Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Publication Date:
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:
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ABV8695 ( NOTIS )
UF00072147_00268 ( sobekcm )

Full Text

Vol. 7. No. 5

Mrs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institute for
Study of Man,
162, East 78th Street,
New York, N,Y. 10021,
1h. Lehigh 5 8448,


ri, A .



5126 AND 22CIPRIANI BVD. P.OS. 62-25241.

Allan Harris, responsible
for Local Gov't in the
Tapia Task Force
fsegaaaaeLijM> IEh~aooinsra~fiinrt^

deny Hme
Rule to Tobago. Mr.
? Allan Harris told reporters
Sso last Thursday morning
at a Tapia Press Confer-
ence held at the party's
Port-of-Spain Centre on
Cipriani Boulevard.
Mr. Harris is respons-
ible for Local Govern-
ment in the party's Task
Force which formed a
Shadow Cabinet before
the last elections.
SIn a prepared state-
ment, Harris declared
that what Tobago needed
was not simply or mainly
a change in Ministerial or
Civil Service arrange-

The missing link in
the island, he said, was
an Assembly of accredit-
ed Tobago spokesmen
which could-inform and
control ministerial and
civil service action and
turn administration in
the direction. that Toba-
gonians wanted.
Mr. Harris said that
Tapia had proposed a
40-member Senate for
Scarborough to be
selected on the basis of
population from the 21
Village and Town Areas
into which' Tobago
Lil A-k

The House would en-
joy powers of appoint-
ment, powers 'in
accountability, powers
of opinion-making and'
powers of legislation.
, It would meet in
Scarborough at the same
time a$ the Trinidad
Senate met in Port-of-
Spain and Ministerial
representatives would
have the right and
obligation to appear in
much the same way as
the Attorney General
now appears in the
House of Representatives
The House of Repre-
sentatives would contain
Tobago representatives

as now.
Turning to the Min-
istry o0 Tobago Affairs,
Mr. Harris said that it
should hot have been
abolished. Its name, he
added, should' simply
have been changed so
as to make clear that it
was an umbrella for all
the national ministries
as well as for all the
Departments such as the
Registrar General and
Town Planning and all
the Statutory Bodies
and Public Corporations
such as the IDC, DFC,.
;A.nR... ,p'T-rr- iRawA; -ptcl*

7 I.rI

Mr. Harris concluded"
that his proposals were
neither new/nor wishy-:
washy. The measures
were based, he pointed
out, on submissions
made .to- the Wooding
Commission, spelt out
in the-Tapia Manifesto,
and carefully explained
by Tapia candidates and
campaigners in the 1976
The Tapiaman said
that the proposals would
be printed for 'public
distribution beginning at
a public, meeting in
Scarborough next week
Friday, February 4.


Must Have

Home -Rule

SPEAKING in the House two Fridays ago on his motion
for internal self-government in Tobago A.N.R. Robinson
invoked the memory of A.P.T. James, the legendary
"Fargo", who was in histime the favourite son of Tobago
soil. It is to be recalled that in the days when he did battle
for the PNM, Robinson once went down in electoral com-
bat to this formidable figure. But that good soul has long
since gone to his reward, and, speaking politically, Mr.
Robinson has long since departed his father's kingdom. In
the light of these facts it may not have been an improper
thing for him to claim, as he did, inf support of the impec-
cable antecedents of his motion, that James had made a
similar call in. the 1950's. But Fargo may have been
amused, if such a humah weakness is allowed in heaven, or
wherever it is that politicians end up, at the surprising twist
of history it was his young challenger who would in the
end first abandon and then defeat the party which had
defeated him, and by so doing lay claim to the mantle he
had left behind.
Regrettably, that was about all the romance to be
extracted from the proceedings in thq House so far, con-
cerning Mr. Robinson's motion. In fact it has been a pretty
sordid affair. The people of Tobago and the people of
Trinidad deserve better than the despicable clowning
about which has marked the "debate". In some ways the
level of performance has sunk lower than that of the
Legislative Council in the notorious days; qff the 1950's
when James made his impress there.
On such a vitally important issue, the people of Tobago'and
the people of Trinidad deserve better than the transparently
opportunistic posturings of.Mr. Rolinson.-Onlsuch,,and.isgue'.tle

above the leve'iof petty recriminatiion d1 o c nget^ ^-gev -
ment and the people of Trinidad and Tobago with the vision of a
new constitutional, political and moral dispensation designed not
merely for Tobago, but for Trinidad and the entire West Indies as


But it is clear that Mr. Robinson lacks the stature to bestride
such a large stage. What we got instead was the cheap politics of
small-minded resentment, the solicitous nurturing of a people's sense
of impotence, the small-time badjohn's determination to be bossman
in his own barrackfard. Robinson will sooner than later learn that
the people of Tobago cannot be bamboozled with the fool talk of oil
and chrome and copper. That what the people of Tobago would like
to know is just what in concrete terms internal self-government
means. That the commonsense of Tobagonians tells them that for an
island like their's, external arrangements are just as important as the
internal ones. And that they are therefore looking for a leadership
which, far from imitating the bluster and the bravado and the anti-
colonial rhetoric of 1956, seeks to find its-own voice, a manner of
speaking appropriate to the responsibilities of Independence and a
style of operation sensitive to the potential of the Tobago people to
take the lead in the long-awaited process of regeneration of West
Indian society.
As if the sad failure of Mr. Robinson to rise above the narrow
interests of his political career and to seek to stir the nation at large
was not enough, one week later We had the even sorrier spectacle of
the Attorney-General, Mr. Richardson, succumbing to all manner of
buffoonery as he replied for the government side. It is inconceivable
that the government can fail forever to take, the Tobago issue
seriously. If the Opposition failed, it was certainly the duty of the
government to attempt to lift the level of the debate. Yet Mr.
Richardson resolutely declined to provide the public at large with
any leadership and clarification on, the matter, so preoccupied was
his narrow little mind with scoring trivial debating points.
Absurdly waving his alleged petition with its alleged 4,000 sig-
natures, it was a matter of extreme glee for the Attorney-General
to point out to Mr. Robinson that his party had obtained the sup-
port of just-over a third of the Tobago electorate in the last General
Elections. The DAC therefore could not presume to speak for the
whole of Tobago. Was this the same man who claimed for the PNM
a mandate to rule, and by means of five-hundred states of Emergency
if necessary? The same PNM which gained the support of no more
than 29% of the electorate? But logic and consistency are of no
account to the short-time operator. Expendable as they are, knowing
that their days are numbered, they are all furious activity, the most
compliant hatchet-men, the most vicious new hustlers, working the
.political block.

Miss Eutrice Carrington Miss A.P.T. James
Tapia's standard bearers in the last elections

~ r L


C~;~Ck~Yn;~i ~ot~iTT LF~P ~CV1 IT 7




* J




Managing Editor

Lloyd Best
Allan Harris
Lloyd Taylor
Michael A. Harris
Joan E. Fuller

Founded September
Weekly since Novemb

28, 1969
ber 5, 1972

Editorial Michael Harris
Beau Tewarie
Allan Harris
Paste-up Romauld Lumsden
Camera & Printing Orson Farrier

Grim Prospects

for Local Gov't

Little Promise in PNM Reforms

THE recommendation that Pointe-a-Pierre and
Point Fortin be given municipal status has
come as an almost casual offshoot of the re-
examination of local government boundaries.
In fact, one might say as an afterthought. The
Fourth Report of the Elections and Bound-
aries Commission, dated October 20, 1976,
makes no mention of the creation of new
municipal areas, and confines itself to the
delimitation of electoral districts within the
existing local government areas. It essays out of-
this restricted field only to note the desirability
of doing away with a fixed number of repre-
sentatives on municipal councils aid of
extending the-boundaries of the city of Port-
of-Spain. It is in a memorandum to that
S report, dated December 22, 1976 that the
f" Commission makes bold:to specifically recom-
end'the extension of the limits of the munici-.
i:. I ofPo'itdf6Spain,.t-he -creationr of two
electoral areas in the county of St. George,
Sthe extension of the limits of the Rorough of
San Fernando and the creation of the two new
S We can only hazard a guess as to the source of
this unexpected access of insight on the part of the
S Commissioners. All that they tell us in their memo-.
randum, is that in the course of their deliberation
,,. they "considered, a number of reports and proposals
which provided a basis for determining the principles
Jby which the Commission should be guided..." These
"reports and proposals" are not identified. On
-examination of the Commissioners' six principles,
which they present in summary form, it is clear that.
no attempt was made to look at the entire structure
of local government. On the contrary, the Commis-
sioners'-only interest, or mandate, seems to have
been the identification of those districts which in
their view qualified for municipal status. Or was their
task merely that of rationalizing a prior decision to
bestow municipal status on certain areas?


In any event, their memorandum is scarce two
pages long, and their six principles hardly bear look-
ing into. First, there is the curious notion that to
qualify to be contained within a municipality, an
area must "represent the best possible stage of
development in terms of amenities, services and the
general quality of life." It would seem to be more
reasonable to'argue just the opposite it is precisely
to enjoy the amenities and services that municipal.
status should bring that an area should be included
within or should itself constitute a municipality.
Similarly, it makes sense to state as a principle
that "the Municipality should be in a position to
provide such area with all the facilities and services
enjoyed by other areas of the Municipality within
the shortest possible time . .", only if what is being
argued is that municipalities should have adequate
powers and funds to do a proper job. And what are
we to make of the cryptic comment listed as principle
number six: "the extent to which the whole of the
existing Municipal area bears the characteristics of
urbanization."? Presumably, the Joint Select Com-
mittee of both Houses of Parliament, which has been
set up to consider the reports, will be in a better
position to derive the sense of all this. In the mean-

time, local government elections will go ahead on the
old basis.
But it is clear that the 'government- has in
mind some new departure in the field of local govern-
ment. The latest development has been the appoint-
ment by the cabinet of "a five-member team of
officials to investigate and recommend wider powers
,for Local Government bodies" (Guardian; 19/1/77).
The team comprises 'top officials in the Ministries
which have a direct bearing on the work of local
government bodies. It is difficult to pin much hope
on the outcome of its deliberations. Its recommenda-
tions are not likely to do much to break the bureau-
cratic stranglehold of the central government which
has reduced local government to'its present low ebb.
As far. back as 1959 the hostile attitude of
present administration tb local government 'was
'rationalised by Dr. Williams on the grounds that.-
... ...
"all trends in Trinidad, a population of 750,000
People, an island a few miles long by a few.
:: miles wide, all trends in Trinidad, not only by
tradition, but also by practical experience and
necessity are for the maintenance in the hands
of the Central Government of'services which
are too small essentially, small in scope, small
in volume, to be diffused among a number of
little local government bodies all calling for
grants from the Central Government."


The view expressed so early is the direct antithe-
sis of that expressed by the ruling party in its Mani-
festo for the municipal elections of November 1 and
3, 1956. At that time the radical position adopted
was that
"The municipalities of Trinidad thus provide
the human and financial basis for that expan-
sion of municipal government which is charac-
teristic of modem democratic society and
which stems from one fundamental fact: that
the economic advantage of a single centralised
government is outweighed by the political
advantage of a decentralised system of govern-
ment which provides for the participation of
more people in the management of their coun-
try's affairs".
The "political. advantage" of such a diffusion
of power had been stressed even earlier, in The
People's Charter adopted by the Inaugural Conference
of the PNM on January 15, 1956, which included as
one of the two planks of local government reform a
promise of

"the grant of wider powers to all local govern-
ment bodies to enable them to exercise greater
initiative and responsibility, to encourage the
active participation of the greatest number in
the management of their country's affairs, and
to provide the training ground for the future
Legislators -of Trinidad and Tobago and the
British Caribbean Federation".

Had the party adhered to its original principles,
perhaps its Political Leader would have had less cause
today to lament the poor quality of its parliamen-
tarians. But for some reason there was a complete
turnaoout on the question of local government between


1956 and 1959. We may speculate on the causes, but
we ought not to forget that in 1958 the PNM suffered
a stunning defeat at he hands of the opposition. in
the Federal elections.
What is not in question is the steady withdrawal
on the part of the leadership of the PNM. from the
democratic perspectives of its very earliest days. In
consequence, not only have the powers and functions
of local government bodies been steadily whittled
away, but even-at the level of the central government
there has been a relentless accretion of power to the
Executive at the expense of the other branches of
government. This process has culminated in the
Republican Constitution of 1976 which belittles even
the Cabinet in the interests of one-man rule by the
Prime Minister.
In that context, it would strain the limits of
credulity to be told that the PNM is now prepared to
let the people in to their rightful place in the scheme
of things by a major shake-up of local government.
The government, basically, is too insecure to allow
other centres of power and influence to develop.
Barring Tobago, little in our history has equipped
our people with a strong sense of local identity, so
that as long as we are unable to appreciate fully what
local government could mean to our lives the. Govern-
ment can continue to shilly-shally. At present the
local government bodies, even within the limited
scope of their statutory powers, are paralysed in red
tape, or abjectly dependent on the central adminis-
tration for funds, and most of them have been,
rendered harmless in any case by the operation of.
"party programme and party discipline". The most
we can expect are niggling bureaucratic adjustments.
Yet. it would appear that the remedy must
come from the centre. Deprived as we are both of the
insight which springs from experience and of the
initiative which comes from a sense of our own
independence, is it to be expected that the revival
will be led by -the ordinary citizens? The conditions
of weakness are seldom, if ever, propitious conditions
for revolt; What is needed is not the frenetic activity'
of short-term protest, but the-arduous, time-consum-.
ing, soul-wearying task of laying the foundations of a
new civilization. But the amenities, material and
cultural,.. for such a life-time project are' entirely
lacking for too many of our people. It is here that
the State must interpose. But a State in whose hands?

-'" %


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-1 ..*-



TAPIA will hold a Unity
Assembly if party leaders
accept a package -of mea-
Sures put forward by the
Meeting of the National
Executive last Monday
January 24.
Acting Chairman Allan
Harris told the meeting that
the Executive had been
summoned under special
conditions. He was refer-
ring to the faci that 16
members of the party had
written to the Secretary
requesting the Executive
to call an Extraordinary
General Assembly.
Secretary -Lloyd Best
said he saw no need for an
Extraordinary General As-
sembly. He pointed out
that a General Assembly
was already in being and
the Chairman needed only
to reconvene it The pro-
blem was whether it was
politically possible so to.
In a full-length state-
ment the Secretary noted
that the public was think-
ing that Tapia had split. He
wanted to insist that a split
was not necessarily a retro-

"LLOYD boy, I: am not as-
optimistic as you. When I
go around, to. cocktail
parties and so on,-: don't
find any. great hopes for
Tapia. Most people are:
expecting Tapia to fold."
!?The man speaking was a
good and sympathetic
friend of mine, an academic
colleague from the days
when I myself worked on


Upon by I

grade step; it was always a
question of what we were
splitting over.
"If we are splitting", he
continued, "between those
who are prepared to pursue
a permanent and profes-
. sional political party and
those who are obsessed
with the politics of now for
now, in whatever guise,
then the news is good."
- Best warned the meet-
ing that "a split is not the
same thing as a purge,
though people keep up this
"I do not know of any-
body. who has put any-
body out of Tapia though
the party has had a lot of
mischief makers."
Elaborating, the Secre-
tary said that there was no

workable machinery -in
Tapia for censure, for any
kind of disciplinary action,
for suspension or expul-
It is a question of those
who cannot saddle horses
going their different ways;
and of those who cannot
stay the distance falling by
the wayside until hopefully
they could pick themselves
up again.
The conflict in the
party, Best continued, has
given everyone "the opport-
unity to look at- one
another and to search deep
within ourselves and decide
how and where we will
henceforth make up our
political beds.
"Everything that will
happen will happen in-

Says Lloyd Best

The time is comn soon

when :the permanent'

profess ona : politics

of Tapia ilI even
'0 N-ev.n

He wil forgive me if I assemble- more hardware
remind him what" I have I I r

always thought and written
about the average academics.
They only understand
things after they have
happened; we who are ifi
politics, must understand
them before -they even
dream of ever going to
So it/ is iot surprising
that the academics cannot
see the tremendous poten-
tial of a Movement such as
Tapia. It is not that they
are particularly malicious or
incompetent or opportun-
isitic;-it is simply that their
trade requires them to
always wait for evidence.'
But in the world of
affairs what you really
need is not evidence but
insight as to how you make
lood out of stone.
A Guyanese economist
took a bet in 1969 that
within six weeks the Tapia
aper would be dead,
uried and churched. He
ut all his money on Moko.
A Haitian professor once
told me: "I like Tapia but
Cannot see the moyens
means) of the Movement's
success :
It is really funny that
ee did not seehow funny
e was. If you could see
the means, then the means

than the


Motilal Moot

no__longer' in fact exist
Because if everybody
could see them, the Gov-
ernment would see them
too and exterminate them
completely Ibefore they
could. become effective.
That is why all of these
orthodox Oppositions have
the chance of a snowball
in hell.
It should be obvious
even to a child that change
can only be made by the
most improbable agents. All
these high-priests of Marx-
ism, Socialism, arid Black
Power and all the borrowed
religions soon find that the
political office-holders have
long since mastered their
/text and understood their
They are able to take
before before before even
threaten them.
In Tapia we are making
up our ideological state-
ment even as we make our
way along. We are making-
up our rules of organiza-
tion, of mobilization, of
leadership, of participation;

'e in

nan yard

we have no formulas at all.
A Grenadian academic
once told me that it was
very well to be working out
a practical ideology, made-
up as you go along. "But
you still have to-capture
the imagination of the
He thought at that time-
that the Black Power Move-
ment had captured the
public imagination. Well,
they must since have lost
it again.
I would. think myself
that if any movement has
captured the public imagi-
nation, that Movement
must be Tapia. Everybody
has failed to perceive any
obvious political means by
which the Movement will
ever "make." It is all
We live only by the
hope of setting a different
political standard, of
changing the rules of life
so that politics can super-
sede administration,'agita-
tin, demagogy, manipula-
tion, and all the other





formally. Who the cap fit
will draw the string."
The- issues "will be
settled by the informalities
of politics and power, not
by the formalities .of the
constitution and the law;
and-that is precisely how
it should be.'
You can't be in mas' and
say you fraid powder."
The Secretary urged all
those who wished to go
forward to make a fresh
start without recrimina-
tion. "We have come face
to face 'with the conse-
quences of enduring con-
flict; we must pass now to
a new stage in the New
World Movement"
He said that some were
backsliding out of doubt
and pessimism about the
efficacy of the Tapia
method of' permanent
politics and hard work.
But after the elections
Tapia had become a more
significant party than ever.
Tapia must "prepare the
way for a Grand Unity
Assembly". Best then pro-
. I 1 -. ,. '

imitations..'.- .
Tapia .politics seeks'the
free interplay of the 'valid-
interests of the huge multi-
tude of the people. It
assumes a sovereign indivi-
dual, reaching out for the
opportunity to take a res-
ponsible place.
It isnot easy to hold that
position in Trinidad &
Tobago; to repudiate all
these lifeless creeds and
doctrines which seek only
to whip up a captive and
mindless constituency with-
out any attempt at winning
honest conviction or-creat-
ing an enduring commit-
ment- to build.
It is not easy to hold the
position when even inside
the Tapia Movement, we
have assembled some
short-cutting opportunists.
Yet there is encourage-

posed nine measures to
that end.

Ten Steps

THE National Executive of
Tapia last Monday agreed
to ten steps in preparation
for an Assembly of party
Among these, an invita-
tion is to go out to all
original members of the
current Executive to re-
join the body until the
forthcoming election of
An invitation is also to
go out to all candidates in
the 1976 election to join
the Executive in a meeting
of party leaders in prepara-
tion for a full meeting of
the Council of Representa-
tives, and then the Unity
Monday's meeting also ;.
agreed that all._Executiive-:_. .
members .-.should .: -;pa y,
r tithes" to tne.-party^^
as one "plege- ofserous

ment ii some very impor-'
tant quarters. Another obd.
friend of mine, not an
academicc but an insightful
intellectual. He once told
me is not a question
of Tapia making, for al-
ready Tapia has won.
It is a thought;, we
started with nothing but
an idea and a- few dedi-
cated workers.
The time is coming soon
when the professional and
permanent politics of Tapia.
will even assemble more
hardware than they have in,
Motilal Moonan yard. In
other :words, Tapia is
moving forward regardless.
Plenty people will never
see it till it becomes an
obvious and open "winner".
Sorry we cannot help
them, but that is the scene
we on.

Still On My Own Scene


Agents for:
Manufacturers Representatives
And General Insurance Agents
No. 5 Concessioti Rd. Sea Lots
Phone: 62-37813


-- --



-- .


THE irony of the education fiasco in Trinidad and Tobago
is, that every so often we are faced with a potential disaster.
Suddenly everyone is worried, the symptoms are treated,
all is well for a while, but the cancer keeps on growing and,
soon enough, another disaster is staring us in the face.
This time the issue is the fate olf t ihe inior sccondlar\
graduates, at the hands of the vicious "0( lI ecl exac iniaion.
The attitude of the
Ministry of Education and
of the Government Minister
in charge, is that this is an Ju n io r
unfortunate situation, that
could not have been
avoided, but will not occur
again. D
The Minister has attempt-
ed to sidestep the issue by
declaring publicly that all
junior secondary graduates
will automatically proceed T h
to senior comprehensive
sco and three others were to be
As a complement to extended and equipped for the
this, an unnamed Ministry purpose.
official has claimed that But 1175 found thi govern-
the real issue is that gov- meant scrambling to grapple
ernment's new comprehen- with another crisis.
sive schools have certain Only St. Augustine Senior
facilities that older schools Comprehensive was ready and
have hot got". nothing had been done to any
All of this is unadulterated of the existing schools.
hogwash. It is time the Gov- So Ministry officials began
ernment understand that hieeting hurriedly. land virtu-
expediency will never be a ally secretly) with principals of
substitute for competence. government as well as assisted
What has happened is that the denominational secondary
chickens have once again come schools. The order of the day
home to roost. was a make-shift programme of
The crisis of the junior "housing" the junior secondary
secondary graduates first 'graduates in various schools-
became apparent when parents around the country.
became aware that approxi- Government Secondaries had
mately 60% of the students,. to accede to the Ministry's
were going to end up on the
streets at age 15. a h IF the government con-
The government, at -,this, tinues,. to 'embark,. on
point, made a politically ex- m untested pro-
pedient decision to find places m u
fo all graduates by hook br by grammes, whose outcomes
...-. crook although the infra-'- are unpredictable',: when
structure for tlus did not exist. there are failures, they will
Meanwhile 6 c6mprehensive- inevitably be massive
schools >were to be established! failures.
by 1975. Three were to be' ew Experimental program-





Hussm nn


Another government Capeech

Ends In Disaster

'Sec Lambs


;You Kind Sir

request to take in the junior
secondary students. ;Sonme
schools took in as many as four
classes (approximately 4x35)
depending on space, some
could only lake one.
The assisted denominational
schools, however, were in a
position to bargain. If they
took in any students it would
automatically be a favour to
government. It is doubtful that
any of them took more than 2
classes. More than likely they
each took 35 students.
It was on the strength of
having saved the government
from embarrassment that the
denominational boards could
have confidently called for an
increase in the. school grant.
The grants were increased

in 1976 from $16 to $48 par
student. Some cynics have
claimed that the government
was merely paying a debt of
In dealing with the crisis, of
paramount concern was the
placement of the graduates, not
the quality of education they
were going to receive.
The denominational schools,
of course, in a strong bargain-
ing' position, compromised only
to the extent of minimum dis-
ruption 'to their bastions of
The government never, at
any time, considered any other
option than the placement of
the junior secondary students -in,
schools around the country.
They knew full well then

that they were sending innocent
lambs to the slaughter, but
such considerations were neglig-\
ible at the time.
I cachers were never involved
in any discussions. Educational
considerations were irrelevant.
Parents and tht community
were in no way consulted-
There is no evidence that
the Ministry of Education ever
initiated attempts at curriculum
change or reorganization, nor
did they present to the schools
any programme for the
new students.
The immediate problem of
placement of the students was
solved. Another crisis had been
-successfully averted and that
\was that.
Toda we find that the
students have been placed in
situations of unnecessary stress
and all. indications -are that
their future might be very
bleak indeed.
While the denominational
schools should be complimented
for their flexibility and re-
Ssourcefulness in dealing with
the students, they must also be
indicted for their complicity
with the government in the
arbitrary placement of the
junior secondary students.
The Ministry claims that it
is expecting a progress report
from the school principals
0 Cont'd on Page 9.

We need Experimental Programmes and

Apprenticeship Insists Beau Tewarie-
/-' "-
'mes and pilot schemes must small scale: first; learn from schemes that can develop blends
i be seen as vital first steps. that and move on. of subjects and mixed pro,-
Wee must do things on a/- That junior- secondary stu- -grammes that -would accon-.'
dents are.pot able to cope, as modate technical; vocational,
some Principals are claiming, craft, 'work-study, apprentice-
with the normal academic type ship and so on along with the
curriculum, is not a-tragedy at academic subjects.
all. Individual schools have al-

The tragedy is really that
many who should know better
find this an abnormal situation.
In some "prestige" schools
3'2% of those sitting the,."0"
levels pass five or more sub-
jects. The national average is
25%. This 'accounts for more
'O' level graduates than the
rest of the Caribbean including
Jamaica. This figure .of 25%
can be favourably compared
with those-of the British'Isles.
Reports assessing perform-
ance in '0' level and '0' level
type examinations, in Britain
suggest that it is unrealistic to
expect more than about 25-30%
of the students sitting-to get
full certificates of ihis type.
On the other hand, these
reports have also claimed that
over 60% can pass three aqd
almost all can successfully
attempt one or two subjects.
It seems that there is a
lesson for us here somewhere.
Obviously, we need to
mount pilot and experimental

ready begun to take the initi-
ative. What we need to do now
is create the infra-structure,-
principally local government
and school boards and increase
the scale of operation within a
national framework.
The comments of various
Principals suggest that many
of them do see their schools as
prestige schools and the junior
secondary students as inferior
There is no doubt too that
the students themselves must
have suffered severe problems
of adjustment.
Officials of the Ministry of
I'ducation have claimed that
the new senior comprehensive
schools with "pre-technician,
vocational-- and crft-level
specialization will meet the
needs of the junior secondary
If this proposed programme
does get off the ground, it will

SContinued on Page 9

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four roads 112, henry st. 42, eastern nmi. rd. cross crossing




inAMER 1 1[l V ICA RUND- mUP

TORONTO: Moving in tight
formation, a colour party of US
Marines wheels to the centre of
the Rosebowl stadium in Texas.
One hundred thousand football
fans rise in silence as singer Vicki
Carr begins "America The Beauti-
ful". Thousands of miles to the
north, in Toronto, the broadcast
of the festival Superbowl game
commands several TV channels.
America is on show, and as the
cameras play on the unfurling
Stars 'n' Stripes; ninety million
people are watching. The televi-
sion announcer giving that figure
speaks for a medium that is
essentially a part of the message
that follows the flag "America
The Beautiful."
The 800,000 Canadians who
pick up the bulky New Year's
edition of the Toronto Star get
their own message from the
paper's large-type front page
headline: "Canada: Best Place
In The World." Spread-6ver five
columns is a photograph of an
immigrant South Vietnamese
family. The story actually con-
sists of interviews with seven
immigrant families, from Latvia,
Japan, Scotland, Italy, -Greece,
Pakistan and the Tin Trung Les
Who came to Canada following
the fall of Saigon in 1-975. The
consensus: satisfaction and optim-
ism about "A New Year in a new

The Old Year having been
what it was, it was important for
such sentiments to be expressed.
:: .And no surprise that their utter-
ance in this form would get front-,.
,: page play'in Canada's largest cir
culation newspaper: interviews
that ran over to fill an entire
inside page. If The Star/ had
wanted merely to highlight a
statement of declaration for
Canada, it would have had any
number of public figures to
choose from. It has been the
season for positive affirmation,
for solemn injuncti6ns by public
voices to apprehend the peril in
which the nation has found itself
"We are now in the dead of
winter", said Governor General
Jules Leger on Old Years Day.
"Our national life is going through
the same kind of winter also.
Each farm family knows that to
face the rigors of winter it must
unite with the community and
pull together. This is true of
our country also. We experienced
winter before in our national
life. But always spring appears
afterwards. I hope this is true in
the new year." And that state-
ment was tucked away in a
corner of page two. Mr. Leger's
new year's message probably fell
short of being a suitably ringing
invocation of the national ideals
and aspirations. But, more likely;
at a time when the constitution
of Canada is the biggest national
issue, it might have been in-
appropriate to focus unduly on
the remarks of the man who, as
the Queen's representative, is the
physical embodiment of the
present constitutional arrange-
All of which does not explain
why it was the solicited remarks
of immigrants which the Toronto
Star chose to give maximum
exposure on the occasion of the
New Year. Immigration is, and
-has been, a big national issue too,

____ ____ a

iFrom his base
Sus this West Inc
a "Canadian w
content". Lenn
on extended
his duties a
from time to
assessments oft
scene, as a C


in Toronti,
ANT sends
dian view of
inter of dis-
ox, who is
leave from
time his
he Canadian

and one in which a peculiar
Canadian ambivalence can often
be observed. Canadians may or
may not be convinced that their
country needs immigrants. But at
a point like .Jan. 1, 1977, they
surely need the reassurance that
theirs is the "best place in the
world". And the seven immigrant
families, chosen to represent the
countless others from around the
world who had been willing to
forget the "auld acquaintance"
of their native lands, were making
a vote of confidence in Canada,
that the Star wished to commend
to Canadians.
A few weeks beforCthe same
newspaper had run a series of five
editorials warning Canadians
against "sleepwalking to disaster".
It had perceived Canada "in
mortal danger", and recommended
"drastic arid rapid adaptation to
political change (as) required for
survival". Not content with
sketching broad directions, 'the
Star editors got down to specifics
and, calling for a "Save Canada
Cabinet (comprising) distinguish-


How Quebec

Did A Tobago

it sought to eliminate the touristy
. flavour of the slogan with its sug-
gestion ofQuebecker pride in their
province for its physical attrac-
tions. Instead the new phrase
focused on the troubling but
more soulfully evocative facts of
Canadian history "le fait
francais" or, less eloquently in
English, "the French fact".
Quebeckers, then, are to put
their minds to the final reckon-
ing of the colonial .conflicts
which, in 1759, resulted in the
English victory over the French
at Champlain, but by no means
to the elimination of "le fait
Francais".- The French reality in
Canada is represented by seven
million Quebeckers, 80% of
whom -are French-speaking, and
the ruling Parti Quebecois, the
latest and most potent manifesta-
tion of their nationalistic aspira-
The PQ ,has on record a _
commitment to "set in motion
immediately the process of acces-
sion to sovereignty'". Its October, .
1968 foundiftg-:conVe hon':'Ua "
proclaimed that "an -electoral'''
victory for the party would be,
in effect, a declaration, of
soveriegnry by Quebec." But :-
after defeats in 1970 andl 973,
its leadership was persuaded to
play down the "separatist" line
and to stress instead the party's
capacity to provide better govern-
ment than the scandal-taintdd
Liberal provincial administration
of Robert Bourassa.
The strategy worked. But
what worked? On this, of course,
there is no agreement in Canada.
Starting with Prime Minister
Trudeau, many national figures
outside of Quebec hastened to
remind the.PQ of its other com-
mitment to give the Quebeckers
by means of referendum, an
opportunity to vote on the
specific question of independence.
Unceasingly, one heard the view
that the PQ's mandate is to
provide good government, not
independence, for Quebec. And
for this the PQ team. led by 54-
year-old former journalist Rene
Levesque, is held to be highly
qualified, by both talent and
'There has been wishful
thinking too: that Quebec, now
equipped with stronger muscle
to battle with the guardians of
Confederation in Ottawa, would
settle simply for "some kind of
special status"within Canada,
characterized by greater decen-
tralisatiop of authority. And
there has been some satisfaction
that this perceived threat to the
Canadian status quo will have
"shattered the illusion of stabil-

I Cont'd on Page 8

ed and trustworthy Canadians
from different regions,' went to
the extent of naming names. This
national, all-party Cabinet, remin-
iscent of wartime Britain, would
preside over Canada for two years
of national reconstruction, while
the Contfderation constitution ol
1867 would be reviewed and
This was one outstanding
reaction iii so-called English
Canada, to the victory last Nov.
15 of the Parti Quebecois, in the
Quebec provincial elections. For
the Parti Quebecois, founded
eight years before, was known to
be committed to taking the pro-
vince of Quebec out of the
Canadian Confederation, and
into independence. Lighting its
third election, the lPQ won 6 )
seats in the I I 0-member Assembly
with 41'j; of the popular vote.
One of the Quebecois govern-
ment's first acts was to change
the official slogan of the province
from "la helle province" to "Je
me souviens" (I remember). A
simple but significant decision.

-.---. I
Federal Prime Minister Trudea:
Do we want to be a country?

Two faces ofRene Levesque: A Canadian in Search o
Two faces of Rene Levesque: A Canadian in Search of a Country.

we b II



Don t





(Being a meditation on the birth
and antecedents of the Mighty
Big Wood, -former Calypso Presi-
dent of the Universe)
Since I leave the shack
Where I supposed to born
I was destined to treat
plenty big shot with scorn

THESE memorable words by the
Calypso President of the Universe,
the Mighty Big Wood, may well
serve to bring me to the meat of
the issue which is being so much
debated in the Caribbean con-
cerning the history of calypso.
And nothing has stirred so much
contention, now that the great
Big Wood is dead than the answer
to the question: In which shack
was Big Wood born? It is now
generally accepted that The
Wood, born Ralph St. John, was
not born in Shanty Town, out-
side nor: in Corbieau Town, and
in fact was n6t born in Bobodada
at all. Not that any of us would
dare to deny that he left his
musical imprint on this the land
of the calypso forever. But he
simply was not born in Bobodada
as the stupid chauvinism of cer-
tain newspaper men would like
to maintain.

S In fact, .a recent book. on-the
Calypso, Calypsormania (1974) by Dr.
i'' Harold Wills has just come into my
hands in which by a series of ingenious
.. aid longwinded arguments including
Squotitions from Colonial Reports, odd-
newspaper references and the invoca-
tion of several statements apocryphally
attributed to The. Wood, he has sought
to insinuate that the- man's mother
came from the district of Rubbish-
heap. Why are people trying, for
Heaven's sake, to create an air of
uncertainty over a matter so clear
and straight-forward?
Let us but analyse the facts. The
mother, the one and indisputable
mother of Ralph St. John, carried the
name of Jemma St. John. And Jemma
St. John, Miss Jemma as she was
called, was born in Bridgetown, Barba-
dos on the 15th September, 1908. At
age seventeen, young Jemma succumb-
ed to the blandishments of a local man
about town, Carlton "Pig face" Hunte!
who lured her into the nearby cane-
field to teach her some of the facts of
life. When young Jenuna and about
four other young -ladies let Pigface
know severally and separately that they
were pregnant, he decided to head for
Bobodada, at that time the land of
opportunity, in order to make a fresh
start He would 'join the Bobodada
Colonial Police Force and rough up
patois-speaking Bobodadians. Possibly
it was a certain hatred of his father
'which led Big Wood to sing his anti-
Police calypso, "Get to hell out" with
its now famous lines:
We don't want no Bajan-born
to come here and lock up creole
S thief
Miss Jemma's family were not
too distressed at the arrival of a new
boy child. It meant two more hands
to plant cane and proved that Jemma
had a fruitful womb, a fact which
established her as an eligible spinster.
. But Jemma had determined to pursue
the goodly Mr. Hunte to Bobodada.

And so, by the time little Ralph was
two years old, she had- saved enough
money and was ready to get on a boat
heading for Bobodada. Raymond Mus-
covado in his unpublished History of
the Calypso, attests to these facts and
we can believe him, as a longtime
friend of Big Wood who performed
with the sobriquet, Ghenghis Khan,
and will go down in history for his
Look, people, look up in the sky
Look how Jamaican turkey
flying high

The Nature

of the Confusion

The basic situation then, as can
be established, is that Miss Jemma was
unable to forget the fugitive kisses of
her rough-hewn canefield Romeo whose
juice had dripped upon her thighs. The
results, apart from those of an emo-
tional nature, can be verified in a
birth certificate at the Registry Office
in Bridgetown. But years later a con-
tradictory document would come into
being in the form of an I.D. card,
made out to Ralph.St. John. This I.D.
card was then related to a declaration
that the said Ralph St. John had been
born in Corbeau Town on August-2nd
1919, and not in Bridgetown on
February 4th 1925.
From this information, certain
perverse investigators, whose scholarly
credentials one must surely question,
have ventured to assert that the sup-
posed father of Big Wood was a butcher
by trade, and a Bobodadan, Jeremy
Tailor, and his mother was--Carlita.
Razzano whose mother came. from
Venezuela aiid later went mad and
spent fifteen years in St. Annabella's
Madhouse before she died. According
to this fabrication, the son' ot tus sali
Carlita Razzano was given to Jemma
St. John for her to bring up,in place
of his natural mother in the year 1922
when he was. more or less three years

Consider the transparent fallacy
evident in this assertion. Dr. Wills
would have us believe that a certain
Ralph Razzano who later took the
name Ralph St. John, was handed over
to Jemma St. John to be cared for in
Corbeau Town in 1922 when she her-
self arrived in Bobodada and settled in
Corbeau Town in 1927, bringing with
her a son whose name was Ralph
St. John. So now if the-calypsonian
Ralph St. John was really Ralph
Razzano, he of the mad mother, and
was brought up by a foster mother
Jemma St. John, who also had a young
baby son named Ralph, I want to ask
this obvious question. What happened
to the younger and originally named
Ralph St. John? Did his mother, a
Bajan born and bred, who always
declared her allegiance to Little England
and all that it stood for, forsooth
leave her own child in the bamboo
patch? Or is it that she asked some
other kindly woman to adopt her own
child so that she could adopt another's
T challenge Dr. Wills to answer
these questions and to show his deter-
mination to -.go in the face of the
evidence. To such lengths will some
men be prepared to go for the sake of
boosting the national pride of their
own country. Now further to this,
what I want to ask Dr. Wills is this. Is
his attitude in tune with the spirit of
Caricom? And how absurd of him to.
suggest that the matter is settled as

by Lloyd King

far as he is concerned because Big
Wood once said that he prefer a good
Char soo Kai fan or a dal pourri roti to
a flying fish coocoo and hot pepper
sauce which make poor Bajan fee fai
foo like a horse.
But let me deal now with the I.D.
affair, and if people in Bobodada feel
that this expose' interferes with their
internal affairs, then they have to
blame it on Dr. Wills. They will all
remember that their ruling Party felt
that there might be an Indian majority
in the voting in their first Independence
Elections. And their astute Attorney
General gave instructions that Grena-
dians and Bajans and Trinidadians
should be issued with Bobodadian I.D.
cards on the basis of them swearing
that they were born in Bobodada, and
Ralph St. John, the Mighty Big Wood
himself who had riot yet attained'the
fame that would make him a citizen
of the Caribbean, decided was
in his best interests to get his LD.
card. No one has forgotten those
elections when the government allowed
all sorts of people in London, Toronto
and Kingston to vote and led Big Wood
to sing his much debated and quite
ambiguous lines

No other government couldn't
be gladder
at so- many citizens living out of
Let us raise a cheer and show
,: ... that it aint a game
Bobodadans have plenty .empty
house near the Thames
We all remember the occasion
for this calypso and Boboladans will
remember the tales that -went out of
ballot boxes opened, and ballots
replaced by votes for the PLP, which
was justified under the slogan that
"cooli might be taking over'.' I shall
only note here that Pussyjammer's'
calypso was notably ambiguous and
some people ,thought that he sup-
ported the Government's notorious
and illegal acts, while others thought
he was attacking its anti-democratic
behaviour. But let me proceed no
further lest I join the small band of
West Indians who have been banned
from various West Indian territories.
Since art is larger than politics,
I will end by giving the lyrics of one or
two of the Mighty Big Wood's greatest

The Garden

Forking Paths

When ah went to the Garden of
Forking Paths
I went to get a clue about Kaiso
When I went to the place they
call Forking Paths
What I saw there gave me quite
a start

I see a half blind fellah
standing at the Crossroads
He tell me that he like to deal in
When I look puzzle
The man gave me a start
He threaten to put a knife up my

Irun up the path
Let me tell you now
I looking to get out of there
I see a black cock
and a white pussy cat

They were up a forking path
in two seconds flat

Down another path I walk
and what should see
but two incest bush
and five murder tree
I see a big wide hole
open up quite wide
and two big man rat
fighting to get inside
At all that commess
I really start to sicken
I had to brushmy way-thru
as the bush start to thicken
Then somebody shout out
Look at the mother hater
who taking in it out
on we cousin and sister

Friends you could imagine
how things get tight
Isay my dog's dead
and took off in fright

Thank God meh wife touch me -
I lift up my head
She say she want to walk
a Forking Path in the bed.

I shall not dwell upon the foolish
argument of Dr. Wills: the fact that
Big Wood pulled out his good teeth so
that his mouth might scintillate with
flamboyant gold, hints, he would have~-
us believe, at his having somd Oonnec-
tion with a certain ethnic group not, ...
found in Bimshire. Suffice it to say
that when we Bajans want to shine, we
can sparkle: Consider our cricketers: I
will now proceed to scotch a rumour; a
piece of mouvais langue very.current .
in Bobodada. It is- the. l a
tune which first won. Bg* odAkW._ ,
crown was coposed, tifhet'l"Ity'-7.
Mighty Beak Knee when the two men '*
were sharing a cell:at theCentral Jail.
The Wood's good fortune lay in the
fact that he got out first. Let us first
of all quote some of the calypso:

He gave it to'her on Saturday
And then again Sunday morn-
So jump, Peter, jump
But Peter couldn't jump
Since he gave it to her on
Saturday night
And then again Sunday morn-
Let me deliver my coup de grace.
Everybody knows, and Trinidad
calypsonians have often remarked on.
it, that only Bajan calypsonians are
masters of the nursery rhyme as calypso.
Remember how the Mighty Sparrow
celebrated the Bajan calypsonian with
his famous tune:

Georgie Porgie Pudding a Pie
Kiss the girls and make them cry

So I say to Dr. Wills in the spirit of'
Caricom don'yput sand ir Bajan
rice and keep in mind this famous
Bajan proverb "You can't get clap-
with one hand".



Santa Flora.




Today it is dying.
Driftwood dry and sullen,
Its grey bark
Uncoiling and falling free everywhere.
And its pain is riveted
To the tinkling sky.
As eloquently,it speaks of
The mindlessness of men,
Who though mumbling about
The red magic of fumbies,
Saw nothing,
But a too fertile gesture,
of wild nature
Blighting the brand new housing settlement,
With its bulked up form.
Obstructing the newly acquired view,
And claiming too much of God's soil
for its own.

So calmly, in between drags on
fuming cigarettes,
The indifferent workmen hacked at it,
And reduced it to nothingnes&
But its skeletal prayer and poise
still speak of nobility,
And its upright, rotting trunk,
Protests more manfully in silence,
Than me,
Against its assured tragedy.

Wayne Edward Davis

Like Sea Moss

marine Lettuce

Is "Good"

THE virtues of.sea moss;
have long been celebrated
in Trinidad and Tobago. It
is good for you, they say,
who know what they talk-
ing about.
Now they are saying
the same about sea lettuce,
starine algae, to use the
fancier name. Algae have
been used in the Orient for
the longest while and now
the scientists are on to it
all over the world.
Marine algae produce chemi-
cal substances of great import-
asce to industry and science.
Qne of them, agar, is both a
medium for the cultivation of
bacteria and of common use in
the preparation of foods, cos-
metics, medicines, dentists'
products, textiles and plastics.

Scientists have found that
marine algae have all the nieces-
sary minerals for human and
animal physiology, that they
are therefore an ideal supple-
ment for a well-balanced diet.
Algae are also rich in vita-
mins and they contain proteins
with a wealth of animo acids
necessary for human nutrition.
According to one Prensa
Latina Report, much of the
work on the elements of algae
was undertaken by scientist
John Bernal. But even in
remote times, wise men of the
East made legends of this food
from the sea.
More than 2000 years ago,
the Chinese philosopher Sze
Teu described algae as "an
exquisite delicacy for the most
honourable guest and even fit
for the Emperor himself."

I ,LSPI~ ~P~r '

Angostura e s
aromatic bitters .
the magic touch
in famous drinks ,-.-.
(and many dishes too)


Angostura Old Oak Rum
A mellow blend of light
Trinidad rums. Smooth.
clean tasting

Sea Farming is highly developed in Japan


Keep abreast of the
real currents in the
Caribbean Sea
Fresh Commentary
On Regional Affairs
Every Friday Morning,

IU r el

Rates for 1977
Trinidad & Tobago TT $25.00 per year
Caricom Countries 30.00 (unchanged)
Other Caribbean U.S. $25.00
U.S./Canada $30.00
E.E.C. (incl. U.K.) Stg. t 14.00 "
Surlace rares anll ratc."s .or
.olhk'r counric s on request.
Tapia, 82-84 St. Vincenl St., Tunapuna, & 22 Cipriani Bvd.
P.O.S. Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. Telephone 662-5126. & 62-25241;

i_ ,1-.

C I II '' I

rY soPrali-



How Quebec

Did A Tobago

From Page 5
A Gallup poll immediately
following the elections found
that 32% of the country was
pleased with the PQ victory, with
an equal number answering "don't
know", while 35% declared them-
selves "displeased". Within Que-
bec, however, 68% allowed that
they were pleased; 14% dis-
pleased, and 18% "don't know".
Among Quebeckers, the polls
found only 11% in favour of
separation after the elections,
though the number answering yes
-to-that question before the elec-
tions was 18%, with 58% against
the idea.
Such indications comfort
few people in this Canada's winter
of discontent. True enough, 60%
of those who were pleased with
the election results reflected dis-
enchantment with the Trudeau
regime for some time now trail-
ing far in the ,popularity ratings.
-' Commentators, are almost uni-,
Sfornhly impressed by the creden--
Stials of the Parti Quebecois team,
Sand one-eould even detect a tinge
of dismay that such talent'is not
at the disposal of Canada as a
whole instead of being pitted so
resolutely against -it. Indeed,,
separation is seen to be an even
more likely eventuality because
of the calibre of people now
pushing for it. As Trudeau him-
self observed, the Parti Quebecois
now disposes of 69 provincial
parliamentarians who are, as it
were, paid to promote separatism
and to prove that the current
federalism cannot work.
So the Parti Quebecois
assumed office, with the image in
the. rest of Canada, of smugly
confident operators, adroitly and
determinedly wooing Quebec
away from Canada. Meantime,
pon-Quebecker Canadians look
on, in distress, in helpless frustra-
tion, in indifference . or what?
Widely popular in Western Canada,
a_region with its own share of
unhappiness with Trudeau-style
federalism, was a radio editorial
by a housewife inviting Quebec
"go suck a lemon. . let's get a
divorce, no-fault, no contest."
Quebeckers might just not have
been listening. When, after the

election, a former federal defence
minister James Richardson who
had resigned to campaign for
Canadian unity, came to Montreal
on that self-appointed mission,
his reception was cool if not
hostile. Mr. Richardson had had
the questionable taste to go to
Quebec not knowing how to
speak French. The French-speak-
ing press, needless to say, were
more scandalised by his cheek,
than impressed by his bleeding-
heart crusading.
In Quebec, too, there is the
realisation that a new day dawned
on Nov. 16. In that province, at
least, people can sense that
something is happening, that,
however disturbingly, their
decade-old "quiet revolution" is
taking institutional shape.. Else-'
where,, the task has been to
persuade people that something
is happening that may not be
good for Canada. The whole tone ,,,.
of The -Star's five November'
editorials was to awaken the
country to a 'real and present'
S! danger. Here and there,; is the--
suggestion ofa hope that Quebec's :
inexorable, drifting apart, repre-
sented dramatically by the decisive
"separatist" victory, would serve
as a traumatic \shock to arouse
the average Canadian, assumed
to be going about his business
serenely unconcerned.
So there is a Cassandra-like
flavour to the warnings of the
supposed leaders of public opin-
ion warnings about "a Pakis-
tanized Canada" or "a balkanized
Canada"; warnings about absorp-
tion into the USA; warnings about
a weakened Canada declining in
international stature and influ-
ence; warnings about there being
no Canada at all. The warnings
and the national leaders issuing
them are visible and plentiful.
But something of the tone of
desperation or resignation which
attends their delivery suggests
that there just aren't many
Currently on the est-sellers'
list is a political biography by
Canadian journalist Peter Des-
barats, of Parti Quebecois leader
and provincial premier Rene'
Levesquc. It's called "Rene A
Canadian In.Search Of A Coun-


Robert Bourassa Defeated
want to give up something of
our future in order that we be a
country.,. ." Trudeau is renowned
for his command of the medium
of television, but polls taken in
the new year Irave shown that
Canadians are less than enthusi-
astic about his leadership. In any
case, he had little to offer in
terms of what is to be done about
the crisis he perceives. More of
the same, he appeared to be pres-
cribing, alluding to his policies of
bilingualism, multi-culturalism,
controlled decentralization and
the rejection of force as a means
of keeping Quebec in Canlada.
The Liberal party lie leads controls
a handsome majority of seats in
the national parliament, and lhe
has discounted the likelihood of
elections before the end of the
present term. Pledging his politi-
cal future on the present dispensa-
tion, Trudeau appears to be
inviting Canadians to take it or
leave it.

try", Levesque's search, il success-
ful, would lead him to a republic
of French-speaking Quebec, a
state keeping close economic and
political ties with IEnglish speak-
ing Canada. IHe and a good
many people in Quebec know
where they want to go. In that
they probably have an advantage
over the rest of (anada. And it is
for this reason that the calls for
dialogue, made by Trudeau among
others, are probably the most
relevant of the public statements
uttered at this time.
Said Trudeau in a year-end
interview: "I'm afraid the national
will to exist as a country is not
very strong in Canada, that there
are all kinds of centrifugal forces,
regionisms, economic discontents,
which have caused the national
will to weaken over the past, I'd
say, few decades, and the first
thing we should go about doing is
asking ourselves, well, do we really


28 Mucurapo Street


It's iot that the present
dispensation is without its reasons
for complacency. C('anada, with a
population of 23 million (roughly
equal to that of the blacks in the
USA), enjoys the world's seventh
highest per capital income
$6,650, that is to say, following
Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates,
Qatar, Switzerland, Sweden and
the USA, in that order. A mid-
year survey by the Union Bank
of Switzerland showed that
Toronto and Montreal were
seventh and eighth in wage and
salary levels among 41 interna-
tional cities, doing better than all
but the top four US cities. The
country has vast larid area, 'oil
resources, a 1976 grain surplus,
and membership in the nuclear
league. Toronto, to which immi-
grants apparently come in such
large number, "stands as .an
example of Canada's success, its
living qualities admired by urban-
ologists far and near", to quote
from the widely read local paper.
Yet the spectre of Quebec
producing at the least a national
embarrassment, may be ominous
for a wider spread of unpalatable
changes. The fall in value of the
Canadian dollar at the end of
1976 provoked murmurs that it
might well be overvalued in rela-
tion to the US dollar. Business-
men and conservative politicians
are fond of pointing to Britain as
an example of what Canada might
become if' workers don't cease'
making\pay demands not justified
by productivity. A succession of
racially-motivated acts of violence,
together with recent surveys of
attitudes of houseowners and
schoolchildren, '-erald the arrival,.-;
of heightened :racial tensiori;n. J
There -is consequent anxiety-
about immigration and the estab-
lishment of communities of
"visible minorities". Irregularities
and scandals in government con-
tinually provide grist for the
mills of an inquisitorial press.
Still, the Canada seen by
Canadians is not the Canadaseen
by people in other parts of the
world. Just south .of the border,
the Quebec elections and all that
the outcome suggested for the
possibility of a third state on the
continent, provoked little or no
reaction from important people.
Certainly no one connected with
the incoming Carter administra-
tion took the invitation of the
press to comment. There appeared
to have been more interest shown
by the TV networks in the Mexi-
can transition and in the Jamaican
elections than in the continuing
Canadian travails.
Then there is the press
against the doors of the various
visa offices throughout the world.
There are said to be 100,000
illegal immigrants hiding out, un-
happily, in metropolitan Toronto
alone. And that is the Canada
tlat Canadians are now invited
to contemplate -- country that
other people have use for, if
Canadians don't. Could it be
that Canadians have already
accepted the withdrawal of the
"fait francais" as almost a "fait
accompli", and that they can
work up little excitement on the
score'.' But it could be. too. that
they just regard the spectre of'-a
divided .and weakened C(anada.
now being earnestly put forward
by non-Quchecker politicians
and others to be as much media
hype as "Canada: Best Place In
The World".

Panmen a big hit at FESTAC;
Nigerians want to learn to play.
Local Gov't team told to clear
up overlapping. Junior Sec.
grads., finding it hard to cope
with 'O' levels. Guyana PM for
China, President- for Russia.
CDC limits buyers to 6 tickets.
Chalkdust to sing in square.
OWTU Open House for Butler's
80th birthday tomorrow. TTEC
Board hold talks on light bill-
increase; 6,000 chicks perish in
Gov't stops blasting at Picton
Quarry because too risky. Inau-
guration of President of Republic
January 29. Jamaica slaps new
taxes on high incomes. Manley
cuts pay by $6,000. Compre-
hensive schools can cater to
the needs of Jr. Sec. grads says
Ministry official Min. of Educa-
tion! Comprehensive places for
all junior sec. grads. Cuba to
supply Comecon with sugar
Police swoop on docks in
corruption campaign; Top Gov't
men arrested as PM joins drive.
Chant of "no justice" in public

junior Secs
From Page 4
We can only hope that the
Government will accept the
fact that its responsibility
extends beyond merely housing
the students and will Aake
some attempt to prevent them
from being simply 'O' level
failures, marching the lonely
frustrating road of unemploy-
We can only hope too, that
their idea of compensation to
the junior secondary graduates
will not be to have the students
-repeat the '0' level examina-

From Page 4
certainly meet their needs in
terms of curriculum orientation,
\and there will be a smoother
transition from junior to
senior secondary.
The question remains, how-
ever, will the students attain
the level and quality of skill
required in industries of various
kinds. In other words, will they
be anymore employable than
the rest?
In any case, the students
trained under simulated condi-
tions in the classroom will
never be of the same .quality
of the'0' level graduate appren-
tices which the 1977 budget
The government, therefore,
has no. reason to be smug or
complacent about the potential
of the Senior Secondary
These schools, perhaps, more
than any other's at the present
time need innovative pro-
grammes that take the students
out of the classroom to work
and to acquire skills.
Each school and school area
must have the autonomy neces-
sary to work out its own
The government, however,
seems to believe that the
provision of 5- years of secon-
dary schooling is the limit of
their responsibility.
Ex-students who will have,
at 17 or 18, little prospect of a
job will not think so, and we
may find ourselves playing 19,70
all over again in 1979 or 1980.

gallery as Speaker adjourns
house on Tobago issue. Rebate
to car firms no gift says Maha-
bir in house. Concern over
performance of tyre firm:
Gov't to review pact with
Customs Comptroller, Act-
ing G.M. of Port Authority and
Company Director charged with
conspiracy to defraud Govt,
None shall escape says A.G
Jamaica ups bus subsidy. St.
Lucia ups departure tax.
Maingot describes Sugar pros-
pects for 1977 as bleak. Univer-
sity le' arers boycott Caribbean
Studies Association because of
undue involvement of U.S.
State Department. South work-
ers to file writ against WASA.
Top port officials to appear
in Court today. AG holds secret
talks with Auditor General and
Burroughs. 25 Telco workers
charged. Superior charges: CDC'
tent paying high rates to third
rate calypsonians. Jamaica and
Guyana plan to join COMECON.
Port Authority's 1975 deficit
estimated at $6m. Idris Hamid
speaks out, against shabby
treatment of farmers. AG
challenges ANR to resign
Tobago seat. Kitch's tunes
Cont'd on Page 12




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N.C.B. of T &T, 60 Independence Square:Tatil building; Ridgewood


West Indian Writing

In The Infant Days

Scope and Horoscope' by Charles Archibald'

From 'The Royalian,' Vol11, No 1, Sept 1933

"NOT so long ago' Isays The Beacon "Dr.
S.M. Laurence in The Royalian questioned
the importance of Mr. C.L.R. James' works by
juxtaposing his characters-to those of certain
English writers".
The surprising part about this is that in
no part of Dr. Laurence's article does he critic-
ize the importance of Mr. C.L.R. James' work
by juxtaposing his characters to those of cer-
tain English writers.
All that Dr. Laurence had to say about
Mr. James as an author was this:.
"Truth to tell, read Mr. James sym-
pathetically, for I enjoyed the author's
language in its smooth and easy flow and
almost looked-and hoped for the appearance
of a star in the firmament of West Indian
literature. Unfortunately the shadow of the
author too often flitted across-the page, and
not always when his features were at their
"We take ourselves and our work very
seriously," readers of The Beacon are told.


But surely the critic who reads so carelessly an
-article, which he afterwards criticizes, that he criticizes
S what is riot in the article, is not taking his work as
'seriously as he should, nor can he expect his readers
to take him as seriously as he might desire. Notice is
taken- f The& Beacon's lapse because, on account of'
it, an injustice is done to-an article, the outcome of a
Desire which,,unless one is mistaken, animates much.
of The Beacon's production and to a certain extent
motivates the literary club movement against which
The Beacon recently launched-a de-bunking campaign.
Dr. Laurence writes in his article: "In broad-
casting an appeal-up and down the Caribbean for a
West Indian literature, it seems desirable that there
should be some recognized standard by which one
should be able to gain a temporary niche in the West
Indian temple of literature."
"Our real grievance against literary clubs" The
Beacon states "is that they tend to lend an importance
to their functions and activities which is unmerited.
To label a childish tampering with the classics paving
the way towards a West Indian literature is to be not
only amusing but down-right dishonest."
Both Dr. Laurence and The Beacon, then, are
keenly desirous of the establishment of a respectable
West Indian and local literature.


The literary clubs have, at least, proclaimed
this as their object. So that the formation -of our
trinity, though one member may be a little uneasy
of the other's companionship, is justifiable. But is the
establishment of a local or West Indian literature
which it seems is universally desired, a probability?
Leeking at it from the purely art point of view
The Beacon's utterance on the subject is excellent.
"It is important that we break away as far
as possible from the English tradition; a4d the fact
that some of us are still slaves to Scott and Dickens
is merely because we lack the necessary artistic
individuality and sensibility in order to see how
incongruous that tradition is with the West Indian
scene and spirit.
"A love for the fine word or sentence is nothing
to be ashamed of, but the fact remains that the
sooner we throw off the veneer of culture that our
colonization has brought us, the better for our artistic
"The day will come when we, like America,
will produce our Walt Whitman; then, and only then,
will the movement towards an art and language

indigenous to our spirit and environment commence..."
From the purely material viewpoint, Dr.
Laurence is equally admirable: "There is one impor-
tant factor that is likely to militate against the choice
of literature as a vocation in thq West Indies and
one which cannot be overlooked, viz., the absence of
a sufficiently large reading public to which local
productions will'make an appeal; for it must be a.
subject of transcendent, intrinsic appeal that will
Engage the attention of the general public here or
secure the ,support of the British reading public, in
order to make any literary venture possible from the
financial standpoint."
Finally here is an appeal by a young man to
young men, carrying an emphasis on the abundance
of subject matter at the disposal of local writers:
"These islands possess a wealth of associations.
Not a few men who have helped to make the history
of recent centuries have visited these waters. There is
a wealth of romance associated with the Caribbean
sea, tales of pirates and treasure trove, and what is still
more important for West Indian purposes, there are
the myths of the. Caribs, our own folk-lore and
superstitions, our native customs and peculiarities -
all inexhaustible sources of.inspiration. . there lie
everywhere around us here in the West Indies sources
which are only waiting to be tapped and which are
capable of inspiring a literature which may touch the
hearts of all humanity ....
"These green islands set in a silver sea are
among the most beautiful in the world. Our flowers,
our birds and our hills, our bays and our rivers, our
sunsets and our moonlight nights must by our own
hands beset in a" literature of our own and we must do
this well so that the day may soon come when we shall
enjoy the privilege of seeing poetry and prose on
West Indian subjects by West Indian authors taught
in our colleges and schools ...
The above is taken from a lecture "A West
Indian Literature delivered by C.V. Gocking to the
Queen's Royal College Literary Society and after-
wards published in The Royalian.


The question returns, is there the possibility of
,a local literature?
The answer should be fairly obvious that is
to say, no.
There cannot be a real body of literature where
there is not a large enough public to provide a writer
who devotes himself solely to his writing with the
bare means of livelihood.
Dr. Laurence calls this "one important factor
that is likely to militate against the choice of literature
as a vocation in the West Indies."
It is not merely "an important factor" it is the
insurmountable barrier.
Whenever the Walt Whitman for whom The
Beacon sighs comes to the fore, he will not be con-
tent, having once displayed his genius,,to remain in
Trinidad or in the West Indies.
He will seek where his gifts will bring him the
rewards they deserve.
If someone were to write a novel received with
acclamation, not only in the West Indies, but abroad,
he would be singularly lacking in ambition if he were
content to remain in Port-of-Spain, even as the arch-
priest of West Indian literature.
Claude McKay gives a concrete example. Here
is an author a negro-- who was at one time a West
Indian constable. To-day, McKay has an international
reputation as poet and novelist and his field is an'
international one. He does not confine himself to the
"West Indian scene," nor is he content to live in the
West Indies. There is no reason why he should be.
Our own Mr. James went, as soon as he could,
to England. And again, why not?
The plain fact is that whatever local literature

emerges will come from amateurs who write because
they are occasionally impelled to do so and who are not
affected adversely because there is no money in it -
very much the state of affairs which now obtains.
There is no money in it let that be the
requiem of hopes for a great body'of West Indian
What then remains?
A pleasing amateurism remains, not, by any
means, to be despised.
There are in Trinidad men and women who
with the necessary training and the necessary early
assistance would be capable of holding their own in
the rank and file of the writers-of-a large city.


With a little care the, one or two magazines ,
which are necessary can be~kept in circulation and,
these things being so, we have all the local literature
that we require and all that we can safely dispose of.
A close analogy cari be drawn from West Indiai
cricket, the development of -which, indeed, has a
suggestion to offer to West Indiah literature. Cricket
as played in these islands is almost entirely-an- --.
amateur's game. Brilliant exponents such as Co0i'tan-' .w
tine find abroad the emollments- whichthe- ilets---
merit. - .
But, and here copies cricket's valuable sugges-
tion, once every five years a team is despatched to
England. As individuals,-the members with one or
two exceptions may not compare favourably with
their opponents but as a team they do well enough.
lore,'these tours clearly play a' martin improving
the standard of the game iithese parts. "
It may not be feasible at this moment yet there
is no reason why Trinidad should not set before it
the aim. of sending its authors on .tour in England,
not in person, but in selections from their produc-
A number of short stories, poems and articles
sufficient to comprise a decently-sized volume could
be collected once in a _while and submitted for
publication in England. -'''


Even if the collection were turned down that
would be outside criticism of a very valuable nature.
It may, of course, be that an English publisher
would consider such a collection, no- matter the
literary talent therein, not sufficiently attractive to
his public. Other drawbacks will probably suggest
themselves to readers. But such drawbacks can be
overcome. A volume of Jamaican poetry was recently
published-and received a long notice in The Times,
Meanwhile much can be done to inprgve our-
The Beacon has certain drastic methods and
aspects, repulsive to many, but its,views on the
direction local writers should take, are sound.
The literary and debating clubs are harmless.
The Beacon's fulminations against them are unneces-
sary. That magazine itself says "it is because literary
clubs are what they are that the few persons who
have produced art of any consequence have found it
expedient to steer clear of them." It is a truism that
the sincere.artist will always shun what is false or, in
any .case, not allow himself to-be affected-by it.
Let us go about our little literary efforts
quietly and with a sense of enjoyment. Let us consider
all local productions honestly and sanely. Let all this
bombast of a West Indian literature cease and our
local writings may, in time, be like our local cricket,
an amateur matter, but good enough for recognition
abroad, with an occasional outstanding performer.
We shall do very well if we take and hold to this



'- A M



Progress with






IDEALLY, the President's
XI fixture is a showcasing
for the new talent which
has emerged since the last
Those who have per-
formed creditably in the
local and regional tourna-
ments can justifiably
expect the chance" to
impress that they are just
as competent when moved
one ring up the ladder.
Ideally, too, one ought
to get a closer look at the
leadership prospects especi-
ally if there is reason to
believe that the incumbent
is on his way out.
However, the Benson and
Hedges Youth Tourney has
established itself as a permanent
forum for exposing a lot of the
up and coming talent. And
then, the Shell Shield tourna-
ment is-now in progress.
So the selectors have a great
deal of elbow-room this year.
One can therefore expect 'to
see few "new" faces when the
President's XI lines up against
Pakistan in St. Lucia on
February 8th. ,. -
S It seems unlikely that Alvin.
SKallicharan willonot be gifen
some welcome match practice
before the First Test in Barba-
dos on February 18th.'
There can now be no ques-
tion but that he will play,
given the injury to Lawrence
We are thus looking for two
openers, three middle order
batsmen, an allrounder, a
wicketkeeper, / pair of open-
ing bowlers and a spinner.
The, first places should go
to those whose performances in
the Shell Shield competition
have put them in line for the

From Page 9
favoured at South Panorama
Preliminaries. ACP prepares for
big sugar battle. Injury claims
held up by NIB; regulations
still to reach -Parliament. Cuba
ignores free Matos-call.
Gov't appoints Port probe
team headed by Auditor General
Private sittings begin today.
Port cases postponed to Feb.
24. Police seize 60 trailers as
campaign against corruption
continues. Alcoa to reconstruct
<-bauxite transfer station at
Tembladora. Call for ACP
solidarity in sugar talks lan
Smith rejects British Plan. Guy-
ana-gives Nigeria gift of steel
pans. SolVier be' r, Court
Martial fo0 taking woman to
camp. Angry farmers claim
cane drying up at scales. ANR:
I would resign if Govt's word
could be accepted. Stacks of
undelivered mail to be burnt
by the GPO. Trintoc opens
New York Office.

Test team without quite-clinch-
ing the matter.
However, priority, one feels,
must go -to the players from
Guyana. Trinidad, Windward
,Islands and Jamaica. The
Leeward Islands and Barbados
are both carded to oppose
Pakistan before the First Test.
Of the seven Shell Shield
centurions, only Jim Allen (150
vs Guyana) will be on show
against the visitors in the pre-
first Test territorial games
Austin (131 vs Trinidad), and
Collis King (130 vs Guyana)
Shivnarine (0l vs Combined
Islands) and Sheldon Gomes
(213 'vs Jamaica) have not
really done enough to assure
them of places.
Both Foster (234 vs Trini-




dad) and Irving Shillingford
(120 vs Trinidad) have impres-
sive Shell Shield records and
are likely to be included as
much to scuttle the lingering
doubts about prejudiceas to
give the selectors another look
at them.
Larry Gomes' two half cen-
turies against the Combined
Islands are likely to give him
the nod ahead of his elder
Sheldon will, one feels, be
in the *squad and may even
play. It depends whether the
selectors do not consider the
problems in the spinning
department sufficiently grave
to warrant the inclusion of
two spinners here despite
Foster's presence.
The second opener is likely
to be Leonard Baichan who
has been getting among the
runs on every outing. But
Sebastien (81 vs Trinidad) will
doubtless be considered on the,

strength of his showing in
previous years.
With Foster playing, David
Murray is the likely candidate
for the wicketkeeping spot.-He
has been quite consistent with
the bat so far this season and
Findlay's services as captain
are not really needed.
In bowling, Grayson Shilling-
ford and Norbert Phillip are the
best bets to use the new ball
although Julien may well be
called upon to open the bowling
if Shillingford has still not
Julien, of course, after his
fine 5-49, in the Combined
Islands first innings is sure to
be given the chance to clinch
his place with an impressive
Bowling performance whether
or not Shillingford is fit.
Wilkins and Parray who
raised eyebrowsin the Oval last
weekend will have their chance
to impress in Antigua in

The spinner's place will,
therefore, be filled by Inshan
Ali, Ajodha-Persaud (6-113 vs
Barbados) or Jamaica's Wright"
(5-135 vs Trinidad).
My team is M. Foster
(capt.), L Baichan, A. Kalli-.
charan, L Gomes, 1. Shilltg-
ford, B. Julien, David Murray,
N.. Phillip, I. Ali, A. Persaud
-and G. Shillingford.
Still, there are three more
Shell Shield games before the
opening day of this game -
Trinidad vs Barbados in Trini-
dad starting on Jan..29, Guyana
vs Jamaica on February 3 in
Guyana and the Combined
Islands 'vs Jamaica in St.
Vincent starting on January
One waits to see what out-
standing performances there
will be here although there
can be little optimism about
the emergence of new talent.

- ..
- .''^ -- "i i ? 1


THAT Tapia is the only surviving political weekly in Trinidad and Tobago today?

THAT our newspaper covers sport, literature and the arts as well as economics,
politics and public affairs?

THAT Tapia also covers Latin America and the entire Caribbean region?

THAT Tapia dates back to September 1969 and has come out every Friday
morning since November, 5, 1972?

THAT you can buy your Tapia from vendors downtown in Port-of-Spain and
San Fernando and from news agents all over the country?









- 4.i

1 i 11 iv



I~~ e or

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