Title Page
 Table of Contents
 National income tables
 The purpose of the study
 Geographical and historical...
 Income table and notes
 Output table and notes
 Government account
 Balance of payments
 Expenditure, 1946
 Population and output
 The future
 The role of government
 Appendix A: Note on the devaluation...
 Appendix B: Data needed for annual...

Group Title: The Pattern of a Dependent Economy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099189/00001
 Material Information
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: University Press, Cambridge
Place of Publication: Cambridge, UK
Manufacturer: T. and A. Constable, Ltd.
Publication Date: 1953
Copyright Date: 1953
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099189
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: oclc - 173153

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
    National income tables
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    The purpose of the study
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Geographical and historical background
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    Income table and notes
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Output table and notes
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Government account
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    Balance of payments
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Expenditure, 1946
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
    Population and output
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    The future
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    The role of government
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    Appendix A: Note on the devaluation of the British Honduras dollar
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    Appendix B: Data needed for annual tables
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
Full Text






London Office: Bentley House, N.w. I
Amersican Branch New~ York
Agens for Canada, India, and PakEistaE: MarmESlhE


by T =dA CowA= RY. oeo tv
toY 7 h thdauf ofEdib


Preface page ix
National Income Tables xii
National Income Tables: Percentages

I. The Purpose of the Study
II. Geographical and Historical Background 15
III. Sources 21
IV. Definitions 26
V. Structure of the Tables 35
VI. Income Table and Notes 37
VII. Output Table and Notes 46
VIII. Government Account 86
IX. Balance of Payments, I 89
X. Expenditure, 1946 93
XI. Population and Output 97
XII. The Future Io5
XIII. The Role of Government 126

Postscript 136
Appendix A. Note on the Devaluation of the British
Honduras Dollar 139
Appendix B. Data Needed for Annual Tables 143
Tables 149
Bibliography 157
Index 159


The preparation of National Income tables for British Hon-
duras for 1946 followed a conversation with the late Sir Gerald
Hawkesworth, then Governor of the Colony, in 1947. Sir Gerald
thought such tables would be useful, but we doubted if there
was sufficient information available for them to be possible.
They had to be based on data collected by others for different
purposes, as I was fully occupied at the time and unable to
undertake any special research to produce figures to fill any
gaps which might appear when the data had been assembled.
Sir Gerald gave me permission to use any unpublished infor-
mation in the hands of Government of which I could get hold.
During the following two years my ordinary work took me to
nearly all the inhabited parts of the country and I was able,
from conversations and discussions, unofficial and official, with
many experienced men, to make valuable judgments, both for
sorting out the figures which were accumulating and for making
assumptions for filling in gaps in those figures. The tables had
to be constructed in my spare time and were submitted to
Government in almost their present form early in 1949. At this
point it seemed that they might be of more than purely local
and official interest and I sought permission of Government to
publish them, together with such general descriptive matter as
would make them intelligible to anyone not acquainted with
the Colony. From this it was but a step to try to place the
economy in a wider setting.
The present work has two aims: first, to show that a reason-
ably accurate national income study, in broad outline, can be
made without overloading it with detail or spending an in-
ordinate time in detailed research; and, secondly, to indicate
some of the problems peculiar to a dependent economy by an
examination in some detail of one. I hope I have been able
to avoid the dangers of generalising from a particular, and often

unusual, economy by comparisons with other colonies with
whose economies I have been familiar, namely the Gold Coast
and Northern Rhodesia, both countries as different from each
other as they are from British Honduras.
In making the National Income tables I have based my work
on that of Miss Phyllis Deane, with whom I had the benefit of
discussions when she was preparing her calculations for Northern
Rhodesia, and whose pioneer work, The Measurement of Colonial
National Incomes, is the clearest exposition that I have seen of the
methods and principles to be applied in such a study. There is
an amount of information of a general kind on National In-
comes, concerned mainly with principles and definitions, but
which, based on well-documented societies, presupposes a quan-
tity of statistical material available. The United Nations Statis-
tical Office, however, in National Income Statistics, I938-1947,
reveals that for many of the thirty-nine countries and terri-
tories for which calculations have been made, nothing like the
full information required for anything approaching an accurate
study was available and that, even with the comparatively well-
documented countries, often large assumptions had to be made
and for various sectors of the economy rather generalised figures
had to be put in. Miss Deane's work described clearly not only
how she had constructed her tables but exactly where she had
made assumptions and what their nature was. This detailed
description of the application of the principles, describing the
difficulties and how they were overcome, is invaluable.
I am convinced that the concept and use of national income
studies should be familiar and intelligible to the interested lay-
man as well as to the economist and statistician, if their full
value is to be realized. As they are useful to governments in
policy-making, so it is necessary that the public should under-
stand, with its government, the reasons that have prompted a
particular policy. To achieve this the rather arid desert of figures
must be watered with general description showing the familiar
background in a recognisable form and relating the figures to
it. It is also important that where assumptions have been made
they should be clearly stated, or one is liable to find oneself

drawing from the tables as conclusions what are, in fact, none
other than the assumptions which were made in building them
up. Such conclusions may be perfectly correct, but they have
only the accuracy of the original assumptions and are not valid
deductions from the tables.
The assistance of those who deliberately helped me I have
acknowledged in appropriate places. If the text, however, seems
rather devoid of 'references' in support of statements made, this
is because I owe a debt to the many persons whose brains, ex-
perience and knowledge I picked during three years, and cross-
checked with that of others. British Honduras has been little
written about authoritatively. The knowledge of the Colony is
kept not in books altogether, but also in men's minds. While I
can often remember who was the source of a piece of informa-
tion, I cannot acknowledge it, as my informant would probably
not recognize it placed in its wider setting and with my inter-
pretation upon it. For much of what follows I can only state
that such-and-such is what I know to be so.
Professor Frankel and Miss Deane have helped me constantly
with sympathy and advice on points of principle. Mr A. F. A.
Lamb, Conlervator of Forests, Mr C. W. L. Fishlock, Director
of Agriculture, and Mr R. K. Masson, Collector of Customs,
have given me willing assistance with those parts of the economy
with which they were most familiar. Needless to say, they bear
no responsibility for any opinions expressed herein. My thanks
are also due to Mr S. E. Tench and Mrs D. Gabourel, of the
Audit Department, who never hesitated in the face of requests
for reports and documents, typing and re-typing.
N. S. C.J.


$ooo OUTPUT $000

Profits from Estates 90

2. Profits from Trade,
Business' or Profes-

3. Earnings of Farmers,
Tradesmen and
Small Shopkeepers
working on own
account 3,414

4. Salary Earners. 1,397

5. Wage Earners 3,o62

6. Interest

7. Rents, Royalties, etc.

8. Remittances from



2. Quarrying

3. Fishing

4. Forestry 2,300

5. Manufacturing and
Repair 990

6. Construction 586

Transport and Com-

8. Commerce

9. Recreational Service

professional Service 441


12. Personal Service

13. Other 307

14. Housing. 668

15. Income from Abroad 327




Food, drink and tobacco 4,522
Clothing 1,304

2. Other Personal and Private Capital
Expenditure. 5,541
1- 1,367
3. Less Indirect Taxes 941

4. Plus Subsidies io8

Government Expenditure on Current Goods
and Services. I,4I5

6. Government Investment 545
7. Remittances Abroad. 25

Less Disinvestment:
8. Net Government Receipts from Abroad 947

9. Investment by Foreign Companies 827

o. Income of Foreign Missions 150

Saving 212


Profits from Estates

2. Profits from Trade,
Business or Pro-

3. Earnings of Farmers,
Tradesmen and
Small Shopkeepers
working on own

4. Salary Earners.

5. Wage Earners

6. Inter

7. Rents, Royalties, etc.

8. Remittances from



Agricul 14-98

2. Quarryi

3. Fishing

4. Forestry

5. Manufacturing and
31 59
6. Construction

Transport and Com-

8. Commerce

9. Recreational Service

so. Professional Service 4-10

Public Service. 8-43

is. Personal Service 2.80

13. Other

14. Housing

r5. Income from Abroad





Food, drink and tobacco

2. Other Personal and Private Capital
Expenditure. 51-51

3. Less Indirect Taxes

lus Subsidies

5. Government Expenditure on Current Goods
and Services .

6. Government Investment

7. Remittances Abroad.

Less Disinvestment:

8. Net Government Receipts from Abroad

9. Investment by Foreign Companies

o. Income of Foreign Missions

. Saving .


1 00oo


- 116-14





Before undertaking a study of this kind some idea of the possible
uses of the tables is necessary in order to decide what form they
should take. The final form is determined by: (a) the informa-
tion available, and (b) the possible use of the tables.
The former is an overriding determinant, but even so, with
a certain amount of inference based on experience, a number of
variations are possible. The latter is a more difficult point. One
can set up one's tables with an eye either on other national
income calculators or towards the people or government of
the country with which one is dealing. Clearly, if the purpose
is to contribute to world economic studies, it will be important
to cast one's tables in a form which will be comparable with
those of other areas. The United Nations Statistical Office has
made recommendations for the uniformity of plan, for the in-
clusion and exclusion of certain items and for the use of similar
definitions, which so far no single country has applied entirely.
In fact, no two countries produce exactly the same national
income statistics. In any event, limitations of data must often
make the fulfilment of their ideals impossible. Quite apart
from this, it is a question whether the international compara-
bility of such statistics should override local needs. At the
present stage of the study of national incomes, while it may be
of interest to compare the measure of the economies of different
areas, and of practical value where highly developed countries
are concerned, where plans for the integration of economies
are being made, where economic policy is directly connected
with national income figures and where, as in the United King-
dom, the national income and the budget are closely allied,
the same hardly applies to dependent and under-developed
economies. Even the United Nations Statistical Office has not
yet laid down rules for national income studies of dependent
territories where subsistence agriculture and migrant labour

play a large part in the economy. Of the many uses of national
income studies given in National Income Statistics, 1938-1947,
only one refers particularly to under-developed territories: 'The
problems of the under-developed countries and proposals for
raising their standards of living also require a detailed know-
ledge of the national income and its components.'
There is also the use which the distant planner or overseas
investor might make of the study as a general economic picture.
He could use it also to check more detailed information from
other sources, possibly interested sources. What other use is
likely to be made of a colonial income study? The answer is
largely unknown because there have been so few of them, and
then only for isolated years. The use will vary from colony to
colony according to the degree of control exercised over the
economy by the colonial government and the nature of the
economic machinery. There is no doubt that, as elsewhere, in
most colonies government is an increasingly important factor
in the economy and its activities have a greater influence than
ever before. Taxation has increased and government invest-
ment, especially under the Colonial Development and Welfare
Acts, is often a major economic influence. During the war
colonial economic and financial departments developed, and,
with wartime control and the creation of supplies departments,
not only did government knowledge of and interference in
colonial economies grow but the departments themselves be-
came more practised in the application of economics to policy.
Of the past it would probably be true to say that the govern-
ments of officials in the colonies pursued policies which were
the resultant of the various forces that played on them, of the
various pressures to which they were subjected, such as large
industrial interests, chambers of commerce, and the restraining
hand of the Colonial Office. They were not themselves a force.
Their effects on the economies of their particular colonies were
large but unrelated. Any reasonably vocal sector of the econ-
omy could get the policy which it desired, provided that it did
not conflict with other, equally vocal, sectors. Government
policy was negative rather than posi ve, it reacted rather than

planned, and was especially timid of interests which were vocal
in the United Kingdom rather than locally.
Nowadays policy tends to be more positive. Development is
'planned', though planning takes place without that thorough
economic knowledge on which it should be based. Colonial
'planning' is similar to what is an administrative or executive
department of planning in more developed countries. It is
not an integration and direction of the parts of the economy
but a table of priorities for capital works. Nevertheless, colonial
governments do take a lead now-instead of following-in close
consultation with the representatives of the local community.
In fact, together with a change to positive policy-making, there
has been a decrease in the authority and power of Government.
Most colonies now have an unofficial majority on their legis-
lative council (or other representative and legislative body).
The effect of this is that any particular point of policy, any
specific application of it, can be prevented by the legislative
council. Thus while governments increasingly have policies they
are increasingly unable to ensure that they are carried out.
This difficulty is being met by broadening the basis of repre-
sentation, so that sectors which had no voice before now have
one, and a purely sectional policy, devoted to only one interest,
becomes more difficult; and by taking representatives into the
Executive Council where policy is formulated, and making
them share in policy-making and the responsibility for policy.
(It is interesting to note that an eagerness on the part of repre-
sentatives to take part in the formulation of government policy
is matched often by a reluctance to bear any responsibility
for it when formulated, if any of its aspects do not prove popular.
This is probably a 'teething trouble' of the new system, as repre-
sentatives are traditionally elected in opposition to government,
which has in the past been reluctant to explain its policies, for,
as we have seen, it rarely had any.)
The next stage seems to be the complete responsibility of the
representatives for policy, with the officials acting only in an
advisory and administrative capacity. It is in the transitional
stage that national income studies begin to have an especial

value, although they will be even more valuable in the
final stage if colonial politics are not to become a battle-
ground of sectional interests with the carefully fostered
civil service of (what may be termed) 'national' outlook
It is perhaps an exaggeration to say that colonial civil service
governments have become more positive in themselves, although
they have the appearance of being so. They now purport to do
certain specific things for a colony, generally under the heading
of 'development', whereas in the past the maintenance of law
and order and peace for trading was the chief aim. A more
accurate description of what has happened might be to say that
the war, movements in Britain, and a rising tide of nationalism
rooted in colour-consciousness, have combined to release new
forces which are liable to disturb the basic government func-
tion of maintaining law and order. These new forces have there-
fore been made constitutionally vocal and have tended to upset
the equilibrium of colonial politics. As a first step to counter
this a pressure, taking the form of 'development and welfare',
which it was hoped would equal the pressure of the new forces,
was applied to the colonial governments by the Colonial Office.
This gave the colonial governments an appearance of being
positive. The structure was shored up, it was hoped for some
time, while alterations to the building were made to render it
more suitable to the changed conditions. In practice the
Colonial Office pressure is not proving equal to the pressure of
the new forces, and a new and revolutionary equilibrium is
being achieved in the more advanced colonies, such as Jamaica,
by the extinction of the system of government by officials. It
must be a primary aim of the Colonial Office, though publicity
and propaganda may direct attention elsewhere, to maintain
equilibrium in the colonies. It is clearly responding fairly
rapidly to disequilibria, but often its specific economic responses
are faulty for lack of proper data. National income studies
should help to overcome this and make it possible to anticipate
disequilibria in the economic sphere and such in the political
sphere as are dependent on economics.

It is easy to talk in general terms of 'new forces' and 'nation-
alism' without explaining what one means, thereby causing
confusion where enough exists already. Nationalism, colour-
consciousness, the interests of the working classes or the under-
dog, and democracy, are all generally confused in one glorious
sentimental muddle. It is strange, for example, to see those
who would improve the lot of the worker advocating the grant-
ing of self-government to colonies, thereby throwing away
their ability to improve his lot and handing him over to a state
where they cannot ensure his being safeguarded from ex-
ploitation. It suggests an over-anxious desire to use arguments
of nationalism and self-determination in order to shift one's
responsibilities on to other shoulders, before seeing that the
owners of the other shoulders are prepared to bear the respon-
It is no part of my aim, however, to discuss politics, with
which I am not acquainted. But there is one interesting point
which is, perhaps, worth noting about nationalism and the
counter to it. On the whole it would be true to say that the
two main influences in the creation of nationalism are, first,
the growing urban populations composed of different tribal or
racial groups, often existing in squalid conditions and without
the social satisfactions of tribal life, who must seek an outlet
or a satisfaction from some other source; and, secondly, the
growth of an educated black class which cannot easily be ab-
sorbed into the ruling class and which feels frustrated in its
reasonable search for power and position. This class is able to
exploit the dissatisfaction of the new townsman and rouse
'national' feeling on a colour basis. In West Africa today the
nationalism of the tribe and the nationalism of the black towns-
man are still contending. The point I would make is that the
'new forces' arise as much from social and even spiritual as
from economic disequilibria, but they are being combated (or
their disruptive element is) by economic counter-forces only.
The economic counter-forces are as liable to create disequilibria
as to remove them. Too much absorption with trade returns or
general accretions of wealth to the community are apt to mask

social stress and distress in detail (until the disease erupts in
social and political strife). Governments naturally want a yard-
stick to measure the success of their activities, but trade returns
and economic statistics are altogether too simple. It is natural
for governments to use them, partly on account of their sim-
plicity, but also because they reveal where the sinews of govern-
ment, taxation, may be strengthened. But government is not
all economics, and healthy trade returns may well conceal a
sick society. No economic policy should be without an accom-
panying social policy.'
Indeed, an economic policy should be pursued for its social
effects, rather than regardless of them, with Government later
trying to mop up the milk which its own economic policy has
spilt. This is, of course, only another way of saying that man
does not live by bread alone. The 'bread' is necessary to life,
and, as we shall see later, the successful survival of British Hon-
duras requires action in the economic field. What form that
action takes should be determined not merely with a view to
achieving the maximum bread but to achieving a happy and
stable society as well. It is often said that the African was
happier before he began to enjoy the benefits of white civilisa-
tion. It is obvious enough that poor societies are often happier
than rich ones. Evans-Pritchard, in his studies of witchcraft in
the Sudan, has done a lot to explode the 'darkest Africa' myth
of the native living in constant terror of witchcraft and has
shown that, in fact, witchcraft does resolve the intangible prob-

1 Even national income figures may be used as a yardstick in a danger-
ous way. The Kenya Development Committee laid down as a basic prin-
ciple governing development-'to use the natural resources of the country,
including manpower, in a manner calculated to increase the National In-
come of Kenya in the shortest space of time so as to raise, as soon as possible,
the standard of living of the majority of the inhabitants'. This implies that
increasing the national income will result in raising the standard of living
of the majority of the inhabitants. There is no logical necessity for this. The
national income can be raised in such a way that the few will benefit at the
expense of the many. Unless the clause following'so as to raise' is considered
to define the manner in which the national income should be increased, the
aim of raising the standard of living of the majority will not necessarily be
achieved. That depends on the arrangements for distributing the national
income and can even be achieved without increasing it.

lems of life in an eminently practical way and is conducive to
Partly, of course, a poor society tends to be happy because it
is a small society, and every individual in it has a status and
function, in part customary and accepted, and in part depen-
dent on his own personality and its interplay with the other
personalities of that society. In a large society the individual
has no existence as an individual. He is lost in an amorphous
mass of people. No one is interested in him and, if poverty is
added to his lot, his state is much worse than before. This is
the problem of the large colonial town, which offers a great
field for constructive sociology.
The problem of making a large town a proper social organ-
ism has probably not been satisfactorily solved anywhere. The
solution has not been attempted in most colonies. The late
Godfrey Wilson, in his studies of the urban African in Northern
Rhodesia, was a lonely pioneer in attempting to find out some-
thing about life in colonial towns, and that is far removed from
constructing a social life in them, which should be the end. Sir
George Beresford Stooke, when Chief Secretary of Northern
Rhodesia, made an imaginative and constructive contribution
to the problem with his policy for creating African suburbs
which would have a unified structure and life of their own.
Government policy is most firmly based when one can give a
satisfactory answer to the question, 'What will happen to Smith,
Brown, Kwamina, Ticky Tembo, Njeroge, as a result of it?'
Even the provision of varying social interests, such as occupy
Europeans, would probably go a long way to dissipate the
dissatisfactions of the new townsman. For want of a social
organisation in which he can take a respected and useful
place and exercise his abilities, a man will tend to seek
1 Science explains how one gets malaria, by being bitten by a malaria,
carrying mosquito. But, what I want to know is why that particular mos-
quito which gave me malaria bit me, instead of biting my friend who was-
with me. This question, which science does not pretend to answer, witch-
craft does. I have been bewitched and, apart from the satisfaction ofknow-
ing why (teleologically) I suffer, there are certain practical steps that I can
take, such as going to a witch-doctor who will find the witch and take steps,
to remove the spell.

comfort in the emotional excitements of nationalism,
hatred, etc.'
This is not to say that economic counter-forces are useless.
They are not, but it is all the more important to apply them
properly so that they do in fact remove disequilibria and not
create them. It is sometimes assumed that development is good
per se, as an end, that so much more exported, so diuch more
produced, increases the sum total of a community's happiness.
It is true to a large extent, but the object should be the creation
of prosperous societies and not merely prosperous economic
units. That is why in a later chapter I have discussed the de-
velopment of British Honduras from the point of view of its
present inhabitants, whom I have learnt to respect and to love,
and whose way of life I have enjoyed sharing, rather than
simply from the point of view of increasing the output from a
given land area. The latter point of view was naturally domi-
nant in the Report of the Evans Commission, which was only
incidentally concerned with the local inhabitants.
There is often a great deal of unco-ordinated economic infor-
mation on government files and records. (Some of this I was
able to find; some came my way fortuitously in connection with
other matters.) Indeed, for the student of a colonial economy
there would be much value in Government publishing an
annual statistical abstract containing the miscellaneous data
that come its way, and which otherwise get buried and lost in
files. This would be especially valuable in colonies which can-
not afford their own statistical offices, as it would provide acces-
sible material for the private investigator who would do the
work at no expense to the colony. Much of this information
naturally seeps into the minds of officials in the course of their
work and in time their 'subconscious' will co-ordinate it in a
highly subjective way. As a result government officials are
better informed than the rest on the general economy, although
I Today a man rarely has the possibility of seeking outlets of power and
position in unrestrained capitalism, and now that capitalism no longer has
the philosophical backing of classical economics, when it was shown to be
virtuous and in the general interest, many would not wish for that specific

even this knowledge may be gravely distorted, dependent as it
is on the particular facts which happen to make it up. It never
makes a coherent picture, as without certain logical tools of
analysis the mind seems capable of entertaining mutually con-
tradictory propositions even at the same time.
While policy was negative, and generally expected to be
negative, this was not so significant. Now it is important (unless
all talk of development and planning is propaganda) to bring
the facts together and show the various pieces of information in
their proper relation to one another. With the increasing par-
ticipation of the representatives in government, it is more than
ever desirable to publish the information, and national income
studies are a handy way of making a mass of information and
reasonable deductions available in assimilable form and in their
correct proportions. Even if colonial governments do not really
plan for many years to come, the sort of 'planning' which they
do will be better if based on a sound appreciation of the pattern
of the economy, and they will more easily convince the colony
of the virtues of their plans. There are generally current in
colonies what might be termed economic myths, often the
result of propaganda. An interested group that makes a lot of
noise is liable to be thought unduly important. That group may
bring undue influence to bear on Government because of this
impression and may persuade Government that its needs should
override those of some other sector. A national income study
suitably broken up makes this more difficult to achieve, more
especially if the true position becomes common knowledge.
It is important that the information should be in an easily
assimilable form. The Jamaica Statistical Office has recently
produced an estimate of the national income of the island for
1943, with projections to 1946, which is beautifully docu-
mented and supported by a mass of detail. It must be the envy
of every economist who lacks a statistical office behind him
when making such an inquiry. It also pays tribute to the in-
spiration of Miss Deane, but where Miss Deane goes into a
great deal of detail for methodological purposes, the Jamaica
Statistical Office follows her without her reason. One cannot

help feeling that this thick tome, with its mass of detail uscd
for building up the tables, will appal alike the civil servant and
the representative, busy as they are with committees and boards
and their own work, and that it will never serve the purpose for
which, presumably, it was intended. The trees, magnificent as
they are, are too luxuriant and obscure the wood. In fact, in the
present stage of colonial economics and politics it may be
doubted whether such an approach is worth all the trouble.
Professor Frankel has recently described such an approach as
the application of the accounting system of General Motors to
'the operation of a wayside petrol station run by a man whose
main livelihood is obtained with the assistance of his wife and
children from an agricultural allotment'.t For present pur-
poses in the colonies it would seem that a simpler approach
which short-circuited a lot of the detail (certainly in presenta-
tion) would be sufficient. The picture would be less accurate,
but not so much less; its outlines would be clearer; it would be
cheaper and easier to produce.
There is, I think, a real difference between a colonial national
income study and others. It might be better to use the term
'colonial income' for territorial units that are both economic-
ally and politically dependent, were it not that so many of the
problems met in a colony are found in varying degrees in
politically independent, but economically dependent, units. A
'dependent economy' is mainly one which is under-capitalised
('under-developed') and cannot raise the capital for its own
needs within its own borders. Hence it depends on outside
sources for its capital and development. This limits its activities
to the extent that it has to provide attractions for foreign capital
and maintain such conditions that it will be willingly and fear-
lessly invested there. In the main this study is concerned with
the activity of foreign capital in a territory which cannot pro-
vide its own. A colony which is also a dependent polity is
further limited. It can only plan in a very special sense. In
some cases its economy may be directed, partly, with a view to
I Review of Miss Deane's Meaurement of Colonial rational Incorw in the
Econoamc Journal.

furthering the economy of the 'mother' country. Direction on
behalf of the mother country may be of equal benefit to both,
but it may not. Apart from this a colony will tend to be bound
by fairly rigid financial rules. The exercise of monetary control
will almost certainly be limited. Investment is out of its hands
and the checking or stimulating of investment by varying in-
terest rates is beyond it. Its banking institutions will be respons-
ible to headquarters elsewhere. (The recent establishment of
a central bank in Ceylon was one of the first signs of an attempt
to get full control of its own affairs by a newly emancipated
colony.) 1
Where the attractions for the owner of the foreign capital to
settle are small, a colony is peculiarly liable to see the disappear-
ance of the capitalist with his capital (whether in goods or
money), leaving the country with hardly a trace. An example
appears in the Forest Department Report for 1948. 'One of the
large American firms working partly in this Colony and partly
in Guatemala has removed entirely to Nicaragua owing to
political difficulties in Guatemala.' With it went the whole of
its capital equipment. There is always this likelihood that the
a 'The Currency Boards, whatever detailed problems they have in the
detailed management of their funds.. have no worries about whether they
can or should maintain a given rate of exchange. Their ability to do so is
guaranteed by the holding of reserves which in nearly all cases exceed the
total face value of all the currency issued; and the question of whether the
rate should be maintained is outside their scope. Equally, nobody in a
colony has the responsibility of determining a credit policy for the colony.
Individual banks may, of course, have their own credit policies, may be
more or less venturesome, but so far as there is a general credit policy it is
that of the United Kingdom. In such matters there is in effect no more
room for a policy for an individual colony than there is for a policy for an
English county. In each case the local demands for credit are met out of
a larger (for practical purposes an infinitely larger) pool. Local variations
in the need for currency or bank money are absorbed by the larger pool
almost unnoticed. The amount of such local currency or bank money in
use is determined by many influences-the desire of local inhabitants to
hold cash, the activity of trade, the willingness of outsiders to remit new
funds for local investment, etc.-but not by any conscious monetary de-
cisions of the colonial authority. The specifically monetary influences to
which the colonial economy is subject are solely those of United Kingdom
policy' (Maontary Systmse of the Colonies, published by the Banker). This
admirable little booklet touches on some of the problems of monetary

foreign capital will simply give employment to labour for a
period and then disappear, possibly after taking very large
profits, leaving no permanent improvements, adding nothing
to the wealth of a country in either physical or monetary terms,
but rather reducing such natural wealth as existed before.
Many fortunes must have been made in British Honduras, but
the only trace that remains is enormous freehold estates whose
forest has been cut out and whose agricultural potential has
hardly been tapped.
Besides all these basic differences, there is a difference in the
purpose of a national income study of a colonial territory not
so much in the ways in which it can be used but in the ways
in which it is likely to be used. It also produces problems of
definition. Marshall, in his Principles of Economics (5th edition),
says: 'The labour and capital of the country, acting on its
natural resources, produces annually a certain net aggregate of
commodities, material and immaterial, including services of all
kinds. This is the true net national income or revenue of the
country, or the national dividend.' Where the capital is not of
the country, where saving is so small as to be a negligible factor
in investment, definitions have to be amended. This is one
reason for the definition adopted here, which is discussed in
more detail in a later section.
I have, in the following notes and tables, tried to set out in
summary the various factors in the economy of British Hon-
duras broadly in their true proportions, and in a form which
can be clearly grasped. The picture, as will be seen from the
notes to the tables, is in part generalised. It relates to the year
1946, but in some instances figures for other years have been
imported into the tables to fill gaps, where the changes have
been thought not to be significant. It is thus a general picture
of the economy in the immediate post-war period and a fairly
prosperous time. In 1949 a severe drought and outside econ-
omic forces would have affected the figures but not the general
picture. Certain changes are foreshadowed, the full effect of
which will be felt in the present decade. Without knowing the
policy which will be pursued, it is impossible to anticipate them

by projecting the tables forward. The work falls short of some
of the high aims of national income studies, but, in a first study
of this particular economy, should be a reasonable start. The
tables are accompanied by notes, partly describing the sources
of information, the difficulties of assessment, the assumptions
made and the definitions used, and partly by general descrip-
tions of the economy intended to fill in the background to the
figures and show what interrelations are apparent. The explana-
tions are thus of two kinds : (a) for the economist-statistician,
explaining the figures themselves, and (b) for the layman, de-
scribing the general picture.



/ L .
,t Yo C San f~
1c.. is



A brief note is necessary to explain the general background to
the figures and make clear some of the terms and places referred
to later.
British Honduras is roughly a rectangle the size of Wales, on
the eastern coast of Central America, bisected from west to
east by the Belize River, which rises on the western frontier
with Guatemala. The northern half is a flat plain with two
large, deep rivers flowing to the north: the New River, and the
Rio Hondo which forms the boundary with Mexico. Between
the sea and the New River the land is low-lying, with lagoons,
swamps, scrub-marsh, pine and other forest intermingled. Most
of this land is probably unsuitable for agriculture, but it con-
tains a few settlements. The climate gets drier to the north and
the forest carries the best mahogany, but also the slowest grow-
ing. Between the New River and the Rio Hondo the ground
is slightly higher and the soil, a limestone marl, is suitable for
agriculture. This area carries the greatest density of villages.
The southern half of the Colony is mountainous, broken
country, covered with dense forest, the greater part being still
unexplored. Even this forest, however, appears to be secondary
growth, as frequent traces of early Mayan settlement are to be
found, including pottery, mounds and contour-ridges, in places
now covered with forest Mahogany does not appear to be
indigenous in the south, but its occurrence is connected with
early Mayan clearings. The rainfall increases from north to
south, from 40 ins. to 2oo ins. per annum. The high rainfall in
the south adds to the cost of agriculture, as the land has to be
kept clear of a luxuriant natural growth. A barrier reef runs
for the whole length of the coast at a distance of 7 to 25 miles
and is dotted with small islands. Inside the reef the water is
very shallow and only at Stann Creek can vessels of moderate

draught approach the land. The reef-protected waters pro-
vide a safe sea for the small motor boats, sailing boats and dorys
which ply up and down the coast.
Settlement has been almost entirely from the sea, penetrating
along the rivers and lagoons, and on the coastal strip and the
cays. It is still concentrated in these regions. The two northern
rivers are navigable for a considerable distance and the Belize
River, at one time by means of pitpans (shallow barges), then
tunnel-screw motor boats, with occasional hauls over runs, as
far as El Cayo on the western border (a journey of a week or
ten days). The Mayan Indians have, however, settled in the
interior. Road building is extremely expensive, owing to the
marshy nature of the ground. The Belize-Corozal road, opened
before the war, duplicates water transport for most of its route,
and for the rest runs through mainly barren scrubland. The
Belize-El Cayo road, opened in s947, taps a fertile region on the
western frontier, and settlement is now taking place along most
of its route. The Stann Creek valley road taps a rich citrus and
(erstwhile) banana area. The Punta Gorda-San Antonio road
connects the East Indian successors of the American settlers
and the biggest Mayan centre with the sea. All other communi-
cations are by horse and mule along forest trails.
The earliest recorded settlement occurred about 1638 and a
flourishing trade in logwood grew up; prices in the 17th century
were about ioo a ton, compared with 6 a ton just before
the trade disappeared. The settlement at Belize and St George's
Cay numbered 700 whites in 1670, more British people than
are there today. It seems that Belize was the chief of many
settlements along the Central American coast from Yucatan to
the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua (they have left English-
speaking populations in the Bay Islands of Spanish Honduras).
These settlements seem to have been purely for the purpose of
extracting logwood and, later, mahogany, with perhaps a little
buccaneering (which found an echo among their descendants
in the days of prohibition in the United States). The distinction
between a logwood-cutter and a buccaneer was perhaps rather
uncertain. The Governor of Jamaica reported to Charles II

that the settlement had 'increased His Majesty's Customs and
the natural commerce more than any of His Majesty's Colonies'.
The settlement continued for 150 years with varying fortunes.
There was intermittent strife with the Spaniards, irrespective
of treaties between England and Spain regarding the area.
The Spanish recognized the right of the settlers to cut timber,
but prohibited the establishment of 'plantations'. There was
thus no agricultural settlement. Belize could have been little
more than a grandiose timber camp. Men, no doubt, came,
made their fortunes and left. The less successful remained.
Something of this characteristic remains in British Honduras
today. During the I8th century slaves were imported, the first
mention of them being in 1754. Slavery must have been a very
much freer and looser institution than in the West Indies, as
escape would be easy and the relations of master and slave were
always good. In 1798, after the Battle of St George's Cay, when
a Spanish invasion force was defeated, the permanent right of
the settlers to the territory was established. There were then
no restrictions on 'plantations', but this seems to have had little
effect. What population there was would be required for the
exploitation of the forests, which was more profitable than
agriculture. The present Belize population seem to be largely
the descendants of these settlers and their slaves. The rest of the
country was settled from different sources in the g9th century.
In 1849 Spanish refugees from an Indian massacre in Mexico
settled in the region round Corozal. A group of 'Caribs'
(mixed Caribs and Negroes) from the West Indies were settled
at Stann Creek and spread down the coast into Guatemala and
Spanish Honduras. There is constant coming and going by
sea between the different settlements of this people. In the
latter part of the 19th century and in. the present century
Mayan Indian immigrants have settled in the interior from
Guatemala. After the American Civil War, Confederates were
settled in the south near Punta Gorda and imported East Indian
labour to work their estates. Nearly all the descendants of
these Americans have returned to the United States. These
various groups have contributed to the present population of
B 17


about 6o,ooo, of whom about 20,000 live in Belize. It is a small
population with which to develop the agricultural resources of
the country, and the rewards of the forest are still greater than
those of agriculture.
Historically the picture is one of continuous exploitation of
the forest resources of the Colony with the sporadic settlement
of small groups of agriculturists in the 19th century. It is
almost a classic of colonial exploitation, of taking away andinot
giving back, with this difference, that there was no indigenous
population whose resources were taken. Of all the wealth taken
from the country practically nothing was put back in the way
of permanent improvement and capital development. The
disease which struck the banana industry left some settlements,
such as Monkey River, stranded, able only to eke out a miser-
able existence on unsuitable land far from the village. A similar
tale might have been told of the whole Colony, but that modern
transport and machinery, tractors, great camions, bulldozers
and so on, have enabled forests farther and farther from the
rivers to -be exploited until the operations reached over the
border into Guatemala. The warning cry has gone up before
of the exhaustion of the forest, but the evil day has been post-
poned. In 1892 the Governor addressed the Legislative Council
in very modern terms, saying that the future of the Colony de-
pended on agriculture and that settlers must be brought in.'
It is interesting to follow the debates of Council from 1892 to
1897, when the project of a railway was under discussion.
There is a certain comic element in the way that councillors
were determined to have a railway, no matter where it went.
They discussed all possible routes, but it is clear that what was
moving them, in days before road transport had developed,
was the need to open up parts of the forest which could not
otherwise be reached. They rejected the already surveyed
Belize River route to the west on the ground that the area had
already been worked out. A survey up the Sibun River came
back to report such a route impracticable. In the end a 'banana
2 Sir Eric Swayne, i is address to the Royal Geographical Society in
1917, said much thc e Geographical Journal, vol. L, no. 3).

railway' up the Siann Creek valley was completed just as the
banana industry entered its decline. It is now a road. The
internal-combustion engine saved the mahogany industry.
The northern half of the Colony is almost all private land.
The less accessible southern half is mainly Crown land. In the
early days of mahogany extraction, freehold grants of large
tracts of land, on a basis of so much river frontage and a depth
of half-way to the next navigable stream were made for the
exploitation of the forest resources. The possession of these
tracts has become more concentrated in the course of time.
Now the landlords, both absent and present, have not the in-
terest in, nor the capital for, developing their lands. Nor is
there the labour force to work them. No capital has been put
into the land. Even the present-day investment of capital in
machinery and plant for timber extraction is consumed in that
extraction. When the tractors withdraw from an area the forest
closes in and the roads which have been made return to their
natural condition.
In recent years attempts have been made to reverse this
situation. Roads are being built opening up new areas for
agricultural development, and connecting up existing settle-
ments with their markets. The cutting of timber is controlled
on private land as well as Crown land. The Forest Department
takes over some of the mahogany contractors' roads. A gradu-
ated land tax is being imposed to encourage development of
good land.
Internationally the trade connections of the Colony have
been mainly with the United States, Canada and the neigh-
bouring republics. The reason for this is largely proximity.
Much trade can be carried in small coasting vessels, whereas
sea communications with the United Kingdom are poor.
British Honduras has been a field for mainly American capital
in recent years (capital of a short-term kind, as will appear
later), and exports have returned to the source of the capital.
Imports of machinery and consumers' goods, including food,
have come from the same region. Most business connections are
with the United States, especially New Orleans, and goods may

be obtained more rapidly there than from Europe. A man
importing machinery from the United Kingdom has to keep
a large stock of spares, as there will be a long delay in replace-
ment in the event of a breakdown. A man importing machinery
from the United States can get replacements in a few days. If
Belize were a worthwhile market, no doubt British suppliers
would stock spares, at least in Jamaica. As it is, the Colony is,
geographically, in the American economic orbit. A stricter
exchange control in the last few years has succeeded in wrench-
ing this pattern into a slightly different shape, at the expense
of a lot of local frustration. In fact, the Colony is more de-
pendent on the economy of the United States than on that of
the United Kingdom. A token of this was the parity of the
British Honduras and United States dollars which remained
unchanged from 1894 until 1950.'
1 See Note on the Devaluation of the British Honduras Dollar,


The main sources used arc set out below. Their detailed appli-
cation will appear from the notes on the construction of the
(a) The 1946 Census. The occupational classification in the
Census was the backbone of the study and used for building
up the major figures in the Output Table. Without it no table
of any value could have been constructed, as there is no other
information on the minor industrial groupings. Even so, the
Census, taken in April, when the mahogany season was at its
height and the chicle season had not begun, gave some serious
distortions in the major groups, which had to be derived from
other sources.
(b) The Annual Financial Statements of the Colony. These pro-
vided the most accurate figures used. From them were derived
the share of government in the economy, both current and
capital, the output of the business sector of government (although
departments such as the supplies section of the Import Control
Office were not included in them), certain figures of income
received from abroad and interest paid abroad and the earn-
ings of government employees.
(c) The Customs Report, giving details of imports and exports.
The total Customs revenue collected, as shown in the Annual
Financial Statements, differed from that shown in the Customs
Report, as refunds were not deducted from the Customs figures.
These refunds are partly on broken and damaged goods and
short-shipments and partly on machinery, etc., for certain in-
dustries (mainly timber) refunded under the Customs Law on
application by importers. The latter were used, together with
imports admitted free in the first place, as a guide to the
assessment of the amount of foreign capital invested in the
(d) The Forest Department Report. This is always a well-

documented report and enabled certain cross-checks to be
made in the forest industries. The figures, however, are not set
out in a convenient way for national income studies.
(e) The Labour Department Report and Noles by the Labour Officer
on the preliminary Census returns. The Report contains particulars
of the numbers employed in the major industries (except agri-
culture) and some minor ones, with current wage rates. The
Notes were produced before the Report and were an attempt
to calculate the total earnings of different industries. They also
provided some corrections to errors in the Census resulting from
the time of year in which it was taken. Unfortunately there
were considerable differences between the Notes and the Report
and some arithmetical errors. Extension of the wage rates given
in the Report, for the length of season given, sometimes pro-
duced obviously impossible results.
(f) The Post Office Report was used in arriving at figures of
personal remittances.
(g) The 1947 Agricultural Census, prepared for the Evans Com-
mission, was used as the main source for the output of agri-
culture. This was a census of the acreage under different crops
and of the quantities of livestock. The Director of Agriculture
had not great confidence in its accuracy but considered it a
workable general picture, and as applicable to 1946 as to 1947.
As it was the only source for agricultural output, it had, with
a few minor adjustments recommended by the Director of
Agriculture, to be treated as correct. It was used in conjunction
with a similar census in 1943 for estimating the annual increase
of livestock.
(h) The 1947 Income Tax Report, which relates to incomes for
1946, although in some cases the financial year of a concern
taxed in 1947 would only end some time in 1946. This was not
considered as unduly affecting the picture, as the economy did
not undergo any marked changes between 1945 and 1947, such
as would make necessary an adjustment in respect of the few
firms concerned.
(i) The Collector of Customs' Records of Fish sold in the Markets
in 1948. These records were prepared for the purpose of fisheries

research into the catches of the various kinds of fish. For
their purpose they were satisfactory, but required large adjust-
ments for this study. It was assumed that activity in the in-
ternal fishing industry (as against the export industry) remained
constant between 1946 and 1948.
(j) The income tax assessments and the employers' returns of wages
and salaries paid. The latter are required to show only payments
over $500 per annum. Some of them detail all wage payments.
They cannot be used to arrive at a figure for the total number
employed in an industry, as all employed are not included, and
where all in a concern are included, there would be duplication
of persons transferring from one concern or industry to another.
They were chiefly used for making some judgments of the aver-
age earnings of different occupations. Such judgments were
backed by personal knowledge derived from a large number of.
different sources. The income tax assessments for non-employees
were all scrutinized. In only a few cases were detailed accounts
submitted by firms. These provided useful information for
checking other figures. The majority of the assessments, which
relate to trade, were estimated for lack of accounts. This results
in a large margin of error, as the assessments have the appearance
of pure guesses. They differ so much from the figure returned
by the taxpayer that one would assume that they greatly over-
estimated actual profits, were it not for the readiness with which
the tax is paid, which suggests that they must, after all, be
under-estimates. In fact, they are based on the assessor's judg-
ment of the worth of a business, which can be fairly readily
assessed in a small community, backed by his examination of
such books of account as a business keeps, and its bank account.
Other minor sources of information are acknowledged in the
notes to the tables.
This summarises the main sources of information used. Some
of it was available only after the inquiry had begun. It was
the end of 1948 before it was all available. There are some
obvious lacunae. The most noticeable was the lack of consump-
tion studies, which would have provided a valuable check on
the expenditure table and on the output of subsistence agri-

culture, which can only be checked by a study of the consump-
tion habits of the persons concerned, as their products do not
enter the market. It is unfortunate that the Colony has never
been the subject of social or anthropological research, as the
budgetary and dietary studies thrown out in the course of such
enquiries would have been useful. The Labour Department
made a survey of too working-class budgets in 1942, on which
the official cost of living index is based. The results of this
survey, as published in the Colony's Annual Report, indicate that
in 1942 a working-class family spent $6oo per annum, and to
maintain that standard in 1946 would have to spend about
$9oo per annum. Yet the Labour Department's Report for
1946 suggests that average earnings were nearer $300 per
annum. It would take nearly three earners in a household or
family to provide the required income. The Census gives the
average size of a household, including children and aged, as
4-363. It seemed wiser to ignore the survey.
There is no price index, so that adjustments to the tables
from year to year cannot be made even with semblance of
accuracy. The cost-of-living index, apart from its doubtful re-
liability, is confined to one class and differs quite appreciably
from a cost-of-living index which I had occasion to prepare for
a different and much smaller class, but one with wider spend-
ing habits. At the end will be set out certain proposals for
collecting minimum statistics which would enable the tables
to be drawn up annually. /
There is no census of production. The Colony has concen-
trated its attention on exports only, with the result that the
internal economy is largely undocumented and is only the
object of policy in vague and unmeasured terms. For the suc-
cessful development of the internal economy, especially agri-
culture, which is as vital to a large part of the community as
exports are to other parts, some measurement of production is
essential, something more than the general impression that, to
quote the Agricultural Department's Report for 1946, 'in the
northern district, the output of corn was ample', or 'the acreage
planted to rice this year was almost double that of last year',

without any indication of what an ample output of corn was
or what the previous year's rice acreage was. The much-mooted
change-over from a forest to an agricultural economy, which
circumstances make pressing, is as important in its internal
aspects (the lessening of imports and the increased variation
of diet for health and welfare) as in its export aspects. It is
probable that a dietetic study would suggest new lines for agri-
cultural policy which, although perhaps small in money terms,
would be of great importance to the health, welfare and pro-
ductivity of labour.1 For anything like this to be applied a more
accurate measure of productivity will be needed. It is impor-
tant in establishing an agricultural community to provide first
for a stable and well-balanced internal economy before turn-
ing attention to exports, rather than establish a vulnerable
community based on exports alone.
S'The Medical Department recently reported that the diet of labourers
while employed in forest operations is on the whole better than that of the
labouring population generally. The protein consists of salted pork and beef,
varied with fresh meat in the shape of game and birds; and beans. The
carbohydrates are provided in the form of flour "dumplings" and rice, and
faits in the form of lard and pork fat. The diet is somewhat deficient in fresh
fruit and green vegetables. .... The Colony is still largely dependent on out-
side sources for a large proportion of its food and the production of home
foodstuffs would improve the conditions of health and nutrition through
the eating of a properly balanced diet of fresh foodstuffs containing the
essential elements for maintaining a healthy body' (Annual Rport on the
Working of the Labour Deparhnmt for the year ended 3st December z948).


The original intention was to draw up national income tables
on a geographical basis, to show the net income due to the
factors of production operating in the area described as British
Honduras, irrespective of where the income went. This would
have meant the inclusion of the profits of foreign-owned com-
panies. By making certain adjustments it would then be pos-
sible to show the net income accruing to resident factors of
,production. The comparison of the two would be useful. In a
dependent economy, where much of the activity is generated
by outside capital, these two measures of the national income
both have value and may be very different. Miss Deane used
both in her study of Northern Rhodesia, except that she used
the concept of 'taxable income' for the larger aggregate, which
is not quite the same as the concept stated above, although
in most cases it is identical. The peculiar structure of the British
Honduras economy compelled the abandonment of the idea
and the adoption of a definition of net national income accru-
ing to normally resident factors of production. The taxable
income concept was very suitable for the Northern Rhodesian
economy, where a great part of the activity was financed by
foreign capital and where the returns to that capital were
known. In British Honduras there are only a very few foreign
firms actually 'carrying on business' (in the income tax sense
of the expression). The major trading concerns are locally owned
with a few shareholders abroad. The concept of taxable income
would thus yield figures very little different from the concept of
net national income of residents. This does not mean that by
any means all activity is locally financed. A large part of the
timber production and all the chicle production are financed by
foreign firms, mainly American, which are nominally only 'buy-
ing firms' in the Colony. These firms import capital in the form
of machinery, cash and stores to a considerable sum, which they

advance to local contractors who organise the extraction of
timber and chicle. From the economic point of view they are
investors, with a quick return of the total capital invested plus
something extra. The equipment, etc., brought in has not a
long life and might well be an item of expenditure in the firms'
accounts, set off against receipts from the sale of timber. In
normal times the inflow of equipment is steady and is the pur-
chase price of timber and chicle. (Incidentally this must be
much more than the declared value of exports and suggests
under-valuation or incorrect measurement.) The profits of
these firms, accruing as they do in the country of sale, are un-
known and untaxed. As far as the Colony is concerned the firms
are something more than simple buying firms-. In other colonies
buyers are obviously responsible for the prosperity of the indus-
try from which they buy, but they do not provide the capital
as well as buying the product. This sort of thing is, perhaps,
only possible in timber-getting where the product of sixty years'
growth is cut down and sold in a year, where a capital asset
or an article which has taken sixty years to make can be had
for the expense of getting it and sold for the expense of selling it.
As the profits of these firms are not taxable they would not fall
within the concept of taxable income, yet they are akin to the
taxable profits of foreign-owned companies 'carrying on busi-
nesses' in other colonies. Their profits should be included in any
estimate of the national income designed to show the net
proceeds of all factors ofproduction operating within the Colony.
As their profits are unknown they cannot be included, and the
concept has had to be dropped.
Net national income of normally resident factors of produc-
tion is a basic concept. It has been modified in practice. The
remittances of emigrants have been included and also interest
and dividends received from abroad (except by Government).
It seems more useful to include emigrants' remittances than
exclude them, as many countries are great exporters of labour
and the figure may be highly significant in a particular econ-
omy. Temporary emigrants (permanent ones are a wasting
asset) should perhaps be considered as a foreign investment,

although the return in remittances may be erratic and unfore-
seeable. If the emphasis is on output, as the total result of
activities carried on in a given area, then their remittances
would be excluded, as they are obviously part of the activity of
the country to which the persons have emigrated. If the em-
phasis is on income and expenditure they will be included, as
they increase the income and expenditure of the emigrant
country and decrease those of the immigrant country. Con-
sidering national income tables as a summary of useful infor-
mation, it is preferable to include them. For the same reason
dividends and interest received from abroad are included. In
some countries their effect on the economy is great, although
this is not so in British Honduras. Interest and dividends accru-
ing abroad to residents, but not received in the Colony by them,
are excluded for the very simple reason that their amount is
almost completely unknown, although they may be used to
finance imports (especially under the restrictions of exchange
control when they can pay for the importation of apparent
'gifts' from hard-currency sources). In theory this income accru-
ing abroad has been made taxable in the last two years. In
practice, except for a few honest men who return it, it is un-
known and unknowable to the income tax authorities.
The definition 'resident' should be taken to mean normally
resident and taxable. It will be seen below that the income of
normal residents of British Honduras who cut timber or gather
chicle over the border in Guatemala for quite long periods is
treated as resident income. This may seem to be stretching the
definition rather far, especially as the natural resources of
British Honduras are not involved. It was not the original in-
tention to include them, but it became necessary to import
them into the tables if the Output Table was to balance the Ex-
penditure Table, based as the latter was on imports. The men
consume British Honduras imports and produce. Once in-
cluded for balancing, they could easily be deducted from both
tables, but it seemed justifiable to leave them in. Apart from
firms which prefer to operate from British Honduras, as the
most stable country in Central America, the forests over the

Guatemalan border are more accessible from the British Hon-
duras side and provide easy access to the sea for logs floated
down the Belize River. The workers go from British Honduras
and return there; their supplies come from British Honduras.
When, as at present, the border is closed, the men have to be
absorbed by the British Honduras economy. As the extent of
this activity over the border is of significance to the economy it
should be included for informative purposes.
The treatment of some important specific items should be
mentioned. The United Nations Statistical Office's list is
Unpaid services of housewives have not been included. This
would be particularly difficult to estimate. If it is measured in
terms of domestic servants' wages there is the curious result
that in one home, with a good income, a wife would have
several servants, and be assessed herself as equal to, say, a
housekeeper; in a similar-sized home, with a small income and
no servants, it might be necessary to assess the wife at the value
of several servants. This is clearly common sense as the wife has
more value (monetary) to the small-income husband than to the
large, but it does not make assessment any easier. In fact, there
is no base for estimating. The number of wives is known and
the number of 'common law' wives is known, but many home-
makers and mothers are single.2 The figure would not have
much significance except in a highly controlled society which
needed to draw .heavily on womanpower. In such a case the
problem is more social than economic and the figures would
probably already be available elsewhere. No unpaid services,
of whatever kind, have been included, but their value has been
used as a cross-check in agriculture.
Net rental of owner-occupied houses has been included.
Services of durable consumer goods have not been included.
Farmers' consumption of own produce has been included
indirectly. This is an appreciable item in an economy with a
SVational Income Statistics, 1938-1947, p. 8.
The Census shows that there was in 1946 only one woman who had
had twenty children, all of whom were still alive and, by reference to an-
other table, that she was single!

large sector devoted to subsistence agriculture. The production
of each crop has been estimated, valued at farm prices and the
figure reduced for expenses (other than labour) to arrive at net
output at the value to the farmer. This will include farmers'
consumption of their own produce and also the free consump-
tion by their labourers of their produce.
Payments in kind are included to the extent that they are
included in income tax assessments of personal incomes. In
theory these payments are taxable and included; in practice
probably a fair number escape assessment. Where rations are
paid in addition to wages an estimate of the value of the rations
has been made and included in income.
Government services, civilian and military, are i
though not in total except in the expenditure table.
The income of armed forces abroad has not been included. No
complete units (except a Forestry Unit) served abroad. The re-
mittances of those serving with other armed forces were included.
The income of the armed forces, local and foreign, serving in
British Honduras was included. The basis has been actual resi-
dence. This illustrates the difficulty of dealing with a small de-
pendent territory. In British Honduras there were armed forces
consisting mainly of British Hondurans but paid for mainly by
the United Kingdom. On this basis of residence one might
find oneself in the position of having to exclude one's own forces
and include an enemy occupation force. There may be logical
grounds for this, but it is repugnant to feeling. In practice, the
expenditure of the United Kingdom on the armed forces was
included in the Colony's national income in so far as it gener-
ated personal incomes; it was excluded in so far as it generated
Profits and losses of government-owned enterprises have been
included when the accounts of the enterprise have been kept
so as to reveal a profit or loss; in other cases the surplus or
deficit only has been shown. Replacements of depreciated plant
and new plant are met from revenue in the latter cases. It is
necessary to make an assumption that replacements and new
capital expenditure are steady, although this is not in fact so,

in default of any knowledge of the present capital value of
government concerns.
Profits of companies have been included before deducting
dividends or companies' tax. This means, unfortunately, that
the allocation of profits between dividends, investment and
saving is masked.
Indirect taxes have been excluded and subsi ies included in
the expenditure table.
Interest on the national debt has not been included as it is
almost entirely paid abroad. Interest on other public debt has
been treated as transfer income as all other public debt is owed
to the central government.
There were no deliveries under lend-lease or mutual ai
nor occupation costs nor reparations.
Remittances received by missions were included in so far
as they generated incomes and excluded in so far as they gener-
ated imports.1
No adjustments for inventory revaluations were made as the
information was not available. It is doubtful whether they
would have any significance.
Stock market and real estate capital gains or losses are not
included. There are no professional stockbrokers or real estate
agents so that such capital gains or losses as are made by others
are automatically excluded from figures derived from income
tax sources.
Income is valued partly on a cash, partly on an accrual basis.
The private sector is valued on an accrual basis (including agri-
culture). In many cases the cash and accrual basis will coincide.
The government sector is valued on a cash basis (except for the
supplies section of the Import Control Office). In agriculture
account has been taken of the annual increase of (unsold) live-
stock, but not of stocks of produce on hand or crops in the
I This treatment follows from the definition of national income. Remit-
tances received by foreign missions, by foreign firms and by Government are
considered as an export of goods and (labour) services to a foreign 'buyer'.
The foreign 'buyer's' purchases of imports are of no real interest to the
economy as it has been defined for the purpose of this study. See pp. 10-12.

There are no public social insurance or pension funds. Em-
ployers' and employees' contributions to pension funds have
been treated as income of the employees. Medical services pro-
vided by Government free for indigent persons or at a nominal
charge for low-income patients have been treated as part of
the government expenditure on goods and services, and no
income or expenditure has been imputed to consumers on that
Outdoor relief payments have been treated as transfer income
and excluded.
Services rendered by banks and other financial inter-
mediaries: no attempt has been made to impute to borrowers
or lenders the value of services rendered without direct pay-
ment. The net value added by the banks has been taken to be
the wages and salaries. Profit has been excluded as it accrues
to non-resident factors of production. The bank was ignored
as a redistributor of income by charging borrowers and paying
lenders. The interest on the bank's property should be set
against the profit and is not of local concern.
Commissions paid by individuals for transfer of securities and
other property are included as income. They are mainly lawyers'
fees. Bank charges on such transfers accrue in the same place
as profits. The item is negligible in this context.
Illegal and immoral earnings are in theory excluded. The
profits of smuggling are excluded, as being unknown and not
unduly significant. This may be a false assumption in view of
the long tradition of smuggling.
Depreciation and obsolescence have been allowed for at the
usual income tax 'wear and tear' rates.
Allowances for bad debts are treated in the same way as by
the income tax authorities.
The question of allowing for the depletion of the natural
resources remains. Depletion occurs by overcutting of the
forest, so that it cannot regenerate itself in the course of time
or, better still, in the shortest natural course of time. When
mahogany has been 'worked out' from an area where it is in-
digenous it will, no doubt, re-establish itself in time, although

this may take much longer than might be the case if cutting
were controlled. Where mahogany is not indigenous, overcutting
might cause its complete disappearance. It is impossible to
measure such nebulous ideas. In theory, all cutting is now con-
trolled, on private as well as on Crown land, so that the cutting
will be gradual and the forest allowed to regenerate itself in
the shortest possible time. This control seems to be effective and
it can, perhaps, be assumed that nowadays at least, there is, in
fact, no depletion of the natural resources.
The losses caused by hurricanes which, though not regular,
are frequent in one part of the Colony or another, and cause
great damage to the forests', are considered to be a capital loss.
They are not in any year a loss of income, so much as a potential
loss of income. In fact, they may be an immediate source of
income, as they may encourage the extraction of fallen timber
in an area not being worked, without the expense of felling. If
the losses were regular and measurable and greater than the
replacement rate,2 there might be some value in putting a nega-
tive element in the tables. If this were so, however, it is unlikely
that there would be any marketable timber left now. It is
sometimes said that those capital losses which are normally
insured against should be deducted from gross income. The
Government of British Honduras is formulating a hurricane
insurance scheme, which would bring hurricane damage within
such a principle. On the other hand, the Roman Catholics
attribute the exemption of the Colony from hurricanes since
1945 to the annual procession held in honour of Our Lady
of Guadelupe, instituted after that year. And this may be as
good a system of insurance as the other.
If a true account were to be drawn up it would be necessary
to have a national capital account as well as a national income

1 'The storm travelled from East to West and appears to have been about
twenty miles wide from Monkey River mouth to the Sarstoon. It broke the
leaves of the cohune palms but did not fell more than tnper cent; high
forest in the centre of the storm was almost completely blown down' (Repol
of tA Forest Department, 1945).
'The damage to the forest will take a hundred years to repair' (Report
of the Forest Department, 946).

account. The excess of cutting of timber over natural growth
would have to be shown as a capital loss. This would entail an
enumeration of the timber resources and an estimate of their
natural annual increase. In turn it would entail estimating how
much of this can be reached, cut and marketed; how much of
a species which is cut in a special area is truly indigenous there
and will regenerate itself; and many other factors which defy
reasonably accurate measurement. A new invention, made in
another part of the world, such as the internal-combustion
engine, which increases the area of exploitable timber, would
increase the value of the national capital. While round-figure
estimates can no doubt be made by experts, the figures would
be so round as to have little practical value. This is the prob-
lem of a capital account in the setting of a forest economy. It
arises elsewhere in mining economies where it is equally in-
tractable. In so far as minerals do not reproduce themselves
the matter is simpler. But the existence of any given mineral
area as an asset in one's capital account might depend on the
market price of the mineral. If this fell below a certain figure,
the area might be uneconomic to work, and the asset would
have no value; a rise in price would bring it back into account.
It would be an interesting exercise to try to measure these
things, but not valuable, as all that one desires to know is
whether one is living on capital or not and how much longer
the capital will last. These primary facts are generally known,
and to try to assess them year by year, to value and re-value
them, would add little to one's knowledge. The money notation
used in national income studies has no significance of its own;
it is simply the easiest way of measuring and comparing the
income, output and expenditure of different sectors of the econ-
omy. A comparison of one year with another (when the value
of money has changed) is only significant in so far as the shares
of each sector vary.


Ideally the three tables of Income, Output and Expenditure
should be separately estimated. Miss Deane found that this
was not wholly practicable for the three colonies which she
studied, owing to the paucity of source-material. This paucity
of material was even more marked in British Honduras and
permitted only a few cross-checks at some critical points which
enabled the general picture to be wrenched into more accurate
shape. I have had, through access to unpublished information
in the hands of Government and three years' personal experience
in the Colony, more detail on some parts of the economy than
might have been expected, which has strengthened the figures
considerably, only to be met by a complete lack of information
on others. The blank parts of the economy have been filled
in on the basis of inferences made from experience and con-
versations with those acquainted with those parts. The figures
thus express only some impressions gained. The final figures
must be regarded as tentative. They are theoretically capable
of almost infinite refinement in detail, by correcting the detail
and improving the assumptions. Nevertheless, I would not ex-
pect any appreciable alterations in the totals nor in the figures
of the major groupings.
One of the difficulties of dealing with a very small economy
is that factors which are quite small and relatively insignificant
in a large economy take on a greater importance. Handicrafts
may play a small part in an industrialized economy but a large
part in a primitive one. Whereas in a larger economy these
smaller factors can be dealt with by fairly general assumptions,
in a small economy they need more careful treatment. The
activities of individuals, rather than of groups and industries,
have to be measured.
The main table is the Output Table. For Agriculture it has
been based very loosely and with a large margin of error on

output. Only the very roughest cross-check was available on
an income basis. For other industries it has been based on
earnings of employees and profits of employers or own-account
workers. This gives the net value added. Cross-checks of a fairly
close kind were available when dealing with Timber-getting,
Sugar-growing, Samilling and Fishing.
The Income Table is a rearrangement of the items in the
Output Table. As many of the subdivisions as possible were
independently arrived at, but there remained two very large
residual items which could only be checked by the broadest
inferences. The total has little validity of its own. Nevertheless,
the table has been used to recheck the Output Table at one or
two points.
The Expenditure Table, which could not be built up inde-
pendently from analyses of expenditure, as there were none, is
based on domestic imports plus the value of domestic output
not exported. This provides a useful check on the output of the
export industries as they, after taking into account the invisible
items in the Balance of Payments, have to meet the expenditure
on imports. It does not, of course, give any check on those
figures in the Output Table which deal with output for domestic
consumption, as these figures are themselves used for construct-
ing the Expenditure Table.
Government income received from abroad and the invest-
ments of foreign companies has been included in the tables in
so far as they generate incomes, but excluded in so far as they
generate imports. Imports generated by foreign funds are not
considered as part of the national income as they are not the
result of activities within the Colony. Incomes generated by
foreign funds are part of the Colony's activities.
It would be unreal to put specific figures in for the margins of
error, which would be highly subjective and no more than an
expression of my own opinion of how accurate a given figure is.
I have tried to indicate in general terms where a figure is fairly
accurate or a broad approximation. Generally this will be self-
evident from the notes.

Income, 1946
ooo $000oo $ooo
Profits from Estates:
From Income Tax Report
Profits from Trade, Business or Profession:
From Income Tax Report (less
profits not due to resident factors
of production) 1,560
plus not assessed 9
plus Government surpluses and
profits on trading services:
Post and Telegraphs 64
Electricity and Telephones 22
School Supplies Store 2
Import Control 8o

less deficit:
Board of Agriculture

less rents and royalties:
Agricultural rents
Private forest royalties

Earnings of Farmers, Tradesmen and
Small Shopkeepers working on own
account :
6827 @ $500 3,414

Carry forward 5,094

Sooo $ooo $000
Brought forward 5,094
4. Salary-Earners (797):
From Income Tax Report.
5. Wage-Earners:
10,559 @ $290
6. Interest:
Interest and dividends from abroad
Local interest

Rents, Royalties, etc.:
From Income Tax Report.
Agricultural rents
Private timber royalties
Housing: imputed net rents
less Income Tax Report.

8. Remittances from Abroad :
From Postal Report and various
government accounts 237


The Income Table is the weakest of the three. It purports to
show, for example, that the incomes of x wage-earners were so
much per annum and that the incomes ofy workers on their own
account were so much more per annum. These, the largest con-
stituents of the table, are really a division of a residual figure
as a result of the rearrangement of the figures in the Output
Table. Neither the Census nor any other information allowed
a more precise breakdown. The Census was taken in April
when the timber industry was in full swing and the chicle
industry in its off-season. It is known from the Forest Depart-
ment's chicle licences that over a thousand more persons found
employment in the chicle industry during the year than are

shown in the Census. The seasonal factor in work is one of the
most significant features of the Colony's economy. A man reaps
his crop, goes out and collects chicle in the forest, returns to
plant his milpa and may then find employment in agriculture,
timber or elsewhere. This interchange occurs throughout the
primary industries of the Colony. The secondary and tertiary
industries are more stable. Although the Census attempts to
enumerate subsidiary agriculturists and subsidiary fishermen
and for those enumerated gives their chief occupation, it does
not enumerate subsidiary forest workers. Indeed it is probably
impossible to say in many cases that one industry is subsidiary
to another. Any definition under that head is probably a sub-
jective one, as much based on what the person was doing at the
time of the Census, or his personal tastes and preferences, as
anything else. The same point arises between workers on their
own account and wage-earners. A man may, in one year, be a
worker on his own account in agriculture, a wage-earner in
agriculture, a contractor in chicle-getting and a wage-earner in
timber-getting, even if he does not vary his employment with
fishing as well. The distinction between wage-earners and own-
account workers is unreal, although the figures for the two
groups probably give a fair indication of the relative amounts
of work done on own account and in employment.

This figure is taken from the Income Tax Report. It is prob-
able that some estates' profits escape assessment, as there is no
ready means of checking profits returned when no accounts are
furnished, as there are with businesses. There are also, however,
some estate losses which are not deducted from the income tax
figure. It has been assumed that the losses are equivalent to the
unassessed profits. The figure is probably fairly accurate. It
may appear low in a country the size of British Honduras, but
that is because the large estates in private hands are held for
the exploitation of timber and chicle. Only small parts, if any,
of the estates are cultivated by the owners or by anyone with

the capital to employ labour. The bulk of the agriculture is in
the hands of peasant farmers either renting their land from
estate owners or government, or working their own land.'

This figure is taken from the Income Tax Report, less profits
not due to resident factors of production, plus a residual figure
of $gooo to cover unassessed profits. Surpluses of government
trading services less government trading losses, plus the profits
of the supplies section of the Import Control Office have been
added. $75,0oo estimated agricultural rents and $70oooo esti-
mated private royalties have been deducted. These last two
items are independently estimated and are greater than the
Income Tax Report figure for rents. They have been deducted
here on the assumption that the excess is included in the general-
ised, estimated, income tax assessments of trade profits. The
error is unlikely to be large.

This class of person is a large proportion of the Colony's gain-
fully-occupied population, but, as has been shown, in many
cases there is no real distinction between this class and wage-
earners, as far as the primary industries as a whole are con-
cerned. The Census gives 362 employers and 69oo own-account
workers, a total of 7262.
The Income Tax Report showed that 435 employers, etc.,
had been assessed, leaving 6827 unassessed own-account
workers. Their average income has been estimated at $5oo per
annum. This is based on several assumptions and personal in-
ferences. The employers' returns of wages give some indication
I 'The bulk of the food crops are produced by numerous small individual
planters who perform the labour themselves and may employ one or two
hands casually to assist them. Large estate plantations are few, and with
the exception of these it is difficult to obtain any statistics of the numbers
employed' (Annual Report on the Working of the Labour Depatmentafor dht.sy
ended 3Yst December z949).

of the earnings of employed tradesmen. The income tax allow-
ances for a married man with two children are $Iooo. It might
be assumed that $700oo was a reasonable estimate for the un-
assessed class. This, however, has to be reduced to account for
the small farmers, subsistence agriculturists and others who are
of no interest to the Income Tax Department, and for the child-
less and unmarried. The figure of $500oo seems the highest that
can be attributed to this class as an average. Reference to the
item 'Agriculture', in the Output Table, where an attempt has
been made to put a very rough check on the output of agri-
culture by means of estimated average incomes, suggests that
$300 per annum should be the agricultural own-account
workers' average. This would leave an average of $700oo per
annum for other than agricultural own-account workers. The
latter figure may seem low by Belize standards, but it includes
the districts where work and business will not be so plentiful
(nor basic expenditure so high).1 The margin of error in what
is part of a residual figure is, therefore, not as high as might be
I It may seem as though a figure b is being derived from figure a and then
being used to check figure a; that the Output Table, including the item
'Agriculture', is used to check the Income Table, and produce the item
'Own-account workers', which is then used to check the item 'Agriculture',
which is then used to check the item 'Own-account workers'. It is not
quite as bad as that. Actually the figure for 'Agriculture' is independently
estimated. It is then used with a large number of other figures to produce
the item 'Own-account workers' (which can be lightly checked independ-
ently), so that the latter figure is only the result of the estimate of 'Agri-
culture' in respect of a small fraction. The check on the itemn agriculturee '
is then made by taking the lowest possible figures for wage-earners and own-
account workers (assuming that the latter earn more than the former or
they would not continue working on their own account), as lower would be
below subsistence level, and adding the value of unpaid help. The accuracy
of this 'lowest' figure is then checked by deducting agricultural own-account
workers from the total 'Own-account workers', which leaves an income for
other own-account workers of 700oo, which is what was originally estimated
on other grounds:
4151 @ t300 $1,245,3oo00 agricultural
2676 @ $700 $1,873,2o00 other
This division is, however, the result of too many extensions of estimated
figures to be worth putting in the table.

The figure shown in the Income Tax Report for assessed
incomes from employment, which covers 769 persons, has been
treated as the income of salary-earners. On this definition the
margin of error is slight. The definition is not valid today, as
increases in wages have brought a number of wage-earners up
to taxable levels.
Other employees (i.e. non-assessed) are treated as wage-
earners. The Census showed that the gainfully occupied popu-
lation was 20,133, of whom wage- and salary-earners totalled
12,007, of whom I1,058 were at work (including learners) and
94g9 were unemployed.1 Deducting the 769 classed as salary-
earners leaves 10,289, to which has to be added 270 forest
workers estimated at work over the border at the time of the
Census.2 The average income has been assessed at $290 per
annum, an inference made from wage rates shown in the Labour
Report to yield $3,o62,ooo. The figure for unemployed is
assumed to refer to casual, temporary and seasonal unemploy-
ment and to be more or less constant throughout the year. The
labour force is extremely mobile between jobs, and the general
attitude to employment is such that a man might be technically
unemployed at the time of the Census and yet not 'unemployed'
in the generally accepted sense. He may even have earned
enough, in his opinion, to warrant a rest. He may be doing
what he regards as subsidiary work at the time. In spite of an
unemployment ratio of nearly 8 per cent there does not seem
to have been any unemployment 'problem' in 1946. In a small
population with highly seasonal industries there may be an
S'The problem however is mainly one of under-employment as the
majority of workers-save a small percentage of unemployables-are able
to secure some employment in the course of a month, their earnings how.
ever being altogether inadequate to enable them to provide for themselves
and their families' (Anal Report on the Working of Ithe Labow Depawrhnmtfor
the year ended 3yst December 1947).
s '238 persons were known to be absent in Guatemala at the time of the
Census and to be engaged there in mahogany cutting' (Cemss of British
Hondunra, z916, chap. vn, para. 14).

absolute figure for unemployment below which the economy
would cease to function properly through a shortage of labour.
(This point may be of significance in certain localities of much
more highly developed economies. The minimum practicable
unemployment must vary from place to place with the eco-
nomic structure and the density of population.)

A figure of $4o,ooo as the estimated income and dividends
received from abroad was based on information obtained by
the Financial Secretary, plus $50,ooo of Government Savings
Bank interest from abroad. $700ooo was added for local interest,
based on a scrutiny of the income tax returns. No local divi-
dends are included here, as profits have been shown under item 2
before payment of dividends. Interest, on the other hand, is
deducted in arriving at profits. To show local dividends here
would be misleading, as it is quite impossible to show the draw-
ings from proprietary firms, which form by far the greater part
of the locally-owned concerns. To separate dividends, with the
implication that profits under item 2 were retained profits,
would give a false impression.

The Income Tax Report figure was first taken. The rents and
royalties of government, from the Colony's accounts, were
added. An imputed net annual value was given to housing in
towns by taking the yields of property tax in towns and multi-
plying by the appropriate figure in each case for the rate of tax
to arrive at the annual rental value of the property. This gave
the following results:
Belize $7oo,ooo
Corozal 30,000
Orange Walk 14,000
Stann Creek 70,000
Punta Gorda I6,ooo
Monkey River 5,000

The annual value for property tax purposes is probably con-
siderably lower than the actual returns from rents, so that,
although the maintenance and repair of wooden houses is
extremely expensive, it was considered sufficient to deduct
20 per cent to arrive at the net imputed rental. From the
resultant figure was deducted the $52,ooo appearing in the
Income Tax Report, on the assumption that it was included in
the imputed rent. In fact, of course, some of it would cover
agricultural rent and forest royalty. It was assumed that agri-
cultural rents on the more thickly populated private lands of
the north would be approximately double those on the Crown
lands of the south. It was also assumed that private forest
royalties would be rather less than government royalties as so
much timber has already been 'worked out' on the private
lands. No attempt was made to estimate agricultural housing,
which, for most of the agricultural population, is of the pole-
and-thatch type with a short life.

This figure is the value of foreign money and postal orders
cashed in the Colony and remittances paid through various
government accounts. At that time numbers of emigrant
workers were employed in Panama and the U.S.A. while
many were still with the forces abroad.' Included are the re-
cipients of imperial pensions. It was assumed that money and
postal orders bought were not for unrequited remittances but,
more likely, for the purchase of imports. It was also assumed
that orders paid in the Colony were for remittances, as it was
unlikely that any would be for the purchase of exports. The
I 'The number of British Hondurans employed in the U.S.A. . dimin-
ished gradually throughout the year and by the 31st December the number
of natives of this Colony remaining in that country was 167.... The em-
ployment available in the Canal Zone was reduced considerably.... The
number of workers now in that area... is estimated not to exceed oo ...
of the British Honduras Forest Unit... a balance of 335 ... have not yet
returned, the majority of whom are believed to be still in the United
Kingdom' (Annual Report on the Working of the Labour Department for the year
ai&d Pst December 946).

figure includes only amounts which increase personal income.
Remittances through the bank for the account of government
or foreign firms, which are unrequited by exports, are estimated
separately under 'Government Receipts from Abroad' and 'In-
vestment by Foreign Companies' and deducted from the
Expenditure Table.


Output, 1946
% of
Income $000 $ooo
1.79 (a) Maize
0-80 (b) Rice
0.23 (c) Beans and peas
1-26 (d) Ground provisions and root
crops 137
0-23 (e) Vegetables 24
0.57 (f) Bananas 61
0-18 (g) Plantains 18
1-52 (h) Grapefruit and tinned juice 164
0-09 (i) Oranges 6
o-oi (j) Other citrus 1
3-08 (k) Coconuts 333
o-02 (1) Pineapples 3
1i47 (m) Cattle 157
o-02 (n) Sheep and goats 2
0-98 (o) Pigs 1o6
Pi i (p) Poultry 120o
o-21 (q) Alligator skins 23
0oo5 (r) Cohune 6
0-89 (s) Sugar 96
0o47 (1) Other crops 50

2. Qyarrying
3. Fishing

Carry forward

Income $ooo $ooo
Brought forward i,724
4. Forestry:
(a) Timber-getting and sawmill-
ing 1,253
(b) Firewood 31
(c) Chicle-bleeding ,00ooo
(d) Forest cultivation 16
-- 2:300
5. Manufacturing and Repair:
I-oi (a) Food 1o8
o0-63 (b) Beverages 68
o037 (c) Tobacco 40
0-02 (d) Oils and fats 3
0-15 (e) Chemicals 16
o068 (f) Wood and cork (not saw-
(g) Paper, printing and photo-
graphy 51
0o03 (h) Leather 4
2"59 (i) Apparel, textile articles 278
o.66 (j) Electricity and water 70
o.oi (k) Non-metallic minerals i
0-21 (1) Metal manufacture 23
2-20 (m) Machinery and vehicles 235
0o17 (n) Instruments, jewellery and
other 18

6. Construction:
3-48 (a) Building 373
i.92 (b) Road 207
0.05 (c) Other construction 6

Carry forward 5,6oo


A of
Brought forward

7. Transport and Communications:
0-02 (a) Rail
1-36 (b) Motor
0o19 (c) Other road transport
2 45 (d) Water
0-25 (e) Air
0.90 (f) Communications

8. Commerce:
(a) Retail and wholesale trade .
(b) Finance

9. Recreational Service:
(a) Cinemas
(b) Other

1o. Professional Service:
200oo (a) Medical and hygiene .
0-07 (b) Undertaking, cemetery and
other hygiene
1 35 (c) Education
o068 (d) Religion

Public Service:
3-69 (a) Armed Forces
3-20 (b) Administration
0-38 (c) Law
i. 6 (d) Police, prisons

Carry forward

$ooo $00oo


-- 907


% of $000 $ooo
Brought forward 9,203

Personal Service:
0.89 (a) Hotels, restaurants and cafis
0-44 (b) Laundry, dry cleaning
o 18 (c) Hairdressing
1-29 (d) Domestic service
2-84 13. Odd Jobs (ill-defined industries) 307
6-18 14. Housing 668
3-03 15. Income fro road 327


The Output Table is the strongest of the three. Apart from
the primary industries it is based on the Census, on the assump-
tion that employment in secondary and tertiary industries is
steady and less subject to change. With these industries output
has been calculated by taking the profits of employers and the
earnings of employees. In Fishing and Forestry and certain
minor items both income and output calculations were possible.
Agriculture can only be lightly checked from the income side.
The categories of the Census have been followed closely. As a
result only a part of the activities of Government are shown
separately (their total effect appears in the Expenditure Table).
Some of the classifications are a little uncertain. For example,
under Transport and Communications the output of transport
which derives directly from any other industry has generally
been included under that industry and not under Transport.
It is clear, however, that the Census classification is the result
of some arbitrary decisions on the part of the persons concerned.
Two employees appear under Railways. The railway in ques-
tion is a logging railway owned by a private firm and either
D 49

these two should come under Timber-getting or all other em-
ployces connected with it should come under Railways and a
profit be imputed to it. Similarly, construction which belongs
to a particular industry, and is part of its wage bill, is generally
included under it and not under Construction. The detailed
figures make only a pretence at accuracy and in their lesser
subdivisions should be regarded with suspicion, at least. At
the end of the Output Table appears a large unallocated item
which might well wreck any of the smaller divisions if it could
be distributed. It is obvious, too, that under Motor Vehicle
Bodies there cannot be three employees and no employer. The
rest of the output under this heading comes elsewhere, where
the employers' profits are included, and may not even come
under the general head of Manufacturing and Repair. These
details are only used as a means of building up totals in the
large groups. They have small validity on their own. As a
means to their end they are useful. The larger groups probably
do not err widely.
Considerable use has been made of income tax assessments
in arriving at profit figures. Where only one concern occurs in
any subdivision the calculation cannot, of course, be given, but
profits and earnings are combined. Earnings of employees have
generally been derived from inferences drawn from employers'
returns of employees' wages, income tax assessments and the
Labour Report. In particular cases information derived from
other sources has been used.

The Colony is generally thought of as non-agricultural. As far
as trade statistics go this is true. Agricultural exports are slight
compared with forest exports, and imports are considerable.
Only a third of the food consumed is locally produced. Never-
theless the settlement of the Igth century was mainly agricul-
tural and, in 1946, 29-13 per cent of the gainfully-occupied
population found employment in agriculture. A large part of
them are subsistence or near-subsistence agriculturists. Where

there are means of communication, parts of the crop find their
way to market. With the building of roads the agricultural
potential of the present population, most of which meets only
the personal needs of the grower, should be fully utilised.1 A
Board of Agriculture has for many years maintained minimum
prices for maize, rice and beans and has bought up surplus
supplies beyond those which can be marketed directly by the
farmer at more favourable prices and those needed for his owh
storage and seed. During the war production was encouraged
by a hortatory campaign and the itinerant services of farm
demonstrators aiming at improving agricultural methods. These
seem to have been based on the mixed peasant farming' re-
commendations of the West India Commission Report of 1939, now
superseded by the large-scale production methods proposed in
the Evans Commission Report. In 1948 the Board of Agriculture
was converted into a Marketing Board with the idea of giving
some positive stimulus to agricultural production. At the time
of writing, apart from some romantic ideas of tractor, etc.,
stations in different parts of the Colony, the new Board does
not yet seem to have formulated its policy. It has, however,
a 'Growers supplying isolated communities have developed the habit of
withholding supplies in order to maintain artificially high prices. Such a
policy... has led to the neglect of many local products because an im-
ported substitute has been found to be just as cheap or cheaper . This
shortsighted policy has resulted in the maintenance over the past three
years of a high level of imports of foodstuffs, much of which could have been
produced here.... It is hoped that the feeder road programme, by tapping
larger agricultural areas, may help to create a freer flow of locally grown
foodstuffs at competitive rates' (Departnta of Agriculture Annual Rpst for
2 'One of the most striking features of the agriculture of the Colony is
the lack of a knowledge of the elementary principles of good husbandry by
the bulk of the small cultivators.... A comparatively large staff of practical
well-trained demonstrators is needed.... It is felt that the self-sufficient
small farm of the future must be based upon a system of "mixed farming"'
(Department of Agriculture Annual Reportfor 1944).
'If any substantial increase in the volume of production for the home
market is to be secured, it is evident that this must come mainly from agri-
culture. For this purpose, we believe that the substitution, wherever pos-
sible, of mixed farming methods for the single crop system of agriculture
now predominant in the West Indies and the extension of peasant agricul-
ture along appropriate lines will be required' (Weot India Commission Report,
chap. m, para. 22).

enormously extended the practice of giving advances of cash
and seed to farmers, after a minimum acreage has been cleared
and before planting. This is an extension of the advance system,
common in the forest industry, to agriculture. In fact, this is
the traditional way of setting labour in motion in the Colony.'
Whereas, however, with labour an advance can be recovered
by a given amount of labour performed, in agriculture the
return can never be certain. In a bad year, such as 1949, when
a prolonged drought ruined the harvest, most of the loans would
have to be written off and the policy may become expensive.
It remains to be seen whether it will stimulate agriculture or
merely increase a bad habit. Clearly, however, there can be
no settlement of new agriculturists unless they are supplied
with initial capital. As it is, loans are only made to established
farmers, and it is probably safe to say that most of the popula-
tion which is likely to be successful in agriculture is already
engaged in it. This, coupled with over-population of the West
Indies, has naturally stimulated thoughts of settlement from
elsewhere, as it did fifty years ago, and has culminated in the
Evans Commission, which made extensive suggestions for agri-
cultural development. There is, nevertheless, an agricultural
population in the Colony already, whose potential output is
far from being reached. Improved methods,2 improved com-
munications and assured markets should, by themselves, enor-
mously increase production. Unfortunately the Marketing
Board, which provides the assured market for the farmers, is
not always able to find an assured market for itself. Production
of a crop which does not meet domestic requirements can
always be protected, but the domestic market is really small,
S'The mahogany cutters . used to sell themselves into a sort of slavery
by receiving advances from their employers at the beginning of the season,
which advances they spent most liberally in the town . leaving their
families to starve' ('British Honduras', an address by Sir Eric Swayne in
1917 (discussion): Geographical Journal, vol. L, no. 3). A rather melo-
dramatic description!
2 'The lack of any permanent application to agriculture has resulted over
most of the Colony in a complete absence of farm tools and equipment. The
implements in universal use are the axe and the machete' (Department of
Agriculture Annual Reportfor 1947).

and in 1948 the Board exported surplus maize-at a loss. This
was because local prices were rather higher than elsewhere.
This is, perhaps, the crucial weakness of any proposals for
developing agriculture. The Colony has grown by its forest in-
dustries from which it has paid for imported food. The latter
has been expensive (and is subject to import duty) and earnings
in the forest industries have been high by Caribbean standards.'
As long as the local demand for any produce is not exceeded
by the local supply, the price will be as high for local produce
as for imported produce.' This raises the return to agricultural
work and makes it comparable with forest work. It effectively
prohibits the development of agricultural exports, as at prices
offered for exports there is no incentive to produce any surplus
to subsistence needs.9 The Mayan Indian and Spanish-Indian
plants his milpa (the 'plot' of shifting cultivation), which will
supply him with his basic food needs of the year, and will then
go off to the forest and earn anything from $200oo to $3ooo
collecting chicle, or he will work in the cane fields, earning
about $1.50 a day. As long as he can get such returns from
other work he will not waste his time planting more corn. It
is interesting to note that the record corn harvest of 1948 co-
incided with a falling off in chicle operations, the price offered
for chicle being much lower than in former years. The para-

S'The total area of the Colony is 8,6oo square miles, of which only
approximately 6o,ooo to 70,000 acres have been cultivated or used for
agriculture in any one year. For the remainder the relatively small popu-
lation have worked it over for various forest products which hare enabled
them to maintain a relatively high standard of living in the past.... Agri-
cultural development has run up against two major problems as a result in
the past. The first problem has been that of the high cost of labour in
comparison with labour of similar quality in purely agricultural countries.
The second problem has been the almost complete absence of road transport
and therefore the development of parochialism in local tastes and demand
for agricultutal produce' (Department of Agricadture Asmal Reportfor i948).
2 Fresh tomatoes from the United States, carefully graded, in perfect
condition, packed in i-lb. boxes and covered with cellophane, sell at the
same or lower prices than locally grown tomatoes of inferior quality.
8 The Corozal Sugar Factory in the 1948-9 season exported a small
quantity of sugar, at a price lower than the domestic price. It yielded a
slight profit. But f the whoe hole output had been sold t that price there
would have been little or no profit.

mount need in agricultural development is to lower nominal
wages throughout the Colony, without, of course, lowering real
wages, which are none too high. Otherwise the Colony's wages-
prices structure will be too high to allow it to compete with the
rest of the world in agricultural production. This consideration
applies equally to any schemes for importing settlers as it does
to the agriculturists already in the Colony. The ways of achiev-
ing this would seem to be by:
(a) improving communications so that more subsistence
settlements could be brought within reach of the market and
untapped areas could be made available;
(b) encouraging the use of more and more advanced tools
and the more careful selection of seed I (it is doubtful if the
southern half of the Colony can ever make extensive use of
machinery), in order to increase production with the same
manpower; 2
(c) assuring a steady market, which might mean diversifying
crops rather than increasing one crop once the home market
had been filled ; s and
(d) doing everything to reduce the high wages-prices struc-
ture (such as reducing or abandoning the duty on imported
foods which do not compete with domestic production).
Devaluation of the British Honduras dollar, for example,
would have the immediate effect of raising the working-class
cost of living greatly, and soon wage-rates. This would encour-
age people to desert agriculture for wage-earning (always assum-
ing that the wage-earning industries could bear the cost of the
increases). Any temporary advantage for exports would soon be

I Rice is reaped with penknives on a selective method, as the grain
grows unevenly and ripens irregularly. See Department of Agriculture Annual
Reportfor '945-
a But The wider use of such implements of cultivation is only likely
where the farmer owns his land. The high cost of stumping and lack of
security of tenure limit their use on farms which arre rented. On these lands,
for the same reason, growers hesitate to cultivate long-term crops or adopt
any system of crop rotation' (Depa mnt of Agriculture Annual Reportfor 1947).
3 It is in this, through the discriminate fixing of prices, that the Marketing
Board might find its most useful function, and be a direct expression of
agricultural policy.

nullified, and, anyway, at the moment exports are not the prime
need of agricultural development. The wages-prices structure
would be raised instead of lowered and make future exports
quite impossible.1
The output of agriculture proved to be the most intractable
item in the table. Hopes that the confidential Mayan Indian
Report would yield some facts about the Indians, which could
be used in measuring their output, were disappointed. All its
facts were derived from other (known) sources. Its opinions did
not differ much from the opinions which any person of fair
intelligence might hold, having visited the Indian villages.
Neither production nor consumption has been studied for any
of the particular agricultural groups. All the experts who visit
the Colony in increasing numbers, for a week each, make the
routine visit to the Indian village of San Antonio in the Toledo
district, where they spend a few hours. But they seek informa-
tion rather than provide it. In parenthesis it might be added
that the money spent on bringing the experts to the Colony
to acquire the very scanty information available might be
better spent on actual studies to produce more information.2
In the event the basis of the figure for Agriculture was the
acreage census made by the Department of Agriculture for the
Evans Commission in 1947. The calculations were worked out
in collaboration with the Director of Agriculture and the
assumptions made were based on his judgment. The principle
adopted was to take the acreage given in the census for each
crop, multiply this by an estimated figure for average yield and
again by the price paid to the farmer by the middleman or
received direct by the farmer (according to whether he marketed
his crop directly or indirectly), and deduct a varying percent-
age for cost of materials used, seed and transport costs to market.
1 See Note on the Devaluation of the British Honduras Dollar, p. 139.
2 An interesting commentary on this is provided by the two experts who,
as a result of faulty data, produced conflicting theories on the prospects of
supplying Belize with water from the pine ridge eleven miles away. The
argument continued, with Government convinced now by one, now by the
other, until a third arrived who went to look at the borehole which supplied
the data and found that the strata revealed by it had been incorrectly

(The percentage was varied to reflect the proportion of a crop
marketed and the proportion consumed or sold on the farm.)
The yield figures are uncertain, but are based on the best
opinion available.
In finding the prices for 1946, Mr H. E. C. Cain kindly con-
ducted some inquiries among middlemen and producers on
my behalf. Prices varied considerably during the year, espec-
ially for coconuts, which ranged from $18o to $30 per iooo.
As far as possible prices at the height of a crop season were
taken, since the bulk of the crop would be sold then and crops
not marketed would fetch the lowest prices on farms. The earn-
ings of farmers would depend again on whether they carried
their own crops to market or hired transport, or sold them on
the spot to middlemen who provided transport. The Board of
Agriculture provided free transport from its buying centres,
except for corn, for which it set a lower price in the districts
than in Belize. With livestock, attempts were made to estimate
the slaughterings from the livestock figures in the census, by
estimating the natural increase and deaths and so arriving at
a balance. The balance was then reduced by comparing the
1947 census with a similar one in 1943 and estimating the
annual increase of stock on farms. A large proportion of the
slaughterings would not take place at municipal slaughter-
A very rough check can be put on the total for Agriculture
from the income side, using the Census figures for the numbers
engaged in agriculture.
Profits from estates 90,000
4151 own-account workers, etc., @ $300 1,245,300
592 unpaid helpers, valued @ $125 74,000
ioio employees @ $200 202,000

Profits and earnings of subsidiary cultivators have not been
included specifically. The larger ones will be included under
Profits from Estates, the lesser ones are not likely to be included

in the agricultural census. The implication is that the figure for
Agriculture has not been over-estimated, although it is sur-
prisingly high.
(a) Maize. Corn is grown from north to south, chiefly by the
Mayan Indians. The production in the north comes mainly
from the area between the Hondo and New Rivers. This area
supplies the greater part of the surplus for the market, but has
to bear most of the competition for the milpero's interest from
chicle. The system of agriculture is primitive in the south and
west, the 'shifting cultivation' of large parts of Central Africa.
The bush is burnt and the seed planted in holes made with
sticks. There the villages occur in broken country and the corn
has to be planted on slopes, sometimes incredibly steep ones,
for there is little available flat land. Steep hills are planted to
the summits. Communications are bad. Any surplus above
subsistence needs in the western region, with the two towns of
El Cayo and Benque Viejo in close proximity, is generally
absorbed locally. The Agricultural Department has at times
regarded the Indian settlers as anything but an economic asset,
as their system is wasteful and encourages soil erosion.1 Re-
cently Mayan farm demonstrators have been trained with a
view to improving methods. Cultivation is more settled in the
north. Villages on private land are not so movable. The
northern villages are laid out regularly in contrast to the
higgledy-piggledy villages of the south. The Board of Agricul-
ture's purchases come chiefly from its northern buying centres
at Yo Creek, Orange Walk, August Pine Ridge, San Pablo and
Louisville, and to a lesser degree from the south at Punta
Gorda. Purchases in the west are negligible.
12,455 acres were estimated to produce sooo lb. each at
$1.95 per 00oo lb., less 20 per cent for costs (a figure which was
intended to cover materials, seed, transport to market and a
reduction for prices on farms). In general, material costs should
1 'The "milpa" system as practised from time immemorial by the Mayan
Indians and adopted by other immigrants is outmoded as hopelessly un-
economic both from the point of view of the amount of labour required and
the terrible waste of such natural assets as timber and soil fertility' (Depart-
ment of Agriculture Annual Report for 1948).

be small, if not negligible. Seed costs only occur when no seed
has been preserved from the previous season.
(b) Rice. Rice is grown chiefly in the rather swampy region
behind Punta Gorda by East Indians and Caribs. Hill varieties
are cultivated. The local seed has not been carefully bred
(although the Rice Station at Punta Gorda is trying to remedy
this'), so that the primitive form of reaping noted above has to
be adopted. Cultivation has recently been extended to Monkey
River and Barranco and small quantities for personal consump-
tion are grown elsewhere. An experiment on a somewhat
larger scale, planting between cohune palms, was made by
Government in the middle of 1946, but was not a success. The
very heavy rainfall in the south at harvest time prevents a real
harvesting season. Large-scale reaping must be performed at
one time if the labour force is to be retained and suitable periods
cannot be expected. Reaping during heavy rains causes wast-
age. It would seem that rice cultivation must continue to be
in the hands of the peasant farmer, who can more easily choose
a reaping time for his small crop. The poor results of the
government experiment were, however, partly due to inexperi-
ence and to lack of proper transport and storage facilities.
Government maintains an efficient rice mill at Punta Gorda
and a rather inefficient rice and corn mill at Belize. The per-
centage yield of rice from a given quantity of paddy, about
6o per cent., is much lower than that of Nigerian mills and may
be due to poorer quality grain.
2461 acres were estimated to yield 1500 lb. of paddy each,
at $2.9go per too lb. (compare the Nigerian price of 99 c. per
too lb.), less no per cent for costs. Some of this is home-milled.
The farmer has to thrash and dry paddy before sale, usually
hiring government thrashers. Seed expenses are probably higher
than with other crops. The production is only a small part of
the Colony's consumption of what is a staple food of the creole

I 'Some progress was made towards the production of a pure seed supply
to replace the present mixture of varieties which is normally sown' (Depart.
mei of AAgricultre Annul Report for 1948).

(c) Beans and peas. These, chiefly Red Kidney Beans and
Black Beans, with smaller crops of Baby Red Beans and Congo
Peas are grown throughout the Colony, chiefly by the Mayan
Indians, whence the greater part of the marketed crop comes.
Together with rice they form the staple food of the Belize popu-
lation. Production meets only a small part of the Colony's
1600oo acres were estimated to yield 300 lb. each at $7.00 per
too lb., less 20 per cent for expenses, transport, etc.
(d) Ground provisions and root crops. These, comprising cassava,
cocos, sweet potatoes and yams, are grown chiefly by the Caribs
of Stann Creek and other coastal regions on smallholdings,
often worked by women. There is domestic production of starch
from cassava, some of which is retailed in the towns. A well-
equipped starch factory at Canada Hill in the Stann Creek
valley failed because the crop was insufficient to keep the factory
going for more than a short period in the year. The price paid
to farmers was too low to stimulate production of cassava. The
product seems to have been of very good quality, but the enter-
prise seems to have been over-capitalised and the process already
out of date at the time it was introduced.
1931 acres were estimated to yield 4000 lb. each at 2 c. per
lb., less 20 per cent for costs. (Costs are high on a mainly sub-
sistence crop owing to rotting and wastage.)
(e) Vegetables. There is only a small attempt to supply what
is anyway a limited market for vegetables.' Belize is the main
market and is many miles from suitable market-garden land.
The price is as high as that of vegetables of excellent quality
imported from the United States. It seems that in the last
thirty years the Indians and Spanish-Indians of the north have
concentrated more and more on maize at the expense of
what was once a more varied agriculture. This may be
partly due to the high rewards of forest work and partly
1 'The relatively heavy crops planted in 1946 resulted in over-production
for the relatively small demand in Belize which is the principal market...
the annually recurrent difficulty of over-production during a short season
and almost complete shortage at other times' (Deparment of Agriculture
Annual Reportfor 1947).

to improved communications and the cheap import of tinned
288 acres were estimated to yield 150 lb. each at 8 c. per lb.,
less 30 per cent for costs. This is mainly a marketed crop and
sold through middlemen.
(f) Bananas. This once flourishing industry was attacked
by disease. It was situated in the Stann Creek valley and along
other rivers of the south (which enabled easy transport to the
sea), but bananas are grown throughout the Colony. Fresh
planting on new land has continued as the disease has spread.'
Government is experimenting with the disease-resistant Lacatan
banana. It is unlikely to find a market in the United States,
which is accustomed to the Gros Michel banana. It is hoped
that a market for the new banana will be found in the United
Kingdom, where the bananaless war-years will have broken
traditional preferences.' A small export trade continues by
means of small, fast motor-vessels which pick up bananas at
various points along the coast and carry them to New Orleans
and Florida.'
710o acres were estimated to yield 150 bunches each at 30 c.
per bunch, less so per cent for costs.
(g) Plantains. These are common throughout the Colony and
meet mainly domestic needs as a 'vegetable'.
1677 acres were estimated to yield 75 bunches each at 2o c.
per bunch, less 20 per cent for costs.
(h) Grapefruit and timed juice. A flourishing grapefruit i
dustry has been established in the Stann Creek valley. There is
a considerable export of tinned grapefruit juice. The successful
nature of this enterprise, with an export crop, established as it
has been with Jamaican capital and without needing govern-
ment aid (other than a subsidy in wartime, to keep the orchards
in condition when there were no exports), coupled with the fact
I 'This crop remains merely a "catch crop" for the small planters. Only
on the most favourable sites does it remain profitable for longer than two
years because of... leaf spot disease' (Department ofAgriceulture Annual Report
for 945).
See Department of Agriculture Annual Report for z948.
3 See Department of Agricultur Annual Reportfor r946.

that it has growing prospects and does not share the 'problems'
and fears which beset other parts of the economy, has led, per-
haps, to its significance in the economy being over-estimated.
1 74 acres were estimated to yield ioo cases each. It was
convenient to group the juice-tinning industry with the pro-
duction of grapefruit, as the estimates are based on income tax
figures and cannot be shown separately, only one firm being
involved. For this reason the calculations cannot be given.'
(i) Oranges. 417 acres were estimated to yield 4500 lb. each
at 30 c. per too lb., less 30 per cent for costs. This, unlike grape-
fruit, is not a 'plantation' crop, although it is now being de-
veloped in conjunction with grapefruit in the Stann Creek
(j' Other citrus. Iot acres were estimated to yield 4500 lb.
each at 30 c. per ioo lb., less 30 per cent for costs.
(k) Coconuts. Coconuts are found extensively along the coast
and on the cays of the reef. They are used for food, for cooking
oil, and in the manufacture of soap. During the war British
Honduras, alone of the Caribbean colonies, permitted the
export of nuts to the United States. In the West Indies gener-
ally production was held for local fat needs. It is hard to say
how the acreage was assessed. A number of proper coals are
maintained, but the greater part of the acreage is 'natural'. In
a year of good prices it is worth while and possible to step up
exports considerably. In other years what is not consumed in
the Colony is wasted. In 1946 prices up to $18o per tooo nuts
were obtained during the short export season, only to fall to
$30 shortly after. A percentage of nuts exported had to be
reserved for the soap industry. These might include reject nuts.
In fact, in 1946 the local market was short of nuts during the
high price period. In many agricultural products price re-
sponds to supply. When the market is saturated, prices fall.
With coconut exports supply responds to price, as a year's
demand is concentrated into a short buying period in which the
market in the United States is strongly 'bullish'.
1 See also Note on the Devaluation of the British Honduras Dollar,
P. 139.

The calculation proved rather difficult and was approached
in two ways. 6554 acres were estimated to yield 3000 nuts
each at $67.00 per 1ooo, less 75 per cent for costs and wastage.
The value of exports in the short season was estimated to equal
the value of domestic consumption for the year. This might not
be so in other years when exports might not be stimulated by
such a good price.
It is tempting to speculate on the possibility of basing manu-
facturing industries on comparatively unused resources such
as this. Apart, however, from the smallness of the local market
(and the real smallness of the local supply), the resources arc
scattered over a large area. Only high prices will cause them
to be brought to market in appreciable quantities. Once purses
have been filled in a subsistence-minded population, with
plenty of other things to turn its hand to, the supply becomes
spasmodic and erratic, which is of no use to a manufacturing
concern requiring a steady flow of materials. Attempts to tin
lobsters some years ago failed for the same reason. Supplies
were brought in to the cannery as the fishermen felt inclined
and a steady flow of production could not be maintained. The
grapefruit-juice tinning industry has none of these disadvan-
tages as the area of supply is concentrated, the grapefruit hold-
ings comparatively large and the farmers producing for the in-
dustry. Grapefruit is a 'plantation' crop rather than a peasant
crop. So the supply is regular. If buying of a crop can be
organised at many points throughout the Colony and the pro-
duce transported cheaply to a central point, this difficulty can
be overcome. No industry can expect a steady supply to be
brought to it, no matter what prices it offers. Lack of transport
facilities has limited the growth of a large middleman class in
agriculture. Transporters tend to be middlemen, but it is not
their prime interest. This is the problem of the familiar triangle:
agriculture; transport; industry. Other things being equal (i.e.
costs and markets), if you have two of the three the other
one will be made. If you have only one the other two will
not be made. This is what the dreamer who looks at under-
developed colonies and imagines gigantic possibilities always

overlooks.1 A transport system as a whole is one of the assets of a
Colony, whatever hands it is in. But it cannot exist in vacuo.
Neither can either of the other constituents, except that agricul-
ture can exist on its markets, first near markets, later farther ones
as a rudimentary transport system develops. The first thing then
(in an agricultural community) is to enlarge markets for agricul-
ture and gradually increase the assets 'agriculture' and 'trans-
port' until they are big enough to carry the third, 'manu-
facture'. In a Colony with rich mines, of course, the problem
does not exist in the same terms.
(1) Pineapples. 297 acres were estimated to yield 150 pi
apples at so c. each, less 2o per cent for costs.
Horses and mules. The estimated increase in stocks per annum
was about the same as the value of the imports. The local stock
was therefore assumed to be static, deaths equalling births, and
no figure was entered.*
(m) Cattle. Cattle are reared mainly along the Belize River,
in the Cayo-Benque Viejo region to the west, and, less, in the
north around Corozal and Orange Walk. There is a small con-
sumption of fresh milk, but it has not yet reached a significant
point.8 Some butter is made, at a higher price than imported
The stock of 16,ooo was estimated to consist of 14,ooo females
and 2ooo males. o10,5oo young were estimated to have been
produced. The natural mortality was put at so per cent or
16oo, and losses from drought (an annual feature) 4 and other
I Mr Adolph Woermnann, the grandson of the man who signed the firet
treaty with the natives which gave the Cameroons to Germany, described
to me many )years ago the potentialities of South-West Africa; how if you
had a large population there you could install great irrigation works and
turn the desert to fruitful land, and how if you had great irrigation works
you could bring in a large population, but that neither was practicable
unless they could be magically produced simultaneously.
c 'Horses are quite numerous but of a small saddle type and are not used
as farm animals to do farm labour' (Department of Agriculture Annual Report
fao z947).
* See Departenmt of Agriculture Annual Report for i945.
S'Cattle are kept almost entirely on the ranching system, although many
of the ranches are but small in size. The limiting factor to the number of
cattle that can be kept is the amount of grazing available in the dry season'
(Department of Agriculture Annrual Report for 944).

causes at 1400. The annual increase in numbers was estimated
at 1500. Slaughterings were estimated at 6ooo, at $28.oo each
(average weight 400 lb. at 7 c. per lb.). The increase in numbers
was valued at the same rate. Costs were estimated at 25 per cent.
(n) Sheep and goats. The stock of 1700 was estimated to con-
tain 850 females, producing 1275 young. Slaughterings were
estimated at 6oo, deaths at 2oo, increase in numbers at 4oo.
The value was taken as $2.5o a pair. Costs were estimated at
2o per cent, which is probably high.
(o) Pigs. Pigs play a large part in subsistence agriculture, as
the number of Indian villages called San Antonio bears tribute.
A considerable quantity reaches the market, and pork is the
commonest meat.' In the north 'hog lard' is produced, and in
Stann Creek some pork is salted.
The stock of I i,ooo was estimated to contain 5500 sows,
producing 22,ooo young a year. Deaths were estimated at 1500,
the annual increase in numbers at 5oo and the slaughterings
at 2o,ooo. The value was reckoned at $6.50 each (average
weight 50 lb. at 13 c. per lb.). Costs were estimated, probably
highly, at 2so per cent.
(p) Poultry. The stock of 68,ooo was estimated to contain
57,5oo hens, producing 50 eggs each. The annual increase in
numbers was estimated at 6000, the sales of fowls at 30,ooo and
the consumption of eggs at 2,750,ooo. Costs were estimated
at 25 per cent.
(q) Alligator skins. These are included here as they are prob-
ably obtained by agriculturists. The estimate closely follows
the export figure.
(r) Cohune. The cohunc palm is ubiquitous, associated wit

' The keeping of pigs is widespread throughout the Colony and it is
interesting to find that, even on some of the Cays, where there is little
opportunity for breeding, almost every householder buys one or two store
pigs each year for fattening on the household and garden refuse . The
number of pigs over any period varies with the amount of food available.
In the north this food is maize, in the south it is rejected bananas' (Depart-
ment of Agriadculture Annual Report for z945). There is thus an element of double-
counting here as the maize or bananas consumed by the pigs also appear to
some extent under thosc items. This does not occur with cattle, as they are
ranchedd', i.e. depend on die natural vegetation.

the more fertile soils, and is really a forest tree. The kernel has
an extremely high percentage of oil, but the nut is exceptionally
hard to crack. A company was started to exploit the nut near
Punta Gorda, but failed, owing to the usual over-capitalisation,
the royalty on the nut-cracking machines and the dispersed
nature of the crop. This last meant that to achieve adequate
supplies a large area had to be covered. As the nuts were bought
in the shell, the return that could be offered per lb. was small.1
During 1946 a small export was made by the Import Control
Office, buying cracked nuts. These nuts were cracked by hand,
using a kind of hammer and anvil. Thus instead of bringing the
whole nuts to the cracking machine, the machine was taken to
the nuts. Even so there is considerable breakage of kernels in
cracking, as great force has to be applied.
(s) Sugar. The sugar crop is grown mainly in the north around
Corozal and to a lesser extent in the south around Punta Gorda.
The northern crop is sold to the Corozal Sugar Factory (apart
from that consumed on the farm or used in rum-making). This
meets the whole of the Colony's sugar needs in a normal year
and can be milled in four months. Cane is ratooned for any-
thing up to fifteen years. The crop is mainly grown on large
holdings with employed labour.
1752 acres were estimated to yield 15 tons each, at $5.50 per
ton, less 50 c. for transport and 25 per cent for expenses. This
gave a value for output of $98,55o. It was possible to apply a
light check from the income side, using the Census:
248 labourers @ $3oo0 $74,4oo0
4 teamsters @ $300 1,200
4 others @ $3oo 1,200
14 foremen @ $500 7,ooo
4 farmers @ $200ooo 8,ooo
(from Income Tax)
1 'It is regretted that the cohunee nut] industry which at first showed
signs of becoming a thriving one came to a standstill in the early portion of
the year.... Sporadic nut gathering has continued however on a small scale'
(Annual Report of the Labour Department for theyear ended 3st December z945).
E 65

The high earnings given for labour were estimated to make
good the larger labour force employed in the season. The final
result was taken as $96,ooo.
(t) Other crops. It was impossible to estimate the value of the
common, but occasional, growth of mangoes, avocado pears,
pawpaws, melons, cocoa, coffee, breadfruit, eggplant, custard
apples, star apples, etc., although the total production would
be far from negligible. Mangoes in season, for example, appear
to be an important food item, and it seems that sales of other
produce (including meat) fall off during the mango season. A
figure of $5o0,00ooo has been inserted to cover these items.

Mining is the thing on which most prosperous colonies chiefly
depend. It alone, in these days, attracts the kind of foreign
capital which results in real investment and development.
Roads and railways spring up in its wake, markets are provided
and agriculture can develop with at least the assurance of
this market to give it stability. Otherwise it can look for stability
only at the subsistence level, in feeding the mouths of those who
grow food. Agriculture can rarely attract much capital natur-
ally unless labour costs are so low relative to world prices for
products that good profits can be expected,1 and forest in-
dustries only enough to ensure the extraction of natural capital
which is relatively cheaply got. Mining encourages concen-
trated settlements and the acquisition of industrial skills. Near
them something other than craft industries may be born and
flourish. The taxation of mines provides surpluses over and
above the bare costs of administration, which can be used for
further development, for investment in transport systems, roads,
canals and railways, airports, to open up other areas, and for
improving the welfare of the whole community in whose area
the mines are situated. The colonies of today can, with a few
1 The investment of Europeans in agriculture in South, Central and East
Africa was based on cheap labour, and even so the margin of profit was not
Ccat. The large tracts of land set aside in Northern Rhodesia by the British
th Africa Co. and North Charterland Company were only to a very
small extent taken up.

freak exceptions, be divided into the relatively prosperous ones
with prospects and the sick ones without, simply on this basis
of whether they have mines or not. The spectacle of South
Africa, with its agriculture and manufactures built up on the
prosperity of its gold mines, and of Northern Rhodesia, con-
verted in twenty-five years from a grant-aided colony to a
relatively prosperous one, illustrate this. Yet neither of these
two countries can show anything like the same spread of edu-
cational and medical services over its population as can British
Honduras. This is significant when it is recorded that there are
no mines in the Colony. Whether there is any, as yet hidden;
mineral wealth is unknown. Although stories of traces of gold
and oil recur, there is little of even circumstantial evidence to
support them. The unexplored condition of a great part of the
country makes it impossible to say what the future may hold,
but whatever it may be, it has no significance for the economy
of today.
Two government quarries are operated, one in the Belize
district and one, more spasmodically, in the Toledo district.
Their output is used for road-metalling. Stone is taken in other
places, including some heavy stone from the sea by fishermen
and boatmen. The Census gives seven quarrymen'in one table
and twelve in another. Averaging the two a figure of $3ooo has
been inserted. In theory stone is bought at cost by the various
works undertaken. The error may be anything up to too per

Fishing occurs along the whole length of the coast, especially
among the Caribs. Fish is a most important food south of
Belize. There has been some export of fresh lobsters to the
United States (and other places by aeroplane), most of which
appears to have escaped the Customs records. The presence of
quantities of Guatemalan quetzals and United States dollars
in circulation in Punta Gorda suggests a further unmeasured
export of fish to Guatemala, probably by British Honduras
Caribs to Carib settlements in Guatemala.

It was possible to calculate the output of fishing in two ways.
Using the Census figures the income of fishing was reckoned:1

3 employers @ $500 $1,500
303 own-account workers @ $300 90,900
17 employees @ $2oo00 3,400
281 subsidiary fishermen @ $50 14,050

To check this the Collector of Customs' returns of fish sold in
markets in 1948 were used, on the assumption that there was
little change from 1946. Not all fish, however, is sold in markets.
It was estimated that 25 per cent of fish in the Belize district
was, and 50 per cent in Stann Creek is sold directly from boats
or consumed by fishermen and their families, but that all at
Corozal is sold in the market, which is at the end of the pier.
Adjustments were made to provide for this. Punta Gorda, not
being included, was reckoned on a population basis, having
similar characteristics to the town of Stann Creek, and as having
a catch of two-fifths that of Stann Creek. Again on the basis
of population two-thirds of the Stann Creek catch was added
for other fishing villages along the coast. Exports were added
and a further figure for unrecorded exports, based on an
address by Mr Dawson to the Fisheries Conference at Miami
at'the end of 1948, when he gave the export of lobsters for 1946.2
No account was taken of conchs. It is not known how much
they are used for food, or their shells for other purposes. These
calculations resulted in the table on p. 69.
This includes turtles. It is close to the income calculation
but probably underestimates output north of Belize and ex-
I There has been little change in the numbers engaged in fishing since
the Census of 19o.' In times of distress the number seems to increase.
'1931 showed an enlarged number, this being attributed to numbers of
people then engaged in fishing for purposes of subsistence and for lack of
opportunity in other occupations' (Census ofBritish Honduras, 1946, chap. vn,
para. 17). This demonstrates the adaptability of the people and the tendency
to turn from one occupation to another.
2 This is an example of information received quite fortuitously on a file
which was passed to me in another connection.

Output of Fishing
Corozal $3,642
Stann Creek 18,484
Belize 23,564
Punta Gorda 7,393
Other coastal villages 12,ooo
dried fish 4,958
fresh fish 4,836
tortoise shell 592
lobsters 31,607
cludes exports in the south. It has been rounded up to Si 1o,ooo.
The margin of error is likely to be small.
Hunting. The Census gives five persons employed in hunting.
It was impossible to value their output or the output of hunting.
The value of alligator skins has been included under Agri-
culture. The value of venison, gibnut and armadillo consumed
has been treated as negligible for the purposes of this study. It
is, in any case, doubtful if anyone is primarily a hunter, and
hunting is probably a subsidiary 'industry'. Indeed in British
Honduras a 'hunter' is popularly one who seeks for mahogany
trees rather than game, and this may have caused an error in
the Census. No figure was entered.

It proved possible to divide Forestry into four components:
Timber-getting, Firewood, Chicle-bleeding and Forest culti-
vation, based on the Census. Many firms engaged in Timber-
getting are sawmillers as well, especially in the pine industry,
where the production is of sawn wood. It was difficult to separ-
ate one side of their activities from the other. Sawmilling was
therefore included in Timber-getting rather than separately
under secondary industries. The dressing of timbers is, perhaps,
more suitably classed as a primary industry.
The greater part of the easily accessible forest land in the

Colony has already been worked out.1 It will in time recover
(the time factor being about a century) if cutting is success-
fully controlled in the meantime. Cutting of immature trees
will, of course, delay regeneration in the north, where mahogany
is indigenous, and would eradicate it in the south. The extrac-
tion of mahogany and cedar, with some subsidiary hardwoods,2
now takes place chiefly along the Guatemalan and Mexican
borders, and (until the closing of the Guatemalan frontier in
1947) over them. Mahogany trees occur in isolation in the
forest and 'hunters' are employed to locate them. When this has
been done a truck-pass, or rough road, is cut to them, with side
traces to individual trees. The trees are cut, hauled to the truck-
pass and carried by camions to the nearest river. Even with the
development of motor transport the areas available .to small
contractors operating for foreign firms with their capital is
limited. The firms generally advance cash, plant and stores to
contractors, who in turn advance cash to the workers and then
go out to find and cut the timber on a particular concession.
The timber cut is measured by the firm's licensed measure,
whose figures have been accepted both by the contractor and
(until very recently) by the Customs Department. One firm
works its own land and has installed a railway from the head-
waters of the New River at Hillbank Lagoon to the western
border at Gallon Jug, where there is a permanent camp.
Other camps are seasonal and the workers come from Belize.
Logs are floated down the Belize River when it floods. The New
River is too sluggish and logs are towed north to Corozal and
thence round by sea to the sawmill and ships at Belize.
There has been increased exploitation of the pine forests in
recent years, with exports of house timbers to Jamaica.3 Pine,
unlike mahogany, is concentrated and occurs in areas of poor
soil. The small and fairly movable circular sawmill is used and
the wood is sawn at the spot where it is cut.
1 'The 1946 numbers, although considerably higher than in 1931, show
little increase over the early years of the century' (Census of British Honduras,
946, chap. vn, para. 14).
Santa Maria, Yemrncri and Banak.
SSee Table VI.

The chicle industry uses, mainly, the labour of Mayan
Indians and Spanish-Indians who bleed the sapodilla tree for
the gum from which chewing-gum is made. The best quality
chicle.ifound in the north. In the south the quality is poorer
and it jiknown as Crown gum. The two are usually mixed to
some extent before export. It has already been noted that the
chiclero is also a milpero and that chicle-bleeding competes with
agriculture for his labour, to the disadvantage of agriculture.
A certain amount of forest regeneration and planting is
undertaken by the Forest Department.
(a) Timber-getting and sawmilling. Some rather different esti-
mates for the labour force were found, ranging from 1030 in
the Labour Report to 1374 in the Census. This may be due to
differences in definition. The Labour Officer in his 'Notes on
the Census' gave different figures for average earnings from
those in his Report. The income tax profits for fifteen concerns
and individuals, including sawmills and timber-contractors,
were available. In the Forestry Report the whole industry is
admirably detailed under production and export. The part of
the industry which was carried on in Guatemala and Mexico
was included. It was assumed that the number of workers em-
ployed in Timber-getting over the Colony's borders bore the
same proportion to those inside the Colony as re-exports of
timber bore to domestic exports. This is likely to be on the low
side compared with other years, as re-exports were exceptionally
low in 1946. The rates of pay given in the Labour Report were
then worked out for the season and averaged, proving, at $313,
to be much lower than the estimates in the Labour Officer's
Notes. The total internal wage was then calculated and the
total external wage on an average of $303, as the imports from
Guatemala and Mexico were mahogany and cedar, the rates
for workers in these woods being lower than the average. The
earnings of tractor- and truck-drivers were then calculated from
the Labour Report.
For the sawmills the numbers employed as given in the
Labour Report and in the Census for the Belize district tallied
closely, the difference being accounted for by salary-earners.

They both probably covered the same ground. The Census
gave a further I 12 in other districts. This was accepted. There
were also 17 supervisors and clerks and 166 machinery attend-
ants and operators. These calculations gave the following earn-
ings from sawmilling:
Supervisors and clerks $21,828
Machinery attendants and operators 116,200oo
Labourers @ $420 io6,26o
Labourers in districts @ $350 39,200
Use was again made of employers' returns of wages. No evi-
dence was available for salaries, and a notional figure was
entered. To arrive at the materials used by the timber industry
the Customs import figures were examined for free imports of
machinery, plant etc. Beside these are duty-paid imports and
imports on which the duty was refunded. It was estimated that
the value of timber consumed locally was $2oo,ooo. This may
be a low figure. No account was taken of the consumption of
timber by the industry itself. These calculations enabled a rough
account of Timber-getting and Sawmilling to be drawn up:
Account for Timber-getting and Sawmilling
$ooo Wages-labour-timber: Sooo
Gross exports 2181 internal 429
Local consumption 200 external 79
sawmill 284
Tractor-drivers. etc.:
Profits: companies
Other expenses (free im-
ports= $348,oo000) 793



From the account the net output, after deducting the profits
not due to resident factors of production, was:
Wages 1023
Salaries 41
Profits 39
Royalty 150

(b) Firewood. The Census gave 79 employed, of whom 68 were
own-account workers, one an unpaid helper and io employees.
Own-account workers were estimated to earn 8400, employees
$300, to give $30,200. The Forestry Report gave the value of
the output of firewood and charcoal at $31,456. The latter
figure was accepted.
(c) Chicle-bleeding. The Labour Officer's Notes estimated
16oo chicleros at less than $500 per annum and 80 muleteers at
$250 per annum. The Income Tax Department assessed 16
persons in the chicle industry, including chicleros at $79,736.
The Labour Report gave 1788 chicleros and 93 muleteers, for a
ten-month season at (for chicleros) $125 per month. Chicle
earnings vary enormously, as is evident from the income tax
returns (some contractors returning payments to chicleros). The
range is from $20oo to $3000. Export of chicle was about two-
thirds domestic and one-third re-export.1 The assumption has
been made that chicleros were paid and spent their money inside
the Colony, even though working across the border. From the
Forest Department's chicle licences an average price of 60 c.
per lb. was taken. The muleteers' incomes were estimated at
$250 per annum, the profits of dealers at $16,ooo, to give a
net output for Chicle-bleeding of:
Earnings-chicleros 961 (approx. 1747 earning $500)
muleteers 23
Profits-- others 16
SSee Tablec VII.

(d) Forest Cultivation. The Census gives 32 persons employed in
Forest Cultivation. The output has been estimated at $16,4oo.
The margin of error is large.

Apart from the government electricity and ice plant, the sugar
factory, some boat-building and repair yards and very small
factories for aerated waters, rum, soap and cigarettes, this group
consists of small craftsmen making clothes, furniture, etc., and
repair men of all kinds.1
From this point onwards in the Output Table cross-checks
were rarely available and the output has been calculated on
incomes, based on the Census figures of the numbers employed,
and on profits. The labour force of the small industries, most of
which will require some skill, will probably be constant through-
out the year, as will the numbers of craftsmen working. The
estimates of incomes of different occupations can be derived
with some accuracy from income tax returns and employers'
returns of wages paid. As the calculations mostly follow the
same pattern, the details will not be given unless some other
method is adopted, or cross-checks are available.
(a) Food: (i) Slaughtering and meat products. 11 butchers and
5 employees, $675o. This figure does not include butchers
employed under other industry-groupings. 34 butchers appear
under Commerce.
(ii) Grain-milling, cereal products. 5 workers, $23oo. This may
be an underestimate.
(iii) Bread, cakes and biscuits. 91 bakers and 66 employees and
apprentices, $59,050. The earnings of female own-account
workers were estimated to be lower than those of males.
(iv) Sugar-milling. The Agricultural Report gives production
at the Corozal factory as 808 tons of sugar from 8962 tons of
I 'That the factories and workshops are for the most part very small is
clear from the fact that 945 persons (out of 2551) were on their "own
account". 71 persons were described as employers. This is more than the
total of owners and managers and indicates that many of the employers
were themselves working tradesmen' (Census of British Honduras, 946, chap.
vu, para. 22).

cane. The production is of 'plantation white' and brown sugar.
The Colony normally consumes some 14oo to 16oo tons of
sugar, which is largely met by the factory.' There is a 'con-
cealed' import of sugar in sweetened condensed milk, which is
widely used. There were two small brown-sugar factories in
the Toledo district, for which the Census gives three employees.
This secondary industry is an exception in that it is seasonal
(three to five months each year) and draws a varying labour
force. Estimating the value of the gross output at $105 per ton
(approximately the average import price), the following account
can be drawn up:
Accountfor Sugar-milling
$000 $ooo
Sugar produced 9o,ooo Sugar cane 49,29I
Wages and salaries 22,500
Profits 12,384
Expenses 5,825
90,000 90,000
isr gives a net output of $34,884.
(v) Confectionery and other food products. 3 employers, I workers,
The combined Food Output Table is: $000
Slaughtering and meat products 7
Grain-milling, cereal products 2
Bread, cakes and biscuits 59
Sugar-milling 35
Confectionery and other food products 5
(b) Beverages: (i) Brewing and distilling. The distilling of rum
is subsidiary to sugar-planting and sugar-milling. A number
of sugar plantations (varying around half a dozen) have small
stills. In 1946 all these were in the north, in the vicinity of
Corozal. There was an unknown amount of illicit home-
distilling in the south. The total rum produced, according to
the Customs Report, was 25,345-168 proof gallons, or, 16,928
1 See Table VIII.

liquid gallons, which was lower than usual.' It is generally sold
by producers at $1.25 per proof gallon. An arbitrary one-third
has been deducted for expenses of manufacture, other than
wages, giving a net output of $21,121.
(ii) Fruit juices, cordials and aerated wat s. This excludes the
output of the grapefruit juice tinning industry. The Census
gives 73 engaged, including 3 employers, 4 unemployed and
I own-account worker. The Labour Officer gives 57 employees
under aerated waters. Five employers were assessed to tax.

Profits $26,590
Wages est. 19,500

(iii) Ice-making. The Census gives 4 employees. There is a
government ice plant in Belize, run in conjunction with the
electricity plant, with which its accounts are inextricably mixed
up. It is believed that if it was separately accounted for and
fully charged for electric current it would show a loss. As it is,
any such loss is a deduction from electricity profits, shown
below. A figure of $12oo has been inserted for employees.
There were no other ice plants in 1946, but there is now a small
one at Benque Viejo. No private concern could profitably com-
pete in Belize with the government ice plant.
The combined Beverages Output Table is: $000
Distilling 21
Fruit juices, cordials and aerated waters 46
Ice I

(c) Tobacco. The Customs Report yields some information on
the tobacco manufacturing industry.2 The income tax returns
are useful, and on these bases the net output of the industry has
been estimated at $40,000. No account has been taken of
locally grown and cured tobacco, only a negligible amount
having entered into the manufacture of cigarettes and tobacco.3
1 See Table IX. See Tablec X. a Customs Report, r1j6, para. 25.

(d) Oils and fats. 17 own-account workers.
(e) Chemicals. This embraces the soap factory. The net output
is estimated, in the usual way, at $16,325.
(f) Wood and cork (other than sawmilling). This covers 58
cabinet-makers, 52 employees and 17 apprentices.
(g) Paper, printing and photography: (i) Printing and bookbinding.
This includes earnings of employees in the Government Printing
Office. It covers 6 printers and 59 employees, $43,271.
(ii) Photography. io photographers and 4 employees, $81oo.
(h) Leather (tanning and leather goods, not footwear). 3 own-
account workers and 6 employees.
(i) Apparel, textile articles: (i) Tailoring. 144 tailors, 47 em-
ployees and ii apprentices, $91,400.
(ii) Dressmaking. 3o9 dressmakers and 37 employees, $85,075.
(iii) Garment-making, embroidery. 13 workers, $3200oo.
(iv) Hats, bags, hosiery and knitted goods. 16 workers, $3200.
(v) Footwear. 112 shoemakers, 61 employees and 18 appren-
tices, $92,669.
(vi) Other made-up textile articles. io workers, $3000.
The combined table for Apparel and Textile Articles Output
is: $00oo0
Tailoring 91
Dressmaking 85
Garment-making, embroidery 3
Hats, bags, hosiery, knitted goods 3
Footwear 93
Other made-up textile articles 3
(j) Electricity and water: (i) Electricity. This includes the sur-
plus of the government plant in Belize and the municipal plant
in Corozal, together with 34 employees, $68,204.
(ii) Water. 5 employees, $2000.
These are men engaged in fetching water from up the Belize
River during the dry season, March-May, when Belize, which
is dependent on rain water, runs short. It is probably an over-
estimate, as the Census was taken in the dry season, but water

is to some extent fetched, in some years, for the greater
of the year.
(k) fNon-metallic minerals. 2 workers.
(1) Metal manufacture: (i) Blacksmithing. 7 workers, $4100oo.
(ii) Tinsmithing. 15 workers, $9300.
(iii) Other metal. 16 workers, $98oo.
(m) Machinery and vehicles: (i) Electrical machinery. 6 workers,
(ii) Boats. There are some half-dozen boat-building and
repair yards at Belize and the cays. The boats constructed are
usually small sailing boats, either pleasure craft or, more usu-
ally, boats for carrying freight up and down the coast, and
motor launches, with an occasional motor vessel of up to about
50 tons. 44 boat-builders and shipwrights, 124 employees and
apprentices were estimated to earn $104,400.
(iii) Motor vehicles and bicycles. This is a repair industry.
21 employers, 61 own-account workers, ioo employees and
25 apprentices were estimated to earn $117,3oo. The margin of
error may be as much as 25 per cent.
(iv) Motor vehicle bodies. 3 employees, $1200oo.
(v) Other vehicles. 5 employees, $1500oo.
(vi) Machinery. 22 workers, $So,6oo.
The combined table for the output of Machinery and
Vehicles is: $ooo
Electrical machinery 2
Boats 104
Motor vehicles and bicycles 117
Motor vehicle bodies I
Other vehicles I
Machinery 10

(n) Instruments, jewellery and other: (i) Watchmaking and jewellery.
17 watchmakers and 2 employees, $S4,ooo.
(ii) Other. 9 workers, $3900.
(In parenthesis it may be added that the construction of these
tables suggests that the classifications of the West Indian Census,

however applicable to Jamaica, hardly seem appropriate for
British Honduras.)

The same methods have been used to arrive at the net output
of Construction.
(a) Building. Nearly all buildings are made of wood. There
is no building stone near Belize, and Belize sets the pattern for
the whole country. This accounts for there being 354 carpenters
among a total employed in Building Construction of 536.1 A
few larger, hurricane-proof buildings have been built in con-
crete. The pole-and-thatch, plastered houses common in the
districts and outskirts of the small townsare 'home-made'.
(b) Road. Road building is exceptionally costly. The soil is
not suitable for the construction of earth roads. All roads have
to be metalled, with the metalling often brought long distances.
Most of them are tarred as well. The depreciation of roads
through swampy lands is rapid and maintenance costs are high.
(c) Other construction. i employer, 2 own-account workers and
so employees.

(a) Rail. It has already been noted that this covers only two
employees on a logging railway of a timber concern.
(b) Motor. Motor transport is as yet not very developed, and
is mainly an offshoot of other businesses or in the hands of
individuals. In 1946 there were only four roads of any length.
The oldest, from Belize to Orange Walk and Corozal covers
mainly low-lying marshland and pine forest as far as Orange
Walk. From there it goes through the richer land between the
New and Hondo Rivers, but duplicates the water transport of the
rivers and sea. It was extended to the Mexican border, but
I 'Evidence of the small scale of much of the building is that 138 persons
were working on their own account employing no paid labour, while only
4 were described as employers' (Census of British Honduras, 1946, chap. vn,
pars. 26).

connections on the other side were not complete. The Mexican
provinces of Quintana Roo and Yucatan have poor connec-
tions with the rest of Mexico and the value of this road may
increase with time. At the present the entrep6t trade of Belize
with Mexico goes by sea. The road to El Cayo in the west had
not been completed. It has since opened up a fertile area with
agricultural potentialities and has killed the Belize River traffic.
A road up the Stann Creek valley for 25 miles connected the
citrus lands and grapefruit juice tinning industry with the only
deep-water port in the Colony. A road from Punta Gorda to
San Antonio brought the rice of the East Indians and the
surplus products of the Mayan Indians to market. Passenger
traffic is still largely by lorry, taxi or private cars, which were
few in 1946. Most heavy goods from the north still went to
Belize by sea. The timber industry hardly uses the roads at all.
Only one employer was wholly engaged in motor transport.
There were 41 own-account taxi- and truck-drivers, whose
incomes were derived from income tax assessments, and 128
employees of different kinds.
(c) Other road transport. This covers transport by pack mules
on forest trails and the draymen of the towns. There is no long-
distance carriage of goods by road other than by motor trans-
port. The drays, which are light, two-wheeled carts, ply for
hire in the towns.
There were 49 working on their own account and 26
(d) Water. This is still the chief means of transporting freight
and (to the south) passengers. The Colony has been settled
from the sea, along the coast and up the rivers. As a result the
waterways connect up the main areas of settlement, the New
River, the Rio Hondo and the Sarstoon River, and water trans-
port can still hold its own with road transport. Only the Belize
River transport, which was long and difficult, with hauls over
rapids and runs, has given way. Locally-owned motor vessels
ply to Chetumal in Mexico, Puerto Cortes in Spanish Honduras
and further afield to the United States. The larger vessels calling
at British Honduras are foreign-owned. Motor vessels of up

to 50 tons carry freight and passengers up and down the coast.
Small sailing vessels and even dugouts carry produce between
points on the coast and to market, in the shelter of the barrier
The Census gives 5 employers and owners, 3 pilots, 18 cap-
tains and others working on their own account, and 520 em-
ployees of various kinds, including stevedores.
(e) Air. All air transport is foreign-owned, either Central
American or, to a much smaller degree, British. The majority of
passengers to and from other countries arrive at and leave the
Colony by air. There are connections to all Central American
capitals, New Orleans, Florida and Jamaica.
(f) Communications. This class includes the surpluses of the
Post Office, which maintains the postal services and radio tele-
graph communications with Jamaica and other countries and
Punta Gorda, and of the Telephones Department, which main-
tains internal telephone and telegraph services to almost all
settlements as far south as Monkey River, and an extension to
Chctumal in Mexico. There were 78 employees.
The consideration of communications suggests, if the Stann
Creek valley road were extended a short distance to connect
with the Belize-Cayo road, that Stann Creek, with its deeper
water, would be a more natural centre for the Colony than
Belize, which is backed by six miles of mangrove swamp and
a further thirty-mile radius of swampy, barren land. As the
main transport connections of Belize are by water, Stann Creek
would be at no disadvantage, and a Stann Creek-Cayo road
would meet the Belize-Cayo road at the point where it enters
the most fertile part.1 It might be wiser to plan future road
programmes with such a development in mind. The heavy road-
maintenance charges in an under-developed Colony suggest
that the north should continue to depend on water transport,
1 'The "feeder road" for the Stann Creek Valley is that from Middlesex
to Roaring Creek. The building of this road should enable the products of
the livestock industry of the Cayo District to reach the Stann Creek Valley
at economic rates' (Department of Agriculture Amnnual Report, 1948). Since this
was twitten the building of this road has begun as part of the 'compensation'
for the devaluation of the British Honduras dollar and as relief work.

with which it is well provided, with only feeder roads to the
rivers. Roads to the south from the Stann Creek valley would
open up new areas with potentialities. At present the major
road scheme is for feeder roads connecting the various settle-
ments now on the rivers with the main roads. In the north this
means going to considerable expense, which will recur in main-
tenance, to duplicate an existing transport system. The extinc-
tion of water transport on the Belize River makes them neces-
sary there. In the south they are being well used to connect
subsistence communities with markets and so to stimulate pro-
duction beyond the bare needs of subsistence.

(a) Retail and wholesale trade. This figure includes the assessed
profits of 187 businesses at $626,i29 and the profits and earn-
ings of 270 owners and managers not assessed to tax, with
4 fishermen, 34 butchers, 248 hawkers, etc., and o1092 employees
of various kinds.
(b) Finance: (i) Banking and finance. This covers the profits of
banks and moneylenders, less profits not due to resident factors
of production, and the earnings of employees. The bank is
foreign-owned. The value of its services was taken to be the
earnings of its employees. The problem of bank profits, which
arise from interest charged on loans and interest from invest-
ments less the cost of services charged or given free to lenders,
does not arise, as the profits are not due to resident factors of
production and do not concern this study. For that reason the
amount of maintenance and depreciation of bank property,
which is normally included when profits are excluded, is also
excluded, as it is a charge against foreign profits. The money-
lenders included are petty one-man concerns dealing in small
loans. Their profits are considered to be the value of their
services. The estimated net output was $34,445.
(ii) Insurance. There are no local insurance companies. The
figure of $iooo was inserted, based on income tax returns, to
cover the services of local agents.

(iii) Accountancy and book-keeping. Profits and wages were esti-
mated at $40,000.
(iv) Real estate management. Earnings were estimated at
(v) Other mixed agencies. 4 employers, 7 own-account workers
and 17 employees were estimated to earn $25,2o0.
The combined table for the net output of Finance is:
Banking and finance' 34
Insurance I
Accountancy and book-keeping 40
Real estate management,. 11
Other mixed agencies 25

(a) Cinema.c. Profits and earnings of employees, $35,142.
(b) Other. It was not possible to dissect this rather general
classification. 38 employees were estimated to earn $ 11,4oo.

(a) Medical and hygiene. This includes earnings of employees
in the government medical and health services, professional
profits and other employees' earnings.
(b) Undertaking, cemetery and other hygienic services. 28 workers
estimated to earn $8400.
(c) Education. The educational system is run by the churches
with the assistance of government grants, except for two small
government schools taken over from one mission. Elementary
education is compulsory throughout the country. The figure
includes 419 employed and independent teachers.
(d) Religion. The churches' returns of salaries paid were aver-
aged to arrive at the earnings of clergymen, missionaries and
other religious workers. This was $727. This does not include
unpaid services, which account for a large part of the staff of
the Roman Catholic Church. The average was applied to ioI

religious workers (not including labourers, to yield
(a) Armed Forces. There were 611 officers and other ranks in
the Armed Forces stationed in the Colony. These were mainly
the British Honduras Battalion of the North Caribbean Force.
The battalion was disbanded in 1947, but in 1948, as a result
of threats from Guatemala, a contingent of British troops was
stationed in the Colony. There seems, therefore, every likeli-
hood of there being armed forces for some time to come. It is,
however, disputable whether British forces should be included
in the national income, as they will be included in that of the
United Kingdom. The case of the British Honduras Battalion
was different as, although paid for by United Kingdom funds,
it consisted mainly of local men. It had a considerable effect
on the economy, and on its disbandment the members had to be
absorbed while the income which had maintained them ceased.
The earnings have been taken at a rather low average to take
account of discharges during the year.
(b) Administration. This covers government employees not
classified elsewhere; foremen, tradesmen, boatmen, messengers,
truck-drivers, engineers, inspectors, clerks and labourers. Some
of these should probably come under the heading Construction.
(c) Law. 3 judges and magistrates, 6 lawyers and 17 clerks.
A District Commissioner is a magistrate, and according to
whether he considers his magisterial or his administrative duties
more important he will come under this or the previous heading.
(d) Police, prisons. The earnings are taken from the Colony's
Financial Statements.
(a) Hotels, restaurants, cafrs. Earnings of 18 hotels, boarding-
houses, restaurants and bars were assessed for income tax at
$25,107. 123 not assessed were estimated to yield $61,500.
Earnings of 65 cooks and domestic servants were estimated at
(b) ILaundry, dry cleaning. This is a strange category as there

are no laundries and the few self-styled dry cleaners are in-
effective. The group contains 3 employers and 397 own-account
workers and employees. These would seem to be either indi-
viduals who take in washing or persons who might equally well
be classed as domestic servants. They have been included at a
figure for average earnings of $117 per annum, which is the
rate given by the Labour Officer in his Notes for domestic
servants and includes rations. Washing clothes is the lowest-
paid domestic service. The rate is, however, much lower than
one would expect.
(c) Hairdressing. 46 own-account workers and 4 employees.
(d) Domestic Service. This includes chauffeurs, messengers,
cooks, gardeners, housekeepers and 126 laundresses apart from
domestic servants proper. The total is 1083. Unlike so many
colonies, domestic servants are undoubtedly the lowest paid
part of the population. 'Perks' and pickings no doubt supple-
ment their meagre earnings to some extent.
The Census gives 1396 persons as in ill-defined industries. This
is a large figure, and no doubt if adequate information were
available the bulk of these could be distributed over other
occupations. Of these, 1364 are labourers, the rest clerks and
typists. They probably cover the more mobile (between jobs)
part of the population and possibly a lot of temporary unem-
ployment. A figure had, however, to be given for them and
they have been estimated at $220 each, or $307,ooo. It is
unfortunate, but unavoidable, to have such a large block item;
moreover, one in which the margin of error must be particularly
large, perhaps 30 per cent.
This figure is the net imputed rent, from the Income Table.

This figure is the same as that in the Income Table for Remit-
tances, together with the S9o,ooo estimated interest received
from abroad.


Use was made, in drawing up the Expenditure Table, of two
other tables which were prepared, the Government Account
and the Balance of Payments.

Government account, i

Direct taxes, fines 637 Interest and subventions
Indirect taxes 941 abroad
Income from property Transfer payments to the
and profits from private sector of the


trading services 552 economy 218
Budget deficit 298 Subsidies 10o8
Net current expenditure
on goods and services 1415
Capital expenditure 545
2428 2428

The accounts of the Colony, the Belize City Council, the
Town Boards and the Import Control Office were combined,
excluding transfer payments between them.
Indirect taxes, taken from the Colony's accounts, are those
taxes which enter into the price of an article to the consumer.
Income from property and profits from trading services include the
surpluses or deficits on public utilities, etc., earnings from
property and services, such as market rents, interest from in-
vestments, and earnings from the numerous services provided
by Government. Some of these items might, perhaps, be more
properly classed under direct taxes and fines, when the fee
charged bears little relation to the cost of the service supplied.
In practice all the minor services of Government were treated
as earning their fees. It is very difficult to draw the line between
one kind of communal service and another. Some government

services seem obviously 'trading' services (and may vield profits
or be subsidized), because they are services which, in some
countries, are provided by private concerns. In some cases
Government has a monopoly of the service and can charge more
than the cost, when the excess might be considered a direct tax.
In other cases less than the cost is charged, when the difference
might be regarded as a subsidy. Is the registration of the birth
of a child a service, and so a subsidized service? Is the fee for
late registration a fine or the cost of the service? Is the fee for
a copy of a birth certificate the cost of a service? Government
accounts are not classified in such a way that adequate dissec-
tions can be made, even if the definitions have been agreed. It
may, for example, be decided that the registration is a subsi-
dised service, the late fee a fine and the copy of the birth certifi-
cate a service which is paid for. But these can only be dis-
entangled by going through each entry in the accounts. In this
table the definition includes all income where a service of any
kind, whatever its value, has been performed apparently in
direct response to, or in anticipation of, payment.
The Budget deficit bears no direct relation to the actual surplus
of receipts over payments in the Colony's accounts, as grants
from abroad have not been included.
Transfer payments include pensions and grants. Pensions are
so treated for consistency. Pensioners, as such, have not been
included in the Income and Output Tables, as they have not
been classified as gainfully-occupied, unless they are so occupied
under other headings. If it were desired to treat non-contrib-
utory pensions as deferred payments for services, an item would
have to be added to the other two tables. This might be done by
showing the pensions paid or imputing an amount to civil
servants' salaries to cover a pension provision. Such treatment
would hardly be sound, as pensions do not have any definite
money relation to the services performed. Their money sig-
nificance depends on the length of life of the pensioner. Pen-
sions are not earned but granted in accordance with certain rules
that take into account the services performed.
Capital expenditure includes all expenditure from Colonial

Development and Welfare votes. The recurrent items are small
and some of them, such as training scholarships or social wel-
fare, are really a rather intangible form of investment which is
made annually.

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