Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Opening broadcast
 The three principles
 Caribbean credit union
 Glorified crown colony
 Three-fourths of the road
 Seats in the assembly
 Our continental destiny
 A comparison with Australia
 The cost of federation
 No pre-federal nation

Title: Blueprint for a British Caribbean Dominion
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081318/00001
 Material Information
Title: Blueprint for a British Caribbean Dominion
Physical Description: 1 v. : ; 16 x 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: British Guiana -- Bureau of Public Information
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Georgetown
Publication Date: 1950
Copyright Date: 1950
Subject: Politics and government -- West Indies, British   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Saint Kitts-Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Statement of Responsibility: by H.R. Harewood.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081318
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AAN9950
oclc - 01545058
alephbibnum - 000123993
lccn - 53030665

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Section 1
        Section 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Opening broadcast
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    The three principles
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Caribbean credit union
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Glorified crown colony
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Three-fourths of the road
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Seats in the assembly
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Our continental destiny
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    A comparison with Australia
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    The cost of federation
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    No pre-federal nation
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Index 1
        Index 2
        Index 3
        Index 4
        Index 5
        Index 6
        Index 7
        Index 8
        Index 9
        Index 10
Full Text

Blueprint for a British Caribbean


Bureau of Public Infotmation, British
G iana 195 .0
Guiana, 1950




This booklet is, in the main, a collec-
tion of ten broadcast reviews of the report
of the Standing Closer Association Committee
a d-wwe given by the Public Information Offi-
cer on dates between March 12 and July 16.
They were written for broadcasting, a medium
in which repetition has sometimes proved to
be a virtue, but, with the exception of verbal
corrections which it is hoped will make the
sense clearer, and some reconciliation on
minor points between the talk headed "Glorified
Crown Colony?" (P.27) and that headed "A
Comparison with Australia" (P.56), the text
of the scripts has been retained.

July 30, 1950.



Preface :

Opening Broadcast
(March 12)

The Three Princi-
ples (March'19)

Caribbean Credit
Union (March 26)

Glorified Crown
Colony? (May 14)

Three-Fourths of
the Road (May 28)


"A Summary of Ten Talks" I-IX

10 'I




6. Seats in the
Assembly (June 6)

7. Our Continental
Destiny (June 11)

8. A Comparison with
Australia (July 2)

9. The Cost of
Federation (July 9)

10. No Pre-Federal
Nation (July 16)

Resolution of the Directors of the Incorporated
Chambers of Commerce of the British Caribbean.
Resolution of the Georgetown Chamber. of Commerce.




The time has come for me to sum up the series of broadcasts
on the Report of the Standing Closer Association Committee. This
series of ten talks which is being put into book form, with this
summary as preface, as well as an appendix, began as long ago as
March 12, but circumstances prevented me from running them uninter-
ruptedly from week to week; and looking back on this period now
close on five months I cannot say that the many breaks were
altogether a disadvantage.

The report itself is not a long document... a book of handy
size and just 107 pages in length. But it constitutes the political
pillars for economic planning in the Caribbean and so it enshrines
between its covers all the hopes of a hitherto frustrated region
for independent nationhood within the British Commonwealth. The
authors, who will be described by some Eric Williams of the future
as the Fathers of the Tenth Dominion use language worthy of their
theme. A sense of history is often with us in reading these pages,
but no words are wasted. We have not merely to read such a report
but to study it, and that is to say to relate each part, as we read
on, to the whole concept of the authors. And that is why it may
not have been a bad thing that the series was spun out over five
months. Many of us who had hard and fast opinions on Federation -
any kind of Federation may have had more time to reflect; and
reflecting, come to the conclusion which the authors persuasively,
but none the less uncompromisingly, have put forward on behalf of

Federation on the Australian model.

The report, let me repeat, is uncompromising from first to
last... from its basic thesis that "federation and only federation
affords a reasonable prospect of achieving economic stability and
through it that political independence which is our constant object"
down to its last sentence, "the existence of federation would greatly
increase the efficacy of pre-federal joint action." These reviews
of a report so uncompromising have had to convey that spirit and
tone. I should like to ask listeners to bear this in mind in com-
paring this series of broadcasts with those on the Federation des-
patches which preceded the Montego Bay conference in 1947, or that
series which summarized the debate in the British Guiana Legislature
in 1948. The earlier series had no blueprint before them. Every-
thing was speculative or general first the Secretary of State's
tentative sketches and then the Fourteen Montego Bay resolutions.
The Standing Closer Association Committee's report was different.
It is the basis for action. It is not a report giving pro and con -
that stage was passed long ago. It is a report by a Committee whose
terms of reference were not to consider whether federation is
desirable, but what form TE should take.

So, to our summary of these ten quarter-hour chatsJ I remembe-
I began the series by explaining, perhaps somewhat elaborately, the
intention of the Legislature when, in the debate on the Fourteen
Resolutions, the area of agreement within British Guiana was de-
fined in the famous "Five Points" of Mr. Raatgever's amendment to
Mr. Seaford's motion for acceptance. British Guianese, according
to these Five Points, (1) appreciate the desirability of closer
association; (2) declare their willingness to consider appropriate


measures; (3) decline pro tem to endorse Resolution Number 1 which
seemed to limit the Drafting Committee to one form of Federation;
(4) reserve judgement and full freedom of decision on all aspects
of closer association; (5) agree to participate in the various pre-
federal Committees and Commissions.

That first broadcast also outlined the contents of the Com-
mittee's report and advised Guianese to read it and to "listen to
no other voice but that of your own conscience before deciding
whether you are for or against British Guiana's using this short
cut this shortest path, as the Committee puts it, towards real
political independence." That advice I repeat today.

The second broadcast suggested that in considering the question
on the basis of the Committee's report, there were three cardinal
principles. These principles can be put in question form for
British Gulanese.

(1) Do British Gulanese want Dominion Status or do they want
to remain under the Colonial Office?

(2) Is political Independence as a separate unit a mirage?

(3) Does Federation, and Federation only, afford British
Guianese a reasonable prospect of attaining that political

I then put forward this proposition: If the answer can be made
with certainty that British Guiana "'ill be a fully developed country
as developed say as New Zealand which is an agricultural dominion -
if British Guiana will be a fully developed country before a British

Caribbean Dominion is created (and that is to say in not more than
perhaps 20 years' time), then there must be considerable sympathy
for those who urge British Guiana to stay out or, as they aie putting
it now, to "be careful about joining" the Federation. If, otnthe
other hand, the answer is that unaided British Guiana cannot lift
itself by its bootstraps in the 20-year period before a Caribbean
Dominion comes into being, then there must be sympathy for those
who urge us to join this federation, and join it now. It was noted
that the report itself is uncompromising when it says that "the
paramount service Federation can render and which cannot be adequately
rendered in any other way is prompt effective action in the economic
field on behalf of the region as a whole". A single agency,....
an agency speaking at short notice, .... an agency for the region
as a whole,.... an agency answerable to the taxpayers of the region..
In short, a federal Parliament. Within these five months we were
to see how true was the Committee's statement, when the time came
to ascertain the region's wishes and to delegate the region's politi.-
cal authority in the sugar negotiations with the United Kingdom

In the third talk, the financial proposals for creating and
maintaining a British Caribbean Federation were likened to the
Creation of a Cooperative Credit Union. It was pointed out that
the borrowing capacity of the Federation would be far in excess of
British Guiana's likely borrowing capacity on any date within the

next generation the final period of surveys and investigations
into water power, drainage and irrigation, forestry, geology and
so on. It was also shown that in established federations, grants
from the federal government to the different states which form the
federation were a regular and desirable feature. (The other day
Time alleged that there was some annoyance in Washington because
the Governor of Utah was not asking for sufficiently large grants
from the U.S. Federal Government!) The idea was also aired that
British Guiana, where the profit on a ton of sugar is almost half
the profit earned in Barbados, would have a case for a federal grant
of 1 a ton such as Dr. Venn proposed the U.K. taxpayer should giv,
to British Guiana but which, you will remember, the U.K. government
had refused on the ground that one industry in one particular terri-
tory could not be singled out for a special favour from the United
Kingdom taxpayer.

The fourth broadcast may be briefly summarized by quoting one
passage from it: "no constitution can be called a glorified Crown
Colony when it has an all-elected assembly based on universal adult
suffrage, a Prime Minister elected by that assembly, a Cabinet
whose members are chosen by the Prime Minister, and a Cabinet which
has a clear majority in the Council of State or the Legal Govern-
ment." The Committee's proposals were thus seen to be "more than
a half-way house to Dominion Status. They were a full three-fourths
of the road"; and this point was amplified in the next broadcast
(the fifth) and in the eighth. An analysis of the Committee's
draft constitution showed that the only distinguishing mark between
the proposed Caribbean constitution and that of the dominions was
that His Majesty in Council would have in the Caribbean the positive
power to legislate. The suggestion was however put forward that the
Caribbean and this notwithstanding the statement made recently

in the House of Lords might try to secure the concession of bei,
placed under the Commonwealth Relations Office at once, as earnest
of the U.K. Government's intention to remove, as early as possible,
this distinguishing mark of a non-Dominion.

The talk on the numerical allocation of seats in the Assembly
was begun in Broadcast No.5 and concluded in No.6. More Guianese
have discussed that broadcast with me than any other of the series -
and a typical expression of opinion has been that of a Transport
Department employee who said that the matter had never been pre-
sented to him in that light before. Yet it is all in the Committee'
report. In beief, it was pointed out that just as the 2k-square
mile Georgetown, where more adults reside, had more seats in the
British Guiana Legislative Council than the 8500-square mile North-
West District, so Jamaica must have more seats in the Federal
Assembly than British Guiana; that Jamaica not British Guiana had
the grievance as to the number of seats allotted since British Guian
was getting the six seats to which it was entitled, but Jamaica
was getting only 16 when it was entitled to more than 20. The
Committee's view was held to be soundly based that the Party system
in the Assembly, and the equality of numbers in the Senate would
effectively balance any tendency to vote "territorially" in the
Assembly. And the comment was ventured that sifting of measures
in economic committees with equal territorial representation would
reinforce these safeguards.

One talk was devoted to that extraordinary phrase "continental
destiny" a phrase which I first saw in a Chronicle editorial the
same month I joined that newspaper and which the then Editor could
not explain to me his favoured cub in any precise terms.


If, as it seemed from the reaction to that broadcast, strange hori-
zons loomed into view when we set sail on this ship named "Contli lntr
Destiny", it is as well that all Guianese should have the phrase
defined in their minds. However, the point made was: if there were
excellent arguments against British Guiana's entering a Caribbean
Federation of the Australian model without further safeguards, the
allegation that our continental destiny was incompatible with member-
ship of such a federation was not one of those excellent arguments.
To the contrary, it was an argument without substance: the Caribbea-.
as a whole might in the future, claim a "continental destiny" and
it was hinted, that as matters stand now,Trinidad at least has more
substantial contacts with South America than has British Guiana.

The last three broadcasts are, I hope, fresh in memory. I
was able, thanks to Professor Crisp's book on Australia, to make a
direct comparison between the constitution of that dominion and the
proposed constitution of the British Caribbean Federation. The
non-West Indians who organize our examinations for us could do wort
than make this book of Professor Crisp's a history text for the
syllabus of examinations taken by the senior forms of secondary

In the talk on the Cost of Federation, $1,254,640 was put,
(on the basis of the Committee's figure $1,022,400 and all the
ideas that seemed to develop out of the Committee's report) as the
outside figure and it was held that this would be small in relation
to the revenue proposed i.e. one-fourth cf customs revenue. I feel
it would be still small in relation to the amendment proposed by
the Incorporated Chambers who are asking that each territory's con-
tribution should be no more than 10% of customs revenue.

V LJ. .L

Two quotations will suffice to summarize the tenth and last
talk. One is from the Committee's Report and the other is a comment*
The report states and Professor Crisp's history supports that "The
experience of previous federations has been that so-called federal
services do not fare well in the absence of the unifying sanction
of political federation. The history of the Federal Council of
Australia provides indisputable proof of this fact." The other,
the comment, was: "You may create a customs union, you may use a
uniform currency, you may unify your civil service, but you just
simply cannot create a new nation in the Caribbean without federa-

Those are the outstanding points of the series which began on
March 12. Events have moved swiftly in the Caribbean since the
Report was published. First, Grenada, (appropriately enough, for
it was in Grenada that the Federal spirit was born and it has always
burnt more brightly there than anywhere else in the region) has
accepted the Report. Last week St. Vincent followed suit. In
Trinidad, the debate began on Friday and continues this week.# In
British Guiana, Dr. Nicholson's motion has been tabled and we may
expect the debate to begin shortly, perhaps during September.
Chamber of Commerce committees in the various territories studied
the report in order to brief their delegates to the meeting of the
regional body the Directors of the Incorporated Chambers of Com-
merce of the Caribbean. The Directors duly met in Trinidad and their
considered opinion, in a sense as historic as the Standing Closer
Association Committee's report itself, was published last week. The
territorial chambers are now engaged in discussing the Regional Body'
observations. They have already been unanimously ratified by the
Chember in Trinidad Trinidad, the country.whose industry, business
and general taxpaying community will be making the greatest con-
tribution of all the territories.

We are seeing the birth of a new nation... an integrated com-
munity of people against whom no one will be able to level the
reproach "Oh, they are all right you know; easy-going but not very
self-reliant. They like to lean too much on the Government."
One never hears such a reproach levelled against countries that
have earned their independence. For such countries the Government
is, in the complete sense, the people. National loyalty inspires
all or most to work for the Government of their choice and the
people may "lean" on this Government without losing their self-
reliance. A new nation... it may not be today or even in the
immediate tomorrows. But it is inevitable. In Macaulay's words,
"a single breaker may recede: but the tide is evidently coming in".

July 30, 1950. H.R.Harewood.

On July 31, the day after this broadcast, the
Trinidad Legislature accepted the report of
the Standing Closer Association Committee.

# For the resolution of the Directors of the Incorporated
Chambers of Commerce and the decision of the
Georgetown Chamber of Commerce thereon, see

for a





(Broadcast on March 12, 1950).

Today the Bureau of Public Information begins a new series
on West Indian Federation or Caribbean Federation, since
we may as well become accustomed at once to the proposed title.

The first series of talks was given in 1947. It dealt
with Mr. Creech Jones's historic memorandum on closer associa-
tion, and presented the case, pro and con, in an effort to
assist British Guianese to consider what their attitude should
be. Copies of "Pro & Con", as we know this booklet in the BPI
office, were quickly exhausted, but it has now been reprinted.

The second series of talks on Caribbean Federation was
given in 1948. It was entitled "The British Guiana Legislature
Debates Federation", and was a full summary of the views ex-
pressed by each member of British Guiana's Legislative Council
during its debate on the Montego Bay resolutions. Though copies
of that series are not now available for large-scale distri-
bution, anyone can read and study them as well as the Hansard
itself in the BPI Reading Room.

That debate in the British Guiana Legislature, and in
the legislatures of the other eleven Caribbean colonies,
was a necessary preliminary to the work of the Standing Closer

- 2 -

Association Committee whose report is the subject of the series
I introduce today.

Now it is of the utmost importance that at the outset
of this discussion we should be absolutely clear on this point.
All the twelve Caribbean colonies which sent representatives
to the Montego Bay Conference have already had full-dress
debates and have already decided what is their attitude on the
resolutions passed at that conference. Resolution Number One
of that conference was:

That this conference -ecognizing the desirability
of a political federation of the British Caribbean
territories, accepts the principle of a Federation
in which each constituent unit retains complete con-
trol over all matters except those specifically assigned
to the federal government.

In that resolution lay the major principle of policy and it
was during the debate on 1- that everyone had, and most ople
took, the opportunity to discuss fully the merits and demerits
of participating in a political federation. The decision of
the twelve legislatures on this fundamental resolution is
summarized in one sentence of the Report "It was endorsed
by all but two, and rejected by none".

British Guiana was one of the two colonies which did not
endorse Resolution Number One. But it is essential that alT"

British Guianese should be clear in their minds what the
Legislature of their colony by a majority vote did not endorse
and what it did accept.

We must therefore turn the clock back to the afternoon
of March the 17th,1948. Every member of Council had spolen.
The time for decision had come. A group of members whose point
of view was most clearly expressed by Messrs. Raatgever and
Roth were strongly in favour of complete rejection of all
idea of political federation. Another group whose views broadly
found expression in the speeches of such members as Dr.J.A.
Nicholson and Dr. C.B. Jagan were just as strongly in favour
of British Guiana's joining a self-governing political federation.

It was felt that if the original motion as moved by
Mr. Seaford (now Sir Frederick) for acceptance of all the reso-
lutions had been put to the vote, while a majority of the
electives might have been in favour of political federation, the
overall majority of the House would certainly have been against:
"A small majority" ( I am quoting Mr. Raatgever) "but definitely
a majority definitely against".

In consequence, aid for the sake of a rapprochement,
Mr. Raatgever was persuaded to move an amendment wiich recorded
that the Legislature of British Guiana

Firstly appreciated the desirability of closer
association of the British Caribbean terri-
tories ( and the context shows that British

- 4 -

Guiana was included in this designation);

Secondly declared its willingness to consider appropriate
measures to this end;

Thirdly declined to endorse Resolution Number One,
so far as concerns British Guiana;

Fourthly reserved judgement and full freedom of
decision on all aspects of closer association
as envisaged by the Montego Bay Conference;

Fifthly agreed that British Guiana should without
prejudice, participate in the Committees
and Commissions recommended to be set up in
terms of Resolutions No. 2 to No. 14 (such
committees and commissions as the Standing
Closer Association Committee, the Customs
Union Commission, the Currency Committee,
the Public Services Unification Commission
and so on).

It wqs a tense moment in the Legislature when it was
proposed that this should be the defined attitude of British
Guiana. There was no essential disagreement on the point
emphasized over and over again by Mr. Haatgever, that the Colony's
representatives on the Standing Closer Association Committee
could not commit the Colony to anything, and this insistence
was even construed by our representatives on the Committee

- 5 -

as denying them the right to sign the report in the absence of
instructions to do so. But while there was no essential dis-
agreement on this point, debate threatened to flare up again
on the question whether the Council should say flatly that
it did not "endorse" Resolution Number One.

At this momen+ of tenseness, "a somewhat embarrassing
QItuation" to use his own words the Treasurer (Mr.McDavid)
made as he so often does nn these historic occasions, a con-
tribution which at once clarified, and with much precision,
what the council was not endorsing. He pointed out that
Resolution Number One committed these who agreed with it not
only to acceptance of the desirability of political federation
but also t;ha particular type of federation (the Australian
model)and that the effect of Mr. -BRattgever'3 amendment would
be that the door would be left open for British Guiana to
enjoy complete freedom of decision both on the form of political
federation iftit is agreed to such federation after the Standing
Closer Association Committee's report and on the other methods
of pre-federal or mere "closer" association. It was Mr. McDavid's
speech that influenced a majority of the members (13 to 5) to
accept Mr. Rattgever's Five Points as British Guiana's attitude
to Caribbean Federation.

If I seem to be dwelling overmuch on the intention of the
Legislature, it is because I feel that profitable discussion can
only proceed from that basis. British Guiana's Legislature in
effect suspended judgment until the report'of the Standing
Closer Association .ori mittee was published. That report was
published the day belou. yesterday, and it is quite profitless
for anyone to express opinions before reading it.

The Editors of the newspapers are in the position of
having had an opportunity to study the whole report: less than
one per cent of their readers could possibly have had that
opportunity and the advice of the Guiana Graphic to them must
be greatly commended. Let them suspend judgment until they
read the report through every line and every word of it. It
may be obtained at the Bureau of Public Information at 3 shillings
a copy, or one of the office copies may be read in our reading
room: it is also available for reading on the premises of the
Free Library and the Rdyal Agricultural and Commercial Society
and all the newspapers are carrying daily instalments.

Now of what does the Report consist? It consists of
four admirably short parts.

The first part is preliminary, and deals with the Committee's
terms of reference.

The second part sets out certain of the underlying
principles which have guided the Committee in framing its recom-
mendations. The first and main principle it is one that
British Guianese must ponder over is summer sized in three
sentences which I shall read. They would be fitting words for
inclusion in any Declaration of Independence of the British
Caribbean -

"We believe that the attainment of independence
within the British Commonwealth is the e gitimate politi-
cal objective of the region.

- 7-

Since a state has a real as distinct from a purely
formal independence only to the extent of its inde-
pendence of external financial assistance, it is clear
that the economic stability of thw region must be improved
as rapidly as possible.

It is our considered judgment that this can only be
done by setting up a federal government and entrusting
to it important powers and responsibilities particularly,
though not exclusively, in the economic field."

In the remainder of the second part of the report this
Declaration is applied to the framing oi a federal constitution
within the framework of which Caribbean statesmen will have the
opportunity of leading their people toward their goal. And
so we have, set out for us in language well described in the
Argosy as "resounding", but-which withal is beautifully simple,
thd proposed relations between the Federation and the con-
stituent territories; the financial relations of the Federation
with His Majesty's Government .- the United Kingdom (and that
very phrase is portentous,, for it seems to foreshadow the dis-
tinction between His Majestyas Government in the United Kingdom
and His Majesty's Government in the British Caribbean Federaticn.)
In this part too we have chapters devoted to the Federal Legis-
lature and the Legislative Process, with complete arguments
for a two-chamber legislature in which the House of Assembly
or the Caribbean House of Commons will be the dominant partner -
it is here we find the controversial question of the distribution
of seats among the 12 colonies; Other chapters in this Part of
the Report describe the Executive, the Judicature, the Public

Services, the title British Caribbean Federation and the
seat of its capital, which will be Trinidad. British Guiana is
in the happy position that this outline of a first rate consti-
tution precedes the appointment and arrival in B.G. of a Commis-
sion to examine its own constitution and it has been suggested in
this morning's Argosy that we might do well to choose a similar
pattern. This colony's debt to the members of the Standing
Closer Association Committee would in that event be very con-
siderable indeed.

The Third and Fourth Parts of the Report are of special
interest to British Guiana since they deal, with great lucidity,
with the Cost of Federation and with the Pre-Federal joint action
that might be taker and with the question whether the existence
of federation would or would not greatly increase the efficacy
of joint action all questions on which this country has ha,
its doubts and fears.

There are five appendices which are particularly helpful
to the student. They bring into one compass the Resulutions of
the Montego Bay Conference, Tables showing the populations of
the Colonies and their revenues, a note by the Chairman of the
Customs Union Commission, and finally the Consolidated Recom-
mendations which, "while not intended", I quote from the Report,
"to be a final draft of a constitutional instrument" are "clear
and unambiguous drafting instructions to the experts on whom
will fall the onerous task of preparing the actual instrument

The Committee emphasizes that itOthougo t it best to go

into considerable detail, partly in order.that the peoples
and legislatures (and I would ask you to note the distinction)
in order that the peoples and legislatures of the region should
know precisely what they are being asked to approve, and pert,
3v in order that in framing the actual constitution there
should be a minimum of reference back and further discussion
and consequent delay."

"In matters of this kind", the Committee states, "'there is
scarcely a point that can be dismissed or set aside as a matter
of detail every line and word count and we have felt. it our
duty so far as possible to eschew generalities and to do as
much as possible of the spadework ourselves".

The Committee particularly asks critics to be careful to dis-
tinguish in their minds whether their criticisms are directed
to a matter of policy or merely to the manner in which it is
proposed to put a particular point of policy into effect.
My first duty therefore is to repeat to..listeners this advice
again and again. Read this report carefully. If you cannot
secure-copies, follow it rn.the daily newspapers which are
publishing it in instalments. Listen to no other voice but
that of your own conscience before deciding-whe-ther you are for
or against your country's using this short cut this *shortest
path towards real political independence" as part of an
economically independent. Dominion of the.British Commonwealth.

- 10 -


I had intended today to go on at once to the Closer
Association Committee's application, to a Federal Constitution,
of those principles which might now be regarded as the cardinal
points of Caribbean policy. The trend of public discussion
however that is so far as I have been able to observe it -
suggests that British Guianese are inclined to exercise their
right to examine those principles afresh, and to test their validy
in relation to their own country's present position, and pros-
pects, economic, financial and political.

This right, as I explained last Sunday, British Guianese
explicitly reserved in the terms of the Legislature's decision
on the Montego Bay resolutions, and their exercise of this right
cannot therefore be challenged from any quarter whatever. We
must all appreciate that public opinion has to clear this major
hurdle of the first principles, before it can make the easy
run down a home stretch laid out from those principles.

I have been told that many a cultural organization and
trade union have begun to give the report their most careful
study.... I hear that some people who once claimed their minds
were irrevocably made up are now undergoing second thoughts,
both for and against, in the light of the report. Protagonists

- 11 -

are already asking the Information Department for statistics:
it has been delicately hinted to us that the only way we can
justify the retention of our surviving staff is to organize
public lectures, public debates, discussion groups, a Gallup
poll and a referendum thrown in for good measure!

In short, it is fair to say that British Guianese are
thinking again on the desirability or undesirability of a
political federation in which they would retain their own
independence to the extent that Queensland or Victoria is
independent of the Commonwealth parliament of the Australian
dominion. While this is the prevailing mood of the people,
that is, to think again on the principles, let us ourselves
use the period to look closely at these principles as enun-
ciated by the Committee: as enunciated, not only for the islands,
large and small, but for the mainland colonies of British
Guiana and British Honduras as well; as enunciated for the
twelve colonies viewed individually and for the twelve colonies
viewed as an economic block.

Let us therefore look at the principles while thinking
of British Guiana.

The first of these principles is that British Guianese -
remember we are thinking of British Guiana as we read on -
that British Guianese, or a majority of British Guianese, do
in fact desire Dominion status.

Now a very distinguished and elderly Guianese a Guianese
for whose mature counsel I have the highest respect has

- 12 -

placed himself on record as stating that British Guianese
in his opinion have far more to gain by remaining under the
immediate control of the Colonial Office than by trans-
ferring the oversight of their affairs to a Caribbean Federal
Government. Ahother Guianese, young and not without claims
to being at least on the first rung of the ladder of distinc-
tion, has recorded as his view that if a Dominion of the
West Indies were created while British Guiana remained a
colony, he would be one of the first to consider emigration
and to seek citizenship in the new dominion.

What is the feeling of the majority of British Guianese
on this issue? The Committee assumes that whether as a
separate entity or as the independent state of a group,
British Guiana would prefer to moae away from the Colonial
Office and towards the Commonwealth Relations Office.

The second principle affirmed and the most important
of all is that independence as a separate entity is for
British Guiana a mirage. Now this is a truth that hurts
even the federalists in Guiana. But, (the Committee affirms),
its categorical statement does not imply any reflection on
the political capacity or the public spirit of British Guianese.
"Our reasons for this view", I quote from the report, "lie
in the fields of economics, public finance, and adminis-
tration, but particularly economics, the basis of all the rest".

What does this mean? That British Guiano has not at
present the economic productivity or national inoome to

- 13 -

support full independence, nor can it possibly achieve such
productivity or income in a period of anything from two to
twenty years, the extreme limits within which, it seems, a
British Caribbean Dominion will almost certainly be created.
Perhaps I may permit myself here this personal remark: that
I cannot imagine there is any Guianese to whom that truth is
more hurtful than myself. For it was I (and I could almost
say I alone) who in the period when this country was in
receipt of demoralizing grants-in-aid of its budget when
working losses were a feature of its annual balance sheet,
devoted muoh of the Chronicle's editorial and other space to
exhorting Guianese to have faith in their country's undis-
covered or undeveloped assets.

Those assets are still there. No Guianese need re-
nounce his faith in them. But what is the grim lesson we
have all learned these last 20 years 20 years, notethe
period ? It is that to develop the kind of assets we have,
two things are necessary. Firstly, painstaking investigation -
not all of it yielding hopeful results; and secondly, man power
and machines.

When, therefore, British Guianese are asked to face
the truth about their prospects of early Dominion status,
they are being asked to give answers to such questions as:
how soon will the results of the surveys and research be
available? How soon, after they are available, will they
be acted upon by investors and entrepreneurs? How soon will
British Guiana's population be, say two million which is less
than that of New Zealand, tho dominin1ci with the smallest

- 14 -

population? These are for British Guianese, some of the
fundamental questions. The answers are as much matters of
opinion as of authoritative estimates. They must be given
by public opinion, aided by economists.

The issue, at least for the short term of a generation,
can be put this way. If the answer can be made with certainty
that British Guiana will achieve all these things before a
British Caribbean Dominion is created, th1re must be considerable
sympathy for those who urge this country to stay out. If the
answer is that unaided, we cannot lift ourselves by our boot-
straps in the period before a Caribbean Dominion comes into
being, then there must be sympathy for those who urge us to
join this federation now.

The Committee, by clear implLcation, asks British Guianese
to bear in mind their 15 cattle .o the square mile of Rupununi
land, our still-being-guaged hydro electric power, our still
unrealized hopes of spectacular gold and diamond discoveries,
our still unrealized hopes for the establishment of secondary
forest industries, our inching progress in rice mechanization,
our basic information for drainage and irrigation schemes still
to be compiled, our sugar production still very far from its
targets, the unreal picture presented by our inflation-swollen

"Basic instability"; "elastic revenues but expenditures
less so"; "not one of the richly endowed areas of the world".
These are phrases the Committee uses and it is the simple truth

- 15 -

that they seem to apply to the British Guiana of this period -
of 20, 30, 40 years more? before development comes to full

Here I should pause to say that, 25 years ago, faced with
just these questions of colonial development, British Guiana
chose a political remedy not more power for the people of the
Colony, not the conversion of its Financial Representatives
of the Combined Court into a House of Assembly on a liberal
franchise and of its Court of Policy into a Senate but a
stricter more direct control by the Colpnial Office. That is
not an opinion. It is the historical truth of the constitutional
change consummated in 1928. The change failed to produce the
expected results. No political change, can by itself, remove
the difficulties of coastal and hinterland development. As
the Committee says, "problems are never solved automatically
by new constitutions, but only by the efforts of men to whom
new constitutions may give appropriate powers and responsibility~
which did not exist before."

What the Committee is plainly inviting British Guiana
to consider is whether, under any but a politically independent
form of Government, it can get the best out of its political
material; whether it can be reasonably certain that it has
begun to attract to the highest councils of the land the wisest
and most virile of its sons; whether it can in any early period
achieve real political independence by itself.....

The third principle, the Comnmittee sets forth in the form
of a question to which it gives an affirmative answer. "Can

- 16 -

Federation", it asks, "lead to stability and solvency either
immediately or in the long run?" The Committee's answer is that
"Federation and only Federation" that is an exact quotation -
"affords a reasonable prospect of achieving economic stability
ar_ through it that political independence which is our constant

The Committee makes this answer only after by clear
implication it has made the following remarks of British Guiana:
British Guiana is "not large enough or rich enough to be able
to maintain by itself the range of scientists and others to
whom it must look for a reel improvement in its productivity
and economic stability". (It should be remarked here that the
Committee for the purpose of assessing the real ty of political
independence, could see no essential difference between grants
for British Guiana's development and welfare and grants-in-aid
of a small island's budget) British Guiana, the Committee goes
on, cannot isolate itself from "joint action in the Caribbean's
external economic and related affairs", which joint action, as
we saw so recently at the Barbados and Grenada conferences,
"daily becomes more and more important". British Guiana's
"hopes of achieving real political independence as a separate
state (the Committee concludes) are slight."

These are the three principles of policy which the Com-
mittee lays down for British Guiana's public opinion to weigh,
to analyze, to apply. And the Committee summ-rizes in those
words the services a political federation alone can adequately

Fut see Page 30.

- 17 -

Briefly, the services that Federation can render,
and which can be adequately rendered in no other way,
can be summarized as prompt, effective action in the
economic field on behalf of the region as a whole.
There is a clamant necessity for some single agency
which can speak and act with authority, full know-
ledge, and at short notice, for the region in a wide
field of activities, of which trade negotiations are
only the most prominent example. This necessitates
an agency which can act in its own right, and not by
delegation from other agencies and subject to their
confirmation. This in turn requires a fully repre-
sentative deliberative organisation from which to
derive the necessary authority that is to say, a
legislature in which the directly elected represen-
tatives of the people of the region have a prepon-
derant voice.

That is a longish quotation and just about brings us
to the end of today's time.

As I said at the opening of this talk, I had hoped to
skip lightly over this chapter of the report. There is
frankly too much in it that I had myself covered in giving
the pros and cons of Federation two years ago. For there are
cons and Guianese who are against these proposals can hardly
be said to be inarticulate. It may be that the case of these
Guianese can and will be made impregnable by authoritative
forecasts of population, development, production, trade, revenue

18 -

and expenditure for the next 20 to 30 years... It may be that
there is a compromise between the pro and the con. It may be
that just as India has been accepted by the other dominions as
belonging to the Commonwealth and yet not a dominion of the King,
Iso Guiana may be accepted by a British Caribbean Dominion as an
independent member of the Federation yet not of it..... That
is a purely personal thought. Politics is after all the art of
compromise and ideas ice that are among the many matters of
detail for public opinion to decide. But the first principles
remain. They are there in the report and may possibly be admitted
by federalists and their opponents alike.

- 19 -



There must be few of us in British Guiana who do not know
what a co-operative credit union is; and for that we must say
thanks to the missionary fervour of Capt. Cheesman, the Registrar
of Co-operative Societies and Mr. GQ;L, Gordon, the Co-operative
Organizer who was his advance guard or to give them their new
titles which I like much better the Commissioner and Deputy
Commissioner for Co-operative Development. We must also say
thanks to the number of private individuals, like the Hon'ble
John Fernandes, who not only know, but are also prepared to
proclaim their faith in co-operatives as the answer to so many
of the world's economic and political troubles.

It was therefore with some interest that I listened yesterday
to a friend who pointed out that, in its financial aspects, the
proposed British Caribbean Federation was no less than a Caribbean
Co-operative Credit Union on a national scale a Credit Union
in whichthe annual contribution of each member was, in the main,
one quarter of its customs revenue we may leave out the Postal
Revenue for the moment. In return for this contribution, each
territory British Guiana if we join would (my friend urged)
share the tremendous borrowing power of the region as a whole,
apart from immensely enhancing its own individual credit.

My friend pointed tutr.tothe:.that in the last year for which
the Standing Closer Association Committee's report gives figures,

- 20 -

that is 1948, one fourth of the customs revenue of the whole
region was $10,388,000; that the Federation would have as its
recurrent expenditure only $1,250,000; at the outside probably
very much less (I'll go into these estimates in greater detail
in a later talk.

My friend also pointed out that grant-aid from the United
Kingdom to these small islands of which, he said, so much has
been made, amounted, in 1948, to less than $300,000 he agreed,
under pressure from me, to omit British Guiana which with $S00,000
(non-recurrent) for subsidization received the biggest grant of
all; so, my friend argued, if even this $300,000 in grants is
paid out by the Federal Government, their total annual expenditure
would be about a million and a half so that the federal organi-
zation would be accumulating for its "Consolidated Revenue Fund"
no less a sum than eight to nine million dollars, at least for
the first few years; he figured that this revenue would settle
down at eight million annually, and revenue of that order repre-
sented, in his opinion, borrowing capacity up to $200,000,000 -
his calculation, he said, was based on 4% for a 20-30 year loan.

As a parting shot or I should say a parting volley my
friend asked me if I remembered that British Guiana's first
sketch-plan for development called for a minimum of $108,000,000;
and if I remembered that what this country actually secured as a
free contribution from the Colonial Office under the Development
and Welfare Act to our pool of development funds, was only

- 21 -

He also asked me if I remembered a great man named Venn -
I am using his exact words a great man named Venn, who pointed
out that for the last 3 years for which he had figures, that is
1945, '46, '47, the average profit per ton of sugar produced was,
in British Guiana, onlygs811 while in Barbados it was $15.43;
and if I remembered that the much higher cost of producing sugar
in British Guiana as compared with the rest of the Caribbean
(necessarily higher because of conditions on our continental
coast) caused this great man Dr. Venn to make the strong
recommendation that a subsidy or bonus of $4.80 be granted upon
each ton of sugar produced in British Guiana, or a total annual
subsidy of about $850,000 to be guaranteed for 15 years. My
friend went on to say that in reply to this great man named
Venn, the Colonial Office declared that it would not be appro-
priate to single out one industry, the sugar industry, in one
particular territory, British Guiana, for special assistance
of this kind. And, my friend wanted to know, where does the
British Guiana sugar industry go from here where do we all
go from here?

Could not, he argued, could not a Federal Government to
which British Guiana contributed more than $2,000,000 per annum
be fairly asked to make grants, in full or in part, to the
agricultural industries of its own region, industries which were
the sheet anchor of any particular territory of its own region?
My friend proceeded to rattle off a string of examples of similar
action to assist agricultural industries in other federal areas.-
the U.S.A. and Canada..... My friend thought that as there was
already in existence a Federation of Caribbean Primary Producers,

- 22 -

one of whose duties would be to advise the Caribbean Federal
Government and draw to its attention any matter adversely affec-
ting any industry anywhere in the region, such an organization,
backed by the authoritative exposition of Dr. Venn, would have
an unanswerable case for proposed subsidies of this kind.

My friend, I need hardly say, is an ardent Federalist. And
this conversation between us started when I asked him how he
would propose that British Guiana should make good the two to
two and a half million dollars (this is the 1950 figure the
1949 figure is much less) it will have to surrender to the Federa
tion as its contribution of one-fourth of its customs revenue.
Those who are against British Guiana's joining the Federation do
indeed regard this as the unanswerable question or at least,
the "sixty-four dollar question". How will British Guiana make
good the 2 2- million dollars? I am under the impression that
it is a profitless approach to these Guianese to ask them if
British Guiana's taxable capacity is indeed at present exhausted;
if all the kinds of taxation invented by man have indeed already
been tried in British Guiana; if they have really never heard
of such taxes as a sales tax on imported goods and so on. Not
that the Government, so far as I am aware, has the slightest
intention of introducing this or any other new kind of tax:
this is merely the sort of idea that keeps cropping up in the
conversations that are going on during the current controversy;
and, as I have said, it does not seem to me that anti-federalists
are to be persuaded by these suggestions; they do not react
well to them at all. I was therefore more than a little in-
terested in my friend's more constructive approach, which was,
basically, that the 2 2' million dollars of our customs revenl'.

- 23 -

should be regarded as an investment in a gigantic credit uWion-whicii
would improve our own borrowing powers, our territorial income, and
our taxable capacity.

yi. I put these two points of view to you and as Mr.John Carter
is suggesting in the motion of which he has given notice it is
for every one of you listeners to judge, particularly those of you
who can vote, and make your judgment independently basing it on
your own adult powers of reason and on your own immortal conscience.
It is fair for me to say, however, that the Report which I am at
present reviewing does urge that it is in a Caribbean Federation and
in a Caribbean Federation alone, that British Guiana will be able
at any early date to invest in this manner and share the benefits of
such investment. There is no Pan American Credit Union for British
Guiana to join: we have first t' be a completely independent state
(free of European attachment) to be admitted as a member of the Pan
American Union. There is no Pan-Guaina.U Union in existence and in
any event the total revenue of the tiroe Guianas would be less than
a third of the revenue of the British Caribbean F-deration. The
gentlemen who signed the report are quite uncompromising on this
issue: "Federation and only Federation affords a reasonable pros-
pect..... We have chosen our words with great care", they say. And
it is from that point that we may proceed to examine the degree of
control which the Federal Government would exorcise over British
Guiana which is the subject of Chapters 2 and 3 of the First Part
of the Report.

Now the first and most important thing to remember here is

- 24 -

that we are no longer speaking about any type of Federation. We
are now speaking about the particular type of Federation recommended
in this Report the Australian type. Arguments advanced two years
ago about the complaints of the Maritime Provinces in the Federal
Dominion of Canada, or of Scotland and Wales in the Federation that
is known as the United Kingdom, no longer apply. Just as it is
under the Federation of the Commonwealth of Australia, so will it
be under the proposed British Caribbean Federation let me quote
from the Report:-

except-in respect of the powers which are explicitly
assigned to it, the Federal Government is in no sense
"over" the territorial Governments and their actions are
not subject to Federal sanction or review. The territories
will keep all their powers except in so far as they specifi-
cally surrender them. (Conversely of course the Federal
Government, in the exercise of the Federal powers conferred
upon it, is not obliged to seek the approval or confirmation
of territorial Governments.)

I so often see and hear the allegation that there will be
a super-imposing of the will of small islands on big continental
British Guiana that I think that paragraph from these report which
is not an opinion but a plain factual statement should be memorized
The working of parliamentary democracy in Australia can be studied
by any one who belongs to the Free Library, or consults any good
reference library.

Among the appendices to the report there are two lists of

- 25 -


(1) those on which the Federal Government would be assigned
the exclusive 4'ight to legislate; and

(2) the list of subjects on which both the Federal
Government and the Government of British Guiana could
legislate concurrently, though as in the Austra'l'n
Federation, Federal law must necessarily and auto-
matically prevail.

The first point about these two lists is that they are
remarkably short. Bearing in mind the whole field and infinite
variety of legislation in any country, it r.ust be conceded that the
legislative rights of the Federal Government have been kept to the
bare essentials, such things as Audit of Federal accounts, Exchange
Control, External affairs (i.e. relations with foreign countries
and other dominions) federal courts, federal public services,
agencies and institutions for research...., federal elections....,

Of this last loans the Closer Association Committee
states in its report that "special attention is required". Perhaps
it is the single question which has been most often raised to me
by people who admit they are in favour of British Guiana's joining
the Federation. How will British Guiana fare with its power to
raise loans controlled by the Federal Government? Well, I shall
return to the question of financial relationships next week, but
the position in brief, is that the British Guiana Government would
be free to float loans within the Caribbean region; but that ex-
ternal loans, which in practice means loans raised on the London

26 -

market, would be floated only by the Federal Government whether
on behalf of the Caribbean nation as a whole or on behalf of
British Guiana or any other state of t'-e Federation. This means,
says the Report, that "the Federal Go.;::.'nment would exercise over
the external loan policy of the territories a much greater influence
than it will over their general finances, sin-ce the Federal Govern-
ment could not be expected automatically to sponsor and take the
responsibility for loans of the soundness of which it was not con-
vinced. This is however a reasonable price to be paid for arrange-
ments designed to secure for the region as a whole loans on the
best and least onerous terms and it does not in our view consti-
tute a point to which constitutional objection can be taken."'

- 27 -



The members of the Committee claim for their Report that
it is put forward "as a consistent whole, no significant part of
which can be modified in any important respect without the most
careful consideration of the consequences of such modifications on
the remainder of the structure." Critics were also asked, in that
preliminary part of the Report, to differentiate in their minds,
when making criticisms, between matters of policy and proposed
methods of putting policy into effect. Nowhere is it more necessary
to keep these injunctions in view than in the chapter headed
"Financial Relations with His Majesty's Government in the United

It is here that will emerge, is indeed already emerging, the
real cleavage of West Indian opinion over this >-port. The con-
flict within Guiana and within Honduras is of minor importance -
a parochial question which will be solved purely within these
mainland parishes when their adults make up their minds what are
their reasonable aspirations and what their vainglorious pretensions;
whether as separate political units or as states of a Federation.
But the major conflict, which is interterritorial, is the conflict
over the political status within the Commonwealth of a Federal
Government constituted according to the outlines sketched in this
Report, outlines based on the principles laid down in this chapter.

What ure these principles? They have been summed up earlier
in the Report as follows: "It is a truism that political indepen-

- 28 -

dence is unreal unless it is based on financial stability which
in turn must rest on a solid foundation of economic productivity -
i.e., on an adequate national income." Now in this further part
of the Report the 40th paragraph, these principles are further
amplified and the Committee sets out in four swift sentences, the
economic situation as it sees it; the political implications of
such a situation vis-a-vis the United Kingdom; and the only method
of escaping from the political control implicit in such a situation.
This is the passage of the Report, with its conse-uential checks
and safeguards in the Consolidated Recommnndations, which has arouse
the greatest controversy ahd has even divided those who are agreed
on the desirability of Federation:

"Until the economic situation of the region materially
improves, so long will His Majesty's Government, in fact,
though perhaps not in law, have to stand behind the region
and be ready to renF financial assistance when required.
"So long as Hi- Majesty's Government is in the position
of ultimate guarantor it follows inescapably that His
Majesty's Government will expect to exercise control in
some form over general economic and financial policy.
"While that is the case the region cannot claim to have
attained full political independence.
"It is of the first importance that the peoples of the
region should realize that, if they are to be free to control
their destiny without political supervision on the part
of His Majesty's Government, they must be prepared
to conduct their economic and financial affairs in such
a way as to reduce to a minimum the necessity for applying
to His Majesty's Government for financial aid."

- 29 -

These are principles laid down, not by His Majesty's Govern-
ment, but by West Indian themselves sitting in committee. Other
West Indians who had been expecting that from the Committee's
recommendations would emerge immediate Dominion status and not
merely the shortest path thereto, havd with some justification
-'nked this statement of principles with the proposed Power of
the Governor General to reserve Bills, even though only of defined
categories, for the signification of His Majesty's pleasure;
linked it with the overriding powers of His Majesty in Council to
legislate, even though only in certain carefully defined circum-
stances related to certain limited categories of external affairs
and internal emergencies, linked it, too with the proposed
intrusion, for so it is regarded, of a nominated element in the
Council of State, even though the nominated element will be in a
clear minority as against the Prime Minister's selections, or
Cabinet Group.

Now both the statement of principles as laid down by West
Indian moderates and these reactions of West Indian radicals who
demand Dominion status at once can be examined without ill humour
by West Indians. In the first place it is a fair criticism that
the provisos laid down for the West Indies acceptance into the
comity of Dominions have not been set out with the detail which
characterizes other parts of the Report. When will the Federa-
tion's economic situation be considered to have materially
improved? When its national income is how much? When it is
able to contribute how much to the Imperial Goverrment towards
its own defence? When its external debt bears what relationship
to its population? Will it be when Development and Welfare grants
come to an end? Or whie grants-in-aid are no longer necessary
to any unit of the Federation? Or when all these things together

- O3 -

will have come to pass? It is also fair to acknowledge that there
are West Indians who challenge the assertion that the economic
situation of the region at present or in the foreseeable future is
indeed so precarious as to give cause for constant concern to the
United Kingdom as the ultimate guarantor. These IVest Indians
contend that national incomes are increasing; they contend that
the excess of imports over exports is a temporary malady curable
as much by industrialization as by increased production of exist.
commodities; they contend that the total external debt of the
British Caribbean is small as public debts go and smaller still
viewed in relation to the population trends and the industrial
potential; they contend, and with some vigour, that grants under
the Colonial Development and Welfare Act originated in such a
manner as to make the thought of any political strings quite
repugnant and here it may be conceded that the references to
Development and Welfare assistance in the llth and the 44th para-
graphs of the Report are, in spirit, contradictory. These West
Indians are also inclined to the view t1- t the Committee makes
too heavy weather of grant-aid, since in its own statistical
tables there is nothing frightening in the total; to the contrary
it suggests an average sum annually which would be well within
the proposed revenue of the Federal Government (Incidentally we
may digress to note that in the total for the years 1937, 1938,
1939, 1947 and 1948, British Guiana, which so many people think
would be wasting its substance on small islands, emerges from
these tables as the West Indian country which required most grant-
aid from the United Kingdom).

The principles once firmly stated, the Committee makes it
clear that it intends that there shall be no niggling interference

- 31 -

by His Majesty's Government in the business of the Federation or
of its component parts. Thus, statements of this kind immediately
follow: "It would be fatal to the development of a proper sense
of responsibility for the Federation to regard or permit itself
to be regarded as in a position of daily reliance on His Majesty's
Government in its financial and economic affairs"..."It is essen-
tial that the Federation must be afforded in fact as well as in
theory the fullest possible measure of freedom in the initiation
and administration of its financial a ,d economic affairs"..."It
is of particular importance that if and when controls (for grant-
aid purposes) are found to be unavoidable, such controls should
be so designed as to avoid making the economic interests of the
region in any way subservient to any external interests". "...The
relationship of the Federation to His Majesty's Government in
the latter's capacity as the source of grants-in-aid pending the
attainment of a greater economic stability in the region is not
to be confused with that relationship which arises in the case
of loans." (The Federation must resort to loans wherever possible
rather than to external loans-in-aid.l "In such cases the Federa-
tion must be permitted to bargain for such loans to be made on
the most favourable terms and subject only to such control and
regulation as is consistent with the position of borrower and
lender, and in no circumstances must the probable necessity for
applications for assistance in the form of loans be predicated
on the basis of His Majesty's Government having a general and
indeterminate control over the day-to-day financial and economic
affairs of the region."

The battle-cry of West Indians who have been dismayed over
the proposed powers of the Governor General and of His Majesty in
Council is "Glorified Crown Colony". But surely the Draft Con-
stitution or to be more precise, the drafting suggestions for

they are no more than that and each legislature has now to ,
up to the Committee its views these Drafting Suggestions...the,
no more envisage a"Glorified Crown Colony" than they do a full-
fledged Dominion. The very natural disappointment of radicals
that economic and financial circumstances which they did not con-
trol in the past have now At this crucial time delayed the achieve-
ment of Dominion status, ought not to be allowed to prevent them
from seeing how far along the road to that status the Report
does actually carry the West Indies. It may be submitted that
no country can be called a Glorified Crown Colony when it has an
all-elected assembly based on universal adult suffrage, a Prime
Minister elected by that Assembly, a Cabinet whose members are
chosen by that Prime Minister and are in the majority in the
Council of State. It may not be Dominion status in the sense
that Pakistan or Australia is a dominion, a completely inde-
pendent government freely in association with other members
of the Commonwealth but it is not a Glorified Crown Colony in
sense in which West Indians may use the term in reference to the
Federation of Malaya for example. What the Committee has pro-
posed is, as the Manchester Guardian says, a synthesis of several
constitutions. It is in effect a Dominion Constitution with His
Majesty in Council having positive power to legislate on a few
specified matters. As such it is a constitution much in ad-
vance of Barbados's and Jamaica's, the countries in this region
where the party system has made greatest progress and where the
powers and responsibilities of the Prime Minister are already
considerable. This proposed Federal Constitution is being com-
pared with that of Jamaica which it is said to resemble closely.
Such a comparison will reveal many important differences, for
example, while in Jamaica it is the Senate or Legislative Coun-
cil that is the dominant partner of the Legislature, in the

33 -

Caribbean Federation the House of Assembly will be very clearly
the dominant partner and not the Senate. The comparison will
also show that the Cabinet in the Federation will be more quickly
(and correctly) identified in the public mind with the Government
in power, than the Ministerial Group in Jamaica; that the Prime
Minister of the Caribbean will be a far more effective First
Minister in the Government of the Federation than the Prime
Minister of Jamaica is, at present, in the Government of Jamaica.
L6. may indeed be at least of equal political status with the
Pr:me Minister of Southern Rhodesia, which constitutional lawyers
regard as possessing "responsible government just short of
Dominion st-atus. The Committee's proposals are more than a
halfway house to Dominion status. They go a full three-fourths
or more of the way, and it would appear to be its unexpressed
hope, and intention, that the first ten years of the Federation's
life will suffice to cover the remainder of the road.


May 98

.... In today's talk I want to touch on those chapters of
the report in which the Standing Closer Association Committee
argues its case for the constitution it proposes, and may I say
at once, argues its case with a brilliance that augurs well for
Cabibbean statesmanship. If there was nothing in the report but
these chapter, the men who wrote and the men who signed this
report would have deserved the praise and thanks of the Caribbean
proples whether we live on islands or isthmuses or continents.

Let me first give what is in effect an authorized summary
of the Constitution. As in every state where there is parlia-
mentary democracy, there are three parts, the Legislature, the
Executive and Judiciary the Legislature to make the laws,
the Executive to carry them out, and the Judiciary to interpret
and enforce them.

The Federal Legislature or law-making body, will consist
of two chambers, the more important one or Assembly being wholly
elected by the adults of the area; the other and less important
body or Senate being wholly nominated. So much for the Legis-

The Federal Executive (the body carrying out the laws) will
be composed of a Council of State. This is the body which will
settle policy. It will include first a Prime Minister chosen by
and responsible to the Assembly, then seven members or Ministers
chosen by the Prime Minister, Ministers who, as in England, would
be responsible for various Departments, and finally six other
mfAmbiA frcn-qn by tbh Governor General no more than three of

- 35 -

these six may be officials; the other three must be chosen from
one or other of the chambers of the Legislature. So we shall have
14 members on the Council of State.

The Prime Minister and his seven colleagues would be the
"Cabinet Group" of eight on the Council of State. As this Cabinet
Group would be in a clear majority, it would in effect be the
Government. The eight ministers seven and the Prime Minister -
would hold their meetn gs without interference from Government -
secret meetings like every Cabinet in every country of the world
and there they would decide what policies they would collectively
persuade, first the whole Council of State and later the Assembly
to accept for they must at all times be able to assure for them-
selves the support of the Assembly. The Governor General, and ir
his absence the Prime Minister would preside over the Council of

The Federal Judiciary .....this is the law-enforcing body. It
implies a Federal Supreme Court having power to hear certain types
of appeals and to have original jurisdiction in certain subjects,
broadly on the lines of Australia.

Now I want to emphasize again and again and again, and even
at the risk of being quite boring, th-t this is the way every state
with parliamentary democracy is constructed. First there are the
people whose adults choose from among themselves persons to speak
for them in the Legislature.

Then there is the Legislature whose main business is to

- 36 -

deliberate, to debate, to adopt or to reject bills or proposals
framed by the Executive, but for which the Executive must first
get the approval of the Legislature before it can attempt to put
them into effect.

Then there is the Executive, or Governmeat, which consists of
a Chief Executive or Head of the State and a cabinet which ad-
vises him.

And finally the Judiciary.

In England the Head of the State is the King; in British
Guiana, he is the Governor; in the Republics of India and the
United States of America he is the President; and in Australia ard
Pakistan and the proposed British Caribbean Federation the title
is "Governor-General". It is essential to understand that whether
in England, or Australia or the United States or India or Pakistan
or the Caribbean, the principle is the same. The state must have
a head or Chief Executive from whom all authority is derived.

In the United Kingdom the headship of the state is hereditary
and the office is held for life; in the Dominions the headship is
held for a tern of years, usually five, and the person, the Governor
General, is chosen by the head of the whole commonwealth, who is
the King, with the advice of the Government of the particular
Dominion; in the United States and India, the head is elected fcr
a term in the U.S. for 4 years, in India for 5 and may I say
that in both republics the system of electing the President is
somewhat complicated. In India for example, the President is to
be elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected
members of the Central Legislature and of the Legislative Assem-
blies of the various states of the Indian Union. No matter:

37 -
the President of India (like the Governor-General of Canada or of
Australia or of the proposed British Caribbean Federation) will
occupy the sane position -lnder the IndIsn Constitution as the King
does under the E7,-lish Constitution. Without a head there is no
state. There mt:us be a legal head of the Government; in his name
all the acts of the state must be done. And the head of the State
has in theory to be both the head of the Government as well as an
essential component of the Legislature since no acts of the Legis-
lature in any part'; of the Br-itish Coinnrnwealth can become law
without assent of the head cf the state. I have heard so many
arguments in conv.rs3tin with ry friends on the powers of the
Caribbean Goverr;or--Genoral arg,.sznts that could only be based
on a lack of knov-ledga as to how British independent states are
constructed tuat I shall return to this subject in a later
talk; and likewise to the rsvibonary or O laying powers of the
senate. We shall fthen ..ei, hat the'eszs-ene of the distinction
between Dominion Status .vud the form of government proposed lies

For the present let us keep constantly before us the fact
that in all the perl.-amtc-,: ax-y democra-stes of the Commonwealth the
Government of wh.ic.h thn Kinrg or his ra-3resentative is head has
as its first duty '-At it should govern. In effect the Government
means the Prime Minister and the colleagues or Ministers he has
chosen to form a Cabinet to advise the head of the state. It is
not the Legislat;ure or Parliament that governs whether in England
or Australia or Pakistan, and it will not be so in the Caribbean -
it is the King's Ministers who govern. The actual responsibility -
let's read this passage straight from the report -

"the actual responsibility for its specific executive actions
cannot be shared with any other agency, e.g. the Legislature,
except at the risk of confusion and delay and eonseqiient pre-
judice to the public interest. The ultimate control of Govern-
ment by the electorate is, according to British practice and
experience, best preserved by the device of ensuring that the
Legislature in effect chooses, and can change, by withholding
support from, a preponderant element in the Executive itself.
In Great Britain, the Executive is His Majesty's Government,
consisting of the King's Ministers, who derive their executive
authority from His Majesty as Head of the State and not from the
Legislature. But the Legislature can and does exercise control
over the policy of the Government by virtue of its power to pass
or refiee to pass bills to carry out that policy, and particu-
larly by its power to vote or withhold financial supplies. By
the use of these powers, the Legislature can ensure that the
policy and practice of the Government is under its own general
control, without however itself assuming direct responsibility
fof more than the nature and composition of the Government.
This does not mean that the Legislature may not question and
discuss the detailed acts of Government. Such questioning
constitute a large proportion of the work of the Parliament
of Great Britain, and Governments in practice show themselves
most sensitive to the views of the Legislature in such matters,
in view of their dependence on the Legislature for their con-
tinued existence. In brief, the Legislature can thrQw out the
Government, whereupon another emerges which can count upon
the support of the Legislatureor, if that proves impossible,
fresh elections can be held at any time to obtain a olear ex-
pression of the views of the electorate on current major issues."

- ;5 -

Now my time As up and I cannot this afternoon, as I had hoped,
dispose of these three brilliant chapters of the report by dealing
at once wi th the question of the distribution of seats in the
Assembly among the state members of the Federation. This will I
hope, be the main theme of next week's talk. I shall say only this
that many Guianese, whose brains seem to be of good quality, have
spent a great deal of time on this single aspect of the report
without having the benefit of the census figures which I shall show
are all-important. This country's decision todelay adult suffrage
in 1945 was ba-sd on population guesses which a census would have
shown to be quite wrong. There would be no harm in our at least
taking care lest our attitude to the number of seats allocated to
British Guiana in the Federal Assembly is not based on a similar

I should like to suggest that those of my friends who have
spent their time on the territorial allocation of seats, bothering
themselves with the number for Antigua and Jamaica and British
Guiana and Trinidad could have spent their time more rewardingly,
by making suggestions as to how the proposed Federal Constitution -
the Constitution I have just outlined could be improved.

For while this Caribbean Constitution follows, with certain
useful adaptations, the classical lines of Great Britain and the
Dominions, I am inclined to think ( and particularly bearing in
mind the emphasis the Committee place on the economic pillars pf
the structure) that the Committee might have paid more heed to
the shortcomings of their models in this matter of the represen-
tation of industrial interests.

Surely this is a matter for all West Indians of goodwill and

- 40 -

particularly for the men of business and commerce to point out at
this stage of the proceedings. To me it is something of a tragedy
that businessmen are apparently to be found nowhere in this region
to argue the case, let us say, for a "Council of Industry" -
possibly as a committee of the senate as in integral part of this
Federal Constitution. Likewise, let us face it at once. It
ought surely to occur to our Guianese and other Caribbean liberals
that counting assemblymen by colonies may be at this stage a less
rewarding pursuit than urging, say, a statutory "Human Rights
Committee of the Senate" as an insurance shall we say? against
accidents to our inter-racial amity.

And when you come to think of it, there is probably as much
need for the one senate committee as for the other. In the economic
field the situation has arisen where the best of parliaments patent
cannot read even your U.K. Hansards and you will see! where the
best of Parliaments cannot deal in any but a superficial manner,
with the ever-growing volume of industrial and commercial subjects
which are daily adding to the complexities of living. In the
field of Human Rights, all the trends in this particular area show
that this is not a question to be left entirely to laissez-faire
and Time's healing hand.

Our own area's special problems call for our own special
devices. It is for both our business and our political spokesmen -
people born and reared or permanently residing in these countries -
bD invent them.

- 41 -


British Guiana's population.... when will it reach one million
You will remember and what Guianese does not with pride? that
when His Excellency the Governor in his Address referred to the
rapid increase of our population, he said,...."Our vital statis-
tics for 1949 compare most favourably and creditably with those of
any other Caribbean country and if we are to judge by them British
Guiana is now, thanks to its health and welfare services, as healthy
if not healthier than any of those countries. While we can take
satisfaction in this progress I brings in its train new problems
which will be apparent to you and makes the more relevant all else
C1:have said to you this morning about increased production. The
Evans Commission believed that if all their proposals proved prac-
ticable there might be room in British Guiana and British Honduras
tof.ther for 100,000 immigrants. True, they made good allowance
for local increases in population but the indications here now are,
fnd we must bear them in mind, that our own population is now like:'
to increase by the above number in the next ten or fifteen years."

Now in saying "in the next ten or fifteen years", His Excel-
lency was being conservative, and of course rightly so. In prediction;
the population of a country, caution must b~.the watchword. We
can take the population figures as established by two censuses,
plot the graph of the years between, and speculatively project the
graph into the future for the required number of years. But we
cannot with any certainty make allowances for fluctuations in the
birth and death rate, nor can we estimate increases or decreases

- 42 -

due to migration. Our graph would merely show the possible normal
growth of the population calculated on an average natural increase..

Well, the average natural increase would be 2.5% of each pre-
ceding year, if we take the 1931 Census figure as our base year an.:
work onwards. On this basis, what is the answer to our question?
When would the population of British Guiana be one million? During
the week the BPI asked an officer of our Vital Statistics department
to calculate this for us and his answer was that on this presumption
of a normal and constant increase, it would be 1985 before the popi
nation of British Guiana reached one million.

Given normal and constant health (which is unlikely) I shall 1
alive and 79 in the year 1985, and I wonder what sort of place
Demerara British Guiana will be then? Will its production and
national income in 1985 be able to support dominion status as a
separate entity of the Commonwealth? Or will it be rejoicing in
the distinction of being Britain's sole remaining territory of
colonial status in the Western Hemisphere?

A population of a million is not really large enough for the
responsibilities of political independence. It is not large enough
today and it is less likely to be so in tomorrow's shrinking world.
The cardinal warning in all these papers on Caribbean Federation
remains that passage in Mr. Creech Jones's despatch where he says
that -

"It is clearly impossible in the modern world for the present
separate communities... to achieve and maintain full self-

- 43 -

government on their own. It is not, for example, pract1,al
politics to suppose that communities of 200,000 souls or in
some cases less, should play an independent part in inter-
national discussions. On the other hand, a community of well
over two million people in the Caribbean area, with much that
is homogeneous in their culture, could reasonably hope to
achieve real self-government, and to be strong enough to stand
against economic and cultural pressure and.to formulate and
carry through a policy and way of life of its own."

It is important for us Guianese to keep that statement con-
stantly before us. Nor is its force diminished by the Secretary
of State's assurance that His Majesty's Government do not look upon
federation as in any way prejudicing development of sell government
in British Guiana, for all that this assurance means in relation
to the warning I have just read, is that we in British Guiana may
be worthy of dominion status when our population reaches two million.

And when will that be? We have seen that, 35 years on, it will
be just over a million; on the same basis it would be a million and
a half in the year 2001; and two million in the year 2012; that is
to say some 62 years from now. Whether we are for or against
political federation we just cannot escape from the political
significance of this population estimate. And if you ask by what
authority two million is chosen as the qualifying figure, the
answer is simple enough. The existing Dominion which has the
smallest total population is New Zealand. Her population, not
quite 2,000,000, was 1,800,000 in 1947 when the Closer Associati~n
Memorandum was published. There was a dominion, Newfoundland,
whose population was 280,000 at the time its Dominion status was
suspended. It suffices to say that Newfoundland is no longer a

- 44 -

separate Dominion: it has joined the Canadian "federation".

Now these population figures are not only of fundamental im-
portance in deciding when may British Guiana reasonably seek Domini-',
status on her own. If so it be that British Guiana felt 62 .years to
be too long a time to wait if so it be that British Guiana felt
she should seek Dominion Status now in partnership with other
Caribbean countries these population figures would also be vital
to a consideration of the number of seats that should be allocated
to British Guiana in the Caribbean Parliament the number of seat.
she should be given at the outset and the number of seats she should
be given later, for the rate of increase of British Guiana's popu-
lation may continue to be greater t1an that of the other territories.

But first let us be clear on certain points. Let us remember
that the Federal Assembly or Parlianent will not be thu Government
of the Caribbean Near-Dominion. Let us remember that no Parliament
governs. That governing is the right of the Executive the Cabinet.
That the composition of the Cabinet is controlled not by any area -
or any constituennyy but by the Prime Minister and party in powep.-
the party with a majority in the Assembly or Parliament. That the
party in power, like every other party, would have members in Jamaica,
British Guiana, Trinidad, and Barbados, everywhere in the area. That
in the revisionary Chamber of Parliament or the Senate which has the
power to reject (for a very restricted period) legislation passed by
the House of Assembly, in that revisionary body each territory would
be represented by the same number of members two (except Montserrat,
which would have only one.)

Now with this picture in mind of the practical effect of the

- 45 -

proposed constitution, we may admit once and for all that in every
parliament in the world the first consideration in allocating seats
is that the system of distribution should at least attempt to
reflect the relative population in various areas or constituencies.
Just before the recent General Election in the United Kingdom the
constituencies were redifined in order to conform more closely with
this very principle. We may take into consideration other factors
such as actual economic development, productivity, national income
and so on, but those considerations quite obviously cannot prepon-
derate over the voting strength of the constituencies. But to go
as far as to give priority, over population, to such factors as
"large uninhabited areas" and "vast undeveloped potentialities" -
that I am prepared to agree would be impractical, and some would
even say, fantastic, when it is remembered that some of the said
potentialities (for example, water-power) are still being surveyed
and gauged. Though I have never found a West Indian who believes
British Guiana will ever develop these potentialities without West
Indian labour and entrepreneurs, that is not to say that British
Guiana's economic hopes and aspirations are not fully appreciated
in the West Indies. But it is surely asking too much of any West
Indian or indeed of any constitutional lawyer anywhere, to allocate
seats in an all-elected legislature on tne basis of "potentialities"
For let us be reasonable. If we carried this idea to its logical
absurdity, the Essequibo River and the North West District which
together have a smaller number of voters than any other two con-
stituencies in Guiana, would have far more than their two elected
members in the legislature, since those are the two constituencies
which are associated in the mind with our pbtentihlities, and
continental destiny. It is population, voting strength, that must
be the prime consideration, not to the exclusion of all other
considerations, but certainly the prime consideration.

- 46 -

The S.C.A.C., in this report under review, did not exclude
considerations other than population. Had they considered only
population, Jamaica in the Assembly of 50 seats would have secured
23, for Jamaica's population in 1947, the year which the Committee
doubtless used as its basis was 1,340,395 almost half the popu-
lation of the whole area which was 2,914,514. British Guiana
would still have secured only 6 out of 50 or to be exact 6 and
a fraction. For, rapidly as our population is rising, it is still
well under 500,000, and as we have seen, it will be close on the
year 2000 before it reaches Jamaica's present figure. What the
Committee has tried to do and I think it would be fair to admit
that the Committee has made a praiseworthy attempt what the Com-
mittee has tried to do is to keep population in mind and at the
same time by empirical methods which defy reduction to any formula,
to balance the population factor with the economic. The Committee
points out that the framers of other federal constitutions, not
least that of the United States, encountered equal difficulties and
concedes that its own proposed allocation may not be wholly satis-
factory. Barbados with a population of 203,000 and a revenue of
$9,325,000 and expenditure of 8,518,000 all these are 1947
figures has 4 seats to the Leeward Islands' 5 but the total popu-
lation of the Leewards (Antigua, St.Kitts, Montserrat) is only
109,274, and its revenue is only $3,600,000 and expenditure only
$3,456,000. Trinidad with a population of 586,700 a revenue of
$37,325,000 and expenditure of $37,417,000 gets only 9 seats; yet
both revenue and expenditure of Trinidad were almost as high as those
of Jamaica which has 16 seats. Again, Trinidad's popult ion is
between 7 and 10 times that of the various Windward colonies,
(Grenada, St.Vincent, St.Lucia, and Dominica), but each of the fou-
gets 2 seats.....

- 47 -

But to go on in this strain would be tawdry, pettifogging,
unworthy of people about to assume a stature as near to Dominionhood
as could be devised. The belief that the representatives of two or
three territories will combine to the disadvantage of another
territory is. the Committee says, unreal. It is unreal because,
if a pal ;y wants to remain in power, divisions in Parliament must
necessarily be on party lines and it is in the party caucuses that
a constituency's special claims and susceptibilities will be ironed
out. I am inclined to think that this fear of "territorial divisions"
is held only in those parts of the Caribbean where the party system
has not yet developed as an ingredient of the executive and where
the people, in consequence, cannot imagine how the system disciplines
the member. In this respect, places like Barbados and Jamaica are
maturing politically.

I'd like to close wth a reference to a remark which the
Governor of British Guiana made during the week. His Excellency
was speaking of shipbuilding. Both in equipment and "know-how",
British Guiana is better off here than other colonies in the area.
Now if a Caribbean Dominion comes into being, separated as its
various units are by miles of sea water, it will be inevitable that
its industrialists and statesmen will take thought on a federal
shipbuilding industry and an industry to be manned, ultimately,
perhaps in 1985 by Caribbean nationals. Do Guianese seriously be-
lieve that a Federal legislature, composed though it be of 16
Jamaicans, 9 Trinidadians, 4 Barbadians and so on, would oppose
measures for facilitating the progress of such a federal industry
merely because its locale is British Guiana?



British Guiana has a continental destiny; no Caribbean island
has a continental destiny; therefore, British Guiana in entering
a Caribbean Federation would retard the fulfilment of its continental
destiny. This is what is known as a non sequitur an inference
that does not follow from the premises. Now I shall assume that
the premises are correct, that is, so far as I understand the
meaning of the term continental destiny. The continent in question
is South America. Destiny means the state, economic social,
political, and cultural to which we must be irrevocably impelled,
as by a predetermined course of events. British Guiana's continental
destiny means that, predetermined by Geography, the course of events
will inevitably bring British Guiana, some day in the future, into
economic, social, political, and cultural kinship with the republics
of South America.

It means that as surely as night follows day, the time must
come when the products of British Guiana's industry will be
normally and easily exchanged for the products of Brazil or Venezuelse
when Demerara rice will be eaten by more Brazilians than Trinidadian-.
and by more Venezuelans than Barbadians; when the Ralegh (as our
chief monetary unit may then be known.) will be freely exchanged
for the cruzeiro and the bolivar; when, just as it is now an every-
day occurrence for the Guianese to fly to Piarco and Seawell, so
will it be an everyday occurrence for him to travel by air, or by
rail or road for that matter, to Boa Vista or Maracaibo; when the
Art Williams of the day will be thinking not so much of charter
flights to Trinidad and St. Vincent as of a transcontinental air-
wavs system linking Georgetown with La Guaira and Sao Paulo, with

- 49 -

Bogota and Buenos; when the University of Bartica (famed the world
over for its School of Forestry') will be in full academic com-
munion with the Universities of Caracas and Rio de Janeiro; when
many a Guianese will be bilingual, occasionally speaking English
through ties of sentiment and culture but doigg their thinking in
Spanish or Portuguese; when, instead of attending a Conference of
Caribbean Cultural Organizations in Port-of-Spain, Mr.A.J.Seymour's
great grandson will be a delegate at some great Pan American Cul-
tural Convention at Quito,....Ecuador.....

It is breath-taking, this continental destiny that beckons
British Guiana. Of course I know that a good many of my friends
will hotly dispute that British Guiana will ever arrive there.
I can almost hear their annoyance that I should even assume
that British Guiana's destiny is continental. Well, I am consoled
in the knowledge that an equal number of friends is delighted
over my willingness today to assume this premise. You know, I
cannot claim to see into the future, and if a sufficient number
of Guianese who have greater foresight than myself can see British
Guiana's destiny as continental, I am not prepared to quarrel
over it. So let us accept this first premise that British Guiana
has a continental destiny and pass on to the second, which is that
no Caribbean island has a continental destiny.

This is perhaps harder ground, for Thin.dad may claim it enjoy
more intercourse of trade and culture with Venezuela than British
Guiana does with any of the continent's republics; but in terms of
destiny that is a claim to be brushed aside by saying, as I have
heard it said, that British Guiana has great potential wealth while

- 50 -

Trinidad hPc only the actual kind. So let .-s have no more of this.
Let us without further parley concede these as facts: (1) British
Guiana's destiny is continental; and (2) no West Indian island hao
that kind of destiny. Well, it still remains a fallacy to conclude
from these premises that federation will necessarily retard British
Guiana(a arrival at her continental destiny.

For everything depends on the meaning of the word federation,
and the word now means, in its Caribbean sense, federation of the
Australian type, and of the Australian type only. And in that
form of federation, the Federal Government would have only the
powers that are specifically laid down that it should have: all
the remaining powers will continue to be held by the Governments
of the different states like British Guiana. The Standing Closer
Association Committee states with much emphasis that "the Federal
Government is in no sense over the territorial Governments and
their actions are not subject to Federal sanction or review"....
I promised last week to give you an instance which showed the severe
limitation of a Federal Government's powers. It relates'to the
long-drawn struggle between Australian National Airways, Ltd.,
and the Federal Government over conditions of air line operation.
A.N.A. is an outfit which started much like Art Williams's and
it is interesting to note that "air-beef" is also one of A.N.A.'s
ideas for developing Australia's vast resources by air transport;
only, A.N.A. is flying the cattle on the hoof. The details of a
Federal Government's failure, through the limitations imposed by
its Constitution, to impose its wiil, these details as given
in the authoritative magazine Future will repay study. It will
suffice to say that when the Federal Government of Australia,
which was a Labour Government, went to the Prime Ministers of
the various states for over-riding powers, although these local
Premiers (all save an An wrI-F .abO; m'nan_ lva1 to the Labour

- 51 -

Party, they refused. They felt that their own railways would
suffer and the Federal Government would end by controlling all
internal communications. They did not consider this surrender
of state rights necessary for the survival of the Labour Party's
ascendancy in the Federal Government; they did not consider it
was in the interest of the states; and they were not prepared to
allow it.

The Standing Closer Association Committee's proposed restric-
tions on the Federal Government's powers are crystallized in a
list of subjects on which the Federation may legislate. What is
more, again following the Australian model, it breaks down the list
into two parts one part, the shorter part or "exclusive list",
consisting of those matters in which the Federal Legislature alone
is empowered to make laws and the other part, the "concurrent
list", consisting of those matters in which both the Federal
Legislature and any state Legislature concerned, may make laws;
in the case of any inconsistency, 'Federal law would prevail over
state law, but, and this is important, only to the extent of the
inconsistency. In all matters outside this short list, each state
would have exclusive power to legislate.

Now if you run your eye down this list of subjects on which
the Caribbean Federal Government may legislate, you will see that
there are only two matters which, it might seriously be suggested,
could have any influence on our continental destiny. The one
matter is the exclusive power of the Federal Government to raise
loans outside the Federation whether for the purposes of the Federal
Government or for the purposes of any state Government. The other
matter is the power of the Federal Government, concurrently with the
e4 ao.a .lr.m^ ^ n. fc, gt 1n l.f n..l .T nto rla tira nnmnnf. of Indl.qs.tr.ig -,

- 52 -

External loans and development of industries....

The extent to which you agree or disagree with the prtnniple
that the Federal Government should have the exclusive right to
raise external loans will depend on whether you believe the Federa-
tion as a whole will have a stronger credit than any of the twelve
member states. The Committee explains fully the advantages of
giving the Federal Government this power. It is hard to find any
convincing answer on financial or economic grounds.

In simple terms, an enormous credit union is being created
through pooling the customs revenues of the 12 Caribbean terri-
tories or states. It is a view worth consideration that the
accumulated reserves of this credit union, even allowing a generous
margin for mismanagement or extravagance, could in a generation
(and perhaps in even a decade could be so great as to permit
federal loans and grants on a scale that no individual territory
is likely to be able to secure from the United Kingdom, or anywhere
else, in a similar period.

A great many Guianese and they are not pessimists believe
that their country's total loan requirements for coastal defence
and continental destiny, to prepare and improve its immediate assets
and to make somewhat more accessible its interior potentialities -
these total loan requirements, these Guianese think, are on so
staggering a scale that they are quite beyond the borrowing capacity
of British Guiana's population, a population that is increasing
rapidly but is still far from a million. If that is the case, the
choice that faces a British Guiana that asks to be allowed to pursue
its continental destiny, lies between (1) joining this Caribbean
aal l2nion which would finance by internal or external federal

- 53 -

loan our more vigorous penetration into our own part of the Con-
tinent, and (2) mortgaging to the Mother Country our continental
destiny and our chances of Dominion status a mortgage for a
period which I have put at 60 years on the outside but which
less optimistic people feel, remembering Newfoundland, might be an
indefinite and indeterminate period.

Let us now consider possible examples of the effect of the
Federal Government's proposed legislative powers in these two
respects external loans and industrial development on our
continental destiny. If there are two distinguishing characteristics
of our continental status, they are our muddy and erratic foreshore
and our sandy infertile savannahs. It may be that some time within"
these coming 60 years which God forbid. we shall be faced with
another unpredictable erosion of our foreshore, and an external
loan is necessary to repair the damage. We South Americans would
say that this is strictly a continental matter, that people of
these little West Indian islands know nothing of such problems,
but I cannot really see a Federal Government opposing an external
loan for this purpose the protection of the physicall assets of
one part of the Union. And, again supposing, suppose that at some
period in these 60 years, we in British South America thought we
should build the 300 miles of good motor road between Bartica and
Lethem which the Evans Commission suggested. We would surely re-
qutrdu&o large a sum that it would have to be included in the
schedule of an external loan. As the Evans proposals are primarily.
intended to help expand the living room within the Caribbean area
for all Caribbean nationals mainland and island it is not
conceivable that the party in power in the Federal Parliament
would oppose, since their opponents would certainly have the
Government thrown out on that issue at an early election.

- 54 -

As to the development of industries on which,the Committee
suggests, both the Federal and the State Governments should be
empowered to legislate, it must be borne in mind that the normal
role of Governments is to facilitate private enterprise or lay down
the conditions for fair competition and so on, but only under the
most exceptional circumstances to embark on or finance new industry.
It is frankly difficult to see on what ground rests the fear, which
I have heard expressed, that the Federal Government will dictate
what and what industries may be established in any particular
territory. Some appropriate Committee may advise, and should In-
deed advise, on that question, but dictation is another matter.
Nor can I see that a British Guiana business can be prevented by
Federal Act from flying beef from Lethem to Trinidad or from
developing the territory's hydro-electric power two potentialities
that are definitely of a continental character. What can happen
is that there may be both Federal and State laws on such matters
as monopolies, dumping of products to lill infant industries,
tax-waivers on risk-bearing enterprises and so on. Under the
eternal vigilance of Law Officers inconsistencies between Federal
and State laws will be rare as rare as are inconsistencies
between colonial and Imperial Government law relating to the
particular colony, which inconsistencies, as matters stand now,
are not permitted.

So, even if we concede that British Guiana has a continental
destiny, which the other eleven Caribbean colonies have not now,
it just simply does not necessarily follow that this continental
destiny would disappear in a Federation of the Australian model.
Twenty-five years ago British Guiana offered a not dissimilar
fallacy. Private capital was shy of investing in the Colony.
The Constitution was, with the exception of the Bahamas, Barbados

- 55 -

and Bermuda, the most democratic in the Colonial Empire. Therefore,
it was held, inflow of capital would follow a less democratic
constitution. Those who reasoned thus apparently forgot or did not
know the years if patient survey and research, of trial and error,
that were first necessary in every conceivable field hydrographic
surveys, drainage levels, soil analyses, rice mechanization experi-
ments, hydro-electric Ca.uges, forestry valuation, geological sur-
veys, and more besides. The political results of this fallacy were
not corrected until 1943..... There may be excellent arguments
against British Guiana's entering a Caribbean Federation even of
the Australian model without further safeguards of its state rights,
but the statement that our continental destiny is incompatible
with membership of such a federation is, I conclude after this
examination, an argument that is without substance. Indeed, if I
may also indulge in some speculation: might not the centre of
gravity of the whole area so shift in the next 100 years or so
of British Guiana's development that the 12 colonies will come to
regard the continent as their common destiny? Granted the premises
are correct, this is a forecast that is not less reasonable than
the conclusion which has been under challenge this morning.

- 56 -


I am hoping that just three or four more Sunday talks will
suffice to complete this series of reviews of the Standing Closer
Association Committee's report. These remaining talks will deal
(41) with the powers of the Governor General and the Senate (and
that will be today's talk); (2) the cost of Federation; and (3)
pre-Federal action, that is to say, customs union, unified cur-
rency, unification of services, and so on. There will be an addi-
tional talk but that may be more propPoly described as a siurl ary
of the series. Tee PFrcfrce7 The summary will be available for
free distribution in amch Thrger quantities than the cyclostyled
booklet containing the whole series. For ancial reasons,this
booklet (entitled "Blueprint for a British Caribbean Dominion")
must be limited to representative persons and institutions, dis-
cussion groups, and bona fide students, but the BPI Supplement,
which has a guaranteed circulation of 8000, is running a series
entitled "What is Federation?" which attempts to explain in
simpler language the essential points of the Committee's report.

Today's talk, then, is to carry out my promise to discuss
more fully the powers of the Senate and the powers of the Governor.
General, and to do that is in effect to discuss the difference
between the constitution the Committee proposes, and what is
known as full Dominion status. This is best done, since the
Australian constitution is the model for the Caribbean, by com-
paring the semi-responsible Caribbean Federation of representa-
tive but not responsible Governments with the fully-responsible
Australian Federation of states all themselves possessing fully

- 57 -

responsible Governments. In making this comparison, I am in
the fortunate position of having as an authority a book which
reached me only on Friday night "The Parliamentary Government
of the Commonwealth of Australia", by Professor L.F.Crisp. This
book, we are told on the jacket, is "the first comprehensive
study of the major elements of the national government of the
Australian Commonwealth. The development of the several politi-
cal parties from the first national convention to the present
time is fully shown by the author whose stimulating study also
includes the functions of the High Court and the office of
Governor General..." As "a complete history and analysis of the
federal political background" of Australia, it should be required
reading for all who would comment on the Consolidated Recom-
mendations of the Standing Closer Association Committee's Report.
Readers will see that the hopes and aspirations of the Federalists
and the doubts and fears that beset the Anti-Federalists before
the Commonwealth of Australia came into being in 1901 bear a
startling resemblance to the hopes and aspirations and the doubts
and fears in the Caribbean in 1950. They will also see in the
letter of the Australian constitution, the similarities with the
Constitution proposed for the British Caribbean.

Let us take a glance at the similarities, since they enable
us to see how close to Dominion status the Caribbean will be. In
the Australian Federation therc is an all-elected House of Repre-
sentatives elected on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage
and with a Speaker or Chairman elected from the House: in the
British Caribbean Federation there will be an all-elected House
of Assembly elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage

- 58 -

and with a speaker or Chairman who may be elected from members
of the House (or if the House itsel' so decides, which is un-
likely, from outside its own membership).

In the Australian Federation, the states are not equally
represented in the House of Representatives Western Australia,
by far the largest and, in mineral potentialities the greatest,
has one-sixth of the population of the more immediately prosperous
New South Wales and has therefore to be content with one-sixth of
the number of representatives allotted to New South Wales: in the
Caribbean Federation, a parallel will not be hard to find.

In the Australian Federation, the Prime Minister is the
party leader who has the best prospect of forming a Cabinet
backed by a stable majority in the House; he is commissioned by
the Governor General as Prime Minister but if, as was tho case
between 1901 and 1909, his party is in the minority, he has first
to be assured of at least one other party's support before he
accepts the commissiam: in the British Caribbean Federation, the
Prime Minister will be chosen by the House itself and his name
submitted to the Governor General for formal appointment as Prime

In the Australian Federation, the Ministers are in theory
selected by the Prime Minister; in practice at least when Labour
is in power the ministers are chosen by the party and the Prime
Minister presents their names to the Governor General for appcint-
ment. In the Caribbean Federation, the Ministers will also in
theory be selected by the Prime Minister: what system will evolve
in actual practice remains to be seen.

59 -
In Australia, the Senate, an all-elected bodi, is not the
dominant House of Parliament; some of its members are Cabinet
Ministers but with portfolios which call for little initiation of
legislation. In the Caribbean, the Senate will be an all-appointed
body (as in Canada) but as in Australia it will not be the dominant
House of Parliament: the Prime Minister may also choose Cabinet
members from among the Senate.

In Australia, boththe Cabinet and the Prime Minister are
informal institutions not mentioned in the Constitution: in the
British Caribbean, the words "Prime Minister" occur in the draft-
ing proposals but not the word Cabinet. In the Australian Federa-
tion there is a formal Executive Council which gives'legal force
to certain Cabinet decisions, appointments, and similar matters:
it is laid down that ministers shall be members of the Executive
Council. In the British Caribbean there will be the Council of
State on which the Cabinet group will be in a clear majority at
a full meeting...

Where, then, lie the significant differences between the
British Caribbean Federation and the Dominion status of the
Commonwealth of Australia? Now it is possible to attach too much
importance to the powers of the senate to revise or delay the
will of the Assembly. In Australia when the Senate rejects a
proposed law passed by the House of Representatives, or passes
it with amendments not acceptable to the House of Representatives,
and after the lapse of three months it is again passed by the
House of Representatives and again rejected or substantially
altered by the Senate, the Governor General may dissolve both
Houses; and if after the dissolution the House of Representatives
again passes the law and it is again not passed by the Senate,

- 60 -

the Governor General may convene a joint sitting of the two
Houses which shall vote on the proposed law and the amendments
which are theisubject of contention between the two houses; and
only if a majority vote is in favour will it be held that the
proposed law or its amendments have been duly passed. The neces-
sity to invoke this delaying process arises only when the politi-
cal complexion of the Senate majority differs from that of the
majority in the House of Representatives. But in normal times
the Australian Senate has done little more than approve the
measures passed in the other House. It may not itself initiate
money bills and likewise money bills may not originate in the
Caribbean Senate. But whereas the Australian Senate may not amend
such measures (though it may by message or resolution suggest
alterations to the Houpe of Representatives), the Caribbean
Senate may delay such measures for three months. For a Bill
other than a Money Bill the delaying period in the Caribbean is
to be in effect a year, after which on its second passage by
the House of Assembly, it would go straight to the Governor Genera:
for assent. This delaying power of one chamber over another is
an ingredient of the most advanced British constitutions and is
not incompatible vw th Dominion status.

Now as to the power of the Governor General; in Australia
His Majesty's representative is empowered to withhold assent to
a measure or reserve it for His Majesty's pleasure; he may re-
turn to the House whence it came any proposed law with suggested
amendments and the House may deal with these suggestions; and
it is provided that a Bill reserved for His Majesty's pleasure
shall not have any force unless (and until) within two years the
Governor General makes known thattit has received the King's
assent. Now for the Caribbean Federation it is proposed that
the Bills which the Governor General should have power to reserve

- 61 -

should fall within one of eleven specified categories the most
important of which, in relation to Dominion Status, are bills
"gravely imperilling the financial stability of the Federation"
and bills "imposing differential duties." But it is clear that
the mere power to reserve bills for Royal Assent does not diminish
a country's Dominion Status.

Again, in Australia, His Majesty may disallow any law within
one year from the date of the Governor General's assent: in the
Caribbean it is proposed that His Majesty should havd no such
general power of disallowance but that power should specifically
apply to laws which would tend to break contracts with the Federa-
tion.'s stockholders. The Australian powers nf disallowance are
general, and in practice they are never invoked: it would be a
major constitutional crisis if they were. The Caribbean powers
of disallowance are specific and it is more than likely that they
too will never be used, since there is no reason why, as in the
Australia of 1900, a tradition for stable responsible government
should not be founded in the Caribbean of 1950.

It is when we come to the legislative power of His Majesty
in Council (that is in the Privy Council of England) over and
above the Caribbean Federal Legislature, that we find crystallized
the difference between the British Caribbean Federation and
Dominion status. Now in the earlier broadcast on this subject I
pointed out that the constitution the Committee proposes is no
more a Glorified Crown Colony than it is Dominion Status, but
that the Caribbean still had one-fnurth of the road to travel.
It is here we come to that one-fourth of the road. There are
four categories of laws which His Iviajesty in Council may make

- 62 -

but, in relation to the Standing Closer Association Committee's'
Report and in actual practice, the most important would be "laws
for securing and maintaining the financial stability of the Federa.
tion". The power would of course be considerably lessened by
the suggested provisos; and there is the clear intention, so
positively stated in the Report, that there shall be no day-to-
day interference in the Federation's financial dealings. It is
also quite evident that financial stability, as indicated by
a refusal to accept grants from the United Kingdom for any pur-
pose whatever, would cause the King's power of enactment to die
of disuse. But so long as the provision for this power of enact-
ment remains a part of the Caribbean Constitution, the Statute
of Westminster under which Dominions are created cannot apply.
Indeed there is a possibility that the British Caribbean Federa-
tion may not even be treated like Sbuthern Rhodesia, which, be-
cause of the absence of this Royal power, is grouped with tle
Dominions though it is not actually a full Dominion. But ours
is a commonwealth in which constitutional precedents are mauv
as we go along. Witness the special position of Bharat (The
Republic of India). It ought therefore to be not impossible to
permit in the Caribbean's favour a constitutional precedent
whereby the Federation could be grouped at once with Southern
Rhodesia under the Commonwealth Relations Office against the day -
or rather as earnest of Britain's intention at no distant date
to bring into being a full Dominion of the Caribbean.

- 63 -



July 9

Just two pages of the Standing Closer Association Committee's
report suffice to deal with the net additional recurrent cost of
Federation in its early years; and we should have wished that the
Committee could have found it possible to give a somewhat more
extended treatment to this fundamental part of their subject.
For it is perhaps the brevity, the economy of explanation in this
chapter, that has provoked the criticism that the Committee has
been over-optimistic in suggesting a figure so low as just over a
million dollars or to be precise, 213,000 or 1,022,400
Caribbean dollars a year.

;Low does the Committee arrive at this estimate? The six
broad heads are:

Governor General's Establishment
(i.e., salary, duty allowance, staff,
travelling, and upkeep of residence)

Council of State
(i.e. the body of 14 on which the Prime
Minister and Cabinet are in the majority)

Senate at
House of Assembly at


$ 48,000


- 64 -

(Chief Justice, 3 Judges, Staff, travel,
subsistence, library etc.) $105,600

Other Federal Officers like the Federal
Chief Secretary, Financial Secretary,
Attorney General and their staffs $148,800

Trade Commissioner Service, if the Federal
Government assumes responsibility for it
at the outset $144,000

Let's run those over. We have Governor General's Establishment
$100,800; Cabinet and Council of State $48,000; Legislature -
Senate $153,600 and Assembly $321,600; Judiciary $105,600; Other
Federal Officers $148,800; Trade Commissioner Service $144,000;
making a total of $1,022,400.

The Committee does not claim that this is a precise estimate.
It is put forward as "some general indication of magnitude", and
the three main arguments for arriving at the low figure are
firstly, that we may neglect the cost of such existing branches
of Government within the region as may be transferred to federal
,.control; secondly, the main expenditure will be the cost of
parliamentary business, the Federal Secretariat and the Governor
General, and one particular reason why expenditure under these
heads can be put low is that the Federal Government (the Committee
saya) will not for several. years require to deal with more than
a comparatively limited number of subjects; thirdly, capital
expenditures (such as would be involved in the creation of imposing
Federal headquarters) cannot as a matter of sheer'- practicability

- 65 -

be undertaken at once.
I want to quote the words used by the Committee In disposing
of the ideas (many, as it says, "exaggerated", arn some "fantastic")
that federalizing a branch of the public service necessarily means
additional expenditure. The Committee takes the Customs Service
as an example and this is what it says: "As and when Customs
administration La transferred to Federal control, the total cost
of administration can hardly be significantly different from what
it is today. There would require to be a new post for the head
of the customs administration and for his immediate headquarters
staff: but there might also be countervailing economies through
the increased efficiency which is postulated by unified adminis-
tration. Under a Customs Union there would also be a loss of the
revenues at present derived from duties imposed in one unit on
the produce :o another. But this loss is not a loss to the
region: the money will remain in the pockets of either the pro-
ducer, or the distributor, or the consumer, and will consequently
serve to augment taxable incomes, as well as constitute an incen-
tive and resource for further economic activity. Such a loss
would not be a 'true' loss but would constitute a redistribution
of resources, which would tend to increase the internal trade
and production of wealth in the region this being the experience
of free trade areas generally".

Now that is an argument which I pergonal2y consider to be
beyond challenge. And, since Federation will progress to Dominion
status proportionately as the Caribbean finances, state and
Federal are husbanded, and the Caribbean economic structure
strengthened (and by the Caribbean peoples themselves), it is
patent that at an early stage, if not at its very first meeting,

- uj -

the Federal parliament will find itself setting up Standing
Committees or Commissions such as a Committee on Public Accounts,
a Loans Council, a Grants-to-States Commission, not to mention
the Regional Economic Committee recommended at Montego Bay. We
can, if we like, leave the Regional Economic Committee out of the
reckoning of costs since the same argument would apply to it
as to any federalized service. That is to say, a Regional Economic
Committee may not be an additional cost, since it would not only
undertake the positive planning but, as the Standing Closer
Association Committee points out (in almost the last sentence of
the Report) it would render unnecessary the number of ad hoc
conferences on economic and related matters which now have to be
called from time to time. But the other three standing Commit-
tees Public Ac ounts, Loans, Federal grants these would
represent additional expenditure unless provision for them has
been taken into account in the Committee's estimate for parlia-
mentary expenditure; and their cost, while not heavy will not be
negligible, since it will be of the essence of acceptable federal
government that they should be states committees, that is bodies
like the Senate, on which each state is equally represented.

Now if we put additional expenditure on these three bodies
at $5,760 each, our estimate would be increased to $1,039,680, and
if, to be absolutely on the safe side, we threw in another
$10,000 for the Regional Economic Committee, the total is
$1,049,680. Again, whether constitutional development in the
individual territories is rapid or not, there will be Conferences
of State Premiers, to act as the clearing house for smoothing out
relations between the Federal and State Legislatures. For this,
we may add another $5,760, the basis I have chosen for all these

bodies being one conference per annum lasting a fortnight, with
most of the day-to-day business done by circular telegram, air
courier and radio telephone from the Federal centre. Our esti-
mate is now $1,055,440.

The Committee gives us no clue whether its estimate includes
provision for a Public Services Commission, which the Committee
itself describes as "quite desirable in respect of unification
and essential under federation." The form the Public Services
Commission should take has indeed been written into the Consoli-
dated Recommendations or Drafting Instructions for the Federal
Constitution, so that if the Committee's estimate does not in-
clude provision for the Public Services Commission, we must at
once provide for it. And the expenditure would be at least of
the order of 6,500 or $31,200. The basis I have used ia a three-
man Commission the minimum strength and salaries of $12,000
per annum for the chairman and $9,600 for each of the two mem-
bers. These are moderate salaries. For the quality and integ-
rity of the service demanded, retired judges would doubtless make
the best commissioners, aided in an advisory capacity by the
Federal Chief Secretary and Personnel Officer. So let us put on
$31,200 to bring the estimated total to $1,086,640.

Now this is an estimate to take care of nearly everything
necessary for the organization of federation for the first 10
years of its life. There remains to be considered the future of
the West Indian Development and Welfare Organization in relation
to a Caribbean Federal. Government. Earlier in the report
this passage occurs, and I shall now quote it in full:

"The activities and value of a Federation need not be,
and normally are not, limited to those fields in which

- 68 -

it can legislate and has or can assume executive authority.
As in agriculture or'police matters, so in respect of
education, marketing, industrial and scientific matters,
social services and many others, the Federation can render
very valuable advisory services to individuals and to terri-
torial Governments. In this respect it would be able to
take over the advisory functions hitherto discharged by
the Development and Welfare Organization in Barbados and
develop and add to them with all the additional weight
which attachment to a Federal Government could not fail
to give. Such functions do not however require to be
written into a Federal Constitution since they do not
involve the exercise of any executive powers other than
the power to create and maintain the necessary offices
or bureaux. The Federation could also usefully take over
from territorial Governments the responsibility for con-
tributions to various Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux
which would be a distinct administrative convenience to
all concerned."

Now salaries and allowances to seventeen members of the
advisory personnel of the Development and Welfare Organization
come to about $168,000 according to the Colonial Office List.
Let us assume that in the amalgamation no significant reduction
of expenditure will be possible. In any event the necessity
to launch a Federal Bureau of Statistics simultaneously with the
Federation may cancel may offset any savings in secretariat
expenditure. So let us put the whole of the $168,000 and bring
our grand total to $1,254,640.

69 -

I think we may hold the estimate there. Now I have take
the liberty to make several assumptions in order to bring it to
that figure nearly 50,000 more than the Committee's estimate.
The Standing Closer Association Committee's estimate encountered
Caribbean scepticism and I wanted to be more pessimistic in making
these additions. The point I want you to consider is that even
at that figure $1,254,640 the additional recurrent cost of
Federation, ex-lusive of Federal grants to states would be small
in relation tb the revenue proposed, which, let us remember. is
to be one-quarter of customs revenues or an average estimating
very conservatively of approximately eight and three-quarter
million dollers a year.

- 70 -


July 16

The text for today's talk virtually the last talk of the
series, for next week I merely sum up lies in two sentences in
the last paragraph of the Standing Closer Association Committee's
report which run as follows:

"The experience of previous federations has been that
'federal' services do not fare well in the absence of
the unifying sanction of political federation. The
history of the Federal Council of Australia provides
indisputable proof of this fact."

The Committee is at this point of its report discussing the im-
portant; question of pre-federal action particularly important
to British Guiana where the feeling exists, among a fair number
of people, that this country can gain all the advantages of closer
association without making any financial investment in, or accept-
ing any of the responsibilities of, political federation. Those
who hold this point of view instance the many ways in which Britist
Guiana and the islands already collaborate, and they ask, where
then is the necessity for political machinery. Those who hold
that Federation cannot come too soon retort that a federated West
Indies without British Guiana might not want to collaborate with
a country that not only does not want to be politically linked
but apparently prefers a lower political status. These people
consider that the very existence of the many pre-federal associa-
tions is evidence that political federation is desirable and

- 71 -

inevitable. And they also speculate as they are entitled to -
whether the existing forms of close association might not serve
the area far more effectively if, as the Committee puts it, there
were the "unifying sanction" of federation.

The Committee is in no doubt that federation and federal
services should be concurrent. It was charged under its terms of
reference with the duty of considering certain forms of closer
association apart from full political federation, namely customs
union and unification of currency and public services, and this is
how it summarizes its observations:

"There are those who hold that the time for federation is
not yet; and that the wisest course would be to proceed
with joint action in various directions, such as Customs
Union, the unification of services etc. and so gradually
build up to a situation in which the habit of joint
action will have become so strong as to enable full politi-
cal federation to follow uncontentiously and almost as a
matter of course. Others, who hold that full federation
is necessary and practicable nowincline to oppose action
on "pre-federal" lines, on the ground that such action may
operate to delay federation whether by intention or other-
wise. Strictly speaking, we are not called upon to take
sides in such a discussion. Our terms of reference are
not to consider whether federation is desirable, but what
form it should take. The major question of policy was
dealt with in Montego Bay Resolution 1, which was subse-
quently endorsed by all the Legislatures concerned, but
two, and rejected by none. Nevertheless we may offer
certain observations on the matter, the chief of which

- 72 -

is that it is probably impossible to generalise as do the
advocates of both the views indicated above. Each propo-
sition must be considered on its merits. In this connec-
tion it is worth referring to the final paragraphs of the
Report of the Holmes Commission, in which it is observed
that while the unification of services will do some good,
federalisation will do much more. That Commission was
not concerned with federation as a political question at
all, and their comment from a strictly disinterested and
administrative point of view is therefore significant.
In the case of Customs, on the other hand, our advice is
that much work can (and should) with benefit be done quite
independently of federation, and that indeed in some re-
spects the coming of federation could not greatly expedite
the mass of detailed and administrative work which needs to
be done, however much it would facilitate the subsequent
operation of a Customs Union. Similarly, in the casd of a
Regional Economic Committee, it is obvious that such a
body could act more promptly and decisively were it the
organ of a single federal government; yet it seems plain,
if only from the number of ad hoc conferences on economic
and related matters which have from time to time to be
called, that such a standing body, with its own secre-
tariat, would be of value even as things are. In short,
it appears to us-that purely as a matter of practical effi-
cacy there are many subjects on which "pre-federal" joint
action would be of distinct benefit to the region, while
at the same time the existence of federation would greatly
increase the efficacy of such joint action."

During the debate which he initiated in the House of Lords
two weeks ago, Lord Listowel, the former Minister of State for the

- 73 -

Colonies, dealt almost exclusively with the timing of federation -
"now immediately or in the near future". Federation itself he
regarded as necessary and practicable as in the interests of the
Caribbean people, and no one disagreed with him. It is of course
to present only one side of his speech to emphasize his insistence
on a more definite forecast about sugar prospects as a prerequisite
to Federation, for Lord Listowel made his meaning abundantly
clear namely that political federation should follow and not
precede a better understanding between the United Kingdom and the
Caribbean over the disposal of our maximum sugar output. Lord
Listowol was of course speaking before the West Indian sugar
delegation had won its compromise from the United Kingdom govern-
ment and, bearing in mind his other prerequisite about the pre-
paring of public opinion, commentators should not overlook this
fact, nor play down his very lucid summing up in which he said:
"But if the premature establishment of a Federal Administration
might easily end in failure, indefinite postponement would probably"
make federation quite impossible. The economic structure of the
region would become distorted by a haphazard growth of new in-
dustries and crops, many of which would seek shelter behind tariff
barriers against the competition of their neighbours. The pattern
of economic development would thus in itself become a serious
obstacle to political union. An even greater danger to federa-
tion would arise if a number of territories were to reach self-
government before federation had taken place."

I do not wish today to review the House of Lords debate but
it is appropriate in this discussion of the question of pre-
federal action to give the authoritative "progress report" as I
may call it, of the Government spolmsman, Lord Hall, who is himself

- 74 -

a former Secretary of State for the Colonies and is now the First
Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the Cabinet. Since the
first meeting of the Standing Closer Association Committee we have
had the Holmes Report on the Public Services which, Lord Hall
said, was now being considered, and the Customs Union report which
will sonn be published, not to mention the currency agreement and
the recent action by British Guiana and the other participating
legislatures. "Then again-(Lord Hall continued) several of the
territories have now shown their willingness to participate in
a Regional Economic Committee and to sponsor a trade economic
service in the United Kingdom and Canada which will represent
and control their common and commercial interests. Further, a
federation of primary producers has been formed, representing
mainly all the colonial organizations whose interests are so closely,
bound up with the prosperous development of agriculture through-
out the area."

The most recent instance of ad hoc pre-federal action is the
sending to London of the sugar delegation. Now the presence of
the delegation was quite clearly in the minds of the Lords during
the debate and it should be in our mwn minds today, for that
delegation was historic in the sense that it was an attempt to
represent not merely the Caribbean sugar industry but the Caribbean
peoples as a whole. Some day the full story will be told of the
extraordinary difficulties of the numerous West Indian adminis-
trations, first of ascertaining the desires of the peoples con-
cerned in respect of the summoning of the preliminary conference
in Grenada; secondly, of giving effect to these desires when the
only coordinating authority among the 12 colonies was either the
Colonial Office or a Colonial Office agency; and thirdly, the
difficulty one should say the impossibility of ensuring unanimity
among the Legislatures concerned in accepting the main recommen-

- 75 -

dation of the Conference. In the event, all did agree, but it is
not too much to say that up to the last moment there was no cer-
tainty that the legislatures of all the sugar colonies would ratif-
the Grenada decision. And even while the delegation was on the
eve of achieving its compromise with the United Kingdom government,
the Prime Minister of one colony was uttering in the newspapers
of that colony opinions and taunts not exactly favourable to the
delegation. It is not a point of view but a simple statement of
fact which may be accepted by federalists and non-federalists
alike, based on the experience of other federations that all the
difficulties of integrating public opinion and delegating the
power to represent that public opinion in negotiations with an
external authority would disappear under a political federation.

The Committee says the history of the Federal Coundil of
Australia provides indisputable proof of the fact that federal
services do not fare well in the absence of political federation.
I havd been reading a bit about the history of this Federal Coun-
cil which preceded federation in Australia. The authority is
Professor Crisp's book to which I have already referred in an
earlier talk. It is most revealing and I commend it to all who
think that the future of the Caribbean and particularly British
Guiana lies in the creation of two or three or a number of tiny
dominions with no closer link than some sort of representative
Committee. This Federal Council of Australia was created by an
act of the U.K. Parliament dated 1885. "At the outset New South
Wales refused to join, Sir Henry Parkes holding that it was a
farce. It was intended,(says Professor Crisp) to bear to the
ultimate Commonwealth Government, a relation roughly analogous
to that of the American Confederacy in relation to the subsequent

- 76 -

union under the 1787 American Constitution. In practice, the
Federal Council union was loose and weak; unlike the American
Confederacy, it never experienced even a short period of external
danger. What few legislative powers the Council definitely pos-
sessed related almost entirely to legal facilities desirbd by
the merchant class who shared power in those days with the
'squattocracyV. The Council had no executive powers; it had no
power to raise revenue or expend money; its decisions were re-
ferred to the constituent colonial governments for action.
Lacking, besides executive and financial powers, any continuity
of personnel and any representation from the senior colony, the
Council simply failed to capture the popular imagination. It
aroused no enthusiasm and evoked few loyalties.... The Council met
for the last time in 1899 and passed into oblivion unhonoured
and unsung."

The crux of all this is that you may create a customs union,
you may use a uniform currency, and you may unify your civil
service, but you just simply cannot create a new nation without
federation. As Sir Henry Parkos, the Premier of New South Wales,
said at one of Australia's many pre-federal conferences "Thu
Federation Government must be a government of power... should be
in design from the very first a complete legislative and executive
government, suited to perform the grandest and highest functions
of a nation."

In our own Caribbean area, the most forward-looking investment
in pre-federal action remains the establishment of the University
College. Lord Listowel, during the Lords debate, suggested that
discussion of the report should be made the focus of a sustained
campaign of political education and propaganda. Leadership in
_-,--I- t -^ -t f l- _. ,ut t.- I- t ? U - 4i J 4- -- 4*s -t It

- 77 -

ments and by individuals who happen to be in a position to in-
fluence public opinion. The difficulties, (this series of
broadcasts notwithstanding) are immense. Few Information Depart-
ments ih the area only two or three among twelve territories -
and those bwo inadequately staffed, and no functioning pre-federal
machinery for a coordinated "publicity campaign" throughout the
region. But the difficulties can and must be overcome, and per-
haps the University College has a part to play.

H.R. Harewood.

- After this broadcast, there remained only the summary
of the series which was given on July 30. The summary
is published as a preface to this booklet.



The following is the text of the resolution passed by the
Directors of the Incorporated Chambers of Commerce of the British
Caribbean at the Conference held in Trinidad in July, 19.50:-

WHEREAS this Meeting has given full and careful consideration
to the Report of the Bitish Caribbean Standing Closer Associa-
tion Committee 1948-49,

BE IT RESOLVED that the following unanimous expressions of
opinion be conveyed to member Chambers:

(a) that if and when it has been decided to establish Federa-
tion, and whilst reserving the right to individual ex-
pressions of opinion in respect of paras. 7 and 18, the
Consolidated Recommendations (Appendix 5) may be adopted

--"^ -- ~-------
Paras.17 and 18 of the Consolidated Recommendations of
the Standing CloserAssociation Committee:

17. The House of Assembly should consist of fifty
elected members.

as a framework for a Federal Constitution, with the ex-
ception of the percentage mentioned in paragraph 60 (1)(a)
on which an opinion is expressed in paragraphs (b) and (c)

18. (1) For the purposes of the election of members of
the House of Assembly, seats should be allocated among the
Units as follows:-

Barbados ... .... 4
British Guiana ...... 6
British Honduras ...... 2
Jamaica .. .. ... 16
Antigua ..... 2
St.Kitts-Nevis ... ... 2
Montserrat 1
Trinidad ... ... 9
Grenada .... 2
St.Vincent 2
St.Lucia .. 2
Dominica .... 2

(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraph 20 below,
regarding the first general election, the seats within the
Units should be allocated to constituencies by Federal Law.


(b) That the retention by the Federal Government of 25% of
net Unit Customs revenues would impose in most cases a
greater burden upon-Unit Government finances than those
finances could bear. The imposition of heavy additional
taxation to offset such retention must adversely affect
the economic status of the peoples of the area.

(c) That instead of the retention of the above-mentioned
25%, of Customs Duties, it is considered that an amount
of not more than 10% for the initial period of five years
would be sufficient to meet the indicated Federal require-
ments on the basis of the following annual estimates:

Federal Administration (Report
Para. 110)......
Trade Commissioner Service'
(Report Para. 111) ...

Allowance for unspecified

For creation of a General






(d) That the Grant-in-Aid needs of individual Units over a
period of ten years are indeterminable in advance. That


it is speculative as to whether the Special Annual Grants
from His Majesty's Government as proposed in the Report
will exceed or fall short of the actual needs as they
develop. That during the initial five-year period and
the subsequent five-year period, and until the independent
enquiry into the whole question of the financing of the
Federation be held His Majesty's Government should reim-
burse the Federal Government for such Grants-in-Aid as
the Federal Government may have found it necessary to
extend to any of the Units of the Federation.

(e) That although it is provided that Federal Laws may be
enacted in respect of matters in the Concurrent List,
and would become effective throughout the area, it is
assumed that such Laws would not be passed until there
was a measure of agreement between Unit Governments
and the Federal Government.

That Federal Legislation on the undermentioned subjects
included in the Concurrent List should not be introduced
until all possible steps have been taken by consultation
or otherwise to ensure that such legislation will not be
repugnant or harmful to the interests of any Unit:-
(ii) Aliens; (xv) Development of Industries;
(tix) Immigration, emigration and deportation;
(xi$) Movement of persons, alien and other be-
tween the Units; (xxxiv) Trade and Commerce with
territories outside the Federation and between
the Units and (xx vi) Weights and measures.

(f)l That early Federal Legislation might be undertaken on the
undermentioned subjects in the Concurrent List in order
to achieve the advantages of uniformity:
vii Bankruptcy and involvency.
x Company Law.
xii Copyrights, designs, patents of Invcntlons & Trade Mark.
xxxi Statistics.


(g) That centralised negotiations on behalf of the constituent
units of the proposed federation should be extremely effec-
tive in voicing opinions with respect to trade agreements
that the United Kingdom may contemplate, particularly as
the Federation will cover the greater portion of British
territories in this part of the world.

That it may be assumed that the Federal Administration
should be permitted some freedom in preliminary trade
negotiations with other countries, and in an emergency
could take effective action at short notice on behalf of
the Federal area as a whole.


That the establishment of Trade Commissioner Service undSe
the aegis of a Federal Government would not only enhance
the status and prestige of the Commissioners but would go
far to remove the anomalies which are inevitable in the
present circumstances involving separate consultation with
-A- P h r%<1nn yT

That the consolidation of existing markets and the pro-
gressive establishment of new markets for West Indian
produce is a vital problem when considered in conjunction
with the industrialisation policies of Colonial Governments.
That an energetic Trade Commissioner Service can play an
important part in the future economic development of the
area including the fostering of the tourist trade.

(h) That centralised planning of government development and
advisory services would tend to create a greater measure
of economic stability and solvency within the area.


(i); That Unit Governments should be more advantageously served
by the raising of external loans by the Federal Government
but until the Federal Government can build up sufficiently
substantial reserves legislation should provide that Unit
Governments with the concurrence of the Federal Government,
may raise external loans on their own security if such
loans can be raised on favourable terms.

(j) That apart from such assistance as would come within the
category of Grants-in-Aid, Federal Funds should be available
to the Units for the purpose of providing assistance in
unforeseen emergencies.

(k) That as the Report of the Custom-s Union Commission is not
yet available, opinion cannot be expressed on the effect
of a Customs Union but attention should be drawn to

Para.17 (e) of App.4 Customs Union Commission Note by
Chairman which is as follows:-

"17. In conclusion, therefore, I anticipate that
the recommendations of the Commission will
probably be the acceptance by the various
colonies of the following

(e) A free trade area with the maximum free-
dom in the movement of goods consonant
with the revenue interests of the various

(1) That it is desirable to build up a strong and efficient
Public Service and that the best means of affording train-
ing to officers of ability would be within the framework
of a unification where practicable of Public Services
within the Proposed Federal Area.

(m) That no direct economic disadvantages other than the burden
of cost, are likely to be felt by the Units as a result
of participation in Federation.

(n) That the Unit Governments which have not already done so
should as soon as possible implement the recommendations
of the Conference held at Barbados, February 1949 to

(i) Trade Commissioner Service

(ii) The setting up of a Regional Economic Committee.

(v il)


(Dated August 15, 1950.)

WHEREAS the Report of the British Caribbean Standing Closer
Association Committee 1948-49 is the only basis on which the
question of a Federal structure and constitution for the British
West Indies, British Guiana and British Honduras is being

AND WHEREAS the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Georgetown
was represented at a meeting of the Directors of the Incorporated
Chambers of Commerce of the British Caribbean held in Trinidad
in July 1950, for the purpose of which this Chamber at a General
Meeting held on 30th June 1950, gave its delegates a mandate
that it was in favour of Federation with certain reservations;

AND WHEREAS the Directors of the Incorporated Chambers of
Commerce of the British Caribbean gave full and careful considera-
tion to the Report of the S.C.A.C. above-mentioned, and passed
the attached Resolution in respect thereof;

BE IT RESOLVED that this Chamber, having given careful
consideration to the said Resolution and the report of its dele-
gates thereon, fully endorses this Resolution, and considers
that Federation would be in the interests of the people of British
Guiana provided the following Qonditions can be fulfilled:-

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