Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Editorial comments and notes


The Engineering Faculty buildings were designed by Norman &
Dawbarn (Architects) and completed in 1963. These buildings
cater for 250 full-time students, and provide for the full range
of University instruction in four departments-Chemical, Civil,
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

Photographer: Ken Richards, Kingston, Jamaica.



Vol. 10



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examination of the decision making process that takes place in a com-
munity. The real critical problems that confront a society in regards
to decision making still remain unexamined. What is needed are
studies of the decision making process, as to how decisions are made,
who makes them, and for whom. It is only when we undertake this
type of study that we will be able to come to grips with the problem
as whether Jamaica is moving in a democratic or an authoritarian
direction. Professor Bell has raised some of these basic issues but the
answers have been at best only partial.


The Alien, Edwin Rosskam.
Grossman Publishers, New York, 1964. $4.50 U.S., pp. 209.

ALTHOUGH there Is an image of the Caribbean in the literature
of the United States (namely that exemplified by the incredibly
romantic last act of Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! when Moe con-
vinces Henry to leave her husband and child and run off with him to
the Caribbean on the promise that they will live Idyllically everafter
on wind, sand and stars), the Image of Puerto Rico is practically non-
existent In serious American fiction. The appearance of a novel set in
today's Puerto Rico of "Operation Bootstrap" and, retrospectively in
the memory of Its protagonist, In bootless Puerto Rico of the 1930's,
does mark an occasion of some kind, If not exactly a celebration.

As his title The Alien suggests, photography editor Edwin Rosskam,
at one time a consultant to the government of the Estado Libre
Asociado and a guest at the recent inauguration of Roberto Sanchez
Vilella, stays within a long tradition of American novels whose pro-
tagonists are aliens or exiles escaping from American commercialism
and mechanization.

These expatriates (some stay home, some go abroad) often travel
from the American East to the American West, that is, from sophisti-
cation to simplicity. Emil Bluemelein, however, somewhat reversing
the direction of his pioneering family who had moved to Montana
from Germany, moves from Montana to Puerto Rico. The pioneers
to the Northwest had settled down into bourgeois farmers by the
mid-1930's, of course, and Emil Bluemelein himself was by then a
minor bureaucrat in the United States Department of the Interior.

He was not all bureaucrat, however. For, upon arrival in Puerto
Rico on a temporary assignment for Interior - regular salary plus
overseas living increment - he fell in love with the then beautiful
island and its people, and he became restless in his bureaucratic chair,
despite being quite devoted to the principles of the "New Deal" which
he was supposed to be administering. A sensitive man, he becomes

increasingly restive, distressed by Interior's failure, because of its
middle-class bias, to alleviate the deplorable condition of the whole
people of Puerto Rico. He becomes further disenchanted by the chau-
vinism and racism of his bureau chiefs. They, in return, suspect him
of disloyalty. Not only because of his disgruntledness, but also be-
cause he is studying Spanish with a passion under the tutelage of a
teacher known as a Nationalist. Eventually Interior discharges him,
rather to his satisfaction, and he purchases a small coffee plantation
in the hills around Barranquitas and loses his shirt.

As a matter of fact, when the novel begins, Emil Bluemelein, an
alien just past middle-age, lives in extreme poverty in a slum that
Edwin Rosskham calls Little Mud, obviously after San Juan's El
Fanguito, one of the worst slums in Latin America. This situation,
although it is treated in the conventions of realism, borders on the
improbable, it being almost inconceivable that a Norteamericano of
middle-class background could or would long endure the kind of life
that must be endured in El Fanguito whether the slum be situated in
San Juan or in the Appalachians. Thus, for the middle-class persons
who will read The Alien, Bluemelein starts out as almost an eccentric.
To the Puerto Rican slum dwellers constantly preoccupied with what
Louis Macneice called the perennial problem of getting enough to eat,
Bluemelein is at first certainly eccentric: he spends much of his time
in his backyard trying to create a work of art out of a pile of junk.
When this work in the shape of the tree of life (Rosskam describes
Bluemelein's junkyard as a "garden") is destroyed by delinquents,
Bluemelein, who upon occasion has displayed paranoid symptoms,
suffers an emotional collapse.
This action or inaction regretably leaves a reader with a sense of
frustration, if not a feeling of futility. "Regretably," because one of
the main loci of The Alien is that of social criticism of both past
and present Puerto Rico, and one would hope that a critical hero with
a quasi-political perception of the nature of things might find greater
comprehension in defeat than Rosskam allows Bluemelein in ex-
The novel, as I read it, may be marred by an uncertain handling
of the protagonist and by structural flaws, but it remains interesting
for those concerned with Caribbean studies for what it reveals of
one kind of American liberal attitude toward Puerto Rico. Rosskam
writes fairly good prose and at times enlivens Puerto Rican history. For
example, he describes with sickening vividness the famous Palm
Sunday massacre of 1937 when the island police cut down the unarmed
men, women and children marching in a Nationalist parade. The Alien
has the additional value of calling into question certain presumptions
of "Operation Bootstrap" (Bluemelein seems to view Puerto Rico as
a colony of the United States) and of asking discomforting moral
questions about the way in which the national energy is presently
being spent by a middle-class society that appears increasingly guilty
of a hardening of the heart.

THE HERALD LTD., Printers, 43 East Street, Kingston.

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Editorial comments and notes
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
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Full Text


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VOL. 10. No. 4



Editorial Comments and Notes 1

Shirley C. Gordon ... .... .. 3

Barbara Ifill 33

G. R. Coulthard .... 46

C. Y. Thomas 55

(i) Douglas Hall, Ideas and Illustrations in Economic
History, Havelock Brewster .... .... 67
(ii) Wendell Bell, Jamaican Leaders: Political
Attitudes in a New Nation, A. W. Singham .... 69
(iii) Edwin Rosskasm, The Alien, Lee Robinson .... 75

BOOK LIST .... .... 77



MSS. and Communications should be addressed to the Editor. Unsolicited MSS.
which are not accepted for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped
addressed envelope.

Copyright reserved, and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden

Editorial Comments and Notes

WITH the publication in this issue of extracts from the Mayhew-
Marriott Report on Primary and Secondary education in Barbados,
Trinidad, the Leewards and Windwards, the series edited by Miss
Shirley Gordon comes to an end. The extracts were chosen from eight
documents and published in nine parts beginning In Volume 8 number
3. We are grateful to Miss Gordon for providing and editing the
extracts and we hope that they will be of use to tutors and students
at the University and teacher Training Colleges as well as informative
to our many Readers who are interested In the present state of West
Indian education.

Gabriel Coulthard needs no introduction to our Readers. We print
in this issue a lecture he gave during Book Week In Jamaica, in October

The authors of our other two articles are new contributors whom
we welcome. Mrs. Barbara Ifll teaches History at Bishop Anstey High
School, and Dr. C. Y. Thomas is a member of the Department of
Economics, University of the West Indies, Mona. We hope that more
and more of our contributions will come from persons who are not on
the staff of the University. Caribbean Quarterly is meant to appeal
to the widest range of persons interested in the Caribbean and our aim
is to make many of our readers our regular contributors. Dr. C. Y.
Thomas read his paper at a seminar which dealt with the problems of
small societies in the process of change. We hope in the future to
publish other seminar papers from this series.

Of our book reviews, two are new to the Quarterly Mr. Brewster
and Mr. Robinson. Dr. Singham we have published before. Mr.
Brewster is in the Department of Economics at Mona; Dr. Singham in
the Department of Government at Mona, and Mr. Robinson teaches
in the Department of English at the University of Puerto Rico.


Documents Which Have Guided

Educational Policy In The West Indies,

No. 8

1931 -32.

THIS commission resulted from an offer of the Colonial Office
to send a member of the Advisory Committee on Education in the
Colonies to examine educational problems in association with one of
the education officers serving in the West Indies. Arthur Mayhew, who
had had a long career in India, came from London and F. C. Marriott,
Director of Education for Trinidad, was his colleague.

They were to report on the following matters:
(1) The establishment of co-operation between islands, or groups of
islands, both in the devising and carrying out of a general educa-
tional policy. In this connexion existing .facilities for the training
of teachers, the distribution of training colleges, and the extent
to which the different islands share, or ought to share, in the
upkeep and advantages of these institutions, will require consid-
eration. Arrangements for the direction and supervision of educa-
tion in areas which find it difficult from their own funds to secure
expert educational advice will also require examination and the
possibility of combination, in order to secure such advice, should
be investigated.

(2) Existing facilities for elementary education; the advantage taken
of these facilities, as shown by school attendance; the extent to
which compulsion is employed, and its effectiveness; the practica-
bility and desirability of extending or intensifying such compulsion.

(3) Methods of making elementary education more popular and more
useful, by closer adaptation to local needs and future vocation.

(4) Relations of secondary education to vocational training, with
reference to economic and Industrial conditions and professional
and domestic needs.

There were several striking features in the Marriott-Mayhrew
Report. The invitation of the first brief was accepted in proposals
for a regional organisation for research, special teacher education and
for the sharing of expert educational advice. It was felt in short that

the qualitative aspects of educational development should permeate
from a Central Training Institute in Trinidad in which staff devoted
their attention to the problems of this area and trained selected teachers
for each territory to return with a particular expertise in education.

For the general educational systems proposals were drastic but
clearly argued. In the first place it was suggested that the basic
education offered to all should be a six-year course lasting from 6 to
12 years of age. It was argued that the current 5 to 14 years of age
course was a wasteful fiction in view of the amount of absenteeism
and poor attendance; parents were much more likely to insist on
their children attending more regularly if the course ended at the
age of 12 years old, than if it dragged on increasingly badly patronised
until fourteen.
For a large although selected group a new kind of modern
secondary school was proposed equal in status to the traditional
secondary school, but free for those selected from the primary school.
In a three-year course pupils were to receive a practical often pre-
vocational education. The current academic secondary school was also
to be somewhat modernised in syllabus; and the prevalent Cambridge
Junior Examination should no longer be taken, so that the large
number of short-term secondary school pupils who never aspired
-further should be discouraged from taking places in such schools and
seek a more useful schooling at lower fees in the modern secondary

The suggestions for raising the standard and payment of teachers
were sound but not original. The welcome and respect for the grow-
ing teachers' associations was emphatic and criticism of teachers less
frequent than usual in former official documents.
The question of university education was not presented to the
commission, nevertheless, as a help in increasing the number of
graduate secondary school teachers, they proposed a West Indian
university as a substitute for at least some of the island scholarships.

Above all the Marriott Mayhew Report reflects the time in which
it was written. Federation was under active discussion on both sides
of the Atlantic, and the first brief seeks ways of sharing resources
between the islands. Among the people who gave evidence were several
elected members newly in their legislature after the constitutional
reforms of the latter half of the nineteen-twenties. The teachers'
associations were now established and respected bodies. The pressure
for compulsory education for instance came from West Indians in
public and professional life.
Marriott and Mayhew seem to have been aware of the spirit
abroad. They did not offer as an explanation of the inadequacies of
West Indian education the old stock phrases about poor teachers and
defecting children and parents. Their attack was on the wholly in-
adequate financial provision that had always been made for education
in the West Indies. Despite the fact that they represented the colonial
administration and it was In fact a period of world economic depression,

they emphasised this conclusion unequivocally. The Report is not a
conciliatory document; but if it were, the conciliation was being
offered to interested West Indians rather than to the colonial
administration. Since both Marriott and Mayhew were colonial
administrators their point of view Is very interesting. The report
forecasts in tone the Moyne Report of seven years later, after the
riots and disturbances of the nineteen-thirties.


Backwardness of primary education.

1. An experienced observer of education in several parts of the
world, after a recent visit to the West Indies, informed us that, in
his opinion, primary education in the West Indies was the least pro-
gressive of any which he had encountered in the British Empire. In
forming this impression, he had taken specially into account the
money which was being spent, facilities for the training of teachers,
and contact with modern educational thought. He noted also that the
school buildings were the worst which he had ever seen. We, too,
have had opportunities of studying education in other parts of the
Empire. Our general impressions, as a result of our tour, are not
unlike those of the observer whom we have quoted.

Financial restrictions the main cause for backwardness.

2. The main cause of the backwardness which is so noticeable in
all but two of the islands we visited is financial. The defects cannot
fairly be attributed to the neglect of the Governments, to the lack
of goodwill and intelligence on the part of the leaders of public opinion,
to slackness on the part of teachers, or to the nature of the material
on which they work. Some defects, it is true, are not directly trace-
able to lack of funds, and can be removed without additional ex-
penditure. But most of these are due to lack of expert advice or
administration, which is primarily a question of money. We found in
all the islands convinced and enlightened supporters of a sound and
progressive educational policy among the officials, leaders of the
Legislative Councils and the Churches, as well as in the Press. The
antipathy to manual or vocational training which we had been led to
anticipate was not in evidence when such kinds of training were
emphasized as an integral part of an educational scheme, and not as
a means for producing cheap labour. In the agricultural, industrial
and commercial worlds there was indeed suspicion, not of education
in itself, but of schools which seemed unlikely to produce the kind of
mind and character which industry and commerce required. Among
the parents the desire for education is genuine but frustrated mainly
by economic factors. The materials in the schools is excellent, the
keenness and vitality of the pupils, often under depressing conditions,

* The chapter and paragraph headings are Ihon of the Report.


being particularly noticeable. Though money is scarce, food almost
everywhere seems to be sufficient to make the underfed child the
exception rather than the rule, even in the poorest schools. Of the
goodwill, interest and general intelligence of the teachers we had
ample proof. Their determination to make full use, often at some
personal sacrifice, of their limited opportunities for improvement and
instruction made a most favourable impression. Their faults, which
are equally conspicuous to the trained eye, are due to an absence of
facilities for education and training, for which they were not

Recommendations involve increased expenditure.
3. We hope that some of our recommendations will ensure a more
fruitful expenditure of the funds at present provided. Other recom-
mendations that we are compelled to make must Involve Increased
expenditure. In view of the representations made to us in several
islands, we have confined ourselves to what we have thought urgent
and fundamental. As the risk of being condemned as reactionary,
we are recommending the restriction of educational activity in some
directions, in order to divert funds from the less to the more essential
items. Even with these precautions, the net result of our recommen-
dations, if accepted, would be an increase In expenditure. Though this
may be for the Immediate present impossible, our recommendations
may be found useful when the financial position improves.

Consolidation must precede Expansion.

8. They (the West Indian colonies) have tried, in fact, to adopt
English aims and methods without the material resources of England.
If it had been possible in the past to expand more slowly, the founda-
tions of a successful system would have been laid. The desire for rapid
expansion was no doubt natural, and even laudable in view of the
history of the islands. But contemplation of its results compels us to
recommend a policy which may be open to misconstruction. The time
has come for consolidation. Before this is effected further expansion is
unwise, and, until it is effected, the trustees of public funds can have
no assurance that they are getting full value for what is being spent
on education.

Superiority of Educational Systems in Barbados and Trinidad.

11. We would begin by pointing out that Trinidad and Barbados in
many respects are a class apart from and above the islands of the
Windward and Leeward groups. Much of our general criticism is not
applicable in part or at all to them. This Is largely due to their happier
financial position and to the fact that the difficulties of educational
administration vary Inversely to the size of the population. It is also
due to the readiness, particularly in Barbados, of the guardians of
public funds to vote money, and to the devoted labours of competent
Educationists, private and officiaL A special meed of praise is due
to the Canadian Mission for their work for the East Indian community
in Trinidad.

Primary school attendance.

14. For the islands generally statistics of primary school attendance
reveal considerable progress in recent years and a very obvious need
for further advance. The total percentage of the population enrolled
in Government and aided primary schools is 16.3, which is not in
itself an unsatisfactory figure, if it is remembered that compulsion is
applied only in a few islands, and even in these not effectively. There
are very few areas in any of the islands that have no educational
facilities and only one section of the community, the East Indian
population in Trinidad, that can be described relatively to the rest
of the community as educationally backward. The total number en-
rolled is very nearly equal to the total estimated population between
6 and 12 years of age, but only 69 per cent. of the pupils actually
enrolled come within this category, and the St. Vincent census figures
for 1931 show that in that island 35 per cent. of the population
between the ages of 4 and 15 are not attending school.

15. Enrolment figures, however, are not safe guides. They vary
greatly from month to month in accordance with measures spasmodi-
cally taken to remove long-standing absentees from the rolls. Rules
regarding such removal vary from school to school and from time to
time. Moreover, enrolment, like attendance, depends on the state of
the labour market as well as on the demand for education. Unemploy-
ment in Antigua had substantially increased the number of pupils
between 12 and 15 in the higher standards at the time of our visit and
was partly responsible for the percentage of enrolment in the Leeward
Islands being higher than in otherwise more progressive islands.

16. If we compare the average attendance with the enrolment we get
for the islands a percentage of only 66, varying from 54 In St. Vincent
to 76 in Montserrat and 70 in Barbados. The distribution of pupils
is equally disquieting, more than 40 per cent. being in the infant
department and only 7 per cent. In the two higher classes taken to-
gether of the nine years' course. In none of the islands where a
departmental examination closes the primary school course, does the
number of pupils who obtain certificates exceed 3 per cent. of the
total attendance, and in most of them it is less than 1 per cent. In
one of these islands the standard of the examination was represented
to us as equivalent to the 4th standard course in an English school.
Compared with the figures of 10 years ago the situation is more
cheering. During this period enrollment has increased by 34 per cent.
and average attendance by 71 per cent. against an estimated increase
of 12 per cent. in population. The general percentage of attendance
to enrolment has risen from 54 to 66, and the minimum from 40 to 57.
The percentage of illiteracy has fallen from 49 to 43 in Trinidad and
from 45 to 41 in St. Vincent. (The inferiority of Trinidad is due to
the East Indian female population.) During the same period expen-
diture from public funds has grown by 67 per cent., which is substan-
tially more than the increase in attendance. The increase in ex-
penditure varies very greatly from island to island. In Grenada there
has been no increase, the cost of increased numbers being balanced

by economies in administration and distribution of schools. In another
island the percentage of increase has been only 9 against an increase
of 52 per cent. In attendance. On the other hand In Barbados and St.
Vincent the expenditure has grown out of all proportion to the increase
in attendance, though not out of proportion to the school's needs.

Urgent Necessity for further Progress.

19. We need not, in conclusion, enlarge on the grave risks that
attend a continuance of the defects that we shall have to emphasize
in the educational systems that we have studied. They are obvious to
all who realize the rapid growth in political consciousness, the moral
and social problems, the low standard of personal and common hygiene,
and the economic weakness of the West Indies. If funds are not avail-
able for carrying out all the measures which, even with a careful eye
to the financial situation, we have felt bound to recommend, it will
be from no lack of goodwill on the part of the Governments, the
Churches and the political leaders.

Education a Community Responsibility.

20. What we feel bound, rather, to emphasize is the apparent
impossibility of effective measures unless this goodwill finds expression
not only in the provision of public and church funds but also in the
generosity of private individuals and bodies and in efforts on behalf
of communities to help themselves. Outside Barbados, where Codring-
ton College and some ancient school and scholarship endowments
testify to the past existence of a live and practical interest in educa-
tion, one looks in vain for signs of those endowments and donations
that have contributed so largely to educational progress in our own
country. We are left wondering why there is so little record in build-
ings or foundations of the days of real prosperity when fortunes were
being made and opportunities for showing gratitude to the country
of their origin must have been frequent. This is not the time for such
manifestation on a large scale. But there are possibilities of joint
action by those who, no doubt, are shrewd enough to see that all
money devoted to education which has a social and economic value is
well invested. Much, too, can be done in the shape of personal service
on school committees, gifts of land for school gardens or materials
for building, and provision of opportunities for training or instruction
by those who live or work in the neighbourhood of village schools.
In some Colonies fees represent a substantial portion of the primary
school income. We feel that a return to the practice of fee collections
during the vital portion of the school course would rightly be regarded
in the West Indies as reactionary. We shall, however, suggest a field
within which local contributions, individually small but collectively
significant, may play an important part. And in chapter III we
suggest a method by which local contributions for denominational
education may be increased.


Chapter 2. Direction Agencies and Provision for the Training
of Teachers.
Primary Education needs: (1) Expert advice and
information; (2) Uniformity of Standard; (3) Demonstration
Schools; (4) Trained teachers.

21. Primary education in the West Indies, and particularly in the
Windward and Leeward Islands, is impeded by lack of expert advice
and direction and the absence of any central agency capable of keep-
ing the island authorities in touch with educational progress outside
the West Indies, or aware of what is being attempted or achieved in
other parts of the West Indies.

22. It suffers also from lack of uniformity of standard and from
an absence of demonstration schools controlled by an authority with
clearly formulated and progressive aims and staffed by teachers who
draw their inspiration and ideas from such an authority and are
capable, as a result of training, of gradually raising the local standard
of teaching by demonstration and central class instruction.

Administration and Training in Trinidad and the other Islands.

23. In only one of the islands visited did we find a staff qualified
by experience of educational theory, practice and administration,
to direct and stimulate primary education. The administrative and
Inspecting agency and Training College staff of Trinidad is adequate
for its local needs with the slight addition that we propose elsewhere.
In the other islands the number of posts is sufficient, and in some
of them the qualifications of the holders of the posts are adequate,
for the actual supervision and inspection of the local schools. But in
none of them is there any post carrying salary that could attract and
retain an officer qualified to advise the Government and supply to the
schools and teachers the ideas and stimulus that they need. Only in
one of these islands, Grenada, is there an administrative post carry-
ing more than 350 a year, and the holder of that post has to devote
a large portion of his time to the secondary school, of which he is also

24. There are no schools outside Trinidad which can serve as models
to teachers and managers. The only effective training institution is
in Trinidad, to which no external teachers are sent. - -

Necessity for co-operation between the Islands.

26. This need was emphasized in the West Indies Education Con-
ference of 1921. The steps now recommended for satisfying it are to
some extent a development of proposals adumbrated at that

27. In the absence of definite proposals for political federation, and
in view of geographical difficulties which are very grave, any scheme
for the centralized administrative control of primary education in
the West Indies would be premature and impracticable. What is
urgently required and attainable gradually as funds permit is a
common centre of advice and inspiration and the establishment of
fruitful relations between this centre and the islands, more particu-
larly the Windward and Leeward Islands. "Power can be localized, but
knowledge to be useful must be centralized." We recommend accord-
ingly (a) the development of a central Training Institute for Teach-
ers, which will also be a centre of research and experiment in the
adaptation of primary education to West Indian needs, and (b) the
attachment to this Institute of two officers whose special purpose will
be to form a strong link between the Institute and the islands that it
serves. The scheme, though devised primarily to meet the needs of
the Leeward and Windward Islands, will also contribute substantially
to progress in Trinidad, and it will be possible for Barbados to take
advantage of it, if that island cannot from its own resources make
full and satisfactory provision for the training and guidance of

A Central Training Institute.

28. The Institute we have in mind should occupy in the field of,
primary education somewhat the same position that the Imperial
College of Tropical Agriculture holds in agriculture. A specialized
staff, engaged in experiment and research bearing on the various
aspects of primary school work, will provide a suitable atmosphere
for the training of carefully selected teachers from the contributing
islands. These teachers should be able on their return to initiate and
develop work on lines that have been tested and approved in the
Institute, concentrating their attention while they are still few in
number on one or two schools, which should become a source of strong
local influence, and on the Instruction of groups of local teachers
assembled for the purpose at convenient points.

Education Commissioners.

29. The two liaison officers, whom we shall call, for short, "Educa-
tion Commissioners", though their concern will be primary education,
will correspond roughly In status and functions to the Commissioner
and Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture in the West Indies. Keeping
in close touch with the Institute staff and work, they will also be
touring officers who will inform the Institute of the local needs and
conditions of the islands, and the islands of the aims and achieve-
ments of the Institute. More particularly they will help the island
authorities to adapt in detail the advice and information supplied by
the Institute, and will show them how to make the best use of the
teachers who have been trained in the Institute. They will submit to
those authorities detailed proposals in regard to courses of study,
curricula, and text books for school use, and In regard to the training
of pupil-teachers, the certification of teachers, selection of teachers

for training in the Institute, and central class instruction of local
teachers by the local Inspector and teachers who have been trained
in the Institute. They should accept, with due reference to other
claims on their time, administrative duties offered them by the Island
authorities in connexion with the conduct of local examinations for
pupil-teachers' and teachers' certificates, aiming thereby at establish-
ing a uniform standard for the islands. In such matters as distribu-
tion and amalgamation of schools, or distribution of staff among the
schools, they should be able to ensure for the Government an econo-
mical use of funds and staff.

Functions and Characteristics of the Central Training Institute.

30. The Institute should provide a two years' course of training
for teachers who have obtained the First (Senior) School Certificate
or certificates recognized as its equivalent for the purpose. If enough
candidates with the required qualifications are not available, it should
be.open to the controlling authority to admit persons of inferior
qualifications on the results of an entrance examination, and to
prescribe the length of their course, subject to a minimum of two
years. Selected teachers should not be too old to be capable of acquir-
ing new ideas and methods. But they should have teaching experience
and be capable through personality and experience of inspiring con-
fidence and respect among their fellow teachers on their return. For
their chief work will be to influence their local colleagues by demon-
stration of correct aims and methods in a selected school, to which
they will be posted on return, until they are sufficiently numerous to
staff two, or even more, such schools. It will not be financially possible
for the small islands to send many such men annually for training,
even if they were available. But a few such teachers, carefully chosen,
and concentrated after training in one centre, will exercise more
influence than a larger number of teachers of inadequate education
and experience distributed after training over several schools.

Training Courses for Instructors in Special Subjects.

32. The Institutd should also provide a one year's course of training
for two men and two women, deputed respectively from each of the
Windward Islands, from each of the three largest Presidencies of the
Leeward Islands, and from Barbados, if that island cannot make satis-
factory local arrangements for instruction in Manual Training and
Nature Study with Garden Work respectively for the two men, and in
Infant Teaching and Domestic Science respectively for the two women.
They will be required to work after training under the local Inspectors
of Schools, the Manual Training and Domestic Science teachers being
employed in centres of instruction in these subjects, as well as being
available for inspection work, and the other two holding central
classes for teachers and inspecting school work in their respective

Development of the Trinidad Training College
as a Central Training Institute.

33. We recommend the development of the Training College at
present maintained by the Trinidad Government into the Central
Training Institute proposed by us. The West Indies Education Con-
ference of 1921 by a majority of votes selected Trinidad as the train-
ing centre, and subsequent progress in the island has greatly strength-
ened its claim, which has encountered in the Windward and Leeward
Islands practically no opposition and in some quarters strong support.
The idea seems to have commended itself to some of the Roman
Catholic authorities in view of the ample opportunities afforded to
teachers of their community who may be sent there for training to
keep in touch with Roman Catholic discipline and traditions.

Reasons for the selection of Trinidad.

34. The standard of primary school teaching in Trinidad is con-
siderably higher than In any of the other islands. Thanks largely to
a highly qualified Training College staff, the right atmosphere and
traditions have already been established. For manual training, domes-
tic science and infant teaching an expert staff is already provided.
In co-operation with a strong agricultural Department a scheme of
effective training in nature study and garden work is being elaborated.
Use can be made of its experimental stations, and teachers under
training will have opportunities of seeing demonstration work in
fruit, cocoa, and coffee, as well as in sugar cane. There is also animal
husbandry work to be studied, and the work of the Imperial College
of Agriculture to be observed, in itself a stimulating example of what
science can do for agricultural development. Much of the Canadian
Mission Work, and more particularly their recent development of
domestic science, will suggest to outside teachers valuable ideas on
village community work. In the admirable school medical service that
is being carefully built up by the Medical Department they will find
a much needed stimulus. On the industrial side they will have the
oilfields and other important undertakings to observe, and in the work
of the Board of Industrial Training they will find the beginnings of
the application of education to industry. The staff of the Training
Institute and the Commissioners of Education will be in touch with
an efficient administrative and inspecting staff. There are not wanting
schools in which outside teachers can observe the application of
methods acquired during training. And the Education Commissioners
will have much to gain from contact and conference with the Com-
missioners of Agriculture.

Adaptation of the Trinidad Training College
to the needs of the other Islands.

35. The present site of the Training College in Port of Spain is
unsuitable for a Training Institute that will be concerned mainly with
rural school teachers and the adaptation of schools to village com-

munity needs. And the diversions of a large town are undesirable for
teachers drawn from rural and simpler surroundings. We understand
that the Trinidad Government, In the interest of its local teachers,
is contemplating the possibility of transfer. Our recommendation for
the use of the College by teachers of other islands is conditional on
such a transfer. The site selected should be near some experimental
station of the Agricultural Department, close enough to Port of Spain
to facilitate the use of appropriate expert officers of all departments
for consultation and assistance, but also in the neighbourhood of a
village community whose welfare and development can be an essen-
tial field of study.

Chapter 4: Enforcement of School Attendance.

Enforcement of Attendance in Certain Islands.

79. In the islands that we visited statutory enforcement of school
attendance has been attempted only in the Leeward Islands, St.
Lucia and Grenada - -

Effects of Compulsion.

82. We have tried but found It quite impossible to estimate the
effect of these attempts at compulsion on school attendance. There
are so many other factors to be considered, including on the one hand
unemployment, which tends to increase attendance in the higher
standards, and hurricane disasters on the other which are an In-
evitable set-back, that the effects of compulsion cannot be isolated.
There has undoubtedly been a marked and satisfactory increase in
enrolment and attendance in all but one of the compulsion islands.
But this increase has been equally marked in non-compulsion areas,
and the percentage of average attendance is higher in Barbados than
in all but one of the compulsion islands. There is however a fairly
strong feeling among educational officers and observers in the Leeward
Islands that the effects have on the whole been useful and that
suspension of the activities would be reactionary.

The obvious need for Compulsion.

84. The attendance and literacy figures given in our first chapter,
taken by and for themselves, clearly justify a policy of systematic
compulsion. The facts that only 66 per cent. of the pupils enrolled in
the Island's primary schools are regular attenders, and that in an
island such as St. Vincent, which is not conspicuously backward, 35
per cent. of the population between the ages of 15 and 4 are not at
Lhool, and 23 per cent. of the population over 10 years of age are
still illiterate, seem to demand a vigorous policy of advance. The fact
that substantial advance numerically is being made on a voluntary
basis and that the limits of voluntary expansion have not yet been
reached would not in itself deter us from advocating such a policy.
1 4 4

85. We agree with all teachers' representatives who appeared before
us, with practically all the denominational school managers, with all
the Boards of Education, with most of the Government representatives,
with most of our private witnesses, and with all the elected members
of the Legislative Councils whom we interviewed, that the bringing
of effective educational facilities within the reach of every child of 6
to 12 years of age, and the enforced use of these facilities within these
age limits, is not only a desirable but a necessary measure to ensure
the moral and material progress of the community. It is required not
merely to ensure for all children the benefits of education but also to
secure regular attendance, which is a condition of really effective
teaching, and an economic distribution and use of schools and teachers.
There seems to be no reason to fear that the enforcement of school
attendance would excite keen or widespread antagonism or discon-
tent. We are not convinced by the arguments of some, but by no means
all, employers of labour and industrial leaders that the economic
conditions of any islands requtrel even the part-time labour of children
under 12, and we realize that statutory enforcement of school atten-
dance would make the operation of ordinances designed to check
child labour more effective than they are reported to be at present.
We believe that absence from school is due far more to failure on the
part of parents to control their children, to their inability to provide
them with clothes, food and books for school attendance, and to
climatic or topographical conditions than to any dislike or mistrust
of education. There Is a steady growing demand for education, and
compulsion, far from creating popular discontent, would be welcomed
by many of the poorest parents, if it were accompanied, as probably
it would have to be, by the provision of tree books, clothing and meals
for their children.

Education not to be Compulsory unless effective.
Removal of existing defects a necessary prelude.
Financial reasons for postponement of Compulsion.

86. Unfortunately we are bound also to agree with almost all our
witnesses, except the teachers' representatives, the more ardent of
the elected members of the Legislature, and the "Workers' Association"
in some of the islands, that education ought not to be extended or en-
forced until it is, in the true sense of the term, effective, or, if this
is considered dangerously vague, until tt is far more effective than it
is at present in any of the islands we have visited. So long as the
relations of primary education to communal life still await expert
investigation and experiment, so long as arrangements for the guid-
ance, instruction and training of teachers are Inadequate, so long as
staffs composed largely of semi-educated pupil teachers fall to produce
the character and habits of body, mind and will that are of real service
to the community, and so long as the school accommodation impedes
the development of mind and body, the removal of such defects must
constitute the first claim on such additional funds as may be avail-
able. The extension of facilities, and the effective enforcement of

compulsion, even within a residential area, would involve additional
expenditure and thereby reduce the funds available for such improve-
ment as would justify compulsion. From what we have been told of
the economic position in the islands we have visited, we can see no
prospect in the near future of effective and widespread compulsion
without diverting funds from reforms that are necessary in order
to make such compulsion fruitful and a public boon. We may per-
tinently note here that the additional cost of compulsion on a 6 to
12 age basis has been estimated as the result of a careful survey in
Barbados at 12,000 initial capital and of 4,682 recurring expenditure,
i.e., an increase of 12 per cent. in the present recurring expenditure.
The increased cost involved in the provision for accommodation, staff,
and attendance officers, for which alone the Barbados estimate pro-
vides, would be proportionately far higher in the Windward Islands
and Leeward Islands and considerably higher in Trinidad. The estimate
makes no provision for Improvement in the training of teachers,
provision for manual training or medical inspection, or In fact such
measures as would in the opinion of a prominent member of the local
Board of Education be required to justify compulsion. Barbados stands
high among the islands in regard to enrolment and attendance and
highest in regard to accommodation.

Improvement of Attendance on a voluntary basis.

88. There are factors in the present situation which ought to
console the disappointed advocates of compulsion, though they do not
weaken the case for its desirability. In a few areas, if any, can it be
safely said that the limit of expansion on a voluntary basis has been
reached. The figures for the last 10 years quoted in our first chapter
show a marked increase in enrolment and in average attendance.
The increase has been steady, even in the hurricane areas, where the
recovery from the inevitable setback consequent on periodic disaster
has been remarkably persistent. It has been due far more to the in-
creased use of existing schools than to the establishment of new ones.
In some islands it has coincided with a reduction in the number of
schools consequent on their more economic distribution. But there are
a few areas where a head teacher of effective personality will be
unable, without compulsion, to increase his enrolment and attendance,
if his accommodation and staff are improved, if the results of the
school course are such as to impress the parents and the community
at large, and if simple and obvious measures for the encouragement
of attendance are more generally adopted. Among measures that are,
far too scantily, being employed, we commend the issue of school-
leaving certificates, the award of banners or certificates to school and
classes with the most regular attendance, the regular issue of
attendance and progress reports to parents, and the establishment of
a periodic Parents' Day, when the practical and communal uses of
the school's activities can be demonstrated. We believe also that
measures recommended below for other reasons, namely, the limita-
tion of the State's liability to the six years from 6 to 12, and the

guarantee of free secondary education of a practical type for those
who make the best use of these six years, will in course of time inspire
parents with a keen sense of the virtue of regularity.

First Steps towards Effective Compulsion.

93. It ought however to be possible, and it is certainly desirable,
to initiate without additional expenditure in the comparatively pro-
gressive islands of Barbados and Trinidad measures that are an in-
evitable prelude to an effective scheme of compulsion. The drafting
of ordinances and regulations is a long business, and consideration of
aims and methods which it invokes will bring to light many important
points that call for settlement. It would obviously be well in the first
instance 'to make the ages of 6 to 12 the extreme limits of any com-
pulsion scheme. The possibility of a gradual advance towards universal
compulsion by the selection of particular areas or school ages for
partial and experimental enforcement requires grave consideration.
The usual assumption that a start should be made in town areas needs
very careful investigation and an alternative theory put before us
in Trinidad that progress should be from the lowest school-going year
upwards deserves working out in detail. The cost of whatever scheme
is adopted should be most carefully worked out and should include the
cost of whole-time attendance officers with educational experience
and records that are likely to make them sympathetic though firm in
their dealings with parents. A register of children of school-going age
has to be devised and methods of keeping It up to date. The question
of registering and licensing private schools has to be faced in decid-
ing what is meant by satisfactory education. Among minor but by
no means negligible difficulties are those invoked by the large number
of children who have no recognized parents or guardians, and by the
widespread incidence of illegitimacy.

Chapter 5: The Length of the school course.

Advantages of a six-year Course.

97. Until a more effective type of primary education has been
developed, and so long as the need for rigid economy of educational
funds exists, we think that the Governments should concentrate
attention and funds on the provision of facilities for pupils between
the ages of 6 and 12. The estimated number of children between these
ages is approximately equal to the number of children now enrolled
in the schools. If attendance were enforced between these ages, and
if children about and below them were excluded, the number of pupils
would remain the same, though the number of classes would be less.
On a voluntary basis the restriction we propose will reduce the number
of pupils and thereby set free funds, not otherwise forthcoming, for
measures of reform which will ensure a more effective type of educa-
tion than the present nine-year course provides.

98. If attendance were enforced, it would be possible in properly
staffed schools to provide during the proposed six years a foundation
for useful citizenship and the minimum educational requirements of
a civilized country. It is doubtful whether the present economic con-
ditions of the West Indies justify an attempt to provide for all
children a nine-year course from 5 to 14. It is quite certain that
what is at present provided in most schools in the later years of the
course does not justify the expenditure on tt or the retention of in-
telligent and industrious pupils of over 12 for the purpose of
receiving it.

99. On a voluntary basis regular attendance will be stimulated if
pupils become more aware that facilities are liable to be withdrawn
after the age of 12. Pupils who attend a well-staffed school regularly
will get more from a six-year course than Irregular attenders get at
present from a nominal nine-year course In a poorly-staffed school.
The Governments cannot afford to provide additional staff for pupils
whose progress is retarded and school life prolonged by irregular

Provision of Higher Courses for Pupils of proved ability.

102. In recommending this restriction of the primary school life,
we do not desire to contemplate any restriction of educational
facilities for pupils who have shown in the primary schools outstand-
ing proof of industry and intelligence. Our recommendation on this
point is subject to the condition that a course of higher education,
which, for reasons given elsewhere, we shall call secondary rather
than post-primary, is provided free of charge for such pupils. This
higher course will be to the primary school course somewhat the same
relation as the "senior schools" for 11 plus pupils bear to the "junior
schools" in the accepted scheme of reorganization of the English
elementary school system. It will provide a more effective education
than could be given in the top classes of the West Indian primary
school as it is at present or as it is likely to be for many years under
existing financial conditions. In course of time, with an improvement
in financial conditions, this higher course will gradually be extended
until it is available on a compulsory basis for all pupils up to 14. The
nature of the course and the mode of transfer to It from the primary
school is explained elsewhere.

Reasons for raising the Minimum Age.

103. We are aware that our recommendation for the raising of
the minimum age limit from 5, or, as it is in some islands, from 4
to 6, is open to weighty objections. If funds were available it would
certainly be proper for children to begin their school life in properly
equipped Infant schools at 5 years of age, and nursery schools below
that age are desirable. There are many, too, who hold that even in
badly taught and overcrowded schools children of 4 to 6 are better
off than in the ordinary West Indian home of the poorer class. It
1 4*

is urged, too, by the teachers, who are united in their opposition to
such restriction, that an early start is essential if good habits are to
replace the bad habits of the street and home, and that the older
children will not be allowed to attend school unless they can bring
with them the younger also for whose care otherwise they would be
made responsible by the parents who are at work. Admitting the full
force of these arguments, we are none the less convinced that
children over 6 years of age have a stronger claim on public educa-
tional funds than children below that age, who should be considered
only after adequate and effective provision has been made for the
older children. If funds are available after efficient teaching and
sufficient accommodation has been provided for children of 6 to 12,
they should certainly be devoted to the younger children. As we do
not think this likely from what we have been told of the financial
position, we hold that calculations should be made in the first instance
for a six-year course. As soon as parents realize that the children
are likely to be turned out at 12, they will be more ready to send
them regularly to school. Those who regularly attend properly staffed
and housed schools will learn more when they begin at 6 than they
learn ait present by starting at 5.

Admission of under-age or over-age pupils.

104. Our recommendation regarding the length of the school life
should not be interpreted as meaning no pupils under 6 or over 12
are to be admitted or retained in any school. What we propose is that
staff accommodation should be calculated on the basis of a school
life of 6 years. There will be, no doubt, schools where staff and accom-
modation calculated on this assumption will suffice for more pupils
than those between the ages of 6 and 12 who actually attend. There
need be no objection in such cases to the admission or retention of
under-age or over-age pupils. No head teacher should, however, be
compelled to accept such pupils. Nor should he be allowed to accept
them if such acceptance is prejudicial to the teaching of pupils within
the sanctioned school age. We recommend also that the present,
practice of allowing under-age or over-age pupils to receive instruc-
tion in the school, provided that they are not formally enrolled in
the school register, should be strictly forbidden.

Chapter 6: The Curriculum.

Requirements of a Rural Population.

107. Most of the primary schools in the West Indies are intended
for a rural and agricultural population. Our observations and recom-
mendations refer essentially to this class of school except where urban
schools are expressly mentioned.

Merits and Defects of present Curriculum.

110. We do not find that objection to manual work and training
which we had been led by some to expect. We found almost every-
where determined efforts to make the school garden educationally
effective. Often these efforts lacked guidance and knowledge, but all
testified to initiative and good will on the teacher's part. The real
weakness of the primary school at present consists not in its neglect
of garden or handwork but in its failure to concentrate on essentials,
and in the lack of adaptation of curriculum to the qualifications and
capability of the staff. The time-table of the average school is littered
with subjects or fragments of subjects that bear no relation to the
lives of the pupils or the qualifications and ability of the teachers.
Simplification of the curriculum and time-table is the most urgent
need at present.

Employers' Views.

111. We emphasize this need with special reference to the evidence
we received from employers of the product of the primary schools.
What they rightly demand in addition to the training of will and
character is the acquisition of a sound and practical knowledge of
simple English, that is, ability to understand and use the language
for the ordinary purposes of industrial or commercial life, a working
knowledge of the simple rules of arithmetic and mensuration, and a
sharpening of general intelligence. For vocational training of a special-
ized kind they see no need, though they welcome such occupations
as will keep the pupils in touch with industrial or commercial life and
create an interest in the pursuits they are likely to adopt. And for
practically all other "subjects" they have a profound mistrust as tend-
ing to superficiality and diverting attention to unessential, and
sometimes unsuitable, objects

Cultural Requirements.

112. On the cultural side we think it possible and necessary to aim
higher than these critics would perhaps approve without increasing
the number of "subjects" or weakening the policy of simplification and
concentration which we cordially support. The simpler kind of curricu-
lum that we have in mind is intended by us to prepare pupils for
higher stages of education as well as for entry into wage-earning
occupations and also to increase their interest in, and enjoyment of,

The Essential Features.

113. Until the supply of well-educated and trained teachers is
more fully secured, the average school should not attempt, so far as
separate "subjects" are concerned, anything more than English, simple
and practical arithmetic with very elementary mensuration and space
work, nature study in accordance with a simple and definite syllabus
planned in conjunction with the Agricultural Department, and the

simple laws of health on a similar kind of syllabus prepared in co-
operation with the Medical Department. In connexion with all these
subjects, but particularly in connexion with nature study and ele-
mentary mathematics, there should be as much hand and eye train-
ing as possible. For this the school garden, maintained in the closest
possible connexion with the nature study syllabus, will afford abundant

The Teaching of English.

115. It is mainly on the English lessons that the schools must
depend not only for general information but also for "culture." No
subject is worse taught at present. There Is no reason why the primary
school pupil should lack means for intelligent enjoyment and under-
standing of life outside his immediate environment if the readers are
carefully selected and used and if the teachers are properly educated
and supervised. The English syllabus needs complete recasting and
careful statement of aims, which must emphasize a capacity for in-
telligent reading, a taste for reading, and the art of clear and simple
expression. It Is equally important that it should exclude a fragmentary
knowledge of the names and dates of famous authors and all grammar,
such as the feminine of "Administrator," "Swain," and "Husbandman,"
or the parsing of "Good Heavens!" which is not directly conducive
to intelligent reading, speech, and writing.

Oral Work.

116 We were shocked by most of the oral English work of both
teachers and students, which often left us wondering whether in
course of time English as spoken by large portions of the West Indies
population would be intelligible to English visitors from other parts.
Speech training and phonetics should play an important part in the
course of the Central Training Institute and in central classes for
teachers. And the purchase of a gramophone and a few gramophone
records of correctly spoken English, such as are produced by several
firms, should not be beyond the means of the poorest Colony. Taken
by the Inspector on tour and used in central classes this inexpensive
apparatus could do much good.

School gardens and co-operation with Agricultural Departments.

119. Considering the almost complete absence of trained teachers
outside Trinidad, we have been agreeably surprised by the extent of
the school garden work. A creditably large proportion of schools have
gardens in which boys and teachers obviously take an active and
fairly intelligent interest. In many of them fruit and food crops are
cultivated in such a way as to give practice in the simpler forms of
husbandry. This work Is not as a rule organically connected with a
definite scheme of nature study. This will come gradually as a result
of training and central class facilities, and further co-operation with
the Agricultural Departments. But there are already signs in most of

the islands of such co-operation in the preparation of syllabuses and
pamphlets, advice regarding garden arrangement, group instruction of
teachers, and inspection of gardens. - -

129. We have said nothing about the aesthetic side of the school
course, not because we ignore its significance, but because there is
so much that more urgently claims attention. The Central Training
Institute may be trusted not to lose sight of aesthetic aims. We hope
that it will pay particular attention to music, dancing, and acting.
The love of rhythm, and natural grace In pose and gesture, are to be
found everywhere in the WI., and also an intense desire for .self-
expression through every kind of movement This requires encourage-
ment and direction on right lines. Singing is practised In almost
every school. What we heard was hearty and showed a sense of rhythm
and tune. Few, however, of the teachers had any Idea of voice pro-
duction. Where any systematic teaching had been given, the results
were excellent. There Is a great opportunity here for any school
managers with musical ability. It is greatly to be hoped that the
Central Training Institute will investigate local songs and melodies.
We understand that some, because of their content or associations,
are not adaptable to school use, but there must be local material
capable of adaptation. The material available for school dramatic
performances is excellent.

The essential and unifying Principle of the School Course.

130. Though we have been compelled to distinguish in this chapter
the constituent elements of the primary school course, we are con-
vinced that its effectiveness depends on the existence of one central
and unifying purpose, namely the training of the child for service
to the community. Since this involves the development of the power
of self-expression, and results in intelligent enjoyment of life, it
cannot be criticised as subordinating the interests of the child to the
community. The vital and organic connexion between the school and
the community should be constantly before the minds of those who
are responsible for the training and supervision of primary school

Chapter 7: The Teaching Staff

Functions of the Primary School Teacher.

131. The usefulness of the school depends primarily not on the
subjects taught and the content of those subjects, but on the character
and personality of the teacher, and on his attitude to life quite as
much as on his education and training. We were told by many
witnesses, and by some who have obviously no -bias against "education
as such" that the primary school is mistrusted by employers of labour


and those who come into closest contact with rural life. It fails to
check, if it is not actually responsible for creating, an unreadiness
for hard work, which is said to be on the increase. No "subjects" will
in themselves remedy this defect. Its removal depends on the deter-
mination of the teacher, assisted by his Church, and by such higher
education and training as can be afforded for him, to Inculcate in his
pupils by personal example even more than by mode of teaching, a
willingness to work, a readiness to learn, a lively and active interest
in local life and occupations, and a strong desire to serve the com-
munity in which they live.

Shortage of trained Teachers.

132. In chapter II we have emphasized the serious lack of trained
teachers and the absence of any provision, outside Trinidad, for a
steady increase in the number of teachers trained on sound and
thorough lines, and have made proposals for the gradual remedying
of this defect. Only 16 per cent of the teachers have had any kind of
training, Trinidad standing first with 27 per cent and St. Lucia having
on its staff only one West Indian trained teacher. For financial and
other reasons, a rapid increase in the number of trained teachers is
not to be expected Progress will depend not so much on their number
as on the concentration of some of them in schools selected for de-
velopment as demonstration centres and on the influence exercised
by the others through central class instruction, supervision, or the
control of manual training and housecraft centres.

Shortage of Certificated Teachers and excess of Pupil-Teachers.

133. The proportion of "certificated" teachers is also very small in
most of the islands and the standard of certification dangerously low.
In St. Lucia there is only one such teacher for every 193 pupils, in
St. Kitts and in two other islands one for every 80 pupils. Here, as in
other staff matters, Barbados (one for 37) and Trinidad (one for 42)
are well above the general level. By a "certificated" teacher is meant
one who, without necessarily having been trained, has reached the
prescribed standard, which in some islands is below the level of the
Cambridge Junior Certificate, and has satisfied the Education De-
partment in an examination on school method and management.
Almost all of the certificated teachers reach one or other of the
prescribed educational standards (which are graded) by their own
private studies under the direction and guidance of the head teachers
of the schools in which they are employed as pupil-teachers. The
proportion of pupil-teachers is high in all islands, the average per-
centage being 41, and abnormally high in St. Lucia. There is also a
regrettable tendency to regard them as a permanent and integral
part of the staff, instead of as a temporary device dictated by financial
limitations and the defective supply of certificated teachers, a device
for which there should be a steadily diminishing need as funds become
available and organisation is improved. It is even more important
to avoid official recognition of the "voluntary teachers" who are found

working in some schools, with the approval of the head teacher,
apparently in the hope of being some time taken on as pupil-teachers.
There is no objection to such honorary work being undertaken by
persons whose educational qualifications have been approved by the
Education Department, as in the case of "monitors" in Trinidad, or
to their being admitted to pupil-teachers' examinations. But the
issue is confused by their inclusion in the recognized staff of the

Recruitment and certification of Teachers.

134. We consider that all arrangements for the education of pupil-
teachers and for their certification at the end of their course should
be brought under the direction and guidance of the two Commission-
ers of Education, so as to ensure a common and reasonably high
standard. They will certainly see that no teacher obtains a final
certificate without giving satisfactory proof of ability to teach in a
practical examination following on a recorded period of probation.
In .almost every island it seems to be accepted that ability to explain
how a subject should be taught or a school controlled implies ability
to teach the subject or control the school.

135. As a general rule no teacher should be finally certified till he
has attained a standard of general education equivalent to that of
the First (Senior) School Certificate or of the certificate that will
close the senior modern school course. It is highly desirable that there
should be a substantial leaven of teachers who have completed the
senior course in a modern school. In our later proposals relating to
the pay of teachers, we emphasize the need for making it worth the
teachers' while to improve their qualifications.

Central Class Instruction.

137. For the benefit of those who have completed the pupil-
teachers' course and of those who enter the profession after com-
pletion of the secondary school course, there should be central classes
for instruction in school management and method, conducted by the
Inspector of Schools with the help of the specialist instructors who
have been trained in the Central Training Institute. On Saturday
mornings and during the school vacations model lessons should also
be given. Attendance at these classes should be a condition of appear-
ing for the Teacher's Certificate Examination.

138. There should be similar central class instruction for the
certificated teachers. The co-operation of officers of the Agricultural
and Medical Departments for more technical instruction in garden
work and hygiene should also be sought for these classes.

Teachers' Salaries.

139. The question of teachers' pay and prospects was not explicitly
included in our terms of reference, but demands consideration in its

bearing on recruitment. There has been during the last ten years
considerable improvement in the pay and status of teachers, which
in Trinidad and Barbados may now be considered as generally satis-
factory. In the present financial circumstances we are not disposed
to urge, even in the Islands where the position is far less satisfactory,
such general revision of scales of pay as would involve increase of ex-
penditure on the present number of teachers. The attitude of the
Government and of the Legislative Councils towards the teachers
seemed to us sympathetic. The political danger likely to result from
poorly paid and.discontented teachers is, we believe, realized, and, as
funds become available, there will be willingness to consider such
revision as comparison with other Government departments, or in-
vestigation of the cost of living, may suggest. Economic revival, while
it increases the demand for educated employees, will also provide
means by which the Education Department may compete on favour-
able terms with other employers. We confine ourselves to those features
of the sanctioned scales which, in our opinion, are particularly adverse
to recruitment, or specially hard on certain classes of teachers. Owing
to the differences in the cost of living and financial circumstances,
it is impossible to suggest for the islands as a whole any common
scales of pay.

140. It is particularly important to provide salaries for the early
stages of a certificated teacher's career that will induce pupil-teachers
to complete their course and qualify, instead of turning in the later
stages of the preliminary course to some other more immediately re-
munerative profession, and which will attract students who have com-
pleted the secondary school course. We have reason to suppose that
many of the island cadres lose promising young men just at that
critical stage when matrimony is contemplated and the initial salary
of a profession is more carefully examined than its security or
ultimate prospects. - - -

In several islands the starting pay of fully qualified teachers
seemed to us to compare unfavourably with the starting pay of
sanitary inspectors and Government clerks with similar, or even
inferior, qualifications. Even in Trinidad we found a tendency on the
part of recently trained teachers to seek service in other departments.
We think that steps should be taken to prevent the employment of
teachers, trained at the public expense, by other Government depart-
ments within a stated period after the completion of training.

141. It is also important that regular provision should be made in
the Education budgets for increases in salaries consequent on the
gaining or enhancement of certificates, or on the operations of an
incremental scale. In this connexion we note that it has apparently
been found necessary in the Leeward Islands and St. Lucia to limit
educational expenditure, pending improvement of the financial situa-
tion, by the assignment of a budget maximum. In fixing this maximum
expenditure, account does not always seem to have been taken of
such normal increment or increase in certificate value as we have

referred to above. As a result, there has been disagreement and dis-
content. As there is no certainty that improvement of certificate will
result in increase of salary, uncertificated teachers in some of the
islands show no desire to pursue their studies diligently. - - If
some elasticity in such matters cannot be allowed, the only course
seems to be a reduction in the number of unqualified teachers, in
order to provide the full sanctioned pay for the better qualified

142. Early steps should also be taken in some islands to raise the
minimum pay of some of the teachers who have emerged from the
pupil-teacher stage, but are not fully qualified. We assume that, even
in the case of women teachers, they are more responsible at this stage
for supporting themselves than are pupil-teachers. For teachers of
this class a salary of 12 a year, which we found in two islands,
obviously cannot supply food and clothing, even it lodging is supplied
by parents or relations. We note that the minimum pay for a lady
typist in one of these two islands is 40 a year. The marked difference
between this salary of 12 and the minimum salary of 40 given in
Trinidad cannot be accounted for merely by a difference in the cost
of living. Here again it would be better to reduce the number of posts
to provide for the necessary increase, than to allow continuance of
such salaries.

145. We suggest also that savings might be affected for these
purposes by some reduction in the pupil-teacher's rate of remunera-
tion, more particularly in the first half of the four-year course. There
is ample evidence that candidates for the first year or two of this
course are in considerable excess of the demand. Lf the rates were
substantially reduced, those who join at present merely with the aim
of getting wages that their very meagre qualifications and youth
would be unlikely to secure In other lines would no longer come
forward and the number of those who give up before completion of
the course would be correspondingly reduced. Boys and girls of 15
and 16 who are apprentices or trained in other professions that hold
out reasonable hopes of advancement do not expect much beyond a
free education and training and the free supply of necessary books
and materials. These should, of course, be guaranteed. Beyond this
there seems to be no strong claim until the first examination is passed
at the close of two years. Anything further that may be allowed should
be only the minimum required to ensure a steady flow of candidates,
the required number of which will diminish as the number of certi-
ficated teachers and direct recruits from the secondary schools

Teachers' Unions or Associations.

154. We note with approval the development of Teachers' Associa-
tions in most of the islands. With encouragement and advice from the
Education Department they are gradually establishing among teach-
ers a sense of the dignity of their profession, self-confidence and interest

in their work. They provide also a means whereby the authorities may
negotiate and communicate with the teachers. It is to be regretted
that women teachers and the younger members of the profession take
so little share in these associations' activities. In Trinidad, which
possesses the most effective association, 68 per cent of the teachers
are members, but only 50 per cent of the assistant teachers are in-
cluded among them. In the Leeward Islands and St. Lucia there has
been so far no effective organisation of their work. The Trinidad
association is responsible for a useful journal and the deputation
which it sent to interview us showed that it had profited greatly
from affiliation to the National Union of Teachers in England. In
urging the need for younger members of the profession to play a more
vigorous part we do not under-rate the importance of the work that
is being done for the profession by the head teachers who, In their
association work as well as in the conduct of their schools, impressed
us as a whole most favourably by their zeal and ability. If their
mastery of the technique of their profession were as marked as their
ability in the conduct of affairs and management of staff and pupils,
they would challenge comparison with head teachers In any other
part of the Empire.


Existing facilities for Secondary Education.

171. In the islands that we visited there are 18 secondary schools
for boys, with an enrolment of 2,180, and 14 schools for girls, with an
enrolment of 1,519, maintained or assisted from public funds. Of
these schools 11 are in Barbados, 7 in Trinidad, 3 in Grenada, and two
in each of the remaining islands, except Montserrat, which only has
one, and the Virgin Islands, which have none. The schools in Bar-
bados are distributed over the islands, and in Trinidad are confined
to two centres. In the other islands the schools are at the headquarters
stations. Montserrat and the Virgin Islands are the only areas where
no separate provision is made for girls' secondary education.

172. For the islands as a whole, the percentage of population
taking secondary school courses is only .34, and in no island is it
more than 1. It is highest in Barbados and Antigua. The proportion
of secondary school pupils to primary school pupils is highest in
Barbados, where it amounts to 4 per cent. The percentage of secondary
pupils who enjoy complete or partial exemption from school fees is
36 in Barbados. We have no accurate figures for the other islands,
but the percentage is probably about the same. The secondary school
figures include pupils who are in the primary stage of instruction but
are studying in the preparatory department of a secondary school.

173. The average secondary school life is short. In Barbados, for
which alone we have reliable figures on this subject, the school life
is less than two years in three schools, and in only two of the 11

schools is it more than four years. It is unlikely that any island is
more favourably situated in this respect than Barbados. The number
of candidates in 1930 for the Cambridge Junior Certificate, usually
taken after three or four years' work in a secondary school, was 291
boys and 215 girls for all the Islands. The number of candidates for
the Senior Certificate was only 203 boys and 70 girls, which is less
than 8 per cent. of the total enrolment of secondary schools. Pupils
who do not reach this stage in the schools as at present constituted
cannot be said to have completed a secondary school course.

Proposals for a new type of secondary school, "The Modern School."

182. A new and additional type of school is needed providing
courses of instruction that are practical in the broadest sense, not
merely vocational or utilitarian, but with a cultural basis of general
education, directed essentially to the stimulation of interest in the
pupils' social and industrial environment, and calculated to create a
taste and aptitude for industrial, agricultural, and commercial pursuits,
or-for social service in primary schools and elsewhere, rather than
for the "learned" professions and sedentary or clerical posts in Gov-
ernment service. We propose to call this new type of secondary school
the "Modern School" and the present type, which will continue, the
"Classical School".

183. The modern school should provide junior and senior courses.
The Junior course should be complete in itself and should provide for
pupils of 12 to 15. Until the financial position improves, and the
demand for persons unth higher educational attainments increases,
the free education provided for the ex-primary school pupils on the
results of a selection test will stop at the completion of this stage.
In the larger urban centres they should be able to proceed from this
to a controlled system of trade apprenticeship combined with trade
or industrial instruction in evening classes. They can proceed also to
pupil-teachers' work in preparation for the primary school-teachers'
profession. Scholarship holders and those who can afford the fees for
the higher stage should have a further course of 2- 3 years, reaching
at the close of it a standard equivalent to that of the Cambridge
Senior School Certificate, though the subjects in which proficiency is
required may differ considerably from what is stipulated in the
Cambridge regulations. Certificates should be awarded at the close
of both the junior and senior courses. We shall make proposals later
regarding the method of award and recognition of these certificates.

Objections to be met.

183. The obvious objection to the proposed modern school is that
it will fail to attract parents, who apart from a conservative inclina-
tion towards the older type of school, will prefer it as opening the
way to University studies, the island scholarships and the various forms
of Government service at present open to Cambridge Certificate hold-
ers. There will In any case be a constant supply of ex-primary school

pupils for the modern school, for it Is not proposed to offer them
free education in the classical schools, though a few of them may win
"open" scholarships there. But it is necessary and possible to devise
means for diverting some of the other class of pupils to this new type
of school.

Education In a Modern School to be equivalent in value to that
given in a Classical School.

184. In the first place there should be no mark or suggestion of
inferiority in the modern school. In staff and equipment it should
be on a level with the classical school. It should not provide, as some
"second grade" schools provide at present, a cheap and nasty imita-
tion of a Cambridge Certificate course. It is to prevent any suggestion
of inferiority that we have suggested the term "secondary" rather
than "post primary" even for the junior course of the modern school.

Government recognition of Modern School Certificates.

185. This equivalence of value should further be emphasised by an
explicit recognition by the Government of the certificate awarded at
the close of the modern school courses as equivalent to the Cambridge
School Certificate, and of the certificate at the conclusion of the junior
course as valid for all purposes for which the Cambridge Junior Certi-
ficate has hitherto been recognized as valid. Such recognition, coupled
with the withdrawal from the classical schools of the right of present-
ing candidates for the Cambridge Junior Certificate (which is recom-
mended below) will divert from the latter type of school those pupils
who are now being sent there mainly to obtain that certificate with-
out much prospect of going further, and will attract them to the
modern school whose junior certificate will open up at least some
occupations and forms of Government service to them. Further the
fees for the modern school course should be lower than that for the
classical school, until at any rate the former school has become firmly
established and popular.

Constituent Elements of the Courses.

190. The common basis of general education for all types of this
school should be English, elementary science, elementary mathematics,
and the training of hand and eye through drawing, woodwork, needle-
work, skilled horticultural operations, such as budding and grafting,
or other kinds of work which have vocational as well as educational
value. The "cultural" subject par excellence will be English, which, as
in the primary schools but to a more advanced extent, should aim
essentially at cultivating a taste for good literature, an interest in all
phases of life, a desire -for knowledge and ability to acquire it, and
the art of clear expression. Such history and geography as is obviously
an. integral part of any general education scheme can be taught in
connexion with the study of English and with the help of supple-
mentary reading books. They are not essential as separate or highly

developed subjects. The elementary science course will vary in empha-
sis according to the type of school, nature study, biology and chem-
istry predominating in the agricultural type, certain branches of
physics in the industrial, and physiology in the girls' schools. In all
alike a scientific basis should be established for the main principles
of hygiene. In elementary mathematics, practical geometry and men-
suration will receive special attention, algebra will not proceed much
further than the use of symbols, and the scope of arithmetic will be
determined by its practical bearing on the vocations that the school
has most in mind.

190. In addition to these general education subjects there will be
such "special" subjects, or specialized development of manual training
and other general education subjects, as time and funds and local
demand for skilled workers justifies. In commercial centres for in-
stance there may be a need for development of arithmetic on the
book-keeping side or of economic geography and history. Shorthand
and typing are not in the true sense educational subjects and their
inclusion in the modern school course is not recommended where
private institutions exist for such instruction.

Centres for Manual Training and Domestic Science.

195. Development of the modern schools on the proposed lines will
involve the establishment, equipment, and competent staffing of one
centre for manual training and one for domestic economy and house-
craft in every island. We use the word "centre" because the staff,
building, and equipment though attached to a modern school, will
have also to be at the disposal of the top classes of primary schools,
central classes for primary school teachers, evening classes for
apprentices and ex-pupils of primary schools; and possibly pupils of
classical schools will take manual training or domestic science as an
optional subject. The small island modern schools for boys should
have an agricultural rather than a commercial or an industrial bias,
in view of the economic circumstances and future of these islands.
They will need, therefore, about ten acres of land in the neighbour-
hood of the school, for demonstration and practical work and neces-
sary equipment for those purposes. Woodwork will also be included
in their scheme of manual training. What they learn under this head
will be of use to them in agricultural professions and pupils who show
special aptitude can be encouraged to proceed after leaving school to
continuation classes in carpentry, if agricultural work does not attract
them. For this reason it will be convenient if the woodwork centre is
attached, as suggested above, to the secondary school.

The relations of the Modern Secondary School to Primary Education.

196. The modern schools whose development we are contemplating
will be numerically stronger than the existing schools out of which
they are to grow, if, in accordance with our proposal, free instruction
is given in their junior course to selected ex-primary school pupils.
1 5 4

It will be remembered that we coupled this recommendation with our
proposal to restrict the provision at public expense of primary school
facilities to pupils between 6 and 12 years of age. In planning the
modern school course, we have paid particular, though not exclusive,
attention to the need, of such pupils. We believe that public interest
will be served better by giving a smaller number of pupils between 12
and 15 free education in a well staffed and equipped school of the
kind we have proposed, than by the present distribution of a larger
number of pupils among the top classes of poorly staffed and equipped
primary schools. - As the financial position Improves, the number
of modern schools will, we hope, be steadily increased. Meanwhile,
by concentrating selected ex-primary school pupils in one secondary
school, the Government will get more value out of its expenditure on
secondary education than is at present possible with secondary school
attendance limited to a small number of fee-paying pupils.

The Classical Secondary School Courses of Study.

201. In those secondary schools which we are recommending for
classification as classical schools we contemplate no radical changes
as far as curricula and aims are concerned. They will presumably
continue to have in view the Cambridge School Certificate Examina-
tion. We think, however, that elementary science and drawing ought
to be taken, though not necessarily as examination subjects, by all
pupils for at least two complete years in the full school course. The
taking of two classical languages should at no stage be compulsory,
and the study of either Greek or Latin for a period too short to yield
any substantial results should be discouraged. Facilities should be
provided at the woodwork and domestic science centres for pupils of
these schools who wish to take these subjects as alternatives. We
deprecate the inclusion in the curriculum of these schools of short-
hand and typewriting, which have no educational value. If the com-
mercial side of urban modern schools is developed there will be no
need for the expenditure of time or funds on any subject of this kind
in the classical school.

University Qualifications.

209. Taking the schools which are likely to become classical and
those which are likely to become modern as a whole, we are impressed
by the comparatively small percentage of teachers with University
degrees. Barbados in this respect stands highest and Trinidad is fairly
well off. In 14 secondary schools In the other islands we found only
12 graduates. This will no doubt be remedied as financial circumstan-
ces improve. But it is not only funds but also the source of supply
that must be considered. It is obviously desirable for financial and
other reasons that secondary schools should depend so far as possible
on local recruitment for their staff. But even with the help of island
scholarships it is financially impossible for a large number of future
secondary school teachers to get University education outside of the
West Indies. In the islands that we visited Codrington College is the

only institution which provides a residential course leading up to a
University (Durham) degree. And this College is compelled by finan-
cial cricumstances to confine its attention to the classics and theology.
We have no evidence that Jamaica or the other parts of the West
Indies not visited by us will be able to make a substantial contribu-
tion in this respect.

210. Even if University education had been within our terms of
reference we should not have felt justified, in view of the more urgent
educational claims on public funds, in recommending, for the present,
assistance from those funds to enable Codrington College to enlarge
its present scope. But we feel that the future of West Indian second-
ary education depends largely on local provision being made for
University training in all the main subjects of the secondary school
curriculum. It would be a most appropriate object of private bene-
faction. In dealing later with the question of island scholarships we
shall refer to the possibility of diverting some of the funds set apart
for these scholarships from the encouragement of University studies
outside the West Indies to the local development of University

The final chapter of the Marriott Mayhew Report explained that
the writers expect criticism for the limited nature of their recom-
mendations for the reform of a wholly inadequate system. They
claimed however that at a time of financial stringency It was more
constructive to define the basic requirements, showing how they were
indispensable to each other, rather than to set out a comprehensive
list in a priority order, knowing that most of it would be ignored.
They were forerunners of modern educational planners in that they
costed most of their items indicating that funds should be sought for
all rather than random attempts at a few.
The recommendations are so similar in tone and substance to
post-war educational plans that it could be thought that the Marriott
Mayhew Report had -far more effect than it did. In fact funds for the
Central Institute which was the key to the whole development in
primary education were not found until 1940; by then it was delayed
by the Second World War, and during the war came the idea of a
West Indian university which superseded the plan for the Central
The expert advisers, however, were appointed in 1936 in the form
of the Education Commissioners financed for three years by a grant
from the Carnegie Foundation. Without the Central Institute their
function was more limited, but they added in 1937 and 1938 detailed
reports on education in the area which spelt out what Marriott
Mayhew had said.
The Moyne Commissioners in 1939 could do little more than repeat
their predecessors in discussing education in the nineteen-thirties.
They do however report that "a good deal of local opposition" had been
aroused by the Marriott Mayhew proposal to reduce the length of

primary education, and more particularly by the modern school pro-
posal which had been interpreted as a threat to the traditional sec-
ondary schools. The Moyne Commissioners emphatically denied that
either measure was intended "to lower the standard of education for the
people." On the contrary, they warned against a tendency for inter-
mediate schools of the modern secondary type "to be treated in respect
of buildings, staff and equipment as less important than the existing
secondary schools."

A world war and then a rapid movement towards political inde-
pendence, via an abortive federation in the West Indies, make the
thirty year old Marriott Mayhew Report an historical document. It is
noteworthy, however, that its trends have been followed in much of
the post-war educational development, although they have not been
brought to systematic fulfilment.

Department of Education,
University of the West Indies.


The Richest Trade Centre of the Indies:

A Vision of Trinidad's Future

. . If God aids me to settle Guyana, Trinidad will be the
richest trade centre of the Indies; and in order that people may be
encouraged to come there I desire that the fact of its settlement may
be proclaimed." This is taken from a despatch written on January 1st,
1593, to the Council of the Indies by Don Antonio de Berrio, the Spanish
Governor of Trinidad who started the first permanent settlement on
the island, his predecessor having been driven out by the hostility of
the Indians in 1534. Don Antonio said of Guyana, . ift is one
twentieth of what is supposed it will be richer than Peru."

Neither of these predictions were to be fulfilled in spite of the fact
that, as Don Antonio said, Trinidad was "a fertile country." The
natural resources which attracted Don Antonio were a good harbour
which was free from hurricanes, the famous Pitch Lake which was
highly praised by Sir Walter Raleigh when he visited Trinidad in 1595,
fertile soil, a plentiful supply of wood and, last but not least, an import-
ant strategic position at the mouth of the Orinoco River.

Don Antonio de Berrio was Governor from 1592 to 1597 and spent
almost the whole of his private fortune exploring the Orinoco search-
ing for the mythical El Dorado. He also founded San Thom4 on the
Orinoco at the same time as he founded the Spanish capital of Trinidad,
San Jos6 de Orufia.

For the greater part of the Spanish colonial period Trinidad was
considered important only as a base for expeditions to the mainland
and requests made by the Spanish governors of Trinidad during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for adequate supplies of men and
munitions were generally ignored in Spain. A short period of pros-
perity at the beginning of the eighteenth century, which was based on
the cultivation of cocoa, came to an abrupt end in 1727 when the cocoa
trees were stricken by disease and by 1757 the Cabildo at San Jos6 had
become too poor even to repair the Casa Rdal, so that the governors
henceforth resided in Port-of-Spain, which was then a small fishing

The irony of the situation can be appreciated when It is realized
that during the years of neglect Spain was not in any real danger of
losing Trinidad. It Is true that sporadic raids and even attempts at
settlement were made from time to time by Spain's rivals, but these
attempts were not sufficiently well organised or supported to have any
hope of permanent success.

When, however, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century
Spain's commercial policy at last began to change and the economic
development of Trinidad proceeded at a fairly rapid pace, the other
colonial powers became aware that Trinidad was potentially a source
of very great danger to them and the loss of Trinidad by Spain became
almost inevitable.

A change in Spain's commercial policy with regard to her colonies
becomes apparent after 1763. In the case of Cuba, for example, the
British occupation of Havana during the Seven Years' War helped to
stimulate Cuban trade. British officers acquired a taste for Cuban
cigars and snuff, and helped to spread these new fashions in Europe
after Cuba was restored to Spain in 1763. These Cuban industries were
encouraged by Spain after 1763 and this helped to compensate Cuba
for the loss of her strategic importance when the old convoy system
was abandoned. Puerto Rico now took the place of Havana as the
most important Spanish base in the Caribbean. The great fortresses
of San Cristobal and San Felipe del Morro "were developed on plans
derived from Vauban, into the most powerful stronghold in all America."
Like the Morro at Havana, these works were paid for by "situados" from
Mexico. The mines of Mexico also helped to subsidize the Govern-
ment of Trinidad which had always been too poor to contribute to the
cost of its own administration.

One of the first signs of Spain's awakening interest In Trinidad was
the transfer of the administration of Trinidad and Margarita to the
Government and military command of the Captain General of
Venezuela. Formerly they had been administered as part of the King-
dom of New Granada, but they were too far from Santa F6 for the old
arrangement to be satisfactory. In 1783 the Viceroy of the Kingdom
of New Granada made the further suggestion that the Orinoco and
the Rio Meta could play a more important part in communication
between Santa F6 and Spain and that Trinidad should be a port of
entry for all vessels trading up to Santa F6. Nothing came of this
suggestion; Fraser in his History of Trinidad argues that the commercial
development of Trinidad was sacrificed to the interests of the merchants
and garrison at Cartagena, whose trade would have been destroyed by
such a development in Trinidad.

Although the Viceroy's ambitious scheme did not materialize, there
was nevertheless considerable economic development in Trinidad in
the last quarter of the eighteenth century. In 1777 M. Roume de St.
Laurent, a French citizen resident in Grenada, suggested to the Spanish
Government a scheme for colonizing Trinidad. These suggestions were
contained in a document entitled "Considerations sur 1'6tablissment
d'une colonie, etc. 1777." In this document St. Laurent pointed out
that the commerce of Spain was threatened by the new American con-
federation and also by the fact that the power of Britain in the Carib-
bean had been increased by French losses in the Seven Years' War. He
felt that the colonization and development of Trinidad were vital from
Spain's point of view and that only French colonists would be suitable,
partly on religious grounds and partly because Spain and France had

already been drawn together by the "Family Compacts." But he point-
ed out that French colonists were being attracted away from the West
Indian islands to the emergent United States and therefore it would
be necessary to offer special terms to Induce them to come to Trinidad.
The suggestion that the settlers be given free grants of land was imple-
mented In the Cedula of Colonization in 1783. St. Laurent's scheme
was applied to Trinidad In 1784 and eventually to Puerto Rico In 1815.

Of the series of Royal Cedulas issued during this period the most
important Is that of 1783. Settlers were to be given land free of charge
and they were to be exempt from most forms of taxation for a period
of ten years. Each European settler was to have four and two-sevenths
fanegas of land (approximately 32 acres), and a half of that quantity
for each slave. Free Africans were to have half the amount granted
to Europeans and slaves could be brought to Trinidad free of duties
for a period of ten years, although their re-exportation to any other
part of the Spanish Empire was prohibited. Free trade was to be
allowed between Trinidad and Spain's other American possessions for
ten years starting from 1st January 1785 but goods imported Into
Trinidad were naturally not to be re-exported elsewhere. The Cedula
also stated that runaway slaves from other islands belonging to foreign
powers were to be restored.

It was proposed to set up sugar refineries in Spain at a later date
when the sugar crop had become abundant in Trinidad. The Com-
mander-In-Chief of the provinces of Caracas was to send the settlers
cattle, mules and horses as well as flour and meal, thus ending the
traditional Spanish policy which had prevented the development of
Trinidad for almost two hundred years.

The new Spanish policy was implemented by a new governor, Don
Jos6 Maria Chacon, who was undoubtedly the most enlightened of all
the Spanish governors of Trinidad. He made every effort to develop
Trinidad in a way in which Don Antonio de Berrio would have approved,
but in the end his efforts, like those of Don Antonio himself, were
doomed because of lack of support from the home government, especially
with regard to the defence of Trinidad.

Chacon wished to make Trinidad self-supporting; but if Trinidad
became prosperous more adequate provisions for defence would be
necessary. He considered the development of Trinidad as a military
base almost as vital as her economic development. As early as 1784
the Governor of Barbados reported to the British Government "....I
am informed that the Spaniards mean to make the island of Trinidad
a place of arms in lieu of Cartagena." Chacon's intentions also came
to the notice of the French Government, for in 1787 the Comte de
Brueys reported to the French Governor of Tobago that Chacon had
plans for fortifications which had been approved by his Court.

However, Chacon's plans for fortifications, which excited the
interest and apprehension of Spain's rivals in the Caribbean, were
never fully put into effect. The Spanish Government evidently thought

that the cost of such fortifications was prohibitive and all that was
achieved were some temporary fortifications built in 1790, which only
lasted for a year, due to the destructive effect of the Trinidad climate.

Certain features of the economic development of Trinidad proved
to be a source of annoyance to the British islands in the Caribbean.
The practice which the authorities had of encouraging slaves in other
Islands to escape to Trinidad where they would be free continued
throughout this period despite protests on the part of the British and
French Governments, and also caused the British governors to come to
regard Trinidad as a very dangerous neighbour for the British islands.

British interest in Trinidad can be traced back to the end of the
sixteenth century when Sir Walter Raleigh attacked the Spanish settle-
ment in Trinidad in 1595 when searching for El Dorado. He visited
the Pitch Lake and noticed the other natural resources which Trinidad
possessed. He even kidnapped Don Antonio de Berrio and took him
on a voyage up the Orinoco, where both hoped to find the fabulous El

In the seventeenth century English ships were generally to be found
in the harbour of Port-of-Spain buying tobacco, but the seventeenth
century was not the age of conquest the only island captured by
Britain from Spain was Jamaica in 1655. The seventeenth century
was rather the age of settlement when, England, France, the United
Provinces and other powers established themselves on the small islands
which had been neglected by Spain. Attacks on Spanish possessions
were carried out mainly by the bucanneers, and hardly ever by organ-
ized forces sent out by the home governments. The eighteenth century
brought a new kind of warfare to the Caribbean and the struggle for
empire between Britain and France was determined partly by the
exchange of sugar colonies.

Trinidad could not yet be considered a sugar colony and did not
become one until the end of the eighteenth century but even so, as early
as 1740, Robert Byng, the Governor of Barbados, informed the Lords
of Trade and Plantations that he thought Trinidad would be easy to
capture. In that year a small British force numbering about 60 70
men, landed at Las Cuevas on the North Coast of Trinidad and
attempted to march over the hills to San Jos4. But the conquest of
Trinidad did not in fact prove easy and the attempt was abandoned.

This attack appears to have been the only British effort in the
eighteenth century to capture Trinidad before the successful attempt
of 1797, although near the close of the Seven Years' War George Scott,
the Governor of Grenada, recommended the conquest of Trinidad to
the British Government on account of its natural resources. He also
pointed out the strategic importance of Trinidad when he said: "the
island... lays at the mouth of the great River Orinoco and if in our
hands possibly in time the rich country of Cumana, Paria and Caracas
might be conquered and become of immense value to the Crown."

During the period when the island was neglected and undeveloped
by Spain, England made no serious attempt to conquer it, not even
when the attempt was considered easy by those who thought it was
necessary. When the rapid economic development which we have
already noticed took place, it was considered an urgent necessity in
some quarters that England should gain possession of the Island. One
of the most recent historians of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs. Gertrude
Carmichael, has written that "England did not so much need Trinidad
as desire to have it under her control." This seems like an under-
statement when viewed in the context of the late eighteenth century.
Granted that it may be argued that England did not need any of her
colonies, but the fact remains that by this time Britain had possessed
colonies in the West Indies for more than a century and a half and
the development of Trinidad was undoubtedly a threat to their security.
Even before the development had really started, the Governor General
of Grenada, Lord McCartney, wrote to the Secretary of State in 1777
".... If ever it (Trinidad) should come to be well peopled and cultivated
it might prove a painful thorn in the side of the Windward Islands;"
and in 1778 he wrote: "during a war with France alone Trinidad is a
very bad neighbour to these Windward Islands, but in the case of a
Spanish war it will be a very dangerous one."

It must certainly have been in an attempt to assess the danger
that in 1788 Captain Ricketts of the 'Bonetta' was ordered to go to
Trinidad "... as soon as a proper pretence can be found... to gain in-
formation respecting the conduct of the Spaniards in increasing the
number of inhabitants of that Island with its trade and connections
with other Islands, foreign as well as British, and to be particular in
making observations on the road, anchorage and fortifications."
Captain Ricketts was well received by the Governor of Trinidad who
put no obstacles in his way when he wished to see anything, and who
told him that the island was in a very flourishing state. Captain Ricketts
noted in his report that "the guns of the landing place of Port-of-
Spain are all that are mounted (the whole number they have in the
island), they are In miserable condition and easily commanded from
the neighboring hills." We have already noticed that Chacon's plans
for fortifications were never implemented, but he evidently made no
effort to conceal the fact from foreigners.

The development of Trinidad under Chacon's administration had
the incidental effect of stimulating economic development in some of
the British and French islands. For instance, Governor Parry of Bar-
bados wrote to the British Government in 1786 "...it appears to me
advisable to hold out every encouragement in my power for industry
to prevent emigration, particularly as we are so near Trinidad and
Demerary where the Spaniards and the Dutch offer every possible
temptation that may invite the English to settle amongst them." This
temptation to leave the older islands came Just at the time when the
British islands were suffering considerable hardships as a result of the
American War of Independence. Colonists in both British and French
islands also had the temptation of going to the United States as Roume
de St. Laurent had noted in his memorandum on colonization. If

French settlers could be attracted away from the new nation and
encouraged to come to Trinidad, it was likely that the same inducements
would be attractive to the colonists in the British islands who were
finding it increasingly difficult to produce sugar profitably. Rapid
economic development in one Island caused a chain reaction in the
others. For Instance when the Governor of Grenada wrote in 1788
on the effects of the Free Port Act in Grenada he said he thought that
the Act would have the effect of encouraging the Spaniards to plant
cotton and he anticipated good results from this in England in 1789.

In the same way Tobago was affected by the development of
Trinidad. The French Government decided in 1785 that all Spanish
ships were to be allowed in and out of Tobago ports free of duties and
in 1786 efforts were made to attract French settlers to Tobago and to
encourage the development of agriculture and commerce there.

It is impossible to say what the final outcome of all this would
have been for the course of events was drastically altered by the com-
ing of the French Revolution and the prolonged war which followed it.
Nevertheless one can see that the British Government was considering
the practical possibilities of an attack on Trinidad even before the out-
break of war with France. Lord George Germain sent instructions to
General Matthews, Governor of Grenada, on 18th May, 1790, informing
him that "a further reinforcement is preparing to be sent out to the
West Indies in case of war in order that offensive operations may be
commenced, with as much vigour as possible, against the Spanish
possessions in that part of the world... If on their arrival at Barbados,
you should be of opinion from such information as you shall have been
able to collect, that this force, which will then be under your orders,
is sufficient to enable you, by a sudden execution, to acquire possession
of the island of Trinidad before the arrival of the other troops notified
in this despatch, you will immediately on receiving authentic informa-
tion of the commencement of hostilities, adopt the necessary measures
for that purpose..."

In fact, war with France did not begin until 1793 and war with
Spain was postponed until 1796. But on the 8th October, 1796, the
Secretary of State (the Rt. Hon. Henry Dundas) wrote to Sir Ralph
Abercromby, "The next object in point of importance in these seas
would be the reduction of the Spanish settlement of Trinidad. It would
not only be a desirable conquest considered either with respect to the
general state of the war and to its continuance but also and more
particularly on account of its local situation, with the principles and
persons which have lately been introduced there which cannot fail to
render it a cause of just alarm and real danger to several of our most
valuable islands. The experience of the last two years has sufficiently
proved that the utmost vigilance of His Majesty's forces cannot entirely
guard our colonies against the new and destructive mode of warfare
in part carried out from this island and which from the present policies
of Spain will, I apprehend, be continued with greater means and more
activity than could be employed as long as that court professed to act
upon principles of alliance or neutrality towards this country."



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However, In spite of this strong language, he later wrote to Sir
Ralph Abercromby that he took "a general and comparative view of the
advantages to be derived to Great Britain from the possession of Puerto
Rico, the conquest of which he considers to be an object of much
greater importance than the capture of the Island of Trinidad." But
he went on to say, "that it would be very desirable that Sir Ralph
Abercromby should take such measures against Trinidad as may have
the effect of quieting the alarm which so universally prevails In the
minds of the West Indian merchants and planters before he proceeds
against the former settlement."

In fact, the alarm was even more universal than Dundas imagined.
The "principles and persons" which had lately been introduced into
Trinidad were causing alarm to none other than Don Chacon himself.
French settlers had been arriving in Trinidad ever since 1777 as a
result of the Royal Decree of 1776. Still more settlers arrived as a
result of the Cedula of 1783, so that the population is said to have
increased from 1,410 in 1777 to 10,422 in 1789. After 1789 a change
took place in the composition of the settlers. Before 1789 planters had
come to Trinidad with their slaves attracted by the offer of free land.
Very occasionally free Africans also came to Trinidad to take up grants
of land but after 1792 new revolutionary elements were to be found
among the arrivals in Trinidad. These were French revolutionary
leaders and their followers intent on starting revolts both In the French
and British islands.

Their most formidable weapon was the encouragement of slave
revolts and their most effective agent was perhaps the Jacobin Com-
missioner Victor Hugues who arrived in the West Indies in 1794 with
a fleet. He was later responsible for risings in St. Lucia and Guadeloupe
which were then recaptured by the French from the British who had
taken advantage of the confusion to seize them in 1794.

French planters fled from these islands and Haiti and these to-
gether with the revolutionary elements all converged on Trinidad to
Chacon's great consternation. On 16th May, 1796 he wrote a report of
an incident which had taken place in Port-of-Spain on 8th May when
Captain Vaughn, the captain of an English frigate, the "Alarm", landed
in Port-of-Spain and almost started a war of his own when a skirmish
developed between his sailors and the French Republicans, in spite of
the fact that Trinidad was neutral territory, as England and Spain
were not yet at war. This incident, as Chacon was fully aware, reveal-
ed all the weaknesses of Spain's position in Trinidad and was typical
of the developments in Trinidad which caused so much alarm to Dundas.

In the first place the incident had the effect of inciting the slaves.
Many of them came to Port-of-Spain during the disturbances and on
their return to the estates they began to wear the tricolor as a symbol
of Liberty. Chacon succeeded in restoring order on this occasion but
the contacts which the slaves had had with the French Republicans
"have made them think of liberty and equality and the first spark will
light the whole colony into a blaze." Secondly, as Chacon reported to

the Principe de la Paz: "The English are attacking the French islands
and as many of the republicans as can escape, fly to the shores of
Trinidad where there is no force to prevent them settling.." The
result of this Immigration into Trinidad was that the Spaniards were
hopelessly outnumbered by the French, and it became increasingly
difficult for Chacon to control these disorderly elements. Trinidad
had become virtually a French colony with a Spanish administration.

The fortifications and other buildings which Chacon had planned
had never been built and when in the same despatch he begged the
Spanish Government for help he made the following observation:
"special efforts were made to populate and cultivate the land and in a
few years much more produce was being raised than in other colonies
with two centuries' duration. This prosperity is such as to require
much prompter decisions and the difficulties must be met with execu-
tive action. It is not possible to proceed with that leisurely manner
and considered thought that is convenient in other places."

SEventually Chacon himself was to pay the price of the "leisurely
manner and considered thought" but meanwhile he wrote "if the king
sends me help, I will do what I can to keep this colony within his
domain, if not, it must fall to the English, who I believe to be generous
enemies to whom it would be better to surrender than perfidious
friends." The "perfidious friends" were the French Republicans for
whom he had no respect whatsoever. Whereas before the French
Revolution he had regarded the interests of France and Spain as
identical, now he had come to the conclusion that it would be better
to surrender to the British than to allow the republicans to take over
the island, an event which Chacon thought was imminent now that
the republicans were the most numerous group on the island. Thus
when he received an offer of reinforcements from Toussaint l'Ouverture
in Haiti and also from the Jacobin Victor Hugues he refused saying
"We already have too much disorder and too many republicans in this

Nevertheless at long last near the close of 1796 help appeared in
the form of an expedition under the command of Admiral Don Sebastian
Ruiz de Apodaca which sailed from Cadiz bound for Santa Marta de
Cartagena with troops intended for that garrison. He was instructed
to call at Trinidad and if the Governor expected an attack he was to
leave the whole or part of these troops to aid in the defence of Trinidad.
In the event he landed 1al the troops and his fleet remained in the
Gulf of Paria, but these forces proved to be totally inadequate, for
when the English fleet appeared in the Gulf of Paria on February 17th,
1797 Chacon reported: "So great was the contrast between the strength
of the enemy and our weakness, and so great was the terror which it
occasioned among the Militia and people of the country, that two
hundred men ordered to Chaguaramas as a reinforcement to the ships,
disappeared altogether into the woods, and, following their example.
the same thing was done by the Militia Companies, the officers of which
presented themselves but without their men."

Apodaca also thought that the situation was hopeless for he set
fire to his ships early in the morning of 17th February, 1797. All his
ships were destroyed except one, the San Damasco. In such circum-
stances resistance was useless and to cries of "Treason!" from the
French Republicans, Chacon surrendered Trinidad to the British Force
under Sir Ralph Abercromby on February 18th. The actions of Chacon
and Apodaca were investigated later by a Council of War held in
Cadiz. In its report issued on 26th May, 1798 the Council vindicated
both officers and ordered their liberty. The King, however, was not
satisfied and ordered both to be deprived of their posts for he con-
sidered that neither had made sufficient effort to defend Trinidad,
although Apodaca was eventually re-habilltated in 1809.

Once Trinidad was in British hands the question arose as to
whether Trinidad should be returned to Spain or not. Sir Ralph
Abercromby's opinion on this was expressed in a letter dated 20th
February, 1797, in which he said "Every Part of the conduct of the Span-
ish troops, both by sea and land, seem to indicate a sinking nation and
to point out the possibility of further conquest, if we were in a situation
to keep what we might acquire with a small additional force." He went
on to say that "It appears necessary to keep possession of Trinidad
as an important post should the war continue, for which purpose I
shall leave here a garrison of nearly one thousand men which, with
the ships of war, will be I hope fully sufficient for its defence."

Accordingly, he left a garrison in Trinidad to hold the island and
this prevented him from proceeding to Puerto Rico as planned. Con-
sequently, he withdrew to Fort Royal to await reinforcements from
England. Meanwhile, Chacon wrote to the Principe de la Paz on June
26th, 1797 pointing out that Spain's continental possessions were in
great danger as long as Britain held Trinidad. The nature of the danger
is revealed in a letter by Sir Thomas Picton, Governor of Trinidad,
written on 20th April, 1799, two years after the conquest. He did not
suggest direct conquest of Spanish America which he thought would
be "ruinous", but that a small force of from 2,000 to 3,000 men should
be sent to assist the peoples of the continent to free themselves from
Spanish rule. The force should be directed against a particular point
"accompanied by a Declaration, that His Majesty's sole intention was
to afford the oppressed inhabitants of the continent the opportunity
of asserting their right to a government of their own choice. A great
moral Revolution, the forerunner of a political one, has already taken
place in that country." He thought that once the affair had started
it would "go of itself with very little assistance" and Spain's diffi-
culties would be to Britain's advantage.

The following day he developed these ideas more fully in a letter
to the Rt. Hon. Henry Dundas. He saw the Spanish provinces as a
vast potential market for British manufactures and he emphasised
the great danger to Britain should they be allowed to fall to France.
It was vital that they should become independent with British help.
The Spanish Government was aware of the nature of Picton's plans,
for on 21st November, 1798,a price of $20,000 had been placed on his head.

Picton thought that Barbados should be used as the starting point
for the expedition as this would not arouse suspicion and that the
expedition should proceed by way of the Orinoco. Conversely, the
Orinoco was the quarter from which he expected a Spanish attempt to
recapture Trinidad would proceed since only a small naval force would
be required to carry out an attack from that direction. Because of
the danger to Trinidad from the direction of the Orinoco, he later
recommended that the British Government should insist on the cessa-
tion of a strip of territory on the mainland opposite to Gulf of Paria.
This would prevent the Spaniards from sending their Coast Guards
into the Gulf and would facilitate Trinidad's commerce with the main-
land and would give easy access to the Orinoco. "By means of this
River our Manufacturers might penetrate as far as Lima, Quito and
the South Sea."

These plans were as ambitious and sweeping as those of Don
Antonio de Berrio two hundred years before. The return of Trinidad
to Spain would naturally mean the collapse of Picton's dream of a
British commercial empire in South America, but he thought that it
would also have the effect of destroying the confidence which the
inhabitants of South America had in Britain. He quoted as an
example the events following the British capture of Havana in the
Seven Years' War when people who had shown ordinary courtesy to
the British Governor were punished like criminals when Cuba was
returned to Spain in 1763. In fact, a similar process had already been
started with respect to Trinidad 'for he cited the case of a Spanish
resident of Trinidad who owned property in Caracas which had been
confiscated by the authorities there because its owner had rendered
some assistance to Picton. Loss of confidence in Britain would do
more to destroy the possibilities of building a commercial empire than
even a defeat in war would.

Picton had not even tried to conceal these plans from Spain for
Chacon tells us that a few days before his departure from Trinidad,
Picton informed him of his intentions with regard to the Spanish
possessions on the mainland and that he was preparing the way by
means of propaganda; consequently, Chacon recommended to the
Spanish Government that strong measures should be taken. He
realized that Spain did not then have the forces with which to re-
capture Trinidad but he did not feel that steps could be taken to
prevent Picton's pamphlets from being circulated on the continent.
Similarly, an anonymous Spanish document of 1797 accuses Britain
of using the war in Europe "as an opportunity to dominate the seas,
over the whole globe, and to tyrranize over the commerce of other

The attitude of France to Britain's acquisition of Trinidad was
similar to that of Spain, though, like Chacon, we may be suspicious
of French motives. In the negotiations leading up to the Treaty of
Amiens, the Minister of Foreign Relations in Paris wrote to M. Otto,
the Commissary of the French Republic in London, instructing him

to make every effort to induce Britain to accept one of the French
islands in exchange for Trinidad. Britain had insisted that she should
retain one of her newly acquired territories in the area in order to
defend her older colonies, but M. Otto was instructed to point out
that this condition could not be applied to Trinidad, since by its
position it could not be used to defend the older British colonies, but
only to attack the Spanish possessions on the continent! In this way
Britain was to be induced to accept one of the "worn out" French
colonies instead of Trinidad.

Nevertheless, these negotiations did not work out according to
French plans. Spain had been warned repeatedly by France about the
possibility of losing Trinidad but she did not take the action recom-
mended by France so that eventually Napoleon himself wrote in despair
to his Ambassador in Madrid on 1st December, 1801: "I do not under-
stand any more, Citizen Ambassador, the actions of the Cabinet of
Madrid." Was it that the Spanish Cabinet was as suspicious of
"perfidious friends" as Chacon had been? In the event the Treaty of
Amiens was signed on 25th March, 1802, ceding Trinidad to Britain.
It also transferred the Dutch colonies of Essequlbo, Demerara and
Berbice to Britain, thus giving her her only possessions on the South
American mainland. This was reaffirmed at the Treaty of Vienna,

The British Government had successfully resisted French attempts
to make it exchange Trinidad for a "worn-out" French island. But in
other respects Picton's dream was never fulfilled, either with regard
to further conquest or to commercial expansion along the Orinoco.
However, even near the close of the nineteenth century Picton's dream
was not yet dead, for an historian of Trinidad of that era, L. M.
Fraser, developed the idea with typical Victorian optimism in a passage
which is worth quoting in some detail: 'That spirit of commercial
enterprise which has pierced the Alps, opened the Suez Canal, and is
now bringing into close connection the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
by means of that isthmus which has hitherto separated them, will at
last effect peacefully and without any armaments what Picton would
have brought about by conquest. That which he desired and the great
Napoleon feared, will, it is to be hoped, before long come to pass,
and then, when the whole trade of New Granada and of the rich and
fertile countries lying between the Andes and the Atlantic finds its
way by the Meta, the Rio Negro, the Casanare, the Apure, and a
hundred other streams down the broad basin of the Orinoco into the
Gulf of Parla, Trinidad will become a second St. Thomas and Port-
of-Spain, a West Indian Liverpool. And when that time comes, as
come it must, It is to be hoped that the people of Trinidad will not
forget that it was Picton who first urged upon the British Government
the Importance of the situation of the colony as regards the Orinoco

He might have added that the people of Trinidad should remember
that It was Don Antonio de Berrio who first conceived the possibility
of making Trinidad the "richest trade centre of the Indies" but over

three hundred years of visions has not brought the great day any
nearer than it ever was. Picton is remembered in Port-of-Spain only
in street names; the outline of the coast of Venezuela is just a dim
silhouette on Trinidad's horizon; Trinidad's trade with Venezuela is
crippled by a 30% surtax; tourists in Trinidad find the task of ob-
taining a visa for Venezuela a tedious one; and the possibility of
Port-of-Spain becoming a West Indian Liverpool seems as remote as
it was in Picton's time.

Bishop Anstey High School,

The passages quoted in this article came mainly from the publications
of the Trinidad Historical Society. The other sources are L. M. Fraser,
History of Trinidad, L. Borde, Histoire de 1'lle de la Trinidad, and
C. R. Ottley, Spanish Trinidad.

1 6

Literature of Latin America

and the Caribbean

IN THE course of this article, I am of necessity going to write in
very broad generalizations, and there may well be objections and excep-
tions to much of what I am going to say. However, the generalization
has the advantage of allowing one to state, what one considers to be
a broad truth based on a large mass of digested, but otherwise unstated
detailed material. At its best, it is the flash of synthetic intuition,
which is indispensable in the appreciation and understanding of all the
arts, and indeed in scientific work too. Another more humdrum and
practical reason for my generalizations is shortness of space at my

A first question I would like to put and answer is (one you may
well have asked yourself) Is Latin American literature not just an
extention of the literature of Spain? After all, it is written in Spanish
and Latin American Spanish is, from a structural, and grammatical
point of view, almost identical with the language of Spain. Localisms
do appear new idioms, new words, largely for trees, plants, animals
etc. There is the language of the cattle-raisers of the Argentine, or
the language of the sugar estate in Cuba, Dominican Republic etc. But
on the whole, except where works in dialect are concerned, or where
direct speech involving peasants are concerned, the language differs
very little from that of Spanish literature which, after all has its own
regionalisms. What is it then which differentiates Latin American
writing from the writing produced in Spain?

The second question I would like to raise is: Is one justified in
using a global term like Latin American literature to cover such a large
area politically divided into separate states, varying in climate, degree
of agricultural and industrial development; varying even in racial

Now I will try to answer these two questions one at a time. As to
whether Latin American literature is a province of Spanish literature
(or Portuguese literature, in the case of Brazil), I think the answer is
obviously that it is not. This of course does not mean to say that the
Latin American writer will not have read his Spanish classics he
certainly will have, and the literary magazines of Latin America
testify to the keen interest in contemporary Spanish writing. But he
will also almost certainly have read the classics of France, and probably
England, Russia, and Italy. The literary influences may come from
any of these sources. Recently the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca
had an enormous influence in Latin America, but so has Jean Paul
Sartre and Maxim Gorki, G. K. Chesterton. And going further back -

Balzac, Scott, Zola. Indeed, this cosmopolitan nature of cultural
influences in Latin America is a hall mark of the Latin American
intellectual, as to a considerable extent it Is also of that of many North
Americans. Latin America is wide open to all the cultural winds that
are blowing, and they seem to like it that way. There is, obviously an
adverse side of this feature. You can have too many and too disparate
influences and in the end they can stultify original creation. Many
Latin Americans have been the victims of just such cultural over-
But apart from the receptivity to varied international trends, can
one state any features which are characteristic of Latin American
literature, which confer on it a differential stamp? Up to the present
there are two quite clearly discernible characteristics which give Latin
American literature an atmosphere, a flavour of its own. One is its
earthiness, its sense of the living earth call it a feeling for nature
if you like, although I think this is too vague; and the second, coupled
with the first to some extent, is its realism a harsh, crude, often
brutal sense of reality, and both at times merge into a curiously vivid
humanism. Spirituality you will find, but it is often rather a sort of
companionable feeling for man in his distress, in his anguish of life
and of living.
The interest in nature began with the first Latin American
romantics, who were looking for means, after the colonies became
independent from Spain, of creating a national literature. Many, both
by example and precept, claimed that Latin America was the kingdom
of nature, and that it was in nature that inspiration should be sought.
But what a nature! Enormous, largely unexplored jungles; tremendous
rivers like the Parani-Paraguay, the Amazon, the Orinoco, the Marafion
- frequently flooding and sweeping away settlements and settlers:
endless ranges of towering mountains, rugged, forbidding, the abodes
of drifting snow and condors; and wind swept deserts, some hot and
dusty, others bitterly cold. And all so enormous. The words "measure-
less," infinite "eternal" "unfathomable" abound in the early romantic
writers, poor abstract words to describe the reality. And the romantics,
who partly under the influence of European romanticism, which was
passionately interested in lonely, desolate and rugged places, launched
out on a depiction of Latin American landscape, were on the right
track. Unfortunately, their generalities were not adequate to capture
the essence of what they were trying to say they depicted, where
as they should have interpreted. Their vistas were too panoramic. It
remained to the writers of the end of the XIX century and the first
half of this century, with a richer technical equipment, to really see
and feel what things were like they saw more vividly, very often
in greater detail, and they felt more keenly the spirit of place.

The attitudes to nature vary, but generally speaking fall into two
general trends, present in different writers, according to their tempera-
ment, or sometimes in the same writer. These are:

(1) A feeling of depression, isolation, of the desolation of the in-
dividual surrounded by overwhelming natural forces. It springs

partly from what I have called a geographical feeling. Now the
Latin American Is very conscious of geography rivers, moun-
tains, jungles, deserts. And when he looks at a piece of landscape,
he tends to have a feeling of very much more beyond it, and that
in fact, what he is looking at is only a very small part of mile
upon mile semi-unlnhablted wastes, of primtiive backwoods, and
the result of this geographical dimension is a feeling of oppression.
As one writer puts It "Most of our novelists are prisoners of land-
scape. The landscape (the land) dominates everything and
strangles the human element." This is true of many novelists
and even more so of the poets.

(2) The other feeling is an awareness of a vigorous, exuberant natural
background, which far from producing a feeling of depression or
anguish inspires a sort of elation, a feeling of exhileratlon at the
powerful flow of life with which the writer identifies himself.

In his poem "Brasil" Ronald de Carvalho in an enumerative style
reminiscent of Walt Whitman gives, in a series of short images, the
whole life of Brazil in everything that is most characteristic of it:

"In this hour of pure sunlight
still palms
shining rocks
I hear the vast song of Brazil
I hear the thundering steeds of the Iguassl pounding the naked
rocks, prancing in wet air, trampling with watery feet the morn-
ing foam and green trills;

I hear your solemn melody, your barbaric solemn melody,
Amazon, the melody of your lazy flood, heavy as oil, that swells
greater and ever greater, licking the mud of the banks, gnawing
roots, dragging along islands, goring the listless ocean like a
bull, infuriated with rods, darts, branches and leaves;

I hear the earth crackling in the hot northeast wind, earth that
heaves beneath the bare foot of the outlaw, earth that turns to
dust and whirls in silent clouds, through the streets of Joazeiro
and falls to powder on the dry plains of Crato;

I hear the chirping of the jungles trills, pipings, peepings,
quavers, whistles, whirrings, tapping of beaks, deep tones that
hum like taut wires, clearly vibrating drums, throats that creak,
wings that click and flicker, cries like the crickets whispers,
dreamy calls, long languid calls jungles beneath the skies.
and so on- -
In this hour of pure sunlight I hear Brazil.
All your conversations? Dark homeland wander in the air- -
the talk of planters among coffee bushes

the talk of miners in gold mines
the talk of workmen In furnaces where steel is made
the talk of diamond hunters shaking selves,
the talk of colonels on the verandahs of country houses--"

THE CACTUS Manuel Bandeira

"The cactus recalled the despairing gestures of marble:
Laocoon strangled by the serpents,
Ugolino and his famished sons.
It called to mind also the dry north-east, the parched wilderness,
the bush.

It was enormous, even for this land so monstrously fertile.
One day a gust of wind uprooted it, and the cactus fell across
the street.
Demolished the eaves of the house across the way, obstructed the
passage of buses, cars and trucks.
Tore down the electric wires, and during twenty-four hours
deprived the city of light and power.
It was beautiful, harsh, intractable."

Now I do not think a European would write like this. Theoretically
he might but I do not think he would. In a sense he is much more at
home in his natural setting, he has a feeling of continuity and belong-
ing which is lacking in many Latin, and indeed, North American writers.

As one critic, the Chilean, Richardo Latcham puts it: "The
humanized and urbanized landscape of Europe is almost completely
unknown in vast zones of America, this is why nature, in our continent
overwhelms the individual."

In the greatest living Latin American poet, and possibly the greatest
poet writing in Spanish today, Pablo Neruda we find a very charac-
teristic Latin American attitude to life. Neruda has experienced the
desolation of man in the midst of an overwhelming natural scene, and
his early poetry is full of a feeling of loneliness, isolation, hopeless
melancholy, at times an angry and bitter fury:

"Facing the sea
All dreams are useless
Why sing the song
Of a heart so small."

The wild, exasperated feeling of individual tragedy which fills his early
poems ("Twenty poems of love, the residence on earth") develops in his
later poems into an attitude of solidarity in the tragedy of life with
all men.

"I went to plant my roots at night;
I verified the bitterness of the earth:

Everything was night and lightning for me:
Secret wax found a place in my head
and spilled ashes into my foot-prints."

This is typical of Neruda's writing in the Twenties and Thirties. But
a change came over his writing. The tragic sense of life had not left
him but he came to experience it as something common to all men.

"Of men I have the same wounded hand,
I hold up the same red cup
and the same enraged surprise."

And he symbolises his new attitude by saying:

"I joined my wolf's tread to the tread of men.
Together facing the weeping."

His feeling of nature is different too. The early poems are filled with
the desolate landscapes of the south of Chile, of oppressive drawn-out
sunsets, of nostalgia and a nameless hunger, but in his Canto General
de Amdrica (1950) he states the earthiness of his continent in a
balanced, sober although very vivid manner:

"Before the wig and the cassock
were the rivers, rivers like arteries,
were the mountains on whose ragged wave
the condor or the snow appeared motionless;
was the humidity and the jungle, and thunder,
still unnamed, and the moon-landscapes of the

He was a Carib pitcher, a Chibcha stone,
Man was earth, a bowl, an eye-lid
Of tremulous mud, shape of clay,
an Inca goblet, an Araucanian flint.
He was tender and bloody, but on the hilt
Of his weapon of moist glass
the initials of the earth were engraved."

In 1947, in an essay "Voyages" to the heart of Quevedo and along
the Coasts of the World he states very clearly his debt for his feeling
of life to a particular part of America:

"My long walks along the cliffs, my voyages to the cold
corners in which I deserved to wear hanging from my neck the
dead albatross of the Ancient Mariner, lead me to look below
the waves, to impregnate myself in the fantasmal ocean zoology
to tremble on the site of the ship-wreck. And after many years,
I have turned my life again towards the lonely sea of my child-
hood, towards a piece of sea, on the frontier, which Is the region
of Chile where I come from, and towards the barren sea which

always beats against my sleep and opens for me the doors of
the night of time. It is there I once wrote my "South of the

And finally from Neruda I would like to quote a brief passage which
I think Is extremely significant:

(He is referring to two French poets who were born in Uruguay Jules
Laforgue and the Conte de Lautr6amant)

"they are raised up and filled with that terrible male breath
which produces in our Continent, with the same illogicality and
disequiilibrium, the bloody jaws of the puma, the destructive
alligator and the Pampa full of wheat, so that humanity shall
not forget, through us, its beginnings, its origins."

This of course, is an intuitive, rather than a logical or analytical
statement, and what Neruda is clearly referring to is the primitiveness
of the Continent and its effect on the writer or the artist. The Latin
American artist, as we have seen, is on the whole highly cultured and
sophisticated, and yet is working on a medium (unless he turns his
back on America altogether, in which case he tends to drift off into
hyper-intellectualism and affectation) which is, outside a few big
cities, extremely primitive both at a human and a natural level. He
is likely to be surrounded by an untamed natural setting, and the mass
of his fellow countrymen live in a state of extreme poverty, backward-
ness indeed, in some countries many do not even speak Spanish, and
I think it is the impact of these circumstances on sensitive, culturally
well-equipped artists which helps to produce a literature of a very dis-
tinctive stamp. The artist, writer, painter or musician may derive a
tragic view of life from this he may on the other hand revel in it -
he may even run away many Latin American intellectuals do you
will find them in Paris, New York, London, but most remain and try to
come to grips with their own reality. Out of this struggle with the
environment has arisen a very rich and abundant literature, to men-
tion only one of the arts. It is the apprehension of a primitive environ-
ment by highly cultured artists, yet who are at the same time part of
it. They do not experience Latin American life from the outside as a
literary tourist may, they are part of the scene, and it lives itself and
expresses itself through them.

Another feature of Latin American literature is that literature is
widely regarded as an instrument of struggle. Very often It has an
aim which goes beyond literature. It is a literature of defence or attack,
heavily influenced by political and social problems. Even at a purely
individual level, it often represents, as in Neruda, a spiritual struggle
of man with nature and the meaning or purpose of life. And it is
rarely a pure literature. Personal subjective reactions to the world are
frequently confused with social or ideological attitudes. It is frequently
crudely, starkly realistic, but it Is a realism with passion, it is magic
and intuitive realism. It is full of horror and cruelty but also of a

very warm, moving pathos call it humanism if you will a sympathy
with man's sufferings, not just because of what happens to him, tragic
and horrible as it may be, but because he is man and man's life is
essentially tragic.

Finally to return to the second of my questions is one justified
In using a global term like Latin American literature to cover such a
wide area. Clearly I have accepted this assumption, or I would not
have been writing as I have. I could have given an account of the
literature of Chile, or Brazil or Mexico or Cuba, separately, and although
I would have stressed certain peculiarities, I would probably have been
saying with considerable frequency "as happens in most of Latin
American literature," or "which is part of a general tendency to be
observed elsewhere in Latin America." Of course, there are differences
of shade and stress, of flavour. But very often there is a basic, funda-
mental analogy of purpose, of intent. For example there was the
attempt in Cuba in the 1930's to build a literature based on a particular
human type the Cuban negro and his Afro-Spanish world. In the
Argentine and Uruguay, roughly between 1830 and 1930, a literature
was created based on another human type the gaucho, or Argentine
cowboy with his characteristic background and way of life, and
language. Cuba and Argentine are very different kinds of countries in
many ways; and the worlds. Nevertheless, the writers who produced
these two literatures were following a constant of Latin America culture
- the search for originality of theme and expression, which has been
an enduring concern of Latin Americans in all the arts since the
beginning of independent Latin America. The Cuban negro and the
Argentine gaucho has his own idiom, his dialect, his customs and
psychological characteristics, and it was felt that these could serve as
a springboard to produce a new and distinctive literature.

Above all, I would like to stress that Latin American literature from
the very beginnings (even the chronicles of the Conquest), apart from
its aesthetic value, has been a mirror of Latin American life, and also,
a lever, a stimulus to action, indeed truly a moral force. Institutions
and customs are reflected in it: the latifundio, corrupt politics, religious
fanaticism, poverty, gambling, prostitution, alcoholism, Ignorance,
superstition, foreign exploitation and civil wars. As the Cuban critic,
Josi Antonio Portuondo put it very appropriately:

"The dominant feature of Latin American literature, parti-
cularly the novel, has been its concern with social matters, its
instrumental function in the historical process of many nations.
The novel has always called attention to serious and urgent
social problems so the mass of the readers can take immediate

But one must not forget either the other side of the picture: the earth,
the land, the peculiar style of living:

"What the reader and the critic of Latin American novels
look for is precisely this: what is typical, characteristic, the rela-

tionship between man and the land, what is determined by the
power of the earth and ancestral background. This is what the
foreign reader, American or European looks for in Latin
American writing" (A. Zum Felde).

You may have been wondering where Caribbean literature fits into
this generalized picture. Again the question arises: Can one speak
meaningfully of a Caribbean literature? Some writers do not even like
the term "West Indian," as applied to literature of the English-speak-
ing West Indies. And the term Caribbean, of course, applies to
countries which speak Spanish, English and French, and the litera-
tures stem from three distinct cultural traditions.

And yet, in reading poets and novelists from Cuba, Puerto Rico,
Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad (even British Guiana), one cannot fail
but be struck by certain similarities, a certain "air de famille." Many
of these similarities are of theme and setting.

In the first place the Caribbean writer has a feeling, and aware-
ness of the rich, exuberant tropical nature around him, which is not
overwhelming or depressing, as nature often appears to be In con-
tinental Latin America. Nature is more man-sized and the feelings it
generates are sensual and pleasant. Perhaps this common feature is
purely geographical, but this constant search after rendering the almost
inapprehensible beauty of Caribbean tropical colour, light and vivid-
ness is, undoubtably a recognizable feature which all Caribbean litera-
tures share.

When one turns to the human landscape, another common feature
appears: the presence of the negro. All the Caribbean islands, in vary-
ing degrees have a population of African origin. Everywhere, the
negroes were brought to the Caribbean in the same way as slaves.
Abolition of slavery happened at different times and in different ways.

Now, as many writers have pointed out, it is the presence of the
negro which gives Caribbean life its particular flavour, or style. The
negro has influenced popular arts dancing, music the language
both in pronunciation and through the introduction of African words
- religion ("pocomania" in Jamaica, "santeria" in Cuba, "voudou" in
Haiti. The negroes' liking for bright colours, movement, noise, excite-
ment, his general extrovert attitude, his sensuality all have been felt
and observed by Caribbean writers (and painters) and reflected in their
works in various ways. For example, equivalents of Jamaican Anancy
stories exist in Cuba and Haiti and have been used by writers. The
use of creole or dialect or semi-dialect is another Caribbean feature -
and creole dialects are curiously similar in structure and mood.

Then there are the problems created by the existence of multi-
racial societies (all Caribbean societies are of this kind). Various kinds
of shade complexes, which affect the psychology of the whole area and
create problems which novelists and poets alike have not been slow to
seize upon, as they obviously felt their relevance.

Another theme, or perhaps sub-theme which is characteristically
Caribbean, though particularly prevalent in the British and French
Caribbean is what I have called the theme of Africa. Jamaican,
Haitian, French West Indian writers, (particularly poets) feel a sort of
nostalgia, a sentimental attraction to Africa as a land of their fore-
fathers. You will find this intense emotional concern within Africa in
poets like the Jamaican McKay, the Haitians Jacques Roumain, Jean
Brierre and the Martinican Aim6 C6saire.

C6saire went so far as to evolve what one may describe as a theory
of negro art and negro values, claiming that the negro everywhere in
the world (U.S.A., Brazil, Nigeria, Jamaica, Haiti) has a way of appre-
hending reality through art which is different from that of the white
western world, that his basic cultural values are different. "Our art"
writes Jean St6phane Aldxis an outstanding Haitian novelist tends
to exact sensuous representation of reality, to creative intuition, to
character and expressive power it is a realism tied to the magic of
the universe, a realism that shakes, not only the mind, but the heart
and the tree of the nerves." Western, "white" art according to the
theorists of n6gritude tends to intellectuality and idealization. N6gri-
tude is a true humanism. Needless to say "negritude" rejects any idea
that negro art should in any way be bound by the cannons of Western
"white" art. An interesting feature of negritude is that, although pro-
duced in the West Indies, it has been widely accepted in Africa itself,
as a formulation of negro values.

In Cuba, although nothing like a theory of negro art was formu-
lated, the rhythms of Afro-Cuban popular music and song were brought
into literature and the "primitive" quality of Afro-Cuban art was
exploited as an antidote to western over sophistication and also as
something profoundly and typically Cuban.

The social theme, protests against exploitation, social and economic
injustice appear in Caribbean literature in abundance in very much
the same manner and volume as elsewhere in Latin America. And also
what is typical, characteristic I hesitate to use words like local
colour or picturesquesness perhaps differential might be a better

But then, like Latin America in general, these are societies in
search of their own souls, of their Identity, that want to know them-
selves and understand themselves. And Literature and art are used
(for all art in the last analysis is useful) for these purposes.

Department of Modern Languages,
University of the West Indies.


Short-Term Improvements In Caribbean

Economic Planning


MOST of the papers read so far have concentrated on broad and
sweeping themes such as the historical, cultural, intellectual and social
development of the Caribbean society. In the face of those enormous
intellectual endeavours I offer apologies because my paper is concerned
with the comparatively minor problem of searching for ways to improve
existing planning techniques which might be of some use during the
next decade of Caribbean Planning.

During these seminars the claim has often been made that it is
pointless to discuss planning techniques until we are all certain of the
direction in which we want our societies to develop. I am only in partial
sympathy with this claim, for it seems to me also that our technical
capacity to influence our environment must in turn exercise its own
claims over what we can conceivably do, or what we can conceivably
want to do.

Accordingly, by limiting the improvements to the possibilities of the
next decade of planning, I am making the assumption that no funda-
mental changes will occur '(either in the structure of Caribbean politics
or the structure of Caribbean society), which would permit a drastic
extension in our concept of planning. In other words, the basic
parliamentary party system is expected to remain and the private sector
will continue to dominate the economic life of the region.

But in so far as this paper recognizes the structural constraints
imposed by the conservative nature of the region's politics and its
social life, it seeks also to exhaust the possibilities of planning within
these constraints while at the same time being flexible enough to recog-
nize that there is need for these constraints to be eliminated, before
the fundamental solutions to the region's problems can be attained.
Thus the paper offers no panaceas but merely a few pragmatic improve-
ments to the scope of our various Planning Secretariats.

The new planning techniques which will be suggested in this paper
are based upon a particular interpretation of what are the major factors
preventing an increase in material welfare, for the broad mass of the
Caribbean community. The three major problems to my mind are: (1)

* This was one of the papers read at the inter-disciplinary seminar, Small Societies In Transition,
organized by the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the West Indies.
It is published here as it was presented, save for minor revisions.

the under-utilization of human resources; (Li) the structural disequi-
librium of the economies; (111) the excessive dependence of the econo-
mies on the rest of the world to maintain and increase internal levels
of employment, output, demand and prices. It should be noted immedi-
ately, that even at the most superficial of levels, the problems enumer-
ated here are not intended to represent mutually exclusive categories.

An impression of the unemployment problem is given by the fact
that for the year 1943, unemployment in the Caribbean averaged
approximately 2-3% of the labour force and by 1960 this had increased
to approximately 10-17% of the labour force. There are no firm estimates
of underemployment, but there can be little doubt that this is also
considerable. There are six critical factors which determine the rate
of growth of the underutilization of the labour force in the Caribbean.
Firstly, we have the rate of growth of the population in general,
secondly the work/leisure preferences of the community, thirdly the
level of effective demand, fourthly the rate of growth of full capacity
output, fifthly the impact on labour productivity of the technology
used in expanding full capacity output and finally the price at which
labour offers its services.

It is important at this stage where I am only delineating the main
character of the problem, to point out that the existence of Caribbean
unemployment is overwhelmingly a structural phenomenon. Saying
this does not deny that the seasonality of the production structure
in the Caribbean causes some seasonal unemployment, but the
emphasis on the structural aspect of the problem is necessary if we
are to make it quite clear that the level of effective demand (or the
Keynesian short period phenomenon) is not a significant factor in-
fluencing Caribbean unemployment. Apart from seasonal unemploy-
ment brought about by variations in demand in periods of less than
a year, unemployment in the Caribbean has been brought about mainly
by the failure of full capacity output to grow fast enough, by the
increases in labour productivity and by the secular growth of Trade
Unionism and its impact on money wage rates.

Two further features of the unemployment problem should also
be noted. One is that the growth of unemployment has been accom-
panied by large locational shifts of labour away from the rural areas
to the urban areas. The other feature is that even as this shift was
occurring, some West Indian economies, e.g., Jamaica and Trinidad
and Tobago, were laying heavy emphasis on an industrialization pro-
gramme. That there was a rapid increase in unemployment despite
the large growth of manufacturing output suggests two things. One
is that industrialization will not absorb labour as rapidly as we had
hoped or as will be necessary if serious inroads are to be made into
the unemployment problem of the Caribbean. The other is that the
specific form in which the industrialization programme is being
advanced does not encourage investors to see that with large scale
unemployment, the social cost of labour is zero.

The question of unemployment Is closely related to the structural
disequilibria evident in the Caribbean economy. Theoretically, struc-
tural disequilibrium can manifest itself either at the goods levels or
the factor level. While there are evidences of structural disequilibrium
at the goods level in the Caribbean, eg., cotton, the major form in
which this disequilibrium has manifested Itself is at the factor level.
Thus it is possible to identify two features of the factor market,
one is that the same factor earns large differences in returns in
different uses and the other is that the price relationships between
the various factors are obviously out of line with known factor
availabilities. Thus for example, interest rates are too low and the wage
rate certainly too high when measured with strict reference to the
known factor endowments of the Caribbean.

These structural defects of the factor market are compounded by
the dual structure of the economies. The central dichtomy of the
Caribbean economy is the combination of foreign capital, local
labour and land resources 'of a unique quality' (containing mineral
deposits or having a productivity higher than average because of
greater fertility or better drainage and location, etc.) on the one
hand, and, on the other hand, the rest of the economy, which combines
local capital, local labour and land resources of not such a unique
character. Thus we have in these economies two sets of factor pro-
portions and two sets of factor prices coexisting side by side. In one
sector of the economy there are high wages, partly because the pro-
ductivity of labour is higher than the other sector, where wage rates
and productivity are considerably lower.

The dual structure of the Caribbean economy overlaps several
other categorisations. The dichotomy can be illustrated by reference to
the differential utilization of regions within the same country, or it
can be sustained in terms of the division between the primary pro-
ducing export sector and the domestic peasant farming structure, or
for that matter between the foreign owned and locally owned sectors.

However it manifests itself, the theoretical solution to this dual
structure is to change the known factor proportions of the economies,
or the factor prices currently offered on the market. Planning so far
has emphasized the former solution, not explicitly, but implicitly, in
so far as capital accumulation and labour decumulation have been
emphasized as solutions to the region's economic problems. As we
shall argue later both policies could and should be attempted.

It was mentioned earlier that the productivity of labour could
offer only a partial explanation of the money wage rate. This is so
because an important element in the determination of the money wage
rate is the strength of Trade Unions in the Caribbean which, as we
all know, is very great. But this situation has been misread by
economists in two ways. Firstly, it has been assumed that high wages
pressed on reluctant employers have been the main determinants of
the phenomenal labour substitution which has taken place, particularly

in the sugar industry. But evidence so far obtained by Brewster and
myself on British Guiana and Jamaica does not confirm this
supposition. 1
It may be as Brewster argues that initially labour costs were high
relative to the cost of other factors and that therefore labour sub-
stitution should take place where possible, but in fact the pressure for
increasing wage rates by the unions was no more than a pressure to
maintain labour's share In total income. And despite this unprece-
dented pressure total earnings of unskilled workers fell by 11% in
Jamaica between 1957-61, and to maintain 'parity' it would have been
necessary for the wage rate to rise by over 40% between 1957 and
1961, and one wonders what the economists and the general public
would have said about that.

The second, and equally dangerous way in which this situation has
been misread, is that it has been interpreted as the rationale for an
incomes policy, which would tie the wage rate to a productivity index.
Upon a little reflection it should be obvious that such a policy cannot
be effectively interpreted in the context of an open economy with a
large degree of structural unemployment and little or no real influence
on the movement of foreign trade and prices. Thus for example the
value of output per unit of labour can change independent of any
change in physical productivity if there is an increase in export prices,
as determined by the rest of the world. Similarly, changes in import
prices, determined without any reference to the local economy, through
their effect on the cost of living can change the real wage rate in-
dependent of any changes in physical productivity. It may be sup-
posed that all that is necessary is to adjust the productivity index by
the commodity terms of trade. However, because export and import
prices affect the wage rate and the value product in different ways
and also because they move independent of each other, the real concern
is the rate of change in import prices and the rate of change in export
prices. Thus the productivity index is of little or no real value.

One very likely effect of a productivity/wages policy is to lead to a
functional distribution of income in which labour's share is being
reduced. For the years 1957-62 Brewster's figures show that labour
productivity increased on average about 3% per annum in Jamaica
whilst the real wage rate grew by about 1.5%, and the money wage rate
by about 6%, thereby highlighting the infinite complications in the
allegedly simple productivity/wage rate relationship. In so far as this
incomes policy seems to imply in West Indian conditions a fall in
labour's share, it is striking that it should be similar to the other
principal point in Professor Arthur Lewis's development theory, i.e. the
ratio of profits in the national income should rise. Professor Arthur
Lewis has been the main advocate for an incomes policy in the Carib-
bean. 2
The third problem of the Caribbean economies is dependence.
Some aspects of this have been discussed at these seminars and so far
people have concentrated on size and the large proportion of domestic
output exported. This has led to some form of pessimism. It is argued

that exports will always be necessary because the domestic market is
too small, and the domestic market is too small because both popula-
tion size and per caput incomes are too small. These aggregative dis-
advantages are compounded by the fact that the population in relation
to known and available resources and their rate of increase is too large.

Dependence however is exhibited in several other features of the
Caribbean economy. It can be seen in the high propensities to import,
the importance of export and import prices in determining both domes-
tic incomes and price levels, the extent to which domestic capital forma-
tion is financed from abroad, the extent to which locally available sav-
ings are sent abroad, the dependence of Government activity on foreign
factors and the large external debts.

The major weakness of our discussion so far has been the tendency
to see dependence as a uni-dimensional phenomenon. Thus for example
it has been enough to point out the high volume of domestic output
exported. But, a closer examination will show that dependence is not
only a function of the value of exports, but also of the range of com-
modities exported and their distribution in world markets. The same
holds good for the import structure. Thus, if at the same proportion
of foreign trade the economy could substitute its high specialization in
exports for the wide diversity, say reflected in its imports, dependence
would be reduced considerably. It follows therefore that dependence
should not be seen simply in terms of crude aggregates even though
unquestionably size remains an important constraint.

This broad background to the Caribbean economic problems as
presented here will be supplemented by noting three aspects of exist-
ing planning before we go on to the areas of possible reform. The
first point to note is that planning so far has been public sector
planning and not national planning. This has been the overt inten-
tion in British Guiana and Barbados but in Jamaica and Trinidad and
Tobago, where the plans have been conceived of as national endeavours,
effectively they have become public sector plans since details of the
techniques of deterring and encouraging the private sector have not
been properly co-ordinated with the plans, or for that matter made
explicit. This is by any standard a deplorable situation since the
public sector tax receipts are only about 15-23% of national expendi-
ture, the Governments contribute only 15-30% of development expendi-
ture, and public capital formation is between 10-20% of total capital

This necessity for national as against public sector planning is
nowhere more evident than In British Guiana. There the post-war rice
programme has had the creation of jobs as the major economic aim.
But even as this was occurring, the private sector, and sugar in parti-
cular, has been displacing labour at a faster rate than the growth of
employment in rice, and the consequence has been a worsening of the
unemployment situation.
The second point to note in connection with what will be said later
is that after details of the plans have been worked out they have been

tested for feasibility by the use of modified input-output techniques.
The important point about this technique, which I shall mention for
the benefit of non-economists, is that it does not include any objective
criterion for optimization. It only states whether the plan is feasible,
and of course any number of plans are feasible.

The third point to notice is the goals of planning. British Guiana
has been the only territory where an explicit employment goal has
been stated. In the other territories there have been no specific targets
for the reduction of unemployment. Indeed at the most optimistic the
Trinidad plan aims at providing jobs for the net additions to the exist-
ing labour force, leaving the back log of unemployment untouched.
The reason for this is that income growth under existing conditions is
incompatible with increases in employment and governments while
declaring their intentions to create employment and stimulate growth
have refused to recognize the historical evidences which show the two
aims to be incompatible, given the present structural relationships in
the Caribbean economy. This contradiction is further highlighted to
the extent that all the plans set as their main objective the eventual
structural reorganisation of the economies. Despite this, there has
been no attempt to discourage the growth of the traditional sectors and
indeed their most rapid growth has been the main desire. Here again
the historical record would suggest that concentration on the rapid
development of the traditional sector has been inimical to the
structural reorganisation and integration of the Caribbean economies.

Before we go on, I would like to state that for a complex of reasons,
some already mentioned and others which it is not possible to mention
here, the main aim of planning will be conceived of as (i) the elimina-
tion of unemployment, (11) an increase in the integration of the economy
and (lii) a growth in real per caput incomes only in so far as this
growth is not strongly incompatible with the attainment of the other
two primary objectives.


In the face of these enormous problems there are certain improve-
ments which can be made with the use of the existing basic machinery
and which would not require too violent a shift in either political or
social attitudes. Of course this is essentially a second-best solution,
but if we are to be pragmatic, as well as visionary in these seminars,
we cannot ignore, until the revolution in political and social attitudes
takes place, (which we all consider to be the fundamental requirement)
the urgency of poverty and unemployment, here and now.
The first extension in the scope of planning that can be made is
an improvement in the presently utilized techniques for decision
making. The testing for feasibility, by the use of input/output tech-
niques have been modified to take into account the fact that inter-
dependence, through the sales of "commodities from one sector to
another and from the use of the same primary factors" Is not a
significant feature of the industrial structure of the Caribbean. Not-

withstanding this, the use of these techniques rests on some fairly
simple assumptions. Firstly, each commodity is assumed to be produced
by a single industry and this implies only one method of production
for each commodity. Secondly, the input/output function is assumed
to be linear and the input of each industry is some unique function of
the output of that industry. Thirdly, it is assumed that there are no
external economies or diseconomies to be derived from the aggregation
of the various types of production.

Now, it Is impossible at this stage to eliminate all of these short-
comings in the decision making techniques, but the introduction of
what are known as linear programming techniques can go some way.
This is possible because these techniques contain certain innovations.
They explicitly allow for several different ways of producing the same
good and as a consequence they permit the injection of specific criteria
for preferring one solution to another. In other words choice becomes
an explicit part of the technique.

What Is possibly of overwhelming significance from our viewpoint
is that these techniques make it possible to plan on the basis of revalued
factor prices. If you recall, it was advanced earlier that the two solu-
tions to structural disequilibria were changing factor prices or factor
proportions. This technique makes it possible to allocate resources on
the basis of shadow prices, which would entail revising the price of
labour downwards and capital upwards. The consequence is likely to
be the use of production functions in which more labour will be used
per unit of output than currently obtains on the basis of existing
market prices, and possibly to increase investment in sectors, e.g. hous-
ing, which utilizes labour in large quantities.
While this possibility exists with respect to public sector spending,
its use in the private sector may entail a system of subsidies and taxa-
tion. Brewster has outlined some brief proposals in his paper on
Planning in the West Indies, so I shall not comment any further on
this.3 Before leaving this point, it is important for me to stress that
although advocated as an improvement, the linear programming tech-
nique is certainly not going to lead to any miraculous solutions. The
technique itself still contains many severe limitations e.g. its assump-
tion of rational maximizing behaviour, its assumption of linear produc-
tion functions and its ignoring external economies and diseconomies
(which in many respects are the real essences of growth).

The second improvement in planning is the introduction of a
monopolies policy which is tied to planning proposals. This monopolies
policy can be of a two-fold character, i.e., it can seek to control mono-
polies by public ownership of the industry or it can seek to control by
supervision of the companies through some variant of public participa-
tion. My comments are limited to the former possibility since it
appears over the next decade or so to be the more imperative approach.

The obvious and logical choice for nationalization lies in the area of
natural monopolies, e.g. urban transport, electricity, telephones and
other forms of public utilities. Here it is important to recognize that
1 7

such a policy does no violence to existing local political or social atti-
tudes, since in fact such a policy has been in operation in the Carib-
bean for most of this century. Moreover it is not likely to run against
any international reaction, since both the U.SA. and the U.K. have
supported such policies in this hemisphere before.
As was claimed, the territorial governments have already made use
of nationalization of public utilities but there is no uniform pattern in
the region. A systematic policy of bringing public utilities under public
ownership would put a great deal of the infra-structural decisions with-
in the direct scope of public planning. It would thus allow for a more
coherent and systematic approach to the allocation of resources, largely
because the public sector would have an increased share of these
resources within its direct control. This would also help to amend the
structural defect of a small public sector impact on economic activity.

The really significant feature of a public utility industry is that
social costs and benefits differ radically from private costs and benefits.
This is most obvious in the area of time preferences for investment
decisions. Infra-structural development will always have to keep apace
with anticipated economic development. This means that decisions
are taken now which will be put into operation perhaps a decade or
more in the future. Few private companies are prepared to do this.
If we take the example of power, power needs in most Caribbean terri-
tories tend to double in about a decade. And, despite this almost pre-
determined expansion, where the companies have been in private
hands, e.g. British Guiana up to 1960 and Jamaica, this has never
happened. Expansion is limited to servicing existing customers and
expansion into rural areas has not even reached the drawing room
There is also the further argument in support of this policy, that
where monopoly power is demonstrably clear it is less intolerable to the
social good if this monopoly rested in the hands of the state rather
than in private hands. This is so for two important reasons. First,
the private hands are likely in the context of the Caribbean to be
foreign hands and secondly, with all its limitations the state can be
expected and perhaps forced to be more responsible to workers and
consumers than foreign capitalists.
People who may be inclined to support this policy may well argue
that state ownership is not the solution. But in any survey of the vast
literature on the role of regulation and commissions in public utilities,
public bodies have never been able to exercise the continuous influence
on rate structure and service necessary to keep the industry in tune
with the needs of secular growth. Indeed these commissions or Boards
of Control have in all cases degenerated into mere arbitration courts.

Recognizing this weakness of regulation should be coupled with a
recognition that there are likely to be severe problems of administra-
tion, pricing etc., when the industry comes into public hands. It is
partly because of this that I would prefer to see the industries national-
ized and their boards of direction under the immediate co-ordinating
and supervising authority of the planning divisions of the region.

In conclusion of this point it should be noted that the natural
monopolies treated here have been in a sense technologically deter-
mined. It seems to me that in the context of the size of the Carib-
bean economies and the structural role played by tariff protection that
a whole new dimension is being added to the idea of a natural
monopoly. But here public attitudes may require a less direct and as
a consequence a less effective approach to the question of control.

The third area of Improvement is bound up with our notion of
structural disequilibria and here the proposal is more of a research
character than an immediately operational one and perhaps the Uni-
versity has its role to play in servicing this particular planning need.

The improvement I have in mind is an empirical verification of
production functions actually in use in the Caribbean. The import-
ance of this I can hardly emphasize since it is my belief that structural
disequilibrium may be fostered by irrational entrepreneurial attitudes.
It seems to me that among entrepreneurs in the Caribbean that there
is a very prevalent notion of the most efficient way of producing some-
thing, which is very often the 'American or European way.' When this
attitude is translated into concrete circumstances, it means a com-
bination of factors used In production that bears no rational
resemblance to the real factor availabilities, or prices,-in the region.
Businessmen may believe they are rational in the sense that they
believe they face a production function where substitutability of the
factors is impossible. In this belief they may not even be aware of any
possibilities of substitution. The result is that the functions in actual
use have ratios of capital to labour that are too high.

Empirical verification of these functions cannot be based on a
straightforward application of existing Input/output techniques for
three reasons. One is that in the available tables there is not enough
disaggregation. Secondly, inter-industry flows are not as significant in
economies with such high degrees of specialization in export output.
Finally, existing inter-industry flows may be purely accidental or
coincidental reflecting no real technological determinants.

The two possible ways out are, firstly, a product analysis. This
would examine in selected plants the quantity and quality used of each
factor used in the production of the particular product. This can be
obtained I have found out, from the data usually available to plant
engineers. The second approach is an analysis of processes, i.e., an
analysis of the way in which factors are combined to undertake certain
'tasks' in the firm. This approach is "based on the conception that all
productive activity can be divided into separate technical processes."

Both of these approaches involve some difficulty. For example, in
the product analysis there is the problem of multi-product firms, whilst
In the process analysis there is the problem of information on inputs
on enough detail, although It is usually suggested that the time cards
in plants would yield this data.

With the information provided here a greater knowledge of the
factor proportions problem can be ascertained and the scope of planning
to remove disequilibria and reduce unemployment widened. One parti-
cular way in which this is possible is to use the data obtained to pro-
vide a basis for evolving a plan to control the rate and pattern of
mechanization.. Operating with large areas of ignorance it has been
possible for firms to make all sorts of outlandish claims about the
impact of wages on their costs and the need to mechanize to keep
these costs down.

The fourth technique that can be applied is spatial and regional
planning. Every economy has a spatial dimension and one cannot
ignore this if a comprehensive view of the economy is to be obtained.
Despite this there is little evidence that Caribbean planning has any
spatial dimension to it. The almost exclusive emphasis in planning to
date has been on the performance of the various sectors of the economy.
There has been little or no evidence or reference to performance by

It is immediately obvious to any observer of the Caribbean scene
that economic development of the area has been accompanied by
changing utilization of geographic areas as well as changes in the
productivity of different regions. Yet it is possible for planning to
proceed in almost total exclusion of the spatial dimensions of the
various economies.

Of course it is true that in some Caribbean territories there are
Town and Country Planning departments and that these departments
have undertaken some physical planning. But there is no clear indica-
tion that the economic basis of physical planning is appreciated or that
the planning departments have a coherent view of the proper regional
balance in the development of the economies.

Perhaps the greatest need for spatial planning lies in the direction
of control of population movements. Unemployment in the Caribbean
has been associated with the rapid growth of a single city in most
territories and the heavy concentrations of population in this urban
area. It would appear therefore, that the successful tackling of the
unemployment problem must be integrally related to the planning of
the spatial distribution of the population. This will mean in most cases
the emphasis on population concentration being switched from the
present urban areas to areas that are at the moment rural.

But to be successful even in this requires some basic conceptural
appraisal of what activities can in a reasonable sense be considered
regional in that they must "take place in a region where some other
activity is taking place." 4 This basic idea of regional can be sub-
divided as suggested by Tinbergen 'into industries that are shiftable
and non-shiftable,' examples being textiles and mining respectively.
At this stage the spatial dimension can be incorporated into the project
analysis which takes place before the plan is drawn up and specific
criteria for choosing one region against another introduced.

What is of further importance from our point of view is that the
linear programming technique mentioned at the beginning is also very
well suited to help us make decisions on the regional location of
economic activity. In addition the control of infra-structural in-
dustries, e.g. transport, would provide a strong basis for influencing the
location of industries by private entrepreneurs.
There are two final techniques I would like to mention briefly. It
seems to me as if there is an urgent necessity for the introduction of
direct controls, such as licensing investment, control of foreign
exchange and in particular price controls on land prices, rents and
home grown foodstuffs. The general level of prices in the Caribbean
is closely dependent on export and import prices. Nevertheless prices
of domestically produced goods and services have a significant role to
play in the two problems of income distribution and inflation. Thus
there exists an imperative need to ensure a rate of change in the
prices of these goods and services that are consonant with the pattern
and rate of economic growth.
This question of price control is not as difficult as it sounds if
only because it has already been in much more extensive use in the
Caribbean than I am suggesting now. However in some countries, e.g.
British Guiana, price control still exists on important commodities, e.g.
sugar and rice, which are an important element in determining the
community's cost of living. If price increases can be further contained
by the reintroduction of rent control then about 25% 30% of the
value of items in the cost of living index can be controlled. This
would go some way towards containing the expansion of money costs
and would provide a safe-guarding mechanism, to be suitably expanded
when the inevitable time for exchange rate adjustments came around.
Indeed the extension of direct controls over all items imported and
exported could substitute for these exchange rate movements in a way
most suited to our interests, but as I said at the outset, recommenda-
tions are limited to what is politically and socially feasible. It may be
wondered, by some, why I have not stressed the use of fiscal and
monetary controls. The reason is that the system of financial markets
in the Caribbean is so undeveloped that non-market methods are the
only feasible approach.
The last technique I will mention is again almost a research pro-
posal. There appears to me to be three critical variables in planning
where the sociological dimensions of the problem need to be elucidated.
These are the labour force, entrepreneurial class and the pattern of
consumption. But here the need is not for the pioneering, insightful
and anecdotal methods so heavily applied in West Indian sociology but
for attempts at statistical or quantitative measurements which could be
of operational significance in planning.
The rate of increase in the labour force can be specified as a func-
tion of a) the rate of population increase and b) the work/leisure ratio
of the community. Both of these variables have economic as well as
sociological attributes. The demographers have done a magnificent job
in collating all the social, medical and economic data which affect the
17 *

rate of population increase, but there is little data from which we can
specify a reliable work/leisure ratio. Since the factors dominating this
preference are sociological there is need for statistical estimates by the

In a sense the same applies for the other two variables. If planning
is to be national and not merely public sector in its effect it is clear
that the planners must be aware of what forms of threat and/or
persuasion would affect entrepreneurial decisions. To do this the
minimum information required is an analysis of the factors which
affect the outlook, achievements and aspirations of this class.

It should be clear to most that the conception of Planning involved
In this paper is very wide and really includes a general conception of
public policy. Here the fiscal, monetary, direct, legislative and
exemplary controls of the state are conceived of as the instruments in
planning. This conception involves certain very serious problems of
co-ordination so that at the very least it can be ensured that these
instruments complement rather than hinder each other in pursuit of
particular goals. There is abounding evidence that, to date, hindrance
has been the major result In the more or less independent use of these
planning instruments. Unfortunately neither time nor space permit
me to contain a discussion here on the problems of administrative

The conception of planning presented in this paper also involves
very serious problems of decentralization, if an effort is to be made to
mobilize all of the communities resources. Unfortunately, it is again
not possible for me to extend the discussion in this direction. Never-
theless, I would like to point out that the institutions most capable of
providing this will have to be developed from the local level. The
most accessible ones appear to me to be the co-operatives which have
never been really given a chance in the Caribbean and which have
been stifled by excessive 'outside leadership,' on the part of paternalis-
tic Governments.

Finally, there is the almost insuperable problem of implementation
and here one recognizes this readily when the heavy dependence of the
Caribbean economies on foreign factors are noted. This dependence
means that planning techniques may well fail because of the Impossi-
bility of estimating factors that are so far outside the scope of the
internal economy.

Department of Economics,
University of the West Indies.

1. Havelock Brewster, "The Pattern of Wages, Prices and Productivity n Jamaica". This was
prepared For the Trade Union Inslitute, U.W.I. (mimeographed) 1965.
2. "Jamaica's Economic Problems", Daily Gleaner, September, 1964.
3. Havelock Brewster, "Natlonal Planning and the Private Sector" (mimeographed) 1965.
4. J. Tinbergen. Paper read before a Conference on Planning Techniques and Methods
In the Caribbean, published by the Oaribean Oqanllmton as Planning for Economic
Development In the Caribbean, Puerto Rco, 1963.

Book Reviews

Ideas and Illustrations in Economic History, Douglas Hall.
Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., New York, 1964. $2.95 US., pp. 165.

PROFESSOR HALL attempts in this book a task which has few if
any examples, although the idea upon which it rests has for a long
time been acknowledged by historians. He seeks, after defining
economic history, to erect the fundamental characteristics of the con-
ceptual equipment required for this kind of study. The story of three
quite different economic occurrences is then related the Tiv people
of Nigeria and the early European influence, the early banana trade
from Jamaica, and the Industrialization of Britain in the 18th and 19th
centuries. To each of these in turn Professor Hall applies the various
prongs of his conceptual structure. Finally, he derives generalizations
about economic change. The book will be most valuable to students
beginning economic history as an introduction to rigorous analysis of
the subject and to the expectation that ultimately particular events will
need to be encompassed in a general interpretation. Regrettably, the
writer apparently did not think it necessary to explain the rationale
of the methodology though the conception of the book must have
demanded this. Experienced students may be more interested, out of
curiosity or scepticism, to turn first to the last part for the hypotheses
relating to economic change. And all will want to see more, perilous
though it is, of this sort of attempt at explicit demonstration of the
significance of history.
Professor Hall looks upon economic history in a conventional way
as the study of people's past endeavours to secure what they want.
The concepts which he believes to be most useful for this purpose are
scarcity, economy, wealth, view of the world, enterprise, mobility,
barriers to mobility, power of manipulation, exchange. They are
abstract notions which have, unlike the concepts of economic theorists,
universal applicability. He explains these notions in detail and, apart
from the dubious distinction between the economist's idea of wealth
(material accumulation and consumption) and the economic historian's
(subjective satisfaction of a society), they seem to offer, as they are,
no important grounds for controversy. However, they incur question-
ing as to the manner of their derivation. On one level, they appear to
be simply the enumeration of commonly observable aspects of human
life. On another, they may be the more important constructs in the
explanation of causes and effects which Professor Hall derived from his
understanding of history. In the one case there is involved a pre-
carious balance between falling into the trap imposed by a given
theoretical dimension and the erection and interlacing of such a com-
plex of analytical Inclusiveness that the very important concern to order

priorities and to establish useful principles become subordinated and
obscure. On this level, Professor Hall's discussion of the economic
situations he is concerned about certainly veers in the latter direction.

For example, his discussion of Britain's industrialization seems to
leave us rather up in the air though, even within the confines of his
conceptual framework, it is fairly obvious that one ought to leave this
subject with the simple idea that in a growth-response society where
enterprise is motivated by private profit (though it may also be social
gain) that ways will be sought to improve efficiency in the use of
natural resources, labour and capital equipment and that in so doing
factor substitutions will take place. These substitutions will explain a
lot about economic change and probably also about inventiveness. The
question why the competitive and growth response should predominate
in one society and not in another then becomes one of central concern
but is not altogether explainable by economic historians.

In the other case, doubts inevitably arise as to the legitimacy and
the degree of subjectiveness in railroading the so-called facts about
particular economic incidents into or out of conceptual compart-
ments. For example, in the discussion on the emergence and develop-
ment of the Jamaican banana trade the mental equipment which
proved most helpful to Professor Hall included the enterprise of certain
individuals, a view of the world which was not entertained by those
engaged in traditional exports, and the breaking down of barriers to
mobility such as by introducing monopolistic control. However, it may
occur to the plain man that the quality enterprise obscrues the more
specific circumstances of the events and he may strongly recommend
that it may be more beneficial, if we want more than the interesting
details of entrepreneurial history, to focus on such ordinary considera-
tions as the condition of supply; demand and availability at home and
abroad; relative returns to the trade for growers and carriers; the
alternatives available to small-scale ship operators and emancipated

The generalizations of Part Three hinge upon the responses of
societies to scarcity. These take three forms: the sharing response, the
competitive response and the growth response. There is no notion of
stagecraft in this analysis nor is there any correlation between the
level of material consumption and the society's response to scarcity.
The responses cannot be isolated though one may predominate over
the others at points of time. Professor Hall then draws out six
generalizations about economic change. Briefly, they are that (a)
competitive or growth response societies are most likely to further
changes in their material wealth; (b) such societies are most likely to
seek to advance mobility which is won by advancing technology; (c)
responses to scarcity have no necessary relation to existing conditions
of wealth; (d) enterprise is handicapped in sharing response societies
and fails wherever there is insufficient power of manipulation; (e) econ-
omic change follows an altered view of the world; (f) since changes in
societies' views cannot be predicted the course of economic change is

If it is supposed that these generalizations were derived with the
present or future in mind It is difficult not to feel that the hypothesiz-
ing is at such a high degree of generality that the advance in producing
theorems of any practical content is still at the margin and open as
much to historical derivation as to commonsensical reflection. But It
may be that an important part of this book remains to be written:
illustrations in the application of historical generalizations.


Jamaican Leaders: Political Attitudes in a New Nation, Wendell Bell.
University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1964. $6.00 U.S., pp. 229.

PROFESSOR BELL can best be described as an American liberal
who is seeking in this book to plead for a better tomorrow. In the
concluding chapter of his book he waxes eloquent, stating that "it is
possible that Jamaica can become a symbol to the world, to the under-
developed and developed, to the committed and uncommitted nations
alike. One future that Jamaicans might create would continue the
sets of trends which already characterise Jamaica and which have
been specified in this book: increases in the scale of the society and
the trend toward equality. Jamaica could prove to the world that
economic and social progress can occur in a relatively poor country
while maintaining a representative political system and public liberties;
that the creation of a truly inclusive society where there is no arbitrary
prejudice and discrimination of any kind is possible; that opportunities
for all people can be Increased; that equal access to all facilities and
institutions can be achieved; that civil and political equality can be
realized in fact; that minimums of economic, social, and cultural rights
can be raised; that the people, under democracy, can become more
mobilised, efficient, and co-ordinated so that the power to achieve the
society's collective goals will be increased; that the people individually,
like the society itself, can be developed and their self-realisation
attained; that a nation can be concerned not just with its own welfare
but with the welfare of all people everywhere; and that a nation can
put humanity even above its own newly won national sovereignty. In
sum, Jamaica could prove that some key ideas underlying Western
thought still have vigour and meaning, that a belief in progress, reason
and the perfectibility of man carries with It a force that can help make
the vision of a better world come true." (p. 172.)

This is indeed a noble incantation and it would certainly prove
reassuring If Jamaica could live up to these expectations. It is obvious
that Jamaica provided Professor Bell with an ideal type of small new
nation. It has a viable two party system, constitutional government,
and a primarily racially homogeneous and tolerant social system. One
of the real difficulties Involved in any type of social analysis is that
the very tools of analysis in large part determine our interpretations

and conclusions. Professor Arthur Schlesinger, distinguished scholar
of Jacksonlan democracy in the United States, admitted after his short
sojourn in President Kennedy's administration that the evidence upon
which historians and social scientists base their interpretations are at
best inadequate. One can possibly argue that Professor Bell, by rely-
ing almost entirely on interviews with elites for his data, has given us
a limited interpretation of Jamaican politics, just as a study relying
entirely on interviews with the unemployed workers of Kingston would
give a different but also limited interpretation. In a sense we feel that
his particular interpretation of the attitudes of elites was biased in
that he had asked the questions that they would expect and be ready
for. It seems highly probable that the interview situation may have
encouraged or forced the respondents to moralise and pontificate about
their goals and aspirations. It should also be remembered that the
elites of Jamaica have been exposed for some time to the values (in
theory if not always in practice) of Western liberalism and democracy.
These values have usually been acquired fairly early in life, either in
their Sunday schools, their private primary schools, and their not so
private secondary schools. Hence, it is not surprising or unexpected
that the respondents so enthusiastically said they supported democracy,
liberty and freedom. The real problem, however, is not what the
people aspire to but what they actually practice. Not only would it
have been interesting if Professor Bell had described the actual
relationships between the elites but it would have tested the validity
of his theories in actual practice. The traditionalism and the
authoritarianism of the society are clearly revealed, for example, in
the behaviour of some of the bureaucratic elites in their attitudes
towards the small farmers in the community. One of the real diffi-
culties in regard to the practice of democracy in Jamaica is not that
the elites are uncommitted to the democratic values articulated by
Professor Bell, but in their actual behaviour towards the mass they
tend to be essentially paternalistic. Professor Bell's analysis could
have been greatly strengthened by an examination of the pattern of
internal democracy in at least one or two social organizations in

Further, it could be argued that the heavy emphasis upon con-
stitutionalism and legalism has been one of the greatest barriers to
popular participation in democracy in Jamaica. In almost every organ-
isation from the village level up, one is impressed by the amount of
time and energy spent by individuals on constitutional and legal
matters. Unfortunately these discussions are usually abortive, in that
they tend to concentrate on procedure and tend to neglect any dis-
cussion about the issues that are involved. This emphasis on pro-
cedure has often had an unfortunate consequence: the emergence of
the "professional" leader who relies on his capacity to be articulate,
and secondly his capacity to manipulate the organisation. He is
usually the most articulate person in any organisation and the real
problem with this type of leader is that he keeps coming up to the
top regardless of whether he has any real expert knowledge or even
interest In the substantive field in which his organisation is involved.

In a study of statutory bodies in agriculture, it is found that the same
leaders tend to reappear with consistent regularity on lists of board
members of statutory boards. () This type of professional leader
deserves careful Investigation as his continued dominance in Jamaican
life may reduce the possibility of a genuine participant democracy.

Despite these drawbacks Professor Bell has no doubt made a
significant contribution in attempting to undertake an empirical study
of Jamaican politics. He has attempted to quantify his findings, all of
which are open to inspection and re-analysis. In a very real sense
this is a refreshing study, in that it does not depend on anecdotes and
homespun armchair theorising for its data. There is on the other
hand, an equally urgent need to supplement interview findings of this
type with sustained and prolonged participant observation.*

The real strength of the study is Professor Bell's analysis of what
he thinks are the operative factors in Jamaican politics after he has
left his data behind. Certainly one of the better chapters in the
entire study Is the one entitled "Generalising about Jamaica's Develop-
ment." He offers three themes around which Jamaican social institu-
tions are evolving. He identifies them as a) an increase in the scale
of the society; b) the spread of equality; and c) the resolution of
problems of legitimacy. Professor Bell argues that as Jamaican society
has increased in scale it has increased in complexity, and in fact is
already on the path of modernisation. The drive to modernity has
meant a rejection of the traditional order, with rationality and special-
isation replacing superstition and ascription. While we may agree to
some extent that Jamaica is well on its way to becoming a modern
nation, we may raise some questions as to the rate and pace of this
modernisation. One observes for example, that a number of traditional
features in its social structure have still been retained. The planta-
tion system has had a lasting impact on Jamaican agriculture, on its
trade unions and indeed on the entire value system. The fact that
Jamaica does not have a traditional culture in the same sense that
many bf the Afro-Asian nations have can lead one to the deceptive
conclusion that Jamaica is therefore modern. Neither of the political
parties, however, has called for any basic changes in the structure of
the economy (still heavily dependent on plantation sugar) or the social
order. In that sense one can argue that Jamaica doesn't have a
modernising political movement.

It is this unwillingness to engage in fundamental changes that
causes Jamaica to be characterized as an unusually stable nation in
the Caribbean. Lloyd Best in another context has argued that Jamaica
has been quite satisfied to follow the Puerto Rican model of economic

(1) A. W. SINGHAM: "The JAS -A case study of a bureaucralised interest group". Mimeo.
paper presented for delivery at the American political Science Associa-
tion. Sept. 1965. Chicago, U.S.A.
For an analysis of some of Ihe problems that a survey research analyst faces in the West
Indies, see my "An Election Survey in the West Indies, Public Opinion Quarterly forthcoming.

development, hence its heavy emphasis on stable government. The
sine qua non of the Puerto Rican model is to create and maintain a
climate of confidence for investors. This also accounts for the high
degree of consensus one finds amongst the elites about the legitimacy
of the political system. Professor Bell finds that the elites have played
an important role in what he describes as the whole process of circular
causation between ideas and institutions. In other words they have
been able to obtain legitimacy for their rule, to rationalise their
exercise of power. But, as he correctly maintains, the underprivileged
groups have not been entirely happy with their rights and privileges
or lack thereof, and have kept questioning the right of the rulers to
govern them, although they have not openly or completely challenged
the whole system. Professor Bell seemed convinced that as Jamaica
moved towards independence a new elite was emerging and this elite
was seeking legitimacy for Its tenure in office. However, one does
wonder whether a new elite has been or is emerging or whether the
same elites have simply reappeared in new clothing. We would have
liked to know how rapid social mobility has been, and whether this
mobility has actually resulted in the breakdown of the old order. In
Jamaica one cannot help but observe that the elites form an inter-
locking directorate which does not appear to encourage or allow new
groups to enter what can be best described as a closed shop. The basic
question that arises at this juncture is whether the Jamaican elites
have been a self-recruiting and self-rejuvenating class? One would
have liked to know from Professor Bell what impact the generational
variable has had on the elites. Professor Bell did have a question on
the occupation of their fathers, and it is indeed a pity that he did not
use the answers to this very vital question in his analysis.

One of the contributions of Professor Bell's study is the devising
of indices to measure equalitarianism and political cynicism. Of course,
most indices however carefully constructed do not measure what they
set out to do as accurately as they appear to do. It would have been
useful if Professor Bell had modified the Seeman status attitude scale.
For example, question 2 on the index should have been modified for
Jamaican elites. Instead of relating the question to race, it would have
been more appropriate to relate it to colour in the Jamaican context.
Similarly, question 3, the index of equalitarianism, could have been
modified, raising, for example, the whole question of rural and urban
differences, and how they affected status differentiation in Jamaica.
One could make a similar criticism of the index of political cynicism.

In spite of the fact that the responses may not provide an accurate
reflection of the genuine attitudes of the elites, Professor Bell's specific
findings are indeed quite disturbing. On one occasion he concludes
"There is a real danger to the continuation of democratic
forms in Jamaica, however. It comes not so much from those
leaders who opposed independence and progress, as from those
who wanted independence and who want progress. It comes
from among the change-leaders themselves who are trying to

move the people of Jamaica into a better future but who some-
times become impatient with the democratic process when it
appears to them to impede the progress they hope to achieve.
This particular kind of antidemocratic or politically cynical
attitude carries with it its own legitimation and can be expressed
freely, since it is antidemocracy in the name of the people's
welfare, in the name of economic and social progress. The
irony is, as I have tried to point out, that the assumption under-
lying this view may be fallacious. No one has proved that
progress toward economic and social goals is more easily made
under a nondemocratic than under a democratic political system;
in fact there is some evidence to the contrary. If the attitudes
of the politically cynical change-leading elites win out in the
struggle for the image of Jamaica's future, the Jamaican people
might lose some of their newly won political rights without being
any closer to their economic and social goals than they would
have been anyway." (p. 131).

SThere is little doubt that these attitudes constitute a grave danger
for Jamaica's political future. There is a tendency amongst the middle
class elites to argue that a few years of dictatorship can solve all
Jamaica's major problems. Once these difficulties are resolved, then
democracy can be restored. These liberal authoritarians are gaining
increasing support from the new intelligensia, who are becoming
frustrated about their own chances for mobility in the political system.

One of the more interesting aspects of Professor Bell's study is his
examination of Jamaican nationalism. The field work for the study
was completed before the collapse of the West India Federation, and
hence he had an opportunity to observe all of the possible levels and
types of community identification in Jamaica. One suspects, however,
that the respondents may have been confused about their nationalist
identification in response to the question "Does Jamaica have more to
gain or lose as a result of political independence?"

Some of the respondents may have been negative about Independ-
ence for Jamaica alone since they may have preferred to have In-
dependence through the Federation. In a sense one would have hoped
that Professor Bell would have examined the details of Jamaican vs.
West Indian nationalism especially since his study was done at a time
when these alternatives were available and known. While it is true
that this particular problem was outside the immediate purview of his
discussion it would have been interesting to know the levels and types
of identifications expressed by the Jamaican elites, about the type of
community they saw as being "national." Furthermore, Professor Bell
could have explored somewhat more fully the view commonly expressed
that the Jamaican elites preferred Jamaican nationalism rather than
West Indian nationalism, because the latter would have enveloped them
or rather let them in for competition with elites from other territories,
which they were unwilling to do.

Professor Bell's book has no doubt attempted to fill a small part
of the large gap in the literature on Jamaican politics. Taken
altogether, however, this is indeed a disappointing book. In a large
part, this Is because the book addresses itself to the problem and nature
of the elites and does not concommitantly address itself to the problem
of power and the distribution of power In Jamaican society. On one
occasion Professor Bell comes close to discussing the question of power
when he states that

"Jamaican society increased in total power. I am not merely
referring here to technological advance although it is related,
but to social power. The ability of the Jamaican people to
achieve their collective goals increased immeasurably. This was
partly owing to technological advance, but it was also owing to
increasing differentiation of function, increasingly complex
organization of effort, and increasing social mobilization. The
application of a zero-sum concept of power the notion that
power is limited and a scarce commodity is simply inadequate
to describe the changing total power of Jamaican society and
probably of other developing societies as well. However useful
the zero-sum concept of power may be to describe the com-
petition over the distribution of power at any given time, it is
more accurate to view power as a resource that can be developed
when describing changes in total power through time. Power
per capital, wealth per capital, and energy per capital Increased."
(pp. 34-35)

In fact it would have been fascinating to learn exactly how the elites
have been able to distribute the scarce resources of income, safety and
deference. It would also have been interesting if Professor Bell had
considered the early Lasswellian formulation that the influentials are
those who get most of what there is to get, and what they seek to
get are the values associated with deference, income and safety. Those
who get the most of these things are the elites; the rest are the mass.*

Although Professor Bell chose to study only the characteristics of the
leadership, he did proceed to generalise about the society at large and
hence he should have attempted to show the reciprocal relationship
between the governed and governors. Since by definition this is always
an unequal relationship he should have attempted to learn exactly how
this power was exercised by the elites in Jamaican society.

There are, however, many ways by which one could study the elite
or power structure in a community. The first and most obvious way is
to take an existing frame (Professor Bell consulted Who's Who) and
then proceed to describe the social characteristics of these leaders. This
method of course has the advantage of providing a ready made frame
from which one can draw one's sample. However, this particular
method of studying the elites does not in any way lead us into an

* Harold Lasswell, The Political Writings of H. D. lasswell. Free Press, lenco III., 1951.

examination of the decision making process that takes place in a com-
munity. The real critical problems that confront a society in regards
to decision making still remain unexamined. What is needed are
studies of the decision making process, as to how decisions are made,
who makes them, and for whom. It is only when we undertake this
type of study that we will be able to come to grips with the problem
as whether Jamaica is moving in a democratic or an authoritarian
direction. Professor Bell has raised some of these basic Issues but the
answers have been at best only partial.


The Alien, Edwin Rosskam.
Grossman Publishers, New York, 1964. $4.50 U.S., pp. 200.

ALTHOUGH there is an image of the Caribbean in the literature
of the United States (namely that exemplified by the incredibly
romantic last act of Clifford Odets' Awake and Sing! when Moe con-
vinces Henry to leave her husband and child and run off with him to
the Caribbean on the promise that they will live idyllically everafter
on wind, sand and stars), the image of Puerto Rico is practically non-
existent in serious American fiction. The appearance of a novel set in
today's Puerto Rico of "Operation Bootstrap" and, retrospectively in
the memory of its protagonist, in bootless Puerto Rico of the 1930's,
does mark an occasion of some kind, if not exactly a celebration.

As his title The Alien suggests, photography editor Edwin Rosskam,
at one time a consultant to the government of the Estado Libre
Asociado and a guest at the recent inauguration of Roberto Sanchez
Vilella, stays within a long tradition of American novels whose pro-
tagonists are aliens or exiles escaping from American commercialism
and mechanization.

These expatriates (some stay home, some go abroad) often travel
from the American East to the American West, that is, from sophisti-
cation to simplicity. Emil Bluemelein, however, somewhat reversing
the direction of his pioneering family who had moved to Montana
from Germany, moves from Montana to Puerto Rico. The pioneers
to the Northwest had settled down into bourgeois farmers by the
mid-1930's, of course, and Emil Bluemelein himself was by then a
minor bureaucrat in the United States Department of the Interior.

He was not all bureaucrat, however. For, upon arrival in Puerto
Rico on a temporary assignment for Interior - regular salary plus
overseas living increment - he fell in love with the then beautiful
island and Its people, and he became restless in his bureaucratic chair,
despite being quite devoted to the principles of the "New Deal" which
he was supposed to be administering. A sensitive man, he becomes

increasingly restive, distressed by Interior's failure, because of its
middle-class bias, to alleviate the deplorable condition of the whole
people of Puerto Rico. He becomes further disenchanted by the chau-
vinism and racism of his bureau chiefs. They, in return, suspect him
of disloyalty. Not only because of his disgruntledness, but also be-
cause he is studying Spanish with a passion under the tutelage of a
teacher known as a Nationalist. Eventually Interior discharges him,
rather to his satisfaction, and he purchases a small coffee plantation
in the hills around Barranquitas and loses his shirt.

As a matter of fact, when the novel begins, Emil Bluemelein, an
alien just past middle-age, lives in extreme poverty in a slum that
Edwin Rosskham calls Little Mud, obviously after San Juan's El
Fanguito, one of the worst slums in Latin America. This situation,
although it is treated In the conventions of realism, borders on the
improbable, it being almost inconceivable that a Norteamericano of
middle-class background could or would long endure the kind of life
that must be endured in El Fanguito whether the slum be situated in
San Juan or in the Appalachians. Thus, for the middle-class persons
who will read The Alien, Bluemelein starts out as almost an eccentric.
To the Puerto Rican slum dwellers constantly preoccupied with what
Louis Macneice called the perennial problem of getting enough to eat,
Bluemelein is at first certainly eccentric: he spends much of his time
in his backyard trying to create a work of art out of a pile of junk.
When this work In the shape of the tree of life (Rosskam describes
Bluemelein's junkyard as a "garden") is destroyed by delinquents,
Bluemelein, who upon occasion has displayed paranoid symptoms,
suffers an emotional collapse.
This action or inaction regretably leaves a reader with a sense of
frustration, if not a feeling of futility. "Regretably," because one of
the main loci of The Alien is that of social criticism of both past
and present Puerto Rico, and one would hope that a critical hero with
a quasi-political perception of the nature of things might find greater
comprehension in defeat than Rosskam allows Bluemelein in ex-

The novel, as I read it, may be marred by an uncertain handling
of the protagonist and by structural flaws, but it remains interesting
for those concerned with Caribbean studies for what it reveals of
one kind of American liberal attitude toward Puerto Rico. Rosskam
writes fairly good prose and at times enlivens Puerto Rican history. For
example, he describes with sickening vividness the famous Palm
Sunday massacre of 1937 when the island police cut down the unarmed
men, women and children marching in a Nationalist parade. The Alien
has the additional value of calling into question certain presumptions
of "Operation Bootstrap" (Bluemelein seems to view Puerto Rico as
a colony of the United States) and of asking discomforting moral
questions about the way in which the national energy is presently
being spent by a middle-class society that appears increasingly guilty
of a hardening of the heart.