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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
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Full Text





COVER ILLUSTRATION : A Jamaican wood-carver who works with his son
under the name of "David Miller".



Vol. 3


Reprinted from a copy in the collections of the
University of Florida Librairies

Reprinted by permission of
A Division of
Nendeln/Liecd tens tein

Printed in Germany
Lessingdruckerei Wiesbaden





George E. Simpson and J. Milton Yinger 66

K. W Barr 80

Derek Walcott 86

D. G. Hall 9(?

Rawle Farley 101

Simon Rottenberg 110


The Editors received numerous requests for Nos. and 2 of Vol. I of
Caribbean Quarterly, and would be most grateful if any readers who have either
of these to spare would be willing to return them. Forty-eight cents will be paid
for each copy. It will be understood that many libraries are anxious to get them
in order to have a complete series of Caribbean Quarterly.

PHILIP SHERLOCK, University College, Jamaica, B.W.I.
ANDREw PEARSE, Caribbean Quarterly Editorial Office, La Fantasie Road, St. Ann's,
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, B.W.I.

VoL. 3. No. 2

MSS. AND COMMUNICATIONS TO THE EDITOR should be addressed to the Editor of the
Caribbean Quarterly, and not to an individual. Unsolicited MSS. which are not accepted
for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope.


Caribbean Quarterly may be obtained from booksellers in the Caribbean area
from 40c. or Is. 8d. per copy.

Persons living in the British West Indies who wish to become subscribers should
send $1,50 (B.W.I.) or 6s. 3d. to the Resident Tutor of their particular Colony, or
else to the Editor in Trinidad. This will entitle them to four successive issues.

All persons abroad should subscribe through the Editor in Trinidad.


British Honduras

Leeward Islands

Windward Islands


British Guiana

Trinidad and Tobago,
Subscribers in United
Kingdom or Abroad

...The Resident Tutor, Extra Mural Department, Univer-
sity College of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
...Rawle Farley, Regent Street, Belize, British Honduras.
...Stanley Sharp, Extra Mural Department, St. John's,
...B. H. Easter, 68, Micoud Street, Castries, St. Lucia.
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Road, St. Michael, Barbados.

...Adolph Thompson, 78, Carmichael Street, Georgetown,
British Guiana.

A. C. Pearse, Caribbean Quarterly Editorial Office,
La Fantasie Road, St. Ann's, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.


THE death of Sir Thomas Taylor, first Principal of the University College of the
West Indies is sad news for the Editors of Caribbean Quarterly. He took a great
interest in the journal from the beginning, and contributed several articles to it, in
his famous "plain speech",-never using a longer word where a shorter would do,
never adopting technical jargon or florid rhetoric to hide feeble thinking, but always
to the point, clear, fast moving, hard hitting. His impatience with long-windedness
and pomp, both in language and in human relations expresses itself clearly in his
memorable article (Caribbean Quarterly, Vol. I. No. 4) for the two-hundredth
anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach's death, in which he says "Bach did not
cut the romantic figure which is demanded by the present artificial conventions of
the film. He was not wayward or striking to look at. He was a solid individual in
a wig who married twice and had a total of twenty children, of whom more than
half died in infancy The style of the writing was the style of the man, and
perhaps for this reason he was known to us all simply as T. We remember him with
deep gratitude.

The caricature of Sir Charles Metcalfe which appears in this issue was one of
those strokes of good fortune which come to an Editor but rarely. We were in
H. V Day's Bookshop in Dorchester browsing through some West Indiana when
this original drawing appeared, not long after Mr. Douglas Hall's interesting
biographical article had been accepted. The drawing is by Sir Charles D'Oyly who
was born in India, and held various offices, first with the East Indian Company,
and later with the government of India during the first third of the Nineteenth
Century. He was described by Bishop Heber as "the best gentleman artist he ever
met with"

The occurrence of mud-volcanoes in Trinidad has hitherto been little more than
a legend to the visitor to the West Indies, largely because of the difficulty of getting
to the sites. We are very glad to publish Mr. Kenneth Barr's account of this geological
curiosity. Mr. Barr has for many years worked as a geologist for Trinidad Leaseholds,
and along with Mr. J. A. Bullbrook he has helped to keep alive the interest in the
investigation of the Trinidad's pre-history by archaeological methods.

Recent Developments in Race Relations
in the United States*


IN a world made small by amazing developments in transportation and communi-
cation, the internal affairs of every nation take on international significance.
The racial policies of the Malan government in South Africa, purge trials in
Czechoslovakia, discrimination in the United States become the concern of people
all over the world. In the writers' judgment, this is a very desirable and legitimate
concern in this highly interdependent world. We would only add that there is great
need, in discussing the problems of another nation, that one avoid the stereotyping
that is so easy when facts are distant, and that one accept the responsibility of
learning about the contemporary situation. Judgments based on stereotypes and
inadequate information can be as mischievous as the complete lack of concern. It is
the hope of the authors, in this paper, to make some contribution to the understand-
ing of race relations in the United States, where important changes in the last decade
have made a reassessment vitally necessary.
The changes that we shall discuss are in three areas developments in the
theory of the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination; changes in
economic, political, and educational patterns of minority races (particularly Negroes)
in the United States; and new ideas of strategies that are effective in reducing
prejudice and discrimination.

One has only to read the analyses of competent scholars of a few decades ago
to realize how rapidly our conceptions of the nature of prejudice and discrimination
have changed. The earlier explanations, based on biological differences or instinctual
antipathy, have given way to a study of the process of how one learns to be
prejudiced and how prejudice and discrimination are used by individuals and
groups. A theory of prejudice is developing around three highly interactive but
analytically distinct factors: prejudice may be understood partly as a manifestation
of the "needs" of individual personalities-needs that are an amalgam of constitu-
tional and learned forces, that are to some degree unique but in part shared by
fellow group members. The second level of explanation looks for evidence, not in
the individual personality, but in the structure of society. It is particularly
concerned with the power arrangements. It seeks to find out who makes the key
economic, political, educational, and religious decisions in a society, and to what
degree they employ prejudice against minority groups in order to make those
decisions as favourable to themselves as possible. Such use of prejudice is seldom
rational or conscious; it is covered by many protective beliefs. But this should not

*This article is based on the authors' book, Racial and Cultural Minorities : An Analysis
of Prejudice and Discrimination, to be published by Harper and Brothers early in 1953.

obscure its functions. The third basic cause of prejudice is culture itself. In almost
every society, if not in all, each new generation is taught appropriate beliefs and
practices regarding other groups. Prejudices are, in part, simply a portion of the
cultural heritage; they are among the folkways.
Before examining each of these factors briefly, let us distinguish between
prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is a categorizing pre-judgment of the
members of a human group; it is an attitude or belief that may or may not express
itself in overt action. Discrimination is "the differential treatment of individuals
considered to belong to a particular social group."' Some persons may discriminate
even though they do not share a prejudicial attitude. For the most part, however,
these two phenomena occur together. While we need to be alert to the need for
analyzing their different causes and consequences and understanding the different
processes by which they can be reduced, we need also to be aware of their close
We can examine only a small part of the cumulative evidence that demonstrates
the significance of the three basic causes of prejudice and discrimination mentioned
above. A great deal of recent research has pointed up the personality functions (and
dysfunctions) of prejudice, seeing it as an attempt to adjust to the frustration,
anxieties and guilt feelings to which human beings are prone. The blocking of goal-
directed behaviour frequently creates hostile impulses in the individual. In many
instances, this hostility cannot be directed toward the source of the frustration,
because there is no human agent, or the agent may be unknown, or too powerful to
strike. Under such circumstances, the hostility may be directed toward a substitute
target that is more accessible or less able to strike back, a target that may be
designated by one's society as "inferior" Such an attack dries not take place,
however, without some emotional and intellectual strains; the irrationality and
injustice of such hostility, from the point of view of the prejudiced person himself
cannot be completely ignored, although it may not be consciously recognized. In
order to make himself seem reasonable and moral, according to his own standards,
the person who has shown prejudice or discrimination toward a scapegoat looks for
justifications. He creates or accepts convincing reasons that "prove" that the
members of a minority group thoroughly deserve the treatment he gives them. In a
strange, but common, perversion of the facts he even projects onto the scapegoat
some of the evil tendencies (again according to his own definition) which characterize
his own behaviour, in an attempt to get rid of the feeling of guilt which is too heavy
for his ego to bear. The evidence accumulated in such studies as The Authoritarian
Personality,2 shows how prejudice and discrimination "work" for the insecure,
frustrated, and guilt-laden individual, much as the symptoms of the mentally
abnormal "work" for them as crude-and often ineffective-adjustment techniques
in a painful, confusing situation.
For the more intensively prejudiced individuals, hostile attitudes and actions
toward minority groups are not isolated tendencies of the personality, but part of
the basic inner core of self. Such individuals will be prejudiced even against groups
of whom they have never heard-in fact against groups which do not even exist.
Hartley found, when he measured attitudes of social distance towards various groups,

1. Robin M. Williams, Jr., The Reduction of Intergroup Tensions, 1947, p. 39.
2. T. W. Adorno, Else Frankel-Brunswik, D. J. Levinson, R. N. Sanford, The
Authoritarian Personality, 1950.

that highly prejudiced individuals would respond as unfavourably toward the names
of fictitious groups as they did toward national and racial groups with which they
were acquainted.3
Thus the evidence indicates that certain types of personality are prejudice-
prone and that a wide variety of needs may, under varying circumstances, be
served by prejudice. One must avoid however the error of assuming that this is the
cause of prejudice, that no other forces are operative, for there is equally convincing
evidence of other forces. Attitudes of prejudice and acts of discrimination can
frequently be understood as manifestations of the struggle for power, prestige, and
income between and within societies. The symbols by which the supposedly inferior
groups are to be designated vary widely, as the late Ruth Benedict has so well
shown,4 but we must not allow this to obscure the important similarities among
group conflict situations. Racial, religious, national, or other lines of cleavage may
be drawn, but they can be understood in part as similar efforts to protect a privileged
position, to weaken a potential competitor, to win a political advantage.
In the United States, the appearance of prejudice toward the Negro is closely
correlated with the rise of economically successful cotton plantations-with their
great demand for "cheap labour." Anti-immigration prejudice has frequently veiled
only thinly the economic and political motives that were served. The anti-Japanese
sentiments on the West Coast, for example, that began about 1900 and reached a
peak in 1942, with the order to "relocate" the Japanese away from the area, are
to be understood in part as one aspect of an economic struggle. Many of the leading
supporters of anti-Japanese laws and activities were owners of large estates that
characterize parts of California. These men did not fear the competition of the few
Japanese farmers with their relatively small holdings. What they did fear was the
opposition of the small white landowners who found it difficult to compete with the
great estates, the struggles for improvement of their own badly paid field hands,
the traditions in favour of family-sized farms and homesteads, and federal legislation
that prevented them from monopolizing the water supplied through governmentally
sponsored irrigation projects. If they could divert attention from their own control
of the land by attacking the Japanese farmer as the cause of everybody's difficulties,
the owners of the large estates might funnel off some of the hostility to which they
were vulnerable and get political support for laws favorable to them.5
Such economic and political functions of prejudice are usually disguised by a
system of beliefs that "prove" that the minority groups do not deserve better
treatment. If the American Negro is shiftless, lazy, unable to master the skills
necessary for handling intricate machinery or incapable of acquiring other specialized
knowledge, and especially if these traits are innate, then it is not prejudice that
limits him to the most tedious, least desirable work; it is his own lack of capacity.
By such beliefs the dominant-group members seek to protect their advantaged
positions and at the same time to allay the doubts in their own consciences.
Still a third factor that contributes to prejudice must be brought into the analysis,
for there is nothing in group conflict or personality insecurity that requires that
certain specific groups should be the objects of hostility. If the two factors discussed

3. E. L. Hartley, Problems in Prejudice, 1946.
4. Race Science and Politics, 1940.
5. See Carey McWilliams, Prejudice-Japanese-Americans : Symbol of Racial Intolerance.

above help to explain the forces that lead to prejudice and discrimination, it is
tradition, to an important degree, that explains the direction they will take. Most of
the majority-group members of a society are taught, as part of their cultural equip-
ment, the groups whom it is appropriate for them to dislike or consider inferior.
In the United States, as elsewhere, racial, national, and religious groups have a
culturally designated prestige ranking-not unlike the ranking of occupations-that
is widely shared throughout the society. Stereotypes reinforce this ranking by
furnishing the individual with culturally approved pictures of what the members
of the various groups are supposed to be like. These over-simplified, rigid, and
distorted pictures may so coerce a person's observations that he will never actually
see a member of a minority group-he will see only the stereotype.
Are the traditional pictures of minority-group members wholly in error? Not
necessarily. It would be surprising indeed if the disadvantaged positions into which
they are thrown by prejudice and discrimination did not help to create some tenden-
cies toward inferiority among the members of a suppressed group. This leads to the
"vicious circle" that has been so well analyzed by Gunnar Myrdal, R. M. Maclver,
and R. K. Merton. Prejudice blocks the members of the "inferior" group from the
life chances necessary to advancement. By limiting the opportunities of a minority
group, by segregating it, by putting it at every competitive disadvantage, the
prejudice helps to create the very inferiority by which it seems "justified" in the
minds of the dominant group.
Contemporary studies of prejudice and discrimination are concerned not only
with their causes, but with their effects, both for the members of minority groups
and for the majority itself. These effects vary greatly from individual to individual,
depending upon many variables. Without undertaking the necessary qualifications,
however, one may say that the result, for a significant proportion of a minority
group is personality damage and a failure to develop one's capacities. Brought up in
groups which they come painfully to realize are considered to be inferior, few are
able to acquire a satisfying sense of self or to develop an unqualified allegiance to
the values of a society that has treated them so badly. There are, of course,
important exceptions-individuals who are challenged by the barriers and who make
significant achievements in spite of, and perhaps in part because of, the difficulties
with which they are confronted. But for mot, the effects are to lower motivation,
to create inner conflict, and to block a sen.-e of identity with the society of which
they are a part.6
It is often assumed that for members of the majority group, there are important
gains to be achieved from prejudice and discrimination. And indeed there may be
short-run, individual gains; but these are tied inextricably with long-run losses to
the individual and to the whole society that are far more significant. Alongside the
temporary economic and political gains, and the bolstering of a shaky ego that may
be achieved by prejudice, one must place the total costs. Ignorance is almost always
costly to an individual and group; and prejudice, which by definition is a judgment-
before-the-fact, implies a loss of contact with reality that few can afford. The
double standard of sex morality which members of the dominant group often "profit"
by has, among its long-run consequences, moral ambivalence, feelings of guilt, and

6. See E. F. Frazier, Negro Youth at the Crossways, 1940; C. S. Johnson, Growing Up
in the Black Belt, 1941; R. L. Sutherland, Color, Class, and Personality, 1942-
Richard Wright, Black Boy, 1937.

sexual conflicts within the majority group.7 Prejudice and discrimination in a com-
plex, interdependent economy mean a loss of skills and a reduction of purchasing
power that adversely affect the whole economy. The political process of a democracy
is, of course, greatly hampered by the creation of a "second-class" citizenry. In the
United States, as we shall see below, more and more people have come to realize
that inequality of political power is a great weakness, and as a result highly signifi-
cant changes in the American political scene have taken place in the last ten years.
A study of prejudice and discrimination shows that not only has the Negro been
prevented, until recently, from achieving the gains that he might make by use of the
political instrument, but the great majority of white people of all classes have also
been injured. The lower-class whites have often been made politically ineffective,
particularly in the South, by a system that pays them off in the coin of "racial
superiority" All of the people of the southern region, even those who technically
manage the governmental machinery, have been injured by the limitation on issues
that can come to the fore in a political situation geared to protecting a status system.
The whole nation is vitally affected in a federal system in which the votes
of representatives from each area determine the policies that affect the citizens in
every area. And finally, in these days of international tensions, the influence of
the United States abroad is seriously weakened by expressions of prejudice and acts
of discrimination toward her own citizens or toward the citizens of other nations.
These, then, are among the causes and consequences of prejudice and
discrimination. They are widely accepted propositions among students of race
relations; and they are beginning to have an influence on social structures and
processes in the United States. Some of these influences will be discussed in the next

Among the most important indications of the status and power of a group is
its place in the economic structure. Nowhere are prejudice and discrimination more
clearly shown in the United States than in the barriers to economic improvement
that are thrown in the way of minority-group members. Job opportunities
are important, not only in the narrow economic sense, but also in terms of their
influence on the whole style of life of individuals and on the institutional structure
of groups. The political influence of a group, its family patterns, religious beliefs,
educational ambitions and achievements, even the possibilities of good health and
survival cannot be understood until the place of that group in the total economy is
studied. The relationship is, of course, reciprocal political, familial, religious, and
other institutional patterns also affect the economic situation.
In the cotton region of the Southeast are concentrated the poorest farm
families in the United States. Everything about these families testifies to
their meagre existence. The shacks which pass for houses, their unbalanced
diet, low incomes, rudimentary farm equipment, lack of medical care,
semi-literacy, and political impotence mark them as a forlorn, low-status segment of
the population. Many of these families are white, but the Negro families have a
racial handicap in addition to the other disabilities of this occupational group.
7. See Lillian Smith, Killers of the Dream, 1949.

Major changes are occurring in southern agriculture and in the total economy
of the South. Outstanding in this respect is the increasing mechanization of agricul-
ture. The perfection of the mechanical cotton picker enables one man to gather as
much cotton in a day as could be picked by 40 or 50 hand pickers. It is estimated
that the farm population of the United States dropped by seven million in the period
1940-1947, and informed students predict that two million additional persons may
be forced from farms before 1957. The decrease in the size of the farm population
may occasion improved levels of living among farm families remaining in agricul-
ture, but it will result also in greater concentration of farm ownership, increased
social stratification of tenure classes, migration of agricultural workers to urban
centres, and potential unemployment of former farm workers.8
During the latter part of the nineteenth century, and in fact until World War I,
the Negro population in both northern and southern cities was small. The usual
urban occupations followed by coloured people were those of servant, porter, janitor,
and, to a smaller extent, common labourer. Gradually, as labour disputes occurred,
Negroes were brought in to break strikes and weaken labour unions.9 It was through
strike-breaking that most Negro workers obtained their first jobs in northern steel
plants and in the meat-packing industry. Hundreds of thousands of migrants came
from the rural South to the urban North during World War I years. These workers
went into heavy industries, domestic service, and construction work. When the
industrial development of the South was accelerated in the 1920's, Negro workers
were employed in increasing numbers in the fertilizer, tobacco, turpentine, steel,
and furniture manufacturing industries.
With the coming of the depression, the northern Negro industrial worker lost
much of the ground he had gained. He had very little seniority, he had not yet
acquired much skilled status, and white workers clamored for such jobs as there
were. Southern Negro workers experienced less unemployment and less occupational
shifting, but the wage differentials based on race were continued.
The Negro was greatly under-represented in the industries which are important
in war production at the time the defense program was inaugurated in 1940.
This situation changed considerably between the latter part of 1942 and the fall of
1944. The number of Negroes in skilled and semi-skilled jobs doubled, the percentage
of Negro women employed as domestic servants decreased sharply, and Negroes
were employed in industries and plants where few had held jobs before the war.
More industrial and occupational diversification for Negroes occurred in four years
during World War II than in the whole period from 1865 to 1940. In 1947, there
were 450,000 more Negro women in the labour force than in 1940, but the percentage
of Negro women who were gainfully employed on farms had declined from 21 to 7.
The proportion of employed Negro women in domestic service decreased from
approximately 70 per cent. in 1940 to less than 50 per cent. in 1947 During the same
years, the percentage of Negro women in semi-skilled jobs more than doubled,
and the proportion in clerical and sales positions nearly tripled. According to recent
estimates, one-tenth of all workers on machine jobs are Negroes, although Negro
males still constitute 64 per cent. of male domestics and 25 per cent. of the common

8. Robert T. McMillan, "Effects of Mechanization on American Agriculture" Scientrtic
Monthly, July, 1949, p. 28. See also, Morton Rubin, Plantation County, 1951,
Chapters 2-5.
9. St. Clair Drake and H. R. Cayton, Black Metropolis, 1945, p. 284.

labourers. The proportion of Negro males in service occupations declined from 40
to 23 per cent. during the years 1940 to 1947. At the same time, Negro males in the
skilled trades increased 25 per cent.; in semi-skilled work the increase was 50 per
The role of labour organizations in discouraging or encouraging Negro members
is an important part of the industrial experience of coloured people. In earlier years
various techniques were used by labour unions to retard the employment of Negroes,
but the industrial unions have opposed racial admission policies for two decades,
and significant changes have occurred in recent years in the attitudes of a number
of trade unions. In 1950, it was estimated that 1,000,000 of the 15,000,000 members
of labour unions were Negroes. Robert C. Weaver states that "organized labour,
as a whole, has become an economic and political ally of the black worker."10
The shift which tens of thousands of Negroes have made in three decades, both
in the North and in the South, from personal and domestic service to industrial work
has meant higher pay and more regular work. Union relationships seem to have
resolved many of the antagonisms between white and coloured workers which existed
in the past, but it would be a mistake to claim that the basic patterns of separate
Negro and white family, clique, and associational relationships have been much
influenced by these developments. The greater participation of Negroes in industry
has tended to increase the self-respect of workers, and these changes in self-attitudes,
plus increased pay and steadier work, have resulted in more stability in Negro
family life. 11
The gap between the earnings of whites and Negroes is slowly being narrowed.
The median income per family for whites in 1935-1936 was $1,100 in southern
rural communities, $1,570 in southern cities 'of 2,500 and over, and $1,720 in North
Central cities of 100,000 population and over. For Negroes, in that year, it was
$480, $525, and $1,095 respectively. In 1945, the median family income for whites
was $2,718 and $1,538 for Negroes. Urban white families had a median income of
$3,085 as compared with $2,052 for urban Negro families; the figures for rural-farm
families were $1,602 and $559, respectively.
Barriers faced by minority-group members in entering upon jobs in the
business field, and obstacles to their success if they have gained an entrance, are
even more difficult than those faced in jobs in industry. Fundamental questions of
social power and status are involved in business occupations in a way that concerns
some of the most basic aspects of our kind of society. In general, where large-scale
organizations have dominated a field, minorities have had small opportunities;
in businesses where individual shops and isolated small establishments are feasible
they have had more success. Negro business enterprise is concentrated in fields
which are not subject to the full competition of white business. A recent study showed
that more than seventy per cent. of Negro business establishments in twelve cities
were in such personal service fields as beauty shops, barber shops, cleaning and
pressing shops, shoe repair shops, undertaking establishments, taverns, and filling
stations, and in food stores and eating and drinking places. Negro businesses in the
United States are small businesses; seventy per cent. of these establishments had a

10. Robert C. Weaver, "The Economic Status of the Negro in the United States"
Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 19, 1950, p. 241. See also this author's Negro Labor,
1946 and Hf. R. Northrup, Organized Labor and the Negro, 1944.
11. E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Family in the United States, 1939, p. 475.

volume of less than $10,000 during 1944.12 The participation of Negroes in whole-
saling and manufacturing has been extremely limited, and Negro banking is
insignificant. More progress has been made in the insurance field than in banking,
but one white insurance company is known to have more Negro business than all of
the forty-four Negro insurance companies together. Two very recent, and possibly
promising, developments in the field of Negro commercial enterprises are the bi-racial
economy and the integration of Negro business into the general American business
structure. These trends include, or might include Negro-white partnerships which
would create larger working capital and bring in customers from both races; white-
owned and Negro-managed and Negro-staffed businesses operating in Negro neigh-
borhoods; and Negro-managed chain stores. J. A. Pierce states that the complete
realization of the objective of integration may require considerable time, but the
process, if it continues, "will furnish wider employment opportunities, establish
higher wage levels, and provide many of the types of business experience so badly
needed by Negroes."
Professional employment has had a strong appeal to Negroes in the United
States who have been able to continue their education through college. Segregated
schools and colleges have provided employment opportunities for the great majority
of college-trained Negroes, and the ministry, medicine, dentistry, law, and social
work have attracted most of the others. As Jessie P Guzman points out, most of
the latter fields "can be successfully practiced without sharp conflict with many
prevailing racial patterns in most sections of the country," they provide more
prestige than do most occupations, and there are relatively few employment oppor-
tunities in commerce and industry for ambitious college-trained Negroes. The
ministry is the only profession in which Negroes have greater representation than
they have in the population of the United States. With an increase in the number
of college students in the past years, it appears that the professions will claim an
increasing number of Negroes.
An important recent development that may have very strong effects on the
place of minorities in the economy of the United States is the federal war-time Fair
Employment Practices order and the numerous state and municipal fair employment
laws that have been passed in the last few years. Executive Order 8802, issued by
President Roosevelt on June 25, 1941, stated that there shall be no discrimina-
tion in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of
race, creed, color, or national origin This order applied to employers, the
government of the United States, and to labour organizations. In five years the
agency (FEPC) set up to administer this order satisfactorily settled nearly 5,000
cases by peaceful negotiation, including 40 strikes caused by racial differences.
Minority-group workers in war industries rose from less than 3 per cent in 1942 to
more than 8 per cent. in 1944, an addition of a million and a half Negroes and
Mexican-Americans to the war effort. It cannot be claimed that the FEPC was the
only factor in opening the plants to workers who had been previously excluded, but
the work of the Committee undoubtedly contributed to the increased industrial
employment of minorities.13 The Congress of the United States failed to
enact permanent Fair Employment Practices legislation at the end of World War II,

12. J. A. Pierce, Negro Business and Business Education, 1947, p. 70.
13. Malcolm Ross, All Manner of Men, 1948, p. 48.

but Executive Order, 9980, issued by President Truman on July 26, 1948, provided
for machinery to implement fair employment policies in the Federal Government.
Ten states and more than a score of cities have passed fair employment legislation
since 1945. No southern state has passed such legis!at.on and a number of important
industrial states in the North, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois
do not as yet have laws of this type. The available evidence indicates that the laws
in such states as New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have been fairly and
effectively administered.
As societies become more complex, a larger and larger proportion of key
decisions are made through political processes, and law comes to occupy an
increasingly influential place in national life. In studying the place of minority
groups in the social structure of the United States, attention must be given to
the ways in which these groups influence and are influenced by political decisions
and legal processes. 14 We have just referred to fair employment practices legislation
in discussing minorities in the economy of the United States, and we shall consider
later some recently enacted fair educational practices legislation as well as the
recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court on educational questions.
Various legal and non-legal devices, including "grandfather" clauses,
educational qualifications designed to exclude Negroes while permitting white
persons of all kinds to vote, property requirements, poll taxes, the "white primary,"
violence, intimidation, economic sanctions, and trickery were invented after the
Reconstruction period of the 1870's to assure the permanent elimination of the
Negro from political affairs in the South. Several developments in recent years,
however, have increased the number uf Negro voters in southern states. Since 1920
five states have eliminated the poll tax from their voting requirements, and on
April 3, 1944, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed its 1935 ruling on
the white primary. 15 Large numbers of Negroes have voted in both the primary
and general elections since 1946. Lillian Smith stated in July, 1951, that 750,000
Negroes had voted in recent elections in the South and predicted that 1,500,000
would vote in 1952. Approximately 2,500,000 Negroes now vote in the North and
West. While in general their political behaviour differs little from white political
behaviour in these sections, Negroes do appraise carefully the attitudes of candidates
and parties toward their group. Voting as a bloc in the urban North when they feel
they have vital interests at stake, Negroes often hold the balance of power.
The Federal Courts and the United States Supreme Court have handed down
several important civil rights decisions in recent years. In 1946 the Supreme Court
ruled against segregation on interstate buses, and in the same year a Federal Court
of Appeals held unconstitutional the segregation of interstate Negro passengers by
a railroad company. A few years earlier a Circuit Court of Appeals held that Negro
and white teachers must be paid the same salaries for the same work, and the
Supreme Court, by refusing to review the case, affirmed this decision. Residential
segregation laws were declared illegal by the Supreme Court in 1917, and in 1948
the Court held that restrictive covenants in connection with the sale of property
deny equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Restrictive covenants may still be entered into, but these agreements will be effective

14. Charles Johnson, Patterns of Negro Segregation, 1943, Chapters 7-9.
15. Walter White, A Man Called White, 1948, pp. 83-89.

only so long as all parties and their successors abide by them for they cannot be
enforced in the courts. This decision of the Supreme Court is an important one even
though a number of new methods of racial and religious discrimination have already
been devised. In 1948 a United States District Court ordered the dissolution of the
Mortgage Conference of New York, a group which included thirty-three of the
nation's leading banks, trust companies, and insurance companies, and specifically
prohibited any mortgage lender from placing mortgages or competing for mortgages
because "the property is owned or occupied by persons belonging to any particular
racial or national group.
Civil rights statutes covering places of public accommodation have been enacted
by twenty-two states, but generally these laws have not been effective. The President's
Committee on Civil Rightsl6 recognized the weaknesses of the existing civil rights
machinery and recommended such additional means as revocation of licenses and
the issuance tof cease-and-desist orders by administrative agencies to bring about
wider compliance. Two states, New Jersey and Connecticut, followed this recom-
mendation in laws enacted in' 1949. Since 1945 several states have legislated against
discrimination in public or publicly assisted housing projects constructed for slum
clearance, for low income groups, or for veterans.
President Truman's Executive Order 9981, issued in July, 1948, declared it to
be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and
opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color,
religion or national origin," and a Committee was appointed by the President to
investigate the three armed services. At the time this committee's report (Freedom
to Serve), was published in May, 1950, complete integration had taken place in the
Navy and in the Air Force. In March of that year, the Army accepted the Com-
mittee's recommendations for the abolition of segregation. Segregation was eliminated
in the Far East Command during the summer of 1951, but Army segregation was
continued in the United States. Since March, 1952 some integration has gone into
effect in the European Command.
An examination of elementary and secondary education for Negroes in the
United States reveals improvements in the seventeen separate-school states over the
past few decades in the proportion of Negro pupils enrolled in the upper elementary
grades, the average length of the school term, the training of teachers, pupil-teacher
ratio, the value of school property used for school purposes, teachers' salaries,
current expenditure per pupil enrolled, and in pupils transported to school.17 In
most of the southern states, however, this steady improvement has been exceeded
by what has been done to develop the public schools for white children. Much of
the improvement of educational facilities for Negroes in the South would seem to be
attributable to a series of court decisions handed down in suits brought on the
ground that the educational facilities of the public schools for coloured pupils are
grossly inferior to those provided for the white pupils.
Northern states make no legal provisions for racial segregation in education.
Some northern states, among them New York and Illinois, specifically forbid
segregation and discrimination. Nevertheless, about one-fourth of the Negro school
children in states where separate schools are not legal attend school which are

16. To Secure These Rights, 1947.
17. Alethea Washington, "Availability of Education for Negroes in the Elementary
Schools", Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 16, 1947, pp. 440-447.

distinctly separate" and approximately one-half are found in school systems which
are "partially mixed" This situation may be attributed to (a) some illegal segre-
gation, (b) considerable coercive but not illegal separation associated with housing
segregation and the gerrymandering of districts and permits, and (c) the tendency
of migrants to go where rent is low and where their friends are. In the main, Negro
schools and white schools in the North have about the same facilities and the same
quality of instruction for similar social classes and similar types of residential areas.
Where there are differences they seem to be due largely to a rapid increase in the
number of migrants in the Negro population.
The number of Negro college students in the United States increased
from 10,000 or 12,000 in 1930 to approximately 75,000 in 1947, but in the
latter year 85 per cent. of the Negro students were enrolled in 105 segre-
gated institutions. Negroes constitute 10 per cent. of the total population
but only 3 per cent. of the students enrolled in institutions of higher
education. Great increases have been made in annual appropriations to public and
private institutions for Negroes since the depression years, but increases in the
appropriations for white colleges and universities have been larger. The gap between
expenditures for Negro higher and professional education and expenditures for white
students continues to be as great, if not greater, than it was in the early and middle
Thirties. Educational opportunities for Negroes in professional fields and in graduate
academic study have been and still are greatly restricted. However, several decisions
of the United States Supreme Court during the past fifteen years have altered this
situation and there is every reason to believe that further change on this level, as well
as some change on the undergraduate level, will occur. The first important decision
on educational opportunities was handed down in the Donald Murray case by the
Court of Appeals in Maryland in 1936. This court ordered the University of Maryland
to admit Murray, holding that the state must provide equal educational facilities if it
separated the races, and said that a scholarship to another state would not only
mean additional expense for Murray but would deprive him of the opportunity of
specializing in Maryland law. The next year the United States Supreme Court ruled
that the University of Missouri could not exclude Lloyd L. Gaines from its law
school on the ground that the state legislature had provided that Lincoln University,
until it developed a law school for Negroes, should pay the tuition at the university
of any adjacent state for Missouri Negroes wishing to study law. In the case of
Hemon Sweatt, a Negro who was denied admission to the University of Texas law
school, the Supreme Court refused to affirm, in June, 1950, the 54-year-old legal
precedent that "separate but equal" facilities for Negroes do not violate the equal
protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On the same day, the Supreme
Court held, in the case of G. W. McLaurin versus the University of Oklahoma, that
restrictions and special provisions for Mr. McLaurin handicapped him in pursuing
his graduate instruction effectively. The opinion stated that the restrictions placed
upon McLaurin deprived him of his right to equal protection of the laws, saying
"We hold that under these circumstances, the Fourteenth Amendment precludes
differences in treatment by the state based upon race. (He) having been admitted
to a state supported Graduate School, must receive the same treatment at the hands
of the state as students of other races." The year 1950-51 saw nearly three hundred
Negroes admitted on the graduate level at the University of Arkansas, nearly a
hundred graduate students at the University of Oklahoma, and the total number of

Negro students on "white" campuses, public and private, in the South was well
over 1,000 (or over 2,000 if summer schools are included). Georgia, South Carolina,
Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi are still defiant. Lawsuits have been
filed in most of these states, and educators, pondering the words of the Sweatt
decision, wonder whether under this interpretation any Negro college or university,
no matter how well equipped or financed, could provide "equal" opportunities to the
Negro student. Many Southerners think that if a strenuous effort is made toward
equalization, Negroes will not demand immediate equality. Many Negroes intended
to press for the abolition of segregation on all academic levels.
A significant development regarding education for minorities is the legislation
to eliminate discrimination, which has been enacted by three states since 1948. The
New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts laws differ in scope and in enforcement
provisions. In New York and Massachusetts the laws are limited to prohibiting
discrimination in admission because of race, religion, creed, colour, or national
origin; the New Jersey law includes a provision against discrimination in the use
of recreational, social, and other campus facilities after students have been admitted
to educational institutions. New Jersey and Massachusetts exempt from their coverage
schools which are "distinctly private" in character. New York and Massachusetts
permit religious and denominational schools to select students exclusively or
primarily from members of their religious faith, but a denominational school may
not exclude a student because of his race. New Jersey exempts such schools
altogether, and a denominational school may not be held for discriminating against
applicants because of race or national origin. The legislation in New Jersey and
Massachusetts covers schools from the kindergarten through graduate and professional
schools and includes trade schools. The amended New York law includes
schools above the secondary level, plus vocational and trade schools. The effective-
ness of fair educational practices laws is as yet unknown. Thus far there have been
few formal complaints, and the commissioners have used their conciliatory powers
to encourage a review of institutional policies on admission.
Such changes in the economic, political, and educational opportunities of
minorities in the United States have raised very sharply the question of the
desirability and the effectiveness of legal action in reducing prejudice and discrimi-
nation. This is part of the larger problem of testing the efficacy of various strategies
-a problem that is receiving more and more attention among students of minority-
majority relations in the United States. We turn now to a brief summary of that

As knowledge of the causes of prejudice and discrimination has grown, the
most significant change in strategies aimed at their reduction has been the recognition
of wide variation in the types of persons and the types of situations involved. It is
now realized that only a large number of different kinds of strategies can be effective,
for what will encourage democracy in one situation, with one kind of person, may
be quite ineffective elsewhere. A second important change is the development of
an experimental approach to problems of strategy. Untested assumptions about the
kind of action that will reduce prejudice and guesswork about the effects of a given
strategy are gradually being replaced by' the systematic testing of hypotheses.

SglUoa11ng iiAuieL)t 01 people in Lue Uniteu states are coming to realize tnat well-
intentioned but unguided and untested programmes can be useless or even harmful.
Doctrinaire assertions that the "only" way to stop prejudice and discrimination is
by (education, law, personal therapy, &c.) are being replaced by multiple-
strategy programmes which try to recognize the limitations and contributions of
each approach.
Until recently, efforts in the United States to reduce prejudice and discrimination
have relied very heavily on exhortation. In the last few years, however, the
ineffectiveness of such activities, if they are not part of a more elaborate programme,
has been recognized. The use of exhortation assumes that an appeal to men's
"better selves" will change their behaviour; but it overlooks the fact that the
appeal is seldom heard by those who are most prejudiced and it disregards the ease
with which most human beings can compartmentalize a creed-giving it assent but
not using it as a guide to action. Exhortation may, however, increase the enthusiasm
and the efforts of those who are already convinced and it may inhibit the discrimina-
tions, although it may not affect the prejudices, of many "fair weather illiberals,"
as Merton calls them, who do not want to violate the community standards openly.
Some of the same comments apply to propaganda. Seeing the apparently
enormous power of propaganda in its commercial form (advertising) or as an
instrument of national policies, many persons who are working for the reduction
of prejudice and discrimination have assumed that propaganda was a valuable
weapon. Literally millions of leaflets, pamphlets, cartoons, comic books, articles,
and movies have been issued in the struggle against intergroup hostility. These are
often ineffective because they are not seen by those who disagree with the message;
or if they are seen, the message is misinterpreted, and unintended even "boomerang"
effects are often produced. With the mildly prejudiced, particularly children, these
strategic weaknesses are at a minimum. With them, skilful propaganda, in the
form of a movie, for example, can change attitudes to a measurable degree.18
Whether or not overt behaviour is also changed has not been thoroughly
It is sometimes declared that close, competitive contact between members of
a minority group and a dominant group is a cause of prejudice and discrimination;
but, oppositely, it is also asserted that "if there were only more contact between
groups, there would be less prejudice." The part truth in each of these propositions
has been pointed up by recent research. Perhaps the most important single develop-
ment in this regard is the demonstration that "equal status contact" often leads
to a reduction of prejudice and discrimination. Contacts that bring together
a prejudiced person and a minority-group member of similar occupational
and educational standing are more likely to have favourable results than
contacts between persons of different social status. Contacts that bring people
of minority and majority groups together in functionally important activities reduce
prejudice. Thus white soldiers who have fought in companies that contained Negro
platoons were found to be far more favourably inclined toward the Negro soldier
than those who fought in divisions made up entirely of white persons. And the
white residents of an interracial housing project, despite the fact that they were
assigned to the project without regard to their attitudes, exhibited a sharp reduction
in prejudice.

18. See, for example, L. E. Raths and F. N. Trager, "Public Opinion and Crossfire"
Journal of Educational Sociology. February, 1948, pp. 345-368.

Education continues to play an important part among the methods used to
reduce prejudice and discrimination, but there have been significant changes
in the kind of educational work that is stressed and a growing realization that
education alone is quite ineffective. Education in intergroup relations in the public
schools of the United States is still not common, but an increasing number of schools
have added such programmes. Adult education is giving more attention to the
problem of moving from knowledge to action-an emphasis that is strong in
"community self-surveys" and in summer workshops, for example. These projects
usually bring together people of different racial, religious, and national groups.
The fact that they are working together on a common task affects their attitudes.
They are more likely to accept information which they themselves have gathered.
for the facts become their facts; and their unity as a functional group obscures the
ethnic lines that divide them.
The strategies that we have mentioned above have as their primary aim the
reduction of the prejudice of individuals. Other approaches are more concerned with
changing discriminatory situations. There are in the United States today more than
500 local, state, and national organizations working in the field of intergroup
relations, more than half of them having been established in the last decade. A high
proportion of them are attempting to improve the economic, political, legal and
educational situations of minority-group members. We cannot here undertake an
analysis of their work, but can only state that they are a significant part of the
"race relations" picture in the United States. The larger national organizations,
such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the
National Urban League, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, have
made major contributions to both action and research. Much of their activity is
based on the premise that a democracy must attempt to stop discrimination, by
every effective means, even if it cannot legislate directly against prejudice. The
validity of this premise is attested to by the important series of state and national
changes, during the last decade, which have improved the economic and educational
opportunities, increased the political power, and extended the civil rights of the
minority groups of the United States.
Much remains to be done before the United States will measure up to its own
ideology that every man is to be judged on his own merits, without reference to his
race, or religion, or national origin. Yet the developments of recent years permit us
a guarded hope. Our increasing understanding of the basic causes of prejudice and
discrimination, the gradual development of tested programmes based on that under-
standing, and, above all, the dramatic changes of the last ten years-certainly more
important than the changes of the preceding seventy-five years-give promise that
the United States will continue to move toward a democratic race relations pattern.
These changes, and not the continuing prejudice and discrimination, are the
significant facts of the last decade.


The Mud Volcanoes of Trinidad


Photographs by H. Bolli

LET us be quite clear from the beginning, the mud volcanoes such as occur in
Trinidad have nothing whatever to do with the fiery volcanoes whose periodic out-
bursts are an awesome witness to the great temperatures in the depths of the earth.
For Trinidad, in contrast to the island chain of the Lesser Antilles, is not a volcanic
island. No, the mud volcanoes have quite a different origin and are caused as we
shall see, by the seepage of natural hydrocarbon gases from underground. They
have been given their name because they exhibit, albeit in different materials, many
of the features of a volcano in miniature; they erupt intermittently, they extrude
flows of "Mud lava", and they build up cones. Fortunately here the parallel ends,
for the temperatures are normal, the activity is usually on a small scale, and only
rarely violent enough to do any damage. Although well known by name, com-
paratively few people have seen them as they lie for the most part in the more
inaccessible forested areas, and are only rarely visited except by the occasional
hunters, woodsmen, by the surveyors and geologists of the oil companies, or by the
infrequent curious visitor.
The mud volcanoes occur mainly in the southern part of Trinidad, in the hilly,
forested areas of the Southern Range where no less than 18 are known between
Guayaguayare in the east and Cedros in the west. A few scattered mud volcanoes
occur through the broad belt of rolling country south of the Central Range as for
example near Tabaquite, Piparo, Princes Town and in the Nariva swamp. The
localities of these and other mud volcanoes are shown in Figure 1. There are none
either within or north of the Central Range. In addition to those on land, several
have appeared as temporary islands rising from the sea floor in Erin Bay.
Mud volcanoes vary considerably in appearance, but the more usual type
consists of a broad low mound anything from fifty to several hundred feet across
of grey consolidated mud, made up of the eroded remains of older fldws, and
commonly barren of vegetation or supporting only sparse grass and weeds around
the edges. Often a variety of pebbles will be found scattered over the surface; these
consist of many different kinds of rock and may include crystals of glass-clear
gypsum or nests of cubical, metallic, brass-coloured crystals of pyrite. These are
components which the mud "lava" has picked up from the underlying rocks in its
journey to the surface. The sloping sides are scarred by deep runnels where the rain
has eroded the soft mud, and in the dry weather the whole surface will be covered
with a polygonal network of drying cracks. Upon this surface there will be a number
of small active cones varying in size from a few inches to the height of a man, each
surmounted by a shallow crater in which the light grey, liquid mud rises periodi-
cally, accompanied by the emission of gas bubbles, and overflows down the sides
of the cone. Some typical examples are shown in the photographs.

The cause of mud volcano activity depends upon a number of factors some of
which would involve us too deeply in geological matters, and which will only be
touched upon briefly. Basically they are caused by the leakage of natural gas from
a more or less deep-seated source to the surface. Natural gas occurs in association
with petroleum and consists almost entirely of methane, but may also contain some
heavier hydrocarbon gases. Gas leakage alone is not sufficient in itself, as this would
merely form a gas seepage, a common enough phenomenon in an oil district. There
must also be associated water-always salt water-and a source of relatively soft
clay formation somewhere at depth to provide the mud.

In oil bearing regions such as Trinidad, natural gas, together with oil and salt
water, lie stored at depth in porous rock formations-usually sandstones-which are
often called "reservoir rocks" sealed above and below by impervious formations
such as clay. The oil and gas are under considerable pressure as the spectacular
old-time "oil gushers" showed, and may be retained underground indefinitely.
Now it sometimes happens that the rocks of the earth's crust are warped and
fractured, and such disturbances may affect rocks down to depths of thousands of
feet. Thus a fracture or "fault" as the geologist calls it, may extend from the
surface down to a deep-seated reservoir rock and thus provide a fissure for the
leakage of gas, and possibly other fluids, to the surface. If the volume of gas and
associated salt water moving up the fault fissure are sufficient, a mud volcano may
be formed. Figure 2 is a schematic section through a mud volcano showing the
underground reservoir rocks and the fault along which gas leakage takes place to
the surface. The section is not true to scale for the gas bearing formations may lie at
several hundreds or even thousands of feet below the surface. As the gas and water
start to work their way into the fault fissure, fragments of the rock wall are dislodged
and if this material is a clay it will tend to disperse in the water to form a mud
in which harder fragments are later incorporated. This mixture of the various rocks
of the walls of the fissure forms a heterogeneous paste of mud with scattered
fragments of other harder rocks, having a very characteristic appearance of an
aggregate of rock fragments in a grey mud base.

The mechanism of the mud volcano may be described as follows:
The gas escaping from the underground reservoir carries the mud mixture
upwards along the fault fissure until it reaches the surface where the liquid mud is
extruded as "mud lava" or "mud flow" and the gas escapes. If the volume is not
large and the mud is fairly viscous it will not flow far away from the orifice, but
will collect there and gradually successive flows build up a cone as shown in
Figures 2 and 3. These cones have many of the features of a true volcanic cone,
namely, they are made up of successive flows radiating from a central orifice or
crater, and have a typical concave profile, steep near the crater and decreasing
outwards as the flows spread out. If there is a higher proportion of water and the


General view showing a group
of cones and the polygonal
cracking of the mud surface.

A typical active cone.

The crater or orifice showing
the rim of dried mud "lava"
and liquid mud in the
crater. The ring is formed
by oil serum pushed aside
as the gas bubbles rise and

Photographs by H. Bolli

PfoNT O SPAIN 5 Barrackpore
N \C-Cedros
S0-Devil's Woodgard
E | Erin Bay Submarine
L Lagon BouFFe
O J A Morne Diablo
SAN Iem.Aoo [ MA-Moruga BoufFe
N -Nariva Swamp
A.h L. ,P Piparo

*me L PS Palo Seco
-P S o T -TabaquiLe

Fig.1 Map oF Trinidad showing Lhe principal mudvolcanoes

Cone Mud 'Lava'

Mound built up oF old eroded Flow

\^~~ ^- bearing Sand

Gas bearing -
Sand Layer --
Gas bearing
C-la- Sand Layer

FigZ Schematic section through a typical Mudvolcano

mud is consequently more
liquid the cone will be
correspondingly flatter.
With still greater propor-
tion of water the tendency
... will be to form a mud lake
a o through which the gas
---. I bubbles rise freely. This
Th. ...- a t y p e of mud volcano
Sis k no w n locally as
"Bouffe", a very good
S example of which occurs
at Lagon Bouffe at
t .. Guayaguayare, an im-
p ,a et or pressive mud lake five
hundred feet in diameter,
The photograph shows the crater with gas bubbles with several centres where
rising at two centres, the gas rises in large
bubbles measuring up to
several feet in diameter.
The intermittent activity of the mud volcanoes is due to the fact that the volume
of gas seeping upwards is not really very large and that a certain pressure has to
be built up in the neck of the volcano to eject the column of mud. Once a sufficiently
large volume of gas has accumulated to overcome the weight of the mud above,
it forcibly pushes out the mud and the gas escapes. Meanwhile liquid mud continues
to move slowly up the fissure and the process is repeated. Such eruptions may take
place every few minutes during an active phase, or during less active phases may
occur only at intervals of days or weeks. As will be readily imagined the liquidity
of the mud has a considerable bearing on the activity, for if the mud is very thick
and sticky the movement of gas is difficult or even impossible. If gas seepage is
sufficient in volume the existence of viscous mud, particularly near the surface, can
lead to the most violent form of activity, in which the viscous mud effectively
plugs the orifice while gas pressure accumulates below. If continued for long enough
the build-up of gas pressure may be sufficient finally to cause an eruption of
almost explosive violence, as the mud plug is forcibly blown out of the neck of the
volcano. These outbursts are fortunately infrequent, but several have occurred
within comparatively recent times. There have been a number of outbursts at the
Devil's Woodyard near Princes Town and also at Tabaquite. The Tabaquite
eruption of 1930 was quite spectacular and was described by an eyewitness as
follows :-
. at 1 o'clock in the afternoon of the 4th November, 1930, a
tremendous detonation was heard followed for 20 minutes by rumbling
sounds. Dr. Jonge who happened to be in Tabaquite visited the spot .
an area of 15 to 20 acres of forest was blown down and covered with 15 to 25
feet of very viscous mud, with frequent fragments of older rock . the
distance of the main vent from the border (of the mud flow) was about
150 to 250 feet. The quantity of mud ejected was estimated to be at least
500,000 cubic yards. If one imagines that this occurred in less than

20 minutes, one may arrive at some conception of the gas pressure which
must have been held in leash."*
And again in the case of a submarine eruption in Erin Bay which occurred in
1911 masses of material observed being ejected from the sea accompanied
by enormous volumes of gas which became ignited, and by considerable noise; the
flames could be seen many miles away as they rose to a height of 100 feet or more.
An island was noticed to be steadily rising from the sea and after several
hours of activity it had an area of 2k acres and was 14 feet above sea level at its
highest part"*
Such islands have been formed on several occasions, but they are short lived
and soon succumb to the attack of the waves.
The largest of all the mud volcanoes is Moruga Bouffe in the south-eastern part
of the island, which is a large complex volcano some 800 feet in diameter and
having over 20 individual cones, some of which may be over 6 feet high. Another
curious feature of Moruga Bouffe is that the extrusion of large volumes of sub-
surface formation as mud lava has caused subsidence which has resulted
in upsetting the river courses, so that now the Bouffe is surrounded by a virtual
moat formed by joining up of the side branches of the several streams which
originally flowed on either side of the Bouffe.
Among the other more interesting mud volcanoes, the mud lake of Lagon
Bouffe at Guayaguayare and the Devil's Woodyard near Princes Town have already
been mentioned. Incidently, the latter gets its name from the many fragments of
carbonized wood, the relics of trees engulfed during former eruptions, which are
to be found scattered over the surface. Morne Diablo in the Southern Range although
now almost extinct must have been a large mud volcano for relics of old mud lava
flows are found extending as far as two miles north of the crater. Finally the
impressive group of large mud volcanoes at Cedros may be mentioned which cover
an area of two square miles and include five separate mud volcanoes.
Apart from Trinidad mud volcanoes others are known in various parts of the
world; principally in Venezuela, in Burma, and in the Caucasus region of Southern
There may perhaps be many legends and superstitions connected with the mud
volcanoes, the associations of "Morne Diablo" and "Devil's Woodyard" being easily
imagined, but the writer knows of only one story, namely, the belief often expressed
by woodsmen, that the mud volcanoes are connected by underground channels with
the sea, because of the salt water, and that their activity is related to the tides and
hence to the lunar cycle. This of course is not so, but there is perhaps a grain of
truth for the underground salt water which is part cause of the mud volcanoes is
in fact ancient, "fossil" sea water, entombed in the marine sediments which later
formed the rocks of the earth's crust.
So we see that mud volcanoes are associated with the occurrence of natural oil
and gas in the sub-surface rocks of the earth's crust. Consequently, the existence
of mud volcanoes is indicative of the presence of gas and possibly oil at depth. The
converse, however, is not true for absence of mud volcanoes does not mean that
there is no oil or gas in the rocks. The most eloquent proof of this is the fact that
there are no mud volcanoes in the United States of America, the largest oil producing
area in the world.
*Kugler, H. G. Contribution to the knowledge of sedimentary volcanism in Trinidad.
Journal Institute of Petroleum, Vol. 19, 1933, pp. 754-755.


Two Poems by Derek Walcott


Lady, our infinite faiths shall end, like light
Ripening and bleeding in day's final wound,
Like love, that made our bodies twice as bright.

Leave on our eyes the counterfeit delight
That they were happy. Could they be when the round
Eyeball of the world revolves in fright ?

Could they be, when in sleep, my veins would fight
Like children, for some lucky dip underground,
And found that monstrous box and held it tight?

The pity is it is the same old light
That seemed, when we were young, a delicate wound
Bleeding because pain said the price was right;

Well, there my body blazed with fine delight
Above the cold, stiff waltzers underground,
Love like the limetree shook away its blight.

Well then I watched the waltzing swallows fight
Against the darkness, I heard the underground
Worm tunnelling a subway to the infinite.

Our self-confessions bring no wisdom; and quite
Fashionable as it has been to join the underground
Movement towards eternal light,

Ah, still the body's candle will not burn right
For an altar it does not truly want. Around
Our beds, we light our vices by our prayers each night,

Remembering heaven, whose candles are so bright
That the loud wind, whose argument is sound
Cannot blow out, nor for that matter, hell's light.

The pity is it is the same old light
That rots the bleeding idealists, who drown
For firefly faiths below a sea of night.

Remembering old men, who, though wind blew right
On broken channels, always wrecked aground,
Crazy and crying-'Lord, we fished all night'

Remembering boys who on the freezing height
Of human need, kneeled that love should burn round,
Found flesh consumed in lust's consuming light,
Remembering suns that in the brazen sight
Of men and boys now plunged deep out of sound,
Spinning to ashes in their fiery flight,
Remembering ashes that give no phoenix flight,
Lady, our infinite faiths shall end, like light
That blinds the living that the dead may drown.

Stilly, the light is blown
Through the conch's shelled horn
To the sea, waking with birds,
And still, that mote
In the sun's eye climbs, the hawk,
Over the falling town,
Then down, dropping down
Over the water with its foam and curds.

Of the driven, bright
Fish in the white
Salt spray, where the toilers
Fling their nets from the reef,
Or row by rote,
To hurl their webbed wishes over,
The silver fish flying before some drover,
Or the shark's sly teeth.
Listen, the mute
Cry of the mussel, the soot
Black porpoises flailing the trough,
The shout
Of spearfishing birds, the heron-necks,
The gulls building babble over the wrecks.
And look, a sudden diver from the bluff.
Splashes the water.
And there, salteyed daughter
Of the sea, drowned in the weedhaired tides,
Deaf to the rout
Of waves on the reef turreted shore,
Deaf to the wailing horn,
She rocks, she rides,
Perdita, the sea-lost, Venus, the sea-born.

And I with a black
Heart, and my back
Healing with history, by the sea
White, shell sharp dawn,
Have heard the history
Of this white goddess, whom the waves
Out of time's bitter legends gave
To all who love, live, and are at lost at sea.

The blackhandled
Fishermen with their hoard of sprats,
Have no legend to aid them, but a prayer,
Venus lives with aristocrats,
It is to the Virgin they give ear,
Figlia del Tuo
Figlio, 0
It is for her they throw their nets with care.

Yet not for the day blown
From the horn
Of the shell, pink as her flesh
My mind rides there,
Not for the shell of the blowing dawn,
For Venus afloat on the water,
Not for her, windmourned, wave murmured over daughter
Who nets the mussels in goldwoven hair,

But for the rare
Width of blue air,
For the hawk's heel straying
Over blue fields, I still am praying,
For the wheeling spokes
Of the gulls from the crusted wreck,
I kneel and hear the shell's mass,
For the crab in hiding in God's grass,
Now at the bells of leaves I pay respect.

For that sky
And the sea, I
Waded in the first, lost, light,
My mind as white as the birds,
With salt washing my heel,
For the high prayer wheel
Of the gulls, and the old sea's tears,
The blue and green, daylight of Mary's gown,
Forgiving boyhood that it should have grown.

O herds of the bright
Archery of fish, 0 Light
Laying your coins on the beach,
I flew like the hawk above time's reach,
I was hero, your caves hallooed,
Horizon haloed,
And 0 dead Venus, under waves riding,
Ark of the Virgin, ever abiding
Mother of fishermen, you showed

It was all a wise
Hoax to my sunblind eyes,
The belled leaves chiming for my days,
O Time, what if I give the wrong things praise,
The wildest sorrows shout,
All that I have and want are words
To fling my griefs about,
And salt enough for my eyes,
For the trapped wheeling of the holy birds,
And my barefooted flight from paradise.

Sir Charles Metcalfe
Governor of Jamaica, Sept., 1839 to May, 1842

BY D. G. HALL, M.SC. (Econ.)

ON September 26, 1839, Charles Theophilus, first Baron Metcalfe, was sworn in as
Governor of Jamaica. He was a physically unimpressive little man with weak
eyes and an ulcerous inflammation on his cheek. It was known that he had been for
many years in the service of the East India Company; but to Jamaicans that was
hardly a recommendation, for the East India and the West India interests were
rivals. It was also known that he had earned a great reputation as an administrator;
but that had been in India where Governors had no Legislative Assemblies to
reckon with. Despite a friendly manner and an intelligent face this middle-aged,
plumpening little man hardly seemed to qualify for extraordinary notice. It was
even said by those who knew more than the rest that he could not ride a horse.
That was quite true, and Metcalfe was ready to admit it. His equestrian experiences
had been, in the main, painful, and had taught him to choose his mounts with
discretion. In Jamaica he was to select "a steady surefooted Pony that carries me
well enough where carriages could not go" But splendid horsemanship and an
illustrious figure, though glamorous assets, are not necessary qualifications for a
Governorship, and both Metcalfe and the Jamaicans who now met him for the first
time knew this. The future held the answer to his ability in his new post, and to
the future Jamaicans looked with curiosity, Metcalfe with a calm assurance of
As a young boy he had spent four treasured years at Eton where he had given
all his time to reading the classics, pondering philosophical questions, and deciding
that for him, the least handsome of a handsome family, and the least interested in
vigorous bodily pursuits, the path to glory lay not through the favours to be received
in drawing-rooms and boudoirs, but through intense application to study and
devotion to duty. Nonetheless, at fourteen he had fallen in love. But his father who
had been busy securing for him a position with the East India Company had not
approved, and so, on New Year's Day, 1801, a month short of his sixteenth birthday,
lie had arrived in India.
Within three years he had made his mark, and with exceptional determination
and self-confidence he had passed through all the grades of promotion in the Indian
Service until, at the age of fifty, he had been made Acting Governor-General. Yet,
as a man of firm principles, he has been bound at times to challenge authority;
and, as a man of unquestionable honesty, he could not have failed to incur
the ridicule of his less particular associates; with the result that he had never
attained the actual, unqualified, 'Pukka', Governor-Generalship. In 1836, disap-
pointed that he had been passed over in favour of Lord Auckland, he had written
home "I am pressed to stay on as Lieutenant-Governor of what was once my
Government/the North-Western Provinces/, by the Authorities at Home, and by


SIR CHARLES METCALFE : From a drawing by Sir Charles D'Oyly.

the Governor-General, in a most flattering manner." As a biographer has written,
"No man ever received more honey in the form of kind words."
In the latter years of his Indian Service he had been a sort of elder statesman,
an authority and a guide to whom younger administrators. turned for advice and
opinion, and this not only in political and administrative affairs. "If I am really
the happy man you suppose me to be" he wrote to a correspondent in 1825, "I
will tell you, as far as I know myself, the secret You will perhaps smile, for
I am not sure that your mind has taken the turn that might induce you to
sympathise. But be assured that I am in earnest. I live in a state of fervent and
incessant gratitude to God for the favors and mercies which I have experienced
throughout my life. The feeling which I have is so strong that it often overflows
in tears, and is so rooted that I do not think that any misfortunes could shake it."
On February 21st, 1838, after thirty-seven years, he had retired from the service
of the East India Company and returned to England. But, like so many absentees,
he had built up in his mind too idealised a picture of his homeland; and, like many
others suddenly retired from a hard and active life, he had found no comfort in
idleness. In 1839 he was again ready to go abroad, to accept the position offered
him as Governor of Jamaica, that difficult Colony with the intractable Legislative
Assembly which at that very time was on strike refusing to co-operate in the
government of the island.
When Metcalfe arrived Jamaica was in an unsettled state, but it did not take
him long to sum up the situation and to decide on a course of action. On
October 16, a bare three weeks after his swearing-in, he addressed a despatch to the
Secretary of State for the Colonies
"My Lord,
I am about to submit to your Lordship such ideas on the state of this
island as I at present entertain, derived from the little knowledge that I have
acquired since my arrival and not, therefore, entitled to much weight. Never-
theless, it seems to be my duty to offer them in preference to total silence
on a subject so interesting and important.
When the freedom of the slaves was established, the great question that
agitated the island was, on what terms free labor could be obtained for the
cultivation of the estates, from which the wealth of Jamaica has hitherto
been derived. It naturally became the interest of the owners of properties to
obtain labor on the cheapest, and that of the laboring population to sell it on
the dearest, terms; and a struggle with these opposite views commenced
between the two parties.
The practice which prevailed in slavery, of granting grounds to the
laborers, from which they derived the means of subsistence, in esculents for
themselves and their families, and by the sale of surplus produce, gave a
great advantage to the laborers when they acquired freedom, as it rendered
them in a great degree independent of labor, and enabled them to hold out
for terms. The proprietors could not hold out with the same safety, for the
want of labor on their properties, at some, if not all, periods of the year,
must have been ruinous. The wages of labor, therefore, have been hitherto
settled more at the will of the laborer than at that of his employer, and this
must continue to be the case until a great increase of the laboring population

shall make labor cheaper, or until laborers shall be more dependent on labor,
or until such a number of properties shall be thrown out of cultivation by
the impossibility of meeting the expense, as may produce the same effect as
an increase in the laboring population.
It is to be hoped that the utter ruin of estates will not take place to any
vast extent; but it is confidently predicted that it must in many instances
chiefly in the sugar plantations where continuous labor is most indispensable.
As a counterpoise to the power of the laborers over wages, the proprietors
have that of charging rent for the houses and grounds tenanted by the
laborers, and this right is often exercised with a view to counterbalance, as
much as possible, the payment of wages, and not with reference purely to
the value of the house and grounds. Thus in many instances the rent of a
house is charged, not as a rate fixed for the house, but at a rate fixed for
each occupant of the house. These counter-claims for rent and wages keep
up much irritation and litigation, but will, it is to be hoped, in time, be
settled on the basis of mutual interest
This natural struggle between proprietors and laborers has been attended
with discord and virulence between other classes of society. The Baptist
missionaries have made themselves particularly obnoxious to the proprietors
by the advice and aid which they are supposed to have given to the
laborers. It seems very possible that the intervention of a third party between
the two immediately concerned, giving its support to one, may have prevented
a settlement that would otherwise have taken place favourable to the other,
or equally fair to both: and it is quite natural that the proprietors should
dislike this interference in a matter of such vital interest to their properties
but at the same time it was natural that the laborers should seek the advice
of the pastors and ministers who had evinced a great interest in their
welfare and it may be that without the advice and support of their
ministers the emancipated population might have fared worse in their dealings
with their former masters, or might, from disappointment, have followed
desperate courses
If the political power exercised by the Baptists be an evil (and I am
disposed, generally speaking, to think that it is an evil whenever the ministers
of religion deviate from their purely religious functions to take part in the
strife and broils of political parties), it is an evil which does not admit of any
present remedy .On the whole, although I esteem the conduct of the other
missionaries in confining themselves to their religious duties, and abstaining
from political strife, as more admirable and more beneficial to the country
than that of the Baptists, nevertheless, if the good and evil done by the latter
were to be weighed against each other, the good, I conceive, would
The conduct of the labouring population is represented by the stipendiary
magistrates, whose reports are the most frequent channels of official informa-
tion possessed by the government, as being orderly and irreproachable; and
I see no reason to doubt the truth of their representations .The stipendiary
magistrates are a class, with individual exceptions, offensive to the
proprietory interest. This is not surprising. The magistracy of the country

consisted formerly exclusively of proprietors, or their representatives,
performing their duties gratuitously ./During the apprenticeship and since
the recent granting of freedom/it was scarcely possible to entrust the
dispensation of justice entirely to those who were themselves so much
interested in the questions likely to arise for discussion. Nevertheless, the
establishment of stipendiary magistrates was extremely grating to the landed
interests; and, added to the abolition of slavery, became a second revolution
in the island. The annoyance was aggravated in a great degree, partly by the
inexperience and unfitness of some of the stipendiary magistrates, and partly
from their receiving a bias from the purpose for which they were appointed,
and by their regarding themselves rather as protectors of the laborers than
as dispensers o' equal justice to all parties
The generally tranquil state of the country without any police is a strong
proof of the present peaceful disposition of the inhabitants. The character,
however, acquired by the people in their transition from slavery to freedom,
seems to be more that of independence than of submission to the will of others.
They are, I imagine, as independent and thriving, and as little subservient,
as any laboring population in the world."

This first important despatch from Jamaica has been quoted at length for several
reasons: it gives a good picture of the Jamaican scene on Metcalfe's arrival, and
illustrates his remarkable ability to grasp the essentials of a situation new to him;
it is a fine example of his clear and memorable style of writing; it shows his constant
endeavour to see both sides of a dispute; and it indicates what was to be the main
feature of his administration, sweet reasonableness and the complete avoidance of
Metcalfe's desire for compromise was no sign of weakness, for he could be firm,
and although he disliked creating animosities he never hesitated to voice an opinion
because he thought it might be unpopular. His references to the Baptists, though
favourable to them in the over-all balance, aroused their antagonism, and a real
peace was never established between them. His proposals to the Colonial Office
that the stipendiary magistracy should gradually be abolished, by the simple process
of not making any more appointments to fill vacancies as they occurred, was
unpopular with those who thought that the stipendiaries were still needed to protect
the peasants from injustice. On the question of immigration he displeased its most
enthusiastic supporters by his moderate views. Many of the planters wanted to
encourage immigration on a large scale. White newcomers would settle those parts
of the interior which were still vacant, and so deprive the ex-slaves of opportunity
to become independent small farmers; and they would also decrease the huge
difference in number between the white and the non-white population groups. Asian
or African newcomers, brought in as labourers, would increase the labour supply
and so tend to reduce wage demands. But Metcalfe maintained his opinions.
Immigration, he said, was desirable, and it could be managed "without interfering
with the benefits possessed by the present inhabitants" European immigration,
though he was favourable to it, was not proving successful, and "I am of opinion,
that, under existing circumstances, it will be liable to disappointment to all parties,
except under peculiar advantages, or superior management, and that indiscriminate
importation is unadvisable."

If Jamaicans had had an opportunity to read Metcalfe's letters and despatches
while in the Indian Service they would have found things of great relevance and
interest, sentences which would have taught them something of his philosophy of
"No people labor so indolently as those who work in chains and by
compulsion. Hearty exertion is always self-willed, and with a view
to self-interest."
"I am not myself disposed to yield anything to unfounded discontent,
but I think that a mixture of conciliation and firmness is the system best
suited even for refractory people; and I dread nothing less than the ruin and
depopulation of our territory from a continual contest between the government
and the cultivators."
"Even, however, under a certainty of permanent disaffection, our duty
towards the governed is the same. We are bound to give them the best
government in our power."
These firm but benign principles, suggestive of an attitude of conciliatory
paternalism, were brought by Metcalfe to the administration of Jamaica, courteously
and discreetly, so that his paternalism never offended the powerful and independent-
spirited Assembly.
He brought also an important non-political qualification, namely, an apparently
complete lack of colour-prejudice. It may well be that his long association with a
Sikh lady who had borne him three sons during his Indian career was influential in
this respect. Metcalfe had shown great affection for his children and had sent them
to England for their education. Little seems to be known of this family life, for many
of his private papers were subsequently mutilated by a lady who wanted to destroy
all evidence of it, but it is certainly worth mention.
Metcalfe's first task in Jamaica was to woo the Assembly which had intensely
disliked his predecessors for their championship of the ex-slaves and other anti-planter
groups. He succeeded by delivering a first address in most conciliatory language,
inviting them to resume their full and proper function, promising them friendly
co-operation, and showing deference to their legislative power. In short, speaking to
them in a manner to which they had recently been unaccustomed, Metcalfe assumed
their good intentions and their desire to legislate in the best interests of the whole
The response was almost immediate. In February, 1840, William Burge, the
Jamaica Agent in Britain, sent a letter to Lord John Russell, the Secretary of State
for the Colonies. He wrote that the present improved conditions in Jamaica were
largely due to Metcalfe's just and liberal attitude. Meetings of Jamaica planters and
merchants in London and Bristol endorsed this verdict. But, said Burge, it would
ensure the continuance of the present harmony and good feeling if Her Majesty's
Government would give some definite sign of approval of Metcalfe's policy, and this
particularly because certain published Parliamentary Papers appeared to show
differences of opinion between the Colonial Office and the Governor.
It would have been almost impossible for Metcalfe to have succeeded
simultaneously in pleasing both the Colonial Office and the Jamaica Assembly. The
latter was composed of planters or their agents, men who measured the prosperity
of Jamaica in terms of the prosperity of sugar or coffee, whose attention was focused

on the problems of estate cultivation, and whose absolute control over almost the
entire labouring population had so recently been lost. The Colonial Office, and
especially such men among its permanent staff as James Stephen, felt at this period
a grand responsibility for the welfare of the ex-slaves, the new free peasantry which
the Emancipation Act had created; and if the advanced happiness and prosperity
of this class had to be accompanied by the further decline of the great estates then
without doubt the estates would have to suffer so that the great social experiment of
freedom might succeed. Moreover, if the Assembly resisted those policies of the
Colonial Office or the Governor which were designed to benefit the peasantry, then
the Assembly must be overcome. In February, 1841, Metcalfe wrote an outstanding
despatch in reply to Lord John Russell's suggestion that the Governor might be
able to strengthen his hand by forming a third legislative group, a sort of Executive
Council, which would support his authority over the Assembly.
"The time when the Government might expect to possess the greatest influence
in the Assembly would probably be during its state of transition from representing
the Proprietory of the Island to representing the Mass of the People/as the peasants
acquired freeholds and the right to vote at elections/ When the Proprietory before
being actually reduced to a Minority in the Assembly see nevertheless that such a
fate is inevitable, they may naturally become more disposed to add strength to the
Government, and to reduce the power of the popular branch of the Constitution
within the bounds beyond which it has extended itself." In such circumstances,
continued Metcalfe, the Government is most likely to obtain, with the Assent of the
Assembly, "that degree of Executive Authority which Your Lordship deems to be
essential for the due administration of the Government." In view of what was to
happen in 1865 these were prophetic words. But until such a situation should arise,
said Metcalfe, the Government's authority would be best "derived from conciliation
and mutual cordiality and co-operation."
In the very first session of the Jamaica Legislature under Metcalfe, certain bills
relating to Vagrancy, Fire-arms, Police, Trespass, Hawking and Pedling, and other
matters, were given the Governor's assent but failed to receive the necessary approval
of the Queen advised by her ministers. A memorandum by Lord John Russell plainly
states the attitudes of both Metcalfe, the conciliator of parties, and the British
Government, the alert protector of the peasantry.
"State to Sir Charles Metcalfe that I have been anxious in considering his
Jamaica Acts to comply with his desire that those which are felt to be objectionable
should not be disallowed, that however he must feel that concession and conciliation
should not be required only of the Queen's Government, and that he must not expect
that if reasons are set aside, and remonstrances disregarded in the Colony power will
not be called into action as the only remedy against oppressiveness or unjust
The opinions of Jamaicans about the new laws were naturally divided. Some
people supported the Assembly and maintained that the regulations were necessary to
preserve order and to prevent 'Idleness' among the people when the estates were in
such desperate need of labour. Others supported the opinion that: "It is well known
that those laws which have been enacted since Emancipation have not secured to
the peasantry those privileges and immunities which they were intended to confer;
many of them, therefore, have been disallowed. Amongst these there are some that

are not only oppressive and unjust, but utterly at variance with every dictate of
sound policy, such as the Militia Law, the Hawkers' and Pedlars' Act, the Election
Law, and the Stamp Act." Still a third group would have given support to Metcalfe's
argument that at such a time it was best to let the Assembly have its head, leaving
to the Governor the responsibility to ensure that no oppressive measures were in fact
allowed to operate against any section of the population.
A subsequent memorandum by Lord John Russell indicated that the Colonial
Office had not had it all their own way:

"I have been anxious to leave as much as possible to Sir C. Metcalfe,
but to let him see that the objections to the Jamaica Acts were not overlooked.
There hence arises an unavoidable discrepancy between the reasoning and
the conclusions, but in the end Sir C. Metcalfe will take more pains with the
Acts, and will consult his own excellent understanding rather more than in
his wish to conciliate he appears to have done."

The basic flaw in Metcalfe's argument arose from the fact that the laws he
allowed would outlast his governorship and those who followed him might not be as
careful protectors as he would be; nor could it be certain that the cordiality which
existed between Governor and Assembly would continue after Metcalfe's departure.
In fact, Lord Elgin, his immediate successor, maintained and developed the
harmonious association begun in 1839. But it is easier to be wise after the event and
a strong case could be made that under the unhappier times and leadership of sub-
sequent Governors the doubtful laws and policies of the 1840's were pressed to
their unjust extremes and were partly responsible for the tragedy at Morant Bay in
1865. It may be said in Metcalfe's defence that the task of government is a complex
one. The mistakes of the past must be corrected, the immediate matters of the
present must be faced, and the problems of the future anticipated. Because the
future is uncertain and the view of man is short we tend to give greater attention
to the events of the past and the present, and when we do attempt to provide for
the future our decisions are based upon value standards and made within terms
of reference which, though seemingly adequate, may in fact prove to have been
quite irrelevant. It is debatable to what extent Metcalfe, who was primarily con-
cerned with the problems of the late 1830's and early 'forties, can be held to account
for developments in the 'fifties and 'sixties. There can be no disputing that at the
end of his term he left Jamaica happier and more prosperous than he had found it.
In his two and a half years as Governor he accomplished all that the Colonial
Office had asked of him. In September, 1839, at the beginning of his appointment,
he had received a despatch from Lord John Russell:
"It appears to me upon considering the despatches of your predecessor,
and the intelligence received by various parties in this country from Jamaica,
that no improvement in legislation, and no ability in government, can secure
to the island prosperity and peace unless a better spirit can be infused into
the various orders of society
I shall have other opportunities of addressing you on the various
measures which the present state of affairs may require, the purpose of this
despatch is to impress most earnestly, what your own experience will have

already taught you, that no change or modification of laws will lead you
successfully through your present difficulties, unless you can inculcate
temper, forbearance, and charity among The Queen's subjects in Jamaica.
One of the most striking aspects of Metcalfe's policy was the way in which he
encouraged unity by leading Jamaicans to view their troubles and successes as
matters affecting the whole island society, in which both planters and peasants had
equal claims to happiness and to material advancement. Opening the Legislative
Session in the autumn of 1841 he said:
"Our island, I grieve to say, has been sorely afflicted during this last
year, by extensive commercial distress-by extraordinary drought-and by
sickness and mortality raging to an uncommon degree throughout all classes
of the community.
The prospect is now, in some respects, more cheering; for, by the
blessing of Almighty Providence, the late rains have produced abundant
crops; and it is expected that, in the approaching season, our staple exports
will considerably exceed those of late years. Agricultural societies are being
extended over the whole island-the silk company, and the copper-mine
company, are proceeding, I understand, with favourable prospects. Cotton
has been produced sufficiently to show, that if it were not excluded by
devotion to more valuable articles, or by insufficiency of labour, it might
become an additional source of prosperity. The cultivation of tobacco on a
large scale, I hear, is about to commence; and the discovery of a method by
which the supply of one of our staple exports may be greatly augmented,
promises a large increase to the wealth of the agricultural community
The relations between employers and labourers appear to have arranged
themselves on the natural basis of mutual interests. The want of continuous
labour is still complained of in some districts, but not so generally as before.
This want is not surprising in a country where the population is scanty, and
where the labouring class support themselves in great measure by the
cultivation of their own grounds. The establishment of small freeholds among
this class, and the clearance and cultivation of lands hitherto, or for a long
time, waste, are making continual and rapid strides, and without removing
the holders entirely from the labour market, must tend to secure the comfort
of a large portion of the people. The ease, independence, and other advantages
enjoyed by the labouring population, are not, I believe, surpassed by those
of the same class in any country on the face of the earth; and although to
those causes must be partly ascribed the want of continuous labour, we
cannot but rejoice at so much good, and are bound to bear cheerfully its
attendant difficulties. The general good conduct and orderly habits of the
people, and their improved feeling towards their employers, are just grounds
for unqualified congratulation."
Apart from showing Metcalfe's view of the island community as a whole of
which the advancement of any class reflected credit on the remainder, the speech
indicates the great improvements which had in fact occurred since 1839, despite the
handicaps of drought and sickness. But perhaps the Governor ought not to be
allowed to bear witness in his own behalf. Two other reports will balance the

picture, one from a stipendiary magistrate, concerned primarily with the interests
of the peasants; the other from a planter, concerned primarily with the welfare of
the large landed proprietors.
To his report of November, 1841, Stipendiary Magistrate Chamberlaine, a
coloured Jamaican, added a postscript:

"This being the First General Report that I have furnished since my
arrival (after an absence in England of 12 months), I trust I may be pardoned
for adverting to the alterations which so forcibly struck me on a visit that
I made to the Parish of St. Thomas in the East where I had been stationed
previous to my departure. In travelling through the Parish I was
astonished and delighted, to perceive the number of settlements and cottages
that had sprung up right and left, in places before overgrown in bush and
jungle-the improved construction in the cottages, the enlargement of the
different villages, the number of new shops and houses that had arisen in the
Rural Towns, and general improved appearance and comfort of the labouring
population, all afforded satisfactory evidence of the rapid but sure blessings
which followed the establishment of general freedom.
In the Parish of Hanover a new Township called 'Phoenix Town' has
been established, two others are projected and are now being laid out, whilst
the old villages have been enlarged, and new settlements are every where
rising up about us. The number of Freeholds among the black population
continue to increase, and the effect of this independence is to irculcate habits
of thought, prudence and industry on the part of the labouring people, and
to promote peace, security and happiness to the community at large. In the
neighbourhood of the settlements and villages, no difficulties exist in obtaining
labour where punctual money wages are given combined with fair dealing;
in illustration of which I may mention that at 'Phoenix Town' on Phoenix
Estate, the lessee (whose assurance I have) can at all times command more
labourers than he can give employment to, one of the effects of which is to
increase his crops materially, and there is now on the ground a larger crop
than has been taken off there for ten years past!"

For the other part, here are extracts from a letter to Metcalfe from Joseph
Gordon, Esq., Custos of St. Andrew, and father of the unfortunate George William
Gordon of 1865 fame. Dated October, 1841, the letter is less enthusiastic about
present conditions, but it shows an optimism newly felt by many of the planters
at the time.

"The Sugar Crops just finished in any instance within my knowledge
has not nearly paid the expense, some of the properties having had large
fields of canes destroyed by drought and other causes. The prospects for next
crop are more favourable from the fine seasons we have had, and as labour
settles down if prices can be realized, or price of labour reduced, I think on
many estates they might carry on the cultivation of sugar, while on others
it is impossible . ./Labour has/settled down much since my last report . .

/but the growth of freehold settlements/occasions an uncertainty of labour
to the properties in time of need by which means produce is frequently lost
Since my last report great progress has been made among the labourers,
and I hope in after years all the estates in this Parish will be cultivated by
the Plough. Several ploughing matches have been formed, at which great
emulation has been displayed and with great encouragement of prizes have
caused our labourers to take great pride in acquiring knowledge of ploughing
does them great credit and I am in hopes that in this respect our Parish will
be second to none."

The challenging question remains to be answered. Admitting the smoothing
out of animosities, the emergence of some sense of co-operation and mutual interest,
the rapid improvements in the conditions of the peasantry, and the renewal of
hopeful expectations on all sides, it may be asked whether all this would not have
happened without a Metcalfe. There is no complete answer. We cannot say precisely
what would have happened if something else had not taken place. But it stands
beyond doubt that Metcalfe's administration hastened processes which might have
taken years longer to come into effect; and which might well have been thwarted
altogether by the ill-considered policies of a less able administrator. Metcalfe stood
apart from intrigue, political gossip, and party strife. He captained no factions and
sought to show antagonists the common interests which should bind them together.
Moreover, in this role of conciliator, he made himself accessible to all parties and
their opinions, refusing to lay down autocratic decisions, and preferring to work in
conjunction with others, formulating policies which though often not entirely
acceptable to all were totally objectionable to none. His beneficial influence on the
temper of the Jamaica Assembly was remarkable, and he had accomplished it by
treating them always with respect, and by assuming from the beginning that they
were honourable and well-intentioned men. It was a psychological victory.
On May 21st, 1842, Sir Charles Metcalfe left Jamaica. Seven months previously
he had tendered his resignation:

"When the offer of the Governorship of this island and its dependencies
was conveyed to me, my only inducement in accepting it was the hope of
rendering some service to my country by becoming instrumental in the
reconciliation of the Colony with the mother country.
That object was accomplished, soon after my arrival, by the good sense
and good feeling of the colonists, who readily and cordially met the con-
ciliatory disposition which it was my duty to evince towards them.
The next subject that most attracted my attention was the unsatisfactory
feeling of the labouring population towards their employers. This has
naturally subsided into a state more consistent with the relations of the
parties, and there is no longer any ground of anxiety on that account.
Other dissensions in the community, which grew out of preceding
circumstances, have, either entirely or in a great degree, ceased, and order
and harmony, with exceptions which will occasionally occur in every state
of society, may be said to prevail."
It was a modest summary of the remarkable results of a short administration.

The little man had proved his worth and had won the respect of Jamaicans in
spite of his lack of physical stature, and in spite of the sufferings he constantly
endured from the ulcer on his cheek-a gnawing cancer of the skin which was to
destroy his flesh and blind him in one eye. In 1845, after three years as Governor-
General of Canada, he asked to be relieved of his duties because his illness made
work impossible. In the following year, on September the 5th, he died in England
at the age of sixty-one.


(1) Colonial Office Documents: Series 137, Vols. 240-262. (At the Public Record Office,
(2) Kaye, J. M. (Editor): "Selections from the Papers of Lord Metcalfe" (1855).
(3) Thompson, E. "The Life of Charles, Lord Metcalfe" (1938).
(5) Burn, W. L.: "Emancipation and Apprenticeship in the British West Indies" (1937).

The Rise of the Village Settlements of British Guiana


RAWLE FARLEY, B.A., B.SC. Econ. Lond.

THE establishment of the village settlements of British Guiana forms one of the
most remarkable phases of the whole of Caribbean economic development. It has
been customary to regard the rise of these freeholds in British Guiana as peculiarly
related to the history of that part of the Caribbean. This is, however, wholly to
misunderstand the total history of British Caribbean historical change. The economic
history of British Guiana is hot a separate aspect of Caribbean history: it is part
and parcel of the same history. British Guiana is no more than the under-developed
southern economic frontier of the British Caribbean. When the British West Indian
islands declined, capital and labour shifted southward to the outer margins. The
sugar plantations of British Guiana were, in the main, capitalized by speculating
West Indians. The superior fertility of British Guiana's coastal virgin soil, the
increased marginal efficiency of invested capital-despite high initial drainage costs
-and freedom of property from such natural disasters as hurricanes were effectively
responsible for this economic shift. The movement, more marked after 1838, from
the sugar plantations to the unexploited village lands can be legitimately regarded
as a continuation of this pattern of economic change across the under-developed
So far, the rise of the village settlements is usually recorded as a post-emancipa-
tion phenomenon. Considered as such, the exciting story of the settlements becomes
a mere record entirely drained of its real historical colour. The roots of the village
settlements are to be found in the days of slavery. The forces which were
fundamental to the establishment of these settlements were, for the most part, the
same economic and social forces which led to the end of slavery as such on
August Ist, 1838.
The most decisive and continuous of these forces was the desire, on the part
of the slaves, for personal liberty and for land of their own. This desire was
responsible for the persistent pressure of the slaves to destroy the system which
deprived them of these rights. Humanitarian influences made a powerful contribution,
even though there might be debate as to the degree of economic self-interest
involved. And finally, as Governor D'Urban reported in 1830, slavery as an
economic system was breaking to pieces in British Guiana. The combination of
these forces forced slave emancipation and so created the conditions under which
the establishment of the free villages of British Guiana was accelerated.
Evidence of the desire for personal liberty and for land on the part of the
slave population of British Guiana is quite clear and abundant. Negro slave revolts,
or threats of such revolts, were frequent. The fear of such revolts and their
consequences were real and found expression in measures designed to prevent them,

and in letters to the local Governor and the Colonial Office. In 1763 and 1795
actual revolts took place; the first was a serious rising in Berbice which met with
the most cruel suppression. In the second case, more than 100 "run-a-ways" led
by the driver of Plantations Ruimzigt and a house Negro, revolted, and were joined
by Negroes from Plantations Ruimzigt, Waller, Harlem, and Rotterdam. In 1811,
Governor Gordon was expressing his fear of Negro insubordination and the peril
of the white population which lay in the disparity of numbers. In 1814, Governor
Bentinck wrote in similar vein to Earl Bathurst. "I am concerned", he said, to
acquaint Your Lordship of the disposition of the Negroes on the west coast of this
Colony to revolt" Two months later, Bentinck reported that it came out in evidence
that the Negroes intended to "murder the whites and take possession of the estates
for their own benefit" which they therefore were not to burn as formerly. In 1816,
William Scott, in a memorial to Bentinck, represented in "strongest possible light"
the effect on Negroes' minds not only of a change of masters, but of a change of
system. In the same year, owing to fears of the potential infection of the Barbados
slave revolt, British Caribbean Governors were circularised and directed to take
preventive measures against the spread of the revolt.
In 1817 an order of 6th July, 1814, was revived to prohibit Negro night
meetings and Negroes passing from one estate to another, or travelling away from
estates without written passes. Despite these measures, in 1823 a major revolt broke
out in Demerara, forcing Governor D'Urban to forbid the use of the word
"freedom" in proclamations. What D'Urban wrote is significant; "It is true", he
said, "that the mischief had only time to explode within a certain district, but it
is equally certain that the feelings in which it had its origin existed here and
elsewhere from the Corentyne to the Pomeroon; they are scarcely asleep yet and
may be easily awakened" Gipps, an engineer, anxious to resettle British Guiana
slaves in free conditions, observed in 1828: "that a slave should have an aversion
to labour from which he received no benefit can I imagine require no depth of
philosophy to account for"
In 1833, the slaves had mobilised. The alternatives were clear-overthrow of
slavery as an economic system by bloodshed or by degree. In 1833, humanitarian
stubbornness, firmly marshalled by a great character, James Stephens, was at its
height. Stephens, two years earlier, acidly attacked D'Urban's attempt to turn back
the clock. "It is doubtless desirable", he wrote, "that the slaves should be quiet
and contented. But it is not only desirable, but quite inevitable, that their conditions
should be so improved as gradually to qualify them for freedom Therefore
whatever is essential to that improvement must be done." In 1833, the planter class
in British Guiana, threatened by these gathering forces, induced by diverse
economic compulsions, frustrated by humanitarian stubbornness, made an expedient
volte face. They accepted the inevitability of free labour and secured the Colonial
Office quid pro quo of the second highest compensation per head in the Caribbean
for the losses of their property in human beings. Their acceptance of these arrange-
ments established the more favourable conditions for the independent settlement of
labour upon land of their own. The rise of the village settlements was symbolic of
the continuation of the revolt against the plantation system by free labour, reinforced
after 1838 by the advantages denied them under slavery.

In British Guiana land space has always exceeded the existing labour supply.
Given such circumstances, labour usually seeks to establish itself independently
on a peasant proprietorship basis. When labour is free, the choice can be carried
out at the will of labour. When labour is not free, as under slavery, the choice can
be carried into effect only by defying 'the prevailing legal restrictions. The first
"village settlements" of British Guiana were established during slavery under this
condition. The founders of these villages were the British Guiana Bush Negroes
or run-a-way slaves. They too were the first rice planters of British Guiana and
the rest of the Caribbean, and not, as the common misconception goes, the
East Indians.
The run-a-way Negroes, according to a petition sent by some colonists in 1811
to acting Governor Dalrymple of Berbice, formed settlements in the uncultivated
parts of the country. Expeditions were being continuously despatched against these
settlements. The recorded reports of them indicate the great activity of these free"
Negroes. In 1811, Charles Edmonson, Commander of an Expedition undertaken
on the East Coast of Demerara jointly by the Demerara and Berbice militia against
Bush Negroes reported as follows: "The quantity of rice the Bush Negroes have
just rising out of the ground is very considerable independent of yams, tannias,
plantains, tobacco, &c., and as it will be three months before the rice is fit to gather
in, I would recommend at that period another expedition to be sent and destroy
the same" He continued: "It devolved on Major Brandt, and Mr. Avery to
destroy all the provisions that could be met with. This they did most effectually,
fourteen houses filled with rice and several fields in cultivation being by their
exertions totally destroyed I take upon me to say from these gentlemen's
report that on a moderate calculation the quantity of rice that has been destroyed
by them (independent of ground provisions) would have been equal to the support
of seven hundred Negroes for twelve months.
In 1818, Bentick, in an address to the Court of Policy, gave information of
the existence of "encampments" of Bush and run-a-way Negroes on the East Coast
of Demerara. A great extent of that coast had been abandoned and the Bush
Negroes occupied the old plantation walks and provision grounds.
But, even during slavery, unfree labour on plantations was given experience
of peasant farming which was not without value after 1838 when they joined in
the establishment of village freeholds. The Negro slave came to be granted provision
land which he farmed and from which he could derive his own food. Primarily
economic self-interest and commonsense compelled the plantation owner to grant
this concession-by feeding his slave, he prevented too rapid a deterioration of his
property. On Crown Estates in Berbice, the granting of provision to slaves was the
direct result of the appointment of a Commission in 1811 to manage and superintend
Crown Estates in Berbice, at the instance of the Treasury. William Wilberforce was
one of the several persons consulted before the Commission was appointed. The
reformative measures which the Commission was to institute were largely inspired
by economic considerations, to wit, the alarming mortality of the slaves on Crown
Estates in Berbice. It is difficult to disentangle humanitarian considerations, if any.
The Commission laid down that the first attention of its agents was to take care that
sufficient food was provided for the slaves. The Commission was convinced that
the foundations of all improvements in the condition of the slaves was to be found

in "the sufficiency and even the liberality of the allowance of food provided for
them", and they urged their agent to secure as early as possible on different estates
"an ample succession of such articles of provision as may most advantageously be
Drought also led to the grant of provision grounds to the slaves. For instance,
in 1817, drought was decimating both cattle and slave property and this forced
attention on cultivating plantation walks.
In 1824, as a direct consequence of the recent "alarming events" in Demerara,
the Secretary of State was led to press for information on the introduction of task
work for slaves. The result of this was to increase the cultivation of provision
grounds by unfree plantation labour. The remainder of the working day, Governor
Beard pointed out in 1824, "an industrious and well disposed Negro will devote
to the cultivation of his provision grounds, corn and rice fields of which he sells
where and to whom he pleases, and appropriates the money to his own purposes"
On the largest estates the treatment of the slaves in this respect was comparatively
enlightened and he was virtually a freeholder. On the estate of Wolfert Katz, one
of the largest plantation owners in Berbice, the Negro was allowed off every fourth
Saturday (in addition to his off-task work time) and he used his free time to cultivate
the portion of land allotted to every Negro on the estate. On this they grew yams,
cassava, corn, all of which they sold or disposed of as they pleased. Some reared
successfully feathered stock, namely turkeys, ducks, guinea birds, and fowls.
Where a bush or uncultivated piece of land was contiguous to the estate they
resided on, some would clear away a space which they planted in rice, and in the
space of three months one Negro had reaped one hundred bushels which he sold at
two bitts each, making 50 guilders in three months by that article alone.
The act of 1833 is intimately related to these preceding developments. It did
not create the village settlements, but it established the conditions under which
village freeholds might be easily acquired. Labour organised after 1838 increased
its bargaining power and so was able through increased wages to extend its
acquisition of village freeholds. The experience which unfree labour had gained on
the provision grounds prior to 1838 found full outlet. The act was, therefore,
important in that one of its major results was to accelerate the development of the
village settlements. A Frenchman, Milliroux, noted: "Freedom did in three years
what slavery had not been able to accomplish in three centuries; it laid in many
parts of this Colony (British Guiana) the foundation of a large number of villages
wholly independent of the old plantations"
Milliroux makes the following comment on the Act itself. "Nothing", he wrote,
"is so dry and heartless as that mean Act" However this might be, the Act to the
villagers of British Guiana is the landmark of economic freedom. It puts into their
hands a precious heritage won at great cost by their preceding generations. On the
morrow of their freedom, the planters then, who, like the Bourbons, never learnt
their historical lessons, began to organise against this new-won freedom. The
villagers, with the memory of the grim struggle still fresh in their minds, forcefully
struck back. Twenty years later, the boot was on the other foot. Such is the irony
of history.
In an open economy, where land space exceeds available labour supply, labour
will choose to hold land as freehold property rather than continue as a wage-earning

class totally dependent on wages obtained in exchange for services to property-
owners. This law is not fulfilled if labour is forced to give service by coercive and
legalised measures under conditions over which labour has no control. In British
Guiana land space has always exceeded the available labour supply. After 1838 this
condition influenced the planters to concentrate on cultivation and production and
to put themselves into a monopsomistic position with regard to the labour market.
Before 1838, this condition was partially responsible for the development of the
Bush Negro settlements, and in it the expansion of the village foundations after
freedom finds its main origin.
At the dawn of the new era of free labour the planters, particularly the
opponents of Negro freedom, observing this relationship between land space and
labour supply, feared that free labour in a British Guiana of "boundless forests"
would scatter into the interior and adopt the wandering life of the native aboriginal
Indians. This consequence they expected as a natural reaction against the long years
of restraint and retrogression. On the whole their fears proved unfounded.
Instead free labour settled on the coast and immediately began to make
spectacular purchases of large village settlements. Milliroux writes "Thus in 1840
the freed slaves, those so-called outlaws, set themselves peacefully to purchase land
in parts of the Colony nearest to large cultivations. Sedentary and industrious habits
could be acquired even in the bosom of slavery. Twenty-five to fifty heads of
families united and put their savings together. The sum reached ten, thirty, and
nearly eighty thousand dollars they paid the whole or a large part of the price
in cash and became proprietors of a property which they worked in shares or which
they sub-divided into distinct lots.
Planter fears sprang from their own self-interest also. The virtual disappearance
of free labour would rob them of labour supply so necessary for the main-
tenance of high cost fixed plantation capital and for the continuance of
production to meet these costs and recurrent expenditure. Planter indebtedness was
great and interruption of labour supply, the most vital factor, meant industrial and
personal collapse. If these terms are taken into account planter fears were to some
extent fulfilled. Labour did not disappear but founded village settlements on the
river banks in locations that were not immediately accessible as sources of labour
for any coastal sugar plantations. Numerous riparian village settlements were
founded. Schomburgk in his travels noted a large number of village settlements on
the Berbice River. On the Demerara River beyond Borselen Islands, Schomburgk
found that the old plantations had disappeared. Their place was taken by large
settlements of Negroes and other coloured free labour, who, after emancipation, had
combined to buy an abandoned estate or an area of Crown land, "parcelled it out,
and so called a regular Negro Colony into existence" These villages existed at mere
subsistence levels of cultivation. Only so much was cultivated as the villagers and
their families required for their support.
However, beyond the junction of the Turabarroo Creek on the right bank of
the Demerara and the Kuliserabo, the number of such village settlements decreased,
except for occasional clearings of a few acres serving as cattle pastures for Negro-
owned cattle and the cultivation of vegetables for their household-and the
timber-getters who also owned cattle. In 1846, Governor Barkly in a tour of Berbice
made a note of the rise of a large number of settlements on the Berbice River.

Not all the river bank settlements were purchased. A very large number of
them were founded by squatters. This was particularly so on the Demerara River.
"One of the chief complaints of the Colonists", Schomburgk wrote, "is the so-called
squatting, that is, the arbitrary occupation by Negroes of uncultivated private or
Crown lands" Squatting quite defeated the objects of early immigration. In British
Guiana, according to Schomburgk, the Demerara was the main headquarters of the
squatters. The squatters carried on an extensive timber trade. Laws intended to
put down vagrancy and squatting failed to suppress either. The squatters roughly
hewed felled trees into timber. The demand for this timber came from Georgetown:
the timber supplied was used for constructive purposes as well as for firewood
required in the household. The immediate environments of the city did not possess
forests and firewood formed an important article of trade carried on exclusively by
the Negroes. Schomburgk himself landed at one of these establishments with a
sawmill, driven by steam as well as by water power. The owner of the whole
establishment was a Negro.
It was, however, on the flat, rich, alluvial coastal lands of British Guiana that
the majority of village settlements were founded. These settlements spread right
from the Orinoco along the coast to the wide-mouthed Corentyn River. As early as
1842, Henry Bargly, who claimed to be well-acquainted with British Guiana and
had extensive connections with it as a merchant, mortgagee and part proprietor of
two sugar estates and two coffee plantations in Berbice pointed out to a Select
Committee on the West Indies that at Herstelling Estate Negroes could retire into
the bush, but there was not much danger of this. The Negroes, he thought, although
they could have supported themselves, had acquired "too many wants and too
luxurious habits to live in the bush"
Six years later, Matthew James Higgins gave similar testimony before the
Select Committee on Sugar and Coffee Planting, 1847-1848. Higgins was the owner
of an estate in Demerara since 1841, and held additional vested interest in sugar
plantations in Grenada and was a resident in the British Caribbean when apprentice-
ship ended. According to his evidence, abandoned estates might have encouraged
squatting, but planters did not suffer much from squatting in Guiana. Free labour
settled mainly on the coast. "The Negroes" he said, "have bought a great many
lands it is only the front strip which is cultivated; all the villagers are in that
front strip of land, and they do not go away into the interior"
Early Dutch capitalists who had invested in the interior found to their cost that,
owing to the shallow soils of the interior river banks, the marginal efficiency of
capital invested there fell far below that of similar investment on the rich coastal
areas, even after taking into account the enormous overhead costs of drainage and
irrigation of a plain that is below sea level. Except for forestry activities based on
the urban demand for firewood and timber for construction activity these shallow
soils, which had caused many a cautious Dutch merchant to lose his money, hardly
attracted village settlers into the interior.
The villagers settled mainly on the abandoned estate lands of the coast;
consequent on failure in the interior, the Dutch shifted their estates and plantation
development to the coastal belt. The succeeding British investor aggressively
extended this development. Their flourishing cotton and coffee plantations, extending
along the whole coast, boomed, then slumped and failed completely, and the

expansion of the succeeding sugar plantations was restricted. The abandoned lands
marked their failure. Upon them developed the new and prosperous village
activities. They were effectively occupied by free labourers intensely desirous to
join the ranks of the landowning section of the population.
The land hunger of the new peasantry was enormous: their industry in the
development of the land acquired was equally great. Governor Light recorded that
labourers buying land a year after freedom and erecting cottages paid at the rate
of 15 an acre for the land and 3 sterling for the expense of the title: the cottage
cost them between 40 and 50. In 1841, Magistrate Wolseley made a tour of the
village settlements of Demerara and Berbice. Light commented thus to Russell.
"Mr. Wolseley's report" he wrote, "exhibits a very satisfactory picture of the
general state of these countries, and is especially gratifying as showing the highly
creditable and useful manner in which those labourers who have become independent
agricultural freeholders are conducting themselves in the new station which their
industry has achieved"
Wolseley's table below showed the purchase of freehold property, up to 1841,
by the ex-slaves and former apprenticed labourers referred to in his report on
Name Location or Designation Sterling Value
E. B. Demerara : s. d.
Foreman of Pln. Providence-62 acres up river-no name 38 3 10
Craig Village-estimated at 200 Joes-200 acs. @ 10J. 305 11 1
Supply and the Brickery--81-3 rood lots av. $30 a rood 1,518 15 0

West Bank Demerara River
At Toevlught-Lots 183 6 8
La Retraite 427 15 6J
110 0 0
Middlesex-an entire estate 2,291 13 4
Bon Sejour 416 13 4
La Resource-part 76 7 9
Patientia ,, 1,693 5 3
Free and Easy Village-part of Pin. Milmount 114 11 8
Harmony and Strick-en-Heuvel Settlements 305 11 I

Canal No. 1
Sans Souci-Lots 550 3 4
Studley Park called Freetown 336 2 3

West Sea Coast :
Den Amstel-Lots 1,604 3 4
Vrees-en-Hoop 541 13 4
Good Hope 100 0 0
The Ruby ,, 320 16 8

Sterling ... 10,934 13 51

Up to 1842, there were, in Demerara, 2,943 freehold properties containing 3,017
families and 14,127 persons. Joint stock companies of Negroes purchased numerous
estates and converted them into villages. In Berbice, out of a population of 20,000,
15,000 belonged to the class which had gained freedom on Ist August, 1838. On
that date, not one of them possessed an inch of land. Yet only four years later,
1,223 families, comprising 4,646 individuals-"the great part of the free population"
were proprietors in different localities of seven thousand acres which had cost
them more than one hundred thousand dollars, and on which they had erected at
their expense 1,184 cottages.
Martin records that up to the end of 1848 no less than 446 estates had thus been
acquired, "on which 10,541 houses were built and occupied by 44,443 persons, or
an average of four to each dwelling"
In 1852, the labouringg classes" of British Guiana numbered 70,000. Of them,
Landowner wrote: "They present the singular spectacle to be witnessed in no other
part of the world, and of which history affords no parallel, of a people just emerged
from slavery, now enjoying property in houses and lands, for which they have paid
no less than a million of money" He based his calculation on the official number
of villages and hamlets throughout the Colony. This amounted to 11,152. "Taking
the average", he argued, "of each freehold to be 25 and the cost of erecting each
cottage at 60 a low estimate, the total value will be found to fall but
little short of 1,000,000, sterling" The immigrants and the white inhabitants
owned "but a trifling portion of this description of property" The assumption, in
his view, was reasonable that 10,000 of these village freeholds belonged to the
native Negro population.


Co. 111/123 D'Urban to Goderick: 7th December, 1832-"the existing system of
slavery can scarcely exist much longer if not changed, it will, at no distant
period, in all human probability, break to pieces.
Cf. Co. 111 / 125 L. Van Rossum to Goderick 4th August, 1832: "I entertain fear that the
Negroes will emancipate themselves if they find that nothing is done for them at
home When I add to this the ferment amongst the Negroes our situation is
dreadful." (Reform or Emancipation)-quoted Brougham in Parliament-which of the
two was of the greatest moment, "he would not take upon himself to decide." Blood
was "threatening us." The Planters were demanding an indemnification for the
relinquishing of their property.
2. Co. 111/73. Van Batenburgh Duke of Portland-30th November, 1799.
3. Timerhi-Vol. 8-1894-pp. 323-327-Wm. Parkinson, owner of Pln. Grove Mahaica to
Gardiner Green Boston-Demy-28th July, 1795.
4. Co. Ill/78-Gordon to Liverpool, Berbice-Ist November, 1811.
5. Co. Ill /81-Bentinck to Bathurst, Berbice-22nd February, 1814.
6. ibid-29th April, 1814.
7. Co. I Il /82-Scott to Bentinck, Berbice-9th July, 1816.
8. ibid. Bentinck to Bathurst, Berbice-27th August, 1816, Encl.
9. Co. 111/86-Fiscal Bennett to Bentinck-20th June, 1817, Encl.
10. Beard to Bathurst-25th August, 1823.
II1. Co. l1l/99-D'Urban to Bathurst, Berbice-28th May, 1823.

12. Co. 111/106-Beard to Murray, Berbice-20th July, 1828, Encl.
13. Co. 111 / 118-Stephens to Goderick-27th May, 1831.
Vide also-Co. 111/116 D'Urban to Goderick-Ist August, 1831.
Enclosure-Circular to Magistrates-25th July, 1831.
(secret and confidential instructions to watch closely the behaviour of slaves in each
district and to report at once. D'Urban was a vicious opponent of Negro freedom.)
14. Co. 111/78-Petition to Dalrymple from colonists of Berbice, (undated).
15. Co. Ill/78-Extract from Minutes of the Court of Policy of Demerara and
Essiquibo-18th January, 1810.
16. ibid
17. Co. 111/88-Bentinck to Bathurst, Berbice-23rd May, 1818
Enclosure-Minutes of Court of Policy-6th April, 1818.
18. Co. 111/78-Wharton to Peel-23rd July, 1811, Encl.
19. Co. I 11 /78-Commissioners to Duncan Macalester-27th August, 1811.
20. Co. Ill1/90-John Ross to McCannon and Blair-27th May, 1817.
21. Co. 111/97-Beard to Bathurst, Berbice-16th January, 1824.
22. Co. 111/103-Mos. Moody to R. Wilmot Horton-15th May, 1826, Encl.
23. Milliroux--"Demerara: the transition from slavery to Liberty" Paris 1843 Translated
by Rev. John Robert Sturge McFarlane London 1877-p. 34.
24. ibid-p. 13.
25. ibid-p. 33.
26. ibid-pp. 33-34.
27. Schomburgk-"Travels in British Guiana-1840-1844.
(Translated by L. E. Roth)-Vol. 2-Georgetown, 1922-p. 389.
28. ibid.
29. ibid-p. 395.
30. The reports made for-1845, (Transmitted with the Blue Books for-1845, London 1846)
-Light to Gladstone, 31st March, 1846-p. 43.
31. Schomburgk-op. cit.-pp. 395-396.
32. P. P. XIII-1842-p. 182.
33. P. P.-1847-1848-XXIII-Part 2-Select Committee on Sugar and Coffee Planting-
minutes of evidence-Fourth Report-p. 115.
34. Timehri-Vol. XI-New Series 1897-"Ruin"-by James Rodway-pp. 73-74.
35. P. P. XXXIV-1840-Light to Russel-12th November, 1839-p. 10.
36. Co. 111/182-Light to Russel-16th July, 1841.
37. ibid-Enclosure.
38. Henry Dalton-"The History of British Guiana" Vol. 2, 1855--London-p. 6.
39. ibid.
40. Milliroux-op. cit.-p. 35.
41. R. M. Martin-"The British Colonies-their history, extent, condition, and resources
"Vol. 3-London 1851-p. 175.
42. "Landowner"-"Demerara after fifteen years of freedom"-London 1853-p. 63.
43. ibid-p. 63.
44. ibid.


A Note on Economic Policy in Tortola

University of Chicago

TORTOLA is the most important of the British Virgin Islands. It is about twenty
square miles in area and carries a population of about seven thousand. Its
topography is rough; the land rises from the sea in sharp slopes to between 1,000
and 1,700 feet and there is very little flatland in the island. The forest trees line has
receded up the hills, as the trees were taken for burning charcoal, until now there is
almost no woodland left and water runs off to the sea.
The land is largely covered with brush, which nourishes livestock, the island's
first industry, and with a little planted pasture, cane, and ground provisions.
The island was settled by Anguillans at the close of the seventeenth century. In
1740, it was reported that "the natural and improved annual produce of Tortola in
sugar, molasses, rum, cotton, limc juice, ginger, indigo, aloes, pimentos, turtle
shell, mahogany, timber and plank" was 30,000.
Estate-produced sugar was the most important crop of the 18th century. In
1787, sugar exports were valued at 164,000.
Landed properties were always much smaller in Tortola than in the other sLar
islands of the West Indies, because of the rough character of the terrain. None of
the estates were sufficiently large and prosperous to have produced estate houses
substantial enough to have withstood the ravages of time up to the present day,
as they have in the other islands.
Estate prosperity declined from the early 19th century and estates tended to
be quickly abandoned and split up after Emancipation. This left a clear impression
upon the pattern of land tenure. "The (British Virgin) islands" says the Tortola
agricultural station report in 1906-7, "differ from almost any other in the West
Indies in that practically all the land is in the hands of the peasantry. There are
no land proprietors running estates here.
In the same year, the islands' Commissioner summed up gloomily
"The history of the Virgin Islands, since about 1815, has been one
almost uninterrupted record of retrogression and decay, broken only for an
instant by the exceptional situation caused by the American civil war, when
cotton was for a few years shipped from here and sold at famine prices in
England. This short revival of prosperity was followed by perhaps the three
most hopeless decades in their history. The old Virgin Islands families aban-
doned their houses and estates to their former labourers, who raised
degenerate stock for the St. Thomas market and subsisted on fish and root
crops, with the help of a certain amount of sugar and bad rum made for
local consumption."

Four facts are fundamental to an understanding of the structure of the Tortolan
economy in the mid-twentieth century
1. It is an island of peasants who value their independence highly, working
few hours per day, and earning very low incomes, self-employed on
small owner-operated or rented farms.
2. It is a livestock raising island, producing medium-quality stock on low-
quality forage.
3. It stands in relationship to Charlotte Amalie, in St. Thomas in the
American Virgin Islands, as country to town.
4. It is an island set down among other islands; the sea is its highway.
Statistics drawn from the 1946 census of agriculture of the Leeward Islands
show the peasant-dominant tenure pattern.

British Virgin Islands Tortola
No. of Average Total No. of Average Total
farms acres acres farms acres acres
All operators 756 18.22 13,739 599 17.30 10,361
Owner cultivated 572 18.38 10,516 8,769
Tenant cultivated 178 15.50 2,759 1,372
Managers 4 116.00 464 220

No. of farms No. of farms
All farms 599 15-20 acres 62
1-2 acres 31 20-30 acres 40
2-3 acres 69 30-50 acres 41
3-5 acres 106 50-100 acres 16
5-7 acres 86 100-200 acres 10
7-10 acres 67 200-500 acres 4
10-15 acres 65 400-1,000 acres 2
In addition to the 599 farms of one acre or more, there were in Tortola, accord-
ing to the census, 163 small plots of less than one acre. Of the 756 farms in the
Virgin Islands, cattle was the principal crop of 337 and small stock the principal
product of 38 more. In addition, livestock was a secondary .product on many of
the other farms.
Exports of stock are made for the most part to St. Thomas. About 1,000 head
of cattle and 3,000 head of small stock are exported each year. Livestock exports
constitute a large proportion of all exports.

Livestock Total
Year Exports Exports
1951 57,903 67,509
1950 17,974 28,079
1949 24,283 33,186
1948 21,314 29,822
1947 ... ... 29,813 29,540

Other than livestock, virtually the only exports are of charcoal, ground
provisions, coconuts, and fish. Almost all of these exports also go to St. Thomas.
Short-term or permanent out-migration from Tortola has for a long time been
characteristic of living patterns. The 1906-7 agricultural station report say, "The
able-bodied men have for years been accustomed to get work on the docks and coal
wharves in St. Thomas, and to form crews for steamers bound west to the Gulf and
Central and South American ports, and there is annual migration to San Domingo
where they get work as tenders to machinery, &c. in the sugar houses, at
good rates of pay. As a consequence only the older men and the women have been
accustomed to work on the soil at home"
There is a long-standing trend to migration to St. Thomas and then on to New
York and mothers aspired to out-migration for their children. As opportunities for
permanent movement off the island were cut off, short-period moving to St. Thomas
became common in search of wage employment to supplement income yielded by
stock raising and agriculture in Tortola. Now, the communities of the American
Virgins and the British Virgins are closely tied by kinship relationships, so that
families in either of the island groups without kinfolk in the other are said to be
uncommon. In addition to kinfolk associations and the search for wage-work there,
the people of Tortola are linked to St. Thomas by the economic integration of the
two islands. Most of Tortola's exports go to St. Thomas and most of her imports
come from the island, and Tortolans go frequently by sloop or launch merely to do
their marketing. This integration has gone so far that United States currency is the
de facto currency of Tortola and Tortolans will refuse to accept sterling or British
West Indian currency in payment of services or for goods which they sell.
The "pull" to St. Thomas occurs not only because of the "amenities" offered
by town life in Charlotte Amalie, but because superior employment opportunities
exist there. The wage rate for women in household domestic service in Tortola, for
example, is from $12 to $18 per month, with meals; in St. Thomas the range of
rates for this work is from $25 to $50. The current rate for unskilled workers in
St. Thomas is 40 cents per hour; in Tortola a sailor's wage is $25 per month, and
the daily rate in agriculture is from $1.20 to $1.50.
Within this framework, what can be said about economic policy in Tortola?
The following comments suggest themselves
1. In a place like Tortola, government must play an entrepreneurial role. It
is not enough merely to keep the public peace, adjudicate rights in litigation,
render such services as health and education, and do the counting and record-
keeping of the public administrative service. Neither is it sufficient for government
to play the role of economic regulator. In Tortola, government must also make
economic innovations. Where income levels are so low that income is likely to be
entirely consumed, there will be, in a community of peasant agriculturists, sloop
mariners, building tradesmen and petty merchants, a scarcity of the kinds of
technical skills which are essential pre-conditions to successful innovation. Govern-
ment, therefore, ought to be prepared to fill the gap and it should be constantly on
the lookout for places in which its action, in the absence of private initiative, will
make the community more productive.
2. Public revenues in the British Virgin Islands are very small. In the period
1935-50, an average of 16,000 of revenue was collected each year. Since there are
no wide disparities in income, revenues cannot be disproportionately taken from

the rich, as they are in other places, and levies for the public revenues are those
which fall evenly upon the whole population. About one-half of all revenues, on the
average, however, are derived from postage stamp sales to philatelists all over the
world. A sound public finance policy would be to exploit as judiciously as possible
this market for postage stamps so that stamp collectors in richer countries can
be made to carry as much as possible of the burden of the cost of the public service
in the Virgin Islands. The power to tax should be exercised as a developmental
instrument as well as one to raise revenue. For example, a tax on scrub cattle or
on unimproved land would result in a more productive agriculture. Similarly,
expenditures of public funds ought to be made for those purposes which make the
community more productive. The paving of the road which passes through Road
Town, for which there is considerable political pressure, ought to be one of the last
objectives of Government. In Tortola, where road building resources are scarce,
roads for men should surely give way to roads for cattle.
3. Agriculture is the heart of the economy and is likely to continue to be so.
It is sound policy, therefore, to place agricultural development high on the
priority ranking of things to be done. It should be understood that agricultural
development is not promoted merely by engaging in efficient farming practices on
an agricultural station. The efficient practices there must carry over to become
practices of the peasantry. This has not always been clearly seen. It is significant
that the agricultural station which was established in 1900 was called then, and for
many years after, a "botanical station" and it seems to have been operated as a
botanical station in its narrow sense, staffed with botanical specialists, experimenting
with a wide variety of exotic tropical plants to test growing qualities, but without
instructors or extension workers, and ignoring the adaptability of different crops to
markets, to land tenure patterns, and to the work habits of the people. An early
station report says, in this connection, "little interest was shown by the peasantry
who regarded the Experiment Station as a Government estate with which they had
no concern" Reports of the Agricultural Department even now give in detail infor-
mation on the state of the Department farm, reporting on fencing, plantings,
buildings, and conditions of the animals on the farm, but they say little or nothing
about meetings with peasants or instruction given them. Visits of Governors and
technicians, on the other hand, are reported. The Agricultural Department ought
to be the keystone agency of the government and its relationship with the peasants
ought to be intimate and informal.
4. If the most promising developmental prospects are in agriculture and if
Government must carry the main burden of planning for development, a choice
must be made of the areas within which limited resources of personnel and funds
should be put to work. From time to time, the government has given attention to
the development of cotton, tobacco and other crops. At the present time, major
emphasis is put upon livestock. This seems to be a wise decision. Labour require-
ments in stock raising seems to conform to the habits of work of the peasantry.
Stock can be raised with casual and irregular hours spent at work; stock can be
tended by children when adults absent themselves from the island to earn supple-
mental income elsewhere. "In the Tortolan countryside", it has been said, "no one
is seen at work between ten and four o'clock." The problem of economic develop-
ment in Tortola is, fundamentally, how to make the people willing to be employed
productively during those hours of the day and how to make their output as high
8 ,

as possible during those hours and during the hours which they now spend at work.
Already the psychological phase of the problem is on the way to solution. As
immigration to St. Thomas is cut off through stricter enforcement of the immigration
regulations because of the complaints of St. Thomian unionists that Tortolans
depress wage standards in St. Thomas, there has grown up a willingness to accept
wage employment in Tortola. The solution to the technical problem of raising pro-
ductivity comprehends all those policies which will have the effect of putting weight
on stock, improving the quality of the meat they give, and increasing the number
of head of stock the island can carry. These are policies dealing with improvement
of stock and grass breeds, disease control, location and conservation of water, and
planting and sound management of pasture. At the same time as productivity in
stock raising is being achieved, the collateral search can go on for secondary sources
of income-for example, from fishing, boatbuilding, other crops complementary to
livestock, and cottage industry.
5. For many years, there has been an awareness in Tortola that stock improve-
ment is essential to the development of the economy, and better breeds have been
imported into the island by the Agricultural Department for use for stud purposes.
Some of these animals are available for use at the Agricultural Station itself, and a
number of others have been "farmed out" to responsible peasants and made avail-
able to other peasants in their vicinity. In addition, the Government has recently
purchased a number of bulls from St. Croix for resale at subsidized prices to
peasants. The Government is also aware, however, that no substantial improvement
in breed will occur until the scrub cattle in the island are castrated. With a total
cattle population estimated to be about 5,000 head, however, only a handful of
castrations are performed each year. It is clear, therefore, that improvement will be
interminably slow, if it takes place at all. Peasant resistance to castration of scrib
cattle occurs, apparently, because bulls carry more weight than steers and, therefore,
give more income, since sales are made by weight alone. If steers give better quality,
though less meat, buyers may, perhaps, be induced to pay a superior price for
them. In the case of at least one stockraiser, such a differential has already been
established. Such a differential, if paid to all peasants, might induce a willingness to
permit castration of scrub cattle. A differential price is already established for old
cattle and young. If buyers are unwilling to pay such a differential, because con-
sumers in the markets for Tortolan cattle are not discriminating with respect to
quality, or for any other reason, then it may be sound policy for the government to
subsidize castration either by paying a fee to the peasant whose cattle are castrated
to compensate for income losses due to weight losses, or by paying a subsidy above
the market price for castrated stock when sold. Or Government may get at castration
by indirection. If fencing can be made a common production practice in order to
permit rotational grazing by untethered stock, peasants may be willing to arrange
for castrating of bulls in order to secure their fencing from destruction by fighting
6. Tortola is Charlotte Amalie's natural hinterland. Since the people of
St. Thomas resist employment in agriculture and employment of this kind is
acceptable to Tortolans, it is sound that the economies of the two be integrated, as
they have been for years. It seems to be an error which can have depressive conse-
quences for both islands to reduce the degree of intimacy of their relationship.
Ill-advised attempts by governments to break the single economy into two parts,

divided by political lines which have no economic relevance, have met with great
resistance from the people and have failed, by and large. Statistics of movement of
people, goods, and currency between the two island groups are vastly under-stated,
because of the large volume of smuggling, mis-classification, or simple un- and
under-reporting. Breaking the link further is now being talked about in Tortola.
Tortolans are convinced that they receive for cattle, which they sell on the hoof by
weight, a price which is too low, and that they are in other ways abused by a
conspiracy of St. Thomas butchers. They intend, therefore, to declare their indepen-
dence by building an abattoir and refrigeration facilities for storage and transport
in order to open more distant markets. A sounder purpose for these facilities is to
prevent the loss of weight of cattle shipped by sloop to market. A seven-hundred
pound animal is estimated to lose forty pounds in the rough overwater four-hour
trip to St. Thomas. On longer moves to other islands weight losses will be corres-
pondingly higher. These weight losses represent income losses to Tortolans, whether
buyers come to the island or whether Tortolans do their own transporting and sell
elsewhere. Presumably, buyers who buy in Tortola will pay more per pound if they
are not compelled to incur the weight losses in transporting live animals overseas.
However, there is considerable risk in operating refrigeration facilities; technical
imperfections or carelessness which result in stoppages in refrigerant facilities may
cause large losses from meat spoilage.
7. There is a relationship between economic development and the structure of
politics which is seen with some clarity in Tortola. Government officers are
frequently posted from the other presidencies of the Leeward Islands, from other
territories, or from the United Kingdom. They are devoted to the public service
and they do their work conscientiously. Conscientious performance of work
frequently means doing jobs routinely and mechanically, executing reports as
required and on time, and following closely the directions of superior officers in the
hierarchy of the public service. Public servants are insulated from the people and
their relations with the people are sometimes based on bad faith. But developmental
policy, to be successful, must have an inspirational quality which rarely exists in a
Government which is not responsible to the people. Government complains, for
example, that the peasants refuse to permit scrub stock So be castrated and that the
people refuse to follow advice on the construction of hygienic latrines. Pleas for
voluntary correction from a Government which is paternalistic in outlook and which
is irresponsibly related to the people are likely to fail. So resort is taken to force
techniques, to ordinances and orders with sanctions for disobedience. But, in a
community such as this one, in which there are many bays and coves, many sloops,
few police, and an ancient tradition of smuggling, there is bound to be wholesale
evasion of orders. Economic development means genuine free choice by the people
to accept sound policies. Such a choice will be made by the people when the
Government which promotes these policies is one which is responsible to them.
Popular Government is not the only necessary condition; but it is one of those which
are necessary and its importance should not be under-estimated.


CONSTITUTIONS 1947 (0. U. P. 1952)

By Hewan Craig
(Faber & Faber 1952)

During the past two decades the British
Commonwealth of Nations has witnessed
many changes, e.g. the realisation if inde-
pendence within the Commonwealth by
India, Pakistan and Ceylon; the change in
status of Newfoundland from a dominion to
a province of Canada; the departure from
the Commonwealth of Southern Ireland,
Burma, Iraq, Palestine and Trans-Jordan;
and-in the Dependent Empire-the amend-
ment of nearly every colonial constitution
to allow for greater representation or respon-
sibility. The strength of the British Empire,
however, lies in its flexibility and the Crown,
which is the one institution which is common
to all political entities which form part of
or are associated with the British Common-
wealth of Nations, has been able to adjust
itself to these changes as was recently seen
when in 1952 a "Queen of all her Realms
and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth"
followed in succession the "King of Great
Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions
beyond the Seas, Emperor of India" of 1927.
The progress of the British Dependent
Empire t o w a r d s constitutional self-
government is well illustrated by the two
books under review, the sixth and seventh
volumes in the series of "Studies in
Colonial Legislatures" started under the
auspices of Nuffield College, Oxford, and the
editorship of Margery Perham.
British Colonial Constitutions 1947 is
a complementary volume to the same
author's The Development of the Legis-
lative Council 1606-1945 and was origin-
ally planned to appear with it in 1946 giving
a representative cross-section of the most
prominent and interesting British Colonial
Constitutions at that date. The Constitu-
tions chosen were Palestine, Aden, Nigeria,
Kenya, Trinidad, Malta, Barbados, Jamaica

and Ceylon. Due to other commitments by
the author its publication had to be post-
poned. As constitutional changes have been
so diverse and frequent over the past five
years it was decided, rather than alter the
original selection, to advance the deadline
to 1947 only and to take note of subsequent
changes to 1951 in the preface and intro-
ductory essay. In spite of its date, British
Colonial Constitutions 1947 stands as a
fully documented picture of the British
Dependent Empire during the constitutional
reorganisation that followed the 1939-45 war
with detailed constitutions of nine terri-
tories in different stages of development and
an introductory essay of nearly 100 pages
analysing the various types and forms of
British Colonial Constitutions.
The essay is well worth reading. After
pointing out that according to legal classi-
fication the majority of the population of
the British Colonial Empire do not live in
Colonies (which are dependencies that have
been annexed to the British Crown) but in
protectorates (territories that have entered
into special treaties with the British Crown
but are not legally British territories) and
trust territories (territories administered by
the British Government under agreement
according to the trusteeship system laid
down in the U. N. Charter); that certain
dependencies are under the charge of depart-
ments other than the Colonial Office, e.g.
the Commonwealth Relations Office, and the
Foreign Office; and that there is no precise
answer to the question: how many political
units does the Dependent Empire contain?
(e.g. is or are Jamaica with the Cayman
Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands one or
three units? The Leeward Islands-four or
five?) Martin Wight finds that in 1947 the
Colonial Office had under its charge more
than 70 constitutions and that with the
addition of the three condominiums (New
Hebrides, Canton and Enderbury Islands,
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan) and the component
parts of certain multiple dependencies the
total came to near 80 units. (No wonder
the saying that the British Empire was
acquired "in a fit of absence of mind".) He

then goes on to classify 61 legislatures using
the following criteria:-
(i) Dependencies w i t h neither an
Executive nor a Legislative
Council, e.g. Tristan da Cunha.
(ii) Dependencies with an Executive
Council but no Legislative Council,
e.g. St. Helena, Virgin Islands
(before 1950).
(iii) Legislative Councils with an official
majority and an unofficial minority
wholly nominated, e.g. Turks and
Caicos Islands.
(iv) Legislative Councils with an official
majority and an unofficial minority
of which the smaller part is elected,
e.g. Fiji.
(v) Legislative Councils with an official
majority and an unofficial minority
mostly elected, e.g. Uganda.
(vi) Legislative Councils with an un-
official majority but an elected
minority (or semi-representative
legislatures), e.g. Virgin Islands
(after 1950); Trinidad, Leeward
and Windward Islands (before
1950), British Honduras (to date).
(vii) Representative legislatures (i.e. with
at least half elected), e.g. Bahamas,
Bermuda, British Guiana (before
1952); Leeward Islands federation,
Leeward and Windward Islands
(after 1950) British Honduras
(viii) Dependencies with semi-responsible
and responsible government, e.g.
Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad (after
1950), British Guiana (after 1952).
(ix) Legislatures not of the Crown
Colony type, e.g. Cayman Islands.

Wight's classification differs from the
Colonial Office classification (Col. Reg. 101
of 1945) in that, whereas the Colonial Office
in 1947 linked Barbados and Jamaica along
with the Bahamas and Bermuda and only
admitted Ceylon as a "Colony possessing
a form of self-government within defined
limits", Wight places Barbados and Jamaica
(today add Trinidad and British Guiana) in
the most advanced category, i.e. (viii).
There is much merit in this classification,
especially in the "lower rungs of the
ladder" but with recent experiments of an
embryonic ministerial nature the "top
rung" is far from uniform and today each
constitution in this category must be
considered separately.

Against the background of the whole
British Dependent Empire the West Indian
Colonies stand out well in the forefront. It
is interesting to note too, that, until the
establishment of the Federation of Malaya
in 1948, the Leeward Islands possessed the
only federal legislature of the Dependent
Empire. With a British Caribbean Federa-
tion and a Central African Federation in the
offing and movements t o wards self-
government in West Africa and elsewhere,
will the B.W.I. fail to take up the challenge
and become the next Dominion? The
B.W.I. procession is within sight of the
great constitutional frontier crossed by the
other Dominions-each territory or region
must now march across it by its own efforts.
W.I. students who wish to find their way
through the constitutional complexity of the
British Dependent Empire will find Wight's
book an authoritative and invaluable guide.
As a reference, the index of treaties, agree-
ments, legislation and cases alone should
make this book find a compulsory place in
every island's central library.

Hewan Craig's Legislative Council of
Trinidad and Tobago is the first volume
in the series to deal with the constitutional
development of a West Indian colony. It is
not the first book about the constitutional
development of a West Indian island-there
is Hume Wrong's Government of the West
Indies (1923), Charles Reis' A History of
the Constitution or Government of Trinidad
and Tobago (1929) and Sir Cecil Clementi's
Constitutional History of British Guiana
(1937)-but it is the most modern and
penetrating study. Craig was born in British
Guiana, grew up in Trinidad where he also
worked in the Civil Service from 1938 to
1943, studied Sociology at McGill University
and this book is a revised version of his
thesis for an Oxford B.Litt. degree-so he
is fully qualified to deal with the subject.
(He is now a Research Assistant at Edin-
burgh University);
The book starts with a chapter on the
Colony and its people, then after a brief
survey of the 1831 constitution (when a
Legislative Council of officials and nomi-
nated members was first appointed) up to
1924 (when elected members were first
introduced), he devotes three chapters to
the 1924 Constitution, discusses two import-
ant issues of Government-the Divorce Bill
and the 1937 disturbances-in another, and
in the last chapter describes the rapid

changes following the W.I. Royal Com-
mission's Report of 1938-39 resulting in the
revisions of the constitution in 1941, 1945
and 1950 (when Trinidad and Tobago
achieved semi-responsible status). The book
is thus mainly a study of the 1924 consti-
tution and its subsequent history. But "the
study goes beyond the purely constituted
boundaries of the subject" and gives a
description of the changing nature of
Trinidad society and of the way in which
these changes have been reflected, if not
always immediately, in the structure of the
Council. To give a couple of examples-
Craig thinks that "although Trinidad's
diverse races live in fair harmony, the
heterogeneous nature of the population has
hampered the Colony's political and social
development" and in his analysis of race
relations he shows how social and economic
status are important qualifying factors. This
sociological "going behind the scenes" and
the book's easy and understandable style
give it originality and distinction.
An interesting example of the flexibility
of Crown Colony Government and social
change can be observed from the system of
nominating unofficial members to t h e
Council: for whereas in the nineteenth
century t h e nominated system w a s
employed to curb the power of the
proprietary classes, today it is retained to
preserve the influence, which would not be
reflected at the polls, of similar sectional

interests of the community. Although Craig
devotes some attention to this point it
deserves further study in comparison with
all the other islands.
In his conclusion Craig neatly summarises
the main constitutional and political
problems confronting Trinidad and Tobago,
and the West Indies in general, today. He
says: "In Trinidad Crown Colony Govern-
ment has now almost run its course" but
"until further progress is made in the
development of political parties, it may not
in fact be possible for the people of the
Colony to make full use of the authority
which has been conferred on them" And
on the West Indies in general, "Consti-
tutional development in the West Indies
over the past decade has been more rapid
than social and economic development" and
"it may prove unfortunate if progress
towards self-government outruns progress
towards federation Self-government
without federation might well fail to
produce the benefits for which West Indians
hope" and "lead to economic impoverish-
ment and finally perhaps to a condition of
dependence on some external power more
irksome than the present colonial status"
Let us hope that the writer of the next
study from 1950 onwards will be able to
describe how Trinidad's political parties
developed and the West Indies obtained