The Grenada newsletter

Material Information

The Grenada newsletter
Place of Publication:
St. George's, Grenada, West Indies
A. & C. Hughes
Publication Date:
Twenty no. a year
completely irregular
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
Social conditions -- Periodicals -- Grenada ( lcsh )
newspaper ( sobekcm )
newspaper ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1973.
General Note:
Description based on surrogate of: Vol. 11, no. 1 (Jan. 22, 1983); title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
A. & C. Hughes
Holding Location:
A. & C. Hughes
Rights Management:
Copyright A. & C. Hughes. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
24157414 ( OCLC )
sn 91021217 ( LCCN )
F2056.A2 G74 ( lcc )


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Full Text

Volume 7 Nu'aber 4
For The Week Ending February 24th 1979
7th Year of Publication - 202nd. Issue


The bankers of Minor Spices Co-Operative Marketing Society Ltd
(MSCMS) have placed a ceiling on the Society's unsecured
overdraft and this is creating serious trading difficulties for
the Society.

The Report of the MSCMS Committee of Management for the year.
ended September 30th last discloses that the Society's operations
are financed mainly by bank overdraft and other short term loans.
"We operate in high priced produce", a source cloqe to the Society
told NEWSLETTER, "and we need some EC$50 thousand available if we
are to trade satisfactorily."

Since last May, application for a EC$6 thousand loan was made to
the Government operated Grenada Agricultural & Industrial
Development Corporation. This has not been received and the
Report of the Committee of Management says the application was

NEWSLETTER is reliably informed, however, that this loan was
tentatively approved last December. The Corporation's legal
representative is understood to be still studying the Society's
Sby-laws, and the loan may approval shortly.

MSCMS was registered on June 15th 1971 when 7 members took over
from the operations of the Grenada Inter-Church Cogncil. Those

Produced & Printed by Aliast a Cynt i awgio~
P 0 Box 65, St.Georges, Grenada, 4Wotindles

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER- Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 2

operations began in 1969 with the purchase and shipment of spices

(other than nutmegs and mace) and, in 1971, the venture was

sufficiently developed to be handed over to the spice producers

through MSCMS.

By 1975, membership had risen to 153, this figure junped to 265 in

1977 and, last year, it stood at 314. In 1976, the Net Trading

Surplus was EC$8,276.91, it moved to EC$13,904.28 in 1977 but fell

back to BC$11,666.02 last year.
The Committee of Management expresses concern over the surplus

available and says that, after BC$2,916.51 has been appropriated

for the Statutory Reserve Fund, and BC$43.46 for dividend on unit

shares, only EC$8,706.05 remains for distribution. "After very

careful consideration", the Committee's Report says, "it is proposed

to supplement this amount from current earnings by EC$17,583.07, to

make the distributable sum EC$26,289.12."

In addition to the Society's difficulties resulting from a shortage

of cash, it faces competition from two or three big exporters.

Grenada's major spice crop is nutmeg and this is marketed through a

Statutory Body, thereby avoiding local competition and ensuring

best prices on the world market. A source close to the Society

told NEWSLETTER that informal consideration was given to the

possibility of approaching Government tp establish a similar Statutory

Body to market minor spices, but this idea was discarded.

"Members considered it would be unwise to take this step", the

source said. "When it was considered that Government has now

taken control of all the producer cooperatives operating under

Statutory Bodies the Nutmeg Association, Cocoa Association and

Banana Society it was felt that, if Government established a

Statutory Body for minor spices, producers might lose control here


The spices handled by the Society are Cinnamon, Cloves, Clovestems

and Pimento, and'1978 sales were, respectively, 5,460,16s, 2,000 lbs,

3,340 Ibs and 410 Ibs. Total gross sales realized EC$54,531.94.

SCanada, Argentina and Holland are the Society's principal buyers of

ICloves, Clovestems and Pimento, while Guyana, Barbados and Suriname


take the bulk of the Cinnamon crop.

Page 3

NBWSLsTTER is advised that there isj a worlo demand for Ginger, ,lack

SPepper, Tumeric and Vanilla Beans, but, while these ~ pps are grown

in Grenada, production is too small to interest buyers. It has

been estimated, for instance, that betw oun 20 and 30 thousand pounds

each of Ginger and Tumeric could be P.'aced easily, but only some five

thousand pounds are available annually of each of these products.

Sources close to the Society express thp opinion. that the

organisation is now "at the cross-roads" an 1979 will be a

critical period for it. The opinion was expressed that MSCMS

could develop much more to play a valuable role in Grenada's economy,

but the handicaps which beset it will first have to be overcome.
(650 words)


The Grenada Sugar Factory Ltd began grinding .eat- on Tuesday

(20th) and, while the forecast is for a sn'llr .rc;: year than

last, indications are that recovery of sugar fp- :on .f cane will be

better. This was disclosed today (23rd) to NEWSLETTER in an

exclusive interview with Mr D M B Cromwell, Managing Director of the


"We started to receive canes on Monday (19th)", he said, "and, ioom

what we have already processed, it appears that the juice is a lot

purer than last year and our return is likely to be better than what

we had in 1978". Mr Cromwell said the current drought may have a

influence on increasing the sugar content of the canes, but he though

the overall crop would be smaller. "As far as I can see", he said

"cane farmers have less acres under cultivation now and, besides,

some areas have been attacked seriously by 'frog-hoppers"'

The 'frog-hopper' is a small grey insect of the Cercotidal family,

The 'nymphst feed on the sap of the roots while the adults feed on

the sap of the leaves. The action of the adults kills the leaves

which results in a reduction of photosynthetic activity and so a

reduction in yield.





THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79e -

The Grenada Sugar Factory grows no canes but, by arrangement,

processes produce from some 500 cane farmers banded together in

the Grenada Cane Farmers Association. Currently, canes are

bought by the Company from the farmers at EC$40 per ton and, at the

end of the crop, farmers receive 54% of the net profits in the form

of a 'bonus'. This arrangement came into effect in 1977 and the

'bonus' in that year was EC$8.63 per ton. Considerable'

dissatisfaction was created among farmers last year, however, whe

the 'bonus' fell to EC$3.77 per ton.

Government intervened in this matter, there were indications that

the Company would be acquired and Police were stationed in the yard

of the Sugar Factory. The matter was resolved last'December when,

on the advice of the Company's Auditors, an ex gratia payment was

made to the cane farmers which was done, according to the Managing

Director, to avoid "political repercussions"

This.payment resulted in a total bonus of EC$9.31 per ton being

paid to farmers, but Mr Cromwell told NEWSLETTER that that brought

to an end the 'gentlemen's agreement' between the Company and the

Cane Farmers Association. "Whereas we operated rather loosely

in the past", he said, "we now have a formal agreement which will

be operated on a strict business basis."

The Company's prospects are not attractive. Agricultural sources

advise that it is uneconomical to operate a factory handling less

than 25,000 tons of cane per annum and this has not been available

since 1957 In that year, 27,020 tons were handled, in 1959,

the factory processed 23,253 tons and, since then, the highest figure

has been 18,988 tons in 1967. The lowest annual tonnage, 2,889,

was had in 1974 and the tonnage last year was:11,283.

The same sources say that sugar cane producers expect a return of

one ton of sugar from between seven and ten tons of cane ground.

The best recorded return for the Company was in 1955 when one ton

of sugar was produced from 9.866 tons of cane. Outside of-

that year, between 1951 and 1968, the number of tons of cane

Required to produce one ton of sugar varied between 10.139 and

12.474, but, from the 1970s, this figure took a sharp upward
c continued


% f

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 5

turn. In 1978, it was 19.353.
(643 words)


All forecasts of Grenada's major indusLzies, agriculture and tourism,

are favourable, and it seems that th; upward trend in business

established over the past years should be maintained during the

current trading year.

This opinion is expressed by Mr A A Browne, Chairman of the Board of

Directors of Jonas Browne & Hubbard Ltd. In the "Review"

published with the audited accounts of the Company, Mr Browne says

the trading results of the Company for 1978 reflect improvement in

the position of the Company and the general improvement in the

economy of the country.

"Sales were up by 27.5%", the Chairman says, "and profit, before tax,

by 24.45%." He disclosed that the profits ii;; .iid have been

better but for two factors. One is +h:." resv'" the Company's

supermarket in St.Georges were not up to e.sti-,.an a.:d reflect

serious losses.

The other factor lies in taxation and the international monitory

situation. "The increase of 2% in the Foreign Exchange Tax plus

the weakness of the US dollar, to which our currency is linked,

caused us substantial exchange losses in respect of foreign currency

transactions", Mr Browne said.:

This business, one of the oldest in Grenada, started in this island

about 1837. In 1915, it was turned into a limited liability

company, A Hubbard & Co Ltd, and, by L940, control had passed to

the Browne family of England.

In 1947, A Hubbard & Co Ltd was amalgamated with the British import/

export firm of Jonas Browne & Sons, and the new Company was

incorporated in England under the name of Jonas Brovme & Hubbard Ltd

The Grenada business of Jonas Browne & Hubbard Ltd was sold to

Grenadian shareholders in 1972. Of an authorised capital of

600,000 shares of BC$10 each, 294,128 were fully paid up and, last

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 6

year, the Company offer d 200,000 of the remaining shares.

"I would like to be able to say that, like other issues in

neighboring Caribbean islands such as Trinidad, the issue was

over subscribed within a day", Mr Browne said in his Review.

"This was pot the case but, to date, 117,461 new shares, or in
terms of dollars, EC$1,174,610, have been issued."
Mr Browne said that, while this is not an 'unqualified success"',-.

it is considered by the Company's Directors to be a satisfactory.

reflection of public confidence in the Company.

A General Meeting of the Company's shareholders has been summoned '

for February 28th and will consider th emmnation of h
Directors that a dividend of It
Sales After
121%, less income tax, be paid. Year"" Tax(EC) Ratio
1972 9,324,816 _2 0,976 3.12%6
Referring to this, Mr Browne 1972 9,324,816 9O,976 3.12%
1973 9,453,205 267,523 2.83%
said that, with the need to find 1974 7,696,327 108,233 1.41%

increased capital for the ever 1975 8,452,960 163,107 1.93%

'rising cost of goods, it is 1976 10,283,195 313,834 3.05%
L1977 14,290,202 554,737 3.90%
essential that a substantial 1978 18,219,857 705,241 3.90%

proportion of the Company's profits be retained.

"With this in view", he said, "the Directors recommend payment of a

12i% dividend, less tax, and that the balance of EC$454,248 be added

to the retained earnings of the Company."

The audited accounts of the Company show a 1978 increase. of 274% in

gross sales and commissions over the 1977 figure. The ratio of

profit-after-tax to sales remains at 3.9% but, because of higher
:. sales, gross profit was up to EC$3.9 million, which is nearly

21% higher than in the previous year. Net income in 1978,

after paying income tax, is just short of BC$3 million, and this
is an increase of 27% over 1977.

Sources close to the Company express the opinion that the Company's

Position will continue to improve and that 1979 will be another

good year.
(598 words)
j(see page 7 for Statement of Earnings & Retained Earnings)'

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 7

1978 1977
i*1 1--;5 '14,290,'203i


1 18;419;857 O14,290,203
14,309,366 11.056,652



452 1,272,353



Gross Sales & Commissions
Less Cost of Sales

Gross Profit
Less 1978
Direct Expenses 1,485,
General & Administrative
Expenses 668,
Interest Expense 428,
Depreciation 63,

Net Operating Income
Plus Other Income
Interest Received 8,
Gain on disposal of
fixed assets 6,
Gain on realisation of
investments 19,
Rents received 97,

Less provision for Income Tax


Less proposed dividend @ 121% (1977 -10%)

Retained earnings @ beginning of year




1,264,289 1,014,594

131,079 106.595

1,395,368 1,121,189
690,127 566,452

705,241 554,737
250,993 143.041

454,248 411,696
1,272,857 861,161

1,727,105 1,272,857


The Manager of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA),

Mr Robin Renwick, is now on an extended 'tour of the Par East The

trip, which has been described as "market promotion and

investigational", began on January 27th, and Mr Renwick is not

expected back before the latter half of March.

First stop of the tour was London, from which city Mr Renwick left

for the Far East on February 7th. Arriving at Hong Kong the

following day, Mr Renwick is today (23rd) still in that city where

he will spend some three weeks before flying tq Jakata in Indonesia

on February 27th. In Indonesia, he will visit Manado also and

will fly to Singapore on March 3rd.

Mr Renwick's Far East trip will conclude on'March 7th when he leaves

597 11,947

069' 2,348

054 92.300

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Iage 8

Singapore for Vancouva, British Columbia, Canada, flyinG via Tokyo.

NEWSLETTER understands that Mr Renwick will have a short holiday

in Canada before returning home.

Nutmegs were introduced into Grenada from Indonesia just before

the middle of the last century. British agriculturists, sent

to Indonesia from the West Indies to up-grade sugar production,

brought back nutmeg seeds as curiosities. They were planted

in several islands of the Eastern Caribbean but were not grown


When disease struck Indonesia's nutmeg plantations in the mid

1850s, agriculturists in Grenada extended their nutmeg plantings

Sand, by the 1880s, the island had an export crop. Since then,
nutmegs have played a major part in Grenada's economy and earned

EC$16 million gross in 1978.

Mr Renwick's tour of the Far East is believed to be the outcome of

comments made by the Interim Nutmeg Board in its Report for the year

ended 30th June 1978. The Board: said the demand for nutmegs

had fallen off considerably and prices were depressed because of

heavy offers being made from abundant stocks by competitors in

Singapore and Indonesia.

"Efforts are continuing to initiate dialogue with Indonesia with a

view to examining the possibilities of some form of closer

marketing cooperation between,,the two countries", the Report said,

and the stabilisation of market prices for the eventual benefit

of the farmers of both countries."
(357 words)


Two Legal Aid Clinics are to be set up in Grenada shortly. One
will be located in St.Georges, the other in the island's second

town of Grenville, and their direction will be under the charge of

'Grenadian barrister, Mr Tillman Thomas.

'.his information was disclosed to NEWSLETTER on Monday (19th) in

:n exclusive interview with Mr Maurice Bishop, Grenada Director of

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 9

the Caribbean Human Rights.& Legal Aid Company (CHRLAC). Mr Bishop

said a meeting of CHRLAC in Suriname on January 26th and 27th had

made the decision to launch the clinics, and a formal opening is to

be made soon.

"These two clinics will bring to five the number of Legal Aid Clinics

in the English Speaking Caribbean", Mr Bishop said, the other three

being located in Montego Bay, Kingston and Georgetown."

According to Mr Bishop, while the Grenada Legal Aid Clinics are to be

launched under the auspices of CHRLAC, they are to be autonomous and

will be required to raise their own funds. He felt that aid

would be obtained from international Bodies, and he hoped that legal

men in Grenada would volunteer to give some of their time to the

(195 words)


The Caribbean Human Rights & Legal Aid Company (CHRLAC) is "shocked

that the Government of Grenada has actively supported Barclays Bank

International's stand in refusing to recognize the Bank & General

Workers Union (BGWU)".

CHRLAC's shock is expressed in a resolution passed at a seminar of

the Company held in Suriname on 26th and 27th January, and, on

Monday (19th), in an exclusive interview with Mr Maurice Bishop,

CHRLAC's Grenada Director, Mr Bishop said the Resolution condemned

Barclays' action and called on the Bank to "cease the victimisatio

of all workers and to recognize BGWU"

The Resolution also called on Government to "cease all harassment of

these workers, desist from making public statements against the

struggle of said workers and their Union,and use its power to get

Barclays Bank International to recognize the trade union of the

workers' choice"

Since last October, Barclays' employees have been trying'.

unsuccessfully to gain recognition for their Union, the BGWU. Checks

by both the Labour and the Grenada Conference of Churches

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 10

proved that the Union represents a majority of the workers employed
by the Bank, but, to date, the .Bank has withheld recognition.

Prime Minister Gairy had branded the Union- as "Communist" and has
Publicly upbraided the Christian Churches fbr'interesting

Ithemselvesin an industrial matter. He suggested that the time

of the Heads of Churches could be better spent in reestablishingg

'some sort of discipline and decorum in the Church ...."

The CHRLAC seminar in Suriname had as its theme, "Political Cases

of the 1970s", and Mr Bishop told NEWSLETTER that, among others,

the review of cases included notable cases from Guyana, Antigua,

Grenada, Dominica and Trinidad & Tobago.

Mr Bishop said the seminar passed a further Resolution referring to

Grenada. This Resolution concerned violations of human rights
and said CHRLAC recognized "growing tendencies of oppression in the
region, and Grenhda in particular."

iThe Resolution referred to the mysterious disappearance of five

Grenadians, and called on the Grenada Government to institute inquiries

immediately into these disappearances. These five disappearances are
of four young men from Grenada's sister island of Carriacou in March

1977,and an Inspector of Police last December.

As far as can be ascertained, no inquiries have yet been undertaken

by the Police into these disappearances.
(366 words)


Members of the opposition New Jewel Movement (NJM) had their cars

searched for arms and ammunition by the Police last Sunday (18th).

The incident took place at night in the west coast town of

Gouyave as the cars were returning from an NJM public meeting at
ISauteurs at Grenada's northernmost point.

IAmong those searched were Members of the House of Representatives,
Messrs Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman, and Senator Kendrick Radix.

It is reported that the Police did not'have a warrant and that
thingg was found. (87 words)

.. __________________s g : _______________

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 11


Two seminars organised by the Grenada Employers Federation (GEF) in

cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), were'

completed this week.

SThe first, involving Heads of Departments in commercial firms, ran

for 10 days and included such subjects as Management by Objectives

and Budgetary Conttols. The second seminar was attended by top

management personnel who examined current trends and problems in

finance, industrial relations and other key areas of concern to


In an exclusive interview today (23rd) with NEWSLETTER, Mrs Angela

Smith, GEF President said the seminars had been conducted by

Mr M N Yoga of ILO. Mrs Smith said he had been assisted by

personnel from the local business community and trade union


During his stay in Grenada, Mr Yoga discussed with GEF plans for

further development sessions.
(111 words)


Mr Peter Penfold, Second Secretary and Information Officer of the

British High Commission in Trinidad & Tobago, arrived in Grenada on

an official visit last week end. He returned to Trinidad on

Tuesday (20th)
(34 words)


It was announced last Saturday (17th) that diplomatic relations

have been established between Grenada and the Vatican. The

announcement, made over Radio Grenada, did not state the date on

which these relations became effective.
(34 words)

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 12


There has been a general improvement in the quality of bananas shipped

from the Windward Islands. This is disclosed in a recent release

from the Windward Islands Banana Association (WINBAN), and this

improvement is attributed to the success of the Fruit Quality Scheme

introduced last year.

Under this scheme, arrangements are made to assess and report on

the quality of fruit delivered on the docks for shipment, and

Fruit Quality Officers were appointed in this connection. These

Officers relate weekly dock assessments to quality results from the

United Kingdom, and this allows for quick identification of origins

and causes of defects.

Mechanical damage has been found to be the most common cause of

poor quality, and the main thrust of corrective action in 1978 was

directed at improving boxing operations. This action resulted in

fruit quality improvement, but WiNBAN notes that less common

defects such as "ship ripes" and "crown rots" can cause more serious

problems than mechanical damage.

'It is significant that these were the only two major defects which

failed to reflect improvement in 1978", WINBAN said, "but the adoption

of recommended technologies and appropriate managerial procedures

can provide safeguards against their recurrence in 1979."
(195 words)


The Five Year Development Plan of the Windward Islands Banana

Association (WINBAN) was recently reviewed by a team from the

British Overseas Development Ministry, the British Development

Division in Barbados and WINBAN.

The review, which included all four islands, covered some 20

components of the Plan (including Fruit Quality, Extension

communication, Hurricane Insurance and Crop Diversification),

and discussions were held with Island Banana Management Committees

:onsisting of personnel from the Ministries of Agriculture, Banana

THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 24.2.79 Page 13

Associations and WINBAN.

A programme of work and budget estimates for Year II of the

Development Plan were discussed, and the team will submit its

Report and recommendations to the Review Committee of the Plan.
(109 words)


To date, there have been four shipments of bananas in February.

On February 5th, S S "Geesttide" sailed with 19,483 boxes of bananas

weighing 606,804 lbs. There were 564 boxes of rejected fruit.

Geest Industries Ltd paid the Grenada Banana Cooperative Society

(GBCS) ECC26.456 per pound on the shipped weight. The weight of

fruit received at the boxing plants was 635,894 lbs.

On February 11th, S S "Geestcrest" sailed with 13,207 boxes of fruit

weighing 408,098 Ibs. There were 365 boxes of rejected fruit.

The price paid by Geest to GBCS is.'not yet"available. The weight

of fruit received at the boxingplants was 424,421 lbs.

On February 16th, S S "Ariane" sailed with 20,491 boxes of bananas

weighing 636,557 lbs. There were 615 boxes of rejected fruit.

Geest paid GBCS BCC26.337 per pound. The boxing plant weight

is not yet available.

On February 22nd, S S "Geeststar" sailed with 16,067 boxes of

bananas weighing 493,829 lbs. There were 697 boxes of rejects.

Neither the price paid by Geest nor the boxing plant weight is yet


The price paid by GBCS to producers on these shipments is not yet


On the shipment by S S "Geestland" on January 30th, the boxing plant

weight was 778 07 lbs.


During the week ending February 17th, six cruise liners called

at Grenada.


These were :-


11th "Stella Oceanis"

13th "Angelina Lauro"


15th "Jupiter"


17th "Stella Maris"

267 Passengers

766 do

646 do

341 do

1071 do

172 do

3263 Passengers

The "Stella Maris" arrived at Grenada on February 9th, but her

passenger complement was not available for reporting in NEWSLETTER's

issue for the week ending February 10th. The Tourist Bureau now

advises that this ship carried 169 passengers. This figure will

make the total of passengers for the week ending February 10th to

be 3322, and the total of passengers for February to the week ending

February 17th to be 8,106.


___ __

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