Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 Editorial comments and notes

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
        Front Matter 3
    Editorial comments and notes
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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Full Text

'1. Nos. 1 & 2



SAJUL 18 19 6 L
U i s 1 6 MARCH & JUNE, 1965

A ^^

Government House, Nassau, Bahamas-official residence
of the Governor of The Bahamas.

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Photoiraphnr- Roland Rosp

MARCH & JUNE, 1965



Editorial Comments and Notes 1

Hugh W Springer 3

Carl Campbell 13

P Mahadevan 36

G. E. Beckford 50

D. T. Edwards 64

W. I. Carr 71

Jean Creary 85

Ismith Khan, The Obeah Man, (M. S. Blundell) 95

Books for Secondary School English, (C. R. Gray) 97

Inez Knibb Sibley, The Baptists of Jamaica, (Horace Russell) 103

.... ..... ... .... .... 104

VOL. 11 No. 1 & 2



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.



Acting Editor: A. A. THOMPSON,

Acting Director of Extra-Mural
Studies, University of the West
Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

The Editor is advised by an Editorial Board, consisting of
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Dorothy Payne-a Newcomer to Sculpture
Rejection of European Culture as a Theme in Caribbean
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The Couronians and the West Indies-The First Settlements
William Dampier (1652 1715)-Writer and Buccaneer
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The Panan, an Afrobahian Religious Rite of Transition
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Canada's Federal Experience ......
Australia Background to Federation
The Constitution of Australia .....
Early Constitutional History of Jamaica
The Road Back-Jamaica After 1866
The Temporary Federal Mace ......
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Federalism in the West Indies
Summary of Constitutional Advances -
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West Indian Poetry .... ..... ....
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At the Death of a Young Poet's Wife (A Poem)
Sources of West Indian History ...... ......

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G. R. Coulthard
G. F. Asprey
Edgar Anderson

John A. Ramsaran
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Alexander Brady
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Rev. C. Jesse
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S. S. Ramphal
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Roy Augier
Phyllis Doyle
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Reviewed by A. E. Burt

Editorial Comments and Notes

THIS ISSUE reflects in some degree the increasing concern in
the West Indies about priorities in planning and development. Dr.
Huih Springer, Director of the Institute of Education at the University
of the West Indies, addressed the Fourth National Conference cf the
Canadian Commission for UNESCO in Montreal on the problem of
national development in this area and we are grateful for this
opportunity to present his paper to a much wider audience presenting,
as it does, the broad view of development in the West Indies at this

We welcome several new contributors to the journal. Mr. Carl
Campbell of the Department of History at the St. Augustine campus
has outlined the discussions about the content of education to be
given to the children of ex-slaves immediately following emancipation
with particular reference to its emphasis on vocational training.

Professor Mahadevan is Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the
University of the West Indies and assesses the contribution of one
of the principal institutions imparting agricultural education in the
West Indies indicating the teaching, research and extension work
which is undertaken at present and planned for the future. Mr. G. E.
Beckford of the Department of Economics carries this theme a step
further in emphasising the particular correlation between agriculture
and economic development. The economics of -food production is dealt
with by Dr. Edwards of the Department of Social Science at the
St. Augustine campus, who is the author of 'An Economic study of
Small Farming in Jamaica.'

A discussion of status of writing in the West Indian society is
always welcome; Mr. W. I. Carr, who is actively concerned with the
teaching of literature has contributed an outspoken comment on the
state of the West Indian novel at present.

Returning to the specific theme of education we include a dis-
cassion of the difficulty of teaching mathematics to children whose
language-experience is mostly dialect. Miss Creary analyses the
difficulties of sentence structure and vocabulary and suggests methods of
teaching which might avoid and overcome the continuing frustration
and waste which are products of the present dilemma. This double issue
has enabled us to present what we hope will be an illuminating review
of several aspects of the challenge facing the West Indies.

Problems Of National Development

In The West Indies.

SIX YEARS ago in April 1959 in Ottawa, at Carleton University,
I spoke optimistically about the problems and prospects of the West
Indies Federation, then one year old. Three years later, (that Is to
say, three years ago) in March 1962, I spoke in sorrow and pain in
Montreal to an audience of West Indian students from McGill Uni-
versity and Sir George Williams College about the break up of the
Once more I look to the future. But not without a backward
glance. We act in the present in the light of both our assessment of
the past and our hopes for the future.
Nationhood and development became prospects and live issues in
the West Indies from the time when in the 1930s a succession of
disturbances, strikes and riots, beginning in British Guiana, travelled
up the islands, through Trinidad and Barbados in 1937, to Jamaica
in 1938. These events marked the end of an epoch, and the beginning
of evolutionary changes in the political, economic and social life of
these countries.
The disturbances were the travail that accompanied the birth of
a new nation, bringing to an end a gestation of a hundred years-
the century that had elapsed since slavery was abolished and all the
inhabitants were admitted to legal membership of the community.
Now they were consciously claiming the rights of full membership;
and politics henceforth was to be dominated by continuing efforts
to give effect to their claims.
The course of events was influenced or determined by a number
of factors. Chief of these were the great outburst of political energy
on the part of the masses of the people, the adoption by the United
Kingdom of a policy of Colonial Development supported by develop-
ment and welfare grants, and the outbreak of the second world war.
The war interrupted or curtailed the carrying out of measures of
development, but by its effects it probably accelerated the rate of
change and development in the post-war period.
The new United Kingdom development policy was first expressed
in the Report and Recommendations of the Moyne Commission which
investigated the causes that had led to the disturbances of the 1930s.
The Report itself was not published until after the war, but a summary
of its main recommendations came out in 1940; and its publication
was quickly followed by the setting up of the Development and
Welfare Organisation, with expert advisers, and the provision of
Development and Welfare grants.
* Lecture given at the Plenary Session of the Canadian National Commission for UNESCO
Fourth National Conference, March 1965.

From this time forward the word 'development' became increas-
ingly familiar; and its use spread from the colonial to a wider context,
until the world was thought of, as it is now, as being divided into
'developed' and 'developing' countries. And the closing of the gap
between the two has become the dominant preoccupation of discerning
people who are concerned with the maintenance of world peace.
The outburst of political energy among the masses was harnessed
into political parties and trade unions by popular leaders, often drawn
from the professional middle classes. They readily embraced the de-
velopment policy introduced by the metropolitan government, because
they iecognised that their own objectives of social justice for all and
the raising of living standards for the masses could be achieved only
by increasing the resources at their command.
'-This awakening, which coincided with the birth of national feel-
ing, was followed immediately by activity on three fronts, the political,
the economic and the social. First, the political front. Political power
was the key to economic and social change. So the new parties
secured new constitutions with adult suffrage; then they 'mobilised
the expanded electorate and won control of the governments.'Secondly,
in the economic sphere, trade unions were organised to increase the
physical freedom and enhance the dignity of the worker, through
raising his wages, and humanising and improving his conditions of
work. Social welfare was the third sphere of immediate activity., A
campaign was launched -for the general betterment of living conditions
through government and voluntary agencies. In the area of com-
munity development Jamaica Welfare Ltd. set an example which was
widely followed; and governments began to make serious efforts in
such neglected areas as housing and public health, youth work and
probation services.
Tnis first phase of activity lasted roughly through the decade of
the 1940s and up to the beginning of the 1950s. It was followed by a
second phase which lasted through the 1950s and up to the beginning
of the 1960s. In the second phase, political advance continued steadily
towards *full internal self government and eventually, in the case of
the two largest islands, to independence. At the same time the gov-
ernments became increasingly development conscious. The larger ones
embarked on economic planning of a highly sophisticated kind and
made great efforts to attract investment capital from abroad. During
this phase too the importance of education in the process of develop-
ment began to be 'more fully recognized, and considerable expansion of
educational facilities was provided for.
The decade of the 50s saw encouraging signs of economic growth.
The world wide economic expansion of the immediate post war years
brought a high degree of prosperity to the West Indies, especially
to Trinidad and Jamaica, the islands best able to profit by it by reason
of their size and resources. Between 1951 and 1961 the Gross Domestic
Product of both these countries trebled. More modest gains were
registered by the smaller islands.
This rapid expansion of production is accounted for mainly by

the activities of the oil and bauxite companies. The annual production
of crude oil in Trinidad began to increase in 1950 and by 1961 it had
mere than doubled. The refineries, which processed imported as well
as local oil, did even better; so that the oil industry's share of ,the
total product rose from 29% in 1951 to 32% in 1961. vIn Jamaica,
bauxite mining began in 1952, and before the end of the decade it
was contributing to the Gross Domestic Product at the rate of 8% of
the total.

Structural changes in the economies of these two countries had
already begun to take place during the previous period. Now they
vere accelerated.' In the case of agriculture, though total production
continued to rise, its relative contribution declined. In Jamaica, for
example, agriculture's share in the total dropped from 261% in 1951
lo 12.9' in 1961. In Trinidad, agriculture's contribution, which in 1951
was already as low as 17%, had shrunk by 1961 to 12%. At the same
time the manufacturing and construction industries were moving in
the opposite direction, their combined share of the total rising from
22% to 24.% in Jamaica and from 13% to 16% in Trinidad.

Oil and bauxite were the principal generators of economic growth
in these two countries. Trinidad and Jamaica were lucky to have
them and have made good use of their good fortune.

This period included our unsuccessful attempt at federation. I
have no wish to linger over this painful episode except so far as it
is relevant to our purpose. One of the notable permanent results of
the experiment has been the advancement of the political constitu-
tions of the islands in the Windward and Leeward Group. Barbados,
Jamaica and Trinidad would certainly have advanced to full internal
self-government in any event, and Jamaica and Trinidad did in fact
achieve it well before the -federation. But in the case of the smaller
islands the coming into force of the federal arrangements was the
occasion for the granting of their present measure of autonomy, which
is limited only by the requirements of defence and external relations
and to the extent to which those governments that are grant-aided
are subject to financial control. It is a matter of opinion whether in
the existing circumstances this has proved to be an unqualified ad-
vantage to those islands. It might be argued that more rational
solutions of their problems of survival and development would have
been possible today if these solutions could have been introduced in
conjunction with desired constitutional advances.

Since the beginning of 1962 the islands of the Leeward group-
Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, and Montserrat-together with
Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent in the Windward group, and
Barbados, have been discussing among themselves and with the United
Kingdom the formation of a federal entity in the Eastern Caribbean.
At the same time Grenada, the remaining island of the Windward
group, has been dicsussing with Trinidad and the United Kingdom
the possibility of becoming part of the unitary state of Trinidad and

It would be unsafe to predict the outcome of these protracted
discussions. I suggest, however, that there can be general agreement
about the following propositions concerning the islands of the Leeward
and Windward groups."First, that they are too small for independence
as separate units.-Secondly, that they would find it more efficient and
more economical if the higher levels of their administrative, profes-
sional and technical services were to be brought under a unified system
of recruitment, training, deployment and promotion.' Thirdly, that,
if their economies are to expand, they will need for some time to
come continuous injections of purposeful expenditure. Fourthly, that
this expenditure must come from outside sources, since these islands
are all grant aided except Antigua, which has managed to avoid
accepting grant aid during the past year or two by postponing neces-
sary expenditure on normal services and St. Lucia; even the successful
adventure into banana production by the Windward islands and St.
Lucia during the past few years has not enabled the others to pay
their way.
Of these islands, Antigua has enjoyed the most rapid expansion
of income since the war. She has invested heavily inr tourism, so far
with considerable success; and her acquisition of an oil refinery in-
dicates her ambition to develop an industrial sector.
Barbados has more than once mentioned the possibility of seeking
independence on her own. She still leans heavily on agriculture, but
has a successful and growing tourist industry and an increasing
number of small secondary industries. Her economy has grown with
her growing population, but not fast enough to enable her to make
any considerable contribution to the development of any other island
without courting disaster for herself.
Jamaica and Trinidad are now launched on the first decade of
independence and there has been no lessening of the will to develop
on the part of the governments nor any noticeable change in the
policy they have been pursuing to achieve their national goals. These
goals have been described as being, in the long run, to use to the full
their human and material resources so as to yield on the broadest
scale levels of living in keeping with the modern requirements of
human dignity; in the short run, to lessen the present dependence on
external resources and consequent external direction. All the islands
share these goals, but the smaller ones are less likely to reach them.
To put in a nutshell what I have said so far, the region has just
passed through a period of revolutionary social and political change,
beginning some thirty years ago. The salient features of this change
are the shift of political power to the masses on the one hand, and
on the other a new concern on the part of the governments with
programmes of political, economic and social development.
These programmes have included education, as we have seen, but
not, I think, in the measure demanded by the needs of the situation.
Educational development has long been recognized to be a condition
of advance in the other fields, but the implications of this have
nowhere been ,fully appreciated or adequately implemented. Govern-

ments tend to concentrate on political and narrowly economic devel-
opment while paying lip service to education. (There are, of course,
political reasons for this. It is not often that educational issues are
decisive in capturing votes. The framing of a forward looking educa-
lional policy calls for a high level of statesmanship)

Nevertheless, as I say, all the Governments are aware to some
degree that educational development is an essential condition of
economic and social development. Politicians sometimes refer with
approval to the need for investment in human resources. They know
that educated people are needed to do jobs at various levels in gov-
ernment, in agriculture, in industry and commerce, in education and
research, in the arts and crafts.

Each island maintains a system of primary and secondary
education, and some have made beginnings in the technical and
vocational fields. There is one university, with campuses in Jamaica,
Trinidad and Barbados and with Extra Mural centres in the others.
It offers both full-time and part-time degree courses in the 'faculties
of Arts, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Education, Medicine, Agri-
culture and Engineering. Many West Indians make use of the facilities
for higher education in other countries, especially the United King-
dcm, Canada and the United States of America. Up to nowj however,
university graduates are only one per cent of the population, and
we have a good deal of leeway to make up in the technical and voca-
lional fields.

So far we have been sketching the outlines of West Indian devel-
opment since 1939, and pointing to some of the factors that have
influenced or determined its course. It is time now to say something
about the problems that have arisen and are for the most part still
with us.

Some of them have their origins in our history, others are in-
herent in our present circumstances. Some come from outside our-
selves, others have their origin within us. Some are beyond our control,
others are a challenge to our quality.

We inherited an economy based on the production of agricultural
goods for export to Europe, and we have achieved our charter of
freedom at a time when the rate of technological change is so rapid
that it threatens to outstrip the efforts of even the most indus-
trially experienced countries to keep their national housekeeping ad-
justed to it. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, speaking of
his own country, has summarised the situation in these words:

As the country has sought belatedly to free itself from the
shackles of mercantilism and to catch up with the first Indus-
trial Revolution in the world, it has found itself entangled
inevitably in the toils of the second Industrial Revolution

This is the situation of most, if not all, of the developing coun-
tries. And our herculean task is made more difficult by the great popu-

lation explosion that threatens to engulf us. Like the makers of the
first Industrial Revolution, we too are faced with an expansion of
population. With them as with us the health revolution preceded
the industrial one. Improvements in Medicine at the end of the 17th
and the beginning of the 18th centuries caused population in Europe
to increase during the 18th century so that industrialisation became
necessary in order to clothe and feed the multitudes. In our case
pharmaceutical discoveries and improvements in public health on a
worldwide scale have caused the outburst of population that provides
us with a spur to development.

But we are less fortunate than our European predecessors in two
important respects.L In the first place migration as the short term
solution to the population explosion is no longer available now to
the extent that it has been in the past. Hungry multitudes from Europe,
for whom the first Industrial Revolution was unable to provide, found
homes in America; and hungry Americans kept moving their frontiers
deeper into the seemingly limitless West. For the starving multitudes
today there is no terra incognita. All frontiers are jealously guarded,
and passports and visas are carefully rationed.

secondly, our efforts to provide more jobs through industrialisa-
tion are being nullified by the onward march of the technological
revolution. The employment potential of new secondary industries
shrinks while we are in the act of planning them. And even our basic
industries of oil and sugar are compelled by the necessities of the world
market to replace more and more of their work force by automatic

'MVoreover, the relative youth of our growing population, combined
with the fact that the world has increasingly fewer places for the
uneducated and unskilled, imposes upon our resources the strain of
providing more and more schools and training institutions.

Thus the high rate of population growth and the speed of tech-
nological change have together required us, like the rest of the world,
to pin our hopes for survival and development on national planning.

All the islands recognize the importance of planning for develop-
ment and have set up planning machinery of varying degrees of
elaboration, ranging from the most rudimentary to the well staffed
planning units of Jamaica and Trinidad. These two islands, as well
as Barbados, have published a succession of five year plans which, es-
pecially in the case of the two larger islands, illustrate the high
degree of sophistication to which I have already referred.

It must be clear from all that I have said so -far that in respect
of economic development, the problems of the West Indies are by no
means peculiar to these islands. The formula our governments have
chosen is a familiar one among the Western democracies. It is that
of the mixed economy, with a small but growing government sector.
In this type of economy, planning is made difficult by the -fact that
a large number of important decisions are taken by private concerns

and individuals on such crucial matters as saving and investment,
production and consumption. The techniques of solving the problems
that arise in such a situation will be the same for us as for other
countries with mixed economies where similar problems have arisen
and continue to arise. There is no need for me to attempt to discuss
them as part of the West Indian case, even if I were qualified to do
so. Our political economists devote much time and trouble to the
study of these matters. Those concerned make a point of keeping in
close touch with the most recent developments of thought and prac-
tice in their fields, making use of the resources and information,
advice and technical aid, availability of which is one of the more
encouraging features of international life in the post war world.

There is, however, a problem which may be called our own, even
though it is not uniquely ours. It arises from a combination of facts
and circumstances that constitute for us a state of dependence of a
disturbing sort.'The major share of our economy is owned and con-
trolled by interests resident in other countries, and we continue to
be very heavily dependent on outside sources for capital investment
and on outside markets for the disposal of our products. (I do not
need to elaborate before this audience on the precarious nature of
our marketing arrangements .for our principal agricultural products,
sugar and fruit. And, on the industrial side, I think that Canadians
are sensitive to the dangers inherent in control of investment and
industry by interests outside the country)

Many of the more thoughtful among us, especially the younger
ones, are deeply concerned about this state of affairs. On the other
hand, practical politicians, charged with the responsibilities of gov-
ernment, are only too well aware of local inadequacies of capital and
technical knowledge. They have been told by the experts that the best
hope of making a start in the diversification of narrowly based econ-
omies is to attract outside interests which already have capital,
'know how' and an assured market for the products of their enterprise.

There is a partial remedy for our excessive dependence on outside
investment capital.-The same experts advise us that we are not on
the whole so poor that we cannot in principle raise all the money
we need for investment out of our own income if we set about vig-
orously to do so. They acknowledge that the political difficulties
attendant upon the securing of acceptance, under a democratic regime,
of a taxation policy that might produce the desired level of local
savings are formidable-indeed we have witnessed several demonstra-
tions of the untoward consequences of such attempts in widely
separated quarters of the globe. These difficulties are a challenge to
our wits and a test of our character. But even if a way could be found
of removing or overcoming these obstacles, we would still come up
against the limitations constituted by our smallness as markets and
our present deficiencies of industrial expertise.

The debate goes on among us, and of course, like all debates about
politics, it is ultimately about freedom and equality. The immediate

question is whether there is for a small society in the modern world
an alternative to a semi-colonial relationship with another more
viable society. The more idealistic among us assert that there must be
an affirmative answer to this question; and on this assumption we
wrestle with the further question, what must the alternative be. As
we do so, two crucial questions will keep recurring: "How much free-
dom?" "How much prosperity?" "How much prosperity?" "How much
freedom?" A well known contemporary West Indian writer*, in dis-
cussing these questions has pointed to what he describes as the
'concrete independence' which is required for full development. We
have not as yet a clear conception of what this is.

But apart -from the problems of economics and politics, West
Indian leadership faces a challenge in the form of a legacy of a
l:iritual kind that is easy to be aware of but hard to describe. It
has to do with our continuing search for identity. Who are we?
Whither are we going?
It is perhaps the origin of a variety of disquieting symptoms that
how themselves in varying degrees in our societies. Such, for example,
as a certain national or ethnic over sensitiveness, bordering on touchi-
ness and -ometimes leading to mild but potentially damaging forms
of xenophobia: a somewhat inadequate sense of responsibility, which
often reveals itself, surprisingly, in people with ability, education and
prospects: the inability of some political ministers to repose confi-
dence in the civil service, and their consequent desire to exert undue
influence upon its members or to usurp some of their functions.

People often forget that none of the inhabitants of the West
Indies are indigenous, except for a handful of people in a tiny village
hidden away in the mountains and forests of Dominica. The West
Indian communities contain a number of cultural elements, all of
th'tn: imported. The only culture that is shared by all is the culture
of the metropolitan countries. The metropolitan culture was there
before the others, and was the only culture recognised-indeed the
only one permitted-during the two centuries before 1838.
Under the surface of the political and economic changes that we
have been describing, a social and cultural change has been going on.
It began with the induction of the majority into the way of life of
the dominant minority. Now, after a century of apprenticeship, the
-_ajority, with increasing self confidence, have begun to find merit
in a West Indian way of life. A cultural flowering did in fact accom-
pany the political awakening. The calypso took on new significance
and the steel band became a national symbol. Painters and sculptors,
novelists and playwrights, dancers and actors, all began to express
themselves through West Indian themes and in patterns recognisably
West Indian.
But we have not yet rid ourselves entirely of the mental shackles
of our past. Traditional ideas often linger long after they have ceased
to correspond to reality; and old habits of thought and behaviour

* C. L. R James

often continue after they cease to be appropriate to the true rela-
tions between various sections of the people of a country. Two cen-
turies of slavery and three centuries of class differentiation based on
the plantation system, and also in the case of Trinidad the introduc-
iion a century ago of a large minority of distinctive ethnic and
-ultural characteristics, have left us a legacy that cannot be wished
away, nor exorcised by the pass of a wand, nor abolished by the
stroke of a pen. The slower processes of education, formal and in-
formal, are called for, and with them the emancipating effects of
greater economic opportunity, if we are to realise in increasing measure
o's-r goal of effective freedom for all within our communities. There is
no task of development more important than this. There is a tremen-
dous job to be done by our university, our colleges and our schools,
our government agencies and voluntary organizations, our newspapers,
our radio, our television.

Those who think about the problems of development now accept
the view that there are non-economic factors actively and crucially
involved in the processes of economic growth factors deriving
from the mental and spiritual qualities of individuals; and that in
a democratic society, planning for national development, if it is to
be successful, must include measures which will release and mobilise
the creative forces of the whole people.

May I conclude by referring once more to the widening gap
between the rich nations and the poor nations which is the Number
One problem of the development decade. I suggest that the problem,
in principle, is soluble; and that we may take courage and tackle with
optimism the formidable mountain of difficulties that stands in our
path. A distinguished American scientist and educationist* has re-
cently spoken of the new relation in which science now stands to the
wealth of nations.

In this, our half-century, we have penetrated into this last
stage of science which Bacon envisaged, and with this pene-
tration has come a corresponding third way to wealth and
power. Bacon called it the way of natural magic. Do we want
a smooth impervious fibre? We no longer wrestle with ways
of changing silk or cotton, we make the fiber itself. Do none
of the 92 elements of earth fulfil a need? We make a
93rd We are no longer dependent on large numbers of
specific natural resources each found only here or there on the
earth's surface, we are no longer dependent on the places
where they are -found Thus science has replaced empire
as the source of our common wealth.

Science has indeed provided the knowledge which, if it could be
rationally applied, could transform poor societies into rich ones. The
obstacles in the way of this are political and economic. Because world
society is organised politically and economically into separate and

4: Professor Joseph Schwab of Chicago University
2 11

mutually exclusive nations, the surplus resources of the "haves" cannot
easily be made available to the "have nots". The fact that many of
these separate nations are small or tiny merely aggravates the
problem. We need the kind of organisation of world society which
will promote and facilitate united action to supply the needs of all
while safeguarding the interests of each.

No one knows how near or how far off this kind of world organi-
sation is. In the meantime, in a world ever more closely drawn to-
gether by ever improving means of communication, the great dis-
parity between the conditions of life of the "haves" and the "have
nots" is a cause of world tension. There are grounds for hope that,
under threat of nuclear destruction, the world's thinkers and states-
men are becoming ever more willing to give serious consideration to
removing the causes of world tension, including this disparity. Never-
theless the problem of world organisation remains, and lack of world
unity is an obstacle-perhaps in the end the greatest-to success in
the carrying out of plans for development.

Institute of Education,
University of the West Indies.

The Development Of Vocational Training

In Jamaica: First Steps.

THE FIRST opportunity to provide education for the masses in
the West Indies came in 1834 with the abolition of slavery. As part
of the emancipation settlement the British Government voted the
sum of 30,000 per annum towards the education of the newly eman-
cipaoed people. This Negro Education Grant, as the imperial grants
&f funds came to be called, continued annually for 10 years (1835-
1845), but after the first 5 years, the annual grant was gradually
reduced until it was finally terminated in 1845.

The British Government and the Missionary Society which were
re ponsible to the British Government for the expenditure of the
gran:s in the West Indies had in planning the scheme taken it for
granted that moral and religious education should be provided for
the Negro masses in the West Indies. In drafting the scheme of aid,
the chief problems which preoccupied the British Government and
the Missionary societies were administrative problems. There was no
discussion about the relevance of any other kind of education to the
situation in the West Indies. The Negroes in the West Indies were
thought to have the same educational needs as the English labouring

In Jamaica, however, a discussion about the content of the edu-
cation which should be given to the children of the ex-slaves devel-
oped as soon as the colonists, on the invitation of the British Gov-
ernment, turned their attention to the subject of education. It was
a discussion initiated by the propertied classes and the Stipendiary
magistrates, and although other influential individuals in the com-
munity joined the discussion on the side of the propertied classes and
Stipendiary 'magistrates, these latter groups constituted the core of
the Jamaican party which was dissatisfied with the "moral and
religious instruction" given to the Negroes in the missionary schools.

The term "moral and religious instruction" was a concise way of
saying that the curriculum should consist of instruction in the doctrines
of the Christian religion along with the rudiments of reading, writing
and arithmetic. There is no doubt on what aspect of this programme
emphasis was laid; it was laid upon instruction in the Christian
religion in order to make Christians of heathen Negroes. The skills
of reading and writing, if not arithmetic, were the keys to the
scriptures which contained the history and ethics of the Christian
religion. In other words literacy was the means through which moral
and religious instruction in Christianity was to be imparted.

The function of moral and religious instruction, as the Mission-
ary Societies and the British Government saw it, was to help in
civilising the newly emancipated Negroes of the island. This view
was far from being peculiar to missionaries, clergymen of the Church
of England and the British government; it was widely held by the
influential classes in Jamaica. The usefulness of offering moral and
religious instruction to the ex-slaves was not contested by any signi-
ficant section of the community in Jamaica. But in so far as the sugar
planting interest and 'merchants, the Stipendiary magistrates, mis-
sionaries and clergymen of the Church of England, governors
and the professional classes had different vested interests, so -far did
they stress different advantages to be gained from the inculcation of
moral and religious instruction.

Missionaries and clergymen, like the planters and proprietors and
Stipendiary magistrates were interested in having a peaceful and
orderly society of hard working Negroes. The virtue o-f honesty, self-
reliance and industriousness, were all parts of the Christian ethic
which missionaries and clergymen sought to teach in their schools
and churches. And this was agreeable to planters and proprietors
and Stipendiary magistrates. But missionaries and clergymen generally
were interested in more than this: they wanted to win converts to
Christianity and ultimately to save the souls of their followers. Even
if Negroes were peaceful and orderly and hardworking, missionaries and
clergymen who had the zeal of their calling, still required the assur-
ance of genuine conversion to Christianity.

It was not the saving grace of moral and religious instruction
which appealed to planters and proprietors, so very rarely more than
nominal Christians themselves. The propertied classes hoped that the
moral and religious instruction, provided by the missionaries and by
the clergymen of the Church of England, would help to teach the
newly emancipated Negroes their divinely ordained place as labour-
ers, and the wisdom and blessing of a peaceful and orderly execution
of the duties of a labouring class. 0) It was thought that the loosen-
ing of the traditional bonds of the slave society called urgently for
the inculcation of this kind of moral and religious instruction. And
judging from the fact that almost all of the public money voted by
the Vestries, and most of the funds voted by the House of Assembly,
for moral and religious instruction, went to the Church of England, we
can safely conclude that planters and proprietors, generally speaking,
trusted that Church more than any other, to give the kind of moral
and religious instruction designed to further the interests of the
employers of labour.

The propertied classes were also quick to call for another kind
of instruction designed to further their own interests. This was
"industrial training" for the masses of the ex-slaves. By "industrial
training" or "industrial education" the propertied classes meant an
agricultural education which would teach Negro youths the habit of
doing agricultural work. However the call for industrial training was
not exclusive to the propertied classes.

Industrial training had supporters in the Colonial Office, and
within the island of Jamaica it had a wide currency among the gov-
ernors, some missionaries and clergymen and agents of the Mico
Charity. In short the idea had a wide appeal to the influential classes
who governed the destiny of the island. Industrial training did not
always mean the same thing to these different parties. It is our prime
purpose to examine the different proposals for industrial training
and to observe how -far the practice of primary education was out of
harmony with the ideas of the advocates of industrial training.

It is possible to distinguish two proposals, each of which was
called a school of industry. Firstly there was the proposal that the
children of the ex-slaves should spend part of their time in the schools
receiving moral and religious instruction and part of their time work-
ing on the estates of the island. (2) This division of the children's
time and energy between the school and the estate could be done
on the same day or some days could be devoted entirely to working
on the estates and other days devoted entirely to attending school.
Secondly, a school of industry existed wherever a school had an ad-
joining plot of land on which the children could be put to do agri-
cultural work. A variation on this second type was a school in which
trades or handicrafts were taught to the girls and boys. It was a
common practice in the schools conducted by missionaries and clergy-
men for the wife of the superintending missionary or teacher, or for
a suitable female employed at a trifling salary, to teach the girls
sewing and needlework in general. Schools of this kind were not con-
sidered to be schools of industry. Even schools which sought to teach
the boys a trade, though classified as schools of industry, were in
the backwater of the discussion about industrial training. Essentially
industrial training 'meant agricultural work.

In the period 1835-1865 the discussion about industrial training was
most urgently pursued in the years 1835-1847. After three years of
citationn for industrial training some of its advocates were probably
resigned to the fact that neither the government nor the denomina-
tional conductors of schools were willing or able to pay the cost of
a general scheme of industrial training; or some advocates had come
to -feel that industrial training was not as urgently needed as they
had thought in the years immediately after emancipation. Whatever
the reason, the fulcrum of discussion in the last 18 years of our
period turned, not upon industrial training, but upon the amount of
financial aid which the government should give to the denominational
schools and upon the efficiency of these schools, which on the whole
provided, not industrial training, but moral and religious instruction
and the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic. The parties
to the discussion about industrial training had not abandoned their
basic positions. For example, Stipendiary magistrates and the pro-
pertied classes were still in favour of some sort of industrial training.
But less need was felt to state their views. The disaster of social dis-
location through the widespread refusal of Negroes to work on the
estates, for which industrial training was partly to be the preventi-
tive, had not occurred. But the expenditure of the government had
2 *

increased enormously, and the free trading policy of the British gov-
ernment had put the sugar economy on a more shaky foundation. It
was more important to the propertied classes in the Vestries and the
House of Assembly, to watch public expenditure and the level of tax-
ation than to have industrial training.

The abolition of slavery raised doubts in the minds of planters
and proprietors of the willingness of the freed Negroes to continue
working on the estates. Such doubts were not exclusive to men of
property. But they were more deeply felt by this class of persons,
because their own economic interest was more immediately threatened
than that of other individuals who shared these doubts. The British
Government's device of an Apprenticeship period delayed the intro-
duction of a free wage labour system. The preference of the one
Negro ex-slave group which was completely freed, the children under
six years old, served to confirm the widespread -fears of planters and
proprietors that the estates would go short of labour at the end of
the Apprenticeship.

The free children were a troublesome lot. They were represented
by planters and Stipendiary magistrates to be running wild, uncon-
trolled by their parents and contracting habits of vice and idleness.
On a few estates planters and parents reached informal agreement
over the employment of the free children in return for certain in-
dulgencies but the general picture was that of a group which refused
to work on the estates. What was so alarming to planters and Stipen-
diary Magistrates was the thought that the free children were the
first c.f the future adult labour force which would not have undergone
the discipline of slavery and which would not have been habituated to
working on the estates.

The propertied classes knew what they wanted: they wanted to keep
up the present supply of labour and to ensure that the education of
the children would produce a future labour force willing to work on
the estates. They and other individuals such as some Stipendiary
-.agistrates and a -few missionaries and clergymen, criticised the
existing system of education as given generally by the religious groups
and the Mico Charity. It was not a frontal assault on the entire
effort of the religious educators and the Mico Charity. Since all parties
were agreed on the necessity for religious instruction, although with
different emphasis on the various advantages to be derived from it,
the advocates of industrial training were complaining, not about the
inclusion of moral and religious instruction or even the rudiments of
reading, writing and arithmetic, but about the omission of indus-
trial training. Their argument was that lessons in industry, either on
the estates or in school gardens, should be combined with literary
instruction, (3) Without lessons of industry the children of the labour-
ing classes would be educated away from the soil, away from the
estates, away from agricultural and manual work. The social conse-
quences of the concentration on book knowledge differed from critic
to critic. Those who equated book knowledge with the production of
idlers saw a real threat to the peace and prosperity of the island. As

early as 1836 the editor of the Kingston Chronicle and City Advertiser
found occasion to speak of the "eloquent beggars, thieves and vaga-
bonds" (4) produced by the educational system in Kingston. Very often
what was deplored by the advocates of industrial training was not
the production of down right idlers, but the increase of semi-educated
individuals who had imbibed enough book knowledge to despise agri-
cultural work, though not fit to undertake any of the kind of employ-
ment to which they aspired. Mr. Evelyn, the prizewinner of the
competition on industrial schools described such individuals as
having "false and puffed up ideas of their own position and claims.(5)
Rev. Stewart Renshaw, an American missionary stationed in St.
Andrews, though more sympathetic to "mental instruction" than Mr.
Evelyn, provides us with the best description of youths whose ambi-
tions outdistanced their education achievements.

"Another class that has been greatly injured embraces most of
the youths of both sexes who have passed through the common schools
of the island since the period of emancipation. They are now verging
upon man and womanhood

"A few, a very few are fit for subordinate clerkship; others can
read and write and possess an indefinite admiration of education
but the great multitude are unfit for any occupation involving the
practical application of the branches they profess to have studied.
They know enough to feel the superiority which education gives, but
not enough to know their own ignorance and appreciate their situ-
ation, or to prompt to industrious and laudable pursuits.

"Their ambition seems to rise little higher than the possession of
a horse or a suit of clothes, as evidence of their respectability. They
hisve learned to condemn labour, as associated with degradation and
to think themselves above it; thus instead of becoming useful mem-
bers of society, they are fast becoming parasites and excrescences
upon it. The children in the schools naturally look up to them as
examples, and are following in their footsteps." (6) Stipendiary Magis-
trate A. G. Fy-fe (7) made a penetrating comparison between the effects
of missionary education upon the labouring classes in England and
in Jamaica. In England the ability to read and write stimulated the
peasant's energies "in his sphere of life"; in Jamaica, it incapacitated
him from any employment but that which was above him. Ten years
later Fy.fe explained that some of these semi-literate products of the
schools were the "aspirants to petty parochial distinction." (8)

There is no reason to doubt the rise of a number of semi-literate
ambitious Negroes who had enough education to feel self important
and therefore to despise "hoe and bill" work. Their existence was a
novel experience for the propertied class who ruled the island, and
the proof that education with all its inadequacies was a lever of social
change. To a limited extent missionaries and clergymen and the
Mico Charity intended education to be such. The missionary groups
in particular were very conscious that their survival in the island
depended upon their ability to produce a number of native teachers

and ministers to assist the European teachers and ministers, and even-
tually to replace them. Besides, missionaries and clergymen could never
be sure to what uses some of their pupils might put their education.
If some pupils, as a result of their education, were able to earn a living
without working on the estates, this would be no cause of sorrow to
missionaries and clergymen. In an island in which estate labour was
debased by its past association with slavery, a wider range of occu-
pations off the estates for the children of the ex-slaves was inevit-
ably part of the missionary meaning of "elevating them in the scale
of society" And the missionaries spoke 'frequently of their desire to
"elevate" the Negroes. Some Negro parents appreciated education in
the hope that it would emancipate their children from the necessity to
pursue the same lowly agricultural occupations which they, the parents,
pursued. (9) The aspirations of such parents, and the education given
by missionaries and clergymen in so far as it supplied the means to
the fulfilment of these aspirations, ran counter to the social and
economic policy of the planter class.

The first thing that the propertied classes and most of the
Stipendiary magistrates proposed was that the free children should
be compelled by legislation to work a certain number of hours on
the estates, at the side of their apprenticed parents and elder brothers
and sisters. (10) One Stipendiary magistrate even thought the whole
concept of an Apprenticeship had been wrongly applied, and that
the children, not the parents, should have been apprenticed. I1) Plant-
ers had an immediate interest in calling for the compulsory labour
of the free children on the estates, since the system of production
still required the services of the "little gang" traditionally made up
cf young children. Some Stipendiary magistrates not under the same
necessity as planters to think about the immediate supply of labour,
called for compulsory work by the free children, not on the estates,
but on plots of land attached to the schools. The language of the chief
advccates of compulsory work was often flexible enough to mean
compulsory work on the estates or compulsory work in a school garden.
On the whole, however, the demand was for part-time compulsory
labour on the estates. This was the more favoured method of provid-
ing industrial training for the free children. Moral and religious in-
struction should be given by missionaries and clergymen at some
convenient time when the free children were not working on the

The proposal to compel the labour of the free children on the
e states would have involved an amendment to the Abolition Act. The
British government did not seriously consider this proposal for the
termination of the legal status of the -free children. At the same time
that men of property and the Stipendiary magistrates were calling
for the compulsory work of the free children on the estates the
Erit.ish government was recommending that the free children be
compelled to attend the schools which existed or which were shortly
to be erected with the aid of the parliamentary grants. (12) These
schools did not provide industrial training on adjoining plots of
land. Hence the British government was in fact recommending local

legislation to compel instruction in moral and religious education and
reading, writing and arithmetic. The propertied classes and the
Stipendiary magistrates in the pay of the British government, were
calling for compulsory industrial training, through legislative action
by the British government. In the conflict of ideas between the British
government and an important section of the island community, neither
the compulsory labour of the free children on the estates nor their
compulsory attendance in the schools was the subject of any legis-
lative action by the British parliament or the Jamaica House of

With the termination of the Apprenticeships in August, 1838, the
free children disappeared as a legal group, and the language of com-
pulsory work on the estate became unfashionable. But the arguments
in .favour of industrial training did not lose their force, indeed after
1838 these arguments had a wider area of application. The entire
body of young people, commonly called the "rising generation", was
now thought to stand in need of industrial training.

It may be said that on the whole the missionaries and clergymen
and the Mico Charity were opposed to the proposal that the children
of school-going age should work part-time on the estates. The pro-
posal inevitably meant a reduction of the time available for the
provision of moral and religious instruction and the teaching of read-
ing and writing and arithmetic. The primary purpose of the mission-
aries, clergymen and Mico Charity was to give moral and religious
instruction. But the working of the children on the estates appeared
inimical to moral and religious instruction in proportion to the con-
viction that the estates were dens of immorality. Rev. Cowan, a
Presbyterian missionary, said in 1853:
"Almost all the bad characters in the country go to the
estates; because they there find opportunity of carrying on
bad practices Very little and in many cases no attention
is paid to the maintenance of order among the labourers, and
the resolution and craftiness of those who go not so much for
work or wages, as for riot and wickedness and their boldness
and wicked determination have often overturned the measures
which have sometimes been adopted for maintaining order,
and for the protection of the young and the unwary
In present circumstances in the absence of cottages to be
occupied from year to year by families, parents are entirely
justified in refusing to permit their sons and daughters to go
to estates. Approbation not blame is due to them." (13)
Missionaries of other denominational groups who did not speak
directly of the estates in this manner, spoke of the need, in the
interest of morality, to separate the children from immoral parents
by having boarding schools in which the children would be under the
close moral supervision of a missionary or teachers. (14) If the homes
of adult Negroes did not provide a suitable environment for the prac-
tice of the Christian morality which the missionaries sought to
inculcate, so much less did the estates.

The denominational educators and the Mico Charity were also
opposed to the proposal that the free children should be compelled
to work on the estates. This was one form of industrial training widely
recommended in the Apprenticeship period by proprietors and
Stipendiary Magistrates. At least one clergyman of the Established
Church proved an exception. In March, 1836, Rev. S. H. Cooke of
Morant Bay recommended that the children should be compelled to
do field labour in return for school facilities. (15) In the following year,
however, Rev. John Stainsby, Rector of Hanover, and a member of
the Church Missionary Society, equated compulsory labour of the
children on estates with renewed slavery. (16) This latter attitude may
be taken as representative of the attitude of the denominational
educators and the Mico Charity. Compulsion, whether it meant com-
pulsion to work on the estates or to attend an industrial school garden,
was objectionable to the conductors of the schools.

What some missionaries and clergymen and the Mico Charity were
willing to conduct or to contemplate was industrial training on a plot
of land attached to their own schools. Such a school, unlike the
proposal for part-time work on the estates, had the attraction that
all the manual and agricultural work of the children, like the literary
work, was done under the supervision of the school-teachers. There is
only one outright rejection of this kind of industrial training by a
missionary. In 1842 Rev. William Niven, a Presbyterian minister in
Westmoreland, wrote that:

"agriculture and trades of any kind is not taught in our
schools, and I may be, I hope, permitted to express to your
honour that, in my opinion, the very proposal that such be
taught in schools in Jamaica shows the gross ignorance of the
proposer, and that he himself is more fit for being at school
than in our honourable House of Assembly." (17)
These words got Rev. Niven into trouble. He was called to the bar
of the House of Assembly to answer the charge of insulting its dignity.

Most of the Baptist missionaries appeared in the 1840's and 1850's
to be against industrial training in the schools because they were
opposed to the means through which it was to be accomplished. The
Baptists were voluntarists who denied the State any participation in
the education of the people. They were therefore opposed to the Board
of Education which was established by the House of Assembly in 1844.
Even before the Board of Education undertook the special task of
establishing a Government Normal School of Industry, and of en-
couraging the formation of industrial day schools, the Baptists
attributed its existence to a desire to prevent the children of the
labouring class from rising above the lowly pursuits of their parents. (18)

In the late 1846, some Baptists contemplated the advisability of
accepting aid from the Board of Education as the lesser of two evils,
the other being the necessity of closing their schools for lack of
funds. (09) But early in 1847 a despatch from Earl Grey, Secretary of
State, stirred up a storm of protest from the Baptist missionaries, and

strengthened their resolution not to accept assistance from the Board
of Education. Earl Grey had referred the question of education in the
West Indies to the Educational Committee of the Privy Council, which
produced an elaborate document on the organization of industrial day
.schools and model farm schools. (2o) In a covering despatch Earl Grey
suggested that industrial training in the schools should be financed
by a tax upon the population at large, and that attendance should
be secured by fines upon neglectful parents.

Fines meant compulsion-to which most missionaries and clergy-
men were opposed. Taxation for educational purposes was objection-
able to the voluntarists. The strongest protests came from the
Baptists who organized meetings "to enlighten the people upon the
subject and to prepare petitions to the legislature against any Edu-
cational grant being made." (21) At these meetings the Baptists alleg-
edly advised parents to take their children from the schools to prevent
them being enslaved. (22) At least in the mind of one Baptist minister,
the Rev. Walter Dendy, the existence of the Board of Education was
linked with the scheme of the British Government and the motive of
these plans was said to be labour for the estates: "The fathers", wrote
"of the rising generation were slaves compelled to toil-the
children are to be compelled not by their natural guardians
but by their assumed protectors, to learn the elements of
lettered instruction, and to submit to a training that shall
degrade them into mere machines to be ready for any political
purpose, or for the advancement of the State Religion." (23)
What is notably absent from the statements of Baptist fears and
misgivings is a denial of the value of industrial training as such. In
the years immediately after emancipation several Baptist ministers
had made statements in favour of industrial training in the schools.
Rev. Knibb, Burchell and Dexter planned to provide industrial train-
ing in their schools. (24) Governor Sligo had *found in the Rev. James
Phillippo, the Baptist minister at Spanish Town, someone who shared
his opinion about the necessity for industrial training in the schools. (25)
Before the formation of the Board of Education or the despatch of
Earl Grey, the Baptist Herald, the local Baptist organ, carried adver-
tisement of prizes for the encouragement of industrial training in
Trelawny, and also articles in favour of it. It was industrial training
in the hands of the Board of Education which the Baptists suspected.
It was the means to the end, and the supposed motives of those who
controlled the means that drew the fire from the Baptists. When the
protests against the circular of Earl Grey were over, Baptist ministers
again began to speak in favour of industrial training. At the annual
meeting of Baptist ministers in 1857 Rev. John Clarke advised his
colleagues to explore the possibilities of employing the boys in agri-
cultural labour for a part of the day. At all events instruction should
be given in "common things by which they may be taught how to
employ their time and strength to the best advantage; make the most
of the produce of their grounds; make their homes more comfortable
and become better members of society. (26)


One feature of the reaction of missionaries and clergymen to the
call for industrial training in the schools was the fact that attitudes
and action were determined by individual conductors of schools. The
Wesleyans for a time were exceptions to this generalisation about the
denominational educators. The Mico Charity took a group attitude
towards industrial training.

A policy towards industrial training was imposed upon the Mico
agents by the trustees in England. Shortly after his arrival in Jamaica,
Rev. Trew, the Superintendent of the Mico Charity in the island, came
into contact with James Thompson, the agent of the Bible Society
in Jamaica. James Thompson had worked out a plan for education
in the island, in which schools combined practical lessons in agricul-
tural work with moral and religious instruction. (27) Thompson's in-
fluence on Rev. Trew was then slight because Rev. Trew thought that
several points of Thompson's plan were impracticable, and that the
Mico Charity would have to see the prospect of accomplishing some
practical benefits before it supported any scheme for industrial

A few weeks afterwards, Rev. Trew made a tour of the southern
parishes of the island. The experience of meeting parents and children
who were said to equate freedom with the opportunity of doing no
work, convinced Rev. Trew of the practical benefits to be obtained
by combining religious instruction with lessons of industry. Trew now
wished to establish a Mico school of industry in each of the three
counties of the island. Governor Sligo was very much in favour of
industrial training and had written Trew to find out if the funds of
the Mico Charity were available for this purpose. Trew evidently
thought so, because he purchased premises at Somerton in Manchester
for the "Mico Institute and School of Industry for Middlesex"

As Trew envisaged it, this school would provide for the boys
lessons in carpentry, shoe making, tailoring, saddlery and agriculture.
For the girls there was to be needlework, straw work, knitting, spin-
ning and household economy. The obvious thing about this curricu-
lum is that it was heavily biased in favour of trades and handicrafts.
Trew did not even make provision for a teacher of agriculture. Of
course there were demands for instruction in trades and handicrafts,
but these were on the periphery of the argument for a training in
agriculture. It was upon agricultural training that Governor Sligo
and James Thompson placed priority. Undoubtedly this was also the
priority of the majority of the planters whom Trew met on his tour.

While Trew was making these plans for his school of industry at
Somerton, Ja'mes Thompson again made contact with him. Rev. Trew
now agreed to establish a farm school in Cornwall on the principles
of James Thompson. So that by March, 1836, Rev. Trew, without con-
sulting the Trustees in England, had committed the Mico Charity to
two schools of industry: one in Middlesex, heavily biased in favour
of trades and handicrafts, and the other a farm school in Cornwall,
inspired by James Thompson, with the backing of Governor Sligo.

The Trustees in England vetoed both these plans. At first some-
one in the Colonial Office, apparently one of the junior civil servants,
drafted a despatch which sympathised with the plans of the Mico
Charity as outlined by Sligo. This despatch was cancelled when it
was seen by James Stephen, who represented the British government
on the Board of Trustees of the Mico Charity. Stephen minuted the
Secretary of State, Lord Glenelg, that:
"the Trustees of the Mico Charity have determined not to
undertake the plan of a school of industry in connection with
their schools of moral and religious education; and although
I believe that Mr. Trew embarked a large sum on that design
it was thought better to forfeit the money than to go on
with such a project.
"This was the subject of very full consideration. We
thought that we have no right to make such a use of the fund
and I believe were unanimous in the opinion that lessons in
sugar boiling and cane planting would not much promote the
success of the lessons we had to convey in reading and writ-
ing, but that our scholars should be at play when they were
not in school." (28)

Another despatch was sent to Governor Sligo in which the British
Government said that the parliamentary grant could not be used to
promote the project of Rev. Trew and James Thompson and that any-
way the grants were already committed to Missionary Societies.
Rev. Trew was doubtlessly as familiar with the written regula-
tions of the Charity as the Trustees in England. But his Jamaican
experience had led him along a path from which he was only diverted
by the Trustee. Trew's successor continued to toy with the idea of
industrial training, but the dictum of the Trustees prevailed.
Until the early 1840's the Wesleyans tried as a group to work a
system of education which ruled out the possibility of combining
agricultural instruction with literary education. The system was called
the Glasgow Moral Training System. Agriculure or trades formed no
part of it, and could not be fitted into it, because the pupils when
not in the classroom should be on the playground. To make a game
of activities in the school gardens would have been to offer no in-
dustrial training at all.

When the Wesleyan missionaries gave up the attempt to imple-
ment this system, their individual efforts did not turn in the direc-
tion of school gardens. Rev. Edmondson, the Chairman of the Mission,
seemed to have been indifferent to industrial training. And his col-
leagues were not promoting it in their schools, because at the time
of the formation of the Board of Education none of the 40 Wesleyan
schools which sought aid was regarded as a school providing indus-
trial training even on a liberal interpretation of the term.

The missionaries and clergymen who introduced industrial train-
ing into their schools were in a small minority. The majority were

indifferent to the proposal for industrial training within the schools,
though this did not mean that they did not want the children to do
any sort of work. Their attitude was that moral and religious
instruction would teach virtuous habits, one of which was the dis-
position to work.

Since only a few missionaries and clerical conductors of the
schools would even arrange for industrial training on plots of land
attached to their schools, the planter class was caught between what
was most desirable to itself, viz., the part-time working of the
children on the estates, and what was possible with the co-operation
of the denominational conductors of the schools. As the House of
Assembly had no desire to bear the expenses of a government estab-
lished system of schools which allowed for part-time labour on the
estates, the policy which the House of Assembly found most feasible
was to encourage missionaries and clergymen to inculcate habits of
industry on plots of land adjoining the schools.

This did not mean that planters gave up trying to entice the
children to work on the estates. As this policy could more easily be
carried out by individual planters, it was at this level that planters
sought to get the type of industrial training which furthered their
short term interests as employers of labour. At the same time the
Vestries and the House of Assembly sought to encourage the incul-
cation of habits of industry in missionary school gardens by making
grants to such schools. Schools of this type were not aided exclusively;
but a school which could claim to be industrial was more likely
to get a grant .from the House of Assembly than a school which could
make no such claims. However, there were so few schools providing
industrial training that the greater portion of the money voted by
the Vestries and the House of Assembly in fact supported schools
which gave no more than moral and religious instruction and the
rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic.

It was as individual proprietors that the planters had the great-
est scope and the highest self interest in manoeuvring to get the
tpe of school they wanted in their neighbourhood. Many planters
evidently believed that schools held on or near the estates would help
to locate a labour force of adults and children within proximity to
the estates. Even i-f such a school provided nothing but moral and
religious instruction and had a superintending missionary or clergy-
man who was opposed to the children working on the estates, the
planter could still hope to secure the labour of some of the children.
It accorded more with their interests, however, if planters could come
to some agreement with either parents or the conductors of schools
about the labour of the children on the estates. And planters and
proprietors had much to offer parents, missionaries and clergymen.
They offered wages, land sites for building schools, estate premises
-for conducting schools and contributions towards the maintenance of
teachers. For example, the proprietors and planters in St. Thomas
in the East repeatedly offered the free children the continuation of
certain indulgences and school facilities, in return for labour on the

states, One proprietor, Mr. Alexander Barclay, sent a written pro-
posal to parents of all children under eight years. (29) This was
r, used. When Mr. Hodge, the missionary of the London Missionary
Society, came to Port Morant in St. Thomas in the East, he found the
ropri tors were all in favour c.f having small estate schools and that
they were willing to pay the teachers if the children worked for the
estates. (30) The situation in Port Morant during the Apprenticeship
was perhaps more urgent than elsewhere, because parents were send-
ing their children to live with relatives and friends in Kingston. But
the pattern of demand for the labour of the children was islandwide.

In the context in which the leadership of the Church Missionary
Society in Jamaica so frequently turned down offers of land because
the terms did not suit them, it seems reasonable to suppose that
these terms frequently included stipulations that pupils should do
part-time work on the estates. Rev. Betts, during his tenure as Acting
Secretary of the Corresponding Committee of the Church Missionary
Society in Jamaica, concluded that self-interest lay behind the offers
of help which the agents of the Church Missionary Society got from
the planters. (31) He quoted the case of Mr. McKinnon, a proprietor
who was himself a member of the Church Missionary Society. Mr.
McKinnon was given the task of interceding on behalf of the Church
Missionary Society for a piece of land from another proprietor. The
argument that Mr. McKinnon chose to use to his fellow proprietor was
that the school would not only help in locating labour on his estate,
but also provide the opportunity of inculcating habits of industry
into the children.

The Mico Superintendent was actually trapped into starting a
school at a place place called Domington in St. Mary, without realis-
ing the full implication of the offer. The attorney of the property had
offered a house on what seemed to be liberal terms. (32) But a few
weeks after the commencement of the school, he began to interfere
with the school and to insist upon regulations not mentioned previously.
He wanted to exclude all children not living on his estate and to
compel those in school to work certain hours on his estate. The Mico
Charity closed the school.

While individual proprietors could manoeuvre to get the children
working on the estates, the House of Assembly could not effect the
same purpose by framing any legislation likely to meet with the
approval of the British government. The House therefore sought to
legislate for industrial training within the schools conducted by mis-
sicnaries and clergymen. Industrial training of this sort, though less
desirable than actual work on the estates, was better than no indus-
trial training at all. The first educational Act to survive the com-
mittee process of the House of Assembly was passed in late 1843. Un-
fortunately the House only legislated at a time when it had already
convinced itself that too much money was being spent on religion and
education or religious education. The desire for retrenchment had
grown inside and outside of the House of Assembly. In the same
session in which the Bill was passed Mr. Leslie, one of the members

for St. Catherine, had introduced a motion to suspend all grants for
church and school purposes for that session, which was keenly de-
bated and only narrowly defeated by a margin of 17 votes to 15 votes.
The sense of the House was on the side of economy and the legislature
was caught in the cross-current of the conflicting demands for a
reduction of public expenditure and for an expansion of educational
The Act of 1843 reflected this conflict between the desire for
economy and the policy of providing special incentives to schools
giving industrial training. Any school of not less than 50 pupils,
which was in existence for more than a year and which devoted
twelve hours a week to agricultural work, was eligible for a grant of
30. The Act was to be in force until the end of December, 1845.
It was evident that not much money would be paid out under
this Act. The regulations were too stringent for any of the existing
schools giving industrial training to qualify -for a grant. In 1842 the
House of Assembly in requesting returns of schools had specifically
asked that the number of schools teaching agriculture or handicrafts
should be stated. None was returned which could receive aid under
the Act of 1843.
Nor was the Act likely to be effective in encouraging the forma-
tion of such schools, because it was to last for only two years and
schools, in order to qualify, had to be in existence for at least one
year. Any new school which started operating under the prescribed
conditions with the hope of receiving assistance could only receive
such once, before the expiry of the Act.
It was recorded 10 years later that not a single school had re-
ceived any payments under this Act, (33) which was not surprising. Its
inadequacies must have been early recognized. In 1844 another educa-
tional Act was passed, one year before the Act of 1843 was due to
expire. It was this Act of 1844 which set up a Board of Education
to inquire into the subject and to distribute the funds voted by the
With the funds and authority which it had, the Board of Edu-
cation set out to aid the schools of the island. The Act which estab-
lished the Board did not single out schools providing industrial train-
ing as special objects for the attention of the Board. But the Board
thought that it was "the evident design of the legislature that
special encouragement should be given to schools where industrial
instruction forms a part of the system pursued." (34) The Board there-
fore sought to encourage industrial training in three ways. Firstly it
provided in 1845 a series of lectures on agriculture as a science, sec-
ondly the Board established a Normal School of Industry to train
teachers who would be qualified to conduct industrial training in the
schools of the island, and thirdly it gave larger grants to schools
which provided industrial training than to those which did not make
any such provision.
The idea of providing a series of lectures on agriculture as a
science, probably emanated from Governor Elgin himself. Elgin had

a deep interest in, and personal experience of, agricultural practices
and methods. Prior to coming to Jamaica he had restored his family's
fortunes by applying improved agricultural methods to the family
estates in Scotland. In Jamaica Elgin gave impetus to the move-
ment -for industrial training in the schools by stirring up interest in
the teaching of improved agricultural methods. In 1844 he had offered
a prize for the best essay on industrial training in the schools.
Nineteen essays were submitted, and six of the essays were printed
and published.
The Board of Education made arrangements with the Royal Agri-
cultural Society to have the series of lectures delivered at the Mico
Normal School in Kingston. Mr. Churchill, the agricultural chemist of
the Royal Agricultural Society, lectured on agricultural chemistry;
other qualified individuals lectured on the mechanics of agriculture,
the principle of botany and use of science in animal husbandry. About
120 of the other pupils in the schools of Kingston attended these
lectures. An examination was later set, and prizes awarded to those
pupils who distinguished themselves.
What Elgin hoped to accomplish by these lectures was to give
the learning of agriculture social prestige by associating it with the
sciences. Elgin felt that agricultural labour on the estates had been
degraded by its association with slavery and that the social prejudice
against this type of work ought to be erased. He therefore urged that
agricultural instruction should be given in the schools, and he believed
that it was desirable to create "a feeling favourable to the subject by
presenting it to the Public in its most attractive guise as connected
with questions of scientific and practical interest." (35)

This idea was naive. If the social prejudices against agricultural
labour on the estates were as strong as Elgin believed, parents would
not be gulled into favouring agricultural instruction by his putting
a gloss of the sciences upon it. Elgin and the Board of Education would
have to convince parents that agricultural instruction brought prac-
tical benefits.

The Board of Education anyway did not have any qualified
persons to extend the lectures to the children in the country schools.
And in Kingston only one series of lectures was given. From 1846 the
Board turned its attention to the establishment of a Normal School
of Industry. As the Board itself acknowledged at the end of 1845 there
was little hope of diffusing industrial instruction before "the careful
education of those who are themselves to become instructors of the
people (36)

In April, 1845, the Board of Education devised the plan, not of
establishing its own Normal School of Industry, but of converting the
Mico Normal School into a Normal School of Industry supported
jointly by the Board and the Mico Trustees. First the Mico Charity
was offered 400 if it moved its Normal School from Kingston to some
country district and there trained at least forty teachers in a course
of industrial and moral training to be approved by the Board of Edu-

cation which should have the right of inspecting the school. Secondly
the Mico Charity would receive an additional 400 if the system of
instruction in its Normal School was so changed that the Bishop would
freely send three pupils destined to be teachers in the National Schools.
These proposals were submitted to the Mico Trustees in England
where Elgin, now retired as governor, was said to be working to con-
vince the Trustees of the absolute necessity for industrial training.

In 1836 Rev. Trew, the local Superintendent of the Mico Charity,
had tried without success to get the support of the Trustees for
industrial training. It was also the second time that the Mico Charity
was asked to run the kind of normal school to which the Bishop
would send pupils. From 1842-1844 the Mico Charity had collaborated
with the Bishop in conducting the Grove Normal School in St.
Andrew, but because of a disagreement with the Bishop over the
control and 'management of the school, the Mico Charity withdrew
its support of the school in 1844. The second proposal of the Board
of Education therefore fell through quickly, and early in 1847 the
Bishop went ahead with plans -for his own Normal School in Kingston.

The first proposal still appeared negotiable to the Roard and Rev.
Beadslee, the local Superintendent of the Charity, in May, 1847.
Beadslee however had no instructions from the Trustees. So the Board
decided to go forward with its own plans without closing the doors
of the Mico Charity. The, Board sought a site in Spanish Town, with
the possibility of a "future coalition" with the Charity, but the terms
upon which the Board in August, 1847, leased the Villa Pen from Mr.
David Smith, acting on behalf of the Jamaica Railways, meant that
Mico's participation was less likely than ever. The Board had leased
40 acres for a year in the first instance. Obviously the Board could
not commit itself beyond its resources. But it hardly seems likely that
the Mico Charity would have left its own premises in Kingston for
so uncertain a future.

The Government Normal School of Industry was started in August,
1847, with the appointment of Mr. Acheson Finlay, a Wesleyan teacher,
as headmaster of the school. Funds being short, only 6 students were
admitted immediately. In October, 1847, 2 more were added. Their
ages ranged from 16-19 years, and they were said to be of good moral
character and to have a .fair knowledge of reading, writing and ele-
mentary arithmetic.

The Board intended to use the 40 acres to teach agriculture as
a science, and hoped that the presence of two water tanks would
facilitate experiments in irrigation. Mr. J. Cargill, Government In-
spector of Schools, also recommended the purchase of neighboring
lands which possessed machinery for pumping water. It was also
Cargill's hope to acquire the teaching services of the agricultural
chemist of the Royal Agricultural Society, if this individual on his
return -from England, was retained in the service of the island. Cargill
thought that lectures on "chemistry and agriculture, given to the
pupils would increase their future utility as country schoolmasters." (37)

All these plans for teaching agriculture as a science came to
nought. The attitude of the lessor of the premises proved an obstacle
to its improvement. In late 1847 when the Board wanted to lower one
of the water tanks to facilitate experiments in irrigation, the consent
of the lessor was sought in vain. A teacher competent to teach agri-
culture as a science was never obtained. The result was that each
pupil was given his own plot of land upon which to grow foodstuff,
according to the knowledge he possessed.
Fundamentally the failure to employ a competent teacher to carry
out the prime purpose of the school was due to an insufficiency of
funds. But the documents leave us with a strong impression that after
1848 Cargill was hardly serious about the industrial purpose of the
school. In 1848 he described the unsystematic gardening efforts of the
boys as a "fair start", but thereafter he made no comment on the
failure of the school to fulfil the evident designs of its organizers. Nor
did Cargill after 1848 recommend that a competent teacher of agri-
culture be employed. He evidently regarded an increase in the number
of pupils which would have cost 300, as more urgent than the em-
ployment of a competent teacher of agriculture.

In early 1852 the Normal School was finally closed for lack of
funds. Its achievements were recorded in a statement presented to
the House of Assembly in December 1851. (38) From the 1st August,
1847. to the 30th November, 1851, some 2,967. 16s. 6d. had been spent
on the school. In return for this outlay, the school had admitted a
total of 23 pupils, of whom 7 were still in the school at the time of
its closure. Of the 16 who had left the school, 1 had died, 4 had been
dismissed as unfit for the profession of teaching, and 11 had gone
to teach in schools immediately after leaving the Normal School. Of
the latter number Cargill did not know where 4 were to be found,
which meant that he was not certain if they were teaching schools.
The average stay in the school for the 11 youths who left as teachers,
was 20 months, with variations from 8 months at one end to 37
months at the other.

This was a poor record, but Cargill could point to the many
difficulties which confronted the school from the start. The legislative
grants were pitiably small and uncertain. The failure of the House
of Assembly to make any grants in 1849 brought the Normal School
to the verge of closure. It was only carried on by using the small bal-
ance of available cash. At the beginning of the summer vacation in
August, 1849, the pupils were warned that their return depended on
the resumption of grants from the House of Assembly. Operations
came to a halt in late 1849; then began again in 1850 when the House
of Assembly temporarily abandoned the retrenchment struggle. In
April, 1850, the Normal School was moved to a neighboring district
in Spanish Town, because of the unhealthiness of the original site.
Then in July, 1850, Mr. Acheson Findley, the headmaster, resigned;
and a -few months later cholera broke up the school. When the school
was restarted in 1851 it was with an almost completely new set of
pupils. At the end of 1851 a new gust of retrenchment blew away the
remains of the Normal School.

The third method in which the Board of Education displayed its
interest in promoting industrial training was by giving special incen-
tives to managers of such schools. Throughout the entire life of the
Board, schools which provided industrial training received grants which
were larger than the average grants to schools which made no such
provision. It was not possible however for the Board to use its pre-
dilection -for industrial training as the exclusive principle of dis-
tribution, simply because so little industrial training was being carried
on in the schools. In the first year of its existence, the Board found
that in the most liberal interpretation only 4 of the 113 applicants
could be classified as providing industrial training; and even here
their claims

"rested rather upon the praiseworthy efforts of the persons
under whose superintendence they are conducted, to introduce
habits of agricultural industry into the daily routine than
upon any decided success which had attended their exertion." (39)

The number of schools providing industrial training and applying
for aid to the Board of Education did not increase in later years.

It seems clear that the amount of industrial training that the
planter class, either by luring the children to work on the estates, or
by making especially large government grants to denominational
schools with garden plots, was able to impose upon the children fell
short Gf the goal of industrial training as understood by the planters
and proprietors themselves. What caught the imagination of most
of the advocates of industrial training was the value of the process of
habituation to work, not the acquisition of agricultural skills. Habitu-
ation and skills were obviously not mutually exclusive goals. There
was room therefore in the arguments to slip -from the language of
habituation to the language of skills. It seems true, however, to say
that with the exception of Governors Sligo and Elgin, and a few of
the essayists who competed in 1844 -for Elgin's prize on industrial
schools, what the advocates of industrial training stressed was the
value of getting youths accustomed to agricultural work from an
early age, not the acquisition of sound agricultural knowledge and
methods with a view to improving the agriculture of the island.

But the planters' conception of "habituation" to agricultural work
was not satisfied by the irregular working of some of the children on
the estates. The denominational 'managers and teachers did not help
the planters and proprietors to obtain the part-time labour of the
children for the estates in accordance with the favourite proposal
of the propertied classes for industrial training. There Is no record of
any such deliberate agreement between a missionary or clergyman
and a planter, though, of course, a missionary or clergyman often
accepted the fact that some of his pupils were working on the estates
when not in school. In these circumstances the labour of the children
on the estates was less regular than the planters desired; and cer-
tainly not constant enough to amount to habituation as the planters
understood it.

As for the industrial training given in a few of the schools, that
training was hardly serious enough or sufficiently sustained to satisfy
the planters' understanding of "habituation" What passed for indus-
trial training in the few schools which attempted it was not done
seriously or consistently as a settled part of the work of the schools.
And in a few cases industrial training was attempted for reasons quite
different from the inculcation of the habit of agricultural work.
The absence of schools which provided opportunities to learn a
trade or handicraft or to do agricultural work was a feature of the
returns of schools provided in 1842 at the request of the House of
Assembly. (40) Four years later Mr. Jasper Cargill, Inspector of Schools,
on his tour of the island found industrial pursuits in only 5 of the
173 schools recorded. At 2 of the schools conducted by American mis-
sionaries in Metcalfe, the children were made to trim the pastures and
keep the school premises clean. Another of their schools had a
garden for agricultural work. At the National School at Clifton Moun-
tain in Port Royal, the Rev. McClaverty put the children to work in
making baskets and growing foodstuff. The only industrial pursuit
which Cargill noted at the National School in Rural Hill in St.
Thomas in the East was that the children were making a fence
preparatory to starting a school garden. At two other schools indus-
trial pursuits were on the verge of being introduced.
In later years the number of schools providing industrial train-
ing did not increase materially. The American missionaries in the late
1850's had a school at Richmond in St. Mary, and the Board of Edu-
cation in 1847 started a Government Normal School of Industry at
Spanish Town which has already been described. The two reforma-
tories in Kingston, one for girls and the other for boys, with the
exception of the Government Normal School of Industry which closed
in 1852, were the main institutions which in the late 1850's and early
1860's received aid from the Executive Committee because they were
This is not to say that these were the only schools in the island
providing industrial training. The returns of schools missed some of
the instances where industrial training was being provided because
such training, except in a few schools such as the Richmond School
and the Reformatories, was done by fits and starts. Moral and religious
instruction was the continuous activity of the schools; industrial
pursuits appeared and disappeared according to the fancies of teach-
ers and school managers, and the opportunities for carrying them on.
For instance, in 1837 Rev. Yates, a clergyman of the Church of Eng-
land, who was also a member of the Church Missionary Society
carried on industrial pursuits in his school on the Pedro Plains of
St. Elizabeth. The children hoed and weeded from 8-9 a.m.; read
and spelt from 9 1 p.m. From 2 p.m., activities included reading,
tailoring, the making of thatch hats, fans and the like. These activities
did not continue for any length of time. There was no mention of
them in subsequent reports on the school.
Industrial pursuits also came to a stop at the Central Normal
School in Kingston. About the middle of 1837 a clergyman of the
3 *

Church of England wrote that "masters trained in the Central School
are not to receive hereafter certificates of qualifications for the
country until able to teach some useful art in which to practice their
pupils after the regular hours of instruction. (41) The writer then con-
cluded by asking for a supply of flax for the school. The experiment
was short-lived. For the Rev. George Hill, Inspector of the National
Schools, and himself then an advocate of a more practical curriculum,
never mentioned this activity in his reports in 1838 and 1839.

Hill himself was interested in another brief experiment carried out
at the Normal School in Kingston. After 1839 Hill recommended the
teaching of mathematics to include algebra and the fundamentals of
navigation. Such a project was justified by the need to teach city
youths to earn their living in later life. It was consonant with the
idea of industrial training, navigation being a kind of trade. Hill him-
self actually taught 2 brothers the fundamentals of navigation. But
when the boys, described as talented, left the school the experiment
came to an end. It seems probable that another reason for the cessa-
tion of this kind of instruction was resistance from Anglican clergy-
men who thought that already the National Schools were carrying too
far instruction in matters other than religious instruction. (42)

In the middle of the 1850's there occurred at the station of the
London Missionary Society in Kingston a series of events which illus-
trated how occasionally and temporarily a school could start indus-
trial pursuits for reasons independent of the desire to inculcate "habits
of industry" Throughout 1854 the London Missionary Society school
in Kingston was closed because nobody could be found to teach at
the salary that the station could afford. Early in 1855 Rev. Beadslee
announced his intention of trying the experiment of teaching the
boys some useful trade. It turned out that Beadslee had got hold of
a teacher who was also a cabinet maker. In the afternoon he was to
ply his trade-as a means of supplementing his income. The boys
in the school could learn something in his workshop. It is obvious
that the experiment only suggested itself because of the low salary
the station could afford. Beadslee said that if the experiment did not
work he saw no way of continuing the school, by which he meant
that he could not afford a teacher who had no means of supplement-
ing his income. But Beadslee's successor found another solution,
which was to employ a female teacher at the low salary the station
could afford. Naturally the experiment in teaching a trade came to
an end.

There were other examples of industrial pursuits carried on or
planned primarily for reasons other than the teaching of the habit
of working. As a catechist of the Church Missionary Society, Josiah
Cork was at one time the master of its Normal School at the Grove
in St. Andrew. It was he who supervised the early-morning gardening
work of the boys, but this was done in the name of physical fitness.
However by the middle of the 1840's industrial training was taken so
much more seriously by Cork, that he entered the competition for the
best essay on industrial schools. At his own school in Clarendon, Cork

did enough agricultural work for it to be one of the few schools which
the Board of Education in 1845 called industrial. (43)

In late 1335 Rev. Zorn, the Superintendent of the Moravian Mission
thought that there might be practical reasons for having the children
work in school gardens for part of the day. Zorn wished to establish
boarding schools as the way of separating the children from their
immoral parents and thus speeding up their moral improvement. The
cheapest solution to the practical problem of feeding the boarders
was for them to feed themselves by growing their own food in garden
plots attached to the schools. The chief motive was economic. Of
course habits of industry would be inculcated, but the impression is
that Zorn was only willing to have school gardens because they would
have reduced the cost of running the boarding schools which he might
have established. In fact the Moravian day schools were not made
boarding schools, hence no gardens were attached to them. But the
Fairfield Normal School was a boarding school, and a school garden
was started with the idea of producing the food of the pupils. (44)

In the light of continued planter feeling that the children were
not working sufficiently on the estates, and from what we know about
the fickle, meagre and marginal attempts at industrial training with-
in some denominational schools, the planters could not have been
satisfied that an effective process of "habituation" was actually in
existence. Whatever training in agriculture the children received from
assisting their parents in their provision grounds was almost com-
pletely ignored by the planter class, partly because there was no
easy means of ascertaining its extent and partly because the planters
did not care much for the small scale farming efforts of the Negroes.
It seems a glaring inconsistency on the part of the planter class to
ignore the contribution of Negro small scale farming to the economy,
and at the same time to encourage industrial training in the denom-
inational schools. Both the crops and the activities of a missionary
school garden were more akin to the operations of the Negro provi-
sion grounds than to those connected with the growing of sugar cane
and the manufacture of sugar on large estates. Of course industrial
training on a piece of land attached to a denominational school might
benefit the sugar estates in the long run, if the school leavers want
to work on the estates. There was however no guarantee that they

The naivete of the planter argument about the process of "habitu-
ation" consisted in the belief that children who were accustomed to
working in a missionary school garden would grow up to be estate
labourers. It was not even reasonable to suppose that children
accustomed to working on the estates would in time join the adult
labour force on the estates. Negro adults who as slaves had experi-
enced many years of estate discipline, did not always remain on the
estates as labourers after the abolition of slavery. Some of the ex-
slaves left the estates to form free villages of peasant proprietors.
Eo.ne remained on the estates to work for wages; and others alterna-
ted between estate work and some occupation off the estates, in the

most cases the cultivation of their own provision grounds. The point
is that the choices of these adult ex-slaves were not governed solely
by past habituation to estate labour, but by the opportunities of the
society, and their ability to calculate, and to pursue, their own econ-
omic interests. It was these same factors which would determine the
occupational choices of the children when they grew to adulthood.

College of Arts and Science, Trinidad,
University of the West Indies.


Essay of Mr. Evelyn in Six Essays on the Best Mode of Establishing and Conducting
Industrial Schools adapted to the want and circumstances of an Agricultural
Population 1845.
Sligo to Glenelg 2nd April 1836. Enclosures. Reports of Stipendiary Magistrates
C.O. 137/210.
3. Latrobe Report on Negro Education in Jamaica p. II.
4. Kingston Chronicle and City Advertiser 12th April, 1836.
5. Essay of Mr. Evelyn. Six Essays. 14.
6. Essay of Rev. Stewart Renshaw. Op. Cit. p.
7. Elgin to Stanley 2nd September 1845. Enclosures. Report of A. G. Fyfc, S.M.
31st May 1845. C.O. 137/284.
8. Barkly to Newcastle 21st February 1854. Enclosures. Report of A. G. F)fc, S.M.
24th January 1854. C.O. 137/322.

9. Elgin to Stanley 3rd August 1845 (Confidentii
10. Smith to Glenelg 12th November 1836. Enclosures. Reports of Stipendiary magistrate
C.O. 137/213.
Smith to Glenclg 8th September, 1837. Enclosures. Report from Hace Prin",!e, S.M.
15th July, 1837. C.O. 137/220.
Gleneig to Sligo 15th October, 1835. Votes of Hous Assmbly 26th
November, 1835.
Missionary Records of the United Presbyterian Church p. 327. 1853.
Missionary Records of the United Presbyterian Church p. 327. 1853.
14. Zorn to Secretary. MMS 18th August, 1835. Periodical Accounts Vol. XIII. p. 375.
MMS Correspondence. Rev. H. Dixon to Secretary C.M.S. 20th April, 1837 W M4
1837-1840 C.M.S. Correspondence.
Sligo to Gleneig 10th March, 1836. Enclosures. Rev. S. Cooke
to Sligo 2nd March, 1836. C/O 137/210.

16. Rev. J. Stainsby to Secretary C.M.S. 16th March, 1837. W/M4 1837-1840 C.M.S.
17. Rev. William Niven to Custos of Westmoreland School Returns from Westmoreland
Appendix VII. Votes of the House of Assembly 28th December, 1842.

18. Article on State Education. Baptist Herald and Friend of Africa 1st JIly, 1845.

19. Article on State Education. Baptist Herald and Friend of Africa 16th November,

20. Earl Grey to West Indies 26th January, 1847. Enclosures. C.O. 384

Report of the Jamaica Education Society for year ending 1848. Jamaica Baptist
Mission Reports 1848-1859.

Charles Grey to Earl Grey 20th September, 1847. Enclosures. Letter fhom Mr.
Salman. C.O. 137/293.

23. Rev. Dendy to Angus 19th April, 1847. The Dendy Papers.

24. Sligo to Glenelg April, 1836. Enclosures. from Dexter and Burchell
C.O. 137/210.

Sligo to Gleneig 25th October, 1835. Enclosures. Letter from Rev. Phillipp
24th October, 1835. C.O. 137/203.

26. Speech of Rev. John Clarke at Annual Meeting of Baptist ministers, 1837. Jamaica
Baptist Report 1848-1859.

Sligo to Glenelg 18th March, 1836. Enclosures. C.O. 210.

28. Sligo to Gleneilg 18th March, 1836. Enclosures. Minute of Stephen to Glencig 1836.
C.O. 137/210.

29. Smith to Glenelg 12th November, 1836. Enclosures. Report of George Willis Son.
llth October, 1836. C.O. 137/213.

30. Rev. Hodge to Ellis 19th January, 1836. Box Folder Jacket A. L.M.S.

Rev. Betts to Secretary C.M.S. 23rd May, 1837. Enclosures. W M4 1837-1840. C.M.S

Wallbridge to Rev. Trew of January 1839. Anti-Slavery Papers El

Charles Grey to Newcastle 9th July, 1853. Enclosures. C.O. 316.

34. Elgin to Stanley 17th December, 1845. Enclosure Report of the Board of Educa-
tion for 1845 p. 22. C.O. 137/285.
35. Elgin to Stanley. 3rd August, 1845. Confidential. C.O. 137/284.
36. Elgin to Stanley 17th December, 1845. Enclosures. C.O. 137/285.
37. Charles Grey to Earl Grey 6th March, 1848. Enclosures. C.O. 137 '296.
38. Report of Jasper Corgill Appendix XXIX. Votes of House of Assembly llth
December, 1851.
39. Elgin to Stanley 17th December, 1845. Enclosures. C.O. ,285.
40. Returns of schools. Appendix VII. Votes of the House of Assembly 28th
December, 1842.
41. News about the Diocese of Jamaica July 1837. S.P.G. Correspondence.
42. Rev. George Hill 21st September, 1839. Box 1836-1843. S.P.G. Correspondence.
43. Elgin to Stanley 17th December, 1845. Enclosures. Report of Board of Education
for 1845. C.O. 137/285.
44. Zorn to Secretary M.M.S. 19th May, 1842. Periodical Account Vol. XVI.
p. 180-183. M.M.S. Correspondence.

N.B. C.M.S. Church Missionary Society
L.M.S. London Missionary Society
M.M.S. Moravian Missionary Society
S.P.G. Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

The University's Faculty Of


THE PRINCIPAL institutions imparting agricultural education in
the West Indies are the University Faculty of Agriculture, the Jamaica
School of Agriculture and the Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute. The
University Faculty is concerned with the training of students at first
and higher degree levels and at postgraduate diploma levels. The
Jamaica School of Agriculture and the Eastern Caribbean Farm
Institute are concerned primarily with training technicians for work
1i the Ministries of Agriculture in the Caribbean, for managerial
posts on commercial farms, and to become farmers in their own right.

Of these three institutions the Faculty of Agriculture of the Uni-
versity of the West Indies is the youngest. This is as it should be,
because University education represents the apex of the educational
system of a country, and it becomes established only after education
at other levels has been adequately developed. It is important in this
context to distinguish between the Imperial College of Tropical Agri-
culture, which was an old established institution, and the present
University Faculty of Agriculture which was created only in 1960. The
old Imperial College was geared primarily to the needs of tropical
countries within the colonial empire of Great Britain, and its teach-
ing and research activities were not specifically directed towards West
Indian problems. But it did provide a technical advisory service to the
Eastern Caribbean and undertook projects, the results of which have
made a significant contribution to the development of agriculture in
the region, particularly in such areas as cocoa production_ and soils
classification and mapping.

The University Faculty of Agriculture, on the other hand, is a
West Indian institution designed primarily to meet the needs of the
West Indies. Its undergraduate student body is almost entirely West
Indian, and a large postgraduate group also includes many West
Indians. It has a key role to play as the only training institution at
present having responsibility for University level courses in Agricul-
ture in the West Indies. In order to fulfil this role the Faculty recog-
nises that it must increase rapidly its undergraduate student intake
and continue to provide courses that would equip the students for
work in the region; it must pursue vigorously its expanding programme
of post-graduate studies; it must enlarge its research interests in
relation to important needs in the West Indies and as part of the
overall research activities in the area; and it should also initiate re-
search, and institute courses for persons outside the University, in
the field of Agricultural Extension.

Student numbers
Student numbers in the Faculty over the last six years are set
out in Table 1.
Table 1. Student numbers in the Faculty of Agriculture
Year First degree Postgraduate certificate I'oslgraduate degree Total
students and diploma students students
1960 20 15 35
1961 24 22 46
1962 57 11 68
1963 64 24 9 97
1964 71 14 16 101
1965 79 24 37 140

It would seem from this Table that not only have total student
numbers increased from 35 in 1960 to 140 in 1965, but there has also
been a significant increase in the number of first and higher degree
students over this period. That the Faculty is achieving success in
pursuing vigorously its efforts to increase student numbers is evidenced
by its relatively large postgraduate enrolment in 1965, which included
not only many West Indians but also students from countries as far
distant as Bolivia and' Peru in Latin America, San Salvador in Central
America, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ghana and Nigeria.

Despite the encouraging trend of the total figures in Table 1, one
of the problems which gives us real concern in the University is the
relative inadequacy of enrolment for undergraduate training in the
Faculty of Agriculture. One of the important factors limiting our
output of agricultural graduates at present is that inadequate num-
bers of secondary school students elect to apply for admission to our
courses. It would seem to us that secondary school students should
be made aware of the fact that not only could agricultural graduates
take up farming as a career, but they also have before them a great
variety of other careers in the fields of agricultural research, educa-
tion and extension. It is with this in mind that we have produced a
brochure entitled "Careers in Agriculture" which we hope to make
available to Head-masters and Headmistresses of Secondary Schools
in the West Indies so that they could pass the information contained
in this brochure to their upper form students.

Another possible reason for the inadequate enrolment of students
into Agriculture may be a financial one. In 1965 there were no fewer
than 14 Jamaican candidates who were qualified for admission to the
Faculty of Agriculture but unable to finance their own training at the
University. It may well be that not all these students were good
University material. However, it would seem that there is a case for
increasing the number of scholarships available to West Indians to
study Agriculture at the University, and for giving encouragement
to Secondary School students and to students at the Jamaica School
of Agriculture and Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute, Trinidad, who
display ability and ambition, to proceed to the University Faculty of

Courses of training
The courses that are provided in the Faculty at the undergradu-
ate level have been carefully designed to provide the different types
of agricultural training necessary for professional agriculturists in
the West Indies. We start with a strong foundation in the basic
sciences of Chemistry, Botany and Zoology, and also introduce students
to the Principles of Agriculture in the first year of our three year
programme leading to the B.Sc. Agriculture degree. The standard of
attainment of the students in Chemistry, Botany and Zoology at the
end of their first year compares favourably with the standard of
attainment of their counterparts in the Faculty of Science. The
second and third years of the B.Sc. Agriculture programme are de-
voted to a study of the application of Science to agriculture.

In addition, in the third year, we have introduced three specialised
options-Animal Science, Crop Science and Agricultural Economics.
The arguments for and against such specialisation at first degree
level are well worn. As Morris and Duckham (1960) have expressed it:
"On the one hand there is the difficulty of giving graduates a suffi-
ciently thorough training in all branches of agriculture without re-
quiring an unduly long period of study. On the other hand, it is argued
that a graduate in agriculture should be capable of taking up em-
ployment in any branch of the industry, and should not be forced to
choose the field in which he is going to work whilst he is still an
undergraduate. Also, it requires a larger teaching staff, more physical
facilities, and a very elaborate timetable to provide a wide range of
choice for the student." At the University of the West Indies, we
have attempted to follow the middle path, by retaining the principle
of a broad based general degree, but by introducing a limited amount
of specialisation. Thus, of the 14 courses taken by B.Sc. Agriculture
students in their three years with us, 12 are basic courses which are
compulsory, and only 2 are specialised and optional.

The need exists today for three main types of agricultural gradu-
ates-(1) the General Agriculturist with a sound basic knowledge of
science, and of the application of science to agriculture, with particu-
lar reference to animal production, crop production or agricultural
economics; (2) the Agricultural Specialist, usually with a postgradu-
ate degree in one or another branch of agriculture; and (3) the
Agricultural Scientist, also with a postgraduate degree, but dealing
with such sciences as Nutrition Chemistry, Plant Breeding, Entomo-
logy and Soil Science. With the increasing tempo of development in
the West Indies, the need for the two latter types of graduate is
becoming increasingly important. Their training almost invariably
requires from 1l to 3 years of postgraduate specialisation.

It is in an attempt to provide an increasing number of Agricul-
tural specialists and Agricultural scientists that the Faculty is at
present laying considerable stress on the development of its postgradu-
ate studies programme. The postgraduates whom the Faculty attracts
fall into two principal classes. First, there are some of the U.W.I.'s
own graduates in Agriculture who wish to remain in the Faculty after

taking their first degree, and study for a higher degree in a specialist
field of agriculture or agricultural science. Secondly there are those
who come to us for further training after obtaining a, first degree at
some other University in the temperate or tropical regions o'f the

The postgraduate programmes that we offer lead to one of the
following qualifications:-

(i) The Diploma in Tropical Agriculture (D.T.A.)
(ii) The Certificate of Advanced Studies (C.A.S.)
(iii) The Degree of Master of Science (M.Sc.)
(iv) The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

This is a wide range of programmes for a young Faculty to offer.
A high powered Mission that visited the Faculty recently expressed
the view that these programmes tax the staff in both versatility and
time, and yet there is no evidence of a lowering of standards.

Traditionally our D.T.A. and C.A.S. programmes were designed as
orientation courses in tropical agriculture for graduates from tem-
perate countries, but with the increasing number of students from
Latin and Central America, and Africa, currently enrolling for these
programmes, more optional courses have now been organised to cater
to the varying needs of the different categories of students.

All D.T.A. and C.A.S. candidates at present follow one compulsory
course which is an Introduction to Tropical Agriculture. Over and
above this, D.T.A. candidates select four other courses from among
eleven offered by the Faculty. These are Tropical Animal Science,
Tropical Crop Science, Tropical Soil Science, Tropical Agricultural
Botany, Plant Pathology and Entomology, Tropical Veterinary Scien-
ce and Entomology, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Extension,
Agricultural Organisation and Farm Management, Statistics and Field
Experimentation, and Genetics and Breeding. Thus a candidate who
wishes to specialise in Animal Production may take Tropical Animal
Science, Veterinary Science and Entomology, Statistics and Field Ex-
perimentation, and Genetics and Breeding as his four optional courses.
Similarly, a candidate wishing to develop his interest in the area of
Crop Production might consider taking Crop Science, Soil Science, Ag-
ricultural Botany, and Plant Pathology and Entomology. Still others
may like to include one or more of the Social Science options.

The length of the D.T.A. programme is one academic year, and
during this period every candidate is required to undertake a research
project and submit a report thereon. The difference between the
D.T.A. and C.A.S. programmes lies essentially in the number of courses
that the candidates are required to take. Whereas the total number
of courses for the D.T.A. is five, the number for the C.A.S. is only
three, but the research project is common to both programmes. The
C.A.S. was designed in order to permit those students who do not have
the necessary qualifications for entry to the D.T.A., but who would

nevertheless benefit from further training in tropical agriculture, the
opportunity for such advanced study.

Our M.Sc. and Ph.D. programmes offer the student an opportunity
for increased specialisation in a selected subject over a period between
11 and 3 years. A student who has been successful in securing a M.Sc.
or Ph.D. degree in our Faculty may be regarded as one who can be-
come a specialist or researcher in that subject; he could also be re-
garded, in view of his greater experience and knowledge, as one who
who is better equipped to hold positions of responsibility. The Faculty
now has under training 37 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, in addition to
24 D.T.A. and C.A.S. students, giving a total of 61 post-graduates.

The international character of our postgraduate student body is
worthy of special mention. It serves to demonstrate that technical
aid is not always a one way process with all the aid being given by
a developed country to a developing country. We have been able to
show at our University Faculty of Agriculture that we have something
to offer to the developed countries as well. By training students -from
the temperate countries at postgraduate level at St. Augustine, we
have made it possible for those countries to send out personnel ade-
quately qualified in Tropical Agriculture to other parts of the tropics.

The West Indies is fortunate in that the staff of the Faculty of
Agriculture have many varied interests and also a wide range of
experience in many parts of the tropics and in the temperate zone.
This means that the choice of subjects offered for study to students
is great and a prospective postgraduate student could work on such
subjects as the economic aspects of peasant farming, the technological
aspects of milk and meat production, the agronomy of root crop pro-
duction, or the physical properties of Caribbean soils.

Pastoral care of students
The activities of the Faculty of Agriculture in the sphere of
student instruction also extend into the whole question of the pastoral
care of students. Not only do we look periodically into our teaching
methods, but we also place under constant review the supervision of
our students and the purpose and method of examinations. Under the
tutor scheme which we have adopted in the Faculty of Agriculture, all
undergraduate students are allocated to a tutor at the beginning of
their first term, and normally they remain in the same group of five
or six students under one tutor through their course. The tutor, who
is always a fulltime member of staff of the Faculty, has a general
responsibility to act as guide, philosopher and friend to the student
throughout the whole of his course. There have been many instances of
the help which tutors have given in domestic and personal problems,
health, financial difficulties, career guidance, academic advice, visits
to agricultural establishments and so on. There are some fifteen
tutors at present involved in this scheme, each with five or six
students. A critical survey of the scheme has revealed that it has
on the whole been working very satisfactorily, that the direct help
given is recognized and appreciated, and, above all, that the tutor

a friend who can help in any difficulty. Clearly this is a valuable
scheme which may improve even further as experience of its work-
ing is gained. Under this scheme, no student can pass through the
Faculty without being intimately known by and getting to know at
least one member of staff.

This scheme, however, is limited to undergraduate agricultural
students. All postgraduate Diploma and Certificate students are
assigned to a Supervisor who is a Senior Faculty staff member. He
sees every student assigned to him at the beginning of the session to
discuss the curriculum and the individual choice of subjects. There-
after, he sees the students at least once a term to inquire about each
individual student's progress and well being. Where, in the opinion
of the supervisor of postgraduate students, special attention should
be paid to a particular student, this information is passed on to the
-.ppropriate members of staff who are concerned with his instruction.

With postgraduate M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, there is less of a
problem in guidance, because they are assigned to one or another De-
partment of Faculty on enrolment. Within the Department, each
such student is then assigned to a Research supervisor in accordance
with where his main interest lies. On an average, each M.Sc. or Ph.D.
student comes to the member of staff to whom he is assigned for one
to two hours each week for individual consultations.

Retention level at examinations
Examinations are a necessary feature of our educational system.
Failure in our Faculty involves the student in some penalties as in
every other Faculty in the University. He may be required to repeat
a course and examination; he may be required to spend a whole year
repeating all the courses; he may even be advised to leave the Faculty.
It is impossible to see how this can be avoided in view of the con-
siderable costs involved. All that can be done is to see that the system
is fair and exercised with as much kindness as possible. The regulations
under which a student is excluded from the Faculty are such that
the exclusion is not final, for, on completion of the necessary exam-
inations he may be re-admitted. We are making a vigorous and de-
termined effort to provide every opportunity to our students to be
given help when it is needed.

The penalties for a student failing are undoubtedly heavy. If
there is to be any clear justice in this, it is essential that the exam-
ination system be as perfect an instrument as human ingenuity can
devise. There is a good deal of public anxiety about the examination
system in Universities. Some of it, at least, appears to have founda-
tion in fact. The Robins Report on Higher Education in the United
Kingdom produced figures and comparisons that add to this anxiety.
The Report says (para. 580) "It is difficult to avoid the presumption
that an important factor affecting student wastage is that in some
faculties there is an approximate percentage of students whom it has
become customary to fail." It adds, "It should be an essential part of
the responsibility of any University department towards its students

to investigate this problem carefully, both in regard to the general
level of wastage over a period of years and in regard to individual
students who fail in any given year to complete a course successfully.
Such full and continuous inquiry as part of the University's proper
concern for the progress of all students, can scarcely fail to yield
clues as to the kind of action that would reduce wastage substantially
in faculties where it is at present high." That the Faculty of Agri-
culture of the University of the West Indies shares this concern with
the Robins Report is evidenced by the fact that it set up a group
recently to determine the facts relating to wastage rates in the Faculty
over the six years of its existence. It was interested in determining
whether entrance standards were too low and whether, by raising
them, the failure rate could be reduced. It wondered whether there
.,ere better techniques for selecting students than marks in secondary
school examinations.

The results of these investigations showed us that failure rates
and retention levels in the Faculty o.f Agriculture compared favour-
ably with those in other Faculties of the University of the West
Indies, but could nevertheless be improved on. The retention level
from Year I to Year II of the B.Sc. Agriculture has been around 60%
for the period 1960 65, while the corresponding figure for retentions
from Year II to Year III was, on average, over 75%. Of the students
in the Faculty of Agriculture sitting the Year III or Final B.Sc. Agri-
culture examinations, 82% have been successful to date. The highest
percentage pass rate was at the B.Sc. Agriculture Year III examina-
tion held in June 1965 when all 23 candidates that sat the examina-
tion were successful, and of these, 7 secured Upper Seconds and a
further 7 were awarded Lower Seconds.

Pass rates in examinations in the Faculty of Engineering of the
University of the West Indies may be quoted for comparison. These
have averaged 62% at the Year I level, 71% at the Year MI level and
over 90% at the Year III level. These figures are not quoted here to
give the impression that we are satisfied with things as they are;
they are cited merely to present the true position in proper per-
spective. We are only too well aware of the need for more searching
enquiry of ways and means to increase retention levels even further,
while still retaining our standards which are vouched for annually
by external examiners drawn from other Universities in the U.K.
and elsewhere.

Increased research output
In order to fulfil its role effectively, the University Faculty of
Agriculture must enlarge its research interests in relation to important
needs in the West Indies and as part of the overall research activities
of the area. The Faculty of Agriculture, as at present constituted, is
however mainly concerned with teaching, with most Faculty members
devoting about two-thirds of their time to instructional activities and
about a third to services and research. Despite this necessary pre-
occupation with teaching, a not inconsiderable volume of research has
been done by, and is in progress at, the Faculty of Agriculture. Our

colleagues in the Regional Research Centre are more productive in
this field, and this is as it should be, because they are able to devote
all their time and energy to research and services.

It would be appropriate at this stage to highlight the principal
areas of research undertaken at the University School of Agriculture
comprising both the Faculty and the R.R.C. Although our research is
organized departmentally, and there are Departments of Animal Pro-
duction, Crop Production, Agricultural Economics and Farm Manage-
ment, Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Botany, and Zoology
in the Faculty, and Divisions of Food Crops, Soils, Herbicides, Plant
Protection, and Cocoa in the R.R.C., the fact remains that the main
theme of our research activities is Food Production. Whether we are
concerned with investigations on the genetics of West Indian cattle
or the physiological responses of plants under various controlled en-
vironmental conditions, the essential object of all these investigations
is to find ways and means of bringing about substantial increases in
food production in the territories that the University School of Agri-
culture serves. The priorities accorded to research in the different
sectors of food production, however, would vary from time to time.
At present, there seems to be a need for higher priority being given
to animal production research than to many other spheres of activity.
This is because a vast sum of money is spent annually on meat and
dairy product importations from areas with which we have little re-
ciprocal trade.

In the area of Food Crops research, the University is making a
significant and valuable contribution to the region. The Food Crops
Research Unit of the R.R.C. was established in 1956 to work on the
improvement o-f local foodcrops by selection and breeding. In decid-
ing on the crops for their research programme, my colleagues in the
Food Crops Research Unit agreed that they should utilise their
limited resources on crops which are relatively extensively grown in
the region and which have a high nutritional value, and at the same
time maintain a fair balance between the starchy roots, the legumes
and the fine vegetables. Pigeon peas, sweet potatoes, yams, the edible
aroids, Irish potatoes, tomatoes and sweet corn, have all been included
to a greater or lesser measure in their research programme. Breeding
research in pigeon peas has resulted in the development of lines pos-
sessing high yields, increased palatability and a morphological habit
suitable to both manual and mechanical harvesting. In sweet po-
tatoes, a collection of indigenous cultivars has been made, and im-
proved varieties, with a yield potential at least three times that of
the local cultivars, are now available.

An indispensable part of any breeding programme, whether it be
of plants or animals, is the adequate testing and evaluation of the
primary selections. The need for proper assessment of new breeds of
animals and new cultivars under the diverse conditions of soil, climate
and cultural practice in the Caribbean area, cannot be over-empha-
sised since the success of any improvement programme is, in the final
analysis, gauged by the rapidity and extent to which results are

passed on to the farmer. Comprehensive and continuous regional
evaluation trials in the various ecological niches of the Caribbean are
the only basis on which firm. recommendations of new breeds and new
varieties can be made to our farmers.
This type of work can be undertaken only by the closest collab-
oration between the University School of Agriculture and the terri-
torial Ministries concerned. We cannot afford to work in separAte,
water-tight compartments and to develop as independent and au-
tonomous research units in each island of the West Indies and at the
University. The Ford Mission-a team from the Ford Foundation that
recently visited the University of the West Indies to advise on the
work of the School of Agriculture,-was emphatic that formal links
must be established between the territorial agricultural research or-
ganisations and the regional research organisation located at the
University School of Agriculture. It is only by such means that the
most productive results would be obtained.
A considerable amount of work is now being done in the Faculty
in the field of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management. Even
here the main theme is food production, and our research has con-
cerned itself principally with the economics of food production in the
West Indies. Within the fifteen or so months since the Department
has been established, work has been undertaken on problems relating
to individual territories ranging from British Guiana to Jamaica. This
has been mainly concerned with the economics of production at the
farm level. In addition, comparative studies have been made of .fer-
tiliser use throughout the West Indies, and studies are being made of
trends in food importation in the region; a Digest of West Indian
Agricultural Statistics has also just been completed. More recently,
research has been initiated into marketing problems.
These comprise only a small fraction of the research on food pro-
duction that goes on at the University School of Agriculture. I have
not dealt with many other valuable investigations that have produced
worthwhile results. I have not mentioned the numerous projects on
agricultural mechanisation, on soil moisture requirements of crops and
water movement in soils, on root-knot nematodes, on the interactions
of stocking rate and fertilizer application on Pangola pastures, and
the use of fertilisers with special reference to food crop production.

In order that the problems of the region may be more effectively
tackled, not only have limited numbers of staff of the University School
cf Agriculture been deployed in different islands of the West Indies,
but it is our intention that more of our postgraduate students, after
their course work with us, would go out to different parts of the
region to conduct their research projects. They could work there under
the immediate supervision of a Research Officer in a territorial Min-
istry of Agriculture, while still being under the overall direction of
their supervisors in the University Faculty of Agriculture. Thus, a
Jamaican postgraduate student now working with us in the field of
Animal Production would return to Jamaica in another ten or twelve
months time to continue his thesis research at the Bodles Animal

Research Station. This arrangement would result in the problems of
the region .forming the subject matter of much of our postgraduate
research. It would involve some expenditure on travel for effective
overall direction of student research; but it is my view that such ex-
penditure would be small in relation to the returns that would accrue
to the benefit of the region.

Agricultural Extension
The rapid and effective development of peasant farming presents
problems of singular complexity. On the one hand, there are diffi-
culties associated with traditional systems of land tenure, the low
output cf subsistence agriculture, and the lack of capital for invest-
ment in peasant farming enterprises. On the other, there is the gen-
eral difficulty of the application of the results of research and ex-
periment to peasant farming. In many instances, there has been in-
credibly little success in effecting a fundamental change from low-
level subsistence agriculture to really productive land use, despite the
fact that research has provided the wherewithal by which such tech-
nical advances could have been made. Since the process of rural de-
velopment has been going on .for so long in many areas of the West
Indies with so little evidence of fundamental improvement, it is not
surprising that questions are now being asked as to what are the
inhibiting factors and, if these can be ascertained, how can they be

To many of the technical problems of animal and crop production
there are already satisfactory answers. The crux of the matter is how
to get the rural community and the individual peasant family to put
into farming practice the lessons that research and technical progress
have to offer. This situation has led to an increasing awareness that
the problems of development in agriculture are human and sociolo-
gical as well as technical. The process of change can only be pursued
with full effectiveness if all aspects of rural development are properly
studied and the approach to the farmer and his family made in an
enlightened and intelligent manner.

In certain parts of the world considerable research into the socio-
logical and other aspects of agricultural improvement in farming com-
munities has been undertaken. Much has been learned about the factors
which influence people in their attitude to change and to propaganda.
In the same manner as teachers are prepared for their vocation with
courses in such subjects as Educational Psychology and the Principles
of Education, so Agricultural Extension officers in rural communities
can be given training which can be invaluable in enabling them to
enter their career in Extension so equipped that they can rapidly be-
rome effective. Thus, the lessons of a lifetime's work can, if (well
taught, save young people a lengthy period of rather fruitless trial
and error. Extension education is therefore established in many agri-
cultural colleges and universities in America as both a respectable and
a useful academic subject. On the other hand, it does not, to my
knowledge, yet appear in the curriculum of any British School of
Agriculture. That there is a clear and urgent need for study of this

kind and for the development of courses of instruction in the West
Indies, there can be no possible doubt.

It would be fully appreciated that the social, technical, and econ-
omic problems of different parts of the world are so varied that the
importation of ideas and methods which have been shown to work
in one country may be quite unsuited to the conditions and needs of
another. Therefore, any unit which is established should have as its
principal initial duty the assessment of the effectiveness of the many
schemes and methods which have been undertaken in the past.

Any project in the field of Agricultural Extension could only be
undertaken with the full support of the various Ministries of Agri-
culture. Not only would it be essential for the purpose of investiga-
tion in fields which are the responsibility of Ministries, but it would
also be necessary to make use of the government extension services
in connection with teaching. A subject of practical application such
as Agricultural Extension can neither be studied nor taught without
a laboratory and in this case it is the rural community and itj
problems of agricultural development which provide that essential
laboratory. In America, this presents no difficulties because the Agri-
cultural Extension services are a University function and thus each
State Agricultural College is continuously in very close touch with
the farming community and its problems. In the West Indies these
functions are, at present, almost entirely separate from teaching in-
stitutions. It will therefore be necessary for institutions of Agricul-
tural Education to develop a working relationship with Government
this important new and developing field.

I would venture to suggest that the work of the Imperial Col-
lege of Tropical Agriculture, the Regional Research Centre and the
University Faculty of Agriculture has not made as great an impact
on agricultural development in the West Indies as might reasonably
be expected, largely due to the lack of an organisation within our
University institution specifically charged with responsibility for en-
suring that there is two-way communication between the University
School of Agriculture and the territorial Ministries of Agriculture. The
efficient transfer of information between these organizations is of
considerable importance to the economic development of the region.
Not only is there need for ensuring that staff of the territorial Min-
istries of Agriculture are kept informed of the knowledge available
from research conducted at the University, but equally there is need
for the regional problems which require solution to be brought to the
notice of University researchers.

Over the past year, we have attempted to bridge this deficiency
in our organisation by enlisting the services of personnel in our teach-
ing and research departments to conduct occasional workshops, sum-
mer schools and advisory courses in various branches of agriculture
at one or another of the islands in the Eastern Caribbean. For in-
stance, in April 1965, a Summer School was organised in Grenada, the
theme being "Livestock Production, Pasture Management, Animal

Health, and Weed Control" In September, 1965, a workshop on the
various aspects of "Land Use and Land Capability" was conducted in
Dominica. In December, 1965, a School on "Food Crop Production and
Extension Methods" was held in Barbados and another School on
"Soil and Water Conservation, Food Crop Production and Extension
Methods" was organised in St. Lucia. In addition, the Faculty also
decided to organise an Annual Research Conference as from the
academic year 1965/66. However, these efforts, in my view, can be
more economically and effectively handled by a Department of Agri-
cultural Extension at the University of the West Indies. Such a De-
partment would be necessary to effect the efficient transfer of in-
formation between the smaller Caribbean islands and centres of
research in other countries in the region. In many of these islands,
the services offered to farmers by Ministries of Agriculture are largely
confined to demonstrations on Government farms; the resources
available to them are such as to require heavy dependence on the
research activities pursued by a regional institution such as the Uni-
versity of the West Indies or by the Ministries of Agriculture in
Jamaica and Trinidad. There is little doubt that the smaller islands
need support in their Extension work not only in subject matter, but
also in techniques of communication, programme planning, progress
evaluation and general extension methodology. It is but reasonable
that in-service training facilities to personnel from the islands should
also be provided by the University School of Agriculture.

That the University School of Agriculture has hitherto not had
a Department of Agricultural Extension was due entirely to financial
reasons. We have had to make do with just one Lecturer in Agricul-
tural Extension attached to the Department of Agricultural Economics
and Farm Management. Since he is required to contribute to under-
graduate teaching in addition to conducting a postgraduate course in
Extension, his Extension activities have been rather limited. The Ford
Foundation Mission was emphatic in its recommendation that a De-
partment of Agricultural Extension which would provide a major link
between the University School of Agriculture and the region it aims
to serve, should be created without delay. This Department would
have within its ranks experienced and well-trained extension special-
ists in such fields as Animal Husbandry, Horticulture and Vegetable
crops. The Mission stated that these specialists should maintain close
contact not only with research workers at the University and in sev-
eral agricultural departments of the countries served by the Univer-
sity, but also with workers in experiment stations in other Caribbean
countries. The Department of Extension should help to develop and
strengthen close collaboration between research and extension work-
ers on a Caribbean-wide basis.

A possible function of this Extension Department could well be
the preparation and distribution of a series of publications to serve
research workers and extension staff of Departments of Agriculture
in the region, as well as the more progressive farmers. We also think
that the production of a West Indian Farm Journal should not be
outside the terms of reference of the Extension Department.
4 *

Agricultural Education at non-University institutions
In conclusion, may I be permitted to give expression to thinking
within the University Faculty of Agriculture on the subject of Agri-
cultural Education at non-University institutions? We think that
there should be at least three streams of students in agricultural
education, a University stream, a technological stream, and an artisan
stream, and that these streams should be developed in different in-
stitutions in the West Indies .It is widely recognized that profitable
relationships could be developed between the University and other
training institutions in a number of fields essential to the develop-
ment of the region. This does not 'mean that the University should in
any way dominate other non-University institutions; but by co-
operating with them considerable mutual benefit could be derived.
In the development of the Agricultural Services of the West Indies it
has long been recognized that the several major aspects-research,
education, and advisory work-are complementary, one to another. In
the same way, the different partners serving the development of agri-
culture-the professional agriculturist and scientist, the technically
trained Field Officer, and the more junior level of laboratory and field
staff-are essentially complementary. It is therefore logical that the
training for each of these categories of staff be related and co-
Such co-ordination might be achieved by the establishment of
formal links between the University Faculty of Agriculture which
trains the professional agriculturist and scientist, and other institu-
tions of agricultural education in the Caribbean that train the other
categories of agriculturists. The mechanism for setting up these formal
links may well be through a Council for Agricultural Education
responsible to the University. Such a body might interest itself gen-
erally in the development of agricultural education at all levels in
the region served by the University. It might assume responsibility,
under the University, for setting and maintenance of standards of
awards in Agriculture sponsored by the University but outside its own
curricula. It could also provide advice, when sought by the appropriate
authority, on staffing and on courses of instruction at institutions of
agricultural education whose awards are not sponsored by the
It is heartening to note that the first steps in the establish-
ment of such formal links between the University and other agricul-
tural institutions in the West Indies, have recently been taken as a
result of discussions between the University Faculty of Agriculture and
the Jamaica School of Agriculture. It is to be hoped that the scarce
resources of the West Indies would in this way be used to the greatest
advantage in the service of agricultural education.

The Future
Future rapid development in agricultural education, research and
extension would entail an intimate dovetailing of the efforts of both
University and non-University institutions. Gone are the days when
University dons built their own ivory towers round themselves and in-

dulged in pedantic discussions on academic freedom in their research.
We can no longer ignore the realities of living and working in the
developing countries of the West Indies. We must all work together
for the benefit of the region, and if in the process, we can render a
service to other parts of the world, as in our D.T.A. and C.A.S. pro-
grammes, it would no doubt redound to our greater credit. An inter-
national reputation at the postgraduate level is good for the health
of any University institution, but, in the final analysis, we would like
to be judged by the service that we render to the West Indian region.

Dean, Faculty of Agriculture,
University of the West Indies.

Agriculture and Economic Development.

THE MAIN purpose of this article is to present, in summary form,
the salient features of agriculture's contribution to total economic
growth. Following a few introductory remarks, the discussion turns,
first, to the role of agriculture in initiating economic growth and,
second, to the role of agriculture during the process of development.
Attention is then directed to how production in the agricultural sector
should be organized in order to make a positive and effective contribu-
tion, and finally, some general implications of the analysis for Carib-
bean countries are considered.

Agriculture is usually regarded as the most important sector of the
economies of newly developing countries for one or other of the follow-
ing reasons: that it employs the bulk of the labour force, or that the
share of the national product originating in agriculture is large or that
exports are comprised mainly of agricultural products. All this is
worth noting, but only as background to considering agriculture's role
in the dynamics of economic development.

Anywhere from 50 to 80 per cent of the labour force is typically
engaged in agricultural activities in underdeveloped countries. (This
contrasts sharply with the more advanced countries where the ratio is
seldom as high as 15 per cent). On the other hand, agriculture is
generally less important in terms of its contribution to the national
product of any of these countries. The fact that the contribution to
national product is disproportionately less than agriculture's share of
the labour force is a crude reflection of the relatively low level of pro-
ductivity in agricultural as compared to non-agricultural activities.
There, then, are the main features of the agricultural economies
of newly developing countries: agriculture employs a substantial share,
if not the bulk, of the labour force and is characterized by a relatively
low level of productivity.

There is no consensus from either theoretical formulations or
empirical analyses as to whether economic development must always
begin with the expansion of agricultural output.

Historical evidence of growth in the more advanced economies
shows different patterns of development. The 18th century enclosure
movement in England, which sparked a virtual agricultural revolution,
coincided so closely in time with the Industrial Revolution that no
clear case of cause and effect can be established though some economic
historians have ventured to do so. Japan and Germany are two clear
examples of total economic growth being induced by improved pro-
ductivity in the agricultural sector. The patterns of growth of former

colonial territories are of more relevance to us. And here, mainly on
account of political reasons, agriculture was generally the leading
sector. The economic histories of the United States, Canada, Australia,
New Zealand, and all the West Indian territories bear adequate testi-
mony. Economic growth in each of these countries began with develop-
ments in the agricultural sector.

In the early stages of development of such dependent economies,
the agricultural sector was characterized by a well developed export
component and a generally retarded subsistence component. Genera-
tion of growth resulted chiefly from the more dynamic export sector.
As long as production for export dominated the scene, the result was a
lopsided pattern of development in which the export component of the
agricultural sector was essentially an economic appendage of the
metropolitan importing country. And the benefits of improved pro-
ductivity in agricultural export production accrued mainly to the
importing country, partly because of the international immobility of
labour and partly on account of the absence of alternative opportunities
within the dependent economies.

Professor Arthur Lewis 1 distinguishes three patterns of development
defined by the origin of growth as follows: (1) where development
begins outside agriculture, (2) where development begins with agri-
cultural exports and (3) where development begins with greater
productivity in food production for the home market. Lewis
goes on to rule out the third case as "seldom if ever self-sustaining"
because the inelastic demand for food would drive farmers bankrupt
if other sectors of the economy remain stationary. This, of course,
need not be the case if farmers were to move rapidly out of farming
and into other occupations as productivity increases; but, there is
little evidence of this theoretical possibility in recorded history. In
cases where development begins outside of agriculture, sustained growth
depends largely on responsive development of agriculture. Without
this, the increased demand for food drives up food prices and/or in-
creases food imports. Apart from the political consequences of sharp
increases in food prices, the process of growth would be stalled since
the factoral terms of trade would disfavour expansion of the non-
agricultural sector, as Ricardo indicated. Increased food imports as an
alternative create balance of payment problems unless exports are
increased in due proportion.

These difficulties are not entirely solved even where development
begins with agricultural exports. Here increased productivity in the
export sector does little to raise the incomes of export producers because
the only alternative source of employment for labour rendered surplus
by the improved productivity is subsistence production. Without some
expansion of non-agricultural activities in such an economy, incomes
in the export sector cannot diverge significantly from those in the
subsistence sector and only the industrialized importing country benefits
from lower food prices.

The general conclusion from historical evidence as well from
theoretical considerations is that the agricultural sector has no special
inherent capacity to initiate total economic growth. (This is also true
of any other sector.) Those who advocate an improvement in agricul-
tural productivity as a precursor for industrialization depend on argu-
ments which apply uncritically during the process of development but
which are of no validity in considering where growth should (or does)
begin. Economic growth can begin in any sector, either by accident or
by design; but sustained growth subsequent to this is impossible unless
all sectors respond, in some sort of balance, to the initial stimulus.
There is ample historical support for this thesis. The relative stagna-
tion of Caribbean economies in the past resulted mainly from the
failure to develop non-agricultural activities. While on the other hand,
it is clear that agricultural stagnation largely accounted for the
relatively slow economic growth of India and China, as compared with
Japan, during the past century 2. There is little point, there-
fore, in discussing the initiating role of agriculture; attention should
instead be directed to the role of agriculture during the process of
economic development.


The primary function of agriculture is to supply the food require-
ments of a country's population. Economic development results in an
increase in the demand for food. The extent of this increase is
(crudely) defined by the growth of population and the income elasticity
of demand for food. In order to maintain stable levels of per capital
food intake the supply of food must increase in proportion to the
growth of population. Population growth is a function of death rates,
birth rates and net migration; and with the widespread international
transmission of improvements in medical technology, there has been a
tendency toward sharp increases in the rates of population growth in
newly-developing countries as a result of dramatic declines in death
rates, other variables remaining more or less constant. In these
instances, rates of population growth are determined by exogenous
factors which bear no relationship to the level of economic development
and which place an extra strain on agriculture to meet a consequential
expansion of demand for food. The high rates of population growth
in most of the Caribbean are relevant.

It we accept the conventional definition of economic growth as a
sustained increase in per capital real income then in addition to the
increased demand resulting from population growth there will be a
further increase deriving from increments in income. The rxtent of
this increase depends on the income elasticity of demand for food.
In general, this is less than unity; signifying that the increase in
demand will be disproportionately less than the increase in income.
The income elasticity of demand itself varies with income in a manner
that dampens the impact of income on the demand for food during
the process of development. Food elasticity coefficients are generally
higher in low-income than in high-income countries.

As a basic necessity, food bulks large in terms of total expendi-
ture at low levels of income. But as income increases, although
expenditure on food increases, the proportion of income spent on food
tends to fall as consumers increase expenditures on the less vital com-
modities. This phenomenon is described by Engel's Law, and is the
crux of many of the peculiar problems of agriculture. Income
elasticities of demand vary widely as between different foods and food
groups, however. Thus, elasticities are usually higher for meats, other
protective foods and meals eaten outside the home than are elasticities
for the starchy roots and cereals. And those differences bear important
significance for adjustments within agriculture during the process of

It is sometimes argued that expanded food supplies contribute to
improving the health of the population and thereby stimulate improved
productivity. But the extent of this contribution must be left to
speculation because not much is known of the actual extent of
malnutrition in underdeveloped countries nor of the relationship
between nutrition and productivity.

Because of the inelastic demand for food, whenever food supplies
fail to keep pace with the growth of demand the result is a sharp
increase in food prices. It is, of course, possible to offset any excess
demand by increasing food imports. But there is some question as
to the desirability of this alternative for developing countries. The
first consideration is the problem of foreign exchange; imports can
only be increased if exports are expanded to secure the additional
foreign exchange earnings. Alternatively, with given foreign exchange
earnings, imports of food can only expand by contracting imports of
other commodities of which capital goods are usually an important
component. Chenery describes the choice between increasing domestic
food production and expanded food imports as "the most important
and most difficult aspect of development programming "3

It is suggested here that, in general, an expansion of domestic food
production will turn out to be the more desirable alternative. The
reasoning behind this proposition is that the development process
makes increasing demands for a wide range of capital goods plant
and equipment, machinery, and even raw materials. And that a
developing country is usually better able to substitute imports of food
(not all foods, but many) than it is to substitute imports of capital
goods, at least in the short run. In short, most newly developing
countries have a short-term advantage in food, as compared with
capital goods, production.

The second, and equally important, role of agriculture is to supply
factors of production to other sectors of the developing economy. That
agriculture must supply labour for the expansion of other sectors is a
commonsense proposition following from the high proportion of the
labour force employed in agriculture in the early stages of development
and from the inelastic demand for foodstuffs, which prescribes that the
output of the agricultural sector will decline relative to other sectors.

This contribution of agriculture is so well recognized that economists
sometimes use the extent of decline in the proportion of the labour
force engaged in agriculture as an index of economic develop-
ment. 4, 5, 6, 7 Historical case studies as well as cross-section
analyses suggest a clear relationship. In the United States,
for example, 90 per cent of the people worked on farms in
Thomas Jefferson's day as compared to less than 10 per cent to-day
In a purely subsistence economy, each farm family produces just
enough to feed itself, while in the more advanced countries to-day
each farm family produces enough to feed itself and some ten to
twenty non-farm families as well s All this implies that,
during the process of development, there is an outflow of labour from
agriculture to other sectors and that there must be an increase in the
productivity of labour remaining in agriculture. This change in the
occupational distribution of the labour force bears a kind of cause and
effect relationship to economic growth since the shift from a sector of
low productivity to others of higher productivity has the effect of rais-
ing over-all output per worker.

A secondary contribution of agriculture, deriving from the outflow
of labour to other sectors, is that the development of commercial agri-
culture demands entrepreneurial skills and thus agriculture becomes a
breeding ground for business managers (and even political leaders!)
The importance of this contribution may, however, be exaggerated since
the incentive to transfer from agriculture to other occupations is
greater for the less successful than for the more successful farmers and
it is the latter who are usually the more skillful entrepreneurs.

Agriculture has been in most countries an important source of
capital for the expansion of non-agricultural activities. The scope for
capital accumulation in the agricultural economies of underdeveloped
countries has largely been ignored, and often denied. Theoretical
formulations derived from an assumed "vicious circle of poverty"
do not find historical support 9 According to Cairncross, all of the
more advanced countries, with the probable exception of the British
dominions, Norway and Russia, "generated within themselves nearly
the whole of the savings needed for their industrialization" 10

The logic of the vicious circle argument is that poor countries can-
not afford to save and that they are poor because of their inability to
save. But even in agricultural economies of low income levels some
farmers will have higher incomes than others according to their
inherent abilities; and improvements on individual farms drainage,
irrigation, buildings, fences, and so on expand the stock of capital.
Thus, even at the lowest levels of income, capital accumulation may
proceed through the investment of labour.

There is a good deal of historical evidence to support the view that
"there is scope for raising productivity in agriculture by rather moderate
capital outlays" 11 Improvements in agriculture can be achieved,
and indeed have been achieved, by the introduction of new
crops and improved varieties, changes in systems of land tenure and

crop rotation, increased use c fertilizerss and pesticides, all of which
demand little fixed capital ir by the individual farmer. Such
improvements in agricultural tivity are usually the outcome of
government investments in agricultural research and extension and
consequently the derived increments to farm incomes might justifiably
be directed to the capital needs of the non-agricultural sector The
development of infrastructure, social services and manufacturing
activity requires considerable capital investments which, apart from
foreign borrowing, must come largely from agriculture in the early
stages of development. There is a persuasive argument that the agri-
cultural sector should be made to finance the expansion of other sectors
(see 9) but the political feasibility of this may be of over-riding import-
ance. There appear to have been various mechanisms whereby capital
generated in agriculture was siphoned off into other sectors; lagging
agricultural wages in Britain, land taxes in Japan, and forced crop
collection in the Soviet Union are some notable examples.

The third major contribution of agriculture to total economic
growth stems from the importance of agriculture as an earner of
foreign exchange. Exports of newly-developing countries are usually
dominated by primary commodities, often by one or two agricultural
products. This is certainly the case in many Caribbean islands. To
the extent that an export commodity is homogenous and there are
many exporting countries, the demand for the exports of an individual
country will tend to be fairly elastic and foreign exchange earnings
can be increased by expanding the volume of exports. In so far as the
export trade of a particular country depends on agricultural products,
increased capital imports required for the development of the non-
agricultural sector can be financed by an expansion of agricultural

The fourth, and final, major contribution of agriculture is that it
provides a market for the output of the non-agricultural sector. To
this extent the rate of expansion of the non-agricultural sector depends
on the fortunes of the farmers. Increased incomes in agriculture
expand the demand for goods and services produced in other sectors
thereby increasing employment and income in those sectors. This, in
turn, increases the demand for farm products and a cumulative circle
of expansion spreads from sector to sector.


The foregoing discussion leads to one more or less generally accept-
ed conclusion: that sustained economic growth is impossible without
complementary agricultuarl development or, more precisely, a sub-
stantial rise in agricultural productivity. The next consideration, then,
is how can this be achieved? Much more space, time and expertise
than are available to the author would be required to attempt a detailed
answer. Attention is directed, therefore, to some fundamental aspects
of the problem particularly those relating to techniques of produc-
tion and the corollary size of farm units since there appears to be a

great deal of confusion on these matters. The argument proceeds frcm
first principles and draws mainly on Heady 12, 13

The technology of agriculture in any country depends on, and can
be represented by, a production function such as:

Y f (X X X ,X X ,X X ,u)
1 2 g g+1 k k 1 n
which simply states that the output of agriculture (Y) in any given
period depends on, or is determined by, resource inputs (Xi) of different
types and quality (e.g. different classes of land. different kinds of
fertilizer, seeds, machines and tools, labour etc.) and some stochastic
variables (u) which are exogenous to decision making. The technology
of production and scale of operations are defined by the relative and
absolute magnitudes of the Xi. It is true that some resources may be
fixed at zero by nature but the physical production function is the same
for all countries. Technological differences between the agriculture of
one country and that of another, and between different sectors of agri-
culture within the same country, derive from the mix and magnitudes
of the Xi in the general production function.

Now it should be clear that in order to specify the appropriate agri-
cultural technology for any particular country (or sector) prior know-
ledge of the (m) structural coefficients relating to the production
functions for all commodities is essential. Indeed, this is the main
task of agricultural science and a byproduct activity of agricultural
entrepreneurship. If, for example, resources XI Xk are known
but the productivity coefficients of only X1 Xg have been quanti-
fied, it is necessary to acquire knowledge of resources Xg -- 1 Xn
similar to that available for XI Xg before the precise technology
can be specified. Without this knowledge, all the resources Xg 1
Xn enter the production function with zero productivity. And since
decision-making depends on the marginal productivities, the marginal
rates of substitution and the isoclines for the endogenous resources
(respectively, dY, dXj and kdXj ) the full potential of agriculture can
dXi dXj dXj
never be achieved without complete knowledge of all resources. The
point is made here simply to emphasize the importance of scientific
agricultural research. By and large, changes in agricultural technology
in all the developing countries are inhibited by limited knowledge of the
nature of the physical production function.

With or without complete knowledge of the production function,
specification of the appropriate (i.e. 'least-cost and economically most
efficient') technology depends ultimately on consumer demand and
factors affecting supply of the resource inputs (Xi); and of paramount
importance are relative factor prices. As Heady indicates.

This point often is overlooked by the agricultural
scientist-turned-tourist who contrasts his coloured
pictures of tractors and bulldozers in America with
men and animals in Asia, commenting on the low state

of technology found in the latter countries. Using his
slides to illustrate an extreme in technologies and
capital/labour mixes, he forgets to flash the relative
prices of labour and capital on the screen. 14

So far as labour and capital are concerned much depends on the
relative availability of these factors in a particular country. Popula-
tion density provides a good starting point. Thus, the newly develop-
ing countries of the world may be divided into two groups those of
high population density (countries of Asia and the Caribbean) and
those of low population density (countries of Africa and Latin America).
In the former countries, relative factor proportions favour intensive and
labour-using types of technologies which would be out of place in the
latter countries. Generalizations cannot therefore be made for all
newly developing countries on account of the absence of homogenei'y
with respect to factor endowments.

Similarly, the newly developing countries should not all try to
imitate the agricultural technologies of the United States, Canada and
other advanced countries where the supply price of labour is high
relative to that of capital. What applies to North America does not
apply to the Caribbean. In the West Indies and Asia where popula-
tion pressure is high, unemployment of labour chronic and capital
generally scarce, the normal supply price of capital is high relative to
that of labour. And even if the technical coefficients for machinery
(i.e. mechanized agriculture) are known, the appropriate organization
of agriculture is clearly in the direction of labour intensive (capital-
saving) technologies, which incidentally are characterized by constant
returns to scale. Consequently, agriculture can be quite effectively
organized into small productive units.

The appropriate pattern of production is, however, subject to
change during the process of development. Since economic growth
involves the accumulation of capital, it is likely that at some stage
capital will become abundant relative to labour; and at such time
labour intensive technologies will become inappropriate, as it now is
for the more advanced countries.


Agricultural development in the Caribbean must be viewed against
these background considerations. In the first place, it is necessary
to point out that in all the territories the agricultural sector now tends
to inhibit the rate of overall economic expansion. This is more pro-
nounced in that segment of agriculture which produces food for the
home market.

In many of the territories, the pace of economic development in
the postwar period has been set by sectors other than agriculture; in
Jamaica, bauxite and tourism; in Antigua, tourism; in Trinidad,
petroleum; and in Guyana, bauxite. Banana production for export was
the main source of expansion in the Windward Island. Economic

growth in each territory during the period can be attributed mainly to
the developments in these leading sectors. So far, it seems that
domestic food production has not increased at a sufficient rate to
satisfy the growing demand which has resulted from both rising popula-
tion and increasing incomes. In almost all the territories, food imports
have expanded considerably and food prices have generally increased
at a faster rate than other prices.

What is abundantly clear at this stage is that production of food-
stuffs for the home market must begin to expand appreciably to fore-
stall the consequential brake on further overall development. For, as
Cairncross points out, "in all the countries that have succeeded in
transforming themselves into advanced industrial economies an increase
in agricultural productivity preceded or accompanied the growth of
industry and there was no tendency, even in Britain and Japan, to
rely more heavily on food imports until a comparatively late stage." 15

Labour has been moving out of agriculture in the West Indies not
so much because of increased productivity in agriculture itself but
because of the attractiveness of higher wages (which partly reflect
higher productivity) in the leading sectors. Where the leading sector
is highly capital-intensive (as in petroleum and bauxite) and where
labour unions have been successful in winning successive rounds of
wage increases for those employed, the disparity between wages in
agriculture and those in the leading sector tends to be great. Further-
more, the superior social amenities in urban and semi-urban areas
strengthen the pull factors that promote migration of labour out of
rural areas. The result of all this is the general phenomenon of un-
employment and underemployment in urban areas and an alleged
shortage of labour in the rural districts for work on farms. Thus it is
that in the agricultural sectors of almost all the territories, there is a
paradoxical situation of labour shortages in what are ostensibly labour
surplus economies. And farmers and plantations are seeking to
mechanize while political leaders can find no answers to the chronic
unemployment situation.

The need for some kind of balance between agricultural expansion
and growth elsewhere in the economies becomes more pronounced when
it is realized that the higher wages in the leading sectors raise the
reserve price of labour for agricultural work; and this requires an
increase in agricultural wages to attract farm labour. But when pro-
ductivity does not change appreciably, the agricultural sector is hard
put to pay wages that are sufficiently attractive. This is yet another
reason why all the territories desperately need to raise agricultural
output and productivity. Besides, agriculture is more labour intensive
than industry and can, therefore, contribute more to reducing

In the West Indies today, agriculture may not be as important a
source of capital for the expansion of other sectors as it could perhaps
be. One reason, of course, is that the profits of foreign-owned planta-

tions tend to flow out of the region. Another reason is that the
financial institutions are not geared to mobilizing the small individual
savings of numerous scattered smallholders; and that whatever now
passes through these institutions may be invested abroad. Related to
this is the fact that all the governments seem more concerned with
attracting foreign capital than they are with mobilizing domestic
savings. A more fundamental reason why agriculture in the West
Indies may not supply sufficient capital for the expansion of other
sectors is that the sector may not be capable of providing the necessary
capital because of low productivity. For agriculture to make an effective
contribution in this direction, productivity will have rise substantially
in the future and institutions geared to mobilize rural savings will need
to be developed.

Agricultural exports have, in the past, played an important part
in the development of West Indian economies. But indications are that
the growth of demand for these products over the next decade or so
will be slow. In nearly all cases, the projected growth of world supplies
for these export commodities exceeds the projected growth of demand:
and international prices for sugar, bananas, citrus, cocoa, etc. are
expected to be on the decline for quite a few years. It is sometimes
argued that as minor suppliers in the world market, the West Indies
could conceivably expand the volume of exports without influencing
price, and thereby expand our export proceeds. But a 'world market'
does not in fact exist for most of these commodities. International
trade consists of a number of discrete markets created by special pre-
ferential arrangements. Thus in the case of bananas, for example,
West Indian exports go almost exclusively to the United Kingdom and
comprise the bulk of that country's imports. The significance of this
is that any expansion of the volume of fruit exported is likely to have
a material influence on price; and export proceeds may change cne
way or the other or remain unchanged. (The expansion of banana
supplies from Jamaica and the Windward Islands in recent years
resulted in a serious drop in prices).
It was suggested earlier that one way in which agricultural exports
could contribute to growth and development is by securing foreign
exchange for the imports of capital goods. But when, as in the West
Indian case, a considerable quantity of foreign exchange is spent on
food imports, this contribution is less than it could otherwise be. The
value of food imports into Jamaica in 1964 was two-thirds the value of
agricultural exports from that country. To the extent that food pro-
duction for home consumption can substitute food imports, then an
expansion of domestic food production would have the effect of in-
creasing the capacity to import capital goods.

The inter-sectoral link between agriculture and the rest of the
economy is generally weak in several West Indian territories, particular-
ly in the larger and more developed units. The agricultural sector
depends heavily on imported supplies of many inputs (machinery and
equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.); and farmerF, like other con-
sumers, spend their incomes on many imported consumer goods, includ-


ing food. Consequently, increments in farm and/or non-farm incomes
do not have the full multiplier effect whereby a cumulative circle of
expansion spreads from sector to sector, as a result of growth in any
one sector.

All of the foregoing considerations of the West Indian case suggest
that economic development in the region can be accelerated by means
of a rapid increase in the rate of growth of food production for the
home market. The planning authorities in the region seem to recog-
nize this. 16, 17 But they fail to realize that the required
expansion of food output can hardly be achieved within the existing
framework and structure of agriculture. For, as is suggested below,
the built-in bias toward export production will always serve to inhibit
the growth of food production for the home market.

With the limited resources of all the West Indian territories, and
given the technical flexibility of resource inputs as between production
for the home market (domestic production) and export production, the
tendency would be for strong competition between the two sectors of
agriculture to exist. However, export agriculture stands in a com-
manding position because of the nature of the production function,
the structure of relative prices, and the organization of marketing.

In terms of the discussion in the preceding section, it is easy to
explain the technological differences between the export sector and
the domestic sector of agriculture in the West Indies. As a consequence
of colonization, export agriculture became the main economic activity
of the region at an early date. And this sector has remained important
partly on account of protection offered in the metropolitan market, and
partly on account of the fact that no effort had been made (until
recently) to stimulate other kinds of activity. As a result, knowledge
of the technical coefficients relating to the production functions frr
export commodities is far greater than that for domestic products.
Indeed, many of the resources now used in export production would
theoretically at least - have zero productivity in the production func-
tions for domestic commodities. No one, for example, knows the
fertilizer requirements for yams, eddoes, tannias, and a wide range of
food crops. More resources will always tend to flow into export, as
compared to domestic, production as long as this situation obtains. The
need for a considerable amount of research is emphasized.

A further consideration is that the production function for most
West Indian export crops is such that economies of scale can be derived
and large-scale (foreign-owned) plantations are the established units
of production. Again, for historical reasons, these plantations have
always occupied the best quality land. This partly explains the higher
productivity of resources used in export, as related to domestic, pro-
duction; and the tendency for complementary resources to continue
moving into the former, at the expense of the latter. Somewhat related
is the fact that the unequal distribution of incomes in agriculture
(corresponding roughly to the unequal distribution of lard, in terms
of both quantity and quality) leads to a higher rate of capital

accumulation in the plantation sector. That sector will, therefore,
always tend to expand at a faster rate than the domestic sector.

For the reasons already given, physical productivity in export pro-
duction will tend to be greater than that in domestic production and
for reasons given below, a similar situation may obtain for the value
productivities. As a result, wages paid in the export sector will tend
to be higher than those paid in the domestic sector and labour short-
ages tend to be more acute in the latter. But because the technical
coefficients for machinery are not known, there is little prospect for
the mechanization of domestic agriculture to be seriously considered by

Another basic factor operating against the expansion of domestic
food production is the artificial structure of output prices. The planta-
tion export sector continues to survive because of the support provided
by metropolitan preferences. And to the extent that preferential
prices exceed world market prices, the price received for export output
is higher than would normally obtain. Furthermore, the limited pro-
tection given to domestic food production results in an inflow of food
supplies from low-cost foreign producers; and this serves to keep the
price received for domestic output unduly low. Since producers are
guided by the relative prices received for different commodities (which
can be produced with the same resources), fewer resources will tend
to be used for domestic production than would normally be the case.

As is suggested above, the export sector of West Indian agriculture
produces for a closed protected market while the domestic sector is
left to sell in an open competitive market. Therefore, the risk and
uncertainty regarding output prices tend to be greater for domestic
production; and in view of the considerable risks and uncertainties
inherent in agricultural production, farmers quite rationally try to
minimize the uncertainties in marketing. This is yet another factor
which discourages domestic production.

All this suggests that the trade policies of the West Indian
territories need to be seriously re-examined. The real effects of these
policies on agriculture are to limit the flow of resources into domestic
production and to encourage the use of 'marginal' resources in export
production. It is usually argued that as high-cost producers of export
crops, the West Indies need protected markets. But the argument is
never made in reverse: that protection encourages the entry of in-
efficient producers and the utilization of resources which are marginal
to export production, and as a result keep the average cost of export
production abnormally high.


The foregoing discussion leads to one general conclusion: that the
basic structure of West Indian agriculture inhibits the growth of food
production for the home market. The structural defects derive mainly
from the 'dual' character of agriculture, with export production based

largely on the plantation system and domestic production based large,
on the smallholder ('peasant') system. The nature of the production
functions is such as to discourage expansion of the domestic sector.
And trade policies in the West Indies help to perpetuate this situation.

Since sustained economic growth will require a considerable expan-
sion of the domestic sector, it would seem that structural reform and a
revision of trade policies are absolutely necessary at this stage. The
governments of the region have shown little or no awareness of this
need. Various kinds of institutions, mechanisms and policies designed
to stimulate domestic food production have been introduced in recent
years. Marketing corporations, guaranteed prices, planting subsidies,
settlement schemes, and so on have been established in a number of
territories. But these are unlikely to bring about any appreciable
change within the existing framework.

On the other hand, policy reform and structural change will be
difficult to implement since numerous transitional problems would be
created. Nevertheless, it would appear that there is little or no choice.

Department of Economics,
University of the West Indies.


W A. Lewis, "The Shifting Fortunes of Agriculture: The General Setting.
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of Agricultural Economists.
(Mysore, India, September 1958; Oxford University Press, 1961). pp. 1-2.
H. B. Chenery, "Development Policies and Programmes, Economic Bulletin for
I.atin America, March 1958. p. 67.
4. F. Dovring "The Share of Agriculture in a Growing Population, FAO Monthly
Bulletin of Agricultural Economics and Statistics, August September, 1959.
5. E. M. Ojala, Agriculture and Economic Progress (London,
6. T. W Schultz, The Economic Organization of Agriculture (New York, 1953).
7. Colin Clark, Conditions of Economic Progress (various editions, london).
8. FAO, "Agricultural Incomes and Levels of Living in Countries at Different Stages
of Development," The State of Food and Agriculture, (Rome, 1959). p. 126.
9. Ragnar Nurske, Problems of Capital Formation Underdeveloped Countries
(Oxford, 1953).
10. A. K. Cairncross, "The Contribution of Foreign and Indigenous Capital to Economic
Development" in The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development, International
Journal of Agrarian Affairs, April 1961. p. 78.
B. F. Johnston and J. W. Mellor, "Agriculture's Contribution to Economic Develop-
ment," Food Research Institute Studies (Stanford University) November 1960.
pp. 348-49.

E. 0. Heady, Economics of Agricultural Production and Resource U'sc (New

E. 0. Heady, "Techniques of Production, Size of Productive Units and Ft
Supply Conditions," (draft manuscript).

14. Ibid., p. 7.

15. Cairncross, p. 99.

16. Govt. of Jamaica, Five-Year Independence Plan 1963-1968 (Govt. Printer, Kingston,

Govt. of Trinidad and Tobago, Draft Second Five-Year Plan, 1964-1968 (Govt.
Printery, Port of Spain, 1963).

The Economics Of Food Crop


IN RECENT years there has in the West Indies been considerable
growth of interest in the possibility of replacing many kinds of
imported food by foodstuffs produced locally. Several reasons seem to
be responsible for this interest. The increasing prosperity of the ter-
ritories and the rapidly increasing population have led to a marked
increase in the importation of food, though at the same time labour
and land within the importing countries have remained unused or
under-utilized. This combination of circumstances has not made much
sense to newly independent countries or to countries moving towards
independence. Why should foreign producers be supported while local
producers (who could produce similar or substitute foodstuffs) are
allowed to suffer? In addition to these powerful considerations there
is the knowledge that the demand for foodstuffs is likely to expand
appreciably, and the fear that the prospects for imported crops are

Indeed arguments for giving serious attention to the possibility
of expanding local food production seem overwhelming.

Most food produced for local consumption has been and is being
produced on small farms, which have commonly been situated on poor
or difficult land, mainly using traditional methods only slightly
modified by modern 'scientific' techniques. The area of land which
can be cultivated with family labour, using hand tools, is strictly
limited. Consequently even when obtaining substantial (aggregate)
yields per acre combined with prices which could not be considered
low by comparison with those obtaining in many other countries, the
incomes earned by the small farm families have been very modest.

The question has naturally been asked: What benefits would come
about as a result of using mechanised systems and other modern
techniques in the production of local foodstuffs? One attempt to
answer the question has been made on the Texaco Food Crop Demon-
stration Farm, situated on the Field Station of the University of the
West Indies in Trinidad. (A similar approach to answering the question
has been made on the Pilot Vegetable Project at Twickenham Park
Farm in Jamaica.) It would seem to be useful to outline and discuss
the approach used in Trinidad, for it has general relevance. The
approach will be illustrated by reference to some actual cases.

The purpose of the Texaco Food Crop Demonstration Farm is to
apply the best methods known to agronomists, in growing food crops
under field conditions, with a view to demonstrating commercially

profitable systems of production which can be more widely applied.
To this end the agronomists, with the help of various specialists, grow
crops in the ways which they consider best. The operations are costed
by the agricultural economist. The results are analysed and discussed
in an attempt to see how the systems of production can be improved.
This paper is mainly concerned with the agricultural economist's
contribution to this exercise. But before treating this, two topics are
worth discussing: one is the effect of an exercise, such as that in-
volving the Texaco Food Crop Demonstration Farm, on the research
workers involved and their work, and the second concerns the relevance
o-f the results to the commercial grower.

As the name indicates it was intended primarily that the Texaco
Farm should demonstrate the benefits of improved techniques of
production. But it is probably fair to say that it has also had to be
used for testing and even evolving systems of production. The reason
for this is that most of the improved techniques had not been tried
before under commercial-type conditions. They had previously been
employed only on a very small scale under closely controlled con-
ditions, and had been assessed from a technical or scientific rather
than a commercial or economic point of view. On the Texaco Farm,
in contrast, they are being used as part of a system of production,
under field conditions, on a relatively large scale and assessed for
their effect on economic returns.

It is hardly surprising that some techniques are found to be
wanting. Problems have emerged as urgently requiring research, which
had hitherto not been regarded as crucial. In addition to drawing
attention to crucial problems ,for research, the experience on the
Texaco Farm emphasized the necessity for co-operation between
workers in different disciplines: the breeder, the agronomist, the soil
scientist, the pest and weed control specialists, the agricultural en-
gineer, the agricultural economist and the extension man.

There can be little doubt that a project such as this helps to force
the pace in developing better practices for use by farmers. But does
it really help to produce usable and useful farm practices?

Modern scientific methods embracing an extensive degree of
mechanisation, on flat land, may appear to have little relevance for
most of the farmers in the West Indies. It must be admitted that such
an approach is very different from that presently employed on most
farms. It also seems to be true that farming in the West Indies will
not meet the farming population's needs unless the farming under-
goes -fundamental changes. May not the systems developed hold
promise for the future of West Indian farming?

This argument may, in general terms, be plausible but where,
for instance, will the flat land-which is seems to assume to be avail-
able-where will this come from? I do not presume to say how this
land should be made available, though in several islands there are
considerable areas of flat land and some land which could possibly

be terraced into flat land. I personally am not prepared to accept
that food crop production, even by small farmers, must continue to
be confined to the hills.

Another line of argument might be that the results from the
Texaco Food Crop Demonstration Farm would inevitably be much
more favourable than the results which could be obtained by humble
farmers. Fortunately there is still, apparently, considerable scope for
improving the financial returns from the systems. The scientists' best
efforts in the earlier stages of developing a system may be readily
attained by ,farmers, given adequate training and resources. It can
also be argued-as it has already been by some small farmers who
visited the Farm-that they can surpass any returns made, if only
because they exercise a much closer control on the use of labour than
is achieved on the Texaco farm and because they can work the labour
much harder.

Yet another criticism could be that the systems have been de-
veloped under particular conditions and so they would not apply else-
where. This is an extreme conclusion but it is clear that the systems
developed do need to be tried out under different conditions and
adapted or, if necessary, abandoned and replaced by others. There is
certainly need to introduce the systems carefully on ordinary
commercial farms.

By way of introduction to the discussion of the approach to
analysing the economic results, it is useful to mention the basis of
costing. The method used is known as the 'Gross Margin approach'
It involves accounting only for the specific or Variable Costs of pro-
ducing a crop, which are set against the gross value or Gross Revenue
of the crop: the difference being called the Gross Margin. Thus over-
head costs are not included. The underlying theory is that a particu-
lar crop which is part of a -farming system is not responsible for,
and cannot therefore usefully be charged, a arbitrarily calculated
share of the overheads. (Thus if a crop occupying one-tenth of the
land on a farm was withdrawn, one-tenth or so of the overheads would
not necessarily be saved by not growing the crop, so there is little
point in charging it, say, one-tenth of the overhead costs.) Though
certainly the sum of the Gross Margins for all the enterprises would
need to cover the total overhead costs for a farm to be profitable.

The approach is generally considered to be a convenient and
simple means of analysing simple problems on the relative profit-
ability of individual enterprises and practices.

An interesting example is a crop of sweet potatoes which was
harvested during late 1964 and early 1965. The Gross Revenue (or
total value of production) from 5 acres was 323, while the cost of
production was 394. The Gross Margin was the difference between
the two figures, a deficit of 71, without contributing anything to
overhead costs. Clearly sweet potato production with such a system
of production was unprofitable.

Table 1. Returns from Sweet Potato Production, by Variety:
Texaco Food Crop Demonstration Farm, 1964-65

(3) -
(1) (2) (1) (2) (4)
Gross Total Gross Yield
Variety Revenue Variable Margin per acre
('s) ('s) ('s) (Ibs.)
'A' 135.21 91.44 43.77 12,583
'B' 70.35 78.81 8.46 6,999
'C' 51.71 76.16 -24.45 5,787
'D' 44.40 76.97 -32.57 6,104
'E' 21.25 71.07 -49.82 3,500

All g6-ggg 394.45 -71.53 34,973

Average of
all varieties 64.58 78.89 -14.31 6,995

But a closer examination (see Table 1) showed that the returns
varied greatly over the five varieties grown. Thus at one extreme while
one variety incurred a negative Gross Margin, or loss, of over 49, at
the other extreme another variety produced a positive Gross Margin
of almost 44 from a similar acreage. The reason for the widely differ-
ent level of returns was due largely to the very different level o.f yields
obtained from the different varieties, with the same method of pro-
duction and at similar cost except for the rather higher costs of har-
vesting higher yields. The effect yield can have on level of profit-
ability is strikingly illustrated by these figures, but how far the yields
in this particular case reflect the inherent yielding capacity of the
varieties under the conditions obtaining, is a question which needs
additional data.

The case of the most profitable variety of sweet potatoes may also
be used to examine the scope for cost reduction as a means of increas-
ing profitability.

Table 2. Relative Cost of Components of Variable Costs of Producing
Variety A of Sweet Potatoes: Texaco Food Crop
Demonstration Farm, 1964-65

Total of
Labour Tractor Materials All Variable Costs
(Cost ('s) per acre)
58.71 11.4 21.31 91.44

(Proportion (%) of Total Variable Cost)
64 13 23 100

Since labour was responsible for approximately 64 per cent of the
total Variable Cost (see Table 2) labour costs deserve priority. Of the

operations on which labour was used, harvesting, collecting and grad-
ing took most time (see Table 3) Within this complex of operations
comparatively little labour was used actually on harvesting-which
was done mechanically-but considerable time was spent in collecting
and grading. The possibility of reducing this time obviously deserves
careful consideration.

The second highest item of labour cost arose from turning the
vines once per month. This involved 121 hours of hand labour. Is such
a practice necessary, and even i.f it is, need it be performed so fre-
quently? The practice is apparently widely used by sweet potato

Table 3. Amount and Cost of Labour Used in Producing 5 Acres of
Variety of Sweet Potatoes: Texaco Food Crop Distribution
Farm, 1964-65.

No. of hours Cost of Labo0- Proportion of
Proportion of of labour ('s) Total Labour
Cost (%)
Land preparation 8 0.98 2
Collecting plants 40 4.21 7
Planting 55 5.71 10
Fertilizing 30 3.15
Pest Control 51 5.33 9
Weed Control 65 6.73 11
Turning Cuttings 121 12.65
Harvesting, Collecting and Grading 189 19.46 34

All Operations 559 58.72 100

producers in Trinidad and it has been argued that under wet con-
ditions frequent turning is necessary to avoid the vines rooting at the
nodes, with the effect of reducing yield. The experimental evidence in
support of this contention is, apparently, slight. But even i-f there
was overwhelming evidence that yields were decreased, a reduction in
the frequency of turning could still be justified if the saving in cost
was more than the loss of value in production. In this instance there
may well be a conflict between technical and economic efficiency. It
would also seem that experimental work is called for to elucidate the
relationship between turning and yield, and its economic implications.

Other operations were also responsible for considerable labour
costs: namely, weed control, pest control, planting, collecting plants,
and fertilizing. Apparently there was not much scope for the reduc-
tion in the cost c.f weed control, though pest control costs might be
reduced a little by the use of mechanical rather than hand methods.
The mechanisation of planting did not seem feasible in the near future
so did not offer a means of reducing costs. The collection of planting
material was unusually expensive for this crop because it had to be
done specially from the source of the new varieties some distance
away, rather than more cheaply from nearby, as would normally be

the case in an established farm. Finally, in this connection, it should
be possible to reduce the cost of applying fertilizer substantially by
spreading it mechanically rather than by hand.

Working through the items in this way has served not only to
demonstrate the general approach to cost reduction, with its interaction
with yields, but also to illustrate the more particular point of the
possible conflict between desirable practice to maximise physical yields
and alternative practice to increase economic returns.

One outstandingly successful example of the adoption of the
approach is provided by Irish potatoes. Before the 'Dry Season' of
1964, Irish potatoes had been grown in Trinidad only on small ex-
perimental plots. But in 1964 one acre was grown under field condi-
tions. The results were financially disastrous. Costs of about 227
produced a crop worth only about 118. The heavy loss-of more than
one hundred pounds-was attributed to the low yields obtained and
the large amount of labour used which had a very low productivity.
Measures were devised to raise the level of yields considerably and
to reduce the cost through cutting down on the labour used.

In the next crop while the yield was not increased the cost of
production per acre was reduced by almost one-half, and a heavy
financial loss was replaced by a small surplus. The improvement was
largely due to labour saving: whereas 584 hours of labour had been
used to grow one acre of potatoes in the earlier crop, in the later
one only 276 hours were used. The mechanisationn of harvesting, irriga-
tion, planting, and .fertilizer application, were mainly responsible for
the savings. (If yields can be increased, without increasing costs pro-
portionately, a crop which it was once thought could not be grown
in Trinidad could well become a commercial proposition for Trinidad's

All the discussion of costs has, so far, been on a per acre basis.
Is it not preferable to quote the cost of producing a unit, such as a
pound, of a particular crop to facilitate easy comparison with the price
which is also quoted on a per pound basis? It is indeed useful and
convenient to relate cost to a unit of production, so as to facilitate
comparison with price which is quoted on a similar basis. But it is
misleading to divorce these from the volume of produce involved. A
low volume of production cannot produce a satisfactory income even
if the cost of production per pound is well below the price per pound.
This line of thinking helps to explain why farmers complain about
prices although the prices of their products may compare very fav-
ourably with those in many other countries. A man who has to support
himself off a couple of acres needs ,fantastically high prices to enable
him to make a reasonable living from the small volume of produce.
The alternatives are either to increase yields per acre greatly or,
where this is not possible, to work a substantial area of land. The
latter alternative requires less reliance on hand tools which restrict
the area he can cultivate and the employment of mechanised means
of production on rather larger areas.

With sound information on the economies of food production
systems it becomes possible to plan realistic policies for increased .food
production. The scope for expansion can be considered in relation to
the productive demand for food. The resources required in the pro-
duction process (including labour, suitable land, knowledge and skills,
and capital) and the services required to provide the resources and
to market the product, can be assessed. Measures to regulate imports
in such a way that they do not prejudice to an unnecessary or undue
extent consumers' interests while allowing the healthy expansion of
local food production, can also be worked out.

Both national policies and individual farmers' problems can be
helped by a better understanding of the economics of production.

Department of Social Science,
University of the West Indies.


The empirical material included in this paper has been drawn from
work done in connection with the Texaco Food Crop Demonstration
Farm. The work on sweet potatoes was undertaken by Dr. Hugh
Walker (with the assistance of Miss Shirley Thomas) and by Mr.
Patrick Haynes, while the work on Irish potatoes was carried out by
Messrs. T. Chapman and H. A. Squire, and Dr. Hugh Walker (with the
assistance of Miss Shirley Thomas) and by Mr. Patrick Haynes.

The West Indian Novelist:

Prelude and Context

THE FACT that a society is producing novels and poems does not
mean that it has a literature. Two hundred pages or so of exhausted
prose do not constitute a work of imagination; a hundred and fifty lines
of leaden blank verse is no sufficient guarantee of the existence of a
poem. Most of us have a self-preserving instinct for cliche and are
therefore perfectly willing to see our prejudices, our conventional views
of experience, presented to us between hard covers. The simple fact
of publication, we are apt to believe, is the token of achievement. Yet
when we talk about 'the Victorian masters', for example, we should
recognize that what we are judging to be a developing manifestation
of genius is in fact a very small proportion of the amount of fiction
published in the nineteenth century. So at what point then, with what
justification are we entitled to decide that a particular writer belongs
to a literature, and that another is trapped in the dismal prison of
contemporary fashion, and that another is merely vending trivial,
temporary or vicious assumptions? I remember when I first read one
of D. H. Lawrence's novels. I was sixteen at the time and sitting alone
in a railway compartment. I had very seriously the sense that I was
the object of Lawrence's intention in the writing of Sons and Lovers.
My response to the book was hopeful, ardent and confused. But I seem-
ed to understand that life would never present quite the same surface
again. I do not retain this as a mature critical judgment (though it
had its appropriateness at the time). And with the rather strident
self-importance of adolescence painfully in my mind even now I am
awed by the insolent proprietorship I established over the book. The
point is that Lawrence's novel penetrated the fabric of understanding
I had so far made out of my experience and insisted upon perceptions
and means of realisation that had not occurred to me before. I
remained an adolescent but not entirely the same one. Obviously my
sense that I had taken possession of the book was mistaken: the rela-
tion depended on the alternative terms. If a reader succumbs to
cliche I suppose he is entitled to argue that his experience is the same
as mine. Someone who is overwhelmed by Georgette Heyer is not likely
to see very much in Jane Austen. But the meanings are different and
are not, in any case, capable of objective proof. The bases of argument
and conviction are within the consensus of responsible critical dis-
cussion. For instance, when G. H. Lewes rebuked Charlotte Bronte for
her radically Imperfect response to Jane Austen his concern was to
attest to the enduring significance of a great artist. Much of Charlotte
Bronte's work, though it can be judged an enterprise of heroic dimen-
sion, is confined within the specialised post-Romantic sensibility of the
1840s, and within the limitations of a conventional moral outlook. One

thinks of the proposal scene in that inert classic Jane Eyre and of
the moralist's nemesis inflicted on the hapless Mr Rochester. It is
true that the roots are in Charlotte Bronte's own emotional peculiarities
and these find expression in melodrama and a rather brutal morality
She remains emotionally coarse because of her inability to remain
wholly truthful to her artistic conscience. By comparison one thinks
of the visit to Sotherton in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park or the Box
Hill episode in Emma. Both illuminate the moral complexities of
experience. Charlotte Bronte, however, hardly seems to recognize that
they exist.

Or take the following stanza from a Jamaican poem:

Through whispering shades do you stricken run
Alone, alone, beloved one?
And are you lost in mist and rain
The earth unknowing of your pain?
And if you call none give reply,
None give reply not even I -
Not even I, beloved one?

A comparison with Thomas Hardy is barely plausible but we might
look at it in comparison with a verse from Hardy's After a Journey.

Hereto I come to view a voiceless ghost;
Whither, 0 whither will its whim now draw me?
Up the cliff, down, till I'm lonely, lost,
And the unseen waters' ejaculations awe me.
Where you will next be there's no knowing,
Facing round about me everywhere,
With your nut-coloured hair,
And gray eyes, and rose-flush coming and going.

Hardy's poem was written after the death of his wife, and after he had
come fully to realise the subtle meannesses she had intruded into their
relationship. The poem does not, however, contain anything of the
retrospectively self-righteous, anything of posthumous condemnation.
His endeavour is to try and understand what his feeling is. The slightly
awkward diction and the rhythms that move from the poetic to the
near-conversational enforce Hardy's gently ironic honesty in his
attempt to understand the ambiguous nature of their mutual living.
The Jamaican poem is simply an incantatory blur of conventions.
Hardy's puzzled, shifting movement involves us in an effort at truthful
understanding. This, we feel, is what coping with experience is like.
The first poem offers nothing but the willing tearfulness, the co-
operative instinct for effusion, of the sentimentalist. After a Journey
is a poem of significant intelligence the other is a piece of self-
indulgence. It is not a creative participant in a literature. Herman
Melville's expression 'the shock of recognition' may be adopted to
describe a situation in which writer and reader are profoundly and
enduringly available to each other. That meeting place of proffered
and accepted experience is what we might describe as 'a literature.'

It is necessary to begin in this way in trying to describe some of the
circumstances of contemporary West Indian fiction. No claim on behalf
of its 'greatness' can yet be responsibly made. It is possible that we
will never be able to make such a claim. But it seems to me that the
work of West Indian novelists since 1949 justifies reference to 'a
literature,' even though much bad fiction has been published and will
obviously continue to be. It is, however, an inescapable irony of the
colonial situation that bad writing can, in an obscure and perverse way,
comprise a revealing commentary on local experience, or at least of
attitudes towards it. This does not mean that in discussing colonial
writing there must be a suspension of critical effort. Bad writing must
be clearly identified as bad writing otherwise one simply prolongs (with
a high degree of meretricious and therefore destructive geniality) the
experience out of which the writing has come. But the uniqueness of
the West Indian situation must be grasped otherwise discussion of local
writing will become evasive and futile. It must be remembered, for
instance, that standards of critical judgment and critical honesty are
the product of old, secure and confident cultures. Indeed in the West
Indies itself the critical function has no welcomed and sanctioned
presence. And no useful analogy can be drawn with the experience of
post-Revolutionary America. In spite of the acutely perceptive aware-
ness of loss on the part of (say) Fenimore Cooper, Hawthorne and
Henry James, the Eastern States did, when we consider the West
Indian context, constitute an embodied culture. The important
American writers were not obliged to create a literature out of the
impoverishment, the humiliation and the self-doubt that are the pre-
scribed allotment of the West Indian. What the American writers can
supply, however, is the example of a rare integrity The West Indian
writer is peculiarly vulnerable to the prejudices of his society, exposed
to the temptation of a basic conformity of feeling. The dread of isola-
tion, which seems to me to haunt the West Indian imagination, can
easily overpower personal understanding and commit the local writer
to the assumed and accepted pressures of his community The great
American writers withstood them. Hawthorne, languishing at Salem,
might appear an exception. But whatever degree of self-deprecating
irony Hawthcrne conveys when he summons his Puritan ancestors he
does at least have ancestors to summon. When the West Indian writer
plances over his shoulder all he can perceive is an anonymous mass of
suffering. And there is Mr. V. S. Naipaul's grim observation in The
Middle Passage:

"History is built around achievement and creation; and nothing
was created in the West Indies."

Naipaul has his own appropriate private nightmare to inhabit. Yet he
is describing here at least the residual consciousness of even the most
mature West Indian. At times there is an air of rather fabricated
melodrama about The Middld Passage experience seems too easily
to incorporate itself into Naipaul's assumptions. But the irritation his
book aroused in the area when it first appeared (and the hostility or
suspicion the mention of his name invariably produces) are a curious

guarantee of his accuracy as an analyst at least of an emotional atmos-
phere. The present writer is frequently informed, for example, that
Naipaul's sociology is "all wrong," that he "doesn't known the society."
The point is that he precisely gauges its fears about itself. This is
borne out in the tendency of many West Indian intellectuals and
artists to manufacture a known and more or less comfortable world in
which they can try to identify the problems both of themselves and
their society. There are the powerful, confident estate owners of John
Hearne's novels and the insistent ways in which his writing tries to
draw attention to roots, to a past. There is George Lamming's invoca-
tion of the 'peasant' concept' as the determinant in West Indian writ-
ing. There is the attempt on the part of even so fine a mind as that of
C. L. R. James to make a culture hero of Alexander Hamilton. There
is the rather glib identification with African movement that dancers in
Jamaica attempt. At a sad and frivolous level it can be summed up in
an encounter at a party where a guest asserted that his family had
been farming in Jamaica for three hundred years. His family came
to the island, apparently, towards the end of the nineteenth century.
When Henry James spoke of a society with a rich complex of manners
as the necessary field for the activity of the novelist he expressed a
peculiarly American need. But if we modify James' observation to
mean a ribbed structure of circumstance and tradition, felt and avail-
able social materials, then the dilemma of the West Indian writer
becomes clearer.

West Indian literature is a bootstrap literature. When the local
writer attempts to survey his past little more can be present to him
than a long and bloody history of systematic and incompetent exploita-
tion. Greed, power and the restless individualism of sixteenth century
Europe were the forces that brought his world into being. You can-
not in the West Indies proffer, say, Raleigh and Hawkins with the
nimbus of dedicated heroism to which an English schoolboy is usually
accustomed. If one tries to account for the discrepancy between the
numbers of slaves brought to the West Indies and the size of Negro
populations now, or tries to understand why there are large Indian
and Chinese communities in the area, then one encounters the bedrock
poverty of the West Indian past. What American writers judged to
be the sparseness of their society would be accumulated riches in the
West Indies. The American colonists, after all, severed a political con-
nection: they did not frustrate a natural cultural commerce. There
has never been such a commerce in the West Indies. The West Indian
has never been invited to join the group and consequently Europe has
only been available to him on terms of a very specialised irony. (The
finest awareness, in the West Indies itself, of just what this means is
to be found in the poetry of Derek Walcott. "As well as if a manor of
thy friend's. The line from Donne is disturbingly poignant
coming at the end of a poem entitled Ruins of a Great House.)
Reviewers in England, however, largely failing to realise what this
means are given to rhetorical talk about "an exciting racial complex"
as though this were the explicable and comprehensive dynamic. In
fact the West Indian novelist does not know enough about himself or

the varieties of race in his area to make a commanding imaginative
statement. What is easily seen in England as the stimulus of racial
mixture presents itself in the West Indies as the reflex of frequently
defensive irony. What he confronts as an artist is not so much the
imposed and brutalising handicap of colonialism as the absence of
positive cultural resources. The distinction here may seem illusory -
the one is the inevitable consequence of the other. But I am at the
moment more concerned with the role of artist than with the artist
simply as experiencing agent. For instance, I can think of no West
Indian writer who has presented as impressive a sense of the destruc-
tive, predatory nature of colonialism as has Conrad. One remembers
the warship shelling Africa in Heart of Darkness and the account of
the operations in the mines. As a person the West Indian writer is an
inextricable participant in the experience of his society and the
experience of his society is not simply one of prolonged inhumanity. It
is also the contemplation of barrenness, of a context as negative as
Mr. Forster's Marabar Caves. It isn't simply a matter of, for example,
Conrad's obvious superiority to any contemporary West Indian writer.
It is a matter also, exile though he was, of the richer possibilities of
Conrad's cultural circumstances, the prompt availability to him of
tradition and achievement.

The novelist in England inhabits (by comparison) a dense world
of critical discussion, of weekly reviews, of shared exchange. He has
the great advantage of relative anonymity in a culture, or rather in a
social context, which is not forced to engage in a prolonged and painful
dialogue with itself. He is not obliged, by the conditions of his living,
to explore the nature of his Englishness. It is present for him in the
achievement of his predecessors. And at the same time tile English
novel is so evidently the product of a high degree of endowed social
awareness. If the social structure of Victorian England had been
different then so would many of the presented and examined moral
interests of the Victorian novelists. I am not attempting here any
crudely Marxist definition. I am suggesting only that the moral
interests of the Victorian novelists bear a clear relation to the range
and quality of their social experience. In the West Indies it is
impossible to evoke an equivalence of texture. There are for example
a number of shared middle class habits in the West Indies, a number
of shared assumptions about behaviour and about personal relations.
But they do not constitute a moral or social style. Social comedy, or
comedy of manners, is virtually impossible, for it is an art which
depends on a subtle awareness both of shades of surface and of impli-
cations. In the West Indies the texture is too thin and in any case
the determining factors tend to be those of colour and affluence. I
have often found in classes (to supply an instance from poetry) that
one of the great difficulties in teaching Dryden and Pope is the in-
ability of the students to grasp the significance in their satire of their
relation with their audience. The confidence which springs from a
relation of shared assumption, the economy of effect that comes from
an instantaneous taking of point and intention on the part of an
audience more or less trained to do it, do not emerge very clearly in

a society which hasn't that kind of confidence in itself and has nothing
even faintly resembling the inescapable social background of so much
English literature. Consequently Dryden is often judged as shallow,
and Pope is seen as inhibited and in some obscure way as 'unpoetic.'
Byron obtains a more favourable response, but then Byron makes so
many strenuous claims on behalf of himself.

I think the representative social experience of the West Indian
novelist (once he has realized for himself that he is a writer) can be
generalised as follows. He is a kind of Messianic spokesman (when
he is taken seriously). He must speak for a nexus of claims and
aspirations of which he is still himself a part. It might seem easy to
argue that all he need do to free himself is saturate himself in the
officially attested exuberance of his society, and reflect the vitality of
its behaviour. ("an exciting racial complex") Some writers have in
fact surrendered to this temptation and the fictive results are depress-
ing. They become purveyors of the self-consciously exotic, the vendors
of an immature, merely picaresque irony that at times can barely be
distinguished from mere unintelligence, and will have their place in
the historiography of West Indian writing insofar as they illuminate
the problems by the very fullness of their failure. It isn't hard to see
why this should happen. If you are trying to write in the West Indies
you are in a curiously exposed position. You will habitually win un-
inspired and ill-directed national literary competitions (conspiracies of
manufactured enthusiasm on behalf of 'the arts'). School- will demand
your frequent (and voluntary) efforts. Friends will lean on your per-
ceptions, you will find yourself invited to be an empanelled judge on
subjects often outside your competence. You will find yourself the
centre of a constricted world. Few societies, I would imagine, require
a more conscientious effort to preserve what you regard as the integrity
of your talent. Your experience will become a kind of battery unit
for the experience of other people. You dread (or you ought to) the
possibility of becoming a veranda lion, a party sage. Finally, you quit
your island and make your way to Europe though even there you are
likely to become involved in missionary gatherings designed to 'explain'
your society and its cultural unfamiliarities.

It is very easy to be facetious or uncharitable about this problem.
But there can be few West Indian writers who have not experienced
it in one form or another. The small, eager literary group that
genuinely means well but soon freezes in its assumptions; the societies
which have a vague connexion with International PEN; the reviews
which appear (occasionally) in the local newspapers. This is where you
are likely to have started from and you preserve for it an inevitable
nostalgia for early charity, for your introduction to a world where the
terms were known, while at the same time you recogrise that your
essential commitment is to something larger and more spacious -- and
something which is bound to entail your suffering. You will know
that the people who helped you will never undergo the sense of loss
and hope and achievement that will be yours. The pleasures of exile,
to borrow George Lamming's phrase will be, for them, little more than

a form of spiritual tourism. You will encounter them again at parties
on the occasions when you return and you will probably find it difficult
to understand what they are talking about.

This is a familiar prelude to the experience of the West Indian
writer and its source is not provincial amateurism but the legitimate
and hungry need for a solid context of endeavour. Hawthorne, after
all, did have his ancestors. The West Indian writer has only the
disparate fragments of his own and his society's experience and an
immense burden of responsibility that is not the necessary lot of the
artist. At the same time his own society is not likely to welcome his
work. It might want to but it doesn't know how to. His work has the
occasional and partisan support of government. If the writer himself
has the appropriate social contacts he might be accorded a warm sense
of belonging. But the real terms of comprehension and dialogue do
not exist. The writer, for example, at public meetings is likely to be
a-ked to comment on the extent to which he is West Indian. Because
the West Indies is not merely in a tragic sense isolated from world
history it is also isolated from world literature. It easily supposes,
for example, that local writing is calculatedly vicious and depraved. It
confuses satire with sarcasm and supposes that irony is another name
for patronage. It is willing to believe that its writers, especially those
long resident abroad, are engaged in some form of conspiratorial
treachery with English reviewers and publishers. It is likely to endorse
the work of those writers who either endorse the cliche of a fifth form
taste for romantic poetry, or who offer their writing as a weapon in an
ill-understood political conflict. Significantly the only important
ironist the West Indies has yet produced, V S. Naipaul, appears to have
taken up permanent residence in England and has refused to be identi-
fied as a West Indian writer. And Naipaul's irony is often elaborately

Within the society itself there is no coherent class structure with
a fertilising mobility. There are simply the maginot lines of colour or
affluence; and behind those lines the self-conscious groups of intel-
lectuals. The only West Indian novel which provides an analysis in
depth of a society is Phyllis Allfrey's The Orchid House. The novel
is set in Dominica, a society frozen into its past. With rich and care-
ful nostalgia, and a penetrating but unobtrusive symbolism, Mrs. Allfrey
establishes the society and the attempt of three young people both to
understand it and break away from it. In political terms her society
supplies the means of its own betrayal. And the meaning of her three
central characters is only available to them abroad.

It is true that after George Lamming's first novel, or after V. S.
Naipaul's A House for Mr. Biswas, an assertion of this kind is open
to responsible challenge. Both these writers, it can be decently argued,
depict a society. George Lamming, in fact, has even argued that the
essential West Indian writer is Samuel Selvon, the master of the
"peasant image." But what both Lamming and Naipaul have in com-
mon, unlikely though the comparison may seem, is that the societies
they separately describe are shut off from any larger, more coherent

world. The experience of their observed people has the suggestion of
a password a means of initiation and a means of exclusion. Neither
Lamming's Barbadian villagers, nor Naipaul's horribly trapped East
Indians are as remote in circumstance and implication as the two
writers are probably willing to believe. Lamming's people are sensually
aware that their experience should not end in itself. Naipaul's are
compulsively hiding the keys to their own prisons. They meet in their
need to make a whole out of a heap of fragments. The chief characters
try to survive under conditions of grotesque underprivilege and are
therefore obliged to make a paradigm cut of the jetsam of what is
available and all of them make the mistake of equating what is
available to them with what is available. Both writers have their own
kinds of awareness of this and the difference between them is the
quality of Naipaul's observant and compassionate irony and Lamming's
inability to decide whether he is an artist or a probation officer. The
meaningful resonance of an expression like "My mother who fathered
me" (from Lamming's book) in the West Indies itself does not have
the kind of spontaneous momentum that communicates in a different
world. Sociologists in England, observing the mores of an immigrant
population, may suppose they have grasped it. Their evidence is likely
to be drawn from the priggishness of the English working class with
whom the immigrants mainly come into contact. But the meaning of
the expression in the West Indies, and its incorrigible effect upon
human relations, is a different matter. Insofar as the field of the
novelist is human relations this may help to explain why the bulk of
West Indian readers are so willing to feel that the local writer's treat-
ment of sexual relations is merely profane. The readership resents
(or encourages for the wrong reasons) any careful examination of its
own cultural patterns. It is hardly surprising then that Naipaul's pre-
dominant mode is irony and that he should prefer to see himself as an
English writer. In a general way his position and viewpoint are easily
understandable especially when one remembers again the amount
of West Indian writing that is produced abroad. But it is possible,
and this is one of the ironies of this kind of colonial writing that he
has not acknowledged (recognition is another matter) the dual role
that is forced upon his fellow writers.

Novelists in the West Indies lack the confidence of a culture either
metropolitan or tribal. They are driven to a degree of explanatory
matter that is not imposed upon the inhabitants of an old and settled
culture. Much of the naivete of dialogue in West Indian novels can
be accounted for thus, and also much of the naivete of English
reviewer's reaction to West Indian writing. They must illustrate be-
fore they can try to explain. This is not because their experience is
unfamiliar or 'exotic' but because the time and the confidence necessary
to create a view of life which is at the same time new and attested do
not yet exist. Naipaul, it would seem, has abdicated from even the
possibility of an eventual tradition of West Indian writing. He is also,
in my view, the most gifted novelist in the British Caribbean. A kind
of logic therefore seems obvious: flight is an enduring guarantee of

It is plain, however, that talent cannot be measured as some kind
of abstract possession. The simple fact of publication presupposes
nothing but a share in royalties. There are no writers that one does
not try to evaluate in terms of their grasp of and interpretation of the
circumstances they come out of. And these circumstances are often
created by earlier writers. For instance, in 1956, a small volume called
A Literature in the Making was published in Jamaica. It was written
by a poet and litterateur who had been ceremonially crowned in a local
theatre as the Poet Laureate of the island. His own verse is largely
pseudo-Wordsworthian and his judgments can command no serious
respect. The point is that eighteen years before a series of articles by
the same writer had appeared in a newly-founded Jamaican weekly
review and with effectively no revision they make up the substance
of the abovementioned book a book still canonised on library shelves,
still proffered to occasional enquirers after "What has been written on
West Indian writing." For anyone who has read the best West Indian
writers in any bulk the inutility of a volume on Jamaican writing is
obvious. Two Jamaican novelists were in fact ignored and so
necessarily was every other West Indian writer. Yet in the same
weekly review in 1940 two other Jamaican artists were contesting pre-
cisely the assumptions that dominate A Literature in the Making. One
artist, the novelist Roger Mais, argues that if you are reading Shake-
speare in the twentieth century with the extravagant ambition of using
him as an example, in practice, you try and understand the nature of
Shakespeare's originality. You do not imitate the varieties of technique
- absurdities are bound to follow. In experiencing the effect of a
major writer, the argument ran, you try to understand the quality of
his enterprise within his context. The West Indies is probably one of
the few societies in the world where this kind of discussion can take
place (it still does) The enduring meanings of quality and stature
do not decide themselves, but they are more easily stabilised in societies
where the business of definition is an act of imagination. In societies
where they have not simply a different meaning but virtually no mean-
ing at all beyond their insisted application to class and colour, the
process of humane evaluation is bound to appear more naive.

In other words the examination of a colonial literature entails
initially the comparison of possibility with possibility, of understanding
with the materials that prompt and assist it, not value contrasted
with value. For value shifts as societies change. We are all aware of
the constellation of Irish writers at the end of the nineteenth and the
beginning of the twentieth centuries. We have all read Sir Walter
Scott, Dylan Thomas, Hugh McDiarmaid, Sidney Goodsir Smith and
so on. But it is very easy to forget the silences that their presence
ought in fact to illuminate. It is even easier to forget the different
procedures of repression. West Indian writing, because of the very
circumstances out of which it has come, obliges us not to revoke con-
cepts of quality but to re-examine their meaning. Mr. Marius Bewley,
for example, in The Eccentric Design makes an articulate case on
behalf of Fenimore Cooper. Perhaps he forgets the extent to which
history is consolidating what he judges to be there. Occasional English
6 *

reviewers in the 1840s were mistakenly writing Cooper off as a sort of
backwoods Sir Walter Scott. Cooper was naturally angry and Mr.
Bewley ignores the charge. But no reader of Cooper, whatever his
sense of Cooper's difficulties and worth, can wholly deny that the
charge is valid. The challenge of West Indian writing, then, is not
that of deciding whether George Lamming is turgid or whether John
Hearne writes about the wrong people. The critical question, to begin
with, is whether their writing is faithful to the reality they suppose
themselves to depict. It is not a question of special categories. To
create them is to recreate in a metaphysical form the original condi-
tions. What is required is a fresh understanding of the social and
personal conditions of value terms so that an enduring and available
meaning can be created.

The point calls for stress insofar as the chief themes of West Indian
writing are easily forecast. Though in putting it this way I might seem
to be annihilating the relevant core of what I want to say. The themes
are "easily forecast" in that writers in a colonial or ex-colonial situa-
tion are going to be self-consciously concerned with questions about
themselves and their experience that arise almost spontaneously out
of the moral and political pressures of their communities. I say "almost
spontaneously" because the writer will usually find himself in advance
of the habituated assumption of the mercantile, professional and
plantocratic classes upon whom responsibility will be imposed after the
departure of the British. The local writer is naturally likely to insist
that what he is really concerned with is a particular problem in human
relationships. If his claim to be a novelist has any just meaning, then
of course he is. But he cannot disengage his problem from its parti-
cular context and its context is not just his society, it is the degree
of his comprehension of it. This is perhaps the major problem that
confronts the colonial writer. Unless the novelist is speaking to his
immediate contemporaries, which in the West Indies itself is hardly
i.et possible, he must make common meaning out of experience which
peculiar and local. Let me suggest a relevant instance. "Time," in
a colony nearing independence, or recently become independent, moves
Pt an accelerated pace, at least for the intellectual and the artist.
The emotional context in which the writer is working will alter far
more swiftly and dramatically than would be possible in Europe or
in America unless you happen to be a negro. The writer may be in
voluntary exile, and he may find his territory independent and for him
these two experiences are not dissimilar. His sense of the dramatic
possibilities of experience will radically alter. At least twice in
Jamaica alone I have heard two writers (both of them under forty)
refer to the "younger writers." As this was what I had regarded the
writers themselves as being I was puzzled until I recollected that they
were addressing a University audience. The existence of a local Uni-
versity, distributed among three islands with additional local Extra-
Mural centres, is a guarantee of a degree of local meaning, of local
confidence. It is hard to imagine the situation before (say) 1952. Only
one significant talent has yet come out of the University, but my point
at the moment is that its existence eliminates the need for an indefinite

sequence of "pioneers." Graduates will continue to go abroad, but
their experience will not be the same as that of their predecessors. They
will have an official framework for their intent. And in the West
Indies, in the absence both of a tribal structure and a conception of
manners, visible frameworks, visible meanings, even if they happen
to be official ones, are important. The experience of "abroad" will
remain crucially significant but the graduate will never have the sense
of poignant isolation which in large measure entitles people who are
slill under forty to regard themselves as a special generation.

The other sense in which essential themes are easily forecast is
harder to define clearly. To begin with one is faced with problems of
cultural impoverishment and failures in personal sensibility that can-
not easily be separated. And the precise point at which one is a con-
sequence of the other requires very careful examination. In colonial
societies in particular terms which do have genuine meaning are easily
demoted into slogans. The slogans can be embodied with more than a
huckster's assertion, but it is fatally simple for experience of a special
order to do easy and ready substitute for a mature grasp of the
experience itself. Exasperated Englishmen in the West Indies have
often said to me "This business of the search for an identity it be-
comes a sort of tarpaulin cliche for anything anybody thinks they feel,
or ought to feel." Naturally. If these are merely provisional terms for
definition in societies which have for so long been without them, then
the charlatan has a hopeful future. In the main the society lacks both
the time and the inclination to make sharp discrimination within and
about itself. And when, as an Englishman, you are faced with what
you judge to be a totally fraudulent reputation your task is not an
easy one. You can indulge in an unwitting cruelty simply because you
fail to understand that the inability to make a true imaginative com-
ment on the part of this or that writer may be the consequence of a
complex of circumstances that you yourself profoundly deplore. The
failure is not necessarily the result of imaginative coarseness or emo-
tional insincerity. In locating what you regard simply as a failure in
sensibility you may be dealing with the historical and emotional con-
ditions which help to make the failure inevitable. After all, what about
the writers you really think are saying something important?

No doubt I seem to be contradicting myself, or raising a previous
issue, or possibly both. The issue is not so much about what is cheap
and fraudulent and what is not it is never so very hard to make up
one's mind about that. The issue is about the experience which under-
lies different kinds of failure, and the varying capacities of individual
understanding. There is, for instance, a Jamaican novel which con-
sists of little more than invective, illuminated by temporary moments
of compassionate understanding. These moments need to be carefully
distinguished from self-pity, for to be black is not to be automatically
welcome in the West Indies. But the novel seems to me to be directed
almost entirely by a naive, retributive malice rather than by any
creative desire to explore the context and the pressure of humiliation
and underprivilege. Though the West Indian novelist has little more

to fall back on than purely subjective reactions, highly vulnerable to
the immediate pressures of local insistence, without the helpful per-
spectives that a larger confidence can supply. Irony and saktre, as I
have said, have an air of the abnormal in the West Indies.

In putting it this way I must appear to be making a large con-
cession to patronage and to an irritating kind of tolerance. And neither
of these can be of any advantage to a nascent literature. But I think
that I am really anxious to direct attention towards a special kind of

A novelist like James Baldwin, for example, can annexe himself to
a creative tradition that has nothing as such to do with the intimate
and challenging problem of being a negro in a society marked by barely
credible lack of privilege. Indeed, the tradition deepens its fictive
possibilities. To the extent to which Baldwin can grasp and use the
experience of earlier American writers he is better able to record his
understanding, as an artist, of the tragedy of his people. This comes
out very forcibly in the essay in Notes of a Native Son in which he
describes his visit to a conference of African writers held in Paris. He
felt himself to be an American perhaps in spite of the acrid ironies
that must attend that conviction in America itself. The West Indian
writer, living in a society which by official intention and in some
measure by practice gives the black man a dignity which is not avail-
able to him in America, is culturally far worse off. It seems clear,
then, that questions of "value" must not be watered down to suit colonial
convenience. There is an original problem.

Another predictable theme in West Indian writing is colour and the
scale of prejudices which go with it. And in the main, the fictive
treatment of colour by the local novelist is disappointing. I mean
simply that too much fiction is either manifestly bad, or merely states
the self-evident. It is true that the West neither has. nor probably
needs, a novelist like James Baldwin. But whereas in Baldwin's case
it can be responsibly argued that his experience as a negro gives him
an original kind of awareness there is no West Indian novelist with an
equivalence in sensibility. The quality of British colonialism is in
important measure to blame for this. It is not the instinct of the
British to share their identity with the societies they either take over
or invent. The British impose a degree of moderately efficient
bureaucracy, instil some convictions about law, and leave it at that.
They do not attempt to persuade the colonial that he has a place, that
he has significant membership within, the metropolitan culture. (It
took the British working class long enough to inform its rulers that
it had a right to the implications of Civis Brittanicus Sum. In fact it
took it so long that it constitutes a major impediment in racial under-
standing now.) This kind of institutionalized impoverishment is
immensely exacerbated in the West Indies a society whose original
inhabitants have almost entirely disappeared to be replaced by en-
forced expatriates, i.e. slaves and their descendants and those occasional
beneficiaries of the termination of slavery, the Indians and the Chinese

No other complex of societies for which the British have been respons-
ible can offer equivalent experience. It is not simply the fact of oppres-
sion, nor of an Induced sense of inferiority. The means of cultural
definition were never encouraged to exist. They were never felt to be
necessary. Some of the consequences of this are predictable. Jamaica,
for instance, is making a fairly sustained attempt, with the encourage-
ment of Government, to discover the culture of the Arawak Indians
who were the original inhabitants of island. But the enterprise is
necessarily factitious partly because the Arawaks, as far as is known a
simple, gentle people, were not entirpated entirely by the colonial
masters, and partly because there is nobody in Jamaica who can claim
anything more than a museum relationship with the Arawaks. The
meaningful legacies in Jamaica's history are the slave chains and the
mantraps preserved in the Folk Museum. Arawak remains, as so far
uncovered amount to little more than burial pits and refuse dumps.
These are presumably of some interest to the archaeologist but they
are hardly sufficient for an original cultural re-orientation and defini-
tion. On the other hand colour and the historical and contemporary
indecencies which go with it are essential facts of West Indian life. No
writer can finally manage to avoid them.

And yet in a way they are avoided, partly because of a factitious
quest for origins, and partly because of emphatic recourse to cliche. A
number of writers indulge in what can only be described as anthropo-
logical assertion with nothing behind but the limit of possibility. The
symbolic integrity of, for example, V S. Reid's The Leopard makes
novels like Sylvia Wynter's The Hills of Hebron or Frank Hercules'
Where the Hummingbird Flies look like prescribed fantasies. When
we are told that simple Jamaican cultists feel the historical loss of the
spear and the coalpot, the developed ritual of West African tribal life,
we are dealing finally with the author's subjective requirements and
not with the rewarding detail of genuine observation. It is clearly
dangerous for an Englishman to offer strong disagreement with the
implications of this kind of manufactured background. But my point
is that the background is little more than a circle of stage fire. It is
emotional decor rather than the felt substance of experience. And at
the level of sociological observation it hardly fits the facts of Jamaican
cultist behaviour. We are dealing here with an enduring irony in the
context of West Indian writing the tendency of history to rearrange
itself at the behest of whim and limitation. Talent alone is insufficient
when the society itself lacks the advantage of a traditional coherence.
There is not even an agreed matrix desperate loyalties exist among
the writers themselves. It is therefore easy for the writer to take
refuge in illicit inventions about experience, fantasies which gain a
degree of legitimate currency because of the density of unspoken
aspiration which lies behind them. This is not a healthy situation for
the production of a literature and it seems reasonable to suppose that
permanently major talent in West Indian writing will consolidate it-
self on the debris of ephemeral reputations.
The basic challenge, then, confronting anyone who attempts to
comment on the achievement of West Indian fiction so far is to recog-

nise an at least temporary ambivalence in the use of value judgments
one had previously taken for granted. Or, if not an ambivalence, at
least an elasticity of interpretation. This is partly a consequence of
some of the circumstances I have attempted to describe, and partly a
consequence of a reading of those circumstances. It doesn't mean that
"value" must undergo a process of tolerant adaptation. It means that
we have first to come to terms with the available roots of value. One
parts company here with the experience and perception of Henry James
- at any rate as an inevitable companion in the West Indian scene.
We have to realise that James was exceptionally well-endowed in ways
that are not available to the West Indian writer. This was partly a
matter of James' own family background, but more importantly James
could go to Europe and absorb himself in a culture which welcomed
him, so to speak, in advance. The white American was never colonised
imaginatively and James could meet (say) George Eliot, not as an equal
perhaps but certainly as a fellow-practitioner. The West Indian writer,
even when his verse is read in Dover Street, cannot do this. George
Lamming's account (in The Pleasures of Exile) of a literary evening
with the ICA reads rather like a deliberate refusal to indulge in special
pleading, and therefore it is a mode of special pleading. Buit at least
it gets across a reaction which is both understandable and valid. James
never manifests that curious blend of self-complacence and inferiority
The West Indian has not so much been taught to feel inferior. Simply,
it was the atmosphere in which he and his people were born and
developed. In England he is apt to be haunted by a consciousness that
addresses him in dissonant accents. More is at stake for him than his
role as artist; who he is and what he looks like are enforced roles.
He will not be explicit about this in his own territory at least not if
he intends to remain in it. He is much more likely to cohabit with the
re-iterated slogans that make up its political life that emanate from
its centres of power. Or he will dominate the small, self-conscious
network of middle class personal relations that abound in a small
society. This is one of the reasons, in fact, why the pleasures of exile
are likely to be more or less indefinite. The comparative anonymity
of English life can have the pull of a magnetic attraction. Living in
the West Indies is apt to have the effect a sunray lamp might have on
a lizard you can bask in the glow without realising that you are
being shrivelled. The uses of imagination, it would seem must be
learnt abroad. In this peculiar way the overlord culture can be forced
to yield up what it never supposed mattered.

Department of English,
University of the West Indies.

Mathematics For Children Speaking

Jamaican Creole

IN ORDER to appreciate the peculiar nature of the difficulties
here, it is essential to understand something of the over-all linguistic
problems which are faced by the dialect-speaking community of
Jamaica,-difficulties which must be analysed and remedied if
education is to increase and advance at the rate which we all as a
community demand.

The Problem: The basic language difficulty experienced by teach-
ers, employers, technical instructors, consultants, business organizers,
and such trained personnel in dealing with persons whose language-
experience is mostly dialect, falls into three major areas of form and
content in language: (i) Sentence structure: This is fundamental to
the whole problem, and is the most difficult to deal with. The syntax
of Jamaican Creole is not that of Standard English, and the gram-
matical categories and practices of the one cannot be transferred
direct to the other. Both are complete systems of expression, according
to their respective cultural and environmental needs. But as in many
areas these cultures and environments do not overlap, the attempt
to forge a language link in vacuo is exceedingly difficult.

For the teacher of mathematics, the problem is that the ordinary
speech of the dialect-speaking child does not contain the same type
of logic-structure which Standard English contains. This does not
mean that such a form of speech is incapable of containing organised
patterns and progressions of thought which may be described as
logical, but that these will be inherently different in pattern from
the logic-patterns of Standard English. Both types of speech empha-
sise some aspects of existence, and ignore others. For example,
Standard English favours complex sentence patterns, wherein a
single utterance contains numerous sub-parts linked together by con-
junctive elements. Jamaican creole uses few conjunctive words, and
-favours a sequence of simple sentences with only the most limited
and fragile of linking words. The result is that the Standard English
utterance of this kind can hold within itself subtleties of sequence
and consequence, of comparison and contrast, of condition and
special limitation, which the Jamaican Creole structure would have to
set out at length in a series of simple sentences loosely strung together.

(ii) Morphology: This is related to structure, .for it embraces all those
elements in standard English which are added to the roots of words
to change their meaning in some way or other. To this area belong
all the suffixes of verbs by which they express, tense and number;
this also affects number in nouns, and the contrast between adjec-

tives and adverbs. Most important of all to the teacher of any tech-
nical subject is that this is also that area of language by which subtle
distinctions of meaning may be expressed by a simple alteration in
the form of a word. Thus inscribe/circumscribe/describe have a speci-
fic relation to each other, and their relationship with each other is
contained in one's recognition of three prefixes of contrasting meaning.
The same is of course true of such groups as gradual/graduate,
verb/verbose/verbal/verbalize, approach/approachable, angle/angular,
and so on. Jamaican Creole uses a few of the common inflec-
tional suffixes of Standard English, or else it has easily recognizable
equivalents, such as the pluralizing suffix 'demr' (the mango-dem-
the mangoes) But it has very few of the specialized affixes which are
largely used in the formulation of technical, academic, and philoso-
phical concepts in Standard English. Hence, not only are these methods
of word-creation and extension unfamiliar in themselves to the
dialect speaker, but they do not correspond to any similar system in
dialect, and must all be learnt by rote.

(iii) Vocabulary: This follows inevitably on (ii), and is a problem which
we all know only too well: most of the vocabulary of academic pur-
suits does not exist at all in Jamaican Creole. Not only are the affixes
alien to the child, but the key words of the new experience are totally
strange, and again, express no idea or notion already formulated in
Jamaican Creole.

I might perhaps be able to put the problem in perspective by postu-
lating a number of imaginary situations. In the first, a Spanish-speak-
ing teacher, with English as a second language, is explaining the
concept of congruent triangles to Standard English-speaking children.
The structure and morphology of Spanish and English, though super-
ficially different, allow for the same type of logic-structure. Both
contain specialised academic terminologies based on Latin and Greek
which allow transformations of individual words along recognized
patterns. The teacher merely passes from one type of expression
system to another which is equipped with equivalent patterns.

In the second system, a lecturer in philosophy is presenting
Western European notions of cause/effect and sequence to a Malayan
audience. While the languages of Europe are full of notions of time
expressed in complicated verb-structures, time is expressed in Malayan
as a relative and circumstantial feature of experience. Experience
itself is an all-embracing whole, in which notions of futurity, time
past, time present are contained as co-existing, non-contrastive
features of the whole. Consequently, the lecturer must give his talk
in some European language which is structured to represent this type
of logic, or else abandon the whole project.

The last situation is that in which the audience possesses some
of the basic vocabulary and syntax of a European language, while
still using much of the logical patterns and morphological practices
of some completely unrelated language. In this case, the audience will

follow the European speaker only so far as their language practices
remain in common; they will seek to interpret what is alien to their
thinking in terms of their own language, and will either disregard in
entirety what does fit their own usage, or misinterpret what appears
to resemble their own practices.

It might be useful at this point to recall nature and the history
of Jamaican Creole. This term covers the speech of village communi-
ties unaffected by mass media or urban influences; it is extremely
conservative, and it also underlies in some .form or other the thought
and speech-patterns of all Jamaicans. In addition to Jamaican Creole,
there are various levels of English-based dialect spoken in Jamaica.
These levels of dialect are conditioned by the degree of exposure to
Standard English which any person or group of persons might have,
and there are consequently enormous differences in range of vocabu-
lary, of awareness of Standard English structures and morphology, in
the speech of native Jamaicans. One powerful factor in the formation
of different dialects in Jamaica is the constant attempt to align S.E.
and Creole patterns. This results in the "ridiculous mistakes" which
make bright the life of the English language teacher, but are pro-
perly regarded as examples of Creole interference in S.E., or else as
hyper-correction, or the substitution of one S.E. form for another,
either because of similarity with Creole practice, or else because
absence of a parallel Creole form leads the speaker into choosing an
S.E. form at random. Hence we find such examples of Creole inter-
ference as lack of concord between subject and verb: "The 'man who
called last night sell in the market every day." "A plan for raising
more and better beef cattle have come to me." Or of hyper-correction
"I try my endeavour best," in which 'endeavour', a semantic parallel
of 'try' is used as an emphatic qualifier for 'best'.

Study of the various West Indian Creoles has revealed certain
actors which are of interest to all persons involved in the teaching
of technical Western European subjects. A great deal of similarity of
structure and morphology has been discerned among these Creoles,
whether they be related to English, Dutch, Spanish or French. It
therefore appears that all these Creoles or slave Pidgins, must have
been originally upon some common form of speech, probably
a coastal West African trading language. This would not have been
the first language of most of the slaves, but would become their
primary means of communication among themselves after transporta-
to the various West Indian islands. This Pidgin would be the nursery
language of their children, and their means of intercourse among
themselves. It is the basis of the Creole now used in rural Jamaica.
It would be limited, and it would have to be extended heavily with
loan-words from the language of the overlord, not only in order to
establish contact with the master, but also to increase communication
among all members of the slave group, whose individual languages
would have become extinct. Of course no formal or academic teaching
of language took place. The original community was probably totally
illiterate, and learnt the new language from non-standard speakers of
English. It has had need for contact with the academic aspect of the

European languages, and it has evolved no internal situations of its own
which demand an academic dialect. While all of the Creoles have had
little difficulty in satisfying their needs for more vocabulary by taking
words from the language cf the master, all have preserved the basic
syntactic and morphological patterns of that common speech now
hidden under the vocabularies of English, Spanish, French, and Dutch.
And it is against a language background of this kind that many
Jamaican children make their first contact with grammar school

If one is to ease the problem of communication in the teaching of
highly technical and formal subjects to dialect-speaking children, one
must recognize and make ceaseless efforts to overcome the following
(i) Technical vocabulary: This will be a constant and ever-increasing
problem to the child, for progress in the subject will demand not only
the mastering of logical concepts, but the training of the memory and
analytic faculties to handle a totally alien vocabulary. The teaching
of the vocabulary of mathematics should be a matter of prime concern.
Often children are inhibited not simply because the individual words
of some theory are unfamiliar, but even more because they are used
in an unfamiliar fashion. Thus one child of twelve who was told to
"describe a circle," set about laboriously to work out a verbal descrip-
tion of a circle. This was a child with a practical turn of mind whose
performance in 'mathematics was completely ruined by an inability to
-follow the novel complexities of English.

(ii) Logic and the language of the text-book: For dialect-speaking
children the language of the text-book represents a series of alien
patterns and complexities of utterances which place a great strain on
their capacities of understanding and analysis. Many children come
to terms with the unfamiliar jargon of mathematics textbooks by
memorizing the terminology without comprehending the rationale
and the analytic proses that underlie every specialised term. There-
fore, if memory fails, the child has no process of reasoning to fall back
cn, and worse still, new principles which depend for their compre-
hension on a fully conscious and controlled understanding of other
principles, are beyond the grasp of children depending solely on the
functions of non-analytic memory.

Another difficulty which such children have in grasping theo-
ries expressed in purely academic terms, is that many of
these theories seem to the child to be conceptual rather than per-
ceptual. In other words, the 'mathematical proposition is abstracted
from the world of the child not merely by being couched in awkward
end unfamiliar terms, but by the fact that the whole shaping
and orientation of the proposition has no practical and perceptible
bearing on the child's vision of reality. For example, many children
at this age have trouble in conceiving of the nature and properties
of a parallelogram. Their environment is full of rectangles, but few
parallelograms. Therefore, the concept of the parallelogram becomes
a purely textbook item, an esoteric and unreal thing. Even such trans-

formations of -familiar subjects such as the pane of a louvre window,
from rectangle to parallelogram signifies nothing; the mind registers
such apparent changes of shape as a purely visual accident, contra-
dicted by a permanent and concrete reality, which is the usual
rectangular shape of the window-pane.

Now dialect or creole, whatever we choose to call it, and what-
ever level of Jamaican speech we decide to use as our H.C.F., is
essentially a language philosophy and language-culture which con-
cerns itself with concrete matters. In it abstraction of the kind which
makes up the technical language of philosophy and the sciences is
almost totally absent. While metaphor and various types of irony, in-
nuendo, satire, and so on-processes which are closely related to the
abstractive verbal formulae of scientific terms-are powerful features
of colloquial Jamaican speech, yet these for the most part are still
preoccupied with commentary on the surfaces of things, on the upper-
most and most obvious aspects of existence as construed in physio-
logical, emotional and social terms. It takes an act of imagination and
ach lInguistic and philosophical sophistication to pass from this to
nonsoc;al, non-emotional, non-physiological observation of things
environmental such as is the essence of mathematics. The step, there-
fore, by which the dialect-speaking Jamaican child must pass from
one type of perception of environment to another, is hampered by the
fact that a double effort is involved: the primary effort to translate
the syntax and vocabulary of academic diction into patterns which
he understands and the second effort, which is to relate if possible
what he has understood with his personal awareness of his

Environment and language: This is primarily a matter for the
educational psychologist, but it impinges so closely on the matter in
hand that I cannot afford to ignore it. Because the normal language
of so many children in Jamaica is not that of the classroom and the
textbook, a number of serious psychological problems can be created
the child's personality and in his response to academic subjects.

(a) Frustration: This is a general heading for what may be a
number of types o.f situation, all evolving from the same cause. In
general terms, the success in the subject mathematics may become
to a child the achieving of success in mastering the language in which
it is couched. This brings me back to the case of the child who was
asked to "Describe a circle," and who spent the whole examination
trying to work out a verbal description of the appearance of a circle.
The child's mind was always halted by the verbal machinery of mathe-
matics; if situations were made real to him in concrete and visual
terms, then he could himself work out the relationships and processes
which determined these situations. This child is now a man of 27, a
successful commercial electrician, a builder of hi-fi sets, and the re-
pair worker of skill, but he is still laboriously and miserably trying to
pass '0' level maths. In his own words: "The words put me off, I could
never figure out what they (the textbook or the teacher) were trying
to say."

Another type of frustration is that of the child who pulls away
from the subject entirely, as he seeks in its verbal make-up for a logic
and a causal patterning which the narrow, inflexible approach and
diction of the standard textbook fail to provide. For the first type of
child I described, the visual element in geometry is in some respects
the least difficult aspect cf mathematics; for the second child arith-
metic may be easiest, as it is set out in terms which are perceptual
rather than conceptual. But the problems of both types of child would
be greatly reduced if more use was made of visual aids in presenting
mathematical principles in such a way that children could observe the
physical, working reality, rather than accept and memorise concepts
quite out of their experience.

Because the step from the concrete presentation of a problem or
theory is a difficult one for some children,, they should be trained in
working back themselves from the concrete to the theoretical, and the
precise and specialised diction with which they are expected to express
mathematical arguments and information should be constantly pre-
sented to them from, as early as possible, and made real to them from
as many points of view as possible. They should be made to discover
for themselves the principles which constitute the mathematical
approach to one's environment. For example, infant education ought
to include guided play with graduated blocks and corresponding shapes,
so that the handling of these varied objects might give young children
a sense of shape, volumes, and correspondences which could be worked
upon later. This avoids much of the purely linguistic presentation
which thwarts so many children, and adds to the experience of the
child material which can then be worked upon imaginatively and

The inhibiting and frustrating effect of an over-verbalised, jargon-
ridden presentation of mathematics to the dialect-speaking child may
also sometimes have the unhappy result of encouraging the child to
see the words and terminologies as an end in themselves. Without any
logic to support their awareness of theory, such children will merely
make use of the diction of mathematics without any conception of
underlying patterns of thought. They will regard the acquisition and
u'e of terms as a sort of reward-winning ritual, and if their memories
are good, they will probably pass 0 level. They certainly used to make
a P in Senior Cambridge. But they will never know how or why they
did anything. They will be incapable of going any .further in under-
standing for a variety of reasons, one of which is that their worship-
ful attitude towards formalised terminology paralyses both reason and
imagination, and without the free function of these mental faculties
no one will go far in most disciplines, least of all one so abstract as
mathematics. This is perhaps the subtlest and most ruinous kind of

(b) Success and reward: This is closely related to frustration, and
again is more a matter for a psychologist. I mention it because -for
children with difficulties such as I have described, the need for achiev-
ing success and the confidence that goes with it, is all the more acute.

For some of the types of frustration arising linguistic barriers which
I have mentioned, there is no real hope of reward or success until the
barriers have been overcome, and this victory is in itself one of the
greatest triumphs of child and teacher. The greater the sense of
inadequacy, of remoteness from the subject, of logical and linguistic
inhibition, the less capable does the child feel of ever coming to terms
with the subject. He may either reject it as useless, irrelevant, or
erect it into a horrible and unmanageable nightmare.

The ideal situation .for the teaching of mathematics in a community
such as ours would be to combine the teaching of English with the
teaching of mathematics. For example, much of the rationale of the
terms in mathematics would be appreciated by the child if he were
learning English word-structure at the same time as learning mathe-
matical principles couched in those terms. Much of the diction of
mathematics is based on Latin roots and affixes, all of which have
precise meanings and functions which should be made real to the
child if he is more at ease in the terminology of mathematics. It is
not simply enough to know by remembering. One must know by under-
standing, and an extra effort must be spent in helping dialect-speak-
ing children to understand the terms which they will have to use.
While visual aids will always be a significant and valuable part of
teaching linguistically embarrassed children, they should not be thought
of as the end and total system of getting across difficult points. For
finally, one desires the child to be intellectually and imaginatively in-
dependent and competent to formulate, reason, and construct for
himself. To leave him without an adequate linguistic tool would be
to teach him to creep, but not to walk or run. For thought is disciplined
and formulated by the patterns of language in general and extended
and bodied forth in the content and *form of words. Therefore the end
of teaching this subject should be to equip the child with a command
of language which will give a real mastery of his subject.

I would now like to touch on a number of examples taken from
th well-known textbooks used in secondary schools here. The first
is one from which I suffered myself, Durrell's famous Elementary
Geometry. The opening paragraph of the first chapter reads thus:

"Solid. Any object which has at any 'moment a definite shape is
called a geometrical solid, e.g., a match-box, a tennis net or a sponge.
Most solids are irregular in shape. There are some simple forms such
as a cube, cuboid, sphere, cylinder, prism, cone, pyramid which must
be recognized by name, when seen. Models of these should be avail-
able and some of them should be constructed, in thin cardboard."

Now not only are the special terms, cube, cuboid, sphere, etc. un-
familiar to any child, but this terse little definition is couched in a
form which is remote to both language and experience of dialect-
speaking children. The teacher does of course provide a link between
the child and the textbook while the class is in progress, but when
there is no teacher, or when the slow child is afraid to ask for the
seventh re-statement of some point, then language such as this is

the child's last source of aid. One would suggest that children, dic-
tionary in hand, be made to put into their own words phrases such
as "at any moment" or "definite shape" or "irregular in shape", for
behind these apparent simplicities are problems of perception and
language usage which are not normal in dialect.

Some of the examples from Exercise One read as follows:
Name three objects which are approximately spheres.
Name two objects that are such that all their surfaces are

The word approximately may be quite remote from the )vocabulary of
the eleven-year-old, and it will create an appearance of linguistic
difficulty which is the last thing one wants. Often pne finds in such
situations that First and Second former complain that the words are
too hard', and they try to attain a competence with the topic in
hand by somehow avoiding proper comprehension of the words. In
the second example it is the sentence structure that would be un-
familiar. The connective phrase 'such that' is not used in Creole, and
while the child would probably follow the general sense of the example,
the odd formulation would make him grasp the point slightly more
slowly than an S.E. speaking child. One effect of this is to make the
child seek for short-cuts of some kind. Another is to plunge deeper
into embarrassment and confusion.

In Stage B of the textbook we come across this oral exercise:

"The time indicated by a clock is ten minutes past nine; when
you next look at the clock the time is 9.33, and when you next look
it is 9.40. Draw a figure showing roughly the three positions of the
minute hand, and mark the two angles it has turned through. Is its
first position in the same straight line as the last position? What is
the total angle it has turned through? What can you say about the
two separate angles turned through?"

This dull; the whole presentation is uninspiring and, to the
child, verbally awkward. I do not suggest in anyway, by the way, that
children should be taught in the dialect to which they are accustomed;
that would be undesirable and perhaps even more difficult than teach-
ing them S.E. But I insist that constant allowances must be made
for the fact that their usage of S.E. is not easy and fluent, and one
of the ways this -can be accomplished is to make sure that exercises
are couched in simple, vivid language which will appeal to the
imagination and arouse the child's interest in his environment.

Ways of arousing interest and response to environment: As far as
language is concerned, it should in the early stages be always related
to some visual or actual experience, so that the child can follow the
transition from the actual to the verbal symbol himself. Children
should be drilled orally in the description of processes and situations-
e.g., the properties of a cube or pyramid-so that verbal expression in
the terminology of mathematics becomes part of their normal speech-

ha-bit. In as many ways as possible, the experience of mathematics
should touch on and involve the environment of the child, in its emo-
tional, social, and material aspects. And this must be done boldly and
consistently. Substituting some local object, such as 'mango' for
'apple' or 'peach' in an exercise is not what I mean. All aspects of
daily living are fair material: household objects and utensils, toys,
school furniture, streets, buildings, vehicles, social situations, history,
geography, natural sciences, the plastic arts, even literature and music,
-all of these may be described and made use of in the patterns of
mathematics. For one desires to train an attitude, not to train a
compartmentalised competence. And this narrow approach, this com-
partmentalisation of response, understanding, and imagination is one
of the most common and most dangerous features of education in
general in this country. This does not show necessarily in school ex-
amination results. It shows in university and college performance, it
shows in professional abilities, in fulfilling the duties of citizenship,
in parenthood. And what one is shown in these different aspects of
human life is a tendency to inflexibility and narrowness of mind, a
worship of the textbook and the printed word, a refusal to look out-
side of one's own discipline, profession, or occupation into other fields
of activity which are relevant to one's own life. Mathematics as much
as any other academic discipline, has the duty of conveying to its
novitiates the wealth o.f experience of things human and material
which it does embrace; it must also indicate correspondences and re-
lationships in this experience which will prevent it from ever being
the nightmarish obstacle race which is has been for so many Jamaican
Points of variation between Standard English syntax and dialect
usage which affect response to textbook language:
1. Sentence structure: This is the simple sentence in Creole, and
often the content of some theorem or proposition must be conceived
of as a complex, with parts simultaneously affecting parts. Practice in
the description of such theories, etc., in simple sentences should assist.
2. Inflection of verbs, and tenses: Dialect uses hardly any of the
numerous tense types and inflectional forms of S.E. It has the simple
Present: mi eat banana, mi eating dinner, mi a eat dinner. These are
inflectionally unlike the corresponding S.E. types. The past is some-
times the same in form as the present: Im beat im daata. (He used
to beat his daughter, he beat his daughter, in contrast to S.E. present:
he beats his daughter) Sometimes a past participle is used for the
simple past: im gone a Kingston, im dead last year, but most often
the forms are the same, and tense is told us in the context of the
Number is not expressed :in the form of dialect verbs: She gaan,
dem gaan (she has/is gone, they have/are gone).
Voice is again a semantic and contextual matter in dialect. It is
never expressed in the form of the verb, as in S.E. Most verbs are in
or appear to be in the Active Voice in dialect. An S.E. utterance such
as 'Tom was beaten by Peter' will be transformed to the Active 'Peter

lik Tom' Or the auxiliary is simply omitted. 'The cake is now ready
to be eaten' becomes 'Di cake ready fi eat now'
Nouns: These are usually not inflected to show number unless it
is contextually very important, in which case tht suffix 'dem' is usually
added, e.g. di mango (sing. or plu.) in a di basket; di same mango-dem
ina di basket now.
Adjectives and Adverbs: There is no inflectional difference between
these in Creole; 'the gal eat good', 'the good gal eat her dinner.'
Connective words: These are conjunctions, prepositions and some
adverbs. They are extremely important in formulating argument, and
the paucity of these introductory and linking terms in dialect is one
of the major reasons for the failure of children to follow beyond the
first one or two stages of theoretical postulation. Drill in the use of
these implements of argument, in conjunction with visual aids, seems
to me the most hopeful line of action.
Lexical items which differ from everyday S.E. usage.
The examples which follow may have already been mastered by
the dialect speaking child, and the mathematical usage simply con-
fuses the meaning already established in the child's mind. Even if
this is not so, both the, form and 'meanings of these terms belong to
a specialised technical language quite remote in form and behaviour
from what the child is accustomed to. It can be readily seen that
teaching the terminology of the subject, in the fullest sense, must be
fundamental to all instruction in that subject.
complementary supplementary describe inscribe power
dividend progression prime *factor like unlike simplify
product positive negative expression directed number acute
These are a few of the terms which such children would find
remote from their own usage.
In closing I wish to suggest that the difficulties outlined in this
paper hardly affect the brilliant child to any degree. It is the average
and below average child who suffers moat, especially if he combines
a weakness in 'mathematics with a weakness in language usage. Very
often such a child is unable to state his difficulties, having neither
enough language to follow what is happening, or to explain to his
teacher the nature of his confusion.
The only solution to the problem of teaching technical subjects
to dialect speakers is to establish some real co-operation between
teachers of language and teachers of other subjects. This union
would be of great value to both sides, freeing language teaching of
the emptiness and sterility which it too often displays, and drawing
the technical subjects into an area of understanding and usage which
will make them less difficult to approach and handle.

Dept. of English,
University of the West Indies.