Front Cover
 Note on manuscripts
 Title Page
 Front Matter
 Editorial notes

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Caribbean Quarterly
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Note on manuscripts
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Editorial notes
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 244-1
        Page 244-2
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
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        Page 290
Full Text






30 DEC 1960

72. .I's

A view of the Administration Building and Library at the Imperial
College of Tropical Agriculture, now the Faculty of Agriculture,
University College of the West Indies, seen across the cricket pitch
from the West.


MSS. and Communications to the Editors should be addressed to either Editor of
the Caribbean Quarterly at their respective addresses, and not to an individual.
Unsolicited MSS. which are not accepted for publication will be returned if accom-
panied by a stamped addressed envelope.

Copyright reserved, and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden.



Vol. 6


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

Reprinted by permission of
A Division of

Printed in Germany
Lessingdruckerei Wiesbaden


RAWLE FARLEY. Extra Mural Studies, Mona, Jamaica, W.I.

Managing Editor:
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Vol. IV, No. 1
Africa in West Indian Poetry
The New Movement" in Haiti Edith Efron
Island Carib Folk Tales ... ... E. P. Banks
The Language Problem in the British Caribbean R. B. Le Page
Labor Relations in an Undeveloped Economy Simon Rottenberg
Jamaica Prepares for Invasion, 1779 Robert Neil McLarty
The First Chapter in Caribbean History ... Eric Murray
Frederick Douglass Letters from the Haitian Legation... Benjamin Quareis
Vol. IV, No. 2
The Teaching of History in the Americas J. H. Parry
Festivals of the Calendar in St. Lucia Daniel J. Crowley
Launching a Schooner in Carriacou Bruce Procope
The Shadow and the Substance ... Rawle Parley
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The Changing Attitude of the Coloured Middle Class
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Carnival in New Orleans ... ... Munro S. Edmonson
Mitto Sampson on Calypso Legends of the Nineteenth
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Trees His Testament Philip Sherlock
British Honduras and Anglo-American Relations David Waddell
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Use and Disuse of Languages in the West Indies Douglas Ta3 lor
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Words for Rent ... DerkWalcott
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William Dampier (1652-1715)-Writer and Buccaneer
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Queen Anne's Government and the Slave Trade
George Charles Falconer
British Representation in Venezuela in I6fi
A trip to Nassau. 182
A Royal Birthday in Haiti
('itlural Rrlatinrns within the Car'ibb,

D. A. G. Waddell
. Joseph Rorome
William M. Armstrong
Samuel Proctor (Ed.)
Jean Combaire
Lou Lichtveld

Editorial Notes


THIS ISSUE marks an important step forward in the growth of the University
College of the West Indies. As from 1st August, 1960 the Imperial College
of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad became the Faculty of Agriculture of the
University College and for the first time West Indians will be able to earn in
the West Indies, degrees in Agriculture.
The article by Mr. Holman Williams on the Faculty of Agriculture makes
the point that over the years there has developed a feeling that the Imperial
College of Tropical Agriculture was in but not of the West Indies. With its
conversion now into a Faculty of the University, it is hoped that more and
more its influence will be felt among us and that it will have a strong and
beneficial effect upon West Indian Agriculture and upon the intellectual and
cultural life of the islands.
Dr. Hugh Springer traces the development of thinking on higher education
in the West Indies which culminated in the establishment of the University
College of the West Indies in 1948. In keeping with the tradition of the great
European Universities our University College of the West Indies was designed
to meet the needs of an emergent nation and the addition of a Faculty of
Agriculture is another big step in this direction.
Dr. A. P Thorne raises an interesting matter-the reluctance of upper
class West Indians to consume West Indian ground provision and shows how
the consumption of these foods decreases with the upward movement in the
social structure. There is a long tradition among us of despising ourselves.
It is interesting to speculate whether with the rise of nationalism this tendency
will change and West Indians will see themselves in clearer perspective.
Dr. Boulding pays us a very beautifully veiled compliment in "A Theory
of a Small Society" He says "the islands already have one great achievement;
they are among the first countries to belong to the human race" Dr. Boulding,
Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan spent a year at the
University College of the West Indies as Head of the Department of
Economics. In the analogy with Hesperidaica his genuine interest in the
West Indies is apparent.
Other articles range over the field of poetry, history and folklore and
include an essay by Professor M. Sandmann on Beatnik Poetry, a historical
sketch of the Lopinot Valley and a description of the St. Lucian Festival of
Terre Bois Bois.

Faculty of Agriculture-University College

of the West Indies


Indian Agricultural College, entered its first batch of students in October, 1922.
The University College of the West Indies (forty years after the University
of Puerto Rico) entered its first batch in October, 1948.
The reason for the failure of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture
to get affiliated to some university, or to train West Indians, by arrangement,
for the external degree in agriculture of the University of London, and the
reasons for the long delay in adding a faculty of Agriculture to the University
College of the West Indies, make a sad and sordid tale over which expatriates
should hang their heads in shame.
However, West Indians, themselves, are not without blame for taking
the situation lying down for so long. Slowly but surely, time has brought its
educational, economic and political changes to the region and a unique and
enlightened Dr. Herklots to the college to revive the tradition of the late
great and liberal Sir Francis Watts and Sir Arthur Shipley.
The result as from next autumn the Imperial College becomes the
Faculty of Agriculture of the University College, and West Indians will be
able to earn, in the West Indies, degrees in the field of agriculture. Thence-
forth, our children will not have to seek a degree in temperate climes in
order to gain full professional status-they will earn that status with the
crops and under the climatic conditions with which their life's work will be
associated. There is no doubt of the advantages which will accrue to the men
themselves and to Caribbean agriculture. While the Faculty will be officially
a new one, it will, in fact, not be starting from scratch.
The teaching of tropical agriculture, at both the undergraduate and
graduate levels, has been going on at St. Augustine for more than 35 years.
Experience has been gained and a tradition built up to the extent that past
students now occupy the majority of the senior posts in the Departments
of Agriculture and kindred institutions throughout the British or lately British
tropics. The many West Indian Diplomates of the Imperial College of Tropical
Agriculture, who have sought advanced training in temperate universities
have had no difficulty in making the grade against native competition. Over
some four decades, too, the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture has built
up what is perhaps the finest library on tropical agriculture in the world. In
the course of its history, the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture has
paid so much attention to a wide range of agricultural research that some of
us have wondered, at times, whether this was not getting the lion's share
of time and attention to the detriment of teaching. Be that as it may, this
has resulted in the accumulation of a vast amount of useful and pertinent
information for the use of the new Faculty.

It must be confessed that over the years, there has developed a feeling
among West Indians, and apparently at the College itself, that the Imperial
College of Tropical Agriculture was in but not of the West Indies, and that
its work and objectives have received little attention in the region save from
a handful of persons deeply concerned with agriculture. With this in mind,
John Citizen may well wonder how this new Faculty is going to affect him
and his and why it merits his interest and support.
Agriculture is our main industry and will so continue for as long as
anyone can foresee. It is by far the largest employer and makes an inestimable
contribution to our food supply, but it is faced with competition of a crippling
nature, on the local market, and in its traditional outlets abroad, from
countries where agricultural production and marketing have reached an
extremely high state of efficiency. The survival of the West Indies as a nation
must depend in large measure, on their reaching and surpassing the efficiency
of their competitors. An essential ingredient in that process is a Faculty of
Agriculture where citizens can receive training second to none so that they
may contribute to enhancing the profits and the food supplies of the nation.
From 1650, the world's population took 200 years to double, but it
doubled itself in the 100 years following 1850. During the first half of this
century, in spite of two world wars, the statistics show a further rise of
65 per cent. and at the present rate of growth the world's population will
double itself by the end of the century.
Trinidad and its neighbours are anything but an exception to the general
rule. The only hope lies in making themselves an exception like Japan, in
another sense while using every effort to lower the birth-rate. The rice yields
of Japan are four to five times those of the under-developed countries of
South-East Asia on similar soils. This is due to more efficient irrigation,
drainage, varieties, fertilization and marketing. The Japanese do not consider
faculties of agriculture as something of no interest or value to John Citizen.
Then, too, the citizen with children of school age, should seriously consider
the Faculty as offering the ways and means for his boys to obtain lucrative,
interesting and satisfying employment. Traditionally, the entire family of a
bright West Indian lad was prepared to make a great sacrifice to enable him
to become a medical practitioner; agriculture hardly got a second thought. It
may have been true in the past that there were few openings for university
graduates in agriculture and that an appreciable percentage of such as there
were, was closed to the majority of natives. Time, however, has brought some
startling changes.
The professional staffs of Government, semi-Government and private
organizations have been expanded beyond recognition and several new units
started. Several important private concerns have announced and concretely
demonstrated that appointment and promotion to their senior ranks will
henceforth be based solely on merit and qualifications. Agriculture and its
related disciplines now offer many avenues for the West Indian boy with a
training in science.
Parents and boys who would like to embrace this golden opportunity
would do well to write the Registrar of the Imperial College of Tropical
Agriculture and/or to consult with the Principals of their children's schools.

. Md


Inside the hardening section of the banana research greenhouse.


The southern side of the New RBilogy Ruilding.

The entrance requirements are likely to be both high and strict, although
all details have not yet been settled, and it is essential to select the most
appropriate subjects for attention during the last four years at the secondary
school. Thus one may matriculate at London University with five subjects at
the G.C.E. Ordinary level and two at the G.C.E. Advanced level, but the
Faculty of Agriculture is likely to insist that the two at Advanced level be
pure sciences and that, in addition, one or two at the Ordinary level be also
pure sciences.
In general, agricultural students will be glad if they have had chemistry,
botany, zoology and physics in their "first string" of studies and mathematics,
geography, English and Spanish in their "second string"
Realising that the graduates of some secondary schools may have found
it difficult to get "advanced" or Higher Certificate training in the pure
sciences, the faculty is offering a preliminary year to bridge the gap, for
those who need it, between a School Certificate with the sciences and the
matriculation level required by the University and itself.
The Degree course proper will have a duration of three years, but those
who require the preliminary year will be in residence for four.

Oriens Ex Occidente Lux


OUR FIRST PRINCIPAL, SIR THOMAS TAYLOR, went to a great deal of trouble
to find a suitable motto for this University College. He exchanged letters with
people within the West Indies and abroad (including Mr. Allan Carrington
who was well-known to us as a classical scholar, though not yet a member of
staff; in those early days we had only Scientists in our midst). This corres-
pondence produced a number of suggestions, and, if I remember rightly, a
remarkable number of them contained metaphors from light. The use of light
as the symbol of that which guides is very common. An anonymous poet has
referred to the law as "the light that keeps, the king on the path of right"
But light is most often used as the symbol of truth, sometimes identified in
religious literature with God-"the light of the world" "a light to lighten the
Gentiles", "who showest to them that be in error the light of thy truth", in
the Oxford motto "Dominus illuminatio mea", and so on. In her installation
address our Chancellor called universities "the best of all beacons to guide
the spirit of mankind into the deep and safe waters of wisdom and under-
standing" Universities often have lamps or torches in their Coats-of-Arms,
and "light" (usually in its Latin form "lux") in their mottos. It is obviously
appropriate that they should, because they are places where people devote
themselves to the pursuit of truth. It is a good thing that we should reflect on
this fact at the beginning of the Michaelmas term, not only to correct any false
impressions that might have been gathered by some of our new members from
the activities of freshmen's week, but also because it is a good thing to ask
ourselves at the beginning of a new academic year the questions: "What is a
University?" and "What does it exist to do?" This talk is intended to lead
to discussion, and one of the topics for discussion arising out of it will doubtless
be "the aims and functions of a University" but may I leave this question
for the moment and say a word about the origins of this place, for on this
occasion we are addressing our minds, as our title has indicated, to the aims
and functions of the University of the West Indies. (You will observe that
I have said the University of the West Indies. The time will soon come to drop
from our title the diminutive qualification "College" and in any case in the
most important respects we are already a University).

Let us look back over the centuries and glance at one or two of the
projects which preceded our own. The earliest recorded proposals for a
University of the West Indies go back more than two hundred years. I am
thinking of those of Christopher Codrington and of Bishop Berkeley, the well-
known 18th century philosopher, who proposed that a University for the
American colonies should be located in Bermuda. Nothing came of Berkeley's

scheme, but Codrington College in Barbados, after a slow start, eventually
achieved the standing of a University College, and for more than a century
supplied a steady stream of educated men to the professions (especially the
church, education and the law) and made thereby a notable contribution to
the general development of the West Indies during a most important stage of
its history-the formative years of progress from the legal freedom of emanci-
pation to the active and positive freedom of national consciousness.
The Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture is the only other institution
of higher learning that has been firmly established in the West Indies (and as
you know, it is soon to become an integral part of the University of the
West Indies*. But over the years there has been much discussion and some
planning and experimentation. In Jamaica, for example, University beginnings
were actually made with the Queen's College in Spanish Town in the 1870's,
and with Jamaica College in St. Andrew 20 years later. Lloyd Braithwaite
records that "after some 12 years of activity the Jamaica College was able
to boast that it had produced one person who had graduated with both the
B.A. and the M.A. of London and four who had taken the B.A. degree alone"
Financial difficulties eventually forced the Jamaica Schools Commission, the
sponsors of the College, to give up the valiant but unequal struggle to provide
education at the University level.
Shortly before the start of this experiment in Jamaica, a Mr. Patrick
Keenan advocated in Trinidad the establishment of a University of the West
Indies which would in effect have been an examining body, but nothing came
of this proposal.
During the 20th century and especially in the years between the two world
wars the establishment of a West Indian university has been a recurring topic
of discussion throughout the West Indies. tResolutions on the subject were
passed in Island Legislatures, and lengthy debates took place at representative
West Indian conferences held in London in 1926 and in Barbados in 1929.
At the conference in Barbados opinions were so evenly divided for and against
(or perhaps it would be truer to say that boldness was so equally matched by
caution) that no immediate decision was taken on the question of establishing
a University; but in these discussions it was clear, as Mr. Braithwaite points
out, "that the possession of a University was becoming a symbol of the
progress and development of the West Indian community" Mr. Albert
Marryshow said that the proposals showed that the West Indian people were
thinking nationally. A significant change of outlook was to take place within
ten years of that conference, and West Indians would come to regard a
University not only as a symbol but also as a means of development; so that
Eric Williams, speaking in Jamaica fifteen years later, in 1944, was expressing
the attitude of the more thoughtful West Indians of his time when he said,
"The West Indian people in developing political consciousness, have rightly
appreciated the importance of a University not only as a visible symbol of a

It became the Faculty of Agriculture of the U.C.W.I. on 1 August 1960.
t In Jamaica, the Hon. A. G. Nash introduced into the Legislative Council a
motion in favour of a West Indion University on 3 .March, 1926. Captain Cipriani
introduced a similar motion in the Legislative Council of Trinidad about the same time.

refined and civilised community, but in furthering the aspirations and raising
the cultural standards of our backward people" The 1929 conference ended
by appointing a Commission to enquire further into the matter-Sir James
Currie, a former Principal of Khartoum College, and Mr. Sedgwick of the
Colonial Office. This Commission was strongly in favour of founding a
University, but it took a hard look at the facts and came up against the
problem of funds and the problem of communications, problems with which
we ourselves have become exceedingly (I had almost said distressingly)
familiar. The distance from Kingston to Port-of-Spain, a long and expensive
journey to us, was to them an insoluble problem of isolation. But they were
convinced of the need to provide greater facilities for Higher Education and
suggested that these should be developed on a local basis until improved
communications and increased West Indian unity made it possible for the local
institutions to be federated. The Commission had been led to believe that funds
would be available from the Colonial Development Committee of the Colonial
Office, but the Secretary of State made it clear at the time the Report was
published that the Committee "would probably not regard with favour a
project for increasing facilities for education not strictly connected with
economic development of the colony" And no wonder. This was the beginning
of the decade of the 30's, the decade of the great world of depression. The
latter years of it were to see the "disturbances" of the West Indies, the second
World War and the end of an epoch both for the West Indies and for the world.
The series of West Indian disturbances which began about 1934 and
culminated with the strikes and riots in Trinidad and Barbados in 1937 and
in Jamaica in 1938, marked the beginning of a new era of political activity in
the West Indies. Political power began to be transferred from the hands of a
narrow group of planters and merchants in each island into the hands of
popular parties and trade unions. The demand for social justice and a higher
standard of living for the masses led naturally to a demand for development.
At first, as Braithwaite points out, University education was not included in
this demand. University education would only affect, at the start at any rate,
a small section of the population, and it therefore made no immediate appeal
to the new political parties, whose attention was fully occupied at this time
with the political and economic disabilities of the working classes. The middle
classes, as yet unaffected by the idea of development, were worried about the
"over-crowding" of the Professions (and the University was regarded as,
almost exclusively, a place for professional training). But before long the eyes
of the leaders of the new political parties were opened and they saw that the
logic of their situation-poverty combined with the intention to abolish it-
demanded not only the freeing of their political constitutions but also the
development of the economic, and therefore the human resources of their
country. Object lessons as well as opportunities for experiment were provided
by the need to solve the problems of supply brought on by the war, and
encouragement and skilled help were given by such regional and international
agencies as the C.D. & W. Organization and the Caribbean Commission.
By 1944 the Leaders of thought in the whole West Indies were of the same
mind as Eric Williams when he said in Kingston that the West Indies realized
that they could no longer continue to disregard the dictates of the world

economy, and must in future develop their resources more intensively than in
the past. He pointed out too that the current schemes of development and
welfare had shown up the hollowness of the view, so often expressed in the
past, that the professions were overcrowded. "Today", he said, "we are short
of teachers, doctors, dentists, nurses, while for more technical positions such
as engineers, architects and technologists of one sort or another, there is no
local talent available" We shall see in a moment that at this juncture the
views held on these questions in the United Kingdom and in the West Indies,
were identical.


For in the meantime there had been a change of attitude on the part of
the British Government also, brought about by the combined effects of the
war, the Report of the Royal Commission that followed the disturbances, and
events in other parts of the Commonwealth. At the height of hostilities, when
victory could hardly have seemed to be in sight, the Government performed
an act of faith in the future which at the same time exhibited the combination
of idealism and prudence that are the outstanding characteristics of the British
political genius.. They appointed a Commission to consider the principles that
should guide the promotion of higher education, learning and research, and
the development of Universities in the Colonies; and to explore means by
which Universities and other appropriate bodies in the United Kingdom might
be able to co-operate with institutions of higher learning in the Colonies in
order to give effect to these principles. I refer, of course, to the Asquith
Commission, a distinguished body comprising a High Court judge and a
galaxy of vice-chancellors (or, as one of their number facetiously called them,
a lakh of Principals).
The Asquith Commission appointed a West Indies Committee which is
familiar to us as the Irvine Committee. This Committee provided further
evidence of the change of attitude that I have already referred to, in the fact
that it included West Indians among its members. To the West Indies of those
days this was a pleasant surprise-indeed something of a shock. No one could
remember such a thing ever happening before and it is probable that an
earlier generation would have received such an event with more surprise than
pleasure. But the Colonial Office was moving with the times. This was 1944
and, as the Committee noted in their Report, during the period of their visits
all the four major Colonies were in the act of greatly extending the political
franchise. The new political parties and trade unions were discovering their
power, "while, in the view of many, they had not yet realized their responsi-
bilities or faced the economic realities of the West Indies." Class relations and
race relations were undergoing rapid changes. There was obvious need of
responsible and well informed leaders. These would not all come from the
University, but a substantial body of graduates would form an influential
element in the population, without which it was difficult to see the West Indies
successfully embracing the greater political independence of self-government.

But everyone here, I am sure, has read the Irvine Report and knows the
kind of university the Committee recommended and the reasons they gave.
Their main recommendations were fully endorsed by the Asquith Commission,
which recommended that universities should be established not only in the
West Indies but in all those parts of the Colonial Empire where they were not
already in existence. The reasons given are worth repeating here. In the first
place, self-government for the Colonies was the object of British Government
policy, and the establishment of universities was an inescapable corollary of
such a policy. In the stage of development preparatory to self-government
universities would play an important and indispensable part in producing men
and women with high standards of public service and capacity for leadership,
and in providing the best (means of counteracting the influence of racial
differences and sectional rivalries which stood in the way of the formation of
political institutions on a national basis. Moreover, universities serve the double
purpose of refining and maintaining all that is best in local traditions and
cultures and at the same time of providing a means by which those brought
up under the influence of these traditions and cultures may enter on a footing
of equality into the world-wide community of intellect. Secondly, the Commis-
sion recognized the urgent need, created by the programme of development,
for an increasing number of men with professional qualifications: doctors,
agriculturists, veterinarians, engineers, surveyors, geologists, and persons
qualified to contribute to the improvement of systems of law and land tenure
or to assist in the framing and administration of regulations concerning the
employment of labour. Apart from the question of cost, it was undesirable
that the training of the entire professional class should be conducted in places
remote from local conditions and out of the range of local influences.

Thus by common consent of the leaders of thought both in Britain and
the West Indies, the University College was brought into existence to meet
the needs of the West Indian situation, to educate and train the people who
would be needed in increasing numbers in a developing community that was
moving towards self-government and nationhood. In a similar way it was the
shortage of doctors which led to the Medical Faculty being the first to be
created, a decision prompted by considerations of practical need and not by
considerations of orderly academic development. It so often happens in the
practical business of life that things do not get done tidily or in logical order,
and sometimes it seems that the cart has gone before the horse. Universities,
more often than not, I venture to say, have been started for non-academic
reasons and their several branches of study been introduced in an academically
illogical sequence. Oxford and Cambridge are perhaps exceptions: it can be
said of them with some degree of truth that they were not brought into being to
meet their country's need for recruits for the learned professions. But the three
great universities of mediaeval Europe-Bologna, Paris and Montpellier-were
established to provide professional training in law, theology and medicine.
This is the tradition that has been followed in modern times on both sides of

the Atlantic. Harvard and Princeton, the oldest Colleges in the United States,
were founded to provide trained ministers of religion when the supply from
England failed: At McGill University the Faculty of Medicine was almost
20 years old when the Faculty of Arts was instituted: and when the Industrial
Revolution created a large demand for engineers and scientists, lawyers,
accountants and business managers, and when universal suffrage demanded
universal education and therefore large numbers of teachers, the same genera-
tion in the nineteenth century, on different sides of the Atlantic, founded the
Universities of Birmingham and Manchester, California and Alberta. The
University College of the West Indies, therefore, in coming into existence to
serve the needs of the Community is in a great tradition.

"Coming into existence" is a pregnant phrase, loaded with precious
recollections, not only for me, but I am sure for all those-staff, students and
others outside the University-who have had the privilege of helping this
University to be born, and bringing it up to its teens. I am naturally under
great temptation to lapse into reminiscences and anecdotes-of Sir Thomas
Taylor "harrying" the architects-of Dr. Bowen designing and presiding over
the building of lab furniture-the great excitement when the first students
came into residence-fire watching with Major Craig in the wee hours of the
morning-the mango raid on Mona Heights which has been immortalised in
a famous calypso-weak jokes about the nunnery, which has served us so
well-the bright young lecturer who looked at some plans and demanded of
Architect, "where's the punkah?"-the British professor who commended to
us a Central European candidate for a lectureship on the ground, among
others, that his imperfect knowledge of the English language would be less of
a handicap here than in Britain (this was not in the Faculty of Arts, I need
hardly say)-drafting the first College Ordinances and Regulations and the
constitution of the Guild of Graduates-the day the first gowns arrived, and
the amount of photography that went on-the debate on the subject that
"It is not in the interest of the West Indies that the University should be
residential", when only two votes were cast in favour of the motion, by the
proposer and the seconder, who afterwards said that they only voted in
accordance with their speeches for the sake of good order-the tremendous and
moving occasion when the Chancellor was installed, in the presence of a vast
audience representing the whole West Indies and Universities from every part
of the world-Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone fighting their way through
the bush and tramping over mud to lay the foundation stones of the library
and the hospital-the occasion a little later on, when Professor Huggins, while
trying to find the early stages of his Institute, lost his way, and was asked by
one of the local residents whether he was looking for the Institute of Social and
"Comical" Research-the building contractor's stonecrusher, which clanked
away all night and woke you when it stopped in the early morning-and
I must not forget the hurricane and the strike. You see, I have resisted the
temptation to reminisce. In any case no anecdotes or reminiscences could

enable you, if you were not here then, to capture the excitement and the sense
of adventure that entirely compensated for the near-exhaustion of those early
gruelling years.

How can one describe the complex feelings involved in the business of
creation. The conversion of a wooded wilderness and an army camp into this
University campus. The delicate process of encouraging the kind of habits that
should become traditions and discouraging others. You have probably heard
the story of the American University that put up a notice saying: "It is a
tradition in this College that bicycles should not be ridden across the lawn in
front of the Principal's house. This tradition begins tomorrow at 8.00 a.m."
Creating traditions is, of course, what we are all engaged in-all of us without
exception-and we should never forget it. We are engaged in this activity
whether we intend it or not. For as I indicated a minute ago, traditions are
habits of long standing. One of the big differences between a new University
and a long established one lies in the fact that in the old institution one can
move freely along the path of tradition. Provided the tradition is still a
relevant and useful one, you can run more swiftly (certainly more easily) in
the direction it takes you in. With us, in a new University, the going is
harder. We still have, as it were, to be hewing out a path. But I must resist
these treacherous metaphors. The point I wish to make is that any institution
that has a corporate life and a continuing existence has traditions. The good
ones have to be preserved, the bad ones modified; and in a new institution
like our own, we have to do a lot of deliberate experimenting with alternative
ways of doing things until we find the ways that are best and most useful, and
therefore worthy of practising into habits, and preserving as traditions. I wish
to emphasise that we can't escape this obligation; though we may pretend to
ignore it.
People don't always co-operate in these things, of course: and that is why
one has to have Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations, and punishments where
appropriate for breaches of them. Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations are
means of preserving good traditions; rules (and punishments) are also ways
of nipping bad traditions in the bud, or if you like, preventing bad habits from
becoming traditional. Our first Principal, Sir Thomas Taylor, used to tell the
story of the way in which a certain Oxford College dealt with the behaviour
of some undergraduates who had got into the habit of throwing pieces of bread
at one another during meals in Hall. A notice was posted on the College notice
board, which began, in large letters, "Gentlemen who come from families
where it is customary to throw bread at meals may continue this practice
in Hall," and continued in very small letters, "On payment of a fine of
10 shillings on each occasion" The author of this notice composed another
of the same quality for the benefit of some young men whom he had told that
they must not play cricket in the College quadrangle and who' had replied that
they were not playing cricket but only knocking a ball about. The notice read
"Gentlemen are reminded that in the College quadrangles it is not allowed to

hit, slog, drive, cut, knock", and a series of verbs, "or throw, bowl, lob"
and another string of verbs, "or otherwise propel any ball or ball-like object
whether edible or inedible"
There is another thing about traditions that might be mentioned at this
point. It is that although we are a new University we are not entirely without
guidance in these matters. The fact that we call ourselves a University stamps
us with a certain character, and places us in a long tradition that goes back
almost a thousand years. This gives us the advantage of profiting by a very
great deal of trial and error that has been going on through many centuries.
We began with some idea of what a University is, and of the things that
institutions of this kind have found themselves able to do well. People who
have had experience of Universities were available to advise us. They helped
us to draft our Statutes on the basis of those that have proved their efficacy
in practice, and at the same time they warned us to provide at the start for
no more than we needed, and to add to them later in the light of our own
experience. The constitution of our Guild of Undergraduates owes much to the
University of Birmingham. (On the other hand the fact that this University
College began with a nunnery and a priest's house has no connection whatever
with the fact that Oxford University began round a nunnery and an abbey).
It is because Universities are guardians of tradition that ceremonial is an
important part of University life. The repetition of ceremonial is a way of
preserving our connection with the past. This is one reason why we wear
gowns. Most of us know that, out of compliment to Sir James Irvine, our
gowns are fashioned after those of St. Andrew's University. Their attractive
colour also had something to do with the choice. I remember some of our
first undergraduates asking me why we in the West Indies should go to remote
"foreign" places like Scotland for the style of our gowns. Were we not after all
West Indians? I could only reply that five hundred years before, St. Andrews
had designed their gowns after the University of Paris, a foundation three
centuries older. It speaks well for the taste of all concerned that the gowns
themselves, when they duly appeared, were promptly accepted with a proper
measure of admiration. Gowns, like hoods and other academical finery, are
essential to colourful ceremonial, but they also remind us that we are a part of
an ancient and distinguished University tradition.
Ordinarily people live in the way in which they find themselves brought up
and in accordance with the habits in which they have been trained, fortified,
or perhaps altered to some extent, by their own convictions. It is only in times
of crisis that we become conscious of the under-lying assumptions that govern
our life. We West Indians are at the stage of being self-conscious nationalists,
and very properly so; this is necessary for our development. It is necessary
also, especially for those of us who are members of a University, to see our-
selves in perspective as far as we can, and to recognize that ours is not a
separate civilisation, but a part of the great branch of civilisation that is called
Western Civilisation. At any rate this is where we begin our national life.
Our culture is rooted in Western culture and our values, in the main, are the
values of the Christian-Hellenic tradition. What are the characteristics of that
tradition? They can be summed up in three words-virtue, knowledge and
faith-the Greek ideals of virtue and knowledge and the Christian faith.

"Our civilisation, spiritual and intellectual, was born in Greece. Rome applied
Greek thought to the life and institutions of a great Empire. Christianity added
new forces which modified and developed its Graeco-Roman inheritance. We
are not Greeks, Romans or Jews but our air is charged with influences from
Greece, Rome and Palestine. However ignorant we may be of them, they will
mould us" You may have recognized the passage from Sir Richard Living-
stone. He adds that "it is characteristic of the weakness of our education that
most people know nothing of Greece and an increasing number know little of
Judaism or Christianity"
We have seen that this University, like most other Universities, has been
established to serve the needs of the community and especially to supply the
demand for educated people for the professions that are practised in a dynamic
and highly organised civilisation. This University, moreover, is a State
University, in the sense that it depends on the State for its finances. The
American state universities have been called the development arms of the state.
The President of one of them has said that "they are faced with the obligation
of promoting economic rehabilitation of the areas in which they reside
the University", he says, "should be the one centre to which the people of
the state could, and would, look for unbiased [sic], disinterested knowledge
and consideration of public questions" This is not unlike our own position.
We believe that the University exists to give the kind of service that it is
peculiarly fitted to give-to be the intellectual centre of the region, the meeting
ground for all who are pursuing knowledge at the higher levels, the main
centre of research into the physical and social problems of the region, the
place where the West Indian character will find its intellectual expression,
a channel of communication with other Universities, making possible and
indeed promoting a continuous circulation of men and ideas (to paraphrase
a passage from the Irvine Report). We also believe that it will be able to
give that service only if it is left free from outside interference. This special
need of the University to be free from outside interference is well recognized
in countries where human freedom is prized. In Britain, where the Universities
would languish or die without financial support from the State, the device of
the University Grants Committee has been invented, and used with success
for fifty years, to protect the Universities from the danger of ill-informed or
incompetent political interference. Even in the United States, where the history
of higher education is full of examples of political dictation to the Universities,
the principle is recognized in many quarters. The judgment of a California
court in 1913 contains the phrase "the elevation of the University to the place
and dignity of a constitutional department of the body politic", and a student
of the relationship between state and university has written with reference
to the University of Michigan, "it might indeed be said that there has been
added to the American traditional theory of tripartite government a fourth,
namely, the University" Why does the University demand this freedom?
A University needs to be free in order that it may lead the kind of life that
is appropriate to its nature and function.

What then is the special nature of a University? It is first and foremost
a community. Scholars and scientists can, and do, work alone, but no matter
how many lone scholars or scientists there are, there will not be a University.
The interplay of mind on mind and the joint pursuit of knowledge is of the
essence. So we may describe a University as a community of students, some
of whom are also teachers. And each generation is engaged partly in drawing
on the accumulated knowledge of the past and partly in adding its own
contribution to the store. But knowledge is not all that is involved; for the
characteristic activity that all its members are engaged in, namely that of
learning and discovering, must be pursued in a spirit and with a discipline that
leaves its mark permanently on the character of those who have for a long
enough period been engaged in University studies. Such people are charac-
terised especially by "the persistent and dispassionate effort they make to
distinguish the genuine from the bogus in things that matter, and their willing-
ness to suspend judgment in those that don't"
We would all agree, I think, that those who would be true members of a
University must hold fast to the following tenets: Firstly, they must believe
that the things of the mind are worth pursuing; as Plato puts it, "strenuous
intellectual communion must have kindled the love of learning in their soul,
like a light caught from a leaping flame, which, once alight, feeds on its own
flame thenceforward" Secondly, in the pursuit of their chosen studies, their
thinking must be as thorough and as strict as the subject matter permits; while
following the argument wherever it may lead, they must be persistent in their
effort to distinguish true from false and must subject new opinions and hypo-
theses to the test of rigorous criticism or experiment before accepting them.
Thirdly, they must be ready always to revise previously held hypotheses or
opinions in the light of new evidence. Fourthly, they must also, in the discus-
sion of controversial questions, maintain a sufficiently judicial temper to be
able to learn from people who hold opposite opinions. For, as Michael
Oakeshott has well said, the pursuit of learning is a conversation which the
University student holds with his teachers, his fellows and himself. Fifthly,
they must pledge themselves to maintain freedom of thought and publication,
on the basis that there is need of the contributions of all who are capable of
original thought. In the words of Cardinal Newman, "to erect a University
is at once so arduous and so beneficial an undertaking because it is pledged
to admit without fear, without prejudice, without compromise, all comers, if
they come in the name of truth" Finally, they must believe that the
University has the responsibility of being the intellectual conscience of the
community, a place where the criticism and evaluation of ideas is continually
being carried on.
In short the University aspires to be a society or guild of people of the
highest intellectual integrity, devoted to learning and investigation, and
pursuing them in conditions of rigorous intellectual discipline; who demand
of the community which they serve freedom from outside interference in these
pursuits, and in turn are conscious of their own responsibility, to themselves

on the one hand, to preserve their integrity and their freedom, to the
community on the other, not to abuse the freedom which they have been
entrusted with, but to be wakeful guardians of their professional principles.
The kind of life that must be lived by a society of this sort must differ
in some respects from that which is lived by most other groups in the com-
munity as a whole. Those whose principal business is study should live in
conditions conducive to study. The man of affairs lives his working life in the
midst of movement and activity, and probably has a battery of telephones on
his desk; the student needs (among other things) quiet and freedom from
interruption; and the organisation of life in the University is governed by his
needs. This is not to say that University people are a race apart, or that the
University is not a part of the whole community. On the contrary, my
emphasis is on the fact that it is a special and important part of the com-
munity-not only the source of educated man-power, but the intellectual
centre, where answers are continually being sought to questions of fundamental
importance to the community, questions not only about our physical environ-
ment, but about the ideas which govern our individual and collective conduct.


We have already referred to the importance of these fundamental ideas,
these beliefs and sentiments which are held for the most part unconsciously.
One of the greatest advantages of going to a University is that it provides the
opportunity of becoming aware of these assumptions, and of examining them
critically, so that mere habits of thought can be modified, or fortified into
convictions. This process used to be an accepted part of the task of Univer-
sities as educators of youth, but the rapid expansion of knowledge in the
Natural Sciences and Technology has made it increasingly difficult to accom-
plish. The emphasis on research, the sheer weight of the specialist knowledge
that is demanded of the student in our modern technological civilisation and,
I think also, more recently, the consequences of the rapid expansion of the
numbers of University students-all these factors have combined to change
the character of University studies so that there is less and less time for even
informal discussion of these important questions.
This state of affairs is particularly unfortunate for two reasons. First, it
lessens the supply of what have been called "round" men at a time when they
are most needed. Secondly, it lessens the number of minds and the length of
time devoted to thinking about our goals and obligations and the beliefs and
values by which we live, at a time when our ideas of these things are in a
state of flux and in great need of rethinking. What do I mean by "round"
men? I mean men who have the quality of judgment, the power to grapple
with any subject and to seize the strong point in it. "The man who has been
taught to think in one subject only will never be a good judge even in that
one", says Newman. The education that is wanted is the kind "which gives
a man a clear and conscious view of his own opinion and judgments, a truth

in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging
them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to
disentangle a skein of thought, to detect what is sophistical and to discard
what is irrelevant. It prepares him to fill any post with credit and to master
any subject with facility. It shows him how to accommodate himself to others,
how to throw himself into their state of mind, how to bring before them his
own, how to come to an understanding with them, how to bear with them"
To a, similar effect the Harvard Report on General Education in a Free Society
seeks from a general education the ability "to think effectively, to communicate
thought, to make relevant judgments, to discriminate among values"
The need to discriminate among values is especially necessary today.
We have grown so accustomed to living "on the brink", that we don't often
pause to reflect about the fundamental moral questions that are raised by the
new powers over one another that men have acquired. Our life is so organised
that we haven't got the time. Modem Science and Technology have made for
us a world of ever larger units, in which power of all kinds tends to be
concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Modem methods of communication so
clutter up our eyes and ears with indiscriminate information and propaganda
that it is well nigh impossible to distinguish the essential from the trival, and
the true from the false. The colossal power, including the power of communica-
tion, that is now within the grasp of men, is largely the power of men over men.
The technique of manipulating men has been developed disproportionately
to the growth in real understanding of the nature of man or what is good
for man.
People in Universities have a special obligation to find time to think about
these and other fundamental problems; and no one should leave the University
without being aware that these questions need to be raised and thought about,
and without having acquired the habit of trying to find answers to them.
For I am sure we all agree with Bishop Berkeley that "Whatever the world
thinks, he who hath not much meditated upon God, the human mind, and the
Summum Bonum, may possibly make a thriving earthworm, but will certainly
make a sorry patriot and a sorry statesman"


A Theory of Small Society


THE theory of a small society is only a special case of the theory of society
as a whole, so we must start with the general case. I am not going to define
society, except to say that I am considering human societies rather than
animal societies, and that I think of a human society as any group of people
which is interesting exactly what makes one group interesting and another
group not interesting I do not propose here to examine.
The first concept I wish to develop is that of the state or condition of
a society, as it exists at a moment of time. Here we imagine that someone
takes a flashlight photograph of the society with all its relevant conditions,
variables and parts. This will include, in the first place, certain stocks which
exist at this moment of time in the society. There is the human population,
classified by age, sex, education, character, religion or any other relevant
personality variable. Then there are stocks of physical assets, land, buildings,
and apparatus stocks of social institutions and organizations, schools, firms,
governments, churches, families ; stocks of knowledge and ideas and skills
in the population. It is clear that the list might be extended almost indefinitely,
and what we include in the list will depend to a large extent on the type of
studies that we wish to pursue. The economist studying the economic dynamics
of a society will include one set of things ; the sociologist and the anthropolo-
gist and the psychologist will include other things. In the description of
the state there are not only stocks, there are certain flows birth and death
rates, rates of production, consumption and depreciation of all kinds of
commodities, rates of formation or destruction of organizations, rates, in fact,
of addition to and subtraction from any item that is important in the stock.
The problem of the dynamics of society is how we get from the state of
today to the state of tomorrow. If we can do this in a regular and unequivocal
way, we can then get to the day after tomorrow and the day after that and the
day after that, proceeding indefinitely into the future. It may be, of course,
that tomorrow's state depends not only on today's state, but on yesterday's
state and the state of the day before yesterday and the day before that. In
many cases we shall find this to be true. Nevertheless, the fundamental
principle remains, that if we can get from today till tomorrow, if we understand
how tomorrow grows out of today, then we have gone a long way towards
understanding the dynamics of a society.
One very important determinant of tomorrow is the flows of today. If,
for instance, births exceed deaths today, there will be more people tomorrow
than there were today. If production exceeds consumption today, there will
be more physical goods in existence tomorrow than there were today. This
principle can be applied to any element in the stock. If the rate of production
of high school graduates today, for instance, exceeds their death rate, there
will be more high school graduates tomorrow than there are today.

Another very important principle is that the flows of today are related
to the stocks of today. If, for instance, there is a large proportion of women
of fertile age in the population, the birthrate is likely to be higher than if
there was a small proportion. If there are a lot of literate and educated
people in the population, the output of goods is likely to be higher. If the
population is very religious, there will be a large production of churches ;
if the population consists mainly of farmers, there will be a large production
of agricultural commodities.
These dynamic processes are extremely complex, and it is hard to trace
them out. The character and abilities of a person aged, say 50 today, is a
result not only of the state of yesterday and the day before, but is a result
of all that has happened to him and to the society in the past 50 years. The
state of any society today therefore, depends not only on its state yesterday,
but on its whole past history and especially on its history in the past 70 or 80
years which produced the people of the society today.
In studying the dynamics of a society, we need to pay special attention
to what we might call the transmitters of culture the people of today are
what they are because of the influences which have made them so-these
influences include their parents, the families in which they grew up, the teachers
who taught them, the preachers who preached to them, the friends and
acquaintances who have communicated with them constantly all their lives.
Many anthropologists and social psychologists lay a great deal of stress on
what happens in the first few years, or even in the first few months of life.
While this effect can be exaggerated, it nevertheless remains very important,
and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that conditions in the family are one of
the main determinants of the character and of change in that character. If
we want to change the character of a society, the people we must change are
the mothers and the fathers who are training the next generation. We must
not underestimate, however, the influence of schools, churches, boys clubs and
even universities. It may be true that the predispositions of character are
set in early childhood, so that whether a man is grasping or generous, fearful
or courageous, dependent or independent, may depend much on what happens
to him as a very small child. The thoughts, ideas, and actual patterns of
behaviour, however, are determined largely by what happens in somewhat
later years, especially in the years of adolescence. Early childhood may
predispose us to certain things, but by and large it is adolescence that disposes
us. In understanding the dynamics of i society, we must also he constantly
on the look out for the creators, as well as the transmitters of culture. The
prophets, the poets, the historians, are the people who very often create the
culture which is thenceforward transmitted by more ordinary spirits.
One of the problems of the theory of the society, is how to simplify
the enormous complexity of these dynamic processes. Some writers, like
Karl Marx, have tried to simplify them by aggregating people into classes,
and postulating a quasi-mystical succession of classes. Another attempt at
simplification is to take one particular strand of the network, like economics,
or religion, or philosophy, or politics, and to suppose that everything else
depends on this one strand. All these are oversimplifications, that get less
realistic as time goes on and society gets more complex. I must confess in


regard to the theory of society that I am an eclectic. Even though there
are within society some sub-systems which obey certain dynamic principles
of their own, nevertheless the whole great web weaves and interweaves into
a pattern of great complexity. We cannot say that any one strand determines
the other. The development of economic life and institutions is an important
strand, and this often affects the other aspects of life in society, such as the
family, religion and the state. Nevertheless these non-economic elements in
society have an inner dynamic of their own which often proceeds almost
independently of what is happening in the rest of the society, and in turn
leads to impacts upon other sub-systems. We can argue indefinitely, for
instance, about whether the Reformation was a cause of Capitalism, as Max
Weber suggested, or whether it was the rising capitalist class that gave strength
to the Reformation. This is like arguing which came first, the chicken or the
egg. Occasionally some strand in the social web develops a dynamic of its
own which takes it far away from the development of other strands, and
develops inconsistent movements within the framework of society. These
inconsistencies can slow down or even arrest the development of a society-
as when, for instance, the dynamic of its religious ideas goes counter to the
dynamic of its technology. Sometimes, however, all the separate strands
seem to be working in the same direction, and when that happens the society
will change rapidly.
Another method of dealing with the complexities of social dynamics, is
to postulate an equilibrium to the system, and to suppose then that the dynamic
process leads eventually to this equilibrium. An equilibrium system is one
in which tomorrow is exactly like today-that is, in which the dynamic
processes of today, produce a tomorrow which is no different from today.
In this case, all the flows in the society are only just sufficient to maintain the
state of the stock unchanged. On the whole societies which have approximated
an equilibrium condition, have been fairly simple. Almost all advanced
societies since the dawn of history, have been in process of rapid and continuous
change. Our own society especially for the last two hundred years, has been
going through a process of rapid change which is unprecedented in the whole
history of mankind. It is hardly surprising therefore, that some writers
question the value of the equilibrium concept, in a world that is as dynamic
and is apparently as far from equilibrium as this one. Nevertheless the
concept of equilibrium is an important tool of the social sciences, as indeed
of all sciences, and I am prepared to defend it. The study of equilibrium,
tells us where the present processes are going to take us, and even if this future
state is a long way off. Also if we know the equilibrium, we know the general
long-run direction of change, for equilibrium is what we are moving towards.
Let me take an example from the equilibrium of populations. It is not
too difficult to develop a dynamic theory of population growth. We know
for instance that if births exceeds deaths, that is, if the birth rate exceeds
the death rate then the population will grow. We know also that anyone
who is forty-nine today, will either be 50 next year or he will be dead; by
means of relatively simple assumptions about future birth and survival rates,
it is possible to project the numbers and the composition of the population
for several years ahead. These projections are not predictions, and are easily

falsified; indeed the failure of population predictions in the past 20 years
has been spectacular; nevertheless we do know something about the future
of population. We know, for instance, that population cannot grow forever-
sooner or later must come the day of reckoning and an equilibrium population.
I calculated recently that if the world population continues to grow at its
present rate of about 2 per cent. per annum, it will only take a little over
700 years, for there to be standing room only over the whole earth-oceans
as well as land. Even if we were to try to solve this problem by shooting
people off into space, it would take only a little over 8,000 years for the whole
astronomical universe two billion light years in diameter, to become solid
with humanity. It is clear that achieving an equilibrium population is not
a problem for the remote future. In many parts of the world it is a problem
which must be tackled in the present generation. Now, however, we are
gripped by a certain iron law of mathematics; in an equilibrium population
the expectation of life of the average individual is related directly to the birth
and death rates. If the birth rate is at its physiological maximum of about
45 per thousand, and the death rate is correspondingly high, the expectation
of life cannot be more than about 22 years-to put the same thing in another
way, if we want an equilibrium population with an expectation of life of 70,
we cannot have a birth rate and death rate of more than 14 per thousand.
To put the same thing in still another way, if we have an equilibrium birth rate
with a high expectation of life, and if everybody marries, then the average
family cannot be more than two children, especially if all children survive into
An equilibrium population, with an average expectation of life of a little
over 20 years, is a population in abject misery. If we are to have successful
society with an equilibrium population, then we must eventually face the
problem of population control. There is no escape from this conclusion; this
does not mean of course, that we have to endorse one method of limiting
population over another. The particular techniques of family limitation, are
largely irrelevant to this problem. It is significant for instance, that two
countries which have been fairly successful in family limitation are Ireland and
Austria. Both of these are strongly Catholic countries. What is important
here is not any particular techniques, so much as the whole moral attitude
toward the family. There must be a sense of responsibility and desire for
high quality rather than quantity, which pervades the society as a whole.

Looking out towards the still larger horizon we may ask ourselves the
question as to whether a permanent high level society is possible in any case.
We have to admit, I think, that with present techniques it is not. The
economic development and the remarkable progress of the last two hundred
years have been achieved only at the cost of running down the store of geological
capital. We have burnt coal and oil, we have mined ore and scattered the
products all over the earth. This is a process which might be called social
and economic entropy, by analogy with the great concept of the second law
of thermodynamics. Man finds a world in which things are concentrated.
The processes of his life, however, result in diffusion. Both energy and ores
have become less available for subsequent generations.


Fortunately the case is not hopeless. We have indications that a high
level technology is possible which does not depend on exhaustible resources.
We are living through a period in which mankind has a fighting chance to
achieve such a technology. Atomic energy has enormously pushed back the
frontiers of the limitations of power although it is a costly and dangerous
method of producing power under present techniques. The possibilities of
the direct utilization of solar energy are real and it is highly probable that
this problem may be solved even within the present generation. The problem
of the diffusion of ores is more troublesome. Even here, however, we are
developing processes like the fixation of nitrogen from the air and the production
of magnesium from the sea which offer escape from the seemingly inevitable
processes of diffusion.
These questions are important from the point of view of the dynamics of
society. Because if no long run high level equilibrium is possible then all
our economic development, all our progress, all our civilisation are ultimately
doomed to frustration. Human progress then becomes a mere flash in the
pan of geological time, an insignificant era of exploitation of natural capital
resources, between two long periods of miserable scratching for existence in
the forests. An ecologist has recently written a spine-chilling article in which
he compares mankind as a species to the pioneer species which first invade
an environment, expand in population with great rapidity, but are destroyed
by their own success because the environment which they can use is exhausted,
and then other less ambitious species come along to inherit the earth. The
proposition that the meek inherit the earth may be more true than it is
comforting. One resents all the more resources which are wasted in war and
in luxury when one realizes that the present era represents a never to be
repeated chance of establishing the permanent high level society which we
all desire and that every wasteful use of resources makes the chance of success
somewhat smaller.
All that I have said up to this point applies to all societies, to the small
as well as to the large. Let us now turn to the question of the peculiar
problems of the small society. The first question to ask is why are there
small societies at all? This might be called the boundary problem. Why is
the great universe of mankind split up into nations, classes and groups within
nations? Why are some of these large and some of them small? What
determines the boundary between one and another? I have recently revived
an old interest in astronomy and 1 have been exploring the, for me, new
constellations of the southern sky. In looking through the Atlas of the Stars,
I find somewhat to my surprise that the number of constellations in the whole
sky is almost exactly equal to the number of nations in the United Nations.
There are eighty-eight constellations in the sky; there are eighty-two nations
in the United Nations. It is clear that there is still room for the West Indies-
though not much! It is a mere accident, of course, that the numbers should
correspond so closely. It is an amusing accident also that the Great Bear
should occupy the position in the celestial sphere almost identical with that
of Russia on the globe and that lying to the west of it is the great constellation
of Hercules. Nevertheless, it is no accident that there is about the same

number of constellations in the sky as in nations on the earth, for the con-
stellations are not in the galaxy nor are nations on the earth; both are products
of the minds of men. If we ask why the globe of the sky is divided by man
into these little pieces, and why the great globe of humanity likewise is divided
into little pieces, the answer is much the same.

The first answer is that this division is a result of the smallness and
inadequacy of the human imagination. Our minds are too small to grasp
the great constellation of the whole sky. They are likewise too small to grasp
the great constellation of humanity. As a result we find it necessary to break
up these great systems into small parts in the hope that the parts will be
small enough for our minds to grasp and that perhaps we may build up the
great system out of the small.
The second answer is kinder to the dignity both of the constellations and
of the nations. It is that man is a great pattern-maker, and that these patterns
are not arbitrary, but are perceived as patterns by many different men of
diverse times and cultures. These gestalts, as the psychologist calls them are
an integral part of man's relationship with things, and even if they are in
man rather than in the things, this does not detract from their reality and
importance. Thus men in many climes and ages have looked at Orion as
it rises now like a great celestial symphony in the west, and have detected
and enjoyed in that region of the sky much the same pattern. Casseopeia
and the Big Dipper, Auriga and Pegasus stand out with almost equal vividness.
On the other hand, there are many constellations which defy the most lively
imagination, and others which one itches to rearrange. Similarly, with the
nations and societies of mankind; some nations are great constellations in
time, space and culture, clearly marked off by the inner integrity of their
own pattern from the rest of the world. Others may be less clearly marked
off, and others again may be in need of rearrangement. The patterns, however,
are not arbitrary; the great brocade of mankind is not a plain patternlesa
There is a third principle which governs the boundaries of societies and
nations which also applies to the stars. This is the principle of perspective.
When we look at the landscape or at the sky the near things look large and
important and the far things look small. The sun is a miserable little star
as stars go-but not to us! The same happens when we look at the social
landscape. Those people and things which are close to us, our own family, our
circle of friends, our job, our country look large, and the things which are
far from us look small. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to see a pattern
in near things which we do not see in the far. Even though, therefore, we
know that perspective is an illusion in the landscape as well as in society,
nevertheless it is one of the illusions by which we live and it must be respected.
I must confess that when I was a young man I was very impatient of
nationality and of this division of the great world of mankind into what
seemed to me arbitrary and meaningless constellations. I was impatient too
of the waste of resources which the quarrels of nations involved and of the
desolation which followed their idiotic wars. I longed to be a world citizen.

I longed to see the day, in the noble words ot Tennyson, "When the war drums
throb no longer and the battle flags were furled in the parliament of man,
the federation of the world" I think perhaps I became an American partly
because this was as close as I could get to becoming a world citizen and that
being a member of any smaller society gave me claustrophobia.

Now that I am in middle life I must confess that I am somewhat more
tolerant of nationalism and especially of rising nationalisms. I see that it
is necessary for people to have an identity, and for individuals to find a home
even though the nations, like the constellations, exist in the minds of man.
Nevertheless they fulfil a purpose there. If nations are the result of the
smallness of our minds, very well then-we have small minds and the world
must be adjusted to it. Furthermore, just as the small constellation is a
useful tool to the study of the great constellation of the sky, so the nation
may also be a useful stepping stone to the development of that sense of the
oneness of all mankind which I am sure we all desire.

Every individual needs to belong to some group with which he can identify,
of which he can say "this is what I am" The nation helps to satisfy this
need. I am not convinced that the nation is the only thing which can satisfy
this need. As man develops he becomes part of many groups, each of which
satisfy a certain need of his being, and it may be that we are moving towards
the time when the nation is no longer an emotional necessity and when man
will find his identity partly in his occupation, partly in his faith, partly in
groups of common interest and allocation. As we move towards a world in
which everybody is a professional, men will perhaps find in their professional
specializations that identity which previously they needed the nation to
supply. We are, however, a long way from this golden age, and in the mean-
time the nation has an important part to play, both in organising the world
and in meeting psychological needs.

It is an interesting, and to me an unresolved question, as to whether there
is anything that might be called an equilibrium set of nations of different sizes.
Is there any reason to suppose, for instance, that a nation will conform to one
boundary rather than another? Certainly one would expect homogeneity to
be a factor. Nevertheless there are many nations which are extremely
heterogeneous, which have more than one language, more than one religion
and more than one culture and more than one level of economic life. There
have been nations which have split into two or more. There have been nations
which have come together in a larger federation and unit. Perhaps the most
essential factor here is the intensity of communications. Where we have a
group of individuals who communicate a great deal with each other but less
with people outside, there we have the raw material for the nation. Where
one nation is divided into two non-communicating groups, it may be ripe for
splitting. Where the people of two nations communicate frequently with each
other, but less with the outside world, they may be ripe for federation and

The boundary problem concerns all nations, large or small, and it may
still be felt that we have not yet reached the problems of the small society.
The greatest difference between large societies and small societies is that the
smaller a society the more important is its external environment. For
humanity as a whole there is no external environment as yet, though space
travel may alter this! For large nations like Russia and the United States,
the external environment is a inatlr of secondary importance though even
in these cases it is still a very important factor. The smaller we go in national
size, however, the more important the external environment becomes, and it
is perhaps the theory of the external environment which is peculiarly the
theory of the small society.
I distinguish four elements in the external environment. The first
consists of the market opportunities which are open to a society, the economist
summarises these under the concept of the terms of trade. These opportunities
determine the possibility of enrichment through specialisation. The real
income of a small society depends not only on its per capital output of what
it produces; it also depends on how much it can get in exchange for what
it produces. The income of a small society will be greater the higher the
prices of its exports and the lower the prices of its imports.

The second element in the environment of a society consists of its
opportunities for emigration and immigration. This is the import or export
of people. Emigration ordinarily reduces the rate of increase of the population.
Immigration usually increases this rate. Where a society is really at the
subsistence level, emigration may not help its population problem because
for every emigrant that leaves more children survive to maturity. It must
be remembered also that emigration and immigration change the composition
of the population as well as its size, emigration frequently adversely, immigra-
tion favourably. A society with large emigration tends to lose some of its
most able and active members in the prime of life. A society which receives
immigrants receives energetic adults whose "cost of production" have been
met by other societies.
The third element in the environment of a society consists of its organi-
sational connections. The small society is a locus of parts and segments of
larger organizations. Corporations, federal or imperial governments, churches,
United Nations organizations, and so on, have segments within the small
society. These parts lead both into and out of the parent body. In some
cases they may be a disadvantage to the small society in that they drain its
resources out, in other cases they may be an advantage to the society because
they feed resources in. A small society, however, always has to face the
problem that it exists in a world of large organizations and that these are
going to penetrate it.
The fourth element in the environment of a society consists of the informa-
tion outflows and inflows. These are important because they build up the
image of the society both within it and outside it and hence affect the behaviour
of both individuals and organizations. The information inflows and outflows
are important also because they affect the knowledge and the skills of a people

of the society. A society which was completely isolated from information
from the outside world would find its pace of change very slow, and the first
step towards social and economic development is often an accelerated inflow
of information.
I have to confess that I know very little about existing small societies,
and I propose to create a totally imaginary small society to illustrate some
of the principles which I have developed. Any resemblance to any existing
small society is a gestalt in the mind of the reader. This small society I shall
call the Hesperides, or the Fortunate Isles. It is well known that in classical
times these islands lay west of the Pillars of Hercules and were largely populated
by duppies. They have an ideal climate where winter never comes. They
have had a sad history. At the moment of observation they are looking
forward to a more hopeful future, to economic development and political
self-control. I use the term self-control advisedly rather than independence
because if one is honest one has to admit that the small society cannot be
truly independent in the sense of not being dependent on the rest of the world.
Indeed one could argue that in this day independence is an illusion even for the
largest society. The existence of the Hesperides as a nation is complicated by
the existence of at least three sub-constellations. We have first Hesperidaica,
a self-contained island of about a million and a half people who, in the opinion
of the other islanders are also very self-contained. Then we have Hesperidad,
and the Hesperikids, a group of small islands among which is the last remaining
outpost of the Roman Empire--Hesperidados. We should also possibly
include an island which is almost wholly surrounded by land known as
Hesperidiana. These islands are united, or possibly divided, by a common
language, a certain amount of common history and certain common traditions.
It is an interesting question as to whether the common language is a uniting
or a dividing force. The difficulty of the common language is that it enables
people to think they understand each other. There are some notable examples
of nations which are united by not having a common language and which stay
together because neither part understand what the others are saying about
them. The Hesperides are poor, but they are not that poor. They are at
least rich enough to have traffic jams, ulcers and neuroses. Still they want
to be much richer and are not at all satisfied with their present levels of living.
One of the big questions at the moment is whether they will get richer to-
gether or apart. This is by no means clear. Hesperidaica is small, but there are
ten countries which are smaller in the League of Imaginary Nations. It is not
surprising therefore to find some Hesperidaicans who think that Hesperidaica
could go it alone. Moreover Hesperidaica has been thriving, under a capitalist-
socialist government, and is at least a going concern, and it is not sure whether
it wants to exchange a going concern which it knows for a more heterogeneous
larger unit of more doubtful future which it does not know. Hesperidad is
the richest of the islands but the kids are quite a problem as kids usually are.
Hesperidad is a more heterogeneous society, racially and religiously than
Hesperidaica and this opens up fine possibilities of political impasse. Hesperi-
diana, unfortunately, worships false gods which are placated with vodka rather
than with rum, which is the sacred beverage of the islands. To complete the
picture we should add that the islands are highly dependent on world trade,

and that their main exports still consist of products of tropical agriculture,
though mineral extraction is of increasing importance and manufacturing is
beginning. A large proportion of the population consists of poor farmers,
working on farms which are too small to give them a decent living or to permit
the use of advanced methods. The islands used to be very unhealthy, which
kept their population in check. Now, however, they have been hit by an
information input of medical knowledge and practice which has made them
very healthy, and has greatly reduced their death rate, but not their birth
rate. Population therefore is rising at an explosive rate. The islands have
long been colonies of a world empire, but empire having become both
unfashionable and unprofitable, the mother country is somewhat ambivalently
trying to push them out of the nest, while perhaps wanting to have them
home occasionally for Christmas. What we seem to be witnessing, to vary
the metaphor, is the natural childbirth of a nation, without many of the
violent pangs which have in the past accompanied such births. The question
before us is what might be the dynamics of such a society. Where might
it go from where it is? What might be its future dynamic path?
We might distinguish three general possible paths. The first let us call
the road to ruin. Population grows unchecked, doubling every twenty-five
years. Emigration cannot keep pace and in any case skims off the cream of
the people. Farms are sub-divided and sub-divided until the country produces
far more people than it can take and the people crowd into huge city slums
where there is large-scale unemployment. Education collapses under the
strain of poverty and the flood of children. Superstition and ignorance
increase, along with pride. Self-government means that every pressure group
has to be placated, and there is less and less discrimination between high and
low quality products whether bananas or people. This ends in a famine, an
insurrection. The regiment shoots down the mob and establishes a military
dictatorship. Foreign investments and gifts dry up; the islands are left to
stew in their own misery and the world in effect draws a cordon sanitaire around
them. That the road to ruin is a real road, and a distressingly wide and
available one, is shown by the example of some nearby islands which have
gone a long way down it.
The second part is the road to nowhere. This means keeping things much
as they are; not disturbing existing relationships; desperately trying to keep
pace with population growth by emigration, a little industrialisation, and
perhaps, family planning, and keeping pretty tight hold of mother. This may
be better than the road to ruin, but also it may be a road that is closed.
Things have moved too far, too many hopes have been raised, and people will
not be content simply to stand still. The road to nowhere slips imperceptibly
into the road to ruin; it may be that it is no longer possible for the islands
simply to stay where they are: they must either go forward or go backward.
Third part is the road to somewhere. This is a hard road to find-a
straight and narrow road indeed, and it is by no means easy to travel; never-
theless it exists and it is not beyond the wit of the Hesperidians to find it.
Like all straight and narrow roads which lead to salvation, it requires first
a vision. There must be a belief that the road exists, and there must be a
vision of what lies at the end of it and of the sacrifices and difficulties that

lie in the way. This vision must be widespread in the society. It is not
enough to have it confined to the few; it must be a vision which is contagious,
which can inspire even the simple and unlettered with hope for their own and
for their children's future. It must be a realistic vision. It must not be
frittered away in ancient recriminations and in false hopes.
The key to the future of a small society is a vision of the quality of human
life. The greatest resource of any society is the human resource, and in a
small society this is of overwhelming importance. A small society cannot
hope to rely on sheer weight of numbers, or wealth of natural resources. If
it is to find a place for itself in the world, it must rely on the quality cf its
life and product. The first priority of a small society, therefore, must be its
human resources and investment in the quality of these human resources.
There is already something to build on. The Hesperides have a reputation
for political maturity, for a certain rugged independence of the individual,
and for certain habits of mutual help and co-operation. The first priority
then must be education, and education of the right kind. This should be
education of the whole community, adults and children alike; the local school
must become a community centre, encouraging creativity and independent
thinking as well as the more formal skills of literacy and mathematics. The
education must have a moral and spiritual as well as an intellectual base;
it must be directed towards the ideal of quality in all phases of life, and
especially in family life and in the raising of children. Quality, not quantity,
must be the slogan everywhere. The vision should inspire the most able and
idealistic young people to go into teaching, especially into elementary teaching.
The budget should be strained to make teaching more attractive financially,
and the most highly honoured of all the professions-only thus can the society
hope to escape from the trap of a self-perpetuating, poverty-breeding culture,
transmitted from generation to generation, from parents and grandparents to
children, and from these in turn to their children and grandchildren.
At the political level there must be a realistic appraisal of the bargaining
position of the islands of the world. The islands do not have much bargaining
power, and do not have much of a monopoly position; nevertheless, they are
in a good position to take advantage of the goodwill of the richer countries,
especially if the islands can broaden the base of their cultural and political
connections and sources of support. One would like to see them developing
political ingenuity, not merely copying the no doubt excellent institutions of
the past, but branching out into new ways of solving the age-long political
problem. Could we visualise perhaps a research institute instead of the
traditional upper house of the legislature?
Finally, the islands must find themselves in the world society and must
stand for something in the world. The islands already have one great achieve-
ment to their credit: they are among the first countries to belong to the human
race. The establishment of a society in which nobody need feel an alien
because of the accident of his physical type or skin colour seems almost within
reach. This is something to be proud of and something which must be cherished
and developed. The islands' intellectual and spiritual horizon has been limited
by the accident of empire. They are too little aware even of their near

neighbours, and have little sense of belonging to a world society; this must
change. They must stop straining every nerve to get into the nineteenth
century, and must look instead to the 21st century which is almost upon us
and which the present generation of children will have to manage. We are
moving with great rapidity into a world frighteningly different from that even
of our fathers, a world of great danger but also of great promise, with space
travel, automation, atomic energy and perhaps with immense new powers over
the forces of life. The islands have already caught the vision of the human
race; they must now catch the vision of the world society. They should be
leaders of the movement for world government and world order, for this is
on the road to somewhere for all humanity. This is a hard road, but it is
not an impossible one, and if the vision can be caught, the road can be travelled.


An Economic Phenomenon

(Study of an Apparent Psychological Trait and its Probable Effect on
Regional Economic Development)


HAVING been conceded by their metropolitan guardians, mainly within the
last decade or so, a greatly enlarged freedom of action, Puerto Rico, Jamaica,
and, recently, Trinidad, hasten with youthful vigour to extricate themselves
from the social and economic morass which has held them fast for generations.
Pacing the two other islands, and dramatically raising the average income per
person year after year, Puerto Rico already can claim a substantial measure
of success. Its Fomento or Development Administration and its Planning
Board, though, naturally, not free of earthly imperfections, have undoubtedly
merited a great deal of credit for the achievement so far. The industrial
promotional program has been spectacularly successful. And this is so even
.-allowing for Puerto Rico's special advantages in its access to America's
wealthy consumer market and to that country's apparently bottomless well
of investment resources. Not surprisingly, many other territories already see
some advantages in studying, not necessarily in order to copy completely,
what the now relatively happy island has done. Jamaica and Trinidad have
not been slow to observe the tremendous annual gains through industrialization.
And, in fact, it is remarkable that Jamaica could be reported in no less a
paper than the New York Times (January 14, 1959) as having got ninety
new industrial establishments promoted in only ten months of 1958. Puerto
Rico has witnessed a hundred or more new industrial establishments a year,
promoted by the Fomento; and others have sprung into existence independently
of Fomento promotion.
But, in all of these islands, particularly in Puerto Rico and Jamaica,
there can be sensed an interesting phenomenon, which is not without implica-
tions for the development process itself, and for the distribution of its general
advantages. It is the apparent tendency for the quantitative consumption of
certain farinaceous roots, traditionally the main foods of the bulk of the
islands' populations, to vary inversely with income and class.
Receipts from the sale of the roots are extremely important sources of
income for large numbers of small farmers. Accordingly, when one observes
the much slower rates of economic advance that obtain in many of the rural
areas of the islands, question arises whether there is not here a partial
explanation of the disparateness in growth, compared to urban development.
Obviously, there are other explanations also for the slower rural development.
Many of these, well publicized in relation to other countries, are relevant to
phenomena in these islands, too. The proposition that is being made here is
not that the trends in the consumption of certain locally produced, farinaceous
foods are the sole cause of the rapid rural emigration and the slow rise in farm
income; but that, first, these trends in consumption are probably contributing

factors; second, they are likely to be accentuated, if ignored, as economic
development proceeds; and, third, this is undesirable, in the short run at least,
considering the declared objectives of the honest, well-educated and well
intentioned governments of the islands.


Both the optimistic and the pessimistic analysts of the economic problems
of the islands agree that the conditions of low income and high unemployment
cannot be eliminated without industrialization. But it is also unanimously
held that for many years to come agriculture will continue to be an extremely
important source of income; and that, in fact, it will be the most important
source in most of the islands, and will continue also to supply far more
employment opportunities than secondary or manufacturing industries. An
increasing amount of resources is therefore being applied to the study of the
technological factors that influence agricultural output. There seems, however,
to be a neglect to pay adequate attention to demand, to marketing, and to the
cultural factors that are relevant to demand. This might seriously mitigate the
advantageous effects of the purely technological improvements in production
that will undoubtedly be forthcoming. It appears, for example, that large
numbers of middle and upper-class islanders avoid regular consumption of
many local roots or "ground provisions" and prefer imported items of
corresponding food value (and usually higher cost)'. If this is true, better farm
techniques and higher productivity will obviously be more limited in their
effects upon the expansion of the economy as a whole.
No unusual insight is required to observe that, as one moves from the
working-class eating houses in down-town areas to the middle and upper-class
restaurants and hotels almost in the same neighbourhood, rice and "Irish"
potatoes quickly displace sweet potatoes, tannias, cocos, eddoes and the like.
An almost similar substitution among the starchy components of a meal
becomes evident as one travels from the independent "hut" of the rural
labourer to the tiny apartment room of the urban artisan. One notices also
that among families of approximately equal incomes the more socially
ambitious ones consume less of local roots; and, although many white collar
workers make use of local roots, they are frequently reluctant to serve them
on formal occasions. The roots, or, at any rate, some of them, apparently do
not qualify for presentation on genteel occasions.

(') There have been assertions that there are very similar cultural or psychological
obstacles that affect the supply side of agriculture, reducing elasticity. It is said that
larger farmers of the "better class" do not as a rule condescend to produce the food
crops to which we have referred. It has been difficult to check the veracity of such
statements. One meets with much vagueness in seeking answers to queries on this.
(A few have alleged that a bias on the part of "big" farmers contributed to the
difficulty experienced in securing increases in output of the crops concerned during
an early wartime food shortage that was due to the inability to obtain adequate
supplies from abroad).

Conclusions cannot, of course, be drawn firmly on the bases of such casual
observations. One does not urge that this be done. But the economic importance
of the matter seems to suggest that it would be worthy of some research. We
are particularly persuaded that there is likely to be something in our observa-
tions by such rough quantitative data that are available. It is significant that
whilst the official estimate made in 1948 of the consumption of root crops in
Jamaica during 1943 was 16 pounds per person per week ('), the corresponding
estimate with respect to the year 1952 was only 9 lb. The latter estimate was
made in 1955, and was based on data obtained from the Director of the
Department of Statistics (2). He had for many years been Senior Agricultural
Economist, Department of Agriculture. The most recent available estimates
published by the Department of Statistics are as follows (:'):

Jamaica Total quantity of root crops (collectively
produced each year in millions of pounds
Year Quantity
1950 657
1951 636
1952 614
1953 577
1954 559
1955 587
1956 553

Even when we allow for errors in the estimates, probably substantial errors
in them all, we cannot but feel that the general trend is likely to be downward
in Jamaica.
Yet, between 1943 and 1952, the Jamaican population rose 20 per cent.
There was a further increase of 8 per cent. from 1952 to 1956. Throughout
this period of thirteen years the real incomes of Jamaicans rose (').
In regard to Puerto Rico, it is not clear whether its output ol the root
crops increased pari passu with its population over the period. Data on
quantities have not been available for the years preceding 1950. But quantity
statistics for 1950-1951 through 1955-1956 do not strike us as portraying any
definite upward trend. The total output of the roots rose from 1.5 million
quintals in 1950-1951 to 1.8 millions in each of the years 1952-1953 through
1955-1956, and then fell back in 1956-1957 almost exactly to the 1.5 millions
of seven years earlier (').

(') Jamaica, The Department of Statistics, The National Income of Jamaica, 1943.
Kingston: A Mimeographed Report, 1948.
(2) A. P. Thorne, Size, Structure and Growth of the Economy of Jamaica, I.S.E.R.
U.C.W.I., 1956.
(') Jamaica, the Department of Statistics, National Income of Jamaica, 1956.
Kingston A Mimeographed Report, 1958.
(') See the publications cited in footnotes (') and (') above.
(") These statistics were obtained by interview by Miss Ana Zorida Villanneva
Irom Mr. Carlos Jimenez de la Rosa, Chief of the Information Section of the Department
of Agriculture and Commerce, Puerto Rico.

In view of a casual comment made to the writer, it seems necessary to
observe here that the fact that the price per unit of these roots has risen
substantially both in Jamaica and in Puerto Rico does not necessarily signify
that the demand has been growing, and that the quantity data, such as they
are, are hopelessly wrong. Inflation or the general fall in the value of money
is obviously a major cause of the price rise.
Since our purpose is to draw attention to some probable economic
consequences of the apparent pattern of demand rather than to explain the
causes of the pattern, we would merely mention our speculations on the causes.
First, consumption of most of the local roots is probably associated with
inferior social status. These roots are associated with field labourers and small
peasants, among whom they are staples.
The historical elite of the islands quite naturally have always preferred
the roots of their original homes, "English" and "Irish" potatoes, rather than
the local roots. (The fact that their own "English" potatoes originated in South
America is irrelevant.) To put it in a nutshell, imitation of the l6ite, which is
a feature of community life wherever vertical mobility obtains, probably
affects adversely the consumption of the root crops under discussion.
Another factor is the unreliability of the quality of some of the local
roots. The absence of grading, and of neat and clean packaging, must also be
considered to be relevant. But, as we have said, these matters are not the
subject of our essay.
If we assume that there is, in fact, a bias against the consumption of
the local (and possibly breadfruit and the like also), what consequences should
we expect to follow improvement in the technical, productive skill of the
farmers concerned? (It must be emphasized that this paper does not seek to
argue that the productivity of the farmers should not be raised. This would,
indeed, be the height of absurdity.)
Since the producers of these root crops are numerous and competing, one
of the clear advantages of improved productive efficiency will be lower food
prices to consumers of these products. These consumers will constitute the
greater bulk of the population, without doubt. But if the middle and higher
economic classes of the population avoid consuming such crops, the increases
in physical output will be restricted to (1) supplying the increased consumption
by persons who are at present underfed quantitatively, as distinct from
malnourished, and (2) supplying in the longer run the increasing number of
persons in the non-middleclass and non-upperclass population. If emigration
proceeds at a great rate, such increases of the population might be very
limited indeed. All this assumes that there will continue to be no external
market for the foods in question. (We shall consider this later, and offer
suggestions). The majority of consumers of these foods will, however, because
199* ',P

their prices fall, be able to purchase more of other goods and services, Including
imports, and will be better off materially. The point is not that the improved
agricultural techniques will bring no benefits; but that these will be considerably
less than they would be if the bias against the local products were swept away,
and then if the propensity to import were lower. One may go further. Since
economic development will be attended with an enlargement absolutely as well
as proportionately of the number of persons in the middle and upper
income classes, and will result in greater urbanization, especially if industriali-
zation becomes important, the quantities of a number of local foods and
fruits demanded may tend to increase only very slowly, or may even decline,
in greater prosperity, as persons rise in the social and economic scale, unless
the bias is removed or reduced. Moreover, as vertical social mobility continues
to become greater, as. it certainly must, the more frequent exposures to contact
with, or the "demonstration effect" of, "superior goods" (largely imports),
will accelerate the movement away from the consumption of the locally
produced foods of the kind mentioned.
In so far as the roots are concerned, there is, among those who consume
Them, so much substitutability between sweet potatoes, eddoes, tannias,
-cassava and the like that they may be regarded for our purposes as one
commodity. But, in great contrast, there is little substitution between these and,
say, Irish or English potatoes, carrots and so forth. We may therefore consider
that the demand curve for these local roots as a whole is price inelastic. It
is therefore quite conceivable that technological improvements could, in
lowering the supply curve or cost of production of the "rootcrops industry"
result in a reduction of the gross receipts of the producers. If, on top of the
price inelasticity and the competitive supply conditions, the demand for the
local rootcrops is also diminished as incomes, aspirations and status rise, the
combination of improving agricultural techniques and rising real incomes in
the islands could produce very substantial decreases in the gross receipts of
the farmers concerned.
In both, Jamaica and Puerto Rico (and, no doubt, in the other lands of
the Caribbean), agricultural development programs implicitly assume that
demand is not a problem, or not a serious one, for commodities supplied for
the domestic Market.
Would the farmers be better off materially, in spite of the smaller total
receipts they might obtain? Only if either (1) the farmers' net receipts, (after
expense payment to others) were greater, or (2) if these net receipts, though
smaller, nevertheless could purchase more of the products of other segments
of the economy or more products from abroad. We cannot show that net money
receipts, or earnings, or profits, would be greater after the technological
improvement unless we can demonstrate that the expense payments would
decrease even more than the gross revenue. However, it is known that the
actual operations of the small farmers, who are the producers of the rootcrops,
entail little out-of-pocket money expenditures for materials o- labour, and
that depreciation is already almost nil because little equipment is used. Their
prospective gains from better farm techniques lie not in reductions of expense

payments but in increases in the reward for their own direct manual labour.
If gross receipts are reduced, therefore, there is no reason whatever to think
that net receipts might be (far less would be) greater.
To support a suggestion that the farmers' net receipts would have greater
purchasing power after technological advance, it would be necessary to prove
that productivity in other segments of the economy would rise to an even
greater extent by then. But it is difficult to see why this should necessarily
be the case. On the contrary, the methods of production employed by small
farmers are so primitive compared with the productive methods of other
segments of the economy that the reverse is to be expected-especially in the
next few years.
One may wish to argue that marketing, credit and other institutions might
so improve that farmers would obtain a greater share of the retail price of a
unit of their produce. But, obviously, such institutional improvements are not
functions of the productive techniques employed by the farmers. Gains from
changes of that kind could, and probably would, accrue to the farmers whether
agricultural methods improved or not. Moreover, in regard to the possibilities
and probabilities of technological improvements in other segments of the
economy, improved methods of producing foods could reduce rather than
increase the pressure of wage costs upon management and entrepreneurship
in other segments of the economy. The urge to innovate, in order to economize,
would then be reduced, not increased.
Another objection to the argument that is advanced in this paper would
be this: that the producers of the rootcrops or ground provisions would
reallocate the use of their resources, mainly their own labour and land, shifting
them, or a proportion of them, to some other activity. The demand for dairy
products, for example, would surely increase with rising national income. So,
also, the demand for fresh green vegetables and the like. If this sort of shift
were possible in general, or widely enough, there would be only the problem
of initiating programs to assist and guide the farmers in selecting the most
appropriate substitute crops with as little delay as was possible, in the light of
events as they actually folded. Enquiries, however, admittedly haphazard and
insufficient, give the impression that for a very large proportion of the farmers,
such substitution would for technical reasons, be impracticable, or at least
severely limited. Rootcrops are reported to be produced mainly by the very
large number of small farmers on steep hill and mountain slopes and on other
marginal land. But even where the substitution of other crops might be
technically feasible, it would reduce the wastefulness of the delays that would
result from the farmers' ignorance of possibilities, if guidance were given to
them. And, again, the demand for such technically substitutable crops would
also need to be studied. To the extent that such alternative uses of their land
were not available, the farmers involved would find that their greater
productivity benefited persons engaged in production in other segments of
the economy, but not directly themselves. (') Obviously the lack of skill and

(1) International phenomena of this kind have been more widely publicized.


of such complementary resources as capital and entrepreneurship reduce to
almost zero the probability of the farmers' finding readily non-agricultural
economic opportunities for their labour.
There are at present insufficient statistics of the distribution of families by
size of income in the islands; but it is usually held that the small farmer,
with his all too small holding, often located on steep, fast-eroding hill slopes,
falls within the lowest income groups. We therefore have the probability of
the paradox, in the described cultural situation, that efforts made bona fide
to "develop" agriculture might bring the farmer the unlocked for reward of
still greater impoverishment: perhaps absolutely; certainly in comparison with
other members of the island communities!
But it is not only the farmer who would be worse off than in different
cultural or psychological circumstances. The resulting weakness of farm
purchasing power will mean that the local market for the young manufacturing
and for the service industries would be smaller than it would be in other demand
circumstances. And since small farmers and their families form a large pro-
portion of the population, this is not an insignificant consequence; especially
when one remembers how small economically is the domestic market anyway,
and how formidable an obstacle this is to the development of secondary


In these circumstances, the first suggestion we would offer is that demand
research and crop substitutability research be undertaken. What solutions
would be available if the nature of the demand should be found to be as we
have thought? Some have already been implied. In the first place, steps could
be taken to increase the local demand for the crops concerned, or reduce
its rate of decrease (if it is in fact decreasing). There could best be a program
of "education" in order to mitigate and, perhaps, finally remove the con-
sumers' bias discussed in the preceding section. In many cases, the local item
qualifies well by the criterion of nutrient value in relation to bulk and cost.
The sweet potato is an example. In other cases the advantage rests with the
dangerous extremes of nationalism in this matter. And it should, perhaps,
be emphasized that the objective must not be confused with the suicidal one
of autarchy and self-sufficiency. As incomes rise, imports too should. But these
should consist of commodities of the kinds which it is more economical for
the communities to obtain from abroad, by exchange or trade, on the old
principle of comparative advantage-without leaving more of the islands'
resources (land, labour and so forth) untilized, or uneconomically utilized.
That a corrective educational program is unlikely to yield large results
quickly is itself an argument for its early undertaking. The efficacy of the
"psychological program" will be substantially determined by the example set
by political and other leaders, by the new elite, rather than by their fervent
imprecations and exhortations. However, it is for psychologists and sociologists
to work out the methodology of this attack on the problem. Launched in time

to catch the new wave of "national" enthusiasm, such an educational move-
ment is likely to achieve success in a much shorter time than it would in less
exciting circumstances. And, moreover, after consumers have long abandoned
the roots, their taste will not be again remodelled to revert to forgotten staples
of old.
The desire to acquire higher social status by imitating the habits of middle
and upper classes is well known to have been an important social factor not
only economically but otherwise in advancing Western Europe in its modern
history, and in North America. It would be nonsensical, and dangerous, to
suppress or attempt to suppress, this. But is there any good reason why, in
the prestige system, sweet potatoes and the like should not be among the foods
of the middle-and upper-income classes of the communities? Do not elegant
English barons and earls, and, indeed, even most gracious royal princesses
share common "Irish" potatoes with English dock labourers? Not even the
"Cockneys" renaming these humble roots as "spuds" have diverted the
aristocratic consumer. There is available to residents of the Caribbean islands
a sufficiently large range of other consumer items to remain as "prestige
Another avenue of approach, not alternative but supplementary to the
above, is to mount an assault on the external market of emigrants from the
islands, residing in the United States and the United Kingdom. (1) These
already are now counted in scores of thousands in the latter country, and are far
more numerous in the former. Such exportation of the roots as already exists
could probably be promoted on a large scale. There might be included among
exports even canned creole meals. It must be remembered here, too, that the
successful dmigres in these countries are likely on the whole to be under
less social and snob pressure-due to the social cleavage between themselves
and the upper classes of the indigenous populations-to avoid foods for
reasons other than economy and nutrient value.
There is need, also, for a greater amount of innovation in the designing
and preparation of recipes and menus of local foods. This is, of course,
merely another manifestation of the generally very short supply of
"entrepreneurs" in underdeveloped countries, including housewife and hotel-
kitchen entrepreneurship!
In regard to the search for alternative crops far land released by
technological improvements, attention might well be directed to an exami-
nation of the economic possibilities of some of the now rarely encountered
varieties of fruit that have resisted extinction, despite a long era of almost
complete horticultural neglect. Some of these may be enjoyable, or at all
consumable, only when processed; or de-seeded and de-skinned; or only as
canned juices. They may require the development of new dining-table tools
and some original eating acrobatics and "new etiquette" One is fully mindful
of the "messiness" of some too succulent fruits, and of the large number of

(') If the pattern of costs and prices should make it necessary, the market research
suggested here might have to be extended into the examination of possibilities of
obtaining temporary tariff concessions from the governments concerned, or granting
subsidies in the early stages to canning and other preserving industries that provide
outlets for the crops concerned.

seeds in others. It is not, however, the farmers who usually solve problems
of these kinds in any land, though the corresponding problems have also
usually been somewhat less formidable. (And, quite clearly, the undertaking
of this kind of research and innovation does not have to depend on our being
found to be correct as regards the nature of the demand for local roots).
There are, of course, also available the use of cold storage, and the
possibility of canning or otherwise preserving the roots, etcetera, to minimize
wastages caused by seasonality. There is also the possibility, in fact, the
need to improve marketing facilities as well as practices. But these and other
means of maintaining and raising farm income are too well known to require
discussion and elaboration in this paper.
To conclude, our fundamental general statement is that technological
research and improvement in agricultural production will yield as they do in
other economic sectors, higher returns if there is also undertaken appropriate
and commensurate marketing research and promotion, nationally as well as
internationally. Economic history has repeatedly illustrated the importance of
marketing research and promotion. More spectacularly, of course, has this
been demonstrated in the field of manufactured commodities. Most famous
for achievements in these areas of activity have probably been Germany
and the United States of America. The islands will need to emulate these
countries as far as they can, in regard to their agriculture as well as their
adolescent manufacture. They will, perhaps, nearly always derive net gains
from improvements in the technology of production. But both the size and
the distribution of this net gain will be affected substantially by other factors,
including cultural or sociological ones.

La Reconnaisance Estate, Lopinot
Valley, Arouca


THE LOPINOT VALLEY, near Arouca, Trinidad has a very interesting history.
The original settlement was made there in 1806 during the time of Colonel
Picton's administration of the Island. The man who made the first settlement
was a famous pioneer Frenchman, Charles Joseph, Comte de Lopinot, Knight
of the Military Order of St. Louis, Lieutenant-General of the French Army
and Brigadier General of the Trinidad Militia. Lopinot left France sometime
before the Revolution. He was a junior officer in the Army stationed at
Louisiana when it was a French possession. This province was ceded to Spain
by France at the end of 1762. Lopinot and his wife then went to the Island of
San Domingo, which at the time was another province of the French Colonial
Empire. Here he acquired a large grant of land at Grande Anse in the
Province of Artibonite. At that time he was on the active service list of the
French Army, but this. did not prevent him building up profitable estates.
He did so much to improve the health of those living on and near his estates
by filling in swampy areas that he was very highly commended by the
Government. The incident is recorded as a notable event in the Annals of
Medicine in Haiti.
What became of the Count during the first revolution in San Domingo in
1791 is not known. It is possible that he fled with many of the other French
Royalist Planters. Miss Charlotte M. Yonge in her book of Golden Deeds
describes Lopinot as a man of noble character who was kind and considerate
to his slaves. He won their affection and respect so much so that when the
Revolution came to his estates in 1793 and he was in danger of being killed,
his slaves instead of joining in the revolt hid him from threatened dangers and
voluntarily left the island with him.
It appears that the Count was in San Domingo in September, 1793 for he
joined the English troops which were landed to dispute the possession of the
island with the French Republicans. In the next five years during which these
campaigns lasted between the rabid Republicans and the British, disastrous
for both sides from the ravages of a deadly form of Yellow Fever, he served
the British loyally. After the loss of an incredible number of men from this
fever, it was realized that the campaign could not possibly be continued. It was
too high a price to pay, so it was decided to withdraw the troops.
The Count, Baron Montelambert and several other French Royalists went
with the British to Jamaica, they had lost everything and were obliged to
start life over again in a new land. Whilst in Jamaica, Lopinot and three other
planters from San Domingo sent a petition through the Duke of Portland to
the King of England. In this petition the Count based his claim for favourable
consideration on his services to the English in San Domingo. Early in 1799
the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London replied to this petition and

informed the count that the Governor of Jamaica had been instructed to
arrange for him, his wife and family with one hundred loyal negroes to be
transported to Trinidad where suitable arrangements had already been made
with Colonel Picton, the Governor, to make him a suitable grant of land.
Trinidad had recently been captured from Spain and was known to have
large areas of fertile virgin lands. At the time Jamaica and other West Indian
Islands were considered to be over cultivated or worn out. The Count and his
wife were happy when they received this good news. The offer was accepted
and they left Jamaica full of hope, expecting soon to be able to build up a
fortune in Trinidad. However, when he arrived with his family and faithful
negroes on April 20th 1800, he found to his great disappointment that Colonel
Picton had not received any news of them or instructions concerning any land
grant. In spite of this he was well received and all possible done to help him
under these unfortunate circumstances. Lopinot liked Trinidad, decided to
make the best of things and in time was able to negotiate for a sugar estate
in the Tacarigua district. He purchased part of Orange Grove Estate which
at that time was the property of Edward Barry. These lands he obtained on
credit. He hoped by hard work to be able to keep up the estate and as time
went on to pay off his capital debt. Unfortunately, the next few years were not
good ones for sugar planters, the crops were very poor and Lopinot with other
planters sustained heavy losses. Added to this, unexpected deaths amongst his
negroes combined to embroil him into serious financial embarrassment. Shortly
after this Edward Barry died and his heir, James Barry foreclosed. In 1805
Barry brought an action against the Count for payment of 4,000 joes, which
was the price agreed for one hundred quarees of land. An appeal was soon
afterwards brought before the Governor in Council, where it was decided that
James Barry could not demand payment nor could the Count oblige him to
take back the land until a case that was going on at the time between Barry
and Dawson which began in 1787 was finally settled, the title of the estate of
Orange Grove being in dispute.
Lopinot again appealed to the Crown for himself and his son, both of
whom had served Britain in recent wars. In 1806 he was living on a small
grant of occupancy on the East end of Arouca Savannah. In this district there
were many French settlers of noble family. At about this time he was granted
land in the Arouca Valley.
Miss Yonge relates how the Count took with him a body-guard of his
faithful negroes to cut a way through the dense forest to the spot he had
chosen. It was a good situation, fertile and well watered, but alas, the road
was only a track which was unfit for the transport of sugar.
Lopinot then decided to plant cacao. The estate was said to have been
laid out in a most original way. The outline of the land was in the form
(on gigantic scale) of a French General, complete with epaulets. Upon this
prostrate form cacao plants were planted, ten to fifteen feet apart. Lopinot
called his estate La Reconnaissance, by which name it is still known, the valley
and the river also retain the name of Lopinot. When he brought the Countess
to live there and had installed his negro families, a solemn thanksgiving for
the re-birth of his fortunes was celebrated.

There is no known record of these lands in Arouca Valley which were
opened up by Comte de Lopinot, but it is more than likely that they were a
free grant to him from the Government. Many such grants were made about
this time in Trinidad in return for Naval or Military services to the British
The Count, his wife, family and faithful negroes seem to have settled
happily. He prospered, extended his lands and developed them into valuable
The Comte de Lopinot became an outstanding member of the community.
He was appointed to the Council of Government by Sir Ralph Woodford,
Governor of the Island at that time, he remained a member until his death in
1819. He was buried at La Reconnaisance Estate and his grave is still in
existence. It was said that Lopinot so endeared himself to his negroes and was
so much beloved by them that for twenty years after his death they observed
an annual holiday in his memory.

Terre Bois Bois


A LrrrLE known custom, called Tdrrd Bois Bois, takes place in the quarter of
Choiseul, St. Lucia, British West Indies, late in the afternoon of Ash Wednes-
day. It is a fragmentary survival of Carnival celebrations, when the disposal
of an effigy representing the "spirit of Carnival," is disposed of on the first
day of Lent. This ceremony is not exactly the same as the one referred to by
Daniel J. Crowley, in Festivals of the Calendar in St. Lucia (Vol. IV No. 2,
p. 113). when he mentions T6w6 Bwa-Bwa, as the burial of Carnival which
takes place principally in the Town of Soufriere and is widespread in
Martinique, with "a mock funeral of Vaval, with an effigy placed in a child's
coffin and carried with great pomp to the cemetery." In fact the name
"T6w6 Vaval" is not known in Choiseul by the people who perform T6w6
Bwa-Bwa, although some of them have witnessed the Soufriere version of
T6w6 Bwa-Bwa or T6w6 Vaval. Even the name T6w6 Vaval is little known in
Soufriere, and the word Vaval has crept in through association with visits of
"speculators" from Martinique or St. Lucia "speculators" to Martinique.
At the time when Crowley's article was published, he was not yet aware of
the Choiseul variation.

On Ash Wednesday, 15th February, 1956, I witnessed this ceremony
which informants claim have taken place in the district for about 100 years.
The oldest and principal informant was the 85-year old granddaughter of
Madame Costial St. Prix, Madame Jeanne Libereau, who is literate.
Madame Libereau informed me that her grandmother was a prominent
promoter of the ceremony, and the effigy was always made in their home.

The principals in the ceremony are of mixed Carib, Negro and European
blood, and some of the participants show in their physiognomy marked Carib
features: straight coarse black hair (which in some cases have acquired a
reddish tint), coppery complexion, slightly flattened or straight noses, eyes
small and deep set with the Mongoloid or epicanthic fold. The area where they
live is called Pointe Caraibe, a pretty landscape of flat undulating and eroded
plateau near the sea, They are a hard-working though poor people, growing
sweet potatoes, cassave, peanuts, corn and pigeon peas. The rainfall is low
and they can grow only one crop a year. Most of the men are also fishermen,
the women are skilled in pottery, following the same crude methods used by
their Carib ancestors, in preparing the clay, the coil method of shaping the
ware, and baking in open fires on the ground. Eighty per cent. of the island's
native pottery is made in the area.

The people of the area, which also includes Fonds (Union Vale), Delcer,
Industry, and Anse Ivrogne, do not celebrate Carnival as a community. There
may be a sporadic yet simple disguise of a few people parading the district.
The younger folk will attend a dance held on Shrove Tuesday in the district,

or go to the village of Choiseul or the Town of Soufriere to witness the carnival
celebrations. But the people of the places named would come together as a
community to witness Tdwi Bwa-Bwa (enserrement bois bois).
The effigy was constructed on Ash Wednesday at the home of Louise
Flavien, assisted by her three sisters. A forked stick, the limb of a gliricidia
tree (Gliricidia sepium) was used, 51 inches long, with the two prongs of the
fork to form the legs. A cross arm also of the same wood was tied with the
outer bast of seaside mahoe (Hibiscus tiliaceus) as illustrated in the accom-
panying drawing. An old brown waistcoat served as the form for the torso, a
pair of grey trousers complete with a zip fastening in the crotch, served as hips
and legs, all being stuffed with dried banana trash to take the shap- of a human
body. A calabash gourd (Crescentia cujete), oval in shape, 9 inches long,
served as head. A cardboard mask on which eyes, nose and mouth were
painted, represented the face. Human hair (strands collected from the combings
of the family) was stuck with cassava-starch paste on the scalp. The head
was tied with a light pink-and-blue scarf, and from the "ears" hung cheap
paste earrings. Around the neck was strung an imitation pearl necklace. The
effigy was dressed in a white frock, the sleeves of which were also stuffed with
trash to fQrm arms. The bodice of the dress was decorated with imitation
mother-o-pearl buttons, and the waist girdled with a rose coloured plastic belt.
A pair of old brown canvas sneakers were worn on the feet, but no attempt
was made to make hands. Several neighbours came to have an advanced look
at the effigy, and there was much speculation as to which name it would be


At about four o'clock in the afternoon, a crowd started to collect around
Louise Flavien's house (Louise is 35 years old). A bottle of white rum was
passed around after the bwa-bwa had been christened "Miss Straighten Deux
Natte." The name of the bwa-bwa changes each year, and sometimes the name
given is the nick-name of some current character in the community, usually
in disparagement. The name given to this year's effigy is a parody on a Negro
woman in the area, who in her attempts to straighten her curly hair, and burnt
her "nattes" or plaits of hair with an over-heated hairdresser's comb. There
is no word in the local French creole or patois for "straightening" hair, and
the straight English word is therefore used.
Louise as leader of the ceremony was dressed in a man's shirt and
trousers, wearing a black tophat. A few of the other women also wore men's
trousers. Louise holding the effigy aloft, led the crowd who sang and accom-
panied by two quartro players (a ukelele type of instrument) as the procession
started for Anse Ivrogne, two miles away. They sang, over and over again:
E dit why encore, E dit why encore
(He says "Why again", He says "Why again")
E dit nous ca t6w6 bwa-bwa encore
(He says we are going to bury bwa-bwa again.)
As they proceed they are joined by other people from the other hamlets
the crowd becoming larger. Then they sing:
Mama mwe oy, voyd dlo ba moin
(My mother oy, throw water for me)
Pompom fleur moin ca lisse
(the top-knot of my flower is being polished)
Une belle ti fille comme mwin
(A pretty girl like me)
Une belle mamaille come li
(A lovely child like her)
Garden leta moin trouv6 cor moin
(Look at the state in which I find myself)
E dit vrais alors, epi ki ca
(He says it is true then, with what)
Nous caille pay6 loy6 chambre la
(we are going to pay the rent for the room)
E dit vrais alors
(He says it is true then!)
Epi roche alors
(It is with stones (we will pay the rent))
Epi ki ca cou caille pay6 loy6 chambre la.
(with what are we going to pay the rent for room)

These are the three songs which were chanted over and over until the crowd
reached Anse Ivrogne. Anse Ivrogne, is a small bay laying at the foot of Gros
Piton, a pyramidical peak rising sheer from the sea to 2,616 feet. Only one
family lives on this small estate which was once cultivated in sugar-cane and
had a water-driven sugar mill. Today the beach is an important fishing centre,
with about thirty canoes based on the beach, which can be easily drawn up
from deep water, and is comparatively safe haven in rough weather. That
afternoon there was a crowd of nearly 1,000 persons, gathered to watch the
ceremony or purchase the day's catch of flying fish. Fortified with rum, the
crowd were in festive mood joining in the singing. Miss Straighten Deux Natte
was being paraded, and one fisherman poured a drink over a face, to the
delight of the spectators. The effigy was passed from hand to hand, from
canoe to canoe. The owner of the boat would say, in jest: "B.\a-bwa veni
baille Brown Skin Gal bon chance (Bwa-Bwa come to give Brown Skin Gal
(the name of his canoe) good luck)" Other canoes bore such names as
"See Me Far (slang for a sweetheart)," "Let Them Say," or "Deux Sous
Pain (Pennyworth of Bread)" As it was nearing dusk the bwa-bwa was made
to chase an old woman past 70, who ran away with surprising agility and
apparent fear causing much hilarity.
Louise started to remove the clothing off the frame, watched by a very
curious crowd, who wanted to see what "was inside." First she removed the
costume jewelry, belt and shoes-on sliding the zip fastener opening the crotch,
pubic hairs were revealed which brought roars of laughter. The clothing was
then shaken loose of the trash piled in a heap. The clothing was carefully laid
aside. The wooden frame was placed upright in the sand, the two "feet" below
and the two arms forming a cross above. The trash is lit with a match, and
soon the frame becomes a fiery cross. Some of the men jump backward and
forward over the fire, as sticks are brought to feed the flames. The wooden
cross and calabash was only charred, and one man picked it up and threw it
into the sea. Bwa-Bwa was destroyed, and the crowd, satisfied, returned to
their homes.

Two Californian Poems


INTEREST in the "Beat Generation" is widespread in the West Indies.
Undergraduates in the U.C.W.I. discuss it and a West Indian daily news-
paper (Daily Gleaner, 29/2/60) has published an article on it written by
D. Hugh Hussey. In it he says "The Fifties has produced the Beat Generation,
a group of young writers and poets which have created a revolution in American
Literature" This expresses succinctly the importance of the movement. Its
spiritual capital is San Francisco, where Kenneth Rexroth through his writings
xnd also through the medium of the radio puts the case of the new poetry
untiringly before the public; it is also the place where Allen Ginsberg gave
his famous "Howl" "an 'affirmation' by individual experience of God, sex,
drugs, absurdity"
I was not long in Berkeley (which lies opposite San Francisco, across the
bay), when I felt among some of my younger friends the stirring of this
literary revolution. They are in personal contact with Rexroth, but they do not
conform at all to the description of the young poets given by D. Hugh Hussey:
"The Beatniks wear beards, tatty shirts, and slacks and are mainly preoccupied
with jazz, sex, marijuana and kicks" I do not mean to say that the picture
drawn by Hussey is incorrect, but there are certainly other young poets to
whom it does not apply. This means that Rexroth and his group exercise their
influence outside the "Beatniks" proper and that their literary revolution begins
to affect people of different ilk. To show this I shall set the portraits of two
young poets I meet in Berkeley against that of the tatty "Beatnik"
1. Michael Rossmann is in his early twenties. He looks at the world
through a pair of sensitive blue eyes whose gay expression seems somehow
to contradict his constantly furrowed brow. He spurns neckties, but is otherwise
very "properly" dressed. He says he is interested in physics, but in my contacts
with him he displayed mainly a great love for the Spanish poet Garcfa Lorca
and it was my admiration for, and personal knowledge of, Lorca that drew
Michael first into my flat, where we discussed some difficulties of imagery and
construction of Lorca's poems. Michael's conception of the poet's craft is that
of constant hard work; he is his own stern critic and his writings are therefore
dedicated and very carefully constructed. It is all the more astonishing,
therefore, that after reading a number of his poems I could say to him that
I had been "tipsy with delight" Yes, I find him delightful, even in his graver
moods. One reason for this is the completely unpedantic, profoundly unself-
conscious purity of his soul which permeates everything he writes. The second
reason I find is the way he handles his poetic imagery. There are poets-I
believe Ginsberg belongs to them-whose first raw material is their own
emotions which engender a self-interested symbolism fitting for their expression.
Michael Rossmann on the contrary starts from sensitively experienced impres-
sions of light and shade, of grass and buildings and he transforms them into

actors performing a strangely plastic meaningful play. Through his art one
looks at the world with new eyes, but one looks at a plastic, objective world
rather than into the abyss of the ego. Here is an example of what I mean:

There was a man
who wandered a city
lying like a lost sandbox
naked to the sun
huddled like a sad moon
that had lost its night

He touched the buildings
as he walked
they lifted their heads
like children
he drew the stare
of the sun
and let the shadows
stretch unseen
he soothed the lightshocked streets
with soft black steps

He walked the day
lifting light
from the frightened buildings
till his eyes were a fullness
of reticent stars

The buildings leaned
to touch him
as he wandered
and the street itself
gathered its tail
and followed him
the windows guarded
his reflection
and doors cried out
in loss
as he departed

He saw the night
the night was split
by a great fissure
spilling light and sound
into the gutters
the city went stiff with terror

the building joined hands
and shrank from the shouts
the shadows hid in alleys
from awkward beetles
with long white antennae
that searched the streets
for fallen stars

He tried to heal the night
but he was caught
in a great shouting mouth
that crushed his heart

He was found lying
in a pool of darkness
in the heart of the city

Beneath his body
the pavement melted
and grass lifted him
on silent fingers
the buildings closed about him
in mourning
and shadows crept near
unaware of the sun
to touch him

They found in his mouth
the voices of butterflies
trapped in lightbulbs
on his body
the traces of a thousand
unopened eyes
in his heart
a distant city

When the city bent
to look into his eyes
it saw a strong vision
of light and dark
as eloquent
as the night sky

For a moment without end The city
the city floated on his eyes made a lament
then the sun that carried him forever
shouldered aside to the city in his heart
the bewildered buildings and stiffened beneath the sun
and reached a hand like a bleached skeleton
of only light
to glaze his eyes

2. Richard Vernier is somewhat older than Michael Rossmann and is his
friend. If anybody is the direct opposite to the bearded, disorderly Beatnik,
he is that man. He dresses carefully, with an occasional touch of dandyism.
He is an American of French extraction and looks delightfully French with
a faint touch of mockery in his brown eyes, a good nose and a well-cut mouth.
He spoilt me greatly (heaven knows why) and I returned with a generous, very
neatly typed, crop of his verse. He writes either French or English. I reproduce
here one poem which I particularly like, because of its gay light touch combined
with that "verve" we are fond of associating with things French:


(Poem for the Day after a Public Festival)

In the morning with the sparrows
I walk the blue lawns
A wall of thin air behind my back
Images of water under my feet
I walk

I walk and I walk,
with a book under my arm
with a cloud near my head
with white sand in my pockets
with a dewdrop on my face

And a bright smell of powder
From last night's fireworks.

In the morning with the sparrows
I run into the sun in the hills
And the sun says to me:
What will you do today?
I laugh

I laugh and I laugh:
I will make pennants with the book
I will burst the cloud
I will grow white sand in the sky
I will drink the dewdrop.

I will walk and laugh
Like last night's fireworks.

I am grateful to the editor of the Caribbean Quarterly. Dr. R. E. G. Farley,
for allowing me to deposit my Californian gifts on the shores of my beloved
Caribbean before I leave again for California.