% 2, 9Y
i' 1 Y ~ZBS
VOI. 9 NO- 4
EDITORIAL COMMENTS AND NOTES .. .. 1
A NEW HEALTH PROGRAMME IN LAWRENCE TAVERN
H. I. McKenzie .... 3
A PROGRAM FOR THE TEACHING OF ENGLISH NOUN-VERB
CONCORD IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN JAMAICA
Beryl Bailey .. .... 10
DOCUMENTS WHICH HAVE GUIDED EDUCATIONAL POLICY
IN THE WEST INDIES NO. 5
(Report upon the Condition of the Juvenile Population of
Shirley Gordon .. .... 15
THE DEVELOPING SOCIETY: TWO STUDIES
I- Some Attitudes Impeding 'Economic Growth
Michael Faber .. .... 25
II- Why don't they choose Socialism?
George Cumper .. .... 38
KAYE DOWLAND A RECORD OF MID-19TH CENTURY TOBAGO
David Niddrie .. .... 44
REPORT ON THE CONFERENCE ON MATHEMATICS IN THE
SECONDARY SCHOOLS, TRINIDAD, 1963
G. D. Bishop ...... 52
"Race and Colour in Caribbean Literature" .. 56
SELECTED BOOK LIST ..
VOL. 9, NO. 4
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The Foreigu Service of a Small Indepesdes Ca malry
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At the Death of a Youg Poet's Wife (A Poem)
SSoucew of Wear India Hitory
G. R. Coulchud
G. F. Asprey
John A. Ramerun
Melville I. Herskoviis
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Rev. C. Jesse
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T. W. Marshall
A. W. Sinfgh
R. B. Davison
S. S. Rmnphal
Shirley C. Gordon
Fred A. Phillips
Reviewed by A. E. Ben
EDITORIAL COMMENTS AND NOTES
This issue goes to *press as the second conference of Prime
Ministers and Premiers from Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica,
Trinidad and Tobago comes to an end. (The terms 'Summit' and
'Big Four' seem pretentious and gaudy in the world context, and
it is to be hoped that our newspapers and radio stations will soon
abandon them in favour of a more realistic nomenclature.) For the
second time in six months, our leaders have found it necessary
to discuss their respective territories with reference to the common
Caribbean destiny, and despite differences, of opinion or inter-
pretation, they seem to recognize that such discussion is now part
of the political necessity of our region.
That such a Conference could not be altogether satisfactory
is understandable. Two of the territories are still unable to speak
entirely for themselves. But it is important that we recognize the
true value of these first conferences. They are preliminary or trial
runs, the first attempts since the demise of the old Federation to
define rules of procedure and discover those areas in which the
British Caribbean must act as a unity or fail to evolve. A habit of
co-operative thinking is being formed, and it is as well that we
are acquiring this habit in advance of the inevitable need for co-
operative action. An important study, by the way, remains to be
attempted, perhaps by this review, on the form and significance
of these first conferences, and we can only hope that the relevant
material will be declassified and made available to the historian
or political analyst before long.
This is not the appropriate place to discuss in detail the
successes or disappointments of the conference. But we may justi-
fiably comment on two aspects of general relevance. The first
was the deeply encouraging emphasis Dr. Williams laid on the
essential oneness of the Caribbean experience; his reiterated
statement, for example, that the Cuban situation was not a North
American preserve but a matter that demanded the creative interest
and sympathy of all Caribbean peoples. The second was the failure
*Due to delays in printing, this issue went to press in September 1964 instead of Novem-
ber 1963. Ed.
to find a way into any practical consideration of the British Guiana
deadlock. Our understanding is that this failure resulted because
no formula agreeable to the Guianese Premier on the one hand
or acceptable to the two independent Prime Ministers on the other
could be arrived at. This inability to arrive at means is, perhaps,
the last colonial characteristic we shall shed. We were accus-
tomed for too long to the arbitrary language of command; we taught
ourselves too thoroughly, the emotional language of protest; we
still have to learn the unsentimental language of diplomacy.
A NEW HEALTH PROGRAMME IN LAWRENCE
H. I. MCKENZIE
Just over a year ago the British Medical Research Council began,
in collaboration with the Jamaican Ministry of Health and the University
of the West Indies, a combined service and research programme in the
rural district of Lawrence Tavern. The project has two main aims. It
seeks to assess the cost and effectiveness of providing a somewhat
more comprehensive health service than is generally available for the
rest of rural Jamaica. Concurrently there will be studies of a variety
of subjects relating to health and sickness. The results of this work
will be reported from time to time in the scientific journals but my pur-
pose in this article is to touch upon some aspects which may be of more
general interest. These can usefully be brought together by attempting
a brief answer to the question: what have been the reactions of the
Lawrence Tavern population to the new programme?
Lawrence Tavern lies in the St. Andrew hills nearly 20 miles from
Kingston and its population of roughly 7,500 lives in an area of about
20 square miles. This district was originally selected for medical re-
search by the University because of its combination of easy accessibility
with most of the characteristics of Jamaican rural communities. During
1959-60 the M.R.C. carried out studies of blood pressure and tubercu-
losis in the district and the co-operation received was so encouraging
that it was thought feasible to embark on a much more ambitious project.
Its very proximity to Kingston suggests that Lawrence Tavern will
probably differ to some extent from a "typical" rural area. For one thing
there is frequent and easy communication with the city and some people
even go to work every day in Kingston. However, it is more usual for
someone to work in Kingston during the week and return home on week-
ends, although most of the travelling to Kingston is still done by shop-
keepers, or by higglers (market women) going in to town to sell their
produce on Fridays and Saturdays. Nearness to Kingston has also meant
the extension of electricity within a radius of a mile or so from the centre
of Lawrence Tavern. As a further modification of the rural picture one
may mention the presence of a quite large secondary school and the fact
that the illiteracy rate is just about the national average approximately
18.6% for males and 11.5% for females as compared with 18% and 12.4%
respectively for Jamaica as a whole. And there is the Government-run
Health Centre which a doctor used to visit twice a week before the new
Once out of Lawrence Tavern Square, however, one remembers with
something of an effort that Kingston is less than an hour's drive away.
All around is the same rugged prospect of hills and gullies with clusters
of homes along each ridge or on the few stretches of level land, and the
occasional house perched on a hill top or at the bottom of some deep
The vast majority of the people are small farmers (with an average
sized farm of about 1 acre) who sometimes have to trudge long distances
to their "grounds" since their plots of land are not always located in the
same area. As with small cultivators throughout the world cash is in very
short supply and money for purchases of "shop food" (distinct from
"food" ground provisions) and other necessities has often to be
obtained by supplementary occupations such as making baskets, straw
hats and trinkets for tourists, or the odd day's work repairing the roads.
Unlike most peasant communities though, labour is also in short supply
because of the recent emigration to Britain.
In these circumstances it is not surprising to find relatively little
social differentiation. But the small local "upper class" of parsons,
teachers, post-mistresses, large landowners and shopkeepers, is none-
theless very influential in community affairs, and it was obvious that
full acceptance of the programme depended on their active sponsorship.
Their co-operation was sought from the beginning. After talking with
community leaders a "village planning committee" was formed and pub-
lic meetings called in which people were able to have a full discussion
of the proposed service. Incidentally the committee has since been
active in arranging health education lectures and film shows. It is also
raising money to build a community centre.
Another preliminary was the taking of a private census. Everyone
living in the area covered by this census has been given a health service
card which entitles the holder to free medical care. The census was
also a useful adjunct to research in that it provided a convenient list
from which various samples can be drawn.
In their explanation of the reasons for the census our enumerators
were told to spread word of the new service. Among the points mentioned
were that a doctor would be in attendance at Lawrence Tavern 5 days
a week instead of twice weekly as before. Medical attention would be
-free. In addition there would be research as in 1959-60. My job as
"census supervisor" gave me the opportunity of going around with the
enumerators and noting reactions to what they had to say. As could be
expected these were on the whole favourable, though seldom as enthu-
siastic as the few who made comments like: "It's wonderful man" or
"things will be a hundred times better".
Understandably enough the small number of doubters aroused more
interest. I came across one person who argued (a little perversely I
thought) that two visits a week from the doctor was quite adequate.
But the majority of objections seemed to stem from a dislike of freenesss":
"free something never nice", "me na in no free something", which can
in turn be attributed to its traditional association with pauperism. Those
who were better off might welcome the relief free treatment would afford
to the "less fortunate" but they obviously felt that to accept it for them-
selves would mean a loss of prestige.
Among the poorer people (perhaps for many who did not bring it
into the open) naturally this sensitivity (about being unable to pay)
raises more problems. They recognize the stigma of free services but
are hardly in a position to do without them. To this must be added a
lingering suspicion of those in a higher social class. (Richard Hoggart
notes much the same attitude in the English working class. He speaks
of a general "mistrust accompanied by a lack of illusions about what
'They' will do for one ..." (p. 54). Thus when compelled by circumstances
to go to the doctor as a free patient there is the expectation of, as one
woman put it, being given "second class" treatment; and the doctor's
every word or action is carefully examined for confirmation of these
suspicions. Hence such complaints as "him don't even sound you right".
It should be repeated that what I have just said was true only for
a minority of the Lawrence Tavern population; so on the basis of my
impressionistic survey it seemed safe to predict that most people would
respond favourably to the new service. On the other hand to achieve as
full community utilization as possible one or two individuals would
need to be convinced that free medical attention means neither a lowering
of prestige nor inferior care. It was felt that (in common with many
innovations) efficient working of the new service would turn out to be
the best "propaganda". Before going on to discuss subsequent develop-
ments let us consider for a moment the research side of the programme.
What have been the reactions to it?
For virtually everyone research was indistinguishable from treatment;
merely the doctor giving you a check-up to see if anything was wrong.
In other cases it seemed to boil down to simply the measurement of
Blood Pressure, and X-rays. (That the latter is sometimes viewed as
curative is implicit in: "ah wish him can come and have the X-ray.
Plenty sick people around here" or in complaints of illness persisting
in spite of being X-rayed). Consequently the majority reaction was much
the same as in the case of the health service. Passive acceptance ap-
peared to be the rule. Violent objections such as "why them don't send
some money to help me build me house?" "all them interested in is sick-
ness and death" but you could starve as far as "they" were concerned,
were noteworthy because of their rarity. Equally rare was the eagerness of
"me want oonoo (you) put the instruments pon me right now".
Since July 1962, a number of surveys have been carried out andit
would hardly have been surprising if after a time more and more Lawrence
Tavern folk came to echo the sentiments of the woman who cried out:
"me tired of one thing over and over", "me na in one thing more".
However, a response rate of generally above 90% suggests the presence
of countervailing forces. Of these the most obvious is increasing fa-
miliarity with surveys which can just as easily lead to regarding them
as a normal part of everyday life. Notice too that one result of integrating
research and service into a single programme is that previously undiagnosed
1 2 c i.
cases of serious illness which~ are turned up in the course of research
work can be referred for treatment to the health service physician. Thus
a criticism like "me no understand this thing at all at all, for nobody
no get any benefits at all at all" which was made of an earlier piece
of research now loses much of its force. (In passing it should be men-
tioned that occasionally the realization that a thorough medical examina-
tion may disclose an unsuspected illness is probably at the bottom of
refusals to have anything to do with the research.)
Another favourable factor is the desire to separate oneself from
the "dark" (stupid) people who, so it was often stated, hid in the bushes
to avoid being examined by a doctor: a strong expression of this attitude
came from a carpenter who roundly condemned the "foolishness" of
those who couldn't appreciate "Government's" sending a man down the
deep gullies to test them and give them a free X-ray examination. Again
there is the well-known feeling of self-importance induced by a "special-
ist's" interest in one's body which can be discerned in the admission
"Ah love to have doctors around me you know". For the moment these
factors as well no doubt as others which I have failed to identify are
working in favour of research. Of course there is no necessity in all
this and it would be interesting to see if any changes have occurred a
a year or two from now.
But to return to the story of reactions to the health service. A
detailed study is being planned of the use that has so far been made of
of the service. Until the results of this work are available I can only'
make a few tentative generalizations based on my own observation and
on conversations with colleagues.*
At the beginning there was the expected flood of patients. Perhaps
some were prompted by curiosity but as there has since been no appre-
ciable diminution in numbers it seems more likely that this represented
the release of a pent-up demand for medical care. Further many of the
doubters appear to have been won over; presumably they waited until
a friend or relative visited the Health Centre and brought back the report:
"the doctor down at the clinic good you know". And it looks as if there
has been some change in the attitude of the more prosperous members
of the community. The notion to which I have already referred that the
facilities of the Centre are for the "less fortunate" is not so prominent
as it used to be. Nonetheless it is probably still true to say that the
majority of those who are "better off" prefer to go to a private doctor.
It would be misleading to give the impression that there have been
no difficulties or problems. Paradoxically complaints have arisen be-
cause of the very popularity of the service. Usually there are more
patients than. cari be satisfactorily treated in one day and the less serious
cases are given appointments for a future date. Those who remain may
have a long wait before seeing the doctor. Naturally enough a busy
* In particular Dr. K. A. Smith whose assistance is gratefully acknowledged.
housewife, or farmer, can ill afford the loss of time that this entails
and the few who have the money say they would rather go off to a private
Being given an appointment can itself be an occasion for dissatis-
faction: The mistrust of 'them' and of free treatment which I have already
mentioned easily construes it as a refusal of attention. A feeling which
receives powerful support from the often expressed fear that one might
well be dead by the time the appointment comes around. The seeming
unreasonableness of such reactions can be properly understood only
when we remember that to the layman illness presents a situation of
uncertainty as well as physical discomfort and the "supreme selfish-
ness" which Charles Lamb remarks upon in his essay "The Convales-
cent" is perhaps an expression of the patient's need for reassurance
in these circumstances. This is well brought out by Professor Titmuss:-
"As most of us know, to feel ill is to feel unadventurous, to want
to retreat from life, to have one's fears removed and one's needs
met without effort. Physical illness can play queer tricks with
our thoughts and our behaviour. This does not mean, as some
all too easily suppose, that we are neurotics. In being querulous
and ungrateful, demanding and apathetic in turn, we are in fact
behaving as ill people. The demands that people make on society
are greater when they are ill than when they are well." (p. 124)
Disgruntlement over appointments is one facet of the general prob-
lem of communication between middle class staff and lower class
patients in the health service. One does not need to believe in radical
differences in thought and behaviour between the two classes to recog-
nize the inevitability of misunderstandings. Fortunately the majority
of these result in only minor annoyance on both sides as when, say,
people get into the wrong queue or keep answering "yes" without com-
prehending the questions asked.
However, some misunderstandings are potentially more serious,
arising as they do because the ideal professional relationship between
doctor or nurse and patient is more difficult to achieve when they are
from different social classes: it is perfectly reasonable for instance
that a doctor or nurse should firmly point out to a patient the danger of
not following instructions or of bad health habits. But when one is
middle class and the other lower class there may be unconscious over-
tones of "these illiterate peasants" the reaction to which may well be
complaints of undue "roughness", "taking too many steps", "being
facety" only indulged in because "we poor". A possibly extreme
illustration is the case of a woman who took her baby to be treated for
thrush and was told, so she said, that the child had been fed from some-
thing "dirty". She became indignant as she recounted how "them tek
a liberty with me": hadn't she always tried to use clean utensils? Was
it because she seemed just another poor person that they dared to talk
to her like that?
Obviously incidents such as the one just described are infrequent
and the social scientist risks criticism for spending too much time on
atypical responses. In rebuttal it may be argued that many dissatis-
factions and resentments remain unarticulated and it is only from a
consideration of the extreme cases that one gets an inkling of them.
"Sociology", T. II. Marshall has well remarked, "is not interested in
proportions, but in relationships and the behaviour that results from
them". (p. 103), But even though when considering use of the health
service we are interested in proportions we still need to understand the
relationships (e.g. those between doctor and patient or nurse and patient)
which underlie these proportions.
To this end we also need information on what people see as the
task of the doctor. A great deal of work remains to be done on this prob-
lem (as well as on the equally important question of what behaviour
the doctor expects of the patient), and I can do no more at present than
list a few considerations in rounding off this paper.
A major feature in patients' expectations concerning the doctor is
that he is held to be what one sociologist has called "an activist tech-
nician". "He is expected to administer medicine, give an injection, or
take some other dramatic step. . ." (Eaton, p. 217). Given this point of
view the biggest mistake he can make is to appear lacking in self-
confidence. For instance he should never confess ignorance; and in-
structions will not be followed unless people are completely convinced
that a cure will be effected. Indeed Carstairs' experiences in India seem
to find a counterpart here. In the villages where he practised they
"were dismayed to find that I did not invariably, and in dogmatic
terms, assure them that my medicine would immediately care them.
In their eyes, my failure to do so amounted to malpractice. As
many of them pointed out to me, it is not so much the ingredients
of the prescription which effect the cure as the patient's unhesi-
tating belief in its efficacy. For this reason, every homely recipe
(of which everyone knew two or three) ended with the peroration:
"Take that and you will certainly be cured of your fever within
a day" (p. 122).
The conditions of getting a living support an emphasis on quick
results. It is an obvious but nonetheless important remark that in this
small-farmer community where labour is scarce as cash most people
cannot "afford" to be sick. There is a tendency to put off consultation
with a doctor until they feel seriously ill. At this stage the demand is
for something which will enable them to get back to work as soon as
possible; thus accounting, it may be suggested, for the popularity of
injections and a certain impatience with long courses of treatment.
A similar instance of how economic necessity can shape a person's
approach to illness was noted long ago by Plato, who makes Socrates
say in The Republic:
"When a carpenter is ill he asks the physician for a rough-and-ready
cure. Anemetic, a cautery, or the knife that is the remedy for
him. But if someone prescribes for him a course of dietetics or
tells him to wrap his head up and keep himself warm, he replies
at once that he has no time to be ill, that he sees no good in a
life that is spent in nursing his disease to the neglect of his cus-
tomary employment. He therefore bids the doctor good-bye, resumes
his ordinary way of life, and either gets well, lives, and does his
business or, if his constitution fails, he dies and is rid of his
This necessarily brief discussion of an important topic has, in
keeping with the rest of the article, raised a number of issues which
have certainly not been adequately treated. I can only hope that it has
at the same time hinted at the many sociological problems which may
be involved in even such a straightforward undertaking as obtaining
full participation in a health programme.
Carstairs, G. Morris (1955)
Eaton, Joseph (1958)
Hoggart, Richard (1958)
Titmuss, Richard M. (1958)
'Medicine and Faith in Rural Rajasthan'
pp. 107-134 in Benjamin D. Paul (ed.)
Health, Culture and Community. Russell
Sage Foundation. New York.
'Folk Obstetrics and Pediatrics meet
the M. D.: A case study of Social Anthro-
pology and Medicine'. pp. 207-221 in
E. Gartly Jaco (ed.) Patients, Physi.
cians and Illness. The Free Press of
The Uses of Literacy. Penguin Books.
The Republic quoted (p. 36) in Benjamin
Farrington (1947) Head and-Hand in
Ancient Greece. Watts & Co. London.
Essays on 'The Welfare State'. George
Allen & Unwin. London.
TEACHING OF ENGLISH NOUN-VERB CONCORD
IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN JAMAICA
BERYL BAILEY, A.A.U.1'. Fellow
In Vol. 8, No. 1, I discussed the importance of Caribbean area
language studies in the independent university, and stressed the sig-
nificance of such studies in the pedagogical field in particular. The
following programme, which was originally prepared in connection with
a course in Contrastive Analysis at he 1962 Linguistic Institute, serves
to illustrate the value of utilizing the comparative study of two language
systems for devising suitable lines _f procedure in the instruction of
one or the other of them.
Although the programme was designed expressly with the Jamaican
situation in view, it should not be difficult for the non-Jamaican to
follow the principles and processes involved, and so modify them to
suit his own situation. The Jamaican teacher, on the other hand, may
be inclined at first blush to think that there is nothing new in the "pro-
gramme" which is here proposed. Surely he has been working along
similar lines with no "advice" from the linguist. But has he? A closer
examination of the proposed programme will reveal that it is closely
linked to the child's dominant language, and that in place of intuition
I am suggesting sound pedagogical principles whereby the children will
move gradually from the familiar to the unfamiliar and unknown.
I take as my basic assumption the fact that the pre-school child
is fundamentally a speaker not of English, but of Jamaican Creole.
This is, of course, a crass generalization, for we are fully aware of the
fact that for a respectable number of pre-school children English is the
dominant language. Since, however, these are clearly in the minority,
and because the programme may be used with equal success for them,
I feel that there is some justification for making this assumption.
It may be noted that no detailed classroom instructions are given
for the actual use of the programme. These matters are better handled
by the educationist and text-book writer, and willinclude props of various
kinds pictures, slides, stories, etc. to be used to create real situa-
tions from which the children may be led to produce the sentences
required at each stage.
1. (0) One of the biggest problems in the teaching of English in the primary
schools in Jamaica is that of the subject-predicate concord. The pre-school
child speaks only the creolized English, which has a very meagre morphology
but a rather complex syntactic structure, far removed from that of English.
Among the grammatical categories missing from Jamaican Creole (JC) is that
of number agreement in the verb.
1.(1) English Verb Agreement. English verbs agree with their subject
nouns or pronouns in number, adding /-s, -z, iz/ to the base if the subject
is singular, but admitting no alteration if plural. This holds, however, for the
present tense only, as in "the cat drinks milk", and "cats drink milk." In the
past tense there is no such apparent distinction. One says "the cat drank the
milk",or "the cats drank the milk", with what linguists call a 'neutralization'
of the singular/plural distinction in drank. In the progressive aspects of the
verb and in the passive, the agreement is shown in the auxiliary which precedes
the base, that is, in is, are, was, were, has, have, do, does, etc. and not in
the main verb itself; for example:
(Progressive) the cat is drinking the milk
the cats are drinking the milk
(Passive) the cat has been fed
the cats have been fed
1.(2) This category, which is obligatory in English, is applied to every
sentence type and its transformations, as in the following:
A. the man is kind the men are kind
B. he is a policeman they are policemen
C. John was in the tree John and Mary were in the tree
D. the slate is broken the slates are broken
E. that doesn't look good those don't look good
F. there's a fly in the milk there are flies in the milk
G. has the boy come? have the boys come?
H. does she work well? do they work well?
1.(3) Jamaican Creole has no such verb agreement, though the category
of number is obligatory in nouns and pronouns. The verb base is invariable,
and so too are the aspect and tense forming auxiliaries. The following JC
sentences correspond to the English ones given above in par. 1.(2). (The
spelling follows that given in the appendix to Cassidy's Jamaica Talk).
A. di man kain* di man-dem kain*
B. im a poliisman dem a poliisman
C. Jan en de ina di trii Jan an Mieri en de ins di trii
D. di sliet brok* di sliet-dem broke*
E. dat-de no luk gud dem-de no luk gud
F. wan flai de ins di milk flai de ina di milk
G. dibwaikom? di bwai-dem kom?
H. im wok gud? dem wok gud?
It will be noted that in Jamaican Creole the sentences A and D belong to the
same sentence type, while A and C use two different verbs for the English 'is',
*There is no word for "is" in these sentences.
and consequently belong to two distinct types. These facts have a very real
bearing in the arrangement of a programme.
2.(0) Pedagogical Applications. The program outlined in this paper is
meant to cover a period extending from kindergarten through the first four years
of primary school life. Before the drills in verb agreement begin, the following
should have been already taught:
(i) the equational as well as transitive and intransitive sentence
types of English;
(ii) the plural forms of the noun cats, boys, dogs, boxes, etc.
(iii) the nominative forms of the English pronouns, as well as the
gender distinction he/she.
2.(1) The first drills will concentration the singular and plural forms of
'be'. We begin with the distinction is/are. This has several advantages:
(i) it introduces in the very beginning the verb form which is most
affected by number agreement;
(ii) its use in the progressive aspect is readily grapsed by the JC
speaker, since this aspect occurs frequently in JC, e.g. /didaag
a book/ 'the dog is barking';
(iii) it has appeared in the previously taught equational sentence
type, so that this provides further opportunity for drilling the
(iv) the passive construction may be introduced even at this early
stage; 'the cup is broken' in place of JC /di kop broke .
At this stage only the four third person pronouns, he, she, it, they, will be
included in the exercises. The children should now be able to produce such
the boy is running the boys are running
the cat is sleeping the cats are sleeping
the dog is eating a bone the dogs are eating bones
the house is new the houses are new
the box is open the boxes are open
she is my sister they are my sisters
it is a good mango they are good mangoes
he is up in the tree they are up in the tree
2.(2) The verb have will next be taught, again with the drills limited to
the familiar sentence types. As in the case of is/are an early knowledge of
the has/have distinction will facilitate the teaching of the compound tense
forms, the perfect and passive construction in particular. It would be useful
to include the first and second person pronouns in these exercises, in order
to establish the distinction I, we, you, they/he, she, it. The children will
now be able to produce sentences of the following type:
The dog has a bone. The dogs have some bones.
My brother has a lizard. My brothers have a lizard.
I have a marble.
I have a mable We both have marbles
My brother has a marble too.
This is John. He has a book.
I have two brothers. They are Tom and Fred.
You have three books. They are red.
2.(3) The next series of drills will include the simple verb forms sleeps,
writes, plays, feeds, catches,etc. The forms 'I am' and 'we/you are' which were
omitted above may now be taught also. The children will then be able to produce
The baby cries loudly. The babies cry loudly.
The cat sleeps on a mat. The cats sleep on a mat.
The cat catches mice. The cats catch mice.
I am going. You are going. We are going.
I am a boy/girl. I have a sister. We are good.
Before the next number drills, begin, the Past Tense should be taught.
2. (4) The drills on the Past Tense will concentrate first on the inflected
past tenses, that is, those compounded with was and were; and then include
also those which are the same for singular and plural, such as played, slept,
etc. They will also be led to convert sentences from their previous drills into
the past tense, thus:
The boy was running. The boys were running.
The dog was eating a bone. The dogs were eating a bone.
The box was open. The boxes were open.
He was up in the tree. They were up in the tree.
I was sleeping. You were sleeping. We were sleeping.
I had a marble. My brother had a marble. We both had marbles.
Teach the negative and question transformations.
2.(5) If the negative and question sentence forms are known, it will be
possible to make drills with special emphasis on number agreement. The new
forms to be learnt are isn't, aren't, wasn't, weren't, haven't, do, does, don't,
doesn't. The children will learn to produce such utterances as:
The house is new. The house isn't new. Is the house new?
The dog isn't barking. Is the dog barking?
Are the houses new? The houses aren't new.
Does the baby cry? The baby doesn't cry.
Do you have a book? You don't have a book.
Doesn't she play ball? Don't they play ball?
Was the house new? Were the houses new?
Teach the perfect tense forms, including such irregular verbs as 'give, eat, know,
take, see, come, go, run'.
2.(6) The number drills will now serve as a revision of the has/have
distinction learned earlier. Sentences produced will be of the type:
The boy has killed a lizard. The boys have killed a lizard.
The cat has chased the rats. The cats have chased a rat.
The cat hasn't chased the rats. The cats haven't chased the rats.
She has come. They have come.
Has she come? Have they come?
Have you seen my hook? I haven't seen it.
Who has eaten my mango? We have eaten the mango.
Teach the indefinite equational sentence type 'There is a book on the table'.
2. (7) The is/are, was/were distinctions will once again be drilled in con-
nection with the indefinite equational sentence. It will be stressed that in
these sentences the agreement is with the following noun, thus:
There is a book on the table. There are two books on the table.
Here is my brother. Here are my brothers.
Where is the lizard? Where are the lizards?
Where are you? Here am I.
2.(8) Because the programme suggested here is limited to the first four
years of school life, not all the rules of English concord have been taught.
1' is assumed that the more intricate rules, such as those governing two singular
nouns connected by but, or, etc., will be introduced later.
Documents which have guided Educational Policy
in the West Indies-No. 5
*REPORT UPON THE CONDITION OF THE
JUVENILE POPULATION OF JAMAICA, 1879
This report bears a strong resemblance, both in presentation and
in its attitudes, to the many reports on the social conditions of the young
people of the poorer classes in England in the middle of the nineteenth
century. The commission which produced the Report on the Condition
of the Juvenile Population of Jamaica copied the Victorian English
system of systematically collecting a mass of evidence on questions
carefully formulated for the purpose. These were presented at interviews
and in correspondence to the custodes, doctors, magistrates, ministers
of religion and chief employers in each parish and their answers formed
the bulk of the report. The interpretation of this specially created evi-
dence and the commission's conclusions and recommendations amounted
to a thirteen-page report as an introduction to about 350 pages of the
opinions of their witnesses.
The commissioners for this enquiry were the two leading law officials
of Jamaica, the Chief Justice in the chair and the Attorney General,
both Englishmen in a Crown Colony administration; two ministers of
religion, Archdeacon Campbell of the Anglican Church and Rev. D. J. East,
Principal of Calabar College for training the Baptist ministry; finally
Dr. J. C. Phillippo, Jamaican-born son of a famous Baptist missionary
of emancipation days, who had returned immediately after education
and medical training in England to a long career as a doctor and public
figure in Jamaica.
"The condition of the juvenile population" was presented as over-
whelmingly a condition of "juvenile vagrancy" with all its attendant
evils of lack of parental control, unemployment, impermanent sexual
relationships and crime. A deplorable and deteriorating situation was
described both for Kingston and the country districts. So anxious were
the commissioners to condemn the conditions under which the majority
of the young people grew up that the Rev. D. East felt bound to re-
emphasise the equally true fact that many families of small-holders
were doing well, leading very respectable lives and helping their children
through education to do even better for themselves in their generation.
*This Article is the fifth in the Series which started in Vol. 8, No. 3.
The blame for the lamentable condition of the majority of young
people in Jamaica was laid at the door of the parents who were repre-
sented as wilfully idle and feckless. It is remarkable how the evidence
of economic distress, pitiful wages and lack of work were neglected
as explanations of acknowledged social evils; social and economic
distress were presented rather as effects than as causes of "the con-
ditions of the juvenile population."
A group of questions on public education were presented to all
the correspondents and the general section of the questionnaire also
sought their opinion on the need for compulsory education. But the
educational section set the limitations of the enquiry in the opening
question: Assuming the principles of Grants in Aid of Elementary Schools
to be continued, are there any modifications that you would suggest in
the system?1 This was no plea for educational reform and it is not sur-
prising to find the subsequent questions merely concerned with details
of administration such as how to calculate the grants, control of buildings
subsidized by Government, the number of inspectors needed to work
the scheme efficiently. Not until the sixth question was the assumption
of Question 1 dropped. The last half of the questionnaire on education
asked whether the correspondent recommended "juvenile", or infant,
schools conducted by women teachers, and whether the Government
should start a training college for women teachers (question 6). Should
all school masters in charge of schools be certificated, and should there
be a professional register of teachers?(question 7). Should there be local
boards consisting of the combined managers to direct the schools of
each district? (question 8). flow should school fees be collected "as-
suming the present system of School Fees to be continued under a law
which made parents responsible for the education of their children"?
(question 9). And finally: Have you any particular recommendation to
make with reference to the special difficulties that you have encountered
in the work of Elementary Education in Jamaica, under the present
The most unambiguous answer came in favour of compulsory educa-
tion. Only two witnesses were strongly against it. The Inspector of
Schools was so daunted by the prospect of working the system of "pay-
ment by results" for the total school age population that he entirely
opposed the suggestion; the only other uncompromising opponent was
an employer in St. Elizabeth who thought it might encourage infanticide
if parents were compelled to pay their children's school fees! It was
only the practical details of enforcement that other witnesses were con-
cerned with. The introduction of compulsory education in some form was
overwhelmingly supported in the majority of replies.
The answers to the specific questions on education, as might be
expected, reflected much of the limited nature of the questions them-
1. The regulations for the prevailing system of Payment by Results in Jamaica can be
found in Gordon, A Century of West Indian Education, (pp. 85-86).
selves. The ministers who were also in most cases managers of schools,
had opinions on school administration, but no one suggested a basic
reorganisation of curriculum or method. There was more understanding
of the need for infant schools to be conducted by women, and of the
complementary need to train school mistresses for the purpose. \lost
unanimity in answers to questions in this section was however reached
in the condemnation of the educational and moral standards of teachers.
The idea for a teachers' register was well received, mainly for the
negative purpose of striking names off it. The main offences to be
checked by such a sanction were immorality and inefficiency; the more
venial sin of keeping a shop also irritated many of these unsympathetic
critics. It is significant of the teachers' status at the time that not a
single elementary school teacher gave evidence to a commission which
realized that the state of education was an integral part of an enquiry
into the condition of the juvenile population.
The commissioners in their comparatively short report were emphatic,
indignant and often moralising in their condemnation of what they had to
report. Their recommendations, on the other hand were conservative,
and had indeed been limited Jy their own original formulation of the
questions to be considered. Nevertheless, so far as they went, they
were definite, unambiguous and supported by proposals for legislation
and institutional provision.
It is noteworthy that, in a decade when the Trinidad Government
and the Barbados Legislature called for reports on their education
systems, the Jamaica Government instituted instead an enquiry into a
social problem amongst young people of school age. The evils of
juvenile vagrancy were not presented as a side issue in the discussion
of public education (as they tended to be in The Hutchinson Reportl);
they were emphatically in Jamaica the urgent cause for looking at the
educational provision in 1879. It could have been a new and realistic
approach to the consideration of popular education at a difficult time.
But it was vitiated as fresh thinking by the disastrous assumption that
the availability of the system was more important than a close examina-
tion of the nature of the system itself.
Extracts from the Report
A. THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED
1. The Town Proletariate
(a) Effects of the drift of unskilled workers to towns.
We find that there is a tendency amongst portions of the rral
population to gravitate towards the towns and Kingston especially.
The class to which we refer are moved by a desire to obtain their
1. See Caribbean Quarterly.
livelihood by other means than agricultural labour, and by the hope
of that casual employment at high rates which is often to be obtained
in towns. As a rule such persons are not qualified for skilled labour,
and as there is no constant demand for such services as they can
render, they pass a considerable part of their time in idleness, and
so fail to make adequate provision for the care of their families.
(b) Home conditions of impoverished town families.
The dwelling places of a considerable proportion of the poor
classes in town are of a most miserable description, many of them
being unfit for human habitation. They consist of single rooms opening
into a common yard. In these rooms families are herded together under
conditions that defy the simplest observances of decency. It is not
uncommon for men, women and children of several families to occupy
the same room. There is no law to limit the practice of over-crowding
or to check the immorality to which such a state of things gives rise.
The children who belong to a class of people who are content to live
in this manner are habitually neglected. The limit of parental care is
to provide them with a shelter at night, and for the rest they are turned
out into the streets to pick up a living as best they may.
(c) Reasons why children of impoverished town families are not sent to
school or apprenticed to trades.
For the children exposed to such a surrounding as we have des-
cribed, home influences, or direct paternal influences for good, cannot
be expected. Nor is their place supplied by those indirect influences
or that kind of discipline, that would be obtained if the children were
sent regularly to school or apprenticed to a settled industry.
The parents of such children do not send them to school. They
will not, and in some instances of exceptional poverty they perhaps
cannot, pay school fees. But even where a free school is available
they do not trouble themselves to see that their children attend. How-
ever, parents of this class too often do not provide their children
with food, so that the latter are obliged to seek it for themselves
during the hours when they should be at school.
Nor do such parents apprentice their children to trades.
2. Two interpretations of the standards of living for poor families In the
(a) The majority of the commission fnd two contrasting classes of
people in the country as a result of the withdrawal from estate labour:
a respectable and prospering peasantry and a young transient labour
force at a low level of living.
There has been a tendency for many years on the part of the class
from which estates' labour is drawn, to retire from such labour, and
to settle themselves upon their own holdings in the mountain districts.
The movement has been observable for a long period, but has become
much more marked in certain parts of the island during the last eight
or nine years. Of such persons there are many who endeavour to settle
themselves within reach of a chapel and a school, and who are pros-
perous and respectable in themselves and in their families. But there
is a class who appear to prefer to place themselves at a distance
from civilising influences and to live in idleness. This class is largely
recruited by the youth of both sexes arriving at the age of puberty,
who, being able to take care of themselves, throw off all parental con-
trol, form illicit connections, build themselves a hovel, plant a provi-
sion ground that enables them to live in almost perfect idleness,
produce children, remain with one another just as long as it suits them,
and then part to form fresh connections of an equally transient charac-
ter. The same practice is also stated to exist on estates. Some of the
women, ultimately abandoned, bring up their children to vagrancy;
the men pass on their way undeterred by any sense of responsibility
whatever. Statistics of illegitimacy would not adequately portray the
mischief that goes on in this way. The sort of connection that sub-
sists in these cases is altogether different from the settled concubinage
of former times. Much of it is but one degree removed from promiscuous
intercourse. It is said by some that the early age at which it com-
mences is causing the physical deterioration of the race.
(b) Rev. David East in a dissenting note finds low living standards
amongst estate labourers rather than amongst those who have left
(i)[Referring to the paragraph of the Report quoted above as 2a7
I submit that this does not accurately convey the facts according
to the evidence. The paragraph describes a state of things said to
exist amongst a class that has withdrawn from the estates, while
it indeed admits that the same practice exists on them also. But
the evidence develops this state of things mainly amongst estate
labourers. Evidence under the Commission was chiefly taken in
the vicinity of estates and the statements of witnesses on this
subject had almost exclusive reference to them. A somewhat ex-
tensive knowledge of the mountain settlements of the island also
compels me to dissent from the mode in which the statements of
this paragraph are put, as conveying an erroneous impression of
their social condition. The Commissioners ought probably to have
made these mountain settlements the subject of a special enquiry.
(ii)[Objecting to the phrase of the Report given here belowin B.Recom-
mendations for General Education, Extract 8: "The naturally idle
disposition of the bulk of the population"] I object to the terms
"naturally" and "bulk" the first as implying an unjustifiable re-
proach; and the second as not being sustained by the evidence,
and in my judgement not according to fact.
I submit that the evidence would justify much stronger state-
ments; and that had the Commission pursued its enquiries into the
social condition of the mountain settlements and the peasant
proprietary of the island it would have shown-
1. That the small freeholders and cultivators are increasing in
2. That they are producers not only of the minor products such
as ginger and arrowroot, but largely of the coffee cured on the
large plantations, as well as that purchased from them by the
3. That they are earnestly endeavouring, as a class, to educate
4. That as a class they are bringing up their families with decency;
5. That they are sustaining their religious institutions with credit;
6. As to the numbers in attendance on the institutions of religion,
Jamaica will bear honourable comparison with countries in a much
higher condition of society. 4
3. The Commission's description of parental attitudes to school attendance
for their children.
We notice lastly the non-existence of any law compelling parents
to provide for the education of their children. Amongst the more re-
spectable classes, and particularly among those who come within the
range of religious influences, the duty is very fairly recognized, and
where schools are established, people are willing enough to send their
children and to pay the school fees for them. Further, in certain in-
stances which have come within the range of our observation, some
of the people of this class have been known to give land for school
houses and assist to build them. lut the classes whom we have des-
cribed as contributing mainly to juvenile vagrancy do not send their
children to school, nor is it to be supposed that they will, without
some compulsion of law.
B. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GENERAL EDUCATION
ZThe other recommendations of .:e Report were for increased social
legislation: \ sanitary law against over-crowding, a new poor law, a
bastardy law, and modification of thie law which sent "vagrant and desti-
tute children" to the reformatory with juvenile criminals, Provision of
two government industrial schools to supplement the voluntary ones was
recommended. It was suggested that the apprenticeship law be amended
to require indentures to be made before a magistrate.J
1. The gradual Introduction of compulsory education recommended.
Ve recommend the introduction of a system of compulsory educa-
tion. The process of introduction should be gradual; compulsion being
applied only in those districts in which sufficient school accommoda-
tion is proved to exist. Compulsory attendance at school could not
be required where there was no school within a reasonable distance
of the parents' dwelling place. The commencement might be made in
centres of population as for instance, Kingston, Spanish Town, and
Montego Hay, and the system might afterwards be extended to other
districts by an order of the Governor in Privy Council. As we have
already stated, the respectable part of the population already exhibit
a fair indication to secure education for their children and by them
a law enforcing the attendance of their children at school would not be
objected to. For classes who now keep their children at home, merely
for the sake of getting their services during the day, some slight pres-
sure might be needed, though we gather that it is the general opinion
that if the duty of sending children to school were clearly laid down
by law, compliance even in these cases would be general. The real
pressure would thus be confined to those classes for whom it is needed.
2. The existing system should be maintained and supplemented with
government schools where necessary.
That the existing system of denominational schools, including:-
3. Government Inspection
has worked well, and that that system, supplemented and modified in some
particulars, may be expected to supply the necessary machinery for
working a compulsory system. In some parts of the island schools
might require to be established under direct government management,
particularly in outlying districts to which the denominational agencies
were not prepared to extend their operations, but the need for such
provision would, we think, prove to be exceptional.
3. To secure that teachers In charge of schools are certificated, teacher
training should be extended and a college should be started for woman
so that infant schools could be conducted by them.
We recommend that with a view to raising the standard of education
in elementary schools, the desirability of employing certificated masters
and mistresses should be recognized as much as possible. With a view
of obtaining a sufficient supply of such teachers, some government
assistance might be given to existing training schools as at present,
and if it were found necessary the Government Training School at
Spanish Tovwn1 might be enlarged or other institutions of a like kind
established. We think it very desirable also that a training school for
female teachers should be established, and that encouragement should
be given to infant schools taught by women.
4. The Inspectorate should be extended and their reports made public.
The present system of school inspection would require to be
augmented, and reports of the several inspectors should Le published
for general information, together with the annual report of the head of
5. Basically the existing system will serve best
The foregoing recommendations, involving an adoption of the
existing system almost in its entirety as the basis for a system of
compulsory education, must not be taken to imply that we have found
no defects in the detail of its administration. On the contrary, the
necessity for many amendments has been laid before us. But we do
think that the system in its main outlines is well-suited to the work to
6. The argument for requiring school fees as a general rule.
In considering the possibilities of a compulsory system there was
one point to which our attention was particularly directed. This was
the question whether the payment by parents for the schooling of the
children should be made a part of the system, or whether it would be
better to have an education tax and free education? There is undoubtedly
much weight of opinion in favour of the latter alternative; but having
regard to the considerable extent to which parents have already shown
a disposition to recognize the obligation to pay for their children's
schooling as well as to send them to school and to the fact that we
recommend not the adoption of a new system but the adoption and ex-
tension of one already established in which the payment of school fees
prevails, we think the former principle should be followed. We believe
that a little pressure put upon those who can pay fees to compel them to
do so would so considerably augment the income of the school by the
1. Opened in 1870 and closed as uneconomic in 1890.
Increased capitation grant thereby secured, as to much more than cover
the non-payment of fees in cases where exemption might be granted.
7. District Boards recommended mainly to compel parents by law to send
children to school and pay fees.
It will be necessary to devise machinery for enforcing the at-
tendance of children at school and compelling the payment of school
fees. We think that for these and for some other administrative purposes
connected with the carrying out of an education law, the managers
of the various districts might constitute boards of management with
limited powers. It will be the duty of such boards to control matters
in which the schools of their district have a common interest but they
would not interfere with the details of the management of individual
schools. Upon information laid before it by managers as to non-
attendance or non-payment of fees, the board would call upon the de-
faulting parent to send his child to school, or pay the fees outstanding,
as the case might be, or to show good cause for exemption. If good
cause were shown, the board would have power to grant exemption, but
if no cause were shown, and the parent persisted in not sending his
child, or not paying the fees, the board would authorise its officer to
proceed summarily before a magistrate to punish the parent who will
not send his child to school, or enforce the payment of the fees where
the fees are in arrears. It would be necessary to place an efficient
staff of officers at the service of the boards for the making of enquiries
and service of notices, and generally for carrying out the compelling
powers of the board.
8. Compulsory school age Is recommended, but part-time schooling might
be adopted for children on estates.
We think that the limits of schoolable age might be fixed at from
seven to thirteen. The practice which at present prevails of girls con-
tinuing to attend mixed schools long after the age of thirteen having
led to evil results, should be discouraged. In the case of children
employed on the estates the half-time system might be adopted, and we
believe could be adopted without any objection on the part of the em-
ployers. It might be found a desirable arrangement to require so many
weeks attendance during each quarter of the year. We would leave
the application of the principle of half time to be regulated by rules
of the Governor in Privy Council, according to the circumstances of
each particular school district.
9. The introduction of a conscience clause Is recommended.
We do not think that the religious difficulty would present any
practical obstacle to such a system as we have proposed. To provide
against the possibility, however, it would be well that the protection
of a conscience clause should be available (i.e. parents might withdraw
their children from classes on doctrinal teaching in denominational
C. SOME CONCESSIONS
1. Vagrancy alone should not be treated as a criminal offence.
We do not think that we should conclude our report without noticing
one measure which has been frequently mooted as a remedy for vagrancy
generally and for juvenile vagrancy in particular. The suggestion is
that of a law under which any member of the community, of apparently
idle and aimless habits, would be liable to be called on to show that
he was earning an honest livelihood, and in default should be treated
aa a criminal, ad in some way compelled to labour. The argument
generally urged in favour of such a measure is a reference to the law
which is stated to prevail in some of the French and Danish posses-
sions in the West Indies. We feel bound to record our deliberate opinion
as to the impossibility of attempting such legislation for Jamaica.
That the naturally idle disposition of the bulk of the population,
favoured as it is by the character and climate of the country, is a
main hindrance to prosperity and one of the principal sources of crime
in the colony, we are prepared to admit but we cannot see our way
to assert to the proposition that idleness itself, without any overt act
of disobedience to the municipal law, should be treated as a criminal
offence; nor are we able to discover how this view can be adopted
without trenching on the foundations of personal liberty. We do not
find any precedent for such legislation in any portion of the Queen's
dominions, and great as may be the temptation to it afforded by local
circumstances, we are satisfied that it would never receive authorita-
tive sanction. The planter classes are so obviously interested in the
promotion of industrious habits among the people, that it is natural
that the proposal should be sometimes attributed to selfish motives
on their part. But we do not take this view. We attribute the persistency
with which some of the planting body urge the proposal in question
rather to the fact that they have seized only the most obvious aspects,
without maturely considering the remote bearings of a difficult problem.
2. An acknowledgement of the social achievement of some smallholders
and of the influence of the religious bodies.
In our treatment of the questions with which we have had to deal,
we have confined ourselves to those darker aspects of the condition
of the people with which we have been directly concerned, and if we
have not touched on the brighter side of things, it is not because there
is no brighter side on which to touch. In the course of our enquiry we
have met with abundant evidence that there is an improving and im-
provable element in the population, particularly among the small free-
holders; the more respectable of whom are developing into a class of
valuable yeomanry, from whom we augur much good as regards the
future of the island. There is enough too to show that with the limited
means at their disposal, and with little assistance from other sources,
the various religious agencies throughout the island are exercising
much influence for good upon the lives and manners of the people.
The Report on the Juvenile Population of Jamaica made its impact
in publishing facts about conditions of living in Jamaica which could be
tackled as an emergency. There was an increase in industrial schools,
and reformatories took over young people committed for crime rather
than vagrancy. In the field of general education the immediate decision
was to increase the training of women teachers, and Shortwood College
was opened four years later. The idea for the teachers' register was not
then adopted, nor was the idea of the district boards; this foundered with
the failure effectively to establish compulsory education. The Inspector
of Schools' conviction that it would not work must have been shared by
the administration; its gradual introduction was not enacted until the
eighteen-nineties by which time economic conditions had deteriorated
and the population increased. There was little hope of successful opera-
tion of the act in these circumstances.
This would seem to be poor progress after the revelations of the
report. One notable achievement however should not be overlooked.
Primary education was given an importance in the system in Jamaica,
particularly in relation to secondary education, far above its relative
standing either in Barbados or Trinidad. The protests in these two
territories, against disproportionate public expenditure on secondary
education, for classes who could afford to pay for it, at the expense of
primary schools, did not arise in Jamaica because the administration
gave priority to elementary education as an aspect of social reform.
The fact that their instrument was grossly inadequate obscures but does
not alter the characteristic difference in the Jamaica Government's atti-
tude to the provision of public education in the last quarter of the nine-
THE DEVELOPING SOCIETY: TWO STUDIES
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Caribbean (uarterly's policy, as a role, is to en-
courage those contributions that deal with specific and particular aspects of the
Caribbean community. Our need for detailed information and analysis is urgent,
and if this review's gathering of such information and analysis seems to be
sometimes haphazard, it is only because we are, nearly, a singular collecting
le break precedent below and publish two general essays of reflection
under a main title chosen by the editors. loth of these essays were submitted
independently and neither of them, although they make reference to the Caribbean,
deals with an exclusively West Indian topic. However, they seemed to be of
such relevance to the West Indian situation, and to complement each other so
effectively, as to more than merit their inclusion.
I. Some Attitudes Impeding Economic Growth
This is a study of ideas. More particularly it is a study of ideas of
what economic tasks a government should and should not undertake.
In the most general terms, it is easy for all to agree upon the role
of government in the economy. We should begin by saying that the
economic task of government is only one of its tasks, and not necessarily
the most important. Were we to say that that economic task was to raise
the standard of living of the country's inhabitants as fast as possible
and to raise the condition of those who are poorest fastest, we should
not expect to encounter much contradiction. It is rather in the application
of this general principle to particular areas of policy that dissension
'ec shall argue that such dissensions arise partly because there is
so little attempt to interpret what the results of different lines of policy
are likely to be. Policies instead tend to be judged by whether they are
advocated by parties or governments abroad, outside the West Indies,
which the particular judge himself admires or abhors. Even amongst
university students the analysis seldom goes deeper than "This is a
policy advocated by socialists, and I am in favour of socialism, therefore
it must be good" or, more rarely, "This is a policy advocated by social-
ists, and I am against socialism, therefore it must be bad." Usually
there is not even an attempt to discover whether the particular policy
favours or imperils the group interest of the class to which the speaker
belongs. Instead, a label is recognized and an emotional reaction follows.
Tic tac, as fast as that. It is a kind of 'rigor mentis', the assertion of
an attitude based not upon critical appraisal but upon conditioned re-
sponse. Indeed, many of the attitudes that are made manifest are not only
uncritically arrived at in themselves. They also run counter to the
1 3* or 4
requirements of that general principle which all were ready to agree to.
That is what we mean when we say that, within the Caribbean, inherited
attitudes are amongst the mostpowerful preventatives of economic growth.
The Attitude to National Income and National Product
It is a truism that, subject to various adjustments, national income
equals national product, in other words that the real value of the goods
and services which the inhabitants of a country earn depends ultimately
upon the value of what they produce. But it was not a truism to argue,
as Keynes did in the General Theory, that aggregate supply (in other
words the national product) would depend upon aggregate demand (in
other words upon the expenditure upon consumption and investment out
of national income). Within the context of the depressed industrial
economies of the 1920's and 1930's this insight was to prove profoundly
valuable. Unfortunately however, it gave rise to a concentration upon
the income or demand side of the national accounts which, through no
fault of Keynes, was to endure for a generation. In the post-war world
such an emphasis has been out of place even in the developed countries.
It has been even more out of place in underdeveloped countries where
the only way to increase real national income has been through increas-
ing, not national demand, but national supply. Indeed, over the longer
period, it is often necessary that consumer demand should be restricted
in order that supply should be increased. Thus the prescriptions and
attitudes taken over uncritically from Keynesian theory have proved to
be doubly inappropriate. Such attitudes tend to direct attention towards
national income rather than to national product, ignoring the fact that
incomes can only be increased after production has been increased.
Such attitudes tend also to emphasise the importance of expanding con-
sumer demand at the expense of savings, when the exigencies of devel-
opment often require that home savings to finance investment should be
increased even at the expense of consumer demand.
The Attitude towards Imports
Most of us assume that, once we have earned our money, we should
be free to spend it as we wish. We recognize that some socially harmful
goods may be banned, and that other commodities may be taxed as a
source of public revenue, but beyond that we believe that citizens should
be allowed to buy whatever goods they most want, whether such goods
are produced at home or abroad. Tariffs may be levied on imports, to
protect "infant industries" or to raise revenue, quotas may be necessary
for balance of payments reasons or to improve a country's negotiating
position, but beyond these requirements, the "consumer's sovereignty"
is recognized as sacrosanct.
But this reverence for "consumer sovereignty" is itself a relic of
laissez-faire economics, which endangers a correct determination of
economic policy in developing nations. In such countries, the suitable
outlook is not one which suggests that a consumer should be entitled to
buy whatever imports he likes. It should rather be an outlook which
regards all consumer-good imports as luxuries for as long as there are
unemployed factors of production in the home country capable of turning
out a remotely comparable product There are two reasons why this is
so. First, because the purchase of the import, even if some duty has
to be paid upon it, is likely to deprive some fellow citizen of the income
he could have earned by creating the product, even if his version might
have been of lower quality and of higher price. Those who have jobs
and money in poor countries should recognize their obligation to increase
local production, employment and incomes even if this involves foregoing
imports for somewhat inferior and more expensive local goods. Second,
consumer-good imports should be kept to a minimum also because the
limiting factor on a young nation's growth is likely to be the exigencies
of the balance of payments. Internally (or in an entirely self contained
economy) it would always be possible to increase employment and capital
formation by deficit finance or direct monetary creation. But, in any under-
developed economy, the import content of capital formation is high, the
income generated by the capital formation will itself be spent partially
on imports, and the inflationary effect upon the Irhme currency may tend
both to render importM tbcmparatively cheaper and also to discourage
the inflow of foreign capital (and to encourage the outflow of home capital).
Thus any aggressive policy of development through home credit creation
will sooner or later be checked by the need to safeguard minimum foreign
reserves. It follows, therefore, that the more effectively consumer demand
for imports can be held in check, the further a national programme of
development can be taken before it has to be slowed down for balance
of payments reasons, This way of looking at imports is particularly
relevant because it demonstrates too that the choice for a developing
country is not between more imports or less imports, but between essen-
tial capital-good imports and inessential consumer-good imports.
In other words, we may say that the level of imports depends upon
export earnings, capital inflows, and the buoyancy of foreign reserves
(i.e. the total availability of foreign exchange). The extent to which
home income can be forcibly increased will then depend upon the overall
propensity to import. If the propensity to import is / (which means
a third of total income is spent on imports), then home incomes can
safely be allowed to increase to three times the level of imports. If
the propensity to import can be reduced to '4 (which means that only a
a quarter of total income is now spent on imports), then home incomes
can safely be allowed to increase to four times the level of imports.
For both reasons, therefore, to increase home employment and to
make possible a larger development programme, it is desirable to restrict
private expenditure on consumer imports. There should indeed be, not a
presumption of consumer sovereignty, but a positive feeling of guilt
in under-developed countries associated with the purchase of any un-
The Attitude towards Home-Produced Goods
Associated with the new attitude to imports, there should also be
a new attitude to home-produced goods. The mental outlook inherited
from colonial days was itself an outcome of laissez-faire economics.
It laid heavy stress upon the desirability of international specialization
of labour and decreed that countries should concentrate their production
upon commodities for which they enjoyed an international comparative
advantage and should import their other needs. The main justification
for a tariff in such a system of thought was the need to protect an
"infant" industry during that limited period of time while it was growing
to such strength that it could dispense with protection.
But even European economists tend to regard the classical "Free
Trade" arguments as a rationalization of the temporary advantages
which Britain herself was in a position to derive from Free Trade. The
"infant industry" argument for the tariff has been shown to be too narrow,
and particularly inapplicable in countries whose very lack of indus-
trialization deprived any single new industry of those advantages sum-
marily called "external economies". The argument for the temporary
protection of a single "infant" industry thus gave way to an argument
in favour of temporary protection for all industries in an "infant economy".
But the trouble with this later, broader argument is that it gives no in-
dication as to when an economy will cease to be "infant"; indeed it
provides no grounds whatsoever for believing that today's underdeveloped
economies will ever be fully "mature" in the sense of catching up with
the infra-strncture and the 'external economies' that obtain in developed
Thus, for practical purposes, an entirely new criterion is required
for judging the desirability or "justification" of founding any particular
industry in an underdeveloped country. The principle is, in fact, a simple
one namely, will the founding of this industry add to the net national
product? But there are severe theoretical difficulties involved in the
attempt to interpret this principle. These arise partly because of the
assumptions that have to be made about alternative uses of the various
factors of production, and partly because the process of local manufac-
ture may lead to a price raise that will not truly reflect any rise in net
But from the point of view of practical policy, and even more so
from the point of view of "attitude", these refined difficulties are not
too important. Speaking generally, the founding of a new local industry
will be justified providing that
(a) it makes use of previously unused local factors of production, and
(b) the cost of the materials which the industry may have to import
is substantially below the cost of importing the finished product.
For policy purposes, it will not generally be necessary to distin-
guish precisely between all industries that it is worth starting and those
which are not. What is needed instead is a system of priorities which
will order potential new industries in terms, first, of the net home income
and employment the new industry will generate, and second, of the net
increase in price that is likely to result. The greater the new income and
employment generated, and the smaller the anticipated increase in home
price over the cheapest import, the higher up the priority list a local
industry will belong. The "infant" industry which really can dispense
with protection after a brief period thus becomes a "special case" of
very high priority. But it must be recognized that a young country's
programme of industrialization must go far beyond that special case.
The Attitude to Government Participation in the Economy
The very idea that a developing country needs a programme of in-
dustrialization raises the question of who should be responsible for
carrying that programme through. Once again we find that developing
countries are often bedevilled by pre-determined ideas of what a govern-
ment may "properly" do. Thus, in western economies, manufacturing
industry was traditionally left to private enterprise, so that we now
sometimes hear in developing countries that "government has no business
in business". In fully developed western economies, there are undeniably
sound reasons for leaving secondary industry primarily in the hands
of private manufacturers. But in developing countries these reasons are
largely irrelevant. They are irrelevant because private capital, private
entrepreneurship, and private managerial and technical skills are in
desperately short supply. They are even more irrelevant if foreign private
capital, as it tends to be nowadays, is shy about moving into under-
developed countries to take advantage of even the most obvious and
profitable opportunities which exist. In such circumstances, the choice
in the manufacturing sector is not truly between private or public enter-
prise, it is between public enterprise or no enterprise at all.
In other words, the appropriate attitude here should be . such
and such an industry is required in terms of our development programme.
If private individuals can be induced to start it by means of capital
assistance from the government and all the common concessions, well and
good. But if private enterprise is still unwilling to start it, and the in-
dustry is economically justified, then the government should take the
initiative in starting it instead. To this end, managerial, technical and
promotional talents will have to be trained by government for their own
use, and systems of administration and control will have to be worked
out rather different to those which are common in the civil service. But
once this has been achieved, any government will have a greatly in-
creased power to speed economic development. Indeed, the whole pro-
gramme of government spending particularly on capital account will
no longer be restricted to the traditional development of social services
and public works. It can instead, e considered in the light of what con-
tribution such spending will maku directly to increased production, and
thus to higher standards of living.
The Attitude towards Nationalization
Such pleas for government initiative in manufacturing do not repre-
sent a cry for socialism they are, on the contrary, part of the argument
that the old aims of socialism or capitalsim are, for developing countries,
largely irrelevant to the solution of their economic problems. The plea
is not "Government enterprise in all things"; it is rather "Let private
enterprise do all that it is killing to do, but let government enterprise
act wherever private enterprise will not."
Because they fulfil essential wants and also provide assured sources
of revenue, many of the economic activities which are now commonly
state-owned in developed countries were initiated by foreign private
capital. Thus electric power, telephones, water supply, railways, dock
facilities, and bus services often remain in the hands of privately-owned
What are the arguments in favour of nationalizing such companies?
There are five main economic arguments. First, it is argued that as
monopolies they are in a position to restrict supply, raise prices, and
so exploit the consumer. Second, it is argued that considerations of
social benefit may require that such services are greatly expanded even
if this entails running them at a loss, while the requirements of private
profit prevent this happening. Third, it is argued that such utilities,
left in private hands, find it difficult to raise sufficient new money for
expansion even if the directors can show that such expansion would be
profitable. Fourth, it is argued that as long as such public services are
owned by foreign capital, it will be necessary to go on paying out foreign
exchange in interest and dividends. Fifth, it is sometimes argued that
foreign private companies give preference to foreign employees over
local staff of comparable qualifications.
All of these arguments have some weight, and yet neither taken
singly nor together do they add up to a conclusive case for nationalisa-
tion. This is so because, in many if not most circumstances, all the
disadvantages of private ownership can be overcome by a combination
of persuasion, pressure, legislation, tax inducements and tax penalties,
and if necessary direct subsidies. Fares and rates can be set by a
board, expansion can be induced by tax concessions or by subsidies
for unprofitable extensions, production targets and minimum services
and rates of profit on capital employed can be settled by contract, new
capital can be provided or guaranteed by the government, and the amount
of profit and interest to be exported can be settled by negotiation or
set by legislation. As for the employment of expatriates, foreign com-
panies in newly independent states are even more eager than home-based
companies to employ as many local staff as possible in order to retain
the favour of the local population and government. Indeed, a newly in-
dependent government which has at its disposal the ultimate sanctions
of nationalization or confiscation, is in a very strong bargaining position
vis-a-vis foreign companies, especially against those whose capital is
tied up in large quantities of immovable stock.
There may be occasions when negotiated settlements and effective
control cannot be reached, and when outright ownership thus becomes
unavoidable. No one would deny that. There may even be occasions
when the downright inefficiency of the privately-run enterprise makes
nationalization necessary. There will be occasions too when the owners
of the enterprise themselves wish to sell out to the government. There
may also be irresistible political, social, or military reasons why national-
ization is necessary. Butonce all these contingencies havebeen admitted,
the balance of economic advantage still remains, generally, on the side
of leaving privately-run utilities in private hands even if the private
companies are foreign controlled.
There are many reasons why this should be the case. Privately
run companies are usually more efficiently run than nationalized indus-
tries especially in developing countries. Both the absence of appoint-
ments and promotion for political reasons, and the greater freedom to
hire and fire purely on grounds of performance make this so. Top managerial
talent is likely to leave if it is subject to political directions. There
is not the same temptation to award valuable supply contracts in exchange
for political support. An overseas link with a parent company may make
technical advice and equipment easier to acquire, and if some foreign
engineers or professional workers are needed, they are likely to be
available cheaper as part of a world-wide organization, than if they
have to be brought out specifically to a single government-run operation.
Beside this, it is plainly inconsistent for the government of a de-
veloping country to call out for foreign loans, investment, and aid on
the one hand, while the other hand nationalizes foreign investments,
thus necessitating the repayment abroad of much of whatever foreign
capital has been successfully raised. There will be occasions when
nationalization is advantageous. There will even be occasions when
outright confiscation is the right policy. But what we are concerned with
here is only an attitude. And that attitude should be to regard the matter
of public vs. private ownership not as an ideological issue, but one of
administrative convenience. In poor countries especially, the amount
of capital and of administrative competence at the service of government
is likely to be scarce. Therefore if private enterprise is doing a job
efficiently at a reasonable cost, it is sensible to allow them to continue
to do it. If private enterprise is not, let the government step in. And
let us all realize at the outset that this pragmatic approach is likely
to result in the government undertaking some functions that are normally
left to private enterprise, and private enterprise undertaking some func-
tions that are normally the monopoly of government.
The Attitude towards Foreign capital
The question of nationalization of public utilities naturally leads
into a discussion of the appropriate attitude towards foreign capital as
a whole. In developing countries generally, particularly in those which
are former colonies, two mutually inconsistent attitudes are extremely
common. On the one hand there is widespread distaste at the prospect
of foreigners owning and controlling important sections of the home
economy, and the fear of 'neo-colonialism'. On the other hand there is a
realization that development requires capital formation, and that since
local savings are scarce, much of the capital formation has to be financed
with capital imported from abroad. One result of this particular conflict
of attitudes is the expressed preference of many "developing" govern-
ments for financial assistance from the World Bank or other international
organizations, or, failing that, for direct government-to-government loans
and other types of "aid without strings".
But international assistance and government-to-government loans
are not sufficient, and frequently do not lead to investment in just those
sectors where investment and entrepreneurship and technical competence
are most required. Thus one frequently encounters an ambivalent, almost
hypocritical mode of behaviour in developing countries. The evils of
foreign exploitation and of private capitalism in general are castigated
from the public platforms; but in private all sorts of incentives are
offered to foreign investors to induce them to invest. This is perhaps
easily understandable, but one other consideration also requires to be
understood. It is that the public castigation of private capital not only
discourages capital formation, but actually leads to the type of "ex-
ploitation" which it most deplores. For a hostile attitude to private
capital and the threat of expropriation both drive down share values
and force investors to offer a higher rate of return on capital invested
than would otherwise be required. This higher rate of return, directly
caused by the depressed share values and by shareholders' nervousness,
is then cited as an added proof of ruthless exploitation. A fine example
of this can be seen in the recent history of the Jamaica Public Service
Company. Despite a good dividend record, the market valuation of the
shares in Canada is now so low that the company's earnings as a pro-
portion of market value are three times as high as those of similar enter-
prises in Florida. And this same situation makes it virtually impossible
for the Company to raise additional capital either by loan flotation or
through the issue of new equity capital in any foreign market.
Is there a moral for governments in this? Yes. It is. "If you are
going to nationalize, go ahead and nationalize. If you are.going to ex-
propriate, go ahead and expropriate. But if you are not really in a position
to do either, realize that threatening to do so deprives you of investment,
pushes up the required rate of foreign earnings, and slows down your
programme of development."
And yet respect for foreign capital must not be taken too far, nor be
undiscriminating. It should not be taken too far lest it degenerate into
subservience, and because foreign capital is chiefly required only be-
cause local savings are not sufficient to finance the desired rate of
capital formation. Locally-financed investment is, in a sense, doubly
valuable in comparison with foreign investment, for it both manifests
the emergence of local entrepreneurship and it also obviates the necessity
of paying future earnings overseas. And this respect for foreign capital
should not be undiscriminating because some forms of capital inflows
are far more valuable than others, and some forms are actually harmful
to local development. The problem here and it is a very awkward
problem is to keep out the undesirable investments by the type of
controls which will not actively discourage the desirable investments.
The criterion of "desirability" is whether the total effect of the invest-
ment adds to local production. Investment in export industries and in
new import-substitute industries usually do. Investments in machinery
to replace labour intensive methods sometimes add to total local produc-
tion and sometimes do not. Investments in land alone, popular for avoid-
ing European or American death duties, commonly do not increase
production. Instead they tend to raise land prices, keep land in exten-
sive forms of farming, and thus serve to hold back production increases.
The Attitude towards Money
The recognition that home-financed investment is more valuable than
an equivalent foreign-financed investment introduces the question of a
nation's attitude towards its money. Money is traditionally defined as a
store of wealth, a measure of value, and a medium of exchange. It is all
of these things. But it is also an extremely potent weapon for spurring
economic development and for redistributing incomes. The traditional
pre-Keynesian conception of money lays emphasis on the sanctity of
money and the necessity almost a moral necessity of maintaining
the value of the coinage. But the requirements of development may some-
times dictate that new money be created in order to bring increases in
production. The issue is a practical one, not a moral one. The appropriate
attitude is that growth without inflation is better than growth with in-
fation, but that growth with inflation is better than no growth at all.
It must be stressed that inherent inflation has many disadvantages.
But if foreign capital is not forthcoming, and if the home economy is
not capable of generating savings either in the private or the public
sector, then credit-creation may be the only way of financing any capi-
tal development at all. Such credit-creation will be opposed by bankers
and by those who hold money and therefore do not wish to see its value
lessened. Such people may even succeed in spreading the impression
that it is somehow morally wrong to create money.
What we are concerned to repeat here is that this is not a moral
issue at all. It is an economic issue in so far as there may be a choice
between squeezing more savings out of the economy or creating more
money. It is a political issue in so far as monetary creation will tend
to devalue the earnings of those who have jobs, while making possible
the creation of more jobs for those who previously had none.
The Attitude towards Trade Unions
The legitimacy of workers' trade union organizations and the bene-
ficial part they have played in economic development has been recog-
nized in western countries since the beginning years of this century.
In the West Indies, trade unions enjoy more than normal prestige because
they have served as the training ground for many political leaders, and
because trade unions and political parties still tend to be intimately
linked. This very fact, and the power that it bestows upon trade unions
make it more than ever necessary to examine the effect of trade union
activities upon production and upon economic growth.
The general purpose of trade unions is to press for higher wages
and better working conditions for their members. Now an increased
standard of living for all workers is part of the programme of all demo-
cratic governments, so that there is no prima facie conflict between the
aims of the unions and the aims of governments. However if in practice
various trade unions are in a position to press their claims too suc-
cessfully, the effect may paradoxically be to slow up the rate of economic
The mechanism of this paradox is complicated, but worth examining
in detail. A successful wage demand may have any of several effects.
It may leave prices and production unchanged, but redistribute earnings
away from profits and towards savings. This is desirable on grounds of
income re-distribution, but will also tend to diminish both savings and
the profit-incentive to further investment. Alternatively, a successful
wage claim may lead to the producer meeting the claim without raising
the price of his product, but substituting machines for labour in the pro-
cess of production. The higher wages will then be paid, but to a smaller
number of workers, and the import content of production will (harmfully)
have risen. Or again, where the firm facing the wage claim is in a mono-
polistic position, it may meet it by raising the price of its product, which
may in turn lead to a slight decrease in production. Finally, the wage
claim may be met by a more efficient use, by the employer, of all his
factors of production. In this case, the effect of the claim will have been
entirely beneficial; but in the othei cases cited, the effect will be, at
the best, ambiguous.
It will be ambiguous because in each case the socially desirable
rise in wages tends to have a restrictive effect upon savings and pro-
duction. Put this statement itself does not reflect the situation accurate-
ly. For higher workers' incomes may lead to the founding of certain new
industries to satisfy their demand, thus encouraging new production. On
the other hand, the redistributive effect of wage increases may not be
altogether desirable. There will have been a favourable re-distribution
of incomes in so far as the unionized worker's position will have im-
proved vis-a-vis the businessman, the land-owner, and professional work-
ers. But there will have been an unfavourable re-distribution in so far
as higher wages may serve to reduce employment and to increase the
number of unemployed. The differential between rates of return in union-
ized occupations as compared to non-unionized occupations is also
likely to increase.
The balance of these considerations gives no simple answer to the
question of what is an appropriate attitude in developing countries to-
wards trade union activities. The answer is complex, but the attitude
which it suggests is assuredly different from either the "all for" or "all
against" attitudes which are most common in the Caribbean today. The
first part of the answer is that the extent of wage increases should not
exceed increases in productivity. Or, if this familiar part of the answer
is a counsel of perfection, at least the extent of wage increases should
not push up prices faster than is occurring in the territory's main trading
partners. If prices do rise faster than abroad, the eventual result will
be devaluation. Moreover, if it is really considered desirable that a terri-
tory should be able to dispense with foreign capital inflows, this will
only be achievable (without devaluation) if productivity is allowed to
rise faster than spendable incomes.
The second part of the answer is that where an industry, such as
the bauxite industry in Jamaica or the oil industry in Trinidad, is in a
position to pay abnormally high wages, it is preferable that these high
company earnings should be paid to government in taxation or as royal-
ties, rather than that they should be paid to workers in exceptionally
high wages. Or if this is a counsel of perfection, they should be granted
to the workers themselves, but in the form of pensions so that the capi-
tal of the pension fund can be used to finance capital development and
to provide jobs for less privileged workers. "Abnormally" or "excep-
tionally" high wages in this context refer to wages that are higher than
would normally be required to attract the desired number of workers into
the occupation. No blame of course attaches to the union which succeeds
in winning "abnormally" high wages for its members; it is perfectly
proper and natural that the union branch should exact from the company
all the increases which the company is in a position to pay. We are only
pointing out that the interests of development would be better served if
a government capital fund, rather than the union members, were to siphon
off the extra money. For not only is it desirable that this money espe-
cially if it arises from the production of a wasting asset like bauxite or
oil should be used for capital formation rather than for consumption.
It is also desirable to avoid a "dual" wage structure which is both so-
cially unjust, and a potential disincentive to new industries which may
need to employ comparable types of labour.
The third part of the answer is that workers' organizations should
be induced to pay attention not exclusively to the interests of their own
members, but to the interests of all workers as a whole. This is particu-
larly important in territories where actual and disguised unemployment
is likely to run as high as 20 per cent of the working population. The
implications of this are that wage claims should not be pressed to an
extent that is likely to reduce employment at least, not until other
employment opportunities have been created in equally remunerative
In the recent past, it should be noted, both governments and trade
unions have been able to ignore the most harmful effects upon employ-
ment of their respective policies, because emigration served as an outlet
for a substantial number. But with the possibilities of emigration now
drastically reduced, the need to fashion new trade union attitudes, if
necessary by legislation or control, has become urgent.
The Atttude towards Migration
It is, for instance, no longer possible to regard constant emigration
as a safety valve, or outlet for surplus population. The implications of
this fact alone for the larger islands are tremendous. It means that a
definite policy of population control will soon have to be initiated. One
only has to reflect that at present rates of natural increase the Jamaican
population will become 5 million by the year 2000 and no less than 28
million in only a hundred years' time. It also means that a much more
energetic programme of job-creation will have to be pursued, both in the
agricultural sector which will have to produce more foodstuffs for the
local market (particularly milk, vegetables and meat) and in the manu-
facturing sector, on whose products much of the increased personal in-
comes will be spent.
The absolute necessity for a much faster rate of job creation in the
West Indian economy reinforces the need for those changes in attitude
towards the proper scope of government activity, consumer sovereignty,
and the role of foreign capital, which we have outlined above.
The Attitude towards Income Distribution
Finally we should say a word about income distribution. Broadly
speaking, three distinct attitudes may be plotted. First, there is the
egalitarian position that all should share equally. This position is
usually dismissed as being Ttopian and unobtainable, and in the present
state of the world such a judgment is certainly right. The second posi-
tion may be described as the "Catch-as-Catch-Can" laissez-faire atti-
tude towards income distribution, which views inequalities as inevitable
and considers that the most a government can really do is prevent the
poorest from starving, re-distribute marginally through progressive tax-
ation, and hope that things will work out more evenly once free educa-
tional opportunities are extended to all. The third possible attitude is
one which, recognizing equality as unobtainable, nevertheless strives
for a deliberate ordering of income distribution in a way that will recon-
cile the need for rapid growth with the minimum claims of social justice.
Broadly speaking, the second attitude towards income distribution
is today most common amongst West Indian governments, probably be-
cause it was this attitude that was inherited from the regimes of the
past. And because it is most common, we must understand what it en-
tails. Under such a system the best qualified and wealthiest members
of the community receive earnings that are comparable with those in
Europe or North America, precisely because they are able to transport
their capital or their talents elsewhere if their remuneration in their
Caribbean homeland is below the international standard. Semi-skilled
workers in industry are not so fortunate. Generally they are not now able
to migrate elsewhere. However, because of union activity and the rela-
tive scarcity of their semi-skills in their homeland, they are usually able
to reach a standard about half as high as that of comparable workers in
European countries. The unskilled and the small farmers are not inter-
nationally mobile at all, for other countries would not receive them (ex-
cept temporarily or in minute numbers) even if they were able to muster
the money to migrate. Nor are they unionized, and the untrained capaci-
ties which they possess are currently in excess supply in their own
homelands. Between them they must share whatever is left of the national
product after the owners of capital, the professionally qualified, and the
unionized industrial workers have taken their slice. Consequently their
standard of remuneration is only about 1/5 of the standard of comparable
workers in Europe.
Now if the wealthiest in a Caribbean community enjoy remuneration
comparable to that in European, the semi-skilled earn half as much, and
the unskilled earn only a fifth of European standards, it must follow
mathematically that the distribution of income in Caribbean territories
is far more uneven than it is in Europe. It can even be shown that, since
income per head in the advanced countries is rising faster than in the
backward countries, the distribution of income in such backward coun-
tries is likely, under laissez-faire, to become more uneven as time
Is there anything that can be done about this? It is indeed difficult
to know. One solution would be to forbid the emigration of highly skilled
nationals, as is done in communist countries, thus blocking the equality
of remuneration that flows from international mobility. Imported special-
ists would then have to be paid on a higher scale than equivalent local
personnel for whatever time they were needed. But such a policy would
be vastly unpopular, if indeed it were possible at all.
The time has come, perhaps, to remind ourselves that we are con-
cerned not with specific policies, but with changes in attitude. In this
respect, the change in attitude that is required from the best qualified
people, especially those who have gained their qualifications at public
expense, is quite clear. It is a change away from the presumption that
their home countries owe them a standard of living comparable to what
their qualifications could obtain for them abroad. Such an attitude per-
petuates the uneven distribution of income, and slows up economic
growth. It is a change towards the realization that, if an under-developed
country is poorer than a developed one, all classes of workers should
be prepared to accept a relatively lower standard of living in the in-
terests of the development of the country. If the professional man would
be content with 2/3 of the Furopean standard instead of comparability,
the unskilled worker might be able to rise to 1/4 of comparability instead
of 1/5. Ultimately, there might evenbe a general realization, translated
into legal enactment, that social justice in underdeveloped territories
required at least that all who labour by hand or brain should willingly
accept a roughly equal proportion of the normal remuneration received
for their work in fully developed countries. This would still of course
be a far cry from complete equality. But it would at least prevent the
distribution of income in "developing" countries from being so much
more uneven than it is in "developed" ones.
i Why don't they Choose Socialism?
The countries which were colonies of the great imperialist powers
at the end of the second world war but have since regained, or are close
to regaining, political independence account for a substantial share of
the world's area and population and form an increasingly powerful bloc
in international organizations. On the whole, the groups from which their
rulers are drawn accept the ideology of socialism and reject that of
capitalism. One would expect them to follow the path of socialist revo-
lution, but almost without exception they have not done so. Why is this?
I shall try to show that while some of the reasons are incidental results
of the present power struggle, others are more fundamental and point to
the limitations of current orthodox socialist theory.
There can be no doubt that for a newly independent country to em-
bark on a socialist revolution would be to incur the hostility of the anti-
communist powers, led by the United Statis of America. Flow effective
would this hostility prove? Its most direct expression would be armed
intervention to restore a capitalist regime. Ilas such intervention taken
place among the newly independent countries in the post-war period? It
is not easy to give an unambiguous answer, since the early period of
a socialist regime, the most feasible time for intervention, would not
necessarily disclose fully its socialist character. It is possible to argue
that Indq-China and the Congo represent successful examples of armed
capitalist intervention. Hut on the whole the lesson of post-war history
seems to be that in the countries of which we are speaking armed sup-
pression of socialist regimes has not occurred, and military action
against countries which in particular cases have violated the capitalist
conception of property rights has been ineffective. It does not seem that
this consideration could restrain, say, India or Ghana from carrying
through a socialist revolution. The limitations of military action against
so vulnerable a country as Cuba should be noted here.
More probable is an economic boycott against the socialist country.
Again, Cuba is an instructive example of the difficulty of implementing
such a policy and its limited, though not negligible effectiveness. It is
relatively simple to deny a socialist country loans and grants from the
United States (though the Yugoslav case shows that it may not always
be expedient to do so); to sever the socialist country's trading relations
with the rest of the world is more difficult, but not impossible. The ob-
vious course for the socialist economy in such an eventuality is of
course to look to other socialist powers for markets and for imports of
consumer and investment goods. Though these will be supplied, there
will be a certain unavoidable cost from the reorganisation of trading
channels and practices and the difficulty of obtaining parts to maintain
existing types of capital equipment.
It may be argued that these short-term costs will be more than offset
by the superiority of the socialist over the capitalist pattern of inter-
national trade and investment. The latter has come under criticism from a
growing number of economists of all persuasions on several grounds.
One is hardship imposed on primary-producing countries by the fluctuations
in the prices of their exports on the 'free' market. This hardship would
be felt particularly severely by a socialist country, since the yield from
exports would be the only item in the economy not subject to physical
planning; and it could and almost certainly would be removed if the coun-
try traded only with other socialist economies. Another ground for criticism
of the system of capitalist international economic relations is the very
heavy outflows of interest and profit on foreign investments which take
place from those countries which seek to base their development on
borrowing from the mature capitalist economies. A socialist pattern of
investment and trade would necessarily abolish the flow of private profits
between countries and would permit borrowing at low or zero rates of
interest and trading at prices linked in some objective way to costs of
production. A third ground for criticism of the capitalist system of inter-
national trade is that irrespective of the short-term gains from trade it
imposes a long-term loss on the peripheral countries by increasing the
gap between them and the mature economies of the industrial centre in
terms of income levels, capital endowment, technical skill and degree of
economic diversification. Different aspects of this process have been
emphasised by economists of different schools. Seers has shown that if
the world is divided between exporters of primary products and ex-
porters of manufactures, the present pattern of elasticities of demand
with respect to incomes implies that the economies of the latter will
expand faster than those of the former. Other writers have stressed
factors whose influence cannot be so rigorously demonstrated the
greater degree of monopoly in the economies of the industrial countries,
the very high rates of return needed to induce the investors of the indus-
trial lender countries to lend in the periphery, the obstacles placed
consciously or unconsciously in the way of the industrialisation of the
primary producing countries. The threat of a long-continued movement
of the terms of trade against the primary producing countries is so im-
portant to the newly independent nations that we must consider carefully
whether a socialist pattern of international transactions would remove it.
There can be no doubt that socialism in international trade would
permit a more rapid rate of economic development in the underprivileged
countries and a narrowing of the gap between them and the rest. The
former would become equal sharers in the economic surplus of the latter,
though their rate of development might in practice be limited rather by
the rate at which they could reorganise their economies to absorb the
capital equipment made available to them than by the volume of capital
the more advanced socialist countries could provide. But to assume that
because such an ideal pattern of international transactions is technically
possible under socialism, it must necessarily come into existence, is
to commit precisely the error of those capitalist economists who accepted
the possibility that free enterprise could produce an ideal allocation
of resources as evidence that it in fact did so. We must enquire whether
the desired result is politically possible that is, whether or not it
calls for action on the part of the ruling class or group which is con-
trary to their own interests.
This requires us to identify the ruling class of the present socialist
countries and to specify what are its interests. This cannot be done
within the bounds of orthodox socialist theory, according to which the
concept of a ruling class with interests distinct from those of the inter-
national workers becomes inoperative with the advent of socialism a
point of view which may be compared with the assumption of nineteenth
century liberals that political problems ceased with the advent of par-
liamentary democracy. There seems no compelling reason to assume that
the dialectical process stopped in 1917; to make this assumption is
simply an act of faith, and capitalist critics of socialism are right to
refuse to make it.
The most obvious sense in which the ruling classes of the present
socialist states can be said to have specific interests distinct from
those of the world's workers arises from the fact that they rule over na-
tional states, and their interests are therefore also national. This is
demonstrated by nothing more clearly than the undeveloped state of in-
ternational, as contrasted with national, economic planning. Hence while
trade between two socialist countries, one of which is industrially de-
veloped while the other is retarded, may not exhibit some of the inciden-
tal features of capitalist exploitation, such as fluctuating prices, yet
it still incorporates the same basic conflicts. It is still true that the
interest of the industrial country lies in reserving for itself those activi-
ties which generate the greatest economic surplus, and that in a bar-
gaining session it is likely to be able to secure this, though the econo-
mic surplus no longer takes the form of private profit. In the case of a
'shop-window' revolution the industrial power may not make full use of
its strength, but not every convert to socialism can count on special
treatment; it is improbable that the whole of latin America could secure
the same trading terms from eastern Europe as did Cuba. In the field of
international transactions, therefore, the newly independent countries
have less to hope for from socialism than appears at first sight, though
a socialist revolution would probably commit them to trade only with the
This does not help us in the difficult task of identifying the class
interests of the present rulers of the socialist states. Capitalist critics
have tended to assume that no class basis exists, and that the only
unifying principle is a common ambition for power; but power groups
without a class basis do not generate the stability of organisation and
doctrine which the II.S.S.R. has exhibited. We must seek for a group
whose distinctive economic role gives them an importance comparable
with that of landlords, merchants and industrial capitalists at earlier
periods, whose interests are served by socialist ideology and the social-
ist revolution and whose nature can serve to explain not only the con-
sistencies but also the contradictions of socialist society. The group
which fits this prescription best appears to be that concerned with com-
munication and the large-scale manipulation of information. It cannot
be doubted that this group holds a key role in modern societies, both
socialist and capitalist, as bureaucrats, scientists, communications
technologists, teachers, journalists and propagandists; it has increased
rapidly in the last fifty years in numbers, influence and the technical
means at its disposal. It is scarcely less evident in the United States
than in the U.S.S.R., but in the former it is still (increasingly rebel-
liously) subject to the capitalists whereas in the latter its members are
controlled only by their own kind. This difference, indeed, demonstrates
clearly the extent to which the group's interests were advanced by the
revolution of 1917. As confirmatory detail, we may add that it was in
Russia, the first socialist country, that the group's interests were most
endangered by the Tsarist attempts to control the dissemination of in-
formation, and by the government's censorship and general anti-intellec-
There is a special congruence between the general nature of the
socialist ideology and the interests of the group of communicators. lust
as the essential point of the social sciences under capitalism was the
desirability of trusting society to the unrestricted workings of self-in-
terest, so the salient point of the ideology of socialism is the usefulness
of the unrestricted working of 'reason' that is, of the systems of sym-
bol manipulation approved by the communicator group. There is a sug-
gestive analogy between the way in which in each case a doctrine which
originated in a context of competition (economic in one case, intellectual
in the other) tends to be perverted to serve the interests of a monopoly.
This is not to say that the interests of the socialist ruling class are
served by a complete monopoly of the skills of communication, but only
that the dispersal of these skills through the population must not pro-
ceed to the point where the professional communicators' hold on political
power is weakened just as under capitalism the dispersal of industrial
skills and capital is, up to a point, in the interests of the ruling group.
The identification of the socialist ruling class with the communi-
cators explains a number of vacillations and inconsistencies in socialist
policies, such as the ambivalent attitude toward independently creative
artists and scientists who cannot be suppressed, since the ruling class
depends on their efforts to extend the range of information and communi-
cation skills available to it, but must be restrained from disseminating
these skills too widely. Finally, it explains the fact that the Marxist-
Leninist view of history, firmly materialistic up to the advent of social-
ism, become utopian thereafter; Marx, being himself one of the communi-
cators, was no more capable of seeing that class in its true historical
perspective than an early nineteenth century capitalist was capable of
analysing the true nature of capitalism.
What is the relevance of this to the newly independent countries?
If we examine the nature of the ruling class in these countries, we find
that in most cases it consists of just those people whose economic role
lies in the sphere of communication; in other words, the class which
elsewhere can obtain power only through a socialist revolution has here
been placed in control by the historic discontinuity of colonialism.
Their problem is not, and has never been, that of displacing from power
the domestic capitalist. Local capital is relatively undeveloped and
has never enjoyed political control of the society; foriegn capitalist
enterprises represent a more serious problem, but it is a problem which
at the moment is formulated in national, rather than class, terms. But
nationalist considerations tend to steer them away from socialism,
rather than towards it, for the reasons already stated. Their principal
internal problem is the transformation of pre-capitalist sectors of tht
economy, particularly the peasantry. This is a problem which has proved
rather intractable both in socialist theory and socialist practice; against
the relative success of Cuba (whose ruial population was already heavily
proletarian in outlook) must be set the conspicuous difficulties in Russian
and Chinese agriculture. Hence to the ruling classes of the ex-colonial
countries the corresponding class in the socialist countries presents
itself as a rival and even as a potential exploiter rather than as a
Yet the long-term pressures toward socialism are strong. In spite
of the efforts of economists to devise policies of economic development
which will not involve commitment to a specific ideology, it is hard to
see how the governments of the ex-colonial countries can fulfil their
commitment to development without either expanding the output of capi-
talistic industry or setting up public manufacturing enterprises. The
first course will not only raise all the problems of capitalist develop-
ment (such as increasing inequality in the distribution of income and
wealth) but create a possible rival to the present ruling class; the only
way out of this situation will be a degree of socialisation. Hence by
either route we move some way on the road to socialism. Development
will also call for a transformation of agriculture which is likely to in-
volve substantial modification of private property rights in land. Govern-
ments which move so far on the road toward socialism are likely to move
further; for it is easier to plan a whole economy than half one. The in-
ternal pressures toward socialism are therefore strong. But the govern-
ments are likely to avoid commitments to socialism in their external
affairs, for the reasons set out in the early part of this paper.
May there not be changes in the international trading and investment
policies of the dominant powers, capitalist and socialist, which may
affect this analysis? ')ne possible change would be an abandonment by
the United States of the weapon of economic boycott against socialist
countries; this would confirm the profitability for the ex-colonial coun-
tries of a policy of internal socialism and external opportunism. Another
possibility is the setting up of effective international planning machinery
by the socialist powers, which would facilitate the adoption of policies
which were both internally and externally socialist by the newly inde-
pendent countries; however, in view of the political factors mentioned
above it is not certain that these countries would take advantage of such
facilities. A third, somewhat utopian possibility is that the joint efforts
of the neutralist countries might exact from the dominant powers of both
camps a form of regulation of international economic relations which
would secure the advantages ideally to be obtained under socialism with-
out compelling the weaker countries to align themselves with (and sub-
ordinate themselves to) Russia or China in the current power struggles.
A final point; the newly independent countries of which we have
been speaking vary in size from India to Trinilad and Tobago, and some
of the international pressures discussed in the earlier part of this paper
apply more sharply to small than to large countries. Clearly, small coun-
tries are more vulnerable to the threat of military intervention. They are
also more vulnerable, in the long run, to economic pressure; for while
at present there are many large countries which are heavily dependent
on overseas trade, they may reasonably hope to establish eventually so
wide a range of manufactures that this dependence will be greatly dimin-
ished; whereas a very sma!l country cannot produce all the goods it
needs especially capital equipment except at exorbitant cost, as
Haran has pointed out.' For these reasons tld. small newly independent
countries of the Caribbean are at the moment fie, to choose socialism,
even internally, only in so far as that choice is tolerated by the Unite
States of America, unless they are prepared to accept as complete a
commitment to Russian interests and protection as Cuba has done.
1. Baan, P. The Political Economy of Growth, N.Y., 1957.
Kaye Dowland's Book
A RECORD OF MID-I9th CENTURY TOBAGO
DAVID L. NIDDRIE
Department of Geography, University of Manchester
The long struggle to free all slaves in the British colonies ended
when the Emancipation Act became law on August 1st, 1834. Despite
the long notice they had received, the slave owners found it difficult to
adjust themselves to this new set of circumstances in which, no matter
how kindly and paternalistically they had treated their slaves, they could
no longer control them as private property.
In framing its legislation, the British parliament acknowledged the
necessity for an intermediate cooling-off period during which slave and
master could come to terms. An apprenticeship system, it was hoped,
would allow those who ran the plantations time to learn how to be em-
ployers and the ex-slaves to be wage earners. Its main aim according
to Lord Stanley was "to make provision for the continued cultivation
of the soil and order of society until all classes should gradually fall
into the relations of a state of freedom."
For a period of six years, ex-slaves were to be apprenticed to their
owners, and to work a minimum number of hours a week, in return for food,
lodging and medical care, with the right to work for wages in their free
time or to grow provisions in their gardens. Antigua was able to dispense
with this intermediate stage from the outset, but other islands felt the
need for a law which would restrain the ex-slaves from immediately seek-
ing an independent life on unoccupied lands, leaving the estates bereft of
Resentful planters proved to be stern taskmasters and sought legal
redress from local justices who were able to impose heavy punishments
like the treadmill and flogging on those apprentices who "misbehaved"
or refused to work.2 To reduce this inevitable friction the British Govern-
ment ordered their West Indian governors to appoint special justices to
watch over the rights of apprentices and to investigate their complaints.
The main condition of their appointment was that they should not have
1. See Burn W. L. (1937) Emaneipoaion and Apprenticeship in the British Vest Indies,
London. p. 169.
2. For gruelling descriptions of theme punishments see: Burn Ibid., pp. 282-285.
3. The difficulty of differentiamin theme various titles is discussed by Burn (supra) pp. 8-9
as follows:- "I have used 'justice' for a man who held only the general commission
of the peace; 'special' for those residents in the West Indies who were given temporary
special commiasmons during the first year of apprenticeship only to have them with-
drawn by the Colonial Office, which objected to the holding of such commissionaby
persons with a direct interest in apprentice labour. 'Stipendiary' refers to those magis-
trates appointed after the end of apprenticeship to exercise a concurrent jurisdiction
with the local justices."
vested interests in local plantations. Unfortunately, except in Barbados,
Jamaica and Montserrat, these instructions were not carried out. 1 eight
of the ten men appointed as Special Magistrates in Tobago were either
plantation owners or attorneys and managers.2 Only when these were
replaced by magistrates appointed from England was it possible for the
apprentices to feel that they were being impartially treated.
Faced with such an unenviable task, reviled by their fellow whites
for siding too often with the labourers, these Special Magistrates played
an important part in the abandonment of the apprenticeship system on
August 1st, 1838, two years before the date originally fixed by Parliament.
Each was required to visit all the estates in his district at least once
a month, to arbitrate on labour difficulties and working hours as well
as the quality of the food and clothing provided by the employers.
It might therefore be expected that the observations and opinions
of the Special Magistrates (and Stipendiary Magistrates as they were
called after total abolition in 1838) would prove to be a valuable source
of information concerning this transitional period, when the peasant
farmer and smallholder, so characteristic of modern West Indian life,
were beginning to develop their independent way of life in small villages
and on the marginal hilly lands which were of little use to the estate
owner of the day. 411 these magistrates were required to submit monthly
reports in writing to the island authorities, who in turn summarised them
for home despatches whenever they were required by the Colonial Office.
Much of the raw material, the actual written reports, remained, preserved
in each island's archives as manuscripts. Few have survived the hurri-
canes, fires, mildew and termites of the tropical Caribbean.
nne such record exists in the writings of Kaye Dowland,3 appointed
as Special Magistrate in the Leeward District of Tobago on October
1st, 1835, but whose arrival in Scarborough, the capital, was delayed
1. Local magistrates were appointed in most of the West Indian colonies. They were
allocated as follows:- Bahamas (15), St. Vincent (36), Grenada (27), British Guiana
(67), Trinidad (29), St. Lucia (7), St. Christopher (7). Nevis (l1), Anguilla (2).
Dominica (7) and Tobago (10) See: House of Commons: 1835 (419) Vol. L1. 291.
A Return of Local Magistrates who have been appointed SPECIAL MAGISTRATES.
the time of their appointment, and by whom appointed; and whether stated to be
Planters, Attorneys or in any way connected with Colonial Property.
2. The List of names for Tobago reads as follows:-
John Baid Attorney and Manager
Henry Hamilton Attorney
James Johnston Police Magistrate; unconnected with colonial property
James Kirk Manager and Attorney
H. Mitchell Proprietor
W. T. Nicholson Medical Practitioner and President of the Council;
unconnected with colonial property
Samuel M'Eachine Manager and Attorney
John Stewart Manager and Attorney
Thomas Wyllie Manager and Attorney
3. Letters and Returns 1843-1848 by Kaye Dowland (MS), Tobago Archives, Scarborough.
This would appear to be the second of two volumes, the first covering the period
1836-1842 having been lost.
until December 9th 1836. He began at once to carry out his duties in
the sugar plantations, the negro villages and settlements.
After total abolition in August 1838, Dowland added to his local
functions as a Stipendiary Magistrate by becoming Inspector of Prisons
and Jails. His administrative ability resulted in his appointment as the
Lieutenant Governor's Private Secretary in 1841 and as Fort Captain in
1843. He advanced from Deputy Pre',.st Marshal (1851) to the rank of
acting Colonial Secretary in September 1835. The Clerkship of the Privy
Council in October of the same year proved to be the climax of his career
in the Colonial Service. Dowland retired on January 21st, 1857 as a
result of illness and departed for Fngland with his wife and two children
on June 8th. On his arrival in the I united Kingdom he was granted a
pension by the Lords of the Treasury. )owland had in his time served
one governor and four successive Lieutenant Governors of Tobago.2
It is evident from an examination of his book that Dowland was a
scrupulous observer and took a keen humanitarian interest in the changing
Tobago scene and its community long after Apprenticeship had ceased
to exist. From 1843 to 1848 he noted down in this particular diary all
available statistics of population and production as well as the notable
events during a period when not only the post-emancipation problems
among the planters were at their worst, but when economic and physical
disasters were drawing the life-blood of the island.
More important than any of his commentaries were those made in
reply to six queries which had been sent by the British Government in
1843 to all the West Indian colonies about "the general conditions of
the peasantry since the dissoultion of the apprenticeship." Dowland
records his impressions after carrying out several excursions. He noted
that personal comfort seemed to be the leading consideration and that
there had been a spate of dwellings. His description of these small
houses differ little from those of the average rural Tobagonian today.
The walls were made from inch pine planking twelve inches wide and
twenty-two feet long. The roofs were mostly cane trash with grau-grau
palms (Acrocomia aculeata). Stone was not used anywhere in the building
of the house. In greater detail he notes that:-
"Each house has separately attached to it a small kitchen the
fire is made on the floor, of dried sticks encompassed by a few bricks
or stones; the culinary implements are more simple than even those of
the gypsy who bivouacs in the Green Lanes of England, consisting
merely of an iron pot, and a pannakin though some indulge besides in
a little frying pan, also a sieve and grater for cassava and a water
1. Dowland's senior by a few months was W. A. Child, appointed on June 6th 1835.
Together with another stipendiary magistrate, Julien de Gourville, appointed on
December 7th 1839, these three men were the only stipendiaries on Tobago during
the period under discussion. See: House of Commons, 1844 (332) Vol. XXXIV 253:
Manner in uAich f52.000, voted 1842. for salaries and allowances of stipendiary
magistrates in the Colonies was expended.
2. The details of Dowland's career were derived from the many documents in the Tobago
Archives which have been catalogued by Mrs. Gertrude Carmichael.
Another tenement generally adjoins the kitchen called "The Hog
Pen", the inmate of which is generally at home by day but to the great
detriment of the cbne pieces he is frequently permitted stealthily to
roam at night. Tobago pigs are very sagacious animals, they return
to their owner at break of day by a whistle and are made alive to danger
by peculiar calls from their owner.
The goats and the fowls surround the abode and although the negro
houses are closely packed I have seldom had complaints of misunder-
standing concerning their poultry or other stock."
Dowland observed that these people were beginning to imitate
the ways of the planters, by adopting feather beds rather than "the bare-
boards of apprenticeship days". They were increasingly using white
tablecloths and napery while large sums of money were being spent on
Sunday dress. Meals eaten from sets of imported pottery plates con-
sisted of the normal dietary of a 1est Indian island salt pork, salt cod,
cassava, yams, breadfruit, okra and fruit but he noted a number of very
interesting taboos. Neither pumpkin nor turtle and goat's flesh was eaten
because each was held to be the cause of a number of ailments.
Asked to comment on marriage customs he was able to report that
"marriage is now very general and is much encouraged among the
labourers themselves". By this time Anglican, noman Catholic, methodistt
and Moravian churches were well distributed on the Southwest and
central parts of the island and in some instances served as a focus about
which village settlements were nucleated, and a marriage ceremony in
a church became de rigueur.
Descriptions of hunting and fishing techniques do not differ very
much from those of present day practices among the youth of Tobago.
Those who grew sugar cane estimated that they lost at least one-twelfth
of their season's harvest by praedial larceny, another practice which
extends to the cocoa and coconut crop in modern Tobago. For the rest
of their economy:-
"The labourers on plantations are allowed half an acre of land
but generally are permitted to cultivate as much provision ground as
they choose withouthindrance; they keep goats, pigs and poultry and
from the produce of these and their redundant stocks of vegetables
(which is with an industrious body very great) they are enabled to pur-
chase salt fish, salt pork, salt beef, etc. and on holiday occasions
to indulge in many luxuries, by which means the peasantry are much fed
than during their Apprenticeship."
Another important topic which had been put to the Stipendiaries
"Relations between the peasantry and the proprietors adverting
to the conditions of tenancy on estates; to the progress of the
laborers in establishing themselves as freeholders; to the rising up
of new hamlets and villages, and the effect which these changes are
supposed to have upon the supply of labour for the cultivation of the
staple produce of the Colony."
To such a complex question Kaye Dowland was able to supply a
very illuminating commentary.
"On each plantation", he remarked, the negro houses are
generally clustered together on some sheltered site near the sugar
works, ad may be compared to a small irregular built village of hats;
the dwellings are erected and kept in order at the expense of the
proprietor and in some instances at the joint expense of tenant and
landlord. These tenements are held together with half an acre of provi-
sion ground to each rent free, in part consideration and compensation
for the occupants' continuous service on the estate over and above his
Our reporter knew all about the wiles of the planters, managers and
attorneys who hoped to retain their labour force. He writes:-
"The managers' system of letting an acre of provision of land
for 40 days labour per annum to labourers from their neighboring
plantations (a species of kidnapping) is not so capable of being prac-
tised as formerly, as the labourer generally found himself deceived
by the apparent change for the better disagreed with his new master -
quarrelled with his new neighbours and entertained an uncontrollable
desire to return to his old haunts and old faces.
Attempts have been made to adopt the English mode of renting
the houses and grounds, but at present rival interests and prejudices
of the planters prevent anything like unanimity, and whenever a just,
liberal and well devised system is proposed beneficial to both planter
and labourer, there are always to be found men who oppose it, and to
present projects and to propose plans utterly at variance with law,
and inconsistent with the liberty of the subject. That the English
system will be adopted on plantations sooner or later I entertain no
In the Leeward District there were last year two instances of the
labourers cultivating canes during their leisure hours and on their
own account on land provided for them by the proprietors for the pur-
pose (Mary's Hill and Prospect Estates), I did not consider this ex-
cellent system would be generally adopted, the return for the labour
being so exceedingly remote to the working man, whilst garden provi-
sions are easier cultivated and meet with a quick and ready money
market. I am sorry to observe (at Mary's Iill) that one of the party
has thrown up his grounds, the other is pursuing his speculation with
every prospect of being amply repaid for his industry; in making his
own bargain with the manufacturer either for a money consideration or
for half the produce."
As had been feared by the Colonial authorities, the men of Tobago
took matters into their own hands by leaving their employers for a new
life of independence. Dowland continues:-
"Since the period of freedom in August 1838 a number of labourers
have quitted estates and are either occupying land on rent or as lease-
holders, or as freeholders, new hamlets have in consequence sprung
up in various directions; the result of these changes has been in some
degree detrimental to certain estates, as many of the parties instead
of again reverting to cane husbandry find resources in their provision
grounds, in sporting fishing, making charcoal for market, huckstering
etc . Any labourer under a general hiring can quit an estate by
giving 4 weeks' notice of his intention."
Yet it was clear to the observer that many of them were soon disillu-
sioned by this move and "no doubt a majority of those who decided to
become free settlers have returned to agricultural occupations, being
tired of an uncertain and desultory life." Furthermore, mounting economic
pressures also led to another change in attitude -
"Until lately," noted Dowland, "the peasantry were afraid to allow
their children who became free in 1834, many of whom are 14 and 15
years of age to do any work on a sugar plantation from the dread that it
would deprive them of their freedom, the loss of their assistance was
greatly felt, as efficient first- and second-class labourers were obliged
to do the work of boys, such as mule leading, tending stock, etc. The
prejudice is about worn away and the elder portion of this branch of the
population is to be found engaged in some light employment on a sugar
estate earning from 3d to 6d a day. The junior branches are mostly sent
by their parents to school."
Those who drafted the Apprenticeship Bills had of course antici-
pated the urge on the part of the ex-slaves to leave their employers and
rent or buy small plots, by forbidding the sale of Crown lands, preventing
"squatting" and discouraging the planters from disposing of portions of
their estates for such settlements. In Tobago a number of proprietors
whose properties bounded on each other, agreed not to sell their poor
quality marginal land to the ex-slaves. Nevertheless the shortage of ready
cash among most planters or attorneys soon broke down their resistance
and by 1843 the island had developed the system of smallholdings which
characterises so much of its modern landscape. Dowland sadly observed
the injustices which were perpetrated upon those labourers who wanted
to buy their own bitof land by remarkingthat "land had been purchased
greedily by the labourers at 20 an acre but they are beginning to dis-
cover their error, and to find that every possible advantage is taken of
their ignorance,in consequence the demand has greatly ceased.
"The labourer was asked to purchase an acre of land by paying
(if he has not the whole) half the purchase money. The right to title of
the party selling (about which he never enquired or doubted) is withheld
till he pays the whole amount and to obtain which he is pestered and
threatened till it is in some way accomplished; he is then told to go
to a lawyer who will make the title out on being paid a certain sum,
which title has then to be registered in the Record office and the
copying paid for. The purchaser is also called upon to pay 32/- sterling
for surveying an acre which survey may be very much less or something
over the proper measurement, as accident may have it, for we have no
professional surveyor resident in the island and no diagram can be
depended upon. Right of road, convenience of site, nearness to water,
are all alike unconsidered by the unreflecting labourer, who is only
bewildered at the extravagant and to him ruinous outlay on an acre of
land sold perhaps because it is of very middling quality and of no use
to the estate for cane cultivation. Very few of these plots of land have
been registered and many persons will never obtain even a title for
want of means to pay the purchase money and charges."
It is perhaps relevant to point out here that (despite the passing of
the Real Property Ordinance (RO)) in 1889) this parlous situation con-
tinued until 1950 when the Warden of Tobago and his staff tackled the
entire problem of land ownership, rightful boundaries and the provision
of a diagram and bill of sale so that thousands of smallholders could
acquire a legal title to lands which they held by customary tenure.
As a Stipendiary Magistrate, Dowland was constantly involved in
negotiating conditions of employment and was well aware that labour
was scarce and in great demand. "Wages," he remarked, "remain at the
same standard that they commenced with in August 1838." He listed
the estate rates for a five day week of 45 hours (including medical as-
sistance and medicines found, with homes and provision grounds rent
free) as 8d for Ist class, 5d for second class and 3d for third class
settled labourers. Fourpence a day was offered to all labourers for extra
work during the cropping season. All wages were paid monthly. Habits
of a lifetime could not be easily forgotten. "The labourers", he writes,
"prefer task work in weeding, manuring or planting the cane, and it is
generally adopted by the planter who has frequently to complain of the
hurried, careless and unsystematic manner in which the work is per-
formed." The "task" in fact, persists among Tobago estate labourers
Throughout his book, Kaye Dowland took care to include statistical
and general descriptions of the estates whose main crop, sugar cane,
depended so very much on the ex-slaves. lie kept a careful count of the
numbers employed, the quantities of sugar, molasses and rum produced.
Speaking in 1843 of the Leeward District, he says that not a single
estate had been abandoned since 1834 although one of them, Sherwood
Park, was only working two days a week. Only two out of 32 estates had
resident proprietors, the remainder being run by managers or attorneys.
Ten of the sugar mills were powered by steam engines, two by water
wheels, sixteen by windmill, and four by mules. While on some of the
flat lands the plough was being used to good effect the remaining areas
were relying on the manual labour and the hoe. Of the local island roads
which traverse the district, Dowland has firm opinions. Observing that
"heavy rains materially injure the n", he continues:-
"No system generally is observed in the repairing or making of
roads the labourers fill up the chasms and uneven places that have
been made during die rainy season from the adjoining bank whether
it be rock or soft earth, it is scraped together with a hoe and in a very
careless manner and without making proper channels and courses for
the water to run off".
"Much of the public money is literally thrown away in an attempt
to better the roads: I have seen logwood branches and any bush nearest
at hand used to fill up deep trenches."
In all, the picture he paints is not one of a dynamic forward-looking
connunity. Absentee landlords, a restless labour force, uncertainty about
the island's only commodity sugar these would suffice to hamper
Worst was to follow however. Dowland's records continue through
the next four years not only to present Tobago's stagnation, but also
two important events which sealed its fate for a hundred years. An awe-
some hurricane in October 1847, destroying 80 percent of the island's
sugar-making capacity, was followed by the collapse in December 1847
of the West India Bank, which bankrupted both resident and absentee
landlords. The Metairie System sharecroppingg) introduced by Robert
Cruickshank from St. Lucia in 1843 was already in existence; over 300
Barbadiana had been imported on 12-month contracts, to reduce the labour
shortage, "infamous characters, worthless outcasts of our neighboring
island of Barbados", as Dowland called them. All to no avail; the events
of 1847 lowered the island's morale and European beet sugar production
eventually broke it. "There is difficulty," wrote Dowland early in 1848,
"in procuring specie to pay for labour; those who obtained money from
the merchants purchased it at a large premium and to be acquired only
at uncertain periods." Thus were sown the first seeds from which the
Encumbered Estates Court grew. "Esculents are very dear" he continued,
"and we have been generally dependent on Grenada for a certain supply
of yams, but, I doubt not, that in a short period Tobago will do without
any importation of vegetable food and will be able herself to export
largely. She has an abundance of fertile land, remunerative wages for
his labour and every protection and advantage a free subject could
require." So confident a prediction was not borne out by the next hundred
years! Tobago's esculents continue to arrive from Trinidad, St. Vincent
In presenting his last full report as a Stipendiary Magistrate in
1848, Dowland described an easily recognisable human situation, from
which there was no escape by emigration, economic revival or recon-
"The varied alarming reports of ruin, the pervading gloom, the
want of regular payment of wages and the threat to reduce them in
August has caused a restlessness amongst the labourers, and, I believe
has in same degree caused them to be indifferent to their masters'
interests, and at the present time of crop when they are most required
to act together at the sugar mill to fly to their own provision grounds
and to erect their own dwellings; this course on the part of the labourers
has been a serious drawback to some estates."
"When the labourer becomes the purchaser or lessor of a plot of
land he calls himself a "stranger" and demands fourpence a day
higher wages, he also considers himself privileged to come to his
work very late and to slay away when he chooses; if the master remon-
strates he takes umbrage and gives notice to quit his employer. Not-
withstanding . the proprietors themselves take every opportunity
of either letting or selling their land to the labourers and much as it
may be desired by them to stop the system it is an act of their own
encouragement and I cannot see a present remedy."
"I have acted in the capacity of Special Justice in this island
through 13 crops and I never had so many general complaints of in-
jurious anenyance to the planter."
CONFERENCE ON MATHEMATICS IN THE
DR. G. D. BISHOP
Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, University of the West
Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.
A very successful Conference on Mathematics in the Secondary
Schools was held at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine,
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, from August 7th to August 16th, 1963. The Con-
ference was sponsored jointly by the Mathematical Association of Trini-
dad and Tobago, formed only a year ago, and by the University of the
West Indies. The Conference was made possible in the first instance by
a generous grant from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago which
covered the cost of participation of 35 teachers from Trinidad and Tobago
and the costs of some of the visiting lecturers. The Conference was
attended by over seventy school teachers, training college lecturers and
school inspectors, drawn from almost every Caribbean island and also
from Surinam, British Guiana and Venezuela. The absence of any teach-
ers from Jamaica was a source of great regret.
At the opening of the Conference all the speakers stressed the ur-
gent need for more and more mathematicians and mathematics teachers
in the West Indies. Dr. Dudley Huggins, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Uni-
versity of the West Indies, argued that "there is hardly any sense in
which the West Indies would not be disastrously poorer if they failed to
press forward to increase the output of mathematicians...... Clearly to
produce these there would have to be an appropriate increase in mathe-
matics teachers." He quoted the following extract from the draft second
five year plan of the Trinidad Government to indicate how this Govern-
ment proposes to tackle this urgent problem:
"Within the secondary schools greater emphasis will be placed on science
and mathematics the foundation of modern technology. ......The train-
ing and recruitment programme will aim at providing an adequate number
of teachers in this programme......"
Dr. Huggins suggested the publication of a West Indian Journal of
Mathematics and Statistics. iHe ended by offering the campus of St.
Augustine as a venue for a mathematics summer school in 1964 where
still more teachers would be introduced to the many new and exciting
developments taking place in North America and Europe in the teaching
The Minister of Education and Culture, Senator Donald Pierre, spoke
in a similar vein. "We agree", he said, "on the importance of Mathe-
matics and on the need to give it a leading place in our thinking and in
our planning for the Secondary Schools. We agree on the need to study
the impact of modern developments and on the need to keep our teachers
on their toes and up to date. Finally, we understand and are sympathetic
to the larger significance of a Regional Conference, representing a re-
gional study of problems which are common to so many of our Caribbean
countries. And precisely for these reasons, we of the Ministry of Edu-
cation and Culture would hope, and most sincerely, that this Conference
might serve as the beginning, the initial impulse, to a continuing study
of Mathematics in our various schools."
Dr. Rudranath Capildeo, the physicist and mathematician, and Lead-
er of the Opposition, in closing the formal opening session of the Con-
ference, referred to the results of improper tutoring in mathematics in
the secondary schools and stressed the need to develop higher standards
in the teaching of the subject.
Mr. I.. I. Robinson, Ilead of the Department of Mathematics at
U.W.I., Mona, gave figures which brought home the urgency of the prob-
lems to which other speakers had referred. Too few medical doctors
and engineers were being produced in the West Indies, perhaps as a re-
sult of poor science and mather.-:tics teaching. About 59 doctors a year
are now being produced and soon about 50 engineers a year will be pro-
duced; but the output should be at least 100 of each. Although the Uni-
versity of the West Indies at Mona has been producing science and
mathematics graduates for years, less than forty persons teaching in
Trinidad and Tobago possessed degrees involving mathematics. Mri
Robinson laid part of the blame for this sorry state of affairs on the
fact that there is not enough instruction in West Indian schools concern-
ing the structure of mathematics and too much emphasis on learning
The three principal speakers from abroad were Professor Bryan
Thwaites, Professor Ralph James and Professor Robert Wisner.
Professor Thwaites, Professor of Applied Mathematics at South-
ampton University, is Director of the School Mathematics Project. This
Project is engaged in revolutionising some of the secondary school
mathematics as taught in the schools of Britain. The Project is at the
moment being tried in several schools in Britain, and in June 1964 the
first candidates from these schools will take the G.C.E. "0" level in
mathematics based on this new S.M.P. syllabus. Two years later these
candidates will sit the corresponding mathematics examinations at "A"
Professor Thwaites compared the present G.C.E. "0" and "A"
level syllabuses in mathematics with the more enlightened one advo-
cated by the School Mathematics Project. He also indicated the neces-
sity for replacing some of the i, ire traditional topics in the mathematics
syllabus by topics such as sets and matrices, that will have more sig-
nificance and relevance to a society to be influenced more and more in
the immediate future by computers and other similar technological ad-
vances. le also demonstrated how some of these new topics should be
Dr . Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics in the Faculty
of Engineering, U.W.I., Trinidad, and who, as Secretary was the principal
figure in organising the Conference, expressed the hope that a similar
revolution in mathematics teaching as was taking place in Britain and
America would take place soon in the West Indies.
Professor James, Head of the Mathematics Department in the Uni-
versity of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, and currently President
of the Canadian Mathematical Congress, gave details of the efforts being
made in several Canadian provinces to modernise the teaching and con-
tent of mathematics in their secondary schools. He mentioned that whilst
Felix Klein had considered elementary mathematics from an advanced
point of view, we should consider aspects of advanced mathematics
from an elementary point of view. Thus he would recommend the con-
cepts of sets, matrices, limits, etc. be introduced very early into the
school mathematics syllabus. He illustrated how very young children
could be taught about matrices.
In addition to lectures, quite a considerable amount of time was
devoted to discussions in small groups. The principal fact to emerge
from these discussions was that it would be impossible to introduce
these new ideas into mathematics teaching without first having a con-
siderable cadre of teachers who were familiar with the "new" mathe-
matics and who had been trained to teach this "new" course in an
exciting and intelligent way.
Professor Wisner, of Oakland State College, Michigan, U.S.A., and
Executive Director of the Committee on the Undergraduate Programme
in Mathematics (C.U.P.M.), dealt specifically with the problem of edu-
cating a sufficient number of teachers in the content and techniques
of the "new" mathematics. His Committee regarded it as imperative
that every mathematics teacher should understand in depth mathematics
at least two years beyond the level that he or she will teach. He indi-
cated that all secondary school mathematics teachers were obliged to
do at least a one-year basic course, covering such topics as probability,
set theory, theory of numbers, functions, fundamental notions of trigo-
nometry etc. He illustrated how some of these topics could be taught
by methods which gave the pupils a deeper understanding of the funda-
mental concepts involved.
Professor Wisner emphasized that even in the United States the
position with regard to the supply of trained mathematics teachers was
acute. He pointed out that since there were 1,250 Colleges and Univer-
sities in the U.SA. offering a Bachelor's degree with a major in mathe-
matics and there were only 3,500 Ph.Ds. teaching mathematics, on the
average each such College could only muster 3 Ph.Ds. on its staff. In
practice, there were numerous Colleges without a single Ph.D. on the
Dr. G. Bishop, Senior Lecturer in Education in the Department of
Education, U.A .I Mona, dealt mostly with the methodology of mathe-
matics teaching in his lectures. Not only did he indicate how the tradi-
tional mathematics could be taught by much more enlightened methods
than usually obtain, but he also demonstrated how much of the "new"
mathematics could and should be incorporated into our present sylla-
buses and how it could be taught most effectively. He dealt at length
with the recommendations of the School Mathematics Study Group
(S.M.S.G.) and of the University of Illinois Committee on School Mathe-
matics (U.I.C.S.M.) and demonstrated the use, of the new techniques
and ideas advocated by these two projects.
During the discussions many teachers had pointed out that it would
be difficult to initiate a revolution in the content and techniques of
mathematics teaching in the secondary schools unless a similar revo-
lution occurred also in the primary schools. Dr. Bishop told the Con-
ference about the many exciting experiments being made at the moment
in America and Europe in the teaching of elementary mathematics.
In addition to lectures and discussion periods, films on the teach-
ing of mathematics were shown in the evenings.
The last day of the Conference was devoted to drafting the final
reports and recommendations. What was very evident throughout the
Conference discussions was the unanimous determination of members
to really do something positive about improving the content and methods
of mathematics teaching as accepted today. The Mathematical Associa-
tion of Trinidad and Tobago, who are to be congratulated on organising
this most successful Conference, hope to publish the proceedings of the
Conference in the near future. Teachers who were unable to attend the
Conference should look out for this publication; they will find it not
only a mine of valuable information, but also a source of enlightenment
19th August, 1963.
RACE AND COLOUR IN CARIBBEAN LITERATURE
G. R. COULTHARD
Senior Lecturer in Department of Spanish, U.K.I.
(Published by the Oxford University Press. 25/-)
Dr. Coulthard's Race and Colour in
Caribbean Literature was first published
in 1958 by the Escuela de Estudios
Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla, under
the title Raza Y Color en la Literatura
Antillana. The present book in English
seems more than a translation. It ap-
pears longer than the Spanish version
and certainly is more handsomely pro-
As one would expect in a literary
study of Caribbean writing the examples
do not go further back than the 19th cen-
tury. Writing in this area was done be-
fore then by expatriates who, even if not
nostalgic for Europe, were following the
literary traditions there, unaware of or
not ready to identify with Caribbean
problems and preoccupations.
At a time like this when two British
Caribbean areas have recently moved
into independence, our intelligentsia
and political world are more aware than
formerly of the African connection. Dr.
Coulthard's chapters on the anti-slavery
novel in Cuba, Indians and Negroes,
Afro-Cubanism and the rejection of Eu-
ropean culture serve as a comment and
warning for West Indian writing in British
colonies or erstwhile colonies.
Some of our pundits remind us of the
grandeur that was ancient Africa, as if
in reply to a recent book, The Road to
Harpers Ferry by J. C. Furnas which
debunks West Africa ..... "the hot
countries southward across the great
desert the lands about which Othello
told so many threadbare lies".
Many of the writers mentioned in Race
and Colour in Caribbean Literature pro-
vide answers to J. C. Furnas and others
of like persuasion. Dr. Coulthard quotes
one the Cuban writer, Mario Zambrana,
who published a novel, Francisco the
Negro, in 1873. Though Zambrana speaks
of slaves, the statement below serves
still for their descendants.
"The civilised man only understands
a certain order of ideas and feelings,
which are largely artificial and are
very weak in those who depend ex-
clusively on nature. As far as the
slave is concerned, one should bear
in mind the contrast between the
idea of civilisation and the rough
life of the jungle, and then judge
whether the Negro has gained any-
thing in the change. But the Negro
loves what you despise: his hidden
forest, his coarse music, his primi-
tive customs. Prove to him he is
happy, be eloquent and rational with
him; but his heart is telling him
something very different."
To persons in the British Caribbean
in their one-language isolation, ignorant
of developments that often precede
their angry struggles against the crip-
pling results of a colonial culture, Dr.
Coulthard's chapter on the French West
Indian back-ground of negritudee" will
have a salutary effect.
Dr. Coulthard quotes the Martiniquan
poet, Georges Desportes, in a poem Auto
do Fe written in 1944.
We have stripped off our European clothes,
Magnificent brutes and barbarians that
And we have danced naked around the
high flames -
Stark naked around the great bonfire of joy,
Stark naked under the palm-trees, stark
naked under the bamboos
We shout under the sky of the Tropics,
To the sound of powerful Caribbean jazz,
Our pride in being Negroes,
The glory of being black.
Literature is a mirror of a people's life,
and Caribbean writing would not be a
true reflection of Caribbean living if it
did not extol the coloured woman. The
chapter on the coloured woman in Carib-
bean poetry moves from the obviously
European-influenced rhapsody on a new
type of beauty inspiring subjective
reaction to the more modem down-to-
earth physical reactions of the Afro-
Cubanist Nicolas Guillen, the aston-
ishingly un-European Puerto Rican,
Pales Matos, and the fundamental
Haitian poet, Emile Roumer. The lines
quoted below from the last-mentioned
poet bridge the gulf that often lies
between the man down the lane and
his more cultivated brother drowning
in Europeanised education.
High-yellow of my heart, with breasts like
You taste better to me than eggplant
stuffed with crab,
You are the tripe in my pepper-pot.
The dumpling in my peas, my tea of aroma-
You are the corned beef whose custom-
house is my beart,
My mush with syrup that tackles down the
You are a steaming dish, mushroom cooked
with rice, crisp potato fries, and little
fish fried brown ...
E. T. Robertson &
E. G. B. Gooding
E. Gordon Ericksen
Mamjo Surinam Student
"louanola' St. Lucia ..
Botany for the Caribbean
West Indies Population Problem -
Dimensions for Action.
University of Kansas Publications
Social Science Studies 1962.46/-
Jamaica: The Making of a Nation.
Central Office of Information Pam-
phlet No. 51 HMSO. 5/-
Documents of West Indian History 1492-1655
PNM Publishing Co. Ltd.
Port of Spain, Trinidad. 8/6d
Jamaica: A recent Bibliography.
Jamaica Library Service.
Available from: Mr. G. van der Kuyp,
December 1963 issue devoted to the Carib-
bean and its people.
Edited by : L. E. Brathwaite,
Department of Extra-Mural
5/- or $1.00 '.I. or 754 US.