Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
February 27, 1972
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


0.n 70 ''




THE recent imposition by the
Government of restrictions upon the
holding of public meetings has a pre-
cedent in St. Kitts. There, not long ago,
a High Court judge declared unconstitu-
tional an Ordinance which virtually
vested in the Chief of Police the sole
authority to decide whether or not a
public meeting should be held. The pre-
cedent is interesting because the
Trinidad Legislation, coming barely a
few years later, raises the question
whether there is not to be found a dis-
cernible technique of silencing public
opposition to their policies, among
those who wave the banner of demo-
cracy while gathering to themselves the
apparatus of repression characteristic of
the totalitarian state.

In St. Kitts, the Public Meetings and
Procession (Amendment) Ordinance
1967 made it an offence to hold a
public meeting without first having ob-
tained the permission in writing of the
Chief of Police, who had a complete dis-
cretion whether to grant or withold
such permission.
Two politicians, Michael Powell and
Warren Thomas, spoke at a public
meeting in defiance of this provision
and were prosecuted in the Magistrates'
Court. T'he Magistrate ife- ecd a con-
stitutional question tie vahdity rf the
Ordinance under the Constitution to
the High Court for decision.
Powell and Thomas argued that the
immemorial rights of freedom cf ex-
pression, freedom of association and free-
dom of assembly, given the added
sanctity of constitutional protection by
declaration of fundamental rights and
freedoms in St. Christopher, Nevis and
Anguilla Constitution of 1967 had been
The Government's argument was a
notably specious reasoning which,
apparently, is coming more and more to
be demanded of Attomeys-General in
this part of the world. The Attorney-
General claimed that there was not a
prohibition on public meetings; that
they were merely being "controlled,
regulated and guided."

He admitted the difficulty of
setting the bounds of what the main-
tenance of order in a democratic society
requires, but failed completely to per-
ceive that such a law completely stul-
tifies the rights of free expression and
assembly guaranteed by the Con-
But Mr. Justice Glasgow had no
hesitation whatever in rejecting the con-
tentions of the Government. He held,
that the law could not be shown to be
"reasonably required in the interest of
public order, or in the interests of
defence, public safety, public morality
or public health" (a saving provision laid
down in the Constitution). The Judge
considered that the untettered dis-
cretion given to the Chief of Police was
in itself sufficient to show that the law
was not "reasonably justifiable in a
democratic society."
****-, *
The Judge refused to view the
declaration of rights in the Constitution
as a mere pious recitation of words
whose meaning was to dissolve at the
bidding of those who have power in the
state. Throughout the West Indies, the
Courts will be increasingly called upon
to confront the will of those who view
democratic forms as an obstruction. But
Mr. Justice Glasgow held that no law
could be valid if it hindered the citizen
in the enjoyment of his right of free ex-
pression and his right of free assembly.

CHALKY say he fraid, but not we; we ent fraid Karl. Not in Tapia. We ent fraid
Williams; and we ent fraid Serrette, Bernard, and Ernest Pierre neither. We ent fraid
no Sedition Amendment Act, no Firearms Act, no Summary Offences Amendment
Act, nor any of the repressive measures with which the caudillo-gangster state has
been arming itself against a largely innocent population and an entirely legitimate
opposition. No, Karl, we ent fraid at all.
Who could fraid this
bungling, blundering,
butcher of the law? Who go
worry after the sensational
failure of so many recent
attempts by the Queen's
Canary to prosecute and
persecute in the courts of
law? He tried to blackball
Wills and he failed; he failed
with Kelshall; he stumped
his toes with Blanchfield.
Shah and Lassalle were the
most colossal goof of all.
Now this shameless locho
is going to Privy pissing
Who could fraid them?
Tell we nah. Now that we
know where nearly every-
body stand! In 1970 there
were some who thought of
the marches as one big
glorified Jouvert and some
who thought that all the
movement had was the con-
ventional politics of huff
and puff and violence as


Now they know better.
In September 1970, we
scuttled the Public Order
Bill without the slightest
hint of violence. We learnt
the sterling value of open
majority opinion.
And then came the May
1971 elections, when we
made assurance doubly sure
by staying most of us at
Where does this leave the
government now? That is
the question some are
asking. Where can it leave
them? That is the answer.
The overwhelming majority
of Africans and Indians, of
students, youth and un-
employed, of teachers and
union members, of trades-
men, taximen and farmers
now most certainly repu-
diate the old PNM and DLP
regime of race, divide and
The new Baron of
Maraval and the old Afro-
Saxon King can live today
by one thing only: by this
new Squad and that new
Squad and the other new
Squad. For them most cer-
tainly power comes out of
the barrel of a gun.


How can anybody be
afraid of a government
which is totally incapable of
any independent thought?
Of a class of men who have
no imagination, no insight
and no judgment? Williams
and the PNM have never had
any long-term strategy ex-
cept to replace the Colonial
Office. From the moment
became constitutionally in-
dependent this college-
exhibition leadership be-
came hopelessly out of date.
Their one qualification was
their fitness to replace the
British because their value
were the same as British
It is embarrassing to
Tapia how utterly de-
pendent on us the PNM has

been for every one of its
ideas since we started in
1968. Lloyd Best said
national reconstruction and
Williams could think of
nothing but national recon-
struction to repeat. We said
constitutional reform, he
jumped on that as well. We
argued the case for local-
isation and Williams was so
ashamed to go on repeating
from Tapia that he des-
cribed it as some kind of an
"intellectual fetish" of
Tapia. But within weeks he
and Hudson-Phillips and
Chambers were repeating
the Tapia chorus just the
It is the height of impu-
dence for the PNM to be
asking the people, "but who

the hell we go get to put?"
Tapia has already been
making the new policies -
admittedly, by remote con-
trol. It is now only a matter
of time before we consign
these people to some igno-
minious labasse of history.
We have never been im-
pressed by Better-Village
and crash-programme
political organisation nor
even by large Woodstock
crowds in the public square.
The kind of political instru-
ment we've been solidly
building is something else.
And it's time will reach
anytime now. Its time will
reach because the country
has had its baptism in
politics. Now-for-now news-
paper parties, marriages and


mergers have fallen into
total and complete disgrace.
Part One of the February
Revolution took very good
care of that.
Now we are passing to
Part Two, the positive and
constructive part. We have
discredited the old, we must
now usher in the new. It is
time for the local groups to
speak. It is time for a
national organisation of
local community interests.
After the ordeal of recent
times, we know who the
leaders are and we are clear
on what the plan must be. It
will be some tine tb bring
the final Constituent
Assembly together, a full
convention of free citizens
and groups.
That is the only non-
violent solution and it is the
one that the country would

like to choose.
Tapia does not accept
the nonsense that Williams
is here for another four
years. The government
cannot govern and it simply
has to go. If it does not re-
sign to make way for a poli-
tical solution, we the people
would then have the right to
revolt and start afresh. It is
crystal clear that the PNM
has lost our confidence and
the the whole system of
government is nothing but
an imposture. That is the
position which Tapia holds.
And we are prepared to
defend it to the end. We do
not consider that any of the
legislation passed by this
Parliament has any constitu-
tionality whatsoever. We
shall be contesting their
validity in the Courts when
it suits us and we have al-
ready been putting them to
the political test. We are
simply holding public
meetings at our own
pleasure. Any infant can see
that the definition of a
"public meeting" in the
Summary Offences Amend-
ment Act, like so many of
the low dodges employed
by Hudson is so dangerously
wide that no court with
stones could ever uphold it.

Tapia is putting up
posters as usual. "After ole
mas is new politics";
"Power to the hardwuk";
and "But wha really goin
on?" What going? It's the
las lap. Williams said it was a
fight to the finish. Well,
Tapia intends to finish it
soon. In the Express in
1969 we promised Williams
and the PNM 70,000 people
in a single political place
and we are working to
deliver them, every one. The
only reason why we have
not called a demonstration
in public yet State of
Emergency or not is that
we are still carefully pre-
paring the ground. When-
ever we choose to call it we
shall see how much power
the government has inside
the barrel of its guns.
So why does Hudson not
try us for treason or sedi-
tion or mutiny or one of his
notorious political charges?
Try it, Hudson, Make your



THE RECENT harassment of a Tapia member by the Army and Police,
at Chaguaramas was the latest incident in the campaign the 'security'
forces are waging against individual freedoms in Trinidad and Tobago.
Twelve years ago Eric Williams led the citizens of this country in a
protest march against the United States military occupation of the
north-west peninsula. At that time, armed American soldiers denied the
population of Trinidad and Tobago access to three percent of their own
country. Those few who were allowed to enter, either as workers at
menial occupations or members of the privileged few who owned pro-
perty on the offshore islands or received invitations to the US Officers'
Club at Macqueripe, were subject to search of their persons and vehicles
and to US military law.



Now, several years after the de-
parture of the Americans, Trinidadians
are barred from the north-west penin-
sula by Trinidadian troops, and are sub-
ject to search, seizure and arbitrary im-
prisonment not only there but through-
out their country.
Furthermore, the kind of demonstra-
tion led by Williams in 1960 is now
against the law.
These conditions, be it noted, exist
quite apart from the current State of
Emergency. Search and seizure without
warrant have been legalised by the Fire-
arms Act; marches, demonstrations and
meetings without police permission are
outlawed by the Summary Offences Or-
dinance; and the north-west peninsula
has been under Army control since the
day the Americans moved out.


The Government is not without plans
for Chaguaramas. It has in fact an-
nounced two sets of them the first in
1968, when the IDC announced a
development scheme for a section near
Pointe Gourde, and invited proposals
for construction of marinas, hotels and
residences; the other in 1971, when
Williams in one of his post-Revolution
television appearances announced a
grandiose but vague scheme for the
entire peninsula, including "plans" for a
national park, nature reserve and ocean-
ographic institute. To make sure no one
believed in this scheme, he put John
O'Halloran in charge of it.


Not a single project of either of these
schemes has come to fruition. Of the
projects which have come into
existence, none was part of either of the
announced schemes; one is a youth
camp, one is a convention centre, one is
an experimental plot where a German
teaches Trinidadians to grow corn, after
first finding out from the University of
the West Indies; one is a depot for
AMOCO oil-drilling equipment, and one
is the Chagacabana Hotel. That is to say,
three are totally unprofitable, one has
only long-term profit potential, and
one, after two years of operation, is
And we must not forget that hardy
perennial, the Scotland Bay Hotel, for
which Sir Alan Reece turned the first
sod on three separate occasions, but of
which not a single stone has been laid.
Of the original scheme for which Jhe
IDC requested proposals in 1968, the

The writer of this article, DENIS
SOL OMON, Tapia Education
Secretary, being dragged from his
car by police and military
officers after refusing to allow a
search at the Chaguaramas gates.

most important project was the marina
A group of local architects, engineers
and businessmen raised the necessary
capital and submitted an elaborate plan,
but it was not accepted, for reasons one
can only guess at.
One of the things which inter-
mittently exercised the minds of the
Cabinet in the first few years after the
American withdrawal was Cabinet in the
first few years after the American with-
drawal was what to do with the
numerous buildings that were decaying
at Chaguaramas that is to say, every-
thing that was too large or too solid for
our own army officers to carry away
and sell.


In 1966 the Trinidad and Tobago de-
legation to the UN requested permission
to put forward our candidacy to be-
come the headquarters of UNIDO, the
recently created UN Industrial Develop-
ment Organisation. The idea was that it
should be housed in what had been the
US Administration Area at
Chaguaramas. Its presence would of
course have been profitable in many res-
pects, economic and political, direct and
The Government agreed, and the
delegation lobbied with great success on
the strength of the location and
accommodation, which were described
verbally and photographically in an ex-
cellent brochure. The Latin American
bloc offered their support, and the
African candidate nation agreed to with-
draw in favour of Trinidad and Tobago.
On the morning of the General
Assembly vote, which Trinidad and
Tobago was almost certain to win, the
Ministry of External Affairs telephoned
the Trinidad and Tobago delegation in-
structing them to withdraw the candi-
dacy. The reason was that Cabinet had
met the day before and decided that
they "couldn't afford to put the
building into habitable condition."
Two years later,' the Government
spent $5 million turning the US Ad-
ministration building into a Convention

The idea of a convention centre is, of
course, to earn money by hosting inter-
national conferences. Yet there has so
far been no conference there which has
not been completely financed from
local sources (usually, the PNM of the
Government). It has also provided a
conveniently isolated location for the
sittings of the Detention Review Tri-
What the Government fails to realise
is that in order to persuade international
organizations to hold conferences in
one's country one must compete with
niany other potential hosts by offering,
among other inducements, free con-
ference facilities.
The Green Elephant of Chaguaramas
is in any case so ill fitted for the use of
overseas conventioneers that a consider-
able number of its bedrooms are de-
signed for four occupants.


In March-April 1971 the Govern-
ment agreed to host the conference of
the Inter-Governmental Co-ordination
Committee of CICAR a Caribbean
project of the UNESCO Oceanographic
Commission. The Government
committed Trinidad and Tobago to pro-
vide the 14 nation conference with the
facilities of the Convention Centre.
One week before the Conference was
due to begin, the Government
summarily cancelled the booking. The
reason was the 1971 PNM convention:
not only was the CICAR conference
summarily kicked out because the pre-
parations for it would have had to take
place during the PNM Convention, but
delegates to another international con-
ferences the Sea Bed, due to take place
immediately afterwards, were shifted to
the Hilton, at a cost to the Government
of $50,000.


For many obvious reasons, the
Chagacabana Hotel was the shakiest
possible commercial proposition. But
the really dubious aspect of it is the fact
that although the IDC project included
hotel sites, the Chagacabana site was not
one of them, and no competitive bids
were invited at any time for operation
of a hotel situated at that spot or incor-
porating the buildings on it.
The Government simply made a deal
with a company of which the man who
later became Attorney General was a
director and major shareholder. This
Attorney General is the man detailed to
investigate the alleged irregularity of the
operations of the group formed recently
to run the Globe Cinema chain, a group
which includes Canute Spencer, director

of the Convention Centre project and a
member of the Attorney General's own
Chagacabana group.
So little did the Government's left
hand know of what its right hand was
doing that a number of Army and Coast
Guard officers housed in what were
later to become the hotel's cabanas were
thrown out without even being
officially informed that they must leave.
One Coast Guard officer, in fact, was
told to get out by the builders who
came to do the conversion. When he re-
fused, they first built a fire under the
house and when he came to investigate,
threw a bucket of gasoline over him.
At the end of two years of operation
(and in spite of holding a fete every
night during the curfew) Chagacabana is
bankrupt. Its debts, as far as could be
determined from its unsatisfactory
accounts, are $300,000. Its creditors
speedily agreed to accept 20 cents in the
dollar. But the most important of these
creditors are the IDC, T & TEC, WASA
and the Internal Revenue Department -
that is to say, the taxpayers of Trinidad
and Tobago. And yet the IDC has made
the astonishing announcement that its
main concern is to put Chagacabana
back in operation as soon as possible.
That is, to throw good public money as
fast as possible after bad.


During the American occupation, the
channel through which the grace and
favour of the American authorities was
transmitted to the fortunate few was
the Island Home Owners' Association.
This Association was composed of
people who owned property on
Gasparee, Monos and Huevos or who
were allowed to keep pleasure boats at
Stauble's Bay. It had the right to issue
(or refuse to issue) short-term passes to
people wishing to visit holiday homes
on these islands, and to obtain from the
American authorities long-term passes
for its members. The small car-park and
dock next to the Marine Police (now
Coastguard) station at Staubles' Bay was
run by the Association.
The Association is run by Herman
Boos, Managing Director of Harriman
and Company. Boos has a year lease on
the entire island of Huevos, for which
he pays $35 a year.
The paperwork for the issue of passes
is done by Harriman and Company, who
charge 25c per person for the temporary
passes and $15 a year for the permanent
ones, which must be renewed yearly.
When the Americans vacated
Chaguaramas, the Trinidad and Tobago
Regiment took over guard duties at the
entrance to Chaguaramas and the
system went on very much as before,



until the opening of the Chagacabana
Hotel. Since the need for a pass would
naturally discourage potential clients
and thus reduce the hotel's revenue, the
Army began to admit without passes
anyone who merely said he wasgoingto
Everyone else, even the two or three
people who live permanently on
Gasparee or Monos and travel in and out
twice a day, have to have passes.


Another function performed by the
Army was to hand out tickets for the
various PNM and PNM Youth Group
functions that took place in the hangars
opposite to the Convention Centre.
At the same time, now that the
foreign military occupation was over,
the average Trinidadian began to get
more interested in the northeast penin-
sula, and with the increase in the young
population, more young people began
to take an interest in pleasure boating.
Many of these, plus an increasing
number of people who simply didn't see
why they should pay for permission to
visit Staubles or the islands when
Chagacabana clients did not, began to
isit Staubles on the pretext of visiting
Chagacabana. This put a strain on the
formerly exclusive facilities enjoyed by
members of the Association, particu-
larly the car park. This situation, which
is not untinged by racialism, was the
cause of the Bharath incident last year.

Coast Guard Expansion

Meanwhile the Government, as a re-
sult of the 1970 Revolution, suddenly
felt the need to increase the striking
power of the Coast Guard as a counter
to the Army, ordered several new patrol
boats at a cost of $1 million each, and
made plans for the Coast Guard to take
over the whole of Staubles. The Island
Property Owners' Association is sup-
posed to move to a new site a little way
east, in Chaguaramas Bay proper, next
to the ALCAN bauxite trans-shipment
But the prospect of moving is a pro-
blematic one for the Association. Many
of the new boating enthusiasts who
come to Chaguaramas to practice their
hobby have begun to keep their boats in
Chaguaramas Bay rather than at
Staubles, and even pull them up on the
Although Chaguaramas Bay is now
totally undeveloped, it is the best
natural yacht haven in the Caribbean,
and in fact was the site suggested for the
marina complex by the local business-
men whose project was so unaccount-
ably disregarded by the IDC.
The Association does not like the
idea of boatmen using this area, for it
wants the same kind of control as it has
had for so long at Staubles. But that
control was assured by the American
presence and by the pass system, which
has now begun to break down.

Now that Trinidadians know that
they have a right to enjoy their own
country, the Island Property Owners'
Association is faced with the prospect
of moving into a place already used by
small-boat owners who did not need the
Association and have been getting by
with no facilities other than the sea and
the beach.


The Army, however, have been doing
the Association's dirty work by
harassing boat-owners who have been
going to Chaguaramas Bay under the
pretext of being Chagacabana patrons.
These have been chased off by the army
and told to move their boats. But the
dirty work is made more difficult by the
fact that there is no law to prevent any-
one from keeping a boat anywhere off
the coast of his country, or even
beaching it; by the fact that even the
Army has limited facilities for coercion;
and by the fact that for decades already
Chaguaramas Bay has been used by
owners of large ooats who had
permanent passes for Staubles but who
found the latter too exposed.
It is also regularly used by visiting
yachts, because it is a much better yacht
haven than anywhere else, because there
is a Customs and Immigration post at
ALCAN, and because it is near to the
northern entrances to the Gulf of Paria.
The boatmen, of course, need a
marina, even ifi is only a few jetties
and a gasoline dock. While there is no
marina, however, all they need is access,
and they will be able to manage far
better than anywhere else, including the
Trinidad Yacht Club, so bad are the
boating facilities everywhere in this
country. What they do not need is
another enclave of privilege.
There is almost no other use to
which Chaguaramas Bay could be put,
so there is no excuse for a concession
not being granted. The reasons why
nothing has been done are generally
accepted by boatmen to be twofold: the
general stagnation of the peninsula re-
sulting from the Government's desire to
keep everybody out of it, and the pro-
bability that some key person is waiting
to be bribed.

Guard Post

Nobody known under what law the
Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force is
entitled to maintain a guard post at the
entrance to the old American naval base
and thus keep three percent of the area
of this country off limits to its inha-
bitants. Even if there is legal provision
to declare this or any other area a
military enclave there is no moral reason
for so doing. The Army's base is at the
extreme western end of the peninsula,
in Teteron Bay. Their administration
offices are near to the Convention
Centre, and they were hastily moved
there only after the 1970 mutiny, pre-
sumably to reduce the future chances of
imprisonment of officers by their men.
The rest of the peninsula is virtually
In any case, any security argument in
favour of requiring visitors to have
passes is destroyed by the fact that
passes are not required for the Chaga-
cabana Hotel.
As far as searching for illegally
landed arms is concerned, even if these
exist, the army can search for them as
they are ostensibly doing everywhere
else, without keeping Trinidadians out
of the area. In any case the Defence
force took over the pass system and
began to exclude Trinidadians long
before the February Revolution and the
subsequent rumours of arms import-

The Army security officials admit
when questioned that the main purpose
for hwich the peninsula remains under
military control is to prevent squatting.
This is a disgraceful situation in itself.
The existence of such a problem is a
reflection on the ineptitude of the
Government's agriculture and housing


policy generally and its policy in the
development of Chaguaramas in parti-
cular. The use of the Defence Force for
this purpose is a misuse of the Defence
Force, a typical example of government
by coercion and a reflection of the rela-
tions of mutual contempt and a distrust
existing between the Government and
the population.
In any case it does not justify the
pass requirement.
In the final analysis, the Government
has merely continued, for lack of a
more constructive policy, the re-

pressions imposed by the Americans.
Now that States of Emergency are a
common occurrence in Trinidad and
Tobago, Chaguaramas is a convenient
place in which to subject the population
to the arbitrary operations of absolute
Authoritarianism and privilege are
two sides of the same coin, and at
Chaguaramas the security forces of this
country are continuing in their
traditional function of maintaining nct
only these two evils but graft and in-
efficiency as well.

Pay in 1966 Pay in 1972 Increase Increase
Police Sergt. $330 $571 $241 74%
Def. Force $328.50 $367.50 $39.00 app. 10%
Police Corpl. $260 $449 $189 74%
Def. Force $253.50 $273.00 $19.50 app. 8%
Police Const. $205 $358 $153 74%
Def. Force Pte. $211.50 $225.00 $13.50 app. 7%

WHY IS the government continuing to discriminate against the Defence Force
in favour of the Police? Why is the government anxious to maintain the inequality
between the lower ranks of the Defence Force and those of the Police?

These questions have
been raised by a recent
study of salary structures
of Sergeants, Corporals
and Privates in the
Defence Force con-
ducted by Claude Byer, a
former member of the
Regiment. Byer's study is
contained in a letter to
the Minister of National
Security pointing out "a
consistent denial of
social justice" to the
members of the Defence

Members of the Regi-
ment and coast Guard
are debarred from union
representation, and the
Government has taken
advantage of this to
break the pledges it made
that salaries would be
kept in line with those of
the police. In fact, says
Byer, the Government
agreed in 1962 that pay
of the lower ranks of the
Defence Force would be
kept at 10% above that
of their police counter-
parts. And it also agreed
that there would be pay
reviews once every two
Since 1966, however,
the pay of Police Ser-
geants, Corporals and
Constables, has gone up
74%, but Sergeants,
Corporals and Privates of
the Defence Force have
got increases of only
16%, 8% and 7% res-
pectively. (See box). And
the pay reviews for the
soldiers and Coast
Guardsmen which should
have taken place bien-
nially were implemented
only twice in the 10
years since the Defence
Force was established.




Certain former police-
men who transferred to
the Defence Force in
1962 have also "become
enmeshed by the mis-
chief of the pay system."
Byer reveals that these
men, now in the D.F.,
are receiving less pay
than if they had re-
mained, unpromoted, in
their old jobs.
It all adds up to gross
inequality, unfairness
and hardship caused by
the kind of government
maladministration and
incompetence which led
to the Teteron uprising
of April 1970. And the
effects of it are still
causing discontent within
the Defence Force.


Byer reports that
Coast Guardsmen are
now feeling their pay is
not being reviewed be-
cause the Government in
seeking to punish the Re-
giment, or abolish it al-
together, has adopted a
policy of Peter Pay for
Paul. "I would not be
surprised," says Byer, "if
a secessionist movement
starts somewhere."
The basis of Byer's
claim is the Govern-
ment's original promise
to maintain the pay
system on the British

pattern. And this is what
most convincingly indicts
the government for in-
efficiency, bad faith and
lack of policy. For the
promise has not been
kept, and instead of esta-
blishing fresh, locally re-
levant criteria for fixing
army pay, it has done


The concept of the
army, and all the institu-
tional arrangements that
went with it, was copied
'from Her Majesty's
Armed Forces. In the
context of Trinidad, the
principle of paying
soldiers in a standing,
peacetime army more
than policemen could
not be justified.
But far from opening
up the whole question of
what kind of Defence
Force is appropriate to
our needs by raising the
issue of work as well as
pay, the government
simply allowed a bad
situation to get worse,
until April 1970. No esti-
mates were made for re-
viewing army pay this
year, and instead the
government is squan-
dering taxpayers' money
on costly litigation to
pursue a vendetta against
a handful of "rebels."


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Oil, it is said, threatens to make our nation real rich.
Some whitewashers, quick, if not anxious, to chant the praises of
the Czar, are painting a picture of unqualified optimism everywhere.
Their gloatings are the same in Trinidad as in Britain.

They are optimistic about the sal-
vation of the Government, which they
claim "is on the way." In the supple-
ment to the West India Chronicle, on
Trinidad and Tobago (1972), David
Renwick, that eager standard-bearer of
established interests, is even asserting
that the combination of buoyant oil
revenues, and the policy of peoples'
capitalism is about to neutralise the un-
defined monster he calls "black power."


But many of us suspect that is is not
going to be as easy for the regime as the
present prophets of boom would have
us believe. Instead, we are arguing that
the oil finds are likely to have an effect,
opposite to the one thedailies are pur-
And we have "new politics" to see
to that. We know that if the PNM
Government has been unable to activate
the country for work in the past, then
the sudden appearance of sunshine in
the East, however brilliant, is not going
to do it for them. About that, Tapia is


Present day prospects have shown no
substantial change since Tapia showed
the real clues to the reasons for the last
state of emergency in our November 7,
1971 issue "Not Black Power But Black
Gold." Padmore's December 18 state-
ment has added a little more precision.
And naturally so, since Government
tends to hog vital information to use as
political trumps.
Accretions to the national economy
are expected to come in the following
ways: Revenue, Additions to national
income, Construction activity.


On production of crude oil alone this
is likely to yield about $276 million at
existing tax rates. This is expected to
accrue by 1975 76 from a daily
through-put of about 500,000 barrels,
broken down as follows:
Trinidad-Tesoro 20,000 bls. per 'day
AMOCO 150,000 ,
The Consortium 200,000 ,,
Present Production 128,000 ,
This, of course, assumes that pros-
pects for the Consortium are good. And
from all appearances, we cannot see
why not. We would also have to make
allowances for Gene Thomas' caveat
that the production figures depend ".
on the producing characteristics of the
oil reservoirs when exploited over a long
period. To date, these long duration
production tests have not been possible
due to the lack of production facilities."
(West India Chronicle)
Yet this takes account neither of the
likely price increases per barrel of crude,
retroactive from 1970, nor of the price
adjustments for the devaluation of the
American dollar, both of which are now
being negotiated. With the price ceiling
set by Libya at $4.02 per barrel, and
Trinidad fetching only $1.42, there's
much to bargain for, even allowing for
our cost differences.
Natural gas will come into its own by
1976 according to the Guardian reports
of February 10, 1972. AMOCO, a sub-
sidiary of Standard Oil, has found a
market in Natural Gas Pipeline Com-
pany, which will allow her to export
some 3.5 trillion cubic feet of gas over a
20-year period. The proposals are
before the Government. One wonders
only how prices would be fixed over so





111 Frederick St. Tel: 38767.


long a time. Revenue fuh so. Money to
pay off foreign debts; opportunities to
reduce external borrowing.

Additions to National Income

Income in the form of wages and
salaries for nationals in fact all
manner of trained personnel, engineers,
chemists, fitters, plumbers, other skilled
workers. And permanent jobs to boot
for a few thousands.
This is expected to come in between
1975 76, since the Petroleum Regu-
lations of 1970 require producers of
over 100,000 barrels per day, to engage
in processing their products. AMOCO is
expected to establish refinery facilities
by 1976 to refine her crude. A three-
year grace period is allowed after which
the refinery must be erected and put
into operation with "due diligence and


By the same token the members of
the Consortium'would be required to in-
crease their refinery capacity to accom-
modate indigenous crude which, by law,
must be given preference over all others.
Texaco and Shell can thus be expected
to make further additions to plant and
machinery. For the Red star boys, in
particular, two options would be now
open: either they cut back on imports
without extending capacity, or they
extend capacity and continue to import

Construction Activity

Wages and salaries as well; except
that the flow would be more immediate.
Again a few thousand jobs demanded,
though not permanently. Coins are
expected to jingle gaily. Construction of
the various plants, extension of
capacity, including the provision of
facilities for the liquefication of natural
gas, would run concurrently. That spells
a high point of activity, then a sudden
falling off back to the army of the
But for the time being there would
be plenty money, money to lavish on
imports of consumer durables, money
to sustain markets for the giant manu-
facturing corporations. Money to oe
eaten up by rising prices too.And in the
context of an economy whose prices are
determined from sources outside (a
price-taker), it means higher profit
margins for foreign manufacturers It is
difficult to see, given present policies,
how supplies can be organised to
combat these consequences.


That then is roughly the picture of
boom, of optimism.
For its arrival the Government makes
large claims. Witness Padmore: "The
new Petroleum Act and its Regulations
must be seen as a fundamental turning
point in the approach of this Govern-
ment to the oil industry."
His claims rests on two pillars: in-
centives which have encouraged explora-

tion and production, and regulations
which cater for the national interests.
For sure, the Bunny Minister is a bit too
swanky. Turning point? Most certainly.
Fundamental? Quite questionable.
On brief examination, the two new
pieces of legislation seem to be far away
from even pretensions of control..
Instead, they more truthfully represent
a significant, though rather belated,
tightening-up of what Norman Girvan
calls the "regulation and revenue rela-
tionship." That is the relationship bet-
ween a subsidiary of an international
firm and the home government.


It has been incompetence writ large.
That we know for sure.Texaco has been
literally sucking out we eye for years
now. Obviously the Government has
been taking its cues from Tapia. Yet we
are still to learn with what success the
Government has marshalled its claim for
"international recognition" of the signi-
ficance of Trinidad as a refinery centre.
The advances made by the new rules
are to be found in the financial arrange-
ments which give the Government
power to determine prices per barrel of
crude, and in those obligations requiring
the companies to process the raw petro-
leum into refined and manufactured
products. In the latter instance, the
specific requirements are as follows:

(i) the requirement that licences for
refining and petrochemical
operations must give preference to
the processing of indigenous

(ii) where economically feasible they
shall be required to manufacture
such petroleum, and petro-
chemical products as are required
for domestic consumption;

(iii) companies may be required to
deliver to the Minister not more
than ten per cent of any product
manufactured at wholesale prices:

(iv) a holder of an Exploration and
Production licence who finds
petroleum in commercial quan-
tities shall be required to produce
without reasonable delay;

(v) companies producing more than
100,000 barrels per day, shall be re-
quired to set up refineries" .
with a minimum crude oil
through-put of capacity of at least
fifty per cent of the aggregate
average daily production";

(vi) a licensee to refine may be re-
quired to refine all the crude oil
produced by him, and

(vii) a licensee with less than the
minimum daily output for the
compulsion to refine may be re-
quired to deliver his output to a
local refinery.

By virtue of these regulations, it is
now possible, to find refining links on
the local market for Trinidad-Tesoro's
crude. However, in terms of the rules

Lloyd Taylor

which govern the nature of the relation-
ship among the various parts of these
giant firms, it would be interesting to
witness how well they'll meet their ob-
ligations. For potential loopholes rest
upon those rules which the Government
may, or may not enforce, and the com-
panies' final control over key inform-


In addition the Government is now
actively seeking membership in OPEC
whose strength has now swung around
the balance of power in favour of the oil
producing countries. The ironic thing is
that public policy in oil for the past 15
years has depended on continuing strife
in the Middle East. Williams has in fact
been pursuing the most passive strategy
of economic change sitting idly by
hoping that Trinidad and Tobago would
be the most favoured satellite.
In the 1958 Budget Speech Williams
said: "The political instability of the
Middle East is one of the best
guarantees of the continued expansion
of Trinidad's oil production." A
position of almost absolute obsequious-
ness. Now he is shamelessly jarring-up to
cash in the hard won gains of the Arabs.


It must also be borne in mind that
the new round of uncertainty in the
Persian Gulf, resulting from the Arab
countries' efforts to regain what is
theirs, has had positive effects on the
climate here. In the first instance the
companies would be inclined to hunt
for 'crude nearer home in the Americarf
lake, that is in the Caribbean. This is
one factor sure to dull the effectiveness
of the incentives which Padmore talks
about, in so far as the companies were
going to come searching for black gold
in any case.
In the second instance the upper
ceiling on prices set by the Arabs have
widened the gap open for bargaining at


That is the position; and it is far
from fundamental. As we have re-
peatedly outlined in Tapia, real control
of petroleum must focus on the
following minimum demands:

(a) the creation of a genuinely West
Indian legal personality for oil
companies. Texaco Trinidad must
be substantially separate from
Texaco International;

(b) shares must be traded on the local
market and made available to the
unions, the Central Government,
the local authorities and the
public at large;

(c) a schedule of key decision-making
jobs which must be held by
nationals within a specified

(d) books and accounts of these com-
panies must be kept here, and
where appropriate conform to the
demands of the Central Statistical
Office. Acccounts must cover the
entire range of transactions;

(e) all advertising, banking, and in-
surance must be locally procured;

(f) accounts must be submitted to a
confidential audit.

There must be focus on the process
of control. This must be set up by esta-
blishing a Techretariat of accountants
engineers, auditors, and economistswith
the appropriate expertise. Its chief
function would be to come to grips with

Cont'd on Page 13







IT IS Saturday night on upper Tunapuna Road. By the half-light of the
irregular street-lamps, you can see figures by the little wooden house. The
house, long abandoned and left to ruin, has been taken over by the young
people of the area. Now its walls are plastered with posters, pictures, and
the graffiti of Afro-Trinidad and Afro-America.

An orange stall hung
with old '45 records is
set up in front of the
house. On a little rise in
the land next to the
house are the pans of the
Hilltones steelband.
The old house, the
orange stall, the panyard,
the kerb at St. John's
Street corner this is
the "block", the general
living and liming area of
Blackpool, the most
vibrant community or-
Saturday night is
party night. In better
times, this would be
Carnival Saturday night,
and a little way up the
road the Tapia House is
being prepared for the

But otherwise, it is an
ordinary night in the life.
And you can see all the
elements that constitute
normality in a life of
struggle and survival: un-
employment and
poverty; the lack of or-
dinary amenities; and
against that, modest but
significant initiatives of
The 80 or so mem-
bership of Blackpool is
divided almost evenly
between boys and girls.
Of the girls, five are em-
ployed, the others at
school; six boys have
jobs, the rest unem-
ployed and out of
school. They have found
virtue in "togetherness."
They know that uplift-
ment of community
spirit comes through co-
operative activity, using
their own resources. And
on a night like this they
understand that harass-
ment is the desperate re-
sort of a patronizing
officialdom which seeks
to destroy what/it cannot
About 8.30 p.m. a
blue Volkswagen mini-
bus pulls up in front the
house. The police that
roving band of troopers
who have gained a fear-
some notoriety as the
"Narcotics Squad" -
have arrived. They don't
trouble to identify them-
It's a raid. Out of the
vehicle they jump -
Babb, Monsegue, Leach,
Francois, George, one
they call "Utal Blaine,"
and a woman police.
Brandishing guns, they
quickly surround the
house. One of the Black-
pool boys, Hollis Davis,
is standing in front
sucking an orange.
"Who sell yuh that
orange?" The answer
does not satisfy the
police and Davis is put
into the vehicle. Two
more are snatched and
thrown into the mini-
bus. They are later re-
leased, but Davis will
subsequently be charged.
Threatening, cussing,
giving an exhibition of
the arbitrary exercise of





power, the police pro-
ceed to search. Soon, one
of them emerges from
the house with a bag. It
contains 600 sticks of
marijuana, he claims.
Ill-advisedly, one
brother Redcock --
walks away from the
scene to stay in the
gallery of the house next
door. Leach goes after
him and drags him out of
the gallery.
"Bring yuh focking
arse here! Bet ah hit yuh
ah cuff in yuh face!"
"Just so?"
"Yes, yuh can't do we
nutten. Ah'll hit yuh a
cuff in yuh focking face
right here!"


The incident draws
protest from people near-
by but to no avail. The
threats and abuse con-
tinue. At one point one
of the brothers is invited
to "run, leh we shoot
yuh in yuh arse." The
"lawmen" ransack the
orange stall and carry
away a radio and some
The usual sequel to in-
cidents such as this is
that the press will
glowingly report im-
pressive details of the
marijuana "cache" the
police claim to find. The
"alertness" and "dili-
gence" of the squad will
earn commendation, but
seldom is any attempt
made to present some in-
dependent assessment of
the facts.


Nevertheless the bar-
barity attending such
police raids on other
Blackpools day after day
in which people like
Hollis Davis are charged
for possession of mari-
juana because they do
not answer a question
about an orange makes a
profound impact on the
community. One of its
effects is to further
poison the relations bet-
ween the people and the
The role of occu.
pation troops of an
alienated regime that
they are made to play is
an incongruous one for
men who live in and be-
long to a small society
like ours. Already it can
pose a severe conflict of
loyalty. For example,
two Blackpool members
are policemen living in

the community.
Indeed, when the time
comes for the police to
choose whether they will
serve the King or the
people, it is anybody's
guess how they will
The operations of
these swaggering bullies
ganged up as the "Flying
Squad" and the "Nar-
cotics Squad" are only
possible in an overcentra-
lized government system.
Tunapuna along with a
score or more other dis-
tricts should really have
its own local government
with the local police
under its control. This
would eliminate these
squads flying about the
country, committing
atrocities in the name of
law, and accountable
only to some remote
authority in Port of
Local control would
make the police more
sensitive to the particular
problems of their dis-
trict. And as they would
be responsible to the
local authorities,
complaints could be
more easily followed up.


As it stands now,
however, it is clear that a
small section of the
police is being used for
political purposes by an
all-powerful central
government which does
not enjoy the trust nor
the favour of the popu-
lation. On the blocks it is
well understood that
these marauding bands of
police are out to "get"
equally the devotees of
marijuana and Black
Allied to this is the
fact that the blocks on
which young people
gather are the focal
points for real commu-
nity development, not
through hand-outs and
electioneering mamaguy,
but through self-help and


Blackpool, for
example, promotes a
wide range of commu-
nity activities. They run
a football club, organise
windball matches and in-
door games like draughts
and all fours. Last year
they dramatised the in-
adequacy of facilities by
holding an all-day sport
meeting in the streets.
Their Christmas

",-, _..,, 4.-,
"Evening of Relaxation"
at the Tapia House
featured the dance
troupe, drama group and
choir, all part of the or-
ganisation. The Hilltones
steelband went to
Venezuela last year with
pans supplied by Tapia
but now seems to be
going nowhere since
Williams and Frank
Stephens made a big pre-
election grancharge
about greater assistance.

Hilltones accepted the
token drumset and 20



pool Hilltones at Tapia House, 1969.

pans but have never seen
the fulfilment of rosy
campaign promises. Like
the grant of a piece of
land opposite the Tapia
House, or meaningful
Blackpool, like so
many other community
organizations, has been
through it all. They have
known the promises and
the patronage; the later
indifference or bland
neglect. Along the way
they have discovered that
they can depend only on

what they can do for
themselves with whatever
help is available without
the strings of patronage.
And now they see
that what they have
learnt about themselves
and about life is sub-
verting the assumptions
of a regime steeped in
the politics of crash-
programmes and gimme-
gimme. And it is this
kind of community de-
velopment, more than
marijuana, that the po-
litical police are being
used to repress.

Cookeen Golden Rae
Vim -Squezy Drive
Sunlight Lux Lifebuoy.








with .




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., ,.i.c; -~
i. ~r





ONE OF these days, the court of the
people of this country will deliver its final
judgment on the PNM government and the
Afro Saxon regime. And when that day
comes, as nearer and nearer it approaches, this
unchallengeably supreme court will exercise a
jurisdiction it alone has. We will carry out a
summary execution of sentence of Williams,
Hudson-Phillips and the entire gallery of
rogues sitting in pretended possession of the
instruments of power.
It is sublimely fitting that it should end
this way. For the law and the courts have
been the means by which this government has
mainly sought to beat us into submission and
to give themselves a fraudulent legitimacy.
And for sure we have given them a fairer
hearing than they would have been prepared
to give any of us.


For years we have weighed and considered the
accumulated evidence of the government's corruption
and ineptitude; we have seen, above all,it'srabid re-
solve to grind into the dust those of us who would
oppose it, and to do this by using the law and the
courts placed in its trust.
This is the uncontrovertible evidence that the
Appeal Court judgment on the Court Martial
provides. The three judges Phillip, Fraser and
Georges gave the highest judicial sanction in the
land to the view we have long held. What they said in
effect was that the Court Martial had neither legal nor
moral ground to stand on, and that the government in
its insane bloodlust to punish and avenge only
showed the utter sanctimoniousness of its position.
For sure, the Court of Appeal did not "free the
soldierss" That, indeed, remains for us to do. In the
two years since the Teteron episode began, the
soldiers and the Courts Martial have been the focus of
all the contention in a society so torn by conflict that
stability can only be restored when the central
question of the day is resolved. Either we will
eliminate the regime or it will reassert itself in yan-
quishing the challenge.


The government took a pharisaic moral position
on the issue. An insistence on the letter of the law led
them to pander to the worst aspects of the society -
its inbred tendency to violence and brutality. The
soldiers should have been shot at dawn, their
supporters declaimed, and Hudson-Phillips was en-
trusted to carry out the bloody intent of the regime.
Appropriately, he upheld the values of the kind of
society which we have long repudiated. A society
which can accept the notion of an army in which the
justice of the drum-head, instant and heedless of hu-
manity, is the norm. A society whose romanticization
of Django and the myth of the Foreign Legion is a
symptom of a profound inner sickness.
That indeed is the perspective for the PNM's
"new" society of which Hudson-Phillips is the finest
representation. The basic assumptions are colonial in
the extreme. Characteristically, there is this over-
whelming need to disguise intentions, to dress up the
most vicious inclinations in would-be urbane,
legalistic language, to establish legitimacy always be
reference to some established criteria more often
than not, metropolitan ones. The Afro-Saxon mind is


Black man, born before Israel,
fleeced of your birthright by forged Testament,
and by the guile of Rachel and her breed;

Black sheep, chased from the river valleys
across vast mountains, deserts, seas
into this dumping ground where eagles feast;

Turn now upon the shepherd and his staff
Spartacus once was slaughtered on a cross,
just like the lamb of God whose blood we share!

Always it is the drum that sounds the signal.
So it was when Boukman set fire to Haiti;
when Chaca stopped the Boers from crossing

Of the ancestral head and what survives
the basic flute and hollow totem tree
the original tongue and medium is the drum.

Tie the cotta tight in serpent's knots,
Clamp the high temples down with hoops of iron,
Gird them against the pressure of the blows.

Cut skin, slap, strum,
tackle the rhythm, man.
Build up your head with sound.
Svl Lowhar.

Ii 'I'',: .'I

1lil r ~ 'ii,

'' I l l~l, h ', 1

11. 1 'I !

iU M ,,,'





primarily preoccupied with seeing self in relation to
the rest of the metropolitan world. This leads to dis-
tortion of vision and the inevitable failure of action
that follows from policy so devised.
And this is what the Court Martial and the
Appeal Court judgment on it showed in fact. It was
the crowning achievement of an Attorney General
whose two-year career has been a stupefying record
of bungling. In a situation where after May 1970 the
government held all the trumps, the staging of the
Court Martial to give a kind of spurious legality to the
prosecution of the soldiers, was hopelessly mis-
As a device to galvanize public opinion in an
election year when the PNM was campaigning not so
much for anything as against "bacchanal, anarchy and
massacre" of the kind the soldiers supposedly in-
tended to perpetrate, it backfired enormously.


The Courts Martial provided the opportunity,
for us to make our own judgments about the incom-
petence and maladministration which led to the April


i;~; ~"~-~__~i;'':~"






I"ii .

I,.,, I 11 ;~!

1970 uprising at Teteron. The corruption and the
almost laughable inefficiency of the army establish-
ment stood exposed for all to see. And yet it was for
overthrowing such a system that the soldiers were
being tried.
By the time he came to give evidence Serrette
had been twice promoted and decorated with the
Trinity Cross (gold). The regime had stood firmly
behind this man, calling him from retirement and en-
trusting him with the delicate and dangerous task of
restoring some kind of credibility to the Regiment.
The Court Martial showed him up as the slimiest of
twisters despite the attempts of the military tribunal
and the Judge Advocate to "protect" his reputation.
Even the Appeal Court were moved to comment with
seemly judicial understatement that he "lacked


Serrette had been also publicly defended by
Williams against the unfavourable aspersions cast in
the foreign press. At least the foreign press were free
to remark what everybody suspected. The local press
had been either hoodwinked or threatened into
silence, but a national consensus had already
developed as to who did what.
It was nevertheless this concern with foreign
opinion which led the government to exalt the
Brigadier and which contributed to the mishandling
of the Court Martial. To impress the world that the
PNM government was so anxious to have fair trials,
they sent as far away as Africa and Asia to procure an
"impartial" judge and three panels of military ex-
pertise. But it was clear, as Shah told them, what the
Commonwealth officers came to represent was not
Justice as a "blindfolded maiden holding a scale ....
(but) a prostitute wielding a dagger in her hand."
The successful acquisition of foreign (and there-
fore eminently acceptable) experts to do the job so
bedazzledthe Afro-Saxon mind that neither could
Hudson- Phillips, Queen's Counsel, nor the Rt. Hon.
Williams foresee the unintended consequences. As the
military officers were unknown in this part of the
world, neither their competence, records nor
character could be assessed beforehand. Buying cat-
in-bag at great expense to the country, the govern-
ment got as judges at least one former coup-stager
and two other officers who were subsequently im-
plicated in overthrowing the governments in their


As to the Ghanaian Judge Advocate Mills-Odoi,
his knowledge ot law and general handling of the trial
quite strained the apparent resolve of the Appeal
Court judges to make duly restrained remarks. But by
inference Mills-Odoi's professional ability was quite
resoundingly challenged. On the matter of Lassalleand
Shah's plea of condonation in bar of trial on which
the outcome of the trial turned,Mills-Odoi's ignorance
of the law was obvious. It appeared he did not know
that such a plea was permissible and demurred
initially before allowing it to be made.
This led Justice Fraser to write into his judg-
ment the history of the doctrine of condonation as it
applies to British military law going back over 100
years. Justice Fraser also showed Mills-Odoi's "dis-
tressing unawareness of simple rules of evidence in
criminal proceedings" and later described as
"appalling and immensely disturbing" the fact that
the Judge Advocate did not sum up to the court after
the evidence on the pleas in bar of trial without,
moreover, giving any reason why not. In addition,
Mills-Odoi in the cases of Noray, Lai Leung and Guy,
had acted "on the erroneous assumption that the
offence of robbery with aggravation is the same in
Trinidad and Tobago as it is in the United Kingdom."

0 Cont'd on Page 1 1


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A Biographical Sketch of the

Caribbean Labour Market

Lloyd Best

change, a policy centred on industrialization, attraction
of foreign investment, and maintenance of an affable
international reputation. Labour control was therefore
raising an awkward issue of political economy. And
already, by the end of 1963, the breakdown of the
market had "gone too far."
In March 1965, an Industrial Stabilisation Act
was passed shortly after a State of Emergency had been
proclaimed. According to Karl Hudson-Phillips, now
Attorney General, the Bill was introduced not merely
"to prevent work stoppages and their causes" but for
distinctly political reasons.
"Timing the introduction of the Act with the publi-
cation of the report of the Commission on Subversive
Activities, definitely demonstrated political
reasons for the introduction of the legislation."
The Settlement of Industrial Disputes in Trinidad
& Tobago, 1969 (p. 40)
Since October 19 this year, a similar State of
Emergency has been in force. Its declared intention
according to Eric Williams has been in part, at least
to relieve "a marked increase in tension in the in-
dustrial relations field" and to halt a process by which
"strikes and go-slows are slowly strangling the
economy." And now again, new legislation, in the form
of the Industrial Relations Act, is soon to come before
Labour control has always been the major pro-
blem of politics and economics of political economy

"Economic Science also needs the
story of Friday's grandchildren"
Stephen Hymer

Scenario for Paradise ?

IN THE beginning was the land, "very
beautiful, and as fresh and green as the gardens
of Valencia in the month of March." And the
people? "of very graceful gesture and hand-
some forms . The person speaking is none
other than Christopher Columbus, Admiral of
the Fleet of the Ocean, prince of the conquist-
adores. Speaking of Trinidad, one of the multi-
tudinous isles of Antilla, Land of the Seven

"All these islands are very beautiful, and distinguished
by a diversity of scenery filled with a great variety
of trees of immense height blossoming ana all
flourishing in the greatest perfection... the nightingale
and various birds. singing in countless numbers. .
extensive fields and meadows different kinds of
honey and many sorts of metals mountains of very
great size and beauty vast plains, groves and fruitful
fields, admirably adapted for tillage, pasture and habita-
tion harbours.. abundance of rivers.. ."
A scenario for paradise, you might think, if you did
not know the career of the labour market in the
Antilles. If you did, it would quickly shatter all your
golden illusions and set you to think afresh.
But let us begin near the end, as it were. In the
Budget Speech of 1964 ANR Robinson, Minister of
Finance, pointed out to the country that:
"... .First, there appears to be a developing "strike
consciousness" on the part of business which is in-
hibiting the impetus to grow. Secondly, unsatisfactory
industrial relations during the past two years have struck
at the root of confidence of investors and thirdly, rapid
wage increases are reducing the competitiveness of local
labour. These factors combined are tending to nullify
the various incentives offered by the government to
attract investment.....
"A healthy industrial relations pattern cannot be
achieved on the basis of turbulence on the one side or
intransigence on the other. The process has already gone
too far. Any continuation of this state of affairs into
1964 will permanently injure our industrialization effort
and damage our international reputation."

The problem could hardly have been more
sharply posed. In the early 1960's, the working of the
labour market on both its sides conflicted sharply
with the needs of overall national policy for economic

- in the Caribbean. Commenting on the Dalley Report
of 1947, Hudson-Phillips remarked that "labour de-
mands were still of a highly political nature and con-
sidered as challenges to the system by those who
considered themselves part of the establishment em-
ployers" (p. 36). In his Reflectionson the Industrial
Stabilisation Bill (I, p. 7), Eric Williams noted that
Dalley had hinted at an Industrial Court as one method
of control. And in point of fact, in 1920, during one of
the recurring periods of industrial, political, and labour
unrest, an Industrial Court Ordinance was actually en-
acted. Consider the following comment:

"Large-scale protests against working conditions, being
historically, protest against the system, have always had
a mainly political motivation. There was very often in
the minds of the worker an identification of the em-
ployer with the Government, with animosity directed
against both. Not having had adequate political re-
presentation under the Crown Colony system of govern-
ment, the worker had no authoritative forum for the
ventilation of differences. The agitation for change in
the political situation was, therefore, absolutely
necessary before any effective representations could be
made on behalf of the workers. The energy and motiva-
tion of the labour movement was therefore, consumed
and directed in political agitation." (p. 22)
That was Hudson-Phillips again. The problems
which show up in the labour market have the deepest
political roots. We must plumb their depths in our

The Enterprise of the Indies

IT IS fashionable in the text book, of economics to
recount the story of the growth of markets in the
terms of Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe is depicted as a
solitary, unfortunate castaway, ruefully reflecting on
the rigours of his Fate, as his eye "threads the horizon
for the morsel of a sail." (Walcott). He turns des-
pairingly towards land and, thanks to the virtues of
self-sufficient manhood, establishes an organic relation
with the place. He fells and plants, he hunts and he
fishes and he comes to terms not only with the land,
but with himself and his God as well.

In discovering ways to wring the fruits from his own
backyard, he develops a special spiritual strength. And the ex-
perience yields him religion, technology and organisation in
a word, it yields him a maturity of culture, of ari-culture and
all. From this exalted base, he is ready to embrace other men
into society whenever the moment comes; and when those
tell-tale footprints in the sand cease being a mere figment of
the Castaway's imagination.
More than this, Cru~soe is entirely equipped for inter-
national trade and payments; he can well exploit his compara-
tive advantage on equal, active terms. He is creative and inno-
vative, he needs no foreign capital, his external "image" does

not matter. Recurring industrial unrest is a most unlikely pro-
blem but even if it does occur, there is no climate for foreign
investment that it can ever harm.
The rider here is that this interpretation of Crusoe's
Castaway Economy is an entirely fictive one. The setting at
back of Defoe's tale is our own Grand Enterprise of the Indies,
launched in blood thunder. It is an enterprise of conquest,
settlement and slavery; of murder, rape and robbery; of naked
force, and piracy and plunder. For the wheels on which the
sailors in the maritime ports of Europe spun their favourite
yarns of fortune on Antilla some five hundred years ago, were
not the groves of blossoming poui or immortelle. Nor was the
glow that warmed their hearts the sunset to the west So as
CLR James has put it, when Columbus landed and first
thanked God, it was gold he next enquired after.


The Enterprise of the Indies is an enterprise of
gold and greed, of merchant venture, prompted by
royal favour, facilitated by technological advance and
qualified by evangelical endeavour. Religious, com-
mercial and technical considerations blend sweetly to
open up a new wonder-world across the Ocean Sea. It
SCont'd on Page 8





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context, any labour unrest would necessarily have "a
* From Page 7 distinctly political character;" and labour control,
manifestly, is necessarily as much social and political as
it is economic.

is also, inevitably, an enterprise in power. The metro-
politan rivals, Spain and Portugal, seek to do each
other down under the watchful arbiter's eye of the
Pope, the United Nations of that Age. But in time the
Testament of Adam is challenged; Holland, France and
England emerge to join the game of War and Trade.
By then, the gold is about to undergo an
important change of colour. It would become not
black that is for later still but green. It is England
who would soon set the arrowing grass a-waving in the
wind. And it is here in this delightful land of immortelle
and poui, that she would plant it. Antilla forms the
backdrop, a magnificent decor!


In the 1620's, after a certain preliminary re-
hearsing in Brazil to the North-East, English might,
along with Dutch capital and knowhow, make their
entry into the Caribbee isles. James of England grants
letters patent to the Earl of Carlisle and Carlisle in turn
finds the ventures to undertake the planting. Thus, we
have a King and a Proprietor, we have planters and we
have our merchants too. Only the supporting cast is
The problem of the labour market today is a
direct result of the manner in which the problem of
labour for sugar was first resolved in the 17th century,
was resolved anew in the 19th century, and is being
resolved again today, in the 20th. The unchanging solu-
tion has been by way of "compulsory arbitration"
rather than by means of free collective bargaining.


Robinson Crusoe has been painted as a figure
who established a homestead farm. And that is exactly
what he would have maintained if it had not been for
the Enterprise of the Indies. Instead, he ended up by
engrossing a plantation and enslaving Friday, his Man.
In Robinson Crusoe and Primitive Accumulation,
Stephen Hymer reminds us that:
comes a crucial moment in which Robinson,
through a cruel show of force, terrifies poor Friday into
complete submission. Robinson takes Friday out and
shoots a kid with his gun ....
Friday learns the full extent of Robinson's power over
him The first stage of the initiation is completed,
Robinson can move on to establishing the social division
of labour on a more subtle base."
Monthly Review, September 1971 (p. 27)

Crusoe is ultimately able to accumulate capital
and build a veritable empire. To this end he gets Friday
to hew and draw for him, to toil and carry. By the time
the caravels appear and he is able once more to enter
the international economy, he has an enormous
property "and the ground is clear for steady growth."


But the accumulation of property from Friday's
work requires more than the initial act of mortifying
Friday into sustained terror by virtue of Crusoe's
power to shoot goat, human, or, for all Friday knows,
even God himself. Crusoe also instructs his Man in his
own religion, and into a whole culture of submission.
Friday becomes a dependent soul, to all intents and
purposes willing in the part.
And Crusoe knows only too well what he is
doing; and it leaves him uncomfortable; it attacks his
own manhood at the root. He watches Friday closely
and notices on one occasion that:
"an extraordinary sense of pleasure appeared on
Friday's face and a strange eagerness, as if he had a
mind to be in his own country again; and this observ-
ation of mine put a great many thoughts into me, which
made me at first not so easy about my new man Friday
as I was before; and I made no doubt but that if Friday
could get back to his own nation again, he would not
only forget all his religion, but all his obligation to me;
and would come back, .... and make a feast upon
me ..."
Notwithstanding his doubt and fear, Crusoe carries on.
He has arms; and so long as Friday shares his religion
and accepts the culture of Crusoe's plantation which
encompasses and defines his whole existence, which
robs him of his manhood and makes of him a gentle-
man's Working Man, the system holds intact. In this


But there is no labour unrest either in Defoe's
novel or in the interpretations made of it by
economists who come brandishing the scientific neu-
trality of technocrats even if, curiously enough they
still enjoy the poet's licence with the facts.
Labour unrest arises only later when both
Crusoe and Friday multiply and there springs up the
society bent on mining green gold within the stockaded
walls of sundry cane plantations and intent on trading
fully with the metropolitan world. The drama of
Crusoe's grand and great-grandchildren then plays itself
out in three extremely hectic Acts.
The first Act concerns Slave Labour and the
period 1640 1838. The second Act concerns Free
Labour and embraces the period 1839 1937; and the
third Act concerns Organized Labour and covers 1938
to 1971.

Slave Labour


IN THE period of Slave Labour there was no
labour market. The slaves were in fact, the main item
of capital on the plantation and they had a status little
different from livestock, equipment, or plant. Willy-
nilly, men and women Friday are "sold, killed, trained,
or used as wives," to quote Hymer again. Compulsory
arbitration this first time round, takes the form of
alienating from men the right to have fundamental
rights and especially the right to own property. Land is
free and initially plentiful and abundant. The only way
of preventing men from emulating the idyllic econo-
mists' Robinson Crusoe and from practising in-
dependent farming and self-sufficiency, is to enslave
them and rob them of their freedom. Better still, bring
them in unfree. It is the only possible way to ensure
that they produce green gold for export and a profit
for the king, the proprietors, the planters and above all,
for the merchant-venturers who organise the trade.
"It has always been difficult," writes Raymond Smith in
Social Stratification, Cultural Pluralism and Integration
in West Indian Societies, "to understand why and how a
handful of Europeans could impose their will upon a
vast slave population and later upon an equally vast
number of indentured servants, . the simple idea of
coercion does not explain the fact that slave owners...
were able to organise their slaves so that they accepted
their slavery for most of the time and even disciplined
their fellows on behalf of the whites ... ."

Like Man Friday, the slaves were "seasoned" into the
ways and needs of plantation life and certain strict routines
were devised to urge them along the way. The result was that,
at one level, they absorbed a great deal of their masters' cul-
ture. they accepted a colour hierarchy, they became sus-
ceptible to European religion, and they came to regard
blackness and association with their home country as marks of
inferior status and rank. In this context, sustained labour
unrest was possible only when and where the consciousness of
essential self could surface.

Only in Haiti, on the evidence, did this critical con-
sciousness of self manage to surface for a period long enough
to disrupt the plantation system from below. There, Men
Friday assumed the role of "Jacobins Black" and simply took
their freedom back again. Elsewhere, the system was disrupted
from above.
In the West Indies, the planters had to acquiesce in high-
handed intervention by the Queen. They had long since lost
their manhood when, unwitting, they deprived the slaves of
theirs. The regime of terror and restriction had taken innova-
tion as its victim too. Profits so easily won from slavery had
weakened any will to work. Absentee and luxury living abroad
reduced the capacity to plan and milked away investment

So, in time, when conditions of trade turned un-
favourable, the planters had painfully few management options
left. When maturity sets in, soil exhaustion starts, export prices
tumble, import prices soar and profit rates decline, they can
only underfeed and overwork their slaves, lobby for imperial
preference in protected markets and/or shop for new invest-
ment capital and aid. The one thing they cannot entertain is
technological innovation from within. That would be to
specify a new, creative, open culture, to promote a politics of
participation and institute an altogether fresh division of labo-
ur. Much safer to gamble hopefully on. But the effect of that is
a danger summed up by Williams in a very telling phrase: "em-
ancipation from above or emancipation from below."

Free Labour


"The fundamental question facing Trinidad, and indeed,
all the West Indian colonies after emancipation, was the
question of labour would sugar continue to be the
principal product? If so, would it continue on the basis
of the plantation system? how was" regular supply
of disciplined labour to be guaranteed?
Eric Williams, History of the People of
Trinidad and Tobago, p. 86

EMANCIPATION was to come from above and
"compulsory arbitration" in the labour market was
being debated by the Crown Colony administration.
How was a regular supply of disciplined labour to be
This problem was necessarily more acute in some
Tobagoes than others. At the time of Emancipation, Crusoe's
grandchildren had not yet engrossed all available land in all the
islands of the Indies. The merchants had been shifting their
terrain and their capital from island to island, in search of
fatter profits. As they opened virgin areas, they left the
planters mortgaged in the saturated lands. Their control after
emancipation was challenged; with capital they would mani-
pulate the new lands, through mortgages they would mani-
pulate the old. For this the Crown Colony administration was
indispensable. It admitted one integrated overall policy.
Two entirely different situations had to be managed
now. In the saturated lands, fresh routines were required for
sustaining discipline among labour now demanding wages in a
market. In the virgin lands, additional labour had to be secured
and rules designed to prevent the establishment of an in-
dependent farming class. Let the Secretary of State put the
"The great problem to be solved in drawing up any plan
for the emancipation of the slaves in our Colonies, is to
devise some mode of inducing them when relieved from
the fear of the Driver and his whip, to undergo the
regular continuous labour which is indispensable to in
carrying on the production of sugar... It is impossible.

Artists impression of Chinese arriving in Jamaica in 188-

S. to suppose that the slaves would if feed from
control be induced even by high wages to continue to
submit to a drudgery which they detest, whilewithout
doing so they could obtain land sufficient for their
support According, it is to the imposition of a
considerable tax upon land that I chiefly look for the
means of enabling the planter to continue his business
when emancipation shall have taken place..."
Lord Howick, Memo, 1832 -

Land policy soon became the thrust of labour control.
According to Williams, ". .land ownership was to be retained
in white hands and it was to be made as difficult as possible for
black people to own land." In 1841, the Trinidad planters
proposed that 320 acres should be the minimum area of land
to be sold at any one time. Even the Secretary of State was
advocating 40 acres.
In the virgin areas, however, land policy alone was by no
means enough to secure adequate labour control. The ex-slaves
countered official policy by becoming squatters "on the drag."
They opened land, promoted new crops and established urban
trades. Land policy had therefore to be supported by other
measures to reduce output, income and productivity in the
newly founded independent sector of the economy. Education
was limited and slanted towards the training of wage-labour
and clerks; banking and credit were diverted away from small
agriculture and artisanry and towards the import and export
trade; public expenditure on marketing, research into new
crops, irrigation, access roads and other infra-structure were
down to a minimum.
But the main measure taken by planter officialuom was
the promotion of large-scale migration and later, the control of
out-migration. The planters intended, according to Wood,. that


"the arrival of immigrants would create competition among
creoles and the newOomers for jobs" (Trinidad in Transition, p.
36). That it certainly did; and real wages were reduced even
further by the taxes which the oldstage labour had to con-
tribute to the financing of the migration scheme. Old labour
had to pay taxes to introduce new labour which resulted in
bidding its own wages down.
On top of that labour was paying to make labour organ-
isation well-nigh impossible by forming what M. G. Smith has
termed a "plural society." New migrants were of different
races and cultures and came from different places over an ex-
tended period of time. The effect was to fragment the Friday
sector by the creation of a pluralism that was racial, religious=
and cultural. Status distinctions of occupation and education
served only to underscore this trend- not least because the
policy of "seasoning" new migrants into creole-plantation cul-
ture was modified in support of dividing labour while the
policy of withholding land was adapted to keep new migrants
in certain forms of agriculture. The overall effect naturally,
created a buyers' labour market.

It was a buyers' market for labour but it was no less a
buyers' market for the staple. The rejection by the Crusoe
sector of technological change and diversification of output in
favour of cheap labour, imperial protection and continued
specialisation in staple exports made it impossible for the
planters to keep their business in a viable state. Repression,
land shortage and the lack of government support simul-
taneously made the independent Friday sector incapable of
supporting an expanded population.
The ultimate effect was rising unemployment, mounting
po litical discontent and explosive industrial and social unrest.
At first, as Arthur Lewis has pointed out, labour adjusted by
pulling the women out of the labour force, then by fragment-
ation of land holdings, then by establishment of petty urban
trades, ar.d finally, by outward migration. New York, Panama,
Costa Rica, Maracaibo all received large waves of West Indian
migrants. When these valves proved no longer wide enough to
be safe, the consequence was undisguised and open large-scale
unemployment. And in the grim logic of that lay "eman-
cipation from below."
At no time had Friday's grandchildren totally submitted

to the regime of terror and compulsory arbitration on the
plantations of the Antillian enterprise. Emancipation from
above in 1939 had only been a means of heading off the emer-
gence of more Black Jacobins yet.
"Thus August 1, 1834, faced the colony of Trinidad
with its greatest social crisis until June 19, 1937. The
half-emancipated slaves marched into Port of Spain
from all parts of the island . to inform the
Governor that they had resolved to strike .....Many of
them were arrested."
History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago (p. 89)
The historian speaking is Williams. The biography of the
plantation labour-market is more than instructive, it is highly
ironic as well.
"The expectation that this would intimidate the others
was hopelessly misplaced ..... The Riot Act was read
without making the slightest impression on the multi-



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tude .It was quite clear that the former slaves in
Trinidad were not prepared to accept conditions in
which they were half slave, half free.'
History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago (p. 89)
Emancipation headed that trouble off and led Friday's
grandchildren into other strategies. By 1937, those strategies
had failed to produce the desired results and brought the 19th
century in the West Indies to an end in yet another outburst of
"It was the attempt ........ .to perpetuate the
plantation economy by governmental action, the
attempt in other words to interfere with the normal
laws of supply and demand in the labour market and to
prescribe the status of men who were in the same breath
being called free, that gave rise to all the social troubles
of the 19th century in the West Indies." (Williams p.

Organized Labour


THE DISTURBANCES of 1937 38 opened the
gate of history to Organized Labour. They also
promised governmental action which would permit a
free play between the laws of supply of material wel-
fare inherent in Caribbean resources and the demand
for such welfare on the part of Friday's great grand-
The Moyne Commission which investigated the dis-
trubances, reported in 1938. World War 11 however, held up
self-government and Adult Suffrage arrived in Jamaica only in
1944. Thereafter, it spread quickly throughout the West Indies
and in spite of a doubling back on Guyana in 1953, on
Grenada in 1962 and on Anguilla in 1969. the movement has
culminated in a formal independence which even the
Associated States could take at will by the end of the 1960's.
The organization of labour preceded developments on
the constitutional plane for labour inevitably has always been
the motor of political change in the region. In the lands which
at emancipation in 1938 were already saturated or well
advanced towards that state, political organization in fact.
centred around labour leadership and found their base in the
unions. In the lands which were virgin Unions have not so
easily harnessed themselves for dealing in the power of the
State. Yet, everywhere, by the 1920's labour was asserting "its
distinctly political character."

In Trinidad, the Workingmcn's Association made a
political breakthrough in the riots of 1919, influenced the
Wood Commission of 1921 and put its leadership into office in
the first-ever election of 1925. A Trades Union Ordinance was
won in 1932 and the TWA became the Trinidad Labour Party.
When the party got lost in the corridors of influence, Union
fragments resumed independent labour agitation. Five small
unions were registered before the crisis of 1937, while other
vaguer but more significant associations, under such men as
Butler and Rienzi, were cutting their way through to the new
stage of history.
The Forste: Commission which reported more directly
than Moyne on the Butler-led events of 1937 moved the last
major obstacles to the registration and functioning of organized

.- -

.. In dus trial
peace depends
on whether or
S' not the govern-
ment is per-
.. ceived by
._- labour as repre-
S renting the

labour and by 1938 fourteen trades-union were registered.
Among them were the Waterfront Union and the Oilworkers.
The supply side of labour was theel f ore organizing when
Act Three of the market's career began. Paradoxically, this
only exacerbated the historical conflict with demand. Demand
was becoming better organised as well; the merchants and the
planters would yield place to the multi-national corporate com-
plex. Mineral staples would join agricultural staples and gold
would now become black as well as green. Branch-plant hotels
and branch plant factories would arise and in the spotlight of
public policy, agriculture would be displaced by tourism and
by the industry of assembling manufactures.


The hope behind this new political economy, as outlined
by Arthur Lewis in Industrial Development of the Caribbean,
was that doniestic product, national income and local saving
would grow in response to expanded investment, technology
and knowhow from abroad. Employment would grow as in-
dustry and tourism created jobs and drew the people from the
land. The old agricultural enterprise would be free to
mechanise and modernize. The conflict in the market would
abate as Friday's great grand-children re-learnt the ways of
creative enterprise and won the wealth to buy their way into
the game.

Looking back, those hopes appear now to have been no
more than grand illusion. Metropolitan capital coming in the
form of direct investment cannot engender entrepreneurship
because by nature its function is to anticipate entrepreneurial
needs. The advocates of foreign investment are therefore con-
fusing direct investment with settler and portfolio investment.
In the settler case, entrepreneurship changes its home; in the
portfolio case, entrepreneurship in the borrowing country must
exist before it can borrow. Lewis and the advocates of the
model of "industrialization by invitation" in the Caribbean
were caught in this confusion. And theresults of their policies
have re-opened the age-old question of "emancipation from
Economic policy in the post-war could hardly have been

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From Page 9
better designed to perpetuate both the large-scale unemploy-
ment of labour and extra-ordinary militancy on the part of
Unions albeit against a background of high rates of growth.
The programme of industrial change simply took over metro-
politan technology and surrendered almost all new ownership
and direction to metropolitan ownership and management. By
virtue of their place in the economic system, the Unions were
necessarily the focus of this pressure. Some were bound to
draw a militant sword.

Union militancy compensates for the loss by the
nation of economic control to the metropolitan cor-
porations; it increases national income at the expense
of profits and it asserts the popular will in a con text
where the Unions are the only significant organised
sector not under either foreign or government control.
Such is the case in Trinidad.
Industrial peace therefore depends in large part
on whether or not the government is perceived by
labour as representing the popular interest.In Trinidad
and Tobago, doubts began to arise about this in the
period immediately following the Chaguaramas Settle-
ment between Trinidad and the US in December 1960.
The Settlement certainly confirmed the government in
its intention to pursue a policy of industrialisation
through a heavy reliance on foreign capital. It also ex-
posed the weakness of the PNM, a political party which
had no Trade Unions at its base but depended almost
entirely on charismatic leadership for its organisational


By the end of 1963, the Government and some of the
militant unionists were already engaged in a war, admittedly
cold. From then on, the militancy of the Unions would be
interpreted as a cause of a loss of public revenue in corporate
taxation and not so much as a gain to national income at the
expense of corporate profits. To the extent that the highly
automated technology employed by the corporate sector also
created little employment and threw the burden of job
creation back onto the public sector, the militant Unions now
also could be charged with a part of the responsibility of the
growing unemployment
The first attempt by the Williams Government to con-
trol organised labour was aimed frankly to discredit the more


militant Union leaders. In 1963, the Commission of Enquiry
into Subversive Activities was established the Report of
which, according to Hudson-Phillips, was to appear on the id-
entical day that the Industrial Stabilisation Act was
The ISA enforced compulsory arbitration on the country
and left little doubt in the mind of important sections of Or-
ganized Labour that, in the words of the Prime Minister four
years later when one of the militant Unions made the first clear
breach of the aim of the legislation, "a fight to the finish" had
been joined. The country was to make a bid to finish it in 1970
But before that stage could be reached, the breakdown
of the labour market had one other important result. Up to
1968, the militancy of Unions had been by far the most active
agent of industrial and political disaffection; after that, it was
the massive unemployment of youth, the upshot of the
economic programme of the period.
Throughout the 1960's total unemployment had been
running at some 12 15% but the burden of this unemploy-
ment was falling on the young. In 1966, 32% of the age-group
15 19, and 27% of the age group 20 24 were wholly
unemployed. And 62% of the country were under 25, con-
scious of the PNM Government only in the discredited phase of





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its history. That spelled a tinder-box and when in 1968, a series
of University student marches fired the imagination of the
youth and legitimate the direct methods of political action
formerly associated only with militant Unions, the tinder-box
ignited, and the February Revolution had begun. Like Slave
Labour and Free Labour before it, Organized Labour had
matured. Trinidad & Tobago were ready for Act IV: Parti-
cipatory Labour. Ready to clear the last remaining obstacles
off the path to free, collective, popular control of the Antillian


REVOLUTION most often leaves material
structures intact and always leaves habits of mind still
largely fixed. What it changes is our old perception; it
enriches our vision of the future. It also displaces the
old regime. February 1970 has been no exception -
though we are still in the process of settling the change
of regime. This short biography of the labour market
is, without apology, a contribution to the direction in
which that settlement may be effected backward to
the rigours of half-free labour? Or forward to an
economy of participation full and free?
In the beginning was the land. And it was very
beautiful. And the people? Of very graceful gesture and
handsome forms None of the brutalisation of com-
pulsory arbitration has succeeded in altering that one
whit. It is still an unrivalled scenario for paradise; but
Friday's great-grandchildren must first take hold, this
time round, of the Enterprise of the Indies.





Clearly, the Justices of Appeal felt themselves
on sound enough ground to question the competence
of the Judge Advocate, and Justice Fraser indeed
rounds off his enumeration of the "chronicle of ir-
regularities" with a statement on what the functions
of the Judge Advocate should be. Justice Phillips also
referred to "various irregularities" and categorized as
a "monstrosity" a proposition emanating indirectly
from the Judge Advocate. Justice Georges delivered
himself on Mills-Odoi "lack of clarity" and "con-
fusion of thought."
Under Mills-Odoi's direction, the Court Martial
stumbled into several miscarriages of justice, five of
them, in the opinion of the Appeal Court, serious
enough to merit the upholding of Shah and Lasalle's
appeal and the quashing of their sentences. The
Justices were scandalized that Danjuma was allowed
to "protect'. Serrette's reputation. Danjuma actually
told Serrette: "At anytime Sir, if any question is put
to you that you don't feel like answering you may
not." Likewise they saw as an outrage two contra-
dictory rulings given so as not to make Serrette out a
"Boldly and brazenly" the two lieutenants
admitted mutiny. With flaunting dchjtince, t :'.' pro-
claimed that Danjuma & Co. were lending their names
to infamy. Yet the regime had the soldiers to hang.
Marshalling all the legal muscle and moral fervoul of
the Establislhment, they sought to make of Shah a:nd
Lassalle a clamorous example of the penalty for
dissent through "non-legal" means. And they failed.
The Court Martial only exposed the pillars of
the PNM Establishment as rotten. Now nobody trusts
Serrette surely not the government! Guerra,
eminent advocate of repression, has since been pi oven
a brutal liar.

But most important of all, it gave us the
opportunity to see the philosophic foundations of
this PNM Fstablist!nr. t. Fo! it v:,s ,-v ,:- '*
Saxon selt-contempt which led Hudson-Platllips and
Williams to seek foreign military "experts." To be
able to do this they even had the Defence Act
amended. But the Defence Act is itself an example of
the colonial mimicry that pervades all levels of the
government's thinking.
For not only was the Defence Act "sub-
stantially copied" (to quote Justice Fraser) from the
British Army Act, but the very "Independence Con-
stitution" of this country is copied from Westminster.
Political thought . economic thought.... indus-
trialisation by invitation .....everything from dress
and language to law and constitution-making is
slavishly patterned after somewhere else. This
absolute lack of creativity and independent thinking,
so characteristic of the PNM operation has left a
stiflying aura of mimicry and shoddiness ovei every
aspect of the national life.


The Court Martial demonstrated not merely
that the regime must fall, but that it cannot; help but
fall, for it has nothing of its own on which to stand.
It cannot have its own way even when the odds are in
its favour.
The provision in the Defence Act for the con-
donation of offences had been part of the law of the
country ever since the Act was transcribed from the
British law books. Yet Serrette himself, on whom the
Act had for many years conferred the important
power to "advisedly overlook" offences, never found
out until the Court Martial that he had such a power.
Interestingly enough, the Appeal Court pointed out
that though in theory it was possible to plea condo-
nation on a charge of mutiny, it had never been done
in 100 years!
Justice Fraser commented:
"I have dealt with the doctrine of condonation
at some length in order to demonstrate its an-
tiquity as a concept in military law, and as well,
to emphasise the caution which a legislature
should exercise in adopting, from the United
Kingdom or other sources, statutory provisions
which are carefully fashioned during the
passage of centuries by a process of trial and
error and, as in this case, where a long tradition
in arms and martial might have developed a
concept peculiar to the military service of the
people of the United Kingdom having regard to
their own notions of discipline and of honour
in military affairs."
The learned judge is here at one with those of
us who have been calling for an end to the Afro-
Saxon regime an'd the establishment of a new order
premissed on a complete repudiation of the colonial
assumptions about our incapacity to manage our own


SINCE about 1965 or1966
there has been a Better Village
project going on at Ramgoobie
Trace to assist the unemployed
and underprivileged residents
of this community. One could
obtain employment either
through the Village Council or
through the head office of the
projects in Tunapuna. But one
always encountered difficulties
and hardships in obtaining
employment through these
Within the immediate area
of this Community there are
two Village Councils in opera-
tion, and as you might know,
the unemployment situation
here is on an uphill t1end.
The Curepe Community
Council came into being some-
time in 1960 under the chair-
manship of Mr. Talbot Paul.
After two years of its exist-
ence, the Community was still
at bay. This gave to Mr. Ivan
Roopia and his colleagues the
option of forming their own
group, the Lower Curepe
Village Council. This group was
recognized by Community De-
velopment as the bargaining
body for the residents of the
Lower McInroy Street area.

Ovei the past ten years
theic has always been, and
there still is, personal conflict
going on between the two
parties. We, the residents, are
the ones paying for it, because
the people who are supposed
to be representing and guiding
us as regards labour and com-
munity life are at war with
themselves. So what is really
happening to us?
Can you imagine that today,
aboit six to seven years since it
began, this job on Ramgoobie
Trace is still in operation? And
that all the people of this com-
.i.JNm_\ LAppi I i IjL)bu onl a
cheap scale five days every
three months?
And we are victimised and
terrorised whenever we stand
up for our rights. We are living
in a community where we
don't have a say and every
Tom, Dick, Harry and Paul,
skilled or unskilled, comes in
and works while we get the


Unemployment in this com-
munity as I have mentioned
before is high. We have coming
out on the blocks now brothers
and sisters fiom 10 to 16 years
old not to mention those who
are here already and whose
only understanding is sex,
drugs, funk and soul parties
which are the main instruments
of our death.
On Ramgoobie Trace labour
was not distributed in a proper
manner. Realising this, some
brothers -- Flambo, Jummy,
Evil Eye, Pudding, Ram, Garth
and MonkeyS, the "El Jays,"
had to approach the authorities
at the head-office in Tunapuna
concerning this affair. The
scene was a bit ropey but it
sort of paid off. We were given
priority as a group to submit a
list of names of persons to be
employed at spell-periods,

We began along the prescrib-
ed lines. On reaching the job
site, one was to find that the
breeze was not blowing too
nice there, and we were also to
discover later a number of dis-
crepancies which had taken
place on the job as it passed
from one foreman to the next
and it was continuing rapidly
with the assistance of certain
Road and Village Council offi-
cers at the time. This was
around May to June 1970.
Near the end of November
1970 two more projects (one



on the


on Stella Street, and the other
on Rapsey Street) were
opened and still there was total
harassment from all sides.
There were only two skilled
labourers from this Comm-
unity on these projects. As the
year was coming to a close for
the 1970 period, there were
constant threats and the pos-
sibility of rope being
brought off was in the air, but
due to the guidance of our
Lord the year rounded off
Then came 1971 and the
tempo was off to a slow start. I
think the holidays played an
important part here, but as
time progressed the tempo
started to develop once more.
Within the space of four
months I was assaulted twice,
As the year rolled along the
situation grew more tense, as it
took another turn. A labour
force was recruited weekly,
and there were no materials
with which to work, so in short
a labour force was recruited
with nothing to do, from
which arose a completely
different atmosphere among
the workers.
It was now coming around
late August and early Septem-
ber, when all workers were
given a forty-eight hours'
notice that the projects would
be closed until further notice.
The cry then was "money run
out." People were to be em-
ployed on a seniority basis,
which did not cater for us be-
cause all we supplied on these
jobs was cheap labour (5 days)
so the question of seniority
and service left us out com-
In this light, Lucy, Crab,
Buff, Cyril and I visited part re-
presentative of the area, Mr.
Sham Mohammed who in turn
arranged for us to meet witl1
Mrs. Donawa, Mr. Mc Kend of
Community Development. But
Mr. Mc Kend was represented
by Mr. Phillip, his P.R.O.

From this meeting a tour of
the area was arranged but did
not come off. And to follow
this, another attempt was made
to stop regular workers. This
was mid October, and a delega-
tion went to Community Deve-
lopment to see the authorities
in charge, but we never obtain-
ed the opportunity to get our
matter resolved once and for all.
It was a straight case of
management sell-out, because
the same management that sat

to discuss our case consisted of
the people who were fighting
each other a few months ago.
So how on earth could such
people discuss our problems?
Behind our backs there took
place compromise and sell-out,
because we went back to work,
but never know what trans-
pired in the meeting.
We had our problems, and
we got ourselves together to
get it straightened out, and yet
other people who don't care
about us, and are the ones who
were responsible for the situa-
tion that we were in, just come
out with fooling talk and say
"alright everybody is going
back to work, no money is
short again."

The whole fact of the mat-
ter is how could the money,
taxpayers' money, finish just
like that, and how could they
proceed with a meeting when
we the persons who called for
the meeting were unrepresent-
ed. We have no faith and trust
in these people because they all
have fork-tounges.
All they have been trying to
do is divide us despite all the
complaints about the situation.
We have made certain propo-
sals for more jobs in the area,
and went on a tour of the area
recently, with officers from
Community Development, but
this still does not change the
situation. And is like all the
complaints that we have made
fell on deaf ears, and it seems
also that our movements have
bearing on other people.

There are certain men at the
office and on the jobs who
come out to exploit mainly the
women-folks by pretending to
be this and that and are pro-
mising people five days. Some
have to pay five dollars and
others have to pay in flesh.
This is total disregard and
disrespect of our women-folks,
and the rape of all human pride
and dignity. And anytime one
rises up against these vultures
some rope-man always wants
to kill or shoot and always
ready to threaten. And this is
the sort of attitude that is tole-
rated because quite a number
of these officers are "ex-
Within the space of one
month 1 received two suspen-
sions, first for two weeks and
then, indefinitely. A foreman
also threatened to give me pres-
sure because he was not let to
do what he wanted to ex-
ploit the women-folk for la-
bour which they should get
without hindrance. But as long
as members of our group are
around, they got to come
straight and give the people
what is rightfully theirs.
This is the main reason for
the present flare up of threats
and even acts of violence in
some cases. But we as a group
are willing and prepared to
stand up and fight for our
rights by the help of God'F

(1 T.

II I_~I _1__ 1 IU(L---1

~I _1___Pii=Now_

re .-
~L 6 .~ ..
~Js ,





"It would be sheer impertinence to suggest that CLR James has failed.
Whatever his practical activities now and clearly he is not in the Tapia
camp James still has a great deal to say in the politics of Trinidad &
Tobago for the simple reason that his work has raised the large issues of
This was the argument urged by Lloyd Best at the second UWI Seminar on
Contemporary Issues held at St Augustine on Saturday February 12. Best said that
he wanted publicly to acknowledge the great influence which James had had on all
political thought in the West Indies." Unquestionably James has made an enormous
contribution to our intellectual life, he has enriched our heritage and in fact, he has
been the largest single influence on my own thought."
The Tapia Secretary was commenting on the paper delivered by Dr. John La
Guerre on "The Evolution of the Political Thought of CLR James. La Guerre has
treated four main themes in James' work: the early championship of self-govern-
ment; the theorizing on the nature of
colonial and metropolitan revolutions;
the debate on state capitalism and the
.. involvement in the negro struggle. A
-:',;," fifth theme, James' later participation in
practical West Indian politics was
i thought by La Guerre to be material for
;. a separate study.
It emerged from the paper that as
James had moved from being a member
Sof the colonial intelligentsia in the
1920's and 30's into being one of the
most formidable spokesmen of the
S international left, he had shown a
i' remarkable fidelity to Marxism and had
become a passionate advocate of "the
M.T. spontaneity of the masses."



Lloyd Best proposed to the Seminar
that perhaps James' adherence to
Marxism and his faith in spontaneity
were best seen as "pleasures of exile".
Marxism saw capitalism as "one and in-
divisible" and as the agent whose
historic task it was to form the revolu-
tionary consciousness of the workers of
the world.

0' 1" i

To the revolutionary in exile it there-
fore offered a formula which was not
only simple but compatible with his
condition. If the workers would be pre-
pared for struggle and organised by in-
ternational capitalism then the advocate
of change did not have to put down
roots and commit himself to work in
any particular place. As a colonial intel-
lectual who had retained an undi-
minished interest in the welfare of his
own people but who had been forced by
circumstances to find self-expression in
the metropolitan capitals, James
naturally found Marxism congenial.
For his own taste, however, Best con-
tinued, Marxism should not be uncri-
tically imported into the Indies. Marx
had addressed himself very thoroughly
to a very specific English situation.
Factory life had dominated the entire
psyche of the average industrial worker
from cradle to grave. It was easy to un-
derstand why Marx could expect the
worker's proletarian condition to govern
his political behaviour. It was a power-
ful model, granted the assumptions of
child labour and a life experience com-
pletely dominated by the environs of
the factory.
In the West Indies today, it was
necessary for us to grasp a more com-
plex reality. Race, class, religion, and
where one had joined Caribbean society
were all complicating factors in political
mobilization. We therefore had to work
out political theory to fit our own case;
we also had to settle down and build
political organization for persuading
people to take on long-term commit-
ment. The most important task of de-

NOW AVAILABLE 'TAPIA in bound volumes

colonization was to discard all metro-
politan formulas.

In any event, Best further advanced,
the Marxist formula had not produced
the results expected of it in Western
Europe. The workers of the world had
not fought to lose their chains but had
rallied behind the banners of the Czar,
the King and the Kaiser. Perhaps Marx
had not seen that the same dialectic pro-
cess which he thought so important in
history would alter the historic mission
of the industrial working class. Had the
working class in the North Atlantic not
ceased to be militant after they had
achieved shorter hours, better wages and
conditions of life relatively free from
the domination of the factory?
Commenting, finally, on CLR's parti-
cipation in Trinidad politics, Lloyd Best
noted that James had twice embarked
on schemes of now-for-now politics. In
1958-60 he had attempted to induce
Williams to organisee the party" after
he had joined the PNM as "the Doctor's
Man." Then in 1965, James had again
tried to organise the DLP this time, to
present Stephen Maharaj as a great
leader of men and to sweep a workers
and farmers movement into power with-
out any prior attempt at building a solid
political organisation,
One such attempt, argued Best, could
be taken as an aberration. Two such de-
mand that we search for causes in the
theoretical and philosophical approach-
es of the person involved. James, Best
suggested, seems always to have been a
partisan of Doctor Politics. It would be
worth our while to take another look at
his treatment of Toussaint, Cipriani,
Ahab, Nkrumah, Williams and Stokely.
There is a thread running through the
work, a concern with the politics of
spontaneity and the role that the
Doctor plays in tipping the scales one
way or the other.
Best said that he wanted to insist
that unless a movement has acquired a
culture of free discussion and democra-
tic participation before it arrives on the
centre of the political stage, the people
could never have any real say in the de-
cisions to be made. The Messiah or the
Doctor would always decide for them-
spontaneous eruption is the surest pre-
scription for political gangsterism.
The politics of democracy and gen-
uine revolution therefore required an
overture of preparation before the
movement to office and power. This is
what the Tapia faction had argued at
the time of the New World split in
1968. Wally Look Lai had once drawn
attention to the similarity of the posi-
tions taken by Williams and Millette -
take office first and organise after. Look
Lai had noted that both James and Best
called for popular restraints on such
leadership as would "take power first".
Where Best had parted company with
James was in advocating the organisa-
tion of the restraints before taking
office. James, as the evidence shows, is
prepared to take the chance with a
spontaneous movement to power which
next proceeds to organise. Tapia goes a
long way with James. But practical ex-
perience has taught us that at some
stage, you have to strike out on your

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Suitings, Clothing, Footwear.
Tel 662-4909, 4873.





Ill Frederick St. Tel: 38767.



ING" was the topic of
Tapia's first public meeting
this year held at the Good
Samaritan Hall, Port of

Spain on January 10. October last year, and
It was the first public some 100 consumers res-
political meeting held by ponded to the Tapia invi-
anyone since the Emer- station. No representatives
agency declaration of of the daily press at-

tended, however, although
the meeting was clearly in
defiance of the Govern-
ment's restrictions.
Two Tapia speakers ad-
dressed the meeting Ivan

Laughlin, Chairman and
Lloyd Best, Secretary-
and on this page we pre-
sent a summary of the
data and analysis pre-
sented that night.

THE statistics which should help in
illustrating what really is the cost of
living are atrociously inadequate, and it
is good to hear that the civil servants
concerned are working desperately at a
new study of Household Spending and
All for now what we have to go by
are the Cost'of Living Index prepared
by the Central Statistical Office which is
perhaps the worst possible report on
what is really going on. So that we have
to trust our own instincts and listen to
the lamentations of people everywhere
in the country.
EVEN if we take into consideration
that the Cost of Living Index is based
on the conditions of 12 years ago, the
official figures describe a situation that
is shocking in the extreme.

From Page 4 Blac
all the information related to the
operations of plant, production, re-
search, and marketing.
In those terms the present laws
merely scratch the surface. Regulations
related to the companies' obligations to
provide information on output, prices,
marketing, plant operations, accounting,
minimising the employment of foreign
personnel, training of local staff, are in
fact a kind of manoeuvring within the
sleeves of the companies' garments. In
other words, they do not in any way
govern the character of the relationship
between the population and the Head
There are two last points we need
to note. The first is that we have had an
oil boom only recently in the late

What the cost of


We can see that in 10 years the value
of the dollar shrank by 26 cents. (See
box ). The last estimate of its value
that we have is at the time of the
February Revolution of 1970. Heaven
alone and the housewives know what is
worth now.
But if we can estimate that the dollar
is going down low, low, we know that
corruption is jumping high, high. Bet-

k gold and political

fifties and early sixties. Williams was
then at the height of his power. We may
ask what have become of the revenue
then? Who has benefited? What trans-
formation of the economy has taken
In fact such a sorry mess was the
economy in that by the time the growth
rates in oil died down, there was little
hope beyond a piece-meal construction
here, and a crash programme there.
Confidence had been shaken to crisic
proportions. And yet in the years
leading up to the crisis the various
Finance Ministers, including ANR


ween 1956 when the PNM came to
power preaching "morality in public
affairs" and 1968, thefts, losses and
serious irregularities increased by
2,890% (that is, 29 times). and that is
not counting grease hand and kick-
But how do these rising prices affect
us? It would be all right if everybody's
pay-packets and incomes are rising to

Robinson, never once failed to com-
ment on the buoyancy of oil revenues.
As the poet would have it:
"And of course it was a wonderful
a profitable hospitable well-worth-
your-time" (Brathwaite)
Finally it must be noted that the
PNM came to power on the crest of the
last oil boom, at a time when the funda-
mental problems of the society were
coming to the fore. People had more
money, and thus more reason to feel
confident enough to ditch the old order.
What is there to save the Doctor from
the fate of his predecessors, now that he
has fallen from grace. The extraordinary
repressive measures that they have been
ramming through? I wouldn't bet on it!

suit at the same time. Or if we are
getting good value for our money
What we have to see is who is hardest
hit by rising prices. Between March
1966 and March 1971 electricity went
up by 8%, progas by 5%, but pitchoil
went up 18%. Who are the people using
Whisky in that period went up 6.6%,
wine by 14.2%, but rum went up 25%.
Who are the people drinking rum the
most? And so we can discover what
section of the society is suffering most
from the higher prices by trying to find
out who uses the items which have gone
up the most. And we will see that by
- and large they are the people who have
the least income in the society.
The National Income accounts are a
scandal. Since 1966 all we have to go by
on this are really guestimates cooked up
by international agencies. The poli-
ticians are really afraid to reveal what is
the position in unemployment, how in-
come is shared between nationals and
foreigners and between races and classes
and occupations.
The first point to note about income
is that too much of what we produce is
going out of the country to foreigners.
Between 1956 and 1966 12 cents in
every dollar earned here flowed out of
the country exactly the same position
as when the PNM came to power.
What is more, the money going out
comes back again as foreign investment.
For example, between 1964 and 1968,
71 cents of every foreign-invested dollar
here derived from profits made in
Trinidad and Tobago. So that our
citizens are paying to finance the con-
flict between ourselves and foreign ca-
pital. And the result is more trouble and
less national income.
Income is unequally distributed bet-
ween the different races, occupations
and between the sexes as well. So that
rising prices must be having a different
impact on different people.
How much better off are the people
who are bribed by large wage and salary
increases? Those people seldom have
other incomes than their salaries or
wages and they are caught in the net
PAYE the more they earn the more
tax they pay. Their position is unlike
that of those who earn profits who have
all kinds of devices by which to escape
the taxman.

The Prices


THE Prices Commission is an exer-
cise in futility and frustration. Techni-
cally, the Commission is inadequately
staffed and its working regulations have
no teeth. At the policy level, the Com-
missioners have no particular compe-
tence to decide on the issues before
them, and in any case, the Commission
is only advisory to the Minister.
The Commission is staffed mainly by
economists and statisticians duplicating
the work of the Central Statistical
Office. Instead, it needs engineering
economists, cost accountants and
business experts. This staff would need
the power to look at more than Inland
Revenue returns and last year's
accounts. They need to be able to
examine the entire running accounts of
firms for all the products being pro-
duced. Otherwise we would be joking
about calculations about prices.

There are only two housewives
among the members of the Commission.

~ __




I.S.A. legislation

But Hi-Lo is represented together with
the Coconut Growers and the Trades
Union Congress, the Ministries of Agri-
culture, Planning and Finance. Such a
Commission has so much influence that,

IN the crash-programme politics of the
PNM regime, Rio Claro is the Cinderella
down Nariva-Mayaro way. And the rea-
son is not hard to guess. When there is
no principle, and no plan and everything
is now-for-now, you have to fall back on
fix-up, contract and god-father.
In the game of Doctor Politics,
Fuentes is not in one thing. He is the
party man in the Village Council and
the County Council, but he only con-

ON Thursday February 17 the Jamaican
High Commissioner presented sets of
West Indian books to the Principals of
the 39 primary schools in the South-
Eastern Counties. The presentation took
place at the Mafeking Government
School, Mayaro.
The books were donated by the
Jamaica/Trinidad Society with the ob-
jective of encouraging reading and
widening knowledge of the Caribbean
region. The Society is marking Inter-


90 cents Rodney Demonstration
87 cents Bus Strike
85 cents February Revolution

as one observer put it, "every price incr
ease is a Cabinet decision." To put a
cent on onions, the Doctor must de-
cide. In 1970 the PNM biscuit
company decided to raise prices by 7%.

trols two-three jobs on the projects.
People in Rio Claro will tell you
straight. The Doctors down here are
Campbell and Hardath. And Hardath is
from Biche and Campbell from Mayaro
every canal in Mayaro have a bridge
over it now. They don't give a blast
about Rio Claro. You can't even decide
to cut out from this place in peace -
fuss the roads bad. And if you decide to
stay, is garbage all around, and polio.

national Book Year 1972 of which the
theme is "Books for All."
The function was chaired by Mr. I.
Sinanan, Schools Supervisor and the
feature address was given by Dr. Alma
Jordan, Chairman of the International
Book Year Committee. A team of
Carnegie and Central Library librarians
organized a display of West Indian
children's books and introduced the in-
dividual titles received by the Principals.


78 cents
76 cents
74 cents

What the Crisis Shows

you cal



,'. J-~,So

What your Dollar was worth 1965 1970

By law, they did not have to apply but
the February Revolution had struck'
such terror in their hearts that they
wanted to get the agreement of the
The Commission asked to see their
accounts and advised them to hold strain
for a while. And then the trouble
started. The PNM biscuit company re-
fused to submit their accounts and
offered a general auditor's report in-
stead. Their Queen's Park cricket
solicitor then dared the Commission to
do whatever they pleased because he
knew that the Regulations under the
Trades Amendment Act of 1968 had
not yet been put into effect.
The Caesar's government does not
have the idosity to offend the Caesar's
financial backers, singly or collectively.


THE crisis over prices is only a
mirror of a larger crisis over the whole
of the government's economic and
social policy, and over the philosophical
and theoretical foundation of the PNM
regime. The entire machinery of State
and government has broken down in the
face of a complete lack of confidence
by the people, including those em-
ployed in the public service.
Once it was Agriculture Year, then
it was Co-operative Year. Last year it
was the Year of National Dialogue. Who
cares? Who is expected to remember?
They say Trinidadians have the shortest
memory of all.
But we cannot forget 1970 was
the Year of Revolution Part One -
negative, necessarily so, military and
1972 is the Year of Runaway In-
flation, of prices making mas and dollars
jumping in steelband. And that must
mean one thing and one thing only: this
is the Year of the Revolution Part Two
- positive and political.


Tapia St Augustine
seek re-election
Tapia St. Augustine will seek re-
election when the UWI Students
Guild elections comes round on
February 29. Candidates puts up
by our St. Augustine associates
won all six seats contested in the
bye elections November last year.
This time round they'll be
fielding 10 candidates for seats on
the Students Guild Council.






We're the Distributors
so let us tell you all
about Westinghouse

i!'. Wattage? Anything you need.
15, 25, 40, 60, 75, 100, 150, 200.
Made in Trinidad? Right!
To the same exacting standards
of Westinghouse the world over.
Edison Screw and bayonet cap?
We have both.
Longer Life? Absolutely.


How Prices

Rose Betveen


1966 and 1971


'Fix-up' politics in Rio Claro

Books for Mayaro

- -
----- .. ..


ONE OF these days Bertie
Marshall is going to pack his bags
and fly to the United States.
There will then be agonised letters in
the Press, perhaps even a concerned
editorial, and then the pan industry will
settle even further back into the morass
that has been the making of this
These last few weeks saw in influx of
"Trini-Americans" in the country. And
night after night I have sat in Bertie's
house in Laventille and heard "im-
presario" after "impressario" offer him
money as well as dream to emigrate.

The latest attempted bribe was
$10,000. This was the price of the new-
found "tycoons" was willing to pay
Bertie in exchange for a managerial con-
tract. So far Bertie has refused,
prompted by the people in Laventille to
whom he is even more than the best

pan-tuner in the country.
It can be argued, of course, that
Bertie Marshall is only one man. And
that, in fact, has been the attitude of a
now-for-now, visionless government that
thinks in terms of alleviating present ills
rather than building towards a dynamic


But the point one wishes to make is
that Bertie Marshall is illustrative of a
malaise that has been settling over this
country even as far back as 1956. The
malaise is, of course, the politics of con-
tempt and it has been practised by the
PNM with what from shortsighted point
of view might be called "successful" but
what is, easily, the biggest problem that
the New Movement has to face.
By this type of politics, the people
are taught not to have confidence in
themselves. So the Prime Minister
spends his time hurling insults at the po-


pulation until they come to believe that
he and his clique are necessary not
simply to the country's well-being but
to its very survival.
This politics, the politics of con-
tempt, is an easy game to play. Begin
with a people whose history has been
one that has led them to be con-
temptuous of their abilities, develop this
trend of thought by the simple expedient
of ruling in a manner that suggests that
black people can't do nuttin (except for
the select few). Ever so often throw
back into the melting pot of the popu-
lace a few of the non-truths that the
people have come to believe and you
find yourself "secure" because people
feel you really understand the country,
and on that basis alone you are allowed
to rule for 15 years.
The weakness of this entire strategy,
of course, is that it shortsells human
nature. It fails to take into account the
fact that a people cannot continue in-
definitely with a contemptous view of
itself. Sooner or later there is bound to
come an attempt at a realization of self
and with it a yearning for better. There
is then produced a vacuum between
ruler and ruled and into this vacuum

Keith Smith




steps NJAC in '70 bringing with it the
black dream. It was a dream that caught
the imagination of the black young be-
cause it was the one dream that they
had ever been offered and it was arti-
culated in terms that they could under-
stand. Besides it was an exciting change
we were in a position to stand in the
Square and insult the powers that be,
instead of the other way around.

That the dream remains unfulfilled
is, of course, history. And into this
second vacuum, frustration, bitterness
and even boredom find room to settle.
The Bertie Marshalls and the innovators
whom the country so desperately needs
become prey to the temptations of the
brothers who have made it good in the
United States and, who see that in
tapping the talents of these innovators
they have a way of making it even
Again the politics of contempt
played at another level: "Boy, they will
never appreciate you in this country:"
"everybody out for themself over here;"
black people ent like theyself..." and
so on ad nauseam.

To my mind this is the great failure
of the PNM, in that it has taken the
Naipaulian view of the society. And
what is fair game for a novelist, is
certainly not fair game for the party in
power. Naipaul can see what is negative
but a government, even if it does, must
be hell bent to draw out and pursue
what is positive. It cannot, or rather
must not, play on the impotence of the
people to keep itself in power. It must,
instead, offer the people a dream and
then it must in all honesty illustrate
how that dream is to be fulfilled.


So, today, Laventille is in a state of
despairing flux. Polio was first found
there in this bout. But the paralysis is
more than physical. In place of the
NJAC romanticism of '70 the govern-
ment has offered nothing, the Vigilantes
have become moribund and the Village
Council has changed haids from
Barriteau to Francis from an easy
going party hack to an aggressive party
hack .. youth is uninterested there
is nothing for them in this exchange of
power. If the area has a leader it is still
BertiMarshall ... if the community has
a fulcrum it is still Highlanders.
But the marriage of Highlanders and
community is by nature a transitory
one. With no place to practise, the band
will die after Carnival even if Bertie
were to be persuaded that there was still
hope for people like him in the new dis-
pensation of the future. And that, per-
haps, is the Tapia-wuk of the moment;
to insist that the game continues, to
show people how we can gain the rich
life that the country can provide, to sell
the idea that success doesn't by defi-
nition mean migration, to bury the
politics of contempt under the politics
of confidence. And what in the context
of Trinidad and Tobago in the year
1972 could be more revolutionary than

Marabella poster

Tapia Marabella recently started
a poster campaign in the South.
Already strategic viewing points
in the San Fernando are bright
with Tapia posters "After Ole
Mas is New Politics."



For Cars, Trucks, Tractors
156A Eastern Main Road
Barataria 638/3223
500 Eastern Main Roaa
Arouca 664-5256
102 A Sutton St.
San Fernando 652-3104

The Institute of Social and Economic Research

University of the West Indies

announces the publication of
the works in the series are of extreme
public importance in the light of the
present state of past independence
Caribbean societies.They represent depth
studies and analyses by concerned
Caribbean academics who focus on social
charge and transformation in our
societies. The books are not only for
academics and scholars bat moreso for a
public which has been starved of
comprehensive literature on our situation.

Deptuof Economics, U.W.I.
Dept. of Government, U.W.I.


Dept. of Economics, U.W.I.

Dept. of Economics, University of Guyana.


Dept. of Economics, University of Guyana


Social And Economic Studies

A journal devoted to the publication of
research and discussion on agricultural
anthropological, demographic, economic,
educational momentary, political and
sociological questions, with emphasis on
the problems of developing territories,
particularly of the Caribbean.



Lloyd Taylor

ones who are suffering
most from the generally
deteriorating state of tran-
sport. We looked at that in
the last issue of Tapia.
Poor road maintenance, in-
adequate traffic regu-
lations, and just too many
vehicles in circulation con-
tribute to a life of un-
ending punishment and
In the indecent scramble
to survive and make a living,
the average taxi-driver cannot
afford to give too much con-
sideration to the others on
the road. It is not a matter of
courtesy because there is
plenty of that; it is a question
of sheer hustling. By pressure
of circumstances, the taxi-
man has to muscle his way
through regardless. He has
also learnt to prefer the short
drop even if that means
leaving many long-distance
commuters stranded on the


It is time that we started
to find some solutions to
these problems because the
government has been zig-
zagging between rope and
bribery. Now Williams is
trying to sweeten up taxi-
drivers by allowing 1,000
more HHTs on the road.

But once upon a time he
said that the solution was to
strengthen the Traffic Branch
in order to enforce discipline
if the government attempt to
inculcate it did not work.
This is the same kind of
solution the Government has
tried with the ISA and the
Unions. It only leads us back
to square one.
A genuine long-term
solution requires information
which only the government
has. Taxi-men must insist that
the Canadian Transportation
Survey be published. The
studies are almost certain to
show that local authorities
must be involved in traffic
control. Without decentral-
isation how can the con-
gestion near the markets -
for example be planned


But we cannot wait until
all the long term solutions
can be implemented. Right
now there is a lot which can
be done.

Proper taxi terminuses
must be established at
all the main departure
points. This has been
done in Puerto Rico.
* There should be certain
no-stopping zones for
taxis at peak hours
especially. At the same
time, there should be
certain exclusive lay-
bys on the main roads
to ease congestion and
speed and transit.

-t ..I I ilhi

.. .... j..i...-1



-=~~ -. ...

* At key traffic-centers
like the Croisee in San
Juan traffic should be
put on a one-way circle.
West-bound traffic
should turn left on
Aranguez and move on
Fifth Street.
* Working hours should
be staggered to allow a
smoother flow of
passengers. Starting
time could begin at 7
and closing time could
end at 6, for a start.
Most people could be

allowed to choose.

* In Tunapuna, Barataria,
St. James and some of
the built-up areas, there
ought to be more one-
way streets to permit
simpler exit from Main
roads, easier turn-offs,
and more rapid cross-
town transit.

* More traffic control to
local police stations.
Local Citizens'
Committees to advise

on immediate needs.
S Proper road main-
tenance with high
quality materials.
Priority to junctions
like Lady Young and
E.M. Road; Bushe
Street; Couva Corner,
S Road Safety Advert-
ising Campaign by Gas-
oline Sellers instead of
useless information
about Petrox, ICA and

Well, we ent

play. You know your com-
petence, and we know it
and the entire country
knows it too.
Tapia is ready to stage
the biggest political trial in
Trinidad yet. Perhaps we
can transform that trial into
the Constituent Assembly
that we need. So you can
make your play, Hudson.
Draw. We are waiting to eat
you raw.
But you better be care-
ful. Careful and make up a
good bed for Granger and a
good one too for Weekes.
Fix up Nelson Island and
the Royal Gaol. Because
you never know what might
happen and how you make
up your bed so you will
have to lie down.


So think too of sending
back all those SLR's you all
have been bringing down.
Playing with a police state is
playing with fire. That is a
doctor shop knife. It could
cut both ways. It is still
possible to solve the
problem politically. Why is
the government looking for
a military solution?

frd Imee
f ra id Brothers and Sisters,

On Sunday 5th Ma
portant meeting at the T
have taught us that our co
human beings and for the
The answer is that an entirely new era in our
The answer is that
Williams has no com- Trinidadians and T
petence, and we know that February Revolution has
e has never haduch po- and, with the advent of t
tical judgment. And we are for one and all. The old or
not saying this since the
not saying this since the been resoundingly rejected
bungling of 1970 and since
the typhoid, the polio and Meanwhile the mact
the total breakdown of with typhoid, polio and
serious government. We said the roads, in the schools
it more than two years ago supermarkets, too.
in Tapia No. 1. We have
never been taken in by the In the midst of al
empty robber-talk. shining beacon of lingerin
We know that Padmore, patiently slogging along tl
Joseph and the entire team of mean who under
"younger set" can them- heritage and vision. We a
selves have no judgment clear on where we've corr
either. Why else would they hensive plan on where to
have jumped on the wagon than we were a month agc
so shortly before it dis- not played and missed be
appears over the precipice wait and grow organically
of history? And what about And now the time
the Queen's Canary? Does An no h tm
the Queen's. Canary? Does country into greener past
his record since 1970 leave country to greer pa
us in any doubt? fragments of our movemi
us in any doubt?
No, we ent fraid Karl. Weicance.
can't fraid him. On the con-
trary, we fraid too bad for
Printed for the Publishers, The TAPIA HOUSE PUBLISHING C*, by The Vanguard.