western
Wade Davis, Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie,University of
North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1988, pp. 344.
In Finding the Centre V.S. Naipaul makes the following observation on the difference
between travel writing and ethnography.
I travel to discover other states of mind. And if for
this intellectual adventure I go to places where
people live restricted lives, it is because my curiosity
is still dictated in part by my colonial background ...
When my curiosity is satisfied, when there are no
more surprises, the intellectual adventure is over and
I become anxious to leave. It is a writer's curiosity
rather than an ethnographer's or journalist's.
For Naipaul travel is a kind of masochism. His "curiosity" serves only to remind him of
the restrictiveness of rural Trinidad. His "adventure" paradoxically leads back to his inau-
spicious origins. No matter how much he travels he never quite manages to leave home.
The same capacity for self-scrutiny which allows Naipaul to savour these ironies pushes
him to distinguish between a "writer's curiosity" and that of the ethnographer or journa-
The writer feeds off the disorientation produced by his journey. The ethnographer
must go beyond surprise. He is not interested in his own dislocation but in a plausible
rendering of the ways of the world he visits. Wade Davis in his investigation of the pheno-
menon of zombification in Haiti operates in defiance of Naipaul's scrupulously establish-
ed categories. Passage of Darkness is the fourth version of the adventures of Wade Davis in
Haiti. He has written a Ph. D. thesis in the discipline of ethnobotany for Harvard. He pro-
duced the travel book The Serpent and the Rainbow (Collins, 1986). He collaborated on
the film by the same name which was less than a success. He has now published yet
another volume on his travels in Haiti. Passage of Darkness purports to be the scientific
version of the earlier travel book. The latter was dedicated to John Lennon. The present
work is more restrained and duller. The contents of both books are the same. The revi-
sions are essentially formal. The lively first person narrative of The Serpent and the Rain-
bow has yielded to the more scientific discourse of Passage of Darkness.
In spite of. or perhaps because of. Davis' deletions and rewriting, two disturbing
issues are raised in his description of zombification in Haiti. The first is the capacity of a
scientific expedition in the field of ethnobotany to produce such a widely divergent
stream of narratives. It must be the first time that a sensationalist 'B' movie and a doc-
toral dissertation for a respected university were produced from the same experience and
the same narrative. The second is a related one. Passage of Darkness in its attempt to be
more 'scientific' edits out the human context of Davis's story and endangers its credi-
bility. Ethnography today is a much embattled field. It can no longer pretend to be
nothing but the objective account of another culture. Readers would want to know how
a blond North American, a latter day Indiana Jones, managed to penetrate the mysteries
of secret societies in black, rural Haiti. Who were his informants? Did they know he
would disclose their secrets to the world? In the earlier travel book Davis was led into this
labyrinthine world by his personal Ariadne Rachel Beauvoir. The enchanting lady has
no place in the present version.
Davis was drawn to Haiti because of apparently reliable reports that Haitians who
had been declared dead, had reappeared in their native villages. He set out (perhaps with
both a film and a doctoral dissertation in mind) to discover what toxic substance was
being used to create the illusion of death among Haitians. Davis located in the puffer fish
a toxin capable of producing a state of paralysis which could be mistaken for death. Davis
recounts an interesting history of similar death-like trances which occur among Japanese
eaters of this species of ifsh. He quite wisely does not stop there. He is aware of the fact
that 'zombification' and paralysis induced by fish poison are not the same thing. Zombifi-
cation is a special kind of death. The zombie is more than a victim of poisoning. He or she
is the creation of certain psycho-social conditions. Davis explains these conditions in
terms of vaudou theology and the punitive practices of secret societies, such as the
Bizango. The concept of the individual's 'ti bon ange' or soul is central to the idea ofzom-
bification. The secret societies, which date back to the maroons of colonial St. Domingue,
apparently use zombification as a means of punishment or expulsion from the communi-
ty. However, the larger more abstract question of metamorphosis is not tackled. In the
collective imagination of Haitians there is likely to be a link between body and non-body,
visibility and invisibility which governs a whole range of activities, including the belief
in the living dead. Davis falls short of understanding the 'grammar' of the culture he is
investigating and has difficulty in making it comprehensible to the non-initiated.
What often makes it difficult to accept Davis as a privileged interlocutor in this
chronicle of clandestine practices by ill-defined groups which operate outside of the law
is his apparently naive acceptance of questionable findings reported by others. He dis-
misses as "lame"'the work of Herskovits and Courlander on Haitian folk culture. The
Marxist view of zombilication as an extreme symbol of the alienation of labour is seen as
"simplistic". He seems far happier with the melodramatic accounts of Haitian culture by
Zora Neale Hurston (Tell my Horse, 1938), Edna Taft (A Puritan in Voodooland,1938),
Spencer St. John (Haiti or the Black Republic, 1884) and William Seabrook (The Magic
Island, 1929). He also quite uncritically cites Evans-Pritchard, breezily unaware of the
deep prejudice which informs much of this writing, published five decades ago.
Ultimately, for Davis, Haitians are different. Into "the very texture of their think-
ing . is woven magical and mystical ideas", he declares. Therefore. Davis feels no sense
of outrage at behaviour which would not be seen as acceptable in North America. For
him, Haitian society is static. It is what it always was. He smugly predicts that no Haitian
President will ever be able to rule Haiti without the help of the secret societies and the
Ton Ton Macoutes. To this extent, the political implications of Davis's work are clear and
disturbing. No doubt he was coached by his houngan confidant Max Beauvoir in his belief
in Francois Duvalier. Davis is a firm apologist for Papa Doc because of the latter's cham-
pioning of vaudou. The political and social consequences of Duvalierism are brushed
aisde. Haiti is not a real country after all. He confidently predicts on the dust jacket of
Passage of Darkness that vaudou will continue to "fulfill (sic) a political function" in
It is dismaying that Davis, like so many well meaning white foreigners, is disappoint-
ed by the present backlash against the vaudou religion. Foreigners seem to prefer the
Club Med version of Haiti no money, no rules, no clothes. Haitians seem to want
modernity in their desire to cast aside the shadows of the Duvalier years. While Passage
of Darkness does offer some helpful details about the ethnobotany of zombification, it
cannot explain the convulsions taking place in Haiti's rural culture today. The best recent
work on the question of folk religions and zombification in Haiti is Laennec Hurbon's
Le Barbare Imaginaire (1987). Interestingly, Hurbon provides a section on the American
interest in ethno-pharmacology and drugs which are used to create zombies. Davis should
have paid attention to Naipaul's definition of the role of the travel writer. This is precise-
ly what he is even if a less entertaining one than Naipaul. The better book is still The
Serpent and the Rainbow as it is a more readable account of a young North American's
nostalgiae de la boue'. Unlike Passage of Darkness it does not pretend to be what it is not.
J. MICHAEL DASH
Harry Goulbourne, Teachers, Education and Politics in Jamaica 1892-1972, Macmillan
Publishers, London, 1988, pp. 196.
Having read Dr. Goulbourne's Ph. D. thesis, I was delighted to see a revised version pub-
lished by the University of Warwick in its Caribbean Studies Series, for few studies have
focused specifically on teachers and teachers' organizations in the Caribbean. For this rea-
son alone, this study commends itself to practitioners in the teaching profession, policy
makers and their advisors and the wider community interested in the educational enter-
prise. But in addition to filling a gap, Teachers, Education and Politics in Jamaica is well
written, carefully researched and skillfully crafted in the social, economic and political
fabric of Jamaican society. This book cannot be ignored by the serious future-worker in
this field. Such is the legacy of pioneering efforts.
Goulbourne introduces the study by attempting to identify common patterns in
Caribbean education born out of the colonial and Commonwealth traditions of the re-
gion. Hence, although the study is focused on Jamaica, the author has put it in a regional
context. In describing the background of the study, Goulbourne gives a good account of
political, economic and social developments as these impacted on education between
1865 and 1962. In so doing he draws heavily on the work of Eisner in describing the eco-
nomy and will be open to the criticisms that are now being made of Eisner's conclusions
by some scholars. Goulbourne's descriptions of educational developments are particular-
ly useful precisely because there is so little that has been written about this period.
Having set out the regional context in Chapter 1, described the social, political and
economic factors shaping education in Chapter 2, Goulbourne then discusses in Chapter 3
the formation of the Jamaica Union of Teachers in 1894 and the Jamaica Teachers'
Association in 1964. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 analyse the involvement of teachers, the JUT
and the JTA in politics over the period 1894 to the 1980s. While the title of the book
puts 1972 as the end point of the study, the author cites and discusses developments
beyond that date. In Chapter 7 the author draws his conclusions.
When taken in its entirety, this study has many features which can advance its
claim as a landmark investigation into the impact of teachers and their organizations on
the formation of Jamaican society. First, it combines political science analysis with a
historical sequence. In so doing the study makes vital connections between the past and
the present. Thus it avoids the pitfall of so many works in the social sciences which carry
out contemporary analysis without the benefit of understanding the contributions of
the historical antecedents.
Second, the study analyses educational developments over a period that has been
largely neglected by historians, educational researchers and social scientists although an
understanding of this period, 1865 to 1962, is crucial to any comprehension of contem-
porary Jamaican society. As Goulbourne himself recognized, this is the period of the
transformation of the Jamaican society from its heritage of slavery to its contemporary
forms. Information and insights recorded by this study will be of use to scholars and
students not particularly interested in politics or teachers and their organizations. Its
impact in this regard is likely to go far beyond the focus of this work.
Third, this book brings to centre stage the unsung heroes and heroines of the last
century and a half of Caribbean history, the elementary school teachers. No other group
has played a more vital and pivotal role in the rise of blacks in Caribbean society than the
elementary school teachers. Several studies have mentioned their seminal contributions,
but such comments have been usually made in passing reference in researching some
other area. Goulbourne has accorded the elementary school teachers the central place, a
position they are likely to hold as their contributions to the development of Caribbean
society are reassessed, particularly by local scholars.
Notwithstanding these strengths of the study, there a number of technical defects.
The most minor of these are the editorial faults that remain in the published text. For
example, on page 25 reference in the text is made to Table 2.5 but the Table [and com-
mentary] which follows is Table 2.6. In addition the figures in Table 2.6 do not add
up. Hopefully, in any future reprinting of this book those editorial defects will be correct-
ed. The more substantial defects are those related to the author's presentation of matters.
Three of these are worthy of mention here.
1. In reviewing literacy levels over the period the figure quoted for 1871 was 16 per
cent of the population over five years of age being able to read and write. For the sub-
sequent years quoted the figures presented included persons who could read but
not write. This inconsistency in presenting the literacy statistics gives an exaggerat-
ed impression of the improvement in literacy levels over the period.
2. The study tried to estimate the number of elementary school teachers in the Jamai-
can school system in 1891. It came up against the problem that the 1891 census
did not dis-aggregate the total numbers of teachers found by the level of the system
at which they taught or whether they taught in private or public schools. Goul-
bourne correctly concluded that there were very few teachers at the secondary
school level but incorrectly concluded that nearly all of the 1733 teachers reported
in the 1891 census were elementary school teachers. The point missed by the
author was that there were a large number of private schools operating at that time.
It is interesting to note that reference is made elsewhere in the book to Thomas
Capper's history of Jamaican education in the 19th century but apparently Capper's
report of the exact number of elementary school teachers in the system in 1898
3. In discussing the issue of the JUT's resistance to agricultural education, the study
totally missed the point that agricultural education had been included as part of
the elementary schools' curriculum in 1899 and that it had remained a part of the
curriculum until the 1950s.
While these technical defects do not detract from the main arguments and focus of
the study a word of caution is necessary for those who would wish to use some of the data
and ancillary comments and conclusions for other purposes. Some checking and inde-
pendent confirmations are necessary. This study is, however, very useful in identifying
and noting important historical sources of information.
Turning to the major focus of the study I must admit that I am in substantial agree-
ment with most of the inferences and conclusions drawn by Goulbourne. There are, how-
ever, some points of reservation and disagreement. The reservation revolves around the
concern that the study does not appear to have captured the subtleties and sophistication
of teachers' organizations in Jamaica in their dealings with the political directorate. The
study devotes a fair amount of space to the conflicts between the JTA and Minister Allen
as well as the celebrated Byfield case. While mention is made that Minister Allen had been
an elementary school teacher for most of his life, no mention was made of the fact that he
was a JUT man. Nor of the fact that in the late 1970s Mr. Byfield became Minister of
Education and that the JTA called a strike during his tenure in office. Unfortunately,
during this strike Mr. Byfield suffered a stroke from which he never recovered. These
would seem to suggest that the teachers'organizations and their leaders have been able to
separate personalities and sentimental relationships from the representation of teachers'
The point being made can be amplified by reference to an anecdote from the JTA
annual conference of 1980. The Minister of Education, of the then PNP government, paid
the accustomed visit to the conference and gave an impressive speech. The officers of the
JTA selected to move the vote of thanks to the Minister a teacher who just happened
to have been the campaign manager for the JLP candidate opposing the Minister in his
Clarendon constituency. The teacher was most generous in his praise of the Minister's
speech and complimented him on the policies he had outlined. He concluded the vote of
thanks by observing with regret that the Minister was unlikely to be the one to implement
these policies because he would first have to win his seat and his party the elections, both
of which he the teacher was working with might and main to prevent. As one would ex-
pect,this brought the house down. The teacher became a celebrity for the rest of the
This anecdote would suggest that the JTA has been far more subtle and sophisticat-
ed in dealing with the political directorate than being supporters of the PNP as is some-
times charged. My reservation with the stance taken by Goulbourne is that he states this
charge as a fact without dealing with many of the nuances of the situation or attempting
to explain how the JTA could organize united militant action against a JLP government
when, by his estimates, approximately 35 per cent of the JTA membership was JLP.
Nor is there any mention of the fact that JTA has organized successful strikes against
PNP governments. These would seem to suggest an alternative hypothesis. that despite
their partisan persuasions, teachers in independent Jamaica have vigorously represented
their interests in a united manner.
My disagreement with the conclusions of the book is with the assessment of the
achievements of the JUT. The conclusion is reached, and rightly so, that the JUT was
never a militant organization and was never as militant as the JTA has been. But using
this criterion of militancy, the JUT was judged as being 'conspicuous in [its] failures' in
contrast to the successes of the more militant JTA. I disagree with the importance given
to militancy in assessing the JUT. Elementary school teachers organized themselves and
formed a Union long before unions were legal or common. The JUT was the only union
formed before 1920 that survived to independence in 1962. Its formation at that time
and survival during those hostile early years is in itself a monumental achievement. The
JUT was a pioneer in the development of trade unionism in Jamaica. Moderation was an
important part of the strategy of survival and has to be understood and interpreted in
that context. JTA has built on the foundations of the JUT. Primary school teachers com-
prise the core around which the JTA is organized. JTA's militancy is possible because of
the foundations laid by the JUT. Comparisons of the JUT and the JTA must take ac-
count of the different historical periods in which they have existed
The book did not discuss the involvement of teachers in the political machinery of
political parties. While reference was made to several teachers who had been outstanding
politicians, the influence and efforts of teachers in less visible roles were not dealt with in
any substantive way. This is an omission. But probably it is too much to expect from this
pioneering study in this field. Hopefully, this commendable and worthwhile study will
stimulate further work which will deal with such considerations.
In my judgement Teachers, Education and Politics in Jamaica 1892-1972 should
be recommended reading for all who intend to study or are engaged in the study of
teachers and teachers' organizations in the Caribbean.
Ruby King & Mike Morrissey, Images in Print: Bias and Prejudice in Caribbean Textbooks,
Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the West Indies, Mona, 1988,
There is a sence in which this terse little book is both big and hugely important. Its im-
portance, which overrides any consideration of size, derives from its salutary concern
with a fundamental question which post-colonial Commonwealth Caribbean societies
have not adequately addressed. This question has to do with the images Caribbean educa-
tors continue to transmit about ourselves a quarter of a century after political decoloni-
zation commenced in the region.
King and Morrissey, themselves educationalists, raise this question with regard to
biases and prejudices in school textbooks but, of course, it is a question that is relevant
to parts of the media such as radio, television, the press, advertisements and so forth. Our
artists novelists and poets, painters and sculptors, musicians, singers and dancers,
craftsmen, architects and so forth have made the Caribbean proud in the fresh and
creative images constructed of its people and environment. Our formal educationalists
have, however, been considerably slower in openly recognizing the need to root out and
replant. This failure is particularly telling in the areas of social life where we recreate and
nurture the images we have of ourselves. One such area is, of course, what the late Louis
Althusser called the educational apparatus. The single most important institution here is
the school. And the images created through the printed word for schools will condition
the children of today who will, to paraphrase one of Big Youth's well-known songs. have
to fashion our world of tomorrow.
The book is a result of a UNESCO-sponsored seminar in the University of the West
Indies, called to evaluate textbooks in some key areas of the school curriculum social
studies, history and geography. The authors raised seven questions, answers to which
would enable them to assess the persistence or prevalence of bias with respect to racism,
Eurocentricity and sexism. The treatment of sexism follows much the same lines as cri-
tiques in Britain and North America women are oppressed by a male hegemonic social
system. Here there is little sense of either the nuance of even quite significant differences
between the Caribbean and societies to the North. The authors are, however, perfectly
correct in stressing the relative absence and the subordinate role of womankind in the
historical and social studies literature to which children are exposed.
With respect to Eurocentric and racial bias,King and Morrissey argue more convinc-
ingly that these are related to the experiences of slavery, indentured labour and colonial-
ism. In the course of the discussion of their findings from an examination of a wide
range of books by both Caribbean and non-Caribbean writers, the authors display a wil-
lingness, not often encountered in the region, to face the false images reproduced in
print. The denial of the history of the indigenous peoples of the region, the denigration
of people of African and Asian backgrounds, the predominance of the minority white
over the vast majority of non-whites and the refusal to accord to women their just deserts
as the mainstay of family and society are factors, King and Morrissey argue, which need
correction in the contemporary Caribbean.
But the authors of Images in Print point to factors other than slavery, indenture
and colonialism as determinants of the bias and prejudices encountered in school books
in the Commonwealth Caribbean. One of these is expectedly the nature of class domina-
tion and class representation in the occupation(s) responsible for the transmission of
knowledge and images in a social order. Another is the continuation of publication of
books for Caribbean schools by foreign scholars. This suggests that there must be a third
important determinant factor which, not entirely surprisingly, the authors do not mention.
In my view this third factor is the relative absence of any form of militant or force-
ful nationalist urge such that it would affect all or most areas of life in the Common-
wealth Caribbean. Such is the importance of the educational apparatus, and in particular
the schools, that one possibly beneficial impact of a vibrant nationalism would have been
a questioning by nationalist schoolmen and schoolwomen of the images transmitted of
themselves to their children. I am not suggesting that these educationalists were not keen
patriots. Far from it! But in the main they have tended to abhor the kind of radicalism
which would have led to a dramatic questioning of received norms and, in a typically
Commonwealth Caribbean manner, exercised caution.
The finding that authors of social studies textbooks are more attuned to the Carib-
bean reality is reassuring but not surprising because at the higher level of academic work
much has been done by the region's social scientists to redress the distortion of the past.
What is surprising is that this is not also true of history books. After all, historians have
also been in the forefront of the effort to construct the Caribbean mosaic in an image
close to the reality they seek to describe.
Following a lively presentation of their main findings, the authors conclude their
report with a remarkably cautious statement which is worth quoting:
The incidence of bias identified in books in use in the
Caribbean may also occur in other formerly colonized
countries where metropolitan publishing houses con-
tinue to dominate textbook publishing. Similar
studies should be commissioned in such countries to
raise the level of consciousness with respect to the
problem of bias in text books [p. 46].
It is not simply a case that this may have been the experience of people in other colonial
situations; colonialism was fairly uniform in this respect. But what is remarkable about
this statement is that its prescription is as applicable to the former imperial countries
such as Britain, Holland and France, as it is to the former colonies. The paradox contain
ed in the statement is that the authors do not acknowledge the fact that the questioning;
of these images in print is comparatively well underway in some parts of the metropole
themselves as a result of stiff resistance to the denigration of the cultures of minorities
from the former colonies. But this discussion ultimately begs another question an
throws up a new responsibility for the Caribbean as well as the post-imperial school-boo
writer: the question of how we should go about constructing the new images.
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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
is the Resident Tutor of the UWI's Extra-Mural Studies
Department, in Castries, St. Lucia.
is Professor of Extra-Mural Studies, University of the West
is Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of the West Indies.
is Professor of History, University of the West Indies, (Cave
is Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.
is the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Chancellor of
the University of the West Indies and Warwick University
Former UWI Chancellor Sir. Allen Lewis (seated at extreme right) flanked by the University's
Registrar and members of Council at the Convocation Ceremony, May 6, 1989.
Academics and politicians in animatedconversation at theConvocation Ceremony, May 6,1989.
Overflowing audience at the Convocation Service, the Chapel, UWI, Sunday, May 7, 1989.
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