Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
December 20, 1970
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note:
Includes supplements.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. 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:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text




26 Feb.- Demonstration in support of students in Canada.
Royal Bank and the Cathedral.
27 Feb.- 9 demonstrators arrested in the early hours of
the morning. Magistrate refuses bail.
3 Mar.- NJAC meeting at San Fernando, St. James,
4 Mar.-Shanty Town March. 10,000 march in support
of the arrested 9.
5 Mar.- Crowd gathers outside Magistrate's court; dis-
persed by police; windows of stores smashed;
crowd reforms; gathers in Woodford Square -
4000 strong. UMROBI demonstration in San
6 Mar. 14,000 march to San Juan; join 6000 more in
San Juan for meeting.
7 Mar.- 4 hour demonstration in Tobago. Woodford
Square becomes The People's Parliament.
11 Mar.- AG on radio television hookup for 4 minutes.

12 Mar.- March to Caroni. 6000 leave POS for Caroni. At
Chaguanas crowd swells to about 10,000.
16 Mar.- successful NJAC meetings in South Trinidad.
19 Mar.- First Tapia public meeting at Auzonville Park.
Best presents "Black Power and National Re-
construction: proposals following'The February
21 Mar.- NJAC march to Arima.

,,3 Mar.- Williams addresses the nation crash program-
mes etc. to come. NJAC meeting in People's
Parliament at same time attracts huge crowd.
24 Mar.- Police break up demonstration by use of tear
gas on Charlotte Street.
24 Mar.- NJAC leaders in court. Large demonstration to
Diego Martin.
28 Mar.- NJAC march to Arima.
29 Mar.- NJACat Mayaro.
1 Apr.- NJAC and National Association of Steelbands-
men meet.
4 Apr.- March to Maraval and Belmont. Mahalia Jackson
agrees to give free show. Massive demonstration
in Tobago. OWTU officially supports Black
6 Apr.- Basil Davis of NJACshot dead by policeman.
7 Apr.- Policeman who shot Davis is tried in absentia in
People's Parliament.
8 Apr.- March in High Street, many show-windows
smashed; estimated at $30,000. 17 demonstra-
tors arrested. Weekes leads T & TEC workers in
POS march.

9 Apr.- Funeral of Basil Davis. 30,000 take part in
funeral procession from POS to San Juan.
10 Apr.- UMROBI NJAC meeting in San Fernando;
police brutality attacked.
11 Apr.- NJAC marches Santa Cruz and Tobago.
Market Vendors agree to march on 10th.
Police Commissioner calls up all Special Reserve
12 Apr.- UNIP meeting in People's Parliament. Small, un-
receptive crowd.
13 Apr.- Robinson Resigns from the Cabinet. Rumours of
a state of emergency.NJAC urges people to resist
state of emergency. March in Diego Martin.
14 Apr.- Shooting incident at Teteron.
15 Apr.- Market vendors march averted. Airlines ordered
by Gov't not to allow Stokely Carmichael to
land in T&T.
16 Apr.- Nunez banned from entering Barbados.
17 Apr.- Work stoppage at WASA. TIWU calls for work
stoppage on 21 April. Big UMROBI meeting in
San Fernando. PNM parliamentarians support
18 Apr.- NJAC marches in several parts of south Trini-
dad and Tobago. PNM constituency groups
pledge loyalty to Williams.
19 Apr.- PNM General Council supports Williams. Work
stoppage at Brechin Castle.
20 Apr.- NJAC march from Couva to Caroni. Sugar
workers plan to march in POS next day. Tapia's
2nd public meeting at Diamond Vale Lowhar
speaks on "Black Power in Human Song."
21 Apr.- NJAC leaders arrested in early hours of the
morning. Smashing of windows in POS as police
try to clear the People's Parliament.

1970 Revolution: Every Man-Jack involved.

An0a lst popl* sid0 n Tindad&.Tbao, illam wa th mn wo ason

0o.uc thngwa 000 gtohapen0Tat ilia s cul nt dlierthegods0 An ate
ma0 ya00 ofvaila0. n 0 dhes0 aio ad uwili0 nes0 o rawth cncls0nth
arrva ofa arg nmbr o0 yungpe0 l f ou oo a th srucur yu* wl0seeit 6
perc0n o t000.ultin ae nde 25co in0ont0.scne 0nd seigtsfolhn s

I want you to imagine an ordinary afternoon in
Port-of-Spain in April in so far as afternoons in
Port-of-Spain can be said to be ordinary because, among
other things, at five o'clock in the afternoon there is,
and I am sure you will remember, the sunset. And the
afternoon in particular I want you to think about, is the
afternoon of April the 9th 1970, when some 7-or-8,000
people were gathered in the People's Parliament,
formerly the University of Woodford Square,to attend a
political funeral. In the coffin was a faceless, unknown,
straplinglad of twenty-four, from an obscure township
to the east. The population was giving him a funeral in
We left the 'People's Parliament' in the middle of the
afternoon to march to the obscure cemetery up the
Santa Cruz road. And there it was, at half-past five in the
afternoon 15,000 people in the cemetery. It achieved
the status of a Test match, which tells something! In
every tree around the ground, in the samaans which
spread joy and cool all over the land, men were sitting
on every branch; on every housetop there were people;
on the walls aroundthe cemetery, there were people; in
every house down the valley 10, 15, 20 people craning
their necks and shouting 'Power to the People;' or at
least, imagining that they were shouting it, because it
was of course a funeral.

AFRICAN RAIMENT noise! But there were the echoes of the
days before, and of the week before, and of the weeks
before that, when almost every day thousands of people
were marching up and down the land and shouting
'power to the people.' And here was this funeral with
15,000 people in every manner of African raiment you
can imagine agbadas, _kentes, dashikis holding their
heads high and marching behind this unknown warrior
of the revolution. On the way, 15,000 other people had

joined the march and left. So it was on that ordinary
April afternoon inTrinidad; 30,000 people participated
in a political funeral. And that, I want to assure you, was
an act of major political significance!
And the question I imagine you want me to answer
here this evening in so far as I'm able, is why? How did
we come to this conjuncture? and what does it mean for
us here, for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, for the
wider West Indies, for the still wider Caribbean, and
indeed, for the civilization in which we have lived for the
past 500 years. I think that is an extremely long story
that raises a lot of fundamental issues.
See Pages 9-13


Medical Services
Library Service
Legal System

Page 9-13.
Page 19.
Page 14.
Page 5.
Page 7.
Page 17.

Page 3.
Page 2.
Page 2.
Page 18.
Page 15.


There are many ways in which the public medical services of a nation can
be classified, and as many points of view from which they can be
examined and criticised. No such detailed examination is attempted here.
Rather, I shall mention some of the shortcomings that affect the public
services in general, as exemplified by inadequacies in one or another
branch of the medical services.


The basic characteristic of the public medical services of Trinidad and
Tobago is that they are an extension of the past, they are unfitted in
installations, in organisation and in procedures to cope with the needs of

the present.
Rambling old buildings, difficult of
access, are scattered over large areas,
causing problems of staffing, maintenance
and supervision. Administrative
procedures, unreviewed for decades,
result in wastefully unregulated activity
at one end of the scale and impenetrable
tangles of red tape at the other.
Co-ordination and teamwork inside the
service is non-existent, so that even
existing resources are less effectively used
than they might be; and in the broader
context, planning, legislative, educational
and budgetary activities are neither
imaginative enough nor sufficiently well
integrated to offer any hope of


It is necessary to separate the pro-
blems which are world-wide from those
which are home-grown. The line of dem-
arcation is not dear. For it is true that
the sheer weight of international pro-
blems such as population growth, the
brain drain and small budgets might make
it difficult for a nation to solve even the
smaller and more specific problems. But
the converse might equally well be true.
The impossibility of tackling conven-
tional problems with limited resources
might act as a stimulus to an energetic
government to seek unconventional solu-
tions by the exercise of ingenuity in using
existing resources.
The attempts made to solve universal
problems, however, have been sadly con-
ventional and, what is worse, dishonest.
Attempts to counteract shortages of tech-
nical staff have been made, strictly within
the framework of conventional qualifica-
tions and categories of personnel, by
means of recruiting drives and promises
to prospective employees of post-

Serving San Fernando

2a Mucurapo Street
Tel: 652-2093

Renee Donawa
graduate training facilities, research and
teaching opportunities. The government
has for the most part failed to keep these
promises, and what is more has neither
the ability nor, apparently, the desire to
keep them.
As for the problems which are either
home-grown or the legacy of colonialism,
what most characterises the medical serv-
ices seems to be the inability to make
even small, low-level adjustments that
would speed up procedures and heighten
morale. Two rubbish dumps outside the
mortuary of a hospital attract flies and
spread infection; an incinerator is out of
order for weeks, so that infectious
material, unburned, is put in dustbins too
small and too infrequently emptied to
contain it. Nobody has the responsibility
or the initiative to do anything.

Clerical procedures seem to exist for
their own sake, or to be designed to hin-
der rather than facilitate the provision of
medical services. Indeed, the services are
clerically top-heavy, since clerical staff
stays on--after all, the Government
service is an outlet for surplus labour --
and professional staff departs in a
steady flow. A medical department head,
in order to be authorised to sign orders
and other documents (about which he
generally knows absolutely nothing) must
submit for the scrutiny of the
accountants thirty-three copies of his
signature. A lot of time is spent making
out confidential reports on employees.
The format of these reports is unhelpful,
not least because it makes little
distinction between the qualities
necessary for the discharge of widely
differing functions; and they are largely
unread. Advancement in the service
certainly does not seem to depend on
At the level of planning there is lack of
co-ordination, inability to dovetail one
project with another, indeed totally

V 51-53 Long Circular Rd., St. James. Tel: 62-2477.





1 18 HENRY ST., P.O.S

impetuous and capricious
decision-making (what TAPIA has called
government by vaps"). Equipment is
ordered which cannot be used, either for
reasons difficult to overcome but
perfectly obvious when the decision was
taken, or for reasons easy to eliminate
but which somehow never get eliminated.
A recent report of the Intdrnal Auditor
pointed out that a Cryostat Celloscope
-- cost, $8800.00 f.o.b. -- was
deteriorating in the storeroom, and asked
why it was not in use. The answer to this
is simple -- there is no one who can
operate it, and no air-conditioning unit
where it is supposed to be operating. A
radiation counter for use in conjunction
with radiation therapy equipment was
also mouldering in storage for similar

Adequate planning for the improve-
ment of services, or the implementation
of existing plans, is replaced by frantic
day-to-day adjustments to recurring criti-
cal situations. The problems are frequent-
ly out of all proportion to the resources
mobilised for their solution (does the
Prime Minister really have to decide on
the height of the nurses' hemlines?). Ex-
pensive equipment is bought and not
used. Professional personnel are excluded
from employment on mere form while in-
stitutions are crippled for lack of their

In the medical services this
replacement of calm initiative by frantic
reaction has a particular significance, for
its results in a serious lack of attention to
preventive services. Indeed of the preven-
tive services existing now, all were
instituted a long time ago. In cancer, for
example, the medical services have always
operated the wrong way about -- treat
developed cancer as best they can but do
nothing to systematise early cancer detec-
tion. For ten years proposals to remedy
this situation have been disregarded
Three years ago there was a meeting to
discuss the possibility of setting up a unit
for early detection of cancer, particularly
cervical cancer in mothers. A dozen sen-
ior medical officials, including the Mini-
ster of Health, delivered prepared speech-
es about why this could not be done.
Support, both financial and technical,
had been offered by an overseas source. It
was not accepted; but now, three years
later, the same officials are sending em-
issaries abroad to try to resuscitate the
The argument advanced three years
ago, in the prepared speeches, was basic-
ally that the project wouldn't work be-
cause the support would eventually come
to an end! A decision as to whether it
would be worth the government's while
to study the project in operation and con-
Cont'd on Page 18


social reconstruction in Trinidad and Tobago will be meaningless until
here is re-organization of our Libraries. One of the greatest ills plaguing
he country is the ignorance of the population. It springs from a lack of
awareness of our literature, our history and our cultural roots. It has
resulted in the rootlessness of the youth; their fervid search for something
vhich they can identify; it is partly responsible for the eruption of
'ebruary 1970. It is in this larger context of providing information about
he society, so that an informed people can proceed to self-analysis and
progress without violence that the National Library Service must be
Recently the Library in Trinidad & Tobago has come in for severe criticism in the
lily papers. (The Bomb of April 13th November, 1970) lunched a vitrolic attack on
arlton Comma, Librarian of the Public Library; and an irresponsible, albeit desperate
guide on how to steal books from the University of the West Indies Library appeared
i Embryo, 13th November, 1970). Let us see what the situation is really like.
School Libraries are almost
on-existent. In some secondary schools Apandaye
here are collections of books under the
control of the teacher of English. No there are a few short stacks tucked away
revision is made for training the youth in a corner. In the Public Library, it is
1 Library science. What you find,is that difficult to tell how many books actually
uge flocks of children swamp the exist, since all are interfiled with
physical and book resources of both the non-West Indian material. An increasing
central and Public Libraries, where there number of social science studies on the
limited space for reading. The problem area is being prepared by regional
is been aggravated by the attempt to scholars. These must form part of the
acus the curriculum on the Caribbean. necessary background knowledge of our
students have great difficulty in getting people before changes in attitude and
suitable texts, outlook can occur. That the Government
The Ministry of Education has could claim to have a progressive
prepared reading lists without either educational system without a supporting
establishing school libraries with stock base of libraries is a very severe
fleeting curriculum needs or increasing indictment of itself. One hears every so
ook provision in public library services, often, grand talk of a National Library.
is even worse when the curriculum But when!
includes materials that are out of print. A As for our rural population, it is
national Publication Unit could be put to forgotten and neglected as everything
ork here. Even University students else. The book van service is crippled by
)mplain about their library facilities, repeated break downs of the vehicle.
Id add their own numbers to the already Branch libraries are conspicuously poor in
rercrowded public libraries, book provision. Perhaps, compared with
The small staff of the Central Library electricity, housing and water, library
the West Indian Reference Department services seem a minor need. But should
oes valuable work. But its efficiency is this be true when our government is
impered by having to work in headed by a man who writes grandly of
andalous physical surroundings: a roof 'Inward Hunger?
ith a gaping hole, a room hardly more To give people books and help them
an 10' x 20' into which rain seeps, know themselves is really to free them
getting valuable material and sprinkling from domination. To quote Rohlehr in
e staff. his beautiful review of 'Columbus to
Another sore point about our libraries Castro', Caribbean peoples need to know
that there are very few books by W.I. how it was they survived. What quality of
authors for loan. In the Central Library mind they rescued from the holocaust."

ALSO: Fishing nets and Cords.
42 Independence Sq. Phone: 62-37424. 5 Charlotte St. P.O.S.





NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION involves reshaping basic national
institutions. So we also have to talk about how to make the Trinidad and
Tobago Defense Force accord with the new type of society which we seek
to create. In the new states government and people have had to think hard
about what structure and purpose armies should have.
One reason for these agonisingg reappraisals' has been the growing number of
'military interventions' in the politics of many of these countries. But non-political
considerations also enter into reassessments about the role of military forces. The
formal purposes of armed forces are defense and internal security; but where scarce
resources have to be harnessed for the national development effort, aren't armies an
expensive drain on national budgets, are they not merely useless 'symbols of
independence'? In fact, shouldn't these armies be disbanded, and.if not, how could
they be fitted into the basic task of
national reconstruction?
Ir several ex-colonial countries PAT EMMANUEL *
national armies were developed originally
as badges of the new independence. i c h
Indeed it has been the mother countries is completely harmful or irrelevant in
which have insisted on defense forces as military institutions. Certainly some
ic he insisted on defense foce system of command is essential where
pre-requisites for achieving independence, disciplined action is a priority. But
Because of their colonial origin and effective discipline must be based not on
training the new armies have taken over the mere power to issue commands or on
many absurd colonial traditions and mere superiority of rank or title. Real
practices traditions and practices discipline must be founded on principles
singularly inappropriate to societies such of competence and humane treatment.
as this country which are seeking to In an ex-colonial society like Trinidad
overthrow colonial behaviour in all
spheres of their existence, and to develop
institutions rooted in a local culture. For
example, the sharp distinctions between
officers and 'other ranks', the incredible
preoccupation with deference and
subordination jar against the spreading
anti-colonial ideas of equality and
humanity which inevitably infect soldiers, and Tobago the values of competence,
who are citizens as well. merit and humaneness are of critical


The average soldier, unlike, say, the
policeman, is subject to a very stem
military discipline and command literally.
24 hours a day. (At least, the policemen
while on the beat is relatively free of
close supervision and gets opportunities
to use his own initiative arid make up his
own mind about courses of action). The
excessive disciplinary tradition in military
establishments, on the other hand, tends
to reduce the soldier to a mere robot, and
to that extent dehumanises both him and
his commander.
I am not suggesting that subordination

importance in professional organizations.
Soldiers want to know that they are
commanded and led by competent men
who are going to treat them like human
beings and not like so many gun-toting
robots. They become acutely concerned
about these factors because in the
colonial days it was irrelevant standards
of race and harsh treatment of local
personnel which prevailed. At that time
no one questioned these injustices at
least no one in the regiments.
But independence soon brings a new
ideology which demands equality, merit
and humanity. These new ideas seep into
the army and change the context in
which old techniques of discipline and-
subordination must operate. The soldier

is likely to be more aware of equality and
justice than the average citizen because
his training in the use of weapons makes
him feel that the ordinary mortal is not
really so impotent after all. The new
ideology of equality which he has
accepted brings the absurd 'class'
divisions in the army into open question.
They simply cannot be justified except
by reference to an alien and irrelevant
imperial tradition.
But what are the purposes which
armies do serve and should serve? The
formal purposes, we have observed, are
defense and internal security. By and
large armies in the Third World are called
upon not to repel external invasion or
serve outside their borders; instead, they
have been mainly geared to the
maintenance of law and order at home.
Their existence has also been explained as
a precondition for, and badge of
independence. But what should happen
after the first 2 or 3 independence day
parades when the army shows off its
precision drill? Surelytiese national floor
shows alone cannot justify such an
expensive outfit!

Armies, of course, do relieve
unemployment and job-seeking has been
perhaps, the major reason why soliders
enlist in the West Indies. Here through
the medium of a defense force, the
Government is simply transferring income
fron one set of people to another.,
The question is ,however:- of what
value to the society is this kind of
employment? Isn't a waste of manpower,
money and time when soldiers spend 6
years or more just learning the use of
arms and the techniques of combat?-
People who have thought out these
questions generally come up with two
kinds of answers. The first is: disband the
army completely. The second and.more
popular is: teach the soldiers basic skills
and trades and employ them in projects
for social and economic development.

Under the designation of-Civic Action
this second proposal has been introduced
in Latin American countries where
soldiers have been building roads and
bridges, expanding water supplies,
bringing medical aid etc.
Should there be a civic action type
programme in Trinida4oand Tobago? If
the state is reconstituted and re-organized
so as to establish popular control and
confidence, internal security will be of
minimal importance. In these
circumstances military personnel can be
engaged in the national reconstruction

If soldiers are trained in basic
industrial and agricultural skills while in
military service the country will
experience an increase in the quantity
and quality of skill essential for the
building of a national economy. With this
training and with the basic discipline and
efficiency of military life, soldiers can
participate in a wide variety of national
tasks clearing of crown lands for new
agriculture, afforestation projects, adult
literacy programmes and so on. All this
would turn the large defense budget to
greater national use.
But this kind of civic action cannot
take place without other basic reforms.
Some of them would seem to be:
* drastic revision of disciplinary and
other organizational features of the
army to discard alien colonial
practices and introduce more
humanitarian practices.
* a trained officer corps should
remain to take care of basic
military needs but the compulsory
enlistment period of privates should
be reduced from 6 to 2 or 3 years.
* The army should be supervisedby a
board which includes
representatives from Ministries such
as Education, Community
Development, Industry and
* The army instead of being confined
to one base should split up into 5
or 6 county units scattered
throughout the country. This
would emphasize the national
nature of the force, give soldiers a
wider knowledge of national
geography and culture and spread
the benefits accruing from the new,
educational and developmental
forces of the organization.


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In From Columbus to Castro, as in Capitalism and Slavery, one has the
sense of a careful compilation and organisation of fact to suit the
exigencies of a central purpose. Examples of this accumulation abound in
both books the later book draws heavily on material from the former -
and are especially to be seen in the chapters where Dr. Williams shows
how the slave trade affected things like ship-building, textile and iron
industries in England. Here he mentions every minute article made from
iron and used in the trade: fetters, axes, iron-hoops, hand-cuffs, stoves,
tools, guns, and a host of others. This accumulation of detail which at
times threatens to break down into absurdity, is, no doubt, meant to
convey the impression of the enormity of the trade, and is reinforced by a
barrage of statistics, with which most other historians would have been
satisfied. The device is semi-literary and semi-rhetorical.


One merit of this method of compiling fact, when, as in Capitalism and Slavery it is
attended by direct reference notes, an adequate index and the meticulous citation of
sources, is that it validates the work as a useful reference text, and enables other
scholars to benefit fully from the scholarship and archivist activity of the pioneer
historian. Indeed, G.R. Mellor on checking Dr. Williams's Capitalism and Slavery
discovered that a few quotations had been taken out of context and edited to suit his
main thesis, and concluded with the warning "that unless those who are engaged in
research are very careful they will find what they are looking for." When, however, as
in From Columbus to Castro, absolutely
no indication is given as to the sources of Gordon Rohlehr
the majority of facts and figures, and Gordon Rohehr

there are few reference notes, the worth
of the book is immediately in question. It
cannot be safely used as the reference
text it was intended to be, since the
student has no immediate or remote
means of checking either the facts or
figures. He will never be able to ascertain
unless he duplicated research already
done by Dr. Williams (which would be
rather a waste) whether the author is
vending some of the same authoritative
half-truths that both Drs. Laurence and
Goveia have identified in his later work.
Lack of references must therefore be
cited as a grievous flaw in From Columbus to
Castro, especially since a substantial part of it is
devoted to the presentation of bare statistics on
the sugar industry throughout the ages. By
constantly citing statistics, without citing
sources, Dr. Williams makes it impossible for
the student to view these statistics in any
context other than the one he himself provides.
The quotation which he takes from Mark Twain
about there being "lies, damned lies and

statistics" may well be true for his own work,
for all the reader knows.
Another shortcoming is that at times fact
seems to be indulged in for its own sake, until
the pattern beneath the face of fact is obscured.
Fact too often controls vision rather than vision
fact. Perhaps this is because a sense of people as
living complex beings rather than as economic,
political or sociological abstractions, is
generally missing from Dr. Williams' work. Elsa

Eill]llhI :h

Goveia's comment on the West Indian historical
experience is particularly apt here:
It is essentialfor West Indians to grasp in
all its complexity the nature of the
influence which slavery has exercised
over their history. But they will not be
able to do this until they can see the
white colonists, the free people of colour
and the Negro slaves as joint participants
in a human situation which shaped all
their lives.
Dr. Williams would probably dismiss this, as he
dismisses Mellor's thesis, as the "idealist con-
ception of history" (p. 540), though all that Dr.
Goveia seems to be asking for is "understanding
of the basic pressures inherent in the situation."

She would, perhaps, prefer to be regarded as a
humanist historian, which is the category in
which she, in her Historiography placed all
those historians who, not-only-accepTead the
humanity of Indian and African, but tried to
understand the complex human situation crea-
ted by West Indian history.
Truly creative writing about the West Indian
present, whether it has been accom-
plished by poets like Cesaire, Walcott and
Brathwaite, novelists such as Carpentier,
Naipaul, Lamming or Jean Rhys historians such
as Elsa Goveia, the C.L.R. James of The Black
Jacobins, or Walter Rodney of A History of
the Upper Guinea Coast; or a psychologistsuch
as Fanon, has always been concerned with this
need to understand and explore "the basic
pressures inherent" in the West Indian situa-
tion. It has always been a question of trying to
understand self, of self-knowledge. Ultimate de-
ficiency in the historiography of the West
Indies, has, for both colonizer and colonized,
almost invariably implied a failure in self-
In the case of Dr. Williams, there is at times,
an almost deliberate abdication of the right to a
self; an almost perverse reduction of experience
to a rubbish-heap of statistics about sugar. In
his work, people seem to be conceived of as the
sum of the facts and statistics concerning their
lives certainly a limited vision of experience,
not calculated to fill anyone's inward hunger.
One feature about Swift's writing which has
had little influence on Dr. Williams's vision, is
Swift's passionate protest most evident in A
Modest Proposal, at the economists' tendency,
real then as well as now, to reduce people to
statistics. In this respect the irony of the
colonial experience has certainly turned against
Dr. Williams. In order to counter the numerous
damaging stereotypes which white people
invented about Black people, Dr. Williams
adopts a method of obsessive factuality, which
in the end also drains Black experience of its


The true historian of the West Indies in this
era will need to have a strong sense of the West
Indian people such as is seldom evident in From
Columbus to Castro. For in the case of the
Afro-West Indians more than even the poor
whites and the East Indians, it was an entire
race consisting of several peoples, which was

stereotyped as inferior, and whose every aspect
of being was invaded and violated. It is
therefore necessary for the West Indian
historian, who like Dr. Williams seeks to bring
about the cultural integration of the entire
area," (p.12) to do much more than present "a
synthesis of existing knowledge" about the
islands, (which Dr. Williams does not do, in any
The historian of the seventies has a different
role from the historian of the thirties, which
Dr. Williams has remained. He will have to be
something of a social anthropologist, or a social
psychologist, and try to chart the enduring
quality of mind which enabled people to
survive the evil combination of circumstances.
He will have to reject the idea that the Blacks
were simply the objects, and never the subjects
of their history until comparatively recent
times. The Blacks were the subjects of their
history in so far as they negated the idea that
they were less than human; in so far as they
made repeated efforts at gaining their freedom;
in so far as they took definite and unceasing
action to help give their history its distinctive
shape. They were its objects in so far as they
were constantly at the mercy of their violators.
Yet, as Dr. Williams himself notes, rebellion
against their tormentors was as much part of
the experience of Black people, as submission
to them. The exceedingly repressive slave laws,
as he says, bear eloquent witness of this fact. In
rebelling, the slave was both expressing and
vindicating a self. It is not enough, therefore,
simply to mention the fact that such rebellions
did occur, and then to make a list of the
corpses. It is necessary, if there is to be fresh
vision, to do the same depth analysis of the
dichotomy of rebellion and submission, as has
been done of the economics of slavery and
If the historian neglects to do this, he is
bound to sink into the simple fatalism which
informs Dr. Williams's huge work, in which the

images. of death and destruction are as
pervasive as in Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Some of the most icily impressiye_chatersQof_
the book narrate the tale of the terrible wastage
of lives, with a detachment that simply
reinforces the blank brutality of the fact itself.
Here, at least, the facts and figures are
themselves frighteningly eloquent, and the
factual method is fully justified in the face of
the bleakness of the experience being described.
In Chapter Four, it is the Spanish empire and
the death of the Indians; later, it is to be
seventeenth century Barbados;thenJamaica and
Haiti; then indentureship in Trinidad and
Guyana with their phenomenal mortalityrates;
after that it is the malnutrition, hookworm and
malaria of the twentieth century West Indies ....
As the Guyanese poet Martin Carter puts it in
his poem "Black Friday 1962",

and everytime, and anytime,
in sleep or sudden wake, nightmare, dream,
always for me the same vision of cemeteries,
slow funerals,
broken tombs, and death designing all.


One does not have to travel far in West
Indian literature, to meet the image of death
and abortion, though it is gradually being
countered with images of the womb, birth, and
It is as if the madness and eventual
mysticism which Dr. Williams describes
overtaking Columbus, have also penetrated the
very tissue of the historical experience of these
islands. This is, of course, also a favourite idea
with West Indian writers. Lamming writes in In
The Castle of My Skin:
A sailor called Christopher followed his
mistake and those who came later have
added theirs. Now he's dead, and as
some say of the dead, safe and sound in
the legacy of the grave. 'Tis a childish
saying for they be yet present with the
living. The only certainty these islands
inherit was that sailor's mistake, and it's
gone on from father to son 'mongst rich
and poor.
This sense of fatality also informs Naipaul's The
Middle Passage. It lies at the root of his irony,
as much as it informs the acrid sarcasm which is
part of Dr. Williams' response to the West
Indian experience.
Time and again his conclusions about West
Indian history closely resemble Naipaul's. As he
traces the fierce international conflicts which
took place in the sixteenth, seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, it is the irony that time
and time again engages his mind. Consider this

passage, for example, which is one of the
From the territorial aspect, the West Indian
colonies assumed an importance that appears
almost incredible today, when one looks at
those forgotten, neglected, forlorn dots on the
map, specks of dust as de Gaulle dismissed
them, the haggard and wrinkled descendants of
the prima donnas and box office sensations of
two hundred years ago. (p. 88)

Cont'd on Page 6

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I From Page 5

Ironic, if even a trifle sentimental. The
exploiters of this age preserve a much greater
sense of propriety. But the bauxite of Jamaica,
Guyana and Surinam, the oil of Trinidad and
Venezuela, the sugar of Cuba, and even the
sunshine and the beaches of most of the islands,
still seem to be exploitable commodities, and
provide the enterpnsin descendant of the slave
reader and planter, with his adequate pound of
flesh. It is not the decline of the West Indies
that should engage our sentiment, but rather
their endurance as a perennially fertile hunting
ground for everyone except the people who live
there. There are several passages in
Braithwaite's most recent poetry which make
this point with a kind of despair. Reviewing the
sterile economics and politics of the area, he
concludes that:
......... the rope
will never umwvel
its knots, the branding
iron's traveling flame that teaches
us pain will never be
extinguished. The lsknds'jewels:
Saba, Barbuda, dry flat -
tenedAntigua, will remain rocks,
dots, in the sky-blue frame
of the map.(Islands, the title-poem, p. 45)


The difference between Brathwaite (who is
professionally a historian, and is about to
publish one of those books on West Indian
history which Dr. Williams claims that few
people besides him are bothering to write), and
Williams or Naipaul, who seem too paralysed by
the nightmare of West Indian history, is one of
emphasis. Braithwaite is as much concerned
with the fact and idea of survival, as he is with
the powerful fact of mortality and weakness.
Naipaul, when, as in A House for Mr. Biswas he
does seriously consider the prospect of survival
and rebellion, is concerned primarily with the
interpenetration of rebellion and absurdity, of
identity and nonentity in the West Indian
response to experience. In Naipaul, the absurd
West Indian situation leads to gestures at
creative rebellion in the individual's efforts to
arrange his meaningless world. These gestures
may be Mr. Biswas' in his attempts to build a
house, or Kripal Singh's in his attempts to be
premier of Crown Colony. In the small island,
the barriers between plebeian and patrician are
really superficial. All are caught in the circle of
futility; thus rebellion itself, because it is
conducted by nowhere people, culturally and
economically both orphan and underprivileged,
leads only to further dimension of absurdity.


It seems to me that Dr. Williams, both in his
writing and in his life, fulfils the Mohun Biswas
syndrome. His,sense of the absurdity of West
Indian history has led to a most relentless and
sustained rebellion. But as a book like Inward
Hunger, or a pamphlet like My Relations with
the Caribbean Commission proves, this
rebellion remains painfully self-conscious, and
at times betrays a longing to wield the same
schoolmaster's whip whose lash still burns
across his memory. The need to prove mastery
returns him and his rebellion back to absurdity.
An example will, perhaps, make my meaning
Massa Day Done, a speech which he made
on March 22 1961, has been considered one of
his greatest. It had to be With Elections in
the offing, C.L.R. James inexplicably fallen
from grace, and the opposition forces growing
daily more vocal, Williams needed to maintain
his reputation for both rhetoric and intellect.
Few Caribbean politicians would have found
the former difficult. Dr. Williams began with a
tirade of abuse against his political enemies
which had the distinct ring of robber-talk and

sans humanity picong which are both forms of
folk rhetoric and must have pleased the crowd
no end:
This pack of benighted idiots, this band
of obscurantist politicians, this unholy
alliance of egregious individualists, who
have nothing constructive to say, who
babble week after week the same
riticsms that we have lived through for
five long years, who, nincompoops as
they are, think that they can pick up any
old book the day before a debate in the
Legislative Council and can pull a fast
one in the Council by leaving out the
sentence or the paragraph or the pages
which contradict their ignorant
declamations for people ike these
power is all that matters.


The ending of the paragraph is rather a
rhetorical anti-climax, but the string of
explosive big words rhythmically building up to
a kind of climax would have sounded good to
the audience. Here was Dr. Williams the
national school-master, fulfilling his dream
which has become an obsession since the days
of his humiliation before the Fellows of All
Souls Oxford, of castigating unruly schoolboys,
by a display of his intellectual superiority. It
doesn't matter that professional historians have
shown that Dr. Williams too tends to omit
passages which contradict his argument; that
was not the irony anyone would have been
likely to notice at the time. Throughout the
speech he stressed his intellectual superiority.
To attack his ideas, he said, was to attack "20
years of assiduous research," and to jeopardise
the interests of "our national community." He
accused the Opposition of "intellectual

dishonesty" while he and his University of
Woodford Square were "dedicated to the
pursuit of truth and to the dispassionate
discussion of public issues."
He then delivers a very fine lecture on the
role of Massa in West Indian society. Massa was
the one who historically brutalised Black
people, and who was always opposed to their
independence. He sought power for his own
ends just like the house slaves in the Opposition
party. In Trinidad, Massa met his match with
the advent of the PNM (Dr. Williams's party)
which had done so much to set right some of
the major injustices which had been historically
perpetrated by Massa. Next follows a list of the
party's achievements in the areas of agriculture
and lands, housing, health, education and so on.


The real surprise comes at the end when Dr.
Williams boasts about the projected visit of Sir
Winston Churchill to the island and expresses
his pleasuTe that it is the PNM government
which would proudly show him what local
diplomacy had achieved in Chaguaramas, in
begging him for "protection for West Indian
products" and in "making representations to
him in respect of West Indian migration to the
United Kingdom." It is amazing how easily all
the bombast deflates itself and, miraculously,
still remains bombast. After the long litany
which showed that Massa Day Done, Dr.
Williams suddenly returns to the light of
common day, where he depends on Massa's
subsidies,and Massa's open door.
But the irony goes even further than this,
because if Massa, by Dr. Williams's own
definition earlier in the speech, was, black or
white, a man who was ultimately opposed to

I ., so.4IETIN G






'* '' :

3 S 3



the independence of the colonised, one
couldn't choose a better example of Massa than
Churchill himself. It was Churchill who. was
most adamant on the matter of India's
independence. He scornfully referred to
Mahatma Gandhi as "a seditious Middle Temple
lawyer posing as a fakir in dhoti," and asking
for independence for his people. Churchill
couldn't bear to think that anyone who studied
in England should not be an Anglophile, or
should identify with his own oppressed people.
Race pride and imperium in imperio received
their embodiment in Churchill, for whom Dr.
Williams was proud to unroll the red carpet a
few minutes after defining the
Churchill-phenotype as the enemy of his
people. This apparent right-about-turn would
be inexplicable to anyone who did not
understand Dr. Williams's Oxford experience.
For him it isn't really a right-about-turn at all.
It is yet another opportunity to prove to those
invisibly grinning fellows of All Souls how well
he can translate French, and beat them at their
own games of dignity and diplomacy.
Chaguaramas was not a PNM victory. Everyone
recognized it as Dr. Williams's personal triumph
... Everyone, that is, except C.L.R. James who
saw it as primarily the people's,whose spokesman
Dr. Williams was. To show Churchill
Chaguaramas, then, was the last thing necessary
to assure himself of his achievement. The
achievement could not be real until it had
received the applause of the right people.


But that was not the end of the speech. The
more vehement and histrionic the early rebellion,
the more relentless the late swing towards
absurdity. After the passage on Churchill
the speech moves to its anti-climatic climax:

It is only left now for Her Majesty the
Queen to visit us After all we are an
important part of the Commonwealth,
and if Her Majesty can go to Australia,
to Indian and to Pakistan, to Nigeria and
to Ghana, she can also come to the West
Two interpretations are possible of this
wonderful passage. The first is that Dr. Williams
may have been welcoming the pomp and
circumstance of a royal visit engineered by his
own genius, as the ultimate proof of the
greatness of his personal achievement, since it is
difficult to see how he envisaged that the
presence of the Queen per se could help the
people of the West Indies in any way
whatsoever. Indeed, he had earlier in the speech
described the house slave:
Always better treated than their
colleagues in the field, they developed
into a new caste of West Indian society,
aping the fashion of their masters,
wearing their cast-off clothing, and
dancing the quadrille with the best of


He even mentioned post-revolutionary Haiti
with its court, its titles, "its Duke of Marmalade
and its Count of Lemonade, exploiting the
Negro peasants." Indeed, nearly twenty
years before, he had written, of the coloured
West Indian middle classes :
The visit of a Prince of Wales, the
honeymoon of a royal couple find them
ready to display their loyalty to the
throne, their affection for the mother
Eight years after 1961, Dr. Williams accepted
the award of Companion of Honour at the
hands of the Queen, thus fulfilling both halves
of the Afro-Saxon psyche, that of rebel and
that of conformist to values which as rebel he
despised or rather, said he despised.
The second possibility is that Dr. Williams
may have realized the deep love which his
generation of West Indians, nourished on the
buns, slogans and lemonade of countless
Empire Day celebrations, have for royalty, and
-intended to use Her unsuspecting Majesty as a
gimmic to strengthen the devotion of his
worshippers towards himself. Royal visits had

provided excellent bread and circuses during
the era of direct British rule, culminating in the
fifties, whei they had been relentless
employed, first to prop up the foundering
Crown Colony system, and, failing that, to
effect a smooth transition from colonialism to
One of the biggest sins of Guyana's PPP of
1953, was its refusal to pay even lip service to
the throne. Some members had even picketed
the Princess Royal, telling her "Limey Go
Home", in spite of the fact that her
propinquity to the throne had been most
carefully explained. Among the sedition
charges brought up against Nazurdeen in 1953
was his alleged declaration "that the Queen was
nobody but only a symbol of imperialism and
that all the white capitalists in the colony
(British Guiana) were her stooges". Perhaps
remembering the Ordeal of Teacups and
Cutlery at Oxford which preceded admission to
a fellowship, Dr. Williams realized that certain
games had to be played by the rules Trinidad
therefore needed royalty to bless its
independence. Not surprisingly, the
Independence games have retained most of the
features of the Empire games.
Thus, absurdity has led to rebellion which in
its turn is a re-initiation into fresh absurdity.
This is distinctly the Mohun Biswas syndrome,
which demands that he forever leave and return
to the colonial Monkey-House. The difference
between Naipaul and Dr. Williams is that the
former uses irony to probe and analyse the pain
of his own loss, cultural orphanage, forced
ambivalence and futility, while the latter
exploits irony as a means of reassuring himself
of his own moral and intellectual superiority.
This has led to a failure in self-knowledge, an
inability to reconcile the broken halves of
psyche, and the necessity either to retreat from
a people growing daily in awareness or to
perform feats of ,self-justification over
Television and Radio.


It is not surprising then, to find Dr. Williams
concluding from time to time in From
Columbus to Castro, that West Indian history is
absurd. Exasperated at the continual efforts
which were being made to keep the planter
class alive, he finally explodes:
West Indian History is indeed nothing
but a record of the follies and foibles of
mankind (p. 229)
This closely resembles Naipaul's now famous
passage in The Middle Passage, which states that
'the history of the West Indian futility" can
never be satisfactorily told, because "History is
built around achievement and creation; and
nothing was created in the West Indies." From
Columbus to Castro certainly reinforces such a
conclusion. In it the West Indies are seen as a
theatre in which word, deed, religious idealism,
belief, morality, custom, the very foundations
of humanity itself, rotted under slavery, sugar
and the plantation system. Dr. Williams
catalogues this decay, while at the same time
trying to show that West Indian history, the
entire history of Europe stands condemned.
In this respect, he plays the role not only of
schoolmaster, but judge, two closely related
roles, since they both carry with them the dual
joys of castigation and condemnation. Thus Dr.
Williams judges the world as each country sends
its actors across the West Indian stage.
For over fo ur and a half centuries the
West Indies have been the pawns of
Europe and America. Across the West-
Indian stage the great characters,
political and intellectual, of the Western
World strut andfret their hour.... (pll)
The theatre-image is a trifle imprecise. Dr.
Williams seems to conceive of the West Indies
more as an universal Assizes, over which he
himself presides as Grand Inquisitor using West
Indian history as so much evidence for or
against the whole of Europe. Concerned with
the moral implications of slavery, he judges
each personage according to how he relates to
the African, acquitting him if he can
acknowledge Black humanity, and condemning
him if he shows any ambivalence in the affair.
It is Lestrade's role in Walcott's Dream on.
Monkey Mountain that he seems to be
Thus in Chapters 16 and 17, Dr. Williams

Cont'd on Page 8







15 Henry St. P.O.S.




- I



"The plantations have three centuries of history and experience at the
service of exploiting without appearing to do so; of running industries
whose imminent collapse is forecast at least once every five years."

Lloyd Taylor

In this surging tide of
revolutionary vigour, we in the
Caribbean want our political action
to be informed by a clearer
understanding of the problems
which actually face us. It is the
gradual and painful realisation of
this ideal which marks our advance
from one historical stage to
another. We have had so colonial a
cast of mind that it has not been
easy for interpretations drawn from
our own experience to displace the
facile slogans imported from the
North Atlantic.
The merits of C.Y. Thomas'
"Sugar in a Colonial Situation" are
to be judged by the extent to which
it promotes this ideal and brings us
to grips with the realities of that
old demon, the Caribbean Sugar


The monograph is a Ratoon
publication in six short chapters the
first in a series of Studies in Exploitation
promised by the Group. Its aim is to free
the land and the people now imprisoned
in the dungeons of King Sugar. It is an
attack on the Bastille, an assault on both
the legacy of plantation economy and the
neo-colonial policies which sustain it. For
Thomas and Ratoon as for the rest of us
in the Caribbean, it is time now to redress
the historical imbalance between the
constitutional independence which we
have won and the continuing control of
the economy by metropolitan interests.
Our demand is for local control as of
right, as a prerequisite to the design and
implementation of relevant policies of
social and economic improvement.
Thomas is not to be caught in the old
trap of simply asking what sugar is
contributing to employment and
government revenue, to national income
and export earnings? He goes on to ask
what it costs the national economy to





Techni Centre


PHONES 35842-38434.

keep sugar alive? And the answers are
very interesting.
0 The Guyana sugar industry contributes
15% to total product, about the same as
the Government sector, slightly less than
the bauxite and alumina, and four times
as much as rice. But its importance and
therefore the direct economic cost of
reorganising it has been falling. During
the 1960's alone its share in total output
has fallen by 25%. Moreover, in the
period 1962-66, the industry's share in
total investment was only 10% -
proportionately much less than its
contribution to total product.
SThe industry contributes very little
to government revenue..... only 7.4% of
the total in the period 1960-66. Again,
this is much less than its share of total

output; in fact only half. And in 1966,
the corresponding figure was 3.6%, only a
quarter of its share in total output.
Thirdly, the industry's contribution
to employment is highly overstated when
it is taken into account that employment
is highly seasonal; that the average
working year is only 40 weeks; and that
25% of the labour force has been
retrenched in the last ten years. On top of
that, wages have not kept pace with
productivity and many workers remain
the lowest paid in the country with the
slowest rising income levels. These
conditions contribute to poor industrial
relations, low community spirit, estate
paternalism, rigid class differences in rural
life and "increasing alcoholism,
delinquency and crimes of violence."
The cost of the industry's foreign
earnings is very high. Sugar earns 30% of
local export earnings. But in exchange for
protection in the British and
Commonwealth markets, Guyanese
preference to Commonwealth goods
amounted 6% of the value of industrial
imports from the U.K. and Canada. And
still more, the artificially high price for
sugar places local agriculture at a
disadvantage, biases resources towards

St. Augustine





exports and therefore towards the import
of foodstuffs and materials. The result of
this is to hold up diversification, and to
restrict the economic and political
independence of the population. So
Imperial preference is a prop to the old,
iniquitous economic system. Meanwhile,
the government spends an enormous
amount of time and energy in fighting to
maintain this preference.
The industry has employed the
Price Stabilisation, Rehabilitation and
Labour Welfare Funds more to the
advantage of its owners than to the
benefit of either the workers or the
national economy. The Rehabilitation
Fund financed 25% of capital expansion
between 1960-66 (reserves and
depreciation financed 75%). The Price
Stabilisation Fund financed "negotiated
wage increases;" and the Labour Welfare
Fund has been the industry's"
insufficient contribution to improved
working conditions." But all of these
expenditures were fixed costs which
competed with wages. And since the

industry was wholly self-financing, "it is
clear that wages lost" and the owners
of capital gained.
The industry has systematically
distorted the true picture of its profits,
dividends, reserves and capital
expenditures. In fact, the accounting
system is a patchwork of devious
techniques of concealment and
misrepresentation. For example
Deposits to the Rehabilitation Fund are
treated as costs but withdrawals are
nowhere treated as revenue.
Depreciation allowances are so inflated
that on Freeholdings the annual rate is
2%; on Motor Vehicles 25%; on
Aircraft 33 1/3%; and on Electrical
Equipment etc, 10%.
Profit rates are calculated on the basis
of capital employed rather than capital
invested. The effect is to show a rate
of profit of only 5%. But the true
position is that:-
"..... a one dollar share in 1956
would now be worth about two
dollars. Its owner would have
received an extra one dollar in
bonus shares. His share of the
capital assets of the Company at
present valuation would be about
three dollars and the dividends
received to date would be equal to
two dollars on each share." For all
its groaning, sugar has been doing
handsomely for its shareholders.
Who then are the sufferers?
When all of this boils down, it seems that
the popular view of sugar as a parasite
industry is completely vindicated.
"The evidence of an in-built
dynamic towards increasing exploitation





is abundantly clear The industry-makes
large and rapid expansions in its utilized
acreage and output; it pays substantial
dividend rates; it raises no new capital
abroad; at the same time it uses
absolutely less labour; it pays absolutely
less taxes, and its investment rate is below
the average size of the sector." (p. 13)

What, Dr. Thomas asks, is the reason
why the sugar industry is able to function
in this way? And his answer is that

First, the Government has failed to
work out a satisfactory Companies
Law. So that the industry continues to
be organised in a way which

* allows metropolitan companies and
holding companies to write off tax loss
against profits immediately

* allows the Companies to set their own
prices for goods and services
exchanged within the firm

* permits the companies to publish their
accounts as a group in London and
abroad but not in Guyana

* allows the companies to ignore the
problem of land titles.

* Secondly, the Companies have failed
to show the full scope of their
activities. Sugar is tied up with
distilling, bulk loading and shipping.
"To ignore the 'complex'
interrelationships of the industry
would make it impossible for us to
give any national evaluation of the
industry, as it would necessitate
that we ignore the untaxed,
unassessed, external economies ....."

* Thirdly, the Unions have wasted
energies on strife, and have become
entangled with foreign unions and
dominated by elite leadership.
"Despite the long history of
exploiting relations between sugar
and labour, the unionisation of
sugar workers has not led to
radicalization of the work force but
to an increasing conservatism."


What then is the way out? The first
thing, Dr. Thomas warns, is that we must
beware of the strategies being pursued by
the sugar companies now that they
believe that we are planning to take the
matter of change into our own hands.
These strategies are twofold. One is
to press for the association of West Indian
sugar with the European Common
Market. In this way, we will continue to
be tied up with the system of
metropolitan marketing favourss.' The
effect would be to blackmail the West
Indian people into not localizing and
rationalizing the industry. The biases
against diversification and in favour of
exportation and dependence will
continue to hold full sway.

Related to this strategy is the plan to

* create a house-slave class of local
managers by giving them more
important titles but less and less real
power to make decisions.

* involve the governments in partial
ownership of sugar so that the State
would become more committed to the
status quo (while relieving foreign
shareholders of some of their financial

* establish a class of peasant
cane-farmers large enough to have a
stake in the export economy but small
enough to ensure an adequate labour
supply for the estates.

The other strategy of the sugar
companies is to abandon the West Indies
altogether by shifting their interest into
European beet sugar. Brewster has shown
in his Social Economy of Sugar, (New
World Quarterly, Croptime, 1969) that
Tate & Lyle have already been buying
into French, Belgian, Italian and German

Cont'd on Page 14

Localization of King Sugar


i From Page 6

looks at how the entire cities of Liverpool and
Manchester, built up by the proceeds of the
slave trade and slavery, first support the trade,
and then argue just as bitterly against it, on the
grounds that it helps preserve the archaic
mercantile system. Nelson, Britain's- loftiest
hero, is tried and defrocked as one who was
against any sort of abolition. (p. 261) Pitt the
Younger is tried and found wanting. After
examining Pitt's inconsistency on the issue, Dr.
Williams concludes, "The great minister stood
self-condemned." which, of course, saves Dr.
Williams the trouble of having to find further
evidence to condemn him himself. (p. 263)
Hume, Jefferson, Chatham, North, Colbert are
all guilty.. Cowper is guilty of weak
sentiineitality, Wordsworth of apathy, and the
eighteenth century purveyors of the myth of
the Npble Savage are duly ridiculed as absurd.
Gladstone, in whose gentle footprints Dr.
Williams himself was due to follow when he
became Privy Councillor and Companion of
Honour, is also sentenced, and with him, the
entire flawed liberal tradition of which he was a
corner-stone. The mortality rate is certainly
high. Wilberforce seems to come off a little
better than he does in Capitalism and Slavery,
perhaps because Dr. Williams does not dwell so
insistently on what his enemies had to say. But
he is condemned as too wishy-washy and
gradualist in his conception of change. Canning
i berated for his attempt to serve humanity
and mammon at the same time. (p. 297)
Among the few redeemed are Clarkson,
Schoelcher. and Adam Smith, 'who were
reasonably consistent in their attack on the
morality or economics of slavery.

But a peculiar danger generally awaits all
Grand Inquisitors a danger of moral
self-righteousness. Two examples will suffice.
First there is Dr. Williams's judgement
of Canning:

The British Government's
middle-of-the-road policy of gradualism
was explained by the Prime Minister,
Canning. There were knots, he said,
which could not be suddenly
disentangled and must be cut. What was
morally true must not be confused with
what was historically false... It was not,
nor.could it be made, a question merely
of right, of humanity, or of morality. (p.
But Canning, as Dr. Williams should know well
by now, was simply articulating the dilemma of
the Prime Minister anywhere, and the classic
British conservative tradition of slow
concession to change. Politics are, and have
always been,; a perilous sacrifice of morality to
expediency .in the pragmatist, and a painful
conflict between morality and expediency in
the man of conscience. Most politicians solve
the matter by doing away with- conscience and
identity altogether. This is really the most
elementary lesson in politics. Politicians
become the world's most consummate
comedians when, having renounced morality
and identity, they insist that a moral
interpretation be accorded their every action.
Then there is one of Dr. Williams's more
damaging observations about Wilberforce:
The British abolitionists relied for
success upon aristocratic patronage,
parliamentary diplomacy, and private
influence with men in office. They
deprecated extreme measures and feared
popular agitation. This conservatism was
largely the result of the leadership of
Wilberforce, who was addicted to
moderation, compromise and delay. He
was a member of the secret committee
of 1817 set up to investigate and repress
popular discontent, in the days which
foreshadowed the Peterloo Massacre. (p.
Wilberforce, like Canning, seems from this
passage merely to have been a product of the
narrow and undemocratic pre-1832 English
tradition, andone ought not to blame him too.
much for his "moderation" and "compromise."
If one judges Dr. Williams's regime in Trinidad,
by the same absolute, cold morality one may be
tempted to arrive at the same conclusion: that
here is one who deprecatess extreme measures

and fears popular agitation" -- except, of
course, that which he initiates himself; one who
has set up a committee and passed laws "to
investigate and repress popular discontent," and
to enquire into subversion; one who
compromises over change, believing, as he says
he does, in gradual but distinct reform. The
self-righteous indignation of the historically
maimed mars his vision, which too often
remains at a sense of outraged innocence at
European hypocrisy to make him aware of the
limits of his own rebellion. This is one of the
pitfalls of protest politics as it is of protest
literature of any kind. Rebellion, if immature,
can lead to defeat rather than a liberation of


This criticism is also true of the last quarter
of the book, which treats of more modem time.
For example, Dr. Williams, to highlight the
significance of the thirties, tabulates the unrest
of that decade in an interesting passage, which,
however, appeared before verbatim in The
Negro in The Caribbean (seep. 93 of that work)
The road to revolution had been marked
out. The revolution broke out in the
years 1935-1938. Consider the
chronology of these fateful years. A
sugar strike in St. Kitts, 1935; a revolt
against an increase in customs duties in
St. Vincent, 1935; a coal strike in St.
Lucia, 1935; labour disputes on the
sugar plantations in British Guiana,
1935; an oil strike, which became a
generalstrike in Trinidad, 1937; a sugar
strike in St. Lucia, 1937; sugar troubles
in Jamaica, 1937; a dockers' strike in
Jamaica, 1938. Every British Governor
called for warships, marines and

aeroplanes; total casualties in the British
colonies amounted to 29 dead, 115
wounded (pp. 473-474)
That paragraph, as it stands was good
enough for te forties, but hardly for the
seventies. It ought to have been succeeded
somewhere by a similar tabulation for the
fifties and sixties which would tell the reader
something about the continuity of both distress
and rebellion. Consider the chronology of these
fatefiil years. Political, racial and social
upheaval in Guyana, 1962-1964, followed by
states of emergency, hunts for arms and
subversive literature, the presence of British
soldiers and warships, arson, labour disputes,
long long strikes, looting, murder, mauvais
langue, the total poisoning of race relations on
all sides, libel cases of all varieties, commissions
of enquiry serving little purpose and evading
essential issues, mass emigration of skilled
labour, civil servants and graduates..............


Constant unrest in Jamaica.. Poverty, weekly
shootings by' both police and Black youth,
anti-Chinese riots in 1965, searches for arms,
emergency inKingston, restriction of freedom
of movement and assembly; sporadic outbreaks
of arson, strikes too Inumerous; to mention,
many of them quite serious, and culminating in
a serious spate of labour unrest in 1968; the
bulldozing of thousands of squatters from West
Kingston to make way for a new
industrialcomplex and flats for party members;
the migration of these squatters to Maypen
Cemetery from whence they are also driven by
social workers, fire-hoses, policemen and
soldiers; the,,celebrated Rodney Affair acting
like a regional catalyst; riots and arson in
October 1968; increasing use of the army
as police force
Consider Trinidad of these times -- which
Dr. Williams, strangely, refuses to do .... Strikes
of all kinds... State of Emergency in 1965,
anti-Communist witch-hunt, revealing hardly
any Communist witches; the ISA to control
labour through legislation unfavourably



.........the review of the new politics

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balanced to the advantage of the employer;
demonstrations of all sorts; the Solomon Affair;
Gas Stations probe; 1970; shootings calling out
of the army, marines; appeal to the British and
the Yankee abused over the Chaguaramas issue,
to send help now; treason charges, sedition,
another state of emergency, murder, arson,
Draft Public Order Act, Karl
Hudson-Phillips.... In the midst of all these
things, an Independence .... which few can take
seriously ... Obviously... Obviously....
The list can go on and on, since this is but a
short catalogue of the bacchanal of the sixties.
The total dead-and-wounded, the total minds
shattered in the dark, the total teeth and ribs
broken, the total homeless, have not been
catalogued as yet. The total frustration hasn't
been measured, though Dr. Williams probably
has figures on that too, which he means to
release before the next elections.
From Columbus to Cast'o, a work so rich in
fact in its chapters which treat of the slave
trade, the abolition, the decline of sugar in the
nineteenth century, and the growth of gigantic
companies in the twentieth, has virtually
nothing to say about the post-World II period.
How is one to assess its worth? The first few
chapters on Spanish and French imperialism in
the West Indies, are old hat and can have been
derived from almost anywhere. The chapters on
abolition rehash arguments with which the
student of Capitalism and Slavery is by now
quite familiar. However, more details are given,
though no one can say where most of these
come from, since the writer declines the reader
this privilege. The chapter on the Haitian
Revolution, a clear paraphrase of C.L.R.
James's The Black Jacobins, is, like Dr.
Williams's treatment of all Black rebellion,
analistic, rather than analytical.
As the book proceeds, the reader familiar
with therest of Dr. Williams's work finds
himself wondering what is really going on.

Passages he has read before, entire chapters
almost, seem to repeat themselves. Chapter 18
is a simple paraphrase of Sewell's The Ordeal of
Free Labour (1862), and adds little new to
what Dr. Williams has already said in British
Historians and the West Indies. Also, material
that appeared before in Williams's book on
Trinidad appears here once more. Chapter 19
on indentureship again repeats work done in
History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago.
Perhaps that is why it contains no close
examination of inderitureship in Guyana or
Surinam, despite the regional scope claimed for
the book. Here, as in the book on Trinidad,
little attempt is made to assess the effects of
indentureship on the society. Things like the
problems of acculturation which faced Indian
society in the West Indies, the questions of
religion and language, of race -relations and
conflict are simply ignored, though one would
have thought that some notion of these things
were necessary in a history book whose object
is "the cultural integration of the entire area."
An opportunity is lost to examine human
relations in Trinidad during this exceedingly
rich late nineteenth century period, the
latterday struggle of French and English
cultures for the souls of Black folk, the
international spectrum of races, languages,
currencies and customs that was nineteenth
century Port-of-Spain. Thus From Columbus to
Castro repeats here, the main failing of the
book on the people of Trinidad and Tobago, in
that one never really sees the people of
Trinidad and Tobago.Indeed, no one could ever
guess from this book that the people of the
different 'islands are profoundly different in


Chapter twenty of From Columbus to
Castro contains passages which are almost a
word for word transcription of passages in
Chapter twelve of the History of the people of
T & T. Chapter 22, that hastily written chapter
on the 1865 Rebellion in Jamaica, is a brief
summary of what Dr. Williams has already done
better in British Historians and the West Indies.
Some of the succeeding chapters, especially
Chapter 26, repeat huge chunks from The
Negro in the Caribbean. Chapter 25 is an
impressive sketch of the growth of American
influence in the region, but this analysis is not
carried beyond the early forties, so that the
reader cannot guage what the position is today.
Indeed, the more one reads, the clearer does Dr.
Williams's secret design for over three-quarters
of the book become. The real aim is
humanitarian rather than economic -- to
present a package deal summary of most of
what he has written before, in words as near to
the original as possible, with a hundred or so
new pages as a lagniappe, which at the modest
price of twenty-two dollars and fifty cents,
would save the already hard-pressed citizen the
money he would otherwise have to spend,
acquiring the separate volumes of Dr. Williams's
most prolific career.




69 Mucurapo Rd., P.O.S.

Phone: 62-22058.

One's wonder widens as one proceeds. In a
book which has been exceedingly rich in facts
and statistics about sugar throughout the ages,
the reader learns nothing about Trinidad's oil or
the bauxite of Surinam and Jamaica,
interests which are far more important today.
There are works available on these things, some
of it done by some of the very people whom
Dr. Williams's preface apparently aimed to
discredit. An analysis of the functioning of the
multi-national corporation in the area, would
have helped as a basis for understanding the
perils which attend attempts at disentanglement
of the regional economy from the metropolitan
snare, and might have led to a less vacillating
attitude.towards the Castro regime in Cuba.
Nothing much is said about tourism though it is
becoming of increasing importance in the lives
of these islands, threatening to split tiny
impoverished societies asunder for the nth time
in history.


No analysis is offered of the political
movement towards a nominal Independence.
The emergence of Trade Unionism is barely
mentioned. The formation and failure of the
British West Indian Federation are hardly ever
treated. Dr. Williams' real energies seem to
have been consumed by his tremendous efforts
at looking backwards. Thus he has little to say
about the present. The struggle for the
Franchise and the important features of
political consciousness which it revealed in the
different islands, are not treated. Marryshow,
Critchlow, Manley or Jagan might never have
existed, for all we are told of them in this book.
Yet the book calls itself The History of the
Caribbean, 1492-1969. It is probably meant to
be the first volume of a really serious study.
Chapter 28 on Castroism is disappointing. It
simply mirrors, rather than explains Dr.
Williams' ambivalence as a Caribbean leader,
on the only country that has seriously
attempted to make Independence as a
meaningful concept. The chapter hinges around
a series of quotations pro but more generally
con Castro's Cuba. More often than not, Castro
is depicted as an impractical dreamer who
doesn't care for the economist, and indulges in
planlesss planning" which leaves his economy
in a mess. While Dr. Williams does try in the
final chapter to make up his mind about the
meaning and implications of Cuba, he seems to
be more concerned with stressing the
superiority of his own, ironically, gradualist
policy of steering the decidedly Anglican via
media between the Cuban and the Puerto Rican


The last two chapters ought to provide the
economists with a field day, since they will
better be able to trace the disparity between
what Dr. Williams says that he is doing, and
what he is doing in fact. The least charitable of
his critics see his late attempts to recognize
Cuba five or six years after he defined that
country as enemy number one as simply
another elections gimmick, which is meant to
indicate apparent concessions in the direction
of socialism while the basic structure of the
economy remains the same. The more generous
of his critics see his new attitude towards Cuba
as. part of a genuine attempt to initiate gradual
but definite change in Trinidad. Whichever is
true, it is clear that the youth are not really
with the Prime Minister, and that whatever
efforts are being made now, have almost
certainly come too late.
The most important thing about Cuba seems
to have been the lesson which she has taught
the rest of the Caribbean that idea about
change is important; that a real rapport
between the leader and the masses is necessary,
and that above all self-criticism is an important
feature in Independence. These are elementary
lessons, but there is little evidence that they
have been learned anywhere in the rest of the
Caribbean. Dr. Williams has had tremendous
insight. A book like Education in the British
West Indies, published since 1950 (written four
years before) makes it clear that the entire
Education system needs to be restructured and
lays down lines along which this restructuring
should take place. There should be a greater
emphasis on vocational and technical training.
The area should understand the irrelevance of
Oxford and Cambridge to local needs of
agricultural development, an arrested
urbanization and the development of technical
and commercial skills. A West Indian University
should "consciously and belligerently
undertake to guide its society along the lines
marked out by the objective economic
movement and in the direction to which the
demands of the people are pointing" The
University will have to join the mass struggle, if
its academic education is to have any meaning.
However, if it is to have direction, "the
Cont'd on Page 16


Watch for:

from Nov 15th Dec. 31 st
110. Eastern Main R"ad Tunapuna




I don't know what kind of society each of you
has wanted to build in the Caribbean, but I
know that all of us here this evening have
dreamt of something different from the order
which has existed there since the days that
Columbus launched the Enterprise of the Indies.
We have in the Caribbean a kind of social
order in which many of our highly trained
people don't feel able to live. They don't feel
they can express their creativity and humanity
in that situation; and they have dreamt of a new
order. And I think the significance of the last
three months in Trinidad and Tobago is that, for
the first time in the last 30 years or so, large
numbers of people came into the streets of the
country to try and mash up that old order and
put something new in its place. And that is what
the crisis is about.
We could start the story on another ordinary
afternoon of February, February the 26th, when I think
the crisis began or the conflict assumed crisis
proportions, culminating, of course, in the confrontation
of April 21st 1970, when the Government imposed a
state of emergency and called the troops out with
consequences we know. Or we could begin,and we have
to begin as well the story on a day in October 1968
when Walter Rodney was debarred from Jamaica and
that is a critical date as we shall see. Or, we could take
the story further back yet, to a fateful December
evening in 1960, when Williams not Sir George, Sir
Eric had had the nerve to announce to the people of
Trinidad and Tobago that he had clinched a deal with
the Americans over Chaguaramas for $51 million. Or we
could take the story still further back yet, to the year
1629 or thereabouts when the political system of the
West Indies was established. And each of these dates is
significant for the story which we have to tell and for an
interpretation of what we are now calling The February
Revolution' in Trinidad and Tobago, 1970.


Let us begin at the end as it were, and take the story
from February the 26th, when 200 students and'friends
from the University of the West Indies mainly
students embarked on what had become a routine
political activity. They went into Port of Spain to hold a
solidarity march with the students involved in the crisis
at the University of Sir George Williams in Montreal.
And they paraded around the town. They assembled on
South Quay (I think it was), went to the Canadian
Embassy in the Fumess Withy building or somewhere
about (I was out of the country at that time, I didn't
actually see it); and they went up town, up Henry
Street, across Park Street to the Royal Bank of Canada,
back down in town to the main branch. They milled
around denouncing the regime, denouncing Canadian
imperialism and so on, and some of them decided to
take a rest in the Cathedral on Independence Square.
And that was like a match in a tinder box. The entire
thing exploded. But not immediately; it took a few days.

The Revolution has given many black people
confidence in themselves; it has won many young
people confidence in themselves. It has discarded
Afro-Saxon self-contempt.
The Revolution has broken up the old Negro alliance
which the PNM first established after the Federal
Election of 1959 and then consolidated during the
General Election of 1961.
The Revolution has also broken up the old Hindu
alliance behind the DLP. Young solidarity and black
solidarity have deliberately crossed the line between
the two main races.
The Revolution has destroyed the racial basis of
conventional party politics.
The Revolution has forced non-black people to reflect
on where they stand in relation to the West Indian
nation and to Trinidad and Tobago. It has forced all of
us to take a serious position. It has prepared us for

The Revolution has discredited Messiahship,
pragmatism and Doctor Politics all of which thrive on
our impotence, on our ignorance and on the herding of
people into simple racial or class or colour groupings.
The Revolution has discredited the Pappyshow
Plantation Economy; it has brought the metropolitan
sector under fire. It has forced the government to
adopt the new movement's programme for popular
control of the the economy.
The Revolution has shown that there are community
groups and community leaders all over the country
who are willing to win back our dignity with their lives
if necessary.
The Revolution has shown that all sections of the new
movement need to gather themselves together, to get
organized, to settle on our programmes, and to prepare
ourselves for the fullest popular responsibility. It has
broken the old regime.

It took, first of all, the scuffle that ensued with the
police and then the arrest on the next day of 12 chaps
for assembling in a place of worship and for other
charges for which purpose the Attorney General
reactivated a piece of legislation which, significantly, had
been passed in the days just after emancipation to
control the Queen's ex-slaves And the country took note
of that. The issue of the church and the intervention in
the Cathedral, of course, ripped aside a lot of the veils
with which the society had been hiding its past and
disguising the old order; it introduced an element of
anxiety into the situation.


The next week that February 26th was a Thursday
afternoon the men who had been arrested were due to
be tried. And on the Tuesday afternoon, I think it was,
the leaders of those 200 students determined to have a
solidarity march for the men who had been arrested. And
lo and behold 200 students were suddenly transformed
into 10,000 and the country immediately stood up and
took notice. And Geddes Granger, the leader of those
200 students and of the National Joint Action
Committee which had organised the thing, a man of a
certain platform flair, decided to take the movement
into Shanty Town. And that is exactly what he did.
They began, of course, with only a few hundred and the
thing that astounded the country is that those 200
became 10,000 in a matter of minutes, as they marched
to the outskirts of the city. And that, Sisters and
Brothers, introduced an altogether new chapter into the
history of Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies,
though some of us did not know that for another week
and a half or so.
In the course of that week and a half we had for the
first time the emergence of popular cocktail parties, with
a difference Molotov cocktails. We also had later in
that second week early in March a demonstration which
went from Port of Spain to San Juan in the east and
which, according to the conservative press, drew 14,000
people and which, according to the Express, the national
paper, drew 20,000. And if the country had had any
doubt about the significance of what had gone before
many of its doubts were now dispelled. These marches
revealed a number of important things. One, they
revealed the existence in the country of a whole series of
organizations of which few people had known before.
Organizations appeared from San Juan in the east, from
St. James in the west, from San Fernando, from Penal,
from Mount Lambert, from behind the bridge, from
Belmont, from every conceivable part of the country, a
whole series of organizations suddenly appeared on the
political stage. Then UMROBI in San Fernando, Pine
Toppers from behind the bridge, etc.


It revealed that the country had been thinking about a
whole range of issues: Inequality, unemployment,
metropolitan domination, Afro-Indian relations and so
on. In the very first week it had become clear that we
had reached this new political stage. However, a whole
series of incidents raised a certain scepticism in the
minds of some people and opened an opportunity for
some people to drive the movement back. The molotov
cocktails and the arson, which appeared quite early in
the game, resulted in the burning down in the first week
of the Kirpalani store in San Juan. And the reactionary
elements in the country, led by 'The Nation', the
P.N.M's paper, immediately took the opportunity to
interpret this as an anti-Indian act on the part of the
movement which had as its banner for reasons I shall
come to later 'Black Power'. And here again, the
particular flair which the leadership of the National
Joint Action Committee undoubtedly commands, led
the movement to resolve this issue by a march. Granger
proposed to his followers by now many thousands -
that they go back to the country and rally their districts
and bring the people out to a march to the Indian area
to establish the fact of Afro-Asian solidarity.


Everyone knows that the basis of the old political
order in the West Indies is racial division, and in Trinidad
and Tobago and Guyana in particular, racial division
between Indians and the Africans, the major population
groups. On the Caroni march with the aid of a number
of fortuitous developments established the movement as
a significant political force in the country beyond any
It took place exactly three weeks after the February
26th incident, on a Thursday afternoon Some 10,000
people at least, were engaged on that march, 28 miles,
ending in Chaguanas, and culminating in a massive
meeting in the half light downtown Couva, with a
significant number of the local population participating.
On the way, the Indian population had welcomed the
marchers with iced water and orange juice and every
manner of greeting, and no untoward incident had taken
place. And the country realized that we were back in the
1930's in the sense that there was a scale of political
protest in the country which opened the way to a new
regime in the way that the demonstrations and riots of
the 1930's in Trinidad, St. Kitts, Jamaica and all over the
nation, had ushered in the age of decolonization,starting
with adult suffrage in Jamaica in 1944, and ending in
some cases with independence.

That Caroni march established the movement as a
serious political force and concluded, in my
interpretation, the first of four phases in the
development of the February Revolution. The second
phase which came after that involved a wait on the part
of the country to see what the Establishment would now
do. How would the Big Doctor respond? How would the
Little King take it? What would the pussonal nonarch
Everybody waited. They had noted, very early in the
development of the crisis, his responses. He had said on
the second or third day of the thing that he would have
no truck with hooligans who had no respect for church
and society. The day after that, I think, he had declined
to go to a routine opening of a conference which he had
to attend at the University of the West Indies and the
country had noticed the sign of weakness. And later on,
he had talked about 'upstarts'; and the country made its
own judgment about the significance of these statements
and waited to hear how he would move to cope with this
new development which was obviously, at this point,
serious. There is one more interesting thing that the
country had to note: He began to build a wall ten feet
high around his house.
Anyhow, for a long time he stood cowering behind
these walls. And Parliament was no different! I think it
met on two occasions during this period, and declined to
note that thousands of people were walking up and
down the streets of Port of Spain, that they had taken
over the public square and were everywhere denouncing
the old order. And then when he could wait no more,
Williams ultimately spoke on March the 23rd. And when
he spoke it was a major event in the development of the
political situation in Trinidad and Tobago because for
the first time large numbers of people in Trinidad and
Tobago actually saw through the fraudulence of the
regime which had governed them for 14 years.
Many people had suspected that the regime was
bankrupt, larger numbers still knew that the regime was
corrupt they could see the evidence everywhere -
they knew that it had not been delivering any goods for
a long long time; but we had invested so much in it in
the beginning and we trusted ourselves so little that
many of us declined-to draw the inferences. Many
would say, "The men around him are empty, but the
doctor is a boss." But when Williams spoke on that

m Cont'd on Page 10


* From Page 9
evening of the 23rd of March, with the nation on the
height of crisis, a bigger crisis than we had had for 30
years, they knew! For what did Williams say?
Williams said that he had a feeling that people weren't
aware of all the things that the Government had been
doing for the country. He said many people were talking
a lot of rubbish about petroleum and sugar, but could
we cut our nose off to spoil our faces? he said. The
country was saying: "If we cut our noses to spoil our
faces, is we that cut it off!" And that is what the issue
Williams said that what we needed to do was to find
more oil and more gas. He argued that it took time in
the Parliamentary process; the democratic system which
we had established involved a great deal of delay in the
implementation of projects, and we couldn't run before
we could walk. All, therefore,he couldpropose, was a tax
to yield 10 million dollars and to push the revenue up
from $386 million to $396 million dollars, the 10
million dollars being put into a special fund to create
work for the population in mending roads and sweeping
streets. And the country drew the appropriate inference
and resolved that this regime had to go. And that
ushered in the third phase of the February Revolution
which lasted for about a month.


EI r

In this third phase it was quite clear, or it became
crystal clear as the days passed, that the new movement
was looking for a confrontation to bring the regime
down as quickly as possible. There is no question about
that! The strategy did not appeal to me, not because I
did not agree with the objectives of course, or because I
did not support the movement; but it is important to
know what resources one has.
You can't provoke a revolutionary situation if you
don't have revolutionary resources to take the power -
and we did not have them, as we shall see. Nevertheless,
I think this is the moment when the movement became
intoxicated by its own success. It began, first of all, to


Dec. 1960 Chaguaramas Settlement
Dec. 1961 "African apanjat"for PNM election platform.
Dec. 1963 "Sugar Melon" Deal with Bhadase
Subversive Commission of. Enquiry
1964 Solomon Affair: "Get to Hell Out."
Mar. 1965 State of Emergency. ISA
Sept. 1965 Communist witchhunt, disparagement of
the Cuban economy, by.Williams.
Dec. 1966 Massive non-participation in the General
Apr. 1967. Withdrawal of Finance Act.
Oct. 1968 Rodney demonstration by students.
March to Whitehall. Moko is born. March by
electrical branch of Ministry of Works.
Nov. 1968-New World "split". Birth of Tapia House
Group and unconventional politics.
Feb. 1969 Sir George Williams incident.
NUGE demonstration.
Anguilla Freedom March.
Apr. 1969 Cocoa vs Sugar Demonstration.
Communication Workers Union March.
TIWU strike begins.
Williams gambages "fight to the finish."
May 1969 Sugar Workers March.
Southern Villages March.
Jul. 1969 Five Rivers demonstrations
Aug. 1969-Some children demonstrate over playing
St. George County Council Workers
Tobago Secessionist Movement.
Sept. 1969-Tapia appears, review of the new politics.
Four Roads School demonstration.
T&TEC & OWTU demonstrate.
Oct. 1969 -Southern Footballers March.
Malick villagers demonstrate.
Thomas and Camacho incidents
Minor leagues footballers demonstrate.
Nov. 1969 -Contractors and General Workers March.
Dec. 1969 -Pivot and NJAC organise St. Francois.
Marijuana March.
Jan. 1970 -UNIP launched.
Feb.1970 -Political Carnival
TIWU Marches.
Feb. 26th.-Anniversary of Sir George Williams incident.

radicalise the country marches everywhere in Pehal,
in Mayaro, a weekend in Tobago, a "holiday" weekend
in Tobago of a kind that you wouldhardlyimagine,four
days I think it was, the biggest meeting in Scarborough
ever, up and down the land terrorising the old regime,
activating the population. Children were shouting
"Power, Power to the People." Old women were
involved, buying political papers. I myself was selling
papers in Port of Spain, one hundred and twenty an
hour. People were saying, "I don't know what Black
Power is, but I am for it." Because people had reached a
stage where it could not go on any longer. The regime
had to go. Up and down the country, these young. Five,
ten, fifteen, twenty thousand people, up and down,
"Power to the People," everywhere!


And the high point of this, of course, was the funeral
on that afternoon of April 19th. And then the thing
began to escalate almost to a point of hysteria. Let me
see if I can identify the incidents that led up to the final
thing. The funeral of Davis took place on the 9th April
and shortly after that the impending visit of Stokely
Carmichael was announced; and people began to think
of that as perhaps the opening for the final grand
confrontation wrongly, I thought, and so did Tapia at
the time. Nevertheless it is indicative of the mood of the
On that same Thursday afternoon, the market vendors
in Port of Spain declared their intention to throw their
lot in with the Black Power Movement. Then came the
weekend that was the Thursday and the police
began to call up their reserves, the army began to call up
volunteers, and the steelband threw their lot in with the
movement. In other words, the country was beginning to
polarise for the confrontation. Declare where you stand!
Goddard went to the-People's Parliament Goddard
who for many years had been thought to be a retained in
the stable of the establishment went into the public
square and denounced Williams and the regime.


On the Monday morning, Robinson, for whatever
reasons, I don't think I would like to explore them,
resigned from the Cabinet and pushed the political
temperature higher. That was the 13th of April. On the
Wednesday, the Government exarcerbatedthe situation
by warning the airlines against even allowing Stokely to
pass through Trinidad. On that same day, work stopped
among the daily-paid workers at the Water and Sewerage
Authority. All of this, of course, with a chorus of arson
and violence in the background.
On the Thursday, the governments of the region
further exacerbated the situation and forced the
temperature still higher. Barbados banned the black
power leaders.
At home, the government, for its part, began now to
make some vague concessions. Specifically, it conceded

to the market vendors, hoping to bring some of the
opposition back to the side of reaction. But on the
Friday the W.A.S.A. stoppage extended itself to the
monthly-paid workers, and the Transport Workers
Association announced that on the Tuesday following, it
would bring its workers out on the streets of Port of
Spain in a solidarity march.
On the Saturday the NJ.A.C. organised a whole series
of marches quick marches throughout the country -
Cedros, Mayaro, Tobago, all over, whipping up its
political support. Obviously the movement and the
country were moving toward some kind of political
And the Sunday, the critical development took place,
just as it had taken place in 1965 when Williams had
declared had introduced the Industrial Stabilisation


Sugar cracked sugar on which so much of the
Caribbean history is built and which engenders so many
passions on the part of all the constituent groups in the
region. Sugar cracked on that Sunday; 600 people
stopped work remember that strikes are illegal in
Trinidad 600 people stopped work at Brechin Castle.
The D.L.P. responded to that seeing the crisis toward
which we were heading by calling for a national
government. And everybody knew that we were in for
trouble. Either the regime would fall, or the regime would
impose its will on the population.
On the Monday morning, a development in sugar!
Granger marches with a thousand workers from Couva
to the factory in Brechin Castle and Williams, historian
and politician that he is, and understanding the
significance of this development which is building up toa
crescendo, and understanding the significance of
bringing sugar workers into Pqrt of Spain in this political
climate, determined togo for,the confrontation himself.
And that's exactly what he did, with a kind of historical
irony that is brutal, when one considers it. Because on
the morning of April the,21st 1970; ten years almost to
the hour after he had organised his own march to put
the Americans out of Chaguaramas, he had to pick the
telephone up and call the American Ambassador
and ask for troops.
And the confrontation had come, ladies and
The country had been talking for many weeks about
the army. Anybody who knows about the social
structure of Trinidad would know that the people who
are in the army are no different from those who come
from behind the bridge or from the town-ships around
San Juan or Tunapuna or Marabella or what have you, or
who are in the University of the West Indies; and that we
could not afford to make the same assumptions,
fortunately or unfortunately, that are made in Europe.
There is no ruling class in the army, there is no ruling
officer class and the country had been considering that.



0 ds a
q 9 1

What would be its significance if the confrontation
came? And I think it is indicative of the extent to which
the Government was cut off from information and from
the population, that everybody was expecting the army
to go along with the movement,everybodyexcept the
And on the morning of April 21st Williams sent the
police into the homes of the leaders of Black Power -
they swooped down at half-past four in the morning; he
declared a State of Emergency and placed the army
under the control of the police hoping to coerce the
country into quiescence. And the army introduced a
slight qualification.

DEC. 1960 OCT 1968

The question we have to ask ourselves is, What is the
meaning of all of this? Where does it leave us now? It is
here that I must go back to the second date of the four
that I identified at the start. For the events that I have
just described to you very briefly, and very superficially
in some way for lack of time, were merely the culmination
of a long confrontation that has been going on in the
political and social system of the West Indies from the
very start.


And I think the important date to take second was
that fateful December evening in 1960 in what was
then the University of Woodford Square where luckily I
happened to be present though I was not living in the
country at that time. And you will remember on that
evening Williams announced his plans for a Chaguaramas
settlement. And for the first time in his political history
he was talking and the population was not listening. And
it was then that he launched the attack on Sir Gerald
Wight, which ultimately led to his statement "Massa Day
Done", because he felt the break in communication and
had to leave his prepared text and whip up support on
that evening.
But the significance of it is that Williams, at that
point, threw the popular movement into disarray, threw
it into disorder, and lost, as a result, his own
self-confidence, if he had had any. And in the years
between 1960 and 1970 we can chart a progressive
degeneration of the regime.


"Massa Day Done" quite unwarranted in terms of
what Williams was in fact doing! The Commission of
Inquiry into Subversive Activities in an attempt to smash
the union leadership! It is interesting that on that
occasion I was invited to appear before that Commission
although I had only been in Trinidad for six weeks and
had only written a few articles in the paper (I had no
political connections then). One of the. interesting
things is that the statement which I gave was
subsequently published in a thing called 'From
Chaguaramas to Slavery' which is exactly the road which
we have being plodding in the years past.
Commission of Enquiry into Subversive Activities; the
imposition of restrictions on C.L.R.. James; the
Industrial Stablilization Act; the banning of literature;
the banning of people including Stokely Carmichael.
One sees the regime developing along the
typical Caribbean road of candillismo: Batista, Machado,
Gomez, Marco Perez Jimenez the whole lot of them -
terrorising the Caribbean people into submission.
But Williams could be seen, looking back in retrospect,
charting the road milepost by milepost from 1960
because he began systematically to fall back on external
resources. Chaguaramas raised the issue for him "Are
you going to repose the future of the people of Trinidad
and Tobago on the resources that we have in the
country? Or are you going to pursuesthe policy of what
we have called "industrialization by invitation? relying
on external resources for capital, for aid, for technology
and driving away from the country any person with any
creativity, any sense of independence, because they live
in a regime in which they are only rubber stamps of
imperial decision.
He had to make that decision in 1960. That is what
Chaguaramas meant for him. And to do it of course, it
was quite clear that if we were going to take a road of
independence, what he called the "Independence
Highway" as distinct from the "Dirt Track of
Colonialism," he had to integrate the country. That was
the task facing him. Because you can't build Trinidad
and Tobago, or Guyana or the West Indies, unless you
bring together the elements that constitute that
population. And Williams was faced with that task in
1960 and he backed ou- he put his tail between his legs
and he kowtowed before the imperialists, and it sent
him on that road right down the line Commission of
Enquiry, C.L.R. James, Industrial Stabilization right
up to the present day.


And in those years, we had, first of all, the retreat of
the Indians which came very early. The thing boiled up
for a moment at the election in 1961; the population
flirted with Capildeo in the hope that he would do
something he did nothing 60,000 people in the

Savannah, biggest meeting ever. The Indians retreated,
Williams won a racist thing. He put race on the center of
the table in 1961 to start with, right in the spotlight.


The Negroes next were demobilised. The teachers that
put him in power began to boil down; the civil servants
began to realise that this movement didn't have what
they'd hoped for it; and we see progressively over the
years a descent of the movement into a state of apathy,
except for the unions or the militant unions, especially
the Oil Workers' Union and the Transport Union.
And the issue of those years was an attempt by the
Government to smash that last remaining bastion of
popular protest. The Unions were the only group rich
enough and organised enough and numerous enough,
and forced by the circumstances of their existence to
stand up against the iniquities of the regime. And he
tried to smash them over those years.


And then the third important date came October
1968. And the significance of October 1968 is that
counter attack which the unions, the militant unions,
had been trying to launch unsuccessfully in the years
since the Commission of Inquiry into Subversive
Activities the counter attack was now reinforced by
the emergence of the University as an important locus of
political protest for the first time.
Rodney touched it off in Jamaica, in Barbados, in
Guyana. But it was in Trinidad that the consequences
were most serious. The first ever political march on the
part of students! And that was the first of a whole series
of incidents which constituted an overture to the
symphony that we heard on February 26th 1970.
Rodney in October, Michener in February the first of
the Sir George Williams' incidents. The Governor
General went down there and they blocked him; at
which point Granger founded the N.J.A.C. and gave it
some institutional shape; then Santa Flora, Five Rivers.


Come April, the transport strike a kind of trial run.
All the opposition forces gathered in Joe Young's den,
considered the problem how to deal with Williams. I
remember one evening that we had a meeting there at
the high point of that crisis and most of the people there
determined to confront Williams in much the same way
that we were to confront him in April, and I suggested
to them that we put the meeting off for one night to
talk about it.
I remember opening the meeting the next night and
talking for an hour and outlining the options available
to the country and arguing that we couldn't knock
Williams out with the resources that we had. We weren't
organized, we did not have a medium of communication,
we didn't have the resources military br civilian to
do it. And I suggested that we had to win on points, to
get the organisation in place. The fellows voted me
down, 57 to 3 on the occasion, 60 people voted. And
they confronted Williams next morning. 6' o'clock they
went down town to throw themselves under the buses,
you will remember. And we didn't learn the lesson
that you have to organise in order to deal with him.


Anyhow, the transport strike was a kind of trial run.
It boiled up; the population alerted itself for a few
moments or a few weeks, considered the possibility and
decided that we didn't have the resources to do it. And
we lost, on the occasion; but it contributed to the
development of the counter attack April 1969.
And then during the course of that year, the

N.J.A.C. was organising everywhere in the way it
organises not grass roots in the sense that I understand
it but stirring up the people to a certain kind of
political awareness, valuable in its own way, if limited.
All over, a whole series of organizations began to
come very active. Pivot, which had started in the late
days of New World began to become more active in the
same way, to put out a mimeograph business. Moko was
on the road articulating in a certain way, subsequently
joined by Tapia. And a whole lot of organizations, as we
were to discover subsequently, began to spring up in the
communities: Pine Toppers behind the bridge, the
African Liberation Movement in St. James, in Champ
Fleurs a similar thing, in San Fernando, up the road by
me there in Arouca, in Sangre Grande, everywhere these
organisations.- people beginning to organise themselves
and think about the political system in that kind of
political climate.


And then we had another trial run. In October of
1969, we had the political extravaganza of the
Camacho funeral, when 7-or-8,000 people were brought
into the University of the West Indies for our first
political funeral. They buried him on the campus and
there was a quality of oratory on that occasion that the
country will never forget. It escalated the sense of
conflict in the country. But Camacho was not a
considerable person in my opinion and a lot of people
who had supported him knew that. Camacho had been
in the country for 20 years. He hadn't made any impact
on thought in the country. But people were so disgusted
with the regime, they were so at the limit of their
patience, that they were prepared to take any issue that
appeared to threaten the stability of this regime. And
Camacho presented that case; and the students, some
members of the Faculty, and the homes politiques in
the country used the occasion to declare anm their attack
on the regime. That was October.


Then came the St. Francois incident when Donald
Pierre went personally to the school to chase three girls
out for smoking 'pot'; and that was another incident.
Then the Country Club thing about that time, inflaming
the racial climate. Two black Americans come down to
the country staying at the Hilton hotel. The practice is
for people who are staying at the Hilton to go to the
Country Club and play tennis. And here they are, two
black people attempting to do this and they are barred
for all kinds of wishy-washy reasons. And the country
notes the significance of that. 14 years or 13 years of
P.N.M. in power and black people can't go to places in
Trinidad and Tobago. And the political climate is
affected. The thing builds up. That was January.


February Carnival. And they say that we are a
Carnival people. But the Jour Ouvert of Carnival this
year was a political occasion. There appeared on the
public stage the Pine Toppers denouncing the
regime in everything that they do. Placards of every kind
denouncing Williams, racial discrimination, church
hypocrisy, every .conceivable thing. Political carnival at
that time.The thing revealedthat the people of Trinidad
and Tobago are not precisely what they are thought to be.
They were ready for something. February; that was early
in February. And then that afternoon on the 26th, 200
students.......starting the ball rolling on South Quay. And
that was a kind of Serajevo. Tinderbox; they ignite it,
and we are on the way.

S Cont'd on Page 12

-- ,


Speeh t theWes Indes edertio

* From Page 11


What does it mean? What does it mean? You see the
movement of history from 1960 through the Williams
attack on opposition up to 1968. You see the counter
attack, the students joining, Weekes and Young and The
Transport Union. The thing building up. Trial runs.
Those last 18 months provided a banner, because it was
in that period that the movement got the banner of
Black Power which had its limitations, but had the
important advantage that it had media appeal; and the
fellows the political fellows saw the significance of
that and took it as their banner very early in the game.
Sir George Williams helped in that sense; it was not
important, it was not really material to the
developments in Trinidad; but by internationalizing the
issue and by bringing the foreign press in and so on, it
gave the fellows a banner to mobilize. So they took
'Black Power'! First thing, Banner!
Second thing, organization of a certain kind.
Organization of the kind that brings people into the
public square. N.JA.C. was founded at the juncture of
Michener. Thirdly, regional solidarity is built, because
the thing took place at the University which is a regional
institution, difficult to handle. Automatic repercussions
all the time. It was like playing that pin-ball thing, just
bouncing off; Guyana, Cave Hill, Mona and so on; every
little incident helping along in mobilising this new force.
Next, the articulate organizations and papers Tapia,
Moko, Pivot, East Dry River Speaks all of them
coming on the streets. We started selling, 14,000 Tapias
in Trinidad. Everywhere in the country people buying it.
Old women, young women, everybody buying political
So this critical 18 months really developed the
conditions necessary for the confrontation of the two
months or the two and a half months. Because in
addition to that, people learnt a lot of political tricks.
Every incident that produced a march taught people
something about the police, about the kinds of issues to
which the population responded and so on, and it taught
the population something about the political climate, in
Trinidad and Tobago and in the rest of the region.
Everybody learnt. Trial runs, Camacho, Transport strike
and so on; and everything boiled up and it was ready in
February and the whole blasted thing goes up as they
touched it off in February.
And we came through that two and a half months up
to the 21st of April. The confrontation came, and the
movement did not succeed. And the question is Why?

LlUoyd Best. Interview, Bridgetown, Nov 22nd, 1970.

Do you think that the State of Emergency
will be reimposed?
That is always possible but it is not pre-
ordained. It depends on what we do. During the
February Revolution we have come to realise that
what counts is not the intention of the govern-
ment but the will of the people. We have been
liberated from the old colonial idea that the
people are of no significance.
Do you envisage a repeat of the February
Revolution now that the leaders are out of jail?
Not a repeat but a development. We have
completed the very necessary phase of destroying
the basis of the old regime. Now we are turning
our attention to constructing the alternative and
to arranging the succession.
Will this alternative come out of a merger
between the opposition parties? Have you not
been approaching people such as the NJAC and
have there not been any overtures to Tapia from
the Action Committee or from UNIP?
No. The reports are inaccurate. We have not
approached the NJAC nor have we been
approached by anybody at all. There has just been
the usual exchange between interested individuals.
I have certainly talked to certain old Tapia
Associates who are on the NJAC. We have been
canvassing their views about the Constituent
What is this Constituent Assembly?
It is a grand meeting of all interests to discuss
constitutional reform in the widest sense of what
society we want to live in.
But would not the government programme of
national reconstruction avert the need for radical
measures? Is the programme not bringing real
improvements to the people?
I'm afraid that half measures would not do. The
problems of the country cannot be resolved within
the present system of government and politics.
We face a severe constitutional crisis in the deepest
E Cont'd on Page 13

And for that we have to go back to the fourth date
before we finish off. 1629, when James, King of
England, gave letters patent to the Earl of Carlisle to
establish a system in the Caribbee islands. And he
establishes a system in which he places a Governor to
take care of his interests in the colony; and the Governor
appoints a Council in which he appoints men that he
could control. And they establish a political system
which has nothing to do with the interests of the large
mass of people living there. It is run from outside, it is
legitimate from outside. Over the next 100 years or so
160 or more than that the planters succeed in
forcing the system back just a little. They establish
Assemblies in whi:h freeholding planters are
represented, but they never conceive of the idea of
embracing the whole mass of the black population there.
So we grew up during our political life as a people,
not knowing or not being allowed to know for a long
time that our participation counts, and that organisation
in the constituencies, solid permanent organisation, is
important to the political process to limit the abuse of
The 19th century comes and the British Government
imposes its will on the assemblies in order to emancipate
the slave population, for whatever reasons, and they
re-establish a political system not markedly different
from the one which King James had established with the
Earl of Carlisle in 1629. It makes the Governor the
King-pin. C.L.R. James has called it 'Three in one and
one in three'; Father, Son and Holy Ghost!


And we go through, speaking roughly now for the
whole region, 100 year's or so, of our existence, with this
kind of political system. But even when the black
population is freed and is trying to create an
independent society in which we could live as men, the
political system continues to be something that is
imposed upon us from outside; and we adopt a strategy
- a political strategy of beating the system by
accommodating to it, by achieving mobility for our
brighter sons.
And we do this by establishing ourselves as labour
leaders where we could as in Barbados, Antigua and St.
Kitts, producing Bird and Bradshaw and a whole
generation of leaders that we know of. In Jamaica, the
same phenomenon; Bustamante. Or we improve
ourselves by education as in Trinidad and Guyana;
Burnham, Jagan, Williams.
This is a strategy that denies what we are because the
power in the hands of the colonizer is so great we didn't
think we could beat it in direct confrontation. Instead,
we would beat it by accepting its rules; by the
churching, the education; by becoming what we call
Afro-saxons; by taking over the European culture and
imposing it on the Africans; and by exercising our
influence in the professions, in the civil service, and so
on. And the significance of this of course is that it
doesn't put any high premium on popular organization
and it produces a certain kind of charismatic leadership.


This is what I have called 'doctor politics' in the
Trinidad case of bright individuals who act as the
messiahs. They beat the system Williams first in the
first class, Capildeo out-einsteining Einstein; and
Manley is the third best lawyer in the world (black men
can't be first or second); and so on. And you have a
whole range of these charismatic figures coming either
through the church like Bradshaw and Bird when they
don't get the chance, and I call these Sunday school
doctors; they learn the rhetoric of the bible and so on;
they learn to speak with beauty and power and so on;
and they organise their people to beat the system in a
certain way without accepting it. And you have the
public school doctors like Manley, where the peasants
succeed and have some sense of elegance; they have their
public schools and live with a certain grace to produce
the kind of person Manley was a partrician figure. Or
you have the grammar-school type of Burnham and
Williams and Jagan in his own way, who are really
offering their technocratic excellence as men who are
brighter than the fellows on the metropolitan stage in
some way.


But you have this charismatic phenomen of leaders
who do not repose their political organization on what
people are doing in the constituencies for themselves,
but are offering really an apocalypse, a messiah who will
bring the day of judgement one of these days. And the
significance of all this which I can't explore here this
is not the place is that Williams was really the leader
of this movement. He was its ultimate expression
because of the particular excellence that he was thought
to have or to have achieved first in the first class,
plenty doctor books, and so on. And he comesonto the
public stage in the 1950's offering an apocalypse:-
independence, federation, morality in public affairs,
economic transformation, a better dispensation for the
people. And the population invests in it, at least, the

black population. Even the Indian population, suspicious
and so on, but they themselves, sharing the culture in a
certain way, offer Williams the best commendation they
could ever offer him by attempting to bring Capildeo to
imitate him. They believed in him in the same way; that
is why they wanted Capildeo he is a doctor. Bright!
So the population trusts this thing and hopes for
change without their own participation. That is not
wholly true, it's over simple because Williams stirred a
lot of people to action though he never really questioned
the fundamentals of the 19th century strategy, in my
opinion. I saw it very early; I am not inventing my
position for now; I have held it for nearly ten years. But
Williams continues on this course and the people believe
in him; and they establish a new politics which hopes
that Williams will somehow transform this order which
we have had in the region since 1500; an order that
Enriquillo as early as 1519 stood against up a little
Caribbean boy-with some Indians and some runaway
Africans, to fight, very early; and hundreds of men along
the line have tried to break it up, unsuccessfully. And at
last, people said in Trinidad & Tobago, Williams was the
man who was going to do it.

And the crisis of the last two and a half months arose
because people at long last appreciated that no such
thing was going to happen. That Williams could not
deliver the goods. And after many years of vacillation
and hesitation and unwillingness to draw the conclusion,
the arrival on the stage of a large number of young
people if you look at the population structure you
will see it, 62 per cent of the population are under 25 -
coming on the scene and seeing this foolishnessthat's
going on the bankruptcy of the regime, the
incompetence, the corruption, the way in which people
are driven out of the country, people are driven into
their shells, they don't know where to turn or what to
do and they say: we go mash up this blasted thing.
And that is what happened. That is what the crisis is
But on April the 21st, we bungled it; we bungled it
because the organisation and the apparatus were not
there. The work had not been done to make it possible
to deal with Williams. But the population still holds its
position, you don't go back on that. If you understand
that the regime is not going to deliver the goods, then it
has to go. It is now driven underground by the state of
emergency. Fact number one, we have learnt that!
So there are two things we have learnt: one, that the
regime has got to go; and two, that we don't have the
organisation for it.


Third thing is that Williams survives, but he survives
on a different basis. Between 1956 and 1960 he enjoyed
the confidence of large numbers of the people, and the
confidence was mounting, it was growing. More people
were joining and people were gaining more confidence
than they had had. Then from 1960, right up to the
present time, the situation degenerated until 1970 when
the people began playing for a confrontation and so was
Williams playing for a confrontation. He was hoping that
the movement would overplay its hand and, either in
desperation or in exhilaration, provoke violence on such
a scale as to bring the population back, on the rebound,
as we say in Trinidad, back into the arms of reaction.
And that is exactly what occurred.
And the population is now with him in a certain


I a

sense, large numbers out of fear. They don't trust the
capacity of the new movement to run the country in
peace and therefore they are afraid to let it run it in war.
The revolt is from the threat of violence.
What is the significance of this? It means that we now
have a typical traditional Caribbean regime in which you
have a Generalissimo Williams who since he doesn't
have the moral authority, has to fight with the troops
and the police. And since he is not sure of what the
population would do, since he has seen that the
population is prepared to entertain a movement that
would sweep him away in a quick surgical operation of a
kind that we nearly had in the past two and a half
months, he can never be sure. So he has now to be
looking ahead of the game to exterminate areas of
possible organisation. And that is what he State of
Emergency is about.


Let us look at the facts. On the morning of the 21st
of April, he picks up most of the leaders of the militant
group: Darbeau, Murray, Nunez and so on. In the
course of the next few days he picks up the rest. Granger
was somewhere in the center of the island. On the
morning of the 21st, the population assembles in the
public square, smashes up all the store fronts in Port of
Spain, every one, on Frederick, Henry, Charlotte,
Independence Square, Queen Street a final grand
romantic gesture, finish, and go home.
No leadership left. All the terror in the system is
police terror, official terror. The police see a man riding
on a bicycle and they say "Ay boy, turn round." He
ain't turn around. Bang, they shoot him. Dead. And so
on. All over the place, terrorizing people. In the
University, the police were running the place. Every
estate constable had the power to deal with people
without questioning. We could be detained without
charge; they could break up any assembly above three
people, deem any publication subversive a man was
put in jail for having a copy of Moko published the year
before. They are doing these things, I am telling you. It
is a police state.
But there is no terror on the part of the population.
There is no violent resistance on the part of anybody.
The situation is calm as the government has been saying.
There was a little incident, or a little difficulty. This is
looking at it from the government's point of view now, I
don't share this point of view. It is that a contingent
disappeared, it appears, among the civilian population.
We don't know where they are and there is a possibility
of a guerilla something there; this is what the
government says, and there are rumours of Cubans in the
hills. Trinidad lives by rumour. But conceding that there
is a possibility of some danger in that district, one can see
that there should be a State of Emergency in an area
where there is an emergency. But no warrant whatsoever
for a state of emergency in the whole country.
Why do we have it?
I think the significance is that Williams knows that he
has now to live by terror and he can't afford to allow
any semblance of resistance to remain in the country. He
therefore has to intimidate the organizations into
putting their tails between their legs. He wants to do it
in such a way that it will cost him as little as possible;
and anybody who is involved in political opposition, the
more sane they are, the more compentent they are, the
more he will need to pick them up. And that is where we
are now.


We have, in fact, shattered the Westminster illusion of
political democracy, and we have established a typical
Caribbean caudillo regime. The last question we
therefore have to face, if you agree with my analysis, is
"What are we going to do about it? What are we going to
do about it inside Trinidad and Tobago in the days to
come, starting tomorrow? What are we going to do
about it in the West Indies? In the nation? And what are
we going to do in the metropolitan centers where many
of us are? I don't have the answers I must tell you to
beginwith.I know that in Trinidad and Tobago we have
to rally the population by whatever means we can to
stand up for its rights.
Franco and Salazar have had states of emergency in
Spain and Portugal for over 30 years, and it is entirely
possible that the population could become accustomed
to this way of life curfew, no rights of assembly, no
rights to publish political newspapers. This is quite
standard. It's the norm in the world. The Westminister
illusion that we have a system like London, like Ottawa,
and so on, is a lot of foolishness. It is an illusion, it's not
true, it's not the norm at all. The world is not organised
that way. In most countries that's the way people live
and they adjust to it very easily. And if we want to save
the political regime for something more humane,
something that opens the possibility for us to live like
people, like men, we have to stop it early before we get
accustomed to it.
Tapia has I can only speak for Tapia continued
to publish material at great risk and will continue to do
so, and we have a whole programme of operations
intending to keep legitimate political opposition going ;
in fact, to translate it into government. So I think we
shall have to turn our attention for the purpose of this
evening to what we do in the rest of the nation. In the
West Indies and here. And the answers?- I think
that you have to tell me.
But I want to suggest two things in conclusion.


One, and I have proposed this wherever I have been. I
have been to Britain and I have been to the continent of
Europe; and I have been to Montreal, to Ottawa, and so

* From Page 12
meaning of that term. We have to recast our habits, our
standard our values. And that is a long-term adjustment.
The short-term requirement is to establish institutions
and political alignments which will service the change
rather than inhibit it.
The crisis and the conflicts surrounding this
changeover cannot be avoided. An independent state
rooted in the support of the community cannot be
"awarded" to a population by a constitutional
conference in the metropolitan capital. It has to be
created by the passion of popular involvement, by the
clash of real individual and group interest, and by certain
compromises in the service of the entire nation. What
the new movement in Trinidad & Tobago is trying to do
is to found such an independent state. And those of us
who understand that must remain clinical, cool and yet
compassionate. We must not allow the absurdities of the
transition to tempt us into action that is either rash or
hostile or short-sighted.
And where does Tapia stand in all that?
We are remaining cool and collected and we are
working hard. We are not engaging in conventional party
politics because we are certain that the new state cannot
be established by mere elections. We are fully persuaded
that the new politics cannot be serviced by overnight
coalition of convenience to win office from the PNM. We
know that dedication by its nature cannot be won on
whistle-stop tours. We have learnt time and again that
political organisation is not created in the public square
by doctors delivering exciting rhetoric.
The unconventional politics will doubtless consider
elections in due course In fact, this will be a logical
development after the major issues in the crisis have
been resolved. In the meantime, as we do our work, the
country will move steadily into two camps.
The conventional politicians are already getting
together. Their appeal is to the conservative element in
the country which really believes that Williams and the
PNM are the main problem and that the important thing
is to change the government at all costs. This group is
elitist. It "identifies" with the causes of the common
people only by superficial declarations in the media and
by the cultivation of all manner of progressive images. It
is a group which ignores the fact that Williams has failed,
not because he was incompetent or unserious, but
because he was trapped by the conditions of his time
into the most dangerous kind of now for now political

And what of the unconventional politics?
Our aim is to finish off the neo-colonial regime.
Power must pass to the hands of the people. And that is

on. And I have made the same proposals everywhere.
One, that we should start some kind of defence fund.
There are over 50 people in detention, some of whom
are being tried at the moment for sedition civilians
that is.
And then there are the military. That's something else
again. I think that under army regulations they are
entitled to get defence. But we have to get money to
defend these chaps. They are going to be tried in the
High Court and so on for a long time, it seems, and I
hope that you will contribute what you can to such a
fund; that people will comeforwardto start a committee
for that in collaboration with the other centres I have
the names of other people in other parts of the world
who have agreed to do the same thing and if people here
agree I can put them in contact with those people, so as
to build up a significant fund to help. I don't want the
fund to be a Tapia Fund, I just want the fund to be a
general fund for all the people, not merely the four
people who are associated with Tapia.

The second thing which I suggest is that we found
some kind of Solidarity Organisation. What precisely it's
going to do over time, I don't know. It depends on how
the conjuncture develops. From here on, what happens
to the trials, what happens to organizations like TAPIA
and so on in the coming weeks. There will obviously be
need for demonstrations of one kind or another, need
for all kinds of acts of solidarity and certainly need for
keeping in contact with those people who feel that they
have bonds with the home society. More than that, I
can't say. I have to leave it to you on the floor to tell me
what you are proposing, depending on your individual

All I would say is this. So far as I am concerned, the
dream of a more humane society in Trinidad and Tobago
has not in any way disappeared with what has happened
in the last two months. In fact I feel that it has
vindicated my own position which I have held for many
years: that it is possible in this part of the world, to
build something exceptional. My feeling that there will
be a certain poetry in attacking this civilization of 500
years from the Caribbean has, if anything, been strongly
reinforced by the historic events of the February

easier said than done. It requires long and genuinely
dedicated work among the people. The task of the
moment is to bring together the forces that are
interested in this. At the moment, these radical forces
are to be found in all the parties and all the groups
including the PNM and the NJAC. Tapia's way of
proceeding is aimed to provide a framework within
which the organisation of these forces can take place. We
are patiently establishing machinery for the next round.
We do not have to pretend that we are young because we
are. The country is not going to run and we are here to
But aren't people asking how long will all this take?
On my estimate, the next round is closer than the
pundits think. A new confrontation is sure to come
because the causes of the 1970 crisis are still with us.
What Tapia is trying to do is to make this next
confrontation a peaceful and constructive one. That is
why we are calling for a Constituent Assembly to bring
the conflicts into the open and to pave the way for the
kind of realistic alignments that all viable political
systems need. Present alignments are being made only
with a view to political office. That is why they will only
put us more deeply into trouble.
Tapia's strategy is based on the assumption that the
nation has within itself the insight and the wit to avoid
such trouble. The analysis which we very carefully made
in 1968 pointed to one thing: the road to a PNM victory
in the next election has been almost blocked. This
conclusion can only have been reinforced by the events
of 1970. So Williams has therefore one choice, a choice
which favours both himself and the country. He has to
rise above his past and open the gate of history to the
people. The future of Williams and the PNM now
depends on a Constituent Assembly and other measures
which will discredit the opportunists.
The Government's best bet is to act now by:

" Reducing the voting age
* Registering all who are eligible
P Placing the machines beyond suspicion
* Calling a Constituent Assembly before which there
will be free discussion of economic reorganisation
and constitutional reform.

What chance would UNIP, the Action Committee,
and the DLP's have in such a situation? Do they have
more than paper tiger leaders and cardboard
organisation? What are the programmes and ideas that
distinguish them? What are the views which are bringing
them together on the same platform? Could any of them
stand up if the youth and all the people were seriously
participating in the business of politics and elections?



Mr Hyatali and Revolution
In a recent address to the graduates of lere High School Mr. Isaac Hyatali,
President of the Industrial Court, made some very important
pronouncements to the nation. By speaking frankly to the youth about
the "crossraod of time and opportunity" at which the country now
stands, he has helped to build a tradition which began with Dr. Williams.
In 1955, Dr. Williams told the electorate to listen to the voice of their
children; their voice was the voice of God. Idealism of Youth he spoke of

Athenian democracy and Spartan
discipline, and exhorted the youth
to rise up against any regime that
they felt did not represent them.
Years later at a rally in the Oval he
charged them with the
responsibility of carrying the future
of the country in their schoolbags.
The logical development of all this
would be to reduce the voting age
in an enlightened society.
Now clearly Mr. Hyatali is no ordinary
judge, concerned simply with carrying
out the doctrine of precedents. He is
undoubtedly a jurist and legal theorist,
and as such, a rarity in the Caribbean
today. We remember him as perhaps the
only lawyer in the land to have given up
magisterial honours as a mark of protest
against the type of corrupt conduct to
which we have grown accustomed in the
courts. He has had the courage to remind
his brothers on the bench of the
importance of fairness and impartiality;
of the necessity of holding the scales of
justice with a hand that neither trembles
with fear nor itches for favour.


It is strange that so powerful a
statement coming from so eminent a
judge could be allowed to pass unnoticed
in a society that is in a state of
revolution.. Yet such disregard of
fundamentals is not to be wondered at
when the Woodstock frivolities are
becoming popular, and we are making a
fetish of the trinkets, the beads and
pacotille with which the Slave Trader
betrayed our ancestor in Africa. Lennox
Pierre's challenge to the Attorney General
on the date of the expiry of the State of
Emergency has been slighted in the same
Only Winston Smart, an ex-detainee
and student of the St. Agustine Campus
was moved sufficiently to join issue with
Mr. Hyatali. Admirable as the
contribution was, it was a pity that
Brother Winston over-reacted to Mr.
Hyatali's strictures against 'extremist
persuaders,' 'renegades,' 'charlatans,' and
'counterfeits' who he should have
conceded, do exist, and tend to become
active in situations of this kind. What is
noteworthy is that the judge has heralded
the juridical revolution which is bound to
come by recognizing the need for
changing the political and class basis of
our legal system. "Who is there amongst
us," he argues "who would deny that the
reforms for which they pleaded are
timely, and that they are indispensable
not only to the maintenance and
enhancement of our dignity, our
self-respect, and our unique way of life,
but also to our very survival and salvation
as a nation."


But more significant is that Mr.
Hyatali has called on the country to
admire, sympathise with, and give
undivided support to the "solid, serious,

Syl Lowhar

dedicated group of young activists ......
who are firmly committed to the
achievement of reforms to which I have
alluded, by the lawful exercise of their
constitutional freedoms of speech, c."
peaceable assembly, of protests an<
dissent, and of organisation freedom
which, you may remember, were
employed so methodically, effectively
and successfully to introduce the social
revolution of February, and before it
became scarred by the arsons, the rapes,
the destruction and the pillage which
came to be associated with it."


This is a revolutionary statement,
especially when it is considered that the
reforms alluded to are to be in political
thought and actions, in religious dogmas
and adherences, in economic planning
and doctrines, in attitudes to the poor
and needy, in the methods used to
eradicate the scourge of unemployment,
in the efforts made to emancipate the
black man from the shackles of economic
servitude, in the system and objects of
education, and in the pattern, structure,
and modus operandi of the public service.
Any such series of reforms would
constitute nothing short of revolution.
It seems to me that Mr. Hyatali had in
mind the long chain of political events
which paved the way for the February
Revolution the passions aroused by
Millette during the Carifta debate with
Gatcliffe; the Split in the New World
Group with Lloyd Best taking the vital
issues to the press and to the parliament
of the people, as it were, ushering in
unconventional politics by that very act;
the birth of Tapia; the massive student
demonstration over the expulsion of the
Guyanese lecturer Rodney from Jamaica
on his return from the Black Writers
Conference in Canada; the public meeting
which was then actually held on the
balcony of Whitehall a revolutionary
step; the birth of Moko; the Anguillan
Crisis; the blockade of Michener as a
show of solidarity with the victimised
West Indians at Sir George Williams
University in Canada, and the birth of the


But Mr. Hyatali went on to ask the
question, "Quo Vadis Whither goest
thou? Will it be law and order in an
organised society or will it be the chaos
and despair of an intractable jungle? Will
it be trust in divine guidance or will it be
sacrilege, blasphemy and hatred for all
divine institutions?"
For we are now in the political jungle,
in the state of nature that philosophers
have spoken about. Might is now right
and the gun is law. Terror threatens from
the right as well as from the left. Soon
man's life may be 'poor, brutish, nasty
and short.' We have to stop a further
escalation of the crisis. We must bring all
the political forces together to resolve it

peacefully. Whosoever opposes this
Constituent Assembly is putting his own
ambition against the interest of the
Jean Rousseau, one of the greatest of
revolutionary thinkers, has written, 'Man
is born free, but everywhere he is in
chains.' According to him even the
simplest of human beings the savage -
is noble at heart. If such men are told the
whole truth rather than half of the truth
they would always make the right
decision. The fact is that they are seldom
told the .truth because conventional
politics consisting largely of propaganda
and whispering campaigns is practised by
revolutionaries as much as by
reactionaries. That is why unconventional
politics is free and open discussion for the
purpose of solving problems.
Conventional politicians love to speak
and act in the name of the people. But
ought not the people to be allowed to
air their views democratically?


Mr. Hyatali is correct in reminding us
that peace and justice in society are based
on three pillars respect for the rule of
law, respect for the rights and freedoms
of others, and equal and faithful
obedience to the country's laws by every
citizen, irrespective of his station in life.
But he made the error of assuming that
the reason why judges and policemen are
not respected as they ought to be today is
because they are the guardians of law and
order in society. On the contrary we have

great esteem for these offices but many
of the men who fill these offices have lost
all moral authority because they are no
longer considered to "stand resolutely
between the oppression of the Executive
and the liberty of the subject."
Judges, magistrates and policemen do
not derive their authority from the
Divine. Divine is a word of praise which is
used to describe institutions that reflect
an essential humanity. All institutions are
human, and sovereignty lies in the will of
the people. And that is something of
which both the conventional and the
unconventional politicians must take heed
if all power is to accrue to the people.

SUGAR cont'd

' Cont'd From Page 7 This sort of participation will both set
SCont'd From up the process of control and win us
the expertise we need to make the
companies. And "What Brewster has control effective or to run the industry
observed about Tate & Lyle is generally when we are ready.

In Guyana and the West Indies we
must therefore chart our own way ahead.
The second thing that we must do is

"to bring plantation land under
national control and to use the
liberating effects of this to institu -
tionalize a radical land reform

And this is entirely feasible because:

"such localisation of ownership and
control cannot involve us in any
financial burdens. The profit rate of
the industry has been adequate....."

This is exactly the position which Tapia
has taken in Trinidad & Tobago in our
programme for Black Power and National

So far as operations are concerned
Thomas is wary of schemes which simply
localise the staff inside Tate & Lyle,
Bookers, Texact etc. Presumably he is
also suspicious of partnership
arrangements of the kind now adopted by
the Trinidad and Tobago Government in
sugar. Instead, he proposes "the
establishment of parallel structures." The
aim here is to allow us to develop our
interest in the industry outside of-the
metropolitan company structure. This
therefore rules out, it seems, the sort of
50-50 arrangement which we have
entered into with Tesoro. And it focuses
sharply on the conditions which Tapia
has spelt out for real national control:

technological mastery of production,
marketing and research

the organisational capacity to
translate paper plans into bricks and

the moral authority to act in concert
with the People's Parliaments.

It follows that there is no govern-
ment in the Caribbean today which
can implement the Thomas proposals.
But when the times comes, the tasks of
the tasks of the local staff will be clear:

"They will be in charge of all
routine problems in these
industries, e.g., building inspection,
supervisionof accounts for tax
purposes, advice and overall
supervision of research, and,
supervising of marketing

Other steps to be taken, Thomas
points out, include the modernisation
of Company Law so as to ensure local
incorporation of companies and the
regularisation of accounting practices.

San investigation into the use of
Rehabilitation funds

0 a closing off of all further labour
displacement except where authorised by
the government

examination of alternative uses for the
resources now in sugar.

The alternative use would involve the
production of meat, dairy products,
legumes and a series of mixed crops.


As an investigation into the problems
of sugar, this study is extremely valuable.
It is an important follow-up to New
World Quarterly, Vol 1 and Vol 5 and to
the two pamphlets King Sugar and The
Sugar Industry: Our Life and Death. Its
supreme merit is that it is informed by
the tremors of our time; it possesses
immediacy and relevance. It comes at a
time when a new generation of young
men are roaming the political stage for
openings; when there is building upa new
cadre of radical intellectuals searching for
weapons to settle the question of the
metropolitan sector. Had it been available
to the orators on Caroni March, 1970, the
case against Tate & Lyle would surely
have been more complete.
As it is, we have allowed the Gov't
to get away with a deal that in some
ways, seems to have won us the worst of
all worlds. We now own 51% of the
equity in Caroni but we seem neither
able nor willing to take-hold of the
industry and manage it. Nor are we likely
to make any profit; instead, it looks very
much as if our chief role is to put up the
working capital and keep the business
alive for the holders of preference shares.
This attempt at a settlement has come
years after the Williams' promise in the
Budget Speech of 1958, to put sugar
where Arthur Lewis had said we should
put it: "out of politics" altogether. Well,
if this is the "new form" which Lewis had
had in mind, it has now grown totally
obsolete. The New World school of
thinkers has gone many, many steps
ahead. And Thomas' excellent piece is
only the latest illustration of that.

glamour girl lingerie td.







mission of repression the T.F.A.
attempted to play upon the fears of the
population and to disguise its draconian
ways. That's an eight year old trick.


Football's cocktail circuit perennially boasts of the competene -f the
Secretary of the T.F.A. He is claimed to be a man of rare energy, a
financial genius. His praises are sung as the third vice president of
CONCAFA. The gem of all is that he is irreplaceable. But, a mere cursory
glance at the soccer reality exposes these as myths that veil tyrannical
overcentralisation, obsessive office holding, if not sheer gangsterism.
After twenty five years of "competence" there is no official football arena, not a
floodlit ground, no national league, far less a semi or full professional league. There are
only minor league uprisings, (OCTOBER 1969) flouting of T.F.A. directives by both
players and coaches, dismal soccer performances, walk-outs from General Council
meetings, POSFL dominance of the T.F.A. and dominance of the POSFL by its
Secretary.The TFA is nothing but a mafia
operation bloodsoccing the financesof the Ruthven Baptiste
game and impeding its development. The
T.F.A. literally cannot keep a coach. I .q -


Cursory glances, however, are not
enough and we must have clear insight
into the operations of soccer's suckers.
The experience of EAFL over the last
twelve years provides this opportunity
perfectly. During the 1958 and 1959
seasons the administration of the EAFL
was so defective that its members fired its
entire executive and elected a new one
with the famous Allan Joseph as
Secretary and Bernard Warner as
Secretary. The new executive attempted
to stimulate enthusiasm, whip up morale
and improve soccer facilities. In its
earnest efforts it asserted an autonomy
that was to offend the TFA tycoon who,
afterwards, embarked on a programme of
intimidation. The TFA claimed that
correspondence from the Secretary of the
EAFL questioned the integrity of the
Secretary of TFA. In KGB style the TFA
called a Council meeting excluding the
EAFL. The Council illegally decided to
suspend the EAFL until a Committee
appointed by the TFA had thoroughly
investigated the EAFL. Adding insult to
injury the TFA directed the Committee
not to convene until the EAFLrecanted.
The EAFL refused to recant. Dracula and
Co. were not satisfied. They charged the
new executive with the misdemeanours
committed by the old executive, charges
which revealed the integrity of the new
executive. The vampires were still not
appeased they denied the EAFL the
opportunity of refuting the charges at
TFA Council level.


The members of the EAFL authorised
their executive to protest suspension in
any way possible. The EAFL retaliated
by publishing their viewpoint unlike the
TFA who vaguely uttered
"correspondence." In its press release the
EAFL articulated three irrefutable points
which I quote directly:
Requests for copies of the TFA
constitution have been refused,
Excluded from a TFA Council meeting
in violation of the TFA constitution,
being tried in the absence of their
accredited representatives on unspecified
charges against the EAFL,
Denial of opportunity 'to refute charges.

In addition, two points arise:-
When the previous executive was
blatantly guilty of mis-management
there were no ku klux Committees or
arbitrary suspensions.
* The new executive in renovating its
house had to assert its autonomy and,
having done so, had to confront the TFA.

With a strong case, the EAFL brought
the matter to the High Court and after
ten years the case is still pending.
Over the ensuing years two
developments took place one in 1966
and the other in 1968. The first in 1966
was initiated by the late Frank Worrell
and the other was the founding of the
Eddie Hart league in 1968.


The community project that Sir Frank
started was not as well known as Eddie
Hart's. But the significance of that
movement has become increasingly
important owing to the issue of the day
which is the debate over conventional and
unconventional politics.

University campus he had an excellent
opportunity to assess the talent in the
East and the administrative problem that
faced it. He decided to do something
about it. He called together the players
from the various clubs he had seen
practising with the University students.
Starting with a handful of players in
coaching sessions, films of world cup
matches and training techniques were
The message spread like wildfire
throughout the area and very soon, from
a few, we were a massive force. From

among the players the best men formed a
touring team. Big name clubs were invited
to the campus as well as players other
than the stars participated. The result was
that players from the East, for the first
time, were facing top class competition.
It was thrilling to see players gaining in
confidence for previously, "country"
players reflected in their play that they
were supposed to lose against "town"
players. Our national teams reflect that
negative quality of play on international
encounters. However, that lack of
self-confidence was rapidly being eroded.


Yet all was not well. There were the
conventionalists who were advocating the
formation of club and league
"affiliation" with the TFA. Confusions
were further compounded when Eric
James and a few other big-wigs were
invited to a practice match we were
playing with Fatima College. The general
feeling was that Sir Frank was trying to
,acquire affiliation for a league in the East.
What most failed to see was the moral
attack on TFA attitudes which Sir
FRANK was launching, attitudes which
were hindering the development of
football. Secondly, there was the
infighting and community divisions. The
players from the St. Augustine/Auzonville
area saw the lower Tunapunaians as
gladiators not footballers. The lower
Tunapunaians in turn despised the
pomposity of the Augustinians. Afro
Saxon vs Afro Creole.
Tragically, Sir Frank died and the
conventionalists began to dominate. A
club was founded, named after the great
man himself and the Frank Worrell

movement came sadly to an end. The
community divisions were emphasized
and opened the way for manipulators.
The Augustinians who had the numerical
advantage dominated the elections of
officers to the logical displeasure of the
lower Tunapunians who then returned to
their soccer lairs. The following year they
were to participate in the Eddie Hart
League which played a pivotal role in the
October demonstration of 1969.
The conventionalists scored another
psuedo victory in successfully securing
"affiliation" for a league called
C.S.G.F.L. (Central St. George Football
League). The C.S.G.F.L. like their
E.A.F.L. predecessor attached too much
importance to "affiliation", a term which
in the colonial dictionary is divested of its
genuine meaning collaboration and
brotherhood. The principle of affiliation
in its iniquitous application only serves to
elevate the T.F.A. to father-giver status
with the power to bully and ministerially
interfere. What should have been
uppermost in the minds of both leagues
was to effect a decentralisation from
Port-of-Spain and to evolve a system
whereby the talent in various districts
could meet each other systematically. In

other words

the provision of first class
is more important than


The formation of the C.S.G.F.L. led to
the founding of the Eddie Hart League on
the rebound, the league which
spearheaded the uprisings of the "minor"
leagues in October 1969. The details of
that uprising are still fresh upon our
minds and needn't be tabled here. But,
issues were raised that are significant not
only for the T.F.A. but also for the
society as a whole.
If we view the October demonstration
against the background of the bus strike,
the calypsonians' demonstration, the
turmoil in the University, the February
Revolution and the Fall of April, we
plainly see that the hangover institutions
of colonialism are discredited and, as
such, the demonstration also expressed
the frustrations of a people with paper
independence because of the failure of
the P.N.M. to decolonise the country
In the final stages of the controversy
when the T.F.A.'s backs were against the
wall they bleated "F.I.F.A." rules
prevent players form "affiliate" leagues
from playing in "minor" leagues. On its

- i rcas_

In the name of F.I.F.A., Queen and
Holy Ghost, we must finish up with these
phony notions that legitimacy must come
from outside-or on high. Legitimacy must
come from the consensus of
self-possessed people.
Soccer's necessity, therefore, is to
develop a framework where the talent
throughout the country can meet each
other systematically. At present the
over-centralisation in Port-of-Spain and
the excessive weight which the P.O.S.F.L.
has in the T.F.A. Council do not admit
such a system.
The T.F.A. which which was originally
the T.A.FA.was in fact the P.O.S.F.L. It
is not surprising that the organizers of a
P.O.S.F.L. should name it Trinidad
Amateur Football League. Within the
TA.F.A. a league committee comprising
representatives of each club (fourteen at
the time) organised the Port-of-Spain
League, representatives who had voting
power on the T.A.F.A. Council.
When the S.A.F.A., S.F.A., the
E.A.F.L. and A.A.F.L. were subsequently
affiliated to the T.A.F.A. the league
Committee or P.O.S.F.L. retained their
voting power. This enormous voting
power of the P.O.S.F.L. has never been
significantly eroded despite a sixty year
old constitutional battle waged by
P.O.S.F.L. affiliates. Furthermore, the
P.O.S.F.L. is dominated by one man, the


The over-centralisation in
Port-of-Spain left the other affiliates too
weak to provide the amenities necessary
for their districts and as has been pointed
out this was the EA.F.L's experience.
Secondly, national teams were drawn
almost exclusively from the P.O.S.F.L.
Therefore, the footballer in say, East St.
George was not a little attracted to
There is more. There also exists the
Country vs Town tension, an
amplification of the Augustinians vs the
lower Tunapunians rivalry. The
humiliation to which "country players"
are subjected in Port-of-Spain has
generated near uncontrollable conflicts
between Town and Country, and passions
which have made collaboration in other
fields difficult. For example a pan tuner
from Port-of-Spain is highly suspect to
pan beaters in the country. The inference
from all this is that decentralisation is a
necessity not only in football but in most
everything else.
In our proposals for reform we must
abandon phony concepts of "major" and
"minor" leagues. Throughout Trinidad
and Tobago, these "bandit" leagues, so
called, exist. Let us zone off the areas in
the same way as TAPIA has proposed in
its local government reform. Within these
zones the existing "bandit" leagues and
"major" leagues must provide the
infrastructure from which a community
team is chosen. From these we move to
an inter-community league to a genuine
national league, and to a T.F.A. which
would be a coalition of these community

25 & 87 E.M.Rd., T'puna.


Tel -662-4909,4873.



186 EASTERN MAIN RD., 638-3223.
102A SUTTON ST., SAN FERNANDO, 652-3104.



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* From Page 8

governing body should be controlled by the
political representatives of the people." Thus
not only was the University to play a full part
in nationalist politics, but politics was to
control and shape the destiny of the institution.
Dr. Williams clearly did not envisage the
possibility that both the politics and the
academic endeavour of the area could be
sterile: that the last thing post-Independence
politicians desire is thit their authority should
be challenged by either people or University.
Everything which he wrote in the forties reads
like a piece of bitter irony these days.
Education has continued to be along the lines
of metropolitan academism, churning out each
year a fresh crop of GCE Ordinary Level
students whom the Civil Service cannot
consume. Education in agriculture was to have
been accompanied by a vigorous policy of land
reform, according to Williams's book. Fourteen
years after his accession, there has been neither
education in agriculture for rural areas, nor
substantial land reform. The question of the
sugar lands hasn't begun to be asked.
TheUniversity as an institution has no
obvious commitment to anything under the
sun; and those few lonely souls who try to stop
their own alienation by attempting to bridge
the widening gap between the Campus and the
Community, those who attempt to climb the
fences which are being constructed with
gruesome symbolism around the Campuses of
the UWI, get caught up in the barbed wire.
Lecturers have been expelled for alleged
subversive activity, and in the Trinidad of 1970,
University personnel have been detained on
most fantastic charges and released because Dr.
Williams himself, now in his disguise as Minister
of National Security, could discover no
adequate grounds upon which to hold them.
Some University people, at times the most
innocuous of souls, have received poison pen
letters and phone calls from people who have
eventually identified themselves as supporters
of the Prime Minister of Trinidad, all because
they tried to involve themselves at grass-roots
leveL It is so throughout the area. Dr. Williams
quotes Che Guevara's criticisms of Cuban
economic policy, without noting that the most
remarkable fact about these criticisms was that
they were allowed to be made, all before both
the Cuban people and the world. It is not
possible anywhere else in the West Indies for
one so close to the centre of power to admit


But without self-knowledge, there can be no
self-development. It is not therefore surprising
that Dr. Williams in his last chapter is in
constant despair about West Indian identity.
The despair is probably as much personal as
social The passage that sums up his thoughts
on a Caribbean identity is worth quoting in full.
The region, he says, has indeed produced writers
like Lamming, Walcott, Cesaire, Fanon, Naipaul
and Brathwaite:

Nevertheless artistic, community and
individual values are not for the most
part authentic but, to borrow the
language of the economist, possess a high
import content, the vehicles of import
being the educational system, the mass
media, the films and the tourists. V.S.
Naipaul's description of West Indians as
'mimic men' is harsh but true. Finally
psychological dependence strongly
reinforces other forms of dependence.
For in the last analysis, dependence is a
state of mind. A too long history of
colonialism seems to have crippled
Caribbean self-confidence and Caribbean
self-reliance, and a vicious circle has been
set up: psychological dependence leads
to an ever-growing economic and
cultural dependence on the outside
world Frgmentation is intensified in
the process. And the greater degree of
dependence and fragmentation further
reduces local self-confidence. (p. 502)

That definition of the vicious circle in which
the region seems to be caught is one of the
finest I know outside NaipauL Recently,
indeed, Naipaul himself has made a similar
The small islands of the Caribbean will
remain islands, impoverished and
unskilled, ringed as now by a cordon
sanitaire, their people not needed
anywhere. They may get less innocent
and less corrupt politicians; they will not
get less hopeless ones. The island Blacks
will continue to be dependent on the
books films and goods of others; in this
important way, they will continue to be
the half-made societies of a dependent
people, the Third World's third world.
They will forever consume; they will
never create. They are without material
resources; they will never develop the
higher skills. Identity depends in the end
on achievement and achievement cannot
be but small. Again and again the mille-
nium will seem about to come.

This is the message of The Middle Passage taken
to even a gloomier extremes. It cannot be
denied, though it can be qualified. No one
anywhere can escape the tyranny of the mass
media, and it is, perhaps somewhat comforting
to note that the entire bent of European
literature suggests that the West Indies are not
unique in their quest for identity. Identity
depends in the end on self-knowledge, not on
achievement. This is why people like Dr.

Williams and his entire generation who have
achieved so much, are still uncertain about their
identity. It isn't simply a question of the
poverty of the area; it may be more a matter of
failing to recognize roots, whatever these are. If
the education system is irrelevant, it can be
changed at least partially, and along lines that
Dr. Williams himself defined over twenty years
ago. If increased tourism is to blame for a
steady corruption of values, a more careful
approach to the social effects of this aspect of
the economy, needs to be made.


For Williams simply to acquiesce in
Naipaul's definition of West Indians as mimic
men is, first of all to fail to see that Naipaul was
in that book talking particularly about West
Indian politicians. As usual, Dr. Williams does
not apply the lesson to himself, but sufficient
has been said above to show that the statement
does apply to him as much as it does to any
part of the society. For Naipaul to state
absolutely that West Indians will never create
because to create one must have identity and to
have identity one must create, seems to be a
sacrifice of truth for absurdist paradox. Were
Trinidad all that sterile, it could not have
produced Williams, Naipaul, James, Padmore,
Sparrow, Spoiler, Mannette and a host of
others. Barbados, we have sometimes to remind
ourselves, produced both Lamming and
Brathwaite, whose contribution to our
knowledge of self, and therefore to our
identity have been immense.

their closeness to an European way of seeing.
By not studying the West Indian people in any
true depth, Williams ironically reduces their
history to a Carlylean study of the lives of a
number of significant individuals. Naipaul
accepts the Froudian formula that there are no
true people in the West Indies. Had Naipaul
bothered with JJ Thomass-Froudacity he may
have qualified his opinion. Dr. Williams fails,
not in not having appreciated Thomas, but in
remaining too long in the late nineteenth
century ambivalence towards the world of the
colonizer which was very much Thomas's. Both
Dr.Williams and Naipaul seem finally to regret
their position as poor relations at the European


The most unfortunate thing which could
happen to From Columbus to Castro, was for it
to be regarded as the bible of the new era. It is
distinctly a fin de siecle performance, a word
that marks the spiritual end of a generation; the
last will and testament of an era. The fact that
Dr. Williams is much better at making
statements about the past than about the
present proves this. The very context in which
the book was first welcomed to Trinidad also
prove; this. What was noticeable about Kamal
Mohammed's panegyric was not only the
adulatory 1956 catch-phrases which he
showered on Dr. Williams, but his lament that
he is the last survivor of that original young
brigade. When Kamal told Dr. Williams, "Like a
modern Moses you resolved to lead your people
put of the house of Bondage" he may well have
been aware that when Moses quit the scene that
Israelites were still in the wilderness. He may
also have been aware of the politically
disconcerting tendency which Dr. Williams
shares with the Biblical cross-country walker of
disappearing for long periods from the people,
to talk to his personal god, then descending
from Sinai with a shining face and a mouth full

f~7~ ~~~1 ~ ,.
"h~l~~~_ l(~b~~-"1Ar`"

It is really quite naive to view our economic
dependence as an insurmountable barrier in the
path of identity; unless the only identity
recognized were the economic one. In this
respect, Dr. Williams's final definition of the
Caribbean predicament is much more important
than Naipaul's. His statement, however, needs
to be qualified with the observation that the
lower classes in the West Indies, have always
been more certain of roots, religion and self
than the twisted products of a metropolitan
education. When they mimic, they often make
something of what they copy. Thus the Black
Power mass movement of 1970 in Trinidad is
very superficially interpreted if it is seen only as
an imitation of the American thing. It is as
Trinidadian as Canboulay, the Butler marches,
Carnival and the brilliant political calypsos
which have been sung in1970. The masses were
transforming soul culture and international
rhetoric and slogans, quite often improvising in
mid-strife. The Rastafari cult, visible symbol of
the worst kind of colonial neglect, have
produced an artist such as Ras Daniel
Heartman, a man with a deep sense of both
tragedy and triumph, and has been a visible
influence in the work of all serious Jamaican
artists, including her talented musicians.
Recently, Jamaica's substantial contribution to
world jazz as well as to her own musical
identity, has been notedby James Carnegie. All
kinds of things are going on in the West Indies,
which Naipaul and Williams seem not to
consider important, although they do indicate
that in spite of a terrible past, West Indians do
possess considerable freedom of mind. The
politicians are really some distance behind the
people. Finally what is always important about
both Dr. Williams and Vidia Naipaul, is what
they omit, as well as what they say.
History, as a number of West Indian artists
seem to be depicting it, is the study of human
survival in the teeth of suffering. Finally,
Naipaul the novelist has a more complex vision
of West Indian historythan Naipaul the social
commentator, who tends towards an almost
histrionic despair. A friend of mine describes
Naipaul as a man who travels about the world
looking for despair. The despairing vision of
both Naipaul and Williams derives in part from

of divinely inspired rhetoric to dazzle their eyes
and puzzle their minds with strange new laws.
This time, the long sojourn on Monkey
Mountain has produced From Columbus to
Castro and the new Charter, "the most
profound concept in contemporary political,
social and economic thought."
The real point of Kamal's speech was his
consciousness of the fact that with the New
Year reshuffle and the final dismissal of
O'Halloran and Montano, the pillars of the






business interests in the party, the fact that he
was an Indian was the only real reason why he
still remained in the Cabinet. William Demas,
after all, is the real man in CARIFTA. Kamal,
feeling his unimportance to the now empty
nest, and perhaps, knowing Dr. Williams's
capacity for loneliness and authoritarianism was
fairly lyrical with his praise. The climax to his
declaration of loyalty it, however, slightly
tinged with self-interest: "I feel a great sense of
humility, pride, and thankfulness as the only
Minister of Government who is still with you."
One wonders which feeling was strongest,
humility which the moment required, pride at
having survived where even the blue-eyed boys
seem to have perished, or gratitude for benefits
derived... Kamal's speech was, like From
Columbus to Castro more a funeral oration on
the passing of the old regime, than a fanfare of
welcome to afresh setting forth.


The last thing which needs to be
commented on is the citation of the party
motto -- "Great is PNM and it will prevail'
-- as part of the dedication of the book to the
party. This motto, cited in English in the book
is still cited in Latin as well on the front page of
the party newspaper -- "Magnam est PNM Et
prevalebit". Few better examples of worse taste
can be uncovered in the party's unwholesome
history than the motto of the party itself. The
original Latin motto has the word "veritas"
(Truth) which the PNM have replaced by the
letters PNM. In other words the implications of
the motto is one of Orwellian 1984 absurdity
-- The Party is Truth and Truth is the Party.

Nowadays, with the nation, itself daily
questioning the credibility of the party, the
arty motto is beginning to sound like its
Staph, and that of its philosopher-king. It is
th,. act that the truth prevails, which has
eroded the moral ground from under the party.
It may win further elections, for want of an
alternative, but it will be leading no one. In so
far as Dr. Williams is concerned, two attitudes
seem possible. One is tempted to pass on him,
the kind of absolute judgement which he has
passed on all and sundry in both history and
politics. In this respect a quotation from Acton,
quoted in Elsa Goveia's Historiography, seems
particularly apt:
A man is justly despised who has one
opinion in history, and another in
politics, one for abroad and another at
home, one for opposition and another
for office .

This, however, is too absolute and implies that
Acton understood neither history nor politics.
The statement does not take into account the
capacity of history itself to undermine belief,
or of politics to defeat morality. It should not
be a matter of indulged contempt, but one of
austere silence, that the senior historian of a
people, who has found Caribbean history, his
own past, absurd, should have himself
contributed so richly to the perpetuation of
such absurdity. The 1930's generation has run
its time, and is slowly taking its place as just
another link in the common chain. The 1950
generation will soon begin its mistakes. The
people of the forties seem to quite bewildered,
caught as they are, between the embarrassing
frenzy of an ageing rebel, and the terrific
posturing of youth, who also cannot recognize
themselves as simple common links in the
In the struggle for power which
characterises the end of this era, as of any
other, what is being lost is the sense of
historical continuity. Regrettably, a deficient
work such as From Columbus to Castro, cannot
restore it. It will help to integrate neither the
people of Trinidad nor of the Caribbean area. If
it does by mistake, theii we are even more
absurd than Dr. Williams, or Naipaul have








--------------- a





The big part played by race in the West Indies has been widely studied.
Race relations have been carefully dissected, reasons given for racial
antagonisms and attempts have even been made to show that many of the
causes of conflict no longer apply.
Yet the Caribbean governments have done little to make racial integration a reality.
All that we have had so far have been expert advice and empty cliches every creed

and race find an equal place.......
In Trinidad and Guyana we have the
crowning hypocrisy of political leaders
who continue to lead decidedly racial
parties but who never lose the
opportunity to condemn others for being
racist. In Trinidad and Tobago, those of
us who use the terms "coolie" and
"nigger" are even threatened with
prosecution. The point is clear: our
public utterances must not savour of such
evil terms but once we are out of the
public eye, we can act in what way we
please. The symbol is more important
than the reality.


What are the reasons for this double
standard in regard to race? How do they
affect the Indian attitude to politics? And
how might we bring the two peoples
The problem both here and in Guyana
is that the double standard is now
necessary to the political survival of the
vast majority of those who hold elective
office. Lacking any meaningful
programme for change, our politicians
find it useful to dupe a largely trusting
electorate into an emotionally-based fear
namely, that of being suppressed by
the other race.
But even when our leaders have no
intention of playing the racial game -
and some such leaders do exist their
efforts are nullified by certain attitudes
to race which have become part of the
fabric of our society.


When the East Indians came to the
Caribbean, they were settled in enclaves,
allowed to speak their own language and
generally discouraged from mixing with
Africans. Indeed, there is evidence that
the planters regarded the indentured
labourer as a counter-weight to the
African. Moreover, the British, apparently
convinced that they would remain forever
to hold the ring between the two races,
did little to teach the one about the
other. So in the absence of information,
we were left to guess about each other's
way of life. And in the game of economic
competition with guess who, we naturally
ended up with the most derogatory
stereotypes that. could possibly be
The term"coolie" was developed to
mean a stingy,unwashed,worshipper offlags
and idols; and the -term "nigger" came
inevitably to mean the lazy and
uncultured son of a savage. These
stereotypes are with us still and they
continue to dictate the character of our
race relations but now in a climate more
highly politicized than ever.
This feeling of mutual hostility, based
largely on ignorance, is part of the
background against which we must view
the Indian's attitude to politics. Equally
relevant is the fact that in the East,
politics and religion go together.


Eastern religion teaches that man's
hope of salvation depends on how he
leads his total life on earth and an
important part of this life is his politics.
In contrast, Western civilization had a
long conflict between Church and State
which led to a strict demarcation of
spheres of influence and to a cleavage
between political and religious life. So the
synonymity of religious and political life
which the Indians brought from the
sub-continent into our European political
system is an obvious source of difficulty.

Two factors then:

Peaceful enmity between Indian and
African and,
Inseparability of religion and politics
among Indians.
They have had significant
-consequences. On the one hand, Indian
fears of being swamped by Creole culture
have induced a militant desire to protect
this culture. From the late 19th century
Indians have been forming groups in
defence of their culture: the East Indian
National Congress; the East Indian
National Association; the Young Indian


League; The Indian Association of
Trinidad & Tobago; and, in our time, The
People's Democratic Party, the
Democratic Labour Party and the
Democratic Liberation Party.


Side by side with the formation of
these pressure groups and parties, there
has been the role of religion. Indeed, to
understand the problems and possibilities
of the DLP's, these parties must be seen
perhaps more as religious associations
than as racial or political alliances. Indian
independence in 1947 was interpreted by
many Hindus abroad as a triumph for
their region and a vindication of their
In Trinidad, there followed a renewed
interest in things Indian and this led to
the revival of the Sanatan Dharma Maha
Sabha (Great House of Eternal Truth).
This organization has since that time,
been the main religio-political forum for
Trinidad Hindus. And we can see why.
So Dr. Williams' castigation of the
Hindus for using their Church as a basis
for political activity betrays his basic lack
of understanding of the culture that was
brought from India. This lack of insight
has most surely contributed to the

widening of the cleavage between Hindus
and Africans. It is significant that Dr.
Williams has never condemned the
Muslim community for doing just what
the Hindus were doing. Was this
additional double standard, not due to
the fact that Muslim politics, however
religion-centred, was aligned with the
interests of the PNM?


The next thing to consider is that the
Indians started to arrive in the Caribbean
more than a decade after the Africans had
already ceased to come in large numbers.
The African has had a much longer period
of adaptation,to the ways of the West
than the Indians. He was .able' to
understand what was going on long
before the Indian. As late as 1910, when
the Africans were already deeply involved
in politics and one of them (C.P. David)
had already been nominated to a seat in
the Legislative Council, a Royal
Commission noted "the quiet
contentedness" of the Indian and was
struck by his "natural indisposition to
take any active part in political
Then, we know too, that the Indians
were settled in the rural areas and were
removed from the main centres of
political action. The resulting inability to
understand and adapt to the Westminster
political system has forced the Indian
back onto the more comfortable platform
of "race" with all that that implies for
him. Long before he has heard the issues
in the campaign or heard the candidates,
the Indian has virtually decided how to
Of course, he may still attend all the
various meetings and he may even

Indians In Politics

promise his vote to candidates who ask.
This is simply another aspect of his
culture hospitality, a hospitality that
may delude the unwary into thinking that
they have Indian votes in the bag.
This falling back on "race" has been
accompanied by the emergence of a
brand of highly irrational politics.
Programmes tend to get lost and to give
way to personal attacks and to
wheeling-dealing to a chorus of empty
The failure of the non-Indian to grasp
some of these issues is one reason why so
few Indians took part in the February
Revolution. The leaders of the
Black-Power Movement did say that
"Every Indian is brother to the African."
But we need more than goodwill to span
the wide gulf created by over a century of
history. The goodwill is important and it
must be shown by the rank and file as
well as by the leaders. We have to guard
against such a question as: "Indian, what
you doin' in this march?"
In other words, there is a job to be done
in removing suspicion African suspicion
of Indians and Indian suspicion of the
motives of the movement. Indians must
perceive the relevance of "Black Power" to
themselves and their own problems. That
the past phase of the Revolution was not
more successful was largely due to Indian

And there is no short cut. There is
simply no point in condemning Indians as
"a recalcitrant minority" as the
Establishment politicians have done. This
can only lead to another hardening of


So what then is to be done? First we
must be honest and accept that that there
is a real split in the country, We must
have the courage to face it. We cannot
afford to take the stance of that
notorious sociologist who objected to a
Race Relations Board because it would be
an admission that the cleavage exists. We
cannot wish the problem way so let us
embark on a frank and free public
discussion of it. An airing of ideas might
lead to a change of attitude.


Of greater importance is the long-term
programme of education. At no level are
our children being properly prepared to
form healthy attitudes. How much are
they being taught of the high African
civilizations which existed when the
Europeans were still wandering around in
skins? Children seldom know that when
the Europeans reached India in the
15th century, they found a civilization in
many respects superior to their own. The
obscurity serves only to reinforce our
Naipaulian view of ourselves: that we
have created and can create nothing. And
the same effect is being achieved by
our failure to develop media for popularis-
ing the work which has been going on
since the rise of the national movement
in the 1930's.

Finally, the way out of this impasse
involves economic reform. The biases in
the current economic programme is
producing a lop-sided sharing of
occupations. This can be remedied by the
programme of aid to business, by more
sensitive recruitment policies in the
public service, by more discriminating
location of government offices and
projects, and so on.
Perhaps the Ministry of Industry
should be in San Fernando; and the
Ministry of Agriculture should be in the
country-side. These steps would surely
bring more African civil servants into
contact with Indians in their rural
environment. Perhaps the small business
programme should pay special attention
to African artisans and tradesmen. And
then, National Serviceprogrammes should
seek discreetly to bring about more
meaningful contact and exposure. The
possibilities are unlimited for an
administration which is not tainted by
prejudice or arrogance.
We simply cannot allow the racial
problem to drift along without a serious
attempt to bring our peoples together. If
we fail, it is going to cost us much more
than is involved in changing a line in the
much vaunted national anthem.

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II ~I 1 I I I


"Openness", said Solzhenitsyn, expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union,
"honest and complete openness, that is the first condition of health in all
societies, including our own...... He who does not wish this openness for
his fatherland does not want to purify it of its diseases, but only to drive
them inwards, there to fester."
Our situation is not remotely like the extreme situation which evoked this cri de
coeur from Solzhenitsyn, but it is not for that the less insidious. So long as we
consider that vigorous dissent, that the freedom to criticize, and to criticize harshly, in
the public interest are proper only to the politician, we shall continue to inhabit, as a
people, that dimension of the-deluded
vulgarly known as the fool's paradise. LAWRENCE AYER
But it is not for politicians to inculcate
in the public that disciplined acceptance him to qupstion the wisdom of wat ie
of the truth upon which the health of the was asked. to do. The lack of exp rtness
society depends. In a community whose was not his, but that of his employers;
development is as rudimentary as it is in and he was bound by their notions of
this one -- that is to say, one whose what the law of Trinidad & Tobago
presumed social goals are probably not should be -- it should be the law of
even adequately defined, let alone England. Where, of course, the English
actively pursued -- political activity in legislation was capable of being
the conventional sense is basically transposed -- as for example, in the case
irrelevant. The creation of a solid of the English Law of Property Act, 1925
foundation for the institutions which -- but was complex and required an
regulate the national life, which, by and intimate knowledge of property law --
large, means little more than innovating the job was not done at all. But, within
upon a structure with which the country the limits of his -- admittedly absurd
found itself when it became aware of -commission, he performed his task with
itself, is more to the purpose. Culture has reasonable competence.
more to do with a legal system, for
example, than with banal displays devised COMPETENCE
for the titillation of tourists.
The irony is that it is just this task The same cannot be said of his
which has been most neglected -- successors. Theirs is a problem of
"openness" about our institutions and competence. If it is said that it is unfair
about the people to whose care they have to them to say that their legislation is not
been committed; and it needs no saying competently drafted, because they are
that the system which most urgently probably made to work under conditions
needs to be subjected, to rigorous which make it impossible, the answer is
scrutiny, because it is probably the most that they must be judged by their works;
fundamental, is our legal system. and the condemnation of the legislation
would probably serve to achieve for them
"YOUR LORDSHIP" conditions which would enable them to
do justice to themselves. In other words,
Not in terms of volume of legislation they would be allowed the opportunity
enacted, or maintenance of procedures, to demonstrate their, competence.
or institution of prosecutions. We have it
all, down to the preposterous spectacle of, ATTORNEY GENERAL
men in white wigs saying "your
lordship." It has evidently been generally That is, however, only one aspect of
supposed that the "majesty of the law" the problem. It will be reverted to later.
matters more than the Law itself. More crucial is the responsibility of those
The country, upon its accession to whose business it is -- since we have
independence, inherited the British abandoned the "English law must be
common law (i.e. the law constituted by Trinidad law" philosophy -- to conduct
judicial decision) and six volumes of the appraisal of the inherited structure so
"ordinances" statutes inexpertly that it may be adapted and improved
copied, verbatim wherever possible, from upon, to forge the instruments with
English Legislation -- inexpertly, which the great task of erecting an
because no attention was paid to the "edifice sheltering all of us" may be built.
conditions, the nature of the community This is the sole, but triumphant,
into which these laws were introduced; justification for having, in a small
and probably because the drafting of this community, a politically appointed
vast body of law was the work of a single Attorney-General.
man who, from time to time, was A Government, whatever its policy,
commissioned to bring the statutes "up needs to know and understand how its
to date" i.e. to transcribe any policy may be put into effect by the laws
amendments to English legislation it enacts.
effected since his last disgorgement.
0 A sense of continuity with the past
LAW OF ENGLAND -- however much the past may be
frowned upon
Not that he was entirely -- or at all An appreciation of the temper of
-- to be blamed. His avowed purpose the people, and of the times
-- and it was, at least, a logical one -- An understanding of the values
was to transpose as far as possible the law which, however artificially, inform
of England to Trinidad. It was not for law and inhabit the consciousness









of the people, and which, however
inadvertently, represent their view
of themselves and their worth
All these must be communicated to a
Government by an Attorney-General.
Thus, shalla Government understand that
the people who approve their policy by
electing them to office do so upon the
tacit assumption that the values which
their laws express and protect shall be
preserved. And when the country
becomes responsible for its own destiny,
artificiality and inadvertence must be
replaced by a conscious, deliberate and
continuous process of creation.


In practical terms, this means several
things. It means first and foremost, that a
Government must not introduce
legislation which does violence to the
temper of the people; which as one
lawyer recently remarked in a comment
on the so-called Public Order Bill, would
be "an affront to us all." It could not
have been more accurately expressed. The
Bill was a denial of the aspirations of our
community, a law, as the psalmist said, to
make void the law; a destruction of the
mould in which our laws have set our way
of life, a brutal tearing apart of the
matrix from which our meaning as a
people has been delivered.


It means that a law must not be
introduced which it is not intended to
enforce to the hilt, for the failure to

enforce a law, particularly one of
conspicuous public importance, brings
law as a whole into disrepute. It was only a
matter of time before the Industrial
Stabilisation Act would collapse in a
common stultification of unions, of
employers and most of all, of the
Industrial Court. It should have been
obvious that a law which, in effect,
imposes a total prohibition -- as distinct
from a limited restriction -- upon
striking could not be enforced.
A law does more than express the
policy of a government, the law does
more than reflect the attitudes and
collective will of a people: it does much
to shape and define them. Once passed, a
law goes forth and acquires a life of its
own; people live by it, are conscious of it,
that they must not infringe it; it receives
the impress of judicial interpretation, and
the honour of observance enhances the
claim of law to govern our lives. So when
written, it must make sense.


The laws which have poured forth
from our Legislature over the past few
years are a scandal of incompetent
lawmaking. The Industrial Stabilisation
Act is a notorious example of how a law
ought not to be framed, but there are
innumerable examples, less well known
but equally important for the state of our
law as a whole.
In the Statutory Authorities Act,
1966, there is, as in most Acts of
Parliament, a section which defines words
and phrases to be used in the Act. The


* From Page 2

tinue it from its own resources if it pro-
ved effective was too complicated to
The unit, incidentally, would have
been quite cheap to establish and run; in
any case, preventive medicine is always
cheaper. The most effective way, from
the administrative point of view, to con-
duct the project would have been as part
of family planning work.
The reasons for which this was objec-
ted to were various, but none made sense.
This negative attitude toward innova-
tion -- "We can't try that because it
mightn't work" -- is deeply rooted in
the medical services and is as infectious as
the rubbish dump outside the morgue.
Frustrated people refuse to allow others
not to be frustrated -- "Who is he to
think he can get anything done?" -- and
officers who began their careers with
enthusiasm and initiative quickly become
time-servers or leave to avoid that fate.

Lack of co-ordination dnd planning is
not confined to the professional and ad-
ministrative branches of the medical ser-
vices. Legislation, which should be the
handmaid of effective public services, is
instead an obstacle to their functioning.
The Ordinance which sets out qualifi-
cations for registration of physicians to
practise in Trinidad and Tobago permits
(by a roundabout route) those with
American degrees to practise here, but ex-
cludes those with European degrees even
if they have American licenses. It is, of
course, the licence, not the degree, which
enables the physician to practise in the
USA. For this reason the Trinidad Gov-
ernment has recently lost the services of a
qualified specialist, licensed to practise in
New York State, whom it attracted to the
country and who was then refused regis-
tration by the Medical Board.

There is a desperate need for services
in this speciality, but the reaction of the
Minister is not to take steps to have the
necessary changes made in the Ordinance,

but to compound the confusion by trying
to persuade the physician to take up the
job with temporary registration. Now
temporary registration requires the regis-
trant to work under supervision, but in
this case, since there is no other qualified
person in the same branch of the special-
ity, there can be no supervision. The
Minister, however, is interested in making
good his promise that someone in this
speciality will be appointed to the San
Fernando hospital.
This is a good example of how the re-
action to crises takes the form of a grab
for short-term advantage not only at the
technical but at the political level also.
For further examples one has only to re-
call the Minister's recent conflicting state-
ments about the projected abolition of
the Leprosarium.
The Ministry's solution to the problem
of overcrowding at St. Ann's Mental
Hospital, too, was a fine example of this.
The solution consisted of 'discovering'
that several mental patients had tuber-
culosis and so qualified for the Caura San-
atorium. Now it is true that both leprosy
and tuberculosis hospitals are becoming
under-utilised throughout the world as a
result of advances in the treatment of
these diseases; but attempts to re-allocate
the resources thus freed to other
purposes, whether medical or not, must
be accompanied by a campaign to prepare
public opinion and integrated with plans
to adjust the freed resources to the new
needs. Even if the mental patients had
chest diseases, psychiatric nursing is not
the same as tuberculosis nursing, and faci-
lities for the treatment of either disease
consist of more than just space.
Solutions to all these problems will
not come soon. But an immediate im-
provement is possible. What is needed is a
certain amount of imagination and an
administrative nucleus flexible enough to
begin making full use of the human and
mechanical resources available now; to
determine priorities, eliminate bottle-
necks and discard hopeless systems. In
the longer term, we must apply the same
imagination and initiative to the search
for solutions, Perhaps we might even be
clever enough to turn some of our liabili-
ties into assets.


reason is, as is obvious, to avoid
ambiguity. The section solemnly defines
the expression "public officer" as having
"the meaning assigned to it in 105 of the
Constitution." Section 105 of the
Constitution does indeed define "public
officer," but no such personage is
referred to anywhere in the body of the
Statutory Authorities Act.
The same Act in section 14 sub-section
2 contains two errors of syntax in the
space of a few words.
In the Valuation of Land Act, 1969,
"owner" is defined as "every person entitled to land for any estate
of freehold in possession." While in this
country we do, of course, have the
freehold estate (as one of the modes of
land tenure is called) we do not have, as
an estate in land, any such thing as a
"freehold estate in possession." What is
referred to there is an estate introduced
in England by legislation in 1925, which
is not applicable here.
The first of the three foregoing
examples betrays an unawareness on the
part of whoever framed the Act of what
he was doing; the second, ignorance of
the English language; the third, ignorance
of the law. These are three minor
examples; worse can be found, often
within the compass of a single Act. And it
is not good enough.


The highest competence is required in
those who make and in those who
administer our laws. However lively the
social imagination of our
Attorney-General, a proper system, in
which the public at large may have
confidence, cannot be created without it.
And public confidence is vital.
It is true that the record of the
Government in law reform during the
tenure of the last Attorney-General was
dismal. The reasons for this were not far
to seek. After a brief career in private
practice of the law which is not
remembered as having been especially
notable or distinguished, he spent several
years as a magistrate a career which
could not possibly produce the range of
understanding and the grasp of the
complexities of the relationship of the
law to human problems which are so
necessary in an Attorney-General. The
result was that the law, in the most
essential sense, languished.


It is fair to say that the present
incumbent shows a greater appreciation
of the urgency of the task that lies before
him, the "Public Order Bill"
notwithstanding. His career as a private
practitioner no dopbt goes a long way
towards explaining this. But there is
much that he needs to do -- and much
that cannot be done by him -- to
refurnish and improve the dilapidated
machinery of the law. The magistrates'
courts are a scandal. It is said that
rumours of corruption have for long been
associated with some of the magistrates'
courts; certainly, this recalls the bit of
doggerel from Hilaire Belloc.

"You cannot hope to bribe or twist
Thank God, the British journalist;
For seeing what the man will do
Uhbribed, there is no reason to."

A litigant in the High Court is apt to
find that, if his case is complicated, it is
so often adjourned that he cannot avoid
the suspicion that some judges prefer not
to hear a complicated case. He may, save
in the simplest of cases, have to wait an
unconscionable long time for a decision.
In very recent years, a creditor of a
company sought to wind it up -- close it
down. After a hearing that lasted several
days, the Judge reserved his decision. It
was more than a year before it was finally
delivered, during which time, of course,
the company's business was at a

Budget Comment


The 1971 Budget Speech by the Minister
of Finance, Mr. F.C. Prevatt, has come
and gone; but were it not for some
mention, in the preamble to the fiscal
proposals, of the far-reaching events of
this most eventful year 1970, one would
hardly have thought that there was need
for any more than mild concern on the
part of Government.
Those of us who are convinced that the
need for a fundamental reconstruction of the
society was of such magnitude and urgency as
to justify the most drastic institutional
readjustments and the Prime Minister as well
as several of his Cabinet colleagues has certainly
shown some awareness of this cannot be
impressed that either the record of policy
achievements of 1970 itself or the prospective
fiscal innovations envisaged in 1971 could
create the climate for more meaningful
participation in the national life by all sections
of the population.

There is perhaps no need to reiterate the
very forthright and often threatening utterances
of the Prime Minister prior to and following the
declaration of the State of Emergency on April
21 last. In addressing the Annual Christmas
Dinner of the Central Chamber in Couva on the
night of Tuesday 8, Mr. Kamaluddin
Mohammed could recognize that "this is a
critical year for the country" and that "the
crisis that we are facing has never faced us
before." Senator Padmore, whose youth
perhaps brings him in closest contact with the
recent expressions of discontent in the society,
could tell the Southern Chamber on December
4 that "the experience of 1970 has introduced
a new urgency in the determination of
Government to restructure and reorder
Trinidad and Tobago's society," and further
that the Government have interpreted the
events of 1970 as a signal that the ship of State
must alter course in order to avoid the perils
,which can be discerned ahead."


The Budget reveals an alarming lack of the
kind of mariner's expertise which one might
expect of the navigators of the ship of State. In
it there is an almost complete dearth of any of
the fiscal measures which one was led to
anticipate would be used for reinforcing the
policy measures proposed during and after the
February Revolution, and for capitalising on
and mobilizing any enthusiasm for social and
economic reforms which might have been
generated in this critical year.
Instead, the Minister of Finance has chosen

standstill; no-one would deal with, or give
credit to, a company that was likely at
any time to be put into liquidation.
Appointments to the Bench of the
High Court from among private
practitioners have become a rarity and an
appointment as a judge is now thought to
be the climax to a career in the legal civil
service. Preferment, once on the Bench, is
apt to be, as in the case of clerks, on the
basis of "seniority."
A long and wide experience of the
practice of the law is, and ought to be
considered to be, necessary in a judge,
who is required every day of his life to
call upon resources which can only be
developed in private practice. It is true
that recruiting private practitioners would
not necessarily solve any aspect of the
problem, since so many of our lawyers
are woefully ill-educated. The solution
probably lies in the adoption of
something in the nature of the Swedish
system which provides special training for
career judges.

It is difficult to see how a consistent
and reasoned approach to the tremendous
task of building a legal system and
over-hauling its machinery can be
undertaken without a small, permanent
commission to advise the Government
(whatever Government is in power). One
fears that the failure to appreciate the
function of law in relation to its own
designs and the purposes of the
community it governs is not a defect that
is likely to be peculiar to the present
Government. The habit of governing with
reference to the legal framework within
which it is done is the responsibility of
legal experts who advise Governments,
which will in time acquire an intuitive
understanding of the relevance of the rule
of law to its business.

to implement the policy outlined in 1967 of
taking "programmed steps ... to bring about
eventually the smooth transfer of control into
local hands." The operative word here clearly is
'eventually." The lack of concrete policy
proposals gives to the earlier action an air of
panic behaviour which, of course, it might well
have been. But there are any number of areas in
which it was reasonable to anticipate firm,
positive and much needed action.
For instance, the Minister has again
"stressed the importance of the role played by
financial institutions in the national economy"
as the "the principal accumulators of private
savings" and "the principal sources of loan
funds." He might well have gone on to point
out that, as such, they represent the lubricating
ingredient, the sine qua non of the economic
system, controlling the very lifeblood of the
population, and therefore need to be
immediately brought under national control.
Further, there is no area of expertise
required here which nationals do not fully
possess. In this same sphere it is worthy of note
that though as early as 1965-66 a freeze on the
establishment of new branches of foreign banks
was announced, there is a continued feverish
spate of expansion activity by the foreign
commercial banks preemptying an ever
increasing share of the national savings and
other financial transactions, as well as the
future possible locations to be served by a
national institution.

If it was intended that the establishment of
the fledgeling National Commercial Bank was
to be any more than a panic reaction, steps
should have been taken through this Budget to
make of it a meaningful and viable national
institution with the resources enabling it
immediately to establish branches in all major
urban centres, with a mandate to provide at an
early date agency services in important rural
areas, and with a guaranteed minimum level of
business as banker to the Government and all
Statutory Boards and publicly owned
institutions. Nor should its position visa vis the
Post Office Savings Bank have continued to be
without clarification.
In the present circumstances it must base its
growth potential on the share of the increase in
savings and other financial activity which it can
confidently anticipate in competition with the
giants. Obviously its lack of a universal presence
must inhibit its ability to provide a national
The overriding importance of financial
institutions in the economic life of the country
already makes them subject to licensing and
other forms of regulation, and necessarily so. In
the light of the preliminary findings of the
Commission on Discrimination in Employment
and the recognition by the Prime Minister that
many local businesses needed "to put their
house in order." a well ordered house might

well have been made a condition for annual
renewal of licence. It is not without interest
that one large foreign bank should make an
unsolicited offer of 30% of its equity to
nationals while the Government is not prepared
to demand that the offer be 90% so that at least
a 60% compromise might be arrived at after
negotiation. The policy thus appears to be to
allow foreign investors to dictate the pace at
which the assertion of national control is to
In far too many areas of Government
involvement public policy appears to favour a
kind of tokenism satisfaction of the absolute
minimum legal requirements for control. Thus
one may genuinely ask how effective is national
control of the operations of Caroni Ltd.,
Trinidad Tesoro, the Telephone Company or
Textel by virtue of our holding 51% of the
equity? The recent complaints of Textel
workers about the failure of the Company to
train nationals for technical posts, whether
justified or not, may signify an attitude of
Government to act in response to pressure
rather than give leadership in these crucial
areas. It would not be surprising if the situation
were the same in our oil and sugar
involvements: control means the right to
appoint a Chairman.
Deficiency of fiscal policy is also indicated
in several other major areas:
* The Development Finance Company -
rationalization of its role vis a vis the I.D.C.
to avoid duplication of the work of its
project evaluation unit and that of the ESPD
unit of the IDC;
* improvement of its technical staff so that it
could accelerate evaluations and handle the
small-business loans done by the IDC;
increase of its resources so that it could
initiate investments.
* Cooperatives: The Hon. Minister has dubbed
1971 "Cooperatives Year." Though the
intended emphasis on cooperatives is not
misplaced, the present body of laws and
regulations are not entirely consistent with
the present objectives. Urgent revision is
called for.
* Oil: The National Oil Company should have
a monopoly of the local market. This need
not alter the present use of private
businessmen as distributing agents.
Venezuela has long preceded us in the
negotiation of an independent price of
domestic oil for tax purposes. This is an area
of cooperation which has been far too long
neglected and no protracted negotiations are
needed here.
* Tourism: The Minister has warned of the
dangers which sometimes attend this
industry but nevertheless proposes to exploit
the opportunities for diversification which it
provides. Sooner or later we will realize that
we cannot both sell the scenic beauty of this
country and yet have it for the consumption
of nationals. We will have laid down the
infrastructure at considerable cost only to
discover that the questionable "benefits"
have completely escaped us. Let us leave
tourism to those who would have it, and
Trinidad and Tobago to us.





s 8 0 P 11l FREDERICK ST.

- --



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A bright Christmas and Happy New Year...
for many years to come.

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