Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
September 22, 1974
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

'trcu -e flpn S
.os e-l4Tl4q I .xeased
4,4,nqT-eT, 'e@aspu'l *gI

ina an ineare
See Pages 9 and 11

DAILY-PAID workers
at St. Augustine are
waiting in anticipation for
back pay now that a
new Agreement has been
signed with the UWI.
Following action protest-
ing the galloping cost-of-
living, negotiations between
the NUGFW and the Univer-
sity resulted in an across the
board $7 per week increase
retroactive frpm May 1.
The new agreement runs
to December 31, 1975. The
old agreement began on
January 1, 1973 but by the
middle of this year the run-
away inflation had eroded
the entire increase which
came into force at that time.
Workers are insisting that
the Union include a cost-of-
living escalator in future
industrial agreements.

rou ;.,i :'* --,* c

25 Cents

Press II n Si S

NOW that the cost-of-living crisis has gotten out of
hand, the scrambling at the public purse are
assuming the proportions of a national menace.
If the truculent attitudes of competing sec-
tional interests are left to develop in line with
present trends, it will not be long before they drive
Trinidad and Tobago to the brink of violent up-
Tapia calls on the vast multitude of citizens
to convene a National Assembly and to support
measures to bring the industrial unrest under com-
munity control.

We propose five measures.
1. First, an Excess Profits Tax on businesses,
public,private and unincorporated.
2. A Compulsory Savings Scheme out of wage
and salary increases and out of dividends
beyond a certain rate.
3. State control in the import and wholesaling of

certain nationally strategic goods such as basic
foods and clothes including the materials for
their production, educational and medical
supplies and essential household equipment.
4. Consumer control of a national chain of co-
operative retail outlets to be established partly
by nationalisation and partly by new founda-
5. A Conference of Citizens to be convened at
the earliest possible date to consider ways and
means of setting annual rates of increase for
wages, salaries and dividends, appropriate to a
just and participatory democracy.
Tapia will be holding a Press Conference on
Thursday, September 19, to elaborate on the above
proposals. Venue of the Conference is 43 St.
Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. Starting time is 10.30




TAPIA emphatically de-
nounces the Public
Service Association for
matching the gross
irresponsibility tradition-
ally practised by the
multi-national corpora-
tions and the business
elite and, in recent years,
by the PNM Government.
Manswells mercenary
demands are inimical to the
interests of both the nation as
a whole and the civil servants
themselves. What his exorbit-
ant claim displays is a treason-
able contempt for the suffer-
ing and deprivation in which
many Trinidadians and
Tobagonians continue to
We in TAPIA are not at all
persuaded that this is what
the vast majority of the public
servants feel. The unfortu-
nate problem with the P.S.A.
is that it has fallen into the
hands of a clique of profes-
sional manipulators who have
been among the foremost

Dennis Pantin

EYE ...

apologists of the notorious
industrial stabilisation policies
of the PNM Regime.
The PSAhas not attempted
to put forward any clear
proposals designed to effect
the reconstruction of the
economy or the society. They
have never even attempted to
put forward proposals for the
reorganisation of the Public
Service itself.


Now, simply because they
are in a position to enforce
demands on this hopelessly
weak government, they
brazenly seek to plunder the
nation for their own gain.
The evil of their position is
all the more palpable when
we consider that Manswell has
at his disposal within his ranks
the technical expertise to
analyse the fundamental
problems of the country and
to take the lead in proposing
and demanding solutions that

would genuinely benefit the
Instead of this however,
the PSA leaders are using
their advantageous position
simply to feather their own
nest The causes of this action
and its consequences for the
nation as a whole must be
fully exposed.
To some extent, the
Public Servants themselves
must shoulder the responsibil-
ity for this state of their
affairs. They have passively
allowed the control of the
Association to fall into a few
Part of the reason is that
public employees, like all the
rest of us, came to political
independence with little or
no experience of political
And when the PNM Gov-
ernment failed in successive
attempts to reorganise the
Service to meet the demands
of a democratic and self-
governing State, andembark-
ed instead on a course of

unabashed favouritism and
political victimisation, most
civil servants simply abdicated
in favour of the so-called
professional Union-men.
They must now recognize
the perils of this historic
error. We call on them to see
the dangers of these exag-
gerated demands which are
now being made in their name
and to evaluate them in the
context of the problems faced
by the nation today.
Trinidad & Tobago is
cursed by a rate of chronic
unemployment amounting to
15% of the labour force.
Over 52,000 people can find
no jobs and another 50,000
work for less than 32 hours
a week.
Ours is a country where in
1971/72, when the Statistical
Office did a Household Bud-
get Survey, 10% of the house-
holds, the cream of the oli-
garchy, controlled no less
than 38% of the nation's
income. The biggest shots of
Continued on Page 10


F __





THE most important
achievement of the PNM
regime since 1956 has
been the creation of an
oligarchy, "a privileged
group drawn from every
race and class". As C.V.
Gocking put it, "The
country has achieved the
ideal of a co-operative
multi-racial society but
on the basis of oligarchy
not democracy". Dem-
ocracy or Oligarchy, p5. It
is around this oligarchy,
straddling all the classes
the colours and the
religious, that the races,
the current industrial
unrest revolves.
The elites in politics, com-
merce, industry, the Unions
who make up this oligarchy
.are the haves; "they wish to
preserve the status quo." Like
the ruling party in its cele-
brated Manifesto,Perspectives
for the New Society, these
elites are careful to use class
leverage and racial leverage
to confuse the politics, to
conceal the "cosmopolitan"
nature of their interest, and
to block the emergence of an
opposition, battling on behalf
of the have-nots who con-
stitute the large majority of
the people.

In so far as that opposition
is the Tapia Movement, we
have no intention of being
confused. We find that the
Gross Domestic Product of
this country is best seen as
flowing into five income
The first pool is that of
the big multi-national cor-
porations. The second is the
pool of the national business
elite. The third pool is that
of the political and profes-
sional elite, including all the
con-men and stuntsmen who
inhabit the advertising world.
The fourth pool is that of the
elites amongst the highly or-
ganised labour Unions, labour
being defined in terms of
20th century America and
not in the terms of Marxist
mid-19th century England.
These four" are the
pools of the favoured
"haves". Then there is the
fifth and final fund of income
on which the vast multitude
of little people together have
to draw.
This category of income

relates to "the rural agricul-
tural population, the un-
employed and underemploy-
ed, the casually employed, the
badly organised and the
nominally represented -
whether in powerful and
militant Unions or not. It
covers such marginal groups
as pensioners, workers in com-
merce and construction, crash
programme five-day-a-fort-
night employees, and sugar
workers (as they used to be
and probably still are after
the upheaval of 1974).
According to the Review
of the Economy 1973, the
average increase in minimum
wages for all industries was
8.8% between 1968-73 but
increases over 10% were re-
corded by workers in the
public sector, in petroleum,
in garments and in transport,
storage and communication-
In building and construction
the increase was only 4%. In
the 12 month period ending
May 1973, the average in-
crease was 12.5% but petrol-
eum'advanced 37.7% and the
public sector 37.0%.
Depending on where we
wish to draw the line, the
oligarchy embraces anything
from 10% to 25% of the
population. Certainly the
unemployed, the under-
employed and the definitively
marginal groups make up no
less than 40% of the labour
force and the badly repre-
sented and effectively un-
organised section of the
ostensibly organised sectors
make up easily another 35%.
At any rate, the figures on
haves and have nots are
clear for all to notice. The
Household Budget Survey of
1971/72 suggested that some
27.34% of the households
had incomes lower than
$100 per month while 50.3%
received incomes of below
$200 per month. On the
other hand, 4.26% had in-
come equal to or in excess of
$1000 p.m.
While national income per
head lay somewhere between
$1500 and $2000 between
4 and 1/3 of the households
were living beneath the
poverty line. And most of
these people, inevitably, were
located in the rural areas.
What is more the position
has been getting worse.
Whereas 20% of the house-
holds with the lowest in-
comes had 3.4% of the pre-
tax income in 1957/58,
they had only 2.2% in 1971/
72; the share of 60% of the

SUNDAY StrUIltVlMtK 22, 19/4



households with the lowest wider
income had fallen from 27.1% Dome
to 22.9% over the period, count
On the other hand, 20% Incon
of households with the the pc
highest incomes had shown Se
an improved share, accom- that
polished at the expense of the inflat
poorer groups. Its share rose busin
from 48.6% in 1957/58to the r
56.7% in 1971/72. defen
Likewise, the 10% with is m
the highest income had aggres
33.3% of total income in and
195"/58 but 37.8% in 1971/ the G
72. In other words, the two public
latter groups, comprising 20% AccoI
and 10% of the households profi
the outer and inner oli- incon
garchy really had more sharp
than one half and more than taken
one third respectively of total Th
income in 1971/72. This that
evidence comes from a profes- of Na
sional study of the House- been
hold Budget Survey. It con- onset
firms the iniquitous results becau
of the Government's econ- of pe
omic policy, labou
of p
are li
The income gap is widen- main
ing; a privileged few are the c
enriching themnselv-es,--. alUi- .-- h-s b
spite of the successes ol rapTi
organized labour and the tion
Tripartite Bargaining process. incre
In fact, the inequality venue
seems to have been because to a b
of this bargaining process in 1
which has become a con- on t
spiracy. to deny to the vast nounc
multitude of little citizens year.
their rightful share of the Agai
national cake. of r
This new light on develop- comic
ment in recent years suggests tion
not only that the conven- profit
tional class analysis is totally for r
wooden and lifeless as an
explanation of the sources ctha
of political conflict but also than
inevitably points to the some bour
of the real economic causes gress
of the not yet finished and
February Revolution in so patt(
far as the causes can be said that.
to have been economic and why
material at all. been
The iniquities of recent at i
years have now assumed life;
their most outrageous lent
heights. The Government empn
has been deliberately servi
suppressing the National Bu
Income Accounts be- posit
cause they would reveal not
for the first time the true Bodie
profit position of the tions,
petroleum and fertilizer of
companies in particular, amou
We will leave the opera- 1973
tions of the companies to a or 88
Press Conference by itself and the
a special statement. (196!
It is enough to notice tirst $100
that the international data emol
on oil show clearly that pend
profit rates have increased by service
several hundred per cent 42.8'
certainly in the relevant cases 1973
providing irrefutable cir- ing tc
cumstantial evidence of In


iing the gulf between
estic Product in this
;ry and the National
ne which remains with
condly, we must notice
with the onset of the
ion, private national
ess enjoys thebenefitof
margin. Available as a
sive political tool it
ore often used as an
ssive political weapon
the onus must be on
,ovemment to show, by
shing the National
unts that the share of
ts in total national
ne has not risen
ly since prices have
San upward climb.
lirdly, we must notice
the Government's share
national Income has also
rising sharply with the
of rising prices and
ise of the quadrupling
troleum prices. Because
Ir costs are a small share
etroleum expenditures,
lases of home supplies
mited and taxes are the
disbursements within
country, the Government
een getting richer more
l man any -.-,' 'r-
of the country. The
ase in petroleum re-
es could possibly amount
billion dollars more than
)73 depending in part
he price policy an-
:ed for the rest of the

nst this background
ising National In-
e, increasing exploita-
by multi-national
its, rising earnings
national business, the
ens at large more
ever see their future
nd up with the pro-
; of the public sector
the distribution
ers associated with
This explains in part
the Government has
Adopting national-
on and localization
he 11th hour of its
it explains the trucu-
attitudes of the
loyees in the public
It now the statistical
ion. In the public service,
.including Statutory
es and Public Corpora-
Personal Enoluments
monthly paid staff
unted to $188m in
, an increase of $87m
8% on the early days of
February Revolution
)) when the figure was
.6tm. The share of
umnents in current ex-
iture (excluding debt
ce) has increased from
% in 1969 to 44.4% hi
: in 1974, it is threaten-
o rise closer to one half.
fact, all monthly earn-

ings as a proportion of cur-
rent expenditure already
exceeds half of the current
expenditure Budget. That is
to say, when you take
account of Travelling, Pen-
sions and National Insurance
Contributions, though not of
tax-subsidies on cars
monthly paid staff in the
civil service proper are con-
suming no less than 52.8%
of total recurrent expen-
diture, up from 49.1% in
The State, of course, also
pays wages to daily paid staff
under the heading of "Othel
Supplies and Services" as
well as "Development Pro-
jects". This probably yields a
useful distinction between
NUGFW-type payments and
PSA-type payments even if
the distinction is problematic.
NUGFW-type payments wouh
have to include disburse-
ments through the Local
Authorities and the Public
Corporations. Be that as it
may, Wages and Overtime
under "Other Supplies and
Services", rose from $20.1 m
in 1969 to $28.4 million in
1973 an increase of 41.3%
.T-" i- t.- h owev e-
the advance is less than half
the 88% increase made by
the monthly (PSA) staff.

The immediate crisis there-
fore arises out of the pre-
posterous claims being
advanced by the PSA in the
face of the admittedly devas-
tating inflation and gallop-
ing cost of living in the con-
text of a weak government
and a moribund public
administration; and against
a background of an exces-
sively truculent attitude on
the part of organized labour
as a whole plus the ever
present and all pervassive
menace of exploitative
foreign corporations and un-
conscionably grasping busi-
ness and political elites.
If Mr. Manswtl were to
get his way, a Division
Manager would gain a 45%
increase of $900 per month
and a Clerk I would be duly
compensated by a 60% in-
crease of $135 per month.
This kind of income distribu-
tion, this method of creating
a just society, will have one
effect that we must not fail
to note it would rob us of
the moral authority to tackle
the bandits in the multi-
national corporations and the
privileged elites at home.
The PSA must be invited to
pause and consider the mean-
ing of what it is proposing
now to do.
Doubtless, Mr. Manswell
feels justified in advancing
such obviously excessive
claims. (See page 3). What
case does he really have?
(See story on Back Page)


Sampat and lockneck: A lookat

ONE OF THE reasons why Public Servants have not mas-
sively walked off their jobs in the two weeks or so that the
Public Service Association has been calling industrial action
is that they probably don't know what they're supposed to
be fighting for.
The PSA made much of the "crisis" attendance at on
the current pay issue reportedly some 3,000 public servants
turned out to hear a "NO PROGRESS" report in July. But the other
17,000 or so public servants are probably no better informed about
the proposals the Association is making to the Government's Chief
Personal Officer than is the population at large.
Which from the PSA's point of view is perhaps just as well. For
the proposals, read in full, would be bound to embarrass-at least a
little any public servant with a social conscience.
The proposals fall into five main parts "General Pay
increase"; "Public Service Development/Welfare Fund"; "Cost of
Living Allowance"; "Fringe Benefits Allied to Pay"; and a special
group of provisions for teachers.
The General Pay increase is a demand for a 60% rise for those
getting salaries under $800 per month (Range 50 and below), and a
45% increase for salaries in the Ranges 51 and up.
The general increase won in pre-election 1971 and backpaid
in July that year was 22% plus another three percent to take effect

from January 1, 1972 and
another three per cent from
January 1, 1973.
Even so, a Cleaner I or
Cook I in Range 3 would still
have got a starting salary of
only $130 as of last month.
Whereas Messrs. Doddridge
Alleyne and Eugenio Moore in
the exalted Range 71 drew
$2,228 each that same month
And in the terms of the
PSA proposals, salaries at
these two extremes in the
Public Service would go to
$208 and $3,230 per month
respectively, throwing into
sharp relief the income differ-
ential in this society between
the maj^wsiif ? T5t"h iid the
desk and the man who dusts
But that matter of
equalization is larger than the
Public Service aspects of it.
The grim fact is that a Cook I
is at least assured of some kind
of a regular income. And that
is more than can be said of
the over 50,000 under-
and umemployeds.
Now take this "Public
Service Development/Welfare
Fund", the second of the five
majorproposals andapparently
the big stumbling block m the
This proposal seems,
remarkably, to want to com-
bine the elements of "develop-
ment" with those of
"welfare", suggesting some
kind of contribution to
national development along
the lines of making the posi-
tion of the public servants
even cushier.
Except that after exam-
ining the content of the
proposal nobody can see how
public servants' welfare at
the expenses of taxpayersand
the rest of the country can
develop anything but the pay-
packets and bank accounts of
an already privileged class of
state employees.

the P.S.A.proposals

PSA Big Brass: Sam Martin on left, Ursala Gittens at right.

Tapia Reporter

The Fund, of course, is
to be financed by the Goverm-
ment to the tune of three per
cent of each year's Personal
Emoluments vote.
Out of this Fund the
PSA is demanding that each
public servant gets:

FREE passage grants
once every three years to
travel to Jamaica (why Jam-
aica?) two full adult return
passages for those now
making $534 a month and
under; and three full adult
Return Economy Class Air
Passages to those making
more than $534 a month.
Take note: one, that
those getting $534 a month
and less, apart from being
entitled to one less free trip
than their more highly paid
counterparts, do not seem to
be entitled to "Economy
Class Air Passages" either.
The second thing isthat
it would be possible for a
man and his wife, both public
servants drawing over $534 a
month, to take along four
friends, or all their parents-in-
law, for a return trip at tax-
payers' expense.
Or they may decide not
to go at all. In which case
they could holiday in Tobago
and still- collect 75% of the
value of the six passages to
which between them they
would be entitled in good
hard CASH!
Next charge on this
"Development/Welfare Fund"
is the Consumption Allow-
ance. This would bind tax-
payers (hereinafter referred to
as "the Government") to buy
food for public servants by
paying them each month a
sum to be calculated on the
basis of the current cost of
5 lb Sugar

5 lb Flour
one 51b tin of
Powdered Milk
5 lbRice, and
3 lb Beef.'
Everybody, says the
PSA, working for $800 and
less should get the full value,
while those making more than
that would get only half the
market value of that shopping
The PSA is strictly
bargain-hunting in what they
obviously think to be a season
of true-true giveaways. Look
at the next charge on this
"DcvclopimcnLt/WiclUiarc Fund"
Styled "Saving Incen-
tive", it proposes that the
Government should match
dollar for dollar any invest-
ment a public servant makes
in Government Securities or
Co-operative shares. By con-
tributions from public funds!


Not only, then, should
the country' buy food for
public servants and under-
write holiday trips to Montego
Bay for themselves and their
families, but we must also
encourage them by all means
to save.
How? By giving them
100% interest on five-year
fixed deposit accounts.
Give them more money,
help them to cut down on
living andlimingexpenses,then
turn round and beg them to
But advantage will never
done. The PSA is now twist-
ing this weak PNM govern-
ment's arm for a Cost of
Living allowance as well -
$10 a month for every 10-
point rise in the Cost of

Nor does the Associa-

tion trust to leave those
economic computations in
the hands of the public
servants in the Central
Statistical Office.
A clause in the proposal
stipulates that the PSA be
consulted before any change
in the method of arriving at
the Retail Prices Index.
Look at the section
called "Fringe Benefits Allied
To Pay". Apart from recom-
mending increases. in subsis-
tence, travel, chauffeur, meal,
ration allowance, shift bonuses
and overtime,the Association
is asking ifo 10 days' more
vacation leave for everybody.
(According to their, length
of service and grade of salary
public servants are now en-
titled to 28, 35, 21 and 28
days respectively)
All that is in addition to
the regulated 14 and seven
day's "Casual Leave", .(which
the PSA would now increase
by 10 more days), and the
half days traditionally given
for Christmas shopping,
cricket and Carnival Monday
and Tuesday.
How big men and
women could sit down on
Abercromby Street and con-
ceive that the population
would stand for an elite class
of public employees being
paid for not getting sick,
nobody knows. But that is
what one of the proposals
for sick leave amounts to.
Civil servants are now
entitled to 14 days' sick leave
annually. The PSA is arguing
that if an officer does not use
up all or a part of his entitle-
ment, he should be able to
carry over the unused part
from year to year.
And if in three years an
officer has not taken any sick
leave he should be paid for
21 of the 42 accumulated

Cross-section ofPSA Delegates

days and retain the other 21
days to start the cycle all
over, presumably.
Already the envy of the
rest of the Public Service for
their enjoyment of some 12
weeks of school vacation
every year, Graduate and
Technical/Vocational Teachern
would stand to gain another
four months "Sabbatical
leave" once every five years.
All of that would
depend on whether the PSA
could keep this PNM govern-
ment, which don't know its
arse from its elbow, bending
over to i ouc ili ii toe.
What is the response
thus far? The Chief Personnel
Officer, Mr. Hilton Cupid, on
September 11 replied to the
PSA proposals.


Offering "further discus-
sions" on the General Pay
Increases and the Cost of
Living Allowance proposals,
he roundly attacked the
"Public Service Development/
Welfare Fund" as "devoid of
any serious characteristic of
development, save and except
for certain aspects of the
Savings Incentive portion".
Specifically, Cupid has
argued that to concede the
passage grants demand would
be "to put additional purchas-
ing power in the hands of
civil servants which is incon-
sistent with social require-
ments on which public funds
are to be expended."
On the Savings Incen-
tive Scheme: "Government
cannot be unmindful of the
degree of discrimination in
the Scheme in a socially con-
scious society". And: "It is
unjustifiable that taxpayers'

Continued on Page 10

'Ol ad


'Il~ze .,Sl-ze-r" ale all* -



16th Anniversary of Prensa Latina

JUNE 16 gone, Prensa
Latina celebrated its 15th
anniversary with a re-
minder that when the
Agency first appeared, its
giant U.S. counterparts
gave it a one month life-

Now enjoying a well-
developed network for news-
gathering and reporting, the
Agency has said that;
"PL's fate has been indis-
solubly linked to the

present and future of this
continent, to its unshake-
able will to bring about
changes, to its hard and
bloody fight against its
historic oppressors, United
States imperialism and the

local oligarchies that re-
present it".
It is no accident that
Prensa Latina was born in
Havana, Cuba. "We're objec-
tive", it insists, "but not im-
Among the key stories
featured by the Agency over
the course of the 15 years
were The Bay of Pigs, the
Coup against Goulart in
Brazil, the barbarous murder
of Che Guevara, and most
recently, the toppling of
In each of these PL made

a crucial difference to the
information reaching the
Prensa Latina now boasts
bureaux in Mexico, Paniama,
Caracas, Bogota, Lima, Quito.
Buenos Ayres.
Bureaux outside of Latin
America include Montreal and
Paris from the latter of wh ic
Tapia first subscribed.
With the thaw in relations
between Cuba and the West
Indian countries, Tapia now
draws on the PL publication
"Direct From Cuba".


U I1 11 1-~~~ Z Ip -IIT




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From Page 5
THE SOUTH AFRICAN press today is
almost exclusively white-owned and white-
controlled and it overwhelmingly reflects
white attitudes. Such newspapers as 'were
owned by blacks or those which spoke up for
black aspirations have been forced out of
black control by the economic pressures of
apartheid or closed down by the repressive
measures of the Government.
The ownership and control of the press reflect
the structure of South African society, where all
power is wielded by a white minority for the purpose
of furthering its own narrow interests. Since this
minority carefully controls all access to power, it
follows that the black majority could not be permit-
ted so effective a weapon as a press.
Thus, the major part of the press supports the
existing system in South Africa, whether or not it
chooses to call it apartheid. It sees no oppression,
misery or injustice in South African society and, by
its own logic and values, considers itself a "free". press
operating in a "democratic" society.
Very few papers have tried to look below the
surface. Although they have seen and exposed some
of the iniquities of the system,, they have tended tc
concentrate on the hardships caused to individuals
and groups and have called for some reform without
questioning the basic structure itself. They have
sought to put balm on the wounds caused by
apartheid, but have sought no cure for the disease.
They have been inhibited by the nature of the
groups who control them, and whose interests are
their prime concern, from dealing with the funda-
mental question of black participation in decision-
making, in which lies the only real solution to the
hardships and misery of the South African people.
For all the "threats" against the English-
language press made by the Nationalist party and
South African Government Ministers, this basic
attitude of the newspapers is recognized, and hence
they are allowed a degree of latitude in their news
and feature columns. Newspapers such as The
Guardian and its successors which challenged the
basic assumption of a South Africa in which decision-
making was an exclusively white prerogative were
closed down by Government action.
In an article on press freedom in the South
African Sunday Times of 21 March 1972, the editor
of the Sunday Times accepted the basis on which
he was allowed any freedom but he blinded himself
about its limits. He wrote:
"The non-white papers cannot deal honestly with
those political issues because if they did, they would
pretty soon be regarded as 'agitators' and 'incitors' -
and perhaps something a good deal worse .
"If I were asked to say why the English-
language press flourishes and enjoys so much freedom,
I would say that it is because we operate almost entirely
within a white framework.
"We share with most white people the attitude
that whatever is decided about the future, it is going
to be decided by white people alone and nobody else.
As long as we continue to operate within that frame-
work and I cannot see anyone wanting to make a
change the English newspapers will continue to
enjoy first-class freedom..."
Since there are more than 25 laws which in-
fringe on press freedom in South Africa, it is incred-
ible that the editor of the newspaper with one of the
largest circulations in the country should still
consider that he enjoys "so much freedom". The
author, Nadine Gordimer, has referred to what she
termed the "blunting of human faculties that control
of communications is steadily achieving" in South
Africa, and the editor of the Sunday Times is not
alone in his self-delusion.
The insidious influence of apartheid, allied with
the effort and money spent on propaganda, has
resulted in a white society which in general considers
and acts in the belief that South Africa is a free and
democratic country.
A free press cannot exist outside a free society,
and South Africa is not free. Apart from the laws
that directly affect what a newspaper may publish,
the apparatus of a repressive state machinery that
includes restrictions on freedom of movement, that
limits the right of specified people to gather and
meet with whomsoever they wish, and that is armed
with a veritable armoury of restrictive legislation on
political activity, must inevitably affect the press. Not
only is the gathering of news limited, but such an
atmosphere of fear and caution is infused that news-
paper editors are intimidated into effectively censor-
ing themselves.
I Any consideration of the limits on press freedom
in South Africa must start from the constraints
inherent in the system and there can be no greater
restriction than to have no press. Today the black
people have no press neither one they own, nor
one that reflects their views and aspirations, nor one
that strives for the attainment of their freedom.
South African history in this century is one of
regression. In the first decade, the black people,
though restricted and discriminated against, still had


more rights and freedom than they have today. The
past 70 years have seen a progressive removal of the
franchise, greater limitation on land ownership, more
restrictions on freedom of movement inside and
outside the country; replacement of education by
indoctrination in schools and segregation into tribal
universities; a diminution in the wealth of the black
people and fewer opportunities for advancement.
One aspect of this backward march, whilst all
Africa and the world has moved forward, has been
the decline in the black press in South Africa.
African newspapers were pioneered in South
Africa and from their infancy they spoke for African
aspirations. As early as 1884, John Tengo Jabavu
founded and edited Imvo Zabantsundu. John Dube,
who was later to become the first President of the
South African Native National Congress (SANNC),
later the African National Congress, was founder-
editor of Ilanga Lase Natal in 1904. The Rev. Walter
Rubusana, who was later to become one of the first
Vice-Presidents of SANNC, founded Izwi L la Bantu.
In 1912, shortly after the formation of the
Congress, Abantu Batho was established as its official
organ, with the financial assistance of the Swazi
Queen-Regent. It was Abantu Batho which popular-
ized the slogan Mayibuy'iAfrika (Let Africa Come
Back) and which successfully campaigned against pass
laws for women in the Orange Free State.


Other African newspapers were being published
in different parts of the country, usually under the
guidance of Congress leaders. Sol. Plaatje was editor
of Tsala ea Batho in Kimberly; Messenger Moruma
was published in Bloemfontein and The Native
Advocate was published in Pretoria. Umlomo wa
Bantu, African Shield, and Ikwezi le Afrika also
appeared for brief periods.
The APO, published by the African Peoples
Organization, campaigned vigorously against the dis-
criminatory constitution introduced by the South
Africa Act of 1909, which restricted the franchise
and did not allow black members to sit in the House
of Assembly or Senate.
In 1903, Mahatma Gandhi founded Indian
Opinion, which publicized Indian grievances in South
Africa and helped mobilize the people in the passive
resistance campaigns in the Transvaal and Natal.
There were -also a number of other papers
throughout the country owned by the black people
or speaking for them. There was a flourishing trade
union press, which spoke for the working class and
not for a section of the privileged white minority
who were workers. The Industrial and Commercial
Workers Union (ICU) published the Workers Herald
from 1925 to 1928, edited by its leader, Clements
The Communist Party published the South
African Worker and later, Umsebenzi.
Some trade unions also ran their own news-
papers. In the 1950s, the South African Congress of
Trade Unions (SACTU) published Workers Unity,
but was forced to discontinue when the banning of
trade union officials made the effective functioning
of SACTU itself impossible.
In spite of these many initiatives by the black
people, a survey of the South African press today
would show no African-owned or controlled news-
papers. This is no accident but an inevitable and
deliberate result of the political and economic situa-
tion in the country.
The newspaper industry requires immense
capital investment and, in a capitalist society, it
needs the advertising support of other industries in
order to continue. Small independent newspapers oi
those following political policies unpopular with
those who control the economy have been forced to
close in many countries, not least in South Africa.
Some of the earliest African papers are still
publishing, but are now in non-black ownership and
control. White capital has also started newspapers for
an African readership. The "profit" envisaged has
been seen to lie not only in the annual balance sheets
of the newspaper companies but also in the promotion
of white economic and political interests.
The task of ensuring white control has been
made easier by the deteriorating economic condi-
tions of the black people, who are no longer able
to finance and maintain a press of their own. Apart
from the legal restrictions, these economic facts
have to be taken into account in any attempt to re-
establish a black press in South Africa.

Any such attempt will face formidable difficul-
ties. Even if the initial capital can be found, any
paper that aims to truly reflect black aspirations will
be subjected to, economic pressures and to political
One white editor, Mr. Morris Broughton, has
written about the attitude of the black people vis-a-vis
the white press.
"Where the disenfranchised masses are concerned, it
is doubtful whether any single adult member of these
millions looks upon the press as 'his' press or as a
vehicle giving him any measure of freedom of expres-
sion and communication outside the extremely
limited and cautious Bantu press.
"The publicity that it gives to dramatic and
calamitous occasions is valued. But as a great institu-
tion objectively reporting and reflecting his activities,
his struggles, his reality, the events that concern him
and his daily life as an urban dweller and buyer of
newspapers, it does not, for him, exist."
The fundamental attitude of the press in South

In the liberated territories, priority is being given to

MER 22, 1974


Africa, whatever the editorial pretentions, is revealed
by the terminology it employs with respect to South
Africans which places the majority blacks outside
the socius: the meaning of the term "South African"
an offence of which the foreign press is also
guilty.) The reference to any aspect of life at all
presumes a reference to white: thus "The Social
Scene" shows only whites; "Building Workers Get
Rise" refers to white workers only; "Survey of new
opportunities for school leavers" excludes black
children, and so on.
Implicit in this terminology is an acceptance of
apartheid A South African nation composed only
of whites with all other groups as separated outsiders.
Some white newspapers,have made attempts
to try and attract a black readership by catering to
them. However, the staff on these papers is white
and, in common with their compatriots, know only
their own small part of South African society. They



know little of the life, problems and aspirations of
the blacks and hence are unable to deal adequately
with stories covering their lives.
Though some newspapers have made an effort
co employ non-white reporters Africans, Indians
and Coloured people, each to cover their specific com
munities space for such coverage is limited and, in
the absence of black sub-editors the editorial treat-
ment of the stories still reflects the conception of
these groups as something separate from, if not
totally outside, "South African society".
Last year Die Vaderland became the first
Afrikaans daily to employ a black reporter, Jannie
Makoeng. However, he does not receive the same pay
as white reporters as "a matter of policy", nor is he
allowed to sit at the same news desk or eat in the
canteen. The editorial director and executive manager
employed by the Argus group on their Zulu language
paper Illanga can neither speak, read or write Zulu
In the absence of a press of their own, blacks
do read the white press, but in small numbers- the
cost of newspapers being another inhibiting factor.
The resultsof a survey as reported to the Socio-
logical Society in 1969 show that only about one
out of 10 Africans over the age of 16 years, of whom
about half are literate, read daily newspapers, whilst
14 per cent read Sunday newspapers and weekly
periodicals. Most of these Africans read English-
language papers.


Amongst the Coloured people, 90 per cent of
whom speak Afrikaans, 70 per cent of those over 16
are literate. But 7 out of 10 do not read daily news-
papers. Of Indian South Africans, 80 per cent are
literate, yet 47 per cent of those over 16 do not read
a daily newspaper.
Ownership of the South African press is concen-
centrated in the hands of a small group, whose conti-
nuance as a privileged minority is dependent upon
the perpetuation of the existing system of control of
the black people. Representatives of the mining
houses and the Afrikaner political hierarchy feature
prominently on all boards of directors.
All the Afrikaans newspapers in South Africa
are pro-Government and pro-apartheid. They are
newspapers of the Nationalist Party and have cabinet
ministers sitting on their boards of directors. They
sometimes carry their support into the advertising
columns and have refused space to opposition view-
Occasionally, particularly recently, there have
been articles critical of the application of certain
Government policies which has led to demands for
greater control. The Congress of the Nationalist
Party in Natal has debated a motion that all journal-
ists on the Afrikaans newspapers should come under
the same discipline as party members. Already these
journalists are forbidden to belong to the South
African Society of Journalists.
In recent years, faced with the "threat" of
television, the South African press has consolidated
itself into larger groups. The Afrikaans press is now
divided between two groups, one representing the
essentially Transvaal wing of the party and the other,
the Cape wing.
The English-language press in South Africa is
popularly regarded as the "opposition" press. This
term, however, is misleading as it refers to opposition
within a white Parliamentary framework which
excludes the majority of South Africans and, in its
present divisions, is largely irrelevant to their demands.
There is no English-language daily newspaper
that supports the Government of the Nationalist
Party, a fact which arouses much passion in Govern-
ment ranks. There have been frequent calls for the
establishment of a Nationalist supporting English-
language paper.
The largest press company in South Africa is the
Argus Printing and Publishing Company. It began
with the Cape Argus in 1857 and supported financial
and commercial interests in the Cape. With the start
of gold mining in Johannesburg, it bought the Johan-
nesburg Star and became the voice of the mining
Of its eight directors, two are nominees of the
Rand Mines Group and two of the Johannesburg
Consolidated Investment Company, which together
hold 13.2 per cent of the capital; 12.2 per cent of
Argus shares are held by nominees of Barclays and
Standard Banks, and tle Anglo American Group
holds a further 3.6 per cent.
A leading South African editor has said:

s II(I ~CL s-~--Pla~-~

"It has been the policy of the greater part of the daily
press, not omitting the Argus group, that, ipso facto,
whatever is best for the gold mines is best for South
Africa as a whole and that end is kept foremost in
"Before the publication of any items bearing
upon the mining industry, it has been the general
policy of one group of newspapers to submit items in
question to the mining industry and, should they
clash with mining policy, they are either scrapped or
altered in such a way as to be inoffensive."
Press policy is often controlled by the owners,
not the editors.. In the case of the Argus group, this i
"The policy of the paper is that laid down by the
Directors and they have the right when necessity arises
of giving specific instructions."
But even where there is control from the
editorial chair, both the reporting and policy are
reflections of the divisions in South Africa. Save for
those newspapers aimed at a black readership, the
journalists are white, the interests are white, the
readership is white and, above all, the perspective is
white. Outside of calamity and politics, the majority
of the population does not feature. Their interests,
their activities, aspirations and grief are not news
unless they reach disaster proportions. One needs cite
no examples any newspaper on any day would
provide a myriad illustrations.
The press reflects also the divisions within the
white language groups seeing themselves as the
spokesmen for either the English or Afrikaner
groups. In their editorial columns, they have long
continued the Afrikaner/English disputes of the 19th
and early 20th centuries. As a result, they continue
to see the basic conflict in South Africa as one be-
tween these groups, and this colours their reporting
and interpretation of events.
An. overemphasis on divisions amongst the
white groups tends to mask the real issues in the
country and is often designed to divert attention.
Of the reality of any division, the Report of the
Social Commission of the Study Project on Christi-
anity in Apartheid Society (SPROCAS) stated:
"A number of conflicts in white politics tend to draw
attention away from the basic issue of white/black
conflict One of these is the Afrikaans-English rivalry
among whites. Both groups, generally, are committed
to white supremacy,but pursue- this ideal with
policies which are formulated in different terms. While
this conflict does, to some extent, weaken the political
solidarity of the white group, the fact that white
politics proceeds with heated debate within a demo-
cratic framework creates the illusion of greater freedom
for political dissent and debate than actually exists in
South Africa.
"In a similar sense, the conflict of interests
between the white businessmen and Government
policymakers creates the impression of a deep cleavage
among whites, and hence appears to indicate possibili-
ties for change. The conflict, while very real in many
ways, has never concerned the issue of bargaining
rights for blacks in the labour market. Hence there
is an often unrecognized underlying solidarity between
the Government and private enterprise."
The English-language "opposition" press as
spokesman of the economic interests in the country is
firmly and self-consciously part of the ruling establish-
ment and is thus opposed to the aims of the national
liberation movement. The Nationalist newspapers re-
gard any criticism of the system or exposure of its
malfunction as tantamount to treason. They and the
Government, including occasionally various prime
ministers, have frequently attacked the English-
language press for its alleged opposition to apartheid
and hence betrayal of what is in their view the coun-
try's interest. To quote again from the SPROCAS
"The illusion is created of a courageous and outspoken
English press, willing to fight tor the underdog regard-
less of the consequences. The reality must be judged
from the very few occasions when newspapers have
been forced to defend themselves in court, or, in the
case of the larger papers, been forced to close down as
a result of forthright criticism of the Government.
Just as the Afrikaans press is outspoken within the
framework acceptable to Afrikanerdom, so the English
press maintains itself within the framework acceptable
to a Government which would like to project an image
of reasonableness."
The English-language press is handicapped in its
consideration of the racial problems and policies by
seeing the salvation of the English-speaking group,
and hence of the country, as lying in the re-election
of the United Party to Government.
United Party policy as enunciated by General
Smuts has not basically altered since 1948 when he
said: "Our policy has been European paramountcy in this
country. Our policy has not been equal rights. It is an
abstraction forced upon us by our opponents. We stand
and have always stood for European supremacy in this
country. We have always stood and we stand for
social and residential separation in this country and
for the avoidance of all racial mixture."
In the 24 years since this statement was made,
the United Party "opposition" in Parliament has con-
sisted of objecting to the institutionalizing of racialism
rather than to its existence. It has given positive
support to most of the Govemment's repressive legis-
lation. The United Party's latest suggestion for a
federal-type South Africa still sees real power firmly
in a white-controlled Parliament.
Continued next week


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Emerging National Theatre in India

"Chakbhanga Modhu" (Beigall) by Manoj Mitra produced by Theatre Workshop, Calcutta "Adhe Adhure" (Hindi) by Mohan Rakesh produced by Dishantar, Delhi

world of the arts a single
dramatic event can burst
on the cultural scene like
a hand-bomb, leaving, the
prevailing smugness shat-
tered for evermore. Thus,
in 1957 John Osborne's
Jimmy Porter (Look Back
in Anger) gate-crashed the
polite drawing room
comedies of the west end
and, with gusty, linguistic
panache, annihilated the

barriers of social caste
and polite decorum.
The British theatre, after
the "angry young men" had
invaded it, has never been the
same safe haven again.
Although perhaps one
cannot pinpoint the emer-
gence of a new, national
theatre in India to any such
single event, the past decade
or so has been definitive.
We carl now claim that a
contemporary theatre has
emerged, not in any one or

other comer of this diverse
and large country but simul-
taneously in all major centres
- Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta,
Bangalore, Madras, Hydera-
bad, Lucknow, Jaipur,
Chandigarh which bears a
definite stamp; a unity, if not
a uniformity; a character that
can only be called national,
since it is composed of so
many varying facets.
How has this been pos-
sible? In order to understand
this phenomenon one nust

glance back at the position of
theatre and bleak as it was
- at the time of indepen-
dence 25 years ago.
A segment of current
public opinion makes us
believe that theatre, as such,
was not a form of creative
expression native to the
Indian temperament.
During the years of Muslim
rule, theatre was more or less
absent from the courts, who
were patrons of the arts, and
found refuge in the villages in

the form of folk entertain-
ment at seasonal or religious
Under the British rule in
the urban centres, new genera-
tions of "western Educated"
Indians were inspired by
Shaw, Ibsen, OQekov and
early attempts at playwriting
were modelled on such
masters of the realistic
Tagore, it is true, made an
attempt at incorporating con-
Continued on Pagel 1




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Sampat and lockneck

From Page 2
money should be used to sub:
sidise the savings of public
officers; incentives to save
are available to the whole
country including public
Anim rearntine as tUus
exchange of words continues
between the two offices-of
CPO and PSA on upper and
lower Abercromby Street
Port-of-Spain, the population,
like most of public servants,
remains only marginally in-
formed of the explosive

nature of the matters being
discussed. The PSA package
of proposals is nothing less
than the organised sampat of
a hapless regime, and an
attempt to lock the country's
Issues which could have
a fearful impact on this
country's economy, already
wracked by inflation, are dis-
cussed behind closed doors,
with the CPO not able even to
give the public the facts, when
it's the public who will have
to pay.

We give notice that a
Tapia government will not
hold itself bound by any
unconscionable concessions
designed to widen the in-
equality and promote social
and political upheaval in this

From Page 1

all, who make up the richest
5%, controlled 25% of the
nation's income.
Down at the bottom of

i' ~~1IIYI
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rci ~ re gp ~g a


Man born in Virgo, With great good in your heart,

Good service to render at home and at work. Man

born in Virgo Mother Earth's Son Know of a mystery,

a secret to keep "Just as you sow, so shall you reap".

Gold Seal suits made .in Crimplene for men,

shown in elegant herring-bone in deep navy.

None has escaped the
devastation of this inflation,
but the most hapless victims
of all have inevitably been
the unemployed and the vast
multitude of unorganised
workers and farmers constitut-
ing close to 40% of the
labour force.
These are not all of the
harsh economic facts describ-
ing the, burdens so unequally
distributed by race and sex
and occupation and educa-
tion. But they are simple
facts on which the margin-
gatherers in the Ch
Conaijjcrce-as well as the
professional UnilT-bargainers
have been remaining strangely
Within the public, sector
where salaries are on the
whole lower than in the
private sector, a top politi-
cian or a judge receives any-
thing between $3,000 and
$3,500 per month. A Perma-
nent Secretary receives
$2,069, a Division Head
$2,000, a Senior Economist
$1300. Down at the bottom,
a Clerk I at the top of the
scale receives only 1/10 of a
judges salary, that is to say
$330, and a Clerk I at the
bottom of the scale only


When Mr. Manswell pro-
poses a range of increases
varying from 45% to 60%, it
means that a clerk at the
bottom will get an increase of
$135 per month while a
Division Manager will get an
increase of $900. This is the
kind of scandal which the
country is now being asked
to support as a reasonable
proposition. It only reveals
what a revolutionary situa--
tion in Trinidad & Tobago
has being created by the
current pattern of dividing
the national income.
Time has come to call a
halt to the Tripartite Con-
spiracy between the elements
of Business, Organised Labour
and Govemmnent which serves
only to promote a privileged
oligarchy to the cost of the
rest of the nation.
Trinidad and Tobago must
now face up to the task of
demolishing this corrupt re-
gime and effecting a radical

the heap, fully half of tile
nation's households had to
share not quite 16% of the
income. What is more, the
situation has been. getting
worse with the iniquitous
policies of the PNM. In 1957/
58, the top 10% got only 33%
of the income and the bottom
then got just over 19% of the
As if the pressure of
unemployment and inequality
were not enough, inflation
has been ravaging thenation's
pocket. Between 1968 and
1972 prices rose at an average
rate of 4.7% per year.
Then in 1973, they jumped
by no less than 23% and food
prices rose by as much as
30% as compared with less
than 25% for the whole of
the period 1968-72.-In the
year since the Prime Minister's
Retirement Speech of
September 28, prices- have
skyrocketed by 25% and food
prices have escalated by an
astronomical 33%.



a t
'as I~~I~~SB

Another, scene from "Kaal Tujhe Namaskar"

ventions from Bengali jatra
but this was an isolated case.
The freedom movement
provided an impetus to young
nationalists, and the Indian
people's theatre association
(IPTA) with definite political
overtones, formed cultural
squads in many cities. IPTA
groups often wrote their own
plays on the lines of Masses
and Man or Odet's Waiting
for Lefty.
Prithviraj Kapoor, a famous
film "star" with a penchant
for legit theatre (his first
love) formed a repertory
company with plays on
socio-political themes, but
these were definitely written
around his own acting talent
and star personality.
It was left to enthusiastic
amateur or college drama
clubs to keep up with the
latest west end and broadway
hits. Such plays, performed
in English by Indian students,
were zestful intellectual exer-
cises but totally alien to the
Indian scene. However, these
groups often reached excellent
standards of production and
imbibed much technical
knowhow and expertise.



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_____ _________ ^______ PORT OF SPAIN SAN FERNANDO

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Gift too.



Parallel to this resurgence
was the interest one might
almost call it the "redis-
cover" of theatre workers
in the several indigenous
forms of folk theatre.
In 1959 a national school
of drama and Asian theatre
institute was established to
train students in theatre tech-
niques. After a limp start, the
school is now considered one
of the foremost institutions
in the country.
It has a broadbased sylla-
bus, which gives students an
idea of their own classical and
folk traditions as well as the
best in the theatre of the
west and the far east. It is
also the institute's policy to
produce plays by contem-
porary Indian playwrights.

In 1962 a programme was
launched with Mohan Rakesh'
play Asadh Ka Ek Din in a
small open air theatre built
by the students themselves.
Then in 1963 came an ambi-
tious production of Dharma-
vir Bharati's Andha Yug
presented in the ruins of
Ferozeshah Kotla, a 14th
century fort.
But the really important
event was the school's produc-
tion of Girish Karnad's play
Mohd. Tughlaq in 1966. Here
was. a new writer, writing in
his regional language, Kan-
nada. Translated into Urdu,
the production had an im-
mediate impact. It was rapidly
translated into Marathi,
Bengali, English and pro-
duced in several regional
In Calcutta, Badal Sarkar,
a town-planner, whose hobby
was theatre, wrote a play in
the expressionist manner,
Evam Indrajit. First done in
original Bengali, the play was
translated into Hindi and
produced in Delhi.
Thereafter, it was trans-
lated into several other re-
gional languages and produced
in vr various centres.
Greatly encouraged by this
situation, Vijay Tendulkar,
C.T. Khanolkar, Mohan Ra-
kesh, Mohit Chattopadhyaya
and several young and new
writers tackled contemporary
themes in powerful plays
that were immediately taken
up for translation and produc-
tion by groups in all major
A writer now was aware
that writing in his regional
language was no longer a


Another interesting trend
developed. Writers attached
themselves to particular groups
and worked along with them
in production. This helped the
writer acquaint himself with
the problems of theatrecraft
and to attempt new techni-
Rakesh, before his tragic-
ally early death in 1972,
worked with a Delhi group.
Badal Sarkar formed his own
group and wrote experimen-
tal plays. Both Dr. Laxmi
Narain Lal (Suryamukh) and
Balwant Gargi (Sultan Razia)
worked on their scripts in
collaboration with the
school's production of their

The yakshagana of Kar-
nataka, tamasha of Miha-
rashtra, bhavai of Gujarat,
nautanki of Uttar Pradesh and
jatra of Bengal were enthusi-
astically studied and observed
by actors, directors and
The approach to all folk
forms is an exciting one of the
"total theatre" which was,
in the 60's,the "big thing"
at seminars and in discussions
at international theatre
forums, Indian folk forms
include music, dance, mime,
dialogue, costumes, elaborate
facial make-up and occasion-
ally masks.
Indian theatre workers
quickened with interest.
Theatre, in this "total" sense,
was very much a native
During a round table or-
ganised by the Sangeet Natak
Akademi at New Delhi in
1971, several writers and
producers discussed the "con-
temporary relevance of
traditional theatre".
This led to several play-
wrights attempting to write
plays using music and dance
and the stylistic conventions
of their particular regional


Karnad's Hayavadana took
its inspiration from yakshag-
ana; Tendulkar's Ghasiram
Kotwal from Marathi tam-
asha; Utpal Dutt wrote and
produced plays in the Ben-
gali jatra style.
Habib Tanvir, a well-
known writer and producer,
went further. He held a work-
shop in his home region.
Madhya Pradesh, where he
worked with traditional folk
He has now set up a group
of traditional folk actors and
musicians who work along
with the members of his
group in New Delhi.
Not all these experiments,
of course, have been al-
together successful. The folk
forms are certainly far from
simple and folk artistes not
only are hereditary, they
devote a life time to their


Contemporary writers and
performers need to make a
serious study-in-depth of
these forms in order to distil
the essence. Otherwise their
efforts must remain mere
"grafting", a surface decora-
In order to encourage
such serious study the na
tional school of drama again
took a decisive step. The
school invited Dr. Karanth (a
yakshagana scholar and ex-
pert) to bring a team of
dance and music gurus
(traditional teachers) to run
an intensive two-month
course in yakshagana for its
students last summer.
At the end of the course
the school put up a full-
length traditional yakshagana
play in the authentic style.
More such courses will cer-
tainly help in developing a
deeper understanding of folk
forms, out of which a truly
creative and meaningful con-
temporary Indian style may
emerge to enrich theatre



II t Islt f IB t II

1 1 I


ILaia PLU li. .sit

IT is undoubtedly true
that prices must have
been ravaging the pockets
of PSA members as they
have. been ravaging the
pockets of the entire
nation. Between 1968
and 1972, prices rose at
an average rate of 4.7
per year. Then in 1973,
they jumped no less than
23%. Food prices that
Year rose by 30% as com-
pared with less than 25%
for the entire period
In the year since the
Prime Minister retired last
September, prices have sky-
rocketed by 25% and food
prices have escalated to 33%
No one has escaped this
devastation; it is a problem
but not for the PSA alone.
What distinguishes the PSA
is that they are in a better
position to promote a solu-
tion on behalf not only of
themselves but also on behalf
of the entire nation.


Umike the OWTU, or the
NUGFWU, the PSAhas ready
access to the needed informa-
tion, to the needed expertise
and they also have access to
the policy-makers themselves.
Tapia certainly did expect
a stiff pay claim from the
PSA but we als9 expected and
we were entitled to expect
proposals for raising the
efficiency and the productiv-
ity in the public sector and
plans for curing the runaway
inflation, the chronic un-

employment, the morally
indefensible inequality.
We expected the PSA to
see that this is not an ordinary
wage negotiation in the midst
of normal times; we are in the
middle of a revolutionary
crisis at home and a basic
economic crisis in the whole
international economy. In
Britain the Unions have seen
fit to support the social com-
pact advocated by the Labour
In the oil sector, where
the multi-national corpora-
tions are digging out the eye
of Trinidad &'Tobago, un-
bridled militancy does win
higher national income ana
force more radical policies of
nationalisation from the timid
government even if it does
also help to engender in-
creasing inequality and some
costly industrial disruptions.
This is not to say that the
OWTU is entirely beyond
the nation's blame. Inspite
of its great power and wealth,
that Union has signally failed
to develop from within its
ranks the core of leadership
and policy-makers and the
technically equipped staff,
fully capable of matching the
Government and the Corpora-
Yet the balance sheet of
gains and losses from OWTU
action over the years is quite
different from that of the
PSA where Manswell, for one
thing, has consistently been
ati artful apologist for
the iniquitous and repressive
industrial policies of the
rotten PNM Government.
In fact, the Government's
policies have in some ways

been superior to those of the
PSA Executive and top-brass.
In the Budget Speech of this
year the Minister of Finance
actually inched towards a
saner policy for incomes,
wages and prices albeit in a
Anamby-pamby way which
failed entirely to focus
urgently and squarely on
profits, the item most respon-
sible for continuing dis-
equalization and disposses-
Hear Mr. Chambers: "A
society cannot hope to main-
tain its integrity unless it
unleashes forces which will
assist in the elimination of
wide disparities in income..
persons in the upper half of
the income scale must exer-
-cise considerable restraint...
I consider the whole question
of prices and incomes to be
one, of national importance,
particularly in the context of
high imported inflation", pg.
8-9 Budget Speech.


We in Tapia believe that
the question is too important
to the nation to be left to
the Government alone, least
of all to a Government now
celebrated for its corruption,
its incompetence and its total
incapacity to govern.
Mr. Chambers confined
himself merely to raising "five
complex issues". We in Tapia
past that stage long time. We
are not afraid to-govern and--
to govern radically too next
time round we will be looking
after that And right now, we
are advancing the most con-
crete of proposals.
While the Minister of
Finance merely asks how
should the question of in-
creased foreign profits be
dealt with, we are advocat-
ing, without prejudice to our
larger proposals for the whole-
sale nationalisation and
localisation of Texaco,
AMOCO and Fed Chem and
the radical reconstruction of
the whole economic structure:

la. An Excess Profits
Tax to be levied on
petroleum Companies in
line with OPEC specifica-
tions which are addres-
sed to the real import
purchasing power of a
barrel of oil and to the
mounting profit rates of
the international petrol-
eum giants. This means
.another 3/2% on the
2'/% already levied by
the Minister in the 1974
Budget in sympathy
with the recent Vienna
lb. An Excess Profits Tax
to be levied on business
enterprise in general, the
actual rate to be determined
and adjusted periodically
in relation to price, wage and
income tre hands and to invest-
ment, output and export
patterns as revealed in up-to-
date National Accounts.
Ic. An upper limit on dis,
tribitable profits. India has
only just adopted a scheme
to limit dividends to 331/3%

,w F .

Mi.cha i

6Tg 4
Michael Harris, Tapia Campaign Manager, next time round.

of distributable profits or to
an amount enough to pay 12%
dividend rate on ordinary
shares and to meet prefer-
ence share commitments -
which ever is less. This is to
be in force for two years given
current inflation horizons.

Regarding Wages and
Salaries, Tapia proposes
a compulsory savings
scheme out of wage and
salary increases gained by
those 'in the elite
categories as we have
defined them earlier in
this statement.
Here the Indian plan is
also a useful model. For
incomes of taxpayers above
- -a- certain-specfifed-levl, -a----
certain percentage of increases
in earnings are to be com-
pulsory deposits with the
Central Bank in a special
reserve fund, available neither
to the Government or to
Owing to the high liquidity
which T&T enjoys in foreign
exchange, we may not want
to impose these restrictions
provided the funds are spent
for such investment purposes
as would tend to cure the
inflation problem e.g. hous-
ing and breaking the bottle
necks in the supply of food
and other home-grown agri-
cultural produce.

In any event, the com-
pulsory savings would be
refunded to depositors with
interest either once-for-all or
in installments after the
elapse of a certain time and
on terms to be negotiated at
a Four Part Conference of
Citizens, bringing together all"
interested parties and includ-
ing Organised Labour, Busi-
ness, Government and all
bona-fide political opposi-
As we see it in Tapia, such
an assembly is the only pos-
sible guarantee of proper
representation for the vast
multitude of little people
who are unorganised or
imperfectly organised and
are without effective, econ-
omic voice.
At such a Conference,
Tapia would insist on a
closing of the income in-
equality gap by:

a) Annual wage bargaining
on a Four-partite basis
at the proposed Confer-
b) wider use of equal 'dollar
increases for all citizens
and less use of equal per-
centage differences;
c) reference to a cut-off
point so that the oligarchic
elites would automatically
advance far more slowly
than those below the
poverty line.
d) more discriminating use
of income and especially
of property taxation as a
means of levelling out the
grosser forms of in-
e) fuller employment as
. -m -. e~rs t lacKulngitteL
. problem of-economic in-
equality and social justice.
At such a Conference of
Citizens, Tapia would also
advocate a frontal attack on
the effects of inflation by
a) State control of the
import and wholesale dis-
tribution of certain stra-
tegic goods especially
educational and medical
supplies, essential house-
hold equipment and basic
food and clothing includ-
ing the raw materials for
their production.
b) the establishment of a
national chain of locally
controlled consumer co-
operative retail outlets
partly to be set up
through nationalisation
and localisation of Hi-Lo.
Kirpalanis and partly to
arise out of an amalgama-
tion of old enterprises and
the creation of new ones.
Tapia hastens to point
out that these measures
could be implemented only
by a Government which en-
joyed the trust of the citizens
and which commanded the
moral authority to commit
the public service and indeed.
the entire labour force to
unrelenting and dedicated
What the Tapia plan im-
plies in fact. is that the
country must move quickly
to clear up the constitutional
and political tangles which
lie in the way of an early
change of government and
the obstacles which block
the fall of the old regime.
Our only sane choice is to
hasten towards that radical
reconstruction which our
people so desperately need.





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RETURN TO: Tapia House Publishing Co. Ltd.,
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