Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Front Matter
 A selection of contents from past...
 Editorial notes

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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    A selection of contents from past issues
        Page 5
    Editorial notes
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
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Full Text

'I 8

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DEVELOPMENT Wilfred L. David
9 THE BICYCLE LAMP Gloria Escoffery
6 (i) The First West Indian Novelist Charlesworth Ross
11 (ii) Economic Aspects of Food Availability
in Jamaica G. L. Beckford
E. A. Brown

68 The West Indies in 1837 Joseph Sturge &
Thomas Harvey
71 Quashie's Reflections Inez K. Sibley
74 To John Bull, with Hate

J. A. Carnegie
Joyce Walker
F. M. Birbalsingh

Vol. 14 No. 4


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.

Pen and Ink by girl age 13.

Copyright reserved, and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden

Editor: Director of Extra-Mural Studies,
University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
The Editor is advised by an Editorial Board, consisting of members
of the University Staff.
Single copies can be obtained in the West Indies from booksellers
or from the Extra-Mural Department in any territory.


We regret that it has become necessary to revise the subscription rate
of this Journal by some small amount. The changes will become effective in
1969 beginning with Volume 15 No.1.
Of course, subscribers whose orders have already been accepted for
1969 will receive their copies at no extra cost.

Until December 1968 From January 1969
(Vol. 14 No. 4) (Vol. 15 No. 1)
8/4d (Sterling) United Kingdom 10/- (Sterling)
8/4d or 52.00 (E.C.) West Indies 10/-or $2.40(E.C.)
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and other countries equivalent
Subscription rates include Postage by Surface Mail.
We are inviting our readers to recommend subjects which they would
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relevance will be gratefully considered.
Fill in the form below and send with subscription to:
Caribbean Quarterly,
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or to the local office of the Resident Tutor in any territory.


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Vol. XIV Nos. 1 & 2

Walcott and the Audience for Poetry Mervyn Morris
Ananse Edward Brathwaite
Dialect in West Indian Fiction Kenneth Ramchand
The Unresolved Constitution Wilson Harris
Upright Man John Figueroa
Jamaican Folk Music Olive Lewin
The Caribbean Artists Movement Edward Brathwaite
The Predicament of the Artist
in the Caribbean Aubrey Williams
Notes and Commentary:
The Fine Arts
Walcott on Walcott
iii. The Jamaica School of Art and Crafts
iv. Sparrow and the Language of the Calypso
CAM Comment
v. Bennett on Bennett
Folk Themes in West Indian Drama Cecil Gray
The Dream on Monkey Mountain Derek Walcott
The Dance as an Art form Rex Nettleford
The Little Carib and West Indian Dance Beryl McBurnie
Towards a West Indian Criticism Edward Baugh
The Waiting Room Wilson Harris Joyce Sparer
Controversy A Correspondence G. R. Coulthard &
Mervyn Morris

Vol. XIV No. 3

Puerto Rico and Tourism
Poem Ten Cent Respect
Male/Female Conflict in Calypso
Notes and Commentary:
Radio for the Community
Development of the Dairy Industry
in Jamaica and Barbados
Book Reviews:
Principles of Education.
Elsa H. Walter
Ealing Introductory Course
in Spanish
Christophe. King of Haiti,
Hubert Cole

Robert C. Mings
A. S. Hodge
J. D. Elder

H. P Morrison

D. T. Edwards

Don G. Wilson

Julio Ariza

J. A. Borom6

Editorial Notes

DR. WILFRED L. DAVID of the University of Guyana contributes a paper
on the relationship between democracy and economic change in developing
territories delivered in February of this year at that University.

MISS JOYCE WALKER of the Department of English, University of the
West Indies, is the author of a stimulating enquiry into the theory and practice
of English Literature teaching at G.C.E. 'O' level and in training colleges. She
also comments on a small volume of anecdotes in Jamaican dialect recently
collated and printed in the Island.

MR. B. C. LAWRENCE, graduate student from Manchester University
examines critically the theory and structure of Jamaican Local Government.

MR. R. W. DANIEL, writing from London, offers a poem which seems to
suggest that the Colonial experience after all, is still with us.

MISS GLORIA ESCOFFERY, painter and teacher, demonstrates a growing
and popular concern with the work of artists and educationalists in the West

MR. CHARLESWORTH ROSS, solicitor, journalist, author and anthro-
pologist. recalls on a lighter note an aspect of these islands' colourful past
the Governments of tiny Redonda.

DR. G. L. BECKFORD and MR. E. A. BROWN permit us to print a paper
originally presented at the Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health in the
Caribbean held at the U.W.I. earlier this year.

MR. JAMES CARNEGIE, teacher and critic reviews "The West Indies in
1837" a work he describes as-"a classic piece of 19th century journalism"

MR. FRANK BIRBALSINGH, Guyanese graduate of the U.W.I. currently
studying in Toronto, observes some West Indian novels and novelists with critical

Democracy, Stability And Economic


THE TRADITIONAL view of developing territories presents the problem as
basically one of lack of investment represented as a scarcity of total output and
income. Given the low level of per capital real income characterising these
economies, the model assumes that average and marginal consumption propen-
sities are high, that savings are low and that the formation of new productive
capital is therefore restricted. The low level of capital formation in turn sharply
restricts the rate of growth of real output, and allowing for population growth, a
tendency towards static equilibrium results with no growth in per capital real
output and no tendency towards such growth. In brief too much tends to be
consumed and too little is left over for investment; and this situation in turn
perpetuates the initially low level of income.

No one will deny that an increase in the level of productive investment must
be a pre-requisite for the growth in per capital incomes, but in studying the
process of change in developing countries we should be concerned more with
variables which determine economic development. Economic growth and
development are not synonymous. The former is measured in terms of certain
economic aggregates national income, national income per capital and output.
Development, however, involves structural and institutional changes in the
society. The point is that it is possible to have a high level of investment with
concomitant growth without any real structural and institutional changes in the
economy. Growth may be a necessary condition for development but it does not
provide a sufficient condition for change. Economic development has much to
do with hUman endowments, social attitudes, political conditions and historical
accidents. The main philosophy underlying this paper is therefore that a suitable
political condition or system is a sine qua non of rapid economic change.
Although it may not be considered a sufficient condition it is a necessary
condition in that economic development cannot take place if the political
system or situation is unsuitable. What is attempted here may be termed an
exercise in economic philosophy or political economy in that we explore the
role of the political system in economic change. Our point of departure is the
system commonly termed democracy.


A substantial amount of intellectual capital has been expended in the
attempt to elucidate the meaning of this tricky concept. There is a considerable
number of theories bearing the label "democracy", and it may be useful at the
outset to distinguish some of the kinds of meanings or definitions which have
appended the notion.2 Firstly there is the common or dictionary meaning of
democracy which it has had since the days of Athenian greatness. Democracy is
used in this sense to mean government or rule by the people. It refers to a
method of government and does so by specifying who rules or who makes the
binding policy decisions in a state. A second type of meaning is the technical

definition of the word given to it by specialists such as biologists and physicists
who habitually use it in a fixed sense in their technical discourse. Closely
connected with the two senses mentioned above is the special meaning given to
the term by persons or schools of thought who use the word in a way to suit
themselves as is the case with Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty. The other
definitions of democracy follow a private and stipulative path. To some people
democracy is synonymous with Christian society, to others 'liberty and justice
for all' and still others an economic system of private enterprise or socialism,
while to others it represents an attitude to life or way of life.

What must emerge from any attempt at delimiting the boundaries of the
concept is that there is no systematic democratic theory of society in the sense
in which there are systematic communist or fascist theories. The principles of
democracy in so far as they may be said to exist may not therefore be related by
a necessary or logical connection. They are generally maintained together, but
the acceptance of any one of them does not necessarily entail the acceptance of
all nor does the rejection of one entail the rejection of all. As in the case of the
ultimate principles upon which our ethical judgements are based, it may be that
these principles are intuitively apprehended. We just know what they entail. This
should not be taken to mean that everybody assents to them; indeed,
divergences of view in regard to them are certainly not less marked than in the
case of ethical principles. In so far as these principles exist, therefore, they
require no arguments in their support. Hence if they are questioned by
somebody who wished to deny them, there is no method of proving their truth
which bring conviction to the questioner.3

Some of the principles are political, some ethical, others economic. In some
cases certain ethical or political propositions are seen to be true from which
certain economic propositions follow as their corollaries. In other cases the
position is reversed. Starting, therefore, from the premise that the purpose
of the State is the maintenance and promotion of the conditions within
which the good life for the individual is possible, we may proceed to assert either
that the good life involves such and such elements, and that, if these elements
are to be realized by the individuals who are members of the state such and such
political principles must be accepted by the state. or. we may insist that such
and such political principles must be accepted, if the State is adequately to fulfil
the purpose assigned to it. A basic assumption in our analysis is that the
attainment of the good life in developing countries is to a large extent dependent
on the level of economic development. Put more positively not only is there a
necessary connection between the good life and economic development, but
economic development is the main avenue for the achievement of this ideal state
of bliss.

Although we are not too much worried about putting forward a strict
definition of democracy we shall be using the word to mean two things. Firstly.
we shall be using democracy to mean a political system on which public policies
are made on a majority basis by representatives at periodic elections which are
conducted on the principles of political equality and under conditions of
political freedom. According to this criterion the implication is that the common
people participate in the formation of public policy This is commonly expressed

via the legislative process by means of voting and elections. Democracy in this
first sense is therefore a political system which supplies regular constitutional
opportunities for changing the government officials and the social mechanisms
which permit the largest possible part of the population to influence major
decisions by choosing among contenders for political office. This implies
a number of specific conditions: (1) a political formula or body of beliefs
specifying which institutions are legitimate i.e. accepted by all. (2) a set
of political leaders in office and (3) one or more sets of recognized leaders
attempting to gain office. This constitutes the essence of political democracy.

But behind all systems of politics, including the system of democracy, there
stands the system of economics. All political activity is an expression of
economic forces and vice-versa. Neither the political system nor the economic
system can exist without the other. Also it has been common for each political
system to exist at least in a historical sense side by side with a certain type of
economic system. Democracy of the traditional Western blend has always been
the half brother or sister of the economic democracy traditionally known as
capitalistic democracy or simply capitalism.

Historically the growth of democracy, from the time of the French
Revolution has coincided with a period in which free initiative, and the
competition of free initiatives seemed to be demanded; it was a period of free
enterprise. Economics escaped the bonds of the old State Housekeeping and
became the individualist housekeeping of the system of laissez-faire. The free
political man hailed the free economic man as his peer and co-adjutor. It has
however been claimed that the conjunction was an external and accidental
connection imposed by historical contingencies; that it was a mere coincidence
in time and did not express an internal congruity of spirit. Thus when the times
changed, democracy kept its process and spirit but the new economic system
became one of intervention. The argument here is that so far was democracy
from being wedded to the individualism of laissez-faire that its further
development coincided with the beginnings of effective control of the economic

It can be urged, however, that the connection between democracy and a
policy of intervention is no less accidental or even more accidental than the
connection between democracy and a policy of laissez-faire. It might be claimed
that even if the democratic state wishes to intervene, it must be admitted that it
is so much conditioned by its process that it may tend to intervene slowly and
will be unlikely to intervene largely. Democracy is vowed to the cause of liberty
and liberty, if it has any definite meaning, must surely signify freedom from
intervention, for each individual and group, so far as it can be vindicated and so
far as it can be enjoyed.

The point is not that the democratic state actually fails to intervene. The
democratic state must be free to intervene otherwise it cannot be called free. But
the democratic state will intervene primarily and ordinarily for the purpose of
ensuring the maximum of general liberty. But the intervention to achieve its aim
of liberty limits its intervention. According to Sir Ernest Barker: "it specifies

intervention in a particular form and direction the form and direction of
recognizing claims of persons upon other persons, and making them rights by
such recognition; the form and direction of recognizing the responsibility of
persons to other persons, and making them duties by such recognition. Tied to a
scheme of personal rights and personal duties, which in turn is tied to an ideal of
the freedom of every personality, the democratic state has no absolute or
positive power of intervention; and whenever such absolute or positive power is
claimed and annexed by the state, the democratic system of Government must
necessarily disappear. Plenary intervention whether it is based on the
exigencies of material existence, and directed to an economic reconstruction of
society without respect for persons, or whether it is based on the demands for
national unity, and directed to the formation of a common front at all costs and
by any sacrifice requires other instruments, and another temper, than the
instruments and temper of democracy" 4

We are not therefore concerned with the purely academic question as to
whether countries which have been traditionally called democratic have
maintained a high degree of state intervention or whether countries like the
Soviet Union, China or Cuba call themselves democratic. For our purposes we
use democracy to describe the system which has traditionally existed in Europe
and North America. Secondly we are using the terms "democracy" and
"democratic society" synonymously A society has both a political and an
economic order. We therefore assume that the political and economic system
operate in congruity, that political and economic democracy are sisters. Some
people would prefer to call my system of economic democracy, capitalism,
but this does not alter the conclusions, since the values of the ideal capitalist
system would describe the same set of conditions as would obtain in the econo-
mically democratic system.

At the outset we are confronted with the chicken or egg problem. Does
economic development bring democracy in its wake or is democracy the motive
force for economic change. It has been stated that democracy is related to the
state of economic development in that the more materially advanced a country
the greater the chances that it will maintain democracy The argument runs
something like this. In a wealthy society in which relatively few citizens lived at
the level of real poverty could there be a situation in which the mass of the
population intelligently participate in politics and develop the self-restraint
necessary to avoid succumbing to the appeals of irresponsible demagogues. A
society divided between a large impoverished mass and a small favoured elite
results either in oligarchy or tyranny. The political sociologist Seymour Lipset
has tested this hypothesis. He used various indices of economic development
wealth. industrialisation, urbanization and education and computed averages
for the countries which have been classified as more or less democratic in the
Anglo-Saxon world and Europe and Latin America. In each case he found that
the average wealth, the degree of industrialisation and urbanization and the level
of education was much higher for the more democratic countries. All this may
be quite true but it does not solve our difficulty The view that economic
development brings democracy its wake is usually used for propaganda
purposes to show that democracy per se is a good thing towards which countries
must strive. That is not our immediate interest. We are more concerned with

whether this form of government can add any motive force to the development
effort. The political system in developing countries must not be conceived as an
end itself, but rather as a means to the further end of improving economic
welfare, economic development or simply the good life.

When we view the relationship between democracy and the requirements of
economic development in this functional way, our first problem arises in respect
of the TIME HORIZON for economic development. Considered in its essence,
and according to its own logic, the democratic process involves a double delay of
action the delay involved during the period in which the different policies are
formulated and submitted to the electorate; and the delay involved during the
period in which the eventual compromise between majority and minority is
slowly concluded by a long and arduous trial of parliamentary strength.
Considered as it actually works, under the practical difficulties which are added
to its essence multiple parties, embarrassed and short time governments, the
luxuriance of opposition in parliament and outside the democratic state seems
condemned, at the best to slow motion, except for fitful spasms of activity due
to some driving personality, or some sudden eruption of popular demand, and at
the worst to total inaction. When there is motion it is not steady and in times of
the gravest issues, motion may simply stop. Embarrassed by opposition, the
government is forced too often to struggle for mere existence.

Economic development is synonymous with rapid economic change. The
pace of events and the urgency of issues have quickened in this era partly by
revolutions in physical transport and mental communication, by the closer
inter-connection of states, and the growth of a general temper consequent on all
these changes but accentuating their effects, which demand quick solutions and
immediate answers. The economic development of poor countries must
therefore be related to the revolution of rising expectations which has been
borne in the atmosphere described above. This is related to the purely economic
fact that as long as the level and pace of economic development remain at a low
level, the greater are the possibilities of stagnation, and the more formidable
becomes the task of the economy really getting off the ground, i.e. attaining and
sustaining a rate of economic development which is above that which exists in
the minimum economy This is a variation of the popular Myrdal thesis that
there exists a constellation of forces which interact in a circular and cumulative
causal chain, giving rise to a vicious circle of poverty and stagnation and forcing
poor countries to remain in a low level development equilibrium trap.5

It has been argued that the present level of economic development achieved
by most of the advanced countries should be considered in the light of a long
period of progress. Thus the contemporary developing countries which have
recently begun their developmental process cannot therefore be expected to
reach the level of the developed countries in a few decades. It is further
suggested that there is nothing paradoxical or pathological in the disparity
between them and the developed world. There is therefore no prescriptive right
or general law which states that all communities must develop simultaneously or
equally 6 The view here expressed is that because the economic development of
the now advanced countries took several centuries, the developing must await

their turn and they will somehow arrive at their destination.

Whether or not the democratic frame work will achieve economic
development will depend on what view we take of the time perspective. If, for
instance, it is thought that a shorter time horizon is justified, then economic
development can take place only by introducing certain shocks into the
economy, i.e. the degree of control or command will have to be increased. The
difficulty here is that one cannot argue about the time perspective on a priori
grounds. But it is quite true that no population nowadays is willing to wait for
industrialisation to spread of its own accord, to take the slow method which
brought such countries as Britain and the United States to their industrial power.
So far as economic development and the promise of plenty are concerned the
world has moved from fatalism and laissez-faire to conscious control, forced
investment and other short cuts; and the rate of economic progress can in many
places be rapid only under the severe central direction. It must be admitted,
however, that the method of emergency may not be a safe guide to normal living
and does not seriously weaken the case for democracy although they do indicate
some of the social conditions without which democracy cannot work success-

One of the values normally claimed for a democratic system is that it allows
diversity of beliefs and action and wide areas of choice including the freedom to
choose badly Diversity and variety can result in more of both the good and the
bad. Human freedom has destructive as well as creative possibilities. The matter
can be looked at from two standpoints. Firstly, we may examine the traditional
argument which states that economic freedom is necessary for economic
progress and that the trend in democracies to equality, welfare and security will
destroy and reduce economic freedom and hence block the avenues of economic
progress. This argument is impossible of conclusive proof or refutation: If we
appeal to the history of democracies to refute it by showing that they have been
economically progressive and democratic, we are met with the assertion that
equality and security have been less in democracies of the past and hence the
progress has been greater. What this means is that democracies have been
economically progressive because to a certain extent they were only partially
democratic. If we appeal to the logical or practical implications of a democratic
system that the political freedoms are not necessarily inimical to economic
freedom and progress and that they at least ensure that proposals for economic
change or progress get ventilated the political freedoms are dismissed as only
political, and the argument is then shifted to a re-definition of democracy to
non-political egalitarianism.

But putting aside the historico-logical considerations in so far as democracy
allows unlimited diversity of opinions and economic freedom it may be inimical
to rapid economic change in that there may be some consensus as to the
directions of change. When there are too many views allowed it may mean that
the view which is the right one cannot be implemented. One can see this in the
political sphere. One of the requirements of a democracy is that effective
opposition exists. But the history of democracies both developing and
developed societies has shown that in many cases opposition forces oppose
because they are required by the constitution to do so. Many measures proffered

in the interest of national and rapid economic change might therefore be
criticised so that the opposition might earn its constitutional keep. In short,
democracy might give licence to political parties in opposition so that they can
make political or vote-winning capital of many points which cannot or ought not
to be criticised from a purely development angle.

This state of affairs has a long philosophical heritage and is rooted in the
philosophy of individualism, in what Locke calls a man's "natural rights" and
what John Stuart Mill could have insisted on regarding as his right to explain his
views to all comers on matters of contemporary public importance.

The idea of economic freedom which is inherent in the concept of
democracy may also prove inimical to the quest for rapid economic develop-
ment. This economic freedom can be looked at from two points of view the
freedom of the consumer and the freedom of the producer. From the
consumption point of view the consumer is allowed to buy those commodities
which he desires or wants. The consumer is sovereign. This exercise of consumer
sovereignty may prove inimical to economic growth. Here we may refer to the
now popular concept of the "demonstration effect" and "conspicuous con-

In a democracy the consumer is allowed to choose between consumption
and saving. The amount of savings achieved by an individual depends not only
on the absolute level of real income but also on the ratio of his income to the
superior income level of other people with whom he may come into contact.
When people come into contact with superior goods or superior patterns of
consumption, with new articles or new ways of meeting old wants, they are apt
to feel after a while a certain restlessness and dissatisfaction. Their knowledge is
extended, their imagination stimulated, new desires are aroused, the propensity
to consume is shifted upwards. This point has international import in that the
consumption functions of different countries may be inter-related in a similar
way Human behaviour at the international as well as the inter-personal level
may be affected by the forces just described. The important point here is that
the demonstration effect leads to imitation. Knowledge of or contact with new
consumption patterns opens one's eyes to previously unrecognised possibilities.
It widens the horizon of imagination and desires and is not just a matter of social

New products constantly emerge from the course of technical progress,
which modify existing ways of life and frequently become necessities. In poorer
countries such goods are in the main part imported goods, and not produced at
home. These goods become part of the standard of living, become indispensable
or at least desirable and are actively desired as the standard of living rises. This
tendency has implications for economic development not only from the purely
economic angle but also from the ideological angle as well. One of the
requirements of rapid economic development is the saving of foreign exchange
from imports by the production of local substitutes. This, however, becomes an
almost impossible exercise if consumption patterns are externally oriented. The
change of consumption patterns and habits which are required can come about
only if some degree of radicalism is introduced with the system. This can be

achieved only by stringent control from the central government side. A
democracy cannot guarantee this.

This argument needs further elucidation. A close look at the expenditure
and import statistics of countries in the Caribbean countries would reveal that
the greater part of their consumption expenditure is on imported goods. Import
substitution could be seen as a means of increasing economic development. It is
a means not only of saving valuable foreign exchange but also of giving a fillip to
the domestic production drive, especially in agricultural products. Reduction in
the import leakage can be achieved by quantitative restrictions tariffs and by
re-education of consumers. Because consumption habits are entrenched, the
mere imposition of restrictions and heavy duties are not likely to be as entirely
effective in reducing imports but would rather have the immediate effect of
increasing the cost of living. The re-education of consumers will by necessity
take a long time. But whatever method is used it must lead to a restriction in
consumer freedom; at least the freedom inherent in any pure form of

In a democracy the producer is also given the freedom to produce those goods
which when sold will bring him the greatest profit. The point is not that the
profits maximisation principle does not exist in some form in non-democratic
systems, but that the producing unit is guided in its operations by the price
considerations. The producer in a democracy will produce those goods for which
the price is higher and will reduce production or even stop producing altogether
if the price falls. In many cases there may not be any controlling mechanisms so
that the goods produced may not be the right goods. It is admitted that in a
democracy the state may use indirect incentive measures to direct production
into those avenues which it considers "correct" But in this voluntarist system
the producer still has the last word. His productive practices may be against the
development effort. Economic development requires a maximisation of both
private and social benefits. The possibility of a divergence between these two
kinds of benefits is more real in a democracy than in a more controlled kind of


Democracy is normally associated with a two-party system of government.
Those who adumbrate the merits of democracy as far as it affects economic
development therefore criticise the attempts of bringing economic change by
means of the various One-Party states which have been growing up in African
countries. A position such as this has recently been put forward by Sir Arthur
Lewis.7 Lewis has expressed a strong loathing of politicians whom he
characterises as "rogues" "unscrupulous" "bosses" "power hungry
demagogues" He also passes the verdict that "politicians always seek personal
advantage" (What about economists?) The central error in Lewis' analysis is his
failure to take into account the total complexity of post-colonial societies which
have made it difficult, perhaps even impossible, to establish democracies during
the transition period between independence and the consolidation of the
nation-state. Lewis' explanation for the setback of democracy is that it was due

to "the heat of the moment", but mainly because "the ideas and institutions of
democracy inherited from Europe were inappropriate, and confused and
weakened its supporters. In this exposition Lewis showed awareness of what lies
at the heart of the problem facing developing territories. Yet he does not follow
this up. A more positive analysis ought to proceed along the following lines.

One of the requirements of economic development is the development of
national consciousness. Economic development presupposes the existence of a
nation. Although colonialism succeeded in establishing the political framework
for the nation-state it could not produce the nation in this sense.
Post-independence governments faced with the task of initiating rapid economic
change first of all have to try to mobilise the nation. Nation building has to be
given paramountcy. The essential requirements of nation-building is the creation
of new institutions at all levels. These institutions must modernise the pluralist
society, must be comprehensible to and be capable of being worked by the
people whose interests they are designed to protect and promote. They must
also reflect the traditional methods and cultural ideas of the different
components of the nascent nation. Finally they must be capable of harmonising
the competing ethnic and regional interests with each other as well as the central
government. (If one favours democratic institutions then, of course, one would
want to ensure that they provide for two essential procedures: to ensure free
election of popular representatives to the legislative-making bodies, and the
unhampered right to control or change those representatives).

The process involves simultaneously infusing a national character into and
modernising each separate institution. Because none of the institutions is
suitable for its purposes in the forms inherited from colonialism, they are
meaningless and inadequate in terms of the new development drive. On this one
hand the weaknesses of these governmental organs accentuates internal
disharmonies, while on the other, they fail to provide the post-independence
leaders with adequate machinery for dealing either with the new problems of
development or those inherited from the past. The leaders faced with these
problems and the revolution of rising expectations have no choice. It is in this
atmosphere that the Governmental machinery takes shape. The One-Party State
may therefore be important in the period of consolidation and the building of
the nation-state. It should be pointed out however that the One-Party State can
be authoritarian or potentially democratic depending on whether or not the
One-Party allows for the effective inclusion of the whole population, as is the
case in Guinea or Tanzania.

Many social democrats cringe at the mention of One-Party States, but the
one party in our conception is a means of building the nation-state. Like
democracy it should not be considered an end in itself but from a purely
functional viewpoint. Not only is democracy by its very nature divisive, but
most contemporary developing countries are by their very nature divisive. In
these societies there are tribal groups, language groups, racial and regional groups
which have been very militant in asserting their cohesiveness and independence
from central authority The developing society requires the permanent central
nation-state. The nation-state embodied in the One-Party system is necessarily

important in cases where the nation is in a hurry. In this case the state must take
part in economic planning and a positive investment policy. The power of the
State may also be regarded as necessary to destroy an impeding pre-industrial
social structure as in Russia and China, or to speed up a peaceful transition to an
industrial society.

In developing countries, particularly those which were formerly under
colonial rule, nationalism is a potent force in economic development.
Nationalism may be an integrating force in economics characterized by wide
class and cultural differences between the elite and the masses. For example, the
Congress Party in India under Nehru was known as the "Party of Independence"
and was able to take the leadership in welding together India's many separate
groups into a unified national effort to more rapid economic change. The
experience of Israel serves as another example of nationalism harnessed to
economic development, although in this case the same kind of prior colonial
domination was not involved. Similarly, nationalism, fed by anti-Western
sentiments was clearly a powerful force in the industrialisation of Japan. The
relationship between nationalism and the One-Party State lies in the fact that the
latter is one of the best means of ensuring that the nation speaks with one voice
and acts collectively in the development quest.

It is undoubtedly true that the rise of nationalism in the developing regions
has led these countries to desire a great acceleration in the transmission of the
development process. Nationalism as a motivation for the acceleration of
economic development is, however, a two-edged weapon. On the one hand, it
may be indispensable in motivating old societies in new states to bear the
economic costs and absorb the social changes involved in modernisation, or for
infusing life-blood into new states. On the other hand, in a variety of ways
nationalist motivations may operate to make the inauguration of economic
development extremely inefficient. Nationalism may be a hindrance to economic
development if it requires for national pride such appurtenances as steel mills
without sound economic justification.8

The kind of nationalism which is being referred to here is a positive one
which is responsible for bringing together all sections of the community into one
unified whole. In this sense it has connotations of national self-consciousness,
unity and creativity. But we find in many cases that nationalism in developing
countries has been imitation of other and better-established nations. One result
is considerable diversion of economic resources from productive investment in
economic development to consumption of trappings and symbols of nationhood
elaborate diplomatic bureaucracy, impressive public buildings and other
constructional monuments to national pride. To the extent that the One-Party
State provides the machinery for encouraging this kind of nationality, then it
cannot be operating in the interests of rapid economic change.


The concept of stability has been introduced in this paper because it is
commonly thought that stability of some form, whether political or social, is a

sine qua non of economic change. It is also sometimes assumed that democratic
states are by their very essence stable or have a tendency to be stable. It is
however quite evident nowadays that there is no necessary connection between
stability and democracy. One can find instances of stability/instability,
political and otherwise in both democratic and non-democratic countries.
However the view seems to have gained currency that developing countries,
especially those in the Western Hemisphere, are potentially unstable in the
political sense if the government has socialist leanings. In other words stability in
the political sense is usually defined to suit the conveniences of external
sources. The question of political instability is a primary case of external
definition of internal issues. Stability like democracy is a difficult term to
define, but we all know what it means. It connotes a system or state of affairs,
an atmosphere, a calm, a quiet, which like peace in general, signifies a state of
equilibrium and balance. Its main feature consists in the kind of co-existence
among all the parties actively involved in the running of the national economy;
just as one talks about peaceful co-existence among the various sections of the
society whose efforts are supposed to bring about economic progress. In fact
stability means more than mere co-existence where the parties involved have
conflicting interests, but they agree, each in his own interest to refrain from
open conflict. Its main feature consists in full co-operation between the parties

If we assume that some optimal quantity and pattern of productive
investment is necessary for both economic growth and development, then the
factors determining the "investment climate" are of paramount importance in
determining this flow of investment. In studies of factors limiting American
private foreign investment, for example, four broad reasons for the generally
unfavourable investment climate abroad are stressed.

(a) the imbalance and dislocation in trade and currency relationships
leading to controls over the amounts of and purposes for which capital
may be invested and the rate at which earnings and capital may be
(b) economic nationalism in the developing countries, accompanied by
unfavourable reactions on the part of the public and domestic business,
and by an increasing stringency and number of controls by governments
over the entry and conduct of foreign investments.
(c) insecure and unstable political and social conditions which cause
uncertainties and lack of confidence on the part of investors.
(d) low levels of economic development as reflected in inadequate basic
facilities, shortage of trained labour, lack of allied industries and
shortage of local venture capital.

Economic development is the field of work in which the dependence of
economics upon its sister social sciences appears in a supreme degree. The
advancement of underdeveloped territories is far more than an economic
problem. Stability political, social or industrial must be considered one of
the more important conditions for the achievement of economic progress. As in

the case of a democracy it is a necessary condition, though it is not a sufficient
condition for progress.

It needs emphasising that the problem of stability raises a problem similar to
that encountered in the case of democracy. In many cases one is not sure
whether stability must precede economic progress or whether stability can be
achieved only after a significant and sustained degree of economic progress has
been realized. The fact that instability in some form is prevalent in many
advanced, and I dare say democratic countries seems to suggest that perhaps
economic progress can be achieved even in the face of instability. However, it
could be argued that the presence of instability in many progressive countries
does not necessarily show that instability may not be harmful to the economic
effort. For substantial economic progress might have been made possible only in
those periods of development when there was calm and quiet. In such a case we
may argue it depends on whether the instability describes a situation of
deep-seated unease rather than a superficial guide to the state of affairs prevalent
within the economy.

In conclusion, even if it is stated that some degree of stability is necessary
for sustained economic progress, stability is not necessarily inherent in the
democratic situation. In fact the close study of the so-called democratic
countries would show that through their history they have thrown up problems
of social divisiveness, inequality, insecurity and related problems.
Non-democratic countries may be unstable in the purely literal or conceptual
sense in that they have been defined as unstable or conveniently assumed to be
so. Thus One-Party systems which may be necessary for economic development
'annot be dubbed, of necessity, unstable.


The peoples of most underdeveloped territories have been until recently
subject to Europeans, have been impressed by their power and therefore have
adopted many of their methods, ideas, concepts of government. Among these
are ideas such as democracy, freedom, socialism and communism. To a certain
extent therefore the real question is not whether that form of political or
economic organisation will provide the motive force for economic development
but what is good for a particular developing country after consideration of its
peculiarities and national characteristics. In this light it may be agreed that many
of the steps required to recondition the environment in favour of development
are steps which cannot be avoided if there is to be any development at all,
whatever the ideological standpoint. Yet paradoxically it is difficult to achieve
consensus about the required steps, precisely because the society is imprisoned
by the difficulty it finds in avoiding an external definition of internal issues.
Virtually every proposal for reconditioning the environment is interpreted in
terms of international ideological constructs which introduce largely irrelevant
side issues. The following quotation would therefore apply with equal relevance
to those who would want to introduce either the democratic or undemocratic
ideological construct.

"The greatest problem (of developing societies) is that of the impact of the
import of organisation on domestic organisation. The import of organisation is
the prime characteristic of a colonial society. It imports political organisation
and from the mother country it frequently imports religious organisation and
education organisation through various sources, and it imports economic
organisation from foreign corporations. Up to a point, this may be quite
desirable, especially in the early stages of development. The danger, however, is
that the import of organisation frustrates the development of domestic
organisation. Dependency becomes a habit of mind Even though political
independence may be a will-o-the-wisp in the twentieth century, psychological
independence is not. Domestic organisation may be an infant industry which
needs to be protected against fierce competition from imports."9

However, notwithstanding the point that these ideological constructs are
foreign in origin it can be claimed that they are not necessarily suited only to
foreigners whether they be Russians, Americans, British or Chinese. For these
ideologies might have arisen among foreigners for reasons which have nothing in
particular to do with their natural aptitudes. But looking at the matter from a
quasi-historical viewpoint it was firstly Western ideas that seemed most
attractive to the peoples of the third world. But with the growth of Russian
Communist power and wealth, and Russian increased activity all over the world,
the pull of the West is no longer as strong as it was.

The great attraction of socialism for the poorer nations is that it has in two
generations raised a people which was one of the most backward in Europe to
one which has become one of the most advanced. This makes sense in countries
which are in a hurry and have to make up for lost time. In countries where
everyone is literate, where all interests are organised and articulate, it makes
sense to speak of government by persuasion and agreement. But in cases where
there is a high degree of illiteracy, where people do not know what is happening
around them or whom to trust, the achievement of progress must take on a quite
different dimension. In such a situation it is argued that the role of the
development government is really to tear the people free of the stupidity they
are stuck in, and to shake them into life, hope and intelligence. But before they
are fit to be led, they must be driven. One of the values or merits commonly
claimed for democracy is its complete abhorrence of coercion. The state of being
described above, however, characterises the feelings of many socialists and their
sympathisers in developing areas.

It must be remembered, however, that the socialists have never, as the
fascists have done, condemned democracy. Nor have they repudiated the belief
which Marx shared with all 19th century socialists that society must control
production so as to make every man more free, more his own master, than ever
before. All socialists have done is to condemn the 'false' democracy of the West,
claiming that their own is superior to it. Socialism does not, like Fascism,
renounce what the West proclaims; it offers to surpass it. Marxism like all other
brands of socialism is rooted in the individualism and rationalism of the 18th
century and is somewhat in consonance with the idea of freedom defined by the
English and French radicals. Marx aimed at the same end as they did, though he

differed from them in advocating different methods and in predicting different
social and political conditions, when the end was attained. -le came not to deny
the radicals but to fulfil them. Since the socialists have not repudiated Marx,
they can say that they, too, are aiming at the freedom praised by the West; but
with this difference, that they are sincere and also know how to get what they
are aiming at. To people not fully at home with European social and political
ideas, and thus disappointed in Western institutions, this argument sometimes
carries conviction. Socialism has one great advantage over democracy, it offers
easy solutions in the developing countries. This does not mean that there are no
great hazards in institutionalising socialism. It is sometimes safer to be a socialist
in Guyana than in Russia or China. But in a developing country if you are a
democrat, it is often extraordinarily difficult to know what to do for the best.
You may know that, socially and economically, there is a need to take drastic
action. You cannot rely, as you can in countries like England, on deep-rooted
prejudices and habits that support the elaborate structure of democracy and
freedom in a modern state.

We have been using the term socialism in such a way as to suggest that there
is consensus about its meaning. Many things have been called socialism and
socialism has been called many things. But the kaleidoscopic nature of socialism
is clearly brought out in this quotation:

"It is both abstract and concrete, theoretical and practical, idealist and
materialist, very old and entirely modern; it ranges from a mere sentiment to a
precise program of action; different advocates present it as a philosophy of life, a
sort of religion, an ethical code, an economic system, a historical category, a
juridical principle; it is a popular movement and a scientific analysis, an
interpretation of the past and a vision of the future, a war cry and a negation of
war, a violent revolution and a gentle revolution, a gospel of love and altruism,
and a campaign of hate and greed, the hope of mankind and the end of
civilization, the dawn of the millennium and a frightful catastrophe." 10

It is precisely because of its wide ramifications that Socialist thought has
varied considerably through time and different doctrines prevailed at different
periods. There has also been variances in degree of emphasis. It is therefore
difficult to decide which is the right doctrine. Because of this basic historical
difficulty it is not easy to give a precise meaning to the term. The word does not
describe any present or past society which can be empirically observed or which
presents some distinct elements. The only single element common to all schools
of thought has been the basic aspirations of socialism, the underlying
ethico-economic values.

The core of basic socialist aspirations lies in its protest against the visible
results of capitalism and its views about the nature of the good society In the
first case socialist thought has arisen as a protest against the material poverty and
physical squalor which capitalism breeds. Secondly, there is a wider concern for
social welfare, for the interests of those in need, the oppressed or the
unfortunate. Thirdly there is a belief in equality and the classless society, i.e. one
which gives the worker his just rights and proper status as worker. Finally, it is a
protest against the inefficiencies of capitalism as an economic system and its

tendency of promoting mass unemployment.

For our purposes socialism refers to that movement which aims to vest in
society as a whole, rather than individuals, the ownership and management'of all
man-made producers goods used in production. The objective is that an
increased national income may be more equally distributed without materially
destroying the individual's economic motivation or his freedom of occupational
and consumption choices. When we call socialism a movement we mean that
there had always existed organizations with specific programmes designed to
translate the idea of socialism into concrete action in economies. The vesting of
certain property rights in society as a whole implies the continued existence of
some form of organised society.

When the above definition and its implications are examined carefully we
find that the heart of socialism is economic, and that the central issues are found
to be those of property rights over producers goods, decisions relative to these
goods and the distribution of the real income produced when labour is combined
with them. Assumed in this central core there is a periphery of political, social,
religious and other issues, but the programme can be effectively carried out only
if there are few political bodies charged with this function. In the ideal sense it
will prove the most effective.

But then there are diverse forms of socialism and at some stage decision has
to be taken as to what form is best for a particular country. For example the
attempt to differentiate socialism from communism has perhaps provided one of
the most contentious debates in the history of ideas. The difficulties in
differentiating between the two has arisen not so much from a lack of important
theoretical distinctions as from intricate past and present organisational
inter-relationships, mutual distrust and dislike between leaders of the two
movements. Perhaps the most important theoretical difference relates to the
kinds of goods which are to be socially owned or managed. The socialist
contends that producers' goods used in large-scale production should be owned
and operated by society rather than by individuals. The communist adds to this
social ownership of consumers' goods. What this implies is that the basic title to
all consumers goods should be vested in society while actual ownership of
consumer goods whose use is intimately connected with the person of the
consumer will be transferred to individuals or families, the amounts and kinds of
goods awarded to each being in accordance with his individual needs. Secondly,
actual ownership of consumers' goods where use is not intimately connected
with the person of the consumer will remain in the possession of the consumer
but the current services of these goods will be made available to individuals and
families in accordance with their needs.

Many socialists accept communism as a desirable long-run goal while on the
other hand most communists accept socialism as an intermediate between
capitalism and the establishment of communism. But whereas the socialist might
accept communism as a long-run goal, he emphasises these long-run features. He
believes that for any future period of time with which we need concern ourselves
directly, socialism offers the most workable and satisfactory formula of

economic organisation. It is the socialist's belief and hope that during a socialist
regime there would be definite tendencies towards the social ownership of
certain consumer goods, but that such tendencies would develop slowly and
would not modify substantially the fundamental features of the socialized
economy he wishes to construct.

The socialist therefore accepts the institution of socialism as the object of
his organised efforts, relegating into the more subconscious portions of his
theory the rather vague hope and belief that a communistic system will
sometime replace socialism. In contrast to this the communist believes that full
communism can be reached within a relatively short period of time, that
socialism is perhaps a short-lived step to this end and therefore establishes his
programme for the achievement of full communism without delay.

The study of alternative systems and their relation to the problems of
developing countries poses a real problem of choice to the developing nations. A
country entering currently upon nationhood is always faced with the problem of
selecting a political and economic system. The choice is normally between the
political, economic and constitutional arrangements generally associated with
Western democratic countries on the one hand and the policy and organisation
which avows its debt to Marx and the Russian revolution. These are not
necessarily homogeneous alternatives. We cannot deny that there are advantages
in both systems. The Western democratic approach promises a partial avoidance
of the pain that for a poor country is inherent in finding savings for investment
purposes. It also gives incentives of a pecuniary form to those who are
hardworking. Against this the socialist or communist approach promises a
vigorous attack on those institutions, colonial and otherwise which militate
against nation-building. The socialist promise in developing nations can be
decisive because the things offered by the Western democratic approach can
become effective and attractive only after the retarding institutions are

For example, according to Galbraith. "in a country where the productive
resources are owned and operated for the benefit of a single minority, and where
the apparatus of government serves principally-to reinforce such privilege,
massive injection of capital is useless. It will benefit the privileged minority.
Personal liberty and constitutional governments as elements of democracy can
have little meaning in a country where the government is of the privileged, the
corrupt or the rich" I'


The views so far expressed seem to rest on the assumption that all
underdeveloped territories are qualitatively the same. In fact these territories
vary in their degrees of sophistication, their levels of attainment and the
historical degree of openness to Western ideas. It is evident that the less
sophisticated the society and the higher the degree of expectations the more
likely is the non-democratic framework traditionally defined to take roots. But 1
would venture to suppose that the more the countries have been open to

Western ideas and influences the more difficult it becomes to move away from
the democratic pattern as conceived in the eyes of the Western countries. This
has the implication that it might take the latter countries a longer time to
become really developed.

To some extent there is proof of this hypothesis in the economic experience
of countries in the Commonwealth Caribbean. These countries can be called
democratic in the traditional Western sense of the term and in that most of the
values developed in these societies and their institutions have been historically
patterned along such lines. They have been tackling the problem of development
along Western democratic lines since the end of the second world war but this
has not brought about any visible change in their level of development. As Lloyd
Best has put it
The traditional and continuing process of under-development in the
Caribbean has been serviced by a whole range of institutions and
activities. Colonial Development and Welfare, the Anglo-American
Commission, the Caribbean Commission, the Caribbean Organisation,
Economic Planning Boards, Units and Divisions, Agricultural Marketing
Corporations. There have been World Bank Missions, Monetary Fund
Missions and World Food Programme Missions. There have been First
Development Programmes and second Development Programmes; first
Development Plans and second Development Plans. In Jamaica there
has even been the man with plan. There have been projects for land
Reform and for Civil Service Reform.12

All this, but not very much development in the real sense. While the lack of
development might be attributed in some instances to non-political factors, the
political side of the process needs urgent consideration. To quote Best again
While Moyne, Simey and Prest were sent from the Metropolis, Lewis
and Kaldor, Balogh and Dumont were brought from the Metropolis.
The Caribbean has been placed on the international tennis circuit, on
the international golf circuit, and on the international casino circuit.13

If this line of argumentation is correct, then it could perhaps be suggested
that Caribbean governments have not been strong enough in that they have
endeavoured to sacrifice rapid economic change to the maintenance of some
form of democracy along Western lines. Rapid economic change requires strong
government for it is only when the political system provides strong government
that the rulers can pursue consistent and national policies. Strong Government in
our case must entail some retreat from democracy traditionally defined.

It is realized that this retreat from democracy will have certain costs, but
these will have to be borne in the interests of rapid economic change. In this
light I must confess there are certain real questions which have not been
answered in this paper. For example, who are to form the ruling elite? the
middle classes or some such group? Does economic development really bring the
good life or provide optimum economic and social welfare so that it can be
considered the sort of thing people want? If the mass of the population do not

want rapid economic change for one reason or another or merely because they
consider it too costly in terms of economic and social dislocation, is it to be
imposed upon them? -low can we decide what the population at large want and
more important do they show preferences for the right kinds of things? Who is
to decide? These are all difficult questions which would have to be answered by
further study. We have at least started the enquiry.



Press 1960, New York.
also K. R. POPPER: CONJECTURES AND REFUTATIONS: The growth of Scientific
JOURNAL, Vol. 69, No. 273, March, 1959, pp 105-123.
7. ENCOUNTER, August, 1965.
1965, pp 169-185.
AND ECONOMIC STUDIES, Vol. 10, No. I. MARCH, 1961, p 31.
13. IBID No.4, 1967

English Literature For Non-Specialists

ONE CAN take it for granted that competence in English Language is
desired by most people in order to meet the demands of social progress.

But while the student aspiring to a white-collar job recognizes the need to
gain some mastery of language, he may not realize any connection between
language mastery and the literature programme devised for him. The appeal of
literature to those who need only a working knowledge of language is slight, and
in the case of those for whom reading does have some appeal, the competing
pastimes and entertainments are many. The desire to read may exist but is not
exercised. If it is desirable to promote reading as a pastime or, more seriously, as
an aid towards self-development, we may have to link it to areas of living which
our students regard with some urgency. In this paper this is the line of approach
which will be followed.

Perhaps I will, on the one hand, seem to be oversimplifying the matter of
what literature is about too much, and on the other hand, making too large
claims for the subject. I am talking specifically about the teaching of literature at
non-specialist level. First of all, I must say I do not believe in specialization in
literature studies at pre-university level. In this paper I will limit my discussion
to literature studies up to '0' Level and in Training College.

I believe that we could communicate more about literature to all concerned
if the subject were taught along with language simply as 'English' that is,
combined with English Language. This would avoid the necessity of forcing
students to do 'literature' a subject in which they can find little appeal if they
have to prepare for it by studying about various books without ever getting
round to creative writing as a special kind of communication and as an
experience in language.

I know many people would resist any suggestion that students 'start'
Shakespeare late, or perhaps get no chance to study Shakespeare, but I see little
point in studying books for their prestige value or in claiming our students have
been introduced to a particular author if they fail to derive value from that
introduction. Future parliamentarians will, of course, always value the sources of
quotations. Students should approach Shakespeare when they are ready to
appreciate it as literary communication communication above the mere story

On the matter of what is suitable literature, opinions are many but the
question is always, what shall we regard as expert advice? It is very difficult to
decide how much students benefit from a literature course and there is the
danger of isolating it as a too-specialized study Writers, critics and teachers have
different views.

Even while acknowledging a sort of social responsibility, some writers regard
the fostering of culture as the business of the select few and feel no need to

popularize their art. This being so, there is no use trying to improve taste and
deepen response all round. Literature, however, cannot flourish in an atmos-
phere in which people are unresponsive and a general debasement of taste must,
in the end, affect the writer's own tastes. On the other hand, many of us who try
to keep interest in and response to literature alive may overvalue its place in the
curriculum. Appreciation of serious literature becomes for us an indication of
academic ability and we believe very strongly in its effects. Many teachers,
however. are too much pressured by the actualities of the classroom to think in
terms of ultimate aims. They know that for the 'few' to emerge many must first
be encouraged but they also know that with other subjects claiming their places
in the curriculum, they have to be prepared to cut down and adjust the literature

Besides these people who are more directly concerned, there are others who
are, from time to time, not only in a position to express their opinions on
literature, but to exert pressure, each according to his interest: ultimate
educational or cultural values are not their primary concern. They think in terms
of immediate social and political problems. Governments fear what is subversive.
Parents fear knowledge which might make their children more precocious or too
informed about sex, and some of them fear the effects of moral and social values
which are incompatible with those they wish to inculcate and encourage in their

The. then, are some of the pressures which help to govern one's approach
to the teaching of the subject. With regard to the possibility of success or failure
the literature programme there are certain considerations, some of which
apply broadly but some of which may be special in the local situation. There is
the factor of language. The changeover in usage from the dialect, associated with
free expression, to the Jamaican standard, associated only with the more formal
situations, results in uncertainty and indecision. This would be rather an extreme
description to apply to the Jamaican situation at all levels. However, a
considerable number of the children to whom we are teaching and hope to teach
English Literature, are using English more as a second language than as a natural
medium of expression.

Dialect that is nearest the Creole extreme belongs more to an oral system,
Standard English to a written, and in spite of the few texts that do appear using
sub-standard speech, literature is identified with the Standard.

The feeling surrounding the dialect does not readily transfer itself to the
new language. English is a desirable goal for practical purposes, and reading is
another way to language mastery One cannot therefore encourage the child to
concentrate on the literature that employs sub-standard forms. Appreciating the
written word demands the ability to generalize and to describe experience. What
the student is being asked to accept is the expression of experience by and about
others within a convention that has not yet become the normal thing for him. Of
course, what I am saying does not seem to be a problem to those few for whom
the language problem is not intense, but it is important to speak with special
reference to those for whom the problem is greatest, for they are in the greater

number. The emphasis in written language, literary language in this instance,
must shift in various ways from that in the oral. In oral tradition, character
portrayal is achieved by acting out rather than by elaborate verbal illustration.
Written language in many instances seems to take the long way round.

Another suggestion usually made with regard to Jamaican society is to see
lack of response to literature as the result of a culture conflict. West Indian
literature is not very much used in schools and besides there is not very much
West Indian literature to use. Nor would we wish to limit our students to
literature which describes or takes note of their own environment only.
However, it does seem to me that much of the resentment that cannot be taken
out against the language as it is of practical necessity is transferred to
English Literature. This is a matter on which I have yet done no investigation,
but I am sure it is one worth investigating. 1 am, of course, imagining some sort
of psychological turmoil arising out of the inability to have a language that is
essentially one's own. How much can West Indian writers be sure that in the
minds of the West Indian public their writing is not merely regarded as imitation
or continuation of traditions or values which the society is not particularly
interested reviving or perpetuating. The appeal of art is universal, but the
associations attached to a particular art form may be stronger than the appeal of
the art itself. We have no pre-existing traditions with which to modify the art. 1
suppose in a sense everything we do is imitation.

There are, however, other and less theoretical reasons for the lack of positive
response to literature. Some which might well bear investigation are:

(a) Many students consider English Literature unrelated to any of their pursuits
in life.
(b) Many do not understand what literature sets out to do.
(c) At present set books are studied, passages and commentaries on passages
learnt without the reading experience necessary. What is being learnt is not
sufficiently intelligible to stimulate interest.
(d) The break in teaching, (i.e. between language classes dealing in a limited way
with content and style, and literature classes emphasizing details of plots
and labelling techniques) distorts the picture of the relationship between
literature and language and gives an inadequate idea of what literature is

After all, literature is a branch of writing and creative writing is an aspect of the
use of language. Let us consider the above assertions in detail.

a. Many students consider English Literature unrelated to any of their pursuits
in later life.

So much of what is taught about literature must seem to the students a dull
recital of facts about another culture rather than the communication of any kind
of experience which they can understand. Many reasons are given for the apathy
of students towards the subject:

1. With the increasing popularity of science subjects in schools, the humanities
are on the decline.
At the story level, students are not interested because the background of the
story does not impress them with any immediacy.
3. Students' understanding of language at this stage is limited, their approach
unsophisticated, and literature often represents the best, in the sense of the
most sophisticated usage. Explanations about words or usage do not
immediately make them a part of one's experience, and they inevitably end
up as something to be learnt and remembered rather than something which
helped to convey an experience.
4. Literature tries to communicate experience, and at a very elementary level
the significance attached to certain words and events in one society might
differ from those in another.
The literature teacher who has learnt the explanations and studied the
elucidations of texts provided by a writer in another situation often tries to
communicate them, without much conviction, to students who, not having
the associations demanded for the exercise, learn about the words rather
than see then as directly conveying experience.
5. As far as teaching methods go, it is still very much a matter of rendering up
to teacher certain approved ideas. Students do not learn from each other or
exchange ideas. They are often afraid of saying the wrong thing.
Further, one cannot blame students who think in terms of immediate
goals. Scripture may be preferable to Literature because it is easier to obtain
a pass for it in G.C.E. Students will battle with the difficult Science subjects
because later on they will get paid for having studied them. The goal of the
literature student, for the most part, seems to be the teaching profession or
the library services. In those cases where either the need for an easy option
to make up examination passes or the need to do subjects which will help
one into the better-paid jobs prevails literature is bound to be an unpopular

b. Many do not understand what literature is about

The competition of the popular novel, the development of facile kinds of
reading skill and habits is difficult to discourage unless one can say something
more than that a certain type of writing is bad. If literature aims to talk about
the effectiveness with which the writer communicates, there is no doubt from
the reactions of the readers and the avidness with which they return to types of
writing which are not approved, that such types of writing are communicating
effectively in the sense that they get read. If literature is on the curriculum to
teach values then perhaps we have to say so. This is in effect what we imply
when we reject the type of books often confiscated because the values offered
are not approved. At a certain stage the student, unless he can understand the
values being attached to one type of reading matter, is puzzled by the advice
which says that reading is a good thing and then condemns one type of reading
as a bad thing.

The case can be made here for the use of West Indian Literature in schools. I

am not suggesting that we introduce complete novels, as many West Indian
novels make difficult reading, but most of them provide good selections for
discussion purposes, for elucidating certain principles with relation to language,
and for illustrating the nature of language and the student's own relation to
different kinds of usage. It is not difficult to recognize an apt or effective
description of character if it helps to suggest something in one's own experience.
The more mature reader can be carried out of and beyond his own experience,
and we desire this at times for the immature reader too, but he also needs the
experience of being convinced that the writer is doing a job well. He can judge
this from the vividness of the effectiveness with which a piece of writing
recreates something for him. A convincing experience of what the writer
communicates at this level can make the case as to what literature is about. It is
about life, and this will be recognized.

c. At present set books are studied, passages and commentaries on passages
learnt without the experience necessary in language to render what is being
learnt sufficiently intelligible to stimulate interest.

Teachers complain that they are bound by the syllabuses of external
examinations which their students must sit. In many cases they need not be. In
Training Colleges, for instance, where the aim is to give prospective teachers the
type of language and literature experience which will create the response that
will enable them later to pass on to their students the desire to read and the
capacity to enjoy what they read, we find that the planners might opt to tie
themselves to the external examination syllabus. A Training College might
decide that for the students who will become English Literature teachers in
Junior Secondary Schools, a reasonable programme to follow is the syllabus for
Advanced Level (London G.C.E.) English. The programme for those being
trained to teach in Primary Schools is often less ambitious. In their case, it may
even be felt that there is little need for incursions into any other literature besides
children's literature. On the other hand, some colleges do devise a programme in
General English for their students a joint programme in language and literature
studies where the text books are read not only for enjoyment but as they convey
certain principles of usage and technique. They may not choose to limit them-
selves to the syllabus for an external examination.

In the Emergency Teacher Training Scheme, the correspondence course in
English Literature offered to students leaving Caledonia Junior College was, for a
long time, a general survey of English Literature with special emphasis on
historical data and highlighting aspects of literature of anecdotal value. In such a
course it was rather important to know what were the three names given to
Chaucer, or the good works which King Arthur and his Knights did to earn the
respect of Englishmen. Recently, a course was devised by Jean D'Costa putting
more emphasis on appreciation and enjoyment and trying to communicate
something about the nature of literature. It treated set texts, of course, but it
did try to illustrate the statements it made about the literature and to direct
attention to a piece of writing rather than to biographies of writers and dates
(not that it isn't important to have things perspective). Mrs. D'Costa's
approach was considered too difficult. In areas in which they can make decisions

for themselves, teachers still tend to be conservative and to settle for the tried
and true.

However, if the approach to the subject is clearly defined, it is possible to
override the difficulties which a particular syllabus might offer. It is necessary to
decide exactly what kinds of experience can be communicated through a study
of literature, and offer these. It is little use continuing to try to teach and to test
something which might have no relevance in the context of non-specialist
English and the purpose for which it is being taught. The purposes most
generally recognized are those of going out and teaching children how to read,
developing reading as a pastime and initiating interest in those who might
want to continue the subject at a higher level.

Some of the methods of teaching take it for granted that all students should
want to appreciate the beauties of English poetry and prose to the same degree.
Appreciation of literature is a subject that requires maturity. To select a few
texts and give them specialist treatment might be the easiest way of boring
students to such an extent that they want to have nothing else to do with
literature. As a contributor to The Use of English rather aptly remarks: in
attempting to thrust some heritage of literature on our pupils harshly and
perforce, before (as we think) it is too late, we in most cases ensure that our
examinable ration is all our pupils ever care to taste."'

d. The break in teaching (i.e. between language classes dealing in a limited way
with content and style, and literature classes emphasizing details of plot and
labelling techniques) distorts the picture of the relationship between
language and literature studies and gives an inadequate idea of what
literature is about.

Perhaps I. A. Richards' remark "Literature is only a name for doing a job
well with language by voice or pen" takes the connection too much for
granted. He goes on further to finish up his statement: "I do hope this
conference will not dwindle in thinking only or chiefly about English literature
in any sort of separation from a steady advance with standards lively and alert
from the start into the efficient use of general, necessary, English."2

Reading has long been valued in the earlier stages of instruction as a
language exercise aiding visual discrimination between word forms or ele-
ments ol words and the acquisition of a vocabulary With this in mind, the
language teacher often gives students periods of silent reading. The literature
teacher, the other hand, gives his periods of silent reading to promote
enjoyment and provide the student with an opportunity of grasping a series of
events on his own. Does the student in each instance separate the purpose and
perform according to the requirements of the language exercise, or according to
the requirements of the literature exercise?

In an effort to interest students in content and hence in presentation of
content, the language teacher should relate content to the student's every-
day experience. The literature teacher should also try to make comparisons

between fictional situations and real life. Their methods largely overlap and it is
difficult to sort out different purposes in the exercise.

The training programme for teachers of literature at this level often pays due
regard to this idea of separateness of the subject areas. The teacher who is
going to teach in the Junior Secondary School can receive training to be a
teacher of literature. Literature, however, is optional for some teachers in
Training College. At U.W.I. the students who are going out to teach language
and literature often receive a specialist literature course which they try to
reproduce in a watered-down form for their students. In commenting on all this,
I would say that the language teacher who has been deprived of the extra reading
programme because he is not a literature student, has lost much of the insight
into the workings of language which might have fostered a creative and
enthusiastic approach to language arts, while the literature teacher who follows a
course with an inadequate language base is simply going to learn and reproduce,
not understand and convince.

What then should our aims be against this background of unwillingness and
unreadiness which I have suggested exists.

The main aim now should be to stress continuity between language and
Literature studies rather than emphasize the distinction. Granted that in the
language context our concern might be more with the functional, in literature
we cannot afford to abandon our concern with the related language activities.
Pound says this rather more impressively "Has literature a function in the state,
in the aggregate of humans? It has, it has to do with the clarity of any and every
thought and opinion. It has to do with maintaining the very cleanliness of the
tools, the health of the matter of thought itself."3

In the Cambridge Conference on the Teaching of English Overseas to which
I have already referred, Professor Bruce Pattison asked: "What is the function ot
critics in a country that has few readers?"4 While this question might be quite
relevant to us, I would like to ask instead: "What should be the aim of teaching
literature in a society in which most people do not have the habit of reading and
feel little compulsion to read?" Obviously it is to encourage reading. Any
approach that does anything else has to be abandoned because to learn to
appreciate literature one must first develop the habit of reading. There is also the
fact that we have a developing literature and we want to encourage this, not only
as an aspect of our culture but also for anything valuable that the writers might
have to say to society. And this leads to the values we hope to derive from
reading, for I think it is important to establish that literature has value.

Another aim, therefore, is to establish that literature has value and we must
make it functional and genuinely educational in our situation. We do not hope
to teach value but we can demonstrate it by our method of teaching.

I think the student will readily admit that when his attention is held by a
piece of writing some of his lesser conflicts are resolved. He is taken in hand by
the experience and all his energies directed to one thing. I think it is useful to

establish the point that he possesses the power to concentrate on an object; that
it is possible for writing to hold his attention to such a degree that he becomes
unaware of many other considerations because he is lost in contemplation of
others, whether worthy or unworthy, and that this capacity can be utilized in
other situations.

As well as the kind of experience which is not only personal development
but part of the learning process in the special classroom sense, the student can
experience the ways in which literature refines perception. If one can draw his
attention to subtle differences in attitude, emotional reactions to different kinds
of statements or to different kinds of suggestions, one might not necessarily have
established a point about literature, but one would have illustrated the
inadequacy of the blanket reaction or the covering statement.

The claim that literature develops the imagination has been one of those
most forcibly put forward. It does seem that reading helps to develop the ability
to put oneself in the place of another perhaps quite dangerous for those who
are still seeking to identify themselves with something or someone but it does
take one out of the ordinary grooves of routine. The reading person can imagine
something that did not necessarily take place within his own experience, accept
the possibility that it happened and can go on to accept concepts which are not
translatable into fact. Literature, like many forms of religion, postulates another
world and does not subscribe to the view that one's world is the only possible
one. Again, this is an aspect of the way in which literature works which the
students might be able to appreciate. Perhaps if we could communicate these
values, the task of encouraging reading would be easier, though we cannot
expect the pursuit of imaginative experience to become the main concern of
those whose pre-occupations have to be different.

There is, finally, the matter of countering some of the side effects of

Correlation between literary value and moral value does not, of necessity,
exist and we have fanatics on either side. However, if we are to maintain a
desirable state of affairs, we must admit that some literature has a disturbing
influence. In promulgating an interest in literature, there is the task of educating
people to withstand manipulation and to relate the literary experience to other
experience. The immature reader may be attracted more by side-effects than by
literary value. It seems then that a responsibility in trying to teach literature in
our society is that of developing and encouraging satisfactory attitudes to the
subject, and countering side-effects.

With this background to literature teaching and with these goals in mind, we
can then go on to examine the terms of the relation of literature to other
subject areas on the curriculum. An approach to the subject should be outlined
in such a way, therefore, as to emphasize:

(a) The social relevance: literature as adjustment and its usefulness in extending
our picture of life, limited as we often are by our particular involvement.

(b) The universality of themes: a knowledge of current and past ideas, not
merely for assimilation but for comparison and developing a sense of

(c) Language in function: the practical value of discussing language techniques,
emphasizing the value of literature as art. (The connection with the
fore-going aspects is only too obvious, as the growing appreciation of
language marks the increase in one's capacity to understand the ways in
which the writer discusses and treats his themes. They progress from the
obviously moralistic to the seemingly pointless.)

Now let us deal more fully with each of these points of approach and
consider, first of all, the matter of social relevance. A corpus of books related to
topics of current interest or topics being investigated in other areas of study,
might be agreed on. The English class can be a co-ordinating centre in which
students see how all these various areas touch upon one another in forming and
influencing the life of a society and individuals. I think it a great fault of subject
teachers that they do not press the matter of supplementary reading enough, and
will not do so if English specialists continue to limit the definition of literature
in an attempt to distinguish it as an art, exclusive rather than inclusive. One's
literary experience concerns the sum total of reading just as one's language
experience embraces all usage which one encounters. The usefulness of literature
in other subject areas is well worth demonstrating.

We often complain that so many science students will end up as technicians
who have developed little means of contributing to decisions on controversial
social and moral problems. The literature teacher could work out an integrated
programme with the science teacher, introduce the students to science fiction or,
later, to more serious works in which the consequences of progress, scientific
research, etc. are some of the emergent themes. The history teacher might make
some form of supplementary reading integral to his programme. I do not mean
historical novels necessarily, though at a later stage the comparison between the
treatment of an incident in a historical novel and that by a historian might
provide fruitful grounds for further work, but novels which give an idea of the
social background of a particular period. Poetry which is informed with some of
the atmosphere or ideas current in the period under study, might well improve
history for students who tend to take a narrow view of the subject. Both subject
areas might benefit. Mathematicians might find something of interest in a
writer's treatment of the concept of time. My idea of a literature programme is
emerging more and more as general reading which would render students more
informed, and put them in the right frame of mind to question and seek out
themes. At the end, the student who is to continue study will have a much
sturdier background than that provided by a couple of Shakespeare plays studied
in detail, a few chunks of the 'Romantics' which they have learnt by heart and
on which they have learnt to make acceptable statements. At a higher level,
much will have to be studied again in detail and earlier misconceptions will have
to be unlearnt.

Let us treat a textbook along these lines. The age 14 student in the all-age

school and sometimes, though less frequently, in the secondary school,
handicapped by limited ability to read, is asked to read a text below his age level
this is an effort to find him a text suitable for his language skill. In the
secondary school the likelihood is that the text might be too advanced, though
we do get such curious mixtures, often for younger age groups, as, A Midsummer
Night's Dream, and Hurricane, or Sixty-Five. The second and third cannot appeal
to the child-who is ready to experience the sophistication of Shakespeare's lan-
guage, nor can Shakespeare's organisation of ideas appeal to the child who is still
being gently teased and coaxed into wanting to read by Hurricane (which seems to
have been written for a backward nine-year old). Yet books like Hurricane and
Sixty-Five are all that some upper forms in all-age schools get for literature. My
criticism of these texts is that they communicate mostly at story level and one
can hardly pull anything out of them to lead to a discussion of social
relationships and values or personal development and environment. To be fair,
all the same, what else is there to do when one is faced with a majority of
eleven-year olds who cannot read? At fourteen their language background does
dictate a simple text like Hurricane though their personal development dictates
something else.

The suitability of content and the possibilities for connecting this (i.e.
content) with problems of social adjustment and developmental tasks of the age
group are the criteria which should be used for selecting texts. The degree of
sophistication of language and readiness to understand this are, however, just as
important. In our situation all these things are incompatible.

There is, of course, the teacher problem. Many teachers have not been
trained to approach literature in this way, so that a text chosen to suit these
criteria may not necessarily provide a more illuminating or enlivening experience
for the child. My point is that in choosing from our West Indian collection, for
instance, it might be more useful, from the developmental aspect, to give the
fifteen-year old A Quality of Violerice rather than Hurricane, or Brother Man
rather than Sixty-Five. These are more suitable to their mental age and less likely
to make them connect literature with insipidity. The language in these novels
might not pose much difficulty either. In fact, the convention is easy to
understand and these rather familiar characters often express their thoughts in
language obviously familiar and convincing. Although I am, in fact, declaring
that there is a necessity in the approach to serious literature to use books with
the appeal of the obvious, yet perhaps my objection to Hurricane and Sixty-Five
is just that they are a little too obviously contrived to touch upon matters that
are considered suitable for young people, though they are ideal from the point
of view of the language readiness of many of our fifteen-year olds. Many of
those concerned with the choosing of texts do not wish to perpetuate or
reinforce 'backyard' situations, but reading of books like Brother Man might
provide good therapy and remove anxieties for some children.

In the context in which I am speaking the appeal of Julius Caesar and
Macbeth might be more obvious than that of A Midsummer Night's Dream
(boys' schools hardly make the mistake of beginning with 'the delightful
comedies' of Shakespeare) though perhaps for the age group under consideration

the realities of politics and power-struggle are not obvious enough. My point is
that Shakespearean comedy, though .usually chosen for lower forms, has little
obvious appeal by way of content, little connection with the developmental
tasks of the age-group, and demands a sophisticated understanding of the
meaning of comedy. As far as the story goes the reaction might well be that
"Miss, we have passed the age for fairy tales" What I have said so far can provide
no answer as to what specific books ought to be chosen, but it does illustrate
that the choice must be governed, to some extent, by social realities. However,
social realities in too limited a sense are not enough; there is more to the choice.

To take up the second point which I mentioned earlier on, a recognition of
the universality of themes indicates that there is, as well, the need to study the
historical background. It becomes apparent that changed situations and new
conditions give shape or meaning to ideas. Similar principles might be at work
over and over in different periods, but ideas are revised and come up in new
guise from time to time. Students can compare their own reactions or the
reactions of their society to certain ideas, with those of other people who were
limited by their particular involvement or place in history.
I would not like to set out in detail here the varied exercises but a case
always seems more convincing if some effort has been made to face practical
realities. Actual suggestions take us back to what was said earlier on, but some of
these points can now be made with a different kind of significance.

The comments above point up the absurdity of many of our literature
teaching methods at non-specialist levels. As for actual methods we need only
isolate some of the points already mentioned earlier on in the discussion.

a. The use of selected material dealing with difficulties which other people
(especially writers) have had, can be an effective psychological ploy. This
means that although we are not certain of the merits of biographical data, it still
retains a place in the programme.

There is often much disapproval voiced as to the wisdom of using extracted
material, but I can see no harm in this especially if the point is made to the
students themselves that this is a method of teaching which highlights certain
techniques of language and ways of dealing with material. We will, I suppose,
have to continue cannibalizing writers for purposes of reading and
comprehension simply because this is a means to the end of literary

b. Literature provides material with which students can supplement experience
and observation and has a direct bearing on their efforts to express them-
selves. Their reading provides motivation for writing because the reader
often reacts to what he reads by elaboration, contradiction, simple commentary.
In making their own critical statements about what others have said, students
can realize their own danger of making immature or unqualified judgements.

c. Extracting what has been implied by choice of word and manipulation of
structure is the meeting place between language and literature studies. Style now

begins to be important. Reading should develop the ability to understand various
techniques as aspects of meaning rather than as mere elaboration of form, and
emphasize that style is a type of commitment, and in this sense, a matter for
careful thought. Literature provides many clear and effective examples of the
use of comparison and contrast, for clarifying, amplifying or adding emotional
value to content, as well as for qualification and modification of statements. The
selection of the type of organisation appropriate for a particular purpose can be
observed and manipulation of variations in tone and atmosphere can be pointed
out. Tact in written and spoken communication can be taught.

d. The material selected for supplementary reading in other areas can be dealt
with against an appropriate background and in historical perspective. The
necessity for co-operation between English teacher and subject teacher in
choosing supplementary reading material has already been stated.

What I have outlined here might more readily be identified with an English
Language programme for this age group, but does support my contention
that subject areas overlap and that separation does not help to make the teaching
easier at a non-specialist level.

It may seem that I have dealt with literature simply by scattering various
aspects of the discipline over other areas of study The study of literature, of
course, cannot become a surrogate for direct study in other areas but care can be
taken to see that it is part of an integrated programme and derives some meaning
from the rest of the curriculum. It is unrealistic to seize upon two or three
textbooks and treat them in a specialized manner which establishes little
relevance to the process of living or the purpose of education generally. Failure
to accept the concept of literature which educationalists have. is often the
failure of which the child is guilty, but the result is that he loses valuable


IT F Norris. Tlie Use of English. XIV (Winter 1962)
2Conlference on the Teaching of English lIiteratire Overseas. ed. John Press. London:
Methuen. 1963. p 43
3E. L. Pound. literearv Essays. ed. 1 S. Eliot. London: Faber & laber Ltd.. 1954. p 21
4CoI ference on the teacliino of English literature Overseas. p 39

Prolegomena To Reform Of Jamaican

Local Government

ALTHOUGH THERE have been major constitutional changes in Jamaica
since 1944, culminating in national independence in 1962, there have been no
corresponding developments in local government. There have been minor
changes in the organisation and financing of local authorities, but local
government in Jamaica remains essentially what it was when its major laws were
written sixty years ago. Indeed the present structure is not unlike the original
structure of 1677 then there were fifteen parish authorities and now there are

Local government has no clearly defined role in Jamaica. It exists because it
is there one of the many institutions awaiting 'Jamaicanisation' It has been
criticised as cumbrous and inefficient, obsolete, financially weak, corrupt and
ineffective.' Yet it remains unchanged.

It is not that Jamaica is lacking in reform proposals. Since 1941 there have
been four sets of proposals, the last as recently as 1963. None of these proposals
has been fully debated in parliament or in public, and all of them, except for
some minor proposals, remain unimplemented.

Jamaican local government is probably no worse than that many
countries. The above criticisms have been made of many West Indian countries
and of many developing countries. Some of the criticisms have been made of
English and American local government, and there too there has been persistent
inability to reform.

Jamaica has found that it is no easy matter to reform an existing
governmental institution. The reform of local government is a complex affair,
both deciding what sort of structure is best suited to the country's
administrative, social, and economic situation, and in the actual erecting of such
a structure which will inevitably affect so many vested interests.

This paper will attempt to show some of the complexities involved in
planning a reform of the Jamaican local government structure. It will relate the
general theory of local government to the Jamaican situation, and examine the
four sets of reform proposals. It will comment only briefly on the actual
implementing of a proposed reform structure.

The General Theory Of Local Government

The generally accepted theory2 is that local government is, or can be, a
means of administering services when it is impracticable for these to be
administered directly from the central government capital, and a means of

ensuring popular control over, and public participation in, such decentralised

There are thus two basic concepts, administrative and democratic. The
administrative concept is generally understood to mean that local government
can be a more efficient and economical way of providing services than is possible
through centralised government departments. The dangers of centralisation,
namely delay and bad decisions caused by congestion and ignorance of the
locality concerned,3 can thus be avoided. The democratic concept is generally
understood to mean that by involving the people of a locality in decisions
affecting their locality, local government can be a means to social development
and political education. By allowing a measure of self-government to the
localities or communities, there will exist a check on any bureaucratic or
tyrannical tendencies in the central government.

These two concepts tend to be incompatible, and the incompatibility is
demonstrated when decisions have to be made as to the areas of local
government units. The area based on administrative criteria will tend to be large,
so that it includes a sufficient population both to provide money for services and
qualified staff, and so that economies of scale can operate to reduce unit costs.
The area based on democratic criteria will tend to be small, so that there is an
intimacy between representatives, officers, and citizens, rather than a remote
bureaucracy, and so that the local authority is linked to the locality or
community which it serves. The problem of selecting areas of local government
units is perhaps the most critical problem in local government.4

But already other problems have been introduced in the above summary of
the general theory. For what is a 'sufficient' population for administrative
purposes, and what is a 'locality' or a 'community' for democratic purposes? The
areal problem is two-fold. Firstly, there is the problem of deciding what sort of
area would satisfy the administrative concept (and this is complicated because
different services seem to require different areas and population), and what sort
of area would satisfy the democratic concept. Secondly, there is the problem of
finding a satisfactory compromise between the larger administrative area and the
smaller democratic area. Economic statistics and sociological data can help to
solve the problem, but any proposed scheme is more likely to be a matter of
opinion rather than fact.

In any attempt to solve the area problem a basic value-judgement will have
to be made. This judgement will be a decision as to whether both concepts,
administrative and democratic, are to be acknowledged, and in what relative
proportions. "The actual areal division of powers in a given community is
determined primarily by the legislators' or the constituents' choice of values."5
The choice has to be made as to whether the administrative concept is more im-
portant than the democratic concept, whether the economic development of
the nation should take priority over the social development and political educa-
tion which comes through citizen participation. And in making this choice, it is
not permissible to use economic arguments, such as, for example, the argument
that the nation is economically poor, has an urgent development plan to imple-

ment and therefore cannot 'afford' a democratic system of local government.
For such an argument assumes that economic values are more important and has
therefore begged the question.

The true test of any existing or proposed local government system is how
completely it expresses the economic and social values of the people. If the
people, and the legislators, give priority to economic values, then local
government will be for them a dispenser of services, a functional organisation,
rather than a "personal thing, a human institution a vital living force through
which (the) community can attain a full and satisfying life."6

Application of the General Theory to Jamaica

How does all this apply to Jamaica? Jamaica has two special characteristics
because like most other West Indian countries it is a small island, and because
like these and many other countries it is a developing nation with economic and
social problems.

Jamaica's size could mean that the administrative concept of local
government needs modifying. It might be possible for all services to be
administered from Kingston. But this would be difficult because of the central
mountain range and consequent poor communication, so that at least two
administrative areas would be necessary. There is, even in small countries, the
danger of delayed decisions due to centralisation. Some services in Jamaica,
which in bigger countries might be the responsibility of local government, are
administered by central government. But Jamaica is not so small that it has no
'localities', no 'communities'

In Jamaica, as in most developing countries, there seems to be the belief that
centralisation, rather than local government, is necessary to aid economic
development. Yet at no time in history has the field of local government been so
important to national development. Henry Maddick, who was commissioned by
the United Nations Organisation to investigate this very topic of the
contribution which local government could make to developing countries, found
that far from hindering such plans for development, local government could be
of great use in ensuring that they were implemented at the local level. He states
that local authorities could provide the opportunity for local people
to participate in local decisions and local schemes within the general national
policies, and could act "above all, as local centres of initiative and activity
conducive to development" 7 Indeed, he goes so far as to say that without
participation, programmes of development may fail, and that for long term
success there can be no alternative to popular participation and ultimately
popular control. As a West Indian has expressed it: "there are non-economic
factors actively and crucially involved in the process of economic growth".8

Thus it seems that local government can be a positive force in aiding
economic development. It could also be a negative force in helping to prevent
some of the possible evil consequences due to rapid economic change. Jamaica

could well find that too heavy a concentration on economic development results
in severe social disorders. Local government is not a panacea for all such ills, nor
is it a deterrent by itself, but it could be useful in that direction.9

The social structure of Jamaica is another important factor to be considered.
Mention has already been made of the difficulty of defining 'community' There
is some doubt whether there is in Jamaica anything resembling the village
communities which in other countries are often used as the basic units of local
government. If there are no such communities then the democratic concept may
need amending. Writing generally of the ex-British West Indies, P. J. Singh says
that the case for community self-government is weakened "by the lack of a
coherent localised structure which provides an impetus to motives of
community service and prestige" Nevertheless, local government can be an
integrative mechanism, and can help to build communities. Local government
can be as much a vitaliser of incipient communities as established communities
can be of local government.

Jamaica, along with several developing countries, has undertaken
community development and self-help projects which aim at strengthening
communities. It seems that every institution but local government has been
involved, including the Lands of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Jamaica
Agriculture Society, the Jamaica Social Welfare Commission, the Sugar Welfare
Board, and the Council of Voluntary Service. This reveals either a lack of
confidence in the ability of the local authorities, or their unwillingness to
undertake such work. Generally the community experiments seem to have been

Another aspect of the Jamaican situation is the possibility that any sort of
local government council would be subject to local paternalism and
authoritarianism. There will tend to be local despots, corruption, and
consequent cynicism. The answer to this problem is that one of the reasons for
establishing local government is to train people to face and overcome just this
sort of political activity at a comprehensible level. Colonial powers tend to use
such arguments, and the existence of a semi-literate population, to defer
independence. This happened to Jamaica in 1922.12 It would be ironic if an
independent Jamaica were to use such arguments against the establishment of
effective local government.

It is by trial and error that the lessons of democracy will be learned. If the
majority of Jamaicans were to be excluded from active political participation in
local government, this "would prolong that painful sense of inferiority and lack
of individual initiative which they have inherited socially" 3 And Jamaica is
not free from the dangers of over-centralisation through which parliamentary
democracy may degenerate into administrative oligarchy. One of the traditional
roles of local government is to act as a bulwark against central tyranny

The above account has shown the relevance of the general theory of local
government to Jamaica. Local government, both in its administrative and
democratic aspects, can be a social and economic force in Jamaica.

Local government today is not a strong social and economic force in
Jamaica. This is due to many factors: excessive government control over local
authorities; maladministration and corruption; manipulation by egoistic parties
and politicians; financial weakness; lack of a clearly defined role for local
government. There is no single factor which can be said to be the cause of the
present malaise in local government in Jamaica. But there are two factors which
are more fundamental than the others. One is that local government is being
restrained by excessive central government control. Local authorities which are
as non-autonomous as those in Jamaica can hardly be centres of initiative. And
the other factor is that local government receives no impetus from the citizens.
Jamaicans have not yet evolved a philosophy for local government and are
unaware of what it could do. Pulled back by central government, and with no
'push' from within, local government remains a weak social and economic force.

Reform Proposals: 1941 1963

It is interesting to examine the four sets of proposals made since 1941 for
the reform of Jamaican local government. They give an indication of how
different people have assessed the contribution which local government could
make to Jamaica, their version of the general theory of local government, and
their basic value-judgements. Details of the proposed structures will be given
together with the proposers' reasons.

The West India Royal Commission, which visited Jamaica in 1938, was
responsible for the first three sets of reform proposals, those produced between
1941 and 1943. The Royal Commission which was appointed by Britain to
enquire into the social and economic conditions of the West Indian colonies,
recommended constitutional reforms for Jamaica including a widening of the
franchise and a re-structuring of the Legislative Council.14 The Royal
Commission placed much emphasis on healthy local government and thus it was
that in its early phase the movement for self-government for Jamaica dragged
along with it, although unwillingly, proposals for reforming the parish system of
local government. The first set of reform proposals especially, must be seen in
that context.

The Secretary of State for the colonies, Lord Moyne (who had also been
chairman of the Royal Commission), took the view that "every sound central
administration must rest upon a sure basis of local government" 5 Indeed he
insisted that reform of the Legislative Council must await reform of local

The Governor of Jamaica, Sir Arthur Richards, produced his own set of
proposals and appointed a Reform Committee for a second assessment. The
Secretary of State appointed an English local government expert, L. C. Hill, to
investigate and produce yet another set of proposals.

Governor Richards was the first to make actual proposals. He described
them as tentative suggestions and included them in two of his speeches to the
Legislative Council in 1941 during debates on the constitution.16 The Governor

obviously thought little of the existing local government system, describing it as
cumbrous and inefficient. He proposed instead that of the existing fourteen
parish authorities there should be four counties, one of which would be the
urban area in and around Kingston. Each county council was to consist of the
members of the Legislative Council for that county, together with three senior
technical administrators and the secretary to the county council. Thus the
Legislative Council and the local government authorities would be almost
identical in composition.

The Governor saw his plan as being administratively desirable, the claims of
democracy being satisfied by the widening of the franchise. He said that the
benefits of the scheme would be that there would be only one set of elections
once every five years, that the voters, would be encouraged to look upon
Jamaica as one unit rather than to their separate parishes (which were to remain
only as electoral areas), that it would be good for members elected by the
parishes to consider Jamaica as well as their parishes, and that the county
councils would give legislators training in government work.

Although these were only tentative proposals the Governor tackled the areal
problem and'drew the boundaries ot his four proposed counties. (See Map B). His
criteria for choosing these areas was that they would be suitable for
administration by the Public Works Department and would have roughly equal

There was no place in these proposals for a set of local authorities whose
members would be chosen for local government alone, and there was no place
for local units based on sociological considerations. The proposed system would
not have been local government because the county councils would have been
merely area committees of the Legislative Council.

The Reform Committee, "consisting entirely of members of the Parochial
Boards",7 was appointed in July 1941 and produced its report and proposals in
May 1943. Its proposals were also radical in that the parishes would be abolished
and a three-tier structure substituted. The basic unit would be the District and
there would be about fifty of these outside the Kingston area. Functions which
were previously the responsibility of the Parochial Boards would be shared
between the District Boards and the next tier of local authorities, the County
Councils (one of which would cover the Kingston Corporate area). Each District
Board would be elected by the public and would then select two of its members
to serve on the County Council. The third tier was to be a Central Council
consisting of the Minister of Local Government, his deputy, four central
administrative officers appointed by the Governor, four members of the
Legislative Council selected from among themselves, and two members from
each of the five County Councils, selected from among themselves.

This would have been a hierarchical structure with final decisions resting
with the Central Council. Furthermore all services were to be centralised, with
the government departments undertaking work approved, and to be paid for, by
the District Boards and County Councils. Similarly the local authorities would

have no employees of their own but would be given officers from the central
civil service, payment to be made to the government for such officers by the
local authorities.

The Reform Committee obviously had little faith in local authorities as
employees and administrators. The proposed structure would have been heavily
centralised. The Public Works Department would have had two sorts of masters
and there can be no doubt which would be more respected and obeyed. The
Committee admitted that it had proposed "no curtailment in the powers of
control over local authorities by the Central Government",18 but at the same
time believed that the proposals "constitute an advance in local government on
democratic lines" '9

Democracy was seen to be not without danger. The Committee tried to allay
fears that adult suffrage would result in illiterates gaining control and ruining the
country. It was hoped that suitable candidates would stand for election, and
there was always the safeguard that the County Council and the Central Council
could intervene to amend the budget or dissolve the District Board.

The Committee mentioned the traditional value of local government in the
training of future legislators and Ministers. District Boards would be valuable
because those elected would know the District better than the bigger existing
parish, and any maladministration would be felt more directly.

The Committee did not draw any boundary lines but gave some vague
guidance towards solving the inevitable areal problem. Constituencies forming
each District were to be large enough to minimize the chances of bribing
electors. District areas should be small enough not to deter anyone from
standing for election because of distance or expense. Urban and rural areas
would not be included in the same District, so that rural members would not
oppose the cost of providing urban amenities. New Districts were to be
formed "where the people desire them and the existence of a genuine
spirit of local self-government warrants it" 20 About fifty Districts would be
needed. Little guidance was given as to the county areas although the Committee
thought that about four would be sufficient. The existing parish areas were
considered too small to be suitable.

When the Reform Committee published its proposals, the English expert, L.
C. Hill. appointed by the Secretary of State, had already arrived in Jamaica. His
proposals were published in December 194321 and bear some resemblance to
those of the Reform Committee in that they include a two-tier structure of
District Committees and Municipal Councils.

The District was to be the first administrative unit and there would he about
one hundred of these outside the Kingston and Montego Bay urban areas. The
public would elect the District Committees, each of these then selecting two of
its members to serve on the Municipal Council. There were to be ten of these
upper tier authorities. Services were to be the responsibility of the upper tier
authorities but to the District Committees was to be delegated responsibility for

such services as street cleaning, markets, and poor relief. The Municipal Councils
would have what the existing parishes had not, namely some responsibility for
education, although the road service was to be unified under the Public Works
Two of the upper tier authorities, Kingston (including St. Andrew) and
Montego Bay (including St. James and part of Hanover), were to be called
Boroughs. They would have all the powers of the eight Municipal Councils and
would also have some responsibility for traffic, hospitals, and police. They
would have Districts only in their rural parts.

Hill saw local government as doing more than providing services: "it should
encourage the people to be better citizens, comfort them in their distress and
offer them facilities for'singing their songs.' "22 It was to be the first defence
against the common enemies of poverty, sickness, ignorance, isolation, and
maladjustment. It would provide justice and government 'on the doorstep'
Future legislators could learn there. It could be the "forcing ground of
community services" 2 3

Hill believed that the Districts would tend to preserve local sentiment,
encourage neighbourliness and a District pride in achievement, and also allow
room for the practice of an intimate local self-government. The upper tier
authorities would be able to provide more efficient and economical services in
the less intimate local government functions

Centralisation of services was attacked by Hill because local officers knew
more about local conditions, and because knowledge that 'government will pay'
is conducive to irresponsibility.

Hill tackled part of the areal problem. He left the drawing of District
boundaries to the government saying that he though that about one hundred
would be needed, and that each should be big enough to elect a committee and
yet compact enough to allow committeemen and villagers to keep in close touch.

The boundaries of the ten upper tier authorities were drawn by Hill. (See
Map C). They were based on the existing parish areas. Five southern parishes
were to be left intact. Seven other parishes were to be amalgamated into four
new Municipal Council areas. The parish of St. James was to be slightly extended
to form the Borough of Montego Bay. Hill's proposed alterations to the parish
areas were for financial reasons, so that the councils would each have an area
"large enough and financially strong enough to give the best service and to
employ highly trained and efficient officers" 24

The fourth set of reform proposals was produced by a Canadian, Dr. M.
Brownstone. a United Nations Technical Adviser on local government, who was
appointed by the Jamaican government. His report was presented to the
government in October 1963 but has not yet been published and is therefore not
available to the public.2 5

Dr. Brownstone's proposals did not include any alteration to the number

and areas of the existing parishes, nor the establishment of any multi-tier
structure or other local units. His proposals deal directly with the relationship
between central and local government and advocate more autonomy and
responsibility for the parish councils. The local authorities were to have much
more control over the raising and spending of money, and the government grants
system was to be revised. The parish councils were to have more representation
on planning and administration at the national and local levels, more respon-
sibility for schools, housing, and hospitals, and were to be represented on
Education Boards, Welfare Councils, Hospital Boards, and Agricultural
Development Councils.

Details of the proposals and of Dr. Brownstone's reasons are not yet
available to the public, but he must have thought that the present areal structure
was satisfactory, providing the financial system was revised. When conducting his
investigations he is reported to have said that local government must adjust to
meet economic changes and changes in the life of the community, and that local
government was found wherever people wished political systems with wide
public participation and diffused responsibility.26 This indicates his recognition
of both administrative and democratic concepts.


This analysis gives some idea of the attention given by four different sets of
people to local government in Jamaica; their proposed structures, their reasons,
which in turn give some idea of their value judgements.

At its annual meeting in December 1967, the Jamaican Association of Local
Government Authorities passed a resolution recommending the establishment of
a Local Committee to consider the problem of local government reform. The
appointment of such a committee would be useful in bringing the problem to
public attention. What is needed is constructive debate, in parliament and in
public, on the relevant issues, with exchanges of assessments on the contribution
which local government could make to Jamaica, and the structure and
organisation best suited to the local and national social and economic situation.

A consensus may not emerge. It rarely does in any country on such a topic.
The process of implementing any proposed structure becomes difficult when the
areas have to be drawn. Political parties will examine the possible gains and
losses. Local government reform, like parliamentary constituency alteration, is
fair game the world over for gerrymandering.27 But public debates often greatly
restrict the scope of political manipulators.


MAP A The Exisling Parishes

MAP B Governor Richards' Proposed Counti

MAP C Hill's Proposed Boroughs & Municipal Councils


For examples of criticisms, see:
Report on the Reform of Local Government in Jamaica, by L. C. Hill, Government
Printers Kingston, 1943, (The Hill Report), para 2, 4, 5:
Local Government and the Colonies, by Rita Hinden, Allen & Unwin, 1950, pp 48,
51, 220, 224.
2. Fuller accounts of the general theory can be found in: Democracy, Decentralisation,
and Development, by Henry Maddick, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1963, p 178;
Area and Power, by Arthur Maass (Editor), the Free Press of Glencoe, Illinois, 1959,
Chs 1, 2.
3. Examples can be found in: Decentralisation for National and Local Development, by
United Nations Division for Public Administration, 1962, para 21.
4. See, Area and Administration, by J. W Fesler, University of Alabama Press, 1949, p
5. Maass, op cit, p 136.
6. The Hill Report, op cit, para 33.
7. Maddick, op cit, p 144.
8. Problems of National Development in the West Indies, by Hugh Springer, in Caribbean
Quarterly Vol. II No. 1, p 11
9. See, The Utilization of Local Government for National Development, by A. Gorvine, in
Journal of Local Administration Overseas, Vol 14 No. 4.
10. The Development and Working of Local Government in the British Caribbean, by Paul
J. Singh, 1964, p 262 (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, London University). See also:
Experiment in Self-Help, by P. Sherlock, in Caribbean Quarterly, Vol I No. 4, p 33;
and, The Social Organisation of a Selected Community in Jamaica, by Y Cohen, in
Social & Economic Studies, Vol 2 No. 4; and The Plural Society in the British West
Indies, by M:G. Smith, University of California Press 1965, p 192.
See, Development From Below, by U. K. Hicks, OUP, 1959, p 529; and M. G. Smith, op
cit, p 192.
12. See, Report by Hon. E. F L. Wood on his visit to the West Indies and British Guiana,
December 1921 February 1922, Parliamentary Papers 1922, Cmd 1679.
13. Paul J. Singh, op cit, p 274. See also, Jamaican Leaders, by Wendell Bell, University of
California Press, 1964, p 131
14. Report of the West Indian Royal Commission, 1945, Cmd 6607.
15. Letter from Lord Moyne to the Governor of Jamaica, 7 March 1941.
16. Jamaica Hansard, Proceedings of the Legislative Council, Spring Session 1941, 12 March
and 6 May
Report of the Local Government Reform Committee, (Chairman A. Campbell),
Government Printers, Kingston, 1943, para 3.
18. ibid para 125.
19. ibid para 127.
20. ibid para 36.
21. The Hill Report, op cit.
22. ibid para 33.
23. ibid para 38.
24. ibid para 190.
25. The Daily Gleaner published on 24 November 1965 what purports to be a summary of
the Brownstone Report. The information in this article is taken from this newspaper
26. Speech by Dr. Brownstone to the Executive of the Jamaica Association of Local
Government Authorities; reported by the Daily Gleaner, 27 May 1963.
27. See, for example, Greater London, the politics of Metropolitan Reform, by Frank
Smallwood, Indianapolis, 1965.

A Time And A Time

And in the early morning we reached a land
That rose mysterious in the dusky light.
Visions of paddling Caribs bringing gold
And similar trash to swap for coloured glass:
Visions of pirate vessels bearing down
Upon us from around the palm-clad point:
And roar of cannon. clash of steel on steel.
The scent of blood and sweat and acrid smoke.
Fiendish shouts rising above the screams of women.
Smoke increases, clears, and on the wharves
A group of sugar barons bid for slaves.
Referring glibly to the Mother Country.
Hoping they might see it once before they die.
But while I conjure dreams of long lost ages.
The sun has shot up flaming over the hills.
Releasing the civil bustle of our times.
A tribe of youngsters doff scant clothes to dive
In crystal depths for small coins, idly thrown
By passengers who're waiting to disembark.
Numbers of brawny sugar barons converge
On us to load brown gold into our holds.
Around the point. an island-hopping schooner
Comes. her decks bristling with fruit. Beyond the customs
Are taxi drivers waiting for their prey



The Bicycle Lamp
An Artist's Reflections on Art Teaching
In those days reforms in art teaching which we now take as a matter of
course were not reflected in the external examinations. 1 had, therefore,
to find a way of teaching such things as object drawing as a part of
picture making. The examination was often held at Christmas, and I
recall some of the lessons we had on winter afternoons. How it was I am
not quite sure, but in the half dark room 1 happened on the idea of
lighting a group of models by an electric bicycle lamp. This cast long
shadows which linked the objects and gave the group a most moving
quality. One of the girls said, when she saw it, that it looked like a little
stage. This gave my mind a jolt. The bicycle lamp had lifted the objects
out of the light of common day into a dream work of wonder and
delight. I must now make the very most of the suggestions this offered.
And so it was that I always covered the objects with a screen. As I drew
it away it seemed like the stage curtain going up on the scene.

Marion Richardson
"Art and the Child" (1948)

In this simple account of an incident in one of her early classes Marion
Richardson, pioneer in the twentieth century "discovery" of child art, illumines
for us the nature of creative teaching. Her swift appraisal of the chance
illumination gives us an insight into the working of intuition, that happy leap in
the dark by which all the achievements of art and science come into being. In
politics and industry too, indeed in every sphere of life and in the most diverse
human beings we see the operation of this mysterious faculty. The tycoon's
opportunism may be a long way from Marion Richardson's gentle altruism. He
too owes his success to his 'hunches'

Once the text books on education have been returned to the library and the
young teacher's diploma has come to rest in the ministerial file it is on intuition
alone that he can rely to teach him how to teach. The sculptor has his block of
marble in which a great work of art lies waiting to be released. The teacher's
block is composed no, not of blockheads but of so many more or less inert
young Promethians. Each class, each project presents a new problem. The key
may lie in a chance remark, a memory, the news headlines of the day, a new
look at the old familiar objects on the shelf. "This gave my mind a jolt." When
all is said and done it is in the teacher's mind that the "moment of truth"
occurs. Each purposeful stroke of the sculptor's chisel brings into focus a life
time of artistic humility and training, as well as a background tradition of style.
So it is with the teacher. He must be a stylist. Great teachers are not made in a

Important as is the teacher's ingenuity in thinking up surprises these are in
the long run to be seen as part of a process of learning by trial and error both
with respect to the class and the teacher. If he ceases to be an explorer himself

the faculty of intuition atrophies. Just as the anthology poem and the single
painting in the group show lose their significance out of the context of a single
oeuvre, so the isolated class is devoid of real direction. For an illustration of the
creative, organic aspect of teaching let us again turn to Marion Richardson. She

Was the children's work pale or weak in colour, then 1 must show the
mind's eye something deep and strong. ....Or were the children using
their colours in dull, flat washes? Then we must find a picture that is
full of lovely spangled surfaces and lacy textures.

All our learning, in fact perception itself, is in the last analysis a process of
testing hypotheses set up on the basis of pre-established schemata. Gombrich, in
his fascinating study of style in art, both with regard to the artist and the
beholder, gives us much insight into the practical problems of art teaching. Why
do we, not only children but mature observers as well, tend to under-estimate
the fore-shortening of a dinner plate? Because we know it is round. This explains
the characteristic tilting up of the horizontal plane in the work of the Sunday
painter and the child. The art teacher, trained to correct his natural tendency to
conceptual representation, beats his head against a wall in his efforts to get the
-dolescent to see as he sees. Surely he thinks, baffled by his failure, the boy or
girl is now past the early stage of symbolism and therefore must see what
measurement confirm! But the truth is that, not being versed in perspective, the
child actually sees differently. By a few simple experiments the teacher may
discover that perspective is merely one of many possible conventions through
which human beings have learnt to organise their perceptions. It has no hard and
fast validity in the laws of optics. Thanks to gestalt psychology we have come a
long way from Ruskin's naive faith in "the innocent eye"

Once we realise how much our way of seeing depends on the mastery of a
particular language of form it is easy to understand certain peculiarities of
representation prevalent among our children in the West Indies. It is noticeable
in our secondary schools that inability to draw in a conventional way often goes
along with disability in the use of standard English. Both characteristics stem
from the background of poor homes, where the child at an early age has few
picture books and simple story books. Many children enter secondary school
with a symbolic schema of representation years behind the norm in more
"developed" societies. This does not mean that our children have less artistic
ability. Far from it. Their paintings make up in colour and emotional intensity -
as in the use of patois what they lack in range and communicability. Yet the
symbols used are not entirely private but seem to be drawn from some common
fund, as a study of a number of such drawings reveals. The child who is unable
to communicate a growing complex of ideas verbally derives great emotional
satisfaction from art so long as he does not develop a sense of inferiority by
comparing his work with that of more sophisticated children. The teacher finds
that the child from middle class background is on the whole neater, more able to
illustrate a story in a recognisable way. But his work is more imitative in many
cases and less "fresh" It is interesting, by the way, to see Marion Richardson's
comment on the "precocious skill and sophistication" of the Vienese children

taught by Professor Cizek. In the West Indies where should we place the norm?

The problem for the teacher in the secondary school is that in five years
these backwardd" children must be transformed in line with the academic
competence required in the G.C.E. '0' level examination. Reform or no reform
the entire tradition of English art teaching at secondary school level is based on
the cultural tradition of Greece coming down to us by way of the Renaissance in
Europe. Of this we are the co-heirs. We can no more start from scratch without
it than we can afford to discard the English language.

This leads me to another reflection. If, as Herbert Read postulates in his
"Education Through Art" personality can be classified in terms of aesthetic
modes of perception, it is essential that we should examine our entire approach
to art, in order to see if we are not placing too much stress on the visual and
intellectual. It is true that even in England examination syllabuses have reflected
a new conception of craft as a sort of inseparable twin of art in the school art
studio. But in the West Indies we still have not grasped the idea of craft as a
respectable discipline, quite apart from its economic aspect in craft development
programmes. We may be failing in the basic objectives of education in trying to
force a majority of haptic (introvert expressionist) children into the mould of
the extrovert intuition or strongly visual type. The shadow side of our heritage,
which gave to the world such works as the Benin bronzes, would indicate that
year by year we may be letting valuable artistic talent go to waste. Only
yesterday 1 was talking with an English teacher from London whose school is
largely populated by West Indians. These children have their problems when it
comes to the academic subjects, she remarked, but they excel in art, and
particularly pottery. If I were in charge of a teacher recruitment campaign here I
would seek out every potential sculptor and have him trained as a teacher!

The limitations of the individual teacher are bound, in any case, to present
problems. Being myself a strongly visual type it distresses me that I am unable to
give any real assistance to those among my pupils who may be of the haptic
type. One of the most interesting books on drawing which 1 have ever come
across, "The Natural Way to Draw" by Nicolaides has proved a revelation in the
way of showing my limitations. There is one exercise, based on a haptic mode of
experience, which I absolutely cannot do, no matter how 1 try. It is interesting
to present these different approaches to drawing to a class and see how, not only
does the technique fit the aim of the particular exercise, but also this is corelated
with the individual temperament. Contour drawing is the perfect medium for
those who have an architectural sense of volumes in space- (Herbert Read's
extrovert intuitive type?) Gesture drawing, often difficult at first for the
adolescent because he is used to the firm defining line of the symbolic schema,
becomes the natural mode of those who are lively and whose eurhythmic sense is
strongly developed.

The reaction away from academic rules towards free expression and the
entire story of modern art may be read as a declaration of artistic rights has
led to a certain ambivalence in the thinking of teachers, parents and even
children. Free expression is, in my opinion, a much misunderstood and misused

word. The intellectual curiosity of adolescents and their creative response to the
challenge of authority in the form of given rules must not be under-rated. Some
find the discipline of craft work the jumping off base for ingenious variations.
Others respond to the intellectual challenge of perspective, taught, if possible, as
a language or grammar or form, or as a sort of practical geometry.

It is a pity that any type of child should lose the benefits of art. Those who
cannot draw in the conventional way may derive great emotional release from
the tensions of adolescence in painting, pottery or sculpture. But with the
hazards of G.C.E. in mind many drop out along the way. Among those who
remain is a high proportion of backward students who hope that this will be an
easy exam to pass. So important is that vital certificate to their status in the
labour market that they persevere in art class when perhaps it would be more
reasonable for them to spend the time learning to cope with the difficulties of
standard English.

There has been a trend, at least in Jamaica, towards the elevation of crafts to
an equal status with art. The emphasis on a wide variety of crafts in the new
J.S.C.E. syllabus appears to me a move in the right direction, but there are
certain qualifications to my enthusiasm. A syllabus with a long list of "native"
sounding crafts from batik to tortoise shell work must at present savour more of
wishful thinking than of the realities of the situation. First we need the trained
teachers, preferably against the background of some traditional practice of the
craft. Furthermore, I think it is over ambitious to require in this syllabus, which
is supposed to be on a lower level than G.C.E. that if the candidate chooses art
and craft rather than either of these subjects singly he must present evidence of
proficiency in two crafts and two art papers. I am in sympathy with the view
that the Spanish needle is a far better source of inspiration for us than the
daffodil, and that the yam cut, purely on practical economic grounds, may be
more appropriate than the Irish potato cut. But there is no merit in a preference
for the yam over the potato cut, per se. The lino cut, though we must import the
linoleum, may be the best of all if it can be obtained in bulk at a reasonable

We have government sponsored craft development programmes but no
sound training of manual dexterity in the primary schools where surely it is most
urgently needed. We have a move towards craft training in the secondary schools
which suggests that these are intended to take over the function of basic
vocational training, as in the English secondary modern schools. If the
establishment of comprehensive schools is the objective careful planning is
needed to avoid great waste. Perhaps the answer lies in the provision of
vocational guidance so that prospective basket makers or batik printers may be
channeled into assigned centres.

I am neither an educator nor an educationalist nor am I one of these born
teachers who start out at the age of six or seven with their array of dolls drawn
up before an imaginary blackboard. Therefore I must emphasize that this article.
the writing of which I undertook with great reluctance, represents merely the
views and reflections of one teacher. Being an artist I came to teaching with

what I hope may be described as the sensitivity of the artist. On this authority
only I offer a philosophy of art teaching which, as far as I know, is valid only for
myself. Each teacher, it seems to me, develops his own over the years.

My ideas on art education formed, before I ever thought of being a teacher,
on Herbert Read's "Education Through Art", are based on the idea that
aesthetic experience is the basis of education. Herbert Read's working out of this
theme, which in the first place came from Plato, appears to us today somewhat
dogmatic and unrealistic. Perhaps this is because confidence in any
comprehensive, tidy, well balanced scheme for the salvation or betterment of
mankind is at a low ebb. 1 do not quite believe, myself, that a total
re-organisation of education on an aesthetic basis is possible. This would be like
scrapping our native language or tearing up all books with pictures drawn in the
conventional way. Nevertheless it seems to me that education as we conceive it is
largely misdirected, fragmented, unco-ordinated and needlessly wasteful of
talent. It fails to meet the needs of our western industrial civilisation either on
the practical or the spiritual level. Art, which should be something basic to life,
is concerned as a therapeutic process, like psychiatry, introduced in the
desperate attempt to undo the damage wrought by too great emphasis on
materialistic values.

To me art is not a subject but a way of life. Fortunately, perhaps for
industrial "progress" not many of us have the temperament of the artist. In an
age of increasing specialisation the professional artist is assigned his role that
of providing a common fund of inspiration for all men. But some homage is still
paid by educators to art as a necessity of life which should be made available to
all children. So it has its place in the school curriculum. I believe that the
professional artist, strictly on a part time basis, has a certain role to perform in
exposing children to his rather peculiar point of view!

A world in which intuition functions to the full in human beings in all
spheres, with more creative architects, economic planners, statesmen (no more
politicians please) industrialists and even factory workers, is at present beyond
our realisation. But at least it is an ideal worth working for. The artist whether
through his works or by teaching, demonstrates the satisfactions of the creative
as opposed to the acquisitive approach to life.

Herbert Read as a practical guide to the young teacher fresh out of art
school or training college deserves an absolute nought. In Barbados, after some
experience as a journalist in Jamaica, and a couple of years at the Slade school, 1
found myself facing classes of what seemed like hundreds of small boys all
named Sealy or Lasley with whom I did not share a common language let alone
the same aesthetic experience. This was the truth of my first experience of
teaching. Now, thirteen years after vowing never to take another teaching job, I
find I am still at it. Furthermore Marion Richardson's bicycle lamp has, in with
moderate success, worked for me.

As in art, one learns to recognize one's own limitations. I am clearly not the
motherly type who loves small children. 1 do not like noise or hubbub. However

there is a later age group at the secondary school level which does not urgently
need to be mothered. Eleven year-olds are highly creative people, and for the
sake of what we can achieve together I tolerate some of their restlessness and
they learn to make allowances for my unnatural predilection for peace and
quiet. Above all they want to have their work looked at seriously. Quite
honestly, when I am looking into a child's work any interruption breaks my
train of thought. When their high spirits get out of bounds my bounds they
accept the blowing up that follows, perhaps being wise enough to realise that it
uses my energy and saves theirs for later onslaughts. Anyway they realise that
there is no personal animosity involved. The fifth and sixth former are however
my favourite age group. Girls who have been previously used to an easy going,
sewing circle atmosphere soon get the point. One day you may come in to my
class and find us all sprawled out on the floor, taking a cat's eye view of a human
statue standing on a desk, or studying the intricate relationships of some oddly
assorted bottles-deep in conversation. Pencils move swiftly and rhythmically in
the dense silence.

Although I have had no continuous experience of teaching in a primary
school I know what they are like. We all know, who live in this region, and have
a great admiration for the teachers who work under such difficult conditions. I
have met primary school teachers in courses in Jamaica, Barbados and other
Islands. In closing 1 should like to give one or two brief reflections, or
impressions, based on a course for teachers which I conducted on behalf of the
U.W.I. Extra-Mural Department in St. Kitts last year. My sponsors knew, and I
knew, that a two weeks course was not enough. But as a pilot project it was
something. Twenty teachers, all but two of which were primary school teachers,
attended. One could at least try to give this handful of people, so eager to learn,
some idea of what art might do for the child's imagination.

What is needed is a comprehensive plan based on intensive research. How
can local materials in each area be used to best advantage? How can art and play
techniques be used in conjunction with training in verbal expression? Where does
the money come from to provide teacher training and thoroughly raise the
standard of these schools in every way? Where does one start, given the
education of the teachers now in the field?

My teachers worked very hard and had a fine time discovering that ART was
not so formidable after all. At the end of the course we mounted an attractive
exhibition of work. Perhaps the best comment on the course is implicit in the
assessment made by the teachers themselves. Art was easier than they thought.
At the back of their minds hovered the question, how could it be used to
maintain discipline? A seasoned teacher writes:

"The drawing ot the 'Self Portrait' was introduced as a surprise which was
attacked with much fun and a certain amount of seriousness As example is
better than precept, we would do well to emulate among other things the
Instructor's dynamic contact, her enthusiasm, cheerfulness and strict
discipline". (The italics are mine.)

A young teacher, who was one of the most enthusiastic painters puts her
assessment in the form of a letter to a friend:

"Dear Rosemary

Can you imagine how joyful I felt when 1 arrived at St. Kitts to do
a two weeks course in painting? For a very long time I used to hear folks
talk about Art but 1 very often ignored the thought of such a subject until
recently I told myself how I will like to visit an Art class and have the experi-
ence of what it is like A day or two passed on and everyone seem to gain
some confidence and seriousness in him/herself, which helped to bring forth
some good and striking paintings. All during the hours the teacher strolled
about the class trying to give some help, encouragement, and praise where they
were due I have come to the conclusion that liveliness seems to help in
bringing about interesting and satisfying pictures."

Then here comes the giveaway which shows her in her mind's eye demonstrating
at the blackboard: "Art seems to aid teachers a far way as we should use our
capability to illustrate to our pupils, thus helping them to grasp ideas more

Finally, bless her, she makes the grade by showing how much it all meant to
her: "It definitely brings a source of satisfaction when one has tried and essayed
again Teachers who have had this privilege of getting these ideas should
strive to go further, realising that we have got vital ideas about Art. On the
whole., Rosemary, my two weeks course in Art has been a very interesting and
exciting one, that 1 just cannot prevent myself telling you that I have got a flare
for Art."

On this note I will close. A flare for art or teaching, is natural to such spirits
with their vitality and innocent freshness!



I. The First West Indian Novelist

IN 1929 I WAS the chief editor of the centenary number of the King's College
(London) Review. My task was to solicit contributions from past distinguished
alumni and others.

Jougasse drew a magnificent cover, an enchanting caricature of the College
crest. The College mascot Reggie perched waggishly and smilingly on one paw on
a crown which rested on a learned tome. Below was a plaque inscribed
1829-1929 flanked on the left by an astonished male student of 1829 with wig,
stock, frock coat with four large buttons and breeches. On the right an equally
astonished student with brillantined hair, a tight-fitting jacket and bell-bottomed
trousers, labelled 1929. The whole rested on a plinth inscribed with the College
Motto Sancte et Sapienter.

The Professor of German and Dean of the Faculty of Arts wrote a centenary
hymn. J. F Ilales, M.A. wrote "In the Time of W. S. Gilbert," who had been at
King's. Professor Hearshaw wrote about the Strand, which Disraeli had called
"perhaps the finest street in Europe" Viscount Ullswater's article was entitled
Retrospect. W. H. W. (1 forget now who he was) contributed an amusing triolet:

Who first made a concertina?
A professor here at King's
By the muses! by Athena!
Who first made a concertina?
Physicist has near brought keener
Joy than our old Wheatstone brings.
Who first made a concertina?
A professor here at King's.

Major General Sir F Maurice, K.C.M.G., wrote about his ancestor Frederick
Denison Maurice who in 1853 had been dismissed from the professorship of
Divinity because he had expressed views "as to certain points of belief regarding
the punishment of the wicked and the final issues of the Day of Judgement" Sir
Israel Gollanez chose as his subject "A very brilliant and wonderful afternoon"
(a meeting of the Shakespeare Association in the College Hall on May 3rd,
1917). Sir Lenthal Cheatle wrote about Lister, who had worked at King's
College to make modern surgery the glorious achievement it is. R. L. Megroz, an
old student, gave a personal memory of Joseph Conrad. There were other
distinguished contributors on equally distinguished subjects.

The second shortest contribution it was ruthlessly pruned by one of my
co-editors was on "Long Tots and Languages" by M. P Sheil. "Long Tots"
turned out to be columns of figures which one adds up in a mechanical way by
force of habit.

Victor Gollanez had recently republished a special edition of M. P Shiel's
vivid, romantic novels which anticipated science-fiction in so many respects,
each with an introduction by a current literary personage such as Rebecca West,
Hugh Walpole and H. G. Wells. This was an act of generosity on their part to
help an old and forgotten and poor literary figure of another age.

I wrote to invite Shiel to contribute. He was then living in an almshouse near
Horsham on a civil list pension. He replied in a shaky hand that he was not quite
sure what was required and would I come and see him please. I was quick to
seize the opportunity. I went to Horsham and met the old and feeble author,
wearing his black velvet writing jacket. We talked for hours. It was incredible
that he had known Robert Louis Stevenson, Wilde, Ernest Dowson and that he
had spoken five or seven languages, that Mrs. Gladstone had persuaded her
husband, the Prime Minister, to give him a job as an interpreter to the
International Congress of Hygiene and Demography.

Shiel had been born in Montserrat, of which island I was later to become
Commissioner. We discovered that he was my great uncle, his sister having
married my grandfather. (My Great-grandfather had come out from Ballymeena
in Northern Island to Montserrat in a hurry to avoid hanging, having been
charged with (allegedly) stealing a sheep).

M. P Shiel was the first King of Redonda which is now a dependency of
Antigua. It is an isolated and barren rock a mile long and a third of a mile across,
rising to a height of 1000 feet, 25 miles to the south-west of-Antigua,and 10
miles from Montserrat. It was of a certain value before the first world war when
its deposits of phosphate of alumina (guano) were worked by the Redonda
Phosphate Company under licence and shipped to Germany.

On the evening of Tuesday, November 12th, 1493 Christopher Columbus on
his second voyage to the New World achored off the lee of Redonda on his way
from Guadeloupe to St. Croix.

St. Croix has had a varied history. It was colonised by the English and the
Dutch but they quarrelled and the Dutch were expelled from the island. In 1650
the English were defeated by an invading party of Spaniards, who in their turn
yielded to 160 Frenchmen from St. Kitts. France entrusted the Island in 1651 to
the Knights of Malta who controlled it for fourteen years. In 1733 it was
purchased by King Christian VI of Denmark. In 1801 it was captured by the
English but restored to the Danes after a few months. It was recaptured by the
English under Sir Alexander Cochrane in 1801 and occupied by them until
1807 It remained in English hands until 1814. when it was again handed back to
the Danes. The United States of America, needing a base to protect the Panama
Canal, purchased it in 1917 and today it forms part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Hlow different a history from that of Barbados whose proud boast until it
attained independence in November 1966 was that it had always been English;
or from that of Antigua whose only conquest was in 1666 when part of the
island was occupied for six months by the French. But to get back to Redonda.
Without landing. Columbus named it Santa Maria de la Redonda after a Church

in Cadiz. For nearly four centuries it lay desolate and unvisited and
unmentioned except by Charles Kingsley who described it in At Last as a lonely
In 1865 Redonda was visited by a novelist's father, Matthew Dowdy Shiel,
who traded between Montserrat where he lived and the neighboring islands.
Shiel pbre discovered the rock to be rich in guano and claimed it for his newly
born son.

Shiel pere revisited the island soon after the passing of the Imperial Act of
Parliament (34 and 35 Vic. c. 107), which in 1871 federated the Leeward Is-
lands, including Redonda in the federated islands, but not as a dependency of

Shiel pere was quite a character. An Irishman, like the first settlers of
Montserrat, he claimed descent from the ancient Kings of Ireland. Leaving
recently sired a son after a run of eight daughters, he thought of founding a
dynasty of his own.

When he visited Redonda for the second time, after the passage of the
Federation Act referred to, he took with him his son and a party of friends.
These included Dr. Mitchinson. Bishop of Antigua and Dr. Semper of
Montserrat. It is alleged that Bishop Michinson in festive mood crowned the
young Matthew Phipps as King Filipe I of Redonda (derived from his second
name). A good time was had by all and the party sailed home.

News of these goings on was not slow in reaching Antigua. which had always
regarded Redonda as a dependency. So the Legislative Council passed Act No. 5
of 1872 for the annexation of the Island of Redonda West Indies to the Island of
Antigua. The preamble to this Act reads as follows:

WHEREAS The Island of Redonda belongs to the Crown of Great Britain
and Ireland and Whereas by letters Patent under the Great Seal bearing date the
sixteenth day of July One thousand eight hundred and sixty nine. ler Majesty
the Queen constituted and appointed the Governor and Commander in Chief of
the Leeward Islands to be the Governor of the said Island of Redonda and
Whereas Her Majesty in and by the said Letters Patent declared it to be her
pleasure that if at any time thereafter the Legislative Council of Antigua should
request the Governor of the said Island of Redonda to transfer the same to the
said Island of Antigua for the purpose of its being annexed to the said Island of
Antigua then that the said Governor should be and he was thereby authorized
and empowered to transfer to the said Island of Antigua the said Island of
Redonda and that from after the date of such transfer the said Island transferred
should be deemed and taken to be and should be annexed to the said Island of
Antigua have by an address dated the fourth day of May One thousand eight
hundred and seventy-one requested the said Governor of the Island of Redonda
to transfer the same to the said Island of Antigua for the purpose of its being
annexed to the said Island of Antigua. And Whereas the said Governor of the said
Island of Redonda has been pleased to accede to the said request of the said
Legislative Council of Antigua.

BE IT ENACTED by the Governor and Legislative Council as follows: etc.,

A fine piece of legal jargon, which did not impress Queen Victoria at all. As
no colony had the power to annex any territory, the Queen was distinctly not
amused when she was asked graciously not to withhold her assent to the passage
of the said ultra vires Act, which in the end had to be ratified by an Imperial
Order in Council.

Unlike his father who carried on an angry correspondence about Redonda
with the Colonial Office for fifteen years, Shiel fils never re-visited his kingdom.
Usually fair in such matters, the British government awarded him a civil list
pension of 60 per annum in 1938 and subsequently increased it. Shiel did,
however, hold investitures and handed out honours as did (arn still does for all I
know) his successor, King Juan I, his literary executor, better known as the poet
John Gawsworth.

Sir Victor Gollanez was a Grand Duke of Redonda, Alfred Knopf, Grant
Richards and Martin Secker are or were Dukes of the Realm, as are "Ellery
Queen", Frank Swinnerton and the late and lamented Dylan Thomas. Henry
Miller is Duke of Thuana and Rebecca West a Dame Grand Cross.

In the early nineteen fifties 1 was Commissioner of Montserrat and Oliver
Baldwin Governor of the Leeward Islands. Montserrat was shortly to have new
issue of postage stamps. I thought it would earn money from the philatelists if
Redonda could be formally transferred to Montserrat and a design of the rock
figured on the pound stamp. Telling Oliver privately that it was the last
territorial demand which I had to make, I put up a formal despatch to the
Secretary of State seeking his permission for the transfer. I expected a rap on the
knuckles and to be told politely not to be a bloody fool. But to my
astonishment the Secretary of State agreed to the proposal provided the Antigua
Legislative Council passed a formal resolution agreeing thereto. The matter was
discussed and agreed to in Antigua Executive Council.

I was foiled at the last moment by a nominated Member, Mr. (now Sir)
Alexander Moody Stuart. The Antigua Government, headed by the lion. V C.
Bird who, like Bustamante in Jamaica, was also head of the local Trades and
Labour Union, was then disposing of certain items including buildings at the
U.S. military base at Coolidge which government had inherited from the
Americans under the Bases Agreement. Purely to chivvy Bird, Moody Stuart
opposed the motion. Bird swallowed the bait (for once a just metaphor),
withdrew his previous secret agreement to the proposal and made an
impassioned speech declaring that generations yet unborn would arise to curse
the name of any legislator who agreed to the transferof the sovereign rights of
Antiguans in even one square foot of Antiguan territory

And so I never became King of Redonda (although, in view of my
relationship to M. P Shiel, I have some de facto claims thereto), but I received'
some consolation when a letter reached my desk from Sweden. It was addressed

His Majesty King
Juan of Redonda,
REDONDA near Montserrat, the Antilles,
West India.

It read as follows:

11th January, 1952.
Melmo, Sweden.
Malmgatan 3.

Your Majesty.

As your country may be interested in being represented in
Scandinavia, the writer, director. S. Otto Brenner, takes the liberty to
offer your Majesty his assistance.

The representation could be made according to the special desires
of your Majesty, but may also be established as a consulate for Sweden
or as a Consulate General for Denmark, Norway. Sweden and Finland.

I feel confident that it would be of consideration for your Majesty
to be able to gather information about other countries for the benefit of
Redonda, just as travellers from Redonda could get all possible
assistance, and last but not least a trade connection could be established
between Redonda and our countries. Your Majesty may please inform
me what are the import requirements of Redonda.

Your Majesty's obedient servant,
S. Otto Brenner.

M. P Shiel wrote about thirty books, the only one of which I have been able
to read the end, is his most famous. The Purple Cloud. When we met. he told me
that he was working on a book called Jesus, which he stated was a truer
translation of St. Luke's Gospel. He said that he had done a great deal of
detective work on this subject, proving, to his satisfaction at least, that the
Apostle Paul was Lazarus, who had stayed four days in the tomb. He considered
this book to be his magnum opus. 1 should dearly like to see the manuscript of
this projected work.


II. Economic Aspects Of Food

Availability In Jamaica

This paper is intended to provide a general description of the pattern of
available food supplies in Jamaica and to present a preliminary analysis of the
economic factors which influence and determine the observed patterns. Price,
incomes and population are the main variables considered in the analysis.
Although the data relate only to Jamaica, it is our view that the discussion has
general applicability for most countries in the Caribbean. Variations deriving
from differences in consumer tastes and preferences are likely as the cultural
environment changes. But, by and large, the overall view is unlikely to be
significantly blurred.

National food balance sheets provide us with an overall view of food
supplies and their disposition. They are derived in the following manner
production exports + imports = total available supply non-food-uses (seed),
animal feed, non-food manufactures etc.) waste + stock adjustments = Net
available food supply. From the latter we can derive estimates of the per capital
availability of food using population estimates. On the whole, statistical data
required for such computations are either non-existent or unreliable in most
countries and especially in the under-developed countries. Such estimates as
exist need to be used with a great deal of caution.

In spite of its inherent weaknesses, the food balance sheet provides us with a
starting point in looking at food availability, if only in terms of general orders of
magnitude. Balance sheets for the years l1)58 and 1962 have been compiled by
the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica.' And the data shown in Table I are
derived from these. The table gives estimates of the average daily availability of
calories per person according to food groups. It shows that the average Jamaican
diet draws heavily on three groups of foodstuffs cereals and cereal products,
roots and other starchy foods and sugar and syrups.

M. K. Bennett, in a study of the dietary patterns of 40 countries, came to
the conclusion that "broadly. it appears that as income rises, the starchy staples
fall in importance as a source of food calories, while conversely all other foods
rise in importance. This may be taken as a general principle. Presumably it has a
basis in human psychology in a general rule that populations will enhance the
variety of their diet when they can afford it. It has validity also in view of the
empirical economic principle that the starchy staple fraction of a diet is
normally cheaper per 1.000 calories, whether in market price or in labour cost,
than is the non-starchy staple fraction of a diet".2 Another aspect of this
matter is the light it might throw on the nutritional status of a population. The

F.A.O. has focused attention on the ratio of per capital calories derived from
cereals, starchy roots and sugar to total per capital calories and states that "where
this proportion is high, for example, where these foods furnish over two-thirds
of the total calorie supply, clear evidence is afforded of nutritional
imbalances" 3

According to Table 1, the starchy staple ratio of the average Jamaican diet
fell from 51 per cent in 1958 to 42 per cent in 1962, due chiefly to a fall in the
relative importance of roots and other starchy foods. This decline was associated
with rising average incomes; per capital national income rose from 113 in 1959
to 129 in 1962. The consumption of sugar, however, increased in relative
importance (from 15.5 per cent) in 1958 to 21.3 per cent in 1962) so that the
starchy staple sugar ratio declined only slightly from 66.4 in 1958 to 63.5 in
1962. According to the F.A.O. criterion, Jamaica seems to be on the threshold
of a nutritionally unbalanced situation.

v77117777r7m 77n711 11 712

It must be stressed that these averages cover up differences in consumption
patterns within the community. Because of the very unequal distribution of
income in Jamaica, it is more than likely that a substantial fraction of the
population depend on starchy foods and sugar to a much greater extent than is
indicated by the national averages above. And, consequently, the nutritional
status of these people would be more precarious than is suggested at first.

Among the foods classified as cereal and cereal products, the main items are
wheat flour, corn and rice while green bananas, breadfruit and yams are the main
items under roots and other starchy foods. The latter group are all produced in
Jamaica while the former are (with the exception of small quantities of corn) all
imported. The outstanding common feature of the two groups is that they are
relatively cheap sources of food energy The following tabulation ranks some of
the major items in the Jamaican dietary in terms of their cost per 1,000 calories.
The data are expressed in terms of price relatives using wheat flour as the base
'or calculating the price relatives.

Cornmeal 79
Sugar 81
Wheat flour 100
Rice 142
Codfish 445
Irish potatoes 510
Yams 554
Pork 986
Beef 1,015
Mutton 1,073
Fish 2,500

This hierarchy of prices demonstrates the relative cheapness of the starchy
foods. It also reveals that among the starchy group, the domestically produced
items are relatively more expensive. Sugar is the only domestically produced
item that matches the imported cereals in terms of cost per 1,000 calories.

The heavy dependence on imported food supplies in Jamaica can be
partially attributed to the fact that they provide cheap food energy In addition,
cereals and cereal products are also important sources of protein. And where
incomes are low, as for the bulk of the population, consumers can be expected
to direct expenditures towards the cheapest sources of energy and food

Table 2 shows the estimated daily per capital protein availability for the two
years for which balance sheets are available. It shows that cereals and cereal
products, fish, meat and dairy products contributed close to 80% of total
protein intake in 1962. Of the estimated total daily protein availability per
capital (67.7 grams) some 65% (44 grams) came from imported supplies. The
pattern regarding source of protein'supplies in 1962 for the threemain protein
groups is shown below:

Total Imports
Avail- Domestic as % of
ability Imports Production Total
(grams) (grams) (grams)

Cereals and cereal prod. 18.6 18.4 0.2 99.0
Fish 179 15.1 2.8 84.4
Meat (fresh and processed) 10.0 4.7 5.3 47.0

Total (3 Groups) 46.5 38.2 8.3 82.2

These data indicate that for the two major protein groups, imported supplies are
of overwhelming importance. When it is recalled that both cereals and cereal
products and codfish are relatively cheap sources of food energy, their
importance as protein suppliers can be easily understood.

I here is at least one important policy implication that flows from this
discussion. All Governments in the West Indies have, for one reason or another,
embarked on programmes which are intended to reduce the dependency on
imported food supplies. So long as income levels and income distribution remain
approximately what they are, it is important to promote domestic production of
commodities which (like imported cereals and codfish now) provide cheap
sources of food energy and at the same time adequate supplies of protein.

One of the puzzling aspects of the consumption patterns which are
suggested by these data is the relatively unimportance of pulses in the Jamaican

dietary. Pulses are relatively cheap sources of both calories and protein. Animal
protein is generally expensive since extra costs are involved when animals
transform vegetable carbohydrate matter into meat and milk. Consequently,
the normal pattern in poor countries is one in which vegetable sources of protein
are more important than animal protein. That the reverse is indicated for
Jamaica casts some doubt on the reliability of the estimates relating to
availability of pulses. Increased production of pulses should be a priority in
Jamaica because of their price advantage for applying food energy and protein.
And there are no insuperable taste problems since peas and beans are already an
established component of numerous favourite dishes.

Price is only one factor influencing consumer demand. The other important
factor is income. From numerous studies of food-income relationships in many
countries of the world, the following generalizations have emerged: (1) as
consumer incomes increase their expenditure on foodstuffs decline in relative
importance (i.e. the proportion of expenditure devoted to food falls as incomes
increase); (2) as incomes increase, consumers will buy relatively more of the
protective foods (meats, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables) and relatively
less of the starchy foods; (3) as incomes increase, consumers favour animal
sources of protein over vegetable sources ofprotein; (4) within the starchy staple
group. rising incomes usually promote a shift from starchy roots and tubers
where these are available to cereals and cereal products. As a result of all this,
the pattern of food consumption changes quite drastically and predictably as
incomes increase. These phenomena can be observed from comparisons of the
consumption patterns of different income groups within a community as well as
for any particular community over time.

Economists use the term 'income elasticity of demand' to describe the
response of consumer expenditure to changes in income. The elasticity
coefficient measures the percentage response of expenditure to a one per cent
change in income. Using time series data. Nassau Adams in a recent study has
estimated that the income elasticity of demand for food in Jamaica is about 0.45
and for food and beverages 0.67 (Cross sectional data indicate coefficients' for
food and beverages of 0.55 for Kingston and 0.85 for Rural Areas.)4 For food,
the interpretation of Adams' estimate is that for every 10 per cent increase in
real incomes, food consumption will rise by about 4.5 per cent. Adams also
states that "for meat and dairy products the income elasticities exceed unity, for
bread and cereals it is about unity while for fish and oils and fats it is about one-
half. For the groups "fruits, vegetables and pulses" and "root crops" on the other
hand the income elasticity appears to be substantially negative, implying these
are highly inferior goods.

For every 10% increase in average income in Jamaica then we should
anticipate that consumption of meat and dairy products will rise by more than
10 that of bread and cereals will rise by 10' that of fish and oils and fats by
about 5'/ while that of root crops and the group "fruit vegetables and pulses"
would decline.

Population growth is yet another factor which influences the aggregate
demand for food. With a rate of population growth somewhere in the region of
2.8 3.0 per cent per year, total food supplies will need to expand at similar
rates in order to maintain existing levels of food consumption. The combined
effect of population growth and rising per capital incomes is likely to strain the
capacity of the country to supply its food requirements. If average real incomes
rise at the rate of 3 per cent per year, the aggregate demand for food would
increase by roughly 4/%, that for meat and dairy products by well over 6% and
for bread and cereals slightly less than 6%. These are substantial demands on a
sector of agriculture that has expanded at an average rate of about 2% over the
past two decades. Without some dramatic changes, therefore, the prospects are
that available domestic food supplies are unlikely to keep pace with the growth
of demand and that the deficit will have to be met by increasing imports if sharp
increases in food prices are to be avoided. But for a country already experiencing
severe pressure on its foreign exchange earnings, the prospects of a rapidly
expanding food import bill must be viewed with some concern.



1958 & 1962

1958 1962

Calories % Dist. Calories % Dist.

Meat Fresh and Processed 125 4.8 139 5.5
Fish 89 3.4 95 3.8
Dairy Products 147 5.7 200 7.9
Fruits 134 5.1 199 7.9
Cereals & Cereal Products 811 31.0 732 28.9
Vegetables 14 .5 15 .6
Pulses 35 1.4 34 1.3
Roots & Starchy Foods 520 19.9 337 13.3
Sugars & Syrups 405 15.5 539 21.3
Fats & Oils 272 10.4 187 7.4
Other Products 60 2.3 53 2.1

2612 100.0 2530 100.0

Source: Calculated from data in Food Balance Sheets prepared by Ministry
of Agriculture and Lands.


1958 & 1962

Food Classification Grams Percentage Grams Percentage

Meat Fresh & Processed 10.1 16.0 10.0 14.8
Fish 16.4 26.0 17.9 26.5
Dairy Products 5.1 8.1 6.9 10.2
Fruits 1.5 2.4 2.6 3.8
Cereal & Cereal Products 21.1 33.4 18.6 27.5
Vegetables .7 1.1 .5 .7
Pulses 2.1 3.3 '2.3 3.4
Roots and other Starchy Foods 3.9 6.2 5.4 8.0
Sugars and Syrups .3 .5 2.8 4.1
Fats and Oils 1.2 1.9 .6 .7
Other Products .6 1.1 .1 .3

63.1 100.0 67.7 100.0

Source: Calculated from data in Food Balance Sheets prepared by Ministry
of Agriculture and Lands.

1. Estimates for 1966 are in process of preparation but are not yet available.
2. M. K. Bennett, The World's Food (New York, 1954) pp. 205-206.
3. F A. O., Second World Food Survey (Rome, 1952) p. 14.
4. See Nassau Adams, "An Analysis of Food Consumption and Food Import Trends in
Jamaica, 1950 1963", Social and Economic Studies (forthcoming).

Book Reviews

Joseph Sturge & Thomas Harvey: Tie West Indies in 1837
Frank Cass and Co. 1968 originally published by
Ilamilton, Adams and Co. 1838. 380 pages 5. 5. 0.

JOURNALISTIC EFFORTS, in article, book and picture form, designed to
change public opinion and affect public policy, are, and have been, common
enough God knows. Those designed with a concentrated and particular aim in
view, however, are somewhat rarer in this age which has become blas6 and
cynical over so many causes, and no period of time had more of these
productions than the Age of Reform in England, which can be said to have
lasted from the early 1820's until the end of Beaconsfield's administration in
1880. Because of the literary elegance of the "social" novels of Dickens, Disraeli
himself, and Kingsley however, the journalists of the period tend to be
overlooked in comparison with their fellows of the preceding century like Swift
and Addison, but this is not to say that none of the 19th Century efforts were of
lasting value indeed we only have to look at Dickens' own "Sketches by Boz"
"The West Indies in 1837. by Sturge and Harvey, is also a classic piece of 19th
Century journalism, in that it served as the main weapon in the campaign which
successfully brought about the end of the apprenticeship system in 1838 in its
entirety two years before the field workers were supposed to have received their
full freedom. This volume was that influential, despite the fact that it was
lacking in literary elegance, since its authors were reformers, pure, simple and
primarily and had no claims to professionalism or art.

The very title of the work was in fact inaccurate, and it has not been
changed in this year's publication by Frank Cass & Co. (It costs only 5. 5. 0
too. as part of their slavery series, in contrast to prices of over C50 asked for
limited editions of other classics of West Ind;an history put out by other
publishers.) Much of the book written in diary form was actually written in
1836 in fact all but the lengthy Jamaican section which takes up some 225
pages. There were good reasons however, for selecting the later date since the
impression was thus conveyed to the public, when the book was published in
1838, that this was the latest possible information about the apprenticeship
system. (Rather, in fact, like the flood of publications we get on events like the
Israeli-Arab six day war of 1967.) The authorship was also shared with two
other gentlemen. Dr. Lloyd and Mr. Scoble. but Sturge, particularly and Harvey,
to a lesser extent, were very eminent gentlemen in Reforming and Religious
circles, consequently it seems to have been decided thai their names would carry
far more weight on the fly-leaf both in the bookshops and in Parliament.

Sturge, Harvey and Co. were straight-forwardly biased. They went to the
West Indies to collect information which would suit their point of view that the
Apprenticeship system was not working, and was in fact total slavery in disguise.
They got this information and they presented it, interspersed occasionally with
other points of view. They visited Antigua. Montserrat, Dominica. St. Lucia.
Barbados and Jamaica and touched on the French island of Martinique while

receiving and publishing second-hand and hearsay opinions of the unfavourable
naturally situation in Guiana. The book is thus largely a chronicle of
similarities with a specific intent. Thus the idea was to go to Antigua where
full freedom had been immediately granted in 1834 first, and then to show
how the system there worked better than all the other places visited. This
intention was not hidden. Indeed the original fly-leaf which is also included in
this edition has Antigua named first and in large print, in comparison with the
other places visited including Jamaica which took up most of their time and
their space. A tendentious work can of course still have value especially if it does
not try to hide its intent, and whatever the pre-Victorian reformers like Sturge
and Harvey were they were by and large, not consciously hypocritical. Their
work also has sufficient value even today to be used as one of the most reliable
sources in the "Sources of West Indian History" used in our schools for the
G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination. Perhaps its main significance at the time of
original publication was, however, that for the first time since the abolitionist
movement had begun half-a-century before in the late 1780's, English
abolitionists were to spend a long time 5 months in the West Indian area
learning things at first hand for themselves instead of depending on the reports
of missionaries. The fact this was only done after their second great triumph
the Emancipation Bill does not de-emphasise the importance of the authors'
mission, and we have to remember also, that a sojourn in the West Indies was no
health holiday in those days for people unaccustomed to the climate.

The actual end of apprenticeship in 1838 was more than sufficient to show
the convincing nature of the book's evidence. The authors demonstrated first of
all that the Antiguan experiment was not a disaster. This was their first step in
advance and, of course, they did not point out that in fact the former slaves in the
small flat islands had hardly anywhere else to go, despite the recruitment going
on for Guiana and Trinidad. Their main point in the other islands was twofold:
to show that the apprenticeship system was not working, and to show that
where it appeared to work, this was only because of the courage of individual
Stipendiary Magistrates specially appointed from Britain to counter the local
"justices" or the goodwill of liberal masters in other words the untypical
ones. In making this case, the testimony of the continued use of the treadmill
strikes one as particularly damaging evidence of the continued spirit of slavery
(Sturge and Harvey also suggest that particularly in Jamaica large numbers
of the Stipendiary Magistrates did not deserve the fulsome praise given them by
Governor Sligo.)

For people who have studied the period before, a good deal of the freshest
information is to be found in the footnotes or just tossed in casually Some
examples of course are just opinionated, but they are still valuable, as e.g.
(a) That Muslim slaves resisted the learning of English.
(b) The food price and supply situation was adversely affected in Jamaica
because the planters robbed the apprentices of time on their provision

(c) Even after the peaceful acceptance of Emancipation the Jamaican Establish-
ment was fond of calling even the slightest form of non-conformity sub-
version and rebellion. IS there something familiar about this?

Because of the long paragraphs employed, sometimes over two pages, the
style of the authors is often turgid, so that one cannot honestly recommend an
entire reading to laymen particularly at the price. For "professionals" in West
Indian and English Reform history however, a perusal is equally mandatory and
perhaps, a deep study in sections particularly the penultimate chapter which
assesses the difference between the Emancipation Law in theory and practice.
The final word here though, must be one of admiration for the long dead
authors. Without motorised transportation these four men do not forget
Lloyd and Scoble supported by money from home, travelled thousands of
miles, talked to an equal number of black and white people, visited hundreds of
estates and wrote a volume of almost four hundred pages, along with collected
appendices of almost another hundred. All this was done in little more than a
year. Dr. Williams' classic "Capitalism and Slavery" has justifiably challenged the
sincerity of some of the early and middle abolitionists. I hardly think, however,
that there can be much doubt about the men who wrote "The West Indies in
1837" and the later career of their "leader" Joseph Sturge in the Anti-Corn Law
League (as great a domestic reform movement, as the Anti-Slavery Society was a
"foreign") underlines this, qualifying him as an "Eminent Victorian", along with
some few others, that no Lytton Strachey could, or can, debunk.


Inez K. Sibley: Quashie's Reflections
Bolivar Press 12/6

THE FIRST question one might ask on reading Quashie's Reflections is
"What is the intended readership?" The main interest of the book is perhaps in
the language and in any social attitudes or cultural features which might be
recorded. Still, the average Jamaican reader usually complains that he does not
readily understand written Creole. Creole as the vehicle conveying ideas in
writing is not one to which he is accustomed. Though he speaks Creole, he is not
normally called upon to write it and a modified version such as that used in New
Day or The Hills Were Joyful Together poses less difficulty. In spite of the
occasional standard English expressions which show how certain aspects of
official life leave their mark on the dialect, Quashie's Reflections is an effort to
reproduce Jamaican dialect whole.

Some of the characteristic Creole expressions are not easily translatable into
Standard English: "It sweet me so tel, me begin feel dat bosey." Much of the
humour derives from the aptness of expression: "an at las when we rech a
church to me amaze we find de chuch pack up, front and back, dat me tink to
meself dem might an axe de parson fe put on piece mo fe de occasion." If one
can visualize the speaker actually saying this with a sort of sprightly malice, the
expression rolling smoothly off the tongue, then one can appreciate the humour.
The reader who cannot get the feel of the Creole is apt to be impatient. He
might think that liezekiah's way of expressing himself is not only unsubtle and
idiosyncratic but also obscure. Indeed, one has to admit the datedness of some
of the expressions and their associations. Modern popular idiom has changed

The words and phrases which suggest contacts outside the Creole are worth
attention. Hezekiah masters such legal phraseology as "to do grievous bodily
harm." He makes constant references to the Bible which supplies many of the
similes for speech which is vivid, but very little dependent on elaborate use of
adjectives. A nice distinction in .he use of adjectives suggests a more
sophisticated level of usage. Hezekiah keeps his simple, and his similes are more
for rhetorical effect than to convey any essential meaning. The occasional
malapropism, also evidence of contacts outside the Creole, is an obvious feature
of sub-standard usage as well as a simple device to create humour.

Having overcome the language barrier, what do we find? Sketches full of
humour, with touches of irony, a keen appraisal of motives and occasional
flashes of local colour. Many of the subjects retain their topicality though, as we
expect, some of the attitudes reflected are no longer widely current. We no
longer think of the Chinese grocer as "so so John" Women have long been
liberated and have been "laying down the law and taking up medicine" so
frequently that it is no longer a matter for surprise. However, such a remark as
"no mus a goberment, smady tell me dem neber a ting right yet" is
contemporary enough in the attitude it expresses; the field of "pollyticks"
constantly excites witticisms.

The man at the bottom of the ladder has few ways of defending himself and
when he resorts successfully to native cunning, we are little surprised if he is a
bit self-complacent. Hezekiah can justify his rather brazen attempt to "put one
over" the judge in the courtroom. Attitudes much the same are common in
every walk of life. Curious though the dialogue might be at times, sentiments
such as those Hezekiah expresses on Emancipation are still frequently heard. It is
difficult to grow out of what we learnt in the class room.

To appreciate the humour in Quashie's Reflections it is necessary to see the
situations dramatically. Hezekiah is amused beyond measure by Tomazina's
sharp reply "Question mek to put but not by you" to the young man's
"Question mek to put, whey you caan lissen to im?" The likelihood of seeing
something clever here exists only if we can imagine each party "prouncing up",
believing he has said something extremely witty. We are amused, not so much
because something clever has been said, but because, as in life, each simpleton
thinks himself a wizard at repartee.

Hezekiah's particular notion of humour might be superficial but then he
makes no pretence at sophistication. It is his very simple-mindedness that the
reflections are meant to reveal the Quashie mentality, the mentality which takes
"bad tings mek laugh" Everything is an occasion for Hezekiah. Nothing must be
bypassed "for more might be in it than we think" His arch, rather sly comment
on Amanda "so me cousin no fe lef out" makes point because Hlezekiah himself
is never to be left out of anything. lie is always there pondering and
philosophic, but not pompous. His attitude to many wise sayings is "dat a
phrase" lie makes light of weighty proverbial sayings, "Ah lub mek de would go
roun, but ah me ah go round tel me giddy wid it" Hisgeneralization "Lub is an
awful ting" is followed immediately by the qualification "anyways de kine me a
tark bout"

Much of dialect expression is tied up with proverbial sayings. These are used
by a speaker as they suit the occasion. If one party in a quarrel says, for
instance. "Every day bucket a go a well one day the bottom mus drop out" the
other is almost obliged to reply in similar form, showing how he can defeat the
other's point with something like: "Dat depen on ow careful you carry de
bucket" At times nothing need be said to bring about the counterplay. The
'phrase' is there and it is applied to suit the situation. Everybody says "Don't
worry. there's a gold mine in the sky" So, "I have no money" becomes "doah
deres a gold mine in de sky, me han no lang nuff fe reach it, overtones of
sarcasm or poetry, or both.

"Market Women" is a particularly well done chapter as far as these
overtones are concerned so "me all tink dat if dem shub me dung any farda. me
no de-deah at all", or "one tin female cum in a fe we bench fe si dung pon wha
almost no dey" The indirect and rather circuitous manner of speaking is well
caught by Miss Sibley This kind of play with language can, of course, give rise to
rather weak exchanges such as "Shopping centre? Ah wha kinda centre dat?"
Mary Ann hexclaim. "Ah only table centre me noa whey you put flowers pat
pon." The 'country' man's love of pun and jingle is well-reproduced. "when dat

finish, him finish" or "me mek haste tek him a Charley's Punch Bowl, but a me
nearly get de punch"

Granted that Hezekiah is easily amused and eager to reveal the irony
underlying the actions of others, his indictment of another is often an
indictment of himself. His cousin Amanda Cassandra thinks she has done well to
marry Jezebel Grasshoppy Stance for although "im big same laka im name, im
gat igh colour" Hezekiah himself, however, is preoccupied with the colour
problem and he constantly describes people according to how black they are: "a
nager bway, whey blacker dan Egypt nite," "one big man, im black, im black so
tay" Colour crops up here as often as it does everyday.

Quashie's Reflections displays the mingled distrust and optimism of the man
in the street, his uncertainty and his bravado. He has a ready, easy-going
philosophy to tide him through, as his thoughts range over the 'grievances' which
perplex him daily, be it the water metering, the road hogs or the telephone
service. These are some of the things which inhibit a carefree existence and 1 am
sure that it is not only Quashie who happens to be concerned at the moment.


REVIEW ARTICLE: To John Bull, With Hate

THE PUBLICATION of To Sir, With Love in 1959 achieved for its author,
E. R. Braithwaite, a "succ6s d'estime" which has propelled him in less than a
decade from unwanted immigrant teacher in an English slum school to
distinguished representative of his country at the United Nations. Three other
books also contributed to this success story, but it was To Sir, With Love that
made the significant breakthrough. All four books deal with a single theme -
race and colour discrimination, and have earned their author an international
reputation as a perceptive and humane commentator on race and colour
problems. A Negro, born in British Guiana (now Guyana), Mr. Braithwaite was
educated in the U.S.A. and England, and his writing consists mainly of
autobiographical accounts of discrimination which he encountered while
working in England. When he first arrived in England he felt that his British
passport would entitle him to full rights of citizenship, but he soon realized that
there was a difference between the British and Britons: John Bull's marriage to
colonial interests, it seemed, was only morganatic.

After demobilization from the Royal Air Force at the end of World War II,
Mr. Braithwaite finds that. in spite of his excellent engineering qualifications, his
black skin prevents him from obtaining suitable employment in London. Having
suffered many rebuffs of discrimination looking for work, he eventually secures
a teaching job in a secondary school in a less affluent neighbourhood where the
delinquency of the children greatly accentuates the enormous difficulty of social
assimilation already created by his colour. But by revealing the same qualities of
intelligence and cultivated behaviour that he is expected not to possess, he wins
the respect of pupils, staff, and people in the immediate vicinity of the school.
Unfortunately. the narration of Mr. Braithwaite's problems in To Sir. With Love
is greatly weakened by the rapid and simple solutions that he offers: when a
sanitary napkin is deliberately placed in a class-room, the author simply
reprimands the class concerned and appeals to their sense of decency. and five
minutes later he returns to find that the offending article has been repentantly
removed, also. a girl who rudely barges into the room responds instantly to a
judicious touch of mild sarcasm from Mr. Braithwaite and, to the astonishment
of her impressed classmates, re-enters "with a grace and dignity that would have
befitted a queen": and towards the end of the book. when the same girl has been
staying away from home without explanation. Mr. Braithwaite, in response to an
appeal from her distracted mother, talks to the girl in a tactful manner and at
once obtains her promised co-operation for the future.

These instant results, which come from wishful thinking rather than sound
psychological analysis, indicate an unrealistic attitude to educational theory and
practice and an inadequate understanding of the social problems which confront
Mr. Braithwaite. They represent superficial gestures that conceal his real
difficulties and reveal instead his own vanity: for it isn't the causes of the
children's delinquency that are investigated, nor the motives of their racial
prejudice that are considered. As his frequent acceptance of glowing tribute
from admiring colleagues suggests, what chiefly concerns Mr. Braithwaite,
regardless of the problems at hand, is the satisfactory projection of his own

image as a rather talented and thoroughly civilised black man. A female
colleague explains why the students like him:

Then along comes Mr. Rick Braithwaite. His clothes are well cut, pressed
and neat; clean shoes, shaved, teeth sparkling, tie and handkerchief matching
as if he'd stepped out of a ruddy bandbox. lie's big and broad and
handsome. Good God, man, what did you expect'.' You're so different from
their fathers and brothers and neighbours. And they like you; you treat
them like nice people for a change. When they come up here for cookery or
needlework all I hear from them is 'Sir this, Sir that, Sir said...' until I'm
damn near sick of the sound of it.

Astonishingly, Mr. Braithwaite listens to this absurd panegyric without a trace
of embarrassment or awareness of his awful naivete in believing that his fine
appearance and well-intentioned behaviour could truly transform the
deeply-rooted uncertainties and prejudices of a whole class of delinquent
teen-age children growing up in a deprived area of a modern industrial
metropolis. All that To Sir, With Love really achieves is a sordid demonstration
of the author's vanity: and his book proves less convincing than some others
which deal with a similar situation. In Evan Hunter's Blackboard Jungle, for
example, the portrait of Miller, a problem student like some of Mr.
Braithwaite's, is that of an illogical, complex, but fully rounded human being,
quite different from the one dimensional students in To Sir, With Love, and Mr.
Hunter's reproduction of the bitter-sweet, true-to-life atmosphere of the
teaching profession contrasts sharply with Mr. Braithwaite's naively idealistic
view of it.

Nor is his description of specifically' racial problems any more discerning.
Mr. Braithwaite is shocked when refused social status equal to a Briton with
academic qualifications and level of conduct similar to his own; and he
constantly stresses the ease with which he could assimilate into British society if
only his colour were disregarded. When he first comes to the school, a teacher
recognizes from his deportment that he is an ex-Serviceman, and later, again
without self-consciousness, he describes a casual conversation with another
teacher in the staff-room: "We soon fell into easy, pleasant conversation, and
discovered a common interest in books, music, the theatre and films."
Numerous similar instances drive home the author's argument that under his
skin, he is as British as Britons themselves. Prejudice against him is unfair, he
claims, because of his social accomplishment, not because of his humanity; and
he implies thereby that prejudice against black people who lack similar cultural
habits may be justified. With some pique he outlines the general attitude of
"West Indian Colonials" towards Britain:

The ties which bind them to Britain are strong, and this is very apparent on
each occasion of a Royal visit, when all of them young and old, rich and
poor. join happily together in unrestrained and joyful demonstrations of
welcome. Yes, it is wonderful to be British until one comes to Britain. By
dint of careful saving or through hard-won scholarships many of them arrive
in Britain to be educated in the Arts and Sciences and in the varied processes

of legislative and administrative government. They come, bolstered by a
firm, conditioned belief that Britain and the British stand for all that is best
in both Christian and Democratic terms; in their naivete they ascribe these
high principles to all Britons, without exception.

These feelings provide the emotional basis of the author's own reaction to John
Bull and his fellow Britons, since they reveal both Mr. Braithwaite's unavoidable
loyalty to British culture, and his consequent frustration when this loyalty is not
only ignored, but despised as well. Paradoxically, frustration is intensified when,
as a West Indian Colonial himself, Mr. Braithwaite attributes high principles to
all Britons without exception, and these principles fail to materialise in England.
The effervescent self-congratulation in To Sir, With Love is merely sugar coating
for this frustration, it conceals the raging indignation against perfidious John
Bull which really inspires Mr. Braithwaite's writing.

Paid Servant, the second book, is an account of the author's work with the
Department of Child Welfare run by the former London County Council.
His job involves finding foster homes for illegitimate or other homeless children,
and the account deals chiefly with the children of non-white or mixed couples.
As in the first book, complex questions receive quick and easy answers: an
extremely jealous British Guianese sees his marital difficulties in a surprisingly
clearer light after only a short talk with the author, although major adjustment
to ingrained racial, psychological and social attitudes is required: and an
unmarried Irish girl with a young daughter, after a similar conversation, sees her
way through all the family and social barriers which, till then, have prevented
her from marrying her child's Negro. Barbadian father; at once she decides to get
married and set up a home. In these and other cases, the prevailing concern is
not with the problems themselves, for the quick unconvincing solutions belie
any such concern. What is far more striking, is the author's ability to achieve
satisfactory results often in cases where his English colleagues have failed,
spite of being regarded by both black and white "clients" as "the black fellow
from the Welfare Office" In an exaggerated display of apparently unnoticed
conceit, lie takes great pains to show that although people are suspicious of his
colour upon first meeting him, they are soon disarmed by his fine, usually
British, qualities. This paranoiac insistence on purely personal characteristics
indicates the false basis of Mr. Braithwaite's fulminations against discrimination:
for it is self-defeating and inhumane to argue against racial discrimination on the
basis of exclusively individual rather than universally human characteristics: and
the sentimental victory over discrimination in To Sir, With Love and Paid
Servant is as morally valueless as the victories of the Negro heroes in two recent
Hollywood films, In The Heat Of The Night and Guess Who's Coining To
Dinner, in which both men are exceptionally talented and deserve social
acceptance because of their special talents rather than because of their common
humanity. By implying that only exceptional black men deserve social
acceptance in a world of white domination, these films and Mr. Braithwaite's
books implicitly practise a morality that tolerates discrimination against the
large majority of blacks who are neither more nor less talented than ordinary
men of any colour.

A Kind of Homecoming was published in 1962, the same year as Paid
Servant, and provides a record of the author's visit to Guinea, Sierra Leone,
Liberia and Ghana, which promises to be very interesting particularly because
Africa is the native land of Mr. Braithwaite's ancestors who were taken as slaves
to the West Indies centuries before. Unfortunately, the book only contains
observations which might be found in the journal of any wandering, white
commentator, and provides an earnest record merely of trivia. Interesting social
or cultural comparisons between the author and the people he meets are barely
glanced at or completely passed over; and his identity as a non-African Negro
affords him no special insights into Africans or arouses no feelings of either
disappointment or fulfilment of racial kinship as one might expect. One can
contrast the account of a similar visit to Africa by the American Negro novelist,
Richard Wright, in his book Black Power, to realise how disappointing Mr.
Braithwaite's account is in spite of the considerable skill for reportage that it
plainly reveals. The Guyanese writer observes trivial incidents such as petty
African clerks slighting him because they assume, from his appearance, that he
too is African; (and to confirm his non-African identity he stresses the ease with
which, unlike Africans, he can fit into white company.) The American writer
ignores such incidents, which he must also have experienced, and describes,
instead, African psychological and cultural characteristics which may have
survived in the New World, for example, African dancing, similar features of
which appear in the American South. Although Wright's conclusion is that
African culture has not generally survived in America, lie suggests that the
American Negro retained "basic and primal attitudes to life" such as dancing.
Whether or not one agrees with them, Wright's book contains comments of
psychological and intellectual interest which prove altogether more lively and
engaging than Mr. Braithwaite's dismal travelogue. Contrast may also be made
with V S. Naipaul. the Trinidad-born Indian novelist who describes, with greater
perception than Mr. Braithwaite, his own disillusioning visit to the land of his
ancestors in the travel book An Area Of Darkness. All three of these writers fail
to establish strong kinship with India and Africa, and the West Indians, although
they do not openly say so, imply that they are more British than Indian or
African. In fact. both Mr. Naipaul and Mr. Braithwaite seem a little ashamed of
their racial ties with India and Africa respectively, and the disillusionment of the
Guyanese. when faced by a colour bar in Britain, is all the more painful because
of his genuine admiration for British customs and manners as revealed in A Kind
Of Homecomning.

Mr. Braithwaite's fourth book is a straight novel, set in London. Dave and
Jack Bennett, English twin brothers, fatally stab a "Spade" (London slang
for a black man) in a fight which they deliberately provoke. They escape by
different routes, and Dave and the Negro doctor from whom he thumbs a lift are
both killed in a subsequent road accident. To his family's horror, Jack later falls
in love with the doctor's sister, Michelle Spencer; but their relationship comes to
an abrupt end when she suddenly declares that she does not love him. During the
affair, whenever they go out. Jack, the narrator, is constantly belittled by

In the restaurant there weren't many people and one waiter came up to us,

smiling and saying how are you Miss Spencer, glad to see you again, and
showed us to a table, handing us these menus like a Christmas calendar. 1
waited till she chose then 1 asked for the same. Avocado pears and then thin
steaks with pepper. I'd never in my life been in a posh place like that, with
so many waiters buzzing around you. Then they brought another menu for
wine and I said to her she should choose something. Not the same waiter,
another one with a black jacket instead of white. She was completely at ease
as if she did this sort of thing every day. I couldn't figure it out....... 'They
seem to know you here', I said. All the furniture in the place was dark and
heavy-looking, and the carpet thick so you didn't hear the waiters coming
till they were breathing down your neck saying something you couldn't
understand. And all those knives and forks and spoons in front of me, I
hadn't a clue which to use first but decided to wait and see what she would

Jack is further humbled in the company of educated Negroes with whose
erudition he fails to cope, and Michelle's arrogant rejection of him is only the
culmination of several events illustrating the snubs and indignities he endures
from his association with her. These events appear very similar to the
autobiographical incidents in the earlier books which express the author's own
opinions rather than those of fictional characters. The novel's action as a whole
does not, in fact, achieve verisimilitude: Dave Bennett accepts a lift from a
Negro doctor soon after murdering a Negro; and dies later in an accident; his
brother Jack, a hardened Teddy-boy and racialist, falls in love with a Negro
woman and carries on the affair in spite of his obvious discomfort and
unsuitability: Jack's habits of thought and expression. moreover, are character-
istically West Indian. not English. Such an amalgam of coincidence and
improbability can scarcely appear plausible and consequently the novel lacks
imaginative realism. Michelle. for example, is incredibly flawless educated,
sophisticated. wealthy, beautiful and it is obvious that she as well as other
characters are undisguised mouthpieces for the author's own opinions on race
and colour discrimination.

The pattern of ideas in A Choice of Straws is similar to the pattern in Mr.
Braithwaite's first two books and shows his consistent attitude to race
relations. Michelle's perfection parallels his own irreproachable self-portrait in
the autobiographical works, and Jack's extraordinarily submissive acknowledg-
ment of Michelle's superb qualities is no different from the ultimate recognition
of Mr. Braithwaite's superlative qualities by the children, staff and school
neighbourhood in To Sir. With Love. In both instances the unabashed
exhibitionism of incredible actions performed by exceptional black people
derives from the uncontrolled frustration originally produced by the author's
experience of racial discrimination in London. But whereas in the earlier books,
frustration is masked by vanity, in the novel, more malignant forces prevail: and
Jack Bennett, representing John Bull. is crudely victimised for the collective
guilt that all Britons incur by discriminating against "civilised" black men like
Mr. Braithwaite. Because hate is its dominant emotion.A Choice Of Straws may
accordingly be seen as an angry and rather desperate attempt to sublimate black
feelings of frustration by deflating white feelings of arrogance and superiority It

is not surprising that Mr. Braithwaite's ugly reception by the British public
during the immediate post-World War II years should give rise to the terrible
hatred for John Bull that is shown in his novel. Most black immigrants to Britain
have had a similarly disillusioning experience, as the rapid deterioration of race
relations in Britain today sadly suggests; and the disappointment of West
Indians, as Mr. Braithwaite states, is especially acute because their expectations
are higher than those of other immigrants. The mutual hatred between John Bull
and these immigrants is the result of human weakness on both sides and of their
common adoption of a dangerous moral code. Black inferiority, whether real or
imagined, is always opposed by white superiority in an endless, intransigent
dualism capable of resolution neither through legislative nor conciliatory
measures; and when the sugar-coating is removed from Mr. Braithwaite's writing,
this moral impasse between John Bull and himself (a black immigrant) is clearly
seen. A less pessimistic outlook might be expected from someone with Mr.
Braithwaite's reputation in race relations; but his "theology" is wrong, however
good his intentions or righteous his cause, and his unconsciously gloomy view of
racial integration is a direct outcome of mistaken ethics which he applies to
racial problems.
In his Notes of a Native Son James Baldwin, the American Negro writer,
compares Uncle Tom's Cabin with Native Son by Richard Wright and says that
both novels, although antithetical in purpose, adopt a similar "theology" or
system of values in which white signifies goodness and black denotes evil. Of
Bigger Thomas, the Negro hero of Native Son Mr. Baldwin observes:

For Bigger's tragedy is not that he is cold or black or hungry, not even that
he is American, black; but that he has accepted a theology that denies him
life, that he admits the possibility of being subhuman and feels constrained,
therefore to battle for his humanity according to those brutal criteria
bequeathed him at his birth.

In the same way, Mr. Braithwaite battles for his humanity according to the
brutal criteria of a value-system which tacitly acknowledges white standards of
behaviour as superior to all others and rejects as subhuman those individuals who
do not conform to its principles. The whole substance of his four books is that,
in spite of a black skin which apparently identifies him with inferior non-white
conduct, he can, in fact, measure up adequately to white standards. Where, as in
the first two books, his emotions are less uncontrolled he simply shows himself
as good as white people; but in the novel, where retaliation is the prime motive,
the Negro heroine and her friends are not merely adequate to British social
norms: by contrast with the middle class English hero they are positively
outstanding. Gauging his own humanity or that of his Negro characters by a
prescribed code of British social conduct, Mr. Braithwaite not only admits the
possibility that he and his characters may be subhuman but confirms the
subhumanity of thousands of uneducated West Indians and illiterate,
non-English-speaking Asians who also hold British passports but who, unlike
himself or Michelle Spencer, are unaccustomed to the prevailing social
conventions they encounter in the host community of Great Britain. In this way,
albeit unwittingly, Mr. Braithwaite exhibits the same bigotry which distinguishes
between Britons and British. and against which, ironically, he protests.

This ironic contradiction is encountered by many "liberals" black and white
alike, whose sentimental attitudes to race and colour often conceal less
liberal emotions. Their novels about discrimination invariably reach moral
deadlock like Mr. Braithwaite's A Choice Of Straws. In Colin Maclnnes' City of
Spades, the Nigerian Johnny Fortune may be decent and sensible, but he fails to
cope with the civilised requirements of the metropolis, London; and for his own
good, is packed off back home. In the author's view Quashee and John Bull
possess irreconcilable qualities which prevent them from co-existing as social
equals; the implication being that if there is going to be close contact between
the two races, the only workable one is the old master-slave relationship or its
modern equivalent of first and second class citizens. David Leslie Stuart's Two
Gentlemen Sharing and Nina Bawden's Under the Skin illustrate a similar view.
This theory of inherent racial incompatibility may well be justified in the future
when the dominance of European culture can, with hindsight, be better assessed;
but at the moment it is discredited by anthropologists. In any case, social
problems produced by race and colour have less to do with anthropology than
with individual hypocrisy; and the objection to the three novelists mentioned
above is not that they avow a doctrine of racial superiority but that they practise
a hypocritical and self-defeating morality that invariably leads to deadlock. Like
Mr. Braithwaite. all three apply British standards of behaviour to their black
characters with unquestioning self-righteousness. Unlike him, they do not show
malice: but this is only because, as whites, they are the discriminators not the
discriminated against, and so have not been subject to the dehumanising
prejudices that provoke bitterness and rage in their Guyanese counterpart. One
of the best examples of their common condescension is given by the Negro
American. Paule Marshall. in a scene of her novel Brown Girl Brown Stones
where Selina Boyce, the Negro heroine is congratulated for her dancing by a
white friend. The friend is reminded of a Negro maid she once had:

'We were heart-broken when she took ill. I even went to the hospital to see
her. She was so honest too. I could leave my purse anything lying
around and never worry. She was just that kind of person. You don't find
help like that everyday, you know. Sonic of them are well And here
she brought her powdered face with its ageing skin close to Selina's, the
hand fluttered apologetically,' just impossible!' It was a confidential
whisper. 'Oh, it's not their fault, of course, poor things! You can't help your
colour. It's just a lack of proper training and education. I have to keep
telling some of my friends that. Oh, I'm a real fighter when I get started!'

It is a similar line of reasoning that causes Mr. Braithwaite's bitterness; he Ihas the
proper training and education that should make him "possible": yet he is
regarded as "impossible" in London.

Increasing frustration, retaliatory measures and prolonged deadlock are
inevitable products of an ethical system which, in order to convince itself of
the human qualities of one set of people, requires them to shape themselves in
the image of another; as for example. West Indians are enjoined by Mr.
Braithwaite to re-shape themselves in a British image. A less perverse morality
would not require proof of his humanity from a man, much less judge him by

arbitrary, self-declared standards: the mere presence of the man vitiates need of
proof. Nor would it assign permanent value to accidental or temporary
characteristics such as skin-colour or social customs. Above all, it would not be
inflexible, disallowing free discussions of ideas and possible change of attitudes,
like the rigid system in A Choice Of Straws which only permits, if anything, a
gradual hardening of superficial differences into solid antagonisms between
John Bull and black immigrants. The intransigence of racial problems whether
faced by John Bull and Quashee or Whitey and Jim Crow would be greatly
reduced if the tragically limited "theology" of Mr. Braithwaite's books were
disavowed. Unhappily, it is acknowledged by official sanction as much as by
social convention in both Britain and America where black men are required to
change their natural habitual characteristics in order to achieve due recognition
and social acceptance. After all, there is no good reason why emigrants from the
British Caribbean should not be assimilated as normal British citizens while
retaining such non-British characteristics as their native dialects and forms of
entertainment. Great Britain already contains many regional dialects and
culturally diverse foreign groups such as Jews and Europeans of all nationalities.
Clearly it is Quashee's blackness, not his social awkwardness that is objection-
able, or these "white" immigrant groups would have presented an equally serious
problem of assimilation. It is beside the point to argue that the black immigrant
should conform to British standards in order to merit social acceptability; for
even if he satisfied all others, he could not meet the standard of a white skin.
He would therefore be doomed, if Mr. Braithwaite were correct, to perpetual
discrimination from his host John Bull and could expect no more from life in
Britain than a future choked with mutual recrimination and hate.



Cambridge University Press

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